Wizz Air has announced the closure of its base in Tuzla from mid-September. The carrier will continue to operate four routes from the city. Starting September 12, the airline will no longer have two aircraft stationed at Tuzla Airport and will discontinue eleven routes with services to Basel, Dortmund, Hahn and Memmingen to continue to operate. In a statement, the airline said, “Wizz Air confirms it plans to modify its network and optimise flights in Bosnia and Herzegovina by reallocating its two based aircraft from Tuzla to other bases within its network. This is due to the changing economic environment, as well as operational challenges caused by weather in the region, and to take advantage of growth opportunities by reallocating capacity to other routes with higher demand. Although several routes will be suspended, Wizz Air will continue with flights from Tuzla to Basel Mulhouse, Dortmund, Frankfurt Hahn and Memmingen”. Routes that will be discontinued include Berlin, Billund, Cologne, Eindhoven, Friedrichshafen, Gothenburg, Baden Baden, Malmo, Nuremberg, Stockholm Skavsta and Vienna.
The development comes less than a year after Wizz Air closed its base in Sarajevo and just a month after Ryanair discontinued all operations from Tuzla. In a message to its Tuzla-based employees, Wizz Air said, “Given the operational and supply chain difficulties the aviation sector keeps facing, as well as extreme fog Tuzla is struggling with every winter, leading to compromises in planned aircraft utilisation and more diversions than normal, despite our aim to successfully run and ramp up our operations, after careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to close our Tuzla base on September 12, 2023”. It added, “Wizz Air will continue to operate several inbound routes to Tuzla to serve our Bosnian and international customers. These routes were the strongest performing ones and we are committed to preserving them by flying inbound with a more reliable schedule because we can avoid fog”.
Wizz Air commenced operations from Tuzla in 2013 and opened a base in the city in 2015, becoming the first low cost carrier to do so in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Next month the airline will have a record 416 departing flights out of Tuzla, offering 74.800 seats. Wizz Air accounts for all of Tuzla Airport’s scheduled passenger traffic. Affected customers will be notified via e-mail and can opt for either a 120% refund of the original fare in airline credit, a 100% cash refund, or an alternative flight. All Tuzla-based employees will be offered redeployment opportunities at other Wizz Air bases. “Our priority now is to ensure that all affected customers are contacted directly with clear advice on their options, and to look after Tuzla-based colleagues and crew. We are privileged to have a highly professional and dedicated team in Tuzla, and we are making sure that all of them are provided with opportunities in other Wizz Air bases. Wizz Air continues to operate nine routes from Bosnian airports of Sarajevo, Tuzla and Banja Luka”, Roland Tischner, Wizz Air’s Managing Director and Operations Officer said.