Wizz Air cancels majority of Belgrade expansion


Wizz Air has cancelled the majority of its planned expansion from its Belgrade base for next summer season and has suspended plans to base a third aircraft in the city. Out of the nine new routes that were to launch, only two will go ahead – Sandefjord and Hamburg. As a result, the airline has cancelled its planned flights to Barcelona, Lisbon, Milan, Charleroi, Cologne, Friedrichshafen and Turku. Furthermore, the carrier has shelved the resumption of its flights from Salzburg, which operated for a short period last summer before they were suspended due to travel restrictions. Wizz Air initially planned to expand its Belgrade base during the 2020 summer season with ten new routes, an additional aircraft and the upgrade of its existing two Airbus A320 jets to the A321s. 

The low cost airline announced its Belgrade expansion in mid-June of last year as countries around Europe began relaxing strict coronavirus lockdown measures. However, its plans were derailed as Serbia was removed from the list of countries deemed epidemiologically safe by most of the European Union, prohibiting the majority of its nationals from entering the block. The entry ban is still in place. At the time, 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”. 

Wizz Air faces no direct competition on the two routes it intends to launch. The carrier last maintained flights between Sandefjord and Belgrade in 2012. They will now run twice per week from March 28. Sandefjord is 170 kilometres south of the Norwegian capital's main airport in Gardermoen which both Air Serbia and Norwegian Air Shuttle link to Belgrade. In 2019, Belgrade - Oslo had around 50.000 two-way point-to-point passengers, handled by Norwegian Air Shuttle, as well as about 7.000 flying indirectly. On the other hand, services to Hamburg will operate three times per week starting March 29. Air Serbia previously served the city seasonally, terminating the flights two years ago following five months of low-frequency operations. In total, 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.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    Unfortunate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:30

      They thought market would recover much faster which it didn't. In the end they lost a lot of money. They need to scale back their plans now to return to a more realistic levels.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:46

      Dumping capacity everywhere hoping that the demand will just return in a blink of an eye was a big mistake.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    Interesting they keep Oslo with most competition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:03

      Seems like there is most potential and they probably expect Norwegian to collapse.

      Delete
    2. @Anonymous0 9:03
      +1000
      They are pressuring Norwegian everywhere they can in order to make them collapse faster. Then they will move in to with all the excess capacity and NEO orders they have.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    The European Union hasn't banned British passengers coming although the Covid situation in the UK is much worse than here. Why the double standards?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      Not true - once UK finalized its exit from the EU, 3rd country rules apply to them as well: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/04/netherlands-refuses-entry-uk-nationals-non-essential-travel-brexit-coronavirus

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:07

      Because the UK market is much much more larger than BEG

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:09

      Anon 09:07 that was a unilateral decision by the Netherlands. The EU did not ban traveling from the UK like they did for us.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:10

      How would you call union of states within one continent? EU is founded on double standards or sometimes even triple or more even for its own members and you are complaining about them imposing travel ban on Serbia who is not even a former member of EU :-D

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:13

      @09:10 Exactly!

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:03

      EU has absolute right to protect itself. Serbia should work much harder to enter Union to have some benefits.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous13:03

      Protect itself from what? Covid is everywhere! Shame on EU for discrimating our countries

      Delete
    8. Anonymous13:45

      Let's not forget that irresponsible behavior in Austria (Ischgl) brought the virus to Serbia. It did not jump straight from Wuhan to Belgrade. A must read: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/05/everyone-was-drenched-in-the-virus-was-this-austrian-ski-resort-a-covid-19-ground-zero. Pointing out the last paragraph from a citizen whose country "has absolute right to protect itself" (smfh) - "Could a small village really have gone on to infect the entire world? Ten million people? Surely not." Complete disregard for the entire continent from the EU.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:04

    Winter is coming!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:04

    Who knows how long the entry band are gonna last. It could be a very difficult summer.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:04

    Well at least they kept something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      True better than nothing.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:06

    Kind of expected this would happen.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:06

    Feel sorry for the people who purchased tickets.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous09:09

    Always the same story with WizzAir, big announcements but nothing materializing. Quite misleading to the passengers. I have nothing personal against them but I feel very bad for passengers who are mislead purchasing tickets and waiting long time to get their money back, if at all...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      I believe they had genuine plans to expand their Belgrade operations. But I don't think they foresaw the travel ban, especially with them opening some non gasto routes this time around.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:13

    Here we go again... The winter has only begun, and they are canceling summer routes. What the hell!

    This entire pandemic is turning into a epic farse... First masks not required, now mandatory. Then world will not return to normal until vaccines arrive, now they say even with immunization it may take a years before we get to some type of normal. But they all agree the old normal will never return. Then I just read Germany will mandate FFP2 maks for use, saying that other mask don't do the job anymore. Covid passports, PCR, quaranteens... Meanwhile the global economy is dangling on the edge.. No wait, its over the edge holding on to dear life, while everyone just keep printing money and giving it for free to people. Free! Ask yourself if anything you ever got in life from government was free!?

    Hang on everyone, this may last for years... But the real deal that will hit us will be financial tsunami! They realized the power and money they obtained during this pandemic is too sweet to give up, so they will just push on with harder lockdowns and more ridiculous measures that are designed to strip away your basic rights .

    Read the other day, some airlines in North America are further cutting down their staff... Good luck to us all

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:59

      I thought this was an aviation blog. Save your rant for your conspiracy sites.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous18:05

      just in....

      WHO warns vaccines won’t deliver herd immunity in 2021. “We are not going to achieve any levels of population immunity or herd immunity in 2021,” WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said from Geneva on Tuesday.

      conspiracy you say? wake up!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous19:23

      aviation blog bro ... give it a rest.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous21:39

      You're right...at least we'll be able to talk about paper airplanes and drones in the near future:)

      Delete
    6. Anonymous21:43

      Aviation experts already predicted that aviation will recover to its initial norms around 2024 if not 2025.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous21:44

      Yes, this is unfortunately what IATA said.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:23

    Very sad

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:24

    So for now 4 new routes from BEG this summer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:26

      Which ones?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:26

      Stuttgart-Belgrade - Eurowings
      Kiev-Belgrade - SkyUp
      Belgrade - Sandefjord - Wizz Air
      Belgrade - Hamburg - Wizz Air

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:27

      But much more lost unfortunately.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:30

      If the Corona situation does not get under control I doubt even those routes will be actually flown.
      But if it improves fast before Easter I can see many more who have been canceled to be back on schedule.

      Just my2cents.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:25

      How many routes are confirmed suspended that operated in 2019?

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:33

    It was unfeasible of them to be operating 3 A321 out of BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:18

      Way too much capacity, even if there was no pandemic, in my oppinion.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:39

    Will see a new ghost terminal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:51

      Still can't be worse than LJU's capacity expansion

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:15

      Part of the terminal expansion will be completed in September. Hopefully by then the industry will begin to recover.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:55

      Anonymous09:51 - you have clearly you dont know LJ airport. Old terminal is far from being a terminal. With our without covid Ljubljana needed normal building.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:40

    Let's see what happens with their planned Tirana base.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:46

      Are Albanians allowed to travel to the EU?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:11

      No, they aren't

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:21

      We will see how things develop. Greece and Cyprus have already announced that any person will be able to enter without restrictions from March if they are vaccinated and they said this will be in the whole of EU.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:22

      While for those that are not there will be that traffic light system. The idea is that as people get vaccinated epidemiological situation in countries will improve so more countries should be on green list.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:24

      Yes but take into account that out of the non-EU ex-Yu countries only Serbia has so far started vaccinations.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:45

      The point is that very few countries will manage to get a high number of vaccinations by summer. Israel, UK, UAE...

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:20

      Well, if you vaccinate countries with large population number, it will have a positive indirect impact on WB countries cause the vaccine is supposed to stop you from getting very sick and from spreading it to other individuals. Hence, the EU might be more flexible with their strict measures. I believe the 2nd half of the year will see lifting of the bans for people in WB and it may be that those who are vaccinated will have no restrictions and those who do not want the vaccine may need to show a negative PCR test before boarding. As per Tirana, it looks like Wizz Air, if you refer to their website, are discontinuing flight from Budapest, Prague, Heraklion and Crete from March.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:34

      TIA-BUD/PRG They are selling non-existing flights. If they will cancel them in the summer season, no way they'll just operate them in February and March, makes no sense

      Delete
    9. Anonymous12:58

      New terminal? There is no new terminal, just an extension of an existing one. And yes, I can't wait for the arriving and departing passengers to be separated - it will indeed feel like a ghist terminal when that happens!

      Delete
    10. Anonymous15:11

      "non-EU ex-Yu countries "
      What an interesting category...

      Delete
    11. Anonymous15:12

      Yes, because vaccination has begun in the EU.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous15:19

      which one are they going for? if its the Sinovac-vaccine (china) then good luck. newest brasilian test showed only 50.4% efficacy

      Delete
    13. Anonymous15:29

      If you are referring to Serbia people can choose between Pfiser (currently being administered), Moderna, Astrazeneca, Sputnik and Sinovac.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous16:19

      In EU it is only Pfizer and Moderna. Astrazeneca may get approval by the end of month. The others did not even apply for approval.

      How can you have a choice of the vaccine, if the demand is much bigger than supply? You cannot come and actually pick among several options.

      Delete
    15. Anonymous16:24

      Well in Serbia when you apply for interest to get vaccinated you pick which ones you want and you can pick all five or just one or some. I suggest stick to aviation in on an aviation website. Your desire to display how Serbs will be banned from EU even after vaccination is a bit sad.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous16:26

      He was first hoping you would say that Serbia got the Chinese vaccine. But it failed... Ironically Serbia started vaccinating with Pfiser before vaccination started in his own country.

      Delete
    17. Anonymous17:05

      Give the vaccine talk a rest.

      Delete
    18. Anonymous18:29

      anon 16:24

      I was just replying to poster 15:19. No need for conspiracy theories. Have a good day.

      anon 16:19

      Delete
    19. Anonymous19:47

      Hahaha "have a good day". Btw the Chinese vaccine is from Sinopharm, not Sinovac. So the choice in the govt form is: Pfizer, Sputnik V (these two currently available), AstraZeneca (expected to be approved soon), Sinopharm (should arrive in Feb) and Moderna. Have a GREAT day!

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:14

    :(

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous10:16

    This was very dumb from Wizz Air. They just revealed to everyone which markets/routes they will eventually launch, giving competitors like JU a good insight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:19

      I think they can compete with JU. They will start Hamburg which was already served by JU.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:29

      And what will these competitors do, if operating these routes makes currently no financial sense?

      More importantly, lcc try out many routes. It does not mean a given route they open would make sense even in non-covid times, and in particular for a legacy airline. If it is a miss, lcc will just close a route after two months.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:50

      There is one positive note from all this, we have JU's BEG-OSL flights thanks to Wizz's announcement in June last year :D

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:51

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

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:24

    This is a shame because the expansion would have covered some unserved markets such as Portugal and Finland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:13

      Sad about Lisbon :(

      Delete
  19. Anonymous10:24

    Much expected having in mind latest developments. To add "Ryanair has also significantly lowered its traffic assumptions".

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous10:25

    When I said none of these would launch I was called a hater.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous10:27

    Unfortunate but understandable considering the circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous10:27

    Any chance they might launch some of these in 2022?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous10:29

    Some breathing space for JU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:29

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

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:29

    The entry restrictions are having a real impact.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous10:32

    Big announcements, taking the money, no flights eventually (no big announcement on cancellations). It became the business model of Wizz Air lately. Expecting the pandemic to finish in every three months (instead of facing the reality like every other airline) makes them a laughing stock. They were plain stupid to move to new markets during the pandemic and publicly refusing government bailouts. Now they will need one sooner or later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:38

      They are lending money on the market. They don't need governments to do it.

      You don't understand that pandemic times require flexibility. You cannot stick to your plans as the circumstances change all the time. It does not mean that planning is not necessary. They bet on covid being under control in Serbia this summer and missed. So now they react. If things change again, they will react again.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:40

      What was the number of pax at BEG in 2020? Or at least Jan-Nov 2020?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:51

      "publicly refusing government bailouts"

      How many governments where they have aircraft based have offered bailout and Wizz Air refused?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:33

      They refused government bailouts in general saying no airline should get them. As they expected that it will be back to normal last summer. It did not and it will not for a while. Now Wizz can either 1. watch all their competitors living on on government money while they lose theirs 2. lose face and take gov money as well to survive. Don't know which one is worse. They already took the 300m GBP loan from the UK gov despite announcing repeatedly that they have enough funds for years. Yeah, you bet they have only the shareholders won't allow them to spend it all on vanity projects in Italy, Norway and Abu-Dhabi.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous13:40

      Yeah, as if Serbia (or any other country) would give money to Wizz Air for their based aircraft in BEG, if they weren't generally against bailouts. Dream on.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous14:03

      No one is talking about the pathetic third aircraft in Serbia but about the other 130 lying around.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous17:07

      OK. Would Bulgaria give Wizz Air money, if they asked? Romania? Poland? Austria? See where I'm going with this?

      Delete
    8. Anonymous17:15

      You have no clue which county would. Hungary, the UK and the UAE would for sure. And they will need to ask for IT sooner or later.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous10:46

    Before Xmas, W6 had a total of 46 route cancellations including:

    Bacau-Bologna/Treviso
    Bucharest-Prague/Salzburg/Verona
    Budapest-Glasgow/Hanover/Menorca/Santander
    Craiova-Barcelona
    Debrecen-Moscow
    Doncaster-Eindhoven/Lisbon
    Dortmund-Naples/Palagna
    Gdansk-Bari
    Riga-Bari/Hamburg/Trondheim
    Skopje-Salzburg
    Tallinn-Bergen/Trondheim
    Tirana-Heraklion/Rhodes
    Varna-Athens
    Vienna-Bremen/Gdansk
    Vilnius-Hamburg/Yerevan/Zaprizhzhya

    Not surprised about BEG. They recently announced some expansions in Doncaster.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous10:52

    What are they gonna do with all their aircrafts? just park them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:35

      Yes, as they do now with 2/3 of their fleet.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous10:59

    How about waiting for something to happen and then act instead of betting on the virus to go away in every three months? They destroy all their credibility left. It shows that their management have no qualities other than pushing expansion. How come they are the only ones? Everyone else is stupid? Don't think so. Others just wait to see what happens before acting instead of failing again, again and again. All this with the big announcements and ticket sales in every other day makes Wizz come accross as pretty desperate for money lately.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous11:08

    just where is the "Real market conditions" - troll to post under todays article?



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:50

      I hope JU starts Lisbon! Btw iz Wizz gonna complain now how this is all JU's fault bla bla bla.

      Delete
  30. Wizz should start these routes
    Beg varna
    Beg lviv
    Beg ohrid

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lviv/odessa

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:15

      It is only allowed to start flights to EU plus Switzerland and Norway unfortunately. For it to start flying from Serbia to Ukraine and Macedonia they would have to renegotiate their bilateral air agreements.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:23

      JU exited VAR quite early unfortunately and also had a horrendous schedule. It's a bit too late now, W6 have expanded there already but can still compete with TK and OS.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous19:26

    Wizz should be denied using BEG as a base without a permit. If they request a permit they should also be denied.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:53

      Why is that and do you have a list of airlines that should be allowed in BEG? :)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:00

      Wizz is of course allowed to fly to BEG, but basing aircraft is different. Wizz does not have AOC in Serbia.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:00

      @Anon 19:53: Probably the one and only... :)

      Delete
    4. Anonymous20:00

      @Anon 20:00: It doesn't need to have Serbian AOC.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous20:44

      Can the rules be changed so it should need it?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous20:57

      Only if Serbia withdraws from the European Common Aviation Area.

      Why would be the goal of demanding that Wizz Air has Serbian AOC?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous21:15

      If that's the case and DCV can't do anything, at least change to airport pricing and discounts could make Wizz reconsider expansion at Belgrade.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous21:54

      Why do this? Are there too many pax at BEG?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous23:01

      Apparently same problem as in ZAG

      Delete
  32. Anonymous15:52

    It seems that from BEG we are gonna keep flying with the 10+ year-old A320s (i was so excited about the idea of flying with the A321 or maybe even the A321NEO)...

    ReplyDelete

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