Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Brussels Airlines to launch new EX-YU routes in 2018


Brussels Airlines will launch two new routes to the former Yugoslavia and strengthen frequencies on existing destinations in the region next year but will also downgrade operations to Zagreb from year-round to seasonal summer services. The Belgian national carrier will introduce flights from Brussels to Tivat and Split in 2018. Services to the Montenegrin coast will operate once per week, each Thursday, while flights to Split will run twice per week, each Wednesday and Saturday, the airline told EX-YU Aviation News. The exact launch date and ticket sales will be released soon. Furthermore, Brussels Airlines plans to strengthen its seasonal summer flights to Dubrovnik with an additional weekly flight for a total of three, each Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday.

On the other hand, after two years of year-round operations to Zagreb, Brussels Airlines will downgrade its services to the Croatian capital and will run flights only during the summer season. Its last flight to Zagreb for this year has been scheduled for November 5, leaving its fellow Star Alliance partner Croatia Airlines as the sole operator on the route. "We have indeed decided not to operate flights to Zagreb in the winter season but we will relaunch our flight schedule in the spring of 2018 at the start of the IATA summer season 2018 [late March]. During the winter season we continue to offer flights to Zagreb through our codeshare and Star Alliance partner Croatia Airlines and through our sister airlines of the Lufthansa Group", Brussels Airlines' Vice President for External Communication, Geert Sciot, told EX-YU Aviation News.

Brussels Airlines has a limited presence in the former Yugoslavia with its only year-round route ending this autumn. Last year, Andreas Weingartner, who was then Brussels Airlines' General Manager for Central Europe, Balkans, Russia and Offline Europe, said, "The Balkan market is still relatively untapped and is new for us, but it certainly has growth potential. Initially, we always introduce flights to countries which are already members of the European Union. On our flights from Vienna, we have many transfer passengers from the Balkans". Earlier this year the carrier said it was considering potential flights to Sarajevo and Banja Luka but has backed away from such plans. In December 2016, the Lufthansa Group took a 100% stake in Brussels Airlines, in a deal to fully integrate the Belgian carrier into Lufthansa’s Eurowings Group in 2018.

126 comments:

  1. I'm really surprised they are suspending Zagreb. And after 2 years

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    1. They are not suspending it. It is going seasonal.

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    2. Way too many daily flights already.

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    3. Yeah but if you look at the number of seats it's not as much. OU killed them because they offer more convenient times.

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    4. A (too) close collaboration and cooperation between two airlines can be a curse (for the airport). SN and OU are from the same alliance, have interlining and code sharing.

      Another such example is the cooperation between OS and UA. Due to extensive NA routes out of VIE to the 4 most important UA hubs, UA continously has no reason flying to Vienna.

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  2. Split is going to be a zoo next year.

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    1. Their slots are overtaken from Thomas Cook which had the exact same schedule for SPU. Thomas Cook has recently been integrated into SN. So no new slots at SPU for this one, only a different company. http://www.aviation24.be/airlines/lufthansa-group/brussels-airlines/belgian-competition-authority-approved-acquisition-thomas-cook-airlines-belgium-assets/

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    2. Ah ok thanks. Still, nice to see a new legacy airline in SPU.

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  3. Great news TIV and SPU. Shame about ZAG.

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  4. Seems like Belgians are discovering Montenegro. This year TUI started Brussels-Tivat too.

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    1. Will there be enough space for both?

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    2. Interesting they didn't start flights to Podgorica. Usually legacy airline go for TGD.

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    3. They obviously wouldn't start flights if they thought the market was not big enough to sustain two airlines on the route. Plus they will be flying just once per week. Nothing major.

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    4. NO one ist starting new flights here! Thomas Cook Belgium has been integrated into Brussels Airlines, which simply takes over under a new brand! The only addition is the one more weekly to Dubrovnik!

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    5. Not even the DBV increase is an increase as TCB ends in October and SN takes over the one flight!

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    6. These are all new flights for Brussels Airlines so I don't see what the problem is.

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    7. I don't think there is a problem, it is just that these flights won't bring extra passengers. Capacity remains the same.

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    8. How can capacity remain the same if OU is not upgauging its capacity to compensate for SN's departure?

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    9. I was referring to Split, Dubrovnik and Tivat.

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    10. Ok, it wasn't very clear to be honest.

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  5. R.I.P. SN Brussels.

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    1. Why? Because they stopped Zagreb over winter?

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    2. No, because they are going to become Eurowings soon.

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  6. I wonder if they would consider flights to BEG?

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    1. I doubt it. JU has huge issues with filling BRU outside of peak summer months. Wizz also failed on Belgrade-Charleroi route.

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    2. Maybe under the Eurowings umbrella we will see them expand a bit more in the region.

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    3. Belgium is not a place with such a large ex-YU diaspora hence not so many flights.

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    4. Even the little diaspora it has is best served by local national carriers and airlines such as Wizz Air which fly to CRL, BVA and EIN.

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  7. Disappointing they gave up on plans for SJJ-BNX. Banja Luka would have brought 10 passengers each way which would ease the financial risk on BRU-SJJ sector. They could have flown a triangle routing 2-3 times per week.

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    1. I think Sarajevo is one of the few European capitals without flights to Brussels.

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    2. SJJ does have flights to Brussels. TUI started flights this year.

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    3. People would be surprised how little demand there is from ex-Yu countries that are not in the EU for Belgium. In Serbia Wizz Air's Charleroi flights were their worst performing and they had to be cancelled. Air Serbia does ok on the route (much better than Jat which even made Brussels seasonal during its last year) because of the number of transfer passengers they carry on this route, almost all to Lebanon, although when fares are cheap there are even people to Greece and Abu Dhabi and also there seem to be a lot of people catching this flight from France, which I don't get since there is a flight from Paris. Wizz does fly from Skopje to Charleroi but just twice per week.

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    4. BEG-CDG is always full and fares are not that low. That's why many fly out of BRU.

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  8. Who would have thought Croatia Airlines would beat Brussels Airlines on this route.

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    1. I'm not so sure Croatia Airlines was beating Brussels Airlines. In the winter I'm sure both made/make losses on this route. Brussels Airlines has the luxury of flying only seasonal on this route, while it would be impossible for OU to do the same.

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    2. I am not sure if CA is making losses, because fly 2daily to Brussels

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    3. And their flights are also regularly full.

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    4. @9.28, they fly double daily but their capacity is the same as one A319 on this route.

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  9. Well we can expect for Croatia Airlines' fares going back to being outrageous as they were before Brussels Airlines started flights.

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    1. +1 although their fares never went down. Eve when SN started flights.

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    2. Not true really. Croatia Airlines did lower prices to Brussels significantly since SN introduced Zagreb.

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    3. I thought the same thing but surprisingly, currently many dates over Nov/Dec/Jan remain at 101€ return (hand luggage only fare, Xmas excluded of course). On the other hand, it still is a 2 hour+ flight on the not so beloved "Dašenka". :/

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    4. The cheapest fare I paid on OU to BRU was €170. Usually it's around €250. I doubt many people book flights two months in advance.

      I am sure there are just a few seats being sold for €101. Just like DBV which has only 5 seats offered on the lowest price.

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  10. Odd. SN has very good loads to Zagreb and they took over a lot of passengers from OU because of their expensive fares.

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    1. People should learn around here that loads mean little. It is yields that are important.

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    2. I am sure most EU bureaucrats are flying on OU which is why they can charge such crazy fares. SN was carrying mostly low yielding passengers. Not to mention that they have no real onboard product so that was another thing OU had going for them.

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    3. Is there the same rule in Croatia that government employees should fly Croatia Airlines? In Serbia the rule is that government employees traveling on business must fly JU, if JU flies there ofcourse. I assume there is a lot of government employees traveling between ZAG and BRU because of EU/NATO membership.

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    4. Normally governments make agreements with airlines which give them discounts for their employees.
      For example, the Cypriot government has a deal with Aegean for all of their trips between Cyprus and the EU (either for direct flights or via Athens).

      Whenever there is a session in Strasbourg, Aegean schedules their BRU flights with a stop there and basically fills the plane with bureaucrats from both Cyprus and Greece.

      I am sure the Croatian government has made the same deal with OU.

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    5. Exactly. That's probably the only reason OU is successful on this route.

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    6. NOP! In EU all companies are domestic. There is rule that government employees must use EU companies, but that means Brussels and Croatia in same time.

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    7. You are confusing things. Just because they operate in a single market doesn't mean governments are not allowed to make special deals with one of them, as is the case with Cyprus and Aegean. I am sure Lufthansa or Air France could have made an offer as well but governments usually opt for the airline that offers them the most flexibility which in most cases tends to be the one that is based in the country.

      Some years ago the Slovak ministry of foreign affairs had a contract with Malev for flights to the Balkans and the Middle East despite Austrian Airlines being right next door.

      Anyway, how can Air France or easyJet offer more to the Croatian government than OU can?

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  11. Good for them. We know who is flying to Brussels, they can aford it. With taxpayer money...

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  12. To makes things worse Croatia Airlines sends Dash 8s to Brussels!! Exception was this summer when they leased CRJ1000 but those are going back in a month.

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    1. True SN's A319 is much better and comfortable on this route but when they used to send the Avro, trust me the Dash was nicer.

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    2. Agree with that. Their Avros were quite old and uncomfortable and I'm speaking from personal experience.

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  13. So many announcements for Split already next year. Well done!

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    1. It's shaping up to be an amazing 2018!

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    2. New flights by Thomas Cook, Air Baltic, Jet2 and Brussels Airlines.

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    3. And it's only September 2017. Nice! :)

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  14. Well one nice thing Brussels will do is send the Sukhoi to ZAG before it ends flights for this year.

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    1. That's a nice thing?

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    2. Yes why wouldn't it be?

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    3. You should know by now that there is a sustained anti-Russia group of people here. They think the Sukhois are trash.

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    4. Just because someone doesn't think the SSJ100 is a quality passenger aircraft, doesn't mean they are anti Russian.

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    5. No, but 95% of people who think it's not a quality passenger aircraft have never actually stepped into one.

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    6. Its epic failure in the free marketplace says everything about it realy...

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    7. Not necessarily, I think the A346 or the B748 were much bigger failures.

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    8. Both A346 and B748 are part of much bigger programs (A330/340 and 747-100/200/300/400) and therefore their costs were fully amortized.
      The SSJ though not only is not a derivative of a successful family of aircraft but the only commercial aircraft the Sukhoi corporation currently sells.

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    9. I highly doubt B748 sales were enough to compensate for all the costs involved in making it happen. Not to mention the worforce needed to assemble it.

      Both Airbus and Boeing lost big time on those. One can argue that the A380 was also a flop. Especially since there is no second hand market.

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    10. Both Airbus and Boeing have been making billions of real profits from their commercial airplane divisions for years.
      Suchoi from the SSJ not so much!

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    11. You are comparing two products that have been around for decades with one that is a relative newcomer? Interesting.

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    12. Nope, you did that at 1:24 PM.
      Thanks for coming to your senses!

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    13. No, I was just pointing out that the SSJ is still a relatively new product that was placed on the market during an unfortunate time. It will be fine in the end.

      I am not the one that needs to come to his senses, that's you with your anti-Russian paranoia anytime anyone dares mention SSJ

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    14. Sukhoi has some of the best modern jet fighters in the world.

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    15. The SSJ is in the market for 13 years now!
      And it is already obsolete by the NEO, MAX, Embraer E-jet E2 and the C series.

      Sorry, I didn't kill it, the free market did.
      No amount of Putin love can change that.

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    16. @AnonymousSeptember 20, 2017 at 12:22 PM

      SSJ is perhaps least efficient aircraft in its class. It is brand new supposedly, but highly inefficient design, they need to work on new engines and try to re-engine the aircraft, as is, it is commercially not viable.


      Another Russian Aicraft that gets little attention is Irkut MC-21, this aircraft on other hand is a highly competitive design. 6400km with standard payload and only 20 000L of fuel, that is very very very good efficiency.

      However, it is not cheap, $72 million a pop it is cheaper than Airbus A320 or A321 direct competitors, but Airbus quoted price for A320 and actual price is totally different matter. The real price airliners pay is between $40 and 50 million for A320 NEO and $55 and 60 million for A321 LR NEO.

      Wonder if Russian manufacturer is as flexible with the price, if they're not, they won't see much sales in the West or elsewhere for that matter.


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  15. Replies
    1. Nice to see them go 3x per week :)

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  16. What is the passenger structure on ZAG-BRU? P2P or transfers?

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    1. My guess is mostly O&D with some transfers mostly to the UK. I doubt SN has managed to catch any transfer passengers to North America.

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    2. Indeed they did, similar to Swiss. But big daddy does not like competition and requested both carriers to drop frequencies and go seasonal, in order to limit their presence in transatlantic market and force them to focus more on O&D traffic.

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    3. Somehow I doubt that. If big daddy was so against their children expanding then they would have never forced them to open new routes. Swiss is pretty aggressive when it comes to transfers to North America.

      I think the issue here is that the market was not big enough to keep flights throughout the year. OU is in Star so it's cheaper for them to shuttle passengers at a highly discounted price.

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    4. I flew ZAG-BRU with SN 3 times in period June-September and all 3 times plane was 100% full. In mid-August there was maybe 20 transfer passengers, while last Friday 2/3 of the flight passengers were UK citizens.

      However, due to connecting times which don't fit me I never flew with SN BRU-ZAG so I don't know about loads on that route.

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    5. There were a lot of passengers transiting to Korea on those flights. I guess Emirates had an impact on them.

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  17. Anyone know how TUI is doing on their SJJ route. Pitty SN not even considering these flights anymore.

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    1. If Swiss failed on flights to Sarajevo I don't think Brussels Airlines could have done any better.

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    2. Swiss flies seasonally to Sarajevo.

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    3. Again they couldn't make it year-round to one of the biggest Bosnian diaspora centres which doesn't bode well for this discussed BRU service.

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    4. I think Croatia Airlines could open Sarajevo-Brussels with a Dash 8 plane. Would work much better than Brussels Airlines with A319 and since both are Star Alliance you would still have transfer options.

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    5. Imagine the marvelous experience of flying over three hours between SJJ and BRU on a turboprop.

      #sjjcphonanatr

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    6. Well, it wouldn't be GREAT experience, but anyone flying SJJ BRU wpould not face any direct competition in terms of non stop service. Whether there is a market to sustain that service, I have no idea.

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  18. Great news for Tivat. Montenegrin airports a booming.

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  19. How many flights per week does SN have to Zagreb?

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    1. I think 5. Every day, except weekend.

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  20. Does Brussels Airlines fly to Ljubljana?

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    1. No but from what I remember JP flies up to three times per day... or they used to anyway.

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    2. ^They used to. This summer it was 13 times per week.

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    3. They also used to fly Tirana-Brussels. Then in the winter they had to combine it with Paris because of poor loads until they finally cancelled it.

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  21. This airline will be gone this time next year.

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    1. Another airline destroyed by Lufthansa.

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    2. LOL to both comments above.

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    3. They have managed to turn around every company they purchased.

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    4. Really? So where is BMI today? ;)

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    5. It went "Regional and only operates Embraers now but still in very close cooperation (all codeshares) with LH

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  22. Belgium is one of those European markets that is not easily sustainable from ex-YU. With exception to flights from Croatia and Slovenia due to EU membership but even there flights are decreasing as seen by SN suspension to Zagreb and Adria has decreased its flights to Brussels over the years.

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    1. Croatia Airlines has doubled its BRU flights over the last few years.

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  23. Is it true that the Brussels Airlines brand will be discontinued next year and replaced by Eurowings?

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    1. That was what LH initially wanted but it seems that they have changed their mind as the idea didn't sit well with the Belgians.

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    2. Brussels Airlines (SN, Brussels National) will retain its branding in the short term following its integration into Lufthansa's Eurowings Group in 2018, CEO Bernard Gustin has told Air Transport World. Gustin said that it made sense in the market to retain its name.

      "It is the best unknown brand in the world where we fight global competitors," he said. He added that it didn't make financial sense to engage in a costly brand-changing exercise at this time.

      Lufthansa acquired the outstanding 55% stake in Brussels Airlines' parent, SN Airholding, at the end of 2016, finalising the transaction in January 2017 in a deal worth EUR2.6 million (USD3 million).

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    3. "It is the best unknown brand"

      What does that even mean?!

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  24. Purger, if you are reading this, what's your opinion?

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  25. OT:Transavia to go from 3 to 5 flights per week on AMS-LJU from next summer.

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    1. Wow... Transavia is really on a roll. Five weekly is really decent. I guess it helps that they offer connections onto KL. A nice alternative to Star domination at LJU.

      How are Transavia's fares out LJU compared to KL out of ZAG?

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    2. Cheapest from LJU are from 70 € (return ticket for May'18 http://www.letimzbrnika.si/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/lju-ams-maj2018.jpg )

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    3. That's really nothing! Congrats to LJU!

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    4. They also increases flights from Pula to RTM 4pw and introduces DBV as a new destination from RTM (3pw)

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    5. Are they competing with anyone from The Netherland to Pula and Dubrovnik? I mean are there any scheduled flights or is it all charters.

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    6. flights from RTM to all 3 croatian destinations are scheduled flights.
      Competitors are in AMS:
      To PUY: TUIfly NL and Croatia
      To DBV : transavia and easyJet

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    7. AMS-BEG: 6 weekly from March 2018!

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    8. Isn't BEG being increased from February?

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  26. Good to see Brussels Airlines adding new routes.

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  27. Brussels-ki aerodrom je najlaksi za presedanje za BEG kada se dolazi iz Amerike (nikada nisam leteo sa njima za Ameriku).

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  28. Tonight's OU 443 from VIE to ZAG is operated by Trade Air, anyone know why and what happened?

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