Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Qatar Airways to continue EX-YU growth


Qatar Airways has said it will continue growing its presence in the former Yugoslavia following the Monday launch of its service to Skopje. The Doha-based airline confirmed that flights to Sarajevo should go ahead next month despite tickets still being unavailable for purchase. Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News, Qatar Airways' Chief Commercial Officer, Ehab Amin, said, "Flights will start soon. We are getting full support from the government, the civil aviation authorities and airport authorities. Of course, each operation has its own limitations. As we speak, some of our people are heading to Sarajevo for final discussions and, hopefully, within the coming days, we will announce this route". The carrier previously said it would commence operations to the Bosnian capital on August 16.

Qatar Airways recently upped frequencies to Zagreb and Belgrade and deployed additional capacity on both routes. In response to increasing demand, flights to Zagreb have increased from a ten weekly service to double daily. Initially planned only to run during July, the additional frequencies have now been extended throughout the summer. Meanwhile, services to Belgrade will be boosted with an additional three weekly services, for a total of seven per week, starting August 1. Furthermore, the equipment used on the route will be upgauged from an Airbus A320 to an A321 aircraft. A further frequency increase is expected this winter. Mr Amin noted that the Balkans represents an important market for Qatar Airways. "We feel that the Balkans are underserved and we would like to provide countries in the Balkans with a five star product they deserve. That is why we are focusing on such markets with high opportunities, which benefits both sides, the people in these countries and Qatar Airways as well. We will continue to seek opportunities in this region".

Qatar Airways' inaugural service to Skopje operated with a 100% load factor, with almost half of the travellers on board hailing from countries other than Macedonia, most notably from Asia. The airline is primarily pitching the flights to the Macedonian diaspora in Australia, but will seek other types of passengers as well. "We are here to serve different kinds of customers. These include labour traffic and VFR (visiting family and relatives). We will also go for those seeking medical treatments, point to points traffic, as well as for transit on this route. With our new visa facility allowing Macedonian citizens to transit Doha and get visa for free for four days or get a visit visa valid for thirty days on arrival, it's an added value for Macedonian passengers", Mr Amin concluded.

135 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I thought the same :D

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    2. If they do go for secondary cities, they will probably start Dubrovnik seasonally.

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    3. Why not? INI is next to SKP.

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    4. LOL are you seriously asking why they don't fly to Nis?! :D Even Podgorica would make more sense. And before that Ljubljana, Pristina, Dubrovnik and Split.

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    5. @ 9.24 Pristina and Ohrid are also close to Skopje but you don't see them thinking starting flights there, even though both would make more sense than INI.

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    6. Why would Podgorica make more sense? MNE's entire population is much smaller than INI's catchment area.

      Also, don't forget that FZ chose TIV over DBV so some on here might be overestimating Dubrovnik's demand.

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    7. Overestimating Dubrovnik? Hahaha, look at the numbers!

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    8. Dubrovnik would be an excellent seasonal destination for them like Mykonos which they will be starting next year.

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    9. Turkish Airlines got a head start on them there but they would definitely pull a lot more passengers from Japan, South Korea and China then Turkish. And I think it could work year round. Add to that tourists from Australia.

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    10. First of all, DBV doesn't even handle 2 million so looking at numbers doesn't do them any favors. Second of all, most of those 'numbers'are fueled by airlines like Thompson, Thomas Cook and easyJet. Not by tourists from Asia which is a market QR is after.

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    11. ^ How many passengers does Skopje handle?

      You are way off about Asian tourists.

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    12. Fly dubai could work seasonally to DBV if not Qatar.

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    13. The Asian tourists that do arrive to Dubrovnik either do it on charter flights or as part of a larger European tour, as a stop along the way. This market is irrelevant to QR which is why it is not putting DBV on its radar.

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    14. TK flies 10 times a week to DBV. In summer they are full to the brim, mostly with pax from Asia. Many use TK also between the US/Canada and Dubrovnik. So why would QR not work?

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    15. Wrong. TK is filled with mostly Turkish tourists visiting the area. This route was primarily introduced for them. Dubrovnik was always extremely popular among Turkish holidaymakers

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    16. Oh, wow. Looks like all of you guys have statistics which tourists come from where and by which mean of transportation.

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    17. I agree that INI is the most undeserved destination in ex-Yu. INI already has a top legacy carrier, so why not having another one like QR? 3 flights pw just like they did with BEG.

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    18. Get a grip people. I'm from Serbia and I still can't believe you are all serious about QR having to fly to Nis!

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    19. Sorry anon 11:52 AM but this proves how you are underestimating INI. We have repeated so many times that the region is now blooming. Just look at the demand in SKP, SOF, PRN. The region is home to approx 5 million catchement area.

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    20. There are many bigger cities with much larger catchment areas that Qatar does not serve yet. Nis is completely out of the question for them.

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    21. ... and all of this started as a harmles joke from Budmiren...

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    22. I'm from Nis and as much as I support more flights going there, it just doesn't make sense. What will Nis, QR, or Serbia gain from this?

      On the mention of, Tivat airport is just crazy busy! But when I arrived into BEG yesterday, there was an Air China B747 parked at the airpirt. Does anyone know why? I've been away from mainstream media for the last few weeks so I might have missed the announcement.

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    23. Chairman of China's National People's Congress Zhang Dejiang is in Belgrade. He arrived on Air China's B747.

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    24. @frishkiJuly 19, 2017 at 11:29 AM

      The science has yet to describe the phenomena, it is very localized and it seems only select few poses these skills.

      Us mortals must internet and official websites to verify all our data, however these select few it seems don't need these rudimentary tools.

      As I've said, science is yet to understand how this is possible.

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    25. There is a phenomenon called statistics, you should check it out.

      Also, if there were really that many Asians flying into DBV or SPU, wouldn't there be more airlines that traditionally serve those markets?

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    26. Please, show me these statistics so I can learn a bit more.
      Also, Dubrovnik is highly seasonal and therefore many legacy airlines are still avoiding year round routes. That doesn't mean that the Asians don't fly to DBV.

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    27. @Anon at 7:32 AM

      Do share, please do share your statistics, ideally with a website link, you know it starts with www.

      And plz let not be this blog link, directing us to one of your older posts.

      Here i'll give you few links to start, you can add your own.

      http://www.dzs.hr/Hrv_Eng/publication/2016/04-03-02_01_2016.htm
      http://www.mint.hr/default.aspx?id=976

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  2. Reading the CCO's comments it seems like Sarajevo is not a done deal. What happened?

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    1. It seems the airport is making some problems. I don't get the people who run it. They have already chased away a few airlines because of their behavior.

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    2. Crazy first Eurowings now they are jeopardizing Qatar Airways.

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    3. Hopefully they don't screw it up and tickets go on sale soon.

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    4. Apparently airport has not done their part of the job. Surprise surprise.

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    5. What are you all on about. Read what the guy said.

      "Flights will start soon. We are getting full support from the government, the civil aviation authorities and airport authorities."

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    6. You are forgetting the second part of the stateent which is very important: ome of our people are heading to Sarajevo for final discussions and, HOPEFULLY, within the coming days, we will announce this route

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  3. Qatar Airways has the best position of MEB3 when it comes to ex-Yu. Perfect aircraft for this market.

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    1. Etihad also has the right aircraft for this market - A319, A320 and A321.

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    2. Yeah but Etihad is limited because of Air Serbia. They don't have to fly to ZAG or LJU. They just codeshare with JU and this has been working really well for them.

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    3. The advantage Qatar has is that its European services are based on frequency and not capacity like Emirates.

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    4. If flydubai eventually merges with Emirates then they will be best positioned in this market.

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  4. Time for B787 to ZAG.

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    1. Doubt it...

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    2. If they start DBV during the summer I think they will keep their Zagreb flights as is.

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  5. I hope that Qatar starts Ljubljana.

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    1. They said they are considering it
      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/06/al-baker-qatar-airways-eyeing-ljubljana.html

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    2. Considering and actually starting flights are two different things.

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  6. BEG has improved so much for them since they introduced direct flights. Will be going 10 weekly this winter.

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    1. now that you mentioned it, i realized that i am flying in november with them from BEG. not a great connection, especially with a small kid, but you cannot beat their price.

      a lot of serbian touristic agencies (or serbian branches of international operator) switched to qatar for their offers to eastern exotic destinations. in may i had a friend flying with them to bali for a couple of hundreds €.

      i am looking forward to my first time in QTR & DOH, hopefully this arab hostilities towards qatar will not escalate.

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    2. ^ Hey Petar it would be nice if you could post us a small review when you fly with them. I usually fly Etihad for the simple reason that I'm collecting miles on their program but I have never tried Qatar yet. They had a great promo sale over the past 2 weeks and you are right that those tickets are tough to beat. I;m really hoping Etihad does a global sale like they did this time last year.

      I wouldn't worry about hostilities. Latest news today is that the Gulf countries gave new 6 points to end the embargo against Qatar and they are all reasonable without things like shutting Aljazeera and so on so I think this could be over by the end of the month.

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    3. good, i also hope for the better. it seems relaxation comes a few weeks after they bought 12bln$ worth of fighter jets and a tillerson visit.

      okay, then i guess i owe you a post in november :)

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  7. wow @ 100% LF to Skopje. And people were predicting how the route will fail and that it should be linked to some other route to succeed.

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    1. And even more encouraging is the amount of foreigners on the flight. Great news!

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    2. It depends if they were revenue passengers or staff and media. More indicative would be today's loads.

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    3. It´s a mere 132 seats on the QR A320- so not that hard to fill, especially the first flight. But a success anyway. Congrats.

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    4. Lets see winter and foggy season.

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    5. True but remember that when ZAG and BEG launched there were around 20-30 passengers at first.

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    6. Well this is just the first flights to SKP, we don't know about the other ones, maybe they also have 20-30 passengers. FZ isn't doing all that well down there either.

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    7. Yes it will be interesting to see how Fly dubai is impacted by this. I think their loads hover around 65-70% in SKP.

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    8. This winter FlyDubai is operating 3 weekly flights. Last year it was 2.

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  8. BEG is really going to be well served despite JU leaving the market. I guess Qatar will be adding those three weekly for a total of 10.

    My guess is that their arrival time will be around 05.30 that is the same time when ASL's regional network arrives plus Etihad. It will be quite busy.

    Another airline that will do well is flydubai which has already done well with their 4 weekly flights.
    With Emirates' codeshare their numbers will be further boosted. Let's not forget that until now it was impossible to book flights from BEG to anywhere else besides DXB via their website. This will change now and it will provide for additional feed for FZ. I wouldn't be surprised if we see FZ add more flights next year.

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    1. +1

      I think the biggest looser here will be Etihad who will completely loose their competitive edge in BEG.

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    2. Exactly. They will become much less relevant unless they respond. However given the mess in AUH I highly doubt they will do anything besides increase BEG to an A321.

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    3. And all these hints don't give any clue
      about the renewal of EY's management contract over JU?

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    4. Why should EY leave when they have no obligation towards ASL? It makes more sense for them to leave AZ or AB.

      There is a large difference between wishful thinking and reality.

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  9. It´s amazing that BEG was launched in Nov 2012 with barely 3 flights pw and now, then via SOF and now 5 years later it went daily and will be served with an A321:

    http://www.qatarairways.com/english_global/press-release.page?pr_id=pressrelease_pressrelease_20121121

    So, respect to BEG and congrats being the very first city in ex-Yu!

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    Replies
    1. Wasn't Zagreb launched that way as well and now it's double daily? Wouldn't that make it the number 1 ex-Yu city for Qatar Airways?

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    2. Ha ha ha......evo ih, lokalpatrioti

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    3. Double daily in summer and not throughout the whole year. BEG was first though, so antiguity should be respected.

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    4. No, ZAG went daily right after BUD while BEG first had ESB and then SOF.
      It made more sense for them to concentrate on ZAG given the fact that it's much less competitive as a market so the yields were more likely to be higher.

      Then again, they used to send their A320s with the special business class to BEG so I guess there is some premium demand there.

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    5. @anonymous 9:38 - it's not my intention to "brag", nor engage into pointless competition with "who has the bigger *ick"...but Zagreb really was Qatar's #1 destination in Ex Yu, being linked via Budapest daily since May, 2012. By Spring of 2014, Qatar established non-stop daily flights (without BUD stopover), and this has grown to double daily by now...

      Those are the facts.

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    6. Petar, there is no need to feed the troll and to engage in every single provocation.

      At the end of the day, the number of frequencies, seats and the aircraft used on a certain route will indicate which market is the most successful.

      Seems like both Belgrade and Zagreb will see ten weekly flights this winter season.

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  10. And just a few years ago having Qatar Airways seemed like something no airport in ex-Yu could accomplish.

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  11. Have the plans to operate A320 with upgraded business class product to BEG from October been cancelled?

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    1. Yes because flights will now operate with A321.

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    2. They were supposed to start in summer but then QR decided to increase capacity to A321 and they also moved the introduction of daily flights from W17 to 01.08.

      I guess they needed the extra capacity since bookings have been more than solid.

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    3. Qatar has a few different versions of the A321 in terms of their product. Some have 160 degree recline seats in business class.

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  12. Vrlo skoro mozemo ocekivati QR sa sirokotrupnim avionom u BEG. Vec jednom smo gledali a330, medjutim ovu info sam dobio bas iz BEogradskog predstavnistva.
    To ce biti njihov odgovor na kod ser Emirejtsa na FZ let za BEG i ukidanje JU800/801. Bar su rekli da je to njihova zelja.

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    1. И не само то, већ када је и дошао А332 имали су сасвим солидну попуњеност за лет преко Софије.
      У доласку је било око 150 путника а у одласку око 190. Остатак седишта су напунили у Бугарској.

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    2. Qatar je u 2015.godini dolazio dva puta sa A330-200 u Beograd, jednom u avgustu i jednom u septembru. Realno je očekivati da pre pošalju širokotrupca u Beograd nego u Zagreb, pogotovu sada kad Zagreb ide na double daily.

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    3. Beograd se dize na deset tako da ostaje uskotrupni

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    4. Air Serbia oslobađa dosta kapaciteta, tako da ima prostora da se ubaci širokotrupni određenim danima...pa sada ili Etihad ili Qatar.

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  13. Passenger numbers between Serbia and China will keep on growing especially after it was announced that the Chinese will build some sort of a business park close to Smederevo. Politico had an article on this relationship and it seems China has used Serbia to promote itself and its interests in Europe.

    These new passengers will not all fly on Hainan's direct flight but many will use SU, QR, TK, FZ/EK...

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  14. Im guessing QR will now have to contend with the behemoth of Emirates and FlyDubai. Having flown all 3 airlines recently I rate FlyDubai streaks ahead of QR. From my experience QR economy is below average

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  15. How is Qatar Airways performing in Zagreb now that Emirates flies there?

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    1. I think the key to beating Emirates in Zagreb would be for Qatar to launch Ljubljana. It would end the stream of Slovenian passengers on the EK flight while ensuring that QR flights from ZAG are unaffected too much.

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    2. The stream? Please, do illuminate us with the statistics of how many (exactly) Slovenians use EK from ZAG. Please. Ali ne rekla kazala. I want numbers.

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    3. How about you show us your numbers first to prove us wrong?

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    4. Qatar would definitely have an advantage over EK this year. Next year will be interesting.

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    5. Anonymus 2:08, don't play a stupid game with me. I don' t now the numbers that is why I am asking. Since you seem to be very sure that a lot of Slovenians use EK from ZAG, that is why I am asking you numbers. Ajde, cekam brojeve, kad ste tako sigurni. Ja ih nemam. Pa da vidimo.

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    6. And one more thing. Since I don't know the numbers, and apparently you do know them, I am just waiting you to prove your "stream" statement. I would be more than happy to finally get some statistics.

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    7. Yeah but you can't prove the stream doesn't exist, so it's all speculation and given the statements airlines made it's likely it's there.

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    8. So basically we're talking about nothing.

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  16. OMG so Sarajevo is still not 100%, Will they ever launch flights...

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    Replies
    1. It must be that there is something wrong with the airport. I have no other explanation.

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  17. DBV is the next...

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    Replies
    1. It will be LJU because that destination can be served year-round.

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    2. People here were claiming how they were launching DBV in 2016, 2017, now 2018...

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  18. Nice to hear about Skopje. Are there many Asian tourists visiting Macedonia?

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    Replies
    1. There is a big increase in Chinese tourists lately.

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    2. lol i noticed them too

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  19. Qatar Airways is a fantastic airline and it is interesting they will operate the most flights to ex-Yu out of all the Gulf carriers.

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  20. Great news. With world cup being hosted in qatar in a few years numbers will continue to go up. Good luck to QR on their ex-Yu routes.

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  21. Don't understand why so many airlines are avoiding LJU like the plague. I know it is close to bigger hubs but it can also attract passengers from smaller cities like Graz and Slovenians would travel from LJU if there were options.

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  22. Does anyone know QR's actual loads?

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    1. Also any statistic about the final destinations of pax flying Qatar Airlines out of Zagreb?

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  23. Do other ex-yu countries have the same visa policies like Macedonians? In the text it says:

    With our new visa facility allowing Macedonian citizens to transit Doha and get visa for free for four days or get a visit visa valid for thirty days on arrival

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    Replies
    1. yes regarding the transit visa for up to 96 hours (which should be enough)

      regarding normal Visa on arrival for 1 month: only citizens of Slovenia, Croatia and Macedonia are eligible. you need to have booked accom. and cash of 1500$

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    2. For the time being only Serbia and Bosnia have to apply for an online-visa, the others receive visa on arrival

      heres the link:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Qatar

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    3. Great. Thanks for the information. Good work for Macedonia being included.

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  24. OT: Emirates to order 787. Announcement follows in November at the Dubai Air Show.

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    1. Why not A350?

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    2. Laptop ban for middle eas airlines will end soon. Coincidence??

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    3. 787-9 and -10s

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    4. @AnonymousJuly 19, 2017 at 2:19 PM

      A350 is larger aircraft, perhaps Qatar wants to fill the gap between B777 and A 330.

      A 350 is more like B777.

      typical two class cabin layout or configuration for :

      A330 200 - 36J, 210Y
      787 8 - 242 seats, 24J, 218Y
      A350 900 - 325 seats, 48J, 267Y
      B777-8 - 350, 48J, 302Y
      B777-9 - 412, 48J, 364Y







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  25. I'm surprised none of the middle east airline fly to Pristina.

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    1. Air Arabia did.

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    2. Yeah for a week.

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    3. Skopje, which has a bigger catchment area is served by MEB airlines and can easily serve Pristina as well.

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  26. And they just announced they are increasing Moscow to triple daily :O

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    Replies
    1. While EK is bringing back the 380 on both flights

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  27. What on earth are they going to do once the blockade is over? They won't have enough planes to restart those routes plus keep all the upgrades.

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    Replies
    1. They are receiving new planes all the time.

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  28. DOH-SKP inaugural flight was sold out

    more on:
    http://www.anna.aero/2017/07/19/qatar-airways-launches-flights-doha-skopje/

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  29. I expect Qatar will add Ljubljana in 2018 4x per week and keep Zagreb at double daily. In 2019 we could see Dubrovnik seasonal flight, Belgrade at double daily, Ljubljana daily, Skopje daily and Zagreb with the Dreamliner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And everyone on this blog will be happy :D
      Did you forget Saraevo though? :O

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  30. OT:
    (and most importantly a distraction from the everlasting Serb/Croat rivalry):

    funny BA safety video - director's cut:(featuring Mr. Bean and X Files Gillian Anderson)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCoQwZ9BQ9Q

    Greetings to all from Skopje

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  31. OT: LX to/ex INI this weekend:

    A320, 12/162
    LX2512/21 09/164
    LX2512/21 00/055

    A320, 08/168
    LX2512/23 03/173
    LX2513/23 09/156

    Nice to see C class to be filled out.

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    Replies
    1. Wasn't one flight supposed to be operated by the C-series? Also, I am totally surprised about the C class loads. Spectacular.

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    2. Bravo INI! And then they all tell you to get a grip and to not take the airport seriously.

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    3. I mean LX always has a lot of C class passengers to INI which is something kinda shocking! I wouldn't be surprised if INI has more C pax on LX than some other ex-YU cities.

      Let's see if next year they pass 400.000 passengers. This year, 320.000 is almost certain to happen.

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    4. Well, for 2 weekly flights that LX has nothing short of very high loads would be acceptable. Once frequencies jump to more than two, we will know that LX itself has more confidence in the route. Two weekly operation is really very small capacity wise, and as I said, no wonder flights are solidly booked. Good for INI, you definitely need to start from somewhere, but operation of this size is not benchmark for cities with really much, much more frequencies to ZRH.

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    5. I dare predict they launch a daily rotation next spring 2018. The route performed much better than expected.

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    6. From 2 weekly to daily? Could be, but I would more expect a bit slower increase of services....

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    7. I would say, next summer we have 3 rotations p/w.

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