Croatian ACMI specialist Trade Air is in discussions with Tuzla Airport over stationing one of its Airbus A320-family aircraft in Tuzla, following the planned closure of Wizz Air’s base in the city next month. According to “ch-aviation”, Trade Air is willing to wet-lease its aircraft to Tuzla Airport, while the latter would have to plan out routes and sales. A wet-lease involves an airline providing its aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance to another entity. Discussions with the airline, airport and the local authorities from Tuzla took place in Zagreb last week. Trade Air has confirmed the talks have taken place.
Last week, Tuzla Airport’s management noted, “We have an agreement not to go public until we get official confirmation on everything that was discussed. We held the meeting, we expect a proposal for an agreement to be made, which will be followed by further steps. We are in talks with a serious company that has not previously flown from Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is interested in launching several destinations that we have not had in the past. Additionally, we are in talks with several carriers over flights from Istanbul, which is a major international hub”. Furthermore, the airport noted it received a Latter of Intent from Air Montenegro, which has expressed its interest in commencing services from the city.
Tuzla Airport faces a difficult road ahead if it does not find a substitute for Wizz Air, which plans to continue operating just four routes this winter. During the upcoming winter season, which begins on October 29 and runs until March 30 of next year, the airport will have just twelve weekly departing flights, compared to the initially planned 43 weekly departures. Instead of the initially planned 7.740 weekly departing seats out of Tuzla, the airport will boast just 2.160 weekly outbound capacity. Tuzla Airport handled 429.473 passengers during the January – July period. The figure represents an increase of 101% on last year and is up 26.8% on the previous record set during the same period in 2019.