Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Swiss from Geneva to Skopje and Sarajevo

Swiss to launch new flights to Skopje and Sarajevo

Swiss International Air Lines has announced the expansion of its Geneva base from the start of the 2015 summer season, which will see the carrier introduce flights to eight new destinations, among which are Skopje and Sarajevo. The development comes only weeks after Swiss scheduled new services from Zurich to Zagreb, Ljubljana and Sarajevo, signalling an aggressive expansion into the region. Furthermore, the airline’s subsidiary, Edelweiss, will operate new seasonal summer flights from Zurich to Podgorica and Banja Luka next year. Services from Geneva to Skopje will initially operate once per week from April 4, until increasing to two times per week from July 11. On the other hand, flights to Sarajevo will also operate once per week from April 4 until another weekly service is added on July 1.

Commenting on the new route launches, the CEO of Geneva Airport, Robert Deillon, says, “Swiss’ actions here are very good news for us. These new destinations include a prudent expansion of Geneva’s network in the Balkans, which are not particularly well served at present”. The new points will bring Swiss’ Geneva-based network to 39 destinations, compared to just twelve two years ago. As a result, Swiss has more than tripled its range of non-stop flights over the past two years from Western Switzerland and adjacent parts of France, boosting both local business and the tourism sectors. “These new routes are further confirmation of our consistent investment in Switzerland’s francophone region”, Lorenzo Stoll, Swiss’ Head for Western Switzerland, says.

Swiss International Air Lines will have a significant presence in the former Yugoslavia next summer season with services from both Zurich and Geneva to Belgrade and Sarajevo, as well as flights from Zurich to Zagreb and Ljubljana and services from Geneva to Skopje and Pristina. In addition, through its subsidiary Edelweiss, the airline will maintain flights from Zurich to Podgorica, Skopje, Pristina and Banja Luka. The major expansion is part of its “Next Generation Airline of Switzerland” strategy. The Swiss carrier faces no direct competition on its new routes to the capitals of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tickets are already on sale and bookable through the airline’s website.

Flight information for Swiss' service to Skopje can be found here, while additional details for flights to Sarajevo can be viewed here.

50 comments:

  1. Will they be operated by the A319s? I am really sad that they are taking over the region from Austrian Airlines as I really like them. However, OS is always so damn expensive that they are rarely competitive. Hmm...

    On a side note, YU-API is returning home after its C check.

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    1. Yes, thank God API is back! It was badly missed as it had to be replaced by the old 733! I can see that as soon as it arrives it rotates to Istanbul!

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    2. Nice to hear.

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    3. One bird is still at AUH?

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    4. No, no it was only API. Will be interesting to see which one will go next. API used to be A6-SAA so maybe it will be YU-APC or APJ that will go next.

      YU-APG is still not flying. It's being serviced in Belgrade.

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    5. For those that are at Belgrade airport today and can see the YU-API, does YU-API have new satellite hump? If it does, that indicates onboard internet equipment has been installed. Thanks!

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    6. Departed to IST

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  2. risky game by LX. The dominant home carrier fighting Etihads upcoming presence in the Swiss market with opening new routes and occupying slots. Will see who has the longer breath.

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    1. so far, they're winning the GVA-BEG route at least... but SKP and SJJ once or twice weekly is too little, hopefully they'll increase the frequencies by summer

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  3. On the other hand, if you try booking the flights on swiss.com, it states "Operated by Austrian", and in the details you can see a Tyrolean Dash listed.

    I guess this indicates the wet-leased aircraft.

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    1. Ouch... that's around two hours on the Q400, no?

      That's going to be as bad as OU's flight to Copenhagen or Brussels!

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  4. Skopje October results (sorry if already posted)

    107,517 +20.9%

    Year so far 1,034,002

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  5. Meanwhile the winter schedule BEG GVA is very passenger unfriendly. Arrives GVA 23.00........no transit possibilities....no trains......no airport shuttles.......crazy.

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    1. That depends on where you live. For me personally, that flight is infinitely better than 6:30AM Easyjet departure on their winter schedule. It is late, but you can get anywhere in Geneva area easily (with bus or train) and the last train towards Lausanne departs at 00:28, so you can get there, too without problems. On the upside, you get almost the whole day in Belgrade.

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    2. I think this was the rationale behind their decision to revise the schedule. I also think that the market is big enough for them not to care about connections... especially since they have their Zurich base nearby.

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  6. Great news for SKP (and SJJ as well). If W6 adds some more destinations next year (e.g. Madrid/Barcelona) and maintain the existing destinations, I'm seeing SKP reaching 1.700,000+ passengers mark in 2015.

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    1. Come on that's completely unrealistic! If SKP gets around 1.2 this year to get 1.7 would mean a growth of over 40%. Not happening!

      In the past you could easily argue Skopje was massively under-served but you cant anymore, at-least not to the same degree. Yes theres some room for growth (from new routes) but in my opinion they should be happy with double digit growth next year!

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  7. Does anyone know how is their GVA-BEG route doing?

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    1. I would love to know that too!

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  8. Cini mi se da pocinje zestoka avioborba za Balkan. Asl bi trebalo hitno da reaguje otvarajuci liniju za Lyon.

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    1. Мени ово више личи на одговор Луфтхансе на изјаве Ер Србије да планира да крене да лети ка северној Америци. Остријан није конкурентан и то је добро позната чињеница. Биће јако занимљиво пратити развој ситуације. Наравно за све нас који волимо Ер Србију позитивно је то што је она за сада ретко профитабилна компанија у Етихад савезу.

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    2. Lyon is a great solution, 2 or 3 flights a week shoud be great for asl

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    3. I remember in the 80s jat was flying to lyon, just cant remember where from? i guess it was lju-lys, not sure about beg. But nowdays, why not 5 weekly to Lyon. I can notice easyjet is not going to cancell flghts to gva from beg, although its already done with fco and mxp. Also, there is lx on those flights to gva. Dont know whats going on with f7? do dey fly to gva from beg or not? But anyway, there is huge potentials for flights to Lys yearround. I dont want to talk about western switzerland, and all those flights from beg to gva or bsl, or skiers in Chamonix area, but Im sure many passengers could use lys route for trips to the south of france like Nice, Cannes, Marseille, and maybe French citizens to have flights to Balkans, as there is no even one direct flight to the balkans from lyon and area, except turkish to ist. Thank u for your attention.

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    4. It was not only from lju but also from beg and zag with dc-9. Easyjet has a base in lys so they can also add this flight to beg. F7 has cancelled their flight from Belgrade to geneve and from lyon to Zurich also..I agree with you :)

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  9. I would like to bring up a question that is rather universal than it belongs to this article.

    Some guys on skyscrapercity forum were mentioning how it's reasonable to go to Zagreb to catch Zagreb-Belgrade-Moscow flight and then just to skip Belgrade-Zagreb segment when getting back.

    Indeed, it has sense. Zagreb - Moscow costs 130€ for now. You can drive with Gea tours minivan for 25 euros in one direction, they drop you in front of the Zagreb airport. So it's 155 euros and not more than that. If you decide to go there directly, it would cost you not less than 260 euros (280 for selected date).

    My question is: what would happen with your baggage if you decide to just leave Belgrade airport on Belgrade-Zagreb segment? How easy can you retrieve it? Would the baggage continue its journey to Zagreb without you?

    Small reminder, we are talking about BEG, and their way of doing business and customer service.

    On the other hand if you decide not to have any baggage with yourself, and have hand luggage only, situation is far easier.

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    1. I really can't understand why would someone waste all those hours just so as to save €100 or so. Then again, that's just me.

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    2. First of all, the offer for ZAG-SVO via BEG now stands at 170 euro, not 130. When you add the transfer to ZAG it is 200 euro. From Belgrade you can connect to DME via MUC/VIE for 200 euro (LH or OS), so what's the point of travel to ZAG and then giving up the last segment of the return flight? Price is the same.

      But to answer your question: yes, you may ask in check-in that your luggage is only checked in for BEG and not ZAG. Whether JU staff will accept your request is a different pair of shoes - especialy if layover is very short (60-80 mins). It may appear very clear what your intention is and most airlines do not appreciate such wittiness.

      In addition, even if your luggage is checked in all the way to ZAG - and you fail to board the last segment of the flight (BEG-ZAG) the airport staff will unload it in accordance with safety procedures (unattended luggage). It will stay in BEG and you can show up and claim it as soon as the ZAG flight takes off.

      But once again, there is absolutely no valid economic reason for such manoevering.

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    3. Just to add, the cheapest ticket is gone because the bookings are going really well. If it continues like this the Ljubljana scenario will happen in Zagreb too.

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    4. Well, it is kind of a general question about terms and conditions... I did not check the price afterwards.

      Also if you have friends and/or family in Zagreb and a friend who lives close to Shermetyevo, then in kind of makes sense.

      Anyway, thanks for your response.

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    5. Your baggage will never continue on BEG-ZAG without you actually boardig the aircraft! (not only for security reasons).Happens to everobody missing a connectiong flight

      Your idea makes sense only when travelling with hand luggage.

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    6. Smart travelers worldwide do this. You can always change your mind, and decide that you don't want to fly to Zagreb, but rather end your journey in Belgrade. There should be no problem doing this (as the last leg of your ticket). This should not be done for the first part of the trip (Zagreb-Belgrade), as it would void the whole ticket.

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    7. What happens to your luggage is a question of airline policy. HOWEVER, if your layover is longer than 4 hours they must allow you to pick up your baggage, regardless of the legs you have flown.

      There will be often be friction between you and the person behind the check in desk. If your layover is less than 4h they will (generally) have the right to charge you extra for itinerary change.

      Last time I did this was flying PHX-GVA via CLT and FRA in SEP. No dice in PHX, they would not let me check luggage to FRA, claiming "security concerns". As soon as I flashed a credit card they changed their mind. Layover was <4h. *G did not help.

      OTOH, with IB I did this quite a few times, never any problems regardless of layover.

      In any case, hone your negotiation skills.

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    8. Ive read some of the comments of skyscrapper and see alot of them as stupid.

      Some members on the forum forget JU is not a charity. Presenting an argument that air travel should be cheaper for its citizens is ridiculous and shows (forget basic business and aviation knowledge) the lack of common sense. Air travel is a luxury not a necessity, food, water and shelter is a must, a weekend getaway to Rome is not.

      The idea on travelling to Zagreb to fly back to Belgrade to continue to Moscow as mentioned in the comments shows the level of stupidity of some users. As mentioned above, for similar if not the same prices can be achieved from BEG through competing carriers ie LH, OS, LX, LO, B2, TK. So their logic was to travel 4-5 hours to Zagreb, another 2 hours for check in formalities, security screening and boarding, 1 hour flight to BEG, transit time in BEG, before even flying to SVO, while for 170€ LX offers quicker travel time via ZRH to DME.

      ZAG will of course see cheaper fares with JU because it is a new destination needing to build a client base and to attract people to fly a new carrier - Air Serbia. As time passes, so too will the fares come up, something we have seen in BEG within the first year of the JU rebranding and expansion.

      It was not long ago they were bashing the airline for being too cheap, trashing yields and wanting to go suicidal, and now they're complaining that JU is too expensive and trying to compare full service carriers to low cost. Some users here i might add arent any better either.

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  10. LX se isplati da leti LSGG-LWSK. GVA-SJJ zato sto su dobili 4 Q400 skoro za dzabe na weat lease inace nebi ni leteli.
    INN-NS

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    1. Sine, dete.. Ako ti neko hiljadu puta skrene paznju da je uobicajen nacin pisanja imena TROSLOVNI IATA kod system zasto iritiras ljude? Sutra, u zivotu, ako se budes susretao sa profesionalcima zajebavace te gore nego na ovom blogu..

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    2. haha brilliant!

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    3. Moram da priznam da se uvlaci u kozu sa svojim apsurdnim komentarima, ali on pise kako on hoce, nije da je nesto pogresio da bi ga ismevao...

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  11. Progress.. i see progress and succsess in the macedonian aviaton industry... I hope they will get some new routes with low cost carrier and a national carrier...

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    1. Wizz Air is already considering flights to Spain. I don't thonk Skopje can pull off both wizz and a national carrier.

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    2. If Macedonia pushes for the national carrier it will almost certainly secure double-digit growth to SKP in 2015, however the pax share will face some considerable redistribution. I can already see another bitter announcement by Wizz, accusing the government of desitroying the country's LC market.

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  12. If they manage to attract easyJet to fly to Berlin, London Gatwick and some of the destinations they serve in Italy and Spain, plus if they'll be able to get a national carrier, SKP can easily do 2mil+ passengers.

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  13. LX's expansion in the Balkans is interesting and to be expected. Now the question is, will passengers from Skopje, Sarajevo, Zahreb (etc.) choose to connect using LX through Switzerland or JU through Belgrade? Maybe there is even room for both, although LX has the advantage of being able to fly O&D from the Balkan capitals straight to Switzerland. I guess what I'd like to see is JU expanding more into Bosnia and Skopje, but that doesn't really fit into their model.

    NS|SAN

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    1. JU doesnt have much competitive advantage connecting pax from ZAG to Western Europe as LX will have. The advantage JU has is to Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Macedonia, Greece, Albania...markets all with little or no direct flights from ZAG and something LX would not be strong on. 2 different markets are being targeted from ZAG. The LX flights will hurt OU more than what JU will do.

      The same for SKP and SJJ, however from SKP it will be anything north of Macedonia ie Romania, Hungary, Russia, Western Europe etc, where as from SJJ basically the entire JU network. I dont think LX opening more flights to the Balkans will affect JU all too much.

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  14. number of comments went from 100 to 40 wtf exyu:)

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    1. Many of them were racist and nonsense, so admin did the work.

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  15. WTF why was my comment with the video of Zagreb airport from 1972 removed!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!??!

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