Wizz Air blames inflation and fuel prices for Sarajevo exit

Wizz Air has said an unfavourable situation on the market and a challenging operating environment have led to the closure of its base at Sarajevo Airport. The budget carrier will discontinue almost all of its routes from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital at the end of next week and relocate its two aircraft stationed in the city. "The main challenges we have experienced [in Sarajevo] are rising fuel prices and high levels of inflation that have affected demand for air transport in the country", Wizz Air said. The carrier will only maintain services from Abu Dhabi and London to Sarajevo, operated by its subsidiaries from the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

The airline will put focus on developing its base in Tuzla instead but will maintain two aircraft in the city for the time being. "As a result of existing market conditions, our base in Tuzla will continue to operate with the same number of aircraft for now. We recently announced a new route from Tuzla to Eindhoven and we are constantly monitoring demand in order to adapt to it and launch additional new routes in order to serve our clients to the best of our abilities", the company said. The airline is expected to expand its operations out of Tuzla during the 2023 summer season, with several routes formerly operated out of Sarajevo to be launched.

Wizz Air’s departure from Sarajevo is expected to impact on the airport’s performance. The airline accounted for around 35% of the airport’s passengers, or a total of some 400.000 travellers. The carrier was estimated to handle between 150.000 and 200.000 additional customers on services to and from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital this coming winter season which runs from next Sunday until March 25. The airline’s thirty Sarajevo-based employees have been offered to relocate to other bases.'


  1. Anonymous09:03

    So basically what they are saying is that the market was just not there to operate profitably. We all kind of knew that already.

    1. Anonymous09:04

      I just don't get how the market is there in Tuzla but not in Sarajevo.

    2. Anonymous09:08

      How on Earth inflation could be a reason for closing a base in SJJ, but at the same time it is not in TZL which gets new destination?
      Last time I checked SJJ and TZL were in the same country.

    3. Anonymous09:09

      How did they estimate the market potential so badly?

    4. Anonymous09:11

      Because Tuzla also covers continental Croatia and it was a convenient travel option from Banja Luka. Now that BNX is booming Tuzla is not growing as much. They are lucky OSI is uselsss.

    5. Anonymous10:10

      True. Tuzla has a much bigger catchment area

    6. Anonymous10:12

      Bigger and richer catchment area. Sarajevo might be the capital but the area around is extremely poor.

    7. Anonymous10:28

      There is plenty of money I'm the centre of Sarajevo. A taxi driver told me how much he earns a month, and it is the same level as in the UK. As soon as you go out of Sarajevo, wages are much lower but central Sarajevo, the residents are wealthy to Western European standards!

    8. Anonymous10:42

      hahaha of course, central Sarajevo is on par with London downtown.

    9. Anonymous11:11

      I heard the exact same story from a taxi driver in Skopje. He said that because Skopje had a shortage of taxi drivers, He earned a very good wage. He also said that he would even decline an offer from someone who wants to go to Kumanvo(25 euro trip) because he gets constanly new calls and a drive to Kumanovo wouldn't be more profitable to him instead of staying in the city. He said that young people don't want to become an taxi driver and that most taxi drivers are older than 40 years .He didn't say that he earns the same wages as in the UK though. What also suprised me that there were a lot of busineses that looked desperatly for labour force. Result is increasing wages. So many people left Macedonia and this is the result. I think the same is happening in Bosnia and other balkan countries.

    10. Anonymous11:50

      Are there really that much people from Croatia using TZL flights? Any data or other info?

    11. Anonymous12:44

      Wizz Air tickets are baught by diaspora and, either flown by them or by their relatives from Bosnia. Nothing to do with inflation in Bosnia. What a bull*hit...

  2. Anonymous09:03

    Don't exactly the same factors apply to Tuzla?

    1. Anonymous09:08

      Or any other base they fly from for that matter.

  3. Anonymous09:05

    I'm surprised that Wizz Air does not hedge its fuel.

    1. Anonymous09:07

      They started this summer.

    2. Anonymous13:39

      After they decided to stop it a few years back. Another colossal mistake by their incompetent management.

  4. Anonymous09:05

    Wow they handled 400,000 passengers from Sarajevo just this year.

    1. Anonymous09:06

      If SJJ does not find an alternative fast it will have a big impact on its operations

    2. Anonymous10:08

      They are in talks with FR.

    3. Anonymous10:11

      Now we no longer have flights to most European cities again.

    4. Anonymous10:14

      @10.08 if the management is quick to finalise those talks as they are the mini expansion of the terminal we might see them come in 10 years .

    5. Anonymous15:52

      With no end in sight.

  5. Anonymous09:07

    Really unfortunate outcome.

  6. Anonymous09:22

    I wonder if they will play the same song about inflation in 2024, when they receive their A321XLRs.
    It is true though, that they have massive cuts not only in SJJ, but in the whole region. Meanwhile Ryanair have already launched their summer 2023 flights...

  7. Anonymous10:10

    If an LCC can't make it work in Sarajevo, what chances do the other have.

  8. Anonymous10:13

    There is obviously some issue with the airport. There has to be a reason so few airlines from Europe fly to SJJ and a reason there are no flights to Rome, Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Amsterdam...

    1. Anonymous11:15

      Only gasto routes to Europe can survive in SJJ. Non gasto demand for travel to and from western European cities is minimal in SJJ.

    2. Anonymous11:38

      AMS is in an crisis KLM cuts constantly fligths. Personally I think AMS will work but with the current situation there they are not able to launch new destanations. Madrid would be very difficult even Belgrade has only 2 weekly freqruencies with an fokker 100(maybe with an tourstic programme possible).The Bosnian diaspora in Belgium is small, so Brussels would be difficult . But Paris and Rome will defenitly work from Sarajevo.

  9. Anonymous10:24

    Just no way. W6 cutting all the bases.

    1. Anonymous13:41

      They did not? How about Doncaster, Cardiff and Palermo? Only this year.

  10. Anonymous10:46

    It s too expensive airport and they coudnt make profit in Sarajevo with every landing/lightning/handling charged 1200EU /per flight and 12.54EU passenger departure tax plus fuel.It much easier to fly from TZL where wizz air pay 5EU for everything and get money for marketing

    1. Anonymous11:00

      No wonder they didn't succeed.

    2. Anonymous11:16

      Do we know what TZL charges them for every landing/lightning/handling?

    3. Anonymous10:17

      When you fly from Tuzla, the airport is charging passengers 2€ departure tax, and if you’d checked online, you can’t pass the security if you don’t pay at the check in. Very unprofessional and unpleasant experience.

  11. Anonymous12:03

    Nis charges everything 3EU /per departure passenger (handling,landing,landing and passenger)

  12. Anonymous12:58

    Nonsense explanation from Wizz.

  13. Anonymous13:11

    I think the market is just too small to have two bases that close to each other. The routes they operate from Tuzla and Sarajevo were a lot alike

  14. Anonymous13:42

    How about their bases in Budapest and Debrecen? Hungary has the highest inflation and the weakest currency in Europe.

  15. Anonymous18:21

    They god subsidies. Built some pax fallowing. Then probably tried to blackmail airport, they refused. Moved on to next victim.

    1. Anonymous18:37

      That's exactly what I think happened. This is just a rubbish explanation they put forward.

  16. Anonymous18:21

    If Wizz said something like "We asked SJJ airport to remove their fees and they refused, so we are punishing them by closing the base", or something like "we are closing SSJ to focus on fighting Ryan in Tuzla", that would at least sound plausible.

    However placing main blame on inflation and fuel prices in SSJ while at the same time expanding next door in Tuzla should be a brutal wake up call for anyone, including passengers, employees and investors regarding transparency and business practices of this airline. Buyers/investors/employees beware!

    1. Anonymous18:36


    2. Anonymous12:07

      Anon 18:21 you hit it on the nail. All these low cost airlines are low cost you know why? Because they ask each airport ‘how low can you go’ and when you don’t they play their cards. They can’t do that with every airport (top 100 airports in europe) but the rest…they victimize them.
      I am listening here Sarajevo market not good, no passengers etc etc. So how do you explain SKP with proximity of PRN and SOF with a country of less than 2 mil ppl having a thriving wizz base, but SJJ with bad road connectivity and airports such as OMO, BNX, TZL, SPU, DBV where first three are begging for business, and last two are far from better alternatives than SJJ during Oct-Apr period. I was born in Sarajevo and I visit every few years. Think about it: embassies, foreign offices, seat of government, winter mountains, rich Lašva valley as well as croat part of herzegovina. I know of a company (owners bosnian origin, headquartered in California, IT profession) they employ 200 ppl in SJJ where they pay EU average salary. And there are numerous companies like that. My friend is a dentist there her husband in Red Cross. They travel twice a year by plane from SJJ and they have a circle of friends that do the same. I flew wizz twice this year; once TSF-SJJ in May and once SJJ-CPH in Aug plus SJJ-ZAG in May and all 3 flights were full. Crew on wizz was bosnian, they spoke impeccable english and announcements were more professional than that of Air Canada or United. SJJ airport was busy on all 3 dates. Ancilliary fees (where they make money…on both wizz flights people were buying duty free more than I’ve seen on other flights and I fly frequently. A lot of them had checked luggage. So you can’t tell me they were not making extra on top of the bare airfare.
      Recently, also in May, I had a 9 hour delay from ZAD-KRK with FR. At 6am instead of landing in KRK we landed in Katowice. I was late for my 6am flight to Tel Aviv also with FR (as I was originally supposed to land in Krakow at 9pm the night before.
      I complained to fr, and also to croatian national body for consumer protection in airline industry citing EU regulation 261/2001. Fr staff at krakow airport was so rude when the bus finally dropped us off from Katowice saying ‘would you rather land in storm unsafely or safely land elsewhere’ indicating that there was storm in Krakow airport but no storm in Katowice airport 90km away. FR never responded to my complaint even though they gave us the paper stating our rights in ZAD when they were aware flight will be over 3 hours delayed.
      Croatian body to which you can also file your complained if your flight started or ended in Croatia sent me final response in which they said that there was work being done at KRK runway during their closed hours that the flight had to be diverted and they also denied me 250 euro compensation. When I told them I am getting opposing information about the reason not flying into KRK and asked them for proof of what they are claiming, despite their representative saying that they want to be transparent, they denied sending me any proof stating it is confidential.
      I said if you cant disclose something than you are not transparent. We ended the emailing there. What I want to say from this is that I am almost certain that Ryanair subsidizes salary of those working for the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency. Both FR and W6 are big fish. They wouldn’t be in business and able to sell 9€ airfare if they didnt play dirty. So whatever they say in their next PR stunt, take it with a grain of salt. And stop blaming SJJ!

    3. Anonymous12:25

      Just continuing on my rant about FR and what happened in Zadar.
      This was their final e-mail response to me:
      Dear Mr. …

      We regret to see your dissatisfaction with our Final opinion.
      Our conclusions are based on documented evidence, which is sent to us not only by the carrier, but also obtained through other channels, like European Air Traffic Services provider data bases.

      One of the reasons which caused the disruption of your flight was indeed bad weather as the agent told you. This bad weather was on route and it caused the air traffic control restrictions which affected many aircraft operating through the same region. Rescheduling of flights is something which carriers must utilize to minimize the negative affects on the rest of the flights.

      The work in progress on Krakow airport was also one of the reasons, but it came into effect as the day was closing. That is why your flight was diverted to Katowice, which is in accordance with Regulation 261/2004.

      The documentation used as evidence that we obtain in our proceedings is confidential and are not authorized to distribute it further. However, the documentation in question is checked and verified by our flight inspectors and on the basis of info obtained by numerous other sources and aviation data available to this Agency.

      We are an independent national authority which doesn´t represent any of the parties, most certainly not the carriers. Our aim is always to make sure that passengers utilize all the rights which are guaranteed to them by the Regulation 261/2004.

      You are entitled to take the matter further to the competent court of your country.

      With regards,

      Txx Gxxxx
      Air Law Specialist

      image001.png +385 1 2369 xxx image002.png +385 1 2369 xxx
      image003.png http://www.ccaa.hr

      Croatian Civil Aviation Agency
      image005.png Ul. grada Vukovara 284, 10000 Zagreb

    4. Anonymous12:26

      And this was their official letter to me with their stamp:
      I redacted file number and my name. You will see spelling mistakes below. It is because I used google lens from the pdf letter to convert it to text and some of the words are incorrect, however there were no spelling mistakes in the actual letter.

      CLASS xxxxxxxxxx
      RFF. NO.: xxxxxxxxxxx
      Zagreb, 22.7.2022.
      Subject: Final opinion - Long delayed flight - xxxxx xxxxx
      Croattan CMl Avation Agenoy, as a National Enforcement Bady (EB) for passenger rights, receved a complaint fron
      passenger xxxxx xxxxx referring to the long delayed Ryanair fIght FR7274 Zadar - Krakow on 20.5.2022
      Passenger arrived to Krakow vith arcund 10 hours delay.
      Based on the provided evidence we are of the view that the problem which caused the disruption constitutes what is
      defined as extraordinary circumstance. The carrier provided informations which were checked and verified by this Agency,
      based on which it is evident that the flight was influenced with Air Traffic Control restrictions as a result of slot capacity
      and bad weather affecting punctuality of previous flights, Slots are handled by the body cutside of air carrier's control and
      the carrier is only obliged to adhere to them.
      The flight FR72/4 was in jeopardy to enter into the time when a runway in Krakow would be closed due te work in progress
      so it couldn't land, so the carer made a changes in its schedule and rotated some lights tc minimize the amount of
      flights that would te disrupted by these circumstances. That is why this flight was diverted to Katowice from where the
      passengers were transferred to Krakow, arriving with signilicant delay.
      The Agency is of the opinion that the carrier took reasonable measures to perform the flight at earliest orcortunity and to
      minimize the damage to the rest of its da y schedule. Alr Traffic Control restrictions are bind ng and carriers cannot avoid
      Pursuant to Rogulation (EC) No 261/2004, cbligations on operating air carriers should be limited or exuded in cases
      where an puent has hep caused hy exiracte nary circumstarcos which coud not have been avnined even it all resonanle
      measures had been taken - such as ATC restrictions. From the provided information and in accordance with BlI law and
      ECJ rulinos, it is our view that the flight was delayed due to extraord nary circumstances and compensation is not payable
      to the passenger. This opinion is based on the evidence provided to us, is not legally birding on the air carrier, and only
      relates to the flight concerned. Passenger is entitled to take the necessary proceedings before the competent court.


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