Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Sarajevo service

Soon in Sarajevo
An unlikely airline has made Sarajevo Airport its first destination within the former Yugoslav territory. The airline in question is Albanian Airlines, the national carrier of Albania which will commence services from Tirana to Sarajevo and continue on to Frankfurt. The new service will begin on June 18 and the Albanian carrier has received full rights to sell tickets on the sector between Sarajevo and Frankfurt and vice versa, as well as from Tirana to Sarajevo and vice versa. The airline already operates 2 weekly direct flights from Tirana to Frankfurt. Albanian Airlines will be in direct competition with B&H Airlines’ service to Frankfurt. All flight details can be found on the right hand side in the new route launches section. Because the flights Sarajevo – Frankfurt – Sarajevo and Tirana – Sarajevo – Tirana carry different flight numbers, the combined service has been classified as separate.

With 3 regional aircraft Albanian Airlines is a struggling carrier mostly due to the dominance of low cost Albanian airline Belle Air, which also operates from Tirana Mother Theresa Airport. While Belle Air has a 40% share of all flights from Tirana, the national carrier only has a 14.4% share while Alitalia comes in third.

Meanwhile, another airline which has recently commenced new services is Croatia Airlines from Zagreb to Barcelona. The flights between the two cities have resumed on Tuesday after 10 years and will operate 3 times per week using a combination of Croatia Airlines’ A319/A320 fleet.


  1. Interesting move by LV. We know that Belle tried a winter TT high-frequency service to Zg that didn't come off (it didn't last more than a few weeks off memory!), but this I can see having better success due to lower frequency, planes continuing on and starting the service in the summer. (Incidentally, had both Belle and Baboo to Geneva been tried from Zg in the summer, they would have had much better success)

    What will be interesting will be:
    1. flight times (competing with JA? same day/time?)
    2. costs (again against JA's service)

    If there is serious rivalry, JA must try their hand once again with OMO - twice a week to a serious destination (such as FRA) would have more success than CGN last year.

    Can someone explain to me the difference between keeping the same flight no throughout, and different ones? Is there a possibility of code-sharing to free up the JA fleet??

  2. Well according to the flight information button, the flight will operate on thursdays. On that day JA has a direct flight to FRA, times are bit different though --> LV offers an afternoon flight.

    SJJ-FRA 1205-1405
    FRA-SJJ 1520-1720,

    Basically when the LV leg to SJJ departs, the JA leg to FRA departs SJJ.

    About costs, operating an ATR wasn't one of the cheapest things I believe, but then I don't know about LV's BAE146.

    Then the OMO thing, FRA is not an option I think, because they already have 2 out of 4 flight to FRA operating through TZL. If linking the other 2 through OMO, then LV would become very interesting for SJJ-FRA travellers.
    I also heard a rumour about a 1x weekly OMO-VIE service, timetable would allow it on days 3,4 and 5 (if routed SJJ-0MO-VIE).

    And FF I'm sorry i can't help you on the flightnumber thing, so anyone else with an answer maybe?


  3. That's a good move by Albanian Airlines, and connecting Tirana and Sarajevo and vice versa is a great start to the cooperation and agreements being signed between the two countries! The load factors may not be to high at first, but there is a decent Albanian diaspora in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Maybe it would help (as well as the increasing cooperation) resolve Bosnia's crisis on resolving the issue on whether the country should recognise Kosovo's independence?

    Caooo ;)

  4. Just a little prediction. I'm not an expert, but here's my 2 cents.

    While I applaud Albanian for being creative and unorthodox (which CAN be a good thing), imho I think that it is a matter of time before BH airlines drives Albanian out of the SJJ-FRA sector. However I think that the Tirana-Sarajevo service has the potential to be permanent and hopefully they will rise the frequency of that route.

    @ Bosnian: I doubt that an airline in general can spur off political will of the government to recognize Kosovo, but it should at least enhance business potential, travel, and all other sorts of stuff between BiH and Albania. Thats a given probobly.

    poz iz vasigntona

  5. Hence the fact that they are seperate flights, it could mean (if your prediction is correct) that only the FRA-SJJ leg disappears, and hopefully a stronger connection between TIA-SJJ will rise.

    Now only Pristina has to be connected to SJJ and we will have flights to every capital in the Balkans I believe..

    (@ExYu: When will you post the news about Sarajevo Airport that was supposed to happen, Thanx)


  6. I still don't know, they are talking in the Bosnian parliament about recognising Kosovo and Albanians are trying to do everything they can to get closer to the Bosnians and pursue them to recognise Kosovo (as Muslims want to and Croats too because Croatia recognised)and remember not even half of the world's countries have done so. That's what the Bosnians are reporting in Sarajevo and Serbs from Banja Luka.

    The Bosnian Civil Authority shouldv'e not given Albanian Airlines permission to fly to Frankfurt from Sarajevo. B&H Airlines is still in reorgnaisation and reformation, and they don't know what kind of potential B&H could have. Hopefully Albanian doesn't stay too long for the SJJ-FRA, but the Tirana service has a very strong chance of being permanent. Too harsh for B&H Airlines as some of their flights have already low cabin load due to the global credit crunch!

    @Bo - B&H Airlines should consider Pristina as a destination, again because of the Bosnian diaspora in the country, especially near the Macedonian border and former Air Bosna flew to Pristina during the early 2000's and reported high cabin load.


  7. @ Bo: The news regarding Sarajevo's Airport should be posted soon. Although I read in some comment that someone here has some information regarding the airport‘s upgrade. They can post it in the comments page, perhaps here since its most appropriate. I assume it will interest the readers.

  8. Funny someone commented about high costs of operating an ATR.
    BAE 146 has much higher operating costs MUCH higher fule consumption and therefore much higher break even load factor.
    Concerning the times, those are not the best since by the time LV lands in FRA most North American flights are gone. Still, this is probably one the boldest moves by a balkan area carrier in a while. This could work out well for LV


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