Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air has announced plans to launch regular twice-weekly flights between Budapest and St. Petersburg starting August 27. The airline will be the only operator of the route and will thus restore direct connection between the two cities, which ceased when Russia’s UTair suspended service on the route in 2014.
Wizz Air will be the second low-cost carrier for Pulkovo, which also caters for the Spanish Vueling. The latter operates flights from Barcelona to St. Petersburg.
The Hungarian company attained commercial rights for the route between Budapest and St. Petersburg four years ago. Its other destination in Russia is Moscow’s Vnukovo airport. On the Moscow route it competes against Aeroflot, which operates the same route from Sheremetyevo. According to data resented by Wizz Air in the three years and eight months of its presence in Russia, it carried 440,000 passengers between the capitals of the two countries.
St. Petersburg is the 13th destination Wizz Air has launched from its base airport in 2017. The airline, which positions itself as the largest low-cost carrier in Central and Eastern Europe, is progressing with its strategy to conquer the post-Soviet territory.
It announced plans to start flying to Astana in Kazakhstan on June. On April 13 the first flight from Lviv in Ukraine to Wroclaw took off, marking the launch of Wizz Air’s operations from its second base in Ukraine. The twice-weekly flight is one of the eight new routes from Ukraine, including Lviv – Berlin, from Kyiv to Poznan and Lublin, Frankfurt/Hahn and Hannover.
To develop its network from the Ukrainian capital Wizz Air will base two Airbus A320s in Kyiv’s Zhulyany airport. In nine years of airline’s service on the Ukrainian market Wizz Air’s traffic exceeded 4.8 million passengers. The airline offers flights to the total of 21 destinations in 8 countries from Kyiv and Lviv.
In the meantime, in late April Wizz Air’s new base in Kutaisi, Georgia has reached its first milestone – six months of service, during which the carrier served over 100,000 passengers between Kutaisi and Budapest. On June 18 the A320 based in Georgia will start flying to a new destination, London’s Luton.
Wizz Air launched operations in 2004 and its network currently includes 500 destinations from 28 base airport, six of which are located in the former Soviet republics – Chisinau in Moldova, Kyiv and Lviv in Ukraine, Vilnius in Lithuania, Riga in Latvia and Kutaisi in Georgia.
The airline’s fleet consists of 81 Airbus A320 family aircraft. It also has 110 A321neos on order. Its traffic reached 20 million passengers in 2016.
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