|High airport fees deterring Wizz Air from Croatia|
Low cost airline Wizz Air has said its limited presence on the Croatian market comes as a result of high costs at the country’s airports. Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News, Wizz Air’s CEO, Jozsef Varadi, said, “Croatia is very expensive. If Zagreb Airport becomes more reasonable we will certainly consider that airport as an opportunity for expanding our network but this is not yet the case”. Wizz Air suspended operations to Zagreb in 2011. “Nevertheless, we have continued discussions with a number of airports at the same time, so hopefully, at one point, we can go there [Croatia]. I think the market is good”, Mr. Varadi told EX-YU Aviation News as the low cost airline marked its eleventh birthday by rolling out a new and rejuvenated brand.
Wizz Air, which has quickly become the fastest growing low cost airline in the former Yugoslavia, with bases in Skopje, Belgrade and Tuzla (from June 22), currently serves the Croatian market with seven weekly flights to Split on a seasonal summer basis only. The airline will resume its daily service from London Luton to Split starting June 14 until September 12. Last year, flights were maintained four times per week. However, over the years, Wizz has also operated a number of services into Croatia including Dubrovnik and Zagreb. The airline initially launched operations to the Croatian capital in 2009 with flights from Dortmund. It also ran services from London to Dubrovnik, which were suspended in 2012. In 2011, Pula Airport said Wizz Air had expressed interest to fly to the city from two destinations. However, these never materialised.
Meanwhile, the no frills carrier celebrated its eleventh birthday yesterday with a special flight between Budapest and Warsaw, uncovering a new livery and uniforms, introducing seat allocation across its network and new fare types. During the year, the airline will also upgrade its website and introduce a mobile site, take delivery of new aircraft and introduce the Airbus A321 jet to its fleet. “Over the course of the last decade, Wizz Air has had significant success in revolutionising an entire industry, and we have exceeded our ambition to make reliable and affordable air travel available to everyone in Central and Eastern Europe as we extended operations all across Europe and beyond”, Mr. Varadi said. He added, “The launch of our refreshed brand is another one of our many measures to constantly improve passengers’ travel experience. We remain focused on developing our pan-European network”.