European budget airline Wizz Air will soon be ending its domestic service in Norway. This will see the termination of three routes out of Oslo on June 14th, less than a year from when they launched.
Domestic service to end in mid-June
According to the website Life in Norway, Wizz Air will stop flying Norwegian domestic service in a little over two weeks. From June 14th, the carrier’s three routes within Norway will cease to fly. They are as follows:
These services were operated by two of Wizz Airlines’ A320 aircraft- which are configured to have 180 seats in a single-class configuration.
It was just October of last year that Wizz announced that it would be launching these Norwegian routes, making their cancelation all the more shocking. According to AirwaysMag, the decision was based on financial and commercial assessments, with the airline saying that the capacity will be shifted to other markets.
Indeed, the airline has had a challenging time with its domestic services in Norway. NewsInEnglish.no points out that the airline had to shut down its Trondheim base in February due to soft demand and pandemic travel restrictions. Additionally, the airline faced tensions with several Norwegian unions and trade organizations because of its perceived anti-union position. Wizz Air had later clarified that it would allow its employees in Norway to unionize after all.
What airlines will fill the gap?
With the services soon ending, which airlines will operate the markets Wizz is exiting?
Unlike other parts of the world where termination of domestic service has left communities stranded, Norway seems to be quite well-served in terms of domestic air service. Indeed there are three carriers that operate on the routes cut by Wizz:
- Norwegian using its Boeing 737s
- Wideroe using the DHC Dash 8-400
- SAS with its Boeing 737s
Indeed, there is a great deal of competition on the services. Airlines have multiple services per day on these routes, making it quite understandable why Wizz Air chose to leave this market.
Startup airline Flyr will also be entering the market at the end of June, with a plan to operate its first service between Oslo and Tromsø. The carrier will begin with two 737-800s, which are both around eight years old.
Wizz will continue to have a presence in Norway, but strictly in an international sense. The airline operates (or will soon re-commence) routes such as Bergen-Gdansk, Oslo-Katowice, Oslo-Riga, and Oslo-Tallinn.
Wizz Air has aggressively expanded its services and reach over the past few years, even during this global health crisis. In 2021 alone, Wizz Air added 25 new airports to its network, reflecting the carrier’s ambitions for future growth. At the start of this year, the carrier even began operations with its new subsidiary airline in the UAE, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi.
Do you think this is a smart move for Wizz Air? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.
Simple Flying reached out to Wizz Air for comment. At the time of publication, no response was received.