European low-cost carrier, Wizz Air, is to boost its Mediterranean offering in summer 2014 after confirming it will add two more routes to the island of Cyprus and boosting connectivity to the popular holiday location from Central and Eastern Europe. The budget operator will add flights to Larnaca from Belgrade from March 30, 2014 and Kiev from May 1, 2014, adding to its already announced new route from the Donetsk Sergey Prokofiev International Airport base of its Ukraine sister venture which also commences from late March 2014. All three routes will be flown on a twice weekly schedule using Airbus A320 equipment.
The new routes are part of a long term development plan for Wizz Air in Cyprus where its route network in Larnaca will now grow to six routes serving destinations in five different countries. According to the carrier, capacity in the first 12 months of operating the new routes will grow to a total of 250,000 seats. The airline believes this will stimulate the local job market in the aviation and tourism sectors as consumers will have access to more low-cost routes.
“We welcome the decision of the airline to grow its presence in Cyprus, a development that will contribute to the economic welfare of the island. We look forward to a fruitful cooperation and further growth in the years to come,” added Wes Porter, chief executive officer of airport operator Hermes.
Wizz Air made its debut in Cyprus in January 2011 when it inaugurated a link to Larnaca from Bucharest. This operated until October 2011, but Wizz Air returned to the island in April 2012 with services from Budapest, adding flights from Katowice, Sofia and resuming the Bucharest connection from May 2013. The Katowice link was subsequently closed in October this year.
The budget carrier will compete directly with the new Serbian flag carrier, Air Serbia on the Belgrade – Larnaca route, an estimated market of 17,000 bi-directional O&D passengers in 2012. Meanwhile, on the Kiev – Larnaca route competition will come in the form of Ukraine International Airlines and will see the low-cost carrier compete in a market of around 49,000 O&D passengers.