Over the past seven days Wizz Air launched public service obligation flights, within a concession agreement with the Hungarian National Ministry of Development, from Budapest to Skopje, Podgorica, Sarajevo and Pristina, as well as Tirana. The new routes are expected to stimulate business and economic relations between Hungary and the Western Balkan countries, while boosting bi-directional tourism as well. Speaking at a press conference in Budapest, Wizz Air's CEO, Jozsef Varadi, said, ”Starting five new strategically important routes to the capitals of Western Balkan countries once again underlines our commitment to Hungary as the de facto national carrier. We believe that our new services will help stimulate economic and business relations between the countries, as well as further improve accessibility to Budapest”. Robert Homolya, Hungary's State Secretary for Transport Policy, noted, “In the spirit of 'opening to the South' policy, Hungary intends to re-establish its position in the Western Balkan countries as well. Negotiations between the concession winner airline and the Ministry were completed last November. Within a few months, bilateral interstate agreements, which are necessary for the commencement of flights, were also signed. Operating twice a week, the direct flights between Budapest and the capitals of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro will significantly improve the diplomatic, economic, cultural and touristic relationships”. Jost Lammers, the General Manager of Budapest Airport, added, "Budapest Airport warmly welcomes the launch of the new West Balkan destinations which were missing from the airport route map for several years”. He noted that "these new routes are of great importance both for Hungary and the people of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo since the Wizz Air flights help to tighten European connections of these nations. "Aviation connectivity also strengthens the development of economic relations”, he concluded.