Wednesday, November 30, 2016

TAP considering return to Zagreb and Belgrade


TAP Portugal is considering resuming services from Lisbon to both Zagreb and Belgrade next year. The Portuguese national carrier is finalising plans for the launch of eleven new routes in 2017 as part of its growth initiative. Seven of the eleven future destinations will be in Europe, many of which were previously served by the airline. A final decision is expected in the coming weeks, with Zagreb highly likely to be included in the carrier's network again. Within Europe, TAP previously served several points in Germany, as well as Athens, Basel, Bucharest, Tallinn and St Petersburg, in addition to the Croatian and Serbian capital cities. TAP particularly struggled with its services to the former Yugoslavia during the slow winter months.

The Portuguese carrier discontinued operations to Zagreb this March after serving the city for over a decade. In response, fellow Star Alliance member, Croatia Airlines, introduced seasonal flights between the two cities this summer, which were codeshared by TAP. In addition, the Portuguese carrier codeshared on Croatia Airlines' services between Zurich and Zagreb as well. In a bid to strengthen its operations, TAP previously served Zagreb via Bologna during the winter months. Since the suspension, it has been speculated that the airline would return to Croatia in the near future. In 2010, TAP also operated seasonal summer flights between Lisbon and Dubrovnik, however, the service was not renewed during subsequent seasons.

TAP discontinued its operations to Belgrade in January 2015 following just five months of operations. During the winter season, triangle flights via Budapest were introduced, with the service maintained three times per week. Despite solid loads over the summer months, TAP was plagued by operational issues, forcing the cancellation of many of its Belgrade flights. They were caused by a delay in the arrival of new aircraft, pilot training and “negative influences beyond the airline's control”. As a result, passengers were rerouted onto other Star Alliance member airlines. At the time, TAP said it would consider resuming its Belgrade operations in the summer of 2015, however, those plans never materialised.

90 comments:

  1. The reason they failed in BEG was because their timing was horrible (their arrival time in BEG was around 3am), their flights were constantly cancelled because they didn't have enough planes, when the flights did operate they were usually delayed by several hours. So yeah no wonder they failed. Now that they have got themselves in order I really do hope they give Belgrade another go.

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    1. I think that middle of the night departure was once a week, they also operated some flights that departed at around 14.00 or 15.00.

      It seemed to me that they rushed into the expansion. Like you said, they were always late by several hours and they didn't know how to deal with passengers in the best possible way. Also the fact that some flights were operated via BUD didn't help either.

      I think they will return at some point because their loads were good so the market was obviously there.

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    2. I agree. Totally silly schedules doomed TAP from the start. Not even holidaymakers would have gone for those timings.

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    3. Their schedule was:

      Departure time LIS: 09.30 -2-----, 22.00 --3----, 22.45 ----5--
      Arrival time BEG: 14.10 -2-----, 02.40 ---4---, 03.25 -----6-

      Departure time BEG: 14.55 -2-----, 03.25 ---4---, 04.10 -----6-
      Arrival time LIS: 17.50 -2-----, 06.20 ---4---, 07.05 -----6-

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    4. What were their fares like from BEG?

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    5. Americas was cheap, affordable

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    6. Absolutely disagree. The idea was to also make connecting flights to both Americas, Azores and Spain. It´s just that Serbia is a very small market for the Iberian Peninsula + traffic to Latin America.

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    7. The way things are going maybe they consider flying Lisbon-Nis :D kidding

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    8. Night flights are there for perfect connections. Even Air Serbia does that to TLV, SKP, ATH and other destinations where planes leave after midnight and start back at around 4:00 to be in Belgrade around 5:30. Here we can read some experts who constantly react that more of those connection flights should be done during nights (Istanbul is one of most noted route for night flights).

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    9. OTP used to have a "horrible" schedule times but used to have 8 weekly flights!
      FB for example also started flying to LIS and have a clever timetable too leaving SOF in the evening and returning the next day in the early morning taking advantage of making money, same with JU planes.
      So, no excuse about TAP´s schedule.

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    10. And you don't think ist needs a night flight? ;)

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  2. According to my sources TAP is definitely coming back to Zagreb.

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    1. I wonder where does that leave Croatia Airlines? Will they keep flying to Lisbon next summer.

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    2. Well if TAP is considering returning with the prices it had then they are destined to fail again. They had become one of the most expensive options to South America out of Zagreb. It was cheaper to go with BA and Lufthansa.

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    3. But still LF was huge.

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    4. Why did they suspend Zagreb in the first place? And how did Croatia Airlines do on this service?

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    5. They have had a shortage of planes, and apparently ZAG and BEG were not amongst their lucrative routes.

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    6. Restructuration! Just like LOT and Croatia...

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  3. If they have issues with filling these flights they could go LIS-ZAG-BEG-ZAG-LIS.

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    1. Sounds nice but they probably would be unable to get fifth freedom rights between Zagreb and Belgrade.

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    2. EU carrier flying from an EU country to a country who is a part of the Open Skies agreement. No fifth freedom rights issues here. (could be wrong)

      Will be interesting if this happened and if OU sold tickets to and from Belgrade via a TAP codeshare. Where would this leave JU on the route?

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    3. The same thing ČSA try to introduce this winter on route PRG-ZAG-SKP with selling of tickets on ZAG-SKP leg.

      TAP is EU carrier (in same time TAP is also Croatian domestic carrier), so TAP can sell ticket on ZAG-BEG leg without 5th freedem. On same way Croatia could introduce ZAG-BEG-SOF route and sell ticket on BEG-SOF leg.

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  4. Did TAP have fifth freedom rights between Bologna and Zagreb. Were there any passengers on this sector?

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    1. Of course they did. Both cities/countries are EU members. Not sure about the loads though.

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    2. Next time they serve ZAG they will not go for triangle routing - flying direct equals a lot lower operating costs, lowering ticket fares too - which will further boost their sales. As others mentioned earlier, their loads from ZAG were very, very healthy considering they needed to fill only half the plane as they operated via BLQ.

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  5. I hope they return to both airports but unfortunately I think they will go for just one destination in the region.

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    1. I tend to agree.

      Although I am quite sure they are making better business in Zagreb compared to BEG, I assume they might opt for a LIS-BEG-OTP routing as they are happy with ZAG already being connected to LIS and feeding their long range flight to North and South America through the already existing code share with OU.

      However, possibly they will share the flights to ZAG with OU - 3pw OU and 3pw TP.

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  6. BEG moze da im radi iskljucivo uz dobru saradnju sa JU, ovako nemaju ama bas nikakve sanse.

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    1. Нетачно. Њима није био проблем да напуне авион већ да обаве те летове на време. Линија је укинута због недостатка ваздухоплова.

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    2. Linija je ukinuta radi restrukturacije, kao i zagrebačka par mjeseci kasnije. Isto, naravno, pretpostavlja i nedostatak kapaciteta.

      Teško će Star Alliance član, i to manji, imati suradnju sa Air Serbiom. To je ipak izuzetak (od 20 code-share samo Aegean, Adria. Air China, LOT) a ne pravilo.

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    3. Interesantno je da JU nikada nije razmisljala o ovoj liniji.

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    4. Leteo sam 4 puta na ovoj ruti nikada nije bilo iznad 50 pax u avionu, osim na prvom letu na kom sam imao cast da budem. Posto radim u turizmu od tih 50 pax, 15 su bili moji putnici minimum uvek.

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  7. OT: Hogan is announced to be in Belgrade two weeks from now. Can we expect another major announcement from Air Serbia at that time?

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    1. No, he's coming for a conference organized by T6...

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    2. Coming to BEG to park more planes and cut more jobs just like AB and AZ?

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    3. Dolazi da pokupi harac

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    4. Uzelio se cevapa

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    5. Hogan, Kondic and Vucic together? Last time they were together they launched JFK route. Don't exclude a surprise.

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    6. Maybe something to do with China?
      Or Hogan just checking Etihad investments, they got burned with AZ and AB...

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    7. Anon 09.37 hahaha great one. The whole EY business model is failing left and right.

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    8. EY could buy W6 to improve business model.

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    9. They are too busy integrating both Niki and TUI under the same brand called Blue Sky. :D

      Aegean will be at the meeting, maybe they can give some tips to Dane on how to expand. :P

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    10. But hasn't JU expanded ie. doubled in size, since EY came on board ? They are flying to more destinations than JAT did (44 in total); they commenced Atlantic flying; and have more than doubled the passengers carried .... Not sure what else you expect with the current fleet they have

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    11. It was an initial success and since the airline has more or less stagnated. They are facing financial hardships which is why they still didn't retire the B733s and why they haven't replaced them with a modern and more comfortable a/c. Also, they are still operating a fleet of archaic Atrs.

      They are struggling, things are not looking up for ASL.

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    12. What initial success? They started JFK barely five months ago, opened few new destination this year, increased winter frequencies. Ali slobodno nastavi sa vlaskom crnom magijom ako ti je tako lakse. Nikome to ne skodi, a mozda ti pomogne.

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    13. JFK was a political decision, not organic growth, huge difference.
      They also suspended BUD and WAW and who knows how badly LCA will go this winter, probably won't be back next winter.

      Why are the 733 still flying? Why are ancient atrs still flying? Horrible connectivity to JFK, almost no night flight to region and so on.

      No crna magija here, just facts.If everyting was so super then JU would not stop publishing reports every quarter

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    14. 48% of ASL fleet is extremely old. Yeah, great success. Wow.

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    15. How have they stagnated when their passenger numbers are better than last year and they will carry more people this year than they did last year ?

      The recent report from BEG airport also showed that they are growing their share of traffic at BEG airport. How is this stagnation ?

      And maybe JFK was political, but the entire project is political - just like OU and YM are, as both are 100% govt owned.

      So I don't get the point of such a comment.

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    16. The point is that some people on here are presenting JU as something wow when it's not, it's an average carrier fighting to survive. If politics didn't get involved maybe it could grow and develop much faster and much better.

      Let's see if they will make money this year, that's teh whole point of a business. AB and AZ have also recorded passenger growth in the past but no profit.

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    17. "If politics didn't get involved maybe it could grow and develop much faster and much better"

      I love this comment....

      You mean just like OU or YM ?

      truth is, JU is the best of the ex-yu bunch and if politics didn't get involved, JU would not exist today.

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    18. I don't see anyone saying different about OU or YM so why mention them at all? Do you feel better now?

      Politics also destroyed Jat, don't forget that. Politics maybe save Jat by creating Air Serbia but if they don't back off they will destroy it like they did Jat.

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    19. Without politics, OU and YM wouldn't exist today. Neither can attract any sort of investor or strategic partner, despite both trying, proving even more that without govt support, both would be dead

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    20. Both will be dead in a few months which is why JU should watch and learn from their mistakes.

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    21. JU stats in November : BEG PAX Operations (excluding technical and positional) +3,2% yoy, capacity +5,6%, PAX number around +5%, LF 68% (the same yoy).

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    22. Too early to publish figures

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  8. Wish them better luck this time. They do seem to be in a better place now as a company then they were two years ago.

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  9. I flew with them once from BEG. Price was quite cheap, timing was horrid. We were also delayed by over an hour as their inbound flight was late. Return flight was much better. Most people were going on holiday.

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    Replies
    1. You know how they say...
      TAP = take another plane :)

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    2. You know how they say:
      Lufthansa - always in strike :)

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    3. And Air Serbia - boutique airline with LCC service on economy class

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    4. ^ Seek some medical help.

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    5. Anon @ 12.43 - a comment made by someone who has never flown with either JU or an LCC.... if they did, they would know the difference

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    6. Oh yes, mini-bottle of water and discussing mini-sandwich makes huge difference

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  10. wow this would be great. They would offer great connections to South America and also Iberian peninsula.

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  11. Are you sure there is a chance that Belgrade gets introduced. Because reading the article, it seems that only Zagreb is likely.

    Stefan

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    1. Presumably ZAG non stop.

      BEG may work for them in a triangle only.

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  12. This was TAP's explanation for suspending Belgrade and a few other routes last year

    "These routes performed well during the summer, but bookings for the coming months are not encouraging”

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  13. They rolled out a new interior on their narrow body fleet yesterday. It looks quite nice.

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  14. TAP might be considering a return to ZAG, but I don't see them coming to BEG.
    Time will tell if I'm right or wrong...

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    1. TAP might be considering a return to BEG, but I don't see them coming to ZAG.
      Time will tell if I'm right or wrong...

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  15. Wizz could fly Belgrade-Lisbon seasonal if TAP does not start it. If they can fly Malta and Larnaca from BEG why not LIS.

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    1. The market just isn't big enough. To Malta and Cyprus you have tourists in much bigger numbers plus an actual diaspora. To Lisbon you have a very limited number of tourists.

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    2. LIS would need first to offer some subsidies for Wizz :)

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  16. Would be nice addition to both airports particularly BEG as there is no direct service.

    Wondering what the interest is from Portugal to the Balkan region? We always talk about tourists from our region heading to Lisabon and Portugal, but what about the other way?
    Both OU & ASL could offer great connections on there Balkan flights.

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    1. OU could offer the Croatian coast and SJJ, that's about it.

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    2. Well what else is there that OU can offer? Osijek maybe?

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    3. What about SKP, PRN ?

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    4. In summer SKP is better served via BEG while PRN will be suspended by OU. We don't even know if Croatian will be around by March.

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  17. TK 1055 IST-ZAG today about 40% full.

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    1. Shows that IST works for nobody.

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    2. They are doing great in BEG, SKP and LJU. ;)

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    3. On what score are they doing great ? Passenger no.s, maybe - profitability, terrible

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    4. Hahah as if you know if they are making money or not. In all three cities they have a lot of p2p which have good yields. Tickets are not cheap while oil is the segments are short.

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    5. You must have missed the news .... Q3 results (loss) and full year forecast (loss), on top of the fact that they have grounded over 20 aircraft, cut numerous routes and deferred aircraft orders ?

      Not sure in which reality this is making profit....

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    6. I was talking about these three ex-YU routes, not their overall performance. Please follow more closely before commenting. :)

      Also, TK had years of massive profits, they'll bounce back.

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    7. To add to last anonymous comment - Pegasus are also in shit - grounding aircraft, cutting routes and deferring aircraft orders, while a bunch of other european airlines have cut IST route.... clearly, things are not well

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    8. Who said that things are not well? Here we were talking about TK's performance in SKP, BEG and LJU. Also, you are not adding to any last anonymous, both posts were written by you, that is the same person wrote the comment at 20.06 and 20.13.

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  18. I am looking at the webcam at ZAG and does anyone know why there are several OU Airbuses sitting in dark? Are they stored for the winter?

    ReplyDelete

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