Monday, June 6, 2016

CEO: Air Serbia has not jeopardised Croatia Airlines


The CEO of Croatia Airlines, Krešimir Kučko, has said the Etihad-backed Air Serbia has not affected the carrier's operations over the past two and a half years, noting the two compete directly only on seasonal flights between Split and Belgrade. Speaking to the "Tango Six" portal, Mr Kučko added that the Serbian carrier's upcoming flights to New York will have no impact on Croatia Airlines. "So far, Air Serbia has not jeopardized Croatia Airlines' market position in any segment. The seasonal service between Split and Belgrade is the only route on which the two compete against each other. Both Croatia Airlines and Air Serbia connect cities in the region with points in western Europe through their respective hubs", Mr Kučko said.

Air Serbia maintains flights between Belgrade and Zagreb throughout the year, as well as seasonal services to Dubrovnik, Split and Pula. The carrier has also considered introducing flights to Zadar, however, in April, the airport noted that these plans have been put on hold until 2017. On the other hand, Croatia Airlines connects Split with Belgrade during the summer months. The Croatian carrier was the busiest airline in the former Yugoslavia until 2014, when it was overtaken by its Serbian counterpart. Last year, Air Serbia handled 2.55 million passengers to Croatia Airlines' 1.85 million. The Croatian carrier plans to put a greater emphasis on the region with the introduction of bases in Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje and Tirana next year.

Air Serbia will launch flights to New York in just two and a half weeks. The airline's CEO, Dane Kondić, has previously said that the new transatlantic service will have a knock-on effect on regional operations. "We expect strong interest to come from countries of the former Yugoslavia. This is good for business, because it can strengthen our hub at Nikola Tesla Airport and generate significant revenue", Mr Kondić said. EX-YU Aviation News has learned that the airline's Airbus A330, to be utilised on the New York service, is likely to operate flights to Zagreb on several occasions, possibly as early as the second half of next week.

On the other hand, Mr Kučko believes the New York flights will not affect his airline. "We do not expect a significant impact on our business as a result of the introduction of this service. Croatian citizens, but also those from the wider region, have been able to fly to the United States with a one stop connection through European hubs such as Frankfurt, Vienna, Zurich, London, Amsterdam and so on. Therefore, nothing has changed with the addition of Belgrade as a possible transfer point", Mr Kučko noted. He added, "Moreover, Croatia Airlines offers its passengers options to connect to the United States via other European cities several times a day, while there will be no daily connection via Belgrade. In addition, we are a member of the Star Alliance, offering passengers a unique service and many additional benefits as part of a shared global product". Last year, Mr Kučko said that Croatia Airlines itself could go long haul sometime in the future. "The dream is to one day add long haul flights to our network. That’s a long way off at the moment but it’s good to have something to aim for and we are building our airline to make it possible”, he noted.

93 comments:

  1. I don't believe that's true. New York won't affect them, but double daily to Zagreb and cheap fares for transfers certainly is.

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    1. Zagreb is connected to Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna with five daily flights. Paris, London, Amsterdam, Rome and Zurich double ot trice daily and you think people will flock to Belgrade for supposedly cheap flight to New York.

      have you ever heard of website skyscanner.net ?

      If you didn't you should give them a look and than make a comment how Belgrade offers best trans-antalntic connections.


      You can get a ticket out of Zagreb for New York for as little as $850 return, Via Vienna, Amsterdam, Paris, London and Frankfurt, in fact options are so many, if I bothered to find the cheapest flight I'd be able to find a $700 bargain I am sure of it.

      These days in globalised economy you need to compete against the world, not just regional airline.

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    2. he's not talking about ZAG-BEG-JFK, but about ZAG-BEG-Eastern Europe

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    3. @AnonymousJune 6, 2016 at 2:33 PM

      Problem is, nobody flies to eastern Europe, the fact that air Serbia is flying to Zagreb and offering transfers for eastern European flights is a bonus for Zagreb as a destination, however if there was any interest in Zagreb for flights to Eastern Europe, there'd be flights to Sofia, Kiev, Bucharest....

      There simple aren't, despite substantial Ukrainian immigrant community living in Zagreb, there's little chance for direct Kiev flights any time soon. As to Sofia and Bucharest, perhaps in a decade there might be some flights between these cities with Zagreb, however as it is, AsL is doing a fine job.

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    4. What are you basing your arguments on? I remember reading someplace that before the crisis, OTP used to be one of the most popular unserved destinations out of ZAG with some 40 passengers per day.

      SVO, PRG and WAW are all in eastern Europe and they all seem to be doing fine. Same thing with BUD which used to have decent loads on QR.

      The issue with Zagreb is that until recently it had pathetic connectivity with the rest of the world. Airlines started to arrive only when the airport was privatized. We all remember what the situation was like up until a few years ago. It was much worse than BEG before December 2009.

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    5. By same logic you can say there was no interest for flights to Lisbon, Milan... but now selling results are fascinating. It is not about demand. It is about stupidity of CEO and CTN management.

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    6. Exactly, when it comes to the aviation business, if there is no market somewhere you can always create it. Look at Emirates, only a handful of their routes could function based on O&D demand. The rest are there thanks to DXB connections but also thanks to Dubai promoting itself as a tourist destination.

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  2. I really don't know how can journalists waist their time interviewing this man because everything he says is a joke

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  3. Cheap transfer fares are probably having an affect on OU. Maybe not New York route in particular but double daily to Zagreb more likely.

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  4. So convinient for Air Serbia that this guy is CEO of Croatia Airlines.

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  5. Would be interesting to see the number of transfer pax from ZAG via BEG.

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    1. Air Serbia had around 46000 passengers on Zagreb Belgrade route and 48000 on Belgrade Zagreb route, even if you had 50% transfer, Munich, Vienna, London, Paris, Amsterdam.... get more transfers easily.

      Air Serbia was cheap once, now it is just like any other carrier that flies to Zagreb, just as expensive and uncompetitive.

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    2. Capacity of ATR 72 us 66 passengers. In two flights per day it is 132 passengers. During winter we had 12 flights per week, now 14. So that is 44.616 passengers with 100% LF. Do you want to tell me that BEG-ZAG flights have 110% LF?

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    3. They also used Aviolet on the route

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    4. Yeah, few Boieng services. Makes a big difference.

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    5. Typical "cheering" non real exaggerate. If there is 20.000 passengers and maximum is 30.000 "cheerers" will write 40.000.

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  6. Koliko on shebava CA tu je ASL potpuno nebitna.

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  7. Good PR stunt if they put A330 to Zagreb.

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    1. +1 but I hope they send it elsewhere too.

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  8. Ja zaista ne zunahm sta je OU sebi umislila: Zagreb-Bec 200€, Zagreb-Minhen 200€, itd. ? Wtf?

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  9. Crnogorska vlada zavrnula slavinu Montenegru jutros - odbili da isplate ugovorenu transu pomoci of 500,000 evra.

    "Sources in the government said that even though Minister of Transport Ivan Brajovic had made the request in May, the Minister of Finance, Rasko Konjevic, had refused to comply. Among the arguments noted was that the state was "not a bank" and that such a disbursement would constitute illegal state aid."

    Pocetak stvarnog kraja?

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  10. If they have no impact, why did Croatia Airlines refuse to make a codeshare agreement with JU which was offered to them?

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    1. Not politics,but Croatia CEO stupidity,for sure!

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  11. Reading people's comments on this website over the past year you would come to the conclusion that Air Serbia can not harm anyone while absolutely everything else harms Air Serbia.

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    1. Truth is that Air Serbia took some transfer passengers from Croatia Airlines, but those passengers were actually connecting to Lufthansa flights so Croatia didn't loose a lot. Maybe I wrote this little bit confusing so here is the example: people who were taking those flights ZAG-MUC-SVO now take 50-150 € cheaper JU option: ZAG-BEG-SVO, so Croatia didn't loose a lot, maybe 15-20 € that it gets from Lufthansa for ZAG-MUC flight.

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  12. a friend gave me say that for the month of May Skopje exceed Pristina

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  13. I agree with one of the posters above. I think JU has taken passengers where there are no direct flights from Zagreb. Example Stockholm. Yes it does affect Croatia Airlines since passengers might have flown via Munich or Frankfurt but this impact is not huge.

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  14. An eclectic mess of numerous small fleets planned and a vague plan to operate satellite bases, all with varying market needs. What's this CEO smoking? Sounds like some strong stuff.

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  15. Of course Kucko is right. However, Air Serbia has not harmed OU that much because they are after a completely different market, one that OU has been ignoring for years now- that is anything east of Croatia.
    Kucko should understand that their fellow Star Alliance carriers (Lot, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, SN Brussels...) represent a much greater threat. Not only are they competing for the same market but they are also limiting their expansion possibilities.

    As for JU's JFK flights, who cares about ex-YU. They should be after far more lucrative markets such as Lebanon, Israel, Greece, Turkey...

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    1. I agree with you nemjee, but don't you think that AirSerbia has to make some more convenient time connections from those destination to BEG so they can compete with the direct flights from IST, ATH, TLV to JFK? And most important be cheaper.

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    2. Pisi to Aviatic sajtu koji ima deset puta manje putnika iz Srbije za USA od ovog ovde. Em ne razume transferne putnike nimalo.

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    3. Anon 12.54

      Of course, in my opinion a night flight to IST is needed really badly so as to improve connectivity to western Europe. If I remember correctly, JU doesn't even offer daily connections between IST and CDG via BEG. If they introduced a few weekly night flights then not only would they offer more convenient connections to Europe but they could also offer connections to North America. With the current schedule no connections from Turkey will be offered to JFK via BEG. This is a huge mistake given that BKK and JFK are the only two destinations where TK could fill an A380 with only O&D passengers.
      What makes me wonder is if JU plans on keeping night flights to Athens throughout the winter time. If they do not plan to then I don't know how they will fill that A330.

      Maybe they could have used the Crj-900 for overnight flights to Istanbul this summer.

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  16. What is really jeopardizing OU is Krešimir Kučko.

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    1. Are there any other candidates for the job?

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    2. Thousands of managers exist in Croatia and the world who could do a much better jib.
      But apparently non of them has the right political connections to get the job.

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    3. I understand that it is down to politics but I'm wondering whether there are some particular candidates the government is considering. There was word of Tonci Peovic.

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    4. I don't know the exact happenings of Croatia's political scene.
      I hope Purger might have better insight.

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    5. @Petar & @Ex Yu - this is another user "Petar" speaking... EX YU please explain how is it possible that two of us can share the same "user name". I have been on this blog for years using this "nick" name. My name is Petar and I am from Zagreb, Croatia. This deal with 2 identical nick names is unacceptable, and is confusing to the other blog readers, please advise as to what is to be done !

      thank you

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    6. The Google commenting system allows for the same nickname to be used. The difference between the two accounts can be noticed when clicking on the actual nickname. A solution could be adding a photo of any kind to your existing profile page, linking to your Google account or for the newer member to make a small adjustment to their nick as a courtesy. Unfortunately, there is no other way around it.

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  17. OT: TK3370 on the way to LJU. Can be fd on Fltradar 24.
    ETD 1300h as TK 3371 LJU-MRS
    A330 with Turkish National Football team

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  18. What about the new seasonal flights of ASL and OU, everybody has just been talking about the fact that LED - BEG is selling well and KBP -BEG not that good. But whats up with the seasonal flights to ZAG?

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  19. What i have noted over the past 2 or so years, is that the OU CEO has on so many occasions, come out and made many statements against JU, while the JU CEO has not on one single occasion - to the best of my memory - said anything, either positive or negative, towards OU.

    This in itself, probably says everything

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    1. That common obsession with all things Serbian.

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    2. There is an unwritten rule that you normally don't name or criticise others... the fact that this guy continues to do so, is probably to hide his own failures

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  20. Sve sto je gosp. Kucko rekao je istina i potpuno logicno. Zasto bi netko iz EU (Zagreb) putovao na duboki balkan (Beograd) da uhvati tu jednu vezu cetiri puta tjedno za US? Gluposti! Ova linija je puki PR za srbiju.

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    1. Ja se isto u potpunosti slazem sta je rekao Croatia CEO i ne vidim sta je tu sporno. Da li je linija PR ili ne nije toliko bitno (u ovom slucaju) jer ne mislim da ce na bilo koji nacin ugroziti Kroaciju.

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    2. Duboki Balkan? :D

      Izvinjavamo se gospodo Skandinavci, nismo vas prepoznali.

      Kompleksi cuda rade...

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    3. Siguran sam da postoji neka logika u tome što ste rekli, ali ja je nikako ne mogu pronaći. Balkanci iz EU, npr. Bugari i Grci lete preko BEG do AMS ili ARN. Grcima, Šveđanima, Holanđanima očigledno ne smeta da izlaze iz Šengena u BEG da bi stigli u Šengen. Balkancima iz EU koji su još uvek van Šengena će to još manje smetati kada budu putovali u SAD. Usto, besmisleno da se stidite poluostrva na koje je stvorena prva hrvatska država i na kome se nalazi ZAG.

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    4. Mada to nije bitno, da se ne biste izletali sa sličnim izjavama ubuduće: jedini ex-yu aerodromi koji nisu na Balkanu su LJU, MBX, OSI i BEG. Sve ostalo je Balkan.

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    5. Nemaju oni pojma geografiju exYU tako isto mlate da je Beograd preko Dunava.

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    6. @ Anonymous 1:07

      zapravo, oni i tada putuju sa ličnom kartom, jer oni NE ulaze u Srbiju, već ostaju u tranzitnoj zoni. tako da, tehnički gledano, oni ni ne napuštaju Šengen/EU

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    7. Ne ulaze u Srbiju, ali napuštaju šengen. Tranzitna zona u Beogradu (kao ni tranzitna zona u Moskvi ili Dubaiju ili u Torontu) nije niti šengen niti EU. Putnici iz šengena prolaze dve kontrole dokumenata, kada izlaze iz šengena i kada u njega ponovo ulaze. Plus dodatna sigurnosna kontrola na gejtu u Beogradu. I još jedna ako npr. iz Franfkurta ili Pariza putuju dalje.Svega toga nema kada su letovi u okviru šengena. I sve to ljudima ne smeta. Smeta samo pojedincima koji i dalje vode davno dobijene bitke.

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    8. Kako objasniti da mnogi putuju "duboko na istok" (IST) da bi leteli za Njujork?

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    9. "Duboki Balkan"? He he. Da se covek prekrsti i levom i desnom.

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    10. Yet, the fact that so many people frm ZAG travel on TK via Istanbul is ok and without any problems ??? PAH-LEEESE !

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    11. Anonymus 5:16, yes, when they go east. Not when they travel west.

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    12. Isn't that also Air Serbia's target for passengers from Zagreb ?

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    13. It is. But the offer is big.

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    14. Inače aerodrom Nikola Tesla se geografski ne nalazi na Balkanu.

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    15. Aerodrom Zagreb geografski pripada balkanu dok Nikola Tesla ne ������

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  21. 130 seats per day one way from Zagreb. Let us presume (unfortunately we don't have access to real data) that there are 40 passengers per flight, that is 160 passengers per day (2 ways). Per year that is 58.400 passenger. Some of those passengers are "new" passengers (stolen from bus, car, train, motivated to fly P2P because of route...), some of those are stolen from other companies, but at least 30.000 of those are stolen from Croatia. Also you have at least 40.000 stolen passengers from SPU, DBV, PUY. In same time one can see that JU had huge increase in SKP, and in same time there was huge decline of passengers from OU, JP and OS. OU was not so big decline as JP and OS, but still there was several thousands stolen from there. Some passengers were stolen from SJJ, but also some from TIV (using DBV before), BNX and (using ZAG before). So, there is at least 100.000 passengers stolen from those airports from Croatia (maybe even much more). If one think that is not big number, he should not be CEO.

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    1. Why do you think they are stolen exclusively from Croatia Airlines? They are stolen from other carriers as well, much more than from OU.

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    2. Please do read my comment again. I will quote:

      "some of those are stolen from other companies, but at least 30.000 of those are stolen from Croatia".

      I think I can not make this sentence more clear and simple!

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    3. And how many are "stolen" from all the other carriers - especially their STAR Alliance partners - that fly to ZAG ?

      This is by far the bigger and greater problem for OU - especially Turkish - than is JU

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  22. Companies are competing, not stealing from each other. JU is a company like any other. The OU decision to ignore Serbian market was 100% political. If OU was a private company, it would have entered Serbian market fifteenth years ago, like so many other Croatian companies. The reason JU is not behaving in the same manner like OU is probably because it is effectively controlled by EY.

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    1. I don't think JU ever had 'political issues' with Croatia. Don't forget that they have been flying there since 2008 when they introduced PUY. Then next year their licence was revoked for political reasons.

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  23. OT:
    PRN pax figures for May 2016 are out.
    May 2016: ~142k (up ~11%)

    NB: PRN was closed for almost a day at the beginning of the month due to the TK incident with most of the traffic diverted to SKP.

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    1. 6 airplanes - is this most for you?? Don't be funny

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  24. Croatia And Serbia are surrounded by airlines with hundred plus aircraft in their fleets who fly to both Belgrade and Croatian airports but apparently some here on this blog want us to believe that Air Serbia and Croatia Airlines are each others biggest threat..... please!

    Fact is that both airlines have competition and it would be financial suicide if they try to respond to every bit of competition they are exposed to.

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    1. No immediate neighbouring countries of either Serbia and Croatia have that. It is Germany, turkey, Russia and Italy which are the nearest. OK Italy borders Croatia by sea. There is also Wizz in Budapest but they use another market segment so its not subject to narrow comparisons, unless at least W6 starts its own long haul endeavour.

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  25. OT: I just wanna say a big bravo to AirSerbia for the price I found. I am from Greece (suburb of Athens) and I booked today a 448€ ticket to JFK (DEP TUE 30 AUG, RET FRI 9 SEP), thanks for keeping prices to a reasonable limit. Next best price same period Lufthansa 537€.

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    1. For sure a good price man! By the way I found the cheapest ticket I ever saw so far in the summer period. KLM is offering BEG-JFK for 370 euros with departure on 30th of August and arrival on 9 Sept. Also Swiss has a ticket for 410 euros or something like that.

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    2. Happy to subsidize your trip my friend.
      ASL helps all the Balkan travelers!

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    3. Ko leti cesce preko bare zna da kraj avgusta vise nije visoka sezona. Pocetak jula 428 evrica. Mljac.

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    4. KLM is also subsidizing Balkan passengers with that 370 eur price, way more than ASL

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    5. Actually JU is by flying them to AMS for almost next to nothing. ;)

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    6. Beogradski aerodrom je lak za transfer, to je prednost u odnosu na vece aerodorome.

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    7. A da... baš mi je teška muka popit dobro pivo, odlično se najest, malo prolunjat dučanima, zabavit se na FRA, MUC, ZRH, VIE, CDG, AMS, BRU, LHR... A i što se napatim na tim aerodromima. E da... električni vlakovi, pokretne trake, liftovi... baš je muka... Naprosto je BEG prednost. Za što do vraga?????

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    8. How can you do all that with one hour transfer? Or you book 12 hour transfers and pay for duty free, beer and souvenirs half-way of your return ticket?

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    9. Having fun in CDG hahaha, you're clearly an idiot.

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    10. +1 for Anon 12:47 AM :-)

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  26. BEG-ZAG is one of the weakest Air Serbia regional routes. In whole 2015 they transported 62.500 PAX on 708 vv flights with clf 60,5%. In the first five months of 2016 they saw 20.900 PAX on 280 flights, average clf was 52,3%.

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    1. And what loadfactor needs an atr to become profitable?

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    2. LOL!!! That would depend on the average prices charged for tickets and a large number of different cost factors, don't you think?

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  27. Gospodin bi trebao da se pozabavi vise sa sopstvenom Kompanijiom i da je vodi na pravom putu a ne da ogovara druge kompanije kao sto je slucaj ASL pred pocetak JFK letova .
    INN-NS

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    1. Pitanje srpskog novinara je glasilo: "Koliko Er Srbija utiče na vaše planove u regionalnom saobraćaju?"

      Što je trebao, ne odgovoriti na pitanje? Kučko nije u pravu, ali je samo odgovarao na pitanje postavljeno od strane srpskog portala (Tango Six).

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  28. Kucko? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    He keeps lying!!!!!

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