Wednesday, January 27, 2016

No decision on regional acquisition for Air Serbia

Hogan: Regional acquisition not discussed

The Vice Chairman of Air Serbia and President and CEO of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, says no decision has been made concerning the possible acquisition of a regional carrier on behalf of Air Serbia. It comes after the Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić, said late last year the airline was sizing up investment opportunities. However, Mr Hogan told the "Blic" daily recently, "The Air Serbia Supervisory Board would have to consider this matter. So far, there have been no discussions relating to it". Mr Vučić previously said, "I believe that in the coming period Air Serbia will acquire an airline from the Balkans. This will be the next major piece of news. Were there no political obstacles, Air Serbia would have already acquired two or three companies in the region".

Montenegro Airlines has been tipped as a strong contender for acquisition after Etihad Airways began screening the company late last year following the signing of a Commercial Cooperation Agreement between the two companies. The Montenegrin carrier has been slated for privatisation this year. The country's Ministry for Transport and Maritime Affairs plans to sell a minority stake in the airline, which is to be offered to potential investors through an international tender. However, it is already the third consecutive year that Montenegro Airlines has been listed for privatisation. In 2011, the government offered a 30% stake in its national airline. At the time, Etihad purchased the tender documentation but never made a takeover bid. Last year, the Serbian Minister for Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy, Aleksandar Vulin, said Montenegro Airlines' operations could be run out of Belgrade following negotiations between the carrier and Etihad.

Air Serbia's CEO, Dane Kondić, last touched on the issue two and a half year ago. In October 2013, prior to Air Serbia leasing ten Airbus aircraft and developing its route network, Mr Kondić said, "I think any business is always going to look at opportunities for growth. At the moment we have our own goals, ambitions and plans, which is to bring into service ten of these new aircraft, build a route structure, get some sustainability and then we can look at other sorts of investments that may involve acquisitions around the region". Etihad Airways itself has stakes in eight carriers, four of which are in Europe, including Air Serbia. Last week, Air Malta declined to comment on reports that it is in discussions with Etihad over a link-up. Reports in the Maltese press have spoken of negotiations between the two carriers.

105 comments:

  1. The last thing ASL needs at this stage is yet another messed up entity in its structure. Unless - and only unless - they can get YM after full cleanup of debts and transfer of healthy assets into a new company.

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    1. I'm pretty sure the Montenegrin government will pick up all the debt like the Serbian one did with Jat/AirSerbia.

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    2. Of course they will. No investor would buy their debts, no matter how strong people in the Balkans believe that foreign investors are some dumbasses whose purpose is to settle the bills of local gangs' wild orgies.

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  2. Sensible decision. I am glad Hogan is starting to respond to some of the populism we are hearing from the GoS.

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    1. Well, he responded similarly to the early announcements of JFK flights and roughly a year later the route was officially announced. I would not be surprised if he confirmed ASL's acquisition of YM somewhere in early 2017.

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    2. Do tada ce biti nova vlast u Montenegro i oni nece hteti da priznaju dugove Milove vec ce samo zatvoriti kompaniju.

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  3. Good move. But what about Montenegro Airlines? Do you people think Etihad will buy them?

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    1. If Etihad buys them it will be through Air Serbia. Not directly.

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  4. I'm not so sure they might have been thinking of Montenegro Airlines. They say "Balkan airline". Is there anyone else that is on sale?

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    1. What's happening with TAROM's sale? I'm not insinuating that JU will or could ever buy TAROM, I'm just wondering what's going on with them since they were supposed to be privatised many times.

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    2. Nothing. TAROM is just changing CEOs, each of them have a different strategy, it is still loss making and the government doesn't know what to do with it.

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    3. Croatia Airlines?

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    4. Good one! :D
      Especially now, with the new government.

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    5. CTN je na prodaju sa Karamarkom ili bez. Tesko bi ste to progutali, ali pare su pare.

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    6. How about Aegean?

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  5. This is the second time that Hogan has dismissed claims made by the government. First against "major US expansion" made by Mali. Now Vucic's takeover claims. Interesting. I think they should be careful during their election campaign when mentioning Air Serbia.

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    1. They have no reason to be careful. Hogan dismisses perhaps 5% of what they say (the rest goes below his radar) - and even this 5% he eventually flies in to Belgrade and confirms officially on behalf of Etihad (the JFK route).

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    2. Ok but what does Air Serbia have to gain from Montenegro purchase? Maximum 50,000 passengers which would be additionally funneled through BEG and a wide ranging codeshare from which Montenegro Air. would gain much more then Air Serbia. Is it worth it?

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    3. Actually I would say it's worth a try. JU can, for example, give the entire TGD/TIV capacity to YM and use its own metal on other routes (they desperately need more birds, we all agreed on that).

      Maybe even more important, JU could employ the YM metal in PRN and enter the local market in that way. I think it would be a major breakthrough.

      Finally, Montenegrin market itself has certain potential. After all, we are talking about a tourist destination with coastline. They are on a steady way to EU and their tourist numbers are very likely to increase in the future. This may open the possibility to launch new routes from TGD/TIV as well as to bring tourists via BEG.

      I would definitely give it a try if there was a chance to take them.

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    4. Politically, I think there is more of a chance for them to make this takover happen now then ever before. The two PMs are cousins!

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    5. The last thing JU needs is for YM to disappear from the market, one way or another.
      If JU was to have a monopoly on the Serbia-Montenegro market then that will open the door for a third carrier to step in. Most likely Wizz Air. Yes, I know they don't have a Serbian or Montenegrin AOC but they could work around it just like they did for their BEG base.

      Also, with YM gone the MNE government would not have an interest in maintaining the protectionist policies which are currently in place. It's much easier for JU to compete with YM than W6.
      Imagine if Wizz Air was to launch flights and you could fly to Tivat for as little as €20!

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    6. Third carrier as in other than JU or YM.

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    7. But it does not have to disappear - it can simply become JU's entity and keep the brand, fleet and routes.

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    8. Yeah but if JU buys YM then it will be a monopoly regardless which brands are operating on the route, in a way YM will become no different than Aviolet.

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    9. The airline is heavily in debt due to its mismanagement over many years. Sure, these can be swallowed by the govt, but what is impossible to change in Montenegro under the current regime, are the work/cultural practices, especially the nepotism. This is what JU (or any other airline) would be buying into. And, in not having majority control, as no airline would = continuation of the status quo. So what idiot would ever buy into this basket case ?

      If JU has genuine interest in investing in an airline in Montenegro, they are better off establishing their own airline frm scratch - cheaper, easier and you do it right from the get-go, instead of buying into someone else's problems ....

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    10. I absolutely agree. I think they should stay away from YM for obvious reasons. And anyway it's not like they don't have enough of their own problems in Belgrade.

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  6. Хоганова изјава је доказ да ЈУ не почива на тржишним развојним приниципа, већ политичким.

    Када би ЈУ купио УМ то би било као када би ћопав тражио помоћ од слепог да га води

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    1. Samo kad tvoji komentari nisu vođeni političkim principima i sve je u redu :)

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    2. Anonymous January 27, 2016 at 11:12 AM

      +1000

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    3. @11:12 prvo, niko nikoga ne kupuje.. JU može samo da preuzme YM, naravno, bez dugova.. Vaše neumesno poredjenje mnogo više govori o vama.

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  7. I think there was always an idea to put MGX and JU together. From October 2013. Time will tell.

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  8. Just a sidenote. Air Seychelles just announced tha launch of Beijing. People here were saying how it is impossible for Etihad partners to launch flights east of Abu Dhabi.

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    1. It's a bit different for Air Seychelles. They primarily carry tourists and China alone can fill several weekly flights with tourists. I think their idea is to have direct flights to one major market/hub on each continent.

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    2. Look at a map where Seychelles is relative to Abu Dhabi and China.

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    3. @Anon January 27, 2016 at 12:31 PM
      +1

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  9. Da se ja pitam ako bi doslo do preuzimanja YM samo jedan E190 ostaviti u TGD ostale prebaciti u BEG i sve putnike preko BEG dalje za Evropu .
    INN-NS

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    1. Etihad ne interesuju Embraeri.

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    2. Etihad mozda da, ali AZ, JU... rekao bi drugacije...

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    3. .. ne kažem bukvalno pobogu.. predlog Etihada je da se avioni daju lizoru i iznajme Italijanima.

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  10. Collaboration is win-win for YM and for JU:
    - YM has too many planes and needs market for them
    - JU needs regional jets so urgent!!!!!
    - one charter company (Aviolet) for Montenegro and Serbia
    - Montenegro for sure gravitate to BEG and that is the only real market for them, and in same time it is the biggest JU market out of Serbia

    What I would do:
    - sell all Fokkers immediately (just 2 of them left)
    - put 2 Aviolet 737-300 in Tivat for charters + combine them with other two in Belgrade (Fokker for sure is not good for charter and 733 in much better for make charter flights profitable)
    - use 2 of Embraers (one from TGD, second from TIV) for flights to Belgrade in East wave + use them for flights for JU in West wave like

    TGD - BEG - CPH - BEG - TGD - BEG - ARN - BEG - TGD
    TIV - BEG - AMS - BEG - TIV - BEG - BRU - BEG - TIV

    - other 3 Embraers to use for flights from TIV and TGD to west Europe

    - open direct routes to other Etihad partner from TGD and TIV especially to DUS, TXL, FCO, MXP, ZRH (maybe even some flights like TGD-BNX-TXL-BNX-TGD or TGD-INI-SVO-INI-TGD)

    - in other two West waves use Air Serbia A319/AT7 to make at least 4 daily flights all year to TGD and TIV from BEG. If after use A320 on route there is more passengers in top season use spare metal for extra flights (5th daily etc.). Use AT7 just if there is no demand because reall profit is in A319/A320, and after reach goal to use Embraer + A319/320 on TGD and TIV routes there is space to use AT7 on some other routes.

    - use Air Serbia A319 metal to open Abu Dhabi flights from TGD, maybe even like BEG-AUH-TGD-AUH-BEG

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    1. G Purger E190 u opste nije potreban za AMS posto je dobro popunjen kao i DUS .
      INN-NS

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    2. DA je AMS super popunjen ostao bi 10/nedeljno letova.

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    3. Zimi nema putnika a od juna krece avion iz BGD za JFK.

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    4. @ 341 pm So you are saying that a plane will be leaving Borger (Bgd code) Texas for JFK beginning in June.

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    5. AMS jeste kao i DUS dobro popunjen samo zimi skoro sve Aviokompanije smanje pojedine destinacije.
      INN-NsS

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    6. AMS je bio 10 prosle zime.

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    7. AMS has always being doing ok during winter (coming from personal experience since I fly there like 4-5 times during winter plus have colleagues/family as well). Now unless things have changed in like a month,which is highly unlikely, I doubt that AMS is doing badly.
      What I heard is that CDG has been doing bad for the last couple of months. In 2014 CDG was by far the strongest route. Can anybody give info on how are BRU and LHR routes doing. Had flown to BRU only once this summer and the load was around 85-90%, but it was August.

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    8. @ Purger
      733 for incoming tourist traffic to Montenegro is not competitive.
      Beside of this, split operation of these 733s is not possible in my opinion.

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    9. BRU je zimmalo slabiji nego leti ali je dobar .
      LHR je solidan zavisi od dana .
      INN-NS

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    10. To INN-NS @452....if everything why don't you give actual figures. You seem to know everything about aviation in the former SFRJ but I never see you give any concrete facts. Everything is I heard or soneone told etc.

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    11. 733 is standard for charter operation this days (as MD-82 was 5-6 years ago). It is not big deal to split fleet for charter operations and that is normal practice in Europe. For instance TUIfly with 40 planes has 9 bases in Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Munich, Stuttgart, Zweibrücken. Condor with 48 planes in fleet has 8 bases and 2 hubs in 3 countries.

      Do not concentrate on AMS. That was just an example. Of course there should be analyses to open those routes (not just possible examples), but for sure AMS should be 14 weekly flights and if smaller regional jet could do the trick...

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    12. 737 classic is normal plane in charter companies in Europe:

      Jettime (Denmark)
      Air Mediterranee (France)
      Europe Airpost (France)
      Lufthansa (Germany)
      Bluebird (Greece)
      CityLine (Hungary)
      Blue Panorama (Italy)
      Meridiana (Italy)
      Mistral (Italy)
      Air Baltic (Latvia)
      Aurela (Lithuania)
      Small Planet (Lithuania)
      Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norway)
      Enter (Poland)
      LOT charter (Poland)
      Air Bucharest (Romania)
      Blue Air (Romania)
      TAROM (Romania)
      Globus (Rossia)
      Taimyr (Rossia)
      UTar (Rossia)
      Yamal (Rossia)
      Air Explore (Slovakia)
      Samair (Slovakia)
      Alba Star (Spain)
      Calima (Spain)
      Swiftair (Spain)
      Privatair (Switzerland)
      Corendon (Turkey)
      Pegasus (Turkey)
      Tailwind (Turkey)
      Ukraine International (Ukraine)
      Jet2 (United Kingdom)
      Titan (United Kingdom)

      So, how would Aviolet not be competitive in Montenegro charter market.

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    13. Postovani kolega, svaka cast za analizu i besplatne savete za ekipu koja vodi ASL i MGX. Benefit je ocigledan. Da li takvo udruzivanje zadaje zavrsni udarac CTN-u koji i dalje spava cekajuci nova kadrovska resenja ?

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    15. Ne znam sve iz SFRJ sve , samo necu tacne brojeve da pisem preko 80% je .
      INN-NS

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    16. Ne treba CTN-u završni udarac. Da su na vrijeme odgovorili, umjesto inercije i spavanja zimskog sna (koji eto traje već 4 godine), moglo je nešto i biti. Ovako više nemaju baš nikakve šanse!

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    1. Posle vise meseci mog bronjkanja konacno ASL ima Codeshare za INN.
      I jos ALC, BLL, FNC, FKB i RKV sto ke odlicna saradnja sa AB.
      INN-NS

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    2. Sta znači bronjkanja?

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    3. @426...
      he doesn't even know what it means.

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    4. Znam nego nemam nameru da odgovaram na provokacije pojedinaca .
      INN-NS

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    5. ..zanimljivo, no Google ne zna ;)

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    6. Ni Matica srpska ne zna.

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  12. While we're discussing the political declarations of the PM, Ryan have announced 2 new routes from SOF - 3x weekly to Dublin and Charleroi from October.

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    1. what happened with SKP flights?

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    2. I would say it should be the worry of Bulgaria Air, although I have no doubts there will be geniuses who will c/p the famous: "Bad news for JU" comment.

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    3. Bad news for JU!! I hate to see competition that JU gets more and more :(

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    4. They will fly to Charleroi so competition for Wizz not for Bulgaria air as most of its customers connect in BXL or are from the EU institutions and will not switch to Ryan

      Charleroi will be daily by the way

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    5. They are probably basing an a/c in SOF and more destinations are yet to come due to the flight operating times. Bravo Sofija! W6 will not be impressed.

      What about BEG? When will we finally see FR here too? We need more competition!

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    6. SOF is emerging as a very popular tourist destination on the Balkans, I am expecting some growth to come..

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    7. Da li si ikada bio u Sofiji?

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  13. JU are hiring Boeing 737 pilots. What the hell is going on there?

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    1. Perhaps the "regional expansion" is Ryanair and the are 737-only shop :)

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    2. maybe its got something to do with the "rumor" of Aviolet's expansion/re-fleeting of their B737s???

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    3. Maybe they are bringing back YU-ANF and YU-ANW. ;)

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    4. The same reason why they hire so many pilots for other planes of fleet. There is huge exodus of pilots from Air Serbia. 15% of all pilots in Air Serbia went out of company last year. Boeing pilots included.

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    5. 6:45 ... pola od tog broja je otislo u penziju samo vama "lepse" zvuci egzodus.

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    6. In Air Serbia we belive!January 27, 2016 at 7:33 PM

      Of course. 15 went to pension in one year, and another 15 get ill! Non of them leave because they are not satisfied. It can not be something like that because in Air Serbia everything is perfect. Did also 150 cabin crew leave in 2015 because of pension?

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    7. @7:33 Svako od njih je odradio ugovor, priča vam je glupa..

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    8. @anti bot Provali ste im sistem, svi su zlostavljani i posle posla idu na terapiju i grupno dobijaju popust..

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    9. oglas je za B737-900, znaci nije u pitanju Classic nego NG type rating

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    10. well no, the requirements are standard: 2000 hours flew for the captains and clean record ATPL for first officers. And they clearly state B737 300-900. Check for yourself

      https://poslovi.infostud.com/posao/Pilot/Air-Serbia-a.d/134859?dist=0&q=air+serbia&item_index=2

      There is a strategy conflict. They wanto to unify the fleet around single manufacture,m in this case Airbus. Boeings are backup and charter now, but their future is short, they can fly the next two or three years at max. I dont see the point hiring new people for such an occasion. However, there is a posibility that they can get more ex-Transaero 737s through Jat Tehnika who used to do MRO for exactly these aircraft.

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    12. Nece doci ni jedan novi Avion za sad osim A332.
      INN-NS

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    13. A što bi sa onim ATR-ovima? Opet te za**bo izvor? Pa i nije ti neki izvor!

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    14. To je bas neko ljubomoran na ASL izgleda , ja nisam spominjao ATR od letos kad je bila prica ;)
      Takodje ste ljubomorni sto su moji izvori u 90% slucajeva tacni i sto sam pre vas znao.
      A nisu ni ATR bitni kad dolazi A332 jedini u EX YU
      INN-NS

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    15. Pre dve, tri nedelje si spominjao kako bi trebao da dodje jos jedan Atr kada se pricalo o zameni matorih atr-a. Zasto sada izvrces?

      A 90% je malo velikodusno, ja bih pre rekao da je oko 35% i to su uglavnom bile uopstene stvari koje smo i mi znali.

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  14. OT I was asked to remove not just laptop but also laptop power supply from the hand bag and put them on the tray for xray machine. WTF how come all the other airports only need laptop out, power adapter and cables always stay in the bag! Did anyone else experience this?

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    1. No, never, not in one of 200 airports I flow, BEG included.

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    2. Variety of security protocols is scary: some places ask you to take off shoes, others belt, some both. Some places you get sniffed by a dog, body scanned, randomly screened for residue on hands.Some airports just ask you to take laptop out others to also open it. Some are okay if small liquid containers stay inside hand bag others insist of placing it in the tray. But this was the first one for me where they asked me to take all chargers (including tablet and mobile phone usb chargers!) and retake xray scan. BTW this was at Rome FCO.

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    3. I was in FCO several times, nothing like this happens to me.

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    4. Chinese airport security insist on separately x-raying any external power sources, such as battery packs for cell phones, for example.

      But, yes, recently there are more and more requests to put chargers and cables in hand baggage in order to scan them if necessary...

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    5. Rome FCO esp G gates are a disaster. In 14:30-15:00 window Alitalia had several heavies (New York, Seoul, Tokyo and Toronto) departures plus Emirates A380 with only six passport gates open, two of them for EU only. Passengers were pushing and even fighting, then passport officials stood up and joined the shouting match! I have not seen that kind of behaviour anywhere in the developed world in many decades of flying! What a disaster!

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    6. Yes - the same protocol happened to me at WAW earlier this month; given that it happened both on the way in and on the way out, I think it is safe to assume it is an SOP...

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  15. Ryanair needs to focus on ex-Yu. TSR, OTP, SKG and now SOF (+PDV) will all be served.
    Why doesn't INI or SKP do anything about it??

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    1. Ryanair's expansion in the Balkans is bad news for JU's profitability.

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    2. INI is only 160km from SOF, would it make sense for Ryanair to go there instead of SOF? Serbia is about to finish the highway to the Bulgarian border which will facilitate a faster transfer

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    3. Serbia isn't part of the EU and for Bulgarians sometimes takes long time to pass the border. I've some Bulgarian friends that were blackmailed by Serbian border police for not having spare lights in their car. Since then they're going via Romania.

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  16. Why was SU2092 from SVO to BEG diverted to WAW?!

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    1. It's crazy to fly over BEG and decide to divert to WAW. What were they thinking?
      http://www.flightradar24.com/data/airplanes/vq-biu/#8a68c6d

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