Wizz Air CEO, Jozsef Varadi, has warned there is no quick fix to the aviation industry’s problems as the budget carrier suspends more routes out of the former Yugoslavia in response to staff shortages. Earlier this month, the airline announced the temporary halt to operations from Pristina to Dortmund and Rome, from Tuzla to Milan, from Ljubljana to Charleroi, from Ohrid to Dortmund and from Belgrade to Billund. The low cost airline will now also suspend flights from the Serbian capital to Vaxjo from October 2 until October 30. Furthermore, it will end operations between Belgrade and Larnaca from October 30, with no date set for its resumption. It comes as Air Serbia increases services to the Cypriot city to a record ten weekly flights in response to strong demand. Wizz currently runs two weekly rotations between the two.
Wizz Air will also end flights between Tuzla and Vaxjo. The last service is scheduled to take place on August 26. No date has been specified for the route’s resumption. The additional suspensions come on top of a number of services being reduced from the former Yugoslavia over the peak summer travel period. From its base in Skopje, the airline has reduced operations to Basel, Cologne, Gothenburg and Friedrichshafen, from Belgrade, frequencies to Dortmund and Malmo have been cut, while from its Sarajevo base, Wizz Air has lowered operations to Cologne and Copenhagen. From Ljubljana, frequencies have been cut to London Luton, Banja Luka has seen Basel and Malmo reduced, Pristina and Niš have witnessed cuts on operations to Vienna, while services between Podgorica and Rome have also been reduced. The Croatian coast has been impacted with frequency cuts from Rome to Dubrovnik, as well as from Poznan to Split.
Mr Varadi has warned consumers not to expect a swift fix, adding that the airline is making changes to its flying patterns to try and avoid disruption. “I don’t think anyone should be expecting a sudden improvement. It’s not going to be perfect, so I don’t think we’re going to be having a great summer. But we’re doing everything we can to make sure we have more safety nets in the system ”, Mr Varadi said. He pointed to shortages in air traffic management as the long-term problem. “It’s a very difficult area to train people up. It’s two to three years so there’s no quick fix. Air traffic management is a state-run organization, so governments should have done a lot better in terms of anticipating what’s coming, and making sure that their systems are up to speed to satisfy demand ”, the CEO noted.