Oradea, the county town of Bihor in western Romania is closer to Vienna than it is to the capital, Bucharest.
The city of about 200,000 is an economic hub and the biggest city in southwest Romania after Timisoara. It is known for baroque and art nouveau architecture which are remnants of the Austro-Hungarian empire which ended in 1918. It was integrated into Romania after World War I ended.
It has a disadvantage though: it lacks good and fast connections to the rest of Romania and Europe.
In a bid to improve connectivity and attract more business to the city, the chairman of Bihor County Council and Oradea mayor Florin Birta, announced Thursday they were starting up a new local airline.
The Oradea-based company plans to buy two aircraft in the autumn and start regular flights to Bucharest from March 2022, they said.
„Our goal is to have this company running by September and to be able to take reservations for next spring,” said Ilie Bolojan, county chairman. „Having a developed airport will connect us with the… capital much better and Western Europe,” he said.
“This means better conditions for residents, investors and tourists,” Oradea mayor Florin Birta said. “We believe it will be a real success,” he added.
By March, they plan to have three flights a day to Bucharest during the weekdays,and two at the weekends. International flights to Western Europe will start in October 2022, they said. The aircraft will either be bought or leased.
Under the terms of the agreement between the city hall and the county council, the current airport will be refurbished and extended to accommodate the new airline and extra passengers.
The city hall will also run a publicity campaign to promote the city as a tourist destination and a place to invest.
Among the city’s architectural gems are the neoclassical State Theater dominates King Ferdinand Square. The 18th-century Bishop’s Palace, with its frescoed rooms is now home to the Museum of the Crisana Region.
Apart from its status as an economic hub, Oradea boasts a rich Art Nouveau architectural heritage and is a member of the Reseau Art Nouveau Nework and the Art Nouveau European Route.
Covid-19 pandemic pushes back Timisoara as European Capital of Culture to 2023