Tuesday, February 21, 2017

AtlasGlobal to launch Sarajevo service


Turkish carrier AtlasGlobal will continue to expand into former Yugoslavia this summer with the introduction of flights between Istanbul Ataturk Airport and Sarajevo. Speaking at a media event in Belgrade yesterday, the airline's regional Country Manager, Ender Karaca, said, "We plan to expand in the Balkans. Next we will introduce flights to Belgrade and Sarajevo. The Balkans is a great place for doing business". The airline previously announced it would launch daily flights from Istanbul to the Serbian capital on March 15, which are to be codeshared by Air Serbia. Ticket sales for AtlasGlobal's new Sarajevo service are expected to commence in the coming days. The two cities in the former Yugoslavia will become part of the seventeen new destinations the carrier intends to launch this year. Others in the region include Tirana and Bucharest.

AtlasGlobal will have strong competition on its Sarajevo service. The carrier will face off directly against Turkish Airlines, which will maintain eighteen weekly flights between the two cities this summer season. AtlasGlobal will become the first company other than Turkish to operate the route since 2014. Furthermore, low cost Pegasus Airlines will run nine weekly flights from Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport to Sarajevo. Previously known as Atlasjet, AtlasGlobal is a full fare carrier operating a fleet of 23 Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft in a two-class configuration. It maintains operations throughout Turkey, northern Cyprus, the Middle East, Europe and Asia and sets itself apart from the competition by offering a generous baggage allowance policy of forty kilograms of checked-in luggage in business and thirty in economy on its international flights, which is above the industry average.

AtlasGlobal business class cabin

Sarajevo Airport has previously said it anticipates seeing a "turning point" in its operations this year with plans to handle one million passengers. Besides AtlasGlobal, Wizz Air has announced the launch of two weekly flights from Budapest starting this April, while TUIFly Belgium will introduce seasonal services from Charleroi to the Bosnian capital. Furthermore, Swiss International Air Lines and Air Arabia will resume summer flights from Zurich and Sharjah respectively. Qatar Airways is expected to commence services from Doha, which were initially scheduled to launch in 2016. In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News, the airline said it is committed to honouring its plans of introducing four weekly flights to the Bosnian capital this year, but it is yet to schedule a launch date due to a delay in the arrival of new aircraft.

88 comments:

  1. With all these new arrivals I think Sarajevo should reach 1 million passengers this year unless there is a lot of bad weather.

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    1. 2017 will be a very good year for Sarajevo :)

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    2. If they reach 1 million passengers we could actually have all top 10 airports in the former Yugoslavia with 1 million. Podgorica and Tivat should also handle 1 mill+ this year.

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  2. It's good news but I would like to get more flights other than Istanbul. This is already one of the most served routes

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    1. True. This is all nice and I would like to see more and more flights to Sarajevo but I would prefer more if they focused on getting European carriers first because there are so many destinations in Europe which are currently unserved and require attention.

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    2. I highly doubt it was Sarajevo Airport that pursued Atlas to start flights there. Atlas probably made plans to expand in the region and they identified Sarajevo as a market with potential.

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  3. I wonder how Turkish Airlines will react. I assume these flights will operate daily?

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    1. It will be the first airline to fly Ataturk besides Turkish Airlines since B&H Airlines operated with an ATR. And that was years ago.

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  4. Good work SJJ. Any other new routes planned except for the ones listed in the article?

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    1. Apparently there might be some new flights from Scandinavia.

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    2. Didn't Brussels Airlines also say it was interested in flying Brussels-Sarajevo-Banja Luka?

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    3. If that launches (and it's a big if) I doubt it will be this summer season.

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    4. What about Croatia Airlines' plans to open a base in Sarajevo? :P

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  5. Excellent. Will Turkish also be flying from Sabiha like they did two years ago?

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  6. Sarajevo has no direct flights to London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Prague...

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    1. But there will be 4 daily flights to Istanbul -.-

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    2. Sarajevo and Berne are the only two European capital cities without flights to London (if we don't include Armenia and Georgia to be part of Europe)

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    3. Bern - London City daily by Skywork!

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    4. My bad. So Sarajevo is the only one then. I can't believe there is no demand.

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    5. Didn't British Airways used to fly to Sarajevo?

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    6. But Tuzla have

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    7. Nicosia isn't connected to London. :)

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    8. I think a small national airline based in Sarajevo with flights to a couple of main European airports could work.

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    9. @Nemjee but Nicosia does not have a functioning airport ;)

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    10. Actually, Nicosia has two functional airports. First is Nicosia International Airport (currently used by the UN) while the second is Ercan/Tymvou used for flights to Turkey.

      There was a plan to re-open NIC for scheduled traffic but the approach would have to take place over the northern parts of the island so they gave up on the idea.

      In the early 1970s a JAT B727 crashed on approach to NIC.

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    11. Yes I know but NIC is only used for military flights and Ercan can only accept flights from Turkey.

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    12. Not even for military flights, mostly just UN helicopters.
      EU military jets use either Larnaca or the British military airport in Akrotiri right next to Limassol.

      As for Ercan, several airlines sell direct flights to Europe but the plane has to first land at a Turkish airport.

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  7. Atlasglobal seems like an interesting airline. Looking at their website they seem to put a lot of emphasis on service. Anyone flown with them?

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    1. I know many people who flew from Ercan/Tymvou to Turkey and I only heard the best things about them. Fares are extremely cheap and their service is as good as TK's.

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    2. Thanks. They have some good connections to North Cyprus which everyone that has been says is a great place to visit. Might give them a try.

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    3. The nature is stunning, especially the beaches as you head north to the Karpaz. That's one of the few places in the world where they have wild donkeys.

      As far as the cities goes, well... they are quite dirty, unsafe and you really need to be careful where you eat. The best solution is to go south and then to spend a few days in the north.

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  8. I don't see this company as a sustainable one...

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    1. look at all their destinations. Also don't forget the huge competition at IST.

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    2. Look at who is backing them. They won't have any problems making it in the future.

      Mind you, they are also adding A330s to their fleet to serve some of their new Russian destinations.

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    3. Who is backing them? :)

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    4. They are backed by a large Turkish tour operator. That's how they are selling most of their seats.

      Remember how a few years ago they operated charter flights from IST to BEG? That's how they filled all those A321s.

      They always did well in Belgrade. When they used to run charters from the Turkish coast to Belgrade they used to send their B752s.

      They are something like a Turkish version of TUI.

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    5. Thanks for the info Nemjee. Good to have another airline in our skies.

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    6. But if JU failed to fill the A319 on IST, how AtlasGlobal will fill 321?

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    7. Atlas will rely on its own connecting passengers but they will also promote Belgrade among Turkish holidaymakers like they did some time ago. Those charter flights they used to operate were packed to the last seat.

      Belgrade was an extremely successful destination for them. Now they are committing to the market.

      Their business model was much different from JU's. Unfortunately Air Serbia didn't stand a chance in Istanbul.

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    8. Anon 10:16,

      JU had zero agreements with Turkish tour operators. The demand for Belgrade city break is HUGE in Turkey - but most of the people buy packages from tour operators rather than arranging individual trips. This is where Atlas was always doing great while JU was shrinking its office in Istanbul and eventually closed it down for good.

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  9. Flights to SJJ and BEG are already listed in their inflight magazine as new routes. Great news.

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  10. TUIFly will introduce year-round services from Charleroi, not seasonal.

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    1. they end of 23 October which is before the end of the winter season. Maybe they extend it if they have good loads.

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    2. Tui je sluzbeno objavia da ce letovi biti year-round, ali za sad se prodaje samo do kraja oktobra za sve njihove destinacije.

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  11. OT: RyianAir in Nis
    Tickets booked one week before flight for 24 + 13 = 37 EUR. Considering the price, I expected the half empty aircraft. On the contrary, flight BTS-INI (17.2.) estimation LF 95+%, on the way back INI-BTS (20.2.) estimation at least 85%. Really great for February.
    Lot of Slovakians on board and also people speaking English. I didn't have an impression that majority of people are gastarbajters from Vienna. Myself, I was going to Nis from Czechia.

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    1. Mind you, BTS got some extra flights around the holidays even before the route was launched. Let's hope they increase it to three weekly by summer.

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    2. I am happy for those flights but also wondering about yields. They can have low cost structure, low taxes at INI and BTS but how on earth can they make profit with those fares? How much does it cost to send B737 for 60minutes: fuel and 7 people as crew (2 pilots + 5 stewards)? Not counting aircraft maintenance, amortisation and air taxes.
      Btw, is there any reason why they have so many stewards on certain lines? Regulations or...? Why having 5 stewards if they need just 2 minutes to pull the carriages through the aircraft with meals and drinks because nobody is buying anything.

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    3. I think the minimum is 1 flight attendant per 50 passengers. 5 onboard so seems like an additional FA was there - possibly crew training?
      You seem to forget that FAs are there primarily for safety, and not just to move the carts around :)

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  12. Great news for Sarajevo! Now just waiting for Wizz to add few more destinations! :)

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  13. OT: Does anyone know what's happening with JU summer schedule? They just cancelled both of my flights (BRU-BEG-BRU) in early May due to schedule changes. Apparently, no more flights on Fri/Tue. The flight seems to be scheduled as only 3 or 4 PW even in July/August. Wasn't aware BRU was doing so bad. :/

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    1. According to online booking systems BRU is going down to 4 weekly and CDG to 13 weekly. Seems like they will need the A319s to run some charters since some of the B733s will be leaving the fleet.

      I guess they are turning into Jat slowly but surely. They have also decimated their scheduled flights in favor of the charter ones.

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    2. i dont know if it is because of charters. turkey and north africa will again have bad season.

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    3. Greece and Spain won't.

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    4. Yeah but there are no charters to Croatia from Serbia.

      Also, I highly doubt Croatia will ever be as popular as Greece for Serbs.

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    5. correct but Greece means going with your car and 5 kilo tomatoes and paprika in it. Has nothing to do with JU charter tourism

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    6. But anyway Croatia is more popular than Spain for serbian tourism.

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    7. But here we are talking about charter flights, not overall tourist numbers. There is no need to go to Croatia on a charter flight when the distance is not as great and there are already scheduled flights.

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    8. Svi b733 koji su trenutno u saobracaju idu na secenje do kraja 2017 godine.

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    9. Note that Turkish leisure destinations slowly started to recover some of its markets back (Russia, Ukraine, and to be followed by eastern European markets). State subsidizes flights to leisure destinations heavily (6000 USD per flight having over 100 pax), Syria seems to be cooling down and violence in general is expected to slow down following the constitutional referendum in April. Still, it'll take a lot of time for western Europeans to return back to Turkey.

      Nevertheless, countries who benefited most from the Russian tourists last year, could be slightly disappointed (Greek islands for example).

      JU's capacity switch from scheduled flights to charters might be related to that fact.

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  14. Nice work Sarajevo :)

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  15. So no agreement has been made with Wizz Air besides Budapest? Wizz said how it was interested in starting 5/6 routes from Sarajevo a few months ago.

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  16. Its always great to hear about new route launches and Sarajevo seems to have quite a few this year. Wish them all the best.

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  17. Well let's hope there are no surprises in Turkey this summer and that they have a good season.

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  18. Excellent. Turkish will get some competition on this route.

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  19. Any info on that codeshare with JU? At this moment you cannot select IST in any way on the JU website.

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  20. So 4 new airlines at Sarajevo Airport announced for this year so far. Nice

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    1. And they still haven't even scratched the surface of their potential. With a smart management they could become the fastest growing capital airport in ex-yu in the next few years.

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  21. Qatar will start to fly to Sarajevo soon?

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    1. Yes they have announced them. Last year they started selling tickets but suspended sales when they realized they don't have enough planes. Should launch later this year.

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  22. They might want to consider Skopje as well. Istanbul is the busiest route from SKP. Pegasus and Turkish are the only two airlines flying on this route plus Turkish citizens don't need visas to come to Macedonia.

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    1. TAV tries to avoid generating too much competition to Turkish.

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    2. ^ haha that's not true.

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    3. @anon 12.40 haha so not true.

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    4. If that was the case Fly dubai, Pegasus and Qatar airways would not be flying to Skopje.

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  23. Their crew uniform looks so... Soviet-y. Now we know why Aerologic holds them in high esteem.

    Best wishes to Atlas on SJJ, BEG and future Ex-YU routes.

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    1. Well I think Ukraine and Russia are their main markets :D

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    2. Plus every village in Ukraine which makes him happy :D

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    3. 'Aerologic' holds them in high-esteem because:

      - Their network out of Istanbul perfectly complements the one of Air Serbia and covers a black-hole from BEG which are places like Erbil, Suleymaniyah, Baghdad, Mineralnye Vodi, Erevan etc.
      - They're antagonistic to TK which more than them flies "to every village in Ukraine"
      - They've got the best service among Turkish carriers, they're somewhat of a Turkish QR
      - Behind them is a huge tour operator similar to what Putnik was in Yugoslavia
      - Their expansion and overall network is done very intelligently, further proven by this last wave of expansion (Belgrade, Bucharest, Tirana, Sarajevo...)

      Now sorry to break your childish party but this was really worthy of 3 years old.

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    4. I hold in 'high-esteem' airlines that are able to create new markets and not just relying on the existing (mainly O&D) one as parasites, but which are innovative in their approach.

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  24. Nice I always thought Atlas was a low cost airline. Guess I was wrong.

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