Wizz Air announces 18 new routes + new base + 3 resumptions
Today, 16 June, Wizz Air revealed 21 new routes and resumptions: 12 from Bacau, Romania, and nine from Belgrade.
Bacau becomes a new base for Wizz Air – the carrier’s 31st – for winter 2019 with two based A320s. The airport becomes Wizz Air’s seventh base in Romania, and one of 11 airports it will serve in the country.
In addition, Wizz Air will base a third aircraft at Belgrade, with flights starting from exactly one month today: 16 July. Belgrade is to be an all A321 base from August.
|Routing||Start date||Weekly frequencies||Direct competition* (weekly frequency)||Indirect competition*|
|Bacau – Billund||1 November||2||None||None|
|Bacau – Bologna||30 October||3||None||None|
|Bacau – Brussels Charleroi||29 October||3||None||Blue Air (Brussels; 2)**|
|Bacau – Catania||30 October||2||None||None|
|Bacau – Larnaca||30 October||2||None||None|
|Bacau – Liverpool||29 October||2||None||None|
|Bacau – London Luton||29 October||7||Blue Air (5)**||None|
|Bacau – Memmingen||31 October||2||None||None|
|Bacau – Milan Bergamo||30 October||4||Blue Air (2)**||None|
|Bacau – Rome Fiumicino||29 October||5||Blue Air (4)**||None|
|Bacau – Turin||29 October||3||Blue Air (2)**||None|
|Bacau – Venice Treviso||29 October||3||None||None|
|Belgrade – Barcelona||18 July||2||Air Serbia (2)||None|
|Belgrade – Brussels Charleroi (last operated by Wizz Air in 2014)||19 July||2||None||Air Serbia (Brussels; 5)|
|Belgrade – Cologne||17 July||3||None||Air Serbia (Düsseldorf,4)|
|Belgrade – Friedrichshafen (last operated by Wizz Air in 2019)||16 July||3||None||None|
|Belgrade – Hamburg||17 July||3||None||None|
|Belgrade – Lisbon||18 July||2||None||None|
|Belgrade – Milan Malpensa||18 July||2||Air Serbia (4)||None|
|Belgrade – Oslo Torp (last operated by Wizz Air in 2014)||19 July||2||None||Norwegian (Oslo, 1)|
|Belgrade – Turku||17 July||2||None||None***|
|* Based on the same week as Wizz Air begins. Of course, coronavirus has reduced weekly frequencies. Clearly, things may change further. ** Blue Air’s winter schedule is not yet available, so the prior week is referred to instead. *** Air Serbia has postponed Helsinki because of the coronavirus. Source: OAG Schedules Analyser and each airline’s website.|
Blue Air to face strong competition
Bacau is one of the very few airports left in Romania that Wizz Air did not serve, so its expansion there was effectively inevitable.
Wizz Air’s new base at Bacau means more head-to-head competition with Romania’s Blue Air, which was Bacau’s sole airline. Last year, Bacau was Blue Air’s fourth-largest airport, after Bucharest, Turin, and Larnaca.
The intention of Wizz Air is clear: on the five routes from Bacau that it will compete directly or indirectly with Blue Air, Wizz Air will have higher frequencies. This is rarely the case.
Liverpool is interesting. This was served by Blue Air between 2015 and this year, but no more. Wizz Air is therefore replacing Blue Air from Bacau to Northwest England in this readymade market.
New Belgrade routes fills key network holes
Wizz Air’s new routes from Belgrade will mean some core unserved markets will now be served, and important underserved markets will now be better served.
Hamburg, for example, is now unserved, but Air Serbia served it for five months last year on a low-frequency basis with just 5,000 seats. Belgrade – Hamburg had 19,000 passengers, OAG Traffic Analyser shows, with almost 16,000 flying indirectly.
Lisbon and Cologne – both unserved – last year had over 15,000 and 14,000 indirect passengers respectively, good initial traffic volume – and more than most new Wizz Air routes – before demand stimulation.
Meanwhile, Brussels (city-pair) and Barcelona both had over 40% of passengers connect en route last year, amounting to around 18,000 each.