Friday, July 7, 2017

Mitsubishi pitches regional jet to Air Serbia


Japanese plane manufacturer Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation is continuing to pursue Air Serbia as a potential customer for its regional MRJ aircraft in a bid to secure its first order from a European commercial airline. The General Manager Of Mitsubishi Corporation's Belgrade office, Naoki Tsukada, said that selling the aircraft to the Serbian carrier was one of its main goals. "We are focusing on promoting the Mitsubishi Regional Jet - MRJ - to Air Serbia. It is a core target for us. Furthermore, our next step is connected to Serbia’s future European Union membership and related to infrastructure projects. Entering the EU will give you, and us, new opportunities for cooperation", Mr Tsukada said.

Last month, a Japanese business delegation comprising of representatives from eighteen companies, including various branches of Mitsubishi, visited Serbia where they were presented with investment opportunities. Mitsubishi said that Air Serbia's plans to replace its regional fleet, as well as the strong backing it has from part-owner Etihad Airways, make it an ideal customer for its two aircraft types. They include the 80-seat MRJ70 and the 92-seat MRJ90 (both at maximum capacity). The roll-out of the aircraft has been severely delayed and deliveries are now expected to commence in 2020. The jet made its European debut at the Paris Air Show last month, as flight tests continue. The MRJ program has more than 400 orders, including options, however all are from within Asia and the United States, with exception to the Swedish aircraft leasing company Rockton, which Mitsubishi hopes will help it market the jet to European customers. "The last thing we need to achieve for the time being is to get an order from a European nation", the aircraft manufacturer said last year.

Air Serbia has said it is reviewing its regional fleet, which is currently made up of six ATR 72 aircraft, as part of its business strategy for the coming five years. "We will see whether they will be turboprops or jet-engine aircraft. With these, we can cover points in the region", the airline's Chairman, Siniša Mali, said last year. However, the carrier has since voiced its support for the ATR plane manufacturer on several occasion, noting that the turboprop has "great economics" and is a "perfect aircraft". On the other hand, the MRJ's aerodynamics allow for reduced fuel consumption, noise, and emissions, while offering operational benefits and a cabin designed for heightened passenger flying comfort with large overhead bins. Mitsubishi has previously also held talks with Croatia Airlines over a potential order.

120 comments:

  1. It looked nice in Air Serbia colors at the Paris airshow

    https://tinyurl.com/y9x2sbfu

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    1. Looks good actually :)

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    2. I like it. Interesting that they had a model plane in JU colours. Obviously going after them as a customer.

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    3. Well at least manufacturers are interested. During Jat Airways times no one even came knocking.

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    4. JU livery looks perfect on that bird.

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    5. Wow, had no idea they actually did that. however Sukhoi looks much nicer still.

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    6. @AnonymousJuly 7, 2017 at 9:02 AM

      Photoshop ;)

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    7. It is not photoshop at all. The photo was published by another site that was live at the Paris airshow and they had little reason to make photoshops in their spare time of Air Serbia. There were a few other airlines also with their livery on display at the MRJ stand.

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  2. They may be looking at Air Serbia as a customer but I don't think Air Serbia is looking to buy them.

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    1. Seems like these ATRs will stay forever.

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    2. Well some plane manufacturers are desparate to sell jets and will offer very good deals so you never know.

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    3. So what if the Atrs are here to stay? They are the most ideal aircraft to operate flights to destinations such as VIE, ZAG, LJU, VCE, TIA, SOF...

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    4. You are just forgetting about the stigma attached to turboprops. A lot of people do not like flying with them and avoid them if there is another option with jet engined equipment.

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    5. People don't care as long as the fares are low, something the Atr is ideal for.

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    6. Do you have statistics for that (not coming from jet manufacturers or related to them)? Id assume 3% or less care about sitting in CRJ7 or AT7 for example.

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    7. There is no reason to use turboprops as long as oil is cheap. If we knew that the oil price wont exceed 60 USD per gallon in the next 15 years all turboprops would be scrapped as soon as they get replacements.

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    8. I know a lot of people fly Montenegro Airlines rather than Air Serbia between Serbia-Montenegro just because they use Embraers.

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    9. Even back when Jat was around, YM carried more passengers but JU made more money on flights to Montenegro. So which one would you choose if you were an airline manager?

      Anon 09.51

      There are several analyses out there that show that up to 500 nm flying distance, the Atr is unbeatable. For some airlines there is a market within a 500 nm radius from their hub while for some others there isn't one.

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    10. I'm not sure if MGX carries more passengers anymore. But it makes sense that it does. It's their core route but it's not Air Serbia's.

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    11. Exactly and YM has used politics in the past to make sure it remains the dominant carrier on the market. Remember in 2009 when Jat almost suspended all flights to Podgorica and when they relied on their code-share with YM? Luckily the moment that CEO was sacked JU reintroduced more flights to MNE. I think it was the same one who had the brilliant idea to sell Jat tickets in all post offices. lol

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    12. Nemjee, I am anon 9:51 - my question waas intended for anon at 9:31.

      I do not think that it is a remarkable portion of pax who decide flight bookings by aircraft equipment or that the equipment plays such an important role.

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    13. No one from frequent flyers, business passengers likes ATR.

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    14. Frequent flyers love miles so they can be flexible when it comes to the equipment.
      As for business passengers, they love flexibility.

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    15. @ Nemjee completely forgot about the idea for post offices to sell Jat tickets. Hahahaha. Oh goodness it's a miracle this company still exsists when you look at the long line of fools that have 'managed' it.

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    16. frequent flyers may love miles, but since distances where propeller jets are deployed are rather short, there aren't that many miles, so FF are not exactly a target group for these jets

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    17. If they are a member of the JU mileage programme then they will fly on the Atr to MNE in stead of YM no matter what aircraft they send

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    18. Post offixes selling tickets was not a bad idea, particularly if interne penetration and computer literacy are not high. 20 yrs ago, Hawaiian air and Aloha air used to sell tickets via ATMs.

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    19. There is a huge difference in noise and passenger comfort between ATRs built 20+ years ago and their modern versions with contemporary interiors. If the pricing and scheduling is done well and promoted accordingly, the turboprop stigma would fade away.

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  3. Very interesting indeed! If Serbia decides to buy them, then the neighbouring countries are most likely to do the same. Aircraft looks pretty modern and funky. Lets see how it will perform when launched next year.

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    1. LOL, sure they will!

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  4. In my opinion it's just a matter of one weekly Narita flight by JAL or ANA until the contract is signed :D

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    1. Not really, it is a matter of Mitsubishi factories and R&D in Serbia. Not necessarily connected with aviation.

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    2. The deals so far says opposite. Air Serbia - for JFK flight, BEG airport - for PEK flight. I'm pretty sure Japanese can sell these aircrafts easily if route to Japan is promised ;)

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    3. They were interested a while ago

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/10/ana-considers-belgrade-flights.html

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    4. Maybe Serbia is planning to buy something from Mitsubishi Heavy Industry (like turbines or something) and now Japanese are trying to make the whole deal much bigger. This is just speculation.

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    5. Could be. From the 18 executives from Japan who came last month, 5 were from various Mitsubishi units.

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    6. Also their Brlgrade rep. says they are looking at selling planes and infrastructure work. Remember they also expressed interest in BEG airport. They didn't bid but still, they are interested in the market.

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  5. Does anyone remember when Air Serbia was being launched how they said that an international tender would be made for the purchase of new aircraft and that all plane makers were welcome. Whatever happened to that?

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    1. I highly doubt JU can afford to purchase any aircraft. They will stick to leasing them.

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  6. Aircraft looks classy.

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  7. The easiest option for Air Serbia would be to take over some of Alitalia's grounded ATRs.

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    1. Mene je posteno iznenadilo da su uzeli sedista od Air Berlina vec avione od Alitalie bi bilo nemoguce u Etihadovim igrarijama sa kvazimrezom prevoznika. zamena ATR72 200 sa 500 bi bila prava stvar jos neki komad pride za Lyon, chisnau, krakov, kiev i Varnu.

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    2. ATR za Lyon i Kiev?

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    3. 600 nm, sat manje od Er Baznija

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  8. Introducing a new aircraft type is quite expensive. Apart from the actual cost, crew also have to be trained.

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  9. Izmedju SSJ i MRJ, izabrao bih svakako japanski proizvod, dok u svim ostalim opcijama sanse za ovakav scenario spadaju u naucnu fantastiku. Ali ko zna, videcemo.

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    1. Slazem se sa tobom ali nisam ni u snu ocekivao da ce Adria uzimati SSJ pa je i do toga doslo kao grom iz vedra neba tako da nikad se ne zna.

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    2. A ja bih izabrao ruski avion. Kao što bih, u istoj konkurenciji, izabrao japanski auto.

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  10. I think 70 seats is more than enough for regional routes. This aircraft would be too big.

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    1. Actually with the MRJ, I think there would be anough space for it and the ATR in the fleet.

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    2. That would be too many aircraft types in the fleet.

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  11. The MRJ would be a super cool option.

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  12. Alen Šćuric PurgerJuly 7, 2017 at 9:47 AM

    Concerning number of planes in fleet it is OK for Air Serbia to incorporate MRJ (or SSJ, or CRJ, Embraer), company for sure need 100-seater. The best option would be:

    6 ATR 72-500
    6 MRJ (or SSJ)
    10 A320neo (2 of them i Aviolet, what is nonsense to have brand new plan in charter division)
    1 A330

    I think 10 A320neo it too big order and Air Serbia will not be able to finance that. They should take 4 of them, and fleet should be:

    6 ATR 72-500
    6 MRJ (or SSJ)
    4 A320neo
    2 old A320 (for Aviolet)
    4 older A319
    1 A330

    But now they are stick with A320neo...

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    1. 23 aircrafts in 6 different types (even if you consider 320 family together, still 4 different type)! Good luck with the crew and maintenance arrangements Alen :)

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    2. +100000

      Alen, your fleet planning suggestion is not feasible to say the least.

      No one in their right mind would have 4 different sets of type-rated crews to cover a fleet of 23, not to mention 6 different a/c types for maintenance and support.

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    3. Da li njega iko uzima za ozbiljno?

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    4. AirSerbia has already had 4 different types of aircraft. They will just replace B737 with new region jet.

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    5. Alen Šćuric PurgerJuly 7, 2017 at 1:05 PM

      So true. In this moment Air Serbia has 4 different types, my good. Of course it would be ideal to fly just one type. But Air Serbia is not Emirates, and 99% of companies in World, which are not legacy carrier can not afford that luxury to fly 45 minutes flight with 777-300.

      So, Air Serbia need turboprop. No question about it. The are stick to A320neo (if not they could make fleet with 100-seater). And for sure they can not fly JFK with A320 so they need A330 (and that is another story).

      Most of Airlines have
      tuboprops
      regional jets
      narrow-body
      wide-body

      Of course it is easier when your fleet is 50, 80, 100 planes, but with 20+ planes company can do that. Cheaper than to fly 1.000 km route with ATR, or regional routes with A319.

      For example LOT with 53 planes have 737-400, 737-800, 787-8, CRJ-900, Q400, Embraers 170, 175, 195, and now they orders 787-9 and 737MAX

      P.S.
      Shvačam ja da mene nitko uzima za ozbiljno. Zapravo pišem ni za koga, a stotine komentara su samo fikcija, fatamorgana. Svi ovi najjači mediji koji me svaki tjedan intervjuiraju u Sloveniji, Hrvatskoj, Srbiji, BiH zapravo se time isprdavaju iz svog glaedateljstva i čitatiteljstva (bit će da su to njihovi smješni prilozi za razbibrigu), sva ova ministarstva, zračne luke i avio komapnije koje me angažiraju zapravo me trebaju da vide diletantski pogled i da tada mogu usporediti svoju stručnost.

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    6. If Mitsubishi planes should be ordered which is surely not impossible then what makes more sense for JU is to have the following fleet:

      4 MRJ70 (74 seaters)
      8 MRJ95 (88 seaters)
      10 A319/A320 (128 seaters, 155 seaters)
      2 A332 (254 seaters)

      A lot of pilots/FOs with license for A330 also have it (historically) for A320-fleet - hence this scenario seems realistic and ideal for JU with only 2 real different license/type rating sets.
      Wouldnt this be something that JU should try to do?
      They can probably get a very cheap price for the MRJs making up for less fuel efficient ops on short haul routes up to 350/400nm compared to a turboprop.

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    7. Alen Šćuric PurgerJuly 7, 2017 at 3:11 PM

      Whatever price is, for routes to ZAG, LJU, BNX, SJJ, OTP, SOF, SKP, TGD, TIV (out of season) and in near future to PRN ATR is "must" and MRJ here is too expensive. It can be done, even Lufthansa have no tuboprop fleet, but concerning efficiency ATR is superior for those short routes. Especially in winter.

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    8. +1 Anon 2:50pm

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    9. Mogli bi vjerovatno JFK sa A310?

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  13. As someone mentioned above, many manufacturers would love to pitch a new aircraft to ASL....but in reality the airline at the moment is not in a position to do much at all. That is a fact, otherwise they would not hush so much about the long expected 320neo order. Even the second 330 has been put on hold for indefinite. If they can do anything, it would be a replacement of 3 old ATR72-200 for newer 500s. Maybe, just maybe a couple of -600s but even that is a stretch!

    Just my 2 honest cents.

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  14. This plane would be perfect for Air Serbia but like others say, I don't think Air Serbia has the money for it.

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    1. Uz dobre uslove za kupovinu mogla bi lagano to da otplati.
      I lizing sadasnjih aviona kosta kompaniju mnogo

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  15. So who knows guys, JU might order Japanese MRJ and Adria will fly Ruski SJJ. YM will use Brazilian Embraer. I really love the cocktail of birds we will be seeing. Very nice!

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  16. O.T. I notice that AirSerbia starts to sell ticket to Split during winter using OU flights from ZAG to SPU. Are they signed codeshare with OU?

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    1. It's probably just an interline.

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    2. Big shame they aren't flying the route themselves in winter 2x weekly. Plenty of passengers on the route.

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    3. It is beyond me why they don't do SPU 2 or 3pw in winter with very suitable turboprops - that is both for ASL and OS.

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  17. I really hope JU does something about its regional fleet. Those ATRs are getting old and are having tech issues very often

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

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    2. No, there is no need. By putting slimline seats in the ATR I don't think you would get any additional capacity.

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  18. Dans 96 polazaka sa BEG...

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    1. That's a lot.

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    2. I dalje manje od proslotjednih 107 Splitskih

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

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    1. I would not get my hopes up. They obviously don't have the money to buy new ones or lease new ones.

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  20. Those Japanese planes look fantastic.

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  21. There's no reason to swap ATRs for any other plane except for the new generation ATR72-600.

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  22. Currently, Sukhoi is offering the best possible terms on the market for regional fleet. Adria has bitten the bait and is getting them. Another airline from ex-Yu is very close to getting them. But Air Serbia does not seem interested in them. I really don't know what they want to do with their regional fleet. They seem to be in the clouds on that one without any direction.

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    1. That is because they have no strategy. They keep mentioning 5 year plans. I assume when they make the five year plan (no one knows for which five years) they will start making plans for the next five years and so on while failing to deliver on what they promised.

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    2. I think they have achieved a bloody lot in the last 3 years. Look at where Jat was and look at where Air Serbia is today. Sometimes it is important to put things into perspective.

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    3. @12:57
      that is true, but just look at the major fleet issues that have piled up: when to retire old atrs & b737, will aviolet survive?, what is happening with neos?

      that means that at the moment there is nobody to make this decisions or it is not the right time because of EY-hogan mess

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    4. JU is not that dependent on Etihad anymore compared to the way it was at the beginning. Now that can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. For now it is not turning out to be that much of a good thing.

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    5. @12.51 who is the other ex-yu airline?

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    6. Croatia Airlines.

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    7. That would be very interesting if it happened. Let's wait and see.

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  23. Anyone know the economics of the MRJ and how they stack up against other rivals like Embraer and Bombardier? Thanks in advanced.

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  24. it is a strange timing when they asked to pitch. they just came out with 5y plan, etihad is in mess, JU is in limbo...

    but okay, these guys need to sell. only problem is that this will be possible through lessor since i don't see JU buying any planes in foreseeable future, not with their losses

    on the other hand, JU does need to change at least their old atr 72-200s and Mitsubishi is counting on that.

    jets would be an interesting replacement. but i just don't know about costs of additional pilot training, mechanics training, bringing line maintenance in-house, new contracts with MROs... phew

    therefore, i see them just leasing 3 more atrs and sending old 3 next door to aviation museum.

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    1. Well I think they own 3 and the other 3 are leased. So they can return those back to their owners. But the issue is that the ones they own are the oldest ATRs while the leased ones are newer.

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    2. Whenever they retire them I do hope one is left for the aviation museum.

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    3. I agree, these birds have served JU well and they should be displayed!

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  25. OT: Last week there was a conversation here about Brussels experience with SSJ100. It seems that the plane is fulfilling their expectations

    https://tinyurl.com/y88jn38q

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    1. Goes to show how much certain experts on here know.

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    2. Nemjee mentioned it I think and then whole bunch of people jumped at his as this was BS probably because of stigma for anything Russian.

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    3. Yeah, it was me. I am especially happy that SN is happy with the aircraft. Let's hope they might consider ordering some of them especially since they are cheap and SN is cash strapped.

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  26. Are there any pictures of inside the Mitsubishi jet?

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    1. Here you go
      http://www.airlinereporter.com/2014/05/catching-up-with-the-mitsubishi-mrj-regional-jet/

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    2. It looks good.

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  27. People tend to forget that JU actually owns 3 ATRs meaning it has no additional costs for leasing which is a major advantage. That is why retiring them and leasing or buying new ones isn't so economical.

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    1. True but the oldest ATR is turning 27. Time for a refresh.

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  28. Even if they did order this plane the problem is that its arrival would not be at least until 2021!

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    1. Fits in perfectly with their five year plans :D

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  29. OT: LOT is launching direct flights from BUD to NYC and CHI next year! JU will have a new, fierce competitor. The neighbours in Hungary will have even more connections.

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    1. There are already many even fiercer competitors offering 1 stop flights to the US from BEG - so no issues with this, especially since JU has next to no pax from BUD flying from BEG to BUD. LOT has more to worry about 1 stop operators from BUD who will try to kill them in BUD through price dumping

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    2. What about southern Hungary catchment area? If the flight from BEG is cheaper, people will prefer to travel from BEG and not BUD. A possible solution would be JU to order the MRJ and launch BUD + DEB guaranteeing a larger part of hUngary.

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    3. BEG as an airport is cheaper than BUD.

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    4. I heard that after BUD, SOF and OTP are next on the list for LOT. They want to become the main CEE Airline.

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  30. Valid to all Micky Mouse airlines would be a suicide to phase in any of those planes including CS, SSj, MRJ,... ... too risky & expensive.

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    1. Ok Minnie Mouse expert, please provide us with some data on the safety record of the CS, SSJ (excluding Armenia crash) and MRJ of course.

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  31. OT: bigger planes today in ZAG: Swiss with A319, CSA A319, Austrian A321. Also, tomorrow, Monarch with A321 (second Saturday in a row), they sent A321 this Wednesday from LGW instead of A320!

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  32. OT: I noticed on kayak that it was possible to purchase a ticket on BEG-PMI (Palma) which is an Aviolet charter flight? Has Air Serbia taken an allocation of seats on some of their charter flights as inventory to sell to the public?

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    1. Aren't they selling via their code share with FB via SOF?

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