|Tuzla likely to become Wizz Air’s third operational base in the former Yugoslavia|
Low cost airline Wizz Air is considering opening a base in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s third largest city, Tuzla, following talks between the no frills carrier, the Federation Minister for Transport and Communication Enver Bijedić and officials from both the Tuzla canton government and the airport. It comes after the success Wizz Air has enjoyed in Tuzla since launching flights there in 2013. The low cost airline initially inaugurated services from Malmo to Tuzla on a seasonal summer basis in June last year. However, shortly after, the service was given a year long run and new flights from Basel and Gothenburg were introduced as well. Only a few weeks ago, Wizz Air launched services from Dortmund and Eindhoven to the Bosnian city.
However, Tuzla Airport is also seeking to boost revenue and achieve profitability in 2017. While not disclosing any details, the airport’s management hinted its current agreement with Wizz Air has not improved its finances, which is why it is looking to a reach a compromise with the low cost airline. “The ministry has insisted for Wizz Air to boost revenue so Tuzla Airport can function better in the future and improve its financial results”, Minister Bijedić said. It has not been revealed whether Wizz Air enjoys benefits at Tuzla Airport such as discounts or waived fees for handling, landing and other infrastructure use. The airport stressed it was seeking a solution which would not harm Wizz Air’s operations in Tuzla.
Recently, Wizz Air’s Chief Commercial Officer, Gyorgy Abran said, “Our presence in Tuzla demonstrates our commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina and we hope to further develop our operations in this market”. In the first half of the year, Tuzla Airport welcomed 53.053 passengers, a massive increase of 691% compared to the 6.706 passengers handled during the same period in 2013. If Wizz Air chooses to base an aircraft in the city it will ensure continued growth for the airport, which has been mostly deserted since opening its doors for commercial traffic in 2008. Wizz Air already has two bases in the former Yugoslavia, in Skopje and Belgrade respectively.