Wizz Air anticipates Belgrade expansion success


Wizz Air expects the upcoming expansion at its Belgrade base next week, the largest since the airline stationed an aircraft in the city in April 2011, to cover some core unserved markets and strengthen key underserved markets from the country. Among the ten new routes being launched, the first of which was introduced last week, Hamburg has the largest passenger potential. Currently unserved from the Serbian capital after Air Serbia suspended the seasonal service last year following five months of low-frequnecy operations, some 19.000 travellers flew between the two cities in 2019. Of those, 16.000 transferred through other points in Europe, while the Serbian carrier, which put 5.000 seats on sale, handled the remaining 3.000 passengers.

The budget airline also plans a second attempt at serving Belgrade and Charleroi near Brussels. Overall, 40% of all travellers flying between the Belgian capital and Belgrade last year transferred through other European hubs, or some 18.000 passengers. This is despite Air Serbia maintaining operations between the two cities. Similarly, in Barcelona, almost half of all passengers flew indirectly to and from the Serbian capital. The route was launched by Air Serbia last June. Lisbon and Cologne, both unserved from Belgrade, last year had over 15.000 and 14.000 indirect passengers, respectively, which is considered good initial traffic volume and more than most new Wizz Air routes before demand stimulation.

Commenting on its Belgrade operations recently, Wizz Air’s CEO, Jozsef Varadi, said, “Belgrade has done well for us and we try to do better for Belgrade as a result and bring new routes and more capacity to the market. Belgrade has been operational for us through the crisis and consumer uptake has been very strong. Even in very difficult circumstances, consumers have been very loyal to Wizz Air and they appreciate our service and decided to fly with us in these difficult times”. In addition to the ten routes being launched, the budget carrier is also adding extra capacity by replacing its two Airbus A320 jets with A321s, which feature an additional forty seats, and adding a third A321.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    Why am I not surprised that Germany is again the most perspective market.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:03

      It makes you really wonder how Air Serbia managed to carry so few passengers on Hamburg route.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:06

      My guess is that they failed to promote the route.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:09

      At least this time, it's not a German village destination.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:13

      This time around they are launching many routes to main airports.

      Delete
    5. Not many Balkan people there in Hamburg compared to other parts of Germany.

      Delete
    6. JATBEGMEL00:39

      Interesting to note that out of the 19.000 pax between BEG and HAM, JU capacity was 26% of the market while they flew 15,7% of the pax including transfers. Big fail from their side.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:04

    So basically LH Group stands to lose the most here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubly LH passengers would downgrade themselves to Wizzair.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:16

      So who will Wizz carry then?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:47

      People who now fly with JU and are paying too much for white and blue fares.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:31

      What about those who are paying too much for LH's lowest fares? They are usually even more expensive than JU's blue fares.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    I really hope Lisbon works out.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:04

    Turku is the weakest link.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      No doubt

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:06

      Many people said the same for Skopje-Turku but it turned out to be quite successful.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:09

      Many said that BEG-HEL will be good and perspective for Air Serbia but despite it, it was one of the first destinations being cancelled during this crisis.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:12

      ^ The route doesn't necessarily have to be cancelled because of a lack of passengers. The route is one of the longer ones in the JU network, meaning costs are higher and JU's cost structure could not sustain it. That might not be the case with Wizz.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:19

      I am sure Air Serbia knew it all at the time they decided to launch new route.

      Let's not forget that Air Serbia also had transfer passengers that could fill up their planes and Wizz does not have that possibility.

      So, JU could not make it work on CRJ900 / A319 flying to main airport in the country and offering flights for P2P and for transfer passengers and Wizz can make it work flying to secondary airport with bigger plane being focused only to P2P passengers.

      I highly doubt.

      Delete
    6. Nemjee09:24

      HEL performed really well in summer but it failed in winter because JU butchered their regional network. There were nights when the only night departure was KRR so there wasn't much besides O&D to carry at that time.
      Don't forget that HEL was initially planned to be operated by the CRJ but in the end many flights were upgraded to the A319. In my opinion, HEL is a good option as a summer seasonal destination.
      As for Turku, maybe Wizz Air expects people from the wider catchment area to use this flight, especially from Romania.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:28

      Finnair should open this route.

      Delete
    8. Nemjee09:32

      I think that would be nice indeed but not before Chinese tourists start returning to Serbia. I think Finnair still has Embraers and they could be perfect for such a market.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:33

      Nemjee,
      HEL maybe performed well in the terms of LF but I truly doubt there was any financial benefit out of it.
      Even from your post we can see that the most of the passengers were transfer passengers knowing they bring much less money to the company than P2P passengers.
      I can still remember Air Serbia special offers where it was possible to purchase the ticket HEL-BEG-ATH for 120 EUR. There is no doubt the plane to HEL will be full taking in consideration the offered price but financially this route can't be sustainable.

      Also, as far as I remember they planned to lease CRJ900 only during the summer knowing they will have to fly A319 during the winter to HEL. Maybe it was not only the sign of higher number of passengers this flight had to be flown with A319 but maybe not having the possibility to deploy any other plane to this destination.

      Delete
    10. Nemjee09:44

      Don't forget that JU most likely got incentives from both BEG and HEL to launch these flighs. Furthermore, why are we immediately assuming that just because a route is relying on transfers it somehow has to be a loss-making one. Profit margin might not be as high as on some O&D heavy routes but it's still there. Look at KRR as an example, JU seems to be doing fine and I suppose most passengers on that route are transfers.

      Finally, just because JU had an offer for €120 doesn't mean all flights were sold for as little as that.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous10:15

      Let's wait and see if HEL will be back next year. With Wizz launching Turku, I'm not so sure.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous10:20

      My friend, if I had to bet, i'd put my money on BEG-HEL on JU rather than on W6's BEG-TKU.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous11:02

      TKU does not really surprise me. According to Wiki there were already 3 thousand Yugoslavians in 2018 and this figure is likely to be 5 thousand today as more Serbs moved there.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:05

    I keep on raeding how airlines lack demand an no one want to fly and Wizz expands. Then Varadi says the LF is under 40%. Wonder what their rationale is behind all this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      Simple hipsters can wait 3-4 hour at FRA and MUC to save 2-3 dailly salaries how much LH lower the price to fight the JU. Now they fight for this segment of market.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:12

      Where did Varadi say that?

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:07

    If I remember correctly Germanwings used to fly Cologne-Belgrade for years, then just stopped.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      They were never overly interested in BEG. All of their routes were seasonal as far as I can remember. We will see if they launch Stuttgart-BEG like they say in September.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:12

      Was Cologne really seasonal from its start at that time?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:12

      "they were never overly interested in BEG"?? They are interested in making money- and obviously they could not do it here. Simple as that.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:15

      ^ They discontinued many flights to the region and have been a general mess over the past 2 years (in this region).

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:33

      They are also a financial disaster, even bigger than SN! I think they are desperately looking at new markets with little competition because they really need cash.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:11

    I really don't know how they plan to have good LF in A321 on BEG-LIS route in February next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      We will see what happens. First year is probably incentivised since its a VINCI airports pairing.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:16

      "Lisbon and Cologne, both unserved from Belgrade, last year had over 15.000 and 14.000 indirect passengers"

      2019 was one of the most successful aviation years. Assuming demand is 50% next year they could fill an A321 if all passenges accept one weekday and the times that Wizz gives them.

      Otherwise agree, very hard task to achieve.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:24

      The problem is that we don't see distribution of passengers per months. It is logical to assume that the most passengers were flying during summer season to LIS and that this number was not that big in winter season.

      Therefore I can understand that they want to open LIS as it seems to be unserved market, but I believe they will have to switch this destination to seasonal.

      Delete
    4. Nemjee09:37

      If I am not mistaken, nearest airports that have flights to Lisbon are Budapest and Sofia. In Sofia Wizz Air operates summer seasonal flights so they probably want to cover a much wider area than just BEG with these flights.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:28

      LIS still remains a relatively seasonal airport. I still hope it will work for BEG following TP attempts. The rates are usually high, which could be a good sign but will depend on many other factors. After all, this is a far destination with more costs.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:09

      LIS has 31 mio passangers and 27 seasonal routes, BEG has 6 mio and 10 seasonal routes. So yeah, relatively "seasonal".

      Delete
    7. Anonymous12:30

      BEG is not a main entry airport to a tourist powerhouse the way LIS is for Portugal. So your comparison Anon 12.09 is pathetic to say the least.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous13:50

      You said that LIS Airport is seasonal, not Portugal overall.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous13:59

      Anon 12:30
      What are you talking about. I said that Lisbon is not relatively seasonal in comparasion to Belgrade by number of seasonal routes on number of passangers. Nothing else. Im not comparing these two airports by passanger numbers or market.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:24

    My prediction- none of the newly launched routes will make it through winter. Just my 2 cents. But we will see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:43

      Agreed. They should have added 1 A321 and keep 2 A320s cause there is no way to fill 220 seats in february on most of these routes.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:11

      Yep. I'm sure no one at Wizz Air has an idea on what they are doing. Shame they didn't ask for your two cents.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:20

      Many airlines are optimistic about BEG, just today RO resumed OTP-BEG with their brand new ATR72-600 so they are actually increasing capacity on the route. Obviously Belgrade is recovering quite nicely.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:34

      LH also resumed FRA-BEG today on the A320. I guess loads are generally improving overall.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:40

      Some announced LH will fly 10 pw FRA-BEG in August.

      It is not going to happen.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:42

      It was never scheduled. The person that wrote that comment made it up, which you can see from the article here about Lufthansa resuming ex-Yu flights and you could check at the time on their website too.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:46

      It was not comment, but published as piece of news on aviation portal

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:47

      Show me.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:49

      Povratak Frankfurta
      Linija Frankfurt – Beograd je ponovo aktivirana, a avioni nemačkog prevoznika će je pokrenuti od 8. jula sa tri leta nedeljno, uz plan da se tokom avgusta broj letova poveća na deset nedeljno. Prema prethodno objavljnom redu letenja i planu obnove letova, Lufthansa je izbacila ovu liniju iz prodaje, ali je prošle nedelj doneta drugačija odluka.

      https://www.aviatica.rs/lufthansa-poletela-ka-beogradu-posle-duze-pauze/

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:51

      Flights were simply never scheduled I can vouch for that as I have been looking at LH for over a month so I can buy my ticket.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous11:53

      That's the same site that wrote how JU will cancel the launch of BEG-JFK.... I would double check info.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous11:56

      I know and it is true, but do not believe always only to the flights that are scheduled. Read the comments on trustpilot about Lufthansa and their behaviour during the crisis.

      You will see there that LH rebooked some passengers on the flights that can't be found in the system but still it seems LH will fly these routes. I personally had similiar experience.

      Also sometimes they rebooked transfers on the way that it is impossible to catch your connections as your arrival time to transfer airport is later than your departure time.

      Be careful with purchasing LH ticket these days.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous12:32

      I am sorry but if time has shown us anything then it's that Aviatica is not to be trusted. They put a greater emphasis on sensationalism than good journalistic practice. At least info published here is far more reliable.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous10:01

    Good luck to them

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous10:13

    Generally the new routes Wizz is launching this summer are quite mainstream compared to their usual offering. Milan, Lisbon, Cologne, Hamburg - all main city airports.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous10:14

    This expansion is good. They covered some markets that are completely unserved and strengthened others. Overall a good mix of destinations.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous10:16

    The only thing I'm worried about is overcapacity with the A321s. Should have kept at least one A320.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:19

      I think it's a strategic decision based on incentives which they can get based on capacity.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous10:24

    Still pissed about the fact that JU dropped VAR a couple of years ago. W6 just based a third aircraft there and launched many new routes including BCN and ATH. They literally will not please the likes of OS and TK who have been operating there for years.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Cancel Wizz10:37

    Wizz point to point model is not sustainable. To connect 10 destinations in East Europe to 10 destinations in West via a transfer hub you need 20 routes. For P2P you need 100 routes or 5 times more. When you grow destinations to 40 on each side, you need only 80 via transfer hub. For 40 to 40 P2P you need 1600 routes or 20 times more routes!

    This is a simplified example of course. Wizz does not fly from every destination in the East to every destination in the West for example. But they trend in that direction as seen by expansion in BEG, SKP and TZL in recent years. They have massive order of aircraft coming and proliferation of P2P routes is a primary way to deploy them. Compared to hub model, growth of Wizz P2P results in massive number of routes which is long term unsustainable from eco point of view. Europe Central Bank head said recently that post Covid recovery will have to be based on eco sustainable development. Wizz is not one of those. They are still not aware of the eco tsunami that will curb unnecessary consumption of travel in the years ahead. Eighty routes vs 1600 routes for the same connectivity shows you the way forward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:57

      What did I just read here? Are you saying hub model is more environment-friendly than P2P?

      Do you know most fuel is wasted during taxi, takeoff and landing? Doing 2 or even 3 flights instead of a direct one will always (unless we are talking in range of super ULR) be less efficient and produce more emissions than a direct flight.

      Delete
    2. This is so full of nonsense I don't even know where to begin.

      Transfer flights mean that for a return trip you need four flights. With a direct connection you only need two. The number of routes is completely irrelevant, the total number of flights is what counts. Transfer traffic is way less eco-friendly than direct traffic.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:55

      Getting passengers to and from two middle of nowhere airports also counts as eco waste. Flying London to Paris direct does make more sense than transfer but flying between two purple dots on the map no one heard about doesn't. Flying just because fares are dirt cheap between those purple dots takes away any possible eco advantage.

      Electric taxi is available and will become more common. In the years ahead ECB and governments are more likely to support rail networks and development of emission-free regional aircraft over infrastructure needs of LCCs in the form of building new airports.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous10:48

    More than unreasonable. What kind of success do they predict?! Borders of EU will be closed as of next week. This will last for at least a year from now. I can only see how desparate are they to sell something that won’t take place and use these routes to bridge liquidity gaps (selling and returning money).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:50

      Borders are closed in almost all countries they fly from Belgrade yet they have been flying for over a month and a half. Sorry for you.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:23

      Exactly. They will continue to fly because leaving the planes on the tarmac costs them more. But this doesn’t mean that people will be free to travel.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:32

      If you had any idea last anon, which you don't, their planes are full from European destinations to BEG and around 60% full from BEG (100% from Nis). They carry gastos which can enter either country as they are EU residents. Don't let your blind hate for a certain country cloud reason.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:35

      @11.23 your original comment is that they won't fly at all and that they will cancel flights. And then you follow up by saying they will certainly launch flights but will be empty. Make up your mind.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:45

      At least INI's recovery has slowly begun, in June they welcomed 9.448 passengers down from 29.832 last year but up from 494 last month. What's interesting is that there were fewer 47% flights but 32% passengers.

      Delete
  16. Jatovac11:26

    Does anybody know the LF on SZG and HAM

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous11:43

    So many triggered souls on here.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous19:24

    TKU -SKP two days ago had 100% load factor. 180 passengers.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous21:02

    I took the first W6 flight to SZG and we were 7 people on board!
    I came a week before from FMM with 38 passengers on board.
    Just stay tuned and glorify Wizz. It’s just the matter of time when they will reduce both capacity and destinations again. Just have a look what happened in TSR, SKP and so on...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:05

      Sure you did.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous00:49

      In another Romanian forum they said OTP-SZG was around 30%. Nobody is praising W6 but they are making the effort to expand in the region.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous08:11

      SZG-BEG had 40 passengers. Don't forget that Wizz Air terminated OTP-FMM while they still operated it from BEG. So OTP-SZG should have performed much better.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:06

      @Anonymous 21:05

      Sure I did.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous21:23

    Bravo Srbija!

    ReplyDelete

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