Thursday, January 21, 2016

Wizz Air sees strong EX-YU passenger growth

Wizz Air handles over 1.5 million travellers from the former Yugoslavia in 2015

Budget airline Wizz Air has recorded strong passenger growth on its three main markets in the former Yugoslavia - Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina - handling over 1.5 million travellers during 2015. It welcomed 795.000 passengers on its flight to and from Skopje and Ohrid, representing an overall increase of 36.8% on the year before. The airline dominates in the Macedonian capital where it now enjoys a market share of 50%. The low cost carrier also saw an improvement in Serbia. It handled a total of 456.789 travellers on services to/from Belgrade and Niš. Of those, Belgrade Airport accounted for some 420.590 passengers. Finally, at its newest base in Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Wizz Air handled 268.748 travellers, up almost 75% on the year before.

During 2015, Wizz Air introduced thirteen new routes from the former Yugoslavia from four different cities and opened its third base in the region in Tuzla. In Macedonia, it based its third aircraft in Skopje and launched five new routes from the capital. In addition, the airline inaugurated one seasonal and one year-long service from the country’s second international airport - Ohrid. Meanwhile, in Serbia, it added flights to Niš by inaugurating services to two cities. Furthermore, in Tuzla, the budget carrier based an aircraft and introduced five new routes, one of which was later suspended (Sandefjord). So far in 2016, Wizz has announced the launch of four new routes from the former Yugoslavia, including flights from Skopje to Berlin, Bratislava and Copenhagen, as well as a new service from Belgrade to Baden-Baden, which will mark its first expansion from the Serbian capital in two years. Furthermore, it plans to boost frequencies on existing services from Tuzla during the summer months.

In addition to its three main markets, within the former Yugoslavia Wizz Air also maintains flights from Ljubljana, as well as Split on a seasonal summer basis. Maribor, Pristina, Podgorica and Sarajevo have all confirmed talks with the carrier over the past year. Recently, Maribor Airport's Managing Director, Ladimir Brolih, said the two sides were locked in talks over potential services but added further analysis and discussions were required. Pristina on the other hand conceded its high fees were deterring Wizz Air from launching flights to the city. Overall, the budget airline carried nineteen million passengers in 2015, an addition of 3.2 million travellers over 2014. It has 146 aircraft on order, including 110 Airbus A321neos, for delivery from 2019 onwards.

61 comments:

  1. With so many aircraft on order Wizz will have to keep expanding, ex-Yu market included, My guess is Pristina will probably be next since they are offering massive incentives.

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    1. You cannot be serious. Pristina is offering peanuts on top of the highest taxes in the region. All in all it's in the ballpark of 40 EUR per pax with half a decent LF.

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    2. how come easy jet can fly from Pristina and Wizz air not?

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    3. different business concept

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    4. High taxes. Same differentiation as in WE - Ryanair mostly flies to low charge secondary airports, easyJet to expensive primary ones.

      It's obvious from the average fares in PRN it's coming from passenger's pockets.

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    5. Over the years Ryanair has launched flights from quite a few 'primary' airports: BRU, BCN, ATH, AMS, LIS...

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    6. A minor percentage when compared to the rest of their network, and it's mostly a recent development. Especially BRU and AMS.

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    7. But still it's a developing trends, I also forgot to add CPH, DUB and OSL.

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    8. .. which shows FR might have relaxed about in regards to their CASK. Wizz haven't and don't have any plan to do so at this point. Unlike FR, they operate in a low-revenue environment that is CEE. Not much upside from product upgrades.

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    9. But what's particularly interesting is that FR is moving more and more into eastern and south-eastern Europe, which is a geographical area that was primarily dominated by Wizz Air.
      It will be fun to watch the war in Romania which will be fought on three fronts, I just hope Blueair manages to pull through, they seem to be a well-run airline.

      I still think that Wizz Air made a huge mistake not to have opened a few bases in Greece before Ryanair stepped in.

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    10. Greece has always been a WE dominated market. Not Wizz Air's playground at all. Somewhat similar to the Croatian coast.

      Regarding Romania, Blue Air's found it pretty hard to deal with Wizz. Ryanair on top will be too much. Otherwise it's up to Wizz to decide how bad they want to keep dominating the market. See the clash in Budapest that Wizz slaughtered Ryanair.

      D.

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    11. @Anonymous January 21, 2016 at 11:41 AM
      What does WE mean?

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    12. D,

      Well, at one point Wizz Air will simply have to expand beyond their comfort zone, that is beyond eastern Europe and the Balkans. With all those aircraft on order they will have to.
      The situation in Greece was perfect up until a year ago. It was before Aegean introduced one way fares and before they started to charge for luggage. More importantly it was before numerous lowcost carriers entered the market, primarily Ryanair. Greece should have been one of their priorities, something of an important strategic move.

      As far as Romania goes, I think Ryanair has an agenda there that isn't just about making money, it has to do with harming their competition, primarily Wizz Air.
      Like I wrote a few days ago, Poland and Romania are two markets where Wizz Air must triumph over Ryanair. If they get beaten there then they will have a hard time making it elsewhere. Especially now when Ryanair can compete by linking eastern Europe with main airports in Western Europe. A good example of this is that they will launch BRU-LCA despite having a base at PFO.

      It will be fun to watch how this situation develops.

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    13. Quick aside: FR has a base in BRU now.

      Re Poland and Romania: I mostly agree. In Poland FR already has a much bigger market share. As for Romania, there's gonna be a big fight, that's sure. We'll see how committed Wizz is outside of their backyard.

      Hungary wasn't a profitability fight either.. at first.

      You might be right about Greece. W6 have been shortsighted on a number of issues, though one can only choose where to allocate a quite limited number of aircraft. Pursue Greece and risk shooting the CASK through the roof or go for, let's say the Balkans which deliver both low cost and contribute towards the EBIT? Or is securing the market share in Poland and elsewhere a higher priority? Decisions, decisions.

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    14. When it comes to Romania, we will have to see who will be the first one to raise the white flag. My guess is Tarom though they have the advantage of operating Atrs which gives them a competitive advantage in terms of frequencies and economics. However, Tarom being Tarom, who knows what they will do in the end. They might lose most of the O&D passengers and then just concentrate on the connecting ones. Blueair might be the one with most to lose. Their pockets are not as deep and their brand is not as strong.

      When it comes to Greece, the issue of aircraft availability was definitely a major factor. When ATH changed its owners Wizz Air couldn't move as fast as Ryanair even if they wanted to. I don't know if Wizz Air could find two, three A320s in such a short time so as to launch flights on a relatively short notice.

      I think that it's obvious to all of us that Ryanair and Wizz Air are in open war now. Since the gloves are off, maybe it's time for Wizz Air to announce a new base... in SKG.
      Thessaloniki has been desperate for someone to base their airline there and Ellinair is far from being a serious player. Thessaloniki might be an appropriate response to Ryanair's Romanian expansion.

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    15. I forgot to add that Ryanair can afford to wage an economic war against Wizz Air all throughout eastern Europe but how long can Wizz Air keep it up?
      There aren't that many markets where Wizz Air is the dominant lowcost carrier and the few that they had (until recently) will have to be shared with Ryanair now.

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  2. I think they will add Memmingem - Nis route from June.

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    1. Memmingem will be perfrct chooice! With 2 flights they made 36.200 in 6 months. Adding one more flight Nis can easily make over 100.000 this year! Awesome!

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    2. What about Nis-Baden Baden? Could that work?

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  3. 795k fron Macedonia is good but that's just a bit more than Easy Jet from Croatia on a summer basis.

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    Replies
    1. Well, most pax come to Croatia in the summer- whats your point?

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  4. Best hopes for MBX!!

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  5. From what I see their BEG numbers decline but with Nis introduced figures were up for Serbia overall.

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    1. I think their BEG numbers have been going down for quite some time. Let's hope that with the introduction of Baden Baden this changes.

      I also noticed that this year they will be adding extra two flights to Larnaca around the Easter holidays.

      That said, I wonder if a route like Bergamo might work for them. Or Venice. Or even Barcelona.

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    2. Treviso could work. It is region where most gastos are.

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    3. Didn't know our gastos were in Treviso too. Thanks!

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    4. Nope. Too close by car.

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    5. Nemas ti pojma nista Nemjee, najblizi aerodrom Vicenci je Treviso pa Verona. Srbi su uglavnom u opstinama tri regije Frijulija, Veneto i Trento u ostatku nisu ni statisticka greska.

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    6. Супер, ако ми анонимус каже да немам појма онда мора да је истина. Притом, ја сам поставио питање, нисам ништа тврдио. Исто тако, не схватам одакле потреба за таквим примитивним начином изражавања.

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  6. I wonder what their average LF is on flights from/to ex-yu

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    1. Me too. I would like to see how some of their individual routes are performing.

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    2. Yearly averages are similar to the network ones, cca 86-87%, give or take a couple of points for no-shows. It's the yield that counts, observed as revenue per seat, not the LF.

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  7. Does anyone know if the new Wizz service from Belgrade to Baden-Baden will influence in lowering frequencies on some other routes from Belgrade or is this route just a pure addition?

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    1. They are increasing frequencies on BEG flights next summer so it's just an addition. From what I hear they are considering returning the second aircraft to BEG.

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    2. Do you know what routes are being increased in summer?

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    3. W6 is also decreasing frequencies on Belgrade's routes to Gothenburg and Larnaca.

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    4. Hmm from what I've seen Larnaca is staying pretty much the same; one weekly on Sundays until 22.06 when a Wednesday departure is added.

      They will also operate two extra flights on 23.03 and 30.03.

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    5. Well, I flew to LCA last year in the beginning of May on Wednesday both ways

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  8. I am still very surprised why BEG has no daily flights to LTN and only 3 per week! Compared to the other airports in the region for e.g SKP will have up to 5 in the summer and LJU has 4. SOF will have 3 daily flights.
    They should go daily as London is one of the largest EU capitals.

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    Replies
    1. Visas are required and unlike Skopje there is strong competition.

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    2. It's because of the visas.

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  9. The only market in the region that is missing from their route map is ZAG! They could launch Luton, Dortmund, Baden Baden, Memmingen and Beauvais.

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    1. Easy tried Dortmund and gave up
      Memmingen and BadenBaden are few hours by car
      Luton is too far from london and Heathrow is served 2-3 times daily, and both Gatwick and Stanstead available from other close-by croatian airports.
      Beauvais could work, primarily for city breaks in both directions
      But I don't expect Wizz to come back to ZAG. I would like much more to see Norwegian there.

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    2. I meant to see Norwegian much more than only existing seasonal CPH

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    3. "Luton is too far from london and Heathrow is served 2-3 times"

      I assure you that most passengers (especially Balkan passengers) would gladly fly to Luton instead of Heathrow if it meant paying 2 or 3 times less - which is the case with BEG-LTN vs BEG-LHR (100 eur vs 300 eur usually).

      Also, Luton is not that far. It is only a bit further away from central London compared to Gatwick and Stansted (1h 20m to Victoria Coach, even quicker by train). If someone is going from north and northwest London than it is even closer than these 2 airports. Yes, Heathrow is still more convenient, but most people would rather save 200 eur and travel for half an hour longer to the airport.

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  10. OT Skandaloznim ponasanjem piloti Montenegro Airlinesa ugrozili bezbjednost 116 putnika na letu Podgorica-Beograd.
    Vozili avion 1.111 km/h i osjecali se ludo.
    http://www.dan.co.me/?nivo=3&rubrika=Vijest%20dana&datum=2016-01-20&clanak=529148

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    Replies
    1. Oh come on its 600 knots and if it descended eastwards its quite normal to reach such speeds.

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    2. Pa kad imaju mlaznjak. JU moze tamam pola od toga da juri s AT7.

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  11. Wizz must take BEG more seriously, I mean yes the growth figures are thanks to Air Serbia, but come on 11 destinations is just nothing. Most of them have 2-3 weekly flights. Is it that difficult to reduce the airport taxes? There are 7 low-cost carriers operating.
    Same goes for ZAG, there are currently 4 low-cost carriers are flydubai, germanwings, Norwegian & vueling which means that there is definitely room for more.

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    Replies
    1. You mean BEG has to take Wizz more seriously?

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  12. ASL bi trebala na ovo da odgovori sa jeftinim kartama u jednom pravcu ili ko nece prtljag da karta bude 60% od obicne cene ipak to rade i LH i OS.
    INN-NS

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  13. W6 has yearly 20000 psgs to Lca,low cost company,low standard,dirty aircraft,sturd.staff like zeleznicka stanica but full ,no seats available

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    Replies
    1. So? I mean people fly them because they are cheap, not because they are luxurious.

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    2. W6 has better aircrafts, crew and service than ASL

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    3. Their cabin is more comfortable because of the seats they use. JU should have gone for the same ones. Of course, W6's older A320s are horrible uncomfortable

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    4. W6 has no aircraft older than 6 years. Youngest asl's is 13-14 years?

      Pilots in asl are still struggling with a320 which is definitely not the case in w6.

      Please use fact not patriotism.

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  14. OT:
    4 hours ago

    Iran Air (IR, Tehran Mehrabad) has gradually resumed refueling at airports in Western Europe following the lifting of international sanctions against Iran on Saturday, January 17.

    Aviation Iran reports Iran Air flights originating out of Paris Orly have been able to take on-board fuel at the airport as of January 19.

    Previously, when serving London Heathrow, Paris, Frankfurt Int'l, Cologne/Bonn, Amsterdam, Hamburg Fuhlsbüttel, Gothenburg Landvetter and Stockholm Arlanda, Iran Air was forced to load enough fuel to cover the outbound as well as part of the inbound sector of its flights. Technical stops were often made in Eastern European airports such as Belgrade, Budapest and Prague to top up when necessary resulting in longer flight times and overall inconveniences to passengers.

    source: ch-aviation.com

    This will hurt BEG Airport financially!

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