Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Emirates, Flydubai build up EX-YU presence


Emirates and Flydubai will further strengthen their presence and operations in the former Yugoslavia as the two continue to roll out their wide-ranging partnership agreement. Starting today, Emirates has begun selling tickets to Belgrade, Sarajevo and Skopje for travel from October 29 and will boast its own flight numbers on Flydubai's services to the three capitals. It comes as the two airlines unveiled their first 29 codeshare routes. As a result, travellers from Belgrade, Sarajevo and Skopje will enjoy easier access to Emirates' network with a single ticket and the advantage of connecting baggage to their final destination. When booked together, as part of the codeshare, Emirates passengers will receive complimentary meals and the Emirates checked baggage allowance on flights operated by Flydubai in both business and economy classes.

Emirates will also extend its reach into Ljubljana after finalising an agreement with the Slovenian shuttle bus company GoOpti. Customers are now able to book tickets to Ljubljana Airport or Ljubljana's railway station through the Emirates website. Passengers are shuttled from either of the two locations to Zagreb Airport, from which they transfer onto Emirates' service to Dubai. The Emirati airline has targeted the Slovenian market since introducing flights to the Croatian capital. The carrier previously told EX-YU Aviation News that Slovenia is the strongest contributor to its business in the former Yugoslavia. Last year, the Slovenian government held talks with Emirates over potential services between Dubai and Ljubljana. The carrier said it was interested in serving the country indirectly through Flydubai.

On the other hand, Flydubai has already announced it will boost operations to points in the former Yugoslavia this coming winter. It will add an additional weekly flight to both Skopje and Sarajevo this November for a total of three and four per week respectively. Furthermore, it will introduce an extra three weekly flights to its Belgrade operations for a total of seven per week, starting November 25. Last week, the airline announced it would launch two weekly flights to Podgorica via Sarajevo on November 1. Since both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro are signatories of an open skies agreement with the United Arab Emirates, the airline has automatically been granted fifth freedom traffic rights between Sarajevo and Podgorica, allowing it to sell tickets between the two cities in line with the agreement.

In the region, both Emirates and Flydubai cater primarily for transfer passengers continuing on to far-away destinations. In addition to its home market of Dubai, Australia and Indian Ocean destinations are on top of the list for passengers originating from the former Yugoslavia and travelling with the two airlines. However, the two have seen a strong increase in travellers from the Gulf heading to the former Yugoslav markets for leisure purposes. Al Tayer Holidays, one of the largest tour operator in the United Arab Emirates, noted, "Tourism destinations for Gulf residents are basically, for the most part, Emirates [airline] driven. For example, after opening the route to Zagreb, suddenly, the Balkan region became popular for the Gulf population".

132 comments:

  1. Great news. With this deal Emirates/Flydubai combination will become the dominant product in ex-Yu.

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  2. GoOpti instead of direct flight to Slovenia. WOW. Why not GoOpti directly to UAE??

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    1. It is unfortunate that Slovenia is now one of the only eX-YU markets without nonstop flights to the UAE. Even Montenegro has them!

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    2. Buy a plane and fly it yrself and see if u can sell every flights all yr seats

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    3. I am sure Flydubai would have had been successful to Ljubljana if they flew twice per week.

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    4. Maybe they could have paired it up with another city like they did SJJ-TGD.

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    5. But Flydubai management is not so sure as you. You should start to work for them to show them how wrong they are and how they don't know to run business.

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    6. Calm down. I'm sure there are opportunities. They did say its their strongest selling market in ex-Yu. I didn't say they didn't know how to run their business.

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    7. LJU is too close to other cities with nonstop flights to the Middle East - Venice, Budapest, Zagreb, Vienna.

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    8. I know Ljubljana 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. From what I've heard Emirates flights from Zagreb are filling with Slovenian passengers. Slovenians travel a lot so I really hope it will be considered.

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    9. Yes. Full of Slovenes. No other nationality.

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    10. Of course! No Korean, Japanese, Australian, no Indian and Chinese, no Middle East nations, no Croatians, no other ex-yu nation's - just Slovenians - actually their number is so high that EK had to introduce 8-seater GoOpti mini van to fill 773 in ZAG

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    11. It's not that hard to believe that proportionally the Slovenes make up a significant share of Emirates passengers via Zagreb. Even more significant than Zagrebians. In relative numbers. Zagreb essentially borders with Slovenia and right across the border there are Brezice, Krsko, Novo Mesto, Celje, Ptuj, Maribor - all, or most of them closer to Zagreb than to Ljubljana. And now they'll have a direct transport to Zagreb Airport from Ljubljana itself..that's approx. an hour drive.
      Also they have higher disposable income.

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    12. To believe or you have numbers?

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  3. This is an indication to me that EK won't be expanding in ex-Yu in terms of flying with its own metal.

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    1. unfortunately yes...

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    2. Not necessarily. A few months ago when they first announced that they would launch a partnership the press release said that they may swap some routes in the future.

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    3. A lot of it will depend on how Zagreb performs.

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    4. EK CCO Thierry Antinori said there would be more expansion in the region so I would not write it off.

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    5. Bucharest will likely be the next EK destination in the area.

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    6. Well at least now we know that if EK intends to start more flights to the region, Fly dubai will cancel their flights first - and that will be the indication.

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    7. Fly Dubai covers this market quite well. Don't see a need for Emirates start flying.

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    8. Don't forget that BEG has the most competition when it comes to flying to thr Middle East, Asia and Africa. EK knows this.

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    9. Monday, June 5, 2017
      "At this stage, we are not looking to expand our operations in the region".

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/06/emirates-rules-out-ex-yu-expansion.html

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    10. That's what they said a month before announcing ZAG.

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    11. Yep and you should have copied the remainder of that statement

      "However, it should be noted that in November 2016, the airline said it had no intention of flying to any destination in the former Yugoslavia, only to announce its service launch to Zagreb two months later. "

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    12. This "thing" about EK in Ex Yu airports, is almost like ZAG working ages and ages to get NY. ;)

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    13. ZAG wll be getting ek or ty flights to nyc very soon

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  4. Kinda lame for Ljubljana ...

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    1. Better something then nothing.

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    2. Shuttling with a van is not really something ...

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    3. It's ridiculous to offer a van shuttle. I think that they've misread the marked and they have lost me as a customer. I can only laugh at the slovenian gouvernement, they have wasted so much time for what... a van? Shuttling with a VAN? Meanwhile Fraport is doing a poor job... such a big company, huge disappointment. They have however promised to open a firebrigade school at the airport. So instead of bringing in LCC they will be burning planes at Brnik.

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  5. It's good to see that they introduced the option to LJU. Fly dubai also used to have a similar arrangement when they flew to Zagreb.

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  6. Even more competition for Etihad in Belgrade and they sit and do nothing.

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    Replies
    1. True. They should increase capacity by putting the A321 on the route.

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    2. If there was demand they would increase capacity, instead, they better increase frequencies in order to be more competitive.

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    3. I wonder what is the passenger share of each middle east airline flying to BEG. Any ideas?

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    4. I assume it is still Etihad because all of them have around the same number of flights. Will change this winter though.

      People should remember that unlike QR or FZ Etihad gets transfers in Belgrade from Air Serbia. You would be surprised at the amount.

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    5. Etihad may very soon be adding capacity to BEG. They have started to extensively reorganize their flights to Europe and changing up equipment. Madrid, Rome, Amsterdam have all been upgauged to the B787 from the A330, leaving quite a few A330s available.

      I flew with their A330 just a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. Thought it would be old and worn out but they seem to have refurbished their A330s and have quite a uniformed product across their entire fleet. This A330 even had a first class.

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    6. There are no plans to change their equipment, frequencies or times to BEG. It will stay as A320 until the summer and I doubt even then they will do anything really.

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    7. Etihad is a five-star airline. You shouldn't be so surprised

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    8. If Etihad leave their BEG capacity at A320 once JU leaves the route, they will endure a massive passenger spillage, which over time will result in a negative outcome and tends to lead to a decrease in the overall demand. This is dangerous and airlines try their best to avoid such situations through timely capacity planning which in this case does not seem to be happening. My sister flew via AUH last week and the flight was filled to the very last seat.

      It would be really foolish for EY to leave BEG as is after years of investing into this route which is working very well for them.

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    9. I think Etihad has some time to organize itself as both flydubai and Qatar offer daily flights, at this point they caught up and are matching Etihad's offer.

      That said, Etihad should start worrying when one of these two starts to offer more than daily flights out of Belgrade. Maybe they should be smart and actually do it before them. Especially since Qatar already announced that they are looking to increase BEG to 10 weekly.

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    10. It was reported here once that they'll be sending a mix of a321 and a332 to BEG after JU pulls out

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    11. It was posted by an anonymous poster in the comments so I wouldn't hold onto that too much.

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    12. From what I can see Etihad has 35 A320 series aircraft in their fleet, that's really not a lot. I guess BEG has been operated by the A320 because they don't have anything larger (as in A321) available at the moment.

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    13. Not by an anonymous poster, it was mentioned in an article when it was announced that JU is terminating AUH

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    14. Where?
      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/05/air-serbia-to-terminate-abu-dhabi.html

      It was never ever officially mentioned anywhere but people did write in the comments.

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    15. In the comments under that article you can see it was mentioned by people then. But anonymous commentators often write rubbish.

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    16. @ Anonymous October 3, 2017 at 9:24 AM
      It used to be 1. Etihad, 2. Flydubai, 3. Qatar in BEG a few years ago. This might have changed now.

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    17. To be fair Dane himself said in a TV statement at the time that EY will compensate JU's AUH exit by deploying larger single and widebody aircraft and by doing so will not affect the demand and requirements of Serbian and transit ''guests''.

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    18. Dane said many, many things in the past. He is no different than Kucko unfortunately. It's like the two are competing.

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    19. Did Air Serbia really didn't have another choice than to cut AUH?

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    20. It´s a pity that the ATR cannot fly from BEG-AUH.

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  7. Good to hear that more Gulf tourists are coming to the region.

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    Replies
    1. Honestly think that Gulf passengers make up a small percentage of visitors to the region
      Except to Bosnia

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    2. And Montenegro

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    3. I was in Montenegro this summer and did not see a single Arab tourist.

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    4. Because they stay in a gated resort where no one else goes.

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    5. And they do not leave it? Not even to see Budva and Kotor old town? I highly doubt they travel all the way to Montenegro in order to stay in some gated resort 24/7.

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  8. At how many flights per week was Fly dubai operating to Zagreb before they suspended it. Was it daily?

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    Replies
    1. wow. So they went from 2 pw on B738 to daily on B777?

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    2. That's why it was such a surprise, especially since there was info around that the FZ flights weren't exactly filling up.

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    3. It was 3pw, not 2

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  9. Emirates has a huge number of aircraft on order and will eventually have to factor in more cities in Eastern Europe into its plans. Hopefully we see more of them at our airports soon.

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    1. They do have a few A380s and 777s on order but they keep deferring what will be a huge 787 or A350 order and those planes wont start coming sooner than 2020.

      They also park a few planes but I was told by someone at Qantas that this is more to do with them having a pilot shortage at the moment.

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  10. The biggest "problem" EK has is that they mainly fly bigger planes which can be tricky for smaller cities and markets. This deal with Fly Dubai is perfect for them.

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  11. No surprise people from here are traveling most to Australia. Wonder what the Indian Ocean destinations are. Remember reading once that Male, Maldives was one of the best selling for Fly Dubai from Belgrade which was kind of a shock.

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    Replies
    1. I remember that. And apparently Kabul from Macedonia. Does Macedonia have troops in Afghanistan?

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    2. A week ago I booked 2 tickets SKP-CMB in February = approx. 390 per Ticket with a stopover in DUB of less than 2 hours.
      Questions?

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    3. anon 9:44
      to my knowledge there is a small Macedonian contingent in Afghanistan but I suppose its mostly Macedonian civilians who work in the US bases there.

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    4. Anon 9:44
      Yes I have one question. Was it exhausting having to backtrack all the way to Dublin?

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    5. haha, sorry, DXB ;)

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    6. hahahah greatest putdown ever :)

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  12. One of the favorite topics for ex-yu aviation fans is waiting for Emirates ;)

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  13. Well it's good that they are focusing more and more on the region which was a black hole for them just 5 years ago.

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  14. It would also be interesting to see FZ loads to BEG, SJJ and SKP if someone has them :)

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    1. and to add my question to this: wasn't SKP to be upgraded from 2 to 3 weekly? or it is now another upgrade from 3 to 4?

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    2. I'm quite interested in how they are doing in Skopje now that Qatar Airways has started flying there.

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  15. Yep EK flight numbers are now in the system
    SKP - EK2242/2243
    BEG - EK2220/2221
    SJJ - EK2218/2219

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  16. Gulf competition is really heating up. All of them increasing frequencies plus Qatar starting Sarajevo later this month.

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    Replies
    1. Yes!

      Looking back 3, 4 years ago how much capacity was added from DXB/DOH/AUH to ex YU + TK as well...simply amazing!

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    2. Turkish Airlines will be the biggest looser here.

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    3. Great news for the entire region. Great to see gulf airlines fighting over the market.

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  17. Great news for passengers.

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  18. Anyone have an update on numbers how EK is doing in ZAG?

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    1. From what I hear they are doing quite well.

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    2. Winter will be the real test.

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    3. If it underperforms during the winter they could always link it to another city. Budapest maybe.

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    4. I flew with them few days ago, ZAG-DXB was overbooked and DXB-ZAG maybe few seats left in economy.

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    5. Decreasing from 7 pw to 5 pw shows real situation

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    6. They've been doing very well, which for Summer wasn't surprising. 5 pw over winter is actually not playing particularly safe, considering this is their first season. And QR flies double daily. We'll see how they do.

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    7. 5 pw is more than good in winter. More than good. To be honest, 5 pw in summer and 3 pw in winter would be good. So 7 pw in summer and 5 pw in winter is fantastic.

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    8. That is not what EK planned for ZAG. They planned 7 pw whole winter

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    9. And?
      Plans change all the time.
      Pure logic says that it's their first year in ZAG and that there is high seasonality and therefore there's no reason to fly daily through the winter just yet.
      That doesn't mean the loads are poor and they are about to run off.

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  19. I think next for Flydubai in ex-Yu will be Pristina or Dubrovnik.

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    Replies
    1. Someone will come and say Nis, I can bet you :D

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    2. Split could be a possibility.

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    3. Do you guys honestly think Flydubai would jeopardize Emirates in Zagreb with nonstop flights to Dubrovnik and Split? No way. The whole point of this partnership is for them not to step on each others' toes. And before someone says that they fly to Tivat which is just an alternative to Dubrovnik, those flights have nothing to do with DBV but with Porto Montenegro which was built by UAE investors for the Arabs to spend their holidays there and nowhere else.

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    4. Kraljevo is next, surprise for grand opening, just wait and see ;)

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    5. A pored Porte Montenegro se gradi i Porte Novi. Ogromno naselje.

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    6. Yesterday they had talks with Tuzla Airport

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    7. I have heard DXB-OSI-RJK-DXB is next

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  20. Nice. They will win over more pax to Australia with their Flydubai/Emirates combination. They weren't very appealing with baggage limitations, terminal transfers and so on but now it will be much more seamless. Plus free meals on FZ :)

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  21. I wish FZ started flying to Ljubljana but I doubt that's possible with EK flying to Zagreb.

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    Replies
    1. Well if Gulf airlines are not interested, there is always Wizz Air who could start LJU - Dubai World. They already fly the route from a few cities.

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    2. * I mean they already fly to Dubai from a few cities.

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    3. I would much rather they added some European destinations from LJU then DXB.

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  22. I hope that the UAE will soon abolish visas for Serbs, Montenegrins, Bosnians and Macedonians. It is an unnecessary and expensive hassle.

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    Replies
    1. This is a must. Agree completely.

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  23. How come, there is no Banjaluka in those companies' plans? :D

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    Replies
    1. DXB-INI-BNX-DXB triangle route coming up.

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    2. This was supposed to be funny? Fail.

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    3. What´s wrong with that?

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    4. What's wrong with that?
      Absolutely everything.

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  24. Great news. Hope they add more destinations in ex-Yu soon.

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  25. Emirates are going ruthlessly into a market that's not that big. They have increased capacity to Zagreb by around 600 seats per day and Flydubai is adding a total of seven new weekly flights to ex-Yu this winter too.

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    Replies
    1. Yes but for flydubai it's not such a big problem as they are expanding with a relatively light and cheap aircraft. Emirates on the other hand has to fill a heavy and large aircraft that's meant to fly much longer routes.

      They sorely need a replacement for their A330s.

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    2. I thought EK only has Boeing777 and A380?

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    3. They do, it wasn't very smart getting rid of the A330s and A340s.

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  26. Doesn't Qatar Airways still offer more flights to ex-Yu then Emirates/Flydubai?

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    Replies
    1. I dont understand people and questions like you asked now.

      1. If you read this blog and if you are interested in aviation in ex-yu... it is easy to remember and know all flights from EK/FZ/QR... on this blog it was millions of times word about it, almost daily topic.
      2. You have google and u can find out very easy about that flights.
      3. Are you from Mars?

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  27. In an ideal world it would be:
    BEG-DXB - 2 daily
    BEG-DXB - ditch EK and put FZ to easily fill the planes - 2 daily
    LJU-DXB - daily
    SJJ-DXB - daily
    SKP-DXB - 10 weekly
    PRN-DXB - 5
    INI-DXB - 5
    TIA-DXB - 5

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    Replies
    1. Who's ideal world would that be?
      In that case, why wouldn't they fly from every single airport in the region?

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