Wizz Air suspends more routes from the former Yugoslavia
Wizz Air CEO Jozsef Varadi has warned there is no quick fix to the aviation industry’s problems as the budget carrier suspends more routes from the former Yugoslavia in response to staff shortages. Earlier this month, the airline announced the temporary halt to operations from Pristina to Dortmund and Rome, Tuzla to Milan, Ljubljana to Charleroi, Ohrid to Dortmund and Belgrade to Billund. The low-cost airline will now also suspend flights from the Serbian capital to Vaxjo from October 2 to 30. In addition, it will end operations between Belgrade and Larnaca from October 30, with no date set for its resumption. It comes as Air Serbia is increasing its services to the Cypriot city to a record ten weekly flights in response to strong demand. Wizz currently holds two weekly rotations between the two.
Wizz Air will also end flights between Tuzla and Vaxjo. The last service is scheduled for August 26. No date has been specified for the resumption of the line. The additional suspensions come on top of the reduction of a number of services from the former Yugoslavia during the peak summer travel period. From its base in Skopje, the airline has reduced operations to Basel, Cologne, Gothenburg and Friedrichshafen, from Belgrade, frequencies to Dortmund and Malmö have been cut, while from its base in Sarajevo, Wizz Air has reduced operations to Cologne and Copenhagen. From Ljubljana, frequencies were cut to London Luton, Banja Luka saw Basel and Malmö reduced, Pristina and Niš saw cuts on operations to Vienna, while services between Podgorica and Rome were also reduced. The Croatian coast was impacted by frequency cuts from Rome to Dubrovnik, as well as from Poznan to Split.
Mr Varadi warned consumers not to expect a quick fix, adding that the airline was making changes to its flying habits to try to avoid disruption. “I don’t think anyone should expect a sudden improvement. It won’t be perfect, so I don’t think we’re going to have a great summer. But we are doing everything we can to make sure we have more safety nets in the system,” Varadi said. He pointed to air traffic management shortages as the long-term problem. “It’s a very difficult area to train people. It’s two to three years so there’s no quick fix. Air traffic management is a state-run organisation, so governments should have done much better to anticipate what is coming and ensure their systems are up to date to meet demand,” noted the CEO.