Monday, October 30, 2017

Air Serbia mulls second long haul route


Air Serbia is considering introducing its second long haul service after New York. The carrier's Head of Corporate Communications, Nikola Vukomanović, told Serbia's public broadcaster, "We are seriously considering expanding our destination network with another long haul service. Of course, a final decision concerning this matter will be made in the coming period. In any case, numerous benefits and possibilities are on their way for our passengers. We are in step with the competition". It marks the first time the airline has publicly confirmed it is considering its second long haul route, more than a year after it launched five weekly flights between Belgrade and New York with its sole wide-body Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Air Serbia stopped short of revealing which destination is being considered. In 2016, the now former President and CEO of the Etihad Aviation Group, James Hogan, said the Serbian carrier could expand its footprint in North America in two to three years. "We have already considered flights to Chicago and Toronto and these services could be introduced in two to three years. First off, the New York route must become functional. We don't want to make a decision that would set Air Serbia back", Mr Hogan noted at the time. More recently, Serbia's Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, said her government is currently negotiating the launch of nonstop flights between Belgrade and the Indian capital of New Delhi, although, she did not indicate which carrier could operate the route.

Air Serbia has previously considered introducing long haul winter charters to Thailand and the Caribbean. However, the airline has said that the economics required to make it breakeven on these routes were too large, adding that Serbia is a price sensitive market. In an interview to the German "Aero International" magazine last October, Air Serbia's CEO noted, "The Far East is also a potential market for us if you consider relations between Serbia and the People's Republic of China. We believe that Serbia has enormous potential and when we grow we aim to do it responsibly". The President of the Air Serbia Supervisory Board, Siniša Mali, previously noted there was room for another destination to be introduced from Belgrade to China, such as Shaghai, following the recent launch of Hainan Airlines' flights from Beijing to the Serbian capital.

129 comments:

  1. It will be either Chicago or Toronto.

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    1. Probably Toronto. We all know there's huge demand, and it would probably perform better

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    2. The major issue with YYZ from BEG is seasonality, which is much greater than on US routes.

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    3. Isn't YYZ also extremely expensive to fly to?

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    4. Toronto Please Toronto!!! i will take any flights at all

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  2. If they don't get a second plane it would mean they would have to reduce flights to New York in the summer so they could operate three weekly flights to each long haul route.

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  3. Interesting. A sign of growth to come after consolidation?

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  4. If they are making a final decision now it would probably mean flights are going to begin in the summer, whatever the route may be.

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  5. Replies
    1. No craziness here. If the state contributes 40 mil USD in order to cover losses last year and if the state is willing to give let's say 60 mil USD next year in order to cover the losses (just an example), there is no risk for the company at all. And state will cover since state us the one who enforced NYC and probably will also "order" them AS to fly second long haul. So O don't see any problems here. I mean no problems for Air Serbia.

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    2. State gets money back from AS operations, for example tourist influx, locally sourced sandwiches and beverages ... :)

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    3. Dojadili ste vise svi sa ovim sendvicima :D

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  6. The air deal between Serbia and Canada is being negotiated for a reason so it would make sense that it is Toronto.

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    1. "The agreement will pave way for negotiations to start between Air Serbia and Air Canada. Their representatives have to determine how many flights there should be and what would be the most profitable solution. However, there is no doubt that the introduction of nonstop flights to Canada would be extremely important for our citizens and country". The Foreign Minister added that he is pushing for Canada to lift visa requirements for Serbian nationals.

      "We have been negotiating a new Air Service Agreement with Serbia for some time and we are very close to signing it. Of course, it will be up to Air Serbia, Air Canada and some other carriers who may or may not be interested in operating this route. With the signing of the agreement, which will hopefully occur very soon, there is potential for this service and the interest is already there". He noted, "We would really like for flights to commence and I am certain Canadian Serbs would want it too as they have fond memories of JAT's nonstop service", the Canadian Ambassador to Serbia, Philip Pinnington, said

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  7. No. This is pure entertainment for a Monday morning

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    1. Just because you don't want them to expand, does not mean it's not happening.

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  8. Any long-haul expansion should be followed with the strengthening of the regional network. Unless they plan to expand their regional fleet, I don't see how they will manage that.

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    1. This was the original plan when JFK began, however it has been opposite. Regional frequencies have gone down.

      I honestly think that JU doesnt have a fleet that suits them the best. Problem I see is that the current ATR fleet loves its attention from the maintenance team, the fleet is aging while there isnt enough of them. The A319 was too large of an aircraft for these routes prior to the reconfiguration, let alone now. JU needs to fill in the gap between the ATR and the A319 if its going to expand in the region.

      The money spent on an additional A330 for long haul expansion would be well spent on 2 regional jets or a couple ATR's. Regional jets would therefore replace the ATR's on PRG, VCE, SKG where they could be redeployed in increasing its shorter routes ie SJJ, TIA, SKP.

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  9. I wish ex-yu aviation was a bit more critical of what airlines, airports, governments or individuals say here and there.

    Keep in mind that it's election season in Belgrade/Serbia.

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    1. You were saying exactly the same thing when they announced New York. 98% of people in Serbia don't even know that Air Serbia flies to New York. It hardly sways anyone's opinion in politics.

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    2. It begins - "this is because of election, it will never happen". When they announce the route it will be "they will never get a license". When they get the license it will be "They will never put tickets on sale". When tickets go on sale and the flights start it will be "They will fail in a year" etc. We know the drill by now.

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    3. Well, of course it's because of elections. Why else would they maintain a loss making route and a loss making airline. And please remember that Serbia is in a permanent election campaign. There's elections almost every year.

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    4. Sure they will launch a new route because of Belgrade city election. LOL.

      And you know New York is loss making? I would love to see the numbers you have so you can show me this particular route is loss making for them.

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    5. @9:30
      JU actually reduced it's losses in 2017 by five million.They are recovering

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    6. @9:31
      I'm not saying they will launch anything. Quite the opposite.

      @9:35
      I thought they made a profit :)

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  10. With only 1 plane and 5pw NY flights? So, those would be 1/2pw

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    1. Use your brain a bit. If they would keep a one plane operation they would reduce New York to three per week and introduce the other route another 3 times per week.

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    2. New wide body needed

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  11. I am sure it will be Toronto, especially with ZAG having two airlines flying to Toronto. Now BEG can't stay behind.

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  12. Etihad group probably has too many planes.

    Toronto would probably be the best route. Have the launch at the end of April or early May to have the route mature a bit in time for the peak season June to Sept.

    It will lose money like JFK flights but the benefits are worth it.

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  13. This would indicate that Etihad has no plans to withdraw from JU.

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  14. Well its refreshing to see some good new coming from JU for a change.

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    1. True. The last few months have mostly been related to cost cutting.

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  15. With out huge invesment of Serbia govrnament in national airline Air Serbia, any serios expantion of destination not posiblle. Only A332 needless to say is smbolic. Prvatisation of Air Serbia with large plyer maybe ansver and solution to future development of Serbian national carrrier. Time will tell.
    Rodney,
    Kraljevo.

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    1. What huge investment by Serbian government are you talking about about?

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    2. Ako se drzava Srbija i dalje drzi svoje strategije da razvija nacionalnog prevozioca, osim svojeg investiranja ili znatno vece investiranje zajedno sa privatnom kompanijom. Ako sama drzava investira, to je tako malo da bi razvoj Er Srbiji bilo malo koristi. Lufthansa i LCC prevoznici su veliki teret za ucestovanje u takmicenju sa malom Er Srbiji. Dolaskom koncesionara posle 23 novembra, dolazi i vreme buduceg ulaganja sa potencijalnim velikim partnerom. Sta se namerava sa Er Srbijom za sada je enigma. Buducnost stoji. Bez monopola... Navijam za Er Srbiju. Dali je to dovoljno. Jeste emotivno. Ali na emocijama se ne leti. Srecom sa investicijama leti...
      Iskreni pozdrav za Anon 10:27 AM.
      Rodney,
      Srbija.😀🇷🇸🌍🇦🇺😀

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    3. Bogami čudan engleski se govori u ovom Sidneju.

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    4. Pozdrav Vam iz Kraljeva na srpskom jeziku, Anon 11:25 PM. Ukoliko nemate drugih problema izuzev "cudnog engleskog" ...
      Radovan, Kraljevo.

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    5. Ja ga nemam Radovane, Vi ga imate.

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    6. Weird English for somebody living in Australia for such a long time ... I concur with the previous anon ... Not much better Serbian either ...

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  16. We don't know its Toronto. It could be New Delhi once per week if they manage to make a deal with the tour operator that wanted to have flights.

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    1. Exactly my thoughts! Could be a "scheduled" low frequency destination 1-2pw where an external company collaborates and for examples takes over a guarantee for a whole bunch of seats, tour operator from India or maybe China.

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  17. Zar ne bi bilo bolje da cele godine lete 3 puta nedeljno Njujork i 2 puta nedeljno Toronto, nego da uzimaju još jedan širokotrupac? Ovako bi lepo imali popunjenu i letnju i zimsku sezonu, ne bi im avion više bio na zemlji, nego u letu.

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    1. Makes sense to me.

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    2. Zasto bi smanjili broj letova za JFK u sezoni kada su tada puni za razliku od zimske sezone kada su poluprazni?

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  18. Glava kaze Chicago O`Hare ili Toronto Pearson ali srce kaze Bangcock-Suvarnabhumi 2018 ideeeemoooo!

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    1. Jelda, Bangkok, stvarno? Grad sa pola miliona ex-yugo dijaspore?

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  19. But Kondić said there are no planes for new routes in 5 years period. Plus, there are plans for newer ATR-72 and 4 A320 in annual financial report 2015 and 2016, but not for second A330.

    Can it be Etihad AUH-BEG-YYZ 3pw?

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    1. When did Kondic say there are no planes for new routes in 5 year period?

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    2. Canadian authorities would never give permits for routes such as AUH-BEG-YYZ.

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    3. Air Serbia recently said it had no plans to order additional wide-body aircraft to join its sole Airbus A330-200 jet as part of its strategic five-year plan.

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/03/serbia-seeks-more-long-haul-flights.html

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  20. Will be interesting to observe this adventure

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  21. People keep in mind they said they are studying the prospect of launching the new route, not that they will launch it for sure.

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    1. I doubt they would have gone public if they didn't have plans to launch this route. This is Air Serbia after all. They keep most things, especially new routes, a top secret.

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    2. And that is why Mali (president of Supervisory board of Air Serbia) said company will bring 2nd A330 till end of 2016. So secret that nothing happens.

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    3. Mali is a politician (mayor of Belgrade). Find me where and when Kondic or anyone from the company said that.

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    4. Mali is president of Supervisory board. And his announcements are announcements of Air Serbia. So you can not say Air Serbia is not giving those kind of announcements.

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  22. Another long-haul route will lead JU down the same path as AB

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  23. The Balkan Diaspora is huge in Chicago and Toronto. If Air Serbia's prices are 10-20% less than AF, KLM, Lufthansa etc. then it can work.

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    1. Jbt nikad Er Srbija nije imala Njujork po cenama LH. Oni se zahebavaju sa svojom A380 toliko imaju kapaciteta Odakle vam samo te glupave ideje da cete sa njima jeftino leteti.

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    2. Big Albanian and Bulgarian diaspora too, not to mention Greek.

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    3. Albanians proved to be the most loyal customers on BEG-JFK route so YYZ would probably be the same.

      Also there are no nonstop flights from Sofia or Bucharest to Toronto.

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    4. AirSerbia cannot sustain itself only with diaspora, but is needed tourism, business people and hub.
      Serbian of diaspora could fly mostly on holiday time.

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  24. Start with 2x-3x weekly services if not confident about demand. Can be mixed with 2x-3x weekly ORD service so both YYZ and ORD can be flown by a second A330.

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  25. Can't wait for YYZ-BEG. 2-3 times per week it would be great for everyone! Hope it happens!

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  26. PVG seems to make more sense than another North American destination.

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    1. Even with Hainan flying Beijing?

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    2. A few years ago data was showing Shanghai as having the most passengers of any longhaul market from BEG, even more than USA to my surprise.

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    3. It was some sabre data based on bookings a couple of years ago.

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    4. Do you have any more precise numbers?

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    5. I will look them up. I think there were precise numbers.

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  27. Another fizzer. Great

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    1. Yeah same like New York was a fizzer... not.

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  28. YYZ is extremely seasonal though. That's why Transat and AC Rouge fly only a couple of months per year to Zagreb. Air Serbia will have the same issue if indeed it is thinking about YYZ.

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    1. They could start it on a charter principle just like JR did many years ago.

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  29. The issue here is the regional network and to what will all these flights connect to. Besides TGD, LJU and ZAG there is nothing to connect to. It might be ok in summer when there is more movement but what will happen in winter when there is considerably less point to point passengers?

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    1. The morning JU501 arrival from New York connects onto Air Serbia's entire morning wave of flights.

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    2. They should around the Sarajevo flight times. Those don't connect onto anything.

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    3. The afternoon Sarajevo service do not offer connections to many flights, and don't connect onto New York.

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    4. Ljudi pa na Butmiru se ne moze lako dobiti slot pa zato nikako da pokrenu jutanji let. Cim propadne TK ili OS ulece odmah JU i puni liniju za JFK.

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  30. Let us see. May be it will turn out like the talks of getting a second wide-body by the end of last year...

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  31. Nikola Vukomanović?
    Is this the guy?

    http://opusteno.rs/vesti-f22/voditelj-tv-avala-nazvao-belu-kucu-beli-k-c-video-t7023.html


    Hoping to follow up with another "podrška delfinima" video

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    1. Oh please, everyone has a slip it's not the end of the world.

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    2. ah, come on. it's a good old welcome roast!

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    3. Yes, I think that's him. He gave the 10 millionth passenger their gift at the airport.

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  32. Well this is first time a company official and not a politician has mentioned new long haul flights to it's a step in the right direction. Let's wait and see what happens.

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    1. And what is so right about this direction?

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  33. ORD is the second biggest market in North America, right after New York so it would make sense to go there.

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    1. Why not combine ORD & YYZ?

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    2. Wouldn't that be problematic because of security? All passengers would have to get out of the plane, be screened again. And what happens if someone has a Canadian visa but not a US visa? Do you need a visa to transit through the US?

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  34. Hope it materializes.

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  35. To add yet another loss-making long haul route?

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  36. Everyone talking Toronto, I have a feeling we will be surprised :)

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  37. Don't get too excited, this has been discussed in the airline for months now. One A330 is to stay, JFK will be three weekly and it's down to ORD or YYZ.

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    1. It's a shame they would reduce New York in high seadon when the plane is full.

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    2. Loads are fantastic, yields not so much. That's why a second destination is being considered. With a two weekly flight to either ORD or YYZ they could attract some decent fares.

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    3. I think it is pretty exciting that an ex-Yu airline is choosing between two long haul destinations and the second in its network.

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    4. It will be a shame if JU drops JFK frequencies in the summer to make room for a second destination. Building up a route for 2 years only to drop the frequencies.

      Perhaps for October 2018 to drop JFK to 3 p/w earlier and make room for a second destination would be better? A second aircraft to arrive in May 2019 could bring up JFK back up to its 5/pw while a third destination could be launched in winter 2019/2020? 2 aircraft on 3 destinations would ease the seasonality of the fleet (1 A330 is doing 5/pw, the 2nd could do 3 + 2 p/w in the summer, while in the winter keep JFK 4p/w and the other 2 destinations at the same 3 + 2 frequencies).

      JAT, back a decade ago, intended to launch JFK and YYZ with 1 B762, with ORD to launch once the second B762 arrived.

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  38. They really need to join an alliance if they want more US flyers and destinations.

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  39. I don't understand why Etihad doesn't start a long haul route out of BEG with their equipment? I mean EK does it from Italy and Greece. Why doesn't Etihad do it from Serbia?

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    1. They don't have any spare cash to burn and you can't compare the Greek and Italian markets with Serbia in any way.

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  40. Nice. I'm looking forward to seeing what Air Serbia has in store for us next year. I hope there are some other surprises coming :)

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    1. Reducing losses would be a nice surprise.

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  41. I think a lot of the development next year will depend on whether they start getting those A320neos. As far as I remember, Kondic said a year ago that the neos would start arriving in the second half of 2018 so we will see.

    I think if they reduce New York by a flight or two and introduce a second North American route, it would be a good decision.

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    1. I have a feeling that the 2 A320neo's to arrive will replace the 2 A320's, which will then replace the B733 on the charter routes which are scheduled for an expensive overhaul, engines if im not mistaken.

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    2. 737 have no running costs
      for a320s they are paying lease

      so it is questionable would it be profitable for them to pay leasing for 2 a320 for entire year to be used just in charter season?

      probable answer: No way Pedro, you feeling is wrong

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    3. @Petar

      The B733's are not young and consume ALOT of fuel.

      If word is true that the B733's are due for expensive overhaul (I think it was engines, and amounting a couple of million Euros), no point in investing more cash into an aircraft that will have to eventually be retired from the fleet.

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    4. that is why aviolet is a hard nut to crack

      to expensive to overhaul current fleet
      and certainly too expensive to lease the planes for charter season

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  42. Good news. Hope for more growth in 2018.

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  43. JFK od Maja 2018 leti se 7 puta nedeljno i još dve destinacije . Jena dva a druga 3x nedeljno .

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    1. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha evo ga Hot Lane koji je od prvog dana daje pouzdane informacije. Ostaje jedan avion, JFK se smanjuje na tri a uvodi se ord ili yyz. Ne foliraj se.

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    2. Hot line, hoces da kazes da dolazi drugi avion?

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    3. Hot line = provala sedmice, dana, meseca

      Ali to što on provali, ajde de, ali to što ima nekih koji poveruju, pa ga još i pitaju... E te treba žaliti.

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  44. Ja nisam ni direktor ni vlasnik AS, ja samo kažem šta čujem od kolega a da li je istina ili laž to stvarno ne znam. Dosta toģa se potvrdilo kao istina tako da je najbolje da čekamo narednih par meseci zvanične vesti od AS.

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    Replies
    1. ...ali malo se toga obistinolo sta si ti pisao.

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    2. Tacnije ništa od toga što je pisao nije se obistinilo.

      Ili ne ismišljaj ili hitno menjaju kolege i drugare.

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