Friday, April 14, 2017

Air Serbia considering regional fleet options


Air Serbia is looking into the renewal of its regional fleet, which the carrier says is part of its five-year development plan. The airline currently operates six 66-seat ATR 72 aircraft. Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News, Air Serbia's CEO, Dane Kondić, said, "There are a few options we are looking at as part of the five-year plan. We are still wedded to the ATRs as an aircraft type, that's for sure, because the ATR has great economics. It is not as fast as the [Bombardier Dash] Q400 and does not carry as many people but on the short routes that we employ those aircraft the ATR is the perfect aircraft".

Air Serbia inherited part of its ATR fleet from JAT Yugoslav Airlines, meaning some of its turboprops will turn 27 this summer. They were delivered new to the carrier in 1990. "We have three aircraft which are fully owned and cost us nothing in terms of lease costs versus three that are payed in excess of $100.000 a month. When you remove a few of the older aircraft you are adding $300.000 a month to the business without the ability to improve the revenue, so they are not easy decisions to make", Mr Kondić noted. Over the past few months, Russian plane manufacturer Sukhoi said it was pitching its 108-seat Superjet 100 to the Serbian carrier, while Canada's Bombardier has noted that a good solution for Air Serbia would be two prone - the Q400 and C-series aircraft.

In 2015 Air Serbia leased an additional ATR, stating it was a "logical step". "These aircraft are well known for their reliability in diverse flight conditions and are ideally suited for our regional routes. Our pilots and crew know this type of aircraft very well, so the latest addition to our fleet can be deployed immediately after the completion of required formalities and provide additional capacity during the peak of the summer season", the carrier noted. Etihad Airways' equity partners operate a mixed regional fleet. Alitalia utilises Embraer jets, while ATR is preferred by Jet Airways. Virgin Australia operates both ATRs and Embraers, while Etihad Regional uses ATRs and Saab aircraft. On the other hand, Air Berlin has opted for the Bombardier Dash 8s.

114 comments:

  1. Makes sense sticking with the ATR then introducing a different aircraft type altogether.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of people do not like flying with turboprops.

      Delete
    2. This is true. I know a few people that fly between Belgrade and Podgorica who choose to fly Montenegro Airlines just because they don't have turbo props.

      Delete
    3. Most people like low fares and the Atr is the perfect aircraft for that.

      At the end of the day, JU can only afford to lease a single Atr. If they had the money then they wouldn't be using the archaic B733s for regular flights.

      Delete
    4. I also would never embark on a ATR. At the beginning of its career, the ATR had huge problems due to a faulty design of the de-icing system incl many deadly crashes. It is still not known as the most reliable plane in bad weather...I definitely prefer a Q400 or a jet

      Delete
    5. The Q400 hasn't really proven itself that reliable wither, especially with their landing gear problems.

      Delete
    6. Oh come on, the ATRs are a pure working horse, for 27 years JU has never had a serious issue. Also, winter in the Balkans is very tough sometimes and it still managed to fly.

      Delete
    7. ATR not reliable in bad weather? Fake info. First Air operates ATR in extreme conditions.

      Delete
    8. There has been at least 3 incidents within the past year where crews lost control of ATR72 due to icing. None crashed, but losing control is not fun.

      Delete
    9. I hate flying on the ATR with a passion, being almost 2m tall. Uncomfortable as hell, and not being able to dock at the air bridge is also a hassle, adds 10 minutes to an already slow flight.

      On TGD-BEG routes, I always try to book MGX... However, they worry me on another level. They will try to land at TGD, no matter the weather, they are reckless cowboys... We had 3 go-around in thick fog last time I flew, it was very scary...

      Delete
    10. I recently flew to Athens, Vienna and Berlin on an airbus and all 3 times i was on a remote bay which required being bussed as opposed to parking at an aerobridge. Infact, at many airports in Europe and the Middle East this is the norm, while if you fly with an LCC, nearly every airport they fly to has this as the norm.

      So what's the issue ?

      Delete
    11. fake news? LOL
      it is common knowledge that the ATR's design is prone to stall, even after ATR tried to fix the problem. Just ask Uncle Google and count the incidents of loss control due to ice accretion in 2016 alone. Facts are facts

      Delete
    12. You are messing with the wrong guy, anon at 5:51. First you said that ATR is not the reliable plane in the bad weather. Let's take care of that first. I tried to give you an easy way out with First Air example. They operate ATR out of Iqaluit, where Airbus brough A380 and A350 for cold weather testing. If you have a problem with that, why don't you drop them a message with your advice on ATR reliability and see what they respond with?

      Instead of accepting defeat for bad weather nonsense, you are now cowardly switching topic to 'ATR design prone to stall'. Why don't you try suing ATR or at least sending a letter to EASA and FAA to prevent ATR from flying, since you have all the Google facts? Let me know how it goes. Don't come back here until you prove your point with them.

      Delete
  2. Their ATRs are in relatively good shape after they refurbished them to match the Airbus cabins. I think they should just replace oldest ATRs with newer ones. It's the simplest option.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read the article, i'm just faceplam

      Delete
  3. So that means we will see regional fleet renewal within 5 years? Hope it comes sooner rather than later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They obviously don't have the money to buy new ones or lease new ones. Don't you see that Kondic says how expensive it is to lease newer generation ATRs. When you own a plane it is much cheaper but 27 years... that's really pushing it.

      Delete
  4. And what about the CRJ that Adria operated for them last year? I thought they took it to test it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They took it because they got it for free from Adria to settle some old JAT debt.

      Delete
  5. Thank goodness they won't for the SSJ. I was worried there for a moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why? It's a great plane

      Delete
    2. Great for whom? Sukhoi who sells it?
      Why only a handful of airlines have ordered it without having Putin order them to do so?
      What would be its residual value of such a big investment?
      How easy would be to find parts 10-15 years from now?
      Those are all important questions that any serious airline thinks thoroughly before making such a big investment.

      Delete
    3. Are you serious? Even Russian companies are refusing to buy it.

      Delete
    4. Yeah, Putin forced SN to lease the SSJ.

      Delete
    5. SN got them through a very cheap lease. Who else is buying them?

      Delete
    6. The fact that they got the aircraft and that they painted it in their livery is a good sing of trust.

      Delete
    7. Adria will possibly be the next SSJ customer. Talks in progress.

      Delete
    8. The fact that they lease SSJ merely means that they are cheapskates. Besides if it does not turn out good (as it did not for a couple of airlines already) they can cancel it in a second as it's only a lease.

      Delete
  6. They have no money to cover purchase of any new aircraft. They are needed badly for routes to SJJ,TGD,ZAG,LJU,SKP which should be operated double daily to feed ASL, JFK flights, as well as routes to AUH,TEL,ATH and BEY. SJJ really needs second daily ATR rotation. With current schedule JFK flights are almost impossible to combine, and ASL is loosing big amount of Sarajevo PAX to other carriers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They don't have to buy, they can lease.
      You are right about the need for much better regional feed to the JFK flight.

      Delete
  7. I actually think they need a regional jet plane. Something with the capacity to seat 100 passengers. Jat and now Air Serbia never filled the void of getting rid of the DC9/B727s which were actually the backbone of their fleet. They retired all those planes over night and had no alternative planned. 100-seaters would be perfect for many routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. C series would be great addition.

      Delete
  8. If ASL management wants to stick in the ATR'S that's fine, but at least please replace for start the first three ATR'S 72-200, as long as the time goes by they're becoming more uneconomic , and buy or lease the ATR'S 72-600.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't quite understand your "uneconomic" comment. These planes are all paid for, even if their maintenance costs US$100.000/month more (which it does not), they are still cheaper for Air Serbia to operate than leasing new ATR72-600.

      Delete
    2. The DC-9s were also all paid for, why did they bother to get newer planes?
      Why does any airline?

      Delete
  9. Will the ATRs also be getting the planned cabin refurbishment and slim seats?

    ReplyDelete
  10. good. hope they replace them soon.

    ReplyDelete
  11. and what about the neos. Are they still coming next year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question, dunno.

      Delete
    2. Can JU defer deliveries wthout paying penalties to either Airbus or Etihad?

      Delete
    3. They can do whatever works best for them - simple as that

      Delete
  12. It's a bit bizarre for me that when ASL needed an A330, Etihad just gave them one from somewhere else in the company. Now they need some regional planes, there isn't enough money for it - surely if Etihad wanted to they could just buy x many for them. I have a flight next week from PRG > OTP via BEG, the Prague to BEG leg I've done before, and it really is pushing it to operate that on an ATR for almost two hours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you have a good flight. I think Prague is the longest ATR flight for ASL, soon to be joined by Venice.

      Delete
    2. BEG-PRG is 01.40, not two hours.

      Delete
    3. According to JUs timetable flight time is 2h 10 minutes.

      Delete
    4. That's block time, from the doors closing to the doors opening.
      The actual flight time is 01.40.

      Delete
    5. EY did not just gave them an A330, it leased them one at an above the going market rate price.

      Delete
    6. And they informed you at what price they are leasing the plane? lol

      Delete
    7. Actually it is in their financial statements. 600.000 for a 9 year old A332 which soon will need a D-Check is way too high price.

      Delete
    8. Would you mind pointing out where in their financial statement it says that?

      Delete
    9. Whatever the flight time is you need to sit in that cramped seat from doors to doors.

      Delete
  13. YU-AND is on the way to Portugal.Any info?

    ReplyDelete
  14. YU-APD was flying for Etihad Regional past days:

    12 Apr Geneva (GVA) Belgrade (BEG) F79101 1:33 - 7:09 PM -
    Landed 8:42 PM KML CSV Play

    12 Apr Tunis (TUN) Geneva (GVA) (DTW2101) 1:47 - 3:00 PM -
    Landed 5:47 PM KML CSV Play

    12 Apr Catania (CTA) Tunis (TUN) F72100 0:48 - 2:04 PM -
    Landed 1:52 PM KML CSV Play

    12 Apr Rome (FCO) Catania (CTA) F72100 0:55 - 12:14 PM -
    Landed 1:09 PM KML CSV Play

    12 Apr Geneva (GVA) Rome (FCO) F72100 1:04 - 9:19 AM -
    Landed 10:24 AM KML CSV Play

    11 Apr Belgrade (BEG) Geneva (GVA) F79100 1:41

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's odd. Don't they have a need for them at JU?

      Delete
    2. I wonder if they get money for this lease or nothing because they are all part of Etihad.

      Delete
    3. They get paid. Did they lease crew as well?

      Delete
    4. Shouldn't you know if the crew is leased since you know they are getting paid for it? ;)

      Delete
  15. OT: any indication or inside info on EK development on their Zagreb flights, are bookings coming in?

    ReplyDelete
  16. There's no reason to swap ATRs for any other than new generation ATR 72-600. Even leased ATR 72-500 will do the job perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Umm apart from the fact that the older the plane is, the more expensive it is to operte it.

      Delete
    2. They fly very short sectors and the maintenance costs are still considerably cheaper since they are maintained inhouse, than if they were to lease in newer ATRs.

      Delete
  17. I think the EMB 190 is perfect to change ATR on many short routes including those that don´t need A319/320.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Two years ago: Air Serbia will replace regional fleet in 2-3 years:

    http://www.exyuaviation.com/2015/04/air-serbia-to-replace-atrs-over-next.html

    Two down, one more to go. As for the cost, think about it this way: when you take out three oldest ATRs you are still not paying anything, but you lost revenue and capacity they bring.

    In that article from 2015, purchasing was described as having longer delivery times. Not necessarily, Iran Air placed large order only last year and couple of new ATRs are almost ready to go in Toulouse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes but Iran Air is completely different. Manufacturers are scrambling to get them planes as quickly as possible so they can secure huge deals. I doubt ATR would be bothered to provide an aircraft immediately if Air Serbia ordered 3 planes.

      Delete
    2. Don't think the replacement will ahppen by next year.

      Delete
  19. This 5 year plan they keep mentioning, is that for the next five years or the five year period after the initial five year deal with Etihad expires (2018-2023)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He doesn't know it himself.

      Delete
  20. I think they need a regional jet with between 60-80 seats. Don't know which is the most economical. These are needed so that their Balkan network can go double daily.

    ReplyDelete
  21. OT:Sarajevo is recording excellent loads on the flights during April.Lufthansa is operating flights to Munich daily with A320.TUIfly is using 737-800 instead of planned 737-700.Adria Airways is flying with A319 on most days. Air Serbia as well is using A319. Both Turkish and Austrian are using A320 and A321 on most of the flights. Surprisingly Wizz Air also is recording great bookings on Budapest-Sarajevo flights. Today's flight from Budapest came with 167 PAX, left SJJ with 151 PAX. Also Swiss is operating with A320.April will be another month with record number of passengers for Sarajevo, it is projected for airport to handle 85.000 PAX (68.000 in April of last year). Tuzla is recording excellent numbers as well, and April will see around 54.000 PAX using Tuzla airport.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many other carrier should consider Bosnia

      Delete
    2. How is OU doing in Sarajevo?

      Delete
    3. "Many other carrier should consider Bosnia" if most of their airport would not be always foggy and equipped with extra low quality/minima ILS.

      Delete
    4. I guess SJJ should flatten the mountains surrounding it to get higher ILS certification.

      Delete
  22. Easiest and cheapest option is just to replace the 3 oldest ATRs with newer ones and that is it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How is that the cheapest option. Let's break it down.

      ATR722 Montly
      Cost: 0
      Maintenance: 100,000 (not true, but let's say it is)

      ATR726
      Cost: 130.000
      Maintenance: 10.000

      So you're paying US$140.000 monthly to operate ATR726, while you're paying US$100.000 to operate ATR722 and you say that cheapest option is to replace old ATRs? Although the old ATRs are 40% cheaper to operate?

      You should not forget that NW pushed their DC-9 to the limit, some of them were flying for almost 45 years. Why? Because they were all paid for. They could sit on the ground and not lose any money to the company, even their increased operating and maintenance costs were offset by the fact that they've had no monthly leases or bank loans to pay off for them.

      I'm not saying this is ideal, otherwise all companies would keep their planes for 25-30 years. But when you're cash-strapped such as Air Serbia, it is very difficult to think about sinking money into new planes while you already have capacity with the old ones that are your property.

      Delete
    2. You kinda missed the point. Which was as the oldest ATRs get to old to use, they should be replaced by younger ones. Either new or used birds.

      Delete
    3. I think you actually missed the point - replacing the old aircraft will cost considerable money for which they will get no ROI, given that there are no ownership or lease costs with these aircraft. They will therefore continue to fly them until the end of their useful life, because that is the best financial option for JU

      Delete
    4. So how did I miss the point when you just paraphrased what I said?

      I said: as the oldest ATRs get to old to use, they should be replaced

      You said: continue to fly them until the end of their useful life.

      What we wrote is just about the same. So how is it that I missed the point?

      Delete
    5. Apologies - my bad... i must have misread it

      Delete
    6. No problem, keep it real man.

      Delete
  23. This guy is all talk and no action. Let's not forget that online check in is still only available at a handful of destinations.
    It's time to kick him out and bring someone more competent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Online check in is now available for all destinations out of BEG.

      Delete
    2. A fact that you may want to consider before you send in the lynch mob ....

      An insider told me that at their BEG hub - which is where the bulk of their passengers depart from - only 9% of passengers use online checkin ! I was amazed at how little it is, despite every passenger having the ability to checkin on line. So it's got little to do with having it available at every destination. People's habits are the problem, not what the airline has / hasn't done. In any event, their switch to the Sabre system will enable them to offer online checkin everywhere, as their current reservation and departure control system is unable to do it.

      As for no action - where have you been these past 3 years ? Have you not noticed what they have actually implemented ?

      For me, the thing which is still unbelievable and which very few airlines have, is the free inflight entertainment streaming system, as well as inflight mobile phone and wifi system.

      By your own statement and logic, since very few airlines in the world have this advanced system, those airlines should also kick out their CEO's for not having a similar system and not doing anything about it.

      Delete
    3. Do they support Apple Wallet Pass? Adria have it. Any other ex-yu airline?

      Delete
    4. I can't believe that only 9% of peeps use online checkin. And don't worry, no one is sending a lynch mob. I wouldn't even know where to send it.

      Delete
    5. Does any other ex-yu airline have its own branded and operated business lounge ? That's pretty basic everywhere nowadays

      Delete
    6. Anon at 4.37pm - they added over 1M passengers over the past 3 years - who else has done that of the ex-yu airlines ?

      Delete
    7. The real question is with proper management how many more people could they have had by now. Not to mention market share from other cities other than BEG.

      Delete
    8. I'm perfectly fine with all Air Serbia achievements. I was just curious about the use of Apple Wallet boarding passes.

      Delete
    9. Why on God's earth would you spend the money on this when less than 10% of your passengers checkin online ?

      Moreover, Serbia has less than 10% of credit card penetration...

      Makes no sense for the customer base it serves

      Delete
    10. Certain LCCs charge extra for airport checking. Somehow I can't imagine 90% of their passengers in Serbia paying extra fee for airport chekin when online checkin is free. Air Serbia could start charging for airport checkin and problem will resolve itself.

      Delete
    11. Mobile boarding pass is here for a decade and is now more or less a standard. It is convenient since you don’t need to print a boarding pass, you get push notifications about all the changes regarding your flight etc. You can do it old fashioned way with airport check-in and vintage aircrafts, however you are then not really "new wings of Europe", just a repainted JAT.

      Delete
    12. You obviously missed some of the earlier posts ... Air Serbia can do all of this already from BEG... Problem is, more than 90% of it's passengers don;t use the service or avail themselves of the technology.

      I agree with the earlier comment that Air Serbia should start charging for checkin and then i guess you'll see how quickly it changes.

      As for being the "new wings of Europe" - many of the "old established wings of Europe" don;t yet have the onboard entertainment streaming, wifi and onbard sms/telephone system, so i'd be mindful of making comparisons to JAT or in being overly critical

      Delete
  24. Not just a problem of old ATRs, but old cabin crew still flying... The Serbian airline should enforce the age limit and needs to retire about 60 yrs old cabin crew, because their appearance remind on the time of Jat Airways and it's shabby service...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you even flown with them for the last 3 years?

      Delete
    2. Age discrimination? Don't fire them if they are incompetent, fire them because they are old. Nice.

      Delete
    3. Super idea - except for one problem... the law

      Delete
    4. Zorica must have never travelled with Air Canada or KLM longhoul where the avreage age is 60 :D

      Delete
    5. Seriously... I have witnessed a triple medical emergency on JU flight to SVO. Want to guess the age of cabin crew who helped all three pax and handled this volatile situation super professionally while talking to these people in Serbian, Russian and English simultaneously?

      Delete
  25. there is a few older ones. but not in their 60's.. crew with AS is super young and by far the best ever

    ReplyDelete
  26. Off topic:
    Three days ago i saw an a320 from AS in GVA...
    Somebody knows what they flew out of GVA?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Are new slim seats going to be installed in ATRs?

    ReplyDelete
  28. OT - http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39599999

    Then they speak of low-level of service in Eastern Europe...

    ReplyDelete
  29. Leteo sam sa novim str 72-500 u floti air serbia i sa starijim 72-200. Razlike oko buke za mene nema. Ali mogu da kazem da su stariji atr 72-200 dosta udobniji.

    ReplyDelete
  30. ATR fleet utilisation is not as it should be. They could have to 5 rotation during day. Only one ATR has 5 rotation sometimes (the one which go to TGD ). One is going to PRG and that one is also utilize, but other three's which are going to LJU,ZAG and VIE are grounded mostly time. Off course if they utilized this old three ATRs to maximum then they will leave fleet very soon, but when they decide to lease new ones they could utilize them much more and they will have more revenue.
    They could have two mini waves in the morning:
    1A : 6:45 - 9:15
    1B : 9:45- 12:15

    I beat they will change ATR's with Q400 as they could be used for longer destination.

    ReplyDelete
  31. OT: I've noticed that the lowest fare to London has been EUR ~235 with AirSerbia for some time, while Wizz is following closely when you add carry-on luggage fee of EUR 18 each way , and transfer to-from airport. Swiss is no longer a good option as it once was. Some competition would help here.
    While Sofia is less expensive than BEG, Wizzair's one-way flight on the same day to Luton is EUR 40 cheaper from SOF as compared to BEG (Apr 29th) . Not exactly sure what the taxes in SOF are, but given BEG fees , it seems that proper competition brings the price by around EUR 20+ on a one-way flight, or around 20+ %.

    Passengers at BEG are not benefiting from increased capacity and , as a result, competition.

    Ryan could introduce 2 flights per week to Stansted. Alternatively, they could open some route from BEG, where passengers will soon be able to benefit from connecting flights , which are being tested.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The tax at SOF is 5.5 eur from both T1 and T2

      Delete
  32. It would seem to me that JU needs two types of "regional" planes. Dane is probably correct that on the very short segments like throughout the Balkans the cheap ATRs win. A few pax will be lost to MGX b/c they want to fly on a jet but overall the cheapest operator will win on these routes (plus it is important to minimize costs for connecting flights). On the other hand, there are many destinations like Warsaw, Kiev, Krasnodar, etc. that could well work for JU with a regional jet like an Embraer, Bombarider, SSJ, etc. but are out of the range for ATRs and too thin for an A319. It would seem like JU could easily well utilize 2-3 aircraft of this regional jet type.

    ReplyDelete

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.