Thursday, August 6, 2015

Lufthansa: Positive developments on Serbian market

Lufthansa satisfied with Serbia results despite strong competition

Lufthansa, Europe’s largest airline, says it expects further positive developments on the Serbian market but warns that distortion of competition will negatively impact passengers. Martin Riecken, Lufthansa’s Director of Corporate Communications in Europe, says the German carrier has seen an increase in the number of travellers on its flights from Frankfurt and Munich to Belgrade so far this year, despite strong competition. “In the very competitive Serbian market, Lufthansa was able to increase the number of transported passengers between Germany and Serbia by almost 10% in the first four months of the current year, despite reduced capacities. A trend which we expect to continue in the next years”, Mr Riecken tells EX-YU Aviation News. In the first quarter, Lufthansa handled 56.944 travellers on its flights to and from Belgrade, making it the third busiest carrier in Serbia. It achieved this despite an almost 20% decline in the number of operated flights.

Air Serbia has been competing strongly against Lufthansa on services between its home market and Germany. The airline operates flights from Belgrade to Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Stuttgart, all of which are codeshared by both Air Berlin and Etihad Airways. Furthermore, the Serbian carrier codeshares on over twenty of Air Berlin’s routes, both domestically and internationally, while passengers from both airlines can redeem frequent flyer points on each other’s’ flights. Recently, Air Berlin placed a number of its own codes onto Air Serbia’s flights from Belgrade to destinations in the region and beyond. Despite a resurgent Serbian carrier, Lufthansa is still satisfied with its own performance on the market. “Lufthansa has been present in the Serbian market for 48 years as a part of the biggest foreign airline group. The Serbian market is one of the most important in Southeast Europe for Lufthansa. We see big potential in the market and expect further positive developments”.

Commenting on the tie-up between Air Serbia and Etihad, Mr Ricken says, “There is a world-wide discussion about the activities of three airlines from the Gulf region, with all of them trying to gain access to existing international passenger flows with their government-funded business models”. He adds, “We are in favor of competition in Europe and worldwide, but this has to take place based on fair rules and equal market conditions. A distortion of competition will always turn out to the disadvantage of the passengers, in the long run”. Lufthansa plans to operate double daily flights from both Frankfurt and Munich to the Serbian capital this coming winter season.

79 comments:

  1. I’m certain they have been impacted on the Serbian market and the flight reductions prove it. Air Serbia has been really aggressive with Germany and their deal with airberlin is really hurting Lufty.

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  2. Good to know they are not planning to pull out. The way foreign airlines have started fleeing our airport, I wouldn’t have been surprised.

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    1. They would never pull out. Lufthansa has a massive advantage of having so many transit passengers on their flights. Even places like Dublin for example. There are considerable transits from Europe, let alone further away. What will be interesting is to see their response if Air Serbia starts US/Canada flights. Then they might become more aggressive.

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    2. Flag carriers don't leave BEG that easily because of political ties abs consequences. Low cost carriers are more vulnerable.

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    3. Even if Air Serbia starts flying to North America, they wouldn't be anywhere close to being a threat to Lufthansa. Just look at the number of frequencies and destinations they offer. Not to mention that Frankfurt is getting a new terminal and Munich is getting another runway (plus the new terminal should be completed soon).

      Air Serbia will be picking up Lufthansa's leftovers. JU would be going up against, not only Lufthansa, but United, Air Canada, Austrian Airlines... all which are part of the JV.

      If Air Serbia was to start flying long-haul then they would need to have massive cash reserves, a fleet of A330s that will facilitate at least daily flights to New York, Chicago and Toronto.

      Just look at Lot and it's own difficulties at surviving in that business... and all that despite having a massive O&D market to rely upon.

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    4. Few flag carriers in BEG care about political ties.

      What is more important to them is maintaining a network. Some unprofitable routes must be kept so other routes can have feed and the entire hub can make a profit.

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    5. BA and AF left, so like Aleksandar said, I don't think its political ties they care about.

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    6. British Airways had mediocre loads in Belgrade so they probably found a better use for those slots.
      Air France on the other hand had great loads but their uncompetitive cost structure was their main issue.

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    7. Nemjee I don't think JU would hurt LH with their NA flights. What might get affected are numbers on their BEG-FRA and BEG-MUC flights but even that is questionable...

      No matter what JU does in this market LH and the JV you mentioned is to big, too well positioned to even feel it. What JU would be after is low yielding niche which might or might not be enough to sustain these flights

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    8. The thing is that JU's transatlantic flights could develop in so many different ways that we could speculate until tomorrow. I still think that JU's biggest enemy wouldn't be Lufthansa or United but Belgrade airport.
      The airport was never meant to become a major hub and that's obvious from the way it was built. Nothing wrong in that given the era in which it was built.
      However, looking at the current situation, it has become more than obvious that the infrastructure we have today is incompatible with the business model Air Serbia is trying to develop.

      On the other hand, it wouldn't be unwise for BEG management and the Serbian government to wait a little bit longer so as to see what becomes of Air Serbia and in what direction they grow. Unfortunately, our politicians love to get involved in things they know nothing about: Airports of Serbia, flights to the U.S., arrival of the A330s etc. Similar public statements do not do any favours to JU.

      Also, this month will mark the one year anniversary since the arrival of Air Serbia's 8th A319 (YU-APD). I hoped that within a year at least one additional A319/320 will join the fleet, either for expansion or as a mere replacement for the ageing B733s. I am still hopeful more aircraft will join the fleet so as to enable the consolidation of the airline's network- which is, anyway, one of the basic requirements for any long-haul flying.

      p.s. the arrival of YU-ALV is great but I see it more of a replacement for the old Atrs rather than an aircraft which can be used for growth. Interestingly enough, it's main role was to replace Aviolet on flights to Podgorica and Zagreb/Ljubljana.

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  3. I am certain that once Eurowings is fully operational they will add more flights from Germany to Belgrade.

    Air Berlin is chronically on the verge of bankruptcy and until they figure out what kind of airline they want to be, they are no threat to Lufthansa.
    On the other hand, Air Berlin's troubles will only get worse when Ryanair opens their Berlin base and once Eurowings is fully unleashed.

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  4. I am excited to ride Lufthansa's ERJ190 between MUC and BEG in early September.

    JU has caused other airlines at BEG to make themselves more competitive in price, thus allowing more passengers to travel.

    Cheap fuel, strong USD compared to EUR, and lots of competition at BEG means that lots of my friends and family are visiting in the next few months. My mom and sister are in the air right now riding a Norwegian 787.

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  5. Last sentence of today's article :..."Lufthansa plans to operate double daily flights from both Frankfurt and Munich to the Serbian capital this coming winter season."
    So, it's not quite correct. Lufthansa reduced the number of flights from Frankfurt to one daily between 07thJanuary and 16thFebruary, excluding 10thJanuary.
    Btw, Swiss also reduced the number of flights from Zurich to 8 weekly and axed the route from Geneva during winter season.

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    1. They won't fly double daily just for a month. The whole season is 5 months.

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    2. Sure, it's only 13% capacity reduction to Frankfurt, not to much.

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    3. Wow, today 5 Turkish A321 in Belgrade, 3 KK and 2 TK. For how long will last Atlasglobal flights ?

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    4. The two A321 that arrived from SAW are continuing onward to Trabzon and Samsun, I guess they are taking back the tourists that arrived a few days ago.

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    5. Yes, some groups are getting back to Turkey, while others are arriving in Belgrade. Next three flights are scheduled on Sunday,9th.

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    6. Do you know if today's KK BEG-AYT flight is a repositioning flight or is it taking some Serbian tourists to Antalya?
      The complete route was: SAW-BEG-AYT.

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    7. None of today's KK flights from Belgrade has flown to Antalya, the outbound destinations were Istanbul-Sabiha, Samsun and Trabzon. KK flights will exclusively transport Turkish tourists.

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    8. I think it is the turkish farmacists convention in bgd, 2,500 of them are coming over to Belgrade for that.

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  6. DId Lufthansa lower its rpice to FRA over the past year?

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    1. Lufthansa has no room to expand in Serbia. INI is not ready for LH (and getting W6 to FMM soon), BEG already covered from both MUC and FRA. Eurowings are Lufthansa's vehicle to grow in Serbia and ex Yu. LH expects Eurowings brand to grow to 100 planes which is a lot more than Wizz has currently.

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    2. When Wizz Air starts Belgrade to Hamburg Lubeck and Cologne Eurowings will be unhappy.

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    3. W6 won't start anything in BEG. They will rather pull-out.

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  7. Air Serbia should fly to Hamburg, I remember Jat Airways use to. They had a deal to shuttle passengers onto Emirates' flight to NYC. Then Lufthansa blocked them.

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    1. Jat also had a contract with several bus companies for passingers that landed and Berlin and continued onwards to Hamburg by bus.

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  8. After maintaining Senator status with LH for three years (techically four, as status is valid for one more year), I have completely switched my travel over to the Etihad alliance. I got fed up with LH's constant nickel-and-diming and service reductions. Miles & More is one of thr worst frequent flyer programmes worldwide and keeps getting devalued on a quarterly basis. Even with the recent devaluation, Etihad Guest is still miles ahead (pun intended) in terms of award availability and redemptions.

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    1. Same here ... switched from M&M to Etihad Guest... from March Platinum ... it is pain in beginning to get things started and get all segments/miles registered, but when you get it done, then it is much better. i.e. with LH you need 45K miles to closest routes in Europe, and to earn that you really need to fly a lot ... with Etihad Guest you have it already from 11K return flight plus you earn that eaiser.

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    2. Im a FTL with Miles and More and did a status Match wiith One World- got matched to Silver - and that doesnt even give me a lounge access- Im sticking to Miles and More

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    3. +1. I also jumped ships from Star Alliance (TK elite) to Air Serbia/Etihad. The only thing that bugs me is that JU don't have as systematic an approach to taking care of details, which matter a great deal to their status pax (on Star, for instance, gold members close to always get seats in the first couple of rows behind biz, with JU a gold pax can easily end up in 22E) and the same goes for lounges, in some cities JU flies to (ex ARN and CPH), JU simply doesn't bother to provide status pax with lounge access. Though mileage redemption with JU is worlds above any other FF program I've been part of.

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  9. I traveled a few days ago with JU from BRU to BEG and here is a few details for anyone interested.
    Y class was full to the last seat with an equal share of O&D and transfer pax, while C class had 2 pax. The positive details were good food ( hot meal for a 2 hour flight is just amazing), decent price for the round trip, and friendly stuff. The only negative detail was that the flight was late for around an hour or so. I myself did not care since my final destination was BEG, but there were many pax connecting to IST who barely made it on there next flight. Also I found it weird that after take off the pilots kept the seat belt sign on for the next 30-40 min even thought there was only minor turbulence hence many of us were finishing our meals over Hungary and nobody was allowed to use the toilets at that time. Is that a usual procedure if turbulence is anticipated?
    Anyhow decent flight and hopefully I will not be stuck in the middle seat next time and will be able to take a few pictures.

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    1. You don't know what they see on their monitors ... it can be that they really handled very well turbulence (slowing down, etc.) ...or it can be that they just forgot. :)

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    2. Flew from AMS few days ago as well, seat-belt signs were one for almost an hour... no real turbulence but skies below did not look pretty! So I guess a precaution...

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  10. Drago mi je da cujem da je LH zadovoljna poslovanjem u BEG-u. Nadam se da ce poceti da sire svoje poslovanje i po ostatku srbije, INI i slicno. Sta bi im falilo da uvedu dnevni, podnevni let do INI-ja iz FRA i MUC. Sta su se toliko zalepili za BEG kad su nemacke firme smestene sirom Srbije, a nasi ljudi koji zive po Nemackama su najmanje iz Beograda.

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  11. OT VIE-SJJ-VIE with A321 today!

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    1. Svaki drugi dan salju A321

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    2. Total 4 A321 in SJJ today. 3 TK and 1 OS
      tmrw another 2 TK A321

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    3. Plus JU A319!

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  12. Дечко ТзарAugust 6, 2015 at 3:29 PM

    *** BREAKING NEWS ***

    Air Serbia: Belgrade-New York/Chicago/Miami Codesharing with Air Berlin

    *** BREAKING NEWS ***

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    1. Takodje onih 18 Devojaka i Momaka sto pomazu na Aerodromu ljudima.
      INN-NS

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    2. Let's see the fares before we 'start celebrating.'

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    3. Big deal, other airlines in the region had code-shares to the US for years and years now. Maybe it's time for JU to join us in the 21st century but first they should get online checkin and a new, modern website.

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    4. Бре ово је само прив. док не крену сами да лете а Мајами остаје и после тога. Чисто да се види ко је вера а ко невера, ко ће се буни и што. Кад касније траже аусвајз за директне летове да знају де су цаке.

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    5. Анон 4.28

      Шта лупаш? Ово са Ер Берлином јер успостављено јер су их си остали одували укључујући и великог брата Алиталију.
      Ер Србија је успоставила ову сарадњу како би и она могла да узима део колача. Ако прикупљају цаке на овај начин онда боље да одмах прогласе банкрот.

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    6. Ew... who wants to fly on shitty Air Berlin via crappy TXL when you can fly cheaply via ZRH, AMS or MUC.

      Air Serbia chose a horrible code-share partner for this market.

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    7. Sve ce da zavisi od cene naravno ma da bi se meni vise svidelo da to bude KL da se saradnja jos vise prosiri.
      Ananas
      Nije AZ odbila ASL nego cini mi se da bi se onda morali menjati letovi za FCO .
      INN-NS

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    8. Не, Алиталија их је одбила исто као што је одбила да стави своје кодове на било који ЈУ лет из Београда. Изговор је био да они већ лете за та одредишта тако да нема потребе.

      КЛМ је исто одбио ЈУ за летове ка Америци и рекли су им да су они само заинтересовани за Европу. Са тачке гледишта КЛМ-а то има смисла.

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    9. Ананасу, ЈАТ - Ер Србија је давно поднела захтев за кодшер са Ер Берлином за Америку, још пре него што је Етихад уложио у Алиталију и пре него што је Алиталија могла да их одува. Тај ранији захтев за кодшер за Америку је заправо одувао амерички ДоТ због цака које су тада нашли АЛПА и Делта. Те цаке више не важе али треба видети да ли има нових и са које стране.

      Алиталија је сада благо речено у транзицији. За кодшер са њима ћеш морати да сачекаш још мало.

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    10. То је тачно али исто тако у том периоду тај кодшер никуда није водио јер Немци нису били претерано заинтересовани. Та њихова незаинтересованост је и даље присутна само што сада морају да ураде нешто јер у супротном стижу опомене из Абу Дабија, као што је био случај пар пута.

      Што се тиче Алиталије, они су отворено рекли да они неће стављати своје кодове на летове из Београда док су увек расположени да даље дискутују о стављању ЈУ кодова на њихове летове из Рима.

      Ускоро ће бити објављени додатни кодшер летови из Рима за одредишта као што су Барселона, Алжир...

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    11. Amazing how many "experts" think they know it all, when in reality, they know squat. AZ AND KL are unable to include or offer JU any codeshare across the Atlantic, due to their Skyteam JV, which is tightly bound together with AF and DL and precludes any other airline to enter this tightly knit monopoly. That is one of teh reasons why AZ served notice to withdraw from the alliance, because their interests have now changed, due to EY's shareholding in AZ.

      As for AZ codeshare on JU flights beyond BEG, that will be coming shortly .....

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    12. Thank you for clarification. What will happen with Air Serbia-Air Berlin codeshare to MIA once ASL starts flying to the USA?

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    13. Miami was the thing to do. That's the market the most overlooked in the US, while the potential is huge including for ASL flights.

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    14. absolutely no expertAugust 7, 2015 at 6:49 AM

      MIA most overlooked in the US? News to me. It's the top international gateway in the US, key hub for the Caribbean and Latin America, cruise ship capital of the world. TK and OS are not overlooking MIA, they are starting service to it. Norwegian growth at FLL is just a tip of the iceberg. LH Jump and Eurowings all targeting south part of Florida.

      Instead of temporary Air Berlin codeshare, wouldn't it be better to think long term about JU codeshare on American Airlines to key AA hubs beyond JFK, for example to ORD, LAX and MIA to start? AA can't be beat from JFK to those destinations and would make better codeshare partner than AB.

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  13. LH ako ima zelju moze da rasturi codeshare JU/AB po nemackoj ako hoce kao sto su uradili sa AB na liniji za HAM.
    Mene samo zanima koliko ce cene pasti na srpskom trzistu kad ASL pocne sa letovima za 1 cilj u USA i 1 u Kanadi.
    INN-NS

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    1. Prestani da lupetas LH ima najnize cene preko Atlantika iz BEG. Kao i ovaj gore sto lupeta da moras preko TXL za ameriku sa AB kad mozes i preko DUS. Lupate danonocno.

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    2. 75% продатих карата за северну Америку преко АБ-а су преко Берлина тако да не знам ко овде лупета.

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  14. Da bi letovi ka Americi i Kanadi bili iole prifitabilni što pre Air Serbia mora poručiti najmanje 3 široko trupaca dugog dometa... Što znamo da je nemoguce i da će nabaviti samo jedan i to tek sledeće godine...

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  15. @anonymous at 5.19 pm: I totaly agree. Plus there is a forum which people like INN-NS could use and stop trolling here

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    1. Bitno je da su oni izbrisali komentar...

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    2. I have said time and time again that it is impossible to ban users. Unnecessary, rude and any other comments outside of the guidelines are deleted as soon as possible. Real time commenting is available here (unlike most places) with the assumption that people come to discuss aviation. Unfortunately, this right has been abused by some. Neither I, nor anyone else, can educate someone how to behave online. Therefore, the comments section is open under the assumption.that you come here to discuss either about the topic or any other aviation-related issue and not to argue with playground manners. If a comment offends you or you find it outside of the guidelines but it hasn't been deleted yet (as the comments section is not moderated 24/7), then just simply bring it to the attention of the admin rather then entering an argument and encouraging the perpetrator.

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  16. ASL lost one ATR72-200 for long. Are there any plans for renting one more ATR ? It seems that they rescheduled many flights. JU170 to TGD is know operated by B733.

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    1. Data on F24 shows that YU-ALN has been inactive since 02/08/15. Does anyone know what happened?

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    2. ALN and ALP are quite old and because of that they are not as reliable as they used to be. It could be that it's undergoing maintenance. I hope more Atrs join the fleet as they are what JU needs on regional routes.

      By the way, YU-ALV is one of the most fantastic Atrs out there. It's brilliant on the inside.

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    3. Treba doci jos jedan i drugi mozda.
      INN-NS

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    4. Thanks to the JAT Tech guys, ALN will be out of service for long time "ala su ga opravili, svaka im cast"

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    5. I am a stw at JU and the problems is that the plane is really old and no matter how many times they fix it, it breaks down. Like an old car. Many times during the busy seasons we fly with a mechanic.

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    6. Yet, ASL was unable to source 2 a/c, instead they took only one and now at least Bulgarian and other pax will be able to enjoy the A319. That's where the saying goes: "by trying to save pennies, you end up loosing pounds".

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    7. Don't worry, ALN will be back as of October. Fresh of C.

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    8. Who needs aircraft in the October, it is a season peak and we need aircraft to fly not in hangar. Nobody plans C check is summer my friend

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    9. @11:50 opa, jos jedan strucnjak? ;)

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    10. Na ugradnji Panasonics-ovog GCS/WiFi, pored JATT, radili su ljudi iz AST i Panasonic-a. Radovi su obavljeni u predviđenom roku, imajući u vidu da je to prvi put u svetu da letelica, pored Wi-Fi, poseduje i mogućnost korišćenja mobine telefonije sa 2G signalom.

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    11. Info on Air Serbia wifi first leaked in Oct 2014. 10 months has passed and system is not yet available. Most of the summer season is already over and passengers who travel only once a year will have to wait for next summer to experience onboard wifi. You get the message.

      In the meantime, Ka-band systems are becoming available enabling high quality internet video streaming like Netflix (not from onboard media server!), while I believe this Panasonic system (same one Alitalia will have) is still Ku-band. Ka coverage will next year include Europe, North America and North Atlantic. If we had to wait this long, why not wait bit longer for superior Ka-band solution?

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    12. Because it's Air Serbia? The new website was supposed to be launched in February but nothing has become of it.

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  17. Koliko sam ja upućen, mislim da je jedan ATR imao ozbiljno oštećenje u hangaru, I zato će biti prizemljen neko (duze) vreme na žalost.

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  18. Zasto vas to cudi dok ljudi iz tehnike i sa aerodroma provode vreme na ovom blogu lupetajuci?

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  19. LH have announced pulling out of Samara and Novgorod in September. Hope they aren't considering it for BEG with the flights reduction.

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    1. Have you even read the article and what their Director says? LOL

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