Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Croatia Airlines unveils major expansion plans


Croatia Airlines plans to expand its operations with the addition of four to six aircraft and the opening of new bases across the former Yugoslavia as early as 2017. The carrier's CEO, Krešimir Kučko, says Croatia Airlines will, as a result, become a true regional leader. "The plan is to maintain our strong position in the region through the opening of new bases, for which we need to acquire new aircraft. We are currently negotiating and are in the process of wide-scale planning", Mr Kučko says. The carrier intends to open bases in Sarajevo, Skopje and Pristina, as well as Tirana. "We will link these cities primarily to points in the European Union. A base in Belgrade is not an option for us. Wherever a national carrier is present, our plans would be difficult to fulfil", Mr Kučko adds.

According to Croatia Airlines' CEO, the carrier has already crunched the numbers for its planned regional expansion and decided on its route network. "Everything should be defined by the end of the year and implemented from April 1, 2017", Mr Kučko notes. He adds, "The pace at which each base will be launched will depend on the arrival of new aircraft. Depending on the demand, we would use 100-seaters, Airbuses and Dash planes". Concerning the purchase of new jets, the CEO notes the airline will have a "clear picture" by the end of the year. "We have been in talks with plane manufacturers for two years now. In June we could provide our owner with a proposal", he says.

Croatia Airlines' planned new bases

The opening of new bases should ease Croatia Airlines' dependence on its highly seasonal home market. "During the third quarter we achieve strong results which cover the negative effects of the first and fourth quarters to such extent that we achieve profitability at the end of the year, as was the case the previous three years. Winter is a constant problem and the two types of aircraft we currently operate do not fully meet market demands", Mr Kučko says. He concludes, "The acquisition of aircraft with the capacity to seat 100 passengers is the only possible solution on which we could build a sustainable long-term business model".

CROATIA AIRLINES PASSENGER NUMBERS AT PLANNED BASES (2015)

AirportPAX
Sarajevo59.497
Skopje46.809
Pristina7.126
Tirana/

80 comments:

  1. That was a bit unexpected but yes it looks like they are doing an Adria. Even the bases match (Tirana, Pristina).

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  2. I will believe it when I see it! Purger, do you know anything about this?

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  3. How many Adrias can work in the region? Even Adria itself shifted capacity to Poland, reduced their regional presence slightly and got involved in Nordica.
    I hope CTN will obtain sufficient support from Star Alliance partners for this endeavor.

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  4. It would be really interesting to see how they would open a base in Sarajevo if the Bosnians re-launch their national airline in partnership with either Turkish or Etihad :)

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    1. This whole plan is coming from THY, they will cover BiH, Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo with new Croatia Airlines under THY.

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    2. I really hope so. Then OU has a chance to make this work.

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  5. With one aircraft based at Sarajevo, they can do 3 to 4 rotations per day and be very successful with it. Destinations from Sarajevo with potential for OU: Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Rome. Hopefully they get their hand on it before Wizzair does. AMS 5 per week, BRU 3 per week, CPH 3 per week, FRA daily. With OU setting base at SJJ, we are looking at 1 million passengers next year! It was about time for SJJ to move up, potential is definitely there!

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  6. I find Tirana to be an interesting choice since they do not fly there at the moment.

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  7. Interesting. Let's see if/how they deliver this.

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  8. Whether it happens or not, finally they have some plan.

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  9. It's a good idea for Sarajevo and Skopje. They would fulfill the gap of missing national carrier and fly with a smaller plane to the missing main european airports. Adria already did it in Pristina and Tirana, so this two airports would be much more difficult to enter. Anyway, a quite good idea, with good management it could work

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  10. OT: Someone on other forum mentioned Zagreb airport will soon publish new pics of their (new) terminal, says it looks absolutely beautiful, at the moment most of the works are inside the building!

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  11. Finally something from OU, but they should have done it this year.

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  12. Wow, I was shocked when I saw they are planning something. Hope it will works. Let's see

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  13. Excellent news. Can't wait.

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  14. Not the best news for Adria. They are moving in to their territory. Sarajevo and Skopje should have been two cities Adria entered as well.

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  15. They have obliviously been keeping this under their hat. I am just worried it won't actually happen. We have heard many things from Kucko, including that new 100 seat jets will be in the fleet this summer.

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  16. Sorry I don't get branching out into foreign markets when to me Croatia still has a lot of untapped potential. Also opening foreign bases will significantly increase costs. Will OU be able to finance this?

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    1. Apparently yes

      "The carrier has already crunched the numbers for its planned regional expansion and decided on its route network"

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  17. Great news! But we still need more destinations from ZAG towards east - OTP, SOF, KBP, BEY and why not IKP.

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    1. just wondering, Why do you think there is demand to/from SOF? It is already very well connected and I do not forsee enough demand for a direct connection ZAG-SOF, same for OTP...

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    2. @AnonymousMay 31, 2016 at 10:49 AM

      There's no demand for these destinations out of Zagreb, in fact out of Sofia for Croatia there's little demand.

      Also OU is stretched as it is. fleet expansion by 2022 should see OU at around 22 aircraft, perhaps then it might be possible.

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    3. Facts:
      - Sofija, Bucharest and Zagreba are European union capitals (politics, trade, collaboration...)

      - NATO (military collaboration, education...)

      - there was 28.900 tourist from Bulgaria and 10.600 from Romania in Zagreb in 2015. Number of Romanian tourist rise 13% and Bulgarian 10%

      - there are lot of Bulgarian and Romanian workers in Zagreb especially in sports, ballet dance, education...

      - trade between Croatia and Bulgaria is 168 million EUR, 39 million EUR with Romania

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    4. @Anonymous May 31, 2016 at 8:56 PM
      +1

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  18. If this happens, Adria is toast.

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    1. Keep in mind Adria is quite a respected brand in Pristina and Tirana.

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    2. In this region prices talk and brands run the marathon. And I see it as the weak spot of this expansion plan - OU will try to collect money from four poor markets (from modest poor to extremely poor) and the only way to do this is to slash prices. Without transfer passengers it will be difficult to execute - unless they manage to dramatically reduce costs somehow.

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  19. What are the possible destinations? Will they flight only towards the west and connect these cities with star alliance hubs (MUC, FRA), or they will have the occasional flight towards the east (MOW)? Ofc, this is assuming that OU plans will materialize.

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    1. They would probably only serve a very few *alliance hubs from those destinations - but with high frequencies eg. several times daily so as to ensure good to great connectivity at these hubs.

      I am puzzled why they do not at first think of W-routes such as ZAG-FRA-SJJ-FRA-ZAG. Same with let's say MUC in the middle.

      But how about Traffic rights in these countries? Does anyone know?

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    2. Croatia is EU company. Have right to fly from those airports to any of EU airport without any obstacles. So, if Croatia base airport in SJJ it can even fly SJJ-BEG or SKP-BEG.

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  20. Not too sure what to make of this. OU have done the numbers and they think they can make it work even though it seemed costly for Adria.

    No offense but these are low yielding markets which needs a low yielding focused operation (LCC). This is why Wizz is successful here.
    I am wondering if OU will be relying on subsidiaries to make this work. Out of all these cities mentioned I only think due to geography and cultural ties that Sarajevo would work for them as an outside base.

    Good that the airline is finally thinking 'out side the box' but I would prefer a different strategy than this unless move is as someone mentioned before covertly being directed by Turkish Airlines, than this would be a completely different matter.

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    1. I agree OU should concentrate on Sarajevo only, it us under performing market and there's lack of competition in that city.

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    2. Sarajevo is the only good option. Skopje already has too much competition from Wizz, and Adria is already at Pristina and Tirana.

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    3. Also Wizzair has plans to open a bese in SJJ, sooner or later...

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  21. OU expansion in the ex-yu region is bad news for JU.

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    1. If TK is behind it I agree 100%.
      If not I see the two airlines entering a price war that will destroy both.

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    2. Air Serbia has been mostly ignoring regional competition and continuing to execute the plan. If OU does expand in the region Air Serbia will have to react.

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    3. Bravo Hrvatska!

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    4. It would be bad for both ...Hrvatska and Serbia.
      Don't know if you can understand this though...

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    5. Why?

      Croatia has to do something not just to wait and do nothing on Air Serbia expansion. I think it would be smart to open INI-ZAG route also. Why not? Air Serbia is welcome in Zagreb, Pula, Dubrovnik and Split. I am sure Croatia would be welcome in INI on same way. I would do

      INI-ZAG-VIE-ZAG-INI (so VIE route with stop in ZAG without need to exit plane + connections via ZAG to other destinations).

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    6. Interesting. I thought something similar , but for LYKV, if it ever happens.

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    7. After Ryan Air starting flight to Bratislava? I disagree. I think that would be waste of money for OU.

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  22. I would first see what happens later this summer if Kucko will be replaced. My feeling is this could be Kucko s last big ststement. That is why I am not too confident that this will even materialize. It would be nice but highly doubt it.

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    1. New elections in Croatia are quite likely in September at the latest. No confidence vote in to current government is scheduled on Thursday, with Karamarko looking to join Sanader in Remetinec soon enough. HDZ for you.

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  23. With three different aircraft types and four bases, I don't see how this could work.

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    1. Naravno. Bacanje para. Igraju se LCC. Jos pre ce Adrinim stopama. Stize Eurowings.

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  24. 1. We heard so much plans from Kučko. Non of those materialised till now.

    2. Base in Skopje and Sarejevo make sense.

    3. But base in Tirana and Priština is most stupid thing I ever heard. Adria has base there and already fly to LH group hubs. Where can Croatia fly from there. That is nothing but pure personal PR in goal to stay on this position. Dream goal I think.

    Sarajave can happened, Skopje not without Turkish help, Priština and Tirana not even with that in near future. That is not real. Also Croatia should first take care of Zagreb hub (flights to DUB, OSL, ARN, HEL, MAD, DUS, FOC, DME, OTP, SOF, TIA, OMO, TGD), possible base in Split (more flights to MUC, FRA, VIE, ZRH, CDG and BRU + charters) and summer base in Dubravnik (more flights to MUC, FRA, VIE, ZRH, CDG + charters). After that they should plan to open base in Sarajevo, and maybe, but maybe Skopje. Priština and Tirana is just idiotic dream.

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    1. Nema tu materijala za tolike nove linije vise nego sada, ne lete Rvati. Prvo ih morate nauciti da lete. Imali ste sve te mogucnosti pre krize pa opet niste leteli te destinacije.

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    2. Svasta. Lete Hrvati i te kako. Samo nažalost zbog gluposti Croatie i inercije managementa ZL Zagreb koji se bavio koncesijom a ne razvojem, Hrvati su naučili letjeti iz Budimpešte, Beča, Bratislave, Venecije, Trsta, Graza, Zadra, Splita, Rijeke, Pule u posljednje vrijeme i iz Beograda, a chartere iz Ljubljane, Linza i Salzburga... U jednom momentu (to je trajalo nekih 5-6 godina) sam od 10 letova tek 2 letio iz Zagreba, sve drugo iz navedenih zračnih luka.

      To sve treba vratiti u Zagreb. Otvaranje novih linija spušta cijene ostalih. Danas, nakon što je u Zagreb došao KLM, Brussels, Swiss, LOT, ČSA, Air Malta, Air Serbia, Vueling, Air Transat, Qatar, flyDubai... cijene su se prepolovile. Danas 8 od 10 letova radim iz Zagreba. Jednostavno mi se ne isplati vozit autom, plačat benzin, cestarine, parkiranje...

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  25. I'm sure that OU could make some nice money on the SJJ with their inteterlines with non Star Alliance airlines. SJJ desperately needs connections to big hubs (AMS, CDG, FRA at the very least ) and those flights could have good LFs. With the increased competition many SJJ bound customers who now fly elsewhere (BEG for example) could and would use these flights.

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    1. Prestanite da masno lupetate vise za BEG, leti samo jedan ATR dnevno. Znam mnogo vam je i to, ali nece biti nikakvog uticaja ako CTN krene u laganu smrt.

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    2. Did you even try to understand my comment? SJJ bound pax fly to Belgrade, not via Belgrade - they land in Belgrade and travel to SJJ by some other means.

      JU could make some money on SJJ transfers, too, if they were to make SJJ double daily, with a morning departure to BEG (though SJJ opens too late to catch JU's first wave out).

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    3. Mislim ti koji koriste autobuse do svojih sela svejedeno ne lete preko SJJ.

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  26. Let me tell you something regarding "Bad news YU" comments. The only airliness that are on their "scouting report" are TK, LH, Swiss, Austrian and to some degree Aegean and LOT for better or worse. Of course they are keeping eye on the region but thats not the main competition. Don't even need to mention Wizz etc

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    1. In short, Star Alliance in the CEE with LH Group being the dominant force on the Dark Side.

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  27. Ovo je zestoka glupost management-a CTN posto prepustaju svoj HUB ZAG stranim igracima kao sto su obalu prepustili. Sad prelaze na Regionalne Avione a mogli su prvi imati u EX YU A321 i A330.
    Bice zanimljivo kako ce se na tim mestima izboriti sa LCC , a za ASL su ovo odlicne vesti posto nece vise izgleda da prave HUB u ZAG sto je steta.
    INN-NS

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    1. Regional jets is the best thing they can do in this moment. I strongly suggest that in 2010.

      Most of those RJ will be in ZAG. Kučko announcement if of course something else but reality. I am sure they will do nothing else but base one of those RJ in SJJ. That's all.

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    2. Da Regionalni Avioni su odlicni ali da se koristi za sopstveni Hub za letove do DUB,ARN,HEL, OTP,SOF i za pojacavanje linije ali ne za otvaranje baza.
      INN-NS

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    3. 2010. sam govorio da hitno treba otvoriti baze u SJJ i SKP, te ponuditi primamljivu suradnju Montenegru.

      Izgubljeno je 6 godina, no sve to je još uvijek moguće. Baziranje jednog aviona u SJJ i u SKP znači oko 25 tjednih letova. Ne vidim baš nikakvog rizika u letovima za LH grupu (FRA, MUC, VIE, ZRH, BRU), najveće hubove (LHR, CDG, AMS, DME), te za neku nišu (npr. Skandinavija za Sarajevo) 25 letova na nekih 5-6 linija nisu nimalo upitni. Nemojmo zaboraviti da bazirani avion može letjeti i letove za ZAG kojih iz SKP ima 7 do 10 tjedno, a iz SJJ 10 do 13 tjedno.

      Još ako je sve to dio deala sa Turkishem (što me uopće ne bi čudilo), onda je to 100% siguran posao.

      U tom slučaju ostaje još 4 RJ za zagrebačku bazu, a konačno i bazirani avion u SJJ i SKP može se koristiti i u ZAG kao W let (SKP-FRA-ZAG-FRA-SKP) ili via ZAG u zagrebačkom valu, npr. SKP-ZAG-DME-ZAG-SKP.

      Konačno, i Makedonija i BiH najavljuju otvaranje kompanija i žele to financirati. CTN je EU kompanija i može imati više od 50% udjela za razliku od Air Serbije ili Turkisha. Nije li to indikativno?

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  28. OT: AF/KL/DL has a sale BEG-JFK for 399 eur. Get ready for comments about dumping, no profitability, puchasing power of BEG citizens, low number of tickets sold and subsidies!

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    1. Those offers are great!
      It would certainly make JU to offer better prices to compete with that.
      If you don't mind the connection those are some good deals.
      Cheap oil has definitely changed the game, this is a good time to travel.

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    2. You are much wrong Anon 2:40. When AF/KL/DL sell their flights dirt cheap it can only be the masterpiece of business, an ingenious movement of true giants in the industry. But if JU does it then it is the ultimate proof of disastrous sales, huge losses and imminent bankruptcy. Consistency at its best.

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    3. Anonymous 3:41 PM

      You are correct. AF/KL/DL are competing on an equal footing with JU.
      If they can offer cheap prices and harm JU margins so can JU and harm their margins?
      LOL!

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    4. The only way your LOLs would make any sense would be in front of a mirror...

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    5. Anon 6:34

      Down with reality, it is a JU hater!

      Delete
    6. Дечко ТзарJune 1, 2016 at 12:17 AM

      @Anon at 3:41

      Exactly, you got the message. Air Serbia haters drop dozens of messages against JU based on competitive pricing, but they are absolutely nowhere to be found when competition offers exactly the same prices! They are not "experts" and neutral observers but hateful trolls on a mission against one company, ignore them.

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    7. The competition my naive friend Дечко Тзар like AF, KL and DL can afford to offer low prices!
      They are massive companies with massive networks and they can easily afford to drown JU by offering some seats of their aircraft below cost.

      JU on the other hand has only one longhand aircraft.
      It can not win a price war against those airlines.
      Simple enough for you?

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    8. Anon at 11:21, this is an eye opener! No one at Etihad and Air Serbia knew this. Thank you!

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  29. I really hope with the help of TK, they open a base in SKP, and offer flights to AMS and FRA at least. They would have many connecting passengers, without a doubt.

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  30. Let us presume that Turkish is behind that OU plan. They will spent few million EUR for dumping to destroy Air Serbia and harm Etihad who is in Turkish backyard. For Turkish that is peanuts, and it is nothing comparing what can happened if Air Serbia continue to grow.

    I do remember how could LH, AF, BA destroy Ryanair and easyJet in 1995 with just few millions, but they did not. And today they are in huge problems with those competition. Just 20 year latter Ryanair and easyJet almost destroy LH, BA and AF and they spent much more money to compete. So, did Turkish learn from that mistake?

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    1. Purger I think that these plans aren't so deep. I think it is yet another scenario that the CEO of CTN has presented which will quickly be forgotten of. Remember when CTN and Montenegro Airlines were supposed to have some type of partnership including MGX flying some routes via ZAG? Nothing happened of it because those at the head of CTN are selling a lot of fog.

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    2. Purger is right.
      That plan would be very bad for Air Serbia.

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    3. Every action holds a coup d'etat against Air Serbia.

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    4. Then again...should be this true...they (Turkish) will barely harm Etihad who have much deeper pockets than Turkish will have in the foreseeable future. Let's hope it's not a pissing contest after all.

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  31. Everything in aviation is bad for Air Serbia - terrible, just terrible. It is best because of all these terrible circumstances, that Air Serbia should shut down its operations and close down now.

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    1. I agree 100% with you.

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  32. I believe this should be welcomed in Skopje as they need more full service mainline carriers rather than a low cost one.

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  33. This whole plan can be described in one single word - jatovanje.

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