Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Star Alliance losing ground in Belgrade

Star Alliance member airlines hit by competition

The world’s first and largest global airline alliance, headed by Germany’s Lufthansa, has been hit by a steep passenger decline on its flights to and from Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, as the group faces indirect competition from Wizz Air and a much more competitive Serbian national carrier. Star Alliance plays an important role in air transport in the former Yugoslavia. Its members operate the largest amount of flights to and from the region and carry the greatest amount of passengers. Star Alliance also boasts two EX-YU airlines as its members - Adria Airways and Croatia Airlines. While the alliance has been strengthening its hold at some airports, such as Sarajevo, the reverse has occurred in Belgrade. In the first two months of 2014 the alliance increased its operations to the city by 7% but has been recording a passenger decline since December last year. In January and February the group handled 104.139 passengers on its services to and from Belgrade.

Adria Airways was the first airline to buckle under pressure and suspend services to the Serbian capital after facing competition for only three months. However, the biggest decline in passengers has been recorded amongst members of the Lufthansa Group which include Austrian, Swiss International Air Lines and Germanwings. Together, the airlines recorded an average 21.5% decline in numbers. Overall, the biggest looser amongst Star Alliance members so far this year is Austrian with its figures plunging by 24%. It is followed by Germanwings with a loss of 23.9%, Aegean Airlines (operated by Olympic) down 22% and Swiss decreasing by 12.8%.

Austrian Airlines
PAX
Change
15.738
24.0
 
The losses Star Alliance has incurred over the past few months are in stark contrast to last year, when the group recorded strong passenger growth on its Belgrade flights. With exception to Olympic, which was not a member of Star Alliance last year prior to its merger with Aegean, all other group members outperformed Jat Airways on competing routes in 2013. This year’s decline comes on top of an additional airline from the group, LOT, operating flights to the Serbian capital, which was not the case last winter. An exception to the declining trend is Turkish Airlines, which has seen its numbers grow 35% on last year.

Turkish Airlines
PAX
Change
22.754
35.8
 
Passengers have so far been reaping the rewards from the increased competition with many Star Alliance members significantly reducing their prices on competing routes. It remains to be seen how the group of airlines will respond this summer to the increased pressure and losses it has faced so far. TAP Portugal will become the newest Star Alliance member to operate flights to Belgrade, with services to be launched on July 2. Turkish Airlines and LOT will operate more flights than last year while Croatia Airlines will also add an additional flight to its seasonal services to Belgrade.

33 comments:

  1. Well this was predictable as LH is not a team player , because everything has to be their way and they were a bit arrogant think that the balkan market belongs to them .I am so glad that JU was purchased by Etihad. No monopoly look what's happening with Croatia Airlines they are so deep in the ass of LH .that LH only gives them the left overs , well what did you expect with a Ceo like Kucko. You give a monkey a suit but it will always stay a monkey that's why Croatia Airlines is monkey business

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    1. I have learned that when you pay peanuts you will get monkey business. Kucko is paying peanuts for his personnel. It's obvious a very bad CEO!!

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  2. Very interesting read. Now I understand why Swiss is selling tickets for 40 euros. Yesterday I was booking flights to Geneva in June and my total came out to 92 euros return all taxes included.

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    1. How can LX numbers in BEG decline by 13% when they operate more flights than last year? Do they send smaller planes, too, to maintain some kind of profitability? I hope they don't cut GVA-BEG, we got used to that one very quickly :)
      Cheers from Lac Leman!

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    2. Actually, they are selling cheap tickets for all ex-GVA destinations, where they face Easyjet competition. That price comes with no baggage allowance.

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    3. @SuisseOuest

      It is the same amount of flights
      JAN+FEB 2014 total 232 flights

      ZRH-BEG-ZRH – 198 flights
      GVA-BEG-GVA – 34 flights

      JAN+FEB 2013 total 232 flights

      ZRH-BEG-ZRG – 232 flights

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    4. I see. Thanks for the clarification! I was under impression that ZRH-BEG frequencies were the same as last year.

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  3. OT Does anybody know about new jets of Air Serbia as summer season is just a moment to begin? Not promissing well.

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  4. Not easy to cruising thru Serbian sky over Belgrade. Obviously Star Alliance enjoying to be dominant competitor on NIKOLA TESLA INTERNATIONAL. Sam changes on the way. AIR SERBIA have big task. Time will tell. Expectation is high.
    Rodney Son & Co. Kraljevo / Sydney

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  5. What happened to EY11 en route to London? It landed in BEG this morning, and stayed for a couple of hours. Medical emergency?
    http://www.beg.aero/passengers/flights.239.html?flightId=262269

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    1. EY 011 ABU DHABI 05:00 05:05 C7A Boeing 777 Landed at 05:11

      EY 011 LONDON HEATHROW 06:30 07:20 Boeing 777-200 / 200ER Airborne at 07:30

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    2. Yes they needed medical assistance for one pax but it took more than 2hrs. B777 was at C7 due to busy B platform in morning hours with wizz and one Yuzmashavia IL-76

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    3. It was a flight between Abu Dhabi and London. A lady collapsed mid-air. It was a pretty nice sight to have the B777-300 in Belgrade. It actually occupied two remote stands, C7 and C8. lol

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    4. Jel ima neko sliku od tog Aviona dok je bio u Beogradu.

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    5. As Nemjee correctly mentionned, it was a B777-300ER and not 777-200 as BEG.aero website noted.

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  6. a sta je lose u vesti da austrian gubi trziste? ;)

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    1. Nothing, they should be displaced. They are more expensive than LCC's and have worse service than new Air Serbia product.

      Their goal is to be the airline of East Europe (including some "Far East Europe" destinations) but they are not even located in East Europe! Their neocolonial illusions of grandeur had them on weird destinations in South America, Africa and even Australia until 2007, last of continental Europe airline to realize ME3 are taking over kangaroo routes!

      Even nowadays they have a crazy idea or two (Burma, anyone?) but Lufthansa cut them to size. If it wasn't for Lufthansa they would be out of business, they finally managed to make EUR 25M last year after years of making losses and being in red since 2007. Source:

      http://www.austrianairlines.ag/Press/PressReleases/Press/2014/03/024.aspx?sc_lang=en

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    2. It's not unexpected. OS was relying on transit pax, who now have a choice of direct flight to many destinations, with a better timing, and a more reliable airline than Jat ever was. Now for many destinations, you have a bigger choice, and at cheaper prices.

      Once upon a time, I'd never even consider flying with JU, and would prefer connecting in VIE or MUC even if it added a couple of hours to my time in the air. Now it's different story.

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    3. Let's not forget that connections via Rome have been improved. Though Rome is not as convenient as Munich or Vienna, they can still cover a relatively large area of the European continent. It will be interesting to see how Air Serbia's relationship with Virgin Atlantic develops. Currently, their flights to LHR are packed with passengers heading to north America.

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  7. Mislim da se hrvatska vlast treba zapitati kojim smjerom ide Hrvatska u kojoj strane kompanije imaju gro kolača, u kojem se Croatia sve više povlači, a vrhnje kupe stranci, poglavito na Jadranu. U kojem Lufthansa i puleni dumpingiraju Croatiju i istovremeno ju ucjenjuju da sama sudjelujue u tom dupingu. A onda je Croatia u gubitcima i mora i dalje smanjivati linije, ali nikako prema istoj toj Lufthansi, nego prema ostalim destinacijama. Mi subvencioniramo strance. Naš turista iz Osijeka nije turista, i let kojim on dolazi se ne može subvencionirati. Naša kompanija se ne smije financirati, nego mora smanjivati broj letova i zrakoplova, no zato trošimo puste desetke milijuna na suvencioniranje Ryana, Easya i drugih...


    In my interviewee for Al Jazeera I said that one of the biggest benefit from Etihad-Lufthansa deal would be influence in Lufthansa which will have to react and play more cooperative with their partners (Croatia, Adria, Aegean) in region. Time to be stepmother and to take all the profit from region for Lufthansa is passed away. If Lufthansa wants to fight against MEB3 especially Etihad who fight directly to Lufthansa (Air Berlin in Germany, Darwin in Switzerland, Air Serbia, Alitalia) they must change policy and start to work on benefit with their partners (Swiss, Austrian, Air Dolomiti, Croatia, Adria, Aegean, Brussels...).

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    1. Politics my friend, politics. I think Croatia as a country is very much a German project from the very beginning. Germany was Croatia’s biggest supporter from the beginning. Unfortunately, in the West there is nothing for free, you have to pay for it somehow. The only question I have when is enough for them and I'm afraid that the answer is never. And don't get me wrong, same if not worse future awaits Serbia as it gets closer to EU. We all became independent from each other only to become someone else’s slaves.

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    2. True, so true...

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    3. It took less than 15 years after WWII for former bitter enemies to find common economic interest and create EEC. Is it too early for airlines in this region to put their economic interests first and find some benefits in cooperation against more powerful outside competitors?

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    4. I don’t think it’s too early, I actually think that it might be too late now for a big scale merger (meaning 3-4 companies in the same time). JU is with EY now developing network, OU’s and JP’s focus seems to be different atm with their own issues. What I think is more realistic is lower level consolidation. OU and JP might merge once all the EU investigation+sale is over. Some will just fold (BH and Montenegro). Maybe in the future one of these two options becomes stronger and tries to swallow the other but all this is speculation at its best and some years away.

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  8. This is not shocking at all. Up until now, Star Alliance had no competition in Belgrade; either from a local carrier or from other, foreign, airlines.
    Things will become even more interesting as time goes by and as Air Serbia's fleet grows.

    With Air Serbia having really good cooperation with Alitalia and Aeroflot, I hope we see Air France back in Belgrade (for the sake of diversity, not their mediocre-at-best product) and that soon Air Serbia becomes a member of Sky Team.

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    1. Air Serbia in Skyteam won't happen. The only alliance Air Serbia will ever be the part of is Etihad's Global Alliance (currently in the making).

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    2. True. That won't stop JU from having codeshares with all three alliances, so it's the best solution for them.

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    3. I would not rule out anything, at least not for the time being. Civil aviation is highly unpredictable hence why saying 'won't happen' with certainty is not a wise thing to do.
      I am sure that if both Air Serbia and Etihad can profit from JU's membership in Sky Team that they would most definitely push for them to become a member. Especially since Air Serbia is working hard on turning Belgrade into a true Balkan hub.

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  9. Figures are going down for BEG. The growth in march will not reach 30%,

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    1. I could live with a 20% growth... I guess. :/

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  10. Lufthansa se bogati a cereke Firme propadaju.

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  11. Ja sam na Aerodromu u Innsbrucku pricao sa jednim Menedzerom za Rute iz Lufthanse i on mi rekao da nema gorih od njih teraju ga da ide po Evropi i Slika Avione na Aerodromima da vide kolko kasne Avioni da bi mogli odbiju Plate od Pilota ako kasne vise od 30Min.Puno Pozdrava Ex yu Blogu najbolji ste.

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  12. Having in mind everything written above, i would rather say that it is the Lufthansa group loosing ground in Belgrade and not Star Alliance (TK, TAP...).

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