Thursday, March 30, 2017

VLM Slovenia readies for operations


VLM Airlines Slovenia (VLM Airlines d.d), a subsidiary of SHS Aviation Slovenia which runs Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport, has begun preparations for its planned launch later this year. The ambitious carrier, which aims to link Slovenia's second largest city with eleven destinations this year (Belgrade, Berlin, Hamburg, London, Podgorica, Split, Zurich, Xi'an, Chongqing and Nanchang) with a mix of Airbus A320, A330 and Fokker 50 aircraft, is in the process of acquiring a Slovenian Air Operator's Certificate (AOC). As a result, the start-up flew a Fokker 50 aircraft from Antwerp to Maribor from its sister company VLM Airlines in Belgium in order to fulfil necessary procedures required for it to be granted an AOC. The head of SHS Aviation, Pang Siu Yin, expects for a permit to be issued by Slovenian authorities swiftly. "After we receive an AOC license, we will start operations in one month", the company said.

The new operators of Maribor Airport will invest at least 300 million euros into the city, which will include the construction of a new passenger terminal at the airport and the lengthening of the runway. SHS foresees Maribor Airport handling 1.54 million passengers and 82.000 tonnes of cargo by 2022. This number is expected to grow to two million passengers and 160.000 tonnes of cargo by 2028. During 2017 alone, SHS anticipates for Maribor Airport to welcome some 400.000 travellers through its doors, which would be a record. Some 139 million euros will be invested into the airport, including the development of long haul flights, over the next five years.

Although many have questioned the nature of the project as the unrealistic targets set by the company, SHS is adamant its investment in both the airport and airline is part of a wider strategic project. "Maribor Airport, with good transportation links to Europe and Asia open sup a lot of opportunities for trade, tourism and investment in Slovenia. With our network partners in Europe and Asia, there are a lot of business opportunities for the opening of local enterprises in the tourism, food, real estate and services industries", SHS noted. The company plans to register up to six A320-200s and fifteen A330-200s in Slovenia. while the remaining seven F50s will remain in the Belgian registry.

115 comments:

  1. If the realize even 5% of everything they have promised it would be amazing news for Maribor.

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  2. Is this funded by the Chinese? Crazy.

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    1. Chinese capital. On paper it is officially Dutch and Canadian I think.

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    2. People with too much money to burn.

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    3. Chinese investors are also financing Cobalt in Cyprus. Two years ago when the airline was being launched they came with the same story of flights to China, getting a bunch of Airbuses and expanding the airline's network so as to turn LCA into a hub.

      The other day they received their fifth aircraft, an A320, and so far they have either launched or announced the following destinations:
      BRU-CDG-ZRH-STN-BHX-HER-CHQ-DUB-IKA-TLV-MAN.

      About a month ago they started hiring A330 pilots and according to their plan they are supposed to receive another two aircraft before summer starts; most likely the 2 A330s.

      All I am saying is that when it comes to the Chinese, anything is possible with them.

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    4. ^ wow that's an interesting development I haven't really been following. You are right. Anything is possible with the Chinese.

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    5. Yes, anything
      Including the fact they are full of bullshit

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  3. I don't get the point in all of this. Wouldn't it have been smarter and much more sustainable in the long run had they just subsidised a low cost airline to open a base there ? I'm sure they could have interested someone.

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    1. They already did that. They invested in Ryanair. It failed.

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    2. It failed due to people in maribor wanted to get bribed by Ryr to operate from MBX...

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    3. Don't you think someone else would have tried if they saw the potential? Wizz, Norwegian, easy jet?

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  4. Everyone in ex-Yu seems to be chasing flights to China nowadays. A few years ago it was the USA :D

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    1. It's just the way the wind is blowing in the world these days.

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    2. Because it is a huge market which has not been exploited by EX-yu countries at all. What's most surprising is that Croatia which has the most potential to attract Chinese tourists because of their coastline has done absolutely nothing. There was some interest by Zadar a few years ago but without any other support that failed.

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    3. Croatia prefers tourists from western Europe and North America than from China.

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    4. Sweety, how do you mean "prefers"? Even this year, huge increase in tourists from South Korea. Croatia prefers tourists who can pay, but it is true that most tourists come from western countries and North America.

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    5. Great. It must be the only country with a developed tourism industry to ignore them.

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    6. Wow, Anon 9:45, maybe you should explain Croatia how to develop tourism! Thank you!

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    7. Just thinking out aloud here but maybe it has something to do with Croatia not being in the schengen zone? If Chinese are visiting a few countries and at least one of them is in Schengen, their entry point in Europe needs to be a Schengen member.

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    8. Cupcake. I wasn't speaking about South Koreans, I am speaking about Chinese ones.

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    9. @9.50 (1) No, I don't plan to but I am allowed to voice my opinion. Chinese are today the biggest source of tourism in Europe. Ignoring them is ludicrous. It could have been a success story like with the South Koreans.

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    10. The high and mighty centre of universal tourism, Croatia, does not require lowly Chinese to mingle with its posh western tourists. lol. Gimme a bloody break and get off your high horse. Regional tourist destination that with superiority complexes of not. Once day when you have the number of tourists like Austria, Czech Republic or some other minor regional players, then please do go ahead with your pretentious comments. Not even France or Spain would spew such garbage, and they are celestial miles ahead of Croatia in number of tourists.

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    11. Croatia has more tourists than the Czech Republic

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    12. Just curious, how does Croatia ignore Chinese tourists? Examples, please!

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    13. In 2015 27.8 million tourists visited The Czech Republic. I think that's 13 million more than in Croatia. I might be wrong though.

      https://www.expats.cz/prague/article/weekly-czech-news/czech-republic-sees-record-number-of-tourists-in-2015/

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    14. And Austria will be about number 6 in Europe in 2017. Expected around 30 million visitors, more than Russia and Turkey, not that far behind the UK or Germany

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    15. AnonymousMarch 30, 2017 at 10:18 AM

      By not advertizing itself enough. Numbers speak for themselves.

      Also, the fact that Zadar flights failed only goes to show how much they care about them. I guess they are too busy getting XL Airways and National to fly to New York from ZAG. #priorities

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    16. Anon 10:21, by not advertising enough? Seriously? Croatian Tourist board had to minimize advertising costs in most countries, including the western ones. Luckily, Croatia is all over the newspapers, and we are a small country, how many tourists do you think we need? 30 million?

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    17. The Czech republic has around 12 million foreign visitors. Or will have in 2017.
      Just the top 10
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_the_Czech_Republic
      They have a minor impact though as their trips tend to be short, so only about 30 million overnight stays
      http://www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.18111/9789284418145

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    18. I was speaking about advertizing itself in China, keep up with the discussion if you want to contribute to it.

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    19. The Chinese are still coming, so how have they heard of Croatia?

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    20. How in the world you know that Croatia isn't doing anything regarding bringing Chinese? Just because there aren't direct air link with China?

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    21. Because I work in China and I see how much countries invest in promoting themselves. The UK has done a phenomenal job in promoting itself as a hotspot for filthy rich Chinese who are going there for a day or two just to shop.

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    22. Chinese tourists spend a lot (if not the majority) of their money on those shopping trips. UK, France, South Korea. All these smaller countries have a limited opportunity there.
      The second major area of interest for the Chinese is sex tourism, of which Thailand is a beneficiary.

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    23. Sex tourism generally attracts many to Thailand. Just look at the number of Germans that go there just to get cheap sex.

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    24. Alen Šćuric PurgerMarch 30, 2017 at 1:26 PM

      Croatia invest a lot in China, and find that as another tourist target of Croatia. They print huge amount of brochures in two Chinese main language, they are present in China in several ways, they even work hard to open flights from China to Zagreb with 2pw frequency.

      There was 115.000 Chinese tourists in Croatia in 2015, and number is increasing more than 50% comparing to 2014. In Zagreb there was 30.000 Chinese tourists (+38% comparing to 2014).

      So god bless you with information that Croatia is not working hard to promote itself in China.

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    25. God bkles you too, but once you stop spinning these numbers to laymen, you will realise that Croatia is really a minor tourist player on the global scale. Even some landlocked countries in the region have far more annual tourists than Croatia (e.g. Czechia and Austria). Not to mention regional powerhouses like Italy and Greece.

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    26. Soon even Serbia will have more Chinese tourists than Croatia. LOL

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    27. Some Croats on here, especially Purger, need a reality check.

      Greetings from LJU

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    28. anybody having a breakdown of tourist in HR per country for last year?

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    29. Not even Slovenia can teach Croatia how to do tourism, not to mention other Ex-Yu countries.

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    30. Statistics:

      http://www.mint.hr/UserDocsImages/170214_t-promet_XII.pdf

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    31. Alen Šćuric PurgerMarch 30, 2017 at 7:42 PM

      Hahahaha... I did not say that Croatia is better by Chinese tourists than other countries, but I just answered theses that Croatia is not investing in Chinese market. That is not true, it is next market they plan to "invade", like they did in South Korea, USA, Canada, Australia... Most of funds this year will be invested in Chinese market.

      And 55% increase is product of this.

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  5. Why is everyone so negative towards this? Sure there plans are a bit out there but they are seeking an AOC and things are moving in the right direction, so they have already proved some people wrong. Like with the Beijing - Belgrade flights, people here have the immidiete need to discredit something without actually knowing the bigger picture. " SHS is adamant its investment in both the airport and airline is part of a wider strategic project".

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    1. Agreed! MBX has a LOT to offer.

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  6. Admin, thanks for update on this topic. Looking forward on further updates as the project continues.
    Best regards;
    Haplek

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  7. Is there anybody who really believes this?

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  8. Remember how a few weeks ago there was news that Sukhoi was pitching the SSJ100 to Air Serbia and an unnamed Slovenian airline? Well this one was it.

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    1. No, it was Adria (there should be some news regarding fleet renewal in a few weeks).

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    2. Are you telling me Adria which has leasing contracts for the CRJs for at least another decade and has been acquiring CRJs even under the new management will now suddenly go and get a Russian plane, have to invest in pilot training, will have to explain to Adria Tehnika who are a Bombardier regional maintenance centre that they are suddenly going for Russian metal? Doubt it.

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    3. to je bio poslednji trzaj SSJ100 koji odlazi u istoriju, zajedno sa ostalim neuspelim ruskim projektima u civilnom vazduhoplovstvu.

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    4. Тако је. Тај апсолутни неуспех је инспирисао SN Brussels да га изнајми.

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    5. @AnonymousMarch 30, 2017 at 9:26 AM:
      That is correct. You are wrong about a decade of leasing contracts, some are about to expire shortly. Adria Tehnika has nothing to do with AA, it's a separate company. Apparently, the Russians are willing to go to great lengths to sell the SSJ100 to the western world - they are offering great deals.

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    6. Brussels Airlines is now operating 3 of them (City Jet lease)

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    7. Sabena ili Brussels je bas uspesna kompanjja, bankrotira svake dve godine. SSJ ce joj pomoci da ubrza ritam.

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    8. Brussels je sada većinsko vlasništvo Lufthanse, ali ti si verovatno pametniji od njihovog borda direktora.

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    9. LH ove godine gasi Brussels i uvodi Eurowings sa A32 familijom, a SSJ odlazi na neko drugo mesto

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    10. LH će integrisati SN u Eurowings, ali pitanje je kada će u potpunosti ugasiti brend.

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  9. Completely unrealistic. If they had only announced European routes with F50s then I might have even believed it.

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    1. The fact of the matter is that they are sticking to their plans for now. They announced they would be getting a Slovenian AOC and they have started this process.

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  10. Any investment in the region is welcomed but I never heard of anyone getting an AOC "swiftly".

    Why don't they get a Belgium AOC if they were based there for a while. Usually when someone goes out of their way to get something in business mean that something is up. Either they failed to get an AOC in Belgium or they really don't know what it involves. (Like many of these start ups from the region).

    This ambitious project will require billions in my opinion to become a reality so if someone os happy to spend their money on it than go nuts!

    (If I had the cash I would probably do something like this too but I would just keep the beautiful MD-11 flying for a few more years lol)

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    1. Think you are right there Q400. I remember reading somewhere that they have had trouble getting a Belgian AOC. BTW all those aircraft A320s/A330s that have been listed would be shared and the bulk would go to Belgium. It's just that they would be registered in Slovenia like the article says because they should have a Slovenian AOC.

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  11. This could go both ways. Either Maribor will undergo a renaissance with this whole Chinese investment or it could be the biggest scam ever.

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    1. The Slovenian government and Maribor local council has been negotiating with SHS Aviation for 5 years. It's not something they just decided suddenly. Let's give them enough credit that they couldn't be duped that easily.

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    2. Maribor Local Council has never negotiated with SHS. Never! 5 years? SHS Aviation has barely registered in Belgium in 2016!

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  12. Wait... didn't VLM go bankrupt in 2016? Am I missing something here?

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    1. They did and then they were bought by SHS Aviation, which now also own Maribor Airport and have registered VLM Slovenia.

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    2. Thanks! ��

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  13. One F50 present!
    Only half a dozen more widebodies and a320s to go!!

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  14. "VLM sister company"??? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VLM_Airlines
    On 13 May 2016, VLM Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection at a court in Antwerp after accumulating €6 million of debt. ... On 22 June 2016, People's Viennaline announced the cancellation of its ACMI contract with VLM without further notice, citing a lack of quality in the provided services, e.g. several delays and cancellations. Later on the same day, VLM Airlines declared bankruptcy. All flights were cancelled with immediate effect and all planes grounded. The airline's website was shut down a few hours later.

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    1. VLM has been bought by SHS Aviation since they went bankrupt. SHS Aviation also now operates Maribor Airport.

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  15. For what it's worth I do wish Maribor Airport all the best. I hope this partnership with the Chinese works out. These are some very ambitious plans.

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  16. Jesus it's 10:25 and there are already 50 comments :D

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    Replies
    1. Well, flies are attracted to BS :D

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    2. haha, nailed it

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  17. OT: Dniproavia starts new service LJU-KBP from 27.6. Fligzs will commence 3x per week 2 4 6.

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    1. Wow... that's rather unexpected.

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    2. I thought it was just a tip for the future announcement, but there is a press release on dniproavia site.

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    3. with Emb 145?

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. Z6 562 Emb145

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    6. I guess Adria failed yet again to secure new flights.

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    7. Dniprovia are really expanding in the region. They started with SOF, then OTP and now LJU

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    8. I think it´s because Ukrainians will no longer need visas for most EU + EEA in June 2017 for countries except UK and IE.
      FR will already begin operations to Ukraine next autumn.

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    9. Looks like ETA at LJU is at 16.10, ETD 17.00. Good for connecting flights.

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  18. Good news for Maribor! :)

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  19. I hope this happens. Thanks for updating us on the progress.

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  20. Never underestimate a city just because it´s not a big one or a capital city. Take Iasi, Kutaisi, Doncaster, Katowice and even Nis. Small cities with HUGE potential, so why not MBX?
    Of course, ZAG and LJU might be affected thus some traffic might be stolen.
    On the other hand, competition in ex-YU will further increase. Soon, the capitals will no longer serve as hubs.

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  21. Alen Šćuric PurgerMarch 30, 2017 at 1:32 PM

    U mom članku imate tonu podataka, pa vi sami zaključite je li to svjetski vizionarski presedan ili...

    https://tangosix.rs/2017/07/03/je-li-projekt-shs-aerodroma-maribor-bajka-ili-svjetski-vizionarski-presedan/

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    1. Couldn't be explained more clearly. Congrats for the great article.

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    2. Alen Šćuric PurgerMarch 30, 2017 at 3:16 PM

      Thanks.

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  22. OT
    DBV-VIE OS A321! Let's hope for a strong March over here.

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    1. amazingly unbelievable and shocking at the same time

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  23. Imace uskoro pilote iz propale Adrie.

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  24. Ot nema nista od leta BEG PEK za sada. Morace AV licno u Kinu u maju da pogura dil. Tuzno.

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    1. LOL, u ovom predizbornom periodu netko je verovao u letove za PEK

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    2. Bice objavljeno veceras ili sutra uvece.

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    3. Николић је тек данас отпочео турнеју по Кини.

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    4. I ja mislim da će sutra objaviti vijest, manje-više je sve dogovoreno, ne vjerujem da bi spomenuli konkretan datum pa se povukli. To bi svakako bila lijepa vijest za BEG, šteta što Hainan nije poguran u ZAG, kako je bilo planirano i vidljivo iz intervjua.

      http://www.b92.net/biz/vesti/srbija.php?yyyy=2017&mm=03&dd=30&nav_id=1245433

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    5. Tuga bre pregolema jer zaista NECE biti sve gotovo sutra. Ja se ne frljam hejtom nego cinjenicama pravo iz usta AV: "Mislim da ću ići ponovo u Kinu, oko 14, 15. maja... Verujem da ćemo tada imati na stolu sve vezano za avio-liniju Peking-Beograd". Znaci jos nije sve na stolu! Tri godine rade na tome i jos NIJE gotovo!!! Evo izvora za neverne Tome:

      http://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2017&mm=03&dd=30&nav_category=11&nav_id=1245405

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  25. What happened to STN-MBX that used to be flown by FR almost 10 years ago? Did Graz beat it?

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    1. No, apparently FR wanted more subsidies and MBX refused.

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    2. Thanks. Turned out MBX was one of the first ex-Yu to receive the London flights. I hope they launch FRA/HHN soon as it´s apparently now going to be the new EU financal capital.

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  26. They are going to open the line MBX-PEK on Saturday with refurbished Concorde.

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    Replies
    1. Don´t expect us to laugh at your comment. Cheap jokes no longer entertain.

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