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Air Serbia says Wizz Air is its main ‘tough’ rival

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Air Serbia CEO Jiri Marek said Wizz Air was a “tough player”, with both carriers being the largest airlines at Belgrade Airport. Air Serbia and Wizz Air have expanded significantly this year from Nikola Tesla Airport, with the national airline launching more than twenty new routes in 2023, while the budget airline based its fourth aircraft in the city and added a handful of new routes, while increasing frequencies. on existing services. “Wizz Air is our biggest competitor in Belgrade. Compared to 2019, Wizz Air increased its capacity by 190%. Our capacity is 30% higher than before the pandemic. Wizz Air is a tough player in Belgrade. We compete with each other on several routes. Sometimes we win, sometimes they win. There are also routes where our offers complement each other. We are open to competition because then we are forced to improve our efficiency and change our approach to the customer,” said Mr. Marek.

Air Serbia and Wizz Air currently compete directly on ten routes. These include Berlin, Barcelona, ​​Copenhagen, Rome Fiumicino, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Heraklion, Larnaca, Lisbon and Malta. In addition, the two companies are in indirect competition on several routes where they operate from different or close airports, notably those of London, Stockholm and Milan (from next Tuesday). “Competition from Air Serbia does not impact us much because our cost base is much lower, so we are happy with the setup and the competition is still good. This keeps us on our toes and is a benefit to customers because they have more choice. We are always happy to compete. As long as the cost base is low, it is still possible to be competitive,” the budget airline said.

Ryanair is present in Serbia at Niš airport but does not operate from Belgrade, which it considers too expensive. According to Mr Marek, competing with Ryanair or Wizz Air does not make a big difference. “For me, honestly, it doesn’t matter whether the competition is Ryanair or Wizz Air. There are not many airports in the Balkans where these low cost airlines compete. In Zagreb, in terms of low cost airlines, Ryanair dominates. In Belgrade, it’s Wizz Air. The markets of the countries of the former Yugoslavia are not yet mature. Airlines are aware of this and do not want to engage in direct challenge through price stimulation.”

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