Monday, February 22, 2016

Hungary to subsidise flights to EX-YU

Hungary to sponsor flights from Budapest to Podgorica, Pristina and Skopje

The Hungarian government has announced plans to subsidies flights from Budapest Airport to three cities in the former Yugoslavia. The Hungarian Development Ministry will publish a concession tender in the European Union's Official Journal for interested airlines to operate services from the Hungarian capital to Podgorica, Pristina and Skopje. Furthermore, the state will sponsor flights to Tirana and Sofia as well. Any carrier registered within the European Union will be eligible to apply for the subsidies, although the exact terms and conditions are yet to be revealed. According to the ministry, the new routes will help boost trade and tourism. It further adds that financial assistance is being offered since a number of destinations formerly served by the national carrier Malev, which filed for bankruptcy in February 2012, are yet to resume.

Slovenia's Adria Airways is considering applying for the subsidies. The airline has bases in both Pristina and Tirana, while the Slovenian Minister for Transport, Peter Gašperšič, said last December that Adria was hoping to enter the Hungarian market. "Adria could easily win deals there [Hungary]", Mr Gašperšič said, referring to the upcoming concession. Malev used to operate double daily flights to Pristina, thirteen weekly services to Skopje and six weekly flights to Podgorica just prior to its collapse four years ago. The Hungarian government will not offer subsidies for flights to Zagreb and Sarajevo, which were once served by Malev and are no longer linked to Budapest with a regular air service. Belgrade remains the only city in the former Yugoslavia with scheduled flights to the Hungarian capital, served twice weekly by Belarus' Belavia. Air Serbia suspended the route last October.

Wizz Air is seen as a strong contender for the Budapest - Skopje service. Fuelling speculation is the recent advertisement published on Wizz Air's website promoting special fares between the two cities. It was removed a short while later. Last summer, the Minister of State for Economic Diplomacy in the Hungarian government, Levente Magyar, urged for flights between Budapest and Skopje to be established in order to "facilitate the development of tourism, cooperation between enterprises and people to people exchanges”. Hungary is currently the fifth largest investor in Macedonia. The Macedonian Economy Minister, Valon Saracini, said, “We discussed the opening of direct Wizz Air flights between Skopje and Budapest, as well as charter flights to cater for Hungary’s largest tour operator”.

74 comments:

  1. I just don't see these routes working. When Malev use to fly there it made sense because people could connect onto other flights through Budapest but now... As soon as the subsidies run out I have a feeling these routes will be suspended.

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  2. What will the frequencies be?

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  3. Great. It takes almost half a day to get from Skopje to Budapest. Now it will take an hour.

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  4. What's the point of restarting routes by an airline that went bankrupt because it made huge losses based on its route network.

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    Replies
    1. You know what Malev's problem was? Etihad wasn't around yet.

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    2. Etihad was very much around at the time.

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    3. They only started buying European airlines like hotcakes afterwards. They would've been a top target.

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  5. JU is not in the game...must be registred within EU

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    1. Yes, that's why and not cause of it's business model. Direct BUD-TGD would be a real winner...

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    2. For JU it would only make sense if they could get it for BEG. Since Belavia already flies between the two cities with 5th freedom rights, BEG is disqualified.

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  6. Well, JP may very well launch this route due to:
    (1) Incentives on offer at PRN. If they fly twice weekly to a new destination and do so during off-peak periods then these are not insignificant. Plus their number of departing passengers is over 100k so that brings in additional money;
    (2) Subsidies on offer by the Hungarian government. Not sure how significant these are though;
    (3) PRN-based A319 is available (parked) during off-peak periods after it returns from MUC in the afternoons.

    So, I would not be surprised if this route is opened by JP or even ST. But is there a market and, if so, how big is it? It might just work if they codeshare with others such as EK, QR, BA, AF, RV... as none of these airlines fly to PRN. Maybe, just maybe, it might work.

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  7. When can we expect these flights to start?

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  8. So new routes that are planed by Croatia Airlines are:

    - Milano (very good one)
    - Lisabon (very good one after TAP stop to fly on that route)
    - Prague (not sure it is good option concerning OK to come, but there is huge chance OK and OU will have code-share on that route)
    - St.Petersburg (not very good route especially if Air Serbia will open BEG-LED route).

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    1. Is this confirmed?

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    2. No. They still negotiate with companies to provide regional jets, and with airports. Disaster!

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    3. Why they dropped OTP?

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    4. OTP was logical choice, but I can not remember that they announce planes to open that route.

      They did say that they plan to open routes to east especially to EU capitals so we presume that is OTP or SOF. I can not see that now, as no one would put PRG to "East Europe capital". So they drop those plans or they will make it happened sometime later.

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    5. I never understood OU managment.... why they do not try to develop also charter flights? Is JP so more flexible and their managment smarter?
      Why croatian sport clubs are hiring JP for charter and not OU?
      And we are now almost in march 2016, OU didn't leased any new aircraft.
      The best would be 1 x A319 and 1x CRJ900.
      And they should become more flexible, to offer tourist agency charters to Greek islands, like Adria do....


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    6. Zasto bi ponavljali poteze raspadnute kompanije?

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    7. It's a bit unusual for an airline to fly to LED but not to MOW. If I remember correctly Aeroflot flies to ZAG so that's probably why.

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  9. I also don't understand why they would subsidise those routes. Back in the days, MA was a leader and connected all those cities quite well via its hub and they were transfer destinations. Even ASL has stopped BUD, imagine smaller cities like SKP and TGD. Also W6 used to fly SOF-BUD and FB also tried it and never worked. There is no need really.

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    1. I agree. But since they are subsidizing the flights they will probably run until the subsidies dry out.

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    2. ASL has stopped BUD, but wait.It takes like what, less than 4 hours by car?
      On the other hand SKP and TGD especially in the May - October period can benefit.
      The first because of raising bussines conections and workforce exchange, lots of short term tourist in both directions (will do even better with W6)and even to make combinations like SKP-BUD and onwards to place that are not on Wizz's menu @SKP, but in this case considering denser flight options pw.If some can do it from SKP via BGY and even mixing W6/FR, why not this.You can also wait 4-5-6 hours for connection on big hubs like VIE or similar.
      The latter will do similar, but very good from May to October, maybe even 5-7 p/w would do high LF.Having in mind the risk for an airline on this kind of routes, they offer subsidies first and waiting for one to break the ice.
      Would be good to have an additional info for how long.

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  10. I think the only way these flights can work is the way Belavia operates them:

    - Small aircraft
    - Fifth freedom to Budapest and link with another third destination
    - Low number of frequnecies

    That way you pick up the 10 or so passengers flying the BEG-BUD-BEG sector (and I assume any destination from ex-Yu to BUD). Does anyone know what Belavia's fares are on this route now> When I last looked a year ago it was around 120 euros (a few euros cheaper than Air Serbia actually).

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  11. Admin why my comment about Tuzla airport to open cargo routes is deleted?

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    1. My comment was deleted and it was nothing against blog rules, just simple information about Tuzla future plans. It was deleted, god knows why, and Admin even did not have curtsy to explain why. A am really mad about this.

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    2. You copy-pasted something from Wikipedia.

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  12. In my humble opinion, it is all about making Budapest a stronger hub, all in order to compete Belgrade and Air Serbia which started to sell tickets to the US.

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    1. American will start Budapest-New York flights any way, no need to "compete" with Belgrade.

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    2. AA will not start BUD this year. Someone has been drinking anna.aero koolaid.

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    3. The management of AA told it to the hungarian minister of foreign affairs mid-february.

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    4. BUD does not compete with BEG as they are not in the same league (10,3 million pax/+12% versus 4,8 million/+3% in 2015). With all the new flights announced for 2016 the difference will be even bigger this year (Emirates daily upgraded to 777; Air Canada Rouge Toronto; Wizz Baku, Bucharest, Karlsruhe, Reykjavik, Liverpool, Nice, Ibiza + a lot of existing flights upgraded to A321; Ryanair Berlin, Gran Canaria, Malaga, Malta, Nuremberg, Corfu; easyJet Lyon; Ellinair Thessaloniki).

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    5. Дечко ТзарFebruary 23, 2016 at 3:54 AM

      I have no vested interest against AA or BUD, but AA does not start S16 long haul routes on a whim with only a few weeks before summer season. CR Smith would be rolling in his grave if that was true. BTW thumbs up for AA mgmt for supporting a fine museum bearing his name, had a blast there with immaculate Flagship Knoxville DC-3!

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    6. To Anonymous at 6:40 PM

      That's exactly what I'm talking about. The airline will need pax from Pristina, Skopje and Podgorica for that long-haul flight. They want them at Budapest and not at Belgrade or somewhere else.

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  13. OT:
    Ryan will base 4 aircrafts @ SOF. The information was confirmed by the Sofia Airport CEO. So, we're expecting more destinations from Sofia to be launched.

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    1. Four?! Wow... so they are going to be almost as big as Wizz Air! It will be interesting to see what they announce, let's hope Larnaca or Paphos are among the future routes.

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    2. I'm hoping for Eilat.

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    3. Here is the Interview:
      http://www.bgonair.bg/avioshou/2016-02-21/avioshou-letishte-sofiya-prez-2016

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    4. That´s more than 1.5mln pax per year! It´s also thanks to the cheap airport taxes. So, by end of 2017, the traffic of the airport can easily reach 6mln! Lets hope we see them in an ex-Yu capital: BEG, ZAG, LJU they need real low-cost carriers and not ASL, OU monopoly.

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    5. BEG and ZAG have potential when it comes to Ryan. Just one route were it could destroy both ASL and OU is BRU.

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    6. I would also add Copenhagen to that list- in Belgrade it would be especially brutal as we also have Wizz Air to Malmo.

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    7. FR nebi bio konkurencija ASL na liniji za BRU zato sto je vecina Putnika transfernih .
      INN-NS

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    8. Prvi put se u potpunosti slazes sa INN-NS. Na liniji za Brisel gotovo 85% putnika su transferni (prevashodno za Liban i Grcku). Setite se da je Wizz Air pukao na liniji za Brisel (Charleroi).

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    9. Samo to sve treba objasniti fanovima LCC kompanija da sve ide na njihov racun preko manje zarade aerodroma i manjih prihoda za zemlju kada zauzimaju glavne aerodrome. Ugradi se samo par ljudi.

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    10. With at least 12 new routes from Ryan so far, 4-5 new routes from Wizz so far, few new routes from FB it is obvious that no matter what SOF will kick BEG as..
      This is what happens when there is no government protection and the funny thing was when some idiot from government said that BEG should not be used by low costs. If Batajnica was fully functioning ok, but what do they expect for Nis to become a low cost hub and make people from Novi Sad and Belgrade travel 250km to Nis lol. Dont get me wrong, I am happy Nis finally got flights and fingers crossed for more, but I am tired of the government trying to protect ASL. Now I will get "attacked" by the squad of ASL fanboys who will say that Ural came with 2 p/w flights hence there is no protection or Ellinair with 1 p/w flight haha

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    11. The only "protection" are government subsidies, which, by the way, amount to 2% of W6 annual revenue - or less than 0.4% of that of FR. There are no formal or any other obstacles for any EU airline to fly from BEG or INI. They simply choose not to fly from Belgrade. Also, W6 chose INI because of their subsidies and low airport fees. Major airport generally don't do that, unless they are forced to, as was BUD when MA went under and they were left without flag carrier.

      I'm afraid this has more to do with lack of demand from Serbia in general - Bulgaria and Romania, as EU member states, have thousands of their citizens working in the Western Europe, so they are tapping into this market. This is why BCN or BGY are working from Timisoara and every other minor city in Romania, but not from BEG.

      This has very little to do with JU. It is simply that BEG is not "desperate" enough to have to attract LCCs at their expense. And when I say desperate, they don't see financial or strategic interest to do so. It may be due to JU arrangements, sure, but they didn't really went of their way to attract LCC before EY deal. Also, not assisting JU's competitors is not the same thing as protectionism. They are all welcome to open routes from BEG if they want to.

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    12. Wizz Air flying between Larnaca and BEG is the best example of airlines being able to fly into/out of BEG and making it work... And with that one, we all know what happened to JU ...

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    13. Like I said, they are all very welcome to come in and try. But beware - while portraying JU here as "evil, big" company with the state behind it, the reality is actually opposite - W6 and FR are, both, so much more powerful that, if they wanted, they could come in and kill JU on every single route they serve. And they wouldn't actually notice it on their bottom line.

      They are not doing that for one simple reason - not enough demand. This market is not high-yield enough to justify something like this.

      At the end, I don't think this would be in pax interest. Take a look at LCA now - just one weekly flight, at least 120 euros for r/t ticket without luggage. I wouldn't call that a success for Serbian market.

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    14. Since you are speaking of Larnaca, don't forget that before W6 launched flights JU used to charge around €360 and they flew you at that ungodly hour. At least with Wizz Air the fares are decent enough and so is their timetable. I mean, LCA is a flight of two hours and twenty minutes, do you expect to be paying €70 all the time? This is still an improvement- the only downfall is that half of the year they have a single flight per week. However, seems like people have managed to find a way around it, especially since Aegean introduced competitive one-way fares.

      So it's not as if we are at a huge disadvantage since JU left Cyprus. From what I could see, no one really noticed it simple because no one was using them. JU was destroyed in Cyprus for reasons other than the price of the ticket.

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    15. With 1 checkin bag it is more than EUR170 !

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    16. I just checked 12.03 to 19.03 and the fare that I got is €89 without luggage. If you take a bag up to 23 kilos (same as with JU) then it comes out to be €153 which really isn't that much.

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    17. Are you kidding when saying that the state and BEG aren't supporting ASL? I remember that links that I've provided here with information about ASL not paying 22 mln. euro the airport have been deleted...
      May I ask why they were deleted if this is untrue?

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    18. Because A) It was published here 3 years ago (refer to paragraph three)

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2014/08/serbia-unveils-etihad-contract.html

      B) It was published in the comments on two occasions during the same week.

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    19. And we all know that news here can not repeat. Not in comment and not in posts. That is why I hardly read about ASL JFK flights.

      There was never post about this 22 million subsidies what is huge news. It was just mentioned in flash news like same thing happen this year.

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    20. @ Admin,
      it was pulished more than 1 time, because 2 min after I published it the first time it was deleted. And all the posts that I made were deleted immediately. If there is something I hate it's cenzorship.

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  14. OT
    Any news on Air Serbia's codeshare partner in the US?

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    1. Air Serbia has plenty of interline relationships that give it more than enough means to offer US destinations.

      Infact, for anyone thinking of flying beyond JFK, doing so over JFK should be THE last option. It is much better to do so by flying via any European point. That way, you avoid having to battle awful arrival queues, as well as having to clear US customs and quarantine - all of which is avoided when flying via Europe, where you simply transit and continue with your journey with your baggage being checked trough to your final destination.

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    2. JU at this moment only has interline agreement with DL.

      Interline with UA had been terminated few years ago.

      Probably they will reinstate agreement with AA and sign with B6. But I guess it will require some time....

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    3. They have interline with Air Berlin, KLM, Air France, Alitalia, Virgin Atlantic and Air Canada - all of whom serve many points into the USA and Canada

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    4. @ anonymous @5:51 pm

      For the many Serbs in the US living in cities in the US with NO direct flights to Europe, this is an issue. Cleveland, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Phoenix etc... many of these people want to fly via JFK, its easier with 1 stop than 2, especially for older people and young kids traveling alone.

      Also, I have called Air Serbia office in Chicago as well as some travel agents. Nobody seems to have any information on connecting flights from JFK, although the one guy from a travel agency told me they are expecting new information in the coming days, so I guess we wait and see:)

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    5. Aleks is right, nothing is available beyond JFK right now. I guess this initial week of sales is geared towards BEG market (discounted offer only applies for BEG departures) so we have to wait for deals to be offered to USA departures where most of the customers are. Missing pieces are lack of Air Serbia NYC office, lack of tourist agencies in the US, interline offers to ORD LAX etc... we have to be patient.

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    6. No flights from Cleveland, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Phoenix to Europe???

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    7. @ last anonymous

      None of them besides San Francisco, that is my bad.

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    8. I think Phoenix has a direct flight to London on BA.

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  15. OT: QR is starting direct flights to BEG in just over 2 weeks. (was via SOF). I heard somewhere they might increase to daily soon, any truth? How about LF?

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    1. Don´t think they will, after all you have 2 daily flights to AUH JU/EY and FZ, so unlikely for the time being. Also TK will maybe increase its flights to BEG and add a 3rd daily flight on some days as they will do with SOF at the end of Oct 2016. Lets wait and see...

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    2. "Also TK will maybe increase its flights to BEG and add a 3rd daily flight on some days as they will do with SOF at the end of Oct 2016. Lets wait and see..."
      Was not aware of that but I believe 2 or 3 years ago they did have 2 daily flights+3 other flights on certain days. Is there a chance to see TK A330 during summer on certain days?

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    3. TK already increased SOF to 3 daily from Oct 2015.

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    4. It was mentioned on here on numerous occasions that TK can't increase BEG because of the bilateral. Turkish and Serbian carriers have to operate the same number of frequencies.

      Since it would have been illogical to have both Pegasus and TK operate daily flights (the same as JU) they asked TK to reduce it's flights from 17 to 14 weekly flights.

      If we had an Open Sky agreement with Turkey, I am sure BEG would have been triple daily already. Given that Pegasus has healthy loads, I wouldn't be surprised if they would also up their frequencies.

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