Monday, May 30, 2016

Air Serbia sees surge in US sales


Air Serbia has seen a spike in sales for its upcoming transatlantic service to New York, following the arrival of its Airbus A330-200 aircraft earlier this month and the attainment of all necessary regulatory approvals. According to broadcaster "RTS", the airline has sold over 12.000 tickets for the flights so far, with some 1.000 tickets purchased over the past few weeks. Travel agents in the United States have previously told EX-YU Aviation News that ticket sales have improved following initial reluctance from the public due to a lack of an interline agreement with a domestic carrier and pending government approvals, however, these issues have since been rectified. On the other hand, travel agents in Serbia note the route's biggest drawcard is its relatively low return fares.

With just a few weeks to go until the June 23 launch of the Belgrade - New York service, the Serbian carrier is putting the finishing touches to its A330 in Abu Dhabi where it is undergoing a cabin re-fit. Early next week, the aircraft is expected to be issued Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). An STC is a type certificate issued when an applicant has received FAA approval to modify an aeronautical product from its original design. The STC approves not only the modification but also how that modification affects the original design. The process is expected to begin this week and take just over seven days to complete, after which the aircraft will be flown back to Belgrade.

Meanwhile, Air Serbia and its part-owner Etihad Airways have agreed to a contingent wet-lease under which Etihad may wet-lease aircraft to Air Serbia in the event of maintenance problems or other issues that might take its A330 out of service for any length of time. Therefore, Etihad has applied for a Statement of Authorisation with the United States Department of Transportation that would allow it to wet-lease an appropriate widebody jet to Air Serbia on an "as-needed basis". The Emirati carrier has an Airbus A340-500 stored in Abu Dhabi to act as a replacement aircraft when required. A wet-lease is a leasing arrangement whereby the lessor provides an aircraft, complete crew, maintenance and insurance to another airline.

88 comments:

  1. Good news. By the way, cabin reconfiguration should be completed today :)

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  2. If they managed to sell 1000 tickets in less than a month that's a good result.

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    Replies
    1. later they need to sell 350 one-way tickets (or about 175 retourne) a day to have the aircraft full!!!

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    2. There is pretty much no long haul route in the world which has 100% LF on each flight.

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    3. Wasn't it reported about a m9nth ago on thos sight tjat 14000 were sold. I believe Vucic was the one who said it

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    4. No. It was reported that 11000 ticket have been sold and the sales were "70% higher than expected" (whatever that was supposed to mean).

      Anyhow, some visitors to this blog pay way too much attention on what politicians say.

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    5. No, 11,000 was reported.

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    6. Sorry my mistake

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  3. Can we see pictures of the new interior?

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    Replies
    1. My guess is the airline will release them this week. No one can take photos :)

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  4. With the plane's capacity, that makes i around 25 full flights sold.

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    Replies
    1. That sounds too little.
      Load factor will be low even with the low prices offered.
      It would be a very comfortable way to fly transatlantic for passengers!

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  5. "with some 1.000 tickets purchased over the past few weeks"

    That equates to 4 - 5 flights, meaning it's taking over a week to sell less than a week's worth of seats. If that carries on, the seats will not fill up (sell) as fast as the service flies.

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    Replies
    1. Creative maths as haters' last resort :)

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    2. We love creativity, eith in maths or accounting. ;)

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    3. The Air Serbia creativity dept. is very efficient ;) up there with the "pay BEG fees" office.

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    4. Anonymous May 30, 2016 at 9:23 AM

      Simply ignore the trolls who are attacking ANYONE not writing praises for the company/airport/managers/party.
      They are not here to have a discussion about news and facts, just to attack anyone who does.

      Delete
    5. Last Anon,

      For you and the likes of you, it is only PARTY that matters. There is a party you don't like and therefore your brigade is on a mission to twist, turn and fabricate anything related to company, airport or managers. As long as it will do some damage to your rival party.

      Unfortunately you wouldn't see a fact even if it hit you in the face. Facts only work for you if you can twist them somehow, so that they serve your political battle.

      Delete
    6. @Anon 12:19

      I am glad you admit you are a party operative send here for propaganda reasons!
      Just try to use some facts from time to time.
      It makes you more believable.

      Delete
    7. See? This is exactly how you twist and fabricate.

      I have accused YOU of being political and you twisted it into my confession on something that serves your political preference.

      You do the same thing with news and facts posted on this blog. You twist them so that they can work against your political opponents, because in their original shape they cannot work as such. So you have to twist them.

      And of course anyone who notices this actually "admits" that he works for your political opponents. Another logical twist and somersault.

      Delete
    8. OK, I am not from Serbia and from any of parties. But I would rather see some facts, arguments and numbers instead of just color someone as political fighter.

      Here one side want to present that 12.000 sold ticket 3 weeks before first flight is a good result. We all know it is nonsense.

      Other side want to present it is the end of world but in same time refuse to see that this project is part of development and financed by Government in goal to make this company important and BEG as real exYu gateway.

      Only important questions here are:

      1. Does Republic of Serbia have enough money for that development (bad LF, low yield) and goal they put on

      2. Is it worth, are benefits from those JFK flights and connection flights (hub) are bigger than huge investment?

      3. What is the future of project, can it grow, would it make sense to bring at least one more plane (or is it possible to have this system with just one long-haul plane in long term), does this system has potential to be profitable in near future?

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    9. Precisely Purger. These are good questions.

      In my opinion some money is there to fund this - but it is not unlimited. So they better have the numbers up very soon so that the loss made on the route is tolerable.

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    10. I wrote the initial comment at 09:23 and I stand by my analysis. 12,000 tickets is no where near good enough, bearing in mind that any head start from selling tickets now will easily be eaten up at this rate, resulting in less than half full flights crossing the Atlantic from BEG.

      As a side note, I am not a native ex-yu national, I have no clue about the political situation there nor do I live there. I do, however, understand commercial aviation enough to know that at this point in time, the NYC gamble is not paying off for Air Serbia. In this spirit of variety (it is the spice of life, after all) I hope that changes. The only problem is that losing money on a long haul route is significantly more damaging than doing so on a short one. Time will tell.

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    11. NYC is not a gamble for Air Serbia. It's a safe bet planned well in advance.

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  6. Are those 12.000 tickets for both directions or for only one way?

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    1. They all must be return tickets for non-US citizen can't enter US otherwise if they don't have a return ticket.

      So it would be 99% return tickets.

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    2. The airline had said that they were expecting most of the passengers on this route to be America based rather than Serbia based.
      So it doesn't make sense what you just wrote.

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  7. Will they have enough time to do those planned test flights?

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    Replies
    1. Plenty, they are expected to come back around June 11th so Heaps of time

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  8. 12.000 ticket sold is very bad result. Till winter we have 90 flights and they did not sell 25 of those!!!!

    Also they sold just 1.000 tickets in past FEW WEEKS. Minimum LF for intercontinental flights should be 85%, let us presume that Air Serbia can have 80%. That means the have to sold 205 tickets per flight or 1.025 return ticket per week (2.050 one way), not 1.000 in few weeks.

    And in same time we could read on this blog that they have to lower prices, we can see that in top season price of ticket is as low as 600 EUR, so that means yield would be very bad!

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    Replies
    1. In top season (and end of June is top season), one month in advance they should have 75% tickets sold already. there is just 24 days till first flight. That is more than bad results, I would say it is fiasco.

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    2. I have to admit that the number of tickets sold and the price that they are sold are nowhere near good or even satisfactory.
      Both tickets numbers and prices should have been higher at this time of the year.
      But the airline needs to present a positive spin so future passengers will not be afraid to book with them.

      Just my 2¢

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    3. Anon 12:16,

      The argument is very simple - no one expect the JFK route to have a crazy start. In fact, whoever knows a thing or two about this industry will tell you that the LF of 60% would be a realistic start and ASL will have to work hard to promote the route and attracts more passengers so that the numbers pick up.

      It has already been estimated that the route will be losing money in the first two years and opening it was a long range shot, an investment into the future of the airline.

      So the sales are in line with that.

      And yet, we have to read over and over the following line of argument:
      They need 85% to make money! > The will be nowhere near 80%! > Fiasco, fiasco!

      I mean WTF?! Seriously, WTF?! Are you people really that much incapable of thinking outside of the "I want everything super-perfect and I want it right now; actually I want it yesterday otherwise it is a fiasco!" box? Haven't you heard of strategies, long-term moves, even unsuccessful attempts? If all the humans through history played 100% safe and "right here, right now" moves, we would be still living in caves.

      And even if we disregard all of that, people usually give it a few months before they label some project a fiasco. You label it months before it even started, assuming that the current state is stone-carved and cannot change no matter what. I mean, really, WTF?!

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    4. Anonymous May 30, 2016 at 12:30 PM

      You really need to calm down!
      Why are you getting so upset about people discussing the news for the JFK route?
      I think posters are trying to point out the fact that if sales are low during the summer although ticket prices were reduced to a very affordable level.
      And that it would been that demand after the summer high season will be even lower and possibly problematic.

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    5. All I'm saying is the flights haven't even started yet but of course everything is doom and gloom. Exactly the same kind of stuff that was posted back in 2013 about the airline as such. I really can't see how anything in Serbia (the country, not the airline) can ever work with such mindset. Everyone always knows things will completely fail the moment someone briefly announces them.

      A country of natural born losers who want to be losers and don't want to consider anything but losses.

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    6. @last anon

      damn right!

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    7. bravo! neka si im rekao

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    8. The sales are going worse than expected and everybody should know that (by bad I mean way worse than 60% LF), but then again a big issue was the "pending government approval sign" that made some pax choose other carriers. I still expect the pax numbers to pick up during the coming 3-4 weeks since I still know some people who did not buy tickets here in Canada to Balkan countries in general. I mentioned this already, but it is not true anymore that our diaspora buys tickets 5 months in advance. The prices are just a bit more expansive or even the same now than they were in March for example.

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    9. I concur with Anon @ 12:49

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  9. Former Croatia Airlines CEO speaking about these flights

    "JAT je napravio odličan posao s New Yorkom, a Croatia Airlines je dosta toga propustila"

    http://www.dubrovniknet.hr/novost.php?id=45528#.V0wFk5F96Uk

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    Replies
    1. And he was the one who missed most opportunities! The worst CEO after Kučko.

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    2. It i highly likely OU will order two A321LR NEO along with the four A320 NEO for deliveries in 2021-2. OU wants to establish New York and Toronto flights and this also includes expanding the fleet to 20-22 aircraft by same time.

      Likely Fleet in 2021/2:

      4 A319 (to be replaced by 2025 with CS100)
      2 A320 (to be replaced by 2025 with CS100)
      4 A320 NEO
      2 A321LR NEO
      4 CS100 + 6 CS100 on order, to enter service 2024/25
      6 Q400

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    3. Which aircraft are they going to use for New York and Toronto flights?

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    4. Apparently the A321LR. Some interesting speculation on this model's potential use can be found here:
      http://airwaysnews.com/blog/2015/02/09/analysis-looking-at-potential-routes-for-the-airbus-a321lr/

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    5. That is not true. Total disinformation.

      Best possible scenario if this CEO stay on position is:

      4 A320neo
      8 CRJ900
      6 Q400

      The end.

      1. There are no plans for A321neoLR,

      2. 2 A319 will leave fleet after 4 CRJ 900 will come,

      3. A319/A320 will not stay in fleet after A320neo will come.

      Delete
  10. Gongratulations AirSerbia from Greece, I just hope the company will add at least 2 additional morning flights in the winter season from athens, so it's going to be more convinient and have more options for the New York route.

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    1. Za ove šta ih hvata ljubomora i pakost da vam samo javim da je do prošlog petka u ljetnoj sezoni (23 Juna -31 Oktobar )prodato oko 12700 karata.24 leta u ekonomskoj klasi su rasprodata ali ostalo je nekoliko mjesta u biznis. Jedino šta sam primjetio da na letovima koji su već rasprodati postoji 3-7 karata na "over sale", a to nije bilo u planu na početku prodaje karata za JFK. Jutros sam gledao manifest za prvi let 23 Juna i već su preprodali 3 mjesta. Mislim da barem prvi let nije trebalo preprodati pošto će tu biti dosta medija i to bi moglo malo da bude negativno za AS.

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    2. That is roughly 50% of the 23 Jun - 31 Oct capacity on the route. And there is still plenty of time to book flights for Sep/Oct.

      So is it really that bad?

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    3. @hotlane

      Samo me jedno zbunjuje jeli to 12700 povratnih karata ili karata u jednom pravcu?

      Hvala puno na informacijama.

      Pozdrav

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    4. " 24 leta u ekonomskoj klasi su rasprodata ali ostalo je nekoliko mjesta u biznis. Jedino šta sam primjetio da na letovima koji su već rasprodati postoji 3-7 karata na "over sale", a to nije bilo u planu na početku prodaje karata za JFK. "\
      So you are saying that some flights are overbooked by now while a total of 12,700 tickets were sold. This does not add up after doing simple math. Other than the inaugural flight of course which makes total sense due to media, politicians, etc.

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    5. Hot Lane is a JU fanboy (opposite of a hater) and both of them are annoying as hell. I would not take his comments seriously even thought he may have access to certain info.

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    6. Fanboy or not, what do you think about the numbers he posted?

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    7. Anon 3:21,

      Airlines do not need their routes sold out weeks in advance before they start overbooking certain flights. Any flight that is sold out can be overbooked - even if flights before and after it have zero seats sold.

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    8. Od 12700 karata 98% su povratne karte.Voma mali procenat prodaje u jednom pravcu (2% je odlazak sa AS a povratak AB).Kao šta sam i ranije objasnio samo nekoliko letova je preprodano ( 3-7 mjesta). U narednih dana se očekuje veća prodaja karata tako da će LF biti veći nego je iko očekivao. Da ja jesam fan AS pošto radim za njih i nema razloga da se žalim, puno je bolje ja za mnoge nas nego u vreme JATa ali razumijem i one kojima možda i nije bolje pošto ovde mora da se radi i nema više kafenisanje i šetnje tokom radnog vremena.

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    9. Mora da se radi, ali ne mora da se bude pismen, izgleda!

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    10. I would be very surprised if an unknown Eastern European airline, in their first year of operation, would manage to have an average LF of more than 50%. Perhaps in high season. I guess this is why they were adamant about JFK flights being in the red for the first two years.

      They need to prove to the travelling public that they're there to stay, consistent service, favorable reviews, and when problems happen - and they will happen - they need to step it up and make everyone happy about the way they handle it. In terms of arranging alternate flights, compensation, hotel, upgrades, etc.

      We can expect a full cabin on certain flights once majors sell out their cheap fares stock, and price sensitive pax start looking for alternatives to fly over the Atlantic either during summer or in Christmas season (i.e. they start showing up as the cheapest fare in Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz and such). But those sales happen at a later date.

      Delete
  11. Like I said before, if Air Serbia manages 50% load factor to NY for the first year than that would be an acceptable result 60% would be good.

    Regarding the article, 1000 tickets sold in the last 2 weeks is that really a spike? I can't remember the exact date when tickets went on sale but it seems like 500 sold tickets per week has been the average.

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    Replies
    1. 500 per week would result in a 30-40% load factor spread over the week. Not that that means much because it's the yield from those pax that is important.

      So if you consider that many tickets were sold at cost, if not below (new routes often have introductory offers to entice people), what you're looking at is negative yield on a pretty dismal load factor. Not knowing the actual cost per ticket sold makes it difficult to determine that, however, if Air Serbia have managed to crack some code that allows for profitable long haul flights that are less than half full, the whole world will be tripping over themselves to find out the secret.

      Delete
  12. OT but somewhat related.

    Friend of mine just bought tickets from YYZ to BEG via AMS with Jet Airways/Air Serbia for Aug 11,retun Sep5 and paid $850. That kind of a price was hard to find even in February let alone in high season. Seems that there is some serious competition for TATL flights this year.

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    Replies
    1. I bought a ticket with Jet as well with similar dates as your friend and paid 850 CAD ( 850 CAD is around 650 US dollars, but I suppose your friend paid in CAD as well). Jet has kept this price for some time, since I initially thought it was a short term promotion.
      The second cheapest ticket I cam across was Lot with being close to 1200 CAD and then Lufty and friends for around 1300 CAD.

      Delete
    2. That's correct, $850 Canadian I meant. I'm surprised there is such a difference compared to others. $1100 plus is what I am used to.

      Delete
  13. OT: Nearly again a turkish airline emergency landing in BEG,
    Onur Air A330 cabin pressure lost:
    http://www.avherald.com/h?article=498fee61&opt=0

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Turks really do need a special gate for emergency landings at BEG

      lol

      Delete
  14. So, the direct competitors on the route will be OS, LH, TK, LO, SU, AZ - not few, but not a lot either.

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    Replies
    1. There is NO direct competitor on BEG-JFK, only indirect competitors

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    2. There is NO direct competitor on BEG-JFK, only indirect competitors

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    3. Via their hubs momak. Those airlines have at least 2 daily flights. They will lower their rates and NYC will be more competitive as a destination.

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    4. Hey "kinder", LO and AZ do NOT have 2 daily flights from BEG to their hubs...

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    5. Highly unlikely they will go below current rock bottom rates. Further dupming for the sake of JU flights just does not seem worth it. And if they want to take on JU's transfer market, they would have to seriously decrease their prices in many markets. The capacity they would be fighting is just not that big of a threat.

      Furthermore, LO and AZ are specifically not in a position to do that - financially. Or OS for that matter. Of course, they could, but makes absolutely no sense.

      Delete



  15. there is a big demand from the Serbian population of kosovo to start flights Belgrade to Pristina

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure demand is there - they do travel to Belgrade occasionally and buses take forever. But, unfortunately, their numbers are a far cry from what is needed to make flights profitable.

      On the other hand, I'm sure Albanian majority would also fly JU if the price is right.

      It has been said many times - this route would have been introduced long time ago, if it wasn't for political obstacles.

      Delete
    2. it's a shame it all

      Delete
  16. I am wondering of hater parrots read the article before commenting on profitability, low LF, not enough tickets sold etc? Because the news say that interline agreement with USA carrier is in place. It is not, no USA carrier has published interline agreement with JU via JFK. That’s one reasonable thing they can criticize or ask questions about instead of repeating the same hate.

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    Replies
    1. Where is Delta's interline agreement with AZ, KL, and AF published, or AA's with BA and AB ?

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    2. Ex Yu Admin, why are Travel agents in the United States telling Ex Yu Aviation that interline issue with the domestic carrier has been rectified as mentioned in the article? That is not true (not including DL/JU interline as that one does not cover JU via JFK)

      Delete
    3. @4:56AM
      Because it's true.

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    4. If it's true show me one AA interline with JU via JFK. Go on AA.com and select BEG to one of AA destinations, NONE will be offered with JU BEG-JFK segment. Go into GDS and show me.

      Delete
  17. OT - Qatar to delay their Skopje flights to 2017

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    Replies
    1. LOL that information was published by this site this morning

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/05/qatar-airways-delays-skopje-launch.html

      Delete
  18. Where's our friend INN-NS today. He always said the sales were good etc. He would have loved this topic. Seems when he knows he's wrong he then stays away.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting... what's your basis for thinking it is bad ? Or for that matter, good ?

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    2. They just seem weaker than expected. But he always made it sound like they were over the top

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    3. How do you know what was expected ? Have you seen the business plan ?

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    4. If that sold 30% of ticket, as they are by those data, than for sure it is not good result, and for sure they did not plan that.

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    5. Well, if you are engulfed in your perception that nothing is good about this route, then good for you. It's easy to separate a troll from an observer, since everything for you is not good. You either have a political or a nationalist agenda to do that. But, each to their own.

      Delete
  19. Ovo su odlicne vesti i nadam se da ce ubrzo doci ijos A330.
    INN-NS

    ReplyDelete

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