Monday, November 14, 2016

Norwegian eyes Macedonia and Slovenia flights


Europe's third largest low cost airline, Norwegian Air Shuttle, has confirmed it is considering launching operations to both Macedonia and Slovenia, with Croatia remaining its strongest market in the former Yugoslavia. Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News, a spokesperson for the airline said, "Slovenia and Macedonia are definitely of interest to us in the future. We always explore the possibility to add new destinations to our network. This is a very important market for Norwegian. We’ve had scheduled flights to the Balkans since 2004 and our presence and network has grown every year". The no frills airline currently maintains year-round flights to Belgrade, Sarajevo and Pristina, as well as seasonal services to Dubrovnik, Rijeka, Pula, Split, Zagreb and Tivat.

Norwegian notes that passengers on its potential services to Skopje and Ljubljana would be offered transfer options to far off markets such as the United States. "Passengers have the possibility to connect to our long haul routes. For example, next July we have connecting offers from Dubrovnik and Split to New York six days per week", it said. It has been previously reported that the airline showed interest in applying for government-backed subsidies to operate services to Macedonia in 2014/15. Furthermore, local authorities in Niš in south-eastern Serbia have said that Norwegian has recognised the potential of serving the city in the future. On the other hand, Ljubljana Airport is continuing to court low cost airlines, with easyJet to launch new services to the Slovenian capital in December, while Transavia will introduce flights from Amsterdam next April.

Norwegian Air Shuttle is one of the world’s fastest growing airlines and boasts one of the world's youngest fleets. Its rapid expansion, coupled with tight cost controls, is fuelling its impressive financial performance. In 2013 the carrier commenced long haul flights. Next year, Norwegian is set to take delivery of its first Boeing 737-MAX jets, which will enable it to fly between Europe and the US using single-aisle aircraft, opening up the possibility of offering direct routes between smaller airports. Despite expressing interest in two new markets in the former Yugoslavia, the airline has, for now, added only additional services to the Croatian coast and Pristina. "Next year, Norwegian has increased frequencies to Croatia (Pula, Dubrovnik and Split), in addition to the brand new route between Helsinki and Pristina, which is already on sale", the carrier said.

101 comments:

  1. wow great news. Norwegian would be a great addition in Skopje and could offer good connections to the US too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think this airline will eventually collapse. They are expanding all over the place while the amount of debt they have accumulated only keeps on increasing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A few weeks ago they recorded their best quarterly results. Net profit of $122 million – an increase of 19 percent on the prior year with revenue up 15 percent to $1 billion. LF 91.3 percent while ASK and RPK growth were up by 17 percent. Don't think they are going anywhere.

      Delete
    2. That's right anonymous 9 : 25 am, anyway it's Scandinavia up there not the Balkans, huge difference in everything.

      Delete
    3. How do you explain SAS then?

      Delete
    4. An outdated business model + cost structure.

      Delete
    5. I think what he is referring to is that their debt grew over the past few years:

      2014: 13.28 billion NOK
      2015: 19.58 billion NOK

      Delete
    6. Purger (Alen Šćuric)November 14, 2016 at 12:48 PM

      Ako je to cijena pokretanja intekontinenalnih linija i one postanu profitabilne, onda i nije mnogo, posebno u kontekstu količine letova i zrakoplova koji su u kratko vrijeme uveli.

      Delete
    7. Alene, veliko je to ako... najvaznije ako je ako ce cene nafte ostati niske.

      Delete
    8. Debt doesn't equal loss. If you buy a lot of new aircraft, you can still make profit while paying off the debt for the aircraft.

      Delete
    9. I don't think anyone said that debt equals loss. However, the more debt you have the more exposed you are. Especially when undertaking such a massive expansion from so many different markets.

      Delete
    10. Norwegian isn't going anywhere...they know qhat they're doing and why. In other words they have a plan. So debt is calculated into their operations.

      Delete
    11. And what will happen if oil prices go back to where they were a few years ago? What happens then? That's when all this accumulated debt comes into play.

      If we learned something that's that when it comes to aviation good times don't last.

      Delete
    12. Nemjee I think they'll remain very competitive as they operate Dreamliners only, and will retain better fuel efficiency when the prices soar. Heck, I think their business model might work even better. Right now the difference between Delta's old fleet (for example) and the Dreamliners isn't that big cost-wise, but it will become once the fuel is up.

      Delete
    13. To a certain extent I do agree with you but let's not forget that they are going up against well established carriers where most are in alliances and/or ATIs.

      British Airways is already striking back by deploying some B772s to compete directly with Norwegian. Unlike BA, DY can't compete in terms of network or frequencies.

      As for Delta's B767s, Boeing is supposed to come up with a new version of the Dreamliner that will act as a direct replacement for the B767. Will be interesting to see how they all compete with each other.

      Personally, I am not the greatest fan of Norwegian but extra competition is always welcome as it brings down the prices.

      My only issues is that they seem to be all over the place.

      Delete
    14. Agree with Putnik. The oil prices going up is not a question of if, but rather when and they know that very well.

      Off topic...just read this. http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2016/11/14/air-serbia-lounge-belgrade-airport-review/

      Delete
    15. BA Deploying will be deploying their 772s from LGW, where fewer connections are available. Also, the 772s will be reconfigured to increase seat density and reduce cost per seat, which I personally see as a sort of a panic move by BA, as they're weren't able to differentiate themselves enough (transfers, legacy carrier, some freebies) to stay competitive with DY.
      Also regarding the 767 replacement, it'll be years until Boeing puts it in service, as they still haven't even made up their minds and are busy with the MAX and the 777X.
      Imo the biggest issue for DY is fleet shortage :)
      Either way, time will tell. Hopefully their Balkan flights (especially SJJ which desperately needs completion) will be better coordinated with the transatlantic ops.

      Delete
    16. BA Deploying will be deploying their 772s from LGW, where fewer connections are available. Also, the 772s will be reconfigured to increase seat density and reduce cost per seat, which I personally see as a sort of a panic move by BA, as they're weren't able to differentiate themselves enough (transfers, legacy carrier, some freebies) to stay competitive with DY.
      Also regarding the 767 replacement, it'll be years until Boeing puts it in service, as they still haven't even made up their minds and are busy with the MAX and the 777X.
      Imo the biggest issue for DY is fleet shortage :)
      Either way, time will tell. Hopefully their Balkan flights (especially SJJ which desperately needs completion) will be better coordinated with the transatlantic ops.

      Delete
    17. Yes, Norwegian reported a quarterly profit, but they are loss-making on an annual basis.

      Delete
  3. Good. Ljubljana needs all the airlines it can get. Let's just hope they don't start LGW-LJU. There are already enough flights between London and Ljubljana.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would be nice to see OSL as transfer hub to US and ARN, MAD or BCN

      Delete
    2. It does need better connections, however one would wish for legacies, not shabby LCCs. Easy or Vueling are fine, but Ryan, Wizz or Norwegian are just shabby.

      Delete
    3. Anon 10:04

      Do you know the meaning of "shabby"? Explain your reasoning please.

      Delete
    4. Lol, putting Norwegian in the same sentence as Ryan and WIzz and putting easy above it..

      Dude, get educated first please.

      Delete
    5. That dude has probably no idea about Norwegian, that shabby LCC is miles ahead of both Easy and vueling

      Delete
  4. I don't see which route they could start that isn't already covered from Skopje by Wizz Air...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They can compete, W6 has become expensive on most routes.

      Delete
    2. There are several routes like Oslo for one. Then there is Madrid, Stockholm... Unlike Wizz Air which flies to villages that are usually an hour by train (especially in Scandinavia), Norwegian actually flies from the main airport.

      Delete
    3. Haha true about Wizz. They are about to start Tuzla-Växjö.

      Delete
    4. One of DY's biggest advantages is that it flies to primary airports.

      Delete
    5. "They can compete, W6 has become expensive on most routes."

      False. It takes more than anecdotal evidence of peak flights to make conclusions on overall pricing. Actually the average price is decreasing, but hey, people don't like facts and statistics, as worldwide politics shows us.

      Delete
    6. Show us those statistics you are talking about?

      I fly to SKP once a month and prices are up by 15%.

      Delete
    7. On first look, they can try
      - Schiphol / from Skopje (or Ohrid),
      - Geneve
      - Munich (or Salzburg)
      - Kobenhavn or Malmo of course
      (W6 got them daily from SKP if you see combined, so maybe 3pw from OHD),
      - Venice (similar story as above, maybe more - that area has TSF/VCE has more potential from OHD,since the mayority of those travelers are originating in that region)
      - Pisa (Palair flew there about 20 years ago, as alternative to Florence and Bologna)
      - Manchester or/and Dublin would be a interesting move, lots of people are moving there these last years unfortunately...

      I don't know much how their strategy is, but they can be dare to do most of the above from OHD, as LCC alternative to SKP and near Albania/Southern Greece region

      Delete
  5. Norwegian would be a good shake up for Wizz in Skopje which is becoming extremely comfortable there. Unfortunately, I doubt Norwegian would introduce more than one or two routes and they would probably be the same ones they have to Belgrade and Sarajevo and probably seasonal too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What happened to that rumor that they chose Belgrade as their primary hub in the Balkans for future expansion. Remember someone writing about it in the comments here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't know but I wouldn't be surprised if they opened a base in this region soon. They would challenge whichever airline is the national carrier and would offer easy transfer options to the US.

      Delete
    2. what does a "primary hub for future expansion" mean anyway?
      its not like im gonna change my Norwegian flight in BEG in order to continue somewhere else

      Delete
    3. My guess is that they realized they were too late in order to become a dominant player in the wider ex-YU region. Where exactly could they dominate? The only untapped market with some potential is Zagreb but even that's questionable since it seems like ZAG management isn't too interested in attracting lowcost carriers.

      Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and even Greece are markets that are well covered so if DY decided to enter it they would have to compete with other well-established carries. Also, DY is no FR, their brand-awareness is incomparably lower.

      They would need to spend a lot of money in order to secure a piece of a relatively small, low-yielding market.

      Better to concentrate on Western Europe. More money to be made there.

      For the time being let's see how Wizz vs. Ryanair war turns out over here.

      As far as Serbia goes, they have been extremely passive here. They had two weekly flights to Oslo for years now. Stockholm is seasonal and Copenhagen was dropped. This doesn't show commitment to the market. In the meantime we have Wizz Air which has expanded quite a bit and Ryanair that has entered the Serbian market two months ago.

      On top of that, Transavia has also announced AMS flights and I am sure Paris is not too far behind.

      The only market they could consider is LGW and that's that.

      Delete
    4. Also, Norway has openly said that they are lagging behind Sweden in terms of how present they are in Serbia. They want to change that and Norwegian was part of that. Unfortunately for them it was too little, too late.

      Delete
    5. They aren't talking about Serbia, but Macedonia and Slovenia. And in Croatia they are doing excellent.

      Delete
    6. I know they are not speaking about Serbia but they did a few months ago and they wanted to expand here, big time actually.

      They eventually backed down.

      Delete
  7. Stockholm, LGW and Barcelona could all work for Norwegian to Nis.

    ReplyDelete
  8. They are not that active on the ex-Yu markets compared to their competitors so I'm sure we will see them expand in the region sooner rather than later.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think they should focus on long-haul flights instead of Europe. The smartest move was to launch flights to America from various European cities. The simply cannot compete with Ryan and Wizz no. Wizz will grow so much in Eastern Europe especially with the arrival of the big birds - A321s. By the time they confirm SKP or LJU flights then Wizz will immediately react and kick them out. Scandinavian carriers never bother about competition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A321neo can be a winnner or a looser for W6. There are a lot of routes that can't sustain more than 150 pax with Y180 even now. A321s will be in Y240 config. So 150 pax in Y240 aircraft means LF of 62.5%. Perhaps good for a state-run legacy, totally unprofitable for LCC.

      Delete
  10. Yes please! Since Adria suspended Stockholm there are no flights from Ljubljana to Scandinavia except for Helsinki on seasonal basis. So Norwegian could do really well by offering flights to Stockholm and Oslo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not true. JP flies to CPH year-round. Also, I wonder how big the market between Slovenia and Scandinavia actually is.

      Delete
    2. Helsinki is not in Scandinavia.

      Delete
    3. Yes, to Scandinavia please. Now operates only from Zagreb twice a week during high season and only to Copenhagen.

      Delete
  11. Is Norwegian a full LCC or a hybrid?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As hybrid as it gets. Connections, onboard WiFi and other amenities, exclusively main airports, and the list goes on.

      Delete
  12. I have never tried them. What are they like service wise? Has anyone flown with them long haul?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought I heard their service was awful ...

      Delete
    2. Great service, good leg room and free WiFi on board.

      Delete
    3. That's more than what any ex-yu airline offers.

      Delete
    4. I did a short hop with them, ARN-HEL, free (fast!) wifi, drinks and snacks available at a charge. Legroom - nothing to write home about, it's not business class, it's not Ryanair either, I would say exactly the same as everyone else - uncomfortable, but not overly so.

      We had a departure delay of one hour, as they were going over pax list six or so times, trying to locate three people, it was a complete mess... They ended up doing a roll call of everybody onboard, with Swedish pronounciation, that was fun. After that 16 people were missing as they weren't able to recognize their names over the PA. I suppose ARN was to blame for that, but at the end we all had a good laugh.

      Delete
    5. The last issue is because of gate agents who messed up. They should have seen in the system who is missing or not... after all if 16 people were missing then their boarding cards were unscanned.

      Delete
    6. Norwegian has constantly been named the best low cost airline in Europe. Even today airlineratings.com issued their awards and named DY best LCC in Europe.

      http://www.airlineratings.com/news/898/worlds-best-airlines-for-2017-awarded-by-airlineratings

      Delete
    7. Good point.

      Other awards, just for comparison:

      http://centreforaviation.com/analysis/icelandair-iberia-qatar-wizz-airasias-fernandes-london-city-vancouver-abb-scoop-capa--305923

      Delete
    8. I guess some people value economics, growth and market share while others measure the service level, which is undoubtedly in favor of Norwegian.

      Delete
    9. I have flown then across the Atlantic multiple times. Plane was a 787 each time and there was a good selection of movies for entertainment. The seats were more comfortable than any US carrier I've flown overseas. The downside is that luggage, food, seat reservations and anything else is extra but they tell you that before you purchase. The service on board was great and the flight attendants were as helpful and friendly, if not more so, than other carriers.

      Delete
    10. I flew many times to Croatian coast and the service is impeccable. The fleet is awesome, in fact they've become my first choice when flying to Croatia. I even flew to Zagreb with them this summer. But long haul...I wouldn't know.

      Delete
    11. I used them from JFK to Gatwick which was my first 787 flight in June. Very basic in my opinion. Not once was good or drink offered and the area around my seat was not as clean as it could have been.
      It was a red eye so I could have been sleeping during the drink service but I was definitely awake for the last 2 hours of the flight and nothing offered! I remember wondering why they even had flight attendants and that I might do my first skytrax review.

      Delete
    12. In saying that, flight was comfortable and I think I only paid Australian $550-ish for the flight so I would consider to use them again.

      Delete
    13. @ E.
      Did you fly premium or standard economy?

      Delete
    14. Q400

      If I am not mistaken Norwegian offers to order and pay for any food or drinks from your seat. Once you do it the crew comes around and brings it to you.

      Maybe that's why they weren't passing around.

      Delete
    15. @ Q400 , 5:15

      You "wonder why they even had flight attendants when nothing was offerred". Let me try explaining you why, even if you should have known that before my explanation, considering your regular presence on this site :

      1. To block WITH THEIR BODIES cockpit doors, in case of therorist attempted breach

      2. To perform CPR, and try to save passenger's life, if needed

      3. To extinguish fire onboard, if something catches fire, 10 kilometers up there

      4. To try to safe a pilot's life, in case of incapacitation, and assist to remaining pilot with check-lists

      5. To carefully observe wing surface, for traces of ice and frost, in case of bad weather conditions

      6. To try to handle unruly passengers in best possible manner, and least harm

      7. To perform regular cabin safety duties and enable safe flight for all passengers, on behalf of the commander

      8. To comfort sad and alone passengers

      9. To take special care of blind, deaf, passengers with reduced mobility, infants, unaccompanied minors...

      10. To be interpreters and translators to passengers with lower education in filling immigration and customs forms

      11. To be there for passengers who have fear of flying, to answer all their questions, to keep their hands if needed

      12. To create good atmosphere, to be friendly, smiling, self-confident, reflecting it to all of 50-500 onboard

      13. And, for people like you, and similar, to pretend they are not hurt by your attitude and opinion about them and their job

      Delete
    16. 14. To ask you: chicken or beef?

      Delete
    17. +1 (especially for No. 13).

      Delete
    18. Al se neka stajka naljutila.

      Delete
    19. I get point 14 but the rest....

      No but really anonymous 9.01, thanks for reminding me why I hardly contribute to this blog anymore lol!! And you forgot to mention that it is a legal requirement to have FA's but than again I skipped a bunch of your points so I could have missed that part.

      Delete
    20. Thanks for the explanation Nemjee but I would have thought that they would have still offered at least drinks to all pax by pushing the cart around at least once in the flight. Also one thing I forgot to mention is that apart from the safety demo, not once did I hear them make another announcement so this order from seat deffinetly wasn't explained and nothing from the pilots too, not once did they address the flight.

      I just thought it was strange for an 8 hour flight but like I said before, I would still use them again.

      Delete
    21. Q400

      I agree with you and it sure is odd. Who knows, those Scandinavians are not the friendlies bunch out there so maybe one should not expect a great deal of hospitality.

      I remember a few years ago, just when they started flying long-haul, a passenger was sick and needed water so as to take his medication. All he had was cash on him which they do not accept. They refused to give it to him so another passenger stepped in and paid it for him.

      It was quite a big scandal back then. I think that's when they started giving out free water. lol

      Delete
    22. You guys are a joke. When Ryanair charges for luggage, food, seats etc. they are evil. When Norwegian does, they "tell you everything in advance". How about some same standards?

      Delete
    23. I've flown both premium and regular economy with them. Premium has a few advantages, but I wouldn't pay a lot more money for it. If the price was close (as it was in my case) then it makes sense. It isn't like first or business class on other airlines by any stretch of the imagination. Nemjee is right, you order from the screen and then they bring it to you. They really should explain that better. That being said, on a red eye it is good to not have the cart coming down the aisle bumping you if you are in the aisle seat. Ryanair is very cramped and uncomfortable, but I had not said one bad thing about them prior to this sentence.

      Delete
  13. Norwegian flights to SJJ, summer 2017 (April-October):
    ARN-SJJ-ARN 61 flights 23.058 seats offered
    OSL-SJJ-OSL 39 flights 14.742 seats offered
    CPH-SJJ-CPH 8 flights 3.024 seats offered
    Copenhagen- Sarajevo has great potential but during busy summer months Norwegian is lacking aircraft to offer more flights. Titan Airways A320 it has been used to cover fleet shortage in the past. Wizz air is taking advantage of that and in summer 2017 it will be flying 5x weekly MMX-TZL

    ReplyDelete
  14. Apparently, it's an all out assault on LJU (well, if at least half of it actually materialises). I wonder how Adria will cope with it next year. My guess is, they won't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well the airport got its act togeather and realized they can't depend on Adria.

      Delete
  15. OT: Da li neko zna zasto cak tri aviona Air Serbije lete trenutno ka Moskvi?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dovlače rerutirane putnike iz SAD koji nisu mogli doći otkazanim letom ARA-e?

      Odvoze sudionike (novinare, političare) vojne vježbe?

      Turistički chareri?

      Delete
    2. Jedan leti za Harkov, drugi za Astanu a treci verovatno za Moskvu.

      Delete
    3. JFK nije otkazan vec odlozen na dan kasnije (juce je bio JU500/1). Nedeljom nema redovnog leta.

      Delete
  16. Excellent. Good news for both airports.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Would be nice if it were Maribor instead of Ljubljana.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is absolutely no market in Maribor.

      Delete
    2. Don't think anyone at Maribor Airport management cares. The current company running the airport is about to pull out.

      Delete
    3. Why would any airline go to MBX instead of LJU? Not much lower airport charges, but much smaller area of passengers with a much lower purchasing power. Not to mention lovely fog in the winter with Cat I ILS.

      Delete
  18. The more the merrier.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Will DY base an a/c in SKP?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Bilo bi odlicno kad bi INI ini jos dobio DY i U2 i da ima skoro sve LCC.
    INN-NS

    ReplyDelete
  21. OT: Interesting article about Croatia Airlines restructuring

    http://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/croatia-airlines-je-na-putu-u-propast-restrukturiranje-nije-uspjelo-vrijedna-imovina-se-prodaje-gorivo-je-jeftino-a-kompanija-je-na-nuli/5259567/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Super clanak! Hvala. Mozda se ipak nesto pocelo micati, mozda maknu Kucka.

      Delete
  22. je jak je ovo stručnjak, uzeo je otpremninu veću od 3 mil eura a firma je dok je on bio na čelu imala iznimne gubitke

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A kakvo je danas stanje? Pa sve sto je napisao je istina. Jel' radis za Kucka?

      Delete
  23. Great news for Skopje!! Norwegian is one of the friendliest low-cost airlines I've used. Can't even start comparing it with Wizz air, whose standards resemble Nis Ekspres or possibly Strumica Ekspres.

    As someone mentioned before, Norwegian's model is hybrid, brand new aircraft, free wifi onboard, free hand luggage of regular size (unlike Wizzair's outrageous luggage policy), main airports, and European/ intercontinental connections.

    So Norwegian, yes, please do come at Skopje airport and take all the subsidies if necessary!

    ReplyDelete
  24. OT: Serbian delegation is in Kazakhstan: "Tokom posete biće reči i o potpisivanju memoranduma o vazdušnom saobraćaju sa Kazahstanom"

    Codeshare with EY via AUH or new Air Serbia destination?

    ReplyDelete

Before posting a comment be mindful of other participants and readers. EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. Such comments will be deleted as soon as possible. The opinions expressed by those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of EX-YU Aviation News. Thank you for your cooperation.