Friday, February 24, 2017

Hainan Airlines eyes Belgrade service


Hainan Airlines, China's largest private carrier by both market share and fleet size, will launch over ten international flights this year with Belgrade likely to be included as well. Speaking at the Belgrade Tourism Fair yesterday, the Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić, said, "I expect for a deal to be reached with a private Chinese carrier for the introduction of flights between Beijing and Belgrade. Air Serbia is not in a position to commence direct flights to China. That is why I asked Chinese carriers to do so and we are very close to reaching a deal with a private airline. Following the good news concerning flights from Beijing, there will be more positive developments from China". Last month, Mr Vučić held talks with representatives from HNA Aviation, the parent company of Hainan Airlines, during the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Hainan Airlines' Senior Vice President, Hou Wei, told the "China Daily" that economic growth campaigns like the Belt and Road Initiative, of which Serbia is a part of, and various bilateral free trade agreements have led to a rise in people-to-people exchanges, which is spurring demand for flights to certain destinations. He added that traffic rights for routes connecting major cities are tight, so direct flights to second-tier cities are practical. "Direct flights between first-tier Chinese cities and second-tier foreign cities, as well as second-tier Chinese cities and top-tier foreign cities, are expected to grow rapidly in the future, given the significant demand for international travel in China. We analyse the markets city by city, to study their economic development models, annual fiscal performance, average income and their demographics, like if the majority of their population is turning into middle class consumers given to wanderlust".

Earlier this week, Serbia's outgoing President, Tomislav Nikolić, noted he would bring "good news that will benefit both Serbian and Chinese citizens" following his state visit to the country next month. He added the news would be communicated to the public by the Prime Minister. Furthermore, earlier this week, Serbia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Rasim Ljajić, met with China's Ambassador to Serbia to discuss "concrete steps to increase the number of Chinese tourists". Speaking after the meeting, the Chinese Ambassador said, "We expect for a direct air link between the two countries to be introduced this year, which, together with the abolition of visas for Chinese citizens, is the most important step towards a significant increase in the number of Chinese tourists to Serbia". Mr Ljajić noted that Serbia will present a joint product with Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia for Chinese tourists.

Sino-Serbian relations have soared since the launch of China's Belt and Road Initiative, which has seen the arrival of several large Chinese companies to Serbia and the abolition of visa requirements between the two nations. "We will launch more routes connecting China with countries and regions along these two trading routes to assist our counterparts in building and operating airports to improve local transportation services", Hainan Airlines' President, Sun Jianfeng, said. He added, "In comparison with 2016, a growing number of countries are working on simplifying visa procedures for Chinese travellers, including the introduction of digital visas, lowering of visa fees and shortening waiting periods".

107 comments:

  1. Good news. They are a good airline.

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  2. It's smart that they have decided on a joint promotion with Montenegro, Bosna and Macedonia. There is a greater chance of attracting tourists that way.

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    1. Montenegro eased visa restrictions for Chinese a few weeks ago.

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  3. Well if it's a private airline like Vucic says then it can only be Hainan (or its subsidiaries) since none of the other private airlines in China have the aircraft to reach Belgrade.

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    1. XiamenAir does.

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    2. True but their only European destination is Amsterdam I believe.

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  4. I wonder if it will be Hainan or one of its subsidiaries like Beijing Capital Airlines.

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  5. Weren't people writing here how this will never happen? Just like they used to write for the New York flights...

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    Replies
    1. Serbs and Croats are exatcly the same here. Both are amazingly jelous of the other and hate to see any good news come from the other side of the boarder. Sad really.

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    2. Etihad buy Jat. Hop!
      Fleet expansion. Hop!
      Flights to New York. Hop!

      etc.

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    3. Anonymous at 10:59, agreed, but use spell check.

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    4. Fristki ti bas imas problem sa svim vezanim za BEG i JU, to sam primjetio odavno.

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  6. It is my understanding that the used to fly to BUD but terminated it?

    What makes BEG a better option for a 2nd try? AS networking, that will prob. feed the line?

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    1. That and they will probably get some financial support. I can only imagine what Vucic promised them since he was the one conducting talks.

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    2. can't really imagine that they will get any financial support. They have special conditions at BEG though, as they are staring a new route i guess.

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    3. No, they will not get any financial support, the Serbian government doesn't hand out money to any airline other than Air Serbia.

      They are coming because of growing business and financial links between Serbia and China. Mind you, RTB Bor will also be sold to the Chinese.

      All these investments will fill quite a few seats upfront.

      With visas being abolished, I can see quite a few Serbian tours going to China.

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    4. Alen Šćuric PurgerFebruary 24, 2017 at 9:26 AM

      Why not?

      Hainan terminated BUD just a week after Malev bankruptcy as they did not have feeding carrier for their flights. Air Serbia can be more than good alternative.

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    5. What aircraft did they use to BUD?

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    6. BUD used to get the A332.

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  7. When will they be launched?

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    Replies
    1. Presumably during the summer

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  8. Opet samo tizer i nista konkretno...

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    1. Pa ambasador Kine ti je rekao da ce se realizovati letovi. Sta vise od toga hoces. Samo je pitanje vremena kada ce se desiti.

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    2. Zvanicno u martu

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    3. Mislis nezvanicno?

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    4. Ne nego ce se linija zvanicno objaviti sledeceg meseca.

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    5. Bice objavljena po Nikolicevom povratku iz Pekinga.

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    6. Pa dobro, ima smisla... na kraju krajeva to je jos par nedelja. Imam osecaj da ce letovi krenuti u junu i da ce biti tipa dva puta nedeljno.

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    7. BEG-PEK is still a wish. ZAG-DXB is reality. Hence cannot be compared.

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    8. At the same time there are already SJJ-DXB, BEG-DXB, SKP-DXB and soon TIV-DXB.

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    9. Plus BEG-DXB has been around for about 25 years now.

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    10. BEG-DXB was operated in the 1990s last anonymous. ;)

      Not to mention in the age of old Yugoslavia.

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  9. Alen Šćuric PurgerFebruary 24, 2017 at 9:23 AM

    OT: I AIR FRANCE KREĆE SA LCC LONG-HAUL

    Nakon što su sa LCC Long-haul krenuli Air Canada Rouge, Norwegian, wow i Lufthansin Eurowings, a isto je najavila i XL Airways France koja se ujedinjuje sa La Compagnie sa ciljem pokretanja takve kompanije (u startu će imati 3 širokotrupca i 2 757) pokretanje kompanije za interkontinentalne LCC je najavila i Air France.

    Kompanija će se zvati "Boost", i krenuti će krajem ove ili početkom iduće godine. 58,1% pilota članova sindikata Air Francea izjasnilo se za ovu ideju.

    Ovo može biti i dobra vijest za Zagreb gdje ADP kao jedan od glavnih koncesionara može motivirati Boost da krene letjeti i iz Zagreba.

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    1. What's all those stupid names of LCC airlines? Can't they get a normal name such as 'Air {something about nature/geography'}? Damn.

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    2. I agree - what / who is this airline and do they have inflight toilets on board?

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  10. Will be interesting which aircraft they use.

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    1. If Hainan launches flights then it will be either B788 or A332. They are the smallest aircraft in the fleet. They also have three B763 so who knows.

      Configuration:

      A332: 36+186 = 222
      B788: 36+177 = 213

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  11. 'Mr Ljajić noted that Serbia will present a joint product with Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia for Chinese tourists.'

    It's really nice to see that other countries in the region are benefiting from Serbia's strong links which China which were initiated in 2007.

    Also, I wonder how the Chinese will travel from Serbia to Macedonia or Montenegro. Would they fly or take the bus? Macedonia could be done but Montenegro... the road is not the best.

    This could be a nice boost to Air Serbia's regional network.

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    1. Just to add, Hainan already code-shares with both Etihad and Air Berlin.

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    2. chinese have no problems with busing around long hours.

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  12. Good news. Officials said there might be a second destination to China too. Would be cool if it was another airline as well :D

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  13. Wow bravo... this is great news and it will definitely help Belgrade grow even more. 5.5 million doesn't so unrealistic now.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah none of the above will happen. Sorry

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    2. Don't be sorry, stay positive, nothing is impossible. :)

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  14. "He added the news would be communicated to the public by the Prime Minister".

    Hahaha oh poor Toma :(

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  15. Replies
    1. Who is? The ambassador?

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  16. Congratulations to both Belgrade and Serbia! This is an extremely important step in turning BEG into a true regional hub, far beyond the ex-YU region.

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    1. This is an extremely exciting opportunity. What on earth will the Chinese tourists do once they land in BEG. Over indulge in Cevaps?

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    2. They will do what all other tourists do when they come to Belgrade. See the sights and enjoy themselves.

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    3. What about some 5.000 Israelis who are visiting Belgrade every month? Do you think they get bored when they are here?

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    4. Wasn't aware that Israelis were visiting in such large numbers. Have EL AL been flying double daily747 flights to BEG that I am not aware of?

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    5. No, Israeli carriers Arkia and Israir operate these flights. A massive influx of Israeli tourists is expected from May. Israir has already increased their flights for the summer.

      In summer BEG-TLV will be 10 weekly.

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    6. Arkia and Isair - what are these? Essential oils or something?

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    7. Actually Israir changed its plans and BEG will be 4 weekly so total will be 11.

      Air Serbia: 5
      Israir: 4
      Arkia:2

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    8. In September Arkia adds its third weekly though, Israir goes down to three weekly. Though let's see what happens in the end.

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    9. Thanks for the update. I've just checked their web sites and no these Israelis airlines don't fly 47 year old ATRs - great news

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    10. No, they really don't since the Atr doesn't have the range to make it to Belgrade. I think it's because of that Arkia will be sending their B753 to BEG this May.

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    11. Anon 10:54 / 11:16,

      This is an aviation blog so you may wish to learn a thing or two about aviation before you post something here. I totally don't mind that it only took you two posts to demonstrate what kind of an ignorant fool you are - but even as such you should still show some respect to other visitors.

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    12. Don't worry about anon @ 11,16 - he can't even get the age of the aircraft right to make his point ...

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  17. I don't see BEG having flights to China before OTP. OTP is a major airport with over 10 mln. pax and with booming economy.

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    1. BEG got JFK flights while OTP had none.BEG got PUY flights before OTP.
      BEG had 4 daily SVO flights while OTP barely had daily.
      BEG had DXB and AUH flights before OTP.

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    2. JFK - no bussiness logic or profitability there. my guess this will also be the case of chinese flights

      SVO - much bigger serbian disaspora and russian business activity in serbia

      PUY - peanuts

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    3. No Chinese airline would be silly enough to start flights to BEG. Last year this blog was talking about OU starting up 4,additional bases. Nothing eventuated

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    4. It wasn't this blog talking about it it was the CEO of Croatia Airlines.

      I guess you will have the same problem as you did when you were saying that Air Serbia will never launch JFK.

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    5. Regardless of your theories Belgrade still has those flights while OTP won't. End of story.

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    6. The difference is that the Romanian government isn't giving millions of subsidies to TAROM in order the Prime-Minister to make PR.

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    7. @10.54 sure, i am #justsaying

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    8. The difference is that they would if they could... like they did all those years.

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    9. Would it be legal for Romania to provide subsidies to Tarom? Would Tarom have to replay that money back according to EC rules? Is it different for Serbia to pour more money in Air Serbia because they are not in EU?

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    10. They can give them state aid once in ten years and it has to be followed by a restructuring plan.

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    11. Anon 10:28,

      No one could see ZAG getting the EK flights before OTP and yet it happened. So no reason that you keep your eyes shut on this one.


      Anon 10:47,

      Do you have any proof that could support your claim that Hainan would launch a long haul flight without bussiness logic or profitability?

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    12. Yeah - EK launching ZAG with a widebody with huge number of premium seats - no business logic or profitability,

      So it happens all the time... no need to be in a death spin about this.

      Chinese have other business interests in Serbia that go well beyond putting a flight into BEG

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  18. I don't believe it till it will be officially confirmed.Chinese are used to announce promises even in occasion of business meetings but most of them without any good end. I use to work in China since 2001.

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  19. I have a friend he work at Easyjet Geneva Airport Switzerland. He says me Easyjet is interessed to Launch Amsterdam Pristina Amsterdam Nis flights.
    If it is real. it's amazing

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  20. Great news for BEG.

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  21. OT:
    Lufthansa will boost capacity for Zagreb - morning and afternoon flight will be operated by A319, replacing CRJ700.

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    1. ^ from beginning of summer schedule (march 26)

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    2. * Zagreb - Frankfurt service

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    3. Really bad news for OU though.

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    4. Alen Šćuric PurgerFebruary 24, 2017 at 4:04 PM

      It is. CTN is more than aware of that and can do nothing.

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    5. Which is why it's time to launch a few of its own destinations or to increase some of its own flights: Berlin, Stuttgart, Stockholm, Hamburg...

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    6. last year was 2 daily CR9, right?

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    7. Yes, last year was 2 daily CR9. Year before was 1 daily A321.

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  22. Some more info:

    - Chinese tourism to Serbia has been growing at a rate of 30% per year.

    - Serbia will also work with Hungary.

    - Over 800.000 Chinese visit CEE every year, Prague being their number one destination.

    - Serbia will offer Belgrade with its surroundings, mountain resorts, spas, numerous festivals and a tradition worth getting to know.

    - So far tour operators in Serbia have made concrete plans with their colleagues in Montenegro to offer joint tours.

    - In 2011 only 12.000 Chinese tourists visited Serbia. In 2016 this number grew to 43.000.

    http://africa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2017-02/24/content_28335570.htm

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  23. Out of topic (sorry) AirSerbia ex Lubljana or Zagreb to N.York one way tickeys 164 Euro February to May. Is this normal?

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    1. With almost 22hrs layover, it kinda is. Same thing does Aegean from BEG (to Eauropean cities tho, one way tickets like 30Eur)

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    2. Aye, our friends in Belgrade pays the rest. And as far as i can read here, they are very happy and proud about it :) Thank you very much friends!

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    3. You are most welcome buddy. It's our pleasure. :)

      You see, you will fly with JU, love it and then use it the next time for a slightly larger, profitable price. :)

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    4. @Anon 12:19, I am from Belgrade, but if I was going to fly to NY these days, I would go to ZAG by car and then fly with Air Serbia from there, no lie

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    5. and return flight (BEG-JFK-BEG) in total 450-500 eur? So, what is special there?

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    6. Customers that book the cheapest flights are not loyal and will not pay a premium next time, just what ever is the cheapest. Thank you JU and the Serbian tax payer for supporting these cheap flights for ZAG and LLU pax. Very much appreciated

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  24. Good news for BEG. Now if they could secure Tehran, YYZ, and ORD. And go double, and triple daily to most Balkan destinations.
    That's when a true Balkan hub will become a reality.

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    Replies
    1. This will take a few more years.

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  25. OT: Looks like there will be no new routes from Adria. According to 'Uporabna stran', JP will fly to 18 routes from LJU with 162 weekly flights. Last year there was 21 routes and 161 weekly flights, so most likely they will just boost frequencies. Among others SVO will be served daily.

    I've been a long supporter of LJU and JP, but I'm giving up on JP (and LJU) if this will be the case. The only new route announced for this summer is TRA w/ AMS-LJU.

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    1. I think it's wise you are giving up on them, too much time, attention and hope was wasted on them.

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  26. Alen Šćuric PurgerFebruary 24, 2017 at 7:38 PM

    E pa ljudi stvar je ovakva:

    1. Kucko nam ostaje do 1.9. Šircu nije ponuđeno produljenje.

    2. Iznajmit će se dva 100-seatera, vjerojatno CRJ

    3. Uvode se Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm i Bucharest, ostaje Prag, Lisabon, St.Peterstburg i Milano.

    4. Kompanija je bila profitabilna u prošloj godini.

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    1. To je super, valjda? Drago mi je radi Skandinavije, postoji li potražnja za Bukureštom?

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    2. Odlične vijesti! (nadam se da je profit bio veci od 19 mil zbog prodaje slotova)
      Od koga ce se iznajmiti crj?
      Jel ovo inside info ili je negdje vec objavljeno?

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    3. Napokon nove destinacije, od kad počinju i jesu li samo sezonski ili cjelogodišnji?

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    4. LED ostaje? Nisam bas siguran da su tu pozitivni , vise mi izgleda da tu liniju guraju na silu.
      ARN najbolji izbor, OSL takodje medju dobrima, ali HEL mislim da je promasaj.
      OTP mi izgleda kao interesantno resenje ali sa kojim avionom? Q400? Nisam bas ubedjen da ce ova linija opstati.

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    5. Alen Šćuric PurgerFebruary 24, 2017 at 8:44 PM

      Inside.

      Dublin je trebao biti opcija broj 1. Mostar broj 2. Sofija prije Bucharesta. HEL je svakako opcija (turizam, business, Europska unija)

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    6. a baza u Sarajevu

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