Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jat returns to Banja Luka

Déjà vu
Five months after terminating services from Belgrade to Banja Luka, Jat Airways will commence flights to the city during the 2010 summer season. The airline plans to reinstate 3 weekly flights from March 28. The service is to be operated by the ATR72. The line was put on hiatus in October and officially suspended in December 2009. The airline is in the process of acquiring flight permits which would allow it to operate flights from Banja Luka to several European destinations, although whether it will receive such rights remains to be seen.

Jat’s off-again on-again flights from Belgrade to Banja Luka failed to attract passengers in the past 2 years. Speaking to a Belgrade newspaper, a spokesperson from Jat said that in 2008 the airline carried 2.678 passengers on 170 flights to Banja Luka. The average cabin occupancy index on these flights amounted to 26%, meaning that there were approximately 17 passengers on each flight. Results for 2009 were even less impressive. “In October we transported a total of 45 passengers", a Jat spokesperson said. The CEO of Banja Luka Airport said that the airline did not terminate flights due to low interest but rather due to the fact that it did not have any available aircraft.

Last year, Jat Airways’ CEO, Srdjan Radovanović stated that the airline would carry 50.000 passengers from Banja Luka in 2010.

11 comments:

  1. That is good news if they are coming back, but the main problem to atract passangers from Banja Luka is the price - 75 euros a single ticket for 30 min flight? Don't you think that is too much? What is the good and positive thing, if you use Belgrade as a connection from/to Banja Luka then the difference between ticket from BNX to chosen destination is almost the same as the one from Belgrade, but AGAIN the main problem there is very poor and bad marketing, people do not know about this and JAT should do something to "educate" people about this and explain them that is even cheaper to fly from BNX via BEG to any European city then to take a coach to Belgrade which takes hours, and then fly fom there. Banja Luka is rapidly growing and I think that city of that size should(Nis and Osijek too) have few flights to choose from. people in the Balkans do not have "flying culture" and that should be changed.... As for bad and negative comments about Wizzair in Belgrade, people in london, where I live are booking the tickets with them and I am sure they will do great, especially if they connect belgrade (and other cities) with some destinations which they are not connected yet..... Veliki pozdrav mojoj Banjaluci

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  2. Well I think there there is a share of people there who do own serbian passports, and with the visa removal it could provide them with some extra pax!
    If they are adding these new flights, where are they getting the plane from? Don't tell me that Portoroz is not going to happen?

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  3. Good news. Banja Luka as a city, has very big potential. Also to mention that the airport has a very good-looking new control tower, better than some of the main airports in other parts of Europe (also Sarajevo)!

    On the downside Zagreb is very popular to fly in then take a car to Bosnia and Herzegovina among the people from (Bosnian) Krajina during the summer. LCC's are the future of BNX and the region! We need more of them...

    50,000 passengers? You must be joking. Maybe in 5-10 years time.

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  4. 50.000 passangers ?

    Banjaluka has 200.000 citizens, and JAT stipulates that every 3rd citizen will fly to Belgrade ? I tought JAT was more sirious... Just consider that 50% of Banjaluka is unemployed and can hardly buy a bus ticket (if they go to Belgrade) I think that JAT cannot carry 50.000 in a year for every city in Bosnia :)

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  5. Of course that 50 000 passangers is a dream, but as someone said BNX could be a good regional airport, wit one of the best control towers in the region and with just a little bit of effort to imrove terminal building LCC could "wake up" Banja Luka from a long and undeserved sleep.....

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  6. Of course that 50 000 passangers is a dream, but as someone said BNX could be a good regional airport, wit one of the best control towers in the region and with just a little bit of effort to imrove terminal building LCC could "wake up" Banja Luka from a long and undeserved sleep.....

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  7. By the way, does anyone know how Windjet is doing on its flights to Nis from Forlì?

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  8. Good point about there is no "flying culture" in the Balkan. I'm shocked that people are willing to pay €200 one way to go on a bus from Skopje to Copenhagen, alas.

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  9. I don't know the source of this information, but BEG-BNX flights have been removed from GDS. Apparently there will be no JU flights to BNX. Sad but true.

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  10. Given the passenger numbers, this is obviously political. Part of the problem is that a lot of the diaspora are not aware that they could fly into BNX and the other part would rather fly into Zagreb than connect through Belgrade or fly into BNX (for political reasons). Advertising would help the numbers, but it should be advertising aimed at all groups and it should also be placed in areas with large numbers of diaspora (Chicago, St. Louis, New York, Tampa...)

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  11. @ Anonymous (above)

    It can only be a political reason why JAT would re-open such an unprofitable line. All the economics are wrong: distance, frequency (or lack thereof), choice of aircraft (too large, inefficient and high break-even factor), exorberant ticket prices.

    Comments about the 'flying culture' in the region also hold some sway - but there needs to be a reason why people would fly in the first place, given BiH's extensive bus network.

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