Wizz Air Launches New Service to Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania_Budget airline Wizz Air said Wednesday it was launching new routes linking Romania with cities in Central and Western Europe.

The airline will give away 10,000 free tickets - with customers paying only the airport taxes - as a promotion, the company said in a news release.

Under the two-year-old airline's expansion to Romania, it will operate flights out of two Transylvanian cities and Bucharest.

The first flight will be from Targu Mures in northwest Romania to Budapest, Hungary, on July 14.

Starting Jan. 15, the airline will fly from Bucharest to Budapest; Barcelona, Spain; Dortmund, Germany; Rome; and Luton airport outside London. It will also fly to Milan, Italy, from the city of Arad in western Romania, where many Italian businesses are located.

A one-way ticket from Bucharest to Barcelona or London will cost 126 lei (US$45, €36).

The company estimates it will have half a million passengers next year, when Romania is expected to join the European Union.

The company said it thinks there will be a strong demand for cheap tickets because more than 1 million Romanians are working in Western Europe.

Other budget airlines that operate in Romania include Slovakia-based Sky Europe, Italy-based My Air and Romanian airline Blue Air.

Wizz Air's main bases of operation are in Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria. Since its launch, Wizz Air has carried almost 1.4 million passengers, according to its Web site.