Sunday, March 26, 2017

Summer 2017 - Montenegro Airlines

Montenegro Airlines will be making changes to its summer network which begins today, with the airline to maintain operations with fewer aircraft than last year. Last November, the carrier returned its only 112-seat Embraer E190 jet to its owner. Montenegro Airlines will primarily reduce operations out of Tivat. The airline will harmonise its frequencies between Tivat and Belgrade in line with its new codeshare partner Air Serbia. Both carriers plan to run three daily flights between the two cities. Furthermore, the airline will halve its frequencies to St. Petersburg from four to two per week. The reduction will coincide with the introduction of a new three weekly service between the two cities operated by Aeroflot subsidiary Nordavia. Montenegro Airlines will also reduce flights to London Gatwick by one weekly service, returning to its 2015 schedule, following an increase last year. The airline competes against easyJet on the route.

The Montenegrin carrier will maintain the same number of departures from its hub in Podgorica this year. The carrier will reduce one of its weekly flights to Copenhagen but will substitute the reduction with an additional weekly service to Paris, which continues to perform strongly for the airline and its codeshare partner Air France. Apart from its scheduled operations, Montenegro Airlines will also run charters to Bari, Brindisi, Naples and Ancona in Italy. Furthermore, the carrier will introduce new charter flights to the Finnish capital Helsinki. Despite plans to run a one weekly charter service to Tehran, the airline has recently removed the city from its destination network and it is uncertain whether the flights will be operated.

Please note that the changes listed below are preliminary and based on current availability in the Global Distribution System (GDS). Furthermore, the table below displays the peak weekly frequency on each route during the course of the summer season. Increases in frequencies, particularly on flights from Tivat to Belgrade and Moscow, do not come into effect until later on in the summer. You can now review the 2017 summer season changes for each national carrier from the former Yugoslavia by clicking on the links below. Furthermore, you can review Wizz Air's summer operations from the former Yugoslavia here. The 2017 summer season begins today and runs until October 28.

Departing Podgorica

Destination  Frequency S2016Frequency S2017Change  Notes
Copenhagen32 1resumes MAY06
Dusseldorf22-resumes APR08
Lyon11-resumes APR15
Paris78 1-

Departing Tivat

DestinationFrequency S2016Frequency S2017Change  Notes
Belgrade2521 4-
London Gatwick43 1resumes APR26
St. Petersburg42 2resumes JUN06
ends SEP28

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Summer 2017 - Croatia Airlines

Croatia Airlines' summer season operations come into effect this Sunday and last until October 28, with the carrier to introduce new routes and boost frequencies to several destinations. As previously reported, Croatia Airlines will launch new flights from Zagreb to Bucharest, Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki. The carrier will add two wet-leased Iberia Regional Bombardier CRJ1000 aircraft to its fleet from May. They are currently scheduled to operate on a range of routes out of the Croatian capital, including to Copenhagen six time per week, four weekly to Brussels, three weekly to Dubrovnik, Stockholm, Helsinki and Oslo, as well two weekly to Skopje and once weekly to Barcelona and Lisbon. Furthermore, the 100-seater will be deployed between Dubrovnik and Athens three times per week.

Croatia Airlines will add an additional weekly flight to its seasonal routes from Zagreb to Barcelona and Lisbon, with the latter launched just last year. However, the carrier will further downgrade its Pristina service, which will now run for just two months this year. The route was turned into a seasonal summer service last winter. Operations out of Split will remain unchanged, however, flights to Athens will resume almost a full month later than last year. In addition, Croatia Airlines will scale back its operations between Dubrovnik and the Greek capital from five to three weekly flights, although there will be added capacity with the CRJ1000 operating instead of the Dash 8 turboprop, which maintained the route through large stretches of last summer. The Croatian carrier will not resume its seasonal service between Dubrovnik and Tel Aviv, which was launched last year. On the other hand, the resumption of flights between Dubrovnik and Amsterdam has been brought forward by almost a month.

Please note that the changes listed below are preliminary and based on current availability in the Global Distribution System (GDS). Furthermore, the tables below display the peak weekly frequency on each route during the course of the summer season. Increases in frequencies, particularly on domestic flights between Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Pula, may not come into effect until later on in the summer and can vary depending on the time of the year. EX-YU Aviation News will bring you Montenegro Airlines’ network changes tomorrow. In the meantime, you can also review planned modifications made by Adria Airways and Air Serbia. Furthermore, you can browse through the changes Wizz Air will be making to its EX-YU network here.

Departing Zagreb

DestinationFrequency S2016Frequency S2017Change   Notes
Barcelona34▲ 1-
Bucharest03▲ 3starts MAY19
Helsinki03▲ 3starts MAY21
Lisbon34▲ 1resumes MAY01
London Heathrow88-1 flight via Rijeka
Milan33-resumes MAY02
Oslo03▲ 3starts MAY21
Prague44-resumes MAY02
Pristina22-resumes JUL11
ends SEP05
Pula1414-via Zadar
Rome88-6 flights via Split
2 flights via Dubrovnik
St. Petersburg22-resumes MAY04
Stockholm03▲ 3starts MAY19
Tel Aviv22--

Departing Split

DestinationFrequency S2016Frequency S2017Change  Notes
Athens11-resumes JUN03
ends SEP30
Berlin11-resumes APR29
Belgrade33-resumes MAY13
ends SEP25
Dubrovnik11-resumes APR29
ends OCT21
Dusseldorf22-resumes MAY03
London Gatwick22-resumes APR21
London Heathrow11--
Lyon11-resumes APR29
ends OCT 07
Vienna44-resumes MAY01
ends OCT21
Zurich44-resumes MAY03

Departing Dubrovnik

Destination  Frequency S2016Frequency S2017Change  Notes
Amsterdam11-via Pula
Athens53 2resumes MAY18
Dusseldorf11-resumes MAY07
ends OCT22
Nice22-starts APR28
ends SEP11
Pula11-starts MAY30
ends SEP26
Tel Aviv10 1-
Venice22-resumes MAY04
ends OCT15
Zurich55-resumes APR30

From Pula, Croatia Airlines will operate to Amsterdam (1x per week), Dubrovnik (1x per week), Frankfurt (2x per week), Zadar (14x per week), Zagreb (7x per week) and Zurich (1x per week). All frequencies remain unchanged compared to last year. From Osijek, the airline will fly to both Split and Dubrovnik (1x per week).

From Zadar, the airline will operate to Pula (14x per week), Zagreb (7x per week) and Frankfurt (2x per week), maintaining last year's frequencies. Rijeka will see the Croatian national airline operate flights to Munich (3x per week) and one weekly flight to London Heathrow, as was the case during the summer of 2016.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Air Serbia's JFK route "long-term investment"

The President and CEO of the Etihad Aviation Group, James Hogan, has said that Air Serbia's service between Belgrade and New York's JFK Airport, launched nine months ago, is a "long-term investment", which will take several years to achieve its full potential. Speaking to the "Blic" daily, Mr Hogan said, "The introduction of flights to New York is a long-term investment for Air Serbia. Such routes usually take three to five years to achieve optimal results. What you get from the service to New York is an important air bridge between the United States, Belgrade and other destinations. If you take into account the Balkans and Eastern Europe, and if you take low cost carriers out of the picture, because we are not one of them, Air Serbia is, in my opinion, one of the leading smaller brands. That is not a bad result for just three and a half years".

Commenting on future expansion, Mr Hogan said, "It's not all about expansion. It is important for a company to be of the right size and form. In the past, many companies expanded too quickly and then collapsed. It is important that we strengthen what we have and make it more functional in the right way. Air Serbia has a good image, good people and good operational results. There is room for improvement in a commercial sense but it is important for Air Serbia to continue developing. It is very important to sell Belgrade as a tourist destination". Last January Mr Hogan said the Serbian carrier could expand its footprint in North America in two to three years. "We have already considered flights to Chicago and Toronto and these services could be introduced in two to three years. First off, the New York route must become functional. We don't want to make a decision that would set Air Serbia back", Mr Hogan said at the time.

Passenger numbers on Air Serbia's New York route have been 40% above the business plan within the first half year of operations, although yields haven't performed as hoped for, due to less Americans travelling on the route to Europe for fear of terror attacks, according to the airline. As a result, the carrier has reduced frequencies to New York from five weekly flights to three weekly outside of the peak summer travel season. Furthermore, the airline has said it will not take on additional long haul aircraft for the time being. Serbia's Prime Minister has previously noted that the airline's New York route would become profitable within three years of operations.

No deal between Adria pilots and management


Adria Airways pilots and the company's management have failed to reach an agreement on the terms of a new collective agreement following two days of industrial action. As services return to normal, pilots will decide on further industrial action at the beginning of next week. Previously, it was announced that another two-day strike would take place on April 27 and 28 if no agreement is reached by then. The head of the pilot's union, Marjan Majcen, noted that some progress has been made in the distribution of working days and that fresh talks would take place next Wednesday. Terms of the previous collective agreement expired at the end of February and the union has accused the management of plans to scale back a range of rights and obligations. For its part, the management has refused to comment on the matter or reveal how much the two-day strike, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday, cost the carrier.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ljubljana Airport poised for new terminal

The operator of Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, Fraport, has adopted plans for the construction of a new passenger terminal according to the daily "Finance". Plans for the new facility are expected to be announced next month, with the project valued between fifteen and twenty million euros. Previously, Ljubljana Airport's General Manager, Zmago Skobir, said a decision on whether a second terminal would be built would be made by the end of March. In 2013, minority shareholders, which have since been squeezed out, rejected plans for the construction of a 57 million euro new terminal building. The new facility was meant to cover an area of 31.200 square metres, with its opening planned for 2015. Following Fraport's takeover, the construction of a new terminal was put on hold with greater focus put on revamping existing facilities.

Commenting on plans for the new terminal in more detail, Mr Skobir said last month, "The owners [Fraport] will make a decision by the end of March. The terminal would expand towards Šenčur and would be slightly smaller than the one previously planned. However, beforehand, it is necessary to look at all the calculations. We are in a better position now because the trends have changed, Adria Airways has a new owner and there is a greater understanding of the investment". He added, "The construction of the new terminal would cost fifteen to twenty million euros, which is slightly lower than originally planned, but work could begin immediately". Ljubljana is facing increased competition from nearby airports which are investing heavily in improving their infrastructure.

Ljubljana Airport is also expected to begin work on revamping its existing terminal this autumn. "Under current plans, the overhaul of the existing terminal would begin this autumn and it should be fitted with new technology. We have already made some quick fixes to improve passenger flow", Mr Skobir noted. Earlier this week, the Fraport Group reported that Ljubljana Airport's net profit fell 23.1% in 2016 to two million euros. Revenues increased 3.4% to 36 million euros. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased almost 24% to 14.5 million euros, while earnings before interest and taxes increased 2.7 million to 4.4 million euros.