Romania's Henri Coanda International Airport, located near Bucharest, announced plans to construct a new EUR70 million passenger terminal by late 2010, including 15 gates, increasing the airport’s capacity from 4.5 million to 6 million passengers p/a (World Interior Design Network, 15-Dec-2009). A new international arrivals terminal will be completed by Dec-2011. These projects are part of the EUR150 million Phase III of the airport’s expansion programme.
Henri Coanda International Airport to construct new passenger terminal by late 2010
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Wizz Air: fastest growing top 20 European airline group keeps Ryanair at bay on E/C Europe-W Europe
Wizz Air's 2016 growth was the fastest among all of Europe's top 20 airline groups. Its passenger numbers increased by 19% to almost 23 million in calendar 2016, giving it an average growth rate of 22% pa over the past decade.
Although it is only Europe's 13th largest airline group overall and the number four LCC, Wizz Air is the biggest airline on routes between Eastern/Central Europe and Western Europe. Almost all of its routes are in this core market, and Wizz Air has managed to hold on to its number one spot in the face of strong competition from Ryanair, which is also growing rapidly in this market.
Wizz Air's fleet plan to 2024 is aimed at maintaining double digit growth rates, while also lowering unit costs by adding A321s and A321neos to its A320 equipment. Ten years ago Wizz Air carried only three million passengers, but it will almost certainly break into Europe's top 20 in 2017.
Romania aviation Part 3: Blue Air opens Liverpool base and creates new markets; TAROM feels the heat
CAPA's first two parts of this analysis of Romanian aviation and the country's leading airlines highlighted the rapid, LCC-fuelled growth in the market of the past two years. The home-grown LCC Blue Air has overtaken the national airline TAROM in passenger numbers and fleet size, although Wizz Air is the largest airline in the market and Ryanair is also growing fast in the country. This third part of the analysis considers respective route networks and the competitive positions of TAROM and Blue Air.
Blue Air announced in Oct-2016 that it will establish a base in Liverpool in 2017, with new routes from the UK city to a range of European destinations outside Romania. This is a sign that Blue Air is taking the fight to airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet as it embraces the pan-European LCC model. Blue Air CEO Gheorghe Racaru has said, "The UK is a strategic market for Blue Air and we strongly believe that basing a 737-800 at Liverpool will allow us to strengthen our position as one of Europe’s fastest growing airlines".
For its part, TAROM, loss-making in contrast with Blue Air's profitability, is embarking on a restructuring following a change of management. It is facing increased competition on its network, while Blue Air has targeted its growth on routes where competitors are scarce or non-existent.