Saturday, May 21, 2016

Wizz Air bids for new EX-YU routes from Budapest


Budget airline Wizz Air was the only carrier to apply for subsidies offered by the Hungarian National Development Ministry for services from Budapest to Podgorica, Pristina, Sarajevo and Skopje, local media reports. Furthermore, the state will sponsor flights to Tirana. The ministry says the four-year contract could be signed as early as this summer with flights likely to begin during the winter months. If the airline incurs losses on services to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro, it can seek compensation from the Hungarian government. Tender procedures to select the operating carrier for the abovementioned routes was launched on April 25 and closed this Wednesday.

According to the tender requirements, the operating airline must maintain services on each route at least twice per week, the average age of its fleet cannot exceed eight years during the duration of the contract, it must be registered within the European Union, it must have at least one Hungarian speaking crew member on board and the aircraft used must have the capacity to seat at least thirty passengers. The flights will be financed from EU funds. Although Wizz Air meets all of the said requirements, late last year the Slovenian government noted that Adria Airways, which has a number of bases outside its home country, was likely to apply for the subsidised services as well.

The Hungarian Development Ministry believes the new routes will help boost trade and tourism. In addition, Budapest Airport says it is sees potential in the Balkan market, particularly within the former Yugoslavia. The Managing Director of Budapest Airport, Jost Lammers, said, "The South Balkan region has not been covered by anyone, although there is significant potential. Travellers can currently only reach Podgorica, Sarajevo, Tirana and other Balkan destinations from Budapest via Vienna or Munich. These connections are missing". Wizz Air recently announced its entry onto the Montenegrin market with two routes to be launched to Podgorica later this summer. Furthermore, the no frills carrier is in talks with both Sarajevo and Pristina airports over potential services. On the other hand, the airline already boasts an impressive network out of Skopje with three aircraft based in the city. Malév used to operate double daily flights to Pristina, thirteen weekly services to Skopje, daily flights to Sarajevo and six weekly services to Podgorica just prior to its collapse four years ago.

45 comments:

  1. Interesting. If they fly say twice per week, how do they plan to fill 360 seats each way on these flights?

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    1. It doesn't matter. The EU will pay for the empty seats for 4 years.

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  2. If they do what Ryanair did and offer connecting flights via Budapest this could work.

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  3. So Pristina and Sarajevo finally get Wizz flights. Nice.

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  4. Good, cuts the long car ride.

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    Replies
    1. And every EU citizen will pay for like half of each ticket

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  5. OT: stigao danas 9A-TOE za ECA
    :)

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    1. Nice!

      Is that DHC-6 number five?

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    2. not sure about Delta arriving yet, I'd say no.

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    3. What does 9A-TOE za ETA mean?

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    4. @ 6:21AM

      European Coastal Airlines added another Otter on floats to its fleet.

      http://www.ec-air.eu/en/

      Delete
  6. Will they start these flights during the winter season? I assume all will run twice per week.

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  7. Wow! Massive blow for OS who will surely loose a lot of transfer pax as it is a really unfair game within EU. While OS and other carriers such as OU, JP, LH cannot receive EU subsidies for their loss making routes, Wizz will and can. Wizz won't care if they create losses, they would have a great but very unfair market advantage, financed by the same EU that is making other EU carriers struggle for not being entitled to receiving state/EU subsidies other than PSOs. (These BUD connections aren't PSO as to my knowledge PSO routes must be domestic.) If I was Austrian CEO I would surely sue in Brussels - there is no way this EU->HU->Wizz subsidy scheme is not against a whole bunch of EU laws.

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    1. WOW, what a massive load of fantasy rage and worthless comment!
      ANY EU airline can bid for these routes! Any.
      ANY EU airline can bid for any PSO route in the 28 countries of the EU. ANY!
      If OS or LH, or even BA or TAP wanted they could base an aircraft in BUD and do all those routes and receive the subsidies.
      The ignorance of how the EU functions bu certain commentators here is staggering...

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    2. The tender was obviously set up for one airline and one airline alone. The tender requirement is that the airline has a maintenance base in BUD.

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    3. No it has no such requirement!
      Not for this tender or any other PSO route in the whole of the EU.
      The tender is checked and funded by the EU.
      And it is open to all EU based airlines.

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    4. Anonymous May 21, 2016 at 11:59 AM
      +1
      The requirements are clear: At least two flights a week, at least 30 seat planes, at least one crew member who speaks the Hungarian language since flights will all be originating and terminating in Hungary.
      Same with PSO routes in Scotland, Greece, Croatia etc.

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    5. Bravo anonymous 11:24 AM nice said, I don't understand why kids allowed write in this blog !

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    6. Requirements are set to exclude other carriers. Example of legal corruption within EU.

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    7. if Google translate is correct:
      condition was that all speaking crew members had to be Hungarian
      -Maintenance in Budapest was one of criteria
      -Hungarian language booking interface and customer service

      Obviously , this tender was meant for one company. But, again, this is normal practice in EU.

      my2cents

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    8. In any case, good for PRN, TGD, SJJ, SKP, TIA.

      my2cents

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    9. Only one Hungarian speaking crew member was required.

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    10. anon at 6:01

      Contract is too small and barriers just high enough to make it unattractive for any other company by Wizzair.

      Usually the best indicator would be the number of submissions for the tender. I don't have the number, but I'd be surprised if there were more than 1.

      my2cents

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    11. Anonymus 6:20

      I am not saying that Wizz was not on the mind of decision makers. :) (I know how things work in my country...). And yes, there was only one submission (although there is a second phase of the tender with negotiations and a detailed submission; final deadline: July 18th).

      But it did not depend on the required number of Hungarian speaking crew (which was 1/flight).

      Maintenance in Budapest was not a requirement only an advantage, a yes/no aspect (ranked 5th out of 5 optional aspects in the tender).

      The five routes were in one package - one tender was for all of them. So an airline with a base in Budapest had an obvious advantage since all flights originate from/terminate in BUD.

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    12. No need for any company to have its own maintenance facilities or to maintain their aircraft in Hungary or to have only Hungarian speaking crew members!
      You are just making up lies because you are upset with the EU.

      The EU rules for subsidized PSO routes are the same for everyone.
      Even BA could wet lease an ATR and start those routes!
      Only one crew member is required able to speak (not even be) Hungarian to explain safety instructions to the passengers!
      So please, try to add something constructive to the conversation!

      Delete
  8. OT: Qeshm Airlines starting summer charters from Teheran (not sure which exact airport) to ZAG, every Friday, from July 8 to Sept 16

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    1. The same as flights to BEG.

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    2. Great for both BEG and ZAG! Congrats!

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  9. Why they simply didn't merge PRN flights with the ones to SKP?

    If 4 years ago Malév was filling double daily flights, it doesn't mean that the demand for BUD from PRN is high enough, Kosovo is far more connected to diaspora points right now than back then

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    1. Also, I cannot understand why airlines are not treating Skopje and Prishtina as the same market, like Vienna and Bratislava and Copenhagen and Malmö for example, but as two separate markets? Is it related to the fact that the PRN market is strictly a tourist one (i.e. diaspora)?

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    2. Although you have a good point, I guess Wizz wants to use both Hungarian subsidies and Pristina's incentives. That way, even with a dismal LF they would still be "profitable".

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    3. The links (railway, busses, taxis, roads in general) between Bratislava and Vienna and Malmo and Copenhagen are not comparable to those between Pristina and Skopje. Plus between those EU cities there are no borders.

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    4. Why not. Next year will finish highway Pristina-Skopje. Opening a hub of Wizzair in Pristina will be a killer for Skopje airport. When most of passangers there are from Kosovo. The way it is going Kosovo will have more than 1.6 mil passangers this year. With visa liberasion, Pristina will go over 2mil. If Wizzair decided to enter in Pristina, than we are looking a big increase in passanger traffic. Same with numbers of flights...

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  10. OT
    zanimljiv tekst i analiza Mise Brkica u DANAS-u.

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    1. Ovde niko ne uzima njegove avio tekstove ozbiljno i ne zasluzuje ni ogovor. Ni jedan komentar u prvih 24 sata govori dovoljno.

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  11. OT:
    in the context of ex-yu diaspora in Australia, would a non-stop flight by Turksih from IST to SYD be possible (and economical)? I read that TK starts direct flights (not non-stop) this summer.

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    1. Nope, it's too far. Even if they can make it with a B772LR it wouldn't make much economic sense. They could always be attractive with a two stop option given how many frequencies they offer between Europe and IST.

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    2. Zavisi cim se leti moze biti profitabilno.
      INN-NS

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    3. Thanks!
      On paper, 772LR could make it (8,076nm vs 9,500nm range).
      I thought it would match MEB3's one-stop offer and differentiate from Western Europe big 3. Perhaps position it for premium passengers, who don't do two-stop and 18hr isn't a big deal (unlike economy class).
      It would also be the current longest flight and 2nd longest ever (according to Wikipedia)

      my2cents

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    4. I think the real issue would be that if they end up flying directly to Australia, their CASM would be catastrophic when compared to EK or QR which send their A380s. One way around it would be to have an aggressive campaign so as to attract as many premium passengers as possible.
      In the end, even if they do launch it, it would be a vanity project, not a sane business move.

      For the time being, they can cover Australia via Singapore.

      Delete
    5. Turkish have been talking about launching Sydney for a few years now. Last year it pretty much sounded like a done deal where flights were supposed to start in March 2015 or something so I don't think the range of the equipment is the issue but something is preventing them from doing so and it could be like Nemjee said and I also agree they want to fly to Sydney so they have the globe covered more than it making any business sense.

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    6. I agree, it would be matter of prestige, more than anything else.
      What would be the cost of operating such flight? Just wondering from break-even perspective.
      Perhaps, Turkish could introduce First Class product on such flights.

      my2cents

      Delete
  12. OT:
    Just noticed that TK has E195 in the fleet. Which destinations does TK use E195 for ?

    Perhaps it could still happen for LYKV after all, with flights to VIE (OS with Q400) and/or IST (TK with E195). I assume LYKV could handle E195 w/o any problems with existing runway.

    I recall that Gov't of Turkey was major proponent of Morava airport (even contributed some money, if I'm not mistaken).

    my2cents

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