Wizz Air downgrades EX-YU routes over winter


Low cost carrier Wizz Air will downgrade a number of its routes at its bases in the former Yugoslavia from year-round to seasonal summer operations. Tuzla will see the biggest reduction, with four routes to be rested over winter, while two will become seasonal out of Skopje, and one each from Belgrade, Niš and Ohrid. The low cost airline will no longer maintain flights from Bosnia and Herzegovina's third largest city to Billund, Baden Baden, Stockholm Skavsta and Vaxjo. All four destinations are expected to resume from April next year, with tickets already on sale. Tuzla Airport recently said it was negotiating the launch of new routes with Wizz Air and the potential stationing of a third aircraft in the city.

The budget carrier has also downgraded its flights from Skopje to Barcelona and Vaxjo to seasonal operations. Furthermore, the airline has discontinued winter sales for its Ohrid - London Luton flights. The route was upgraded from seasonal to year-round operations several months ago but has now again been turned into a summer service only. Commenting on its operations in Macedonia, the airline recently said, "The routes from Skopje to Vaxjo and Barcelona and from Ohrid to London Luton have been optimised according to the market requests and will be operated only in the summer season". It added, "Wizz Air underlines its commitment to the Macedonian customers by expanding its low fare network and creating more affordable travel opportunities from Skopje and Ohrid airports, currently offering thirty routes to fourteen countries and 1.6 million seats on sale in 2018, a 23% growth compared to 2017".

Wizz Air has also downgraded its year-round operations between Belgrade and Larnaca to seasonal summer flights. The carrier maintained two weekly services between the two cities. Air Serbia has since extended its summer operations to Cyprus into the winter months, replacing the low cost carrier. Wizz Air's Larnaca flights are set to resume on April 2, 2019. On the other hand, the carrier will terminate services between Malmo and Niš this winter season. The last flight is scheduled to operate on January 7, 2019 after which ticket sales have been suspended. It is the second route the airline will be ending to the southeast Serbian city, with services from Eindhoven discontinued in late March.

As previously reported, Wizz Air will introduce several new routes to the former Yugoslavia this winter. The airline will expand in Pristina with the launch of three new services, from Memmingen, Basel and Dortmund, starting October 30, and will commence flights from Vienna to Niš and Ohrid from mid-November.

Comments

  1. Let's hope those routes actually come back. I remember with London-Tuzla they said how its going seasonal, they started selling tickets for the following year and then they completely suspended it.

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    1. London - Tuzla not working out is really no surprise.

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    2. Could the Tuzla flights be impacted by Ryanair launching Banja Luka?

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    3. This is actually the third time they suspended routes from Tuzla and said how it would be seasonal and then a few months later suspended them completely. They did the same with TZL-Oslo, TZL-London...

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    4. Sorry to say this, but as soon as Sarajevo change its policies and start working with LCCs, Tuzla airport will completely shrink with very few flights. Probably mostly cargo.

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    5. Think you are right there. It will be interesting to see what happens when Sarajevo opens up to a major LCC.

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    6. I have seen this in Forli/Bologna case. As soon as Bologna welcomed Wizzair and Ryanair (which now has 50 destinations from the city), Forli airport went down.

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    7. why should SJJ "open up" for LCC?

      "opening up" is just stupid code for slashing their prices for LCC; if they lower prices for LCC, they would have to lower the price for all others as well and what is the point in aiming to handle 2 million passengers while having lower income than they would have with one million full paying passengers? i really hate the idea that they attract LCC and make up the lost revenue by taxes

      there is no scenario at the moment to get more than 2 million passengers use SJJ, no matter how low the fares are (we are a small city and have limited infrastructure to handle significant more tourists)

      they should experiment a little with their prices, like lowering their prices for times of the day when the airport is almost empty, because they do not fit the waves of network airlines. if they are so keen on low prices they could fly on Saturdays or between 9:00 and 12:00 or in the late afternoon when the airport is on standby

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    8. ^^ and this is what is called a lack of vision...

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    9. @anon 13:05
      Are you the regular citizen of Sarajevo or airport shareholder? You sound like the second one. :)
      Sarajevo is a landlocked city, with poor road and rail infrastructure so flying is crucial for you. Or I am getting something wrong? :)
      Attracting more visitors and having local people and diaspora travel more is way for the airport to make money from all business segments not just handling planes. You guys really need more conectivity at affordable prices. You do not want to fly to Paris or Berlin for 100 EUR on average?!

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  2. Party seems to be over! Reality strucks...

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    1. With oil prices skyrocketing again going over 80$ per barrell, this is obviously just the beginning..

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    2. When they started opening bases in ex-Yu, oil prices were at record highs. So you logic is wrong.

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    3. Yes with simultaneously receiving a lot of incentives, which are now more or less missing..

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    4. So funny when I read about large incentives..

      Do you actually have a clue as to how large those incentives are in comparison to the actual cost of operation? Even marginal (incremental) cost will do, not total.

      It's peanuts. Which is also why nobody else has shown up at that magnitude.

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    5. If you think high fuel cost is going to affect LCCs, rather think who is operated high CASK aircraft with no fuel hedges.

      Correct, the answer is JU's 737s and JP's CRJ.

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    6. I would also add OU's A319s/A320s. They are almost 20 years old now.

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    7. Fuel consumption difference between a 20-year old A320 and a brand new (non-sharklet) A320ceo is minimal.

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    8. JU owns the 733s so fuel barely affects them.

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    9. "JU owns the 733s so fuel barely affects them." haha- brain of the day! :)

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    10. Last anon, what's so funny? Do you understand how much they save in not paying leasing costs?!!

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    11. Yeah, as long as you own the aircraft you don’t care about any other cost, right? That’s why A380 will become really profitable once they are owned by airlines :)

      Fuel represenets roughly 40% of the total operating cost. Far from insignificant.

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    12. JU mostly flies B773s on charter flights which are charged 20K and more to agencies for a return flight. Those old birds are actually those making money in that company.

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    13. "Fuel consumption difference between a 20-year old A320 and a brand new (non-sharklet) A320ceo is minimal."

      Not quite, engine improvements, less dirt, less condensed water in the fuselage insulation, even the operational empty weight of a new aircraft is tons less than of an old one. It means less weight to be carried around=less fuel consumption.

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  3. They are focusing more on the west where they can make more money.

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    1. last time i checked Sweden and Germany were west

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    2. I meant west to west routes.

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    3. i fear they are too late for that

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    4. Too late?!
      Imagine you have a bar. Another bar opens and nobody will go there because there is already a bar. Yes it takes time to gain market position and inform people you actually fly the route but it has never been easier with fare search engines.

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  4. They are responding to market demand. The bottom line is, if LCCs don't have a 90% LF on their routes year round they cut them. The good news here is that they are just making these routes seasonal.

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  5. Wizz Air has apperantly for long time had issues attracting crew, primarly pilots to its TZL base. Does anyone know more about it and could it be one of the reasons?
    I'm sure a mix of low demand and aim to avoid unnecessary extra costs due to bad weather on cheap sold flights is a factor as well.
    And maybe consequences of the management turning the milky cow the back by trying to attract other carriers as well the delayed expansion of the infrastructure.
    If I'm not wrong, many TZL flights are turned with a delay and during winter it will be much harder for them to catch that time up taken in fact the TZL and generally bad winter weather.

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    1. It is true that TZL has not carried out many of its obligations made in the contract with Wizz especially in infrastructure where everything is delayed (terminal expansion, approach lights).

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    2. They have crew shortage in general, not only in TZL. Also, not a lot of non-exyu people would love to live in TZL. It takes more than half an hour to reach the airport and Tuzla is not an international city to begin with.

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    3. If they have crew shortage in Tuzla, wouldn't they be hiring in Tuzla? They haven't had a recruitment day in either Belgrade, Skopje or Tuzla for a very long time.

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    4. Mainly pilot shortage, which they rarely hire into the bases but deploy while hired/having contracts in BUD.
      And true, TZL isn't the first pick, while SKP actually is pretty popular as living cost & quality vs income is good.
      In TZL is even better, but it fails on life quality/joy + most of your winter flights will be delayed and cost you off time in case you get diverted to BUD/BEG etc.

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  6. With four routes going seasonal at Tuzla and no frequencies being added I think they could operate all flights with just 1 plane. What are they going to do with the other?

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    1. They will probably use the other plane to operate non-Tuzla flights with Bosnian crew.

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  7. This is certainly the biggest number of routes they have turned seasonal in one season. Wonder what's going on.

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    1. They are downgrading across the board in Eastern Europe. In Poland they are even shutting one of their bases.

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    2. My only conclusion is that it has something to do with finances.

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    3. High oil prices are the problem!

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    4. Finances or not, I know they have a special business model, but I can't stop wondering if it's healthy or sick, when they the same month have several 20% offers.
      Of course on the cheapest ticket you save peanuts snd cost them even less, while they sell additional tickets, but I've literally been on non seasonal TZL flights where very few pax paid more then 20 EUR for the ticket and most 10 EUR, and the in-flight service didn't bring much revenue either.

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    5. "My only conclusion is that it has something to do with finances."

      Might be useful to read one of their financial reports. With 1200 million EUR in the bank it's hardly a financial problem to rationalize the route structure.

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  8. Yesterday, Primera Air went bankrupt. If W6 had more metal, they could have opened transatlantic routes from ex-YU.
    BEG-EWR to compete with JU
    DBV-EWR
    SKP-EWR

    Too bad that the A321 are not for long-haul.

    As for the rest of ex-Yu the A321 can be deployed on LJU-LPA or ZAG-TFS

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    Replies
    1. They can't, they don't have national AOCs...

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    2. For Croatia and Slovenia they need not have national AOC, as the EU has an Open Skies Agreement with the USA!

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    3. Good point. Not Wizz Air's MO per se, but someone like Norwegian might be interested down the line.

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  9. Shame about INI. That route seems to be the only one permanently suspended and won't be returning next summer.

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    1. Someone said this is the result of the closure of their Poznan base since that aircraft was used for these flights.

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    2. LetsL hope SK, U2 or DY consider INI-CPH.

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    3. With the current management in place, I doubt INI will be attracting any new routes any time soon.

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    4. I am not very sure. CPH is already connected to SKP and SOF, with plenty of frequencies.
      So if MMX didn't work out, I doubt we see any route introduction.
      NYO seems to be doing well. If Nemjee is reading this, maybe he can show some figures for INI-NYO.
      I also think INI can be linked to OSL or TRF.

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  10. They will replace these two Skopje routes as soon as they win the subsidies tender. I think that's why they made them seasonal in the first place because under the tender requirements they have to launch new routes from SKP straight away (by January I think).

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    1. Which ones could they launch?

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    2. Karslruhe (Baden/Baden) (sic!)

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    3. Baden baden doesn't seem to have worked out from either Tuzla or Belgrade. Let's see if they have more luck in SKP (if they launch it).

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    4. true dat. one the other hand Friedrichshafen seems to work fine for SKP but was not succeful at BEG. you never know

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    5. I'm interested to see how the A321s will perform in SKP this winter. If all goes well maybe they could replace another A320 next summer.

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    6. I'm not surprised Baden and Friedrichshafen didn't work from BEG. The Serbia-Germany market was way over saturated.

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    7. @ Anonymous 2 October 2018 at 10:16
      I doubt they can expand some more from Macedonia, except maybe to try their luck with Madrid/Valencia and Portugal.

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    8. thats why they committed TWO new aircrafts in MK in the anulled tender.. because they think they cant grow. Svasta procitas. Wizz have/had plans for two aircrafts in MK but we will see now with the new tender if they stick to their initial plans

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    9. Baden Baden is still operated by Wizz from BEG. It was NUE and FDH that were suspended.

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  11. At the same time they are growing from Pristina, which shows there is enough demand for flights from both PRN and SKP.

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    Replies
    1. Let's wait and see if PRN expansion will have an impact on SKO flights.

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    2. yeh right they are gonna cannibalize themselves ...

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    3. No but one of the routes from one city may be more profitable for them then the other and they may get better incentives from the airport.

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  12. I'm under the impression that many of these LCCs will simply implode. I especially think that Norwegian and Wizz will possibly have the same fate.

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  13. Now is the time for Ryan and easy jet to respond.

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    Replies
    1. to open routes which were not succesful?

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    2. @10:34

      Brilliant. :)

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    3. The routes are not sustainable in the long run. It creates demand in short term because of the prices but then woh will fly those routes constantly. It is lacking the diversity in Pax structure.

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  14. If TZL manages to negotiate a third aircraft they will easily reach 1 million passengers by 2020.

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    Replies
    1. Considering how many routes are being cut from Tuzla this winter, I wouldn't bet that a third aircraft is coming next year.

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    2. First they will need to fix their issues (low catergory ILS vs. constant fog, night closure for ATC staff shortage, lack of gates, lack of immigration staff, lack of restarurant etc) with serving two aircraft at all (let alone three).

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  15. Are they increasing/decreasing frequencies on the route they didn't cut this winter?

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    Replies
    1. In Tuzla they are not adding extra frequencies. Don't know about others.

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  16. Everything will be back to normal next year once they receive the new planes. They are downgrading because of their Vienna base turned to be a major success for them and they want to expand there before Laudamotion becomes too strong.

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    Replies
    1. I really do not get why they are not opening Vienna - Belgrade flights? It would be success and we would avoid the torture of flying turbo props with JU and OS.

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    2. magic word: incentives through VIE

      thats why Nis and OHD

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    3. "heir Vienna base turned to be a major success" i hoped the same, but is their any data to back up that? i can only see how they flood the city with discount offers like FR/Lauda and the prices are often surprisingly low just days before the flight

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  17. That is what happens when you stretch too much.

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    1. lol someone working for an state ex-yu airline

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  18. It's disappointing. Such a good airline and good for TZL/SKP/OHD/BEG/INI pax growth

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  19. BTW W6 has suspended many non ex-Yu destinations too especially from Poland, Romania, Bulgaria...

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    Replies
    1. Imagine if an ex-Yu airline suspended these routes. We would have comments like "The end is close"

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    2. True. We would already be planning the company's date of closure.

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    3. No wonder. Relatively speaking, seasonalizing a route is nothing when you have 100+ aircraft and all the jazz when you have 10. Seems you're implying equal effect, which couldn't be further from the truth.

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  20. It was impressive that their Belgrade - Larnaca flights survived this long, especially considering they are more expensive then Air Serbia on this route.

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    1. They resume Larnaca from April 2x per week. You are right about them being expensive on this route. With luggage they are usually more expensive then JU. Still good to see JU upgrade their flights so we don't loose links to Cyprus in winter.

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    2. However, JU has horrible times for O&D passengers so Wizz makes more sense despite the price.

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  21. wow I'm surprised they didn't blame the suspension on high fees. That's what they usually do.

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    Replies
    1. You've confused them with Ryanair.

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    2. Sweden gov. has increased the taxes (there was a guy working at Vaxjö airport that comfirmed that here)

      I do wonder how much they pay TZL if at all

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    3. The tax is a big problem. SK even moved its HKG flights to Copenhagen from Stockholm.

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  22. Once upon a time Wizz used to do a lot of study before opening new routes. Now they open routes, fly them 3-4 months and suspend them. It's happening more and more often each year.

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    Replies
    1. Law of diminishing returns.

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  23. Sick of Wizz Air and its diaspora routes. Maybe time for them to reconsider and open something new that does not purely rely on gasterbaiters.

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    Replies
    1. If only exYu had sufficient purchase power. We're at the mercy of the markets that do, hence gaestarbeiter focused routes.

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    2. +1 last anon. I would also like to have flights to the Canary Islands but unfortunately socio economic situation dictates routes.

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    3. If authorities did more to promote destinations Wizz would be able to open Lisbon/Madrid/Milan/Barcelona/etc. - Belgrade/Nis/etc. Meantime, gaesterbeiter routes. :)

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    4. sure; lets insist that our government runs promotions for Wizz air flights out of public budget instead of paying teachers or fixing roads!

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    5. Well if you attract more tourists to spend in the city then you will have more economic activity and more tax revenue to pay for roads and teachers. Assuming you are able and willing to collect the tax money.

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  24. 7 routes did not turn profitable. It´s not the end of the world.

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    1. * during winter.

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    2. Certainly isn't the end of the world but it isn't negligible either.

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  25. I hope they look into opening some other destinations. There is still room for them to grow in this region.

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  26. Tuzla is a bit problematic during the winter because of adverse weather conditions. A lot of planes get diverted. Even during the summer they were forced to divert to BEG several times. I doubt that is good for a LCC.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think weather is the reason they suspended these routes.

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    2. Tuzla needs another airline. Their entire success and future depends on one single airline.

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    3. Agree. Just goes to show how risky it is to rely on a single airline for all your traffic.

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    4. @anon 11:51: TZL should start opening international ferry lines, as they should not bet their entire international traffic just on aircrafts; way too risky!

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  27. Hope we see a lot more developments from them next summer. This year they have mostly been focused on Vienna.

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  28. SEPTEMBER 2018 TRAFFIC STATISTICS
    OCT 2, 2018, 10:00

    WIZZ AIR GROWS PASSENGER NUMBERS BY 17.5%
    LOAD FACTOR INCREASES 1.2 PPTS TO 94.1%

    Sept 2018

    vailable Seat Kilometres (000s) 5,438,506

    WOOOWWW!!!

    Continued investment in our people with the launch of the Wizz Air Pilot Academy program in Hungary. This follows the very successful launches of the program in Poland, Bulgaria and Romania already this year.

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  29. Here is the list of destinations that Wizz shoud really consider in the next 5 years:

    LTN-INI
    LTN-TGD
    LTN-TIV
    LTN-ZAG
    LTN-MBX
    LTN-SJJ

    BEG-MAD
    SKP-MAD
    TGD-MAD
    INI-MAD

    LJU-LIS
    BEG-LIS

    LJU-TLV
    BEG-TLV
    SKP-TLV
    SJJ-TLV

    LJU-MAN
    BEG-DWC
    BEG-FUE
    BEG-OVD

    SXF-OSI
    BUD-ZAD
    WAW-ZAD

    SJJ-SXF
    SJJ-FCO
    SJJ-BGY
    SJJ-BCN

    IEV-BEG
    IEV-LJU
    IEV-TIV

    VKO-BEG
    VKO-INI

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty sure it all would be a success! :D Wizz has not been growing in Ex-Yu for a long time- in the contrary- they have been reducing their ops stadily over time.

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    2. Many of these could work.

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  30. Honestly, Skopje-Barcelona in winter? Many of these ex-YU routes are simply far-fetched. Following the success of Maribor-Antwerp, I guess. Also, these so called gasto routes - outside of the holiday season - it's not like people are working in Denmark or in the Netherlands and sleeping in Bosnia or southern Serbia.

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    Replies
    1. Most of the routes are not sustainable in the long run. It creates demand in short term because of the prices but then who will fly those routes constantly, except diaspora or gastros whose numbers aer limited. For growth those markets are lacking the diversity in Pax structure (biz, tourists, diaspora and that in large numbers).

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    2. It is hard to get more business travelers as there is as much economic activity in the region. Tourists you can get. One great recent example is Transavia with Belgrade flights. The growth of Dutch visitors is noticable in the city center and competition has slashed previous horrible JU prices.

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    3. Agree with both, the ex-Yu market is premium pax defficient and the VFR demand is limited so the growth can only be achived through the leisure segment.

      But there can be only two types of sustainable leisure routes, either to the true leisure markets as the Adriatic coast or to the city break destinations. Niš, Tuzla, Osijek, Priština and Skopje are neither. At the moment and for the foreseeable time only Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana (and possibly Sarajevo) may be regarded as the plausible city break destinations.

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  31. Wizz Air Airbus aircraft problems in 2018:
    16 September aircraft diverted due to burn instruments and installation in the cockpit due to thunderstorm en-route,from Nis to Bale after landing two passengers and a crew member go for a medical check.

    22-August Wizz Air Airbus A321, registration HA-LXI performing flight W6-3071 from Bucharest Otopeni (Romania) to Eindhoven (Netherlands) with 228 people on board, was on approach to Eindhoven when the crew reported they had a flight controls problem in tunderstorm area and needed to level off and enter a hold,The aircraft landed safely on Eindhoven's runway.he airport reported the aircraft suffered a flaps electric problem from thunderstorm cloud.

    30 July 2018 A Wizz Air Airbus A320-200, registration HA-LWO performing flight W6-2542 from Tel Aviv (Israel) to Riga (Latvia) with 182 people on board, was climbing through FL170 out of Tel Aviv's runway 26 when the crew stopped the climb due to a problem with one of the engines (V2527), the strong air turbulence shut the engine down and returned to Tel Aviv for a safe landing on runway 21 about 40 minutes after departure.

    15 June A Wizz Air Airbus A320, registration HA-LWK performing flight W6-7732 from Basel/Mulhouse (Switzerland/France) to Skopje (Macedonia), was in Serbian sky in heavy thunderstorm . The aircraft continued for a SAFE and normal landing with only 1 engine in Ohrid Airport,the pilot was macedonian nationality and decided to land in Ohrid Airport.

    British AaIB rated the occurrence a serious incident and opened an investigation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And what is the purpose of your post expect to demonstrate that WIZZ has professional crews that handle technical failures and weather conditions properly?

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    2. Anonymous2 October 2018 at 19:00

      Just to know some things before you write posts like this, and for all of you hating Wizz and writing inappropriate texts.
      Read the article, brand new, posted Oct. 01,2018

      https://www.airlineratings.com/news/wizz-air-awarded-highest-7-star-safety-rating/

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    3. Anybody who works for Wizz Air will tell you this safety rating is a joke. Fortunately for Wizz Air, many of their “events” don’t make the headlines because Eastern Europe very much prefers low cost over safety and media plays along.

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    4. "Eastern Europe very much prefers low cost over safety and media plays along."

      Somehow I trust WizzAir's safety much more than ASL's with its ancient planes and numerous incidents.

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    5. "Anybody who works for Wizz Air will tell you this safety rating is a joke. Fortunately for Wizz Air, many of their “events” don’t make the headlines because Eastern Europe very much prefers low cost over safety and media plays along."

      Yep, sure. IOSA and all the EU-authorities of the countries they use (incl UK CAA where Wizz Air UK is based) are keeping it quiet, right?

      Delete
  32. Zna li neko kada je bila zadnja placa na Tuzlanskom aerodromu tj. da li su redovne ??? Jos nesto da dodam , kako ce utjecati letovi Ryan Air iz Banja Luke na letove Wizz Air po pitanju punjenja aviona. ?

    ReplyDelete

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