Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Qatar Airways modifies EX-YU operations

Qatar to introduce all nonstop flights to Zagreb and Sofia stop to Belgrade

Qatar Airways will be modifying its services to the former Yugoslavia next year with changes in operations to both its Zagreb and Belgrade flights. The Qatari carrier, which launched services from Doha to Zagreb via Budapest in 2012, will now operate all of its flights to the Croatian capital nonstop. A total of five weekly rotations are planned starting March 1, 2015, down from the current seven, with four flights presently operating via the Hungarian capital and decreasing to three from December 14. As a result, Zagreb Airport will no longer be linked to Budapest. Qatar Airways holds fifth freedom rights between Budapest and Zagreb and vice versa, which allows the airline to sell tickets on the short segment as well. It will be the first time since the demise of Malev Hungarian Airlines two years ago that there will be no links between the two capital cities. The Hungarian carrier operated up to eighteen weekly flights on the route at the time of its collapse.

Qatar’s nonstop flights to Zagreb, which were launched prior to the start of the 2014/15 winter season, are a testament to the route’s success since it was inaugurated just over two years ago. Flights to the Croatian capital have proved popular with tourists transiting through Doha from the Far East. Furthermore, the route also provides good connections for passengers heading from Zagreb to South East Asia and Australia. Earlier, the CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, said, “Whether it’s Bangkok, Dubai, Shanghai or Manila, our seamless connections from Zagreb to the East, via our Doha hub, will provide holidaymakers and business travellers from Croatia with a wider network of destinations to choose from”. He added, “Croatia, with its flourishing tourism industry, remains a popular destination for travellers from the Middle East, Asia Pacific and beyond. With our new service, we look forward to making it easier for travellers from around the world to fly to Croatia without having to connect through busy European hubs”. Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific codeshares on the flights.

Qatar Airways has also signalled changes to its Belgrade flights, which operate via Ankara. From March 1, the five weekly service will see a stop in Sofia rather than the Turkish capital. Qatar has not been granted fifth freedom rights to carry passengers between Sofia and Belgrade, as is the case with its present Ankara stop. Currently, Air Serbia operates daily flights between the Bulgarian and Serbian capitals. Qatar’s flights to Belgrade have steadily increased since they were launched three times per week in late 2012, despite facing strong competition from Etihad Airways, which last year inaugurated daily flights from Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, the Qatari carrier indirectly competes against Air Serbia’s daily service to the Emirati capital. Both flights to Zagreb and Belgrade will operate with an Airbus A320.

41 comments:

  1. So you were mad when Turkey did not allow 5th freedom on Belgrade-Ankara leg because of protecting Turkish Airlines. You said it is protectionism, it is not fair, it is low move from stupid Turkish government.

    Now, Serbia is not allowing 5th freedom to Qatar on Belgrade-Sofia leg because of competition to Air Serbia. Will you again shout on protectionism, not fair, and stupid government (this time Serbian, not Turkish), or now you have different criteria and now it is OK?

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    1. Who exactly are you talking to? Who was mad, who was shouting?

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    2. Everything will be fine

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    3. I can't remember any shouting on Turkey over the BEG-ESB segment.

      Either way, no government protectionism is good for customers.

      I also don't thinkg Qatar had any serious expectations over the BEG-SOF segment. Their primary goal with this change was to connect BEG and SOF with DOH in a single flight, so that they don't need a separate SOF route. I am sure they don't care about the BEG-SOF segment and will not be too disapponted with not receiving the approval for it. Which of course does not justify any protectionism.

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    4. We don't actually know if they have applied for 5th freedom yet.

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    5. "Qatar has not been granted fifth freedom rights to carry passengers between Sofia and Belgrade, as is the case with its present Ankara stop."

      So we do know!

      On ZAG-BUD route Qatar had 10-15 passengers per leg every day. It is 10% of passengers less in JU plane, and that make some change in mostly low LF on that flight. So... is it protectionism like Turkish government in BEG-ESB route?

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    6. Yes it is the same kind of protectionism. Wanna do something about it or shouting about it would be your life triumph this year?

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    7. I think everyone agrees protectionism is bad be it Air Serbia or Turkish... So I don't know why you think that anyone would say it's good.

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    8. Even if Qatar doesn't get 5th freedom on SOF-BEG, it isn't the same as them not getting 5th freedom on ESB-BEG because there is already a carrier on SOF-BEG, but there was no direct service between ESB-BEG.

      Comparing apples to oranges. Very few countries (outside the EU) will allow foreign carriers to fly 5th freedom routes on routes their domestic carriers already serve.

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    9. OK Aleksandar, so you want to say that it is OK to give 5th freedom in rotues that there is no direct flights (even if there is 3 possible daily perfect connection with Turkish via IST, national company of Tukry), but it is OK not to give 5th freedom if there is direct flight? Even more, how can you know that Turky did not have plan to open ESB-BEG route in near future?

      And of course it is same shit. Anyone who was shouting against that Turky protectionism is double-faced or should be embarrassed now.

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    10. Both Serbia and Bulgaria have a vested interest in Air Serbia BEG-SOF and they cooperate on the route. In case you were asleep during the class:

      http://exyuaviation.blogspot.com.au/p/bulgarias-national-carer-bulgaria-air.html

      That should stop the nonsense trying to compare this case with Ankara.

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    11. Why not? Is it forbidden to compare those things? Where is different? Turkish had interest there, Serbia here (Air Bulgaria is no importance here as they are just code-share which can also be on Qatar if there is better deal for them and of course if there is 5th freedom).

      Why any criticism or different opinion here is trolling, nonsense or trash. It is not saying anything about me but that shows your mentality.

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    12. Of course it is not forbidden. Those two are comparable. The problem is you insisting on so many people on this blog shouting at Turkish government over the BEG-ESB segment, and yet no one can recall any massive shouting on that. Perhaps somebody did call it protectionism but that is far from 'massive shouting'. So your intention to label many users of this blog as some kind of hypocrats really makes zero sense. If you want to stress that Serbian authorities are being protectionists, just say so and no problem. No need to hit other users with blind accusations.

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  2. Does anyone who has flown on JU's flight to Abu Dhabi and on Qatar's flight to Doha have any comments regarding the in-flight experience and how they compare?

    NS|SAN

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    1. My QR experience is somewhat positive, so let me try and compare it to JU - first, the ESB stop, and I'm not sure how will SOF be handled, has been adding at least an hour, sometimes full 90 minutes to a 4-5 hrs. flight. Instinctively, I preferred the ESB stop, because perhaps 30% of pax were BEG-bound, meaning that you had 2,5 hours of the flight a virtually empty aircraft all to yourself. Sofia is much closer than that.

      Also, the food service was done once for the BEG-ESB leg, and then again for the remainder of the flight, and vice versa. So two full services, both with a choice of at least two dishes (hot meals!), in line with what you would expect on a very long intercontinental flight. You are definitely not getting hungry with them. Was it good? I don't really know - airplane food is never that good. However, I do remember their (warm) cherry pancakes on the ESB-BEG leg - they were tasty indeed.

      Now, the IFE. QR has in-seat IFE all the way, however, if you have an iPad or a similar device, you very well know how IFE compares to that. And it's so much fun when someone keeps poking your seat from behind. I would prefer a 220v plug or a USB interface so I can use and charge my own electronics. And I think QR has the USB, but it was two years ago, can't remember it that was their A320 or the onward B777.

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    2. QR business class that I did fly on was higher class without competition. No one is even close.

      Perfect food selectable from the menu, fesh squised juices, the best wines, excellent champagne, top entertainment, seats like in spaceship, dedicated crew with ration 1:2 on business passengers...

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    3. Flew the route last week, the service was superb, the A321 had in-seat AC-plugs, "небо и земља" compared to LOT that i took few weeks before that. Two full meals were served, both prior and after ESB. I found the stop very convenient and interesting from an aviation-experience point of view. Their economy class is like a business class on some airlines.

      Again, the LOT's service made look the late Jat Airways's offering as a five-star airline.

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    4. Awesome!! Looks like JU has a lot of work to do to catch up to that standard, but I see no reason that it can't be done. Thanks for your reply.

      NS|SAN

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  3. on Er Serbia - AUH to BEG - there is no entertainment system in economy. AUH to BEG food was ok, BEG to AUH it was crap...same when I flew with Etihad...but at least the kids were entertained...
    Crew was ok - BUT god help you if something goes wrong with Er Serbia...our luggage arrived in SPU 54 hours later + some things were missing from it. I have given up with Er Serbia and have Etihad on the case now...fingers crossed...
    I might try Qatar next time and will let you know :)
    H

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    1. What was the food like on both legs? I've heard many mixed reviews and it is going to be a while before I go back to Serbia to experience it first hand.

      As for the luggage, I read a similar report on TripAdvisor today where someone who transferred at BEG had items stolen out of their luggage. Although the airline releases itself from liability in this scenario, I still think its an especially bad reflection of the airline and country as a whole and something desperately needs to be done about it. We advertise the brand as this luxury and outstanding airline, which I definitely think it has the potential to be, but there are small disfunctions that hamper JU and BEG.

      Anyways, thanks for the response. I don't mean to rant.

      NS|SAN

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    2. Regarding the stories of missing items from luggage, this is an issue that is caused by BEG airport staff rather than Air Serbia, and another reason why the airport needs to be somehow transferred to professional management, by any means possible.

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    3. I completely agree with you that it is caused by BEG airport staff rather than Air Serbia, and I understand that, but it still reflects poorly on the airline when your home airport is doing that to your passengers.

      Airport concession can't come soon enough. There is so much potential to make a real jewel out of JU and BEG and as usual our dear friends the politicians are twiddling their thumbs waiting for the deal that will make them the richest.

      NS|SAN

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    4. Actually, Air Serbia controls and runs the transit luggage sorting facility so it is their fault.

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    5. @ NS|SAN

      Food - generally better on the leg from AUH to BEG in economy on both Er Serbia and Etihad. Business on Etihad was good both ways.

      Interesting to hear stories of luggage theft - i thought it might be a one off...as said, I have reverted to Etihad, as Er Serbia has so far ignored any calls/e-mails. anyway, the dude in luggage handling that smells good now and has a wife/gf with black peal earrings is the perpetrator :)

      H

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    6. Luggage sorting is resposability of Air Serbia. So we have 2 new unprofessionalism here:

      1. No control ower werkers who are thiefs. They should be controled and punhished for possible stealing, that it would be message for rest who can easily loose their jobs.

      2. No respond from Air Serbia to mails and calls? Desaster. That is biggest unprofessionalism. That should never happend! They have to react and at least show that they care. That will never happend in other european companies.

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    7. Lufthansa mess with cancelled flights because of strikes in Germany is a real unprofessional disaster!

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    8. Both of you don't travel often.

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    9. Not true. Have more than 300 flights and just once luggage came with next flight from FRA. LH contact me several times, pay for transportation of luggage from Airport to my home and some compensation.

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    10. Using personal experience, even extensive one, has no statistical relevance. I for one had no lost baggage ever with Air Serbia, so comparing that with your one lost bag with LH would make Air Serbia a winner. My decades long experience with Alitalia at FCO is horrible but there might be thousands who never had a problem and are happy to use FCO.

      One poster (or a couple of) keeps trolling about lost baggage at BEG when many objective indications point to improved baggage handling effort at BEG over the last 12 months. You can accept that trend as a truth or you can always find a case of a lost bag and try to blow it out of proportions.

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  4. [B]Turkish Airlines S15 Europe Service Increase as of 02DEC14[/B]


    Istanbul Ataturk – Ljubljana Increase from 7 to 10 weekly

    http://airlineroute.net/2014/12/02/tk-europe-s15update1/

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    1. http://exyuaviation.blogspot.com/2014/10/ljubljana-airport-eyes-new-flights-in.html

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  5. OT: Separate non public talks were supposed to happen this week regarding ZAG issue and regarding ASL unions. Any indications of outcome?

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  6. Nadam se da ce brzo preci na liniji za BEG na A321 i ako je mali LF za sada
    INN-NS

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    1. haha, po letu ima oko 25 putnika za BEG i ti ocekujes da salju airbus 321 ili cak boing 787 :D

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    2. Ja se nadam da ce slati Boeing 788 makar jednom godisnje kad je sezona da makar jednom vidim ga u BEG zato sto je to prelep avion bio sam nekoliko puta u cockpitu njegovom.
      Pa to je samo nada da ce slati A321 samo zbog BEG posto tu su jos FZ i EY ali mozda hoce zbog SOF.
      Ili makar EY da ponekad salje nesto vece od A320 za BEG
      INN-NS

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    3. Ja bi isto voleo da vidim konacno neke sirokotrupne avione u BEG-u.

      Mozda LOT krene da salje svoje 787! :p

      NS|SAN

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    4. NS|SAN
      Ja zato jedva cekam Mart-April.
      E pa LOT salje na nekim evropskim routama 788 npr LHR:
      INN-NS

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  7. Ot: aerodromska taxa u Nisu 1€ :)

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    1. Wut? Znaci mozda neko dodje u Nis? LOL
      Ali pazi 1 euro isparice se putnici! Ovo je odlicna prilika za Wizz da propusti priliku da ima priliku da dodje u Nis.

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    2. Pa to je i jedina sansa da neko dodje u INI ali da ih netuziPRN zato ko sto su tuzili Makedoniju.
      Mozda i dodje nesto bolje od W6 npr FR :P
      INN-NS

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