Saturday, June 24, 2017

Al-Baker: Qatar Airways eyeing Ljubljana service


Qatar Airways has confirmed it is considering introducing services between Doha and Ljubljana as spare capacity is made available following the fallout between the emirate and other Gulf states. Speaking at the Paris Air Show, Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al-Baker, said, "The launch of flights to Skopje and Sarajevo will be brought forward, and Ljubljana is being looked at. We have many destinations we plan to operate with our narrow-bodies. We are diverting capacity to new destinations that we were delaying opening and increasing frequencies to current destinations". The Slovenian capital would become Qatar Airways' fifth destination in the former Yugoslavia following Zagreb, Belgrade, Skopje and Sarajevo. Furthermore, the carrier would be the first from the Gulf region to serve Ljubljana.

Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has been seeking nonstop flights to the Middle East despite increased competition from nearby rivals in Zagreb and Venice, which has made it increasingly difficult to secure such operations. Both the Slovenian government and Ljubljana Airport launched an offensive last year to attract Gulf carriers. The Qatari Minister for Economy and Trade, Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, who recently visited Slovenia, expressed hope for flights between Doha and Ljubljana to be established in the near future. The Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure noted that a direct air service to Doha would open up new opportunities for tourism. Services between the two countries are now expected to launch in 2018.

Qatar Airways says it could serve Ljubljana as part of its "robust plan B", after it was forced to terminate flights to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain. Qatar Airways' chief conceded there are dark clouds ahead as a result of the Qatar diplomatic crisis and noted that the airline will underperform in the coming period. However, Mr Al-Baker also noted, "Qatar Airways has a very strong growth plan. I announced that I was going to introduce 24 new destinations. I couldn't do it because I had capacity restraints. Now that we have released capacity from the eighteen destinations we have been illegally barred from operating, we are now going to accelerate the other regions of the world where we feel we will mitigate the reduction in passenger numbers from these eighteen destinations".

123 comments:

  1. Finally!!! If this happens then it will be bad news for ZAG and EK.

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    1. Not really. The QR A320 is an awful experience. A step up from Ryanair with a twist of marone. No comparison to EK. Wha ZAG needs is more gates to cope with the influx of new arrivals

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    2. lol. So now it's an awful experience. hahaha. Had EK announced Ljubljana, you probably would have said it's an awful experience as well and can't compare to Qatar.

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    3. Don't know bout you but the EK widebody fleet is pretty horrible with its ten seats per row. The only positive think about EK is its entertainment. The rest is average.

      Also, DOH is miles ahead of DXB.

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    4. Comparing Qatar Airways and Ryanair. Really guys?

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    5. Its just one poster doing it, so...

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    6. It''s not just one poster. I flew QR both narrow and wide body, including 380, and EK is far far far better. Meals in QR are tiny,in EK substantial, cabin crew in EK is normal and friendly, in QR under stress and even rude, entertainment is uncomparably in favour of EK, plus all-wide-bodied fleet makes EK miles ahead of QR. And if you have problems with ZAG and croatians, that''s your problem and not todays topic

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    7. LOL I have a feeling you have never flown Qatar Airways. Also think until recently you would have claimed that Qatar is better but now that they are even thinking of launching Ljublajna they are the worst airline on the planet. God forbid they launch Ljubljana and don't go double daily to Zagreb.

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    8. Anon 11.16 what's the point of your last comment? How is service on QR vs EK somehow related to Croats or ZAG? LOL

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    9. The crew in QR might be awful due to the fact that one of the VP's is Bulgarian lol

      Greetings from Sofia

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    10. "Meals in QR are tiny,in EK substantial". Hrana u avionima je uglavnom ocajna ma koliko oni stavljali slavnih kuvara.

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    11. Any flight over 3 hours on a A320 over 3hrs is torcher. Especially after a long haul connection. I would never take that option coming from Aus. EK will definetly stay on track and Ljublhana flight won't cause much impact on ZAG loads.

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    12. So A320 by Qatar was and is fantastic when flying to Zagreb but torcher if it is to Ljubljana. We have also now learned that Qatar Airways is a terrible airline worse than Ryanair. Amazing. When they announced Zagreb you were all praising them and singing kumbayas. But now whrn they dare think about Ljubljana they are on par with ultra low cost airlines in terms of service.

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    13. Anon 2.38

      +1000

      Don't forget that they kept on saying how Slovenes will flock to ZAG while now supposedly ZAG loads won't be affected.

      Me confused

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    14. @AnonymousJune 24, 2017 at 9:03 AM

      So Emirates arrives, and you scream, the end of Qatar, and bad news for Zagreb. Qatar offers flights to Ljubljana, it is the final nail in the coffin????

      I mean I know you hate Croats, Croatia and Zagreb, but please don't make it so obvious,lol.

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    15. No one is screaming and no one hates anyone. It is you that when mentioned that people who used to drive from Ljubljana to Zagreb no longer have to, you started spitting on Qatar. Just because you hate someone and think that no one should have flights but Croatia is your problem.

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    16. Qatar already downgraded ZAG when EK came. I guess they might lose some more passengers when QR launches LJU. Maybe they will reduce ZAG to 8 or 9 weekly.

      People on here said that most passengers on FZ were Slovenes and we saw that the outbound market on EK is rather weak.

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    17. @AnonymousJune 24, 2017 at 3:53 PM

      Downgraded it, when ??? It is news to me, it flies to Zagreb 10 times per week.

      Unless you're commenting on A320 replacing A321 during June? A321 is back in July, they do that every year. As they don't have enough A321s, and June is their busiest month, they prefer to use A321 on regionally on busiest routes in June.

      Doha - Zagreb - Doha has 87% Load factor, throughout the year, in summer months that goes to 90-95%. This June, despite EK arriving, not much has changed in LF, still high at 90-95%.

      Qatar offers better prices on Australia and Asian flights than EK, they'll compete well against EK.

      However EU must intervene in the region to prevent Saudi bullying Qatar, Also Turkey needs to up its game as well. Saudi regime is the real threat to stability and peace in the region.



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    18. Are you saying QR doesn't have enough A321s at the moment? Also, they used to fly it into ZAG meaning they had it for this flight, so why would they suspend it all of a sudden?

      Even if they didn't have it back then, why don't they bring it now when they can't fly to all the regional destinations?

      Also, if you look in the system it shows A320. You probably confused ZAG with BEG which is getting the A321 in July.

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    19. @AnonymousJune 24, 2017 at 4:23 PM

      Stop trolling, just check the booking... you can see which aircraft Qatar will be using on the route.

      Also Qatar flies to Zagreb 10 times per week, to Belgrade what 3-4 times !!!

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    20. A321(Qatar) is coming back to ZAG in July.

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    21. BEG is increasing to 10 per week.

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    22. Yes, BEG will go daily in summer and if there are enough planes they will up it to ten weekly. Things are looking up fpr Belgrade. Just like LJU it's building up its offer really nice.

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    23. I find the comments here hilarious. QR is a consistently awarded airline - having once again topped the Skytrax poll now more times than EK.

      That said, ALL of the ME3 are high quality airlines that shit all over their legacy European counterparts.

      Anyone that says otherwise, is simply plying one-eyed parochialism.

      QR growing their frequency from 7 to 10 and eventually to 14 ie. double daily to both ZAG and BEG, will always win hands down over capacity, because it provides travellers with much greater travel options, than does a huge daily wide body - as EK offers to ZAG.

      Once they grow their frequency to double daily, they will eat EK for breakfast, as they will EY in BEG.

      And anyone that tries to make a comparison of QR with Ryannair is simply talking through their behind....

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    24. Nonsense you are just trying to downplay the fact that EK chose ZAG over BEG and LJU. People will always prefer to fly on a big plane than a small one like A320

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    25. Most people don't even know which plane is flying and I can tell you one thing for sure - the avarage Slovenian will prefer to fly from Ljubljana then drive around. But we get it. QR is now "crap" because it does not fly only to Zagreb. One day you will be saying the same for EK.

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    26. Guys, to quote QR..they COULD do Ljubljana as plan B. So lets not fight as it is a done deal or anything remotely like that...key words are plan B and COULD...

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    27. Plan B is already being activated. But hey, keep hoping if it makes you feel better.

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    28. Anon at 5.19pm... if people prefer big planes over smaller ones, then why have sales of the A380 stalled, while sales of the 787 and the upcoming A321LR continued to climb ?

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    29. Activated? Could be so, but I would rather wait for confirmation of flights with a date before considering it as done deal, all I am saying. Again the hostility over normal facts and reasoning, what are you...guard dogs?

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    30. Evo citat jbt....odakle ovdje vidite da je ovo sve sigurno da se tako svadjate? Mozda bude, mozda ne...pa dopustite diskusiju. Nije da je u sistemu pa da se negira!
      Qatar Airways says it could serve Ljubljana as part of its "robust plan B"

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    31. The only person acting as a guard dog is you and that of Zagreb Airport on duty since this morning annoyed at this development and hoping it won't happen.

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    32. Hoping? I can express my doubts since even QR is saying it could, not that it will...or does that the article says differently? Dont be so emotional over normal things and read the article fully.

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    33. You have been expressing your doubts since you woke up. Then said Qatar is comparable to Ryanair. How did it go from world class best airline in the universe when it launched Zagreb to worst airline in the world when it said it was looking into Ljubljana. Get over yourself.

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    34. I never even mentioned FR. That is completely other poster, man. Take it easy, chill...

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    35. OMG!!! Everyone knows that B777 is the perfect size for passengers and airlines, that's why passengers always chose that one in stead of the A380

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    36. It is, if you have enough cargo, economy, but also business passengers to justify costs. 777 is better vs 380 for example as it has much better cargo. However, running low booked and cheaply sold 777 is waaaaaay more expensive than 320 or 737 for example. So, it all boils down to how much you sell.

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    37. A gde je pečat?

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  2. Excellent news. I wonder if it will be nonstop or linked with some other destiation.

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  3. With the diplomatic crisis in Qatar I was expecting something like this and believed that QR would definitely look at Ljubljana as a destination. I also think it will discourage people to use the EK flight from Zagreb.

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    1. It might also mean that we won't see QR go double daily to Zagreb.

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    2. Well, even of they start LJU, it will take some months....

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    3. Jesus almighty, you're all saying like half of the flights from Zagreb to Dubai or Doha are half packed with Slovenians.

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    4. Not half but at least 20%

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    5. Qatar Airways has already announced that it wouldn't go double daily in Zagreb, I believe. But that's got nothing to do with potential flights to Ljubljana. Nor can Ljubljana flights affect EK out of Zagreb too much. It's not like flights from Zag to Dubai depend on citizens of Ljubljana, that's absurd. If that were the case then EK would fly out of LJU to begin with, not the other way around. Besides, to some Slovenes, Zagreb is closer than Ljubljana. On top of that, this diplomatic spat in the Gulf is hardly going to last. It would be good though if QR launched the LJU flights regardless, because that would likely lower the prices in Zagreb.

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  4. This seems to be very general statement that is also dependant on gcc crisis. I dont think LJU will start unless GCC crisis ends up as permanent order of things for QR.

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    1. They are obviously planning this as a long term thing and judging by the list ultimatum sent by the Gulf countries, this will drag on for a while. The next step is Qatar's suspension from GCC.

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    2. Yes, but apart from general statement I believe it is still far from being definite decision. I would expect frequency increases to their other ongoing destinations first. Easier to manipulate with capacity vs opening completely new destinations this early in the crisis.

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    3. Well, they are using this extra capacity to increase BEG so they might do the same for LJU.

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  5. And so many 'experts' a few weeks ago here were saying this was impossible with comments:

    "Qatar won't risk with Ljubljana, as Zagreb is doing so well"

    "They have everything already set up in Zagreb,and Slovenians are already used on it".

    etc. Smart.

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    Replies
    1. I think Zagreb is doing ok for them.

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    2. Haha, Al Baker says a lot of things..especially now. Lets wait for exact date, people :)

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    3. Wiseguy, that was before this Gulf suspension for Qatar happened. Do you really think they would be squeezing Ljubljana otherwise especially with lack of aircrafts?

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  6. I love the guys here. Maybe opening Ljubljana and Zagreb will face a doom future. You are funny. Now just waiting for the comments on the rich Slovenia market and the poor Balkans. ��

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    1. No one said it. It was only mentioned that it will impact their ZAG numbers, which it will. It was reported on here a thousand times before that many Slovenes use ZAG to fly to Asia.

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    2. More important will be how many Asians will travel inbound to Slovenia/LJU

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    3. @AnonymousJune 24, 2017 at 10:30 AM

      It is true, many Slovenians use Zagreb for flights to Asia, and beyond, but also to reach other EU destinations. Lufthansa, BA, Air France and KLM flights are normally 20% Slovenian travelers. Also inbound flights are normally filled with tourists that visit Croatia, year round. 1.75 million non-EU travelers visited Croatia in 2016. Qatar brought in ~60 000 of these travelers to Zagreb. 1.75 million - ~60 0000.

      Plenty of room for growth. Qatar will need to send in B787 soon just to cope and compete with EK.

      Doha - Zagreb - Doha route had 140 000 travelers in 2016. 17000 were Croatian passport holders,8000 Slovenian passport holders. I am sure you see the trend.

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    4. Could you please provide a link to source of that data? Just so that we know that we are talking real numbers, not the ones produced to serve ones argument.

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    5. 'Plenty of room for growth. Qatar will need to send in B787 soon just to cope and compete with EK. '

      Yet the day EK launched flights they reduced ZAG to all A320. I guess they had to do it to cope with all the empty seats.

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    6. well, 321 has payload restriction on Zagreb, especially during extra hot weather in Doha (which is summer), so in all honesty, it is normal to deploy it where it can be sold completely, not with 30 or 40 seats blocked for sales....

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    7. The other guy said that they are bringing it back in July. How come? Is the desert cooler in July? lol

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    8. And 787 is overkill for Zagreb...777 is also....

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    9. Also they send their A321 to BUD without an issue, so ZAG should be fine.

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    10. It can be many reasons, just like chaging it to 320. Not necessarily over more or less passengers, we are talking about the airline with 150+ destinations, that is all I am saying. Not everything in QR is related to EK and vv, people....

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    11. No, ZAG is actually different than BUD mileage wise....that's the critical mileage difference that in this case poses payload on ZAG and not on BUD. BUD is more northern and ZAG would ideally go via Syria and Iraq: then there would be no restriction as well.

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    12. Time wise it's more or less the same so the argument doesn't stand.

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    13. Haha, more or less the same..makws no difference...look mate, it makes a world of difference as 321 is heavier. And every more or less makes a difference for the aircraft...my god, and this is aviation forum. Call up QR actually and ask them of 321 has payload restriction and then bang yourself in the head. Or skip aviation blogs and forums.

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    14. You still didn't reply to me, why is it suspended due to heat in June but not in July? Come on, since you are such an aviation expert.

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    15. I dont know why exactly as there can be plenty of purely operational reasons known to airline only, I was only stating that 321 on ZAG with payload and 320 without it have like 10 seats difference only. Maybe SKP with 320 starts in July when that rotation is filled and 321 is only avaialable (SKP is on 320). I was actually more impressed with your timing is more or less similar argument, haha. But, I dont work in QR so you can ask them, but at the same.time please do check if payload is present on 321. Just so that you know how needlessly mad you are :)

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    16. So now you say how you don't know exactly yet two posts above you were telling people to get off of aviation forums? Odd.

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    17. I never said I know the reason, I was stating some facts and tried to contribute to tge discussion. I expressed my opinion based on some facts. And I noted that I cannot know for sure as I am not in QR. You are replying with totally idiotic comments and sticking with them. You bring no value and all you want to do is fight while you do not offer absolutely no educated guess or trace of facts. I am done talking with you now, you are not worth mine or anybody elses time and efforts here. People like you are making ex yu area backward as it ia unfortunately. Cheers.

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    18. Bye. Next time when you start an fight make sure you have good enough arguments.

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    19. I dont know if I agree with that anonymous regarding reasons of placing 320 or 321, but it seems to me that you were the only one actually picking a fight here, anon 5:27...

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  7. QR would be a fantastic addition in Ljubljana.

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  8. Slovenia is technically the richest and most advanced country in ex-Yu so there is no reason why this route will not work out. Plus, the country makes very good clips promoting the country so it will be a hit.
    Good luck and welcome QR!

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    Replies
    1. It could work possibly with 3 weekly service. Problem is that it is still very small market spread between LJU, VCE and ZAG...bottomline, tough competition and market willing to travel from other close points whenevee the fare is lower. You end up with very weak yield. Plus, inbound demand is very limited (and also spread out) with also next to zero australia immigration. Good luck by all means, but lets wait for a date first.

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    2. Well, LJU could offer cheaper charges than both ZAG and VCE and actually reverse this trend. Unlike ZAG, LJU is lowcost friendly meaning that they are accustomed to offering 'affordable' fares.

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    3. Could be, I have to say I am very sceptical, but maybe given the fact that QR is desperate with extra capacity may actually bring it sooner to more destinations, LJU included!

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  9. Excellent news for Slovenian consumers.

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  10. ОТ

    Тhere was no mention of it on here but Germania launched INI yesterday. Here are some photos, courtesy of 'Fly From Nis.'

    https://scontent.fbeg2-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/19466255_726353394210585_7826932741966853049_o.jpg?oh=a541f5f803a501cd57c739b25c239ca8&oe=59D21E37

    https://scontent.fbeg2-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/19401874_726354104210514_5491092052643156128_o.jpg?oh=88de23dcc706497ab753d32fe7e01846&oe=59C32378

    https://scontent.fbeg2-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/19243321_726353957543862_3140730150966868146_o.jpg?oh=201bb190d6aee01999f8c23b905def6f&oe=59E4F331

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  11. Logical. Only ex-yu country with no flights to any Gulf country.

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  12. The airport has really woken up lately. New flights from Trasavia and hopefully Qatar to follow and Finnair to go year-long :)

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  13. Good work Ljubljana.

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  14. I really wouldn't go into high fives already, as it is just a general statement...no date, absolutely any firm or concrete details plus it is possibly planned only as worst case scenario of thia crisis extends for a very long time. Not a couple of weeks. I wouldn't hold my breath also knowing how many 'announcements' passed from Al Baker that either never or still haven't materialized. Why would Ljubljana of all places be any different? Where are Prague, Lisbon, Kiev...not saying it will not happen, just not a time to take one statement THAT definite.

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    1. Prague and Kiev have also been announced as new routes. Why not? It is an undeserved market with a lot of demand for travel. Riding to your Zagreb is not everyone's answer. Instead of being happy that another ex-Yu city will get flights to the Gulf, you are hoping for the opposite. Sad really.

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    2. Jesus, all I said is that I wouldnt hold my breath until a date is announced. When is the date of PRG and IEV? I am stating the facts, not intending to deal with your obvious inferiority complex. I never even mentioned ZAG nor said that LJU is impossible. What is wrong with you? I am debating, not insulting...forum is meant for that!

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    3. Judging by all your comments today it sounds like you are very annoyed that this a possibility.

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    4. I think it's more jealousy than anything else.

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    5. Annoyed? No, why I would be...but I am still waiting for a normal debate, not your inferiority complex dominating your keyboard.

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    6. Jelaousy? Why would I be jelaous of LJU? We already have QR, TK ans EK. I dont mind LJU possibly having it also, but again...forum is foe debate. You guys really have some problems.

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    7. One could say you have a superiority complex.

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    8. The thing you are afraid of is that QR in LJU might stop the flow of Slovenes into ZAG but it might also create a reversed trend, Croats going to LJU since that airport is cheaper so fares are likely to be lower there.

      Plus, LJU's catchment area is larger and wealthier

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    9. Not sure really. If that was the case you would have much more airlines in LJU already, wouldnt you?

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    10. Well aren't they moving in that direction? They got Transavia and Wizz Air is even going to send its A321 there. Not bad for such a small airport... they are building themselves.

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    11. "Plus, LJU's catchment area is larger and wealthier."
      ... I'm still waiting for 4m pax per year.
      When will you achieve that?

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    12. The point is that LJU has been slowly but surely been building up its offer. With lower cost than neighboring airports it sure can attract a lot of new customers.

      I am sure many from Croatia use Wizz Air as fares are much lower to LON from there than from ZAG. Especially if you want to fly on BA!

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    13. I love the arguments around wealthy catchment areas and whatever else.

      BEG is without question significantly poorer than either LJU or ZAG, yet has significantly more traffic than either.

      Give it up people - that argument simply doesn't wash ....

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    14. The amount of pathetic comments today... Barf.

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    15. I agree with frishki, so much hate and intolerance towards Ljubljana today.

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    16. AnonymousJune 24, 2017 at 5:21 PM

      you also forgot the "Croatia and Slovenia are EU countries"

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  15. This route is not going to work well

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    1. Al-Baker, please act accordingly to this Anon

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    2. So many of their routes don't work well, yet it hasn't stopped or impeded their growth.

      You need to understand - making money doesn't matter for them - they have a wealthy state behind them and if they decide to fly to LJU, it will be for reasons other than about whether or not the route will be profitable or not

      Delete
  16. QR will succeed in Ljubljana and it won't affect ZAG flights. This will also make it possible for QR to upgrade the aircraft on the ZAG route.

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    Replies
    1. So you are saying that people from Slovenia who used to fly out of ZAG will continue to do so?

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    2. Somw could, depending on where they are in Slovenia, fares in question...plus LJU would hardly be daily service if started. So somw traffic could stay in ZAG od course. TK in LJU would actually be prime loser.

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    3. Three weekly could work. I think TK could do ok as there is quite a bit of O&D market there to sustain the operations.

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    4. @AnonymousJune 24, 2017 at 2:41 PM

      Zagreb won't be affected due to massive influx of travelers from Asia, Croatian and Slovenian travelers constitute small part of overall number on Doha Zagreb Doha route.

      Turkish already flies to Ljubljana, daily, it has no effect on Zagreb where it almost flies double daily.

      Ljubljana flights are welcomed and I hope Qatar flies there, but Slovenian travelers had many options before arrival of Qatar, Venezia is just as close as Zagreb is.

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    5. TK has two daily flights into LJU, same as ZAG. ;) Not to mention that it did not reduce them in winter like they did down in the south. That's already an indicator of market trends.

      Also, I am sure there are tourists coming to Zagreb but I think we are overestimating the number that flies in directly. Especially since EK has many flights that arrive with less than 200 skulls in economy class.

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    6. How about you make a comment after 6 months or a year? The flights by Emirates just started and what did your think that they'll be packed from day one?
      It's amazing how many readers here don't joy about the possibility of Qatar flights to Ljubljana, but focusing on how that move will probably harm Zagreb. Really sad and childish.

      Delete
  17. Slovenia does not need longhaul operation particulary not Qatari. Its market is very small. It needs stable national airline and good connections with major hubs in Europe.
    LJU is not able to handle current traffic at peaks, so its time for Skobir to go pension, and would not be any damage if he takes his useless commercial director too.

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    Replies
    1. DOH-LJU is a medium-haul route.

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  18. LJU's recent growth only goes to show that the airport is finally learning how to attract the market around it. I am sure three weekly on QR will represent a natural progression of things.

    Also, the outbound market in LJU is much larger than in ZAG. Wealthier too so they could charge slightly higher fares.

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    Replies
    1. Haha, yes...that is why there are so many carriers and adria is blessed by great results all along. Plus LJU airport is doing nothing regarding QR, Saudi Arabia and UAE are :)

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    2. You don't know if LJU approached QR! I am sure they will. Look at the growth here, it was spectacular! It had to coem from somewhere.

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    3. True, my apologies...maybe they did, but even Al Baker says that basically that is plan B if capacity cannot be placed back on GCC countries. Anyway, good news for LJU if it happens, regardless of the primary cause.

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  19. SKP - Haneda Tokyo it was a price of only 409 EURO for September 2017 dates !

    But war can spread in Gulf in the following period !

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  20. Why is there such a "fight" on these pages between fans of ZAG and LJU? Having flown to both, one is vaguely an alternative to another. Ljubljana's is so up north, that is basically in Kranj, while Zagreb's is in the south, in Velika Gorica. If there are enough well-heeled Slovenians (or foreign tourists) to fill the planes from/to LJU, then there may get a convenient connection to East via Doha. QR may do whatever they see fit. ZAG may go from 10 to 7 p/w and that's all. No reason for such commotion. Good for SLO, good for CRO. All is well.

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    1. You are missing the point. The discussion was on how many Slovenes use ZAG and what impact these future flights will have on The airport

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    2. No, that's not supposed to be the discussion. Just shows how much you anticipate the demise of Zagreb.

      Delete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. That's unbelievable, incredible,... finally a banana state gonna get a serious carrier.
    Everyone has been avoided so far.

    ReplyDelete

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