Sunday, February 11, 2018

Tuzla Airport eyes new carriers


Tuzla Airport aims to attract new airline operators in 2018 in a bid to ease its reliance on Wizz Air, which accounts for almost all of its annual traffic. In a statement, the General Manager of Tuzla Airport, Rifet Karasalihović, said, "This year we will intensify talks with several airlines in order to offer additional destinations to our passengers, both in Europe and the Middle East. In 2018 and 2019 we want to generate economic growth in the Tuzla Canton". The airport previously noted, "The idea of bringing another airline dates back from when an agreement was signed with Wizz Air instead of Ryanair. However, we have maintained contact with Ryanair and other carriers who were initially apprehensive of our statistics and analysis".

Tuzla Airport has made several attempts at attracting carriers other than Wizz Air in the past. Last year it held talks with Flydubai over potential services from its hub. In late 2017, Flydubai’s Senior Vice President for Commercial Operations, Jeyhun Efendi, noted that the carrier ultimately ruled out the city due to its close proximity to Sarajevo and the relatively small market. Air Arabia previously maintained flights between Dubai and Tuzla. In 2011, the carrier operated a two weekly seasonal summer service with its Airbus A320 aircraft. The airline sold tickets through local tour operators with fares ranging between 460 and 700 euros at the time. The route was short-lived due to extremely poor loads and was cancelled after just a month. At the time, Tuzla Airport said the average cabin load factor on the route stood at some 25%, however, it is important to note that tickets were not sold directly through Air Arabia's website. Furthermore, Montenegro Airlines maintained flights from Vienna for a short period of time.

Tuzla Airport is targeting passenger growth of between 8% and 12% in 2018. Wizz Air, which handled over half a million passengers to and from Tuzla in 2017, will introduce new five weekly flights from Vienna this summer and will boost frequencies on its existing services to Dortmund, Hahn, Basel, Berlin and Gothenburg when compared to last year. Tuzla Airport handled 535.596 travellers in 2017, representing an increase of 72% on the year before. It is currently in the process of expanding its terminal building, which it hopes to complete by mid-April. The added capacity will enable the airport to handle 800 passengers per hour, up from the current 400. Furthermore, it is installing a new approach lighting system, which should ease traffic disruption during adverse weather conditions.

73 comments:

  1. What is there left to launch? Wizz Air has everything covered.

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    1. That's not the point. TZL doesn't want all of its eggs in one basket.

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    2. I understand that but it is highly unlikely that a new airline will overlap on routes with Wizz. I don't think the market in Tuzla is still big enough for that and I'm not sure Wizz would be too happy either.

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    3. There are several unserved routes. For example Paris. There are no flights between BiH and France and I think it could work. That said I don't see another major LCC starting flights to TZL. But maybe they could go for a legacy airline like Nis with Swiss.

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    4. Swiss flies only seasonally to Sarajevo so it would be difficult to bring them year round to Tuzla.

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    5. LX is not serious as partner in ex yu. They failed everywhere except beg and zag. Better to stick to wizz air

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    6. Meanwhile, Swiss has introduced slight changes in its INI equipment for the summer. It will dispatch its A320 and Helvetic's E190.

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    7. @10.35 they failed in Zagreb too. They fly only seasonally.

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    8. Ako nemate tamo gastose njih exYU zanima samo leti, poslovni ljudi
      mogu preko LH.

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    9. What aircraft do they send to ZAG in summer? A320 series?

      Can someone list all LX flights (seasonal too) to the ex-YU? They announced and cancelled so many I am lost. Do they still fly to TGD?

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    10. Year round
      Belgrade
      Nis
      Pristina (from Geneva)

      Seasonal
      Zagreb
      Sarajevo
      Pula (from Geneva)

      That's it.

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    11. They also fly to SKP.

      I think ZAG and LJU 'failed' because JP and OU are really strong to ZRH so they couldn't compete.

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    12. They don't fly to Skopje. They suspended Skopje. They send Helvetic as seasonal charters.

      If they failed because of OU and JP are so strong I don't know how there will be 36 weekly flights between Belgrade and Zurich this summer and there seems to be enough space for two players.

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    13. I don't know what went wrong in zag and lju but I am sure the market is big enough for two players like in beg

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  2. TZL should have done what INI did from the first day: make sure you have several carriers flying to your airport.

    I fear that Wizz Air has become so strong that any new airline will have to steal passengers from them.

    If Srpska was smart they would bring FR to BNX. Now that would be a win.

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    1. I agree. Very difficult for another airline to position itself in Tuzla now.

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    2. Rayanair to Banja Luka
      Eurowings to Mostar

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  3. I wonder what their development would have looked like if they had chosen Ryanair.

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    1. Wizz Air is definitely a more reliable partner.

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    2. Ryanair would be advertizing flights to Tuzla as Sarajevo North.

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    3. @ 9.10 I remember a few years ago just before Wizz opened its base in Tuzla that the airport said they will increase their fees. Wizz responded that they would suspend all flights if they do. So I wouldn't exactly say Wizz is much different from Ryan.

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  4. Smart move not to depend on Wizz so much. That is always an issue with small regional airports. Nis was very smart to bring both Ryan and Wizz straight away. The situation is a bit more difficult with Tuzla with so many routes already served.

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  5. They could try Norwegian.

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    1. Wizz already flies from Stockholm, Vaxjo, Malmo and Gothenburg to Tuzla.

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    2. They could try Oslo and Copenhagen.

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    3. Wizz Air flew Sandefjord and failed.

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    4. They failed on that route from BEG too.

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    5. They failed in BEG because DY flies from OSL. Who wants to fly from an airport that's 120 km away from lovely Oslo.

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  6. Why do they need flights to the Middle East? Sarajevo has that covered quite well.

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    1. Hope it performs better than those Air Arabia flights.

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    2. Well it's no wonder Air Arabia's flight failed. Those prices were ridiculous for an LCC.

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    3. Flights to Istanbul would make more sense to me.

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    4. with Pegasus yes.

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  7. Would be best if Wizz took Tuzla, Ryan Banja Luka and Eurowings Mostar.

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  8. Things are really looking up for Tuzla. Fantastic passenger growth, expansion of the terminal in progress and now possible cooperation with another airline.

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    1. Tuzla has really been a star performer in ex-Yu these last couple years. Hope they get more flights with different airlines.

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    2. Technically SPU was the star performer

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  9. Has Tuzla Airport turned a profit yet?

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    1. When they made the deal with Wizz, the plan was to turn a profit in 2018. We will see if it actually happens.

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    2. Tuzla is self sustainable airport. They’re not on the budget anymore.

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    3. They are not yet. They still get financial aid from Sarajevo.

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    4. how can they be self sustainable? with the one coffee-bar in the gates area?

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    5. Don't they get anything from Wizz for handling and landing?

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    6. No, just the passenger tax

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  10. Unfortunately only part of the planned terminal expansion is being done.

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    1. At this growth rate they will need another terminal soon.

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    2. And they have been installing the approach lights for over a year now. Is it really that difficult?

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    3. Yes. There are problems with the ground, it's soft because of underground lake nearby.

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    4. Approach lights are now in their third year of construction due to political problems between Tuzla Canton government and Zivinice municipality. Municipality declined to issue construction permits and landowner rights to Tuzla Airport due to low number of people hired to work from Zivinice, and some political games were also involved. Factions of SDA - ruling party in Tuzla Canton used airport for political showdown.

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  11. Great news for Tuzla and Bosnia :)

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    1. Not so good news for Sarajevo Airport.

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  12. No other airline worked out from Tuzla - Air Arabia and Montenegro Airlines. Hope they find someone though.

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    1. Both sold tickets through one tour agent in Tuzla so it's no surprise it didn't work out.

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  13. I really hope they attract a new airline but they say this every year.

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    1. +1 it's already too late for this summer. Maybe 2019.

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  14. If Wizz sensed that TZL was talking to Ryan they would preemptively launch new routes to potential Ryan destinations like they did in Skopje.

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  15. Anyone know how many passengers they had in January?

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    1. No, they haven't published the numbers yet.

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  16. So, if TZL continues this way it will soon even surpass ZAD and PUY. This is simply crazy and great!

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    1. There is no doubt they will overtake Zadar and Pula this year.

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    2. Tuzla is steadily growing in an area with little real competition. BNX and SJJ are crippled by corruption and nepotism while ZAG and BEG are far away. More and more people are getting used to flying from the airport and it shows especially with the recent increase of three to five flights from VIE. This was important as it shows the market can sustain flights from central and more expensive airports.

      In a few years TZL will easily handle more than a million passengers. My guess is that by 2025 it could even reach 1.8 million.

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    3. Good points! You're right about the little competition in the area. I think W6 are very clever in determining gems such as TZL,INI,KIV,IAS,SKP where they had remarkable results.
      I won't be suprised if W6 bases another a/c in TZL by winter.

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    4. TZL's growth will more or less spell the end of OSI as a regional airport because its catchment area is much smaller.

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    5. Osijek never stood a chance. There is very little economy and people in that area of HR.

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  17. Is there any room for flights to London and Berlin?

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    1. Wizz started flights from London to Tuzla last year but it was suspended just after a few months. Poor loads.

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    2. SXF is served from TZL

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    3. ... with good loads, 140+ even in late January

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  18. Maybe easyJet could launch flights from Berlin.

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    1. SXF is served by WZZ already

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  19. ... with good loads, 140+ even in late January

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