Wizz Air Ukraine Enhances International Offering

WizzAir Ukraine has revealed plans to further expand its network offering from its home market with two new routes from its principal base in Kiev and its new focus city Donetsk as it attempts to use its low-cost business model to stimulate tourism and bring economic growth to Ukraine.  The carrier, the Ukrainian division of Central and Eastern European budget operator Wizz Air, launched domestic operations in July 2008 and now offers low-cost services from 5 Ukrainian airports.

The latest growth will see Wizz Air Ukraine add new routes from Kiev’s Zhuliany International Airport to two Eastern European capitals: Sofia, Bulgaria and Vilnius, Lithuania.  The flights to Vilnius will commence on July 5, 2013 and will be operated on a four times weekly basis, while services to Sofia will commence the subsequent day and will be flown on a three times weekly schedule.  Meanwhile, after the commencement of operations from Donetsk Airport earlier this year with a link to David the Builder Kutaisi International Airport commencing in April, Wizz Air Ukraine will now add a twice weekly service to Dortmund, Germany from July 6, 2013.  All three routes remain subject to regulatory approval.

According to Akos Bus, Director General of Wizz Air Ukraine, these announcements further underpin Wizz Air Ukraine’s commitment to expanding in the country.  “Wizz Air Ukraine now operates the newest aircraft fleet of all Ukrainian carriers and invests continuously in expanding its network in a bid to offer Ukrainian consumers and visitors reliable low fare routes,” he said.

"With direct international services to Vilnius and Sofia, Kiev is for the first time connected to these capital cities with low fare flights. The Donetsk route to the industrial and business region of Dortmund is a further step to expand our route network at Donetsk. Wizz Air’s commitment to the Ukraine is clear: our routes will boost the economic development of the respective regions, contribute to the rise of tourism and create much needed jobs," he added.

Wizz Air Ukraine currently operates two Airbus A320s but in the last couple of weeks has taken delivery of a third aircraft, the first of the type in Ukraine to be fitted with Sharklet winglets.  The aircraft is due to enter scheduled operation from March 31, 2013 and will provide capacity for an increase in the frequency of flights on a number of routes from Kiev and Lviv and to open flights from Donetsk and Kharkiv to Kutaisi on April 23 and July 1, respectively.

According to schedule data, Wizz Air Ukraine had grown to become the sixth largest international carrier in the country last year offerin over 320,000 seats from the Ukraine, around a 4.9 per cent share of the total capacity from the country in 2012.  This represented a growth of 29.0 per cent on its operations in 2011 when it had a 4.1 per cent share of the total seat capacity.  In the table below we highlight the ten largest international carriers from Ukraine by seat capacity in 2012 and how this compares with the previous two years.

The rapid rise of international air services from Ukraine is clearly evident in the analysis with total seat capacity increasing by almost a third between 2010 and 2012.  This growth has been spread across a number of networks, but notably increased connectivity with Russia with the likes of Aeroflot Russian Airlines, S7 Airlines and Transaero Airlines all showing a significant growth of capacity in the Ukraine international market.  Interestingly, Austrian Airlines, one of western Europe’s pioneers in serving markets across Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has been the only carrier among the ten largest international operators from Ukraine, to report a decline in capacity since 2010.

INTERNATIONAL SCHEDULED AIR CAPACITY FROM UKRAINE (non-stop departures; 2012)

Rank

Airline

Departures

Available Seats

% Capacity

% Change (vs 2011)

% Change (vs 2010)

1

Aerosvit Airlines (VV)

15,302

1,873,474

28.3 %

(-2.7) %

51.4 %

2

Ukraine International Airlines (PS)

7,476

919,641

13.9 %

8.1 %

30.6 %

3

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (SU)

2,916

410,454

6.2 %

71.4 %

109.9 %

4

Turkish Airlines (TK)

2,394

378,964

5.7 %

33.4 %

58.4 %

5

Lufthansa (LH)

2,448

352,804

5.3 %

7.4 %

17.0 %

6

Wizz Air Ukraine (WU)

1,788

321,840

4.9 %

29.0 %

49.5 %

7

Transaero Airlines (UN)

2,089

249,685

3.8 %

19.0 %

81.4 %

8

Austrian Airlines (OS)

1,873

167,498

2.5 %

(-11.2) %

(-2.7) %

9

S7 Airlines (S7)

985

136,160

2.1 %

18.3 %

33.9 %

10

LOT Polish Airlines (LO)

1,380

134,315

2.0 %

34.8 %

27.1 %

TOTAL

53,547

6,631,508

-

9.4 %

31.0 %


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