Wizz Air to reduce Sarajevo operations to single route


Low cost carrier Wizz Air will maintain a single route from Sarajevo during the 2023 summer season. The airline will discontinue flights between Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital and London Luton from March 24. As a result, at this point, Sarajevo will no longer be linked to the UK market through nonstop flights during the summer months, with TUI ending its seasonal winter operations on April 2, before restoring them next December. Wizz Air’s sole remaining service out of Sarajevo will be Abu Dhabi, operated by its subsidiary from the United Arab Emirates. Services to the Emirati capital will be maintained four times per week during the summer of 2023.

Sarajevo Airport has been unsuccessful in retaining a nonstop service to the United Kingdom. In March 2007, British Airways introduced a three weekly service from London Gatwick to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital with its Boeing 737 fleet. However, flights were discontinued in October 2008, citing the recession and increased costs as a result of the global economic crisis at the time. In September 2019, FlyBosnia commenced a short-lived three weekly service to London Luton, however, registered poor results on the route with average loads on the Airbus A319 at just 10%. The flights were discontinued at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, after which the airline ceased all operations. Wizz Air commenced services from Luton to Sarajevo this March, following several delays. Its average load factor on the route has hovered around 80%. Leisure carrier TUI inaugurated a one weekly seasonal service from Gatwick to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital this Tuesday to cater for British ski holidaymakers.

Wizz Air shut its Sarajevo base in November citing inflation and rising costs for its decision. It terminated nineteen routes in the process and relocated its two aircraft which were stationed in the city. Sarajevo Airport has since issued a public call for airlines to submit their proposals for the opening of a base, in return for incentives. The airport launched a similar tender in 2020, which was won by Wizz Air. It was the only one to have applied. Under the terms issued by Sarajevo Airport this time around, interested carriers must open their base in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital next year in order to qualify for the incentives. Ryanair is believed to be among those interested. The result of the tender could potentially bring about the resumption of flights to London. The public call will close next Friday.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    It’s odd that this route just can’t work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Odd? Who of Bosnians would want to travel to the UK, as long as they require entry visas from Bosnian passport holders. For travel to the EU, no visas are needed since 2011.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:21

      Lol maybe us who live in uk would travel to Bosnia

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    80% LF is great although probably insufficient for Wizz and for it to make money. They can probably put that slot into better use.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      probably it makes money but Wizz UK wants to use the plane for a route that makes more money.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:30

      Yes it's probable. And unfortunate.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    I didn’t know British Airways used to fly to Sarajevo. Come back!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:06

    They will also reduce LJU-LTN from 3 to 2 weekly.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:13

    SJJ lost a lot by Wizz Air leaving. I hope someone applies at this tender and establishes a base.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:14

    So we loose flights to another major European and global city. Great.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:53

      SJJ focuses more and more to being connected with Middle East and Turkey

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    2. Anonymous13:07

      Anoniymous 09:53 please leave your persona prejudices based on your rasistic thoughts and try to logicaly understand how business work.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:32

      No need to be triggered. SJJ in particular is liked by many Arabs and really nothing wrong with that. In SJJ you clearly see a good P2P summer arab traffic and now UK ski one in winter. Don't complain :) BiH can be a year-round destination if it wants.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous22:47

      I have no issue that SJJ has flights to Mid East. But I would also like them to have more flights to main European hubs.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:24

    Bye bye Wizz

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:25

    From base to a single route in a couple of months. Sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:30

      And it all happened just within a year

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  9. Anonymous09:30

    So many key destinations missing - Paris, Brussels, Rome, Madrid... now London.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:30

      No demand, Wizz tried and it failed.

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  10. Anonymous09:43

    British Airways used to charge £450 upwards for a return flight to Sarajevo where Croatia Airlines offered via Zagreb from £129 return so no surprise BA wearn't successful.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:24

      Interesting.

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    2. Anonymous20:42

      British Airways still sells flights to Sarajevo via Zagreb every single day that it has a flight to Zagreb.

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    3. Anonymous20:57

      How do they sell it via Zagreb? If they sell it via Zagreb they have to be selling some transportation between Zagreb and Sarajevo

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    4. For no flights to London, complain to the UK embassy. It's the mess their government created

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    5. Anonymous08:46

      Anonymous 20:57 they have an interline agreement with Croatia Airlines!

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:49

    Ouch!

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  12. Anonymous10:21

    Still concerned about the state of this airline lately. Also quite odd to announce BEG base 8 months in advance and highly seasonal routes in August for only 2 months.
    They failed in Lanzarote as well and their reputation in the UK is getting worse....

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous10:23

    So that's it from Wizz in SJJ? I mean ok, I know they closed the base but I was expecting them to keep a few routes. They had more flights to Sarajevo 5 years ago then they will now

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:31

      Same! They used to have Sarajevo-Budapest

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    2. Anonymous20:55

      They ended those when the Hungarian government stopped subsidising flights to Balkan capitals.

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    3. Anonymous19:46

      It is a bit strange. Its a lot of diaspora in Europe. Strange they cant fly to Stockholm, Berlin, London even smaller cities like Gothenburg should have a market for it. Just dont have flights departure 05 or 22..
      Flights to Tuzla feels like a poor solution. Most people wants to go to a capita or a major city in a region.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous10:25

    Strict visa policy is still a major deterrent and issue on this route.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous10:28

    So which airline do people mostly use from SJJ to reach London?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:28

      I mean other than Wizz obviously.

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    2. Based on OAG data, Austrian Airlines is the main transfer carrier on the London route, holding 46% of the market, followed by Lufthansa, then Croatia Airlines and then Turkish Airlines.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:38

      wow very interesting! Thank you. Do people use JU to get to London?

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    4. Anonymous10:38

      Croatia Airlines/ Austrian and Lufthansa are the main 3 that carry transfer passengers from Heathrow. Depending where you wish to travel to in Bosnia, a lot of people will also fly into Split and travel by road into BIH.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:42

      @10.38
      I highly doubt it. If a passenger from Sarajevo wants to connect onto an Air Serbia flight to London, their connecting time would be 18 hours! If JU could have a morning flight from Sarajevo like it has from almost all other destinations in the region than it would be possible but Sarajevo's work hours are the problem.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:39

      ^ makes sense. Thanks everyone for the replies

      Delete
    7. Anonymous08:53

      Air Serbia did carry a good number of transfer passengers when they used to fly double daily to Sarajevo, but the Afternoon flight means long waits at Belgrade. I do know people that are happy to wait 18 hours for their connecting flight

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:30

    Any idea how TUI is performing on London-Sarajevo route?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:38

      They just had their first flight the other day. Its people with ski packages flying so I assume they wouldn't have started flights if they weren't full.

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    2. Anonymous14:04

      That flight (Dec 20) got diverted to SPU because of weather.

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    3. Anonymous16:19

      Oh ok, bad luck though

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    4. Anonymous20:53

      That must have been torture afterwards to get by bus to Sarajevo.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous18:16

      I'm assuming badly since flights were on sale for just £99 return last week for a trip departing today (03/01). Also been diverted to Split again today lol.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous10:31

    I can only imagine how much money Fly Bosnia burned! 10% LF on flights to London on the A319. Nuts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:28

      The airline was most probably a money laundering operation.

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    2. Anonymous16:24

      Not probably, definitely.

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    3. Anonymous20:54

      Wonder if they would still be around if it weren't for Covid

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:32

    Sad but I have a good feeling about SJJ and I hope this new tender works out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:28

      Fingers crossed.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous11:37

    A network airline might have more success. With P2P plus transfer passengers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. None will have a success, so long as Bosnians can not travel there without visas

      Delete
  20. Anonymous14:16

    Hopefully Ryanair will start its operations from SJJ next year

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous22:47

    Would love to see easyjet start London-Sarajevo flights.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous23:50

    As a brit who loves sarajevo and have only had the pleasure of flying direct once with fly bosnia(there were 7 of us on board) so not surprised they pulled the route. I find the biggest problem for the lon-sjj route is that people in the uk just dont know anything much about Sarajevo or 🇧🇦 so are unlikely to pay £80-150 maybe more for a weekend there. Companies like Ryanair will offer special fares to get the route moving but will want some kind of reward for doing it.
    Really hoping that in a couple of years sarajevo/bosnia is the next top destination in europe (we can all dream!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even with that, flights could get more occupied only by the Brits flying to Bosnia (and back), while interest on the Bosnian side for flying to the UK will remain very low: just those traveling on business, and from tourists those holding a Croatian (or some other passport for which no visa is needed in order to enter the UK). Humiliating requirement for Bosnians to obtain tourist visas (while EU lifted them over 10 years ago) is so insulting, that only a handful would go through that ridiculous procedure.

      Delete
    2. Excatly @FFBikerSar
      It's shame that we need the visa. I am living in Germany, and I have plenty of connections to the UK and Ireland via Cologne, Hahn, Karlsruhe..., but as holder of Bosnian passport I postpone my trip to these two countries beacuause of visa regime. I'll travel there when I get German passport. So, no question why demand is low from Bosnian side!

      Delete
  23. Anonymous08:11

    Well done SSJ! You managed to chase away one and only affordable mean of air transport from your own capital city. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous17:47

    Wouldn't it better just have more flights between Belgrade and force a one stopper instead of forcing direct flights?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Before 1992, SJJ had practically no international flights (except to Istanbul with Inex Adria, and occasional flights to Tripoli or Bagdad as Bosnian companies run construction works in Liby and Iraq), so if one wanted to fly abroad, we were forced to first get to Belgrade or, less often, to Zagreb or Split or Dubrovnik. I for myself have no intention of doing it again.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Terrible fog in Sarajevo today, Lufthansa was diverted to Zagreb and only later flew to Sarajevo after fog partially lifted

    ReplyDelete

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