Ryanair Halts Tuzla Ticket Sales After Airport Sides With Wizz Air

Ryanair has canceled all of its planned routes to Tuzla Airport in Bosnia and Herzegovina because the local government has not signed off the agreement between the airline and the airport. The decision was taken in order not to jeopardize Wizz Air as an existing business partner there. The airport’s General Manager has also been dismissed.

Wizz Ryanair
The market in Tuzla would not have been able to absorb both Wizz Air and Ryanair. Photo: markyharky via Flickr

Ryanair will not be landing in Tuzla

Almost three months after it started selling tickets for its first ever flights to Tuzla Airport (TZL), Ryanair has suspended ticket sales.

The two routes due to launch were:

  • FR7988 / FR7989 from Dusseldorf Weeze (NRN) and back, operating on Thursdays and Sundays and due to launch on 2nd September
  • FR7978 / FR7979 from Karlsruhe Baden-Baden (FKB) and back, operating on Tuesdays and Saturdays and due to launch on 4th September

Tuzla Airport currently has no scheduled commercial services by any airline other than Wizz Air. The Hungarian airline is selling tickets for flights from Tuzla to 15 destinations, seven of which are in Germany and four of which are in Sweden.

Wizz Air Getty Gdansk
Wizz Air has a pure monopoly in Tuzla Airport. Photo: Getty Images

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Why was Ryanair blocked?

The local government of the Tuzla Canton in Bosnia and Herzegovina has not signed off on the agreement between Ryanair and Tuzla Airport, klix reports, and so Ryanair’s planned flights will not be going ahead.

Esed Mujačić, the director of Tuzla Airport who has now also been dismissed from his position, said the following (translated):

“We defined all the details of our contract with Ryanair, translated it all, and Ryanair had already signed the document. We then delivered it to the Supervisory Board and the Ministry for their approval, but we are yet to receive it.”

He also added:

“Both the Supervisory Board and the Ministry were directly involved in the email communication with Ryanair’s representatives. In the last email that Ryanair sent, the airline asked us to explicitly state whether we are signing the agreement or not. Neither the Supervisory Board nor the Ministry ever responded to that email.”

Mujačić also added that Ryanair did not want to negotiate with Tuzla Airport over inaugurating any routes from there up until April 2020, when Ryanair sent representatives to Tuzla for two days. The airline representatives gave the green light then already.

He also added that he estimates Ryanair will not want to enter discussions with the airport again for at least another three years in the case that the agreement, which Ryanair had already signed, falls through because of the local government.

united-states-belarus-ticket-sales-ban-getty
Ryanair was hoping to launch its first ever flights to Tuzla Airport. Photo: Getty Images

The Supervisory Board wants better financial conditions for the airport

The president of the Supervisory Board of Tuzla Airport said the following in defense of the Board’s decision not to sign off on the agreement yet (translated):

“We want to try to agree to better financial conditions than the ones that have been agreed. Also, we believe that an agreement with Ryanair must not put into an unequal position the strategic partner that we are already doing business with by bringing in unfair competition. We asked Ryanair’s representatives to continue the negotiations we commenced but we have not received a response from them.”

Do you think Ryanair will launch flights to Tuzla in the end? Let us know what you think of this story in the end.

33 Shares: