Saturday, July 4, 2015

Air Serbia to suspend Budapest and Larnaca flights

Air Serbia to discontinue Budapest and Larnaca flights from October 25

Air Serbia will suspend flights from Belgrade to Budapest and Larnaca this coming winter season due to poor loads. In a statement issued yesterday afternoon, the airline said that following “a thorough review”, services to the Cypriot city of Larnaca will become seasonal and will be resumed at the start of the 2016 summer season in late March. On the other hand, flights to Budapest will be suspended indefinitely. “Air Serbia will continue to offer its guests flights to Larnaca, via Athens, through its codeshare partner Aegean Airlines”, the carrier said. Services to both Larnaca and Budapest have been operating on a daily basis throughout this summer season. The suspensions come into effect on October 25.

In a statement, the CEO of Air Serbia, Dane Kondić, said, “Air Serbia continuously evaluates its network to ensure it is in line with passenger demand and is commercially sustainable. These decisions will enable us to place greater focus on key areas of the business that demonstrate the strongest potential for sustained long-term growth”. He added, “We will continue to adapt our product and service offering to meet and exceed our guests’ expectations. We remain committed to all markets in which we currently operate and will continue to maintain a presence through our partner airlines”. Air Serbia launched flights to Budapest in March 2014, while services to Larnaca have been operating for more than a decade and were inherited from Jat Airways’ network.

The Serbian carrier says it will offer alternative transport for all passengers who have purchased tickets to Budapest and Larnaca after October 25. Despite the suspensions, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport will remain connected to both markets, with Belrus’ Belavia operating services between the Serbian capital and Budapest, while Wizz Air maintains services between Belgrade and Larnaca. Air Serbia noted that it will also boost frequencies on several popular routes this winter including Beirut, which will operate four times per week, instead of last winter’s three, and Tirana, which will run five times per week, instead of three. According to the carrier, its average cabin load factor stood at 67% last year across its network.

92 comments:

  1. That's actually a good move.
    At its initial growth phase they had to open many routes, to see which of these would perform well and which wouldn't
    Once they found out and have a developed network of customers they can now opt out all those routes proven unsuccessful.
    They should also suspend some other routes and increase frequencies at others.
    Loadfactor is definitely improving (BEG numbers show modest growth while number of flight ops recede) and will further improve by discontinuing these low load services.
    All carriers do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Larnaca was not launched, it was inherited from Jat.

      Delete
    2. So whats the point of your saying? To point out possible logical inconsistencies in the comment? Does that matter whether its newly launched or acquired? I just said that they launched a lot of new routes to see which of all would perform well. I didn't mention "which of all" don't think its needed.
      The fact it was inherited doesn't necessarily mean it was well performing all that time.

      Delete
    3. LCA performed well for Jat, especially since it was usually linked with TLV, AUH or DXB.


      Also, airlines doesn't just launch routes and then hope that it will all work out. They do a lot of analysis and planning before they start flying to a certain destination.

      Delete
    4. Sure, but here at BEG we saw many airlines in last few years to start services and leave only few months later. I know they did analyses and analyses, but they still failed. TAP, Lot, Easyjet... How did they manage to fail this quickly?

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    5. There was a boom that started in late 2009 when Malév and Tarom launched flights and then in 2010 ten new airlines announced BEG.
      All of them wanted to capture a share of the newly liberalised market. Some succeeded while some didn't. It was obvious that there was just too much capacity in a relatively small and poor market.

      Analysis and theories are one thing but their implementation/realisation is another thing. That's what applies to JU in BUD and LCA. Air Serbia should ask itself why did it fail in these two markets so that it can defend its interests more efficiently elsewhere.

      I wouldn't say Lot failed, they are still (officially) coming back in January. easyJet is still flying from Geneva and TAP might have failed because our market is low-yielding and there aren't that many transfer passengers from Serbia to south America, primarily Brazil. It's probably easier to funnel BEG-LIS passengers via Star Alliance hubs.

      For example, if we take airBaltic as an example, they had great loads (around 74% in summer) but the yields were so low that they ended up suspending the route. Same with Niki (66%). Both of these had ok loads which means they did something right but they failed in securing good enough yields. Unfortunately, JU did not secure either one in BUD and LCA. A friend of mine who works for Hermes told me that at times JU would arrive with 22 passengers where 4 would be in business class and 19 in economy. Generally JU had ok loads in business but they failed when it came to economy class passengers.

      Just to make it clear, so that there are no misunderstandings, your comment seemed as if they were launching random routes hoping for the best.

      Delete
    6. Well it still looks to me like they launched many
      without much analyses.
      There is no Venice, Barcelona, Madrid nor Munich, but there is Varna .
      Also, do you have any info on OTP load factor for JU?And might LO and LX reduction be a centralised Star Alliance decision to make more people funnel through FRA or MUC?

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    7. Head of scheduling down at AUH is a guy who used to do work for MA (same position) so I guess that's why he added Varna to the list of regional routes.

      I agree about the missing destinations and I hope that in near future they are added, especially Venice.

      As far as LX and LO go, I think their reductions come as a result of JU's price dumping (which is something normal and expected when you launch a new product on the market). However, it will be interesting to see what will happen now when JU will have to work on its yields.
      For example, both ZRH and CPH are roughly the same distance but to Zurich JU charges €210 while CPH is €180.
      Now that the fares have gone up, it will be easier for LX to compete more efficiently.

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    8. /Head of scheduling down at AUH is a guy who used to do work for MA (same position)/ Nemjee, are you sure about that?

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    9. Yes. He was the one in charge of MA's scheduling.

      Delete
  2. '“Air Serbia continuously evaluates its network to ensure it is in line with passenger demand and is commercially sustainable...'

    Well, had they taken greater care of the Cypriot passengers then they wouldn't have killed this route which was operated for the past 23 years. JAT launched it in 1992 when they took it over from Adria.
    Throughout the 1990s and the 2000s JU survived on this route despite having competition from both Cyprus Airways/Eurocypria and the short-lived Aerotrans.

    Because of the luggage issue, JU enjoyed a lot of negative publicity in Cyprus. An ex colleague of mine from the European Parliament bought a ticket from LCA to WAW via BEG and since LCA flights were chronically delayed last summer, he missed his connection. He was rebooked via OTP with RO (despite there being a direct flight with LO that afternoon) but the worst part was that his bags did not arrive for the next 2 weeks. As you can imagine, no one from the Parliament or the Commission no longer considered JU as an option for their travels. This was a huge loss for JU as Cyprus, alongside Slovakia, is the only EU country to not have direct flights to BRU. CY EU officials mostly fly with LH.

    Then the head of the Cypriot Unions (a massive organisation) with his delegation travelled to BRU via BEG and guess what, all of their bags did not make it because of a delay. Almost all media houses in Cyprus picked up on this story and it was quite an embarrassment for JU.

    These are just two examples of high profile people having bad experience with JU. This is why it doesn't surprise me that they are leaving Cyprus especially now when there is more competition than ever before.

    As far as the O&D market goes, no one has been flying with JU since Wizz Air entered the market. Especially since Air Serbia increased the fares from €240 to roughly €350 and it changed its flight times which became unacceptable for the locals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Completely agree. It is more and more becoming clear that ASL doesn't pay any attention to the needs if not wishes of Serbian citizens. It is considered as a national carrier only by people who don't use air traffic. ASL is largely subsided through Serbian government by Serbian population.

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    2. "ASL doesn't pay any attention to the needs if not wishes of Serbian citizens"

      And they shouldn't. The only wishes they should pay attention to are the wishes of the passengers, wherever they come from. JU is a business, not a social service.

      Delete
    3. I think the next battle between Air Serbia and Wizz Air will be in Copenhagen/Malmo.
      This winter, Air Serbia will be flying 6 times per week while Wizz Air will be flying 3 times from Belgrade and 3 times from Nis. JU has already considerably reduced their fares to CPH.
      Last year you couldn't find a ticket to CPH for less than €220 unless it was one of their promotions. If you go and book a flight with JU now, you can easily find €180 fares.

      That said, JU can always work on reinforcing it's 17.55 departure out of Belgrade as that flight is far more O&D friendly than the 06.40 morning flight; especially since there is no public transport that early to take you to the airport.
      This could work especially since Wizz Air's MMX flight departs at around the same time. At least they can ensure that Wizz Air doesn't steal from their Danish market.

      Delete
    4. @11:17
      I very much agree with what you said. I would just formulate it a bit different : ASL is largely subsidized through Serbian government by Serbian taxpayers, to offer benefits and low prices to foreign, transit, passengers, and create income for its owners - officials and managers of Etihad Airlines and Air Serbia, as well as some members of Serbian Government and ruling partty.

      Delete
    5. "ASL is largely subsided through Serbian government by Serbian population."

      That's the only thing that makes it Serbian.

      Delete
    6. +1 Nemjee for the posts! Agree with everything you said

      Delete
    7. I don't post for only a couple of days and look what happens... I have more important things to do today but at least few responses:
      -Nemjee, your post finally explains EP: someone missed connection and lost baggage for 2 weeks (as if no other airline ever misses connection or baggage) and they throw tantrums at ASL. As a remedy, EP should try frequently connecting at FCO and after that they'll come running back to ASL with "its all forgotten!"
      -Anon @1:02: Your post implies that ASL pilots, crew and other employees have NO income from ASL, not to mention other statements detached from reality. It pretty much flags your post as hate.
      -Reduction of ASL flights without new announcements? Unlike service cancellations, new introductions and frequency increases can be made with short notice (remember ZAG?). Worst case it could also mean longhaul won't start with S16 so feeder "pumps" don't need to be primed yet, but I hope that's not the case.

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    8. AirCEO,

      The EP guy was one of many examples of unsatisfied customers from Cyprus. The point was that many high profile Cypriots had bad experiences flying on JU which were reported on by the local media.
      Your comment makes absolute no sense and it's quite pointless especially since they won't be running back to Belgrade but to Vienna, Munich, Frankfurt, Athens...

      Delete
    9. Maybe not Athens.

      Delete
    10. For Cypriots Athens and Aegean are the most convenient option.
      I think they have 6 flights a day between LCA and ATH.

      Delete
    11. Yes, that's correct. Aegean has 6 daily departures plus Blue Air has 10 weekly flights. There are 860.000 passengers between Athens and Larnaca every year.

      Cyprus Airways used to operate up to 4 daily flights and Olympic used to have 3.

      Delete
    12. Things are certainly not as terrible as Nemjee is making it out to be. After all, if those "EP's" were so important they would have flown business (and not the cheapest economy flight) and their bags would have certainly arrived on-time. While certainly not great, such things happen and all while being detrimental they for sure ain't enough to cancel a destination, proof is Beirut which was abused all the way but is still thriving; there is simply no demand for that much competition.

      Delete
    13. The head of the unions was in business class and so were some of his colleagues and yet their bags did not arrive.

      Like I said, JU had a lot of negative publicity in Cypriot media which was one of the main factors for their failure. The again, reducing LCA to three weekly and having your European network in a split schedule did not help either.
      It's more than unfortunate that Tarom and Lot are doing fine in Cyprus while Air Serbia is withdrawing, especially since they are after the same kind of passengers.

      Delete
    14. "The again, reducing LCA to three weekly and having your European network in a split schedule did not help either." I think that's the main point, more than anything else. Most of people in Serbia, Europe and other markets didn't hear anything of 'Cypriot media'. Air Serbia should learn the lessons or Tel Aviv might end in the same way.

      Delete
    15. I am not surprised they didn't hear about it given that Cypriot media is predominantly in Greek... But I agree with you regarding TLV. That's why I am especially happy both TIA and BEY are getting more frequencies this winter (compared to last year).

      Delete
    16. I meant that potential passengers to/from Larnaca which are predominantly non-Greek didn't hear anything of that bad-publicity hence i think it only marginally influenced the outcome of that line (if at all).

      It's more reflective of the inherent dysfunctionality of Air Serbia which is starting to show itself first in the most fragile markets. TLV is the next to be watched.

      Delete
    17. Nemjee, read it again and the way you described it "no one from the Parliament or the Commission no longer considered JU as an option for their travels" based on a one person missing a connection and baggage for 2 weeks. That's what your original post says, and if true, it should be ridiculed. LH had multiple pilot strikes, they also deal with weather, mech issues and have lost+found at FRA and MUC, so following the same logic EC and EP should permanently discard LH as soon as one of them has missed connection or lost bag. That's ridiculous and that was the point of my comment.

      Delete
    18. You should have read more carefully, they are no longer considering it because of that guy's bad experience PLUS because of bad press JU received in Cyprus.

      Delete
    19. Just to add, airlines have been losing my bags but it never took them more than 2 days to deliver them. Last summer was a disaster when it came to the delivery of people's luggage. People would not get them for days and weeks.Not just in Cyprus, everywhere.

      Delete
  3. I'm really concernd about AirSERBIA they suspend 2 flights but nothing comes instead
    They stil don't fly to , Baku,Madrid,Barcelona,Helsinki,Osla,Amman,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry, they will be flying to JFK soon.

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    2. Yes, and Directorate will issue all permits, as INN-NS told us lot of times. FAA has nothing to do with it. HAHAHAHAHAHA

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    3. I jos jedan dokaz da vi ne znate da citate ja nigde nisam spomenuo FAA.
      INN-NS

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    4. Yes, CHI, LAX and SFO coming soon!

      Delete
  4. Problem is that JU has nearly exhausted the list of potential routes they can launch. There are not many other places that JU can send an A319 with any respectable frequency.

    I think the most logical method to improve the network and increase connectivity would be to bring in a jet smaller than the 319. UAC is offering some very inexpensive financing for their SSJ. The SSJ has the cabin width, cargo capacity, and range that JU needs.

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    Replies
    1. There is a huge waiting list for SSJ, and they cannot build them due to sanctions, the engines and flight deck electronics are French.

      It is funny to think that Brazilian aircraft industry is miles ahead of the Russians...

      Delete
    2. There is not a huge waiting list for the SSJ. They recently reduced production. This is the only opportunity for JU to get their hands on brand new planes within 6 months.

      The SSJ is not under sanctions. Italians are stakeholders.

      Does Brazil have the capability to produce jet engines, fighter jets, or manned spacecraft?

      Delete
    3. I can not imagine any Etihad Partner airline to have a Russian made airplane. Simply not their positioning on the market.

      Delete
  5. What always puzzed me is lack of routes to Canaries (or is this A Violet seasonal route?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, crew call it Violeta. :D

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    2. Oslo, Baku, Sankt Petersburg, Kairo, maybe Kiev.. Priština.. That's about everything JU could really fly.. None of the >real< hubs was so economically limited as Belgrade..

      Thus Air Serbia's expanding options are quite limited now as well..

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    3. Including (or excluding) long-haul, as you wish. I think only ADD is more limited but they enjoy far less competition: no Wizz, no TK, no Pegasus, no OS in thousands of miles around...

      Delete
  6. Šta keže gospodin INN?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zašto ga izazivate, a onda kukate kada krene sa glupostima?! Jednostavno ga ignorišite.

      Delete
    2. Ti nemas pojma o avijaciji, Imas pojma samo o politici jer se sve o cemu pricas dogadja sa politickom pozadinom, a ne prema trzisnim kriterijumima koji danas svuda u svetu vaze u avijaciji. I stalno se pozivas na Premijera, koji je, eto rekao da ce biti long-haul. Za mene dovoljno da vidim da nisi poznavaoc avijacije nego bot

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    3. Ovo je bio odgovor na INN-NS-ov post da nemamo pojma o avijaciji, koji je u medjuvremenu nestao

      Delete
    4. Pa nemate pojma zato sto i OS je ukinuo liniju za IST preko zime nista novo u svetu Aviacije samo je za vas novo i morate to da napisete zato sto se desilo ASL ;)
      INN-NS

      Delete
    5. INN-SNS, kako to da nisi napao nemdžija koji je isto tako pisao negativno o tvojoj miljenoj ASL?

      Delete
    6. Zato sto je velika razlika izmedju vas nebo i zemlja i da je napisao da ne valja nista nebi mu nista rekao .
      INN-NS

      Delete
  7. BEGBNX route had a quite good load factor in June. 66%

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jedva cekam kad budu sa opstili planove za Q1 2016 posto ce vecina biti prijatno iznenadjena .
    INN-NS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Torta se istopila...

      Delete
    2. Nije se torta istopila nego se sada pravi drugi sprat.
      INN-NS

      Delete
  9. Any info on how is Varna doing?

    ReplyDelete
  10. BUD had meaning only with "prekookeanskim" flights.

    Nista sa tuzlanskog?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meaning those are not going to happen? Hopefully they re-introduce BUD once they do. I still think this was a rash decision.

      Delete
  11. OT: Been checking out flightradar24... Anyone notice that Turkish added another daily flight to tgd, and also that there is a regular widebody service to dme? Any other non-costal exyu airport, except perhaps zag, that has regular scheduled widebody services?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Turkish flies 10 times per week now to TGD.

      Delete
  12. SPU today 110 departures. Just amazing to see what this little airport handles on a Summer Saturday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. split 270k passengers in July, up 14%

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    2. Wow isn't that more than ZAG?

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    3. Yes which has been the summer trend the past few years. July and August will have well over 400,000 passengers respectively.

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    4. So how many passengers do you expect in SPU this year? Could they make it to 2.1?

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    5. zagreb had 248k in July, split 270k..., july will be crazy in split too, over 430k is expected...

      Delete
    6. Split will be around 2,00mil this year..it is rather good result if we know that split 3years ago was on 1,4 p.a, Split as city changed a lot over last 3 years, it has become extremly popular among travelers...plus may musical and cultural events are held in summer months, future looks bright for Split...

      Delete
    7. Didn't they have 1.9 last year? I am sure that this year they could make it to 2.2 !!

      Delete
    8. last year split was at 1,75, so 2 is very optimistic this year...

      Delete
  13. Sorry for this OT. I really need an info. And I know this is not trip advisor.


    If Vueling arrives from Belgrade to Barcelona at 00.25, to T1 and my bus departs from T1 at 01.15, will there be enough time for me to pass the passport check, claim the luggage and catch the bus?


    Thanks very much, I hope the admin does not delete this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, absolutely, but you should not worry, there are night buses as well.

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    2. Your bus leaves from the airport or from the city?

      If it's from the airport then you should be more than fine.

      Delete
    3. What night buses? A1?

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    4. I will take ALSA bus directly from Terminal 1 to Valencia, which is my final destination. And thats the last one. The next one is at 7 o clock.

      Thank you aerologic and everyone else!

      Delete
    5. Oh wait... you are talking about BCN, not BEG?! Then I have no clue, I was in BCN a few years ago and all I remember is that I was out within 25 minutes or so.

      Delete
  14. BUD is available for booking starting 27. March 2016.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because summer 2016 is copied from summer 2015. It will be taken down soon.

      Delete
  15. OT: Posted this on newflash on SkyGreece, but it's worth repeating here as SkyGreece is trying to resolve operational challenges, they are now using A340-500:

    http://www.flightradar24.com/data/airplanes/cs-tfx/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SkyGreece dropped this plane. There was some problem with the leasing company.

      Delete
  16. I don`t see why suspension of two destinations can cause such an uproar over here... It does not mean Air Serbia is failing as a project. They are just shifting the capacity around. I would have liked to have seen both BUD and LCA going double daily but if passengers are not there, it is better to kill the route ASAP and prevent the losses. All other destinations and frequencies remain in place.

    IMHO, JU development has provided us in Serbia with decent connections to all key European cities, convenient timetable and decent prices. When I recall three weekly flights to Berlin, numerous timetable changes, cancellations, 280 EUR fare Athens, stopovers in Scandinavia, dilapitated seats in beloved Boeings... yikes. Today, things are much, much better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At what cost? That's the question.

      Delete
    2. Zato što smo svi bili svedoci da JU nije uspeo da se izbori na ova dva relativno velika tržišta, posebno u Larnaka gde vidimo da ih je Wizz Air urnisao. Kako nisu uspeli da se dobro pozicioniraju u BUD, gradu koji nema nacionalnog avio-prevoznika i grad gde mnogobrojne kompanija uspešno posluju.

      Ovo nam ukazuje da postoji neki problem u JU i da mora da bude mnogo, mnogo efikasniji u budućnosti. Posebno ako hoće da opstane na tržištima gde ima konkurenciju. Već vidimo da im Stokholm ide loše, čim će leteti pet puta nedeljno ove zime, a to je još jedna linija gde direktno konkurišu sa Wizzom.

      U zaključku, JU se možda izborio za transferne putnike ali je izgubio ogroman deo lokalnih putnika i to je velika šteta.

      Delete
    3. "U zaključku, JU se možda izborio za transferne putnike ali je izgubio ogroman deo lokalnih putnika i to je velika šteta."
      I could have not said it better.

      Delete
    4. I am not to worried -actually, im not worried at all, not JU employee or anything, just an enthusiast..anyway, i am think that JU missed more of an opportunity in LCA than it did in BUD. Especially with the fall of cyprus airways.. From what i see and read online, and from flying from BUD a few times, BUD is a low cost stronghold with strong presence of europes legacies that provide more options and destinations than JU could have opened to BUDs passengers.

      Why they failed in LCA? Well i guess what Nemje wrote above definitely didnt help them, wizz opened a line which took care of O&Ds...

      Anyway, this is definitely not all doom&gloom, especially if we really see the increase in the routes that were mentioned here yesterday + maybe they add something new. I am taking all the anonymous comments with a grain of salt naturally, so i guess that we will see whats being cooked for winter as the summer goes....

      Cheers to everyone participating in a constructive argument :)

      Delete
    5. Ponovo nenormalne nebuloze ARN je jedan od top 10 po broju transfernih putnika .
      Pa skoro svaka nacionalna Aviokompanija ima vise transfernih stranih putnika nego domacih ali .
      INN-NS

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    6. I wanted to write a long response to INN-NS, but then I realized its not worth it

      Delete
    7. ATR 72-500
      1 Nisam nigde vas spomenuo .
      2 ARN je jako dobro popunjen transfernim putnicima proverite slobodno.
      INN-NS

      Delete
  17. What happened to the SU flight to Moscow, why was it delayed by so much?

    ReplyDelete

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