Wizz Air is preparing for a big expansion in Serbia, almost ten years after first opening a base in Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. This year’s expansion will feature major capacity upgrades on existing routes as well as the launch of many new routes. Let’s take a look at what Wizz Air has prepared for Belgrade.
Wizz Air is expanding in Belgrade
At a time when most other airlines worldwide are struggling to retain even a fraction of their market share due to the ongoing slump in demand following the outbreak of COVID-19, Wizz Air is launching an aggressive expansion across its network. Its base in Belgrade Nikola Tesla, the airport in the capital of Serbia, is set to receive a major upgrade.
Wizz Air first opened a base in Belgrade at the start of the 2011 summer season, when it stationed a single Airbus A320 aircraft there. Then, in the summer of 2017, Wizz Air stationed another A320 in Belgrade. At a time, Wizz Air said this increase in capacity represented an investment of 100 million USD.
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It took Wizz Air six years to double its base capacity out of Belgrade. This time around, it will take it half of that time. Wizz Air announced last month that it would be basing a third aircraft in its Belgrade base this summer. The third aircraft will be an Airbus A321, but the existing two A320 aircraft in this base will also be upgraded to Airbus A321s. This means that Wizz Air will now be offering 690 seats of capacity in Belgrade, compared to the previous 360.
What are the new destinations?
The booking system on Wizz Air’s website now displays an impressive 23 destinations out of Belgrade. Also in Serbia, Wizz Air serves Niš from five destinations. Out of the 23 Belgrade routes, ten are brand new and will feature in this summer expansion. One has already taken off.
The new routes are:
- Salzburg in Austria
- Brussels (Charleroi) in Belgium
- Turku in Finland
- Cologne, Friedrichshafen, and Hamburg in Germany
- Milan Malpensa in Italy
- Oslo (Sandefjord Torp) in Norway
- Lisbon in Portugal
- Barcelona (El Prat) in Spain
All routes will launch in July, with most inauguration flights taking place in the third week of the month, beginning 13th July. Flights from Belgrade to Salzburg are already operating.
What competition is there already?
With this expansion, Wizz Air is intensifying its competition against the Serbian flag carrier Air Serbia. Air Serbia is also undergoing an expansion this year, of both its route network and of its capacity with the acquisition of two Adria Airways Airbus A319 aircraft.
Wizz Air has previously operated flights between Belgrade and Brussels, but it discontinued the route. It is now trying its luck again. In Hamburg, it was Air Serbia that tried and failed to maintain a seasonal route out of Serbia. Meanwhile, for flights from Belgrade to Barcelona and Oslo, both Wizz Air and Air Serbia will be recent entrants in the market. One thing is certain: Air Serbia’s home position is about to get much tougher.
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