Friday, March 4, 2011

February growth

Strong growth in February as Olympic announces its return
Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has continued to report significant passenger growth. Last month, Serbia’s main airport handled 162.813 passengers, an increase of 19.1% compared to the same month last year. Belgrade’s most popular route in February was Rome, which is seeing up to 60% more passengers. The route is served by Jat Airways, Alitalia and most recently, Wizz Air. Despite low cost competition both Jat and Alitalia saw their numbers on the service increase by 20%. Both airlines have slashed prices on the route. The continuing good results put the airport on track to handle 3 million passengers by the end of the year. The value of the airport’s shares on the stock exchange has risen by 20% since they first appeared, less than a month ago.

Meanwhile, Greece’s national carrier, Olympic Air, is set to return to Belgrade. The airline terminated flights to the Serbian capital following its restructuring in 2009. Its rival, Aegean Airlines took over but suspended flights in 2010. Jat Airways is currently the only airline operating the service with daily flights to commence this summer. Olympic Air said it will discontinue flights to London, Paris, Brussels and Vienna and add flights to Belgrade, according to a statement on its website. Flights are set to begin on March 27. Details can be found here.


  1. Jesus, get your facts straigh. Olympic did not leave Belgrade because of restructuring but due to the Greek government who handed the route to Aegean.
    Since Olympic Air was not a state airline anymore the government revised all the bilaterals it had with non-EU states. Serbia, Egypt and Israel all went to Aegean as well as Serbia.
    Olympic Air had planned to lauch double daily flights from January 1st 2010 but it did not happen.

    Later on when the Serbian sky got liberated they did not have interest in returning.
    That was probably due to the fact that they were trying to merge with Aegean (which operated the route).

    Now, Olympic is changing its operations by concentrating more on the Balkans.

  2. Well, journalism and reporting isn't for anyone.

    As for the share price, it has actually fallen almost 20% since it's market debut.

  3. Price has fallen from where? Wasn`t that some administrative level?
    More precisely:
    After decline of 28% from administrative price level, it got up 20%, after 2010 result is being revealed.

  4. Peter from SydneyMarch 4, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    Why would Olympic Air cancel key European routes to London, Paris Brussels?

  5. Probably because they are still hoping that the merger with Aegean would go through.
    Don't forget that Athens-London is super competitive.
    If I am not mistaken British Airways flies twice a day using their B767-300 and then there is Aegean and Easyjet. Back in the day OA used to fly their A300-600 and then the A340 but at that time making a profit was not their key priority.

    So my guess is that they are leaving these markets to Aegean where as they are developping in other markets. Those where A3 is not that strong.

  6. What a powerful airline Olympic used to be in past and how tiny it is today. Not that long ago they served NYC on double daily basis, plus Toronto, Boston.. SYD, MEL.. JNB.. having several 747 and A340 aircrafts in its fleet, not to mention the strong European network.

    And just take a look at them today. Tiny regional airline focused on their domestic network only, plus a few European destinations among of which BEG is about to be re-launched.

    While being under state control OA was making losses. When Greek gvt was forced by EU regulations to give up from OA, they hired a British menagement to help them restructuring the airline. Gradually they were cancelling first long haul routes, than some european and finally they turned them into a small regional airline.
    Well done british guys!

    When Greek gvt decided to unite A3 and OA to make strong domestic air carrier, European union has raised their voice against such a merger to prevent market from "monopoly".

    What happened in Italy at approximately the same time and merger of AZ and AP. No one objected from EU even though their market share was a lot larger as compared to GR. Double standards..

    What happened in our courtyard?
    How powerful JU used to be, we all remember. And what do we have today after brake up we can all see.. Ex YU market is thorn into bunch of tiny insolvent national carriers, without real objective and proper management, but proud to have national flags streching across each tiny fleet, all surviving on feeder basis only, to large carriers until being completely destroyed. Are we all really such fools?

  7. Does Belgrade airport have a webcam????

  8. FlyingJack,

    Olympic was privatized before the merger started. They were bought by the Marfin Investment Group from Abu Dhabi.
    They were the ones that fixed Olympic.

    I suppose that you have not flown on Olympic before its demise. That airline was a mess. Flying a bunch of old planes, flights were being cancelled... things were not looking good.
    The long-haul flights might have been profitable but the structure of Olympic was totally bad. That is why those routes never made any cash.

    As for the situation in Italy, it's not tha same. Italy has different airlines competing against eachother.
    Ryanair is quite strong there, creating adequate competition. Not to mention Lufthansa Italia or even EasyJet's strong presence.

    If the merger between OA and A3 went through, the Greek domestic market would be left without competition.
    It was not double standards, it was just caring for the common folk.

  9. Well... my previous post was referring to the times before Marfin took over ownership over OA. I flew couple of times with OA and their overall service and fleet were nor worse nor better as comapred to AZ for instance. I wouldn't agree on ageing and crapy ac's, except turboprops serving domestic routes. AZ for instance still fly on MD82 on their domestic routes and these planes are as crapy as it can be.

    Marfin was and is still doing nothing else but money laundering. When they took ownership over OA, with new british management real airline's distructions has just begun

    Comparing airline merger situation in Italy and Greece .. it does make sense. First at the time of merger of AZ, AP and Volareweb the new airline fleet was comprising of nearly 200 aircrafts. At the same time LH Italy had 6 airplanes only based at MXP, while total number of airplanes of all other regular carriers based in Italy was not exceeding 40. It is worth to mention that LH Italy is the only carrier that has actually registered its company in Italy, while FR and U2 just serve Italian domestic destinations but none of them is the registered Italian operator. U2 operating in Italy belongs to Easyjet wing registered in Switzerland.
    At the same time both FR and U2 fly to greek destinations, while none of them has ever applied to fly between ATH and SKG for instance or between greek islands.
    I do think that we still have double standards and silent policy of elimination of national carriers

  10. @FlyingJack

    Agree with you 100%. At the end we are going to have only four carriers in Europe: British Airways, Lufthansa and Air France. Everyone else will be forced or already is to operate for them and feed their flights (the same as with little regional operators in the US who work for the big 4 US airlines).

  11. Just read some cool news, Aerosvit is planning on having overnight stops in Belgrade with departures at 07:05!!
    Pretty cool stuff!

  12. FlyingJack,

    you are missing the whole point of the anti-merger rulling.

    Italy is very much different than Greece. First of all it has far more competition than Greece and its population does not rely on air travel to get to the mainland like in Greece.
    The EU needed to prevent the merger in order to prevent a monopoly on domestic routes, especially the ones to the islands.
    The mainland needs to be accessible for the people and through competition the prices are going to be kept low.

    These airlines did not apply to fly on these domestic routes because of the COMPETITION between A3 and OA. Anyway, on most of these routes with the exception of Heraklion, Rhodes and Thessaloniki both airlines use smaller aircraft. They also offer multiple daily flights whereas U2 and FR would only provide one, which would destroy them in the long run.

    People in Italy can take the train or bus if the plane is too expensive (just like in Spain), however in Greece for the vast majority of time that is not an option. Especially since the sea can be wild and violent very often.

  13. I ask Ex-Yu to also look into these new routes being planned:

    New York JFK by Ryan to BEG

  14. Well anonymus, can't agree with your statements.

    First competiton in Italy: Name any carrier on the most frequent route (LIN FCO) other than AZ? On average there are 35 daily flights between these airports, ALL OPERATED by AZ! Speaking of the second airport in Milan - Malpensa there are 10 daily flights to Rome. 5 served by AZ and other five by U2. That is to say that out of 45 daily connections between Milan and Rome 40 are operated by AZ. Who mentioned competition and customer protection ?

    I remember times when there was competition on the mentioned route: AP, AZ, U2, IG just to name a few main carriers plus several others.
    Some smaller carriers faced bankruptcy or had merged with others, IG "moved" to other routes, so AZ and AP left only accompanied with 2 U2 flights at the time when AZ - AP merger took place. Any objected merger of the two fearing of monopoly?

    Should I also say that at the time of merger speed train between Milan and Rome wasn't operating yet as an alternative to planes(route opened a year later).
    Market share of the two merged was huge, can't tell exact figure but it was definetly above the one OA A3 could have reached. I think Eu was silent about that merger just because AF had some 12% stake in it.

    Speaking of Greece, less than 10% of its population reside on islands and total share of those commuting between islands and mainland in the overall traffic figures is less than 5%. These are poor figures to proove someones fear of monopoly.
    Speaking of wilde and violent sea at times in Greece as a proof against merger and monopoly is a shallow proof that could be comparable to often strikes in Italy.

    And finally what is preventing any other carrier to fly between islands in Greece? fear of loss?
    Did Greek government oblige FR or U2 or any other carrier to fly less profitable domestic routes if they wanted to operate out of Greece? I wouldn't say so, but Italian authorities did that with FR.. Yes FR was forced to operate domestic Italian routes in order to keep rights to fly out of Italy and they strongly objected this but unwillingly have complied.
    That much about competition

    Despite all you mentioned, there are double standards in Europe and strong pressure by big airlines to destroy national carriers and to take their markets.

  15. Anonymous about Baku? Where did you get these informations? Who will actually fly from Baku to here? Azal? Jat?

  16. Aleks Nikolic USAMarch 4, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Baku - Belgrade information here... it will be Baku - Zurich VIA Beograd.. with Azberijan (idk how to spell it) Airlines

  17. @FlyingJack
    Are we all really such fools?

    Isn't the answer obvious? Tragically obvious.

  18. Baku, hm...? :)
    Interesting, but unprofitable, my guess. Maybe one weekly via ZRH would really work.

  19. Info about JUs BEG-DBV route. I guess theyll cooperate with OU on this one :)

    JU720 0730BEG - 0835DBV 5
    JU720 1405BEG - 1510DBV 7

    JU721 0910DBV - 1010BEG 5
    JU721 1545DBV - 1645BEG 7

  20. The Baku flights will be taking place. For some reason Azerbaijani Airlines cannot fly to Switzerland I guess, and Belgrade is a cheap and excellent-rated airport to use as a transit. If Romanians and Bulgarians are already planning to purchase tickets to go to USA via BEG, then I guess that Belgrade really is a good transit hub.

    I know, Baku-BEG-Zurich is not what comes to mind, but if it goes through BEG, then I don't care. The more carriers and pax, the better.

    I also heard flights NYC(JFK)-BEG are being planned to commence, now that no carrier wants to start Zagreb-NYC flights.

  21. Air France have 80% share in domestic traffic
    Aegean/Olympic would have 96% share in domestic traffic

    Is that really such big different?

  22. Ah... idiots and morons. When I presented them with a project on how to make Belgrade-Baku profitable through mutual cooperation between Jat and Azal they told that it would not work and that I am living in dreamland.
    What do I see now? Fucking assholes want to open the route.

    Greed and jelousy.

  23. ^ Looks like you're the one that's jealous


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