Wizz Air considering new London Gatwick - Niš service


Wizz Air has filed plans to launch flights between London Gatwick Airport and Niš during the 2020/2021 winter season, which begins on October 25, a report from Airport Coordination Limited, a slot coordination company, shows. Wizz Air has been awarded an additional 196 slots from Gatwick Airport, in addition to the 56 it already holds. The carrier applied for a total of 454 slots. Although Wizz Air can change its final line-up of new routes, Niš has been listed as one of the destinations which could utilise the new allotted slots. In Serbia, the carrier currently maintains flights between London Luton Airport and Belgrade.

There are no services between Constantine the Great Airport and the United Kingdom. London was one of the first international flights to be launched from Niš upon its opening for commercial traffic, with Adria Airways introducing the service in 1988. A year later, JAT Yugoslav Airlines also commenced flights to the capital of the United Kingdom. Following the airport’s reopening in 2004, Thomsonfly launched seasonal winter operations from London to Niš in 2006 for holidaymakers heading to nearby ski resorts. The route lasted for two years. Wizz Air currently serves five destinations out of Niš. It was the first airline to resume operations from the city after its reopening for commercial traffic following the peak of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic and has reinstated its entire network.

Last month, Wizz Air said it was plotting a major expansion at London Gatwick as rival carriers pull back, paving the way for the airline to emerge from the travel downturn with a bigger presence in the world’s busiest city for passenger traffic. Wizz’s CEO, Jozsef Varadi, noted he’d like to turn Gatwick into the company’s second British hub. “We’ve been looking at Gatwick for a long time and we absolutely have an ambition to build a base there”, Mr Varadi said. Wizz sought to establish itself as a force at Gatwick last year, when it was a contender for slots from failed Thomas Cook. Those were bought by easyJet, Gatwick’s biggest operator, while positions vacated by Monarch Airlines in 2017 went to British Airways’ owner IAG after Wizz had bid.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    Well this is unexpected to be honest but it's nice to see Wizz Air being committed to INI. First the Memmingen increase and now this. I am curious to see if FR responds in any way. Do we know when Malta flights will resume?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:19

      FR will start on the 2nd of August fo fly from INI to Malta and Berlin

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    WOW nice!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:11

    Great news for INI :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:12

    Don't let the Serbian government know, they will declare London to be a Public Service Obligation destination :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:30

      True dat!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:42

      Who will?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:45

      Vucko.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:47

      I don't get the joke, sorry.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:50

      Last year the Serbian government designated subsidised PSO routes which (as expected) were awarded to Air Serbia. A few weeks later Ryanair also decided to launch one of the PSO routes on its own (without subsidies) but then the government remembered this would look bad that they are subsidising a route for which there is commercial interest. So they quickly retroactively changed the rules of the PSO routes stating that only the airline awarded the PSO routes can fly them and blocked Ryanair from launching the flights.

      Delete
    7. Nemjee09:58

      Only difference being that FR knew JU already published those flights from HHN and they announced their own for marketing purposes. All media in the country reported on how FR was kicked out because of evil Air Serbia. Then they all published FR statements which included the usual 'cheapest fares on the market' 'no one is as cheap as we are' 'Serbian government doesn't want us to offer affordable fares' ... which was basically read by millions. On top of that their statements as well as all articles that were written included a list of their destinations out of INI.
      They were not the victim there, they were the biggest winner. They received a crazy amount of free publicity.

      The icing on the cake was when they announced that they would be moving those flights to Srpska which offered them great charges at BNX. So all media started reporting once again how BNX is the clear winner and INI the loser... which was far from the truth.

      No one is stopping FR from expanding in INI as was proven by MLA flights. I am certain Ryanair never planned to operate those INI flights, it was BNX from the start.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:01

      No Nemanja there is no difference. There was no rule stating that a route can't be launched by another airline. They changed it AFTER Ryanair applied for the flights.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous10:03

      They were already selling tickets between HHN and INI so your defense of the Serbian government and Air Serbia is pointless.

      Delete
    10. Nemjee10:03

      You are looking at the consequence of their action. I'm looking at the origin and the purpose of it.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous10:04

      " consequence of their action" so much for the free market. Really terrible that you can support something like that.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous10:05

      Also you are speculating what Ryanair may have or not done. What the Serbian government did is on plain paper.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous10:06

      Oh come on Nemjee. Everyone knows that the routes selected were chosen to block an LCC to fly from those cities. I mean choosing places like Hahn proves it.

      Delete
    14. Nemjee10:18

      I see we are back at conspiracy theories. If the Serbian government really wanted to block competition from expanding at INI then JU would not have launched random destinations from Nis like Bologna, Rome or Budapest but would have gone for Paris, Malta, Eindhoven... or even Malmo after Wizz Air temporarily suspended it. They did not, they rather opted for less profitable destinations and we will have to wait and see what becomes of them in the end.

      Personally I don't understand what the issue is here. Serbian government already assigned funds for subsidized flights to HHN. One requirement was that fares must be low which is something JU respected even to this day. So what exactly have we lost from not having Ryanair? I'm failing to see the logic here.

      INI is open to everyone who wishes to fly there. After all, that same Ryanair launched flights to Malta without a single problem. Wizz Air is adding Luton, they brought back Malmo and they even boosted FMM this year.

      So how exactly is growth at INI hindered?

      As for Ryanair, you are obviously not familiar with their modus operandi. Just look at how they behaved during the corona crisis and you will see what I'm talking about. Screaming, shouting, threats of lawsuits, claiming injustice... are just some of their regular tactics.

      As a final note, I would like to remind you that relying on FR is not a long-term solution. They are extremely unpredictable and can pack up and leave overnight. In the short period of time they have been present in INI, they already manage to terminate two destinations and not because of a lack of demand but rather because of disputes with employees/airports/governments... for INI relying on Wizz Air and Air Serbia is a much safer way forward and this comes from someone who dislikes Wizz Air. Let's not forget that the south is the poorest part of Serbia so demand is limited. Hopefully standard of living will improve in the coming years so that INI can profit as well.

      Delete
    15. Anonymous10:27

      If Air Serbia purposely opening key gasto routes to airports dominated by LCCs and getting paid for it is a conspiracy then your Ryanair theory is an even bigger conspiracy. Budapest was chosen on purpose. It's a Wizz hub and was chosen out of fear. Considering how many routes have already been dropped, it also shows what a great job the government did in choosing those PSO routes.

      "INI is open to everyone who wishes to fly there."

      That's true. Unless they dare compete with Air Serbia.

      Delete
    16. Nemjee10:33

      So tell me then, why didn't JU launch MMX, BVA, EIN, TXL, MLA... but rather went for random, third tier destinations around Europe?

      As for BUD, excuse me but that makes no sense. Wizz Air had 14 years to launch BUD-INI but all of a sudden now JU is blocking them? Once again, I'm not seeing the logic there.

      Delete
    17. Anonymous10:33

      It seems 'unreliable' low cost airlines like Wizz Air proved very reliable. Not only were they the first to resume flights to Serbia (even before Air Serbia) they have also resumed all destinations from Nis and will resume all destinations from Belgrade by July with the same frequencies and have announced new routes. Meanwhile Air Serbia still hasn't started flying from Nis and won't return more than half of its destinations from Nis.

      Delete
    18. I think serbian govt suporting wizz while blocking ryan. Vucic amd orban r friends.

      Delete
    19. Anonymous10:37

      Nemjee bending himself backwards to justify blocking progress. What is new.

      Delete
    20. Nemjee10:48

      Anon 10.37 without concrete arguments and examples you are no different than a troll.

      Delete
    21. Nemjee10:49

      Anon 10.33

      The were the first to resume BEG because the UK had pretty relaxed measures during corona. For JU it's difficult to simply resume all of its flights at once because a great deal of their passengers are transfers and many markets (Russia being a good example) are still closed.

      Delete
    22. Anonymous10:51

      But JU has already permanently suspended many routes.

      Delete
    23. Anonymous10:52

      Nice so now FR and W6 can replace them?

      Delete
    24. Nemjee11:00

      Anon 10.52 indeed, let's see how long before Wizz Air launches BUD-INI which was 'stolen' from them by JU and the Serbian government.

      Delete
    25. Anonymous11:02

      It's not about being stolen, it's about preventing potential new routes in the future.

      Delete
    26. Nemjee11:04

      Anon 11.02 have you read today's article?

      Delete
    27. Anonymous11:29

      @Anonymous11:02 Preventing potential new routes in the future? So JU should not be launching ANY new routes ever as W6/FR might want to launch them at an unspecified time in the future?

      Delete
    28. Anonymous11:30

      Not at all. It's just that any route Air Serbia launches should not be BANNED for any other airline.

      Delete
    29. Anonymous11:43

      Nonsense, this was a subsidized route from INI. They are free to launch BEG HHN or BEG FRA.

      Delete
    30. Anonymous11:46

      So in order for Air Serbia to get subsidies routes need to be banned to competitors.

      Delete
    31. Anonymous12:02

      Yes, those are the rules as we don't want taxpayer money going to waste especially once everything was arrange and sorted out. FR was more than welcome to launch FRA-INI because they have a base there.

      Delete
    32. JATBEGMEL13:12

      @ 11,46

      JU would get subsidies either way. A base in INI doesnt change much.

      Serbian government poorly planned for a JU base and poorly executed the idea. Competitors are not banned per se, just not allowed to launch flights on subsidied routes. This still hasnt stopped the growth of competitors, as evident in the article above.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:14

    Wizz is building a nice presence in Nis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:42

      How many weekly frequencies will they have?

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:26

    Congrats INI! This is a respectable network.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:27

    We were told new management will close down the airport because of Vinci at Belgrade and that Air Serbia came to Nis to kick out Wizz and Ryan.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:30

    Interesting. Is there a diaspora from south/south east Serbia in London?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:34

      Not that much in London, but in villages around London. The most ex yu diaspora in Uk are Bosnians and Croatians. I really do that Wizz will start London - Sarajevo and London - Zagreb.

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL13:16

      I see this more for tourism than diaspora.

      Thomosonfly used to fly winter charters to INI for tourists going to Kopaonik. They used to fly in their B767's and B757's.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:21

      Actually I wonder if we might see London flights from KVO in the future since those tourists were going to Kopaonik.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous19:26

      VIE seems to be a success so there so there is definitely room for growth.

      Delete
    5. There is a reasonably sized diaspora in UK, in and around London

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:39

    We should really be happy that an airline is expanding its operations at a time like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:44

      It has more to do with the market and not so much with the airline. Both JU and W6 are expanding their Serbian operations.
      LTN-BEG was quite good, around 130 passengers while from BEG they had a LF of around 43% on the A320/321.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:29

      Not really. Air Serbia has cut all planned new routes and permanently suspended a number of other ones. So they are not expanding, they are contracting their Serbian operations.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:31

      And just to clarify, expanding your Serbia operations would mean reinstating your whole network with the same frequencies and then announcing new routes or frequency increases, which Wizz Air has done.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:07

      How can JU reinstate their whole network when half of the airports are still closed? They did boost FRA and TXL in case you missed it.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:10

      Many airports that they fly to have reopened but they haven't resumed flights. They have also permanently suspended quite a few routes. Adding three flights to FRA and TXL for three months won't do much. At the end of the year, if you deduct the period of the airport closure in Serbia you will see that Air Serbia has heavily reduced capacity while for example Wizz Air will have the same amount or even added capacity.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:13

      Wizz did not resume all of their flights, LCA and MLA are still not resumed, so...

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:25

      Yes two routes starting in July. Wizz Air is currently operating more routes than Air Serbia from Serbia and started flying days in advance. No frequency cuts either.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:28

      Yes, until Monday my good Anonymous friend.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:29

      Well that's an embarrassment in my opinion.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:44

      It is, isn't it? JU has indeed embarrassed itself. I guess they were busy repatriating Serbs and bringing medical supplies from far away places so that people don't die in masses.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous11:47

      They haven't operated those flights since early May and don't worry, they got paid for everything. They didn't do anything for free or out of the goodness of their heart.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous12:03

      Early May? JU had a flight to Tianjin (A330) two days ago and yesterday they operated a repatriation flight to Izmir and Larnaca about a week ago. So what are you talking about?

      Delete
    13. Anonymous12:05

      Tianjin flight was to transport 12 doctors to China. Nothing else. Considering that 18 of their planes are grounded one off flights to Larnaca and Izmir really aren't an excuse for not resuming more flights. And as I said, they are getting paid.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous12:10

      Tianjin returned with cargo boxes so it was 65% full on the way back. ;)
      It still shows your comment about early May was factually wrong, please go and read what you wrote. And please, enlighten us, what destinations they should have resumed according to you?

      Delete
    15. Anonymous12:12

      All that could. Considering the money this airline gets on an annual basis it should be the least of what they could do. Not announce the permanent suspension of almost 10 routes.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous12:16

      All that could? Like which ones? LCA, SKP, SVO, KRR...? LOL!

      Delete
    17. Anonymous12:30

      You pretty much listed the only airports they can't fly to.

      Delete
    18. Anonymous13:22

      Are you sure? What about TGD, TIV, VCE, FCO, MXP... ;)

      Delete
    19. Anonymous13:23

      They can fly all of them actualltly.

      Delete
    20. Anonymous14:29

      Not profitably ;)

      Delete
    21. Anon 12:05
      Let za Tjendjin je bio pun, kineski lekari, porodice srpskih diplomata, i kineski gradjani koji se vracaju u Kinu. U povratku su prevezeni respiratori i ostale masine. Stvarno ne razumem to pljuvanje radi pljuvanja i komentarisanje bilo cega bez poznavanja cinjenica. Dno. Moj ukucanin je zaduzen za koordinaciju tih letova, tako da znam svaki od 70 i kusur letova koji je obavljeno.
      I da dodam, bice i 2-3 leta A330 za Jerevan, doniramo humanitarnu pomoc Jermeniji. Puno pozdrava

      Delete
  10. Anonymous10:32

    SOF has recently received daily LGW W6 evening flights competeing with U2 that has been long operating this route. So, it would be interesting to include INI too.
    It seems LTN is no longer enough for W6 and they are hungry for more.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous11:05

    This is a vicious and evil predatory attack. The only response Wizz can understand is ASL launching flights to London Southend or London Exeter Airports!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:06

      Ease up on the adjectives.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous11:07

    Well let's first wait and see if they go ahead with INI. It says in the article that they can change the routes they listed for slots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:09

      I remain positive it will be ok in the end, they are growing in INI!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:06

      Considering they got less than half of the slots they applied for it's not really a done deal.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:11

      But it's promising that they are including INI among those destinations. They already boosted FMM to three weekly which is a good indication of things to come, wouldn't you agree with me?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:13

      Yes, I agree it's a positive development.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous11:58

    Very interesting history about the development of the Nis-London route.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous12:13

    It's good for potential tourists from UK. Kopaonik, Stara Planina...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous13:23

    I am surprised that INI is the only one they applied for. I expected BEG to be moved to LGW.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I know it means more flights for Gatwick but for UK nationals not really a substitute for Norwegian , Virgin and British Airways. Many of the Wizz Eastern European destinations will really just appeal for Eastern European’s, not that I have anything against them.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous14:53

    Tuzla zeli vec godinam letove za London i Hamburg,cak je htjela letove sa FlyBosnia za Luton...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:06

      Tuzla je vec imala letove za London, zbog nikakve potraznje wizz je ukinuo.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous15:51

    This is indeed a fantastic development. Serbia is doing really nicely in this post-covid period, imagine all the things we will see once the situation fully stabilizes.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous17:09

    I really do not understand how INI can have London flights before Paris? Hopefully FR or W6 launch BVA as God forbid JU does from INI, I can only imagine the amount of triggered people on here.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous17:31

    Many experts have told us repeatedly when government takes over Nis airport Wizz and Ryan will be prevented from further expansion and then kicked out but now we see Wizz exapanding from INI! Where are those experts now? Hello experts your comments are still available online, do I need to call you one by one, by your name, to explain yourselves?

    So many prognosticators got many things wrong about Nis. Let's look at just one expert opinion from Purger in 2018:

    "...da je sigurno da ako država preuzme Niš da će Air Serbija letjeti iz Niša, i to prvenstveno na liniji Beograd-Niš"

    source: https://tangosix.rs/2018/10/04/kolumna-alena-scurica-kome-zasto-smeta-nis/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:41

      haha yes, there were many gems over the past few years. Love reading them from time to time to remind myself how disillusioend some people were/are.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:07

      By law INI is limited to 1 million pax growth. This was already reported here more than 2 years ago:

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/04/serbia-to-limit-airport-growth-outside.html

      The most important point is: ""According to estimates published by Niš Airport last year, it anticipates handling 650.000 passengers in 2021. On the other hand, VINCI has set a target for Belgrade to welcome at least seven million travellers per year by 2024 and ten million by 2030.

      In other words, INI is ready for the 1 million but being limited based on the Vinci contract.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:27

      No, it was already mentioned that INI can surpass one million ONLY as long as that growth doesn't impact BEG numbers. So INI can grow but not at BEG's expense.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous20:40

      @Anon at 19:07 "INI is ready for the 1 million" LOL sure it is. Let's bet 1 mil euros INI can't make it to 1 million passengers per year this year nor next year. Not because some dark forces are stopping INI - demand is not there, esp after the upcoming second wave.

      BTW are you once again trying to avoid talking about wrong predictions by self-proclaimed analyst? Your opinion is identical to his failed views from 2018 when he went all the way to Nis to talk against airport takeover:

      https://www.juznevesti.com/Ekonomija/Poznati-avio-analiticar-Niski-aerodrom-moze-sam-da-se-razvija-video.sr.html

      Delete
    5. Nemjee21:44

      It's funny how some think INI can make it on its own when the whole south can't survive without subsidies from Belgrade. Sure, INI as a company manages to record some sort of profit but it's not enough for it to invest in its modernization. That's where the government/Belgrade has to step in so as to provide the necessary funds. Gradual expansion of business at INI is what's needed as purchasing power in the south is not strong enough for anything more than that.
      In my opinion, INI won't reach one million passengers in the next 5 to 10 years so there is no need to worry about any limitations (if they even exist). In my opinion KVO will be the one to boom once the runway is constructed.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous23:05

      INI is currently on almost 650000. JU recently expanded, new LGW flights yet to come and possibly VKO by W6 and gradually 1 million by 2024.
      Straight forward facts.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous23:21

      JU won't be resuming several destinations from INI though.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous01:07

      It doesn't matter. If you compare INI of 2020 with INI of 2014,there is nothing in common. The airport has grown and matured and doesn't need to rely on other bigger airports.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous03:17

      INI at 1M by 2024 is straightforward fantasy not facts! Both this and next year are going to be below 2019. INI does not have terminal capacity for 1M and with slowdown that terminal expansion is in no hurry to be built by 2024. Nemjee is right, things are likely to get more balanced between KVO and INI in the next 5-10 years.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous07:24

      Things do seem to be slowing down, especially with FMM going to three weekly and LGW being planned. Also JU has rescheduled SZG-INI so now they can compete much better with Wizz in BEG and SKP.

      Delete

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