Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Qatar Airways to boost EX-YU operations


Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, plans to boost operations to the former Yugoslavia in the coming period in spite of growing competition from its Middle Eastern rivals. In addition to launching flights to Skopje and Sarajevo in October and November respectively, the carrier has hinted at introducing double daily services to Zagreb in the near future, while possible new routes could include Dubrovnik, Ljubljana and Pristina. It has been confirmed that the airline has undertaken a feasibility study for a number of destinations in the region. "As a global airline, we are committed to connecting cities such as Sarajevo and Skopje to our worldwide network. We are delighted to soon be celebrating these new and exciting destinations, connecting business and leisure passengers from the region to Doha and onwards", the airline told EX-YU Aviation News.

Qatar Airways increased frequencies to Zagreb from seven to ten weekly flights last month, with additional services likely. "Qatar Airways constantly reviews market conditions in order to respond to passenger demand and the increase in flights to Zagreb to a ten weekly operation was a direct reflection of this. While we are unable to comment directly on future commercial plans, it is true that in a number of markets, where we have increased operations from a daily, to then ten weekly operation, we have then seen an increase to a double daily operation, such as Bucharest which will commence double daily flights to Doha this August", the carrier said.

The Qatari airline is believed to be considering flights to Dubrovnik next year, while other possibilities in the former Yugoslavia include both Ljubljana and Pristina. Earlier this month, the Qatari Minister of Economy and Trade, Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, visited Slovenia where he expressed hope for flights between Doha and Ljubljana to be established in the near future. The Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure said a direct air service to Doha would open up new opportunities for tourism. On the other hand, late last year, Qatar and Kosovo signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of a Bilateral Air Service Agreement. The two sides hope the move will lead to the establishment of flights between Kosovo and Qatar, with the agreement foreseeing an unlimited number of passenger and cargo services between the two. The Kosovo Civil Aviation Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority of Qatar have agreed to hold talks in Pristina soon to further boost ties between the two regulators.

This March, Qatar Airways launched nonstop flights to Belgrade, which were previously operated via Sofia. As a result, the airline has seen strong passenger growth on its flights to the Serbian capital despite tough competition from Etihad Airways, Air Serbia and Flydubai. However, the airline says its on board product gives it a competitive edge against its rivals. "The focus for Qatar Airways is to provide luxury in the skies, ensuring that a passenger’s holiday or leisure trip starts the moment they step onto one of our aircraft. Our interiors provide the maximum level of comfort that makes the passengers’ journey enjoyable. In this regard, through customer satisfaction and enjoyment of a journey, Qatar Airways becomes the airline of choice", the carrier said. It added, "While it has to be said that we are seeing an increasing number of people travelling to Doha from the former Yugoslavia, most of our passengers travel through Doha to one of our more than 150 global destinations. Of course, it is still early days to comment on passenger bookings for Skopje and Sarajevo flights". The airline is yet to put its services to the Macedonian capital on sale.

84 comments:

  1. I hope that Qatar starts Ljubljana. I don't understand why Gulf carriers are avoiding LJU (could it be higher costs than neighbouring airports?) I know Ljubljana is close to bigger hubs but it can also attract passengers from smaller cities like Graz and Slovenians would travel from LJU if there were options. From what I've heard Flydubai's flights from Zagreb are filling with Slovenian passengers, especially during winter. Slovenians travel a lot so I really hope it will be considered.

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    1. Za Graz je i Agram blizu.

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    2. True. There a buses from Ljubljana to Zagreb specifically for these flights.

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    3. Problem have a name: Fraport

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    4. Cekaj sad su vam i Nemci problem sto ste mali i okruzeni vecim trzistima?

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    5. Finallyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, Qatar starts thinking about Ljubljana. Turkish airlines has now 2 daily flights. There is definitely space for Qatar Airways.

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    6. Solution have a name: Maribor

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    7. Maribor's solution are LCC and I think that is what it can hope for. Qatar to Maribor just ain't gonna happen.

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    8. Yes, I'm sure they will fly to Maribor. While you're doing this, try to convince them to fly to Memmingen instead of MUC to safe 5 EUR/pax :)

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    9. I think logic for fraport is clear: if passengers go via frankfurt, fraport receives passenger fees twice: in LJU and in FRA. Or am I wrong?

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    10. I doubt seeing QR in LJU anytime soon. They are already in VCE, VIE ans ZAG (which they constantly increase) which pull nice chunk of those same passengers already. You never know though, but I would more expect FZ if anything...

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    11. OT: Croatian Airlines is seriously looking at adding two A321 NEO LR to its fleet at the same time 4 A320 NEOs join the fleet, in fact OU is looking at adding two A321 LR NEOs, they've got range of around 8300km and can carry 206pax. The 206-seat configuration assumes 16 seats in business class at a 38-inch pitch and 190 in economy at 31 inches.

      A321 burns 30% less fuel than similar B757, and it is plausible this would be highly profitable route for OU, New York and Toronto can be connected with a year round service from 2022 if all goes well.

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    12. Oh excellent news !! So we can expect yet another announcement from OU's CEO about yet more aircraft possibilities, which will come to the same as what has happened thus far - absolutely nothing !

      Gosh, he must really be getting desperate in wanting to hold on to his seat, so why not throw out another aircraft announcement about what they might do...

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    13. Good luck with A321LR. It won't be able to reach Toronto and possibly JFK nonstop from Zagreb in the winter, and not at all from Dubrovnik. Wait for Boeing response, at least 10 years away.

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    14. This information is not true at all!

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    15. @AnonymousMay 25, 2016 at 11:48 PM

      Why not in Winter ? Are laws of thermodynamics different at 10km during winters ? A321R NEO has range of 8300km, well 8370 to be exact, you can add extra fuel tank and extend the range by 500nm to 9300km, however I see no problem with winter.summer, antum or spring, A321LR NEO can reach New York at out of Zagreb easy, 7000km is the distance between Zagreb and New York, Distance between Toronto and Zagreb is 7100km, I see no problem here. There's even enough fuel left in the tanks for 90 min loitering, just in case.

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  2. From their statement it seems Zagreb will go double daily. Question is either this winter or next summer.

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  3. Turkish Airlines got a head start on them to Dubrovnik but they would definitely pull a lot more passengers from Japan, South Korea and China then Turkish. And I think it could work year round. Add to that tourists from Australia.

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    1. Actually TK has more capacity from both Korea and Japan compared to QR. QR even discontinued KIX from spring this year. That being said, they would still be able to pull, but TK has more potentital there. Just like QR would probably fully compensate that from Australia and some South East Asia routes.

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  4. BEG has improved so much for them since they introduced direct flights. They are currently experiencing a fleet shortage and both BEG and ZAG will see frequency upgrades once these issues are resolved.

    When it comes to BEG-Asia/Africa these are the best carriers in terms of product:

    1. Qatar
    2. Turkish Airlines
    3. Etihad
    4. flydubai
    5. Air Serbia

    Btw last night BEG, SJJ and ZAG got TK's A321. I would also add them as an important player just like these others are.

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    1. SJJ gets THY A321 2x every day, on Fridays is always 3x A321

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    2. Wow, TK on second place...I have terrible experience with them, but let's say it is my personal opinion. Then you go on skytrax and see they have 2,5 stars. Oops, it seems many people have terrible experiencies with TK. They do not deserve to be at all on the above list.

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    3. Most people have a bad experience with them because of IST. Their onboard product is definitely above average and their numerous awards are best proof of it.

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    4. Since when is the Product more important than Price? And since when is QR A320 31in legroom/18in wide seat in economy better than Etihad A320 32in legroom/18.1in wide seat? BTW TK has less legroom and is narrower (esp in 737) than both.

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    5. Air Serbia less good than FlyDubai? Whats so bad on JU?

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    6. Yes, awards where millions of Turks vote for it...And the problem is not only in IST, the problem is in TK. Their onboard product is nothing special. The meal was ok, but crew had difficulties to speak English, no small toys as presents for kids, no wi-fi during the flight...And ground service of TK is pure disaster.

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    7. @JU520 I guess the main difference is PTV which are offered on Fly Dubai, while JU only gives tablets to business class passengers.

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    8. Don't forget that FZ improved their offer to BEG, they have a dedicated business class product now and they offer free meals.

      I personally found FZ's seats more comfortable, the ones on JU are horrible, I don't like the plastic they use. Also, FZ's interior with the sky interior is much nicer and more relaxing.

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    9. JU's A320 product will be touched up with the arrival of the NEOs. PTVs are definitely missing on flights to Dubai, at the moment. They should come around with a wide range of magazines and newspapers for economy class passengers, as some sort of a compensation for this.

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    10. FZ and JU are more or less the same really. I think Air Serbia needs to up their game to compete with QR and even EY.

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    11. I flew JU between BEG-AUH a few times. The only thing that is missing is PTVs. Things imporved much more with wi-fi now available. I flew JU once when they were operating on behalf of EY and they handed out Ipads to all economy passengers which was loaded with Etihad entertainment system. Perhaps they could do the same with their own flights. One thing that is for sure, the loads on JU on this route has improved a lot over the past 2 years. Last time I was flying it was completely full.

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    12. Anon 9:28 - I recommend you to visit Skytrax web site (just in case people might do that) before agitating people on Turkish Airlines' stars. Similar to KLM, Lufthansa, Air France or Emirates, Turkish also has 4 stars.

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    13. "Yes, awards where millions of Turks vote for it..."

      Of course. I am sure that million of fanatic Turks vote as method of special war for Turks domination in World. Luckily Turkey has those fanatics not UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Russia... and all other big nations and that is why Turkish is the best airline.

      Those fanatics fly just with Turkish, they basically don't have need to fly but do it anyway just to make Turkish one of the biggest company. There is just 60.000 of those fanatics but each of them fly for 1.000 times per year and that is why Turkish has 60 million passengers.

      And that can be the only true. Not that Turkish has good product and system, as we all know that it is the worst.

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    14. It is enough just to read customer"s comments and you will see where TK belongs.
      Customers' rating of JU is 8/10 , LH 7/10 , KL 7/10 , EK 6/10 , AF 6/10 and TK is 5/10. So all of them are better than TK. With a very good reason.

      It seems that you have personal reasons to defend bad service of TK and that is ok. I know I went through hell with them and obviously many people around the world share that opinion. Extremely unprofessional ground service and average (except food) onboard service.
      Try on yelp and you will see again. Maximum 3 starts. That's how it is.

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    15. He may have personal reasons to defend TK but these reasons are just as strong as your personal reasons to bash them.

      TK's product can be better of course, there is a lot of room for improvement. And I am sure plenty of people have had some kind of bad experience with them. But for plenty of people everything went smooth. I never rate anyone on Skytrax but I do fly TK >30 times per year and so far I have never experienced a single problem. In fact, the biggest problem I had with TK occurred in PRG where the ground staff (Czech nationals) refused to accept my cabin baggage because it barely did not fit the iron frame that controls the dimensions. On the other hand, ground staff in IST (Turkish nationals) are always flexible - once they allowed me on board with a large piece of luggage because I was late and the check-in closed. So they sent me to the security control and straight to the gate, and allowed a last-moment boarding with a huge case which they put in the crew closet.

      Skytrax reviews do not make an airline, be it good or bad reviews.

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    16. WIFI on JU costs how much if someone wants to surf 2 to 3 hours?

      Flew TK B773 GRU-EZE. Food, Service was ok (warm), but seat pitch in Y class quite tight. For tall people uncomfortable. PTV was available, alltough no more sure how good it was
      QR and EY I know only c class but thats 5 and 8 years back. For sure QR C class DOH-MEL-DOH was one of the all time best experiences I had. (Red wine for over 60 USD per bottle if purchased in store)

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    17. Anonymous 1:38 PM you are totally wrong! And that's because those numbers comes out by adding all the customers reviews and calculate in the end the average mean. So it is natural JU being above TK because JU has 97 comments while TK has 827 comments.

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    18. Do you want to say that it is not possble to have 97 bad comments? Or 500 good comments? Do not forget that among these 97 you have a plenty of them from the time of Jat Airways which could not have received more than than 3/10.

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    19. Ok enough with theory, let's get to practice. If and when air serbia win any skytrax award then all of you can talk about turkish airlines. Goodnight.

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    20. Turkish Airlines is best Europe airline by SkyTrax!!!!

      The end!

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    21. Skytrax is a cash&carry company. Neither Etihad nor Air Serbia will ever win any award of theirs, because ignoring Skytrax has become a corporate policy.

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    22. You are so wrong anon 7:42 AM, at least etihad was number 6 in best airlines of the world and won best first class in 2015 skytrax awards. On the other hand air serbia was NOWHERE in those awards. Thank you and have a nice day!

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  5. Not sure why the tickets to SKP are still not available for sale...

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    1. Yeah I find this odd too.

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  6. Any plans to possibly upgrade equipment on Zagreb flights?

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    1. Considering their fleet shortage at the moment I doubt it.

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  7. Great news. Hope to see some more destinations soon.

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  8. OT: First Boeing 747-400 cargo flight to TZL is scheduled on June 1. Total 56 flights will be operated until end of October!

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  9. How are the loads on flights between Doha and Belgrade?

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    1. Apparently they increased 90% since direct flights were introduced.

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    2. Very interesting development. That also says that pax are very comfort sensitive, not only price sensitive, which is the going mantra about Balkan travellers.

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    3. Wrong conclussion. When flying via SOF QR had to fill 50% of the cabin in BEG now they have to fill the whole plane. To increase the loads QR lowered the price, which confirms pax are price not comfort sensitive.

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    4. Yes, QR in BEG now has more access to lower fares which is number one reason for increased numbers. Not the only one, but number one.

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  10. I wonder how Flydubai finds the competition in BEG and ZAG and now SJJ. Especially since Qatar launched additional cities in Australia.

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  11. Booked a flight from Johannesburg to Belgrade in August. For the first time in a long time, Etihad was cheaper than Qatar. So trying them out instead of my usual Qatar fare.

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  12. OT: Wizz Air announced their FY 2015/16 (Apr15-Mar16) financial results.

    224 mil.€ underlying profit, 193 mil.€ net profit. Underlying profit margin 15.7%. Load Factor 88.2%, 20 mil pax carried.

    http://corporate.wizzair.com/en-GB/investor_relations/results_presentations

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  13. What is going on with the flights to SKP? Why there are still no news?

    @ EX-YU Admin, can you contact Qatar Airways and bring us more info?

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    1. Someone said it will be bookable from June.

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    2. I don´t SKP will be launched in 2016. If they have a shortage in their fleet, they will give priority to more important destinations first.

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  14. Don't think Pristina will happen soon. DBV and LJU look likely but I think it will be just one of those.

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  15. I wonder weather the introduction of Skopje and Sarajevo will impact on their flights to Zagreb and Belgrade. They use to sell both SJJ and SKP via ZAG.

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    1. I know a few people from Skopje who traveled to Sofia to fly with Qatar.

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    2. Not really, those numbers are not significant in current numbers.

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  16. Bice zanimljivo videti koja ce biti prva wide-body destinacija QR u EX YU.
    INN-NS

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    1. Što se tiče redovnog prometa (dakle ne ad hoc kao što je bio BEG/SOF), a s obzirom na frekvencije i broj pax, vrlo vjerojatno ZAG. Čak se ne bih začudio da se to desi iduće ljeto tijekom najjače sezone od šestog do devetog mjeseca. Iako je teško reći koliko je to baš izvjesno.

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    2. Won't happen if they go double daily.

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    3. It seems that current load factors of one rotation are extremely high and will probably put additional pressure on those flights (flights connecting with Australia).
      New flights to be added (if QR goes double daily) do not connect with Australia, so there might be some changes during summer peak; am not saying it is a given, just more than theoretical possibility.

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    4. There's growing number of Aussies and Kiwies visiting Croatia and Zagreb in particular. 120 000 Aussies and 50 000 kiwies visited Croatia in 2015, 175000 Aussies and about 50 000 kiwies are expected this year.

      Japanese and Korean Arrivals are also increasing on 10-15% annual rate, Chinese are up by 40%, Zagreb will soon require triple daily. from Qatar, if growth continues as it does. Direct service from Seoul to Zagreb is inevitable in 2017, from Tokyo to Zagreb in 2018 or 2019 at the latest, Shanghai to Zagreb direct line is quite likely in 2020 or before.

      However Qatar Airways will still be very busty with Aussie and Kiwi arrivals, 300-320 000 of these travellers are expected in Croatia by 2020, especially if Croatia stays out of the Schengen as long this is possible. Many Aussies and Kiwies stay in Croatia over winter months on work abroad visas, 2 years work visa in the EU only applies to Schengen countries, so many Aussies stay in Schengen for 3 months, go to Croatia stay in Croatia for few months and go back to Schengen where they can stay for 3 months without violating EU visa.

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  17. I am serbian. I live in kosovska mitrovica. Could someone tell me if there are news flights from Pristina others London Luton to Pristina 19 June and others Stutggart Pristina and Hamburg Pristina in July. Thanks

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  18. Qatars very agressive expansion in the former Yugoslavia is because of very favourable conditions in todays economy.
    Low oil prices and zero interest on loans.

    Never was it as easy for airlines to borrow money as today!
    Remember what Dane Kondic was saying about flying long haul in this times.
    Qatar is testing every bigger qity in Yu and later deciding which to continue and which not.
    Fact is that oil price and the interest rate for the dollar will not stay low forever - which will lead to many credits crushing.
    Turkish Airlines would be a candidate for credit crunch as it is heavily indebted.
    They are practically sitting on a pile of debt.
    Even more solid airlines like the ME3 will have to decrease frequencies or even drop destinations.
    Some years ago Abu Dhabi had to bail out the owner of Emirates - the Emirate of Dubai because of the financial crisis.

    In the long run there is no chance for so many destinations and frequencies - we should not forget about that!

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    1. I think that we are talking about longer time period where anything can happen...be it QR, EY, EK, TK, LH....theres no long run in conmercial aviation in terms of frequencies...it is all about demand and related financials.

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    2. oh Kassandra i dont think anybody on this blog has understanding of aviation even the less about economics.

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  19. Good news for PRN airport and Kosovo citizens

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  20. OT; An inside information; Wizz will probably move some flights from TZL to SJJ. It will probably be NYO and TRF.

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    1. When could that be?

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    2. I have heard the same. NYO already not possible to book from late October, therefore I think it is from then.

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  21. Does anyone have info on QR actual loads for BEG and ZAG?
    "90% increase in pax numbers" is not the correct answer. If in the first place there were only 20 pax per flight then a 90% increase would result in 38-39 pax per flight.

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    1. On Zagreb route they had 87% LF in 2015, no idea how well they're doing in 2016.

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    2. I think zag was during winter 70-75% while summer will probably go to 85-95 on these 10 daily overall.

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    3. Not true. LF is 62% in summer, 48% in winter.

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    4. Anon 1:54, not sure why you bother presenting false numbers....plus, if LF was that low, they wouldn't increase frequencies especially with the fleet shortage...balkane, balkane moj...

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    5. Ma pusti ga, troll.

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