Sunday, December 31, 2017

The year ahead


Following on from a busy year for airlines and airports in the former Yugoslavia, 2018 is shaping up to be another eventful one for the aviation sector. The following are some of the highlights which have been confirmed and scheduled to take place over the next 365 days.

The year will start off with an announcement of the winning bid for the 25-year concession of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. Initially, the decision was due to be made on December 25, then on December 29, before being moved to January 5, unless delayed again by the Public Body overseeing the concession. On March 15, Dubrovnik Airport is scheduled to complete work on the overhaul of its runway and taxiways as part of a major 115 million euro expansion, which will take place throughout 2018. Other airside improvements to come during next year include the construction of two new rapid exit taxiways, the expansion of the western apron, as well as the construction of a new commercial aviation apron on the western side, a new east apron for general aviation and the development of aircraft maintenance and operation facilities, in addition to hangars.

Adria Airways will launch six new routes starting March 25

The first quarter of the year will be topped off by the start of Adria Airways' network expansion, which will include the launch of six new routes starting March 25. Adria's Chief Commercial Officer, Christian Schneider, said, "2018 will be key for Adria Airways and this is why we are happy to follow our growth strategy, and for summer 2018 we will announce new destinations out of Ljubljana. We will start flying to Hamburg, Geneva, Dubrovnik, Sofia, Otopeni [Bucharest] and Brač. This is good for the market and is good for the customer, because it gives more variety and more choice. We have seen the demand already in 2017 and this is why we believe that 2018 will be good for the market". Meanwhile, the Serbian government has announced the opening of Kraljevo's Morava Airport towards the end of the first quarter. "If all goes to plan, we expect for Kraljevo to handle its first commercial aircraft by the end of March in 2018", the Serbian Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure said. The government has previously failed to meet set deadlines for the opening of the airport in Central Serbia.

Air Canada Rouge will commence flights to Zagreb on June 2

The second quarter of 2018 will be an exceptionally busy one for airports and airlines in the former Yugoslavia. Start-up FlyBosnia is set to launch operations. The carrier has been established by the Al Shiddi Group, a Saudi Arabian investment and development company which also runs the Sarajevo City Center - a business complex, hotel and shopping mall in the Bosnian capital. FlyBosnia noted it is currently formulating its business plan and will unveil more to the public in due course at a press conference. In May, the Croatian government is due to select a new CEO for its national carrier. On May 11, leisure airline TUIfly will launch six new routes to Podgorica and one to Tivat in the biggest expansion by a foreign carrier in Montenegro for decades. This will be followed on June 2 by Air Canada Rouge, which will commence four weekly seasonal summer flights between Toronto and Zagreb with its Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, becoming the second airline to serve the route alongside Air Transat.

Construction of Ljubljana Airport's new terminal begins in October

During October, the construction of Ljubljana Airport's new passenger terminal will begin. The new facility, valued at sixteen million euros, will allow for the airport to handle 1.280 passengers per hour, up from the current 500, and will feature a total of 22 check-in desks, five security lanes, a large duty free shop, commercial space, as well as a new premium lounge. The building will stretch over an area of 8.700 square metres. A new 2.000 square metre baggage sorting facility will also be built. Over in Macedonia, Turkish Airlines will deploy its brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft on flights to Skopje from October 28, thus becoming one of the first cities in the carrier's network to be served by the 151-seat jet.

Work on Belgrade Airport's new control tower begins in the fourth quarter

The construction of Belgrade Airport's new control tower will begin in the fourth quarter of the year. Located next to the existing air traffic control centre, opened in 2010, the new four-level control tower will be 75 metres tall. A two-level flight control centre will also be built and linked to the tower. The structure will be completed and operational within a year. Meanwhile, Sarajevo Airport is projected to handle its millionth passenger for the first time in a single year either in November or December.

New Rijeka-based Airways Europe set to launch during 2018

The coming year will also see the Macedonian government start tender procedures for a three-year contract to stimulate the launch of new routes by low cost carriers. The previous contract, won by Wizz Air in 2015, included financial support for each new destination amounting to 40.000 euros, followed by an additional thirteen euros for each departing passenger in the first year of operations, twelve in the second and eleven euros in the third year of operations. Meanwhile, Europe's first modern scheduled seaplane service, Croatia’s European Coastal Airlines (ECA), which discontinued operations in 2016, plans to resume flights in 2018 under new ownership and a new name. Airways Europe, to be based in Rijeka, will unveil more of its plans early next year. Furthermore, Rijeka Airport itself is set to get a revamp during 2018 with upgrades to the passenger terminal and apron valued at 2.6 million euros.

Sarajevo Airport's expanded terminal to take shape in 2018

The multi million euro expansion of Sarajevo Airport's passenger terminal will continue in 2018, which will result in an additional 10.000 square metres of space spread across four levels. Its construction will be completed in 2019. On the other hand, the Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency will put into operation an instrument landing system (ILS) at Niš Airport during 2018. The equipment provides guidance to aircraft approaching and landing on a runway during low ceilings or reduced visibility due to fog, rain or snow. Furthermore, a 3.5 million euro expansion of Niš Airport's terminal building is scheduled to commence during 2018.

43 comments:

  1. Looking forward to it. Didn't know about most of the stuff listed here. Good sruff.

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    1. There was so many unexpected news in 2017 like Emirates flights to Zagreb, Hainan to Belgrade, Adria buying Darwin. I hope for something similar in 2018 :D

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    2. ZAG will definitely get some "unexpected" route announcements, as talks are in progress.

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  2. Adria is still planning that expansion?
    As far as I could read from the comments, those SAABs are grounded, so they are leasing what, 1 Fokker and 3 CRJs?

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    1. Well you can buy the tickets so I would say it's going ahead. Would be a major stuff up if it didn't.

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    2. Given that the management doesn't give a flying toss about cancelling flights (they haven't even issued a public statement), it's completely irrelevant if you can buy tickets

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  3. "The previous contract, won by Wizz Air in 2015, included financial support for each new destination amounting to 40.000 euros, followed by an additional thirteen euros for each departing passenger in the first year of operations, twelve in the second and eleven euros in the third year of operations."

    A lot of people here were writing how Wizz no longer gets any subsidies in Macedonia. Seems they were wrong.

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    1. U understood the article to say for the first three years of the new route. This has expired for many of the routes.

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    2. No. 2015 plus 3 years cannot be over yet. Therefore all new routes since start of the Wizz subsidy program are still receiving enormous subsidies at least until some point in 2018. And then most likely a new subsidy scheme will start.

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    3. You are correct, my mistake. Indeed, I've also read comments that subsidies had stopped.

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  4. It will be interesting to see if Fly Bosnia will actually launch. If these guys are serious it could be a great year for SJJ.

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    1. Agree, that would be really great news for Bosnia and Herzegovina!

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  5. Hope for positive news about Croatia-US flights!

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    1. I hope but absolutely nothing about flight announcement. Why?

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  6. First time i read about some details of the ECA planned restart. I find it very interesting they would base the company now in Rijeka. I do think they can make more business in more touristic Dalmatia!

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    1. It would be great for Rijeka in my oppinion. Although they could have been more original with the name than Airways Europe :D

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    2. True :) European Coastal was a much better name!

      Basing the HQ of the airline in Rijeka still doesn't mean that there would be routes from/to RJK or surrounding areas. Remember they had already invested a lot into several Dalmatian sea(air)ports.

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  7. New BEG tower looks nice

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    1. Sleek and modern. I like it too. And at 75m will stand out in the area.

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  8. Great article and a preview of what's coming. Happy New Year everyone.

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  9. Wish all ex-Yu airports record traffic, better infrastructure and a great year. Thanks for keeping us informed ex-Yu. Love visiting this site daily.

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  10. So next year finally 10 ex-YU airports with 1+ million passengers. Welcome to the club Sarajevo!

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  11. I hope that *FINALLY* on 5th January we find out who wins the Belgrade concession so we can start 2018 on a positive note.

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    1. if they don't delay it due to the upcoming Christmas lol

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    2. If you check "Official Gazzete" day before you'll know for sure as some "experts" keep claiming here ha ha ha ha ha.

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    3. The decision to delay the decision on Friday was actually published but in the Official Gazzete on Friday not Thursday. You can find it online. It's published every evening. They have to publish their decision of delay in the document by law so I don't see why you find it funny.

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    4. Well you said there will be no delay since they did not publish on Thursday in the Official Gazette that there would be a delay for the Friday decision. That is not funny but show a lack of respect to the people for not following protocol.
      What is funny is your insistence to defend anyone that criticize this government, acutely not funny but more like, sad.
      Anyway, hope we actually have a decision on the 5th. Please let us know if on the 4th there is a delay published in the Official Gazette.
      No hard feelings man.
      Cheers.

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    5. How about Deda Mraz? Hahahahahah

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    6. How is he doing?

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  12. I will try to do as the first pic says :)

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  13. Does anyone know how Tuzla’s terminal is at this moment. It has been delayed several times yet but they should be expanding it now. I haven’t heard anything since they started it, does anyone know the release date?

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    1. They had a stone breaking ceremony and haven't done a thing since. 0% complete.

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    2. Such a shame, they are doing pretty well as they reached around 500.000 passengers this year. Their terminal now is way too small

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    3. 500.000 passengers, WOW!
      what is forcast for 2018.?

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    4. Not sure, no new routes have been announced, only the new terminal that should be opening this year

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  14. 2017 was great for aviation in tge region. Have no doubt 2018 will top it.

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  15. What about Pristina? What is going on there? What is planned? What is expected pax totals for 2017? Predictions on 2018?

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  16. What's about Tivat expansion?

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