Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winter freeze disrupts air traffic

Flight delays and cancelations across EX-YU

Snowstorms, fog and freezing weather have disrupted flight operations across the former Yugoslavia. Podgorica has been closed on and off for the past three days while Sarajevo Airport closed its doors this morning until 20.00 CET. In Belgrade meanwhile, the airport was evacuated when an anonymous call came that there was a bomb on board Air France's jet, which turned out to be false.

Both snow and fog are proving to be a problem at Sarajevo Airport. Sarajevo closed this morning with all departures cancelled for the day. Nearly all flights from Sarajevo were cancelled yesterday as well. Only early morning departures and B&H Airlines’ flights to Zurich and Istanbul were unaffected. Austrian was forced to divert its evening Sarajevo service to Belgrade. Operations resumed in the evening hours with Austrian, Jat and Croatia Airlines performing their flights as normal.

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport saw short delays throughout the day however there was some panic after an anonymous phone caller said there was a bomb onboard an Air France jet which was being prepared for its return flight to Paris. The airport was forced to evacuate and the flight cancelled although no bomb was found. The caller, a 62 year old from Bor, was later arrested. He said he was “only having some fun”. It was later disclosed that the man in question is mentally challenged.

In Montenegro, most flights to and from Podgorica Airport have been cancelled for the last three days due to heavy snowfall. There is now a big backlog of passengers on the Podgorica - Belgrade - Podgorica service with both Montenegro Airlines and Jat Airways cancelling most flights between the two cities. The two airlines attempted to operate flights to Tivat yesterday but before making their descent into the coastal city were forced to turn back to Belgrade. In order to clear the backlog of passengers Jat planned to operate an early morning service to the Montenegrin capital at 4.40 today but has cancelled the flight.

In Skopje, Priština and Ljubljana, flights have been operating normally (other than those to Montenegro) although all with an average forty minute delay. Out of all the airports in the former Yugoslav region, Zagreb was operating most smoothly with nearly all flights taking off from the airport yesterday, registering only minor delays. Split Airport has been closed due to snow and extreme winds reaching up to 180 kilometres per hour.

All of Eastern Europe is grappling with a Siberian freeze which is spreading westwards. Freezing conditions, which have claimed hundreds of lives across the continent, are set to persist for days to come.


  1. It’s been really bad these past few days. This will probably affect pax numbers at airports.

    1. It will affect SJJ the most. Some solution for SJJ has to be found. The airport can’t operate normally for 5 months each year because of either snow or fog.

    2. Snow is barely a problem in SJJ at anytime. They have the best snowcrew in Europe if not the world.

      Yesterday it was primarly (frozen) fog that caused a lot of problems.

      For today it is the snow, but hey, 1.5 meters (5 foot of snow) is quite a lot ;)

    3. Are you high? lol

  2. can anyone predict what will happen with my BUD - LAX flight in April. I have booked it mounts ago and my flight shuld be made like BUD-JFK-LAX operated by AA, but AA move its BUD-JFK flight until June.
    after that one option was BUD-LHR-LAX, but now Malev is out of order to....
    in agency, where i have booked this ticket, still wating for One world to response.
    so, can anyone predict?

    1. When flight disruption by Malev was announced yesterday my ticket was immediately changed by Air France, and the flight was booked via Expedia. It was Malev/Air France codeshare BUD-CDG-SFO (first leg on Malev) and AF rebooked me immediately on another AF flight while Expedia gave me a coupon for a free night at CDG airport hotel (layover 13 hours, that's why). I hope AA will do sth about your situation. Maybe they'll book you on BUD-MAD-LAX on Iberia?

  3. I must add BEG delays are in arrival caused by the delays from the departing airports and de-/anti-icing in departure from BEG. Additionally, JU flights are delayed due de-/anti-icing being done by single (or up to two) truck(s) then causing delays in return flights to BEG.

  4. AA will not fly to Budapest this summer!
    Better cancel your flight to LA.

    AA leg will be no problem i think.
    I think you will get your money back even from
    EU law says that airlines or its owners(Hungarian
    government) in case of ceasing function have to
    restitute money!
    They had to build a fond for restitution of passengers.

    Thats what i have read in newspaper.

    Maybe there could be problem that you will get back your money end of the year not immediately.

    1. I read an article about AA expension and they mentioned something about expending more in Europe and Africa. Maybe they might try BEG or ZAG.

  5. Pff...those American idiots will never try something new.
    They still think Belgrade or Zagreb are part of the Soviet Union or some cities in Transsylvania.

    Sounds stupid but is the sad truth.

  6. @ 2nd last anonymous

    where did you hear there will be no more seasonal JFK - BUD flights by AA? and honestly i believe BEG would be the first to get flights, hopefully AA switches to BEG where they could codeshare with JAT so JAT can get transit passengers. 3-4 weekly seasonal flights may work? any ideas? but who knows as Croatia will be in EU soon, is a little closer, and has more coastal destinations..... sve naj za svima :)

  7. forgot to mention how BEG has greated number of flights / transfer pax than Zagreb and many people driving from good distances to use the airport....

  8. Hoćemo malo da letimo airfrance-om? :D

  9. Oh Alex,youre so sweet !
    Obviously you never give up !

    Youre so full of hope and optimism...
    but when you get older you will become
    more realistic .

    If there ever will be a direct flight
    from Belgrade to the US (which i doubt),
    you should get a free flight with them !

  10. Aahahahah, and I was wondering why the AF return flight to CDG was cancelled after 6 hours sitting on the tarmac

  11. AF from BEG was cancelled because crew working hours expired.

  12. well yes, because of the "bomb" on board the plane... 62-year-old idiot just wanted to "have some fun" so he called the airport telling there was bomb on board!? :/

  13. @ 4th last anonymous

    ? obviously i could tell you are very stupid and just would like to pick fights. and i love how your under "anonymous". you are very doubtful as i see,

    and dont be jealous that last summer i won 99$ ticket ORD - BEG and on return BEG - CLE ;) your jealousy is very funny! neka pobedim jos 100 bez
    platne karte hahaha :D

    and we need optimism, you never know what will / can happen..... im gonna be laughing so hard if one day in the future there are once again transoceanic flights from BEG.. and even if there are not, (which I doubt! ;) ), i never said that 100% there will be...and will be laughing to your childish comment:)

  14. OT:
    it seems that JU will add one more flight to LGW, instead of 2 weekly as earilier planned. according to LGW website, timetable section, there are 3 weekly flights starting 15 June:
    JU212 1810BEG-2015LGW 45 733
    JU212 1855BEG-2100LGW 1 733
    JU213 2115LGW-0110+1BEG 45 733
    JU213 2200LGW-0145+1BEG 1 733

    check it yourself @

  15. Last LGW flight is to be operated on 14 September.
    So 9 weekly to LHR, 3 weekly to LGW, 4 weekly to LTN = 16 weekly to LON area. I wonder who will replace MA/BA to BEG now. Maybe BA will reconsider BEG from LGW at least? Or maybe AB could launch BER-BEG and BA could codeshare it? Yes, there are VIE-BEG flights already, but still...

    1. It would be a dream for me if BA return to BEG even if it was a 3 weekly flight.I dont think Ait berlin is interested in launching flight to BEG

  16. @ Alex.

    Why don't direct your optimism to transporters getting invented? Both outcomes are just as unlikely, but travel times on the transporter are just seconds, so a better thing to wish for, and just as realistic

  17. @Alex

    I doubt AA will try BEG at this time. They are desperately trying to cut costs after filing for bankruptcy. United has a better shot, but I'm not sure they are being adventurous enough to try the ex-Yu any time soon.


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