Monday, April 19, 2010

Logistical nightmare begins

Belgrade Airport was deserted over the weekend


After several days of chaos, many airports are set to open today across Europe due to a clearing ash cloud created by a volcano in Iceland. All airports in the former Yugoslavia will be open today with flights to unaffected areas of Europe and beyond set to commence. The airlines have lost millions over the weekend and now face logistical problems of how to transport a backlog of passengers that did not find alternative transportation to their destinations.

Slovenia, which was the first EX-YU nation to close its airspace on Friday, opened its airspace at 20.10 CET on Sunday. However, Slovenia remains on the lookout as another cloud of ash is heading for the country. Nevertheless, the airspace will be open until Tuesday morning. Adria’s planned weekend charter flights took off last night. The airline has cancelled today’s and tomorrow's flights to London-Gatwick, Warsaw, Vienna, Frankfurt, Zurich, Amsterdam, Moscow and Paris. Adria is operating flights to Priština, Skopje, Moscow and Istanbul today.

Croatia Airlines has cancelled all international flights until 16.00 CET with the exception of regional flights to Sarajevo, Skopje and Rome. Dubrovnik, Pula and Split are set to operate as per normal from Zagreb. Spanair is managed to inaugurate its service from Barcelona to Zagreb this afternoon as initially planned (flight details available in new route launches section). Zagreb Airport was closed at 08.00 CET but was reopened an hour later. Other airports in Croatia are also open. Some airports in Croatia may be closed for several hours tonight due to the oncoming ash cloud from Slovenia, meteorologists predict. Croatia Airlines was due to transport 14.500 passengers since Thursday. The airline predicts that it has lost 2 million Euros since then, a press release reads.

Jat Airways will operate flights to all airports that are not affected by the ash cloud. Services to Athens, Podgorica and Rome were the first to depart this morning. Unlike some other EX-YU airlines, Jat has some luck as all of its aircraft are in Belgrade rather than being scattered across Europe.

Montenegro Airlines will today operate flights to Belgrade and Niš. Finally, B&H Airlines is only expected to operate its flight to Istanbul tonight.

So far Jat Airways and Croatia Airlines have offered refunds to passengers that have been affected by the weekend cancellations. Adria has offered to rebook passengers on to later flights.

1 comment:

  1. I saw on RTS1 TV station that some passengers (210 to be exact) got to BEG from Athens buy bus to connect on flight to Stockholm. The fl. number was QNX 810. Does someone know which airline was that?! Wat was that anyway? :)


Before posting a comment be mindful of other participants and readers. EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. Such comments will be deleted as soon as possible. The opinions expressed by those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of EX-YU Aviation News. Thank you for your cooperation.