Romania’s Blue Air now serving 18 destinations from Bucharest Otopeni Airport; faces competition on 15 of them

A map of Blue Air's European destinations

Go west! Blue Air's network of 27 routes (18 from Bucharest, eight from Bacau and one from Sibiu), are all to cities in the western part of Europe, with the exception of Larnaca in Cyprus. Italian routes account for 43% of the airline's weekly flights this summer.

Romania’s Blue Air has been operating since December 2004, but its future is far from certain after some recent issues regarding the airline’s ownership and investors. With a current fleet of six 737s (four -400s, one -300, and one -500), the airline’s summer schedule comprises 18 routes from Bucharest Otopeni Airport, eight routes from Bacau Airport, and one from Sibiu Airport. In terms of weekly departures there are 79 from Bucharest (71%), 29 from Bacau (26%) and three from Sibiu (3%). In total, nine different country markets are served, with Italian routes accounting for 43% of the airline’s weekly flights, followed by Spain, with 14%.

Country From Bucharest (WF) From Bacau (WF)
Belgium Brussels (5) Brussels (2)
Cyprus Larnaca (5)
France Nice (3), Paris Beauvais (6) Paris Beauvais (2)
Germany Stuttgart (3)
Ireland Dublin (3) Dublin (2)
Italy Bologna (4), Catania (3), Milan Bergamo (4), Naples (3), Rome Fiumicino (12), Venice (3) Bologna (3), Cuneo (4), Milan Bergamo (3), Rome Fiumicino (8)
Portugal Lisbon (3)
Spain Barcelona (4), Madrid (4), Malaga (4), Valencia (4)
UK London Luton (6) London Luton (5)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for 12-18 August 2013
  • The airline’s other route, between Sibiu and Stuttgart, is a niche route aimed primarily at workers in the automotive industry.
  • According to anna.aero’s New Route Database the last two routes to be launched (last summer) were both from Satu Mare, to Cuneo and Venice. Both routes were short-lived and are missing from the airline’s schedule this summer.
  • According to the airline, this winter will see frequency increases (compared with last winter) on routes to Brussels, Catania, Naples and Rome.

#3 in Bucharest; competition on 15 of 18 routes

Blue Air is the third biggest airline at Bucharest Otopeni airport with around 11% of weekly seat capacity, behind TAROM (28%) and Wizz Air (22%). Maybe not surprisingly, it faces direct competition on 15 of its 18 routes at the airport. Wizz Air competes directly on nine of the 18 routes while TAROM competes on seven. Alitalia, TAP Portugal and Vueling also provide competition on a variety of routes.

Competitors Route (Competing airlines)
NB. Alitalia (AZ), TAP Portugal (TP), TAROM (RO), Vueling (VY), Wizz Air (W6)
0 Malaga, Stuttgart, Venice
1 Bologna (W6), Brussels (RO), Catania (W6), Dublin (RO), Lisbon (TP), Milan Bergamo (W6), Naples (W6), Nice (RO), Paris Beauvais (W6), Valencia (W6)
2 Larnaca (RO, W6), Rome Fiumicino (AZ, RO)
3 Barcelona (RO, VY, W6), Madrid (RO, VY, W6)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for 12-18 August 2013

The airline’s network from Bacau Airport faces considerably less competition, with only Carpatair operating flights to Milan Bergamo and Rome Fiumicino.

Gheorghe Racaru (left), a one-time GM of Romania’s national airline Tarom and Sherif Ussama (right)

Hi and good-bye: Gheorghe Racaru (left), a one-time GM of Romania’s national airline Tarom, was the founding General Director of low-cost Blue Air, serving 2004-2009, and returning to the job in January again this year after the "amicable" departure of Sherif Ussama (right).


Comments

  1. Marius Teodorescu says:

    Thanks for covering the Romanian airline industry. I hope we will see some real growth in the near future

  2. Lazlo says:

    most airports in Romania are getting some major upgrades, so it is likely we will see growth in the next years. see Cluj, Iași, Suceava and other airports

  3. Isabel says:

    Contrary to the UK press insinuating that Romanians are flooding to the UK as their EU destination of choice, here is proof that the largest ex-pat Romanian communities are in Italy and Spain. The languages are similar hence easier to learn for them.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*