Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ČSA to suspend Belgrade flights

ČSA farewells Belgrade
As was originally reported by EX-YU aviation news back in May, ČSA Czech Airlines has this week officially confirmed it will be suspending flights from Prague to Belgrade. The service will come to an end due to cost cutting measures and internal reorganisation but also due to poor economic performance on the route. The carrier operated 2 daily flights to Belgrade at the beginning of the year but signs of problems emerged when the airline cancelled 10 of its weekly flights and closed its representative office in Belgrade over the summer. ČSA has been the sole operator on the Prague to Belgrade service since 2008 when Jat Airways suspended its flights on the route due to its own cost cutting policy. As a result, Belgrade won’t have a direct air link to Prague for the first time in nearly 10 years. Flights between Prague and Belgrade have been operating since 1946 with the only interruption occurring during the 1990s when flights to Yugoslavia were banned under international sanctions.

ČSA becomes the latest airline to announce that it will pull out of Belgrade. LOT Polish Airlines will alter its flights from Warsaw to Belgrade into a seasonal summer service as will Cimber Sterling on its flights out of Copenhagen. Meanwhile, airBaltic will also suspend its flights from Riga this winter, but at this point the airline is unsure whether it will return to the Serbian capital next summer. On the other hand, Sky Work Airlines will commence flights from Bern to Belgrade this winter. Bulgaria Air is still hoping to strike a deal with Jat and commence flights from Sofia in the next few months while Flydubai has applied for a license to operate flights to Belgrade although there are still no guarantees that the airline will actually begin the flights from Dubai this winter.

Together with Belgrade, ČSA is also cancelling several other destinations including Tel Aviv, Venice and Zurich. Within the EX-YU region, the Czech national airline will reduce its flights to Skopje from 6 to 4 times per week. Currently, flights from Prague to Zagreb and Ljubljana remain unaffected.

24 comments:

  1. Seems like everyone is running away from Belgrade....I wonder why!

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  2. regarding OK's flights to SKP

    They have never flown to Skopje 9x weekly.They continue flying 6x, reducing it to 4x from middle of January

    pozdrav

    p.s if you're interested the weekly frequencies for the new winter season for SKP are listed here:

    http://macedonianaviation.blogspot.com/2011/08/skopje-airport-wt1112.html

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  3. Well, this proves the competition is really high in Belgrade. CSA did not manage to create OK connection at OK price and the rest of the guys took over pax.

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. OK had ridiculously high fares from BEG to PRG and just recently they tried to attract more transit passengers with competitive fares. But too little too late, they could not compete with * alliance such strong presence...Never the less, instead of sending AT7 which they used to for quite some time, they brought back B735 on this route...
    Sad they are leaving, but I guess Wizz will not wait for too long to start this route twice weekly for a start...Just my guess, what are you guys thinking?

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  6. One, they were sending their Atr-42 to Belgrade.

    Two, I have not seen the comment that has been deleted by a blog administrator but I do not understand why the first comment is still on. It's silly and not constrictive at all.

    Anyway, the problem with OK was that they have tried to attract transit passengers while competing with pretty much any airline flying into Belgrade. Their strategy was silly from day one so this is very much expected.

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  7. There should be enough O/D demand for JAT to start a 3x weekly AT7 connection. It's a shame that these two capitals are not connected anymore and passengers who are in a hurry or just not willing to travel 14hrs by bus have to change planes in MUC or VIE. Ridiculous.

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  8. ...or BUD, which should be the most direct way at the moment.

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  9. OK does not have AT7 anymore ;)

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  10. I was going to say the same, I think Wizzair is not going to wait for a long before they start flight from Belgrade to Prague.

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  11. Well not many tourists are coming there by plane. Most are using the bus!

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  12. well, yeah most of them are using buses, but thats why OK is extremely expensive,. I, myself have been looking several times for flights to Prague, and they have been 180euros+... And I really do not want to plan a trip to Prague 1 year in advance so that I can get 120euro tickets.

    Lets chant for wizzair to connect BEG and PRG:)

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  13. There is nothing wrong with the first comment at least it is focused on the topic.

    As far as all these changes in BEG, do you think it is perhaps just temporary for the colder season?

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  14. There is something wrong, he didn't use the interrogation mark at the end to indicate that it was a question but rather used an exclamation mark implying it was a rhetorical question.
    A rhetorical mark in this case is malicious.
    Not to mention that these days there was enough anti-serbian propaganda on here by various posters.

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  15. Which new routes we might be able to see in Belgrade for winter 2011?

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  16. Blgrade airport is an epic fail!!!!!!

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  17. Belgrade isn't the nirvana portrayed by a number of people on here. How many more airlines will we see reduce service or pull out completely?

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  18. I don't see the point of so many people on here. It's not as if Lufthansa or Swiss are axing flights, it's the ailing carriers.
    airBaltic is undergoing massive route cuts and is currently seeing the biggest crisis since it opened its doors.
    CSA is pretty much the same. With Belgrade they are axing Zurich as well. Not to mention that they have axed routes to the United Kingdom last year. Bottom line, they are a true mess of an airline.

    Then we have Cimber Sterling which was privatized and due to restructuring and merging with some other airlines it has decided to reorganize its route network.

    Lot, will return next summer after they fix their North American network. Which means that they will come back.

    I really do not see the whole point in hate posts. Yes, Belgrade is losing some carriers but most of those carriers might very well go belly up.
    I am not going to enter the usual my horse is bigger than your horse talk.
    We can just take a look at the final numbers and then talk.

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  19. totally agree nemjee!!!!!

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  20. Pogledajte ovo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQKA2bbIa1Q

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  21. On the contrary Belgrade is doing very well with large increase in passenger numbers every month.

    Remember this that Transit passengers are almost non excitant at Ex Yu airports but the airports are there to feed hubs and serve the population in the general area or the local tourist and business industry.

    This may change in the future but for this to be possible, huge amount of investment will be required.

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  22. What I would like to add and was trying to say with my second paragraph in the last post was that the airports in the ex Yu region success or failure is directly linked to performance of the respected cities they serve. In saying this, Belgrade does have an advantage in that it has a major monopoly over all of Serbia and not just Belgrade.

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  23. @Q400

    Exactly. However I have been advocating, and will keep on doing so, that Serbia does not need an additional airport besides Belgrade.

    For example, it makes perfect sense for Croatia to have several airports so that tourist zones can offer direct flights and thus become more competitive with other countries (that offer the same).

    But why does Serbia need a second or a third airport? So that the city government can waste money on subsidies? It would be far more intelligent for them to use that money to stimulate their own regional economy.

    Just look at Kraljevo. Who is going to fly out of there? Sure the diaspora will use the airport 3 months per year. What happens during the rest of the time? Kraljevo has absolutely no economy that will drive the demand. Even Nis with a much bigger economic output could not sustain flights.

    Serbia is small enough, we should rather improve our road network and connect it to Belgrade so that people can reach the airport faster. Just look at our neighbors in the north. Hungary has one airport and they both RICHER and MORE DEVELOPED than Serbia.

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  24. Nem,

    I understand your point. Kraljevo could end up a waist but I guess the 'free market' will decide this.

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