Wizz Air delays Belgrade expansion until 2021

Wizz Air Airbus A321 on the tarmac

Low cost carrier Wizz Air has cancelled plans to introduce nine new routes from its base in Belgrade and station an additional aircraft in the city this year. Instead, the carrier will now inaugurate the routes, which include Lisbon, Barcelona, Friedrichshafen, Charleroi, Cologne, Hamburg, Sandefjord, Milan and Turku, at the start of the 2021 summer season from March 28. Operations to Friedrichshafen will operate for a limited time, between September 17 until October 22, 2020 once per week, before resuming on March 30, 2020. The decision to postpone the base expansion was made due to a significant decline in bookings since the closure of the majority of the European Union’s external borders for Serbian nationals in mid-July due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News, Wizz Air said, “Wizz Air constantly monitors demand and travel patterns to establish the routes that will serve its customers best. Wizz Air has reorganized its route network in numbers of countries and recently announced new bases in: Lviv, Bacau, Milan Malpensa, Larnaca, Tirana, Dortmund, Saint Petersburg. We are committed to develop the route network in Serbian airports and to grow or adjust it according to market demand”.

Wizz Air had already postponed the launch of the nine new routes on two occasions. Initially, the new routes were to be inaugurated on July 16, but were pushed back until August 17 and then again until September 1. At first, Wizz Air had seen strong bookings for its new services, however, interest quickly began to wane as numerous European countries maintained or introduced new travel bans and entry restrictions for Serbian citizens. Just last week, Wizz Air’s CEO, Jozsef Varadi, said travel restrictions would continue to disrupt air traffic across Europe until the end of the year.

Wizz Air crew displaying card with new route launches

Wizz Air announced its Belgrade expansion on June 16. At the time, Mr Varadi noted, “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”.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    Unfortunate but understandable considering the circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:04

    Hope it happens next year then.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cancel Wizz09:04

    This was expected and route cuts could become permanent.

    Good riddance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:57

      Hello to the biggest hypocrite on this blog!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:30

      @12:57
      This is not Orwellian 1984 where Thought Police forces everyone to love Wizzair. Luckilly people are free to love or hate Wizzair as they please.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:04

    Some breathing space for JU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      I guess. They are also being affected by these bans and restrictions.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:05

    This year is going to be a complete write off for most if not all airlines around the world... I am afraid half of 2021 will be too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      +1 unfortunately

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:09

    The entry restrictions are having a real impact.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:11

    Sad, but unfortunately expected

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:14

    This is just Wizz Air's post-corona strategy failing, not just in BEG but on a much wider scale. They thought market would recover much faster which it didn't. In the end they lost so much money, proportionally more than Ryanair! They need to scale back now to return to a more acceptable and realistic level. Their June LF was 50%!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:33

      How were the others? I mean, do you have any numbers? 50% is also just a guess or the information?

      Delete
    2. Nemjee13:41

      June load factor for Wizz Air was just 52.2% but in July things improved as restrictions were eased so it rose to 60.5%. Also, I think in July they cut many frequencies around Europe.

      https://wizzair.com/en-gb/information-and-services/investor-relations/investors/traffic-statistics

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:02

      No, they did not. They still open new routes and frequencies every week.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous17:48

      Yes but they cut many routes around Europe, so it's not only opening.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous20:51

      They cut three routes from BUD (Castellon, Glasgow or Edinburgh and somewhere in Spain) and then there were some in Romania, I know they terminated OTP-Billund and OTP-Memmingen.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:17

    They are coming close to Eurowings-levels of dilentantizam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      I have a feeling their AUH adventure might give them a lead over EW. Unfortunately seems like the moment they started expanding in the West they started to make big mistakes. Maybe they should have never opened Luton, Vienna and Milan operations. Now they even added Dortmund, an airport with a tight curfew and fog issues in winter.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:25

    What is happenig with SZG, it is not on the list

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      Because it resumes at the end of the month. SZG was already launched and then stopped because of that Austrian ban. It's not related to the basing of a third plane in BEG.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:32

      Oh, I didn't know it resumes this month. One good thing!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:35

      On 31st August.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:36

      I think that's because SZG came as a replacement of LYS which failed last year. That is why it is not affected by this delay.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:37

      I think SZG will do well, FMM seems to be recovering nicely, yesterday it arrived to BEG with 140 passengers.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:30

    What will happen to the A321 then?
    I guess it will be relocated elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      It hasn't been stationed in BEG yet. They have surplus of aircraft at the moment.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:55

      I think this year they will retire some older A320s.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:36

    Dumping capacity everywhere hoping that the demand will just return in a blink of an eye was a big mistake. Hope as a tactic can backfire and that's what we see here. Varadi called all in because of greed and now he will need to blame it all on the pandemic.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:54

    Such a shame.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous10:20

    Ryan was so quiet on their "spreading" network, now we see: with reason...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:27

      I guess in business you need to risk but it seems like Wizz Air's risk didn't pay off this time around.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:40

      Well they have actually responded recently. They announced a big expansion from Ukraine in response to Wizz's.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous10:28

    There is one positive note from all this, we have JU's BEG-OSL flights thanks to their announcement. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:41

      True. We wouldn't have had JU operating this route if it weren't for Wizz.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:32

    This strategy never made sense because airlines they attacked could and would receive state aid thus cancelling any negative effect's of Wizz Air strategy.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous10:52

    Dovoljno vremena da AS ojaca linije ka MXP i OSL, i protera ih sa istih.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:32

      Kako da ih protjera ako oni uopće nisu ni počeli da lete tamo?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:35

      Bas to,da ne poete i otkazu ih.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:05

      Pa ajde da i to vidimo po prvi put, legacy protjerao LCC. Iako to mi nema nikakvog smisla.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:19

      Шта је ту спорно? Отерао их је ЈУ тако што је имао добру ценовну политику, бољи ред летења и дуже присуство на терену. Да је Визер покидао у Милану увели би Београд из те базе. Пошто нису то онда значи да је ЈУ одбранио своју позицију у Милану.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:47

      LCC uvijek imaju bolje cijene koje su privlačne putnicima. Ponekad se dogodi u algoritmima da bude suprotno, no takvi slučajevi nisu baš česti. Putnik najviše brine o cijeni, a zatim o ostalim faktorima, te su baš zbog toga LCC prijevoznici uspješni.

      Beograd ima 6.1 milijun putnika, cijela Srbija oko 6.5 što baś i nije tako mala brojka. Ovakva tržišta mogu održati više aviokompanija na jednoj liniji, što će se i po mojem mišljenju dogoditi u slučaju ako sve bude po planu oko 3 A321 baziranog u Beogradu. 2 aviokompanije na liniji izmedu Milana i Beograda uopće nije puno, obe mogu održati svoje operacije profitabilno i stabilno. Pogledaje samo mrežu iz Splita tijekom sezone kada ima jednako putnika kao Beograd. U Splitu je slučaj da samo na liniji za Atenu imate 4 aviokompanije zato što je tržište dovoljno veliko za taj broj aviokompanija na jednoj liniji. Kao i Beograd.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:55

      Anyone know why easyJet failed on this route but Wizz Air thinks it can make it? Seems like Italy is a very difficult market for LCCs from Serbia.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:02

      And when did they fail?

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:05

      Meow

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2014/09/easyjet-to-suspend-milan-belgrade.html

      Delete
    9. Anonymous14:12

      That was in..... 2014.? 6 years ago? And what does it matter for the market today? In 2014. there were no long haul flights from the region, OU was still no. 1 airline in the region, croatian coastal airports were full of russian airlines, Qatar Airways was flying to ZAG via BUD, BEG had 3 million passangers..... Market was changed since than significantly so failure from 2014. does not matter 6 years after.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous14:36

      Well he asked why easyJet failed the last time, it was a legit question. No need to get mean.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous14:58

      They failed because of bad loads. And nobody is mean here. At least not me.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous17:49

      So then comes my next question, why does Wizz think it can make it there then? What has changed since then or what is Wizz doing differently from easyJet to think they can do it? I am genuinely asking.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous11:07

    So, it seems that the ODS base will also be postponed to March 2021 but for instance not the VAR one. TIA also is unaffected. Strange.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:20

      They get money in Tirana

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:26

      Do they get money in Varna?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:28

      Varna is in Bulgaria, Bulgria is in EU and Bulgarian citizens can mostly travel anywhere in EU despite low testing and poor corona record. So it's not surprising.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:31

      ''The money'' they're getting in TIA: https://www.tirana-airport.com/media/15907325177350AirlineIncentivePolicy_2020.pdf

      Delete
    5. Nemjee12:32

      Cyprus just introduced mandatory two week quarantine for anyone coming from Bulgaria. I guess the situation there is getting worse which seems to be happening in many places these days.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:57

      Anon 12.31 it says they are giving incentives for this or that, that's a code word for dinero.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous16:04

      All Wizz air flights to TIA have pretty good load factor anyways

      Delete
    8. Anonymous16:56

      VAR is a tourist destination with great beaches around. Hardly any comparison.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous16:57

      @16.04 lol as if u have insight into booking numbers.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous17:18

      @16.04, I really doubt that as Wizz has reduced frequencies in almost all their routes from TIA

      Delete
    11. Anonymous17:49

      They have? Really? Which ones?

      Delete
    12. Anonymous18:02

      Anon 16:56 Hardly any comparison, you are right. TIA handled 3.3 million pax last year and VAR 2 million. Absolutely no frequencies were reduced, besides HER and RHO which are not allowed to operate by Greek authorities.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous18:06

      @17:49
      Vienna from 4 to currently 1
      Brussels from 4 to currently 3
      Paris from 3 to currently 2
      Dortmund from 5 to currently 4
      Hahn from 3 to currently 2
      Rhodes moved to March 2021
      Heraklion moved to 2nd half of August now
      Budapest from 3 to currently 2
      Bologna from 3 to currently 2
      Pisa from 3 to currently 2
      Turin from 3 to currently 2
      Venice from 3 to currently 2
      Verona from 3 to currently 2
      Eindhoven from 3 to currently 2

      The only routes which have not seen any reduction in frequencies (yet) are: Malpensa, Luton, Catania, Bari and Berlin

      Delete
    14. Anonymous18:10

      Thank you, I am surprised Vienna has seen such a massive cut in flights. I think Paris won't work out in the end for them, Transavia also failed. The market seems to be quite modest.

      Delete
    15. Anonymous19:42

      Paris flights are doing very well. Also Albanian citizens still can’t fly to eu countries.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous20:03

      @18:10 How did Transavia fail?

      Delete
    17. Anonymous20:54

      Anon made a mistake, Transavia ended AMS to TIA and SOF, not Paris.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous11:27

    At least they didn't drop any routes from the line up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:29

      March 2021 is a long way away.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:04

      It is also possible that march expansion will be cancelled .

      Delete
    3. Anonymous18:11

      It's also possible they add a fourth A321. At the end of the day everything is possible my friend.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous19:03

      If they don't have enough demand for a 3rd plane how likely will it be to add 4th? Nil.Zilch. Zero.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous20:55

      We are talking about next summer which is a long way to go from today, you don't know what might happen. If you read the text carefully you will see that they experienced good sales at first. BEG is a cash cow for many airlines around Europe, Wizz included. :)

      Delete
    6. Anonymous21:16

      To be honest I think fourth plane will come soon especially as Belgrade becomes increasingly popular with tourists. A lot has been invested into fixing the city.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous22:50

      +100

      Delete
    8. Anonymous23:55

      Zar ne vidite da ni ova dva aviona nisu puna? Najvece avio firme kazu da se saobracaj nece oporaviti godinama a vi kao da ce se promet iduceg leta duplirati. Svasta.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous08:58

      Многи су говорили да је ово најсмешнији вирус икада. Многи су говорили да је ово најстрашнији вирус икада. Многи су говорили да ће он нестати када дође лето. Многи су говорили да ... многи су говорили да... многи су говорили да...

      Поента је у томе да је много тога речено а пуно тога се испоставило као потпуна глупост. Ето погледај само како су пуни летови ка Ослу, Анталији, Египту... дакле суштински проблем је у рестрикцијама, не у људима. Тако да ко зна шта ће бити у марту али треба бити оптимиста, ето туристи из Турске су полако кренули да се враћају када су се успоставили летови.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous16:55

    Many years they showed Belgrade their middle finger, expanding massive all around .
    Now when they reversed course Corona is showing them its middle finger ...

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous18:29

    Can't wait March 2021 that all of these routes start. It will be great for BEG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:57

      Crisis will go on much longer than March. Many say 3-4 years.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:53

      Do you really believe in it?

      Delete
    3. Čekajte ljudi.. meni su pomerili let sa 30ti na 31i avgust Eindhoven-Beograd. Ništa mi nije jasno. Jel leti taj avion ili ne? Nisu ga otkazali.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous00:54

      Eindhoven nema veze sa ovim. Taj let su ti mozda iz operativnih razloga promenili ali ta linija normalno funkcionise.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous08:59

      Многи летови су претумбани и померени су дани поласка, ЕИН је међу њима.

      Delete

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