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13,000 flew aboard Wizz Air since Bulgarian launch

Date: 08.01.2006

London-registered European low cost carrier Wizz Air, the first no-frills carrier to enter the Bulgarian market, has carried 13,000 passengers since it started flights from the Bulgarian capital at the end of September 2005.

Natasa Kazmer, Director Corporate Communication and Public Affairs of Wizz Air, announced this at the Fifth International Conference on Tourism "Bulgaria - Dream Area", which is taking place January 6-7 at Radisson SAS Grand Hotel. She was among the speakers at the panel session about the role of international carriers and tour operations in developing the region and the future of Bulgaria as regional convention centre.

Wizz Air carried 1,889,608 passengers in 2005, representing a growth rate of 233% over 2004 when the airline had 567,885 passengers.

Wizz Air has achieved market leadership in each of the Central and Eastern European countries where it started operations - Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria.

Poland and Hungary, the airline now accounts for 39% and 29% of market share in the low cost airline sector, respectively.

"It was a great milestone for us to enter Bulgaria. We have been on the market here for no more than three months and have already carried a total of 13,000 passengers. In terms of passengers number the market will build up just as quickly as in Poland. There are huge challenges and possibilities here in terms of Internet penetration and route designation, " said Natasa Kazmer.

"We are changing the paradigm today. Success of business depends on how flexible you are," Natasa Kazmer said.

Currently the only budget airlines flying to Bulgaria are Wizz Air and SkyEurope.

The country is expected to join the European Common Aviation Area in 2007, which will allow foreign air carriers to operate without permission from the air traffic administration.

Sofia News Agency

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