Thursday, February 5, 2015

Wizz Air aims to serve entire EX-YU market

Wizz Air sheds light on new destinations, fees and Macedonian subsidies

Low cost carrier Wizz Air is negotiating potential new flights to Podgorica, Pristina and Sarajevo. Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Wizz Air‘s CEO, Jozsef Varadi, confirmed to EX-YU Aviation News that the airline is in talks with authorities in both Montenegro and Kosovo, but noted that high fees are deterring the airline from expanding further into the former Yugoslavia. “We can confirm talks with Montenegro and Kosovo. However, airport costs are a problem and we have been dragged into long negotiations”, Mr. Varadi said. The CEO added that he is hopeful to conclude successful negotiations with these airports soon. Late last year, Predrag Jelušić, the Montenegrin State Secretary for Tourism, said, “I believe we are very close to reaching a deal with Wizz Air to launch flights from Montenegro to Germany and Poland”. Meanwhile, last month, Pristina Airport hinted Wizz Air would soon introduce flights to the city.

Commenting on the former Yugoslav market, Mr. Varadi said that the budget carrier is “very happy”, emphasising Macedonia as an example of a successful partnership. “We are very satisfied with Macedonia. The Balkans are one of our success stories. We will look at new opportunities in Macedonia as long as we are satisfied with the marketplace”. Skopje Alexander the Great Airport is Wizz Air’s busiest hub in the former Yugoslavia with 557.376 passengers handled last year. The airline will introduce five new routes from the Macedonian capital this summer and base a third aircraft in the city. Mr. Varadi rebuffed claims that the budget airline could face problems from the European Commission for subsidies it receives from the Macedonian government to maintain part of its operations from the country. “Financial support is provided on a transparent basis through public tenders. We are fine and we have no issues with Brussels”, the CEO said. Last year, Pristina Airport announced it would lodge a complaint with the European Commission against Skopje Airport over what it says are “incentives which have created unfair competition in the region”.

The low cost airline also hopes to conclude talks with Sarajevo Airport. As reported yesterday, Wizz Air’s CEO directly blamed high fees for the carrier’s absence from the city. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, the budget carrier was close to announcing flights to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital late last year, however, talks between the two sides broke down in the final stages. Despite problems with Sarajevo, the airline is “highly excited for Bosnia and Herzegovina” and hopes to replicate its success in Tuzla across the country. Wizz Air will base an aircraft at Tuzla Airport this June and launch four new destinations.

As of this summer, Wizz Air will have three bases in the former Yugoslavia – Skopje, Belgrade and Tuzla – and will maintain flights to Ljubljana, Niš, Ohrid and Split as well. The airline recently brought forward the launch of its Basel - Niš service by a week. The flights will now commence on June 29. Wizz Air has previously said it is happy with booking numbers on the route as it sold 350 tickets during the first month of sales. The airline will maintain two weekly flights between the two cities and launch services between Malmo and Niš as well.

102 comments:

  1. I am especially happy for Nis, they will have 5 weekly flights. Good for them.

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  2. How can Wizz "maintain flights to Nis" when they have never flown there before?

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    1. In the context, "maintain flights to Niš" means "provide flights to Niš", as far as I am concerned.

      [ot]

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  3. Da mi je znati zasto kompanije iz Ex-Yu nisu sposobne poslovati kao Wizz Air Ili Easy Jet ...

    Ima li ista da Balkanci znaju, a da je to uspjesno na svjetskom trzistu, a da je "domace"?

    Ovo se odnosni pogotovo na Hrvatsku kao turisticku destinaciju No. 1 u regijonu.

    Let Njemacka - Split nije nikad ispod 220€.
    Od Juna do Septembra za let za Dalmaciju se placa i do 350€...

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    Replies
    1. Nisu sposobni jer a) ne umeju i b) država će im uvek maksimalno otežati položaj kako bi negovala svoje prevoznike koje mogu dati partijskim kadrovima na čerupanje.

      No, kada bi teoretski tako nešto bilo moguće ja bih se pre ugledao na Ryanair model nego na Wizz jer mi čitava ta Wizz priča deluje da stoji na staklenim nogama i da vrlo lako može fulati na kraju. Teško je izvući ozbiljne novce u čitavoj istočnoj Evropi a kamoli u exYU a bez ozbiljnih novaca njihovi će vlasnici jednostavno ugasiti posao.

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    2. Centavia је могла постати прва нискобуџетна авио компанија на простору бивше Југославије.

      Нажалост компанија која је планирала летове из Београда за Црну Гору као и за Загреб никада није добила дозволу од црногроских и хрватских власти те је на крају била приморана да оде у стечај.

      Наравно ни сама Србија није била спремна да им изађе у сусрет због Јата. Јако ми је жао јер су стварно изгледали као кул и модерна фирма.

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    3. Хтео бих само да додам да су планирали летове по завршетку летње сезоне а власти у Хрватској су их прве одбиле. Надали су се да ће ипак добити дозволу од Црногораца али и од тога ништа није било на крају.

      Све у име протекционизма полупропалих авио компанија.

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    4. Anon @ 9:46

      Wizz priča je osnovana upravo na Ryanair modelu, s tim što je Ryanair u poslednjih pola godine do godinu povećao troškove po nekoliko osnova (GDS, marketing, etc) i već ima slabiju strukturu troškova u poređenju sa Wizzom. Uostalom, biće puno jasnije čim sve brojke postanu javne kroz mesec dva.

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    5. Једина разлика је у томе што Рајанер примарно саобраћа у платежно способном делу Европе. Карта од 50 евра нема исту вредност Енглезу и Пољаку.

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    6. Corruption's grown up to huge proportions in the Balkans. Politicians tend to have their fingers in every pie. They are the scum of the earth. Entirely incompetent. But they are elected by the people! So, the people are not much better.

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    7. It's not like the people have a choice... you end up voting for the lesser of the two evils.

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    8. Centavia je imala volju i zelju, i za razliku od Jata nisu imali milion zaposlenih, sindikate i ostale gluposti vec mlad tim i modernije avione. Secam se leteo sam u Grcku sa njima i radovao sam se njihovom redovnom saobracaju posto su stvarno bili odlicni. Komsinica je bila stevka kod njih i bila je puna hvale.

      Ali na zalost, Velja im nije dao i to je finito bilo. Sa druge strane - oni cetvroromotorci mi nikada nisu bili logicno resenje za low-cost... ipak je to skup avion za odrzavanje. Ali sobzirom kakav je bio rejting zemlje u to vreme, verovatno nista bolje nisu mogli ni da iznajme. Steta...

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    9. Мислим да су се определила за тај ваздухоплов јер је био јефтин за изнајмљивање. Мени се посебно свидео њихов корпоративни идентитет, био је свеж и баш оно што је тада било потребно Балкану.

      Нараво, данас је ситуација знатно другачија јер су се појавили нови играчи али нека буде за наук другима колико политика може бити штетна.

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    10. If demand is higher than supply, I see no issue in charging 350EUR or even 500EUR during summer. Flights are full and will be full during peak periods; you don't give discounts during high season when you know you will be full - or you exoect to be full. Then you make money which you probably lose during slower months unless you are able to lower costs. Another question is how to treat low season period - if investing into low or extremely low fares can stimulate demand and at the samecompany can make it a viable business (from the cost persepctive).

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    11. Zasto mi ne uspijemo u modelu Ryanaira ili easyJeta? Tu vise nitko ne moze uspjeti sve od 2005. naovamo. Jednostavno Rayan i Easy su ogromni i zderu trzista. Morali bi imati ogroman novac da im mozete konkurirati. Nesto sitno je uspjelo uloviti nišu a to su Wizz (istok), Pegasus (jugoistok), Norwegian (sjever)... Ostali imaju zaledje u mega igracima Germanwings/Eurowings u LH, Transavia u AF, Vueling u BA. Iz tog razloga ih je velik broj propao. Sjetimo se samo Ryanovog udara na SkyEurope koji je u par dana izbrisan sa lica zemlje. Svi naknadno oformljeni majusni i lokalni ili su bankrotirali ili su pred bankrotom kao sto su bili albanski Belair, ili rumunjski Blue air koji samo se nije zatvorio.

      Uc u LCC pricu danas morate biti ili ludi ili se zvati Bill Gates.

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  4. Uglavnom se slazem sa par predhodnih tekstova. Medjutim, pored A320, sa kojima razpolaze Wizz Air, ovoj
    kompaniji nedostaju mali turbo elisni avionic izmedju 20 I 50 sedista. Prirodno sa niskim cenama imali bi pune avione. Sa takvim konceptom koji bi aktivirao u pravom obimu aerodrome pout Nisa, Morave, Ponikve, Vrsca, Banja Luke, Mostara, Tuzle, Osjeka... Prirodno sa ostalim malim aerodromima u okolnim zemljama. Wizz Air za sada nema takav concept. Za druge ne mislim da razmisljaju...
    Rodney & Son. Kraljevo +++ Sydney.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Radovan MarinkovicFebruary 5, 2015 at 10:33 AM,

      it is very hard for a "no frills" company to use small airliners.

      Even though, you might be right, Wizz should try to use one ATR72 and one ATR42 in order to give a helpful hand to their A320, I mean their A320 could feed on these turboprops.

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    2. Hi @anon at 10:46, thankyou to reed my short article above. For few years yet, since advocating intra air trafic in south east Europe. This way doing business, with free enter price, this part of Europe have no experience as I know. Well, generally spiking, this way may not providing super profit, but will raising oportunity to this region. Where road and railway is so poor, so slow to moving people to local or regional business centres. Definitely same of players should "pull up socks" and with legal and political support of local goveruments, reality to move forward from last centaury. Simply life have to move forward. Even in poor part of south east Europe.
      Rodney

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    3. LCC and small turboprops? LCC and more types of planes? Local routes in Balkans to copy model on USA where they are more than 50% subvent and with highest standard.

      You don't know basics of modern air business!!!!

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    4. Hi Anonymous February 5, 2015 at 7:29 PM,

      how can you be so opinionated.

      Delete
  5. Wizz has given up of BNX and turned to TZL; owing to incompetent government of the Republic of Srpska and the evil called bribery and corruption. The Republic of Srpska has never had a proper governement and BNX has never had a proper managing board. For more than 15 years! Unbeliavable but true!

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    1. Well, it's not like BNX is suffering. They have JU and JA and then Tuzla and Zagreb are not that far away.

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    2. Although relativelly close, two hrs drive, but it cannot beat feeling of flying from your home airport. Especially, if you come back from long trip and then need to drive. I went through it at least once a week throughout last year, and it was not to enjoyable.

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    3. Vlada R.Srpske je napravila dobar potez dovodjenjem ASL sti je mnogo bolje nego dolazak W6.
      INN-NS

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    4. Dobro je za BL da ima tu liniju ka Bg, jer nema nijednu drugu osim do Ciriha, ali vlada Srpske nije dovela Er Srbiju na banjalučki aerodrom. Er Srbiji je sada potrebna ta linija i ona je održava. Doduše, od kredita koje podiže svakog mjeseca, vlada Srpske plaća izdržavanje aerodroma a Er Srbija ne plaća ništa za uslugu aerodromu. Kad neko jači nešto hoće onda slabiji ćuti i gleda kako da se dodvori. To je tako, posebno ako su u pitanju specijalne veze na balkanskoj vjetrometini i trenutni odnos političkih snaga. Na Balkanu je i odlazak u WC takozvana politika.

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    5. Then we have Nis, Tuzla, Banja Luka, Osijek, Podgorica,Sarajevo, Ljubljana, Skopje, Zagreb and Belgrade with support of government. Not good for "biznis".

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. I remember minister of transport RS backing BNX director and saying: "They (Wizz) did not come here to give, they are here to take.... And only passengers/travelers would have benefit from them.. It is not true that they are low cost and cheap..."

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    1. Hello midwest February 5, 2015 at 10:42 AM,

      you've paraphrased him essentially!

      At that time, the supervisory board appointed the chief of one of the three airport operator shifts to role play the CEO managing the airport, and kept him at that position for two years - actually as long as they could.

      He demolished the operator, putting all the relevant things upside down, and the airport operator isn't turned around a year and a half afterwards. In my humble opinion, BNX has a pretty nice potential, but will not be used properly as long as this government, it means the current politics, is in the driving seat.

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    2. Nedeljko Čubrilović je upravu
      INN-NS

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    3. Nedjo je od mog strica najboljeg drugara.
      INI-NS

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    4. Hello Anonymous at 7:35 PM,

      obično ga ne zovu Nedjo nego Čubro.

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    5. In February 2011, Austria Airlines was interested in using BNX. They wanted to establish VIEBNX route. Also, OS was interested in BNX as an alternative airport to SJJ. Fallen through.

      In 2013, Wizz was interested in using BNX. Wizz wanted to open its first base in the Balkans. Fallen through.

      If these two companies hadn't been rejected, BNX would have handled at least 80000 pax in 2014. And probably BNX would handle more than 100,000 passengers this year.

      Delete
  8. Guys Please text in English.

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  9. Only desperate airports like Tuzla and Nis lower their taxes to almost nothing. This can work till local governments have money to support airport. Tuzla is example where nothing is OK. People running to Croatia in protests and you are talking of Wizz success. You are bunch of senseless people. Nis is similar story.

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    1. Well, it beats the alternative.... you know, shutting them down.

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    2. I am tired of peoples talking about great potential of exYu airports. Only one is going to be big others are small regional airports.

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    3. Wizz is bragging about record profits but at the same time forcing small airports to operate at a loss by charging them fees below cost. Wizz can still make enough money by paying market price airport fees and taxes at PRN, SJJ or ZAG. Wizz is doubling airplane fleet and has no choice but to expand aggressively. They prefer desperate airports like Tuzla and Nis but are really eager to get into bigger markets like PRN or ZAG. Airports need to be tough negotiators with Wizz and charge much higher fees than 3EUR.

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    4. Last time I checked the map West Balkan still wasn't the center of the world. Good opportunities lie in other places as well, and it seems 3 EUR is the price point at which this market is able to deliver. It balances nicely against lower yields.

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    5. If they think 3EUR is the price point airports in the West will also be able to deliver, good luck with that.

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    6. I do not think local authorities should finance Gastarbeiter over local population. Many Gastarbeiter are not anymore citizens of
      Serbia and BiH. It is nice to have traffic on smaller airports but price is too high for Balkan countries.

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    7. Hi Anonymous posted at 11:59 AM,

      may be, my post from 11:48 AM pulled or even forced you to pop into with your, so I'd like to try to give a bit of explanation.

      I can understand, you are annoyed with the frequent statements about the Ex-Yu-airports having so "great potentials", and great potentials, and always great potentials and bla bla bla... Such frequent things affect me similarly.
      But please notice that the "great potential" wasn't mentioned in my post.
      "Pretty" means "quite" but not " great". When I say "pretty nice potential" I think the traffic there can reach a level at which the airport business can pay off or in a large percentage pay off. That's all.

      Thanks

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    8. Just imagine people from exYu working for
      500 Eur per month, not miserable 30-40% of population but more like 75% and then we can have more regional airports working for money of local people. But no political party at exYU terrain works for that. Then we can think about summer charters everywhere in Italy and whole year traffic on small airports with fees greater than 3 Eur. Till then we can read about nonprofit making Wizz and local stars spending money at Thailand.

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    9. The purpose of these low fees is to show others that Niš or Tuzla have potential. Do you think that Tuzla would lose flights if it decides not to help Wizz financially. Or if next year, after Niš gets lets say 10 flights per week and then increases fees to a reasonable level, that Niš would immediately lose flights? I think not.

      Difference between some Mongolian city with the same standard and Niš/Tuzla is that the latter are high migrating areas and believe me it is quite enough for airports to keep running.

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  10. Does anyone know if any work has started at BEG? They said that the A6-A10 gates should be renovated by summer.

    I think they should complete them before May, they need the gates for charter flights.

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    Replies
    1. They talked and talked about it for months and nothing has been done. Empty promises and lots of hot air.

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    2. Well yes but they already renovated the C platform as well as half of the A one so it's not like they have to do something new.

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    3. C platform was renovated under old management. New management didn't do anything other than horrible web site and new monitors.

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  11. Would Austrian be interested in flying to INI with q400 couple of times per week?

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    1. That would be a great idea. They fly to Brač, so why not couple of times to Niš. I think that it would be interessting to see how would the other players act, especiall ASL.

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    2. ASL is not interested for INI. Serbian government should start small company and base it on INI with possibility to fly one day from Morava too. There is enough money in budget for such small enterprise with two airplanes. They still have Aviogenex.

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    3. Problem with Austria Airlines could be that the company doesn't own such small airliner.

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    4. They could easily test the market with 2 flights per week. Currently, they fly 18x pw if I'm not mistaken, and this is low season. They have Q400. Not sure how much pressure they are getting from AirSerbia, but this could relieve some of it.
      my2cents

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  12. First of all, when did business model where you create demand through taxpayers money become a norm?
    If 90% of balkan population doesn't fly, why should they pay for those 10% to fly cheaper?
    Ryanair, Wizzair and similar business models are just another way of transferring taxpayers money to privately owned companies, something people on this blog often refer to as corruption. If we are talking about free market nothing should be subsidized in any way. What is the point in artificially created demand for air travel with prices ranging from 50 or less euro for RT?
    Tourists? What is the purchasing power of tourist that can't afford to pay 200 eur for RT ticket from one end of Europe to another?
    When volcano errupted on iceland Croatian tourist board financed bed and breakfast for "Ryanair tourists" that didn't have more than 20 euro with them. A great example of what taxpayers are paying through lowcost subsidies. Everybody should do business under the same terms (please dont refer to air serbia and belgrade apt. - they employ huge number of people so large amount of money earned there stays in serbia, while with the likes of ryanair, wizzair and such airlines that is not the case).
    ExYu is doing the way it is because foreign is always better for us, we should be more proud of our countries, respect ourselves and our neighbours more, think in a broader manner, sometimes cheap can be very expensive, when people from our domestic airlines and travel agencies lose their jobs, when money leaves to foreign companies....

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    1. Good luck developing *any* business with this kind of attitude.

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  13. Anyhow, these stewardesses in the photo look like being full of beans and appearing greatly for the company.

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  14. W6 bi svugde samo za dzabe da leti .
    INN-NS

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    Replies
    1. Air Serbia would fly everywhere for nothing too, and it just works at BEG and BNX.

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  15. Seems like JU is sending its A319 regularly to SOF. Anyone knows how the loads are?

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    1. Letovi za SOF su dobro popunjeni .
      Sad ce verovatno neko reci da lazem da je dobro popunjeno
      INN-NS

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    2. I asked someone with concrete information, not your generic 'dobro su popunjeni.' Please ignore my post until you have some concrete numbers.

      Thank you.

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    3. ^+1! Can somebody provide us with exact pax numbers in order to see whether INN-NS is trolling or not

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    4. Ja ne znam tacne brojeve niti ce te ih cuti od bilo koga .
      Ja sam cuo da su dobro popunjeni.
      INN-NS

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    5. ^ Cuo od tvojih famous "SOURCES/IZVORA" :D
      I swear INN-NS you are a legend.

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    6. Someone already posted some JU numbers on here a few days ago so obviously you are, once again, wrong INN-NS. Also, you are obviously unwanted in this discussion so stay out of it.

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    7. ASL recorded 23500 PAX on the route to Sofia last year. Load factor was 64%. ASL started flying to Sofia with A319 regularly from the end of January, but switched to ATR to Skopje (days 2,4,7) and Podgorica (mid-day, 1,3,5,6), instead.

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    8. Anonymous at 5:46 PM
      Pa ti ljudi pisu lazne brojeve ali verujte njima nema veze ;)
      INN-NS

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    9. What have been the BEY and IST loads so far?

      I hear OTP is doing great as well. From March ASL will have QR to compete with on BEG-SOF O&D segment (not such a huge market you'll agree).

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    10. INN-NS, I will repeat myself once again, you are not wanted in this discussion so please stay out of it. Are that desperate that you need to push your way into place where you are not wanted!?

      Thank you Anonymous at 17.46. That's a decent enough load and I am sure that it will improve as time goes by.

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    11. Qatar airways neće imati pravo pete slobode između BEG i SOF

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    12. Cannot remember exact numbers, but for BEY airplanes are really well packed. Still, IST is much, much better route than SAW was, let's say LF 75% versus 55%.

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    13. Ah, thank you. So i guess TLV and WAW are the lowest?

      TK must be mad about IST.

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    14. Actually, WAW is a disaster on some days and so is TLV. In early December a morning flight to TLV departed with 9 passengers! It returned with 76 though.

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    15. So those are the lowest, right?

      Let's see how TLV performs in summer. I'm sure Kiev would have performed better than Warsaw, very few choices for travel out-there currently (compared to WAW).

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    16. Oh yes, Warsaw and Tel Aviv are the worst. Rome saw a huge improvement so that's good as well.

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    17. If judging criterion is LF, the worst ASL route is BNX, then come BUD and AUH, and then WAW, TLV and a couple of others.

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    18. Hmm not really, the worst are WAW, TLV and BUD. BNX is not doing badly, on average around 30 to 35 pax per flight.

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    19. CPH-BEG 02Feb15 dvadesetak putnika u kabini, uobicajeno?

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    20. CPH-BEG 02Feb15 dvadesetak putnika u kabini, uobicajeno?

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    21. It is a surprise that BUD is doing so badly all while SOF and OTP are such good performers. Hopefully that changes in summer when a real night-wave should be introduced.

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  16. OT: What would be considered bearable flight on AT7 in terms of distance? Please think through the lense of average exyu person and bus replacement.
    I hear many critics of SJJ-CPH (740nm segment), which is an extreme.

    Thanks in advance!
    m2c

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  17. OT: What would be considered bearable flight on AT7 in terms of distance? Please think through the lense of average exyu person and bus replacement.
    I hear many critics of SJJ-CPH (740nm segment), which is an extreme.

    Thanks in advance!
    m2c

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    Replies
    1. AT7 is most profitable if covered distance is around 300 nm. It is not advisable to use this plane for distances larger than 500 nm.

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    2. In my personal opinion, any flight up to 01.40 on Atr is ok.
      I remember up until 2009, flying on the OA Atr-42 between ATH and BEG was a living nightmare, two hours twenty minutes.

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  18. Thanks!
    So AT7 could work for INI (to VIE and IST) , both around 350nm. Perhaps a new company as someone suggested, with code share with Austrian and/or Turkish.

    m2c

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  19. Im still hoping for flights from The Netherlands or Belgium to Zadar

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    1. Try Charleroi to Zadar almost daily in summer.

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  20. Ne znam sta je smesnije ovi lazni brojevi ili oni koji jos veruju u to.
    INN-NS

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  21. OT: Summer 2015 Belgrade - Barcelona 3pw? Air Serbia to Madrid? Link
    http://www.b92.net/biz/vesti/srbija.php?yyyy=2015&mm=02&dd=05&nav_id=955052

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    1. Polako pocinju iznenadjena za vecne hejtere ASL
      INN-NS

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    2. Seriously, they should employ this guy as their PR manager as soon as he turns 18, he'll convince absolutely everyone that ASL is best in the world! :)

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    3. Have you even read the article? It says that the Tourist Organisation of Belgrade discussed potential Air Serbia flights to Madrid at a trade fair. It's about as reliable as the Ryanair flights to Belgrade.

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    4. How can Air Serbia add routes unless they are leasing more planes? Have they made agreements that are not yet public?

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    5. Was that one with Sheik public?

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  22. BEG-AUH veceras YU-APH A320

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    1. That's the first time i guess.

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    2. Yesterday evening was foggy weather in Podgorica, so the aircraft A319 which was supposed to fly Abu Dhabi could not come back to Belgrade. For the same reason flight YM103 after holding over Podgorica was diverted to Belgrade.

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    3. They have more than enough A319s sitting around at that time, they could have used almost any. Especially since at 23.15 all of the flights are already in BEG.

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    4. What were the loads, any idea?

      Delete

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