Wizz Air Continues Growth from Budapest Base

Central and Eastern European low-cost airline specialist, Wizz Air, is to further grow its low fare route network from Hungary with two new routes from its base at Budapest Airport. The new links to Bologna and Glasgow will commence in June 2015 and will expand its network out of Hungary to 42 routes across 20 different countries.

The airline will introduce a twice weekly connection between Budapest and Bologna from June 5, 2015 and a twice weekly link between Budapest and Glasgow from June 13, 2015. The latter service has been partly driven by recent surveys in which Hungarian consumers listed Scotland on top of their wish list for future routes from the carrier.

Wizz Air will be the sole carrier to offer flights to Bologna and Glasgow from the Hungarian capital, two markets that previously have been served by Ryanair. The budget carrier served the Budapest - Bologna market for almost a year between March 2012 and January 2013, while it offered flights on the Budapest - Glasgow route between November 2007 and October 2010, albeit serving Prestwick Airport not Galsgow Airport at the Scottish destination.

In addition to the Budapest route, Wizz Air will also add a twice weekly service between Glasgow and Lublin in eastern Poland with flights starting on September 16, 2015. “This is fantastic news for the airport," said Paul White, business development manager, Glasgow Airport. "We are continually working to expand our route network and not only will Wizz Air’s new routes further strengthen our connectivity with Europe’s major cities, it has huge potential to generate significant in-bound tourism for Glasgow.

The new Wizz Air route launches further consolidates Italy’s position as the third largest country market served from Hungary’s capital airport, offering a total of 10,828 weekly seats, according to data from OAG Schedules Analyser. Meanwhile, Wizz Air will be providing 30 per cent of all scheduled seats to the United Kingdom from Budapest. With 101 weekly scheduled operations, offering a total of 17,542 weekly seats, the UK is the second largest country market served from Budapest after Italy.

"Wizz Air’s new services to Bologna and Glasgow fill a real customer demand for both leisure and business travellers. We continue to build on the solid relationship we have with our largest airline, working together to offer passengers a great selection of expanding destinations," said Kam Jandu, chief commercial officer, Budapest Airport.

Alongside the two new destinations, Wizz Air will also increase frequencies on two existing routes with an additional weekly departure to Frankfurt Hahn (from two to three times weekly) from June 7, 2015 and Malta (from four to five times weekly) from June 18, 2015. Both destinations have proven very popular among Hungarian passengers: Germany’s most famous wine region near Hahn and the sunny beaches of Malta attract thousands of visitors throughout the year.

In our chart, below, we highlight Wizz Air's capacity growth from Budapest over the past ten years. The airline has increased its departure capacity from Ferenc Liszt International Airport by an average annual rate of 26.6 per cent over this period from just over 435,000 available seats from the airport in 2005 to just under 1.5 million last year. This year, based on published schedules, capacity is already forecasted to grow 7.1 per cent versus 2014.

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…