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Nov 27, 2007 17:12 EEST
SOFIA (Bulgaria), November 27 (SeeNews) – Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air plans to enter new markets in southeast Europe by the end of the decade, and will launch new flights from Bulgaria where it already operates, the company's CEO Jozsef Varadi said on Tuesday.
"As opportunities are rising, we are also willing to fly from the Balkans. […] The liberalisation of those markets is taking pace and they are opening up, and I am sure that in foreseeable future you can see us fly there,” Varadi told SeeNews.
He added that the company will most probably enter the new markets in 2009.
Next year Wizz Air will start to fly from two new cities - Cluj in Romania and Poznan in Poland.
In July 2008, Wizz Air will add four new international destinations from the Bulgarian capital Sofia - to Barcelona and Valencia in Spain, Milan in Italy and Izmir in Turkey. The company will also start its first domestic flight in Bulgaria from Sofia to the biggest Bulgarian city at the Black sea, Varna.
“This wave of expansion will triple the current capacity of Wizz Air in Sofia”, Varadi said at a news conference.
Currently, Wizz Air flies from Sofia to London, Dortmund and Rome.
The company says it has the largest market share in the low cost carrier market in central and eastern Europe - 19%. In Bulgaria, Wizz Air has a leading market share of 35%, followed by My Air with 25% and by Sky Europe with 20%.
The Hungarian low cost carrier expects to increase its turnover by 66.7% from the projected figure for 2007, to nearly one billion levs ($761 million/512 million euro), Varadi said.
Wizz Air has 13 Airbus A320 aircraft and aims to increase its fleet to 82 airplanes by 2014.
The company plans to transport 4.3 million passengers in 2007, up from 2.9 million in 2006. It also expects to raise this figure further to 6.3 million next year.
From Bulgaria Wizz Air plans to carry about 380,000 passengers next year, up from the expected 156,000 in 2007, and plans to raise the number to one million in 2010.
(1 euro = 1.95583 Bulgarian levs)
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