Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Air Serbia promises “exciting” 2014

Air Serbia optimistic about the future

Air Serbia says 2014 will see “exciting developments” with the airline planning to launch new routes, lease new aircraft and improve its business in the coming months. CEO Dane Kondić says, “It will be a year when we begin to put in place the building blocks that will make Air Serbia the region’s leading airline”. At the same time, the Serbian carrier draws upon some of the milestones it has achieved in the three months since the rebranded airline was launched. Among those is the employment of over 100 new cabin crew members which have undergone training at the Etihad Airways training facilities in Abu Dhabi. In addition, the Serbian carrier has recruited 29 pilots among which are three females, a first for the country’s national airline, while at the same time over seventy pilots have obtained certification to operate Airbus aircraft.

The national carrier says the first generation of students are currently attending the Air Serbia Graduate Management Program in Abu Dhabi. These young individuals are set to return to Serbia where they will apply their knowledge in running the airline in the future. Furthermore, the carrier adds it has set up its line and light maintenance division and hired twenty technicians and aircraft engineers.

In the coming weeks Air Serbia will take delivery of its sixth Airbus A319 aircraft. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, the delivery of the A319 fleet has been somewhat delayed due to bureaucratic procedures linked to the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate. On the other hand, two Airbus A320s are set to be contracted by the end of the month and are to enter service from March 30 on flights to Athens, Paris, Moscow and Zurich, as well as London Heathrow on selected days. In addition, the airline has begun cabin reconfiguration of its ATR fleet which are to be fitted with new economy class seats and repainted from the Jat Airways livery to that of Air Serbia.

Over the next three months Air Serbia will launch six new routes, marking a return to old markets once operated by JAT Yugoslav Airlines as well as Jat Airways. The carrier will return to Beirut for the first time since 2006, services to Warsaw will resume after eleven years while it will jet into Sofia and Budapest after a 22 years absence. After more than a decade, flights to Kiev will also resume while the airline will operate its first scheduled service to Varna.

91 comments:

  1. Good luck Air Serbia, this is your year! Greetings from Dubrovnik!

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  2. For the beginning the should upgrade and remake their website, which is still just the overpainted JAT design looks tired and is full with mistakes and old information. This shouldn't be "rocket science" and not too expensive. It is of utmost importance since the website is any airlines virtual window to the world.....

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  3. What airline regional leader are we talking about??? Since Oct re-branding I flew with JU 6 times. Not once FF miles accumulated automatically into my Etihadguest account. Every time had to ask for credit of missing miles. The culmination of the story is the denial to credit FF miles for SVO-BEG-SVO in business class because I purchased the lower fare "i" business ....ZERO miles for these 2 segments!...this unprofessional gest really makes one think twice about the concept of being a welcome and returning customer (as of recently called "gest").

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    Replies
    1. Look man, in all honesty, it is very clearly stated on the EY Guest website that I class is a non-earning bucket ("Invalid booking class for accural"). So, no surprises there.

      But tell us, was that an award ticket or an ID ticket? Because deep discount Y promo tickets do earn miles! I find it extremely hard to believe that they have a C class revenue seats which do not credit miles at all.

      They are kind of slow with posting miles, and I did have to send an email a few times...

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  4. What a difference compared to JAT!
    After return flight LHR-BEG-LHR...

    Smiling, happy crew, evidence of one of the crew memebers actually being trained which in my view looked very positive and good...

    Lovely catering...

    (Still dont like the logo, and that "etno" music while boarding is not to everyone's taste...)

    I hope product does not change as the time goes!

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    Replies
    1. Did they got IFE in Economy Class just like in Etihad's A320 or they still don't have in mind to put IFE in Air Serbia's Aircraft?

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    2. No IFE.
      Business was given tablets.

      On the other hand, I don't understand why USB/Charging port for smart phone or laptop is not a standard in economy...and I'd be happy using my own IFE!)

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  5. Just returned from LHR. Both flights on time, excellent service, really good food with a Serbian accent.
    A much better flight experience than Lufthansa or even Swiss. If Air Serbia keeps this up, it deserves to be the leading regional carrier.
    Website is awful. No check in , no seat selection, and no American Express........really needs sorting out.

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    Replies
    1. New software, saber, will be deployed by the end of the month after that it will be possible to make those changes.

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    2. you can select seat. i did that when i was booking for FCO

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    3. You can only do it during booking, but not afterwards. That's what OP was referring to.

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    4. OMG. Not Sabre :(

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    5. Anything is better than what they have now... it's like the software (especially the FF part) was written by high schoolers...

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    6. The switch will take place on 25.02 as the current programme is supposed to be shut down permanently by the end of the year.

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  6. So, they will not fly to Spain this year? What a regional leader?!?

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    Replies
    1. Maybe Girona. I hate when we Serbs start talking about how we are gonna become regional leaders, but Spain is not such an important criteria for that. Especially when we see how poor and monotonous ex-yu + Albania airlines' destination maps are.

      So you are right, JU is not a regional leader, but your criteria is wrong.

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    2. I would like to know the definition of this so many times mentioned region? Which counties, which parts of certian countries?

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    3. Area between Istanbul and Vienna. Duh.

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    4. Ambitious. ...ex yu÷Hungaty, Romania, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece. ... 70 mio inhabitants. ..impressive really

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    5. Well, no business can be successful without ambition. ;)

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  7. Have flown with them 5 times now, from LHR and ARN. Have to say that I was really pleasantly surprised! Amazing catering and service, new interiors, etno music playing while boarding is a really nice touch! Definitely one of the best airlines in Europe at the moment!

    Love the logo, btw....

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  8. really was this worth to be the day news ??

    pure propaganda! laughable article

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  9. The article should be marked with "commercial" or "PR"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...cause this is PR

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    2. Hiring over 200 people in the aviation industry in any country in ex-Yu is reason enough to write an article. And I say this because we have only see job losses and downsizing in every single airline here.

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    3. The fact that this article already has more comments than yesetrday's shows people are actually interested

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    4. sure .... as the most of the users here are from Serbia :)

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    5. cause the rest probably dont give a damn thing anymore about this blog ?

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    6. The flag counter on the right proves you wrong pretty much

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    7. yes they came to visit the blog and found just another pointless promo Air Serbia article and left.

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    8. Haters gonna hate. Maybe there would be nice articles about Adria, Croatia and Montenegro if anything good was happening but all I can see is failed privatizations, cost cutting, network cutting, illegal aid rulings and so on.

      Delete
  10. Air Serbia has started selling business class tickets for some ATR operated flights (BEG-PRG). Does anyone know what kind of service are they offering on those flights? So far they've operated ATR flights exclusively as one class only economy flights. There is absolutely no information on their web page.about this.

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    Replies
    1. If you are talking about summer schedule, i believe that is because PRG will be operated with A319. Please correct me if im wrong.

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    2. No it will be an ATR. Several seats will be designated as business. They will be economy seats with business class catering and service.

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    3. It's true. It is possible to book business class on ATR. Service will be same as in A319 just seats won't be different from economy. Prices are really low if you book until Feb 20. For example return in business class to Sarajevo 195, Dubrovnik 273, Tivat 166, etc. Air Serbia wants attract passengers to try their business class and book next time for regular price.

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    4. Yu-alo is in NL Mow not just because of livery it self but for cabin and lavatory reconfiguration. Soon will be in beg, another atr goes after that and so on until finished all fleet

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  11. Solyom Hungarian Airways:

    After a widely publicised bankruptcy, on October 30 communications director Tamás Hévizi called for speculation to die down while the appropriate permits were obtained but unexpectedly on November 10, 2013 Sólyom was sold by managing director Hurtyák Róbert to new owners "Charity March" (a Hungarian organization based in Africa) for three million forint. Charity March's head, Tamás Welsz, said that talks about the takeover had been ongoing for a month. In an interview the former owner of Sólyom, Lucsik János, said he did not know Welsz and had only met him twice in his life. He also said that he did not know about the sale until it had happened and that he was unable to dispute Hurtyák's decision to sell the company when Lucsik János himself had made a decision to declare insolvency. Flights were expected to launch by December with the two existing planes but further issues arose when it emerged that Welsz and his wife were wanted by both Panama and Interpol on charges of fraud and forgery of legal documents and traveled back to Hungary during a travel ban.

    The airline has outstanding rent on their office at Liszt Ferenc airport, with the airport threatening to cancel Sólyom's tenancy contract if the rent remains unpaid by January 2014. Suppliers who paid to register on Sólyom's supplier database (amount dependent on company size) are yet to have a single order placed with them as of 12 December 2013 with doubts of whether they will be reimbursed, or if they will have orders placed with them.

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  12. In all honesty, I don't think any airline has undergone such a massive transformation in only 3 months. Remember what Jat looked like just a few months ago?

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  13. Eithad will double flights from Abu Dhabi to Air Berlin hubs Dusseldorf and Munich, and will start to fly to Zurich (Air Berlins subsidiary Belair hub).

    In same time they promote collaboration with Air Berlin on highest level, and connections to destinations such as Budapest via Air Berlin hubs. That is very strange as that means passengers from BUD will connect via northwest Air Berlin hubs and in same time there is more logical options via BEG with new open Air Serbia route BEG-BUD. That shows how Etihad is not dedicate to Air Serbia and BEG as hub.

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    Replies
    1. Go tell them to cancel those NEOs asap!

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    2. They are really very bad and naughty boys, those Etihadis! :-)) Keep being jelaous, its good for your health.

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    3. What is jealous in this?

      Etihad is promoting Abu Dhabi flights via MUC, DUS and TXL not via BEG. That is not logical, that is much more expensive (more miles to Northwest and than again to Southeast comparing to connection via BEG which is just to proceed to North), passengers will spend at least 2 more hours to travel, taxes to travel via TXL, DUS or BEG are much more expensive than via BEG... but still Etihad is doing that!

      That shows how Air Serbia is insignificant in Etihad expansion and that collaboration with Air Berlin is much more important for them. And that shows your dream to make BEG as “European hub for Etihad” is not even near to reality.

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    4. Woow, Serbia is not center of Universe, and Etihad concentrate in collaboration with Air Berlin. And Darwin is more important for them, and they are in final stage of negotiation with Alitalia, and they even don't publish Air Serbia as their collaborator...

      Welcome to reality «Nebeski narode»... it must hurt!

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    5. Erm hope you get better. Visit a specialist

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    6. Deullisional Croatians who keep repeating about OU getting new planes and launching an "expansion" trashing Air Serbia based on some promo material. Please stop, it's embarrasing.

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    7. Sorry, but why do you think all negative posts come from Croats? Do all the Serbs think the same? I don't think so! Speaking of dillusional people, you people are obsessed with Air Serbia, as one of the poorest countries in Europe it's just sad, there are other things to be fixed in Serbia (this goes for other Ex-Yu countries as well)!

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    8. Are you aware of the fact that aviation generates value? Considering Serbia's economic position, it is very natural that everyone wishes to see more successful companies (very well) paying jobs. You have issues with hate more likely.

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    9. Hate? That's your favourite word, besides "leader in the region"? I know aviation generates value, among other things! I like reading comments about aviation, but this has gone too far, not everyone has the same opinion but it doesn't mean someone hates Serbia, Air Serbia, Croatia, OU, Slovenia,... Let's be civillised!

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    10. What has gone too far? You mean this obsession to demonstrate Air Berlin is more important for Etihad than JU? Wow, now that is some sensational news nobody knew. We all thought JU would be the prime jewel in Etihad's crown and everything would be funelled through BEG, so we need those Zorros on permanent duty to remind us JU will not be EY's primary hub, Serbia is a very poor country and BEG is not a hub. That, my friend, is called unprovoked flame and not 'a different opinion'. But you are right about one thing, it has gone too far.

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  14. SOF overpassed BEG in January! 281 772 vs 270 784
    I am surprised! I think both airports will compete for the 4 million mark!

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    Replies
    1. Where did you get that info?

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    2. True, but last year they had cca 265 000 pax, compared to 210 000 pax BEG had.

      on the other hand in August they handled max 320 000 pax, so the span is jot as large as in BEG, that handled 440 000 pax.

      dont underestimate SOF, BEG has surpassed them in 2013. They are not as underdeveloped and backward as many Serbs might think.

      dont get me wrong, im a Serb, but im also realistic.

      all the best to both airports!

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    3. The problem with Sofia is that it lacks an airline that will attract connecting passengers thus increasing passenger numbers beyond O&D. We have to wait and see how Belgrade performs in February and March. If growth remains as impressive then they will overtake Sofia without a problem. After all, Belgrade airport did handle approximately 50.000 more passengers this January than last year.
      Last year we managed to beat them and our next goal should be Thessaloniki with its 4.400.000 passengers.

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    4. The goal of the airport should be to make more money and have happy pax who will want to transit in BEG again.
      Who the f**k cares about beating Thessaloniki!?!?!

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    5. An airport can not make money and have satisfied customers unless it operates in a market where it faces competition.

      Competition breeds success.

      That's why the airport should have goals it tries to achieve and some of these should be to be the best and the biggest within the wider region it serves. That's why they should care about neighbouring airports.

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    6. Why?! It's not as if someone will travel by car all the way from Zagreb, Budapest, Thessaloniki or Sofia to Belgrade. These cities are not BEG's catchment area.
      This sounds more like teenagers and whose is bigger stories.

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    7. Competition would be Sheremtyevo/Domodedovo/Vnukovo in Moscow, or Heathrow/Gatwick/Stansted/Luton in London... but not airports which are hundreds of miles away.

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    8. Belgrade is trying to become a transit hub which means that from now on it has to pay special attention to the standard offered at the airports which are not far from it, such as Athens, Bucharest, Vienna...
      Let's take the Middle Eastern region. From the Balkans you have Aegean, Tarom and and Air Serbia expanding there by offering more and more flights which enable connections at their respective hubs. In order for Belgrade airport to stay competitive and to have its customers satisfied (which increases the likelihood of them transiting through there again in the future) they need to know who their immediate competitors are and what product they offer. I used these three airlines because they are not that different in size and they operate from the same geographical area. Bottom line is that Belgrade airport is lagging behind both Athens and Bucharest and unless it starts to realize that, it will not have satisfied customers. I am sure we all have one or two airports which we try to avoid when flying. Belgrade needs to do a lot of work in order not to become that.
      Belgrade (or Serbia for that matter) does not need a second airport. Yes, I know many people from the south want Nis to work but at this point in time there is no economic justification for more money to be thrown into the project. The best case scenario is for Air Serbia to launch flights but I do not see any other solution in the foreseeable future.
      Even our neighbours in Bucharest closed one of their airports and they concentrated all the traffic on Otopeni, the same with the Hungarians and Ferihegy.

      The three airports mentioned above might be hundreds of miles away but their local carriers are competing for the same transit passengers which kind of makes them direct competitors. If the Air Serbia model works then the percentage of O&D passengers will be considerably reduced making these airports 'even closer to each other.' Aegean carried around 250.000 passengers in Athens this past January which means that they are not that far ahead.

      Also, both Moscow and London are probably more high-yielding than all of ex-Yugoslavia put together and then multiplied by 10. It's pathetic to compare the two cases.

      Delete
  15. For those interested, YU-AOV was stripped of its livery last night.
    Also, Air Serbia will start training 120 ground staff after 600 applied in less than two days. The airline will also take over the middle section of the check-ins as its passenger numbers are growing.

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    Replies
    1. OMG. While other airlines are decreasing their physical presence, Air Serbia is going the other way round... they should be increasing their online presence... online check-in anyone?

      Are you guys aware that other (profitable) airlines have very few check-in counters for Y-class pax? Go to MUC and check LH counters for yourself.

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    2. Bugarin se vraća sa lizinga, zato su skinuli boju (it sounds better in Serbian than in Englsih :-))

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    3. Well, Air Serbia has to adapt to the market it serves and the Serbian one is not the most technologically advanced. A lot of passengers still prefer to check in using the counters at Belgrade airport rather than to do it online. Also, for Air Serbia the whole process of checking in at the counter is a way of building a positive company-customer relationship. That's actually the airline's policy and that's why they specially train their employees who work there.

      Also, Lufthansa ground crew is extremely unpleasant and at times rude. I don't think anyone should be aspiring to be like them- especially like the ones in Munich.
      You should compare the situation at Belgrade airport with that at Istanbul or Athens where both Aegean and Turkish Airlines have a lot of check-in counters simply because the passenger structure is the same as the one in Belgrade.

      Just because you prefer to use the online system doesn't mean everyone does too. ;)

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    4. They are redesigning the entire website midyear so don’t worry. Until then they will introduce a Russian version to the current site.

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    5. Well maybe some passengers (upsss guests) would use online check-in if there would be any... but Air Serbia is still in 1970 and that is why you need more airport check-in.

      But that is nothing strange in Serbia. Even highways are charged by person instead machine (like credit cards, money machine, ENP...). In most countries in Europe there is 4:1 for machine, but in Serbia it is 10:1 for man.

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    6. One can go even closer, Vienna, and see how few check in counters there are. Most airports and airlines nowadays offer online check-in, mobile check-in, check-in kiosques, automatic baggage drop-off, etc.
      When will JU have these late 20th century things implemented? You cannot grow a profitable airline business without these essentials.

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    7. It has nothing to do with preferences. It has to do with profitability!!! Serbs need to understand that they will not outsmart the world. You cannot run a PROFITABLE airline business without all the above.
      Yes, it's nice to have a new airline, and all the hype that surrounds it, but there are lots of behind the curtain things that need to be done so that Serbians can be proud of their airline - long term.

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    8. ^Good thing you know what is necessary for JU but Hogan and Kondic do not.

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    9. ^^ You should try to understand that Serbs, no matter how desperate you are to find any crazy base to trash them as a whole, do not run JU anymore. Your nationalistic rant is therefore more applicable on Brits. Though it is still not applicable to any civilized sort of communication.

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    10. I think some people are forgetting that Etihad and its team in Belgrade had to bring back to life a company which was mismanaged and systematically destroyed for the past 14 years. So far they seem to know what they are doing, let's wait and see how things go in the next couple of months. At least their passengers seem satisfied which is the most important thing.

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    11. ANK was stripped off Jat's colours on Monday

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    12. Satisfied passengers. Which one:

      - from Podgorica disaster (10 hours without information, food and drink)

      - from Cologne adventure (no information and any help)

      - from Dusseldorf shame

      - from Prague unprofessionalisam

      I was in Podgorica that day, and for sure I will never fly Air Serbia again.

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    13. Of course. That is what the whole thing is about. You don't like a specific carrier, you don't fly it. You fly those you prefer. And you let other passengers make their own choices. You don't go around and trash entire nations over your personal frust.

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    14. You are right, just because of four incidents the whole airline sucks. Get real.

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  16. Does anyone know anything about recruitment of cadet pilot program applicants? Around 100 of us took the cognitive abilities teat at the end of december, but nobody is talking about when the training for those who passed would start?

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    Replies
    1. I remember that they told us that the results will be in late january, early february..i hope they send something soon!

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    2. You were at the testing too? I hope they will contact those who passed soon.
      Also, if admin of EX-YU aviation maybe knows any info we would be grateful.

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    3. lol, maybe we were in the same group :D. I remember talking to the woman and specifically asking her about the results after finishing the test, and she told me that they will send emails to everyone with their scores and if they passed with informations on the following steps.

      I hope we meet in the next phase! :)

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    4. Don't worry. Air Serbia is Air Delay, so they will delay with this too, as with everything else.

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  17. Tarom will be upgauging their Belgrade flight to an Atr-72 tomorrow. Nice to see that their cooperation with JU is producing positive results.

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    Replies
    1. Insider information? How do you know? Maybe they just didn't have the smaller ATR42 aircraft available?

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    2. Flights to Bucharest are full. Air Serbia's loadfactor is close to 90%. Mind you, this route sees a lot of passengers that are heading to Asia via Belgrade and Abu Dhabi. It seems surreal but it's the truth.

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  18. Belgrade airport will finish the year 2014 somewhere between the 90th and 94th spot on the top 100 busiest European airports.

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    Replies
    1. So what?! Who f*ing cares? This is not a competition which airport has more passengers?

      Organization, smooth processes, and above all economics are the most important matters. I am sure BEG doesn't rank quite good in those fields (yet).

      Delete
    2. So you are saying we should not be happy that Belgrade will finally enter the top 100 in Europe?! I am sure quite a few Serbs will be happy about it. You are just a hater and a troll. Also, how do you know Belgrade isn't a smooth airport to connect through?

      Delete
    3. What is the minimum connection time in BEG? And how does it compare with:
      - VIE: 25 minutes
      - MUC: 30 minutes

      Transfer VIA VIENNA is quicker, easier and more convenient than at many other airports.
      The minimum connecting time of 25 minutes (for Star Alliance flights) is one of the shortest in Europe. Coordinated flight schedules, particularly to and from eastern and western Europe and for intercontinental flights, make for rapid transfer to any destination. The distances between your arrival and departure gates are short. http://www.viennaairport.com/jart/prj3/va/main.jart?rel=en&content-id=1249344074235&reserve-mode=active


      See what I mean? How far is BEG from achieving this?

      Delete
    4. I never quite understood why people get so excited over a 25 minute connection. Warsaw does that too and it's horrible. If I am connecting somewhere I like to have at least 45 minutes so that I can walk normally, maybe have coffee and not rush/run to my next flight and be all stressed.

      I believe Belgrade is 35 minutes.

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    5. I love airports with short MST and also make sure to book more time for transfer. The idea is that you have the ability to transfer fast in case your inbound flight is delayed and in case it's not you have time to shop or eat.
      Belgrade is very compact, then they finally separate incoming and outgoing passengers, you will be able to connect in 15 mins or less.

      Delete
  19. Here is an interesting fact. Almost every day, there is about 500 kilos worth of priority mail travelling between London and Ljubljana via Belgrade on Air Serbia. Interesting that a Star Alliance hub was not chosen for this. Not that I am complaining.

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  20. Nase devojke su najlepse!
    Bravo za Air Serbia!
    Cista 10!

    ReplyDelete

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