Tuesday, May 29, 2012

British Airways to suspend Priština service

British Airways unamused with Priština Airport owner
British Airways is planning to suspend its flights from London Gatwick to Priština Airport later this year, local media report. The move comes following British’s growing dissatisfaction with the airport’s new primary owner, Limak Holding. Limak angered airlines after it significantly increased handling fees at the airport. Furthermore, British was furious after the airport owner terminated contracts with British Petroleum for the supply of aircraft fuel and selected the Kosovar Ex Fis company instead. As a result, on its flights to Priština, British Airways introduced refuelling stops in Dubrovnik.

British Airways operates three weekly flights from London Gatwick Airport to Priština and would prove as a big loss to the airport as it is the most established carrier operating flights to the city. “Yes, it is true, we will cease flights from Kosovo”, the airline said in a statement to the “Zëri” newspaper. Up until now Priština has provided subsidies for certain airlines operating flights to the city, however, the new management has now suspended them.

Limak has had to deal with criticism from all sides. Earlier this year it was involved in a spat with local authorities which accused it of violating the concession agreement in respect to the asking price for rent of commercial space at the airport. However, the Turkish company continues to the deliver on its main promise and that is the construction of a brand new terminal, to be completed next year. British Airways’ subsequent pull out will benefit Turkish Airlines the most which will be able to scoop up the remaining transit passengers. On the other hand, the city will be left without a direct air link to the British capital.

22 comments:

  1. Ahahaha...Doot you are such a VULTURE!

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  2. It's only good for SKP if they can convince BA to fly there.

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  3. hope that BA will be finally convinced to fly to Skopje

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    1. And OHD too :) 2x daily SKP and 3x daily OHD.

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    2. enough of the irony of some people here..Skopje really needs a link with LHR, especially after the demise of Malev. See the success of Wizzair on the LTN-SKP route, and also the need of more connection points with North America. Qatar Airways will do the job for the Middle East/Asia-Australia area

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  4. Not good for the region. It pushes aviation further into the hands of Turkish operators. The West is slipping out of the southern Balkans. Nonetheless, if there is no business case and British was there because of the subsidies it was not sustainable.

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    1. Well, depending what parts of the region, Macedonia and Kosovo yes, but thats it. The problem is that i dont think that Croatia and Serbia have Open Sky agreement with Turkey. At some point 4,5 years ago, Pegasus wanted to fly BEG-SAW but was denied rights, based on the current agreement.

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    2. I would love to see Open Skies between
      Turkey and Serbia if...

      if airlines from both countries had the same rights and there would not be restrictions at all even not for third parties...Qatar from Ankara to Belgrade comes in my mind!

      Daily Pegasus to SAW would be very welcome
      alternative to what i would call an overload of TK at Belgrade.

      Regarding PRN and BA...
      Skopje and Wizz will only profit by this...congrats!

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  5. First it was BEG and now it's PRN. Hope ZAG keeps up especially with EU membership next year ;) - no visas.

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  6. Well, one is still able to book flights with BA to PRN in, say, November. So, I am not sure how accurate this (Zëri) report is. It remains to be seen if there is any truth to these reports (although all the rest of the media simply republished the Zëri story).

    Having said this, it's incredible how many people/groups Limak have managed to upset in less than a year since they've taken over the airport. It might be a little pain now for a lot of gain later. I always prefer to take the long term view rather than short term ups and downs. Yet, Limak might be building the perfect storm for themselves. Completely unnecessarily they have also picked up a fight with the national authorities regarding the official name of the airport. What does that have to do with anything?

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  7. I will not comment on the name issue (that is too much politics),
    but i can only agree with Visiting Kosovo on this more a rumour than actually news.

    What i suspect is this being a form of blackmail by BA.

    Obviously BA got some very good concessions by the airport(cheaper fuel,subsidies)and wants to retain this...
    a public outcry against the airport holders could help their case.

    For Kosovo it is also a prestige thing...

    But what everybody forgets is that Limak invested a lot of money in this project and thus also has to make profit!

    Not an easy situation for Limak and showing the bad effects subsidizing can have in longer terms.

    And Skopje airport is nothing better.
    They also want to subsidize all those upcoming flights.

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  8. this explains the rationale behind BA announcement on coming to ZAG. This is probably a time when rationalization/re-positioning is being done. BA probably has in its strategy to pick 1 strong regional feeder. And given their problems with Limac and Pristina...who knows.

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    1. And that suppose to be ZAG?

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    2. Perhaps. And why not ZAG ? Pristina and ZAG are connected daily, and that enables BA to go around the problem: change their airport partner w/o dissing the market. Pristina in that sense may be a partial feeder to ZAG for flights to London.

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  9. This is nothing more than a pure rumor. The supposed BA employee in Kosovo is a member of the local staff who have absolutely no insight nor say in BA politics.

    Having said that, I think BA's way of trying to "push" certain desires of theirs to PRN Airport is simply arrogant at best.
    Take the fuel supplier for instance, BA refused to get fueled up in PRN because PRN changed it's fuel supplier from BP to a local Company. Apparently the issue was the questionable quality of the fuel (although all tests and all other airlines didn't find anything wrong with it) but we all know that the main reason is because both BA and BP come from the same Country.
    Need I remind BA that it is up to the Airport to choose the fuel supplier and not to the airline.
    To make a long story short, if BA has a problem with the fuel in PRN let them get fueled up somewhere else (like they do in Dubrovnik Airport), other than that all BA flights to/from PRN are sustainable.

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  10. British neo-colonialist methods...

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  11. easyJet are looking at pulling their Basle and Geneva flights out of Pristina as well - possibly to move to either SKP or BEG.

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  12. Aleanca Kuq e ZiMay 31, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Ha...thats plain rubbish!

    Spread your propaganda elsewhere!

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  13. ^
    Mark my word - it WILL happen, just a question of when.

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  14. There are still flights available to be booked from next January. They've even gone back to three times a week. Seems a bit gossipish

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  15. All you folks who thought this was rumor should check the BA website. NO flights to Pristina from Gatwick anymore. So much for how clever you are.

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