Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Flydubai rules out Ljubljana, plans Montenegro ops.


Flydubai has revealed its upcoming plans for the former Yugoslav market which will include more flights to Sarajevo and the launch of operations to Montenegro. On the other hand, the airline has ruled out the possibility of introducing services to Ljubljana or resuming operations to Zagreb for the time being. Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News, Flydubai's Commercial Senior Vice President, Jeyhund Efendi, said, "The former Yugoslavia is an important market for Flydubai. We have been flying there since 2011 when we began our flights to Belgrade. In 2012 we launched flights to Skopje and in December 2014 we began flights to Sarajevo. Demand for these routes remains strong as passengers are able to travel to Dubai and beyond through our efficient aviation hub, offering links to 264 points around the world. The routes have also provided those from the Middle East, Gulf and beyond our network with easier access to discover this part of the world".

During the 2017 summer season, Flydubai plans to operate daily flights to Sarajevo from late June, four weekly to Belgrade and two weekly to Skopje. Operations to Zagreb, which were discontinued this winter, will not be resumed. "There are no immediate plans to relaunch flights to Zagreb, but we continue to look for more opportunities to serve the market in the future", Mr Efendi said. The service was popular with Slovenian travellers as Flydubai offered a bus transfer between Ljubljana and the Croatian capital, connecting onto its Dubai service. Despite talks with Ljubljana Airport over possible flights, the Commercial Senior Vice President noted, "Flydubai is always looking at exploring new opportunities for our network, but at the moment we do not have any immediate plans for Ljubljana".

In October of last year, Flydubai confirmed it would commence services to Montenegro during the first half of 2017, however, the hybrid carrier is yet to decide whether the flights will operate to Podgorica or Tivat. The decision came days after the airline chartered a promotional flight to Tivat carrying media, tour operator representatives, business leaders and airline executives. "I can confirm with all certainty that we will launch flights. In the near future we will release all details relating to our planned operations to Montenegro”, Flydubai's CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said at the time. However, asked which city will be served, Mr Efendi said that a decision is yet to be made, noting that the country is "an interesting market".

107 comments:

  1. A real shame about Ljubljana. The Zagreb flights had a lot of passengers from Slovenia. It makes no sense to me, especially considering EK said that Slovenia with Serbia was their best selling offline ex-Yu market.

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    1. With oil revenues tightening I highly doubt Fly Dubai will be opening many new destinations with questionable chance of success. Emirates and Etihad will also hit the pause button on network expansion

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    2. Why? I can,t really see a huge market from Ljubljana to Dubai. It,s mostly tourism (changing tastes all the time), searching for special prices only and few Slovenians working or studying there . No way Ljubljana would work well except for few weeks x year. Connecting to further destinations from Dubai? Not an option too. Little demand and prices with Qatar, Emirates etc. Are the same with better service.

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    3. How are the people travelling from Ljubljana to Zagreb and then Dubai going now? I guess the majority changed their vacation plans because it was mostly low cost tourism .

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    4. They used to fly from VCE before Flydubai started Zagreb.

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    5. I'm from Rijeka. I flew VCE to DXB with EK few years ago, practically the same price as flydubai, maybe 50-60 euros more, with incomparably better product and service. And the distance from Rijeka to Marco Polo (VCE) is only some 40 km more than from Rijeka to Pleso/FT (ZAG). Plus parking at VCE is cheaper than at ZAG.

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  2. Do they honestly think Podgorica/Tivat will have more passengers than Zagreb/Ljubljana? Good luck with that.

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    1. I am sure they did their homework. MNE is popular with Arabs going for holidays so I am sure they will sell those seats to tourist agencies. Don't forget that TK is doing quite well in TGD so there must be some market to the East.

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    2. Alen Šćuric PurgerJanuary 4, 2017 at 9:14 AM

      Company from UEA bought Porte Montenegro, huge investment and one of the most luxurious marina in Adriatic (including hotels etc.). For sure they want to attract some users from Middle East on that way.

      My information is that they will fly to Tivat, because of that investment.

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    3. Would it not be logical to fly Tivat from May to September and then Podgorica for the rest of the year?

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    4. I am sure they will try to attract some passengers from DBV by flying to TIV, I am sure Tivat will be cheaper for them.

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    5. They will probably get some big incentives from the Montenegrin government.

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    6. @9:14 this could make sense but I doubt they would opt for something like this.

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    7. Da, ovi što drže jahte u Porto Montenegru putuju FlyDubai-jem :))

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    8. Ovi sto su pokupovali luksuzne stanove po Sarajevu lete :)

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    9. Različite su to relacije. brodovi su brodovi a stanovi stanovi.

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    10. Alen Šćuric PurgerJanuary 4, 2017 at 8:44 PM

      Tako je, ovi što imaju brodove će radije sa Emiratesom do Beča, pa sa minijaturnim Austrianom do Podgorice, pa autom do Tivta. Ili možda do Moskve, pa onda Aeroflotom do Tivta. Ajde pa da razmislimo još jednom???

      Nemaju svi vlasnici brodova privatne jetove, a još manje njihovi djelatnici, posade, posluga... kao i budući djelatnici Porto Mongenegra iz UEA...

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    11. It's partially a political decision aimed at increasing MNE-UAE connections. There have been a couple of big UAE investments lately, not only at the seaside. Plus, none of the Big Three operates to MNE.

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  3. I was impressed when I saw that they increased BEG to 4 weekly this winter. I also heard that the loads are phenomenal. Dubai was always popular with Serbian holidaymakers.

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  4. Some people were saying FZ would fly up to 3 times per day to Sarajevo next summer. But looking in the system daily is the most they will be flying. Any more info on this?

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    1. Yes, showing up daily from late June to early October. 4 weekly in spring.

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  5. I am still sad they suspended ZAG, I was generally shocked they couldn't make two weekly work just on O&D and Slovenes.

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    1. It depends how the crash in Russia last year impacted their finances and expansion strategy.

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    2. Yeah but if the loads/yields were decent on this route then they wouldn't have suspended it. I always thought SKP would be the first one to go given the rather bad loads.

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    3. Me too. I would not be surprised if they eventually suspended Skopje. Their numbers on the route are average and they have been dwindling on 2 flights p/w for a few seasons now.

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    4. I think I heard somewhere that they have around 70 passengers per flight. I am sure they are sticking around because they are probably not paying anything at the airport.

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    5. If that is true, the numbers are really poor. They must be subsidised otherwise they would have left by now.

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    6. I flew this route first week of Sep. Just over 20 pax so I'm not surprised. Still reckon EK will take on this route and give QR a bit of competition. Transfer pax from the East and Australia is huge given the diaspora and given the appeal of Croatia as a tourism mecca/hot spot

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    7. How do you think EK will be successful on the route with a B777 if they can't fill a Fly Dubai 737.

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    8. Ugh... don't ask that question as now they will start saying how connections are bad, how this and how that.

      The reality is that the market is just not that big. There is no other explanation for FZ's success in BEG, SKP, SJJ and soon TIV but their failure in ZAG.

      Emirates already said that they are not interested in ex-YU.

      The thing is that now when FZ is one from ZAG, QR will increase its own fares in addition to ZAG increasing their own.

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    9. Ugh - The reality is FZ is a standalone airline. Not modelled as a carrier to transfer pax to/from EK. If QR can go double daily and monopolise the route I'm sure there is demand for EK even at the expense of QR flight reduction

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    10. So then why did EK rule out ZAG flights? They fly to less populous places than Croatia so... I mean they fly to Malta. The market is just no that big. I mean FZ flies to OTP, BTS and SOF among others and they seem to be doing more than fine there.

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    11. If Malta works and ZAG works for QR then I'm confident that it would work for EK.
      Aviation - ideas change constantly and daily

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    12. We might throw ideas around all the time but at the end of the day reality functions a bit differently which is why we don't see the beautiful EK livery being parked close to the new ZAG terminal. I mean what makes you think they will launch ZAG before OTP or SOF?

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    13. On the first place they might start OTP after it SOF and/or BEG.
      ZAG is still very far away from EK

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    14. @Anon 10:30&10:38 Malta is a great tourist destination with casinos, Zagreb is not. Malta Airport has 5M yearly pax, Zagreb has 2,75M.

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    15. Also, lots of Maltese in Australia.

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    16. So, some are saying that FZ failed in ZAG because their aircraft were too small and that EK should come instead... What a load of BS.

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    17. MLA has mostly been linked with other destinations. Currently with LCA and TUN. TUN is due to safety concerns of having crew layover in Tunisia, so crew layover in MLA. However, MLA loads are not the best.

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  6. They could still start Pristina and maybe Dubrovnik too.

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    1. Doubt it... PRN can only sustain flights to Swiss and Germany. All others have miserably failed. Remember Air Arabia?

      I mean if FZ is struggling in SKP and ZAG then imagine the disaster in PRN.

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    2. If they start Tivat that kills off any chance of them flying to Dubrovnik.

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    3. Yeah not really. Tivat and DBV are such different tourist markets. I was underwhelmed last visit to Tivat and nearby Budva. Its hardly on the global 'must visit' list

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  7. Expected outcome that I wrote about a few months ago. They have been talking about UAE airlines coming to Ljubljana for almost a year. But it always ends with some commitments and nice words but no action.

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  8. I don't know what will happen with Fly Dubai and their ex-yu routes once they switch to Dubai World Airport which is expected. More and more of their routes are being moved there. Transferring from Dubai World to Dubai International to catch an Emirates flight would be a massive hassle and would drive down transfer passengers.

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    1. Well the two airlines never seemed to like each other, it was a forced marriage. To me it always seemed like FZ was promoting its own flights and network rather than the ones operated by EK. I am sure because of it their performance won't be as affected.

      Also, I am sure that their routes like BEG or SKP which see a lot of connections to Australia might stay on or be the very last ones to be moved to DWC.

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  9. With chinese comimg in, I am sure BEG will get EK in a year.

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  10. What a missed opportunity for Adria. They could have launched LJU-DXB years back when they were an actual player on the ex-Yu market with good connections in the region. Now it would probably be a lost cause but if the management is genuinely interested it turning LJU into a transfer hub like they have said then this was the market they should have gone for.

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    1. I don't think it's too late. They still have a chance and I also agree it would be a successful route.

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    2. I agree that there is still a chance for them. I am sure both JP and EK need additional feed given that both are going through a 'crisis.'
      Also, JP could also attract passengers from ZAG.

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    3. They can't compete with EK prices from VIE/VCE for either direct or connecting flights.

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    4. I think people flying direct would prefer to board in Ljubljana then having to drive or bud to Venice or Vienna.

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    5. Not to mention that they could also attract passengers from Graz and northern Croatia.

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    6. It's faster to go from Graz to VIE than to LJU. OK, LJU would be better for people from sLOVENIA, but JP wouldn't fly daily, plus no connections from DXB onwards. EK flies daily from VCE and double daily from VIE with all the possible connections. Would you come home from vacatin 2 days early just to fly with JP or enjoy 2 more days on the beach and drive 2 hours by car from the airport?

      Not to mention it is very difficult to compete cost-wise with A319 against widebodies on such long routes.

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    7. Regarding EK, there are always Slovenians on the EK flights out of VCE. Croats more on MUC and FRA, connecting with OU.

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  11. Never in a million years would I have thought there would be a direct line between Dubai and Podgorica. Congratulations.

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    1. Well let´s see if it starts and then how long it lasts.

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  12. Probably won't even happen

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    1. So their CEO just lied for the fun of it?

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    2. lol ok. Fail to see why he would to that.

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  13. Sarajevo kicks ass with Dubai flights :)

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  14. Every airport should consider itself lucky if flydubai discontinues services... flydubai is not an airline, it´s a bad joke for passengers, employees and airports they serve!

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    1. Why? I had quite a good experience with them and I have flown with many airlines.

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    2. Because they suspended Zagreb of course :D

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    3. Hahaha, good one :))

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    4. 2 flights, one ex Prague, one ex Belgrade. One delayed by 11 hours, one by 6 hours, customer service non existant, stillfighting for compensation

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    5. here also a sneak peak in other pax experience with them: http://www.airlinequality.com/airline-reviews/flydubai/

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    6. something nobody here mentions : FZ was REGULARLY LATE from/to ZAG. "normally" between 1 and 2 hours. That's one of the reasons, too, why they didn't make it at ZAG

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    7. So basically it's every reason under the sun besides one: there weren't enough passengers flying to Dubai.

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    8. Nitko me nece uvjeriti da nije bilo potencijala. Ako lete u Sarajevo i Skoplje, nema sanse da nisu mogli nastaviti sa Zag. Posrijedi su drugi razlozi.

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    9. Hmm mislim da ipak trziste nije bilo veliko... SKP i SJJ imaju O&D putnika, ZAG ih ocito nije imao.

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    10. I don't recall when FZ was ever on time in BEG. Today almost 2 hours late. There was huge outrage a couple days back when FZ cancelled huge amount of flights due to weather, including BEG.

      Personally, FZ have a nice interior, better onboard product than JU (seats, IFE, cabin appearance), however service is slow even on half load and wasn't impressed with their buy on board offerings.

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  15. Noooo was really hopeful for Ljubljana. Seems like we are destined not to have flights to the Gulf while everyone else does :(

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  16. If they failed in Zagreb it is difficult to think they will succeed in other cities.

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    1. As far as I can see, they are succeeding in Belgrade against huge competition, Sarajevo and Skopje.

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    2. I think FZ could have a lot of success in LJU. The catchment area is much wealthier than the one in ZAG as they could attract passengers from Austria and Italy.

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  17. FZ used to offer bus transfers to Maribor too.

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  18. I would not be surprised if EK launched flights to Zagreb. I know Flydubai failed. But EK is a whole different ball game. A few years ago EK was also very interested in operating to Belgrade and then continuing on to Venice but this didn't materialize and Venice loads improved. Zagreb wants to attract new airlines, it is giving very generous incentives. The management realises that Zagreb is currently not the regional hub and without a strong national carrier, which seems to be a mess at the moment, they can't be. But they also realise that if they attract famous airlines like Korean and Emirates then they have a chance. It also generates more interest from other airlines when they see that such airlines are serving a city.

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    1. Sorry I just don't see it. Late last year EK said for the millionth time that they are not interested in any ex-Yu city. Their smallest aircraft is the B777, which would be very difficult to fill.

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    2. EK has said they are considering single aisle aircraft so with those there could be a big opportunity for ex-Yu market to be served.

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    3. @11.38. Things in aviation are fluid. Who would have thought a few years ago that Etihad would fly to Belgrade.

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    4. I think SKG, SOF and OTP have more chances of seeing EK than BEG or ZAG.

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    5. EK would be likely good performing as connected DXB-BEG-ZAG-DXB by 777-300

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    6. ''EK has said they are considering single aisle aircraft..."

      I'll have a bit of whatever you had...

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    7. Dubai-based Emirates is evaluating more cities on first, second and third levels. “At DWC, we do not have to depend on very large aircraft (VLA).” Clark did not rule out that one day Emirates could also have single-aisle aircraft in its fleet.

      http://atwonline.com/airports-routes/clark-flydubai-free-slots-dxb-emirates

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    8. The thing is that they are not considering narrowbodies, they are not ruling them out down the road, at some point... huge difference.

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    9. If they are considering narrowbodies, they are more likely just to take over FZ than to start from scratch.

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    10. The only route that would make sense is DXB-OTP-BEG-DXB. The only city in Croatia that might see EK is Dubrovnik, very remotely.

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    11. With profits down 75%, I don't see EK opening many new destinations, if any. So far, it is some upgauging of current flights to the A380 (CMN, NRT, JNB). However, EK have parked a number of aircraft recently.

      OTP is definitely on the table. 2 years ago when they opened destinations such as OSL, BRU, BUD, OTP accidently showed on the crew bidding system, with flight numbers, dates, aircraft type (A332) and frequencies (daily).

      Rumour was that FZ will completely move to DWC this year, however being at DWC I doubt that will happen, but do think many more flights will transfer across to give slots to EK.

      EK needs smaller aircraft, rumour is that part of the A380 order will convert to large A350 order.

      Do note I did say rumour. Changes are being made with Mueller now in EK. Do note that EK do have frequent fliers in the ex-YU.

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    12. Najvece sanse ako dodje A350 u EK sa ovih prostora bi linija DXB-OTP-BEG-DXB ima najvise sanse.
      INN-NS

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  19. Air Arabia was in LJU in 2012 and there was discussion to connect LJU-BEG-SHJ with 5th freedom for BEG-LJU sector but they decided not to go so they will probably not go again especially as major issue was crew layover as LJU is not in low cost catchment area

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    1. Thanks. That would have been interesting. The situation is really different now though especially in BEG with so much Gulf competition. I doubt they would consider these flights now.

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  20. From all EX-YU airports Sarajevo has the most flights to the Persian Gulf. This should continue to increase with more and more big investments in Bosnian hotels and tourism industry from the UAE.

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    1. You sure? Belgrade: Etihad, Qatar, Air Serbia, flydubai.

      I haven't calculated but it seems that Belgrade could have more weekly flights than Sarajevo.

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    2. BEG

      AUH 14
      DXB 4
      DOH 4

      Total: 22

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    3. How many weekly flights from SJJ to Persian Gulf?

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    4. 10 summer, 7 winter

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  21. What would help increase both Qatar and flydubai frequencies is simplifying visa regulations. From recently, Bosnian citizens get visa on arrival, while Serbs who want to visit their friends in Qatar undergo a painful and pricey process. My own experience.

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    1. As far as I know, visa on arrival is only for those who hold a valid GCC visa (ie Saudi, Emirati etc). In that case, it is the same for Serbs too. If I remember right, visa on arrival much be paid for with a credit card.

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  22. Wow Montenegro is doing a great job attracting new airlines. Last year Wizz Air and easy jet. This year Fly dubai. Good job for such a small market.

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    1. They eased protectionism of Montenegro Airlines. I think Podgorica might have been the fastest growing among main ex-yu airports in passenger terms in 2016 but let's wait for official results.

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  23. Svakako bi bilo dobro za LJU i TGD da dobiju te letove zbog povezanosti.
    INN-NS

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  24. Qatar Airways killed them in Zagreb, no big mystery there. Ok...they had some tourists, mostly from Slovenia and the Zagreb quazi-elite. But transfers...nada, nothing. And as for Dubai tourists visiting Croatia, there's insignificant nuber, plus even those who do, fly Qatar, with one short stop in Doha.

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    1. The fact is that unlike SJJ or LJU there is almost no market between DXB and ZAG, as in O&D. The few there are fly on QR and TK but these are extremely insignificant numbers.

      Qatar will consolidate its position in Zagreb and I highly doubt any other Persian Gulf airline will launch flights there.

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