This week, European budget carrier Wizz Air has announced five new routes which will fly from Tirana to Italy starting in Summer 2020. The airline’s expansion into Italy comes as the Italian carrier which previously operated the routes has its license suspended.
Commencing on March 29th, Wizz Air will be offering new routes from Tirana, Albania to Milan Bergamo, Bologna, Verona, Venice Treviso and Pisa in Italy. The Hungarian airline has stated that its expansion into Italy is due to “customers’ demand” and is just the next step in its existing expansion plans.
In a press statement announcing the new routes George Michalopoulos, Chief Commercial Officer of Wizz Air said,
“Wizz Air is strongly committed to creating new opportunities for its Albanian passengers and today we are thrilled to double the number of routes we operate in Tirana and announce five new routes from the capital of Albania to Italy. We believe that these routes represent another important step forward in the expansion of our network”.
The new routes
Wizz Air’s new route between Tirana and Milan Bergamo will operate daily from 29 March. Routes to Verona and Bologna will begin at the start of May and will fly every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
The route to Pisa will operate Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays from 31 March with the route to Venice operating on the same days but only starting on 1 August. Fares for all flights will begin from €29.99.
Wizz Air expansion plans
Wizz air has been snapping up new routes all across central and eastern Europe. The airline announced in December, two new routes to Seville and Prague from Bucharest using a new Airbus A321 to expand its fleet. In November, the airline announced it would base four new aircraft in Poland to operate 15 new routes adding 24 daily flights and generating an additional 160 jobs.
The airline was only founded in 2003 and has been steadily working to add routes and expand its network ever since. With a fleet of over 100 Airbus A320, the airline’s plans to expand don’t seem to have an end.
The airline is now taking delivery of several new A321s to help operate the new routes it plans to open for summer but it has a lot of planes on the way. With an order book of 269 aircraft, more than any other European airline, Wizz Air will no doubt be opening a lot of new routes in the coming years.
And the airline isn’t afraid to challenge other airlines and fight for its right to open new routes. Just recently it made headline by announcing its first two routes to Armenia. Significantly, Wizz Air announced the new Armenian routes just one month after Ryanair announced their breakout into the Armenian market.
One advantage that Wizz Air has over Ryanair is its fleet. Wizz Air operates Airbus aircraft and is taking delivery of more and more aircraft. But Ryanair is struggling. It had planned to operate some Boeing 737 MAX which, as everyone knows by now, are still grounded. The Irish carrier never took delivery of the grounded aircraft and so is having to reshuffle planes. Opening a new route to Armenia this month may prove difficult while Wizz Air has planes to spare.
What do you think of Wizz Air’s expansion plans? Have you flown with them before? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.