Wizz's Sarajevo base to impact Croatia Airlines, Air Serbia


Wizz Air announced its 41st base in Sarajevo last week with plans to station an Airbus A320 aircraft in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital from May 20. It will result in the launch of nine new routes and the addition of 250.000 seats in and out of Sarajevo this year. However, Wizz Air’s expansion is expected to have an impact on both Croatia Airlines and Air Serbia, which rely on a sizeable number of transfer passengers on their flights to and from Sarajevo. Although neither of the two carriers are by any means the busiest feeder airlines out of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they have a dominant position on routes Wizz Air plans to introduce. The budget airline will launch flights to Charleroi, Copenhagen, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Gothenburg, London Luton, Memmingen, Basel and Beauvais.

During the last normal year in commercial aviation, in 2019, Turkish Airlines was Sarajevo’s largest transfer carrier, transporting 21% of all connecting passengers. It was closely followed by Austrian Airlines at 20%, Pegasus at 13% and Lufthansa with a 11% market share. Croatia Airlines handled 7% of all connecting traffic, while Air Serbia stood at just 3%. The situation somewhat shifted in 2020. While Turkish Airlines remained the busiest feeder carrier, Air Serbia pushed up its transfer share to 6%, while Croatia Airlines’ position remained unchanged. However, the two national carriers are dominant on a number of routes which will now be covered by Wizz Air, which is expected to have an effect on their loads too.

In 2019, Air Serbia saw the most connecting traffic to and from Sarajevo from Amsterdam, followed by Paris, Zurich, Copenhagen and Stockholm. Wizz Air is looking to cover Amsterdam through its Eindhoven operations, Zurich through Basel, which is just over ninety kilometres from Switzerland’s largest city, as well as Paris, which will be served out of Beauvais. On the other hand, Croatia Airlines’ top origin or destination points for Sarajevo were Frankfurt, Zurich, Amsterdam, Skopje, London, Paris and Brussels. Croatia Airlines and Air Serbia are almost tied in their transfer traffic share on flights to Amsterdam (Croatia Airlines second and Air Serbia third after Austrian), as well as Paris (Air Serbia second, Croatia Airlines third after Austrian). Air Serbia dominates on transfers to Copenhagen with 60% of the market, while Croatia Airlines leads on transfers to Zurich (second after Austrian) and Brussels (second after Lufthansa).

Both Croatia Airlines and Air Serbia saw their operations impacted in Skopje once Wizz Air established a base in the Macedonian capital and began to significantly expand its operations. However, Wizz Air’s base opening is expected to have the biggest impact on bus coaches which remain a popular choice for international travel for many. Furthermore, the budget airline is expected to generate a new group of travellers, as has been the case in all the former Yugoslav markets it stationed aircraft in.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    OU was considering a base in Sarajevo a few years ago. They should have used the opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      I agree. But fleet shortage in summer was a major issue at the time.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:23

      They should have. Same thing will happen in LJU one day too.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:40

      It is baffling how people think that OU or JU could open up the base in Sarajevo and make success out of it. We are talking about most price sensitive market in the region and not to mention the political background of having Croatian/Serbian airline in the capital.

      Legacy carriers in Sarajevo are only satisfying the already existing demand for lower price sensitive groups. LCCs,on the other hand, are creating the demand and are becoming a perfect substitute for all other modes of transportations.

      They can be useful ONLY with providing connections to intercontinental routes and that’s all.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:46

      I don't remember it was ever mentioned by any JU official that Air Serbia should open base in SJJ.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:48

      Even if they wanted to they would be unable to. OU could because it's EU registered but I don't think the same would apply for JU (but I may be wrong).

      As for them being Serbian/Croatian, I honestly don't think it would be that big of a deal.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:26

      Bosnia is not EU so OU can't just walz in

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:30

      They can. Same as Wizz air waltzed in any ex-Yu market and opened a base.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:42

      They would not be able to fly to SKP, PRN, IST, TGD, TIV, OHD, BEG, KBP etc.

      Delete
    9. Yes, but they would be able to fly to Kopenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Zürich or German towns.
      There is huge Diaspora potential

      Delete
    10. Anonymous22:11

      Governments would make an exception for Wizz, not so much for OU.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous23:48

      Like I said, no exception is needed as both airlines are EU members.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    They will need to make themselves more competitive with good fares.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Have there been any changes in fares since Wizz Air's announcement?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:48

      Not that I've noticed.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    JU should have flown there double daily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Obviously there was no economic rational for it.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:04

    Well they;ve had long enough to establish themselves on the market and get a customer base. If they are unable to compete so be it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:08

    It's actually quite sad that these two airlines have such small share in transfer market from SJJ with so many unserved routes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:08

    Very interesting

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:12

    And this won't stop there. W6 expansion is bad news for JU not only in SJJ but in TIA. Atrs are being send more regularly. Prices to London and Brussels have already increased significantly because of demand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      Considering OU is the one that has more transfers and has been forced to even suspend Sarajevo (they had double daily flights), I would say its much more bad news for OU.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:14

      ^ But he can only see how everything is bad for JU. He will probably tell you this is an amazing opportunity for OU...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:16

      ATR was originally planned for TIA, but was many times replaced with A319 due to high demand.

      Sending ATR to TIA in the weakest month in a year during pandemic when Albanian passport holders are not allowed entering EU is actually more than expected and understandable.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:17

      JU has quite a dominant position in Tirana.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:07

      +100

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:12

      Does it? Based on frequencies it's something like 7th airline in Tirana.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:54

      Market share was for JU in TIA was 2% in 2020 and 1% in 2019.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:03

      Disregard the extra ''was''

      Delete
    9. Anonymous04:05

      Which one?

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:13

    I don't think Air Serbia will be affected.

    They were flying with the same frequencies to Sofia at the time when FR and W6 were having terrible war and were fighting for each single route discounting heavily the prices.

    Tirana become one of the most successful routes of Air Serbia at the time when Wizz opened base there.

    Air Serbia was regularly carrying P2P but also many connecting passengers to Thessaloniki despite Ryanair and Wizz having together more than 30 destinations from that city.

    Air Serbia was also successful in OTP where Ryanair and Wizzair air in total have more than 60 LCC routes not counting Romanian LCC Blue air.

    And in all these countries Air Serbia had the national carrier as additional competitor.

    Now we are reading some "experts" saying that Air Serbia will be affected in Sarajevo where Wizzair opened only 9 new routes with only one airplane in the base in the country without national air carrier.

    Hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      It's very important which routes are being opened. They are opening routes in Sarajevo where OU and JU were the most used airlines (if you actually read what's written). That might not have been the case in Sofia at all. But both airlines were really affected by them starting flights to Skopje because they flew to destinations which passengers mainly used to transfer through Belgrade and Zagreb.

      If they are smart they can overcome the problem. Just because you are obsessed with JU does not mean they are not affected by any competition.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:21

      You don't understand, for some JU can do no wrong and is the biggest and best airline in the world. And then we see they had 3% share in Sarajevo transfers.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:28

      Are you saying that there are no routes from TIA, OTP, SKP or SOF that are matching JU routes via BEG? Get real.

      TK was the most used in SJJ for transfer passengers.

      One more argument for JU and OU is that routes via BEG or ZAG can be offered mostly on daily basis while with W6 you can fly from SJJ mostly only 2 times weekly (3 routes are max 3 pw) landing to secondary airports. Flying to EIN can't be compared with AMS, flying to BVA is different than flying to CDG and Charleroi is not BRU...

      So, these are the facts. If you don't like JU it is your problem. Experiences from more airports show drastically different situation that you would like to present it.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:33

      ...TIA, OTP, SKG or SOF

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:33

      I have nothing against JU. I have an issue with people who seem to be paid by their HQ to write comments cheering them on (I know they don't do that which makes it even funnier that some people are so passionate and in love with a mediocre airline). You have no idea if and how have been impacted on other routes because you have no data

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:39

      You can call your local airline mediocre and only being jelaous on those that aren't.

      Air Serbia cancelled the routes where they were not profitable ( WAW, VAR, BUD, OHD, BEY...). The same would have happened to SOF, SKG, OTP, TIA or at least their frequencies would have been reduced if they did not make the money there.

      And your conspiracy teories about "paid by HQ" you can nicely use for crimi novels. This is aviation portal where most of the people try to use arguments. The problem is when arguments speak against your feelings towards certain airline.

      Than comes kurzschluss.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:44

      Actually I think both OU and JU are very mediocre. Offering basic service. One flying to Sarajevo with planes turning 30 years this year.

      JU did reduce frequencies to SOF and OTP. They do well in Tirana because there number one transfer destination is New York. So like I said it is very important which destinations you are feeding when competing against low cost airlines.

      And as for "paid by HQ" I said it as a joke. They are lucky to have die hard fans like you who see everything through rose colored glasses.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:47

      And also I find it funny you assume Air Serbia isn't my national airline too. Just because I haven't praised them.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:52

      I remember when Dane was still CEO, he said LCCs were Air Serbia's main threat and competition.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:53

      Actually they said it after Dane too.

      “Serbia is not part of the European Union and so we don’t have the degree of openness and competitive environment that other countries who are part of the EU would have. As a result, we don’t have as much low cost carrier penetration in the market. However, the flood of low cost carriers that have waged war on traditional airlines across Europe is on its way to Serbia. It definitely weighs heavily on our thoughts in terms of our future plans”, the airline

      Delete
    11. Anonymous10:00

      Taking in consideration the circumstances and the surrounding where JU makes business I would say they are quite decent airline. If you want to compare them with Lufthansa, Air France or Emirates than we have really nothing to talk about here.

      JU did reduce SOF and cancelled OTP but due to pandemic. It did not happen in 2019 or earlier due to LCC's and not even when Tarom increased their frequencies to BEG.

      I am sorry for you but JU does fly to JFK and they do use that opportunity to have connecting passengers. But for your information there are/were plenty of connecting passengers from CDG, FRA, AMS...flying to TIA as well as to SKG, even SVO (talking about pre-pandemic time). It has nothing to do with TATL.

      If you don't believe me check JU flight schedule in February 2021...JU flies to TIA 5 pw and only 2 pw to JFK. How is it possible if they have most connecting passengers from TIA to JFK? Something is wrong with your logic.

      You see, I would never exchange my "colored glasses" for your dark attitude denying to see anything positive. It must be really difficult.


      Delete
    12. Anonymous10:09

      Well obviously you do not have the numbers. Even with 2 weekly flights they can (and do) have more passengers connecting to New York than Paris or any other destination.

      No, I am not talking about corona related decreases. I'm talking about SOF and OTP being reduced from 2017 onwards.

      And no I don't agree with you that JU is a decent airline. I admit that my last two flights with them were in 2018 and 2019. In 2018 flew with B737-300 which was fine but plane was over 30 years old. There was no service whatsoever. Not even water. In 2019 I flew with ATR to Prague. The plane was literally falling apart. We were given cookie and water which was fine. But fares on both flight were very expensive.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous10:27

      Where do then passengers from TIA fly on the days when there are no JFK flights? Only to BEG, visiting Kucu cveca? Yeah, right.

      Please present your facts about flights being decreased to SOF and OTP in 2017-2019. I am very interested to see them.

      Well, you see but as JU FF I might have bit more expereince flying with them. B733's are slowly removed from the fleet (only two of them remained). I personally love flying with them, but I do agree they are quite old - it does not mean they are not safe of course. Do you know that only 4 years ago Lufthansa was also flying B737-300? Big Lufthansa.

      If you haven't heard JU leased two A319 which were ex Adria planes and they plan to use them as replacement for Boeing fleet. Now they have in total 11 A319 planes in their fleet (more than 50% of all planes).

      In JU planes now you get complementary water and small chips or cake . The same like in Lufthansa / Austrian / Swiss.

      Of course it is not the case on JFK flights.

      I agree that ATR fleet should be replaced, but we should not forget that 3 of ATR's they own and have no leasing costs. Flying with them might not be attractive for the passengers but it is very profitable for the company and we all complain here that "JU is not profitable". Anyhow they won't be able to use them much longer and will have to find more modern solution soon.

      Do not expect fares to be good if you purchase the ticket days or week in advance. Every airline including LCC will rip you off. Try instead to use special promotional actions that were offered by JU every weekend (an dhope will be done the same after pandemic) having special prices for certain destinations.

      Friendly advise.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous10:33

      They fly to other points but New York is the overwhelming transfer destination that with 6 flights per month has more connecting passengers than Paris with daily connection.

      Trying to defend Air Serbia's fleet age is really unnecessary. By your logic they should keep flying ATRs for another 40 years so they don't pay lease costs.

      you can easily look at their timetables and see that SOF and OTP have been decreased like many other destinations such as Skopje, Zagreb... Also an airline that has been restructured twice in 5 years is not a well run business.

      Delete
    15. Anonymous10:47

      So, it seems you are only guessing about TIA numbers. Ok, understood.

      I am not defending JU fleet situation. Where did you see it in my sentence ("Anyhow they won't be able to use them much longer and will have to find more modern solution soon")? I am explaining you the reasons behind it which you do not have interest to see. They do not have unlimited funds in order to replace all the fleet immediately. It needs to be done step by step and that is exactly what they are doing. Saying "we have the worst national airline" forgetting we live in one of the poorest European countries won't help at all.

      Air Serbia was flying BEG-SOF daily from the moment they introduced it and that was the case in last pre-covid winter season. I must dissapoint you, but it did not change.

      OTP was even increased in 19/20 winter season from 6 weekly to daily.

      Here you are

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/10/winter-201920-air-serbia.html

      You are welcome.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous10:59

      Both OTP and SOF were decreased
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/03/summer-2017-air-serbia.html

      Delete
    17. Anonymous11:07

      SOF was just brought on the level it had in 2015.

      OTP was decreased. My bad. And then increased again in 2019/2020

      Anyhow it is for sure that flight schedule from 2019/2020 was more representative than the one from 4 years ago.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:25

    I'm just glad Sarajevo will finally get some decent traffic and cover some decent routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      Yes, finally! It will definitely ease reliance on other airlines.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:25

    Wizz Air will be expanding even more from Sarajevo very soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      Wonder which other destinations we might see.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:33

      Let them launch these first

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:27

    For such short distances Wizz as an LCC is perfectly fine.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:29

    There is no doubt both of these airlines will be impacted. I'm assuming Austrian too. But like someone said in the comments above, they can find a solution if they are smart with pricing, advertising etc (if these passengers are important to them which depends how much money they generate from them).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:32

      Solution with pricing and advertising? So you suggest that airlines with much higher cost per seat may beat Wizzair on pricing? And who is supposed to pay for this?

      And that putting more money into advertising will push people from Sarajevo to pay more just to have a pleasure to fly indirect with OU or JU instead of direct with Wizz?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:35

      "And who is supposed to pay for this?"

      You as a taxpayer. As you have paid for all their adventures up until today.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:03

      And as you are paying for Wizz subsidies as well.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous23:51

      Am I? And how much are those Wizz subsidies?

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:30

    Well that's how you distort the market (like in Skopje). Wizz gets subsidies and incentives while OU and JU get nothing and have to pay the high federation air taxes making it impossible for them to discount their fares.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:54

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:14

      Ahhh come on. BEG and ZAG are also distroted to the max (both airlines are state sponsored). You cant only look from one side

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:02

      Since its creation in 2013, ASL has received nearly €850 million state aid. Routes like JFK come with a price.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:32

      Ahahahahaha now we hear 850...Amazing!

      Some so called experts were proven very wrong saying it was 650 mil EUR but here is the champion!

      Next candidate, where are you? We are waiting for you and your statement of...1.0 billion!

      Delete
    5. Anonymous15:58

      850 million because the state aid was roughly 121,5 million annually since 2013. So 7x121,5 is 850. It is not so hard to calculate it.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous18:11

      Are you sure it wasn't 150 mil EUR for each year?
      Simply to round it.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:52

    Not surprised TK is number 1.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:22

      Probably lots of transfers to mid-East.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:52

      Of course. Like Pegasus. Those are 100% mid-east transfers.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:31

      no they arent. its Turkish transfers in the first place then Middle east

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:54

    Was this tender in Sarajevo only open to LCCs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:22

      I believe it was open to anyone.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:22

      Wizz was only one that applied.

      Delete
    3. It was open for everyone, who has wizz in their IDs and company name 😆 so absolutely transparent

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:13

    I think Croatia Airlines should have really used its position much better. They have a good image in BiH and had two daily flights. Now they have none and have suspended them temporarily but I'm not holding hope they will resume too many frequencies. They get a lot of transfers to/from SJJ. Wizz Air starting flights will definitely have an impact.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous10:21

    Good luck to both

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous10:25

    LOL.. right.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous10:45

    You will find OU and JU fares are much cheaper then Wizz once all the extras are added on. Direct route flights are always more expensive then if you have to transfer through an Airport. Wizz might be advertising flights from under 30 euros, but most passengers will be paying closer to 200 euros.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:00

      Not really, W6 with all extras can get almost the same price or the same price as JU or OU, but the latter are definitely never much cheaper than W6.
      And this advertising tool/trick is also used by both JU and OU- they pop up very high at search engines as having lower fares and then when you add other extras, (luggage) ticket price is the same or more expensive than let's say Lufthansa or Austrian.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous11:12

    maybe its time (after the pandemic) for Wizz to start SJJ-SKP (both gov. wanted to sponsor that route anyway).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:18

      Interesting it's one of OU's top transfer routes from Sarajevo. Did not expect that.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:37

      yep a positive surprise

      Delete
  21. Anonymous11:21

    Wizzair is very expensive in BEG.

    Probably they won't be that expensive in SJJ but won't be cheap as expected. Especially total price won't be that attractive after you add the price of normal cabin luggage and the price of transportation from secondary airports to the main destination.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous11:27

    To some extent OS and LH will be affected as well. Number of civil servants (largest administration ever) traveling to Brussels as I noticed during my last flight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:30

      Without doubt

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:01

      but numbers of civil servants will continue flying with them. Its the diaspora that will switch for Wizz

      Delete
  23. Anonymous11:36

    expect some frequency cuts for TZL as well

    ReplyDelete
  24. They plan so many Routes all The Time and then they cancel those..i wish that they start flights Turku-Belgrade too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:39

      And Belgrade-Lisbon too!

      Delete
  25. This will impact legacy carriers no doubt about it, but still I couldn't help laughing a little when I read the routes; Basel covering Zurich with Wizz - it's not even 100km away, lol!
    Eindhoven is covering Amsterdam, Charleroi Brussels...etc.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous14:44

    Beauvais is not Paris and will never be, no matter how hard ULCCs try to present it as such. Actually, scratch that U and possible even L as Wizz is neither after the launch period.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:10

      For gastos, yes it is Paris

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:18

      +1

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:05

      you can joke about BVA as much as you want but they had 3.98 mio passengers in 2019.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous19:25

      More than ZAG.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous23:49

    Judging by those shares Austrian will be most affected as I assume it's the most used airline for West Europe transfers.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous23:50

    "Croatia Airlines’ top origin or destination points for Sarajevo were Frankfurt, Zurich, Amsterdam, Skopje, London, Paris and Brussels."

    All of them I expected except for Skopje. Interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous00:06

      Me too. love that we get some insight into this.

      Delete
  29. Why there are no SJJ-BEG flights still?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous03:03

      They have been operating since June 2020.

      Delete

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