|Wizz Air expanding operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina|
Low cost airline Wizz Air intends to open an operational base at Tuzla Airport, in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s third largest city, in mid-2015, local media report. Talks between Wizz Air’s CEO Josef Varadi and the Tuzla Canton government were held earlier this week where technical, legal and commercial aspects of establishing a new base were discussed. “Introducing flights from Tuzla and increasing services later on is indicative of the strong cooperation we have and we think it is time for the next phase”, Mr. Varadi said. He added that Wizz Air intends to expand its route network out of Tuzla as well as increase frequencies on existing destinations. The low cost airline launched services to the Bosnian city only last summer and is the only carrier offering scheduled flights out of Tuzla. It currently serves the city from Malmo, Basel, Dortmund, Gothenburg and Eindhoven.
Wizz Air plans to boost its passenger numbers at Tuzla Airport from its current 153.000 travellers to 250.000 per year. Furthermore, the number of flights is set to increase from an average of thirteen per week to some 21 weekly services. It is suggested one Airbus A320 will be based at Tuzla Airport and up to seven new routes are being considered. 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 seven months of the year, Tuzla Airport welcomed 72.940 passengers, a massive increase of 292%. Prior to Wizz Air’s arrival, the airport was 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.
Furthermore, the Federal Minister for Transport and Communication, Enver Bijedić, said yesterday Wizz Air is considering launching flights to Sarajevo. Talks between the budget airline and Sarajevo Airport are in progress, with the carrier’s CEO indicating services from three different cities could be launched to Sarajevo during the 2015 summer season. Wizz Air recently confirmed it was also in talks with Niš Constantine the Great Airport to launch flights from the city during the 2015 summer season as well. Besides Tuzla, Skopje and Belgrade, within the former Yugoslavia the low cost airline also maintains services to Ljubljana and on a seasonal basis to Split.