M.R. Štefánik airport in Bratislava (BTS) will gain a new competitor this year: The Hungarian low-cost airliner Wizz Air will open 17 new lines from Schwechat airport in Vienna to various destinations within Europe, the Sme daily wrote on January 16.
BTS has not commented on this step, rather focusing on developing the network of air connections on the Slovak market with Wizz Air.
The Hungarian airline currently flies from Bratislava to four destinations; and from March, a fifth one, to London, will be opened. It also flies from two other Slovak airports – Poprad and Košice.
Wizz Air plans to add the new routes from Vienna gradually, from Gdansk in Polish and Tuzla in Bosnia-Herzegovina by end of April, through summer flights to Valencia, Spain, Rome and Tel Aviv, to Bergen in Norway by the end of this year. Nevertheless, they could negatively impact the numbers of passengers in nearby Bratislava.
What do the new routes mean for Bratislava?
“This step may mean a regulated decline in travelling passengers, since they will use the new lines from Vienna,” Martin Miklánek of the Gander Group consultation company evaluated for Sme. He added that some air companies may consider whether they will compete against one another on the same air routes. This situation is a huge challenge for M.R. Štefánik airport, which should prepare for a possible decrease in passengers and offer new air routes that would not compete with Vienna and have a sufficient occupancy rate, Miklánek summed up for Sme.