New airline schedules and routes are already in place for the winter season. Carriers quickly reserve new routes, because they do not want to be overtaken by competitors. And the biggest competition concerns Germany, the Dziennik newspaper reports.
Low-cost airlines are the most expansionary. Wizz Air, a Polish-Hungarian airline focusing on Central Europe and the leader on the Polish market, has already drawn up 13 new routes. Irish Ryanair has announced 10 new routes for the winter season. Ryanair is Europe’s largest low-cost carrier and one of the world’s most successful airlines in terms of profits, number of flights and number of passengers. Other airlines have scheduled four to five new flights each this winter, and the routes include Great Britain, Scandinavia, Italy and France.
The biggest competition involves Germany. Wizz Air, Ryanair and Norwegian Air Shuttle are preparing to compete with Lufthansa (the German flag carrier and sixth largest airline in the world), LOT Polish Airlines (the national airline of Poland based in Warsaw) and Germanwings (a low-cost airline based in Cologne and Bonn). “German routes are unusually attractive as are those in neighboring Poland,” said Jaroslaw Swiecki, chief of Norwegian Air Shuttle. “Relations with Germany concern not only tourist traffic but also business relations.” Norwegian Air Shuttle will open a route between Warsaw-Munich soon, and Ryanair plans a Warsaw-Frankfurt route.
The challenge of the low-cost airlines is downplayed by Maria Kowalewska, director of Lufthansa in Poland. “Together with LOT Polish Airlines, we have many competitive advantages,” she said Lufthansa will not open new Polish-German routes, but it will increase its flights from Wroclaw to Munich and from Katowice to Dusseldorf. Dziennik said LOT is adding two new routes to Germany.