Tuesday, August 20, 2013

EXCLUSIVE
Air Serbia fleet transition

Airbus fleet rollout plans revealed

Air Serbia has begun preparations for its major fleet transition this winter, as the carrier switches from the Boeing 737-300 after 28 years of operations to the Airbus A319. Over the weekend the airline began advertising employment opportunities for new pilots for the A319/A320 aircraft. Furthermore, the Serbian government recently approved the deposit payment for the first five A319s. The arrival of the jets will impact on the airline’s network expansion. By the end of the year, Air Serbia will launch flights to Abu Dhabi (October 27), Banja Luka (December 1), Prague (December 1), Bucharest (December 9) and Ljubljana (December 9). Flights to Budapest, Beirut, Cairo, Varna, Kiev, Sofia and Warsaw will be launched later on as more aircraft arrive.

As it currently stands, the first A319 in the Air Serbia fleet will make its debut this winter season on Sunday, October 27, on the morning service to Moscow. Despite recent rumours that Air Serbia will relocate to Domodedovo Airport, the airline will keep in with tradition and continue operating to Sheremetyevo Airport. The A319 will also begin operations on the Abu Dhabi service on October 27. Selected flights to Copenhagen will be served by the new aircraft from late October as well. Throughout the winter season the B737s will be phased out. In November, services to Zurich, Thessaloniki, Larnaca, Paris (both daily flights), Athens, Dusseldorf and Berlin will move to the A319. The transition will continue in December as Stuttgart, London Heathrow, Rome and Tel Aviv (which will operate on a daily basis without the current stop in Larnaca) are all upgraded to the A319. A few days before the New Year holidays, passengers on flights to and from Milan, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Frankfurt and Brussels will get to enjoy the new A319s as well.

The first EX-YU city (other than Belgrade) that will be served by the Air Serbia Airbus aircraft will be Podgorica in November, with one of three daily flights this winter operating with the new jets. Next in line will be Sarajevo. The Bosnian capital will be served by an ATR in the first half of winter but will be upgraded to a B737 later on, before moving on to the A319 in March 2014. Athens, Moscow, Paris, Vienna and Zurich will all be served twice daily this winter season.

65 comments:

  1. Ah these are amazing news! I am particularly happy about the separation of Larnaca and Tel Aviv. The current arrival time in the middle of the night is beyond stupid. I also hope they revise their fare structure as currently the cheapest return flight is at least €300!

    By the way, do you happen to know the frequencies or the times of the Larnaca flights?

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    1. 4x p/w. Still leaving BEG after midnight.

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    2. Thanks for that. So the return flight arrives back to Belgrade around 06:00 like some other flights?

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    3. Шта мислите? Да ли се на српском авио--компанија зове Ер Србија или Ер Сербија?

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    4. Ask those perfect minds who put such a bad name in the first place.

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    5. Ер Сербија.

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    6. Er Srbija se vec ustalilo i bolje je.

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    7. Can be "Nebeska Srbija" only.

      Er ~ the sound that people often make when they pause in the middle of what they are saying or pause before they speak, often because they are deciding what to say

      Er

      BL1

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    8. 300 Eur for 2.5 hours flight is very (crazy) high!
      It should be not more than 220 Eur or something similar to that. Not to mention if its a red eye flight!

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  2. What about Copenhagen?

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    1. Sorry I missed it. One of the first destinations to be served by the A319 (but only on some days).

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    2. Are you positive about SKG? It's been served exclusively by ATR until now, and honestly, it's a short hop from BEG.

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    3. Yes, this winter it will operate with a B737 until November 9 and from NOV 10 with an A319.

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  3. It's interesting that Istanbul will be getting the A319 as well. No wonder Turkish Airlines responded by increasing its own frequencies.

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    1. Correct! I also heart that TK will be flying 17 times in a week as of W13.

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  4. This is possibly the best blog I have ever come across :D thanks for all the scoops. Really looking forward to winter and Air Serbia

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  5. Olympic will be completely crushed on the ATH route. Also don't think MGX is too happy about this schedule.

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    1. I think this is the end of Montenegro Airlines. They will lose their most important market, the only one where they have a decent demand. I give them two years.

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    2. On the other hand, I give the current announced plan for Air Serbia six months. Routes like BEG-OTP and BEG-LJU will start dropping like dead flies very soon.

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    3. Well, I have more faith in the management of Etihad than in some self-proclaimed aviation expert, especially since you have not provided us with any concrete reasons why you believe that.

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    4. It's ok. Opinions are being thrown around here with no substantiated backup all the time. You don't have to look far, preceding comments will do. I'm happy with my claims and expertise. It's unfortunate I'm not in a position to share more on a public forum.

      See you in six months.

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    5. Yes, I guess you belong to the same group of people who told us to meet again in six months when the deal was first announced. Furthermore, Air Serbia will be an airline which will base its business model on offering connection via Belgrade. It's only logical for them to launch as many regional destinations.

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    6. No, not really. I don't usually comment on Jatovanje articles - I neither know much on the topic nor trust 'news' like these until they've actually happened. We've seen too many last minute 'surprises' for it to be deemed rational any other way.

      My competencies lie with airline management within the region though. I'd love for this model to work, but based on the new destinations mentioned, I don't have much hope it will. Good luck in any case, I'd be happy for Air Serbia to be a success story.

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    7. Pretty much everything published by ex-Yu aviation on Air Serbia has been correct. They even got the destination list right like two months before it was officially announced at the press conference.

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    8. Air Serbia will perform only two daily flights to Podgorica, not three. There will be more space for Montenegro Airlines.

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    9. Well, if they are smart, they will leave the Montenegro Airlines fill Jat´s/Air Serbia´s flights to Europe. - The same way OU is feading Lufthansa for instance.

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    10. Well, even if they have two A319 flights to Podgorica it would as if they have four Atrs flying between the two cities.

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    11. The first BEG-TGD-BEG frequency is scheduled at 14:00-16:30 and will be performed by A319, while the second one will be carried out by ATR. No overnight flights.

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  6. I agree but you must add also SJJ with A319 so silly and definitely not profitable

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    1. Well, though the aircraft is not made for such a short flight, I am sure they need the capacity due to the growing number of connecting passengers.
      It will be interesting to see if all frequencies will be operated by an A319 or will some stay with the Atr.

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    2. Anonymous at August 20, 2013 at 10:35 AM,
      please see the meaning of the word "frequency" in a good dictionary.

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    3. You do understand that in aviation a frequency represents a single flight operated between two points. Which means that, for example, a daily rotation is equal to seven weekly frequencies.
      My comment related to Sarajevo is fine. If let's say the route goes double daily it will represent a total of 14 frequencies. Out of these 14, 7 could be operated by A319 while the other 7 could be operated with an Atr.

      One would expect that all people visiting this blog would be familiar with the aviation lingo.

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  7. I would hate to see Montenegro or Olympic failing. Their flights to Belgrade are important because of the competition and ultimately fares to Athens and Podgorica. "Being crushed" is of no use to anyone, let alone us passengers.

    When will we be able to see the winter flight schedules for destinations served? It seems that flight numbers have changed as well and that Eastern Europe went from JU1XX to JU6XX range.

    Best regards from Novi Sad.

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    1. Well, it seems that Olympic Air is slowly but surely fading away. They have discontinued their flights from Athens to Alexandroupolis, Larnaca, Rhodes and Heraklion (among others). In the Greek media they are being attacked for being too expensive and that they are abusing the monopoly they have on some domestic routes. I think they are just waiting for the green light from the E.C. so that they can merge with Aegean.
      If they are eventually crushed in Belgrade it's not the end of the world. Once the economic situation improves, I am sure Aegean could step in. After all, they have been expanding this year and their financial performance has improved.

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    2. Actually Olympic is already underperforming. JU has had more passengers than them in June, July and so far in August. Greeks prefer flying the jet engine 737 than the propeller Dash.

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    3. Also, why is outboud flight to Abu Dhabi JU801 (odd number) when all other outbound flights are even numbers (JU210, JU404, etc)?
      Will there be significant changes in JU flight numbers?

      Best regards from Novi Sad.

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    4. JU801 - isn´t that the code for the codeshared flight operated by Etihad? Then, it as an inbound flight regarding from the departure city (AUH-BEG-AUH).

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    5. AnonymousAugust 20, 2013 at 10:52 AM
      Actually Olympic is already underperforming. JU has had more passengers than them in June, July and so far in August. Greeks prefer flying the jet engine 737 than the propeller Dash.
      --

      Everybody does. That´s why many people avoid JAT on Montenegro routs, although there are some JAT´s TIV flights opperated by jets. JAT/Air Serbia needs hardly any ATR or Dash in its fleet, since the people in the Balkans psychologically don´t except those machines as serious airplanes and are totally aware that they bring the vaisting of travel time, more noise, bad cabin pressure, more turbolances.. Turboprops do a good job in connecting province with the main cities. They are small and cheap to handle, need no big airport facilities. But there is no sense to connect major cities of a big region with turboprops.

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    6. I flew to IST and back to BEG with Jat ATR72-500 last week. The flight was less than 2 hours long and it was really nice journey, safe plane, clean and enough fast, no noise in the cabin and i almost didn't aware we have landed.ATR 72-500 (600)is the very best plane for regional flights for sure. So i think SJJ, PDG, LJU even IST could be use in Air Serbia operations.

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    7. There is no doubt that a flight on a ATR 72 maybe a nice flight. But if one has an alternative: the flight to Istanbul lasts some 20 minutes longer than with a jet. Small planes such as ATR 72 usually get outside position, so there are possibly some extra 20 minutes time for positionating and transit to the airport building. A 40 minutes extra to the journey - that does make difference. + If the weather is fine, there will be no tourbolances, but if the weather is bad ATR 72 and all turboprops become a real horor for passangers and cabin crew.

      And there is also this psychological effect - people from ex Yu always comment that turboprops are not real planes at all.

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    8. YM is about to experience a catastrophic margin compression. I don't know who would fly their junk planes when you can fly in an Etihad-spec Airbus. This is going to be so panfull to watch. And considering that their board of directors consists of a historian, a road traffic inspector and a village mayor, I don't really expect them being able to adapt to new market conditions.

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    9. What to do if you have 60 passengers to PDG or SJJ. Using Airbus would be wasting of money.

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    10. 'And considering that their board of directors consists of a historian, a road traffic inspector and a village mayor, I don't really expect them being able to adapt to new market conditions.'

      HAHAHA!! Best comment in a while! :D

      'What to do if you have 60 passengers to PDG or SJJ. Using Airbus would be wasting of money.'

      Podgorica being one of the most popular destinations out of Belgrade, I doubt they will have 60 passengers per flight. Especially now when they will have a normal frequent flyer programme and all that. Montenegro Airlines will have no competitive advantage, at least none that I am aware of.
      As for Sarajevo, I know a lot of people who refused to fly from Belgrade because of horrible flight times. If this is changed then I am sure that they will see better loads, not to mention the fact that they will have a decent hub structure in Belgrade.

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    11. Ajme,

      Can not believe how people keep embarrassing themselves and Serbia. At least Montenegro had the ability to buy there own planes and didn't need Arabs to show them how to do it!

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    12. I wouldn´t be so sure about the "purity" of Montenegro Airlines. For many years they have flowered also due to the reason that the politicians in the Yugoslav (Serbia and Montenegro) cilvil aviation administration were put by Montenegro. Everyone who is from the Balkans know the meaning and importance of such "casualties". Far more than once, JAT was obliged to transfer Montenegro Airlines luggage from European destinations to TGD and TIV, since the Montenegro jets could not deal with seasonal luggage increasment during the summer when the number of US and Australia transit passangers rised. Not to talk about the general problem with the money loundering in Montenegro and its government.

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    13. The Serbia-Montenegro market is big enough for at least two airlines.If those airlines are run by idiots,criminals or saints
      will not change that fact.

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    14. Well, once Montenegro Airlines dies, the market can be liberalized and Wizz Air can step in.... or any other airline for that matter.

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  8. I hope that Air Serbia will use the Airbus A319 on BEG-GOT. ATR over here is not possible, because of the distance between Belgrade and Gothenburg.

    Will the flight Belgrade-Gothenburg make a stop in Copenhagen like usually?

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    1. Of course they will use A319, ATRs would be use only for short destinations from BEG

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  9. how come that beg-bey would be more interesting route than beg-bcn? or manchester, hamburg, lyon, lisbon, st.petersbourg etc, etc..

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    1. bey used to be one of JAT´s most profitable routes for years. the route was attractive for libanese immigrants in western europe, since JAT offered fair prices and always showed a high luggage tolerance. The comparation with BCN, Machester or Hamburg makes no sense.

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    2. We dont know the targeted passenger structure for Beirut so it is very difficult to compare.

      Barcelona and Lisbon would be rather low yield destinations, focused on tourism. Hamburg and Lyon are VFR traffic only... not high yields there eather, at least for the time being.

      Besides, one step at a time. We already have to make one giant one in October, lets wait and see how things go.

      Best regards from Novi Sad.

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  10. Still have not a clue what will happen with old good 733.....so beautiful planes....ehhh....i flew with them so many times and felt safe

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    1. They are really a kind of calssics, the way old pepsi cans are. The problem with them is that they use to much fuel, so that the companies in fuel-import countries cannot opperate with them and make profit at the same time.

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    2. I am aware of that just wished to point that new Airbuses are like kids toys compared with older planes. I still remember my first flight with YU-AGA, B707 , the best plane Jat had in their fleet...WHAT A BEAUTY!!

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  11. I like this news except that Amsterdam goes not double daily
    with their new A319.
    My personal opinion is that AMS is a juwel of destination and Air Serbia should do it better on that route than Croatia Airlines!

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    1. How do you mean that (besides comparing different city pairs hence completely different markets)?

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  12. A da li sortirnica prtljaga na aerodromu Beograd uopste moze da izdrzi tranzitni promet koji Etihad planira? Koliko ja znam, oni i dalje sve rade rucno.. Bice velika sramota i steta po poslovanje ako krenu letovi, a prtljag se stalno gubi..

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  13. When can we expect to see new schedules? I'm super curious to see departure times for ZRH, CDG and AMS.

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  14. I know that JAT has a code-share with Romanian National Career Tarom for BEG-OTP. The new flight to OTP means that this partnership will end?

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  17. Do we have any info which airframes are to make AirSerbia Airbus fleet? What would be Serbian registrations? It was said that planes will be leased from CIT and there are not many airframes available.

    It seems that A6-EID, A6 EIE of Etihad are both CIT owned.

    Air Berlin has two planes leased out to Niki and those are to be returned to AirBerlin late October. Could those be D-ABGS & D-ABGP?

    Heh, so many answers yet so little answers, for now. :)

    Best regards from Novi Sad.

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  18. What about SKP? Will it be covered by 737 and ATR, or it will transition to A319?

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