Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pristina demand for US flights grows


New York was the busiest unserved route from Pristina in 2016 for a second year in a row, with passenger numbers from the airport to the United States continuing to grow. Some 15.000 travellers flew from Pristina to New York (JFK and Newark Liberty) last year. Of those, 10.900 were bound for New York's JFK Airport and 4.100 to Newark Liberty Airport. Other routes in North America which saw a notable number of passengers departing Pristina included Chicago, Washington and Toronto. In 2009, Scanderbeg Air, a short-lived tour operator that contracted with Sky King Airlines, introduced two weekly flights between Pristina and New York with a Boeing 767-200ER aircraft. Services were maintained twice per week between June and September. Since then, there have been no flights between the two cities. Pristina’s close rival, Skopje, also saw notable demand for the Big Apple. Some 7.500 passengers flew between the Macedonian capital and New York's JFK and Newark Liberty airports in 2015. The majority of passengers connected through Istanbul with Turkish Airlines to reach the United State's largest city. New York was only preceded by Frankfurt am Main Airport, which was the most popular unserved destination from Skopje.

Pristina Airport's General Manager, Haldun Firat Kokturk, recently said the US city continues to be a target destination. "The airport is focusing on opening new services to destinations not directly served from Pristina. This should have a positive impact in covering more of the countries and catchment areas where our diaspora is located, and will generate additional passengers visiting Kosovo either for leisure or business", Mr Kokturk noted. He added, "We are willing to increase flight numbers and extend our network with additional routes, and we are using our incentive plan to attract airlines in order to catch this growth at a sustainable level". Other unserved destinations with solid numbers include London Heathrow, Helsinki (to be launched this year), Oslo (to be launched this year), Ankara, Antalya, Stockholm (to be launched this year), Izmir, Amsterdam and Dubai.

Top unserved routes from Pristina Airport (click to enlarge)

Pristina Airport handled a record 1.744.202 passengers in 2016, with figures improving 12.6% compared to the year before. Zurich was the busiest destination served out of Pristina during the year. The airport registered a total of 7.254 aircraft movements, up 7.1% on 2015. Germania maintained its position as the busiest carrier with some 270.000 passengers handled, followed by easyJet with 200.000 travellers. The two were proceeded by Edelweiss Air, Adria Airways, Turkish Airlines, Eurowings, Germania Flug and Austrian. The Slovenian national carrier, which boasts a base in Pristina, registered similar figures to that of the year before, however, it was overtaken by both easyJet and Edelweiss, settling as the airport's fourth busiest airline. Pristina Airport handled 1.157 tons of cargo, a slight improvement on 2015s 1.017 tons.

Passengers by airline at Pristina Airport in 2016 (click to enlarge)

Switzerland maintained its position as Pristina's largest market in 2016, with 39.2% of all passengers travelling to the country. It was followed by Germany, Turkey, Austria, Slovenia and Belgium. The majority of travellers departed Pristina for Zurich, some 19.7%, followed by Basel, Dusseldorf, Istanbul, Geneva and Munich. Some airlines have already announced plans to launch new flights to Pristina this year including Wizz Air (Budapest) and Norwegian Air Shuttle (Helsinki). SAS Scandinavian Airlines will add new seasonal services to Pristina this summer season as well. The carrier will operate a total of eight return flights from Stockholm on selected dates between August 1 and August 28 with its new Airbus A320neo jet. In addition, the carrier will run ten flights from Oslo to Pristina on selected dates between August 4 and September 2 with a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. It will also resume seasonal services from Copenhagen and Gothenburg. During 2017, the airport is expected to have its runway and taxiways extended, as well as its ILS (instrument landing system) upgraded. The runway will be extended from the current 2.560 metres to 3.000 metres.

Passengers by destination at Pristina Airport (click to enlarge)

TOP FIVE BUSIEST YEARS AT PRISTINA AIRPORT

YearPAX
20161.744.202
20131.628.678
20151.549.198
20121.527.134
20111.422.302
Data provided by Kosovo CAA

113 comments:

  1. Seasonal flights from PRN to NYC could work, especially because they would be able attract passengers from Albania and Macedonia too. That said I doubt anything more than seasonal traffic on this route would be possible at this point.

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    1. In addition to Scanderbeg Air, American Trans Airways (ATA) also operated 2 weakly seasonal flights between New York and Pristina. They had very good loads and planned to continue the flights but they went bankrupt. I think their is definitely potential for this route on a seasonal basis.

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    2. Yes, those flights started in 2007. Aircraft was full with Albanian and Macedonian passengers and there were some from Montenegro too.

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    3. Oh and it was routes JFK-Pristina-Tirana-Pristina-JFK.

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    4. Here it is at PRN
      http://www.planes.cz/photo/1001/1001707/1001707_1024.jpg

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    5. Scanderbeg used to fly via Liege of all places and the flight continued to Tirana with B767-200. Everything about the trip was terrible except for the loads.

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    6. well almost anything flies in the summer. winter is the problem and what will you do with the planes then?
      there is no math to support flying to us from this region, so nobody does it. and the only line to us from balkans is losing money.

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    7. ^ Give it some time :)

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    8. Some time for what ?
      For Etihad to fly from Athens to Newark, for Zagreb to join the party as well ?
      Think it will be better then ?

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    9. If there is no year round demand for 5 flights a week between BEG and JFk and at a ticket price that is profitable for the airline what can JU do?
      Grab people from the street and force them to fly and pay 600-800€ for it?
      Beg Americans to choose Serbia over Italy or Greece for their holidays?
      What more can they do?

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    10. Why are you arguing with yourself and trying to create some JU flame discussion? No one is taking the bait.

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    11. Pretty much everyone on the Air Serbia flight to NYC in September was Albanian. Even the announcement in Belgrade was in Serbian, English and Albanian which surprised me.

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  2. Is there a way to find the "unserved routes" for particular airports without having to ask the airport management for data? It would be really cool if one could tap into the unserved routes of every big exYU airport.

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    1. I totally agree. It would be very interesting. Would never have thought New York would be most popular from Pristina reached through other cities.

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    2. If it's an impossible thing for commoners to get, then I do believe this website admins can now do a lot more articles like this one with different airports. And maybe not just 1 most unserved route, but maybe top 5?

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    3. There are the top 15 unserved routes in the image.

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  3. I assume that the majority of passengers from Pristina also transfer through Istanbul with Turkish Airlines to the US?

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    1. It's surprising that Lufthansa does not fly to Pristina. They could easily pack passengers to the US via Frankfurt.

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    2. They have Adria for that which is in Star Alliance.

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    3. True although it is still surprising to see that Lufthansa has no flights to Pristina, Macedonia, Montenegro...

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  4. NYC is the top unserved route from hundreds of airports around the world. It still does not mean all (or any) of them will see the direct flights. There is a good business reason why the concept of transfer flights exists. Though in the Balkans anything goes with so many bananas where the leaders think they will prove something big to their people with NYC flights.

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    1. +1 ex-Yu airports are obsessed with New York.

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    2. Ex-Yu airports should try and get linked to bigger hubs that can offer onward connections rather than chase these long haul routes. I remember reading last year a connectivity report here showing that ex-Yu cities have quite bad hub connectivity in comparison to the rest of Europe.

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    3. Pristina has flights to more primary airports and European hubs then Skopje.

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    4. But it needs more LCCs.

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    5. Yeah BEG is a good example where the leaders went bananas with a somewhat bad return on investment.

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    6. Last Anon,

      Yes it is. And so is any other wannabe banana in this region.

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    7. AS je više nego uspešna sa JFK letovima i to se pokazalo za vrlo kratko vreme. Po leti bi trebali povećati let na 6-7 nedeljno a po zimi je dosta 3 pošto nema toliko putnika u Novembru, Januaru i Februaru. Problem je kargo koga je svakim danom sve više. Za one koji rade na BEG videli su da već nekoliko puta ove godine AS nije uspela da ukrca sav kargo pošto nije bilo mesta. Mislim da su ovo vise neko dobri pokazatelji da i drugi gradovi Balkana trebaju uspostaviti liniju do JFK .

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    8. AS je više nego uspešna sa JFK letovima i to se pokazalo za vrlo kratko vreme. Po leti bi trebali povećati let na 6-7 nedeljno a po zimi je dosta 3 pošto nema toliko putnika u Novembru, Januaru i Februaru. Problem je kargo koga je svakim danom sve više. Za one koji rade na BEG videli su da već nekoliko puta ove godine AS nije uspela da ukrca sav kargo pošto nije bilo mesta. Mislim da su ovo vise neko dobri pokazatelji da i drugi gradovi Balkana trebaju uspostaviti liniju do JFK .

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    9. Da, da. Linija je toliko dobra da će biti 3 puta tjedno tijekom velike većine godine. Samo 4 mjeseca je 5 puta tjedno. Sigurno je to tako jer je jako dobro popunjena i ima puno carga.

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  5. With news like this, sometimes I think of the missed opportunities Croatia Airlines has. They could have leased a B767 or A330 several years ago and operated flights from Zagreb and the coast to the US. They would have got a lot of connecting traffic from Skopje, Pristina and Podgorica and the last two I listed probably wouldn't be suspended now. They also could have worked on setting up a leisure division that would specialise in holiday packages to Croatia.

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    1. +1
      They could have filled an aircraft, especially because they could have used it not just to the US but Asia too and could have done many charters. Hell, they could have used the plane for intra-Europe flights from the coast during the peak summer months.

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  6. Good to see Norwegian introducing Helsinki flights this year but they will operate for a short time. Just 2 months :(

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    1. I hope the rumors turn out to be true and easyjet launches flights from Amsterdam. Now I see why there is a probability for this route.

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    2. @anon 9:16 it's probably a very seasonal market made up of the diaspora. Anyway, Norwegian is quite cautious when it comes to this region. They usually start flying seasonally and take several years until they introduce year round flights.

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  7. If Air Serbia flew to Pristina they could have surely gotten some transfer passengers to the US.

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    1. Well it's no wonder that they really want to fly there but until a deal is reached to regulate air transport their hands are tied.

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    2. They could have gotten Air Berlin or Etihad Regional to operate these flights.

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    3. Again the same problem would persist. A plane departing Belgrade and landing in Pristina (and viceversa), no matter which airline, has not been regulated yet.

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    4. It all coincides with the forecast that ZAG will get a flight to NYC and I'm guessing that ZAG will transfer the bulk of Kosovo pax. This will be a lucrative opportunity for ZAG ahead of BEG which does not have a connection to PRN for obvious reasons

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    5. ZAG doesnt have flight to PRN.

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    6. It does. Route is seasonal.

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    7. Pristina has many other destinations, airlines to transfer passengers and tourists to/from New York. Pirstina definitely should open non stop to New York, doesn't need transfer via Belgrade or Zagreb.

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  8. Da li je pravno izvodljivo da Etihad u vremenu kada mu avion stoji u BEG 6 sati obavlja let BEG - PRN - BEG? Naravno pod svojim kodom...

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    1. I Srbija i Kosovo imaju potpisan sporazum o petim slobodama sa UAE sto daje kompanijama iz te zemlje pravo da lete do drugih destinacija iz Srbije i Kosova. Sa te strane je izvodljivo ali ne znam da li je i dalje regulisan prelet izmedju vazdusnog prostora Srbije u vazdusnog prostora Kosova.

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    2. Pa mogu da naprave onu akrobaciju preko Makedonije.

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    3. mislim da je suviše politički osetljivo da se sada to radi

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    4. Hvala na odgoru, tako sam i pretpostavio. Jedino je pitanje da li bi dozvolili code share JU na toj liniji...

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  9. Why did Scanderbeg Air stop flying JFK - Pristina?

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    1. They went bankrupt. They use to fly Tirana-JFK too.

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  10. Good result for PRN.

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  11. I have found a document (prepared by a french consortium: ZAIC - Zagreb Airport International Company) from 2012 ...where they state how 22.000 pax that travel from ZAG have NYC as their final destination. For U.S. in total, this number climbs to 100.000. Today in 2017. I would imagine this might have grown a few percent...maybe.

    Would be interesting to make comparisons with all Ex Yu cities (even Belgrade, but prior to establishing direct link). I believe some portal such as Routes used to show the info on "top unserved routes", but am not sure if those data are avaialble publicly any longer - perhaps you need to register and log in...

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    1. Alen Šćuric PurgerJanuary 25, 2017 at 10:38 AM

      ZAG airport used some tools from Manchester (they pay for it) which shows which is final destinations of passengers from ZAG. They use it till 2009 (don't know if they used it after that time). And there were 220.000 passengers starting ZAG and final destination was USA per year. Out of that most was to JFK (don't remember exact number).

      On that you should put more potential passengers:
      + those who drive to VIE, VCE, BUD (there was all year every day BUD-New York route by American than), MUC... by car, bus or train to use direct flights

      + those making connections from SPU, DBV, PUY, ZAD, OSI, SJJ, SKP, PRN via some other hub to use that route (and were not in that number as it was about ZAG origin passengers).

      There is huge diaspora in USA + huge number of tourists in ZAG and Croatia, so that route would be, for sure, successful.

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    2. 2012 - 173.000 US visitors
      2015 - 317.000 US visitors
      2016 - for the first 11 months 332.000, so with December somewhere between 338.000 and 342.000

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  12. How big is the Albanian diaspora in the USA?

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  13. XL Airways should fly PRN-ZAG-JFK

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    1. XL Airways can fly PRN-JFK-PRN, ZAG-JFK-ZAG doesn't need transfer flights via ZAG.
      or

      ZAG-JFK-PRN-JFK-ZAG-JFK-PRN-JFK-ZAG... this is best for XL Airways.

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  14. The Pristina terminal looks very nice from the photo :)

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    1. same comment on every PRN related topic. ^^

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  15. United would be way better, those two countries are in love anyway... Also, I'm surprised there's not PRN-TIA link, is road between those two well? I mean, just Google Pristina photos, and you will see bunch of Albanian and US flags.

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    1. I think a new highway was opened between Tirana and Pristina recently.

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  16. Adria start flying Pristina-Ljubljana- New York!!!:-D

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    1. Adria could get some Turkish A330-200, many of them sitting in AYT.
      In ZRH are waiting new A330-300 for TK..
      So LJU could be a nice transfer hub

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    2. Don't give Schuster any ideas :).

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  17. This is good opportunity for Skopje, combining passengera from Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, South Serbia, Northern Greece and even partially Bulgaria, I think there is enough demand from these regions for nonstop flight to NYC or CHI.

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  18. Most people from Kosovo/Albania living in the US fly once in every 3 or 4 years because prices are high. If there was a direct line prices would probably go down and there would be more visits.

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  19. There is also a photo of a United B747 at Pristina. Came in 2015 I think as an army charter.

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    1. http://www.imgrum.net/media/1003391644536290492_1586032958

      http://www.imgrum.net/media/1009264362079010095_1586032958

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    2. Was the plane parked at the gate? Can PRN accommodate the 747 at the terminal?

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    3. It wasn't parked at the gate.

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    4. Of course heavy aircrafts can park in the new terminal, take and look Turkish Airlines A330 parked in the new terminal.

      http://www.airportpristina.com/uploads/5497fc1cff2a7c27ba0012ae/safety-5.JPG

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    5. Great thanks. Nice photo :)

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  20. "New York was only preceded by Frankfurt am Main Airport, which was the most popular unserved destination from Skopje".

    Solution: Get Lufthansa to fly to Skopje and they can transfer passengers to the US via Frankfurt and Munich.

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    1. Really I never understood why Lufthansa CityLiner doesn't fly from Skopje to Munich and Frankfurt.

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    2. they dont want to hurt OS

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  21. I'm surprised that there are quite a few people travelling between Pristina and Washington DC. Is there an Albanian population living there?

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  22. Really impressive annual numbers since Kosovo doesn't have visa liberalisation.

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    1. Imagine what will happen once visas are lifted.

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  23. American Airlines or Delta Airlines definitely should open service round trip non-stop from JFK to PRN which also connects flights from/to other destinations in the the US to/from Pristina.

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    1. Because of 15.000 potential passengers? You are joking, right? They don't have flights to airports where they have several 100.000 potential passengers per year, but will fly to PRN where there is demand for 50 flights per year (one per week) and that is if 100% of potential passengers would use that route, and no connected flight by TK, OS, LX, SK

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    2. Agree with last anon. Some people are not thinking logically.

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    3. I agree with the first Anonymous,
      Pristina should have non stop flights to New York already! all Kosovo's, Albanians, Macedonian, Montenegro's and other tourists anywhere in the US and Canada connect to/from JFK fills the plane direct JFK-PRN-JFK.
      Forget connected flights via destinations with EU.

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    4. And how this route finish?

      For sure company was bankrupt because of good potentials and full planes with high prices.

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  24. Pristina should work on getting direct flights to New York, London and Amsterdam and they would all be successful. Also, Easy Jet should be subsidized to allow them open more new routes!

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    1. LHR is high on the list. Didn't BA used to fly to Pristina?

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    2. I think they did but Turkish management in Pristina tried to rip them off so the british even began loading carosene elsewhere and eventually boycotted the whole route!

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    3. Oh yeah now I remember there was some saga around that route. I think they used to fly from Gatwick. During the fuel thing they used to land in Dubrovnik I think.

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  25. So much jealousy in here. Pristina certainly must have a direct line with New York and that's because statistically it needs one. 15.000 to NYC alone? What about other popular destinations like D.C. Chicago or Toronto? How about we add some albanians from Macedonia montenegro or Albania! I think the 'potential' passenger numbers would triple or quadrouple instantly! PRN may be smaller but albanians have a larger number of immigrants than Croatia or Serbia thenselves and just because they bigger countries doesnt mean they should keep a monopoly on flights to big cities. Pristina must have a direct flight to NYC as well and it would work -like it has worked in the past!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. LOL!
      When did it work in the past?
      What is stopping the Pristina authorities to buy/lease a plane and start flying to New York or wherever else they think it is prestigious to fly?

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    2. Airlines don't start with flights if you have 400.000-500.000 potential passengers. Why? Because lot of those use connections, it is high risk, costs of those flights are very high.

      Bucharest, Sofia, Zagreb, Stuttgart... does not have flights to New York. But Priština will. Congratulation!

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    3. Bucharest Sofia Zagreb stuttgart and possibly many other cities don't have and never will have direct connection to NYC but truth be told PRN had a seasonal direct service to NYC and it worked perfectly. The route got shut down for reasons other than low passenger capacity!

      And also, Pristina, unlike Belgrade will not engage its entire diplomacy in marketing NYC flights in efforts to show how globalised they getting. If there will be a direct line to NYC it will come thanks to some private company who sees profit potential, not electoral votes!

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    4. Try to find a Pax 767-200ER or a plane with similar capacity?!

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    5. @Anon 6:06 PM
      PRN had NY flights for 3-4 months once and it was a complete and utter financial disaster!
      The company involved went BANKRUPT because of these flights.

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    6. My point exactly. It was so successful that company went BANKRUPT!

      And ZAG had JFK flight. Even more ZAG had 8 JFK flights per week (4 Pan Am and 4 JAT). On top of that there were flights to Toronto (Air Canada, JAT), Chicago (JAT), Los Angeles (JAT), Clivelend (JAT).

      So, what is your point?

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    7. Most Albanians that live in Toronto (not that there are all that many of them to begin with...) are from Albania proper so a direct connection between YYZ and PRN wouldn't be successful. The graph in this blog post even shows that

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  26. Bilo bi bolje privuci jos velikih kompanija radi veceg izbora kao npr da se potrude oko dovodjenja HV uz KL code share sto bi bilo odlicno.
    INN-NS

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  27. Dubai made it onto the top 15 unserved routes from Pristina for the first time. Nice.

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    1. Clearly there is a need for a DXB-PRN-EWR flight!

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    2. Definitely I agree, DXB-PRN-JFK-PRN-DXB flights works and grateful!

      Check out this new terminal PRN looks great and fits three heavy planes associated with the new terminal at the same time! Which Emirates heavy aircrafts fit in the new terminal.

      http://tasarimmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pp1.jpg

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    3. you guys are delusional, no offense. Do you really think that EK can fill a B777-300 on these routes? Based on info from last year, EK is still struggling in BUD and WAW which are how many times bigger markets.

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  28. OT
    OS otvara 3 Destinaciju u Iranu a to je SYZ Schiraz sa 4 pw leta ali 1 pw leti se döaje za IFN .
    I AY planira nekoliko A359 da zameni sa A351 zbog velikog kapaciteta za Kinu a to je dokaz da mogu i druge zemlje da imaju znacajan Turizam bez Mora.
    INN-NS

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    1. Мислим да је А35К ознака за 350-1000 :-)

      Све најбоље!

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. Da jeste ICAO kod ali je to IATA kod samo sto je dodato A ali jeste nije ispravno.
      INN-NS

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  29. WTF, new flights to Ankara? Who, When?

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    1. You misread, Sir. What the article states is that Ankara is in the top 10 unserved destinations from PRN during 2016. To be precise, over 4,100 passengers travelled between ESB and PRN during 2016.

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  30. Terminal overview from the air side!

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/The_new_terminal_and_apron_of_the_Pristina_International_Airport.jpg

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