|More flights than ever before - the 2015 summer season begins|
The 2015 summer season has begun today and will run until October 24 with the national carriers of the former Yugoslavia promising a busy several months ahead. In addition, low cost airline Wizz Air will be expanding its base in Skopje and opening a new hub in Tuzla.
Adria Airways will launch six new routes this summer season and grow its fleet by two aircraft – a leased Bombardier CRJ700 and an Airbus A320. The airline will kick off its expansion today with the introduction of flights from Lodz to Amsterdam and will inaugurate services from Tirana to Brussels and Paris on Tuesday. This summer, the Slovenian carrier will also launch flights from Ljubljana to Stockholm and Berlin and from Maribor to London Southend Airport. Air Serbia will operate an average of 724 weekly departures this summer season compared to 662 last year, offering an average of 81.000 seats per week, nearly 5.700 seats more than last summer season. In total, available seat kilometers (ASK) will increase by 9.3% to 2.3 billion. In a statement, the carrier’s CEO, Dane Kondić, said, “The highlights of our the new flight schedule are the increased frequencies to our key destinations, the five seasonal destinations that we are reintroducing this summer and Zagreb, which is in our summer schedule for the first time”.
Croatia Airlines will mark the start of the season today with the introduction of new seasonal flights from Rijeka to Munich. The airline will also introduce new summer-only flights from Dubrovnik to Nice and from Split to Skopje. The 2015 summer season marks Croatia Airlines’ last under the current restructuring program, which has forced the carrier to limit its expansion and rationalise operations. European Coastal Airlines (ECA), Europe’s first modern scheduled and commercial seaplane service, will launch new flights from Novalja, a town on the island of Pag, on Croatia’s central coast from June 1. ECA estimates it will handle some 221.000 passengers this year, 16% of which are expected to be Germans.
Montenegro Airlines will boost frequencies across its network and introduce new seasonal services from Podgorica to Lyon and from Tivat to Vienna and St. Petersburg. The boost comes as a result of an additional two aircraft in its fleet. Last year, a brand new Embraer E190LR jet entered service for the carrier in June. Meanwhile, a grounded Fokker will be put back into operation following an overhaul. The airline will also operate a total of sixty summer charters to Germany, to cities such as Berlin, Hannover, Leipzig, Stuttgart and Nuremberg. B&H Airlines, which has been facing financial turmoil, will, for now, maintain only four weekly flights from Sarajevo to Zurich via Banja Luka. Service suspensions to Copenhagen and Belgrade have been extended until further notice.
Wizz Air will be headlining the growth at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport for a second consecutive year, with the budget carrier to base a third aircraft in the Macedonian capital in late June and introduce five new routes, including Friedrischshafen, Sandefjord, Barcelona, Lubeck and Nuremberg. Furthermore, the no frills airline will boost frequencies across its network out of Skopje. It will introduce an additional weekly flight to Hahn, Cologne, Bergamo, Gothenburg and Beauvais, and a further two weekly services will be added to Malmo, which will now operate on a daily basis. Wizz will also introduce flights from Ohrid to London Luton and Basel this summer as well. The no frills carrier will base an Airbus A320 in Tuzla from June 2015, making the airport its nineteenth base and its third in the former Yugoslavia, following Belgrade and Skopje. The move will provide Tuzla with new flights to Frankfurt Hahn and Sandefjord, which are to launch on June 24, as well as to Memmingen and Stockholm Skavsta commencing June 26. With these new services, the budget airline will offer a total of nine destinations to five countries from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s third largest city this summer. It already operates flights to Tuzla from Malmo, Basel, Dortmund, Gothenburg and Eindhoven.
Other developments this summer include Swiss International Airlines’ major expansion into the former Yugoslavia which begins today with the introduction of daily flights from Zurich to Ljubljana. In addition, it will introduce flights from Zurich to Zagreb (daily) and Sarajevo (three per week), as well as two weekly services from Geneva to Skopje and Sarajevo and seasonal flights from Zurich to Podgorica, which will be operated through its subsidiary Edelweiss Air. Pristina Airport will see new charter flights to Bergamo operated by Germania this summer while Niš Constantine Airport will welcome Wizz Air with new services from Malmo and Basel. Several Croatian-based airlines, such as Limitless Airways, Sea Air and Air Croatia, whose flights will be operated by Denim Air, are expected to launch this summer with airports in Dubrovnik, Split and Rijeka eyeing a record season.