Wizz Air sees expansion potential despite pandemic


Wizz Air sees potential in expanding its operations in the region despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The airline is in the process of announcing new route launches on an almost daily basis for the current summer season and recently outlined plans to commence services from Belgrade, Skopje and Tuzla to Salzburg next month, as well as from Milan to Pristina, however, more could follow. In addition, the carrier has added a number of new routes from other cities in the region, including Tirana, Sofia and Bucharest. “We are doing a lot of demand sensing. We are trying to understand what people are looking for and what they want to book. We look at our own database and outside databases. So, we have a pretty good sense at what people want and what we are learning is that they want to travel and not in a year from now, they want to go now”, the carrier’s CEO, Jozsef Varadi, said.

Wizz Air was the first airline to resume commercial flights to a number of airports in the former Yugoslavia upon their reopening including Belgrade, Sarajevo, Podgorica, Tuzla and Niš. Unlike others, it has almost fully restored pre-Covid frequencies on destinations it serves from the abovementioned cities. In addition to adding new routes in the region, the carrier will also strengthen some existing ones, with the likes of Niš - Memmingen being increased to three times per week during the coming winter season. “Covid-19 is a significant issue, making a significant impact on the industry, but at the same time, it is also creating quite some opportunities for us. It’s even increased our appetite, given the situation, as we’ve seen competition is getting weaker here or there”, Mr Varadi noted. He added that the new routes currently being introduced are those mostly popular with certain categories of passengers willing to return the sky first. “Younger people are coming back before older ones. Holidaymakers will also move first, as well as families wanting to reunite with loved ones in their home countries and we expect people who work in other countries to go back to their jobs”, Mr Varadi said.

Wizz Air’s new base in Abu Dhabi could also see some cities in the region get their first low cost service to the Emirati capital. Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will launch with six aircraft, which is double the amount originally planned. The launch date of the new budget airline is going ahead as scheduled for later this year. “We are looking at a larger scale start versus what we originally contemplated. We would be looking at a six aircraft start in the first six months”, Mr Varadi said. He added, “We can capture five billion of the world’s population within a radius of six and a half hours from Abu Dhabi. We think it represents plenty of opportunities for the airline to develop its network. We’re going to start that initiative commercially within a few weeks, and operationally, we will be up in the air towards the end of the year as planned”.

The budget airline expects to fly 60% of its capacity over the summer and 80% from September 2020 to March 2021, but plans are subject to the easing of travel restrictions by governments. Wizz Air plans to resume operations to its remaining markets in the former Yugoslavia, including Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia and Kosovo, during the second half of June.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    I saw they launched a lot of flights to Heraklion yesterday. Any chance from some ex-Yu city?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      I assume they would have announced them yesterday if they were going to launch them.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:16

      Do they have a base in HER?

      Delete
    3. Nemjee09:19

      No, most are offered from outside bases. Closest nearby base is LCA.

      Heraklion could only work as a summer seasonal base.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:20

      Not just Heraklion but Santorini too. These are the routes they announced:

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EaFG4NcXsAAjaC_?format=jpg

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:22

      Didn't Wizz Air fly for one summer from Belgrade to Hearklion and Crete? Years ago.

      Delete
    6. Nemjee09:26

      It was Corfu and Rhodes. Long time ago though.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:28

      Yes, they did.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:29

      They've never been keen to open tourist destinations from low income countries. Simply doesn't pay off compared to anything else.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:54

      Yesterday I flew SXF-TZL yesterday and the flight was packed.

      Delete
    10. Nemjee11:55

      It's not so much about low or high income countries, it's just that in eastern Europe people have a tendency to buy holidays via agencies and not so much online. In order to get a chunk of that market they will need to reach out to them, sell block of seats and so on which is something they don't want to do. Look at Romania. Christian Tours is just launching their own airline Anima Wings. In Serbia it's a similar story.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous12:33

      No it's not Nemjee. Serbs have no problem buying directly, as seen on HER and CFU. It's just that the disposable income is much lower, hence demand sensitivity is much higher.

      Delete
    12. Nemjee12:37

      According to YUTA Serbs spent €600.000.000 abroad last year so obviously there are enough people who can afford to travel but most still do it by booking through agencies. That is why there are so many of them and why they sell both cheap and expensive trips. For most it's still easier to walk into an agency and to have someone else arrange all the details for them.

      Delete
    13. JATBEGMEL14:03

      @ 12,33

      The amount of Serbs buying directly doesnt seem to be enough to sustain even seasonal destinations. Even though the Serbia-Greece market is huge, W6 couldnt make any seasonal route out of BEG last more than 1 season, while the charter flights out of BEG saw decent increases the past couple of years.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    I would really like to see them expand in Croatia. This could be the chance. Fingers crossed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:24

      I don't think so

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:05

    Where does Wizz Air fly from Croatia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Split to London, Katowice and Warsaw.

      Delete
    2. Split - London Luton from 15.6.
      Split - Katowice 16.6.
      Split - Warshaw 16.6.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:12

      I hope Split-Warshaw does well for them.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:15

      They launched the Warsaw seasonal flights back in 2017 so I assume it does well for them.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:20

      Interesting that they are withdrawing one A321neo from Warshaw but keeping these SPU flights. I guess they expect Polish tourists to return.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:24

      Interesting that they do not return to ZAG

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:27

      They said ZAG was too expensive for them.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:36

      And VIE, BRU, AUH, BCN, CPH, ATH, OSL, PRG are cheap?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:41

      All those markets are several times bigger than ZAG. They probably feel that the cost is too high for the size of the market.

      Also don't forget that they closed their PRG base about a year ago due to high costs.

      Delete
    10. Wizz dosen't fly to BRU, they prefer cheaper CRL

      Delete
    11. Anonymous10:20

      So do their passengers.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous13:11

      lyngbyvej, they just launched BRU.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous14:05

      BRU-BUD

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:05

    My guess is Wizz will open a base in PRN next.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Wouldn't that take away passengers from their other destinations in ex-Yu?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:15

      Definitely.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:16

      Well they seem to be expanding from PRN despite SKP, INI, TIA....

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:20

      Don't forget that SKP is losing one aircraft.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:22

      That is not confirmed anywhere. And even if they are they are keeping all their routes.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:25

      They will be flying those SKP routes using aircraft based in other airports.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:27

      Is SKP losing an aircraft? Oh, I didn't know that. Which routes are affected?

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:29

      @9.27 - no, someone wrote that here as an anonymous and some have accepted it. No routes have been affected as visible on their site.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:30

      People were also writing here how BEG and TZL are also loosing aircraft until the site reported last week that it's not true.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:30

      They are still not announcing all routes, they are probably monitoring the situation. We still don't know which routes are cut from TSR besides TLV and Doncaster.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous09:38

      Anon 09.29
      I honestly don't know why you are making things up. It was reported by many portals out there and for example Wizz Air has already zeroed out all flights to/from Debrecen, Bucharest lost several destinations and so did Timisoara. SKP losing an A320 is also in the article so I guess soon enough we will know what's being cut.

      Source:
      https://airportal.hu/magyar-es-lengyel-bazisokon-is-csokkenti-repulogepeinek-szamat-a-wizz-air/

      Delete
    12. Anonymous10:06

      @9.38 well you sound pretty exited about it

      Delete
    13. Anonymous10:45

      I don't think he's excited, he's merely posting facts to disprove misinformation spread by a certain poster.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous13:14

      If SKP will lose a plane then which routes are affected? I just checked the Wizzair website and all the flights are there. Is there a chance to increase frequencies to Vexjo and Turku?

      Delete
    15. Anonymous13:50

      that portal doesnt prove anything. They just added another route to Salzburg

      Delete
    16. Anonymous13:51

      people are triggered about SKP since the very first moment WIZZ started a flight. too funny

      Delete
    17. Anonymous14:01

      It's not about people being triggered, it's about Macedonians being too touchy and refusing to accept reality that their airport is not immune to collapsing air travel demand. A dose of reality would be a welcome change. ;)

      Delete
    18. Anonymous14:45

      i think they are the most silent ones on this blog in general.

      Delete
    19. Anonymous16:25

      @Anon 14:45

      Agree. As we were in the former country! ;)

      Delete
    20. Anonymous17:34

      If the Hungarian portal is right about skopie losing 1 aircraft means Wizz will reduce loss making destinations maybe FDH, HAJ, VXO?
      BCN was stopped last year will it stop this winter?

      Delete
    21. Anonymous17:37

      You have no clue what routes are "loss making". Most of those are subsidised.

      Delete
    22. Anonymous17:52

      Aah, ok ok. u know for how long ? which routes are not subsidised?

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:06

    "Wizz Air was the first airline to resume commercial flights to a number of airports in the former Yugoslavia upon their reopening including Belgrade, Sarajevo, Podgorica, Tuzla and Niš."

    That's nice. Goes to show that they really are important for this region.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:09

    It's great to see at least one airline expanding.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:13

    I'm really crossing my fingers for the new Abu Dhabi flights especially since Abu Dhabi Airport is in the city unlike Dubai World where they flew from. I remember Tuzla saying in the past how they want flights to Dubai and they even held talks with FlyDubai. So I'm really hoping we see AUG-TZL :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      * AUH

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:18

      Didn't Air Arabia fly to Tuzla from Dubai or Sharjah?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:34

      They did for a few weeks but it was completely disorganized and sold through tour agencies.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:41

      Same as with those unfortunate YM VIE-TZL flights.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:13

    With their TSR base collapsing hopefully it encourages them to put more emphasis on BEG. Interesting that they discontinued the other day OTP-FMM while they increased flights from INI.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:29

      TSR recently expanded, my dear. Also, the golden route is London and will not disappear anytime soon. It's very cheap to fly to and from London to TSR.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:42

      TSR recently expanded but it lost an A320 even more recently. lol So that expansion was a bust.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:40

      TSR had 1,596,972 passengers. astonishing

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:53

      TSR has 4 very strong advantages:
      1. Daily domestic LCC flights to OTP
      2. Excellent Spanish coverage
      3. Extremely affordable flights to London starting from 9,99€
      4. LH flights to both FRA and MUC.

      For a city not even a capital, the results are amazing!

      Delete
    5. Nemjee11:57

      Excuse me but how exactly is number 1 a strong advantage? Number 4 is also questionable.

      TSR is a relatively small, regional airport serving a relatively wealthy city/region in a country with massive diaspora.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:03

      Point number 1 - domestic flights contribute heavily to the internal economy
      Point 4 - What is questionable?

      TSR-MUC 3 daily flights same as BEG
      TSR-FRA daily afternoon flights

      Maybe regional, but has a very healthy mix.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:03

      TSR-MUC is 3 daily on a CRJ, TSR-BEG 3 daily on a mix of A320/321.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:09

      TSR-BEG.

      Interesting

      Delete
    9. Anonymous14:12

      MUC is operated by CR9 in both cities.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous14:16

      Not in Belgrade and you can check that.

      Delete
    11. Nemjee14:23

      It's pointless to argue with him as he is obviously trolling. Actually I noticed someone always coming here and presenting TSR as some sort of a threat to BEG. If I remember correctly TSR-MUC has around 30.000 passengers per year while BEG-MUC is close to 200.000. Паметном довољно.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous15:31

      Your Flights
      Flight Schedule
      Flight on Saturday, 04.07.2020 from Belgrade to Munich
      Departure time09:35Departure airport
      Belgrade (BEG), Terminal 2
      Arrival time11:05Arrival airport
      Munich - Franz Josef Strauss (MUC), Terminal 2
      Cabin class
      Economy Classic
      Duration:01 h 30 min
      Operated by Lufthansa Cityline
      Aircraft: Canadair Regional Jet 900
      Departure airplane numberLH flightLH1735

      It's all there....

      Delete
    13. Nemjee16:43

      And how can they fit 200.000 passengers in a triple daily CRJ? ;)

      What you are looking at is their post-covid timetable.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:14

    We want VIE-BEG!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      That is a route that is very much needed!
      It would end the monopolistic prices that JU and OS are charging us.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:18

      Me too! It would be such a welcome change to the high fares charged by Austrian and Air Serbia. Yesterday they announced Bucharest - Vienna. So I'm really hoping.

      Delete
    3. Nemjee09:22

      BEG-VIE has around 300.000 yearly passengers though a large number of those are transfers. If Wizz Air was to enter this market they would definitely stimulate demand and crush bus and minibus companies. Don't forget that INI-BTS/VIE and KVO-VIE flights did not impact BEG-VIE flights.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:27

      From some reason W6 does not want to see the possibility of the routes like BEG-BCN, BEG-VIE etc.

      Before Air Serbia launched BCN Wizz air had really good chances to start this route especially as they were flying from TGD and SKP to BCN but they kept ignoring it. Air Serbia's success in BCN shows how wrong that W6 decision was.

      The same applies to BEG-VIE.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:30

      Plus I think Vueling increased BCN BEG last year to 3 weekly.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:48

      They have announced new flights from Vienna to:

      Varna – Prague eff 17JUL20 2 weekly
      Vienna – Alghero eff 27JUN20 3 weekly A321
      Vienna – Barcelona eff 15JUL20 5 weekly
      Vienna – Bourgas eff 03JUL20 2 weekly
      Vienna – Brussels South Charleroi eff 01JUL20 5 weekly
      Vienna – Bucharest eff 15JUL20 5 weekly
      Vienna – Castellon eff 03JUL20 2 weekly
      Vienna – Constanta eff 03JUL20 2 weekly
      Vienna – Corfu eff 01JUL20 2 weekly
      Vienna – Faro eff 04JUL20 2 weekly A321
      Vienna – Irakleion eff 02JUL20 2 weekly
      Vienna – London Luton eff 20JUL20 7 weekly
      Vienna – Mahon eff 17JUL20 2 weekly
      Vienna – Marrakech eff 27OCT20 2 weekly
      Vienna – Podgorica eff 20JUL20 2 weekly A321
      Vienna – Rhodes eff 02JUL20 2 weekly
      Vienna – Suceava eff 20JUL20 2 weekly A321
      Vienna – Tallinn eff 02JUL20 3 weekly
      Vienna – Thira eff 18JUL20 2 weekly
      Vienna – Yerevan eff 03JUL20 2 weekly
      Vienna – Zakynthos eff 04JUL20 2 weekly

      Delete
    7. Nemjee09:49

      JU also increased BCN this year to three weekly before corona showed up. They also increased MAD, another market that was ignored by Wizz Air.
      Don't forget that MAD offers limited connections in BEG, unlike BCN. That means that MAD flights are mostly filled with locals.

      Delete
    8. Nemjee09:53

      With so much competition between Vienna and Bucharest it really makes me wonder how RO is surviving. They must be recording massive losses. If I remember correctly Lauda is terminating this route so it should help a bit.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:56

      Wizz Air wanted the BCN bound pax to be served from TSR/BUD.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:57

      Anonymous 09:48
      Looks like W6 beat FR in the battle for VIE.

      Delete
    11. Nemjee10:02

      I think Laudamotion will still have more planes even after reducing their fleet from 16 to 10. Also they still have a much larger market share so Wizz Air has some catching up to do... which they are currently doing.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous10:11

      Nemjee FR announced that Lauda motion will close its VIE base!
      https://www.rte.ie/amp/1139963/

      Delete
    13. Anonymous10:21

      Anonymous 10:11 is correct. Lauda/Ryanair wanted its Austria based staff to work for 800€ per month! Rent in Vienna is higher than that!

      Delete
    14. Nemjee10:23

      A deal was struck with the unions a few days ago. The base is staying though they are reducing their fleet there.

      Delete
    15. Anonymous10:46

      FYI



      https://aviationweek.com/air-transport/airlines-lessors/laudamotion-reopen-vienna-base-july-1-reduce-crew

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:35

    I have a feeling they will start AUH-SKP and AUH-TZL. Not sure about BEG considering it already has flights to AUH.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:39

      BEG-UAE is the single biggest ex-YU market and it is growing so hopefully they consider BEG.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:08

      and yet they only have 2 aircrafts stationed there. its not always that easy

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:09

      AUH flights would be served by AUH based aircraft.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:38

      you didnt get my point

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:47

      Actually your comment didn't make much sense to begin with because you were comparing apples to oranges.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:14

      sorry for bothering then

      Delete
    7. Anonymous12:18

      It's ok, you are forgiven my friend.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:40

    I don't know the numbers but they look very serious in their intentions.Also, they fully refunded or vouchered (customers choice) tickets for the flight that were not operated.Some other LCC still have issues managing this.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:46

    The number of new routes currently announced by Wizz Air is 140!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:52

    Expansion potential LOL. Austria is introducing min ticket price of 40EUR. Next up will be min airport tax. Governments will start protecting their Covid19 subsidy investment in legacy carriers with similar measures. Together with eco concerns over unnecessary travel, Europe will reduce opportunities for LCCs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:54

      Yes expansion potential. Wizz Air has 140 routes launching in the next 4 months.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:28

      The 'minimum ticket price' in that funny article refers to routes <350km length, due to the passenger tax for that stagelength being increased to 30. Reading comprehension ftw.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:20

      Governments are not stupid enough to dump dozens of billions into a dumpster bin and light it on fire. That would be the equivalent of giving help to flag carriers without increasing measures to protect them from LCCs and without moving some regional flying to trains. LCCs are launching new flights out of desperation as new aircraft are incoming.

      Message for LCCs: denial is not just a river in Egypt.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous15:24

      My dear Anonymous friend, OS was struggling long before LCCs showed up in Vienna. That's what's worrying here.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous17:13

      OS/Austria is just one example. Additional rules to protect national airlines are expected in the months ahead as the second wave rolls in. LCCs are too optimistic.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous10:00

    Would love to see them expanding their network in Ljubljana too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:02

      Last week ex-Yu reported that Wizz said that airports were begging for their presence. For some reason I do think they have been approached by LJU. LJU said itself it was in talks with a few airlines over a base.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:09

      or Maribor

      Delete
  15. Anonymous10:11

    First they let go a lot of people especially “full time contractors” than they cut salaries for 20% (not high on first place) now they are expanding? Probably now they will start recruiting people who will be willing to work for peanuts...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:05

      Ah, old news. Pilots were already paying airlines to work. Some First Officers probably paid more for their line training (approx. 30 eur/hour) than the passengers did for their ticket. Aviation is a disgusting business.

      Delete
  16. It is quite interesting how W6 is expanding in times where most airlines are basically shrinking or disappearing. For ex-Yu I hope we see a new base anywhere soon such as PRN or SJJ.
    The most interesting additions are definitely LED, AUH and also operational routes between LTN and the Canary Islands! They are already taking advantage of the weakness of Lauda in VIE. They are attacking the Greek islands, Bulgarian coast and already further expanding in OTP.
    The biggest surprise for me personally are the French routes. It seems that only BVA worked out well out of all the rest. BOD, MRS, TLS, LYS were all a complete disaster. NCE is kinda doing okay and lets see what happens with ORY. Quite strange why they quickly pulled out of the French market. FR for instance serves at least 25 French airports and even domestic, French flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:55

      You are right about Canary Islands. I remember that Ljubljana used to have flights to the Canarys for years during YU times. Don't know if there were after though.

      Delete
    2. They will operate to 4 Canary Islands: Gran Canaria (LPA), Tenerife South (TFS), Lanzarote (ACE) and Fuerteventura (FUE) most of which will be linked to LTN & MXP.
      I certainly think there is a lot of demand on these routes simply because the Canary Islands are visited anytime during the year. Who would've thought they will reach to that point...

      Delete
    3. Nemjee11:59

      I guess FR has more luck in France because most of their flying is within western Europe while Wizz Air predominantly relies on the east-west traffic.

      Delete
  17. Wizz still have hundreds of possible routes in former ussr...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Disgusting airline want charge people to change their flights Cos they are still flying Tenerife



    ReplyDelete
  19. Is the reason they have so much cash because they haven't compensated people for cancelled flights? Me and many others if you look at Twitter haven't got our money back nearly three months on.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous08:53

    Words, words, words. Removing 15 aircraft from existing bases from Poland, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia etc., redeploying 9 of those to the four new bases where they need to pay peanuts, the rest to Abu Dhabi. Firing 20% of the workforce, cutting the planned fleet growth from 16 to 10 this year. All this is pictured by Varadi, the spin doctor as a huge expansion drive. Merely shifting capacity to anywhere where he can save costs.

    ReplyDelete

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