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SOFIA (Bulgaria), July 14 (SeeNews) - Wizz Air will increase the offer of seats on its flights to and from Sofia to 2.54 million next year, a spokesman for the Hungarian low-cost carrier has told SeeNews.
In 2017, Wizz Air is offering 2.36 million seats on its flights to and from the Bulgarian capital, 40% more than the year before, Gabor Vasarhelyi, corporate communications manager at Wizz Air, told SeeNews in an emailed interview last week.
Wizz Air will launch two new routes from Sofia in March 2018, to Nice and Lisbon, adding 22 weekly flights.
“As for Varna, we are just about to base an Airbus A320 aircraft at Varna Airport launching 6 routes and increasing the annual seat capacity by 218% to 333,000 seats,” Vasarhelyi said.
In March, Wizz Air launched its first domestic route in Bulgaria connecting the capital Sofia to the city of Varna, on the Black Sea coast.
“Our recently launched daily domestic service is popular among customers and the performance of the route is in line with our expectations,” Vasarhelyi added.
As awareness of the Sofia-Varna route increases, its performance is expected to improve even further, according to Vasarhelyi.
In total, Wizz Air’s seat capacity on flights to and from Bulgaria is 42% higher in 2017, compared to the year before.
Wizz Air offers a total of 44 routes from its three Bulgarian airports - 33 from Sofia, 8 from Varna and 4 from Burgas, also on the Black Sea coast.
Wizz Air’s Bulgarian operations enjoy one of the highest growth rates in the entire network of the company, Gabor Vasarhelyi said.
“While we cannot speculate on future growth, we can confirm that we are in talks with a number of airports at all times about adding them to the Wizz network,” Vasarhelyi said when asked about the possibility of Wizz Air launching flights to Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city.
With regard to Sofia Airport’s decision to equalise charges at its two passengers terminals, Wizz Air believes it results in distortion of the competitive environment at the airport, which creates an illegal competitive advantage and constitutes potential state aid in favour of all carriers using the more modern Terminal 2. Wizz Air incoming and outgoing flights use the old Terminal 1.
After the Bulgarian Civil Aviation Authority rejected Wizz Air’s complaint against the decision, the company intends to challenge it in national courts as well as with the European Union's competition and state aid authorities, Vasarhelyi said.