Monday, March 14, 2016

Ryanair to put greater focus on EX-YU market

Skopje and Tivat frontrunners for new Ryanair flights

Europe's busiest airline, Ryanair, is expected to put a greater emphasis on the former Yugoslav market following the opening of a new base in nearby Timisoara in Romania and Sofia in Bulgaria later this year. The budget carrier will expand its operations from both Zadar and Podgorica this summer but is also eyeing flights from Tivat and Skopje, where it has been involved in drawn-out negotiations with the Macedonian government since last year. A range of services are said to be in play, with Ohrid also being considered as a potential destination. The CEO of Skopje Airport's operator, TAV, Sani Sener, recently said that despite being a Wizz Air stronghold, there is room for more low cost players in Macedonia. "Skopje is already a successful Wizz Air base, but we think there is considerable opportunity for more low cost operators", Mr Sener said. Commenting on Ryanair's shift towards the east, the airline's Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs, noted, “It’s going to be more Ryanair and Wizz going head to head. It’s going to get harder [for Wizz], given our scale, our cost advantage, and our fare advantage. It’ll be an interesting scrap in the coming years”.

Ryanair launched flights to Podgorica in the summer of 2013 following two years of negotiations with the Montenegrin government. The airline introduced seasonal services from Charleroi, which have since been extended to year-round operations, and has also added flights from London Stansted. The carrier is now revisiting plans to launch flights to Tivat. It initially intended to introduce services from London, Barcelona, Stockholm and Milan to the seaside city, however, high fees and a lack of incentives are believed to have delayed such plans. Meanwhile, its low cost rival, easyJet, will commence operations to Montenegro with seasonal flights from London Gatwick and Manchester to Tivat. "We expected that this new route [Manchester - Tivat] would not take long to become a firm favourite as an easy and affordable summer destination for our customers and it has proved to be so successful that we believe there is a real demand for this flight from London Gatwick to Tivat too", easyJet said in a statement last week. Ryanair’s Head of Communications, Robyn Kiely, told EX-YU Aviation News recently that the airline was also satisfied with its performance on the Montenegrin market. “We are very pleased with our Podgorica operations, which continue to perform strongly”, Mr Kiely said.

Ryanair will expand operations from its only (seasonal) base in the former Yugoslavia - Zadar- next month, after downsizing its network from the city for two consecutive years. The no frills carrier plans to launch one new route, operate 39 weekly flights, carry 315.000 passengers and create 230 on-site jobs in Zadar in 2016. The airline will introduce services from the city to Berlin Schonofeld Airport starting April 4, which will complement its existing network from Zadar, which includes Beauvais, Charleroi, Dublin, Gothenburg, Hahn, Baden-Baden, London Stansted, Manchester, Marseille, Moss, Stockholm Skavsta and Weeze. Zadar provided 1.4 million euros in order for Ryanair to set up a base and station one of its aircraft at the airport in 2013. Meanwhile, the airline will upgrade its seasonal summer service between London Stansted Airport and Osijek to year-long operations. Flights will now operate throughout the year during the 2016/17 winter season as well. As a result, Osijek becomes the only Croatian city to be served by Ryanair on a year-long basis, with all of its other destinations in the country operated seasonally. Furthermore, the low cost airline is considering introducing services from Dublin to Osijek.

Despite an open invitation from the Secretariat of Economy of the City of Belgrade for it to launch flights to the Serbian capital last year, Ryanair has shown little interest. However, the airline has also been approached by Niš Airport, in south-eastern Serbia. On the other hand, in late 2014 the carrier confirmed it had entered negotiations with Mostar Airport concerning the possible launch of services from Germany and Scandinavia to Bosnia and Herzegovina. “We are the leading airline in Europe. We have developed many small and regional European airports and there is no obstacle for us to do the same in Mostar”, the no frills carrier said at the time. In the end, these flights did not materialise. Furthermore, in 2007, Ryanair launched flights to Maribor, however, the service was cancelled only a few months later. The budget airline says it is currently considering up to forty different destinations in Europe as it continues to expand its network and fleet and shifts its focus towards Central and Eastern Europe.

92 comments:

  1. Wizz Air will be getting some serious competition soon. Wizz was smart to enter this market early and I'm surprised others have been so reluctant.

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  2. Wouldn't a base in Sofia affect potential flights from Skopje?

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    1. Not really especially since they have two completely different catchment areas. In Skopje you also serve part of Albania and Kosovo. Even a part of southern Serbia. People at Skopje Airport said they are happy that they are attracting so many passenger from nearby and that is also an incentive for low cost airlines.

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    2. What are some of the routes Ryanair could operate from Skopje? It seems to me that Wizz Air's latest expansion (Bratislava, Copenhagen and Berlin) was directly aimed at Ryan.

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    3. They might go after those subsidies and do Budapest-Skopje.

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    4. For sure it will affect SKP. The distance between the 2 cities is less than 200 km. Not to mention the huge amount of Macedonians already using SOF.

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    5. Skp and Sof aren't rivals. 200 km yes but 6-8 travel hours

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    6. @Anon March 15, 2016 at 3:28 PM
      6-8m travel hours? On what planet you live? What car you have? A Yugo? People from Skopje are going to Sofia often for shopping or for a city-break. The distance between the 2 cities is taken for 3.5 - 4 hours.

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    7. Have you ever drove skp sof?

      Have you seen what happens with kosovo passport holders on bg border and they are a bulk of w6 pax.

      Drive safe on that road

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    8. The distance between Skopje and Sofia is around 240km. Nobody that flies travels with a car so the bus drive is 6-8 hours depends on the border control ,plus bus ride between the station and the airport around 20-30 min there is an enormous distance and time, for that time if the destination is from SKP , the passengers will arrive at their destination and accommodate. Not to mention the road...

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  3. Not surprised about Montenegro being successful for them. The country is in need of low cost airlines. They used to refuse them to protect Montenegro Airlines under the pretense that Montenegro is the Monaco of the Balkans and is chasing after high-end customers. Glad they finally got to their senses.

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    1. Montenegro and high end customers? LOL

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  4. I'm not sure if it's true or not but I heard that Ryanair has a tendering process where airports actually send in their bids to them. If it is that's quite crazy. Why waste your money.

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    1. Why is it a waste of money? The return is much greater than the investment. That's why practically every airport in Europe wants them as a customer.

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  5. Tivat and Skopje seem logical. I also think they will reconsider Mostar.

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  6. That's good actually because besides getting more choice it will also force Wizz Air to do more here. I just noticed they have scheduled their new A321s on a lot of flights from Bucharest this winter. Probably in response to Ryanair.

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    1. Not really, A321s will start to enter service in Wizz Air's larger bases first as Wizz has 10 aircraft in OTP, no surprise there.

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  7. It would be nice to see FR in SKP, but I dont think it will happen this year. In Macedonia there will be elections, and I dont believe FR will sign or commit to anything without knowing if they will have the full support of the govt for the foreseeable future.

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    1. I agree but its sad how much politics plays a part in aviation in ex-Yu. And I'm not saying Macedonia is an exception. It's the same in other ex-Yu countries.

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    2. Unfortunately this is not something new or even unexpected. For Macedonia, the saddest part is that the govt is the one chasing the airlines, and not TAV.

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  8. What about Pristina? High fees or visa restricted travel is stopping them? I know there are some big incentives at the airport so it shouldn't be fees.

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    1. We might see them after visa liberalisation but you have to pay millions to Ryanair to start flights and I don't think PRN and many cities in the region want that.

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  9. I'm really sorry for MBX tho...

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    1. Why did MBX fail? Poor loads?

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    2. Local comunitty didn't want to give subventions for those flights. LF was acctualy really good it was around 90%.

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    3. Well to tell you the truth those subsidies were more worth it then the one given to Adria last year. I wonder how much was given for each.

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  10. Skopje is not for TWO low cost airlines!! If Ryanair opens services in Skopje, Wizz Air could reduce flights and move out from Skopje to Pristina. So I don't think Ryanair is for Skopje.

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    1. hahahaha... OK!

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    2. Seriously? Wizz has created an enormous brand in Macedonia, not only it has almost 50% market share for SKP/OHD (http://skp.airports.com.mk/default.aspx?ItemID=447&id=296), but don't forget also Wizz Air Marathon, etc.

      RYR flying from SKP would definitely reduce/stop W6's growth, but to suggest they could just easily remove them from the market by offering similar product for similar prices is silly at best.

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    3. He said that this will make W6 reduce flights. I can totally agree with him. There is no room for 2 LCC players there. The yeard is too small.

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    4. Could and would are two different words with completely different meaning. Reducing frequencies on one or two lines will mean nothing. There is place for Ryan and maybe one more low cost company in Macedonia, especially in SKP.

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  11. OT: Air Serbia announced four-month wet lease of CRJ-900 from JP, starting june, to serve new Kiev and Hamburg routes plus the existing to Sofia

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    1. When will this news become available to the general public? Will the CRJ be replaced with the aircraft that operates WAW which will be terminated this winter?

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    2. Wouldn't the CRJ make more sense to SKP given that it's a longer flight? Or even TIA at least on the days when it's not operated by the A319.

      I guess it will not feature a JU livery?

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    3. Oh my... imagine flying on the CRJ to HAM. That's over 2 hours and that aircraft is not very comfy.

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    4. http://www.exyuaviation.com/p/air-serbia-belgrade-hamburg.html

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    5. JU390 BEG-HAM 07:10 - 09:10 1,3
      JU391 HAM-BEG 10:30 - 12:35 1,3

      JU394 BEG-HAM 18:15-20:15 2,5
      JU395 HAM-BEG 20:50-22:55 2,5

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    6. JU660 BEG-KBP 06:55-09:45 2,5,6
      JU661 KBP-BEG

      JU664 BEG-KBP 18:15-21:05 1,4,7
      JU665 KBP-BEG 21:50-22:35 1,4,7

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    7. CRJ 900 je vrlo komforan avion i bilo bi dobro da ga ASL uvede u flotu kao zamenu za ATR-a. Eventualno treba razmisliti i o CS100.
      ATCO

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    8. Da li neko zna sta ce biti sa ovim destinacijama kada zima nastupi?

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    9. The lease terminates by the end of September.

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    10. Odlican test za Regionalni Avion mozda ih posle dodje vise ali E90.
      ATR ne treba menjati nikako za CRJ9 to bi bio cist gubitak nego sadasnje ATR menjati za novije.
      Ali svakako ce biti iznenadjenja jos sto se tice Regionalnih .
      INN-NS

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    11. HAM is a dark horse. Oradea, St Pete, Ohrid, Pristina were all decoys... okay, Ohrid will go ahead with an ATR, and PRN but not this summer. What happens with HAN and KBP when Adria lease is over? Is JU then getting A319 from EY?

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    12. Keep in mind that JU will now free up an ATR from Sofia and Budapest. OHD is definitely launching this summer.

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    13. letece B733 tokom zimskog reda !

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    14. Montenegro Embraers didnt come so Adria CRJ are doing the job

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    15. Hamburg seems like a great choice, but I am still curious to how Kiev will do. If JU is planning to target transfer pax within Europe and ME then good luck with that since you have Ukraine International which is the specialist of dumping. Their service is low cost since you have to pay for everything except water and the seats are cramped, but still. I believe they also have very cheap flights to and from JFK so I doubt JU will get slice of that cake. I also highly doubt there is that much O&D to sustain the flights. Anybody get an idea what pax they are targeting in Kiev? Abu Dhabi and hence connections to Australia is only route which comes to my mind

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    16. Interesting how KBP will be outside of the 'normal' for the JU wave. KBP will connect to the east-south wave (TGD, TIV, SPU, DBV, PUY, SKP, TIA, ATH, SKG, SJJ, BNX, IST, OTP, SOF, BEY, TLV, AUH, VAR, SVO, LCA, JFK). Out of all above desatinations direct competition only on ATH (A3/PS), LY (TLV), IST (TK), LCA & JFK (PS). Summer time should do very well.

      HAM will be an interesting addition. Honestly not surprised, however expected MUC before HAM.

      With 3 new destinations this summer so far, I wonder what is next. OHD, PRN looks almost confirmed.

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    17. ^Zero competition in HAM, LH 2 daily in MUC is probably the main reason. I still think there would be enough pax for JU in MUC, but as I said above HAM is a decent choice with potential for both O&D traffic as well as some transfer pax.
      Does JU have enough aircraft to launch PRN and OHD? There was talk that they would launch PRN with Aviolet B737 but that seems like too much capacity.

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    18. Sve zna YYZ samo ne da nadje povoljno kartu za sebe.

      Zasto MUC kada tamo imaju LH?

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    19. Ne zaboravite da uz LH iz MUC postoji i W6 iz Memingena.

      Mnogo bi im bilo bolje da uvedu NUE.

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    20. @ YYZ

      I can see you havnt read the above comments and have asked a question answered 4 posts above your initial post.

      Sofia (ATR) has had a change of equipment to CRJ, whilst BUD which was also on the ATR has been discontinued. That frees 2 ATR's.

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    21. Nadam se da ce KBP se dobro pokazati posto PS rastura i bez konkurencije.
      Nadam se da su sledece RJ destinacije NUE ,ESB i INN.
      INN-NS

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    22. yea skipped that comment which clears things in regards to a/c availability.Thanks for pointing that out

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    23. And again we have to give credit to Purger. He was the one to publish this news about "CRJ900 from Adria to Air Serbia" few weeks ago.

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    24. Yeah but it's ok, the man has a source in the airline so let's hope he keeps on sharing more of the info. :D

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    25. @JATBEGMELMarch 14, 2016 at 3:46 PM
      "...Sofia (ATR) has had a change of equipment to CRJ, whilst BUD which was also on the ATR has been discontinued. That frees 2 ATR's."

      Not correct. BUD flights used to be performed in the morning and in the evening, whilst flights to SOF go at lunch-time wave.

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    26. Ako bude PRN pre septembra, mogla bi da ide sa Adrijinim avionom, bar za prvo vreme dok se testira potraznja. A i politicki prihvatljivije za stanovnike KiM.

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    27. @last anon
      What part is incorrect? It still leaves two ATR rotations at those times for a new route or a frequency increase on an existing one. Though we probably won't see Ohrid nor Oradea. Tickets for KBP and HAM are up for sale tomorrow, and those two are much easier to fill than secondary airports in the Balkans, and I doubt JU'll announce those a month before the launch

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    28. KBP and HAM are already on sale, and the prices are decent considering I was looking at flights in August.

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    29. @4:30 da rekao je Purger da će Adrin avion leteti za JU ali je i rekao da je to "kompenzacija iz SFRJ vremena"?!

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    30. @ anonymous 4,43

      thanks for the correction. 3 p/w morning and 4 p/w evening.

      I could see PRN daily on a split schedule (4 p/w midday, 3 p/w midnight) and OHD 3 p/w seasonal midday departure.

      Nothing so far will replace BUD. Not many options fall into an appropriate destination for the ATR. Best I can think of is KRK but I doubt that will open. Austria comes next, SZG could also fit.

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    31. Ne SZG je najlosiji predlog ubedljivo .
      INN-NS

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    32. ^lol, I am sure INN would be better heheheheeh

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    33. Naravno ili da vode rat protivTK 10 pw letova logika ?

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    34. Why are all Western European destinations ex-KBP more than 2000$? Are they still working on the prices?

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    35. I can't understand why JU isn't going for BOJ. They can benefit from transfers.

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    36. @ anonymous 10,25

      western europe isnt really the focus for KBP. If you look at the schedule they are more after Balkan and ME transfer.

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  12. February(SKP) 102,599pax or +28,12%

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    Replies
    1. So SKP officially has every month over 100k. Nice!

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  13. Rumor is OHD and LED will be next JU destinations.

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  14. OT, but shame on Air Serbia.

    I tried purchasing tickets JFK - BEG, and literally in the meantime the price went from a competitive 843 USD back to 1256!!! It didn't let me complete the reservation because the price changed....

    I called Air Serbia and a girl told me about how that was a "promo fare" and that there is no change the price will go back down for those days to 843......

    I book my ticket with Lufthansa connecting from LAX for 843, same price I would have paid from JFK.... 2 hours later Air Serbia goes back down for my dates 843 USD...

    Not only this, but it's not like the seats are filling up for my days in question. Please take a look. Average I calculated so far seats booked on the flights is roughly 8. Most of the plan is empty and it looks depressing. Not to mention TOTALLY NON COMPETITIVE PRICES from JFK. Where are these expected passengers supposed to come from?

    I hope they also know most people are booking their tickets now and it's sad that most people I know in the US will be flying with other airlines because they won't pay an extra 2000 for their family of 4 just to fly with their national air carrier. How sad.....

    Thank God for Lufhansa, I booked 843 USD JFK- BEG and BEG - LAX return :) :) (will be in JFK for personal reasons returning home to LAX)

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    Replies
    1. Aleks if you are unhappy with the purchase you made from Lufthansa and you purchased in the past 24 hours and your flight is more than 7 days away, you can get a free cancellation.

      Just saying in case you are unhappy.

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    2. Where can you look at the booking on certain days to see how full the plane is?

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    3. @ 1st anonymous

      Nothing to do, I have a great ticket with Lufthansa and we are good lol.. I'm just saying air Serbia is being uncompetitive and charging ridiculous fares for us exUSA.

      @Aleksandar Stojanovic

      Thanks for the info and I'm aware but I'm happy with Lufthansa and I will be going with them.

      @last Anon

      You go as if you are purchasing a ticket. Put in fake information like numbers for name, contact and passport info, and it will let you see on the next step a "select seats" option.

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    4. also just to mention to all of you, even the current promo fare on most days is ONLY for ONE person. JUST ONE! Haha. If you add an extra person to a reservation, the price for EACH person is DOUBLE, 1,700 roughly vs 850 ish and this was confirmed on their website and the call centre, its not just me not seeing 850x2 .. so strange. Shaking my head... wondering how many people will fly with them.

      Not to mention 0 connections to the US

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    5. Aleks, some basic honesty would be nice. You did not book Lufthansa JFK-BEG simply because LH does not fly JFK-BEG nonstop and never will. You did book something like JFK-FRA (or MUC) and then couple of hours of waiting during wee hours (EST time zone) at FRA or MUC and then flying FRA/MUC-BEG. This is NOT the same as JFK-BEG nonstop flight! Same goes for your return flight, as LH does NOT fly nonstop BEG-LAX. If it did, you would very likely have to pay the same higher price as with other airline flying nonstop, and that would be JU. So for the sake of honesty, you are comparing apples and oranges.

      As for the 0 connections to the US, you have failed to notice announcement posted here about American Airlines now working on interline deal with Air Serbia, with connecting flights expected to be available starting on March 30.

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    6. I don't see Aleks throw a hissy fit here over his LAX-JFK (for example one stop LAX-PHX-JFK) being much cheaper than nonstop LAX-JFK. Double standards, much? Thank God Lufthansa can't help you on that route.

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    7. Can we drop the whole interline discussion becasue those are kind of useless to the general travelling public. Until we have a codeshare it won't matter.

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    8. This site is not for the general travelling public.

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    9. @ Aleks

      doesnt sound so good. I always compare fares from various sites to see what is better.

      As for seat selection, it doesnt really give much of an indicator as many such as myself opt not to prebook the seat as any airline has the right to change the seat number on the date of travel. Seat selection isnt a confirmation of check in. Also, people booked through travel agencies dont pre select seating.

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    10. @ anon 4:08

      I am aware of that. But the point is, it is very unprofessional to have one single promotional fare to a destination and have it changed 4 times in one day.

      @ anon 4:28

      I am going with a group with an already paid ticket LAX to JFK...... reason I am anyways flying out of JFK....so don't assume please. Also, hissy fit? Are we 5 years old? Coming from a "man" probably older than me too. How immature.

      @ last anon


      I looked at multiple websites. I don't understand what doesn't sound good? I have 850 USD ticket JFK - BEG - LAX. Whats the issue?

      Can never satisfy "hejteri" ;) pozdrav

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    11. @ anon 4:08 & 4:28 , I understand the "premium" for a direct flight. However, 1700 USD RT JFK - BEG when they are JUST entering the market? Think about it.

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    12. @ anon 4:08

      You seem to not have read what I wrote, or..? Illiterate? People are already purchasing their tickets, and there is no codeshare or officially announced upcoming codeshare into place. How are people who are planning their summers supposed to wait / know about what is going on? It's a joke.

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    13. You claim to understand the premium for a nonstop flight yet complain about the price. Are you going to claim that business class is not worth 5 times as much as economy seat? Do you have a problem with people buying a Bentley when you can buy 20 Kia's for the same price? Point is: if you can't buy it, don't post a dozen silly rants against it. There are those who buy tickets at that price just like there are people who buy a Bentley, there is a market for that and you are not part of it.

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    14. When he spoke of paying a premium he didn't mean a business class seat, rather a premium as in an extremely expensive ticket in economy class.
      JU has become extremely expensive to JFK, even out of BEG for this August the fares are around 85.000 RSD which is a bit too much for JFK. Not to mention that their brand is unknown in Europe, even more so in north America.

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    15. supply and demand regulates pricing

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  15. If Ryanair start flying to Macedonia, the government may want to reconsider searching for an operator to start a National airline. If they do, there will be way too much capacity.

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  16. How could they bypass Banjaluka in their plans.

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  17. Malmö-ohrid on summer basis will be very good, cant understand why wizz doesent open that route...

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  18. There is also new TGD-SXF servise! Go Balkans!

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