Sunday, February 13, 2011

Niš hopes for more passengers

Will Niš keep the momentum?
Niš Constantine the Great Airport in Serbia handled 23.627 passengers in 2010, up by 37.6% on 2009, thanks mostly to Montenegro Airlines. In 2010, Niš was predominantly served by 2 airlines, the low cost Italian Wind Jet and Montenegro Airlines. Despite subsidies from the city authorities, Wind Jet suspended flights from Forli to Niš back in October 2010. The city provided some 1.1 million Euros to Wind Jet and bought out 50 seats per flight, although there was an average of only 25 passengers during the peak summer season. It is Montenegro Airlines that has transported the bulk of passengers heading to and from Niš. The Podgorica – Niš – Podgorica service, which operates 5 times per week, is also subsidised, as the city purchases 40 seats per flight.

While Niš handled the most passengers since 2007, the airport will have to find new airlines if it wishes to attract more passengers. In late 2010 the airport was closed for several days due to a dire financial situation until its rival, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, provided it with some much needed cash. Last year, Adria Airways’ regional director for Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Orhan Hodžić, said the airline was planning to introduce flights from Ljubljana to Niš in the summer of 2011, although there is no evidence that the Slovenian carrier, which is struggling with its own finances, will be doing so. It is believed that the city authorities no longer have funds in order to subsidise airlines to commence flights to Niš.

Niš Constantine the Great Airport is currently advertising itself on the market, claiming that flights from Niš to Frankfurt Hahn, Zurich (4 times per week), Paris (2 times per week), London (2 times per week), Vienna (3 times per week), Munich (2 – 3 times per week), Istanbul (2 times per week) and Moscow would be a success.


  1. Windjet used to operate an A320 to Nis where as YM operates a F100. Why would the city buy almost the same number of seats on the Fokker as it did on the 320?
    I bet there are a million places where the city of Nis could use this money in stead of subsidizing flights of an airline whose government and people dislike Serbia.

    In stead of advertizing try to get Ryanair from Hahn, anyway they could advertize Nis as Sofia West on their route map.

  2. Totally agree with post 1. 1.1 million euros is alot of money that could've been used more wisely elsewhere. They could've atleast given the seats away through some sort of lottery or anything, atleast SOMEONE would get some use out of them!

  3. 5 flights per week INI-TGD? By their time-table there are 7 flights per week all year. Where did you get information about 5 flights? In one little part of year they have 6 flights per week but in most of the year it was everyday flight.

    If City of Niš want to start to use Airport they have to do something to attract airlines and to make habit of local residents to use INI instead of SOF, BEG and SKP.

    There is no doubt that INI-TGD is the best option with most potential passengers. Lot of Serbs still travel to Montenegro. I would organize Montenegro time-table to fly from TGD to European destinations every day exempt Saturday when I would fly from TIV. In same time I would have 6 flights per week from INI, PRN and SKP to TGD and one flight per week to TIV.

    And trust me 1,1 million EUR will never be enough money to have 7 flights per week all year for Ryanair. Not even close!!! Maybe, just maybe, that amount of money would be enough for 3 flights per week in season.

  4. Purger,

    where have you checked, YM operates flts to INI:

    TGD-INI 3567
    INI-TGD 1567
    this is actual data fr 7-13FEB and as far as I see this is for the whole winter.

    where they have a plane in INI 3->5
    the same is with SKP and PRN where aircraft is outstation for few days.

  5. @Purger

    Please do not put words in my mouth, I never mentioned that they should invite Ryanair to fly to Nis every day. That would be too much, two times per week to Hahn and three times in summer. Hahn has quite a lot of connections to travel to other parts of Europe so they could cover O&D as well as connecting (ryanair style, two different tickets).

  6. I did not put words in your mouth. I just say that there would not be flights every day (as Montenegro have today), and not even more than 3 flights per day out of season for 1,1 million EUR to Ryan. Ryan for 1,1 million EUR would not fly more than 3 flights per week in season.

    In Montenegro winter time-table:
    INI-TGD every day 08:00
    TGD-INI every day 18:00

    This web time table was updated in 2011.

  7. Well you must check in amadeus at least to be for sure right??

  8. There's something wrong with the YM schedule.

    TGD-INI flights operate days 2/3/5/6/7 from 15FEB to 26MAR.

    INI-TGD flights operate days 1/3/5/6/7 from 16FEB to 26MAR.

    It's a mystery what happens to the aircraft that arrives in INI on a Wednesday as there's no flight from INI on a Thursday.

  9. Isn't there an airline that would operate flights to/from INI with the likes of ERJ 135/140/145? Why are all ex YU airlines obsessed with operating fleets that do not meet their traffic requirements?

  10. @malisani

    Because it's the Balkans.

    I wonder if someone like Lot could fly to Nis with their E145 and offer connections to North America as well as north Europe.
    After all that is where most of the people from Nis are living outside their homeland.

  11. @Purger

    Still no one was/is advocating daily flights on Ryanair. In my opinion even daily flights on YM are too much for a market like Nis.

  12. Look I am realy sorry if you think I try to fight you. I am not, and I apologise if I made this kind of inpression.

    I just wont to say that it is better to spent 1,1 to everyday flight all year with Montenegro, than to 3 flights per week on 3-4 months with Ryan.

  13. @Purger,

    No it's just that I didn't want to seem as if I proposed something as silly as that. Don't worry I wasn't angry or anything.

    On the other hand why I advocate that it would be better to have Ryanair than Montenegro is simple because the Montenegran government is opening up the market to lowcost carriers which will probably kill off YM in the long run. Why invest into an airline that probably has no future.
    Better try to get Adria, Croatia, Jat or even Malév...

  14. @malisani

    It isn't a mystery! I know what happens! Nothing happens whit that aircraft! It stays on airport's apron from Wednesday evening till Friday morning when there is scheduled flight to TGD. What a loss for both INI and YM.

    In my opinion, the only hope for INI is merging with BEG airport in order to establish one new company, like in Montenegro and Macedonia. In this situation, INI airport is only advertising tool in hands of local authorities, read political parties.

    Greetings from Nis!

  15. Situation in INI catcment area (~2m people) is getting better in overall investments and I believe it is good timing to get momentum on it.
    It depends exclusively on INI management and their pretty much incapable owner - city of Nis.
    As someone said here, they should abandon subsidies to YM cause YM has no many other options to fly to and feed its EU flights.
    Btw, it is expected one eastern European low cost carrier to start flighing from INI to ZRH.

  16. @aero: Where did u find the info about LCC to INI? It would be great! Greets from DUS

  17. I see two options for Nis.

    1) It advertises itself for the Winter market. Nis is very close to the mountains in southern Serbia which are the most-deveoped for tourism. It can start by attracting winter seasonal flights like it did with Thompson Airlines not so long ago. It will need to update its road networks with the tourist centers though. But it will be enough airlines using Nis for this purpose alone.

    2) Nis is also closer to industrial centers in Serbia and the city itself is getting new factories. It should try to attract more cargo than pax. Parts for assembly can be just as effective as a plane ticket if you play your cards right.

    I do not see any other way for Nis to come back and rival BEG. BEG is about to get more pax, increased traffic, flights to USA and Canada, and more transit pax. The only area which Nis can outdo BEG is in cargo. I feel that it should first try to attract cargo and then open its winter services.

  18. @JU36: Personal sources among air traffic officials.

    @Jeebusman: INI is already outperforming cargo over paxs. For both, the problem is capacity. There is strategic partner for cargo infrastracture, but city authorities are very slow partner...
    Becoming a winter market with Kopaonik... very difficult, cause it depends on resort infrastarcture and attrativness, as well as on road infractracture as you said.
    Gaining purchasing power of the not-so-huge number of the inhabitans in the city and its catchment area can make INI selsufficient, I think.

  19. Didn't the government announce that it would eventually fix Ponikve? If that happens Nis can/will lose all winter charters.
    Maybe it would be wiser to develop the airport as a cargo hub rather than passenger hub.
    The city authorities need to think outside the box, not only could they attract cargo to Serbia but also to Bulgaria (the western part). If I am not mistaken Sofia is less than 100 kilometers from Nis.
    It would work perfectly, Belgrade develops as a passenger hub and Nis as a cargo hub.
    With the arrival of Benetton to the region and the growing presence of Fiat in Serbia maybe some decent flights to a decent city in Italy could become a reality.

  20. We ,who living south of the Sava and Danube rivers to realize that Constantine the Great Airport in Nis is our airport, and that should give him a chance so that we all fly from Nis and not with buses go to Belgrade and then to various other air companies.

    From Nis flying young and very good and air company Montenegro Airlines, which has in all positions young ambitious people. A fleet of them is also excellent especially the 3 brand new Embraer 195 and the fourth, which is expected soon.
    Now we get to 17 destinations from Nis through Podgorica, faster than the bus only to the Belgrade airport.
    Will soon announce the Milan and Brussels from Nis, all for 199 euros return ticket with all taxes.

    So,we show how much we really love Niš and south Serbia, in practice!

  21. Letite iz Nisa za 200 eura sa svim taksama. Novi avioni montenegro Airlinesa lete svaki dan...
    Pomocicemo tako i aerodromu Nis da stane na noge...
    Dosta je da sve ide u Beograd i za Beograd...!
    Nis Zauvek


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