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Wizzair

Old 15th Jan 2011, 20:52
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jpthomas72, OV has added a VNO-TXL from May with flight starting from 73EUR. However I agree that another spot in Germany would make sense. I'd guess however that something closer to Munich (hello Memmingen) would attract more expat attention and could also attract more tourists.

I wish they opened a VNO-BUD at some point. Could be a perfect getaway destination in both ways, and also could form a fake transit to other wizzair destinations.


Good news for Wizzair as Ryanair is cutting most German routes from KUN: NRN and SXF. Only HHN will remain. A shrinking Ryanair at KUN is giving more potential business to Wizzair at VNO. So I'd expect them to add DTM sometime in the future, which is their big German base, or maybe NRN or CGN if DTM is too restricted. There is a sizeable Lithuanian community in Germany. Also from 1st May 2011, the job market is finally fully open to the countries who joined the EU in 2004. But first should wish Wizzair some luck, and that they can break the 'VNO-curse'...
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Old 21st Jan 2011, 06:13
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Eastern Europe as a Promised Land for the low-cost carriers? Potentially yes, but... the article from Ukraine's Kyiv Post explains why even for Wizz Air the life is not so easy there. The carrier's vice president John Stephenson says that the biggest issue is getting access to routes.

Low-cost carrier flies into stiff headwinds in trying to compete with Ukrainian competitors.

In 2008, Wizz Air Ukraine, daughter company of the Hungarian low-cost carrier, entered Ukraine with plans to expand and conquer the market.

Wizz Air started in July 2008 with four local flights, connecting Kyiv, Lviv, Simferopol and Odessa and planned to start flying to Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv. Its rates started at around $15, which seemed like a breakthrough for the Ukrainian aviation market, where internal flights usually sell starting at $100 for one-way tickets.

/.../ According to the initial plan, by 2012 the airline’s projected fleet would consist of 14 Airbuses, which would require more than $1 billion investment.

However, as Wizz Air started flying, its strategy for Ukraine underwent radical change. First, the company canceled all of its local flights except to Simferopol in Crimea, a popular holiday destination. Instead, Wizz Air concentrated on flying internationally and, as of early 2011, its timetable consisted of more than 11 international destinations – from Norway’s Oslo to Turkey’s Antalia. Wizz Air’s grand plans to increase its fleet were also put on hold. Currently, the airline has only two aircraft. /.../

Starting on March 27, Wizz Air will become the first international airline to use Zhuliany [a much smaller secondary airport in Kiev requiring substantial modernization]. /.../

Wizz Air officials say that saving on airport expenses will allow the company to achieve better efficiency, add new destinations to its timetable and grow in size. They wouldn’t name the potential destinations, however, citing the numerous obstacles they face in Ukraine.

The Kyiv Post talked to John Stephenson, Wizz Air vice president, about the company’s risks and expectations involved in the move to Zhuliany, the destinations it would like to add to its timetable, and the obstacles the airline is facing.

KP: As I understand, you planned to change airports for quite a while. Why did it take so long and what are the risks that Wizz Air Ukraine will be facing?

JS: When we first met with the airport about a year ago, the level of navigation equipment in Zhuliany was not suitable for our operations./.../

As for the risks, there are always risks connected to operating out of a secondary airport, versus a primary one. For example, while in thick fog, Boryspil would be able to accept aircraft to land, while an airport like Zhuliany would ask it to divert.

KP: What are the cost efficiencies of moving to Zhuliany for Wizz Air?

JS: We expect to achieve a 10 percent reduction of airport charges as immediate savings. However, as we grow and our passenger traffic increases, we should reach the 20-25 percent reduction of airport charges.

Besides, we would be able to achieve extra efficiency by lowering down the turn time for our aircraft from current 50 minutes to 30 minutes, as we have in most of the other airports. Combined with shorter taxi time, it will basically give us an additional hour of flying per day free of charge.

KP: Perhaps this would allow you to fly more internally? Back in 2008, Wizz Air Ukraine planned to develop at least five local destinations and competing passengers using trains and buses seemed to be your primary target. Why hasn’t this strategy worked out?

JS: When you put a 180-seat Airbus on a domestic route on to a market, which is not large enough, this can have a very significant impact on this market, in terms of the fares that you can achieve, and impact it has on competing airlines. Therefore, we found that A320 was a bit too large for the domestic market. As the market grows, we will look at this issue again. /.../

KP: How has the fact that the Ukrainian aviation market is heavily monopolized by one player, an aviation alliance among Aerosvit, Dniproavia, Donbassaero, and, reportedly, Windrose, linked to Ukraine’s second richest person, Ihor Kolomoysky, affected your work in Ukraine?

JS: I would say that getting access to routes is our biggest issue in Ukraine. The routes that are operated by other carriers and because of the bilateral agreements, new carriers cannot come on to them. I wouldn’t say it’s related to the monopoly situation when four out of five carriers are run by one group.

I don’t believe that monopolization is necessarily the driver of our challenges in Ukraine; it is rather the lack of market openness. If there was greater openness, we could compete with that monopoly carrier more effectively. At the moment, we do not have the chance to do that.

As a result, we have to operate destinations that no one else is operating – like Katowice (Poland), Trevizo (Italy), and Luton (U.K.) – thus creating an entirely new market, as opposed to stealing the market from other carriers. But I would like to compete with Aerosvit and Ukraine International Airlines more, if route access was available.
Somewhat ironical is one of the readers' comments below the article:
Look My Son, he has airline and bank and controls this business, you pay my Son or you do not have business.
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Old 16th Feb 2011, 08:59
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Wizz will start flying SKP-LTN-SKP from 20JUN, 3x weekly (1-3-5).
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Old 1st Mar 2011, 09:06
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Looks like there will be a new base in Tirgu Mures from 18th June. New routes to DTM, BCN, MAD, BVA, BGY, FCO and FRL. Flight to LTN will be increased from 3 weekly to 4 weekly.
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Old 17th Mar 2011, 13:28
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Wizzair will be changing handling companies at LTN too, the contract has been awarded to Menzies Aviation for LTN
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Old 20th Mar 2011, 21:34
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Grrr

I am told that Summer 2011, certain mornings there will be 12 arrivals between 7 and 8 in the morning at Luton!
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Old 20th Mar 2011, 21:57
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Are Wizzair looking at EMA? Heard a rumor last week they were... to GDN, POZ and WAW?
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Old 20th Mar 2011, 22:21
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Buster

There will be 11 arrivals between 7-8am on 4 days a week the remaining 3 have 8 arrival will be interesting on the parking arrangements
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Old 20th Mar 2011, 22:54
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The good news that Wizzair will soon be having up to 11 departures from Luton some mornings between 8 and 9-ish also means that the already at times severely-strained security facilities there will become even more overwhelmed.

Wizzair has a good product, cheap flights, and a user-friendly website. It provides a service to some otherwise-quite-tricky-to-get-to-places. But its success needs to be acknowledged and managed by the airports to which it flies.

Take Bucharest's tiny Baneasa Airport from which I recently took a Wizzair flight when another Wizz and three Blue Air flights were leaving within an hour. Shocking delays at security, purely because the infrastructure and management were not geared up to handle five hundred passengers at once. I hope Wizzair is working with airports to address this issue, as otherwise passengers will be dissuaded from flying with them.
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Old 21st Mar 2011, 10:15
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Some friends of mine just had their LTN-KBP CNX for May.. They were given no reason, Even when they phoned up to find out what was going on they got nowhere..

Anyone know if they are dropping this route? if not reason for the CNX?
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Old 21st Mar 2011, 10:24
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Are Wizzair looking at EMA? Heard a rumor last week they were... to GDN, POZ and WAW?
If true, then maybe they are re locating the Doncaster flights to EMA as their loads have dropped significantly between 20 and 35% in the past six months. The flights would then operate from an airport with a larger passenger catchment area.
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Old 21st Mar 2011, 11:35
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Wizz at kiev

Don't forget Kazzie Wizz are moving from Borispol (KPB) to Zhuliani Airport so that might have something to do with it.
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Old 21st Mar 2011, 23:31
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Take Bucharest's tiny Baneasa Airport from which I recently took a Wizzair flight when another Wizz and three Blue Air flights were leaving within an hour. Shocking delays at security, purely because the infrastructure and management were not geared up to handle five hundred passengers at once. I hope Wizzair is working with airports to address this issue, as otherwise passengers will be dissuaded from flying with them.
I see Baneasa hasn't changed since 2007 then, despite the 100% increase in passengers since then !

However I found the place quite amusing at the time. I liked sitting outside on the grass whilst waiting to check in! However I can see how it would annoy people!
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Old 25th Mar 2011, 13:52
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Flight frequency is down at DSA compared to last winter which part explains the drop in loads.

If Wizz did pull out of DSA though, I couldn't see DSA coming through such a big setback.
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Old 18th Apr 2011, 11:04
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Tirgu Mures base will now open of 5 May insted of 16 June
Cluj-Napoca base cut by 26% (one aircraft, 3 routes transfered to Tirgu Mures)

Wizz Air
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 07:54
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If true, then maybe they are re locating the Doncaster flights to EMA as their loads have dropped significantly between 20 and 35% in the past six months. The flights would then operate from an airport with a larger passenger catchment area
My gut feeling is that Wizzair have increased prices in the past months, trading off load factor for better yields. At least in Germany prices have increased quite substantially. They are still cheap, but it has become much more difficult to get those very very cheap tickets. How have prces developed in the UK? Same story?
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 08:43
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My gut feeling is that Wizzair have increased prices in the past months, trading off load factor for better yields. At least in Germany prices have increased quite substantially. They are still cheap, but it has become much more difficult to get those very very cheap tickets. How have prces developed in the UK? Same story?
I agree - I travelled from Doncaster to Katowice and back last year and paid only £30, but when I've been keeping an eye on prices this year, I haven't seen anything for less than £50 return (excluding anything they add on later).

So just because the loads have dropped at Doncaster, doesn't mean the revenue has dropped!
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 15:48
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Can't say I have seen any fares as low as Wizz fares from Ryanair to Poland recently.My one way flight on Tuesday to KRK was more than 100 pounds. The flight was not full, I think 118 pax although fairly full flights are quite common.
I don't know how Wizz make a profit with a 50 pound return trip of around 2000 miles not to mention the 30 pound fare. So at 30 pounds that's 1,5 pence per mile.Wizz must be doing something right or they would have gone bust by now.
I guess flying must be more economical than using cars buses and trains.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 16:40
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It is from a fuel perspective as no fuel duty is payable on Kerosene.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 17:38
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Yes fuel costs are lower than petrol or diesel but not sure how many mpg you get per passenger from an Airbus.I would have thought overall operating costs would be higher by some margin even with a full load.
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