Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Finnair evaluating further EX-YU expansion

Asian demand fuelling Finnair’s growth in the former Yugoslavia

Finland’s national carrier Finnair will put a greater emphasis on the former Yugoslav market in the coming year as the airline expands its seasonal flights to the region, which are being fuelled by demand from Asia. The carrier currently operates flights from Helsinki to Ljubljana, Dubrovnik and Split. Next year it will launch two weekly seasonal flights to Pula and increase frequencies on its existing routes, adding two weekly services to Split, for a total of four flights per week, and an additional flight to Ljubljana for a total of five per week. The airline is satisfied with its performance on the Croatian and Slovenian markets but also says it is “carefully following” potential destinations such as Belgrade.

Finnair’s spokesperson, Mark Bosworth, tells EX-YU Aviation News, “The Croatian market serves as a great destination for Finnair customers from Northern Europe and Asia. We have also seen increasing numbers of passengers from Croatia using Finnair on their trips. Demand for Croatian destinations has been growing year by year and we have increased our flights to the area consequently”. Finnair’s Ljubljana service has also proven popular with travellers from Asia, with the Finnish carrier handling some 30.000 passengers on the seasonal route last year. “Ljubljana is developing well and we hope that some day it will be feasible to operate there year round”, Mr Bosworth says, adding, “We actively follow many markets where we could either increase frequencies or make them year round operations”.

Next month Finnair is due to become the first European airline to receive Airbus's new A350 long-range jet, which entered service this year with Qatar Airways. It will start operating the long-haul plane on its Shanghai route in October and is set to receive four A350 jets this year. Finnair, which has carved out a niche with direct flights to Asia, says future expansion in the former Yugoslavia is highly influenced by demand from the Far East. “For the time being, the demand from our Asian units has been to Croatian coastal areas. However, when Asian tour operators create more products for the former Yugoslav area we want to be their first choice of airline and then it will be very important to have multiple entry and exit points including Belgrade. At the same time we are following carefully the corporate travel market development to and from the area, because those traveling for work are one of our focus groups”, Mr Bosworth concludes. Finnair flies between Asia, Europe and North America with an emphasis on fast connections via Helsinki, carrying more than nine million passengers annually and connecting fifteen cities in Asia with more than sixty destinations in Europe. It is part of the Oneworld airline alliance.

39 comments:

  1. Finnair flying to Ljubljana makes Brnik Airport in Summer lit bit more special. Happy to see that bird every time i m landing there
    LJU has AF LX TK AY JU JP YM EZY WIZZ. Not much but AY def gives the airport a hint more of diversity

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    1. btw Sundor 738 is operating today for El Al on LJU route

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    2. 4 TLV flts today... good to see that Israeli Slo Tourism is developung well

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    3. Seems like Israelis are travelling quite a bit this summer. This July, Cyprus welcomed 65% more tourists from Israel. They also rank as top spenders with, on average, €250 spent per day.

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  2. Finnair in BEG would be fantastic. Glad they are thinking about it. There are hardly any oneworld airlines in BEG.

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    1. I really doubt they could do something in BEG. There is basically no O&D demand and transfers to long haul flights from HEL would have to be seriously cheap in order to find its place under the sun next to FRA, AMS, CDG, LHR and IST. Doesn't look promising, unless they maybe codeshare with ASL and try to pick up some transfer pax from BEG.

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  3. Has anyone flown with Finnair? What are their service and fares like?

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  4. If Finn air choose Belgrade as destination, that vill be only air carrier associated in ONE WORLD group to operate from Serbian port. Than opening competition among Three major player from this nish market. Such as Air Serbia/Etihad group, Lufthansa/Star alliance, and mentioned Finn Air/One World group. Destination is obvious. USA, Far East, Australia/New Zeland... Let see are is that possible.
    Rodney & Airports. Kraljevo✈Sydney.

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    1. Hi Radovan, just a small correction. QR is oneworld and is already in BEG so Finnair would be the second one for Serbia. Best regards from Zagreb!

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  5. Why are they starting all those secondary destinations in Croatia and not a single flight in the regions biggest market, Belgrade?

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    1. Read the article. It tells you exactly why

      "“For the time being, the demand from our Asian units has been to Croatian coastal areas. However, when Asian tour operators create more products for the former Yugoslav area we want to be their first choice of airline and then it will be very important to have multiple entry and exit points including Belgrade."

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    2. Because tourism. They won't certainly fly to those secondary airports in the middle of January..

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    3. You are forgetting they could get a piece of the BEG-LED and Russia's market.

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    4. With Aeroflot and LH already offering multiple daily connections, it would be a very small piece.

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  6. I don't see how would it be possible to launch any route to Finland from . Simply, not enough demand.. Neither o&d nor transit.. And in all the cases (except maybe Beirut), substantial o&d "triggers" the rest.. Maybe if some Asian country opens some super duper factory in Serbia, but even then it would make more sense to launch the direct route..

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  7. Nadam se da ce ipak doci AY u LYBE zbog velikog potencijala .
    I nadam se da ce ASL imati za nekoliko godina imati slicnu flotu kao AY
    INN-NS

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  8. Ozbiljna kompanija, sjajna usluga, ok cene i odlicna i sve mladja flota. Steta sto nemaju interesa da lete za BEG

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  9. Everybody talks about Finnair as an Asia specialist but last year bunch of my friends used HEL for YYZ to Balkans flights(I think ZAG was the final destination). I remember that they were all super happy, some used the opportunity or a stopover at Helsinki. I think they also fly to ORD, JFK, LAX etc. Good service, decent prices, easy transfer etc. Now, it takes a little longer but for the right price…

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    1. Istina dosta studenata sa njima leti iz BUD za JFK koji rade sezonski u USA .
      Jako bi bilo dobro da dodju u BEG
      INN-MS

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    2. I think ORD is only a summer seasonal, they replaced AA which used to send their B763.
      HEL is a nice airport with beautiful scenery while landing... However, it's worth mentioning that the airport itself is crazy expensive.

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  10. Transited through Helsinki last year. Great looking airport. Nice experience.

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  11. Belgrade should first attract companies like Air France, KLM, British Airways and TAP Portugal as all those companies fly whole year to Zagreb and then they can think about direct flights to Helsinki with Finnair. For me as a customer huge number of passengers at Belgrade airport doesn't mean anything when I have to fly from Zagreb with Air France, KLM, British or TAP and from September Brussels Airlines. Belgrade offers very limited range of companies, you can choose between Air Serbia and Air Serbia.

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    1. AF and BA wıthdrew from Belgrade while Jat was still alive, foreign carriers were at the peak of their presence, and there was no sign of anything like Air Serbia on the horizon. They simply withdrew because of the poor market and poor loads. KL never flew to Belgrade after Yugoslavia broke up. They are perfectly happy to codeshare with any Serbian carrier, and so is AF. BA don't even need to codeshare with Serbia, so much they don't care about this market.

      But of course you will blame Air Serbia for it, just as you blame them for everything else in this world starting with bad weather or disappointing results of your favorite football team.

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    2. Air France never had a problem filling their seats out of Belgrade. Their costs prevented them from making any money.

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    3. Dolaze u ZAG da zauzmu mesto vec sad posto CTN skoro kao i da ne postoji sav kolac sa mora su odnele strane kompanije .
      INN-NS

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    4. Are you for real? Do you know that nearly twice as much companies serve Belgrade than Zagreb? Besides, most of these companies you're telling about are sending to Zagreb their low-cost daughter companies.

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    5. Last anon, don't bother with him. He is bitter and pathetic, best to ignore him.

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    6. For an airport handling barely more flights than Moldova, Zagreb is still doing surprisingly well in terms of airlines.

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    7. Zagreb is doing fine 2.7 million pax this year ain't bad considering domestic carrier is constrained and entire growth is generated by foreign carriers who are increasing their presence at Zagreb airport in ever greater number and volume.

      Also Finnair is in talks with Zagreb airport for direct flights to Zagreb from either next years or 2017. As I've mentioned before SAS, Alitaia and Czech Air are set to return to Zagreb next year or early 2017.

      Zagreb has a very bright future.

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    8. Yeah but increased competition will have a negative impact on OU. By the time it can grow again the market will be very different and I doubt they can compete with that, especially with airlines such as KL which have a perfect aircraft for that kind of route.

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  12. Talking of the Nordic region, seems like JU is finally responding to W6 expansion from MMX to Serbia.
    This winter season the lowest available fare between BEG and CPH is €165, while W6's full fare is €160. (last winter it was around €185)

    With similar fares JU can finally be competitive, especially for those who live on the other side of the Oresund. JU's schedule is also more competitive. Let's hope they have better loads this winter.

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  13. OT: Looks like Sky Greece is close to be shutdown.

    http://www.pappaspost.com/hundreds-stranded-delayed-as-startup-airline-skygreece-fails-to-take-off-as-rumors-of-bankruptcy-circulate-online/

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    1. Skygreece 767 has been grounded at Toronto airport since Monday. Toronto media mentions unconfirmed reports of airline going bankrupt. Their facebook and twitter accounts have been taken down.

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  14. SkyGreece was done as they start flying to ZAG and BUD. What a joke ...were are those guys that were spreading the rummor how they are going to fly all year round to ZAG??

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  15. AF , BA, KL ised to fly to Belgrade for decades and nobody made noise like croats. So just chill.

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    1. But they aren't now, correct?
      Pozdrav iz Zagreba ;)

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