Friday, October 28, 2016

Air Serbia sees potential in North Africa, Asia


Air Serbia sees potential in new markets such as North Africa and Asia, which could be of interest as the airline begins taking up its newly ordered A320neo aircraft from 2018 onwards. Speaking to the German "Aero International" magazine, the carrier's CEO, Dane Kondić, gave examples of Central and Far East Asia, as well as North Africa as possible markets in the future. "As one aircraft enters the fleet another will exit it. However, these aeroplanes give us the possibility to access new markets, for example Iran or Central Asia or North Africa. These are destinations that are within a two and a half-hour radius. The Far East is also a potential market for us if you consider relations between Serbia and the People's Republic of China", Mr Kondić said. He added, "We believe that Serbia has enormous potential. When we grow we aim to do it responsibly".

Officials from Air Serbia have previously floated ideas of possible services to Iran, Kazakhstan and China. On the other hand, the carrier was to introduce flights to Cairo in 2014 but cancelled such plans due to deteriorating security in the country. Upon its relaunch in late 2013, Air Serbia discontinued what was Jat Airways' only scheduled route in Northern Africa at the time - Monastir in Tunisia. Flights to the city have since operated only as charters during the summer. Air Serbia will begin taking delivery of ten A320neos from the second half of 2018. The new jets, which the airline believes will give it "more flexibility", are all expected to arrive by 2020. "Within a period of five to ten years I can see us with a fleet of perhaps 25 or 26 aircraft. It's a process we will be continually evaluating", Mr Kondić said. In a previous interview, the CEO noted, "Based on where we’re located, there are good opportunities for us, and having a new aircraft is a big part of that".

Commenting on the upcoming winter season which begins this Sunday and runs through to March 25, 2017, Mr Kondić said, "This is the third winter since Etihad entered the picture, and it will surely be different than any of the previous ones. The challenge lies in optimising the existing network and looking for incremental opportunities under changing circumstances". Touching upon the carrier's transatlantic service, the CEO noted, "We've just opened a long-distance route to New York. There are approximately 200.000 people living in the USA who identify as being Serbian. That isn't everything though – think of the entire Balkan region. People from Bosnia, Croatia or Albania. We have a high percentage of Albanian passengers flying with us to New York".

82 comments:

  1. I think they should reconsider Cairo and start it earlier. It probably would have been surprisingly successful as Beirut turned out to be.

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    1. I don't think they have the planes for it.

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    2. I agree. Cairo could be successful for them right now, plus unlike most routes you could actually count on more P2P traffic with people from Serbia going there on holiday.

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  2. So now we finally know that the neos will basically replace the majority of the current fleet.

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  3. Airports in Iran and Central Asia can be reached in two and a half hours !? Will they fly at supersonic speed ?

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    1. BEG-IKA is roughly 03.40 so block would be four hours.

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    2. But still closer than Abu Dabi.

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  4. Interesting there is no mention of North America.

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    1. Well there is not a lot of mention of long haul flying here except for China.

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  5. ....Mr Kondić said, "We are about to go into the third winter season since Etihad entered into partnership with us..."
    If I counted well this winter would be the fourth since Etihad's entering into partnership, Air Serbia has recently celebrated its third anniversary.

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    1. The deal was not officially sealed with Etihad, until 31 March 2014. So he is right - this makes it the 3rd winter with Etihad's involvement as a shareholder

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  6. Good morning, just to clarify something, do they count in their fleet the 4 Boeing's 737-300 of AVIOLET? Doesn't anybody agree that sometime in the couple becoming years they must leave?

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    1. Not sure if they count them but they will certainly have to leave soon.

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    2. Why without them? ... look at yesterday, B733 jumped in and flew to SVO (with a 4 hrs delay!) to save the situation since A319 broke down .... without these workhorses they are dead!

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  7. OT: Yesterday's news: PM announces investment in Nis airport, but only in a way that does not harm the national airline! What does this mean exactly? Whether it comes to that INI bothers someone from the national airline, perhaps the gentleman interviewed in the article above or someone else from the government. I think Nis deserves to be completely renovated, due to further expansion, as well as because of so shabby infrastructure from the eighties, that gentleman that I mentioned first should be ashamed!

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  8. During summer Air Serbia had 22 planes including CRJ from Adria. A330 fleet is expected to grow by 1-2 so the narrowbody gap is couple of planes to reach stated goal of 25-26. Eventually ASL will grow to 50+ destinations and probably 3.5M annual passengers. That means BEG will have 6-6,5M annual pax. Nice number but doesn't justify brand new terminal, only some expansion of the current facilities. No new terminal is the only downside to this vision, if my assumtions are correct. Long term, after joinig EU and raising GDP there is a hope for further passenger growth to justify new terminal, but that point unfortunately seems very far away.

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  9. Flying JFK 3 x weekly only is quite costly considering the fix costs u hve with the lease and the crews who need overnight stays and expenses are paid. So if JFK can not be filled 5 x throughout the year, i m wondering how other dest would do. Predictions for Europe are that probably 5-6 large airlines or groups will survive the future. It is about to see whether EY will be one of them. Air Berlin is rather a troublemaker, Alitalia plans already strikes again, Etihad Regional in CH is also flying losses. It will be interesting to see what happens when fuel prices are going up heavely again. Lets wait ahd see. I personally dont see the need for JU opening up more routes, especially since BEG is also no high yield market. Without a good portion of Business Class traffic u barely xan hve a long haul operated with profits

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    1. JFK 3x is good for crew because they will stay more than 2 days in NYC.

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    2. It s excellent for crews, like in the good old days of aviation

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  10. "We have a large share of Albanian passengers flying with us to New York". - this is true, even the announcements for the NYC flight on ANT are in Serbian, English AND Albanian. Also pretty much everyone on the flight at times seems to be Albanian, however from what I've heard many are not actually from Albania but from Macedonia.

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    1. wow, interesting. No wonder then they are also interested in PRN flights to connect onto JFK.

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    2. Ne pričaj gluposti.Ja sam do sada bio na 2 povratna leta do JFK sa AS I nije bilo ni jedne objave na Albanskom.

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  11. What about more expansion in Europe?

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    1. As far as I remember, in a an interview a few months back Kondic said their network in Europe was set and that they will focus on increasing frequnecies.

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    2. I am suppressed they don't have any flights to Spain even seassonal either MAD or BCN

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    3. Well I agree with his statement. In Europe they should start focusing on improving frequencies and connectivity. They have covered the main points.

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    4. I still think there are a few more markets in Europe which they could fly to - Spain, a few more points in Italy...

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    5. There are still destinations like Madrid, Venice, Oslo and Dublin the could try.

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    6. Enough with Spain already. I told you a hundred times there is not enough demand.

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    7. There is demand for BCN.

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    8. But not enough for 3x weekly. And that is minimum required.

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    9. I disagree. Before visas were abolished Spanair carried between 2,000 and 2,500 passenger each month. With visas being abolished and with connections in Belgrade they could easily run daily flights, at least in summer. Winter could go down to 3 or 4.

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    10. I can't believe some experts on here are saying there is not seasonal demand for Spain. In winter it's questionable but during summer for sure yes. Please don't say that JU once every two weeks charter to Girona is all is needed.

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    11. JU lacks aircraft right now and hence no new routes. Both KBP and LED were doing great, but got cut when CRJ left

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    12. LED continues to operate this winter, by ASL using 319s.

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    13. Nemje, thats incorrect. Visas were abolished in autumn 2009 while flights started in 2010.

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2010/02/spanair-to-belgrade-and-zagreb.html?m=1

      Aslo, if the demand was so strong, I think that Vueling, Iberia, Wizz or Norvegian would do something about it.

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    14. Vueling did, they have summer seasonal flights and they fly around NY.

      Regardless, Spanair had good loads whuch means that there is obviously a market.

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    15. Vueling did it and that's all we need for now :).

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    16. Nemjee.... the airline business is not about good loads - it is about profitable loads. Quoting Spannair is such a dumb thing to do. They had such good loads that they went out of business - for exactly the reason that i mentioned - they weren't profitable

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    17. I have to agree with you. Despite their operations falling apart recently, Vueling seems to be what's needed when linking two relatively low-yielding markets.

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    18. Anon 07.37

      The whole discussion was on whether there is a market between Serbia and Spain. It wasn't on how lucrative it is but rather if it exists.

      Also, just because Spanair went under, it doesn't mean BEG was a loss making route for them. Even Cyprus Airways or Malev had routes where they were making money despite eventually going bankrupt.

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    19. Nemjee - i thought you had some airline experience, yes ? If so, you would realise it is not enough that a "market exists". You have to be able to profitably fly between 2 pts, or else, you go the way of Spannair.

      Right ?

      The fact that no one is flying year round between Serbia and Spain, should tell you something. The fact that Vueling flies - and only during the summer season - again, should tell you something.

      As for Air Serbia flying scheduled services between Spain and Serbia, it doesn't make sense.

      Firstly, they work to a bank structure, where the aircraft fly out and back within a certain time frame - anywhere between 3 -5hrs. Madrid is outside of this range, so they would not maximise aircraft time in flying to Madrid. Barcelona would fit, but it is a very low yielding market. With only 10 aircraft capable of flying, a trade off needs to be made between flying to higher yielding destinations year round - of which Barcelona isn't one and Madrid is outside of the flying range for it to work within the current bank structure that JU works to.

      So, Vueling, or other LCC's like Wizz or Ryanair, should seek to take advantage of the supposed market that you say exists.

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    20. BCN handled almost 40 million passengers, it's a major tourist destination that does see some business traffic.
      Barcelona would have a similar schedule as Paris which means that you could offer connections from places like SOF, SKG, OTP, SVO, BEY, LCA... add to this some O&D and you have a route that can make money.

      I don't see how Beirut which relies almost exclusively on transfer passengers makes more sense than Barcelona which is, in theory, a higher yielding market.

      In the end, Air Serbia flies to Larnaca, a destination where it competes with Wizz Air for a relatively small O&D market. If they can make Cyprus work then they sure as hell can make it in Barcelona.

      Mind you, whoever has been in the airline business knows that you can make almost any route work as long as you are ready to spend money on marketing.

      Look at Icelandair. Do you honestly think they have any O&D market to places like Anchorage, Denver or Philadelphia? Of course not but they are in the business of offering connections via their hub and they know how to attract their kind of passengers. Air Serbia needs to do the same. Unlike Spanair, Air Serbia and Icelandair can actually make money.

      In the end, if they are truly thinking of IKA then Barcelona should be a nice addition given the popularity of Spain among Iranian holidaymakers.

      What I got from your comment is that JU should concentrate on markets where it has considerable O&D passengers throughout the year. Unfortunately I think this thinking is incompatible with their current business model.

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  12. So when Sinisa Mali was talking about Astana a few months ago it seems they actually might be interested :D

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  13. Will they be resuming those seasonal routes like Kiev and Ohrid next year?

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    1. Yes I think so but it will be interesting to see with what and whether they will have to lease an additional plane like they did this summer.

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  14. Good to see they are thinking outside of the box.

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  15. With North Africa being in a mess at the moment I don't see too many options there except maybe Cairo but even that would be questionable.

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    1. By the time the neos arrive the situation could be completely different.

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  16. What about regional fleet development?

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    1. I think there will be an announcement about that next year.

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  17. The A320neo might be tricky to fill on some destinations. It will be a capacity upgrade from the A319s currently in the fleet.

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  18. Will the neos be owned by Air Serbia or Etihad?

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  19. If a Chinese airline starts PEK-BEG next summer I don't know where Air Serbia sees an oppouritnity in China.

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  20. Does anyone knows what would be top 3 unserved destinations from BEG?


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    1. Cairo
      Toronto
      Petrovgrad

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    2. I guess Beijing/Shanghai (mostly by Aeroflot via SVO), Toronto and Chicago?

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    3. Are that official statistics?

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  21. Yesterday JU654 to Moscow was delayed by about 4hrs departing BEG ... just a remark on great OTP achievement some brag about constantly....

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    1. You understand that anecdotal evidence is no proof? Generalization of anecdotal evidence is a one way of trolling. Like with every, every, every other airline, OTP is average. And the average is very good.

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    2. Do you care to check Athens or some other airport for delays?

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    3. Vidi se koliko ti znaš o avioindustriji ako misliš da jedno kašnjenje je nešto spektakularno.

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    4. Ocigledno covek malo vise zna nego sto ti sam imas smisla za pravopis! Kasnjenje od cetiri sata i nije bas nesto normalno ukoliko meteo uslovi nisu losi.

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    5. Evo ga opet ovaj "lupetas" trol (rolling eyes)

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  22. Now everyone can enjoy Air Serbia's award winning business class lounge at BEG for just €44!

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  23. Is Air Serbia expecting any delay in the delivery of their Neo's?

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    1. First plane expected to arrive in July 2018, with the remaining 9 arriving over a 2 year period, thereafter.

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  24. Some of us heard how Kondich reacted to the news that Wizz Air is going to base a second aircraft in Belgrade. Talking of what's legal or not, in order to compete, Air Serbia needs to expand to markets where Wizz Air or any low-cost airline simply can't without obtaining Serbian AOC and paying taxes in Serbia. Those are the Caucasus, Middle East, Central and East Asia, North and East Africa (maybe even seasonal South America during Northern hemisphere WTT).

    Basically, any destination which is outside the EU (or ECAA). As of today, Air Serbia's network is too much EU-centered with Ex-Yu nations providing too little and low-yielding feed. Sarajevo is still 7x weekly. Presence in large regional markets such as Greece, Turkey, Hungary, Poland, West/South Ukraine or Romania ranges from basic/poor to non-existent.

    Air Serbia shouldn't become a hybrid airline but should use its advantage as a state-owned company to do the things that LCC simply can't. Those are:

    - Long-haulf flying
    - Cargo
    - Flying into restricted markets into which Wizz Air/Ryan Air/Easy Jet have no access out of Serbia due to inter-governmental and air service agreements
    - Tremendously increase its regional presence (when i talk regional, i mean ~500 miles perimeter OUTSIDE Ex-Yu).

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    1. Aэrologic
      Sta mislite sto ce svi A320 Neo menjati trenutnu Airbus flotu ? Ili je trebalo ostaviti nekoliko A 319 .
      Hvala unapred.
      INN-NS

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  25. OT:

    http://www.tportal.hr/biznis/kompanije/450450/Croatia-Airlines-s-neto-dobiti-na-razini-lanjske.html

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  26. A320neo je prelep avion sa vecim motorima.
    Ali mislim da je steta sto barem nece ostati 3-4 A319 nego ce se odma menjati mislim da bi mogli da se jos iskoriste oni.
    Svakako Destinacije koje bi se odlicno uklopile za Transferne putnike to su TBS I GYD iz Regije Kukasusa .
    A CAI,KWI,AMM i IKA bi bili odlicni za transferne putnike mada ne treba zaboraviti i ADD.
    Ima i jos naravno i jos Evropskih Destinacija gde bi se moglo da leti.
    INN-NS

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  27. Cairo is dead as destination.
    KLM left and even Lufty considers to leave.
    They are allowed to sell tickets only in Egyptian Pound that is loosing worth because of severe inflation.And the banks are prohibited to convert into other currencies and to transfer it to other countries.

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    1. I guess that there is some market down there if AF is sending its first B787 and Aegean is increasing both Alexandria and Cairo.

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  28. Guys if u hve the chance, visit Makarska Riviera, for kilometers u can hike or bike along the coast. Did today Brela-Makarska. On Monday will fly SPUFRA on OU. Will let u know pax loads

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  29. I have a feeling that 2 x 320 and 2 x 319 from current fleet will eventually be converted to Aviolet livery and fly charters and as ASL's LCC subsidy. Two 319 will be returned and four will join the 10 new 320neos. The new regional fleet would also welcome four new ATR-600 and four leased regional jets, likely Embraers. With 3 x 330-200 this will make a total of 25 aircrafts under ASL flag by the end of 2020. Long haul will see each YYZ and ORD 3pw, JFK 5pw, PEK 3pw and JNB 2pw.

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  30. This guy started talking like Vucic

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  31. I think they ought to reexamine Cairo and begin it prior. It likely would have been shockingly fruitful as Beirut ended up being.

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