Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wizz Air in major EX-YU expansion in 2017


Wizz Air plans to base an additional two aircraft in the former Yugoslavia, add at least thirteen new routes and offer over two million seats for sale from the region next summer. Furthermore, it will enter the Kosovan market and operate its first flights to Sarajevo and Osijek as well. The carrier’s expansion is set to begin in Tuzla next March with the stationing of a second Airbus A320 in the city and the launch of flights to Bratislava, Cologne, Friedrichshafen, Nuremberg and Vaxjo in southern Sweden. The new routes represent a 96 million dollar investment on Wizz Air's behalf into Tuzla and the creation of a further 36 local jobs. Meanwhile, the new aircraft will allow Wizz Air to increase the number of weekly flights on existing routes from Tuzla to Eindhoven, Gothenburg, Malmo and Frankfurt Hahn. Similarly, in Belgrade, the no frills carrier will base a second jet from mid-May, which will see the introduction of flights to Friedrichshafen, Nuremberg, Hannover and Malta. All will operate on a year-round basis. In addition, it will boost frequencies on services to Dortmund, Eindhoven, Gothenburg, Memmingen and Stockholm Skavsta by adding an extra weekly flight. As a result, Wizz will offer 642.000 seats from the Serbian capital in 2017.

Wizz Air has secured a public service obligation contract with the Hungarian government to operate flights from Budapest to Sarajevo, Pristina, Skopje and Podgorica starting next April. Currently, the airline does not fly to either Sarajevo or Pristina but has been engaged in drawn-out negotiations with both over the past year. Despite the new flights from Budapest, which will be funded by the Hungarian government, plans to establish additional routes from Sarajevo and Pristina are yet to materialise. Speaking at a new conference last week, Wizz Air's Chief Commercial Officer, George Michalopoulos, said the carrier was "in continued discussions with Pristina Airport over new routes". "Hopefully this is just the start", Mr Michalopoulos noted. Balazs Bogats, the Head of Airline Development at Budapest Airport is confident in the success of the new routes. “Wizz Air’s latest announcement will connect us to a number of white spots on our route map. Hungary has always enjoyed a good relationship with the Balkans so it has been very important for us to add these destinations to our network. Working closely with our largest airline partner, we look forward to ensuring the success of each and every one of these routes”.

Skopje Airport continues to maintain its position as the low cost airline’s largest base in the former Yugoslavia where it handles over half a million passengers per year and has three aircraft stationed in the city. While Wizz Air will add flights from Budapest to Skopje next year, there are reports that the airline may also base a fourth aircraft in the capital. However, neither the airline nor the airport have confirmed such plans yet. The Macedonian government is expected to offer fresh subsidies for new routes, which Wizz Air could see as an opportunity to further expand its network from the country.

The low cost airline announced plans this week to introduce services from Osijek, its second destination in Croatia. The carrier will maintain flights from Basel to the Croatian city, with additional new routes possible. Wizz has been lagging behind its competition in the country with a very limited seasonal network. Wizz Air’s CEO, Jozsef Varadi, recently said, “Croatia is very expensive. 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”. This year, the airline introduced services from Warsaw to Split, complementing its existing seasonal operations from London to the seaside city. Next year, Wizz Air will strengthen its Warsaw - Split service, with flights to start in June instead of August and operate with the larger Airbus A321 aircraft instead of the A320.

RouteLaunch date
Tuzla - Bratislava27.03.2017
Tuzla - Cologne27.03.2017
Tuzla - Friedrichshafen27.03.2017
Tuzla - Vaxjo28.03.2017
Budapest - Skopje02.04.2017
Budapest - Podgorica03.04.2017
Budapest - Sarajevo05.04.2017
Budapest - Pristina07.04.2017
Basel - Osijek19.05.2017
Belgrade - Friedrichshafen19.05.2017
Belgrade - Nuremberg19.05.2017
Belgrade - Hannover20.05.2017
Belgrade - Malta21.05.2017

84 comments:

  1. Ryanair has some major catching up to do.

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  2. And again no plans to expand from Ljubljana :(

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    Replies
    1. Fees need to be reduced for that to happen.

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    2. I don't think so. They already fly from LJU with the current fees. A bigger market is what they need.

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    3. They would have a big enough market to fly from LJU to Spain.

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    4. The lower the fees, the greater and more rapid the expansion.

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    5. And why exactly Spain? Cause you like it? I could say the same for Italy. Plus Italians are the number one tourist nation in Ljubljana.

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  3. Flybe will fly to Zadar and Dubrovnik from Southend in the summer

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    1. Very nice! Especially for ZAD!

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    2. FlyBe just added Zagreb - Birmingham and Edinburgh trice weekly.

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    3. Unfortunately no. Those flights are operated in codeshre with Air France and include a stop in Paris.

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    4. @anon 10:58, but it's still good for Zadar

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  4. Tuzla Airport is going to lose Wizz if it keeps acting the way it is. A lot of Wizz flights are being rerouted to Belgrade and Budapest because they can't land in Tuzla which has not installed approach lights making it impossible for them to land at lower visibility.

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    1. if you have been to Tuzla Airport you will wonder how is it possible this airort functions at all. The "boarding area" is a disgrace. Any regional bus station is more clean and better organized then that

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    2. Hopefully the renovation of the terminal will fix that.

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  5. I'm wondering what is there left to cover for Wizz Air from Skopje? They are pretty much set. I hope the new subsidies go to a different airline. Maybe Ryanair ot Wizz Air.

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    1. They could still fly to a few holiday destinations - Malta, Larnaca...

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    2. This question was asked even before the first aircraft was launched. Hint - just look at Wizz Air's map, there's plenty of connections left to grow.

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    3. Birmingham/Manchester, Malta, Roma, Amsterdam, Baden-Baden.....

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    4. What is their best prrforming route from Skopje at the moment?

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    5. The one with the most frequencies. The same as anywhere else on Wizz Air's network.

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    6. Which one is that?

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    7. Malmö, Basel and London

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    8. No surprises there. Skopje was Malmo's 4th busiest route during the first half of the year.

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/07/skopje-among-busiest-routes-from-malmo.html

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    9. Could add from SKP: Groningen, Baden-Baden, Rome, Billund, Växjö, some destination in the central part of England where Wizz is already flying to (Leeds, Doncaster), Katowice, Prague, Bologna, new Wizz destinations in DE like Munster/Osnabruck or Erfurt/Weimar.

      I couldn't comment for year-round flights to Malta or Larnaca, but seasonal flights could work out pretty fine, especially for the former.

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    10. They'd have to improve the scheduling though. DTM/CGN both on 2-4-6 and HAJ/HAM both on 3-7.. really? Obviously no commercial thought has gone into that schedule.

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  6. Not a major expansion by any means. Probably seems so from an exYu standpoint..

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    1. 13 new routes to ex-Yu by a single airline in not so common. And I think there will be more.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Oh, nobody's saying it's common at all for the region. It's just pretty low when compared with any other region comparable in size and population in Europe.

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  7. I think they will announce more new routes before the start of summer

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  8. Some of the new routes will really hurt JU from Belgrade. Especially Malta.

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    1. Malta was not really going well for Ju anyhow but Hamburg was good and now they will definitively cut into that market!

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    2. Malta will be affected like Larnaca was affected when Wizz Air started flying. The only reason Larnaca recovered for JU was because New York was introduced. A surprising number of transfers to/from US on these flights.

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    3. Malta was doing extremely well for JU, I know that for a fact. HAM is doing rather poorly in winter but great in summer.

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    4. I know Malta is doing well but it could be affected because they are going for the same sort of passangers on the route - P2P. I doubt there are many transfers on this route. That being said, perhaps they should have extended Malta to year round to better compete against Wizz which will fly all year.

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    5. The thing is that JU still insists on their 'no fares under €100' policy which is hurting their competitiveness. Look at BNX which is the exception and flights are always full.

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    6. If BNX is always full, why they cut it from 10 to 5 pw on summer and from 6 to 3 on winter?

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    7. Because they don't have enough Atrs in summer and in winter some of them go for checks. BNX in summer is around 90% full.

      Same reason VIE is not increaed this winter or next summer.

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    8. You are joking of course? Especially for winter. If that is so, they would put A319 or 737 on that route. There are so many parking in BEG during winter.

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  9. Let's see how these Budapest flights perform. Personally, I think they will have trouble filliwng more than 50 seats per flight.

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    1. Ties between Bosnia and Hungary are as weak as between Serbia and Moldova.We ll see if this 60 mil euros investment will make an impact. But it seems that Sarajevo and Budapest would be interesting tourist destinations for their citizens for some time. This could last for a year or two.

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    2. They are not that weak, there are actually quite some tourists going back and forth between Bosnia and Hungary, both local and foreign tourists :)

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  10. They are really late to the party in Croatia. I think they realized that.

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    1. They are not really late as there are still barely any people at the party... I am especially referring to OSI and ZAG which are two airports that fit best into their strategy

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    2. They won't be coming to Zagreb any time soon.

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    3. Wizz Air and Zagreb held talks a few years ago about Wizz resuming flights. Zagreb wasn't too interested because Wizz wanted special treatment, like it want everywhere. So yeah, I doubt we will see them for some time.

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    4. Wizz is always crying when its talking about Croatia and saying it's to expensive for them, how come Croatian coast ois not expensive for other LCC?

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    5. +1 Google Driver. Don't get it either.

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    6. Croatian coast market is driven by West Europe non-gaestarbeiter customers. Wizz Air has minimal marketing presence there, thus no pull which results in much lower revenues, making them unable to justify the (relatively) high fees.

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    7. Don't forget that LCCs on the coast represent around 30% of the total traffic. Most are still charter flights bringing tourists in. That's why I mentioned ZAG and OSI being two airports that suit W6's business model the most.

      ZAG is totally underserved as far as LCCs go. With it becoming even more expensive I don't see this changing any time soon.

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    8. Wizzair is like a vulture, the want everything for free

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    9. If you were a business you wouldn't want the same?

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  11. Will they be adding any new routes to Nis next year?

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    1. They might even open a base there

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/12/nis-airport-likely-to-become-airline.html

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  12. This is great news for the whole region :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is :) Thanks to Wizz :)

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  13. Pretty big expansion. Hopefully more to come.

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  14. Any chance for flights to Mostar in 2017?

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  15. Maribor airport has been 'sold' to Chinese investors. 7M + 3 M EUR to Delavska hranilnica. They bought it for some 2M two, three years ago. At the end of January results of airport concession will be known. What's also interesting is that SHS Aviation is involved. They bought Belgium VLM Airlines after bankruptcy. More: http://www.vecer.com/aerodrom-maribor-le-prodan-a-cemu-trije-milijoni-razlike-6290932

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  16. Airports in the region should increase fees. Low cost airlines have no choice but to pay. Here's why:

    Orders for next gen (NEO/MAX) aircraft:
    Wizz 110 (deliveries from 2019 on)
    Ryan 100 (launch customer)
    Easy 130 (from 2017 on)
    Norwegian 108 (from 2017 on)

    This list does NOT include hundreds of existing aircraft and it does NOT include hundreds of current generation aircraft on order.

    All of them have excess aircraft and will HAVE to deploy it. Charge them high fees, they have no choice but to pay.

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    1. I'm afraid there are plenty of other opportunities out there and the exYu market is at the bottom of the barrel. Not exactly much left to leverage with.

      I expected some sound reasoning coming from you.

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    2. Why scrape bottom of a barrel when you can make billions at LHR, VIE or FRA?

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    3. List does not include LC carriers backed by big EU3 like Transavia, Vueling and Eurowings. Big three are getting serious about their LC projects, so when you add them to the mix, LCC overcapacity bubble will burst in the next 3-5 years, esp if situation remain volatile in the East (Turkey, Ukraine etc)

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    4. That is why Ryan will start intercontinental flights with 737 MAX. New market.

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  17. well it does not look very much promising for macedonia... until now only 1 new route... not even a capacity increasing... i really hope that a new LCC will come to macedonia

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    1. they are no.1 in Macedonia so they are not under pressure. The moment they realize that another lcc has ambitions to open routes from SKP they will react. Just remember how they knocked out Ryanair with opening those 3 new routes (and Ryan moved to Nis)

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    2. OT: Eurowings (germanwings) uoravo objavio uvođenje linije Stuttgart - Osijek od 5.mjeseca 2017g. Letjet će cijele godine 2-3 puta tjedno s A319. Karte su već u prodaji :)

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    3. 4 more routes announced - MUCPUY, MUCDBV, MUCZAD and DUSTIV

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    4. @Anonymous 2:44 PM

      yeah you´re right but i´m still hoping to see ryan air, easy jet or transavia at SKP or OHD. It´s not good to rely on a single airline... thats just basic economics -> the more competion, the better for the consumer

      Or did you liked it that ryan air moved to Nis instead of SKP?

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    5. It's odd that they will only operate STR-BEG from 27.08 to 07.09.

      With Air Serbia and Wizz Air serving the market I really don't see what's the point of these flights. Unless they are facing an a/c shortage and they can't fully commit to the Serbian market.

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    6. @anon 3.40 ne voopsto, I prefer Transavia, EasyJet and Ryanair over Wizz any time! (I HATE the baggage policy of Wizz)

      I hope BEG and TIA prove successful for Transavia so they can add more Balkan destinations (incl SKP). I gave up on RyanAir though

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    7. @anpnymous 4:15

      Mi se dopagja sto imame isto mislenje! :)

      I think that Transavia should start with AMS - SKP year round and AMS - OHD on a seasonally basis. I would really like to see them in the macedonian market. I flew with transavia twice and i highly recommend them!

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  18. To the avarage person this is great news. They are allowing more and more people to fly, visit familly and even see something outside of their boarders. What a difference a few years makes. In 2008/9 there were almost no low cost flights in ex-Yu except for Croatia.

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  19. Ovo jesu dobre vesti za pojedine putnike ali Aerodromi bi se trebali potruditi vise da dovedu full service Aviokompanije koje bi im mnogo vise koristi doneli i povezanost sa svetom.
    INN-NS

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  20. OT

    Seems like LH might absorb AB and in return EY will purchase a 10% stake in LH.

    If this happens then we will most likely see the return of LH/OS-JU cooperation. Great news in my opinion.

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    1. Da bas se pise o tome dosta i verujem da bi bilo vrlo zanimljivo videti sta ce biti i nadam se da ce se mozda ostvariti.
      Tako bi verovatno OS i ASL preuzeli Trziste u nasem Regionu i vervatno jos sire.
      Ali svakako ce biti zanimljivo videti.
      INN-NS

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    2. Потписивање кодшер уговора између ЈУ и ОС би била одлична ствар за обе компаније. Посебно за путнике који долазе из северне Америке.

      Arr.

      JFK 08.20
      IAD 08.20
      EWR 08.25
      YYZ 08.30
      ORD 08.45
      MIA 09.00


      JU dep. 09.25

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    3. A neki izvor informacije?

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    4. Ево га неки извор информације да не мислиш да сам измислио:

      http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/etihad-will-air-berlin-anteile-in-lufthansa-beteiligung-tauschen-a-1127146.html

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    5. Naravno da ne mislim.

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    6. Hogan has left the building... http://www.avionews.com/index.php?corpo=see_news_home.php&news_id=1200930&pagina_chiamante=index.php

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  21. Wizz Air will add another 25 aircraft to their fleet in 2017, and because they are targeting eastern european market (connecting east with the west), this expansion in exYu with only 2 aircraft is just the beginning. if Ljubljana or Maribor, or any Hr airport offer acceptable conditions, they will open a base there as well. same goes for Sarajevo. another A/C arriving to SKP next year as well. the problem there in Macedonia is with taxation and work permit, as majority of flight crew are not local. Pristina, Ohrid may also become Wizz base in 2017/18.
    Wizz Air is expanding for sure, the question is just - where. with 25 new aircraft coming, they have to put them somewhere. if Craiova in south Romania is receiving the second aircraft in March and 4-5 new destinations (existing destinations are very very well loaded!), so can any exYu airport. OSI has a great opportunity now for other major year-round scheduled flights, and if Cerklje upgrades into commercial airport, as the desire exists, Wizz will enter Zagreb market as well!

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