Friday, May 18, 2018

Air Serbia's passenger share tumbles


Air Serbia has seen its passenger share at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport decline during the first quarter after rolling out a set of unpopular cost cutting measures and reducing its number of flights. According to Belgrade Airport's quarterly report, the Serbian carrier recorded a passenger share of just 40%, well down from over 47% registered last year. Although not indicated in the report, the airline's passenger numbers are believed to have fallen some 12% from 453.859 during Q1 2017, which was its busiest first quarter since the airline was relaunched in 2013. Over the January - March period of this year, Air Serbia operated some 5.800 flights, down 8% on 2017. At the same time, foreign carriers maintaining services to Belgrade grew their passenger share to 60% and accounted for 51% of all flight operations.

The future operator of Belgrade Airport, VINCI, has said it anticipates for Air Serbia to hold a passenger share of between 40% - 46% on an annual level. The company is facing headwinds and intense competition, in particular from low cost carriers that are increasingly moving in on routes which were previously solely operated by the national airline. In 2017 it faced no competition on 21 scheduled routes, down from 26 the year before. Lately, it has been directly challenged on a number of its services including Amsterdam, Prague, Malta, Larnaca and Tel Aviv. This list will soon grow to include Berlin. Air Serbia recently warned that a "flood of low cost carriers" would enter its home market in the near future.

The airline is also facing growing indirect competition from low cost carriers at Niš Airport in the country's south-east. Last year, just over 7% of all passengers departing Constantine the Great Airport hailed either from Belgrade or the northern province of Vojvodina. Meanwhile, Wizz Air will commence operations from Vienna to Niš this November with its 220-seat Airbus A321 aircraft, further challenging both the Serbian and Austrian national carriers which maintain services between Belgrade and Vienna. Over the past five months, Air Serbia has transitioned into a hybrid full fare - low cost carrier, which has been largely met by a negative response from the flying public. The airline's CEO, Duncan Naysmith, recently said, “Technology has completely transformed the way people travel in the 21st century, and the ability to have a tailor-made travel experience has been central in this process. Measures, such as unbundling air fares, has enabled Air Serbia to better compete and offer more value, while retaining all its differentiating hallmarks, including the fact that we fly to primary airports, run a frequent flyer program, operate a Premium Lounge, provide seamless codeshare flight options through Belgrade and much more”.

181 comments:

  1. Boohoo poor Air Serbia. They need to actually fight fpr their passengers. Most jatovci need to realize we no longer live in SFRJ.

    Also this Naysmit guy failed in Alitalia so I don't see how he wil make it here.

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    1. His former Alitalia CEO Cramer is also now involved in JU - both here bcoz of the super job they did at AZ ... or maybe bcoz EY don't want to see either of them back in HQ

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    2. Great pick...

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  2. Surprise surprise. I assume the number of transfer passengers on their flights has also declined.

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    Replies
    1. They are not as cheap as they used to be for transfers. Plus there are lots of negative experiences with transfer in Belgrade.

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    2. There used to be issues with luggage but that has been sorted out like a year and a half ago.

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    3. Indeed they have improved luggage handling but bad reputation stays. Most people are not frequent travellers and can not see improvements easily.

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    4. I think they have had special promotion for mostly transfer passengers which ends today where you could buy tickets DUS-OTP for 109,-EUR on JU web site and at the same tim epro ticket for DUS-BEG is 129,-EUR :-)
      Of course the price of 129,-EUR for DUS-BEG is great but 109,-EUR for DUS-OTP is funny!

      It seems they plan to bring back transfer passengers.

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    5. @NEBOJSA
      The horror is they are doing it on the expense of Serbian travellers/tax payers.

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    6. transfer pax is not at the expense of Serbian tax payers. Its the poor management and their poor, inconsistent implementation of their products/ideas that is the expense of the Serbian tax payers.

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  3. RIP AS finally

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    Replies
    1. It's completely ok to have a different opinion but to write comments like this...
      Dude, help yourself while it is not late...

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    2. It will go for some time
      Too important project to fail

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    3. Government of Belgrade will not allow this, do not you worry

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    4. And why we should want it to fail?! I really don't get this attitude.

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    5. Other than jealous ex employees and neighbours who do it for free, I am now convinced there are people compensated to troll against the wrong airline here. I say that because no airline enthusiast or professional would ever use acronym AS to describe any airline other than Alaska Airlines, but paid trolls have no brains to tell they are going after the wrong airline. AS is not and never will be used to describe Air Serbia.

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    6. @last anon
      Are they paid by LH and 4K? :)

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    7. 4K, that idea never crossed my mind. But now that you mentioned it...

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  4. Fares have really come down in recent years. All airlines, not just JU, had to respond. However, seems like others have managed to compensate by having more 'guests' on their flights.

    I still think it was pretty idiotic not to allow TK to increase their capacity to Belgrade. At the end of the day, it's Serbia that lost the most.

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    1. Such a shame that they are restricted by the bilateral otherwise they would have 3 daily by now.

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    2. JU is not following fare trends. Many times I end up paying 300+ on regular 2h European flight and fly in half empty plane. On a positive note that usually let us feel like flying business class with LH. So much space :)

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    3. This restriction has sence as tool to nagotiate. Turkey did not gave good slots to ASL. After new Istanbul airport is opened I expect them to get slots they want and to start flying to Istanbul again. Turkish Airline might get this permission for widebodies as well. I expect to see this till summer 2019 season.

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    4. JU got the slots it wanted in IST but it didn't work for them. This is evident where JU was having a hard time filling the ATR to IST while KK stepped in with increase frequencies and with larger aircraft and seem to be doing quite well in BEG.

      Fact is that numbers have been increasing between IST and BEG and JU was incompetent to take a piece of the market. JU even had the bilaterals to protect them.

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    5. How many airlines from Europe can you name that stopped flying to IST in the past 7-8 years?

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    6. Fact is that there are European carriers that have remained as well. Lets not mention that travel has greatly increased between Serbia and Turkey, with the 1st quarter showing a 23% increase of Turkish tourists to Serbia.

      Fact is that JU was replaced by KK with more frequencies and a bigger aircraft. If there wasn't the demand, this wouldn't of happened. KK doesn't have much to offer in regards to transfer, compared to what JU had in BEG.

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    7. No one can come up with a long list of airlines that stopped flying to IST? Serously, you call yourselves experts?!?!

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    8. The original JU slots in the middle of the night were much better.

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  5. Wait weren't people serving up here how they are a monopolist and that other airlines can't fly to BEG?

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    1. Yes, some 5-10 years ago :)

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    2. I remember it being very recently.

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  6. When incompetent people lead the airline, that is what happens.

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    1. Agree. And they should be punished by poor results.

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    2. They should be punished by getting fired. The poor results only hurt the owners of the airline, that's us.

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    3. Political appointees plus third class international management and this is how you end up like this. Does not seem very different in other ex-yu companies except their management sits in one place.

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    4. Predrag Vujovic, Sasa Vlaisavljevic and many others were incompetent people with poor results. Are you talking about them?

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    5. Sasa Vlaisavljevic is a CEO of super successful company - BEG.

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    6. And because it is so super successful Serbia gave it to Vinci, as president said "we don't have competent experts to lead Nikola Tesla Airport".

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    7. Talking about clueless political apointees that led jat to bottom of the barrel, now trying to be smart here by criticizing Air Serbia. No normal investor would give them money to turn around the airline. Air Serbia now has modern features from online checkin to onboard wifi and those jat losers can't be more jealous. History is not going to treat their roles at jat any better just because they are taking shots at Air Serbia.

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    8. If a company writes off 15-25 mil of debt a year for a biggest client and still ends up with 20-25 mil of profit that is a very successful company.

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    9. Looks like someone is trying very hard to shift the topic away from past failures of many jat executives. Is it personal?

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    10. Looking back, those management crews do not seem bad at all. With high oil prices and little state support they managed to keep JU alive.

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    11. It is personal then, you must be one of those losers. Looking back, management from about 2000 until 2013 was an absolute disgrace. They took an airline battered by sanctions and already in bad shape and took it to even lower level. There was no credible effort to raise service levels, to innovate, to transform the airline into what Air Serbia is now. Worst of all, they brag about their own failures! Čega se pametan stidi time se budala ponosi!

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    12. I am not related to the old management in any way. I was very critical and skipped good old JAT whenever I could due to strikes and problems with the fleet. But after 5 years of ASL I am very disappointed with what happened. So much money invested and yet disasterous result.

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  7. They seem to be on a downward spiral with no end in sight.

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    1. When state finances stop that will be an end for this project but it will also be an opportunity for JU to restructure in a sustainable business.

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    2. Can't wait to hear your proposal for restructuring it into sustainable business.

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    3. For that you will have to pay :)

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    4. LOL, I would not part ways with a single dinar to hear that plan.

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    5. Tipical Serbian problem. Do not invest few bucks when problem is easier to solve but then spend a fortune when ir is all messed up.

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  8. And these are results for before they introduced their concept of paying for water and food. I'm surprised Air Serbia hasn't started charging "guests" to use the toilet.

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    1. I am amazed how well crew members are handling this new shameful concept. Both older Jat and newer crew. Just other day the nice lady sold me coca cola and offered a free ice commenting they might start selling it for 1 EUR. We all had a good laugh.

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    2. they should introduce a toilet charge :D

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    3. With different pricing No 1 vs No 2

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    4. Kocka po kocka leda. Malo li je.

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  9. "Technology has completely transformed the way people travel in the 21st century" - Now, that's a CEO with a vision!

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    1. Well you have to come up with something in your defense :)

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    2. Good thing they operate all these new B737s and ATRs. Well prepared for the technological challenges of the 21st century.

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    3. Many large airlines squeeze out every drop of life out of their 30+ year old airframes.

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    4. Just last night I flew on 21 y old LH plane.

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    5. Well 21 and 31 years in air industry is not same level.

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    6. Just flew on a 30 year old Air Canada plane. Not Rouge.

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  10. Etihad's signature "KNOW HOW"™

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  11. passengers numbers are more important that share. stil cannot believe they are charging for sandwiches

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    1. but that's performing even worse. 12% down.

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    2. To znaci da je to pogresan potez. Kad su krenuli stopama propale Adrije slicno ce da zavrse.

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    3. charging for sandwiches means less consumption of Serbian products on board :D

      I guess there is no point of having the national airlines without the Serbian Ham, Cheese and Beer being offered on board and boosting the economy???

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    4. Those airlines still not charging for sandwiches and much more (except for long haul) are dinosaurs. Comments attacking BoB concept prove how clueless most people are.

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    5. All for European flights:
      KLM does not charge for sandwiches on board. I am not sure for AF at the moment, have not flown with them for a while.
      Alitalia serves different kinds of snacks and complementary drinks. That is also the case with legacy carriers within LH group. Maybe these dinosaurs of aviation know it better after all? Or they just do not have a clue?

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    6. They know really well things are moving to pay for food model but you have no clue. SAS, British Airways, Swiss on one route (to test the waters), Air Canada, American Airlines, Untited Airlines, Delta all charge food on board on short to medium haul. It's just a matter of time before LH and others crack under pressure and starts charging. Where will you be then?

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    7. You really love to call people clueless? Relax buddy.

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    8. But they really are clueless, aren't they? I'll relax when they get on with the program and start praising Air Serbia for being ahead of the pack on this.

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  12. Looks like their sales department is doing a bad job at filling seats in winter time.

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  13. It shows they need more regional jets. Not A320neos.

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    1. ASL should rather look into renewing the regional fleet with Dash planes. Three hours scheduled on an ATR would be a real stretch however it's not a problem at all for a Q400. For the development of new routes and to keep costs at a minimum a turboprop is a lot better suited hence more economical compared to any jet below 100 seats. No matter that there are some turboprop haters on here repeating how uncomfortable a turboprop would be. Yes I'd also prefer a jet (if it's not a CRJ) but what matters is costs For the airline.

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    2. They could get some good deals on q400. Bombardier is eager to add to the order book. If they could use the JAT deposit for C-series that would be something. All Bombardier fleet

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    3. A320 is wasted money for JU. They barely operate them for most of the year, and the flights they usually operate (ZRH, CDG) could be done on the A319's through additional frequencies (as seen with ZRH and the addition JU372/373 rotations in the midday wave).

      The ERJ175 could replace the A320's 1 for 1 and JU would have money on the side, where as the CRJ900 lease is cheaper and could possibly bring a fleet of 3 for the same money as 2 A320's.

      However, JU officially still has an order for A320neos's.

      With Airbus behind the CSeries, JU could transfer the 10 A320neo order for CSeries, while making a deal for a few CRJ900's.

      As for the Dash, I think the ATR works better for JU's needs. Dash simply cannot offer the same economics as the ATR for JU, and doesn't offer much of an advantage if any.

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  14. Management model of the airline is split between government and its only intention to use it as an expensive marketing tool and incompetent managers whom have failed to deliver any success wherever they were hired previously.

    The first part of the management cares only on how glittering airline will impact their influences on local masses while second how they will benefit financially. None actually cares about the airline, its business and passengers as its most valued asset.

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    1. Bingo. Agree 100%.

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    2. Bravo. Exactly.

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    3. What?!? So called national airlines in Europe are not expensive marketing tools but considered a matter of national interest by their governments. Italy is providing billions to help Alitalia, Germany sacrificed Air Berlin to help Lufthansa, Montenegro sees YM as critical for their tourism. Are you so blinded by hate to fail to recognize this common pattern?

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    4. AirBerlin was a typical example of government stepping in a critical moment and protecting public interest. They got much of these money back.

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    5. Not to mention Air Berlin was a british company not German, don't think the German government cared too much

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    6. And German government stepped in only to remedy possible damage to German traveling public. Well done as I wrote earlier.

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  15. What is happening with this forum especially when topic is ASL... Before sometime you could find unrealistic ideas and dreams, now only hate and extremely bad wishes... I'am astounded.
    Come on guys, we are here because we like aviation, aren't we? It's ok to have different point of view but let's discuss and exchange information on real basis and not like we are in day nursery.
    Admin, please, let's keep some level of communication!

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    1. well it seems their ideas turned out unrealistic... unfortunately

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    2. People very much have a reason to be angry with them. So much money has been poured into this airline and for what? So they can charge me a bottle of Rosa water 300 dinars on my 200 euro ticket?

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    3. Many people unhappy with what happened with the costly national project?

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    4. Rosa is actually 240 and if you buy it in a sendwich combo it can be yours for just 600 xD
      On a positive note they have finally enabled payment with credit cards.

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    5. I do love commercial aviation and I did love Air Serbia. Air Serbia should have never downgraded their image and services this much. I fly to BEG several times a year. I remember warm tasty food, pillows in economy and fantastic business class. OK, I said, they had to get rid of it just like any other EU carrier (AF, LH, Swiss...) and introduce a three level economy class. However, the last time I flew to BEG (in April) was a "drop" that made me decide never to take Air Serbia ever again if there is another airline flying on that route. Why? Well, imagine your flight is delayed. Imagine you left home several hour ahead and that you are tired and hungry. No problem, I thought, I'll buy some food. But, there was ONE purser selling food for the entire A320! It took poor woman almost an hour to get to rear seats. Imagine! One person counting dinars and euros, passengers changing their mind, calculating and recalculating orders, joggling with cash since credit cards were not accepted! On the top of everything they turned on the heating so high it was unbearable and everyone complained. When the purser finally arrived at our row we asked her why is it that only one person sells food and she said that the management allowed pursers to sell food only, while allowing other flight attendants to sell drinks only. 2:30h of sauna combined with hunger....never again. Really. I do hope someone from Air Serbia is reading this and that they will come to their senses. Fod God's sake, accept at least credit cards and allow ALL flight attendants to serve both food and beverages.

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    6. I agree with you.. It must have been terrible experience. In few days I am flying with JU and will see what surprise might come.

      Anyhow, if you make self check-in try to pick the seats on the beginning of economy class in order to be first to buy the sandwiches :-)

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    7. :) you're absolutely right.

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    8. It has improved now with credit cards and other members of the crew allowed to help the parser i.e. sell alongside her/him. All in all sad and shameful and brave members of the crew are not even hiding how disappointed they are.

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    9. This very purser didn't hide her discontent either. And I bet she wasn't the only one. Good news if the management came to their senses and introduced credit cards while allowing all cabin crew to sell f&b.

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  16. When was the last time JU introduced a new route?

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    1. Venice, last June.

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    2. It seems that route is not performing bad even though the schedule is not that good.

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  17. Judging by the news on Wednesday (Adria), Thursday (Croatia Airlines) and today (Air Serbia), I can only conclude that all three airlines have a lot of problems that need to be addressed.

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  18. The good thing is that we can see that foreign airlines are more than able to cover Air Serbia's shortcomings.

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  19. While decrease in share and passengers doesn't come as a surprise following the cuts, the magnitude definitely is.
    With jetfuel cost increasing, this will put pressure on smaller airlines, which can't afford to absorb some of the cost increase. As someone said, it is a downward spiral.

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    Replies
    1. Cont.
      Another worrying sign is that LF is also down if 12% decrease in pax numbers is true.

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  20. Guys don't forget JU is stagnating while others keep on adding more and more flights.
    You all make it seem as if the share is shrinking because JU operations are collapsing ... which they are not.

    Let's not lose focus here please.

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    Replies
    1. The scale at which their passenger numbers dexreased does show that JU operations are collapsing unfortunately.

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    2. No, JU's operations are not collapsing, they seem to be just fine. Their passenger numbers seem to be down because of network reductions and frequency cuts they introduced.

      I have a question for you, what had a greater impact on these numbers, JU cuts or foreign airlines adding flights?

      Before you answer, remember that JU numbers are down while BEG is getting closer and closer to a double digit growth this year.

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    3. With the network and fleet they have JU would need to go back to their initial frequencies and even boost many in order to make any sense of the transfer airline concept.

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    4. @ anonymous 10,27am

      The fleet they have doesn't suit their needs well, evident with their struggles to fill the aircraft and the amount of destinations and frequencies they have dropped.

      A good example is WAW. JU had terrible loads to WAW with the A319 while LO has again recently increased its frequencies to BEG, however operate the ERJ's. LO is satisfied with 60 pax to BEG (@ 73% CLF on the ERJ175), where as for JU this is 41% CLF. LO have a smaller B737 compared to JU's A319/A320/B733 fleet, carry almost 3 times the pax JU does, while operating with a profit.

      Fact is that the A320 is overcapacity for JU for most of the year evident in the amount of ground time they have in BEG. Money wasted on the A320 could be better spent on a regional jet fleet, from which they could get money from and be able to rebuild their network they once had.

      The A320 destinations they have could be easily done on the A319 through extra flights, as seen with ZRH.

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    5. I think JU stooped WAW.
      I think we are telling the same thing. With planes this big you must have much more frequencies in the region to attract more transfer passengers. One flight a day is just not sufficient.
      Or to get fleet in order and scale down the whole concept.

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    6. They ended WAW in October 2016.

      I agree that frequencies is important, especially for airline after transfer and premium pax. But JU is also mainly to serve an important market, and that is its own - Belgrade and Serbia. Bigger aircraft is fine as long as the home market can support it.

      A nice example is Athens. There is big demand of travel between Serbia and Athens where JU will serve 15 times weekly this summer on top of additional charters and A3 competition. This is on top of the double daily to SKG, as well as the large amounts of charters to holiday destinations in Greece. JU on top of this has nice amounts of transfer pax out of ATH regardless of the fact that A3 has an impressive network out of ATH. The other day it was reported here that 44% of the market between ZAG and ATH flies via BEG and JU.

      Overall, I honestly don't think much will change in JU until they have made a definite decision on their fleet, or are some how able to dramatically boost sales to improve both yield and loads with what they currently have. Smaller aircraft doesn't necessarily mean scalling down the concept especially if your not filling the larger aircraft in the first place.

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  21. With the tournament this month I wouldn't be surprised if their May share goes down to 37%.

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    1. I mean Aegean managed to fill the A321 for a few days now, they even added extra flights. Aegean. Aegean from Greece which doesn't even have a team in the final four.

      Only goes to show how little effort JU put into getting more passengers during the event.

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    2. Johnny Greek here.
      This morning I was reading about Greek journalists who had to travel from ATH to BEG via FCO because all direct flights are sold out.

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  22. I hope BEG handles 2 million passengers in May. Today alone there are like 15 flights from Istanbul.

    I am surprised there were no charter flights from Russia and Spain like there are from Lithuania and Turkiye.

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    Replies
    1. There were two days ago from Russia and Spain. Although all of this has little to do with Air Serbia.

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    2. Today's topic is about BEG as well as JU's share dropped because of foreign carriers.

      The other day the flight from MAD was to bring Real Madrid.

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    3. There are currently four aircraft in the air flying between Belgrade and Istanbul:

      BEG-IST TK A333
      IST-BEG TK A321
      IST-BEG KK A321
      SAW-BEG TK B738

      Pegasus had an extra flight this morning on A320neo and Freebird landed some 30 minutes ago.

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    4. Widebodies at BEG today:

      TK A333
      HU A333
      JU A332
      TK A332

      Plus there are seven A321s.

      I think today BEG will break another record.

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    5. No thanks to JU unfortunately.

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    6. While TK and SU sent widebodies to BEG, shamefully JU's A330 sat for 2 days on ground in BEG (15th from 5am to 17th 1pm), while there was room for the A319/A320 aircraft to jump in for extra capacity, not to mention the B733's which after all is there for charters.

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  23. Pa ovako, ja letim godisnje na relaciji bec-beograd 12 do 13 puta. Od kad je er srbija uvela nove tarife, placam isto kartu kao i pre "jeftinije" ali samo sa rucnim prtljagom. Kao slag na toru taj rucni prtljag ima dimenzije "40-55-20". Gore neko Low Cost kompanije u evropi! Gledaju svugde da izvuku pare! E sad kaj je "Service" OK, platicu, ali sta da platim vise kad je sve gore! Zao mi je ali tako je

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    1. I complete agree. I do not fly this route anymore. I drive the car and AirSerbia looses some 3000 eur per year from me.
      The advertised fares are a joke. 119eur to Vienna but you need to stay one month!

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    2. Incredible! Hope Wizz will introduce Vienna - Belgrade.

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    3. Too late. INI was smarter and faster.
      As long as JU doesn´t act fast it will lose the battle and combat for INI.

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    4. lol you seriously think that BEG and SKP lost to INI and OHD? Wizz gets subsidies from VIE for unserved routes.

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  24. I am still waiting for JU fan to analyse each comment and name the "dark side" which stages an attack on his beloved company :)

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    1. Dark side? Already know his name, last name and alias he uses when he wants to appear neutral.

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  25. JU will go bust in a couple of moths, I think. Waste of money, with incompetent people. Shame

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    1. Depends when the state aid stops. They probably have a capacity to survive summer season. However aid will not stop so JU is secured :)

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    2. Even if it stops there are always LHR slots to be sold as well as some property :-)

      Let's not forget JU does not get help from EU funds for navigation update

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    3. LHR slots may fill some gaps and they should sell it asap.

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    4. @ anonymous 6,33pm

      Why sell slots to a destination that makes money? I'm confused as to your point, to make money or lose more money?

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    5. They would make the same money flying to Gatwick.

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    6. No, not really. JU has agreements with airlines in LHR (VS) for transfer pax, which it doesn't have in LGW.

      In fact, JU used to fly to LGW and now they don't. If they made money in LGW, they wouldn't have cancelled it. They have been wanting to increase LHR the past couple of years.

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    7. LGW was additional flight in summer season. Second flight of the day during school holidays. There are lots of connection opportunities in LGW. LHR is too expensive and JU is regularly half full. Not sure they are really making big money there.

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  26. No wonder they haven't been publishing any operational results so far this year.

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  27. Hopefully even though passenger numbers are down, let's hope their finances have improved.

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    Replies
    1. If 2017 results were good we would already have them published. Now we just need to wait summer for financial report to become public and experts to analyse it. I am very sceptical.

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    2. I think finances have improved. JU saw a large decline in finances in 2016 from JFK, which has since improved.

      However, JU was receiving subsidies to show positive figures, while 2017 should of been the first year without it. Every year they have been able to show positive numbers and I think 2017 will be the first year with a minus.

      My thoughts will be that they'll come out with negative financial figures but at the same time the anticipated 'big news'.

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  28. Et oui, la nostalgie :

    http://www.exyuaviation.com/2014/01/air-serbia-etihad-deal-to-be-made-public.html

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  29. anonymous 09.33 am
    dosadan si vec stime da je adria propala.izgleda da si ti vec dabno propao

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  30. The only way to fix the current situation is to sell LHR and costly JFK slots. There is no other solution. With the cash, they upgrade their ATR fleet. The Sofia incident is a good example.
    Get rid of the business class and go all economy to be even more competitive.

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  31. I was actually waiting for a few days for an article on Air Serbia to provide some comments / feedback related to ASL ticketing / pricing.

    1) Recently I had to fly to BEG for a funeral and basically tried in the morning to purchase a one way ticket for same day evening departure. Despite ASL having flight JU655 that evening (10th May) it was impossible to purchase online this ticket for that same evening … simply ASL online application reservation system doesn’t allow you to buy a ticket for travelling on the same day (I could but I didn’t want to go through the motions to call Belgrade to talk to the call center to buy it through them).

    2) Looking at various flight options for my return on ALL offered flights (BEG-SVO) ASL was more expensive than Aeroflot by 10-30 Euros despite zero onboard service (blue fare). Aeroflot on the other hand offers a comprehensive air miles system and is still providing snack and beverage free of charge.

    3) I recently checked a one way hypothetical departure date in June when Red Wings will also start service between MOW and BEG. Again guess what>> ASL is the priciest option (more expensive than RedWings by 27euros and pricier than SU by 10euros on the same day for a one way flight.

    4) Their (ASL) highest price in the reservation system is attributed as being the airline with the shortest flying time of 2:50hrs (compared to 3:00hrs for Aeroflot) but we know that this farce was mastered in AUH and is not substantiated by facts so almost every JU flight is delayed in taking off from SVO by an average 20-30 minutes when compared to scheduled time of departure.

    Conclusion: It is really a shame for whoever is running this airline for not knowing their business and for dropping the ball with respect to competition in all segments!! The real question is how do they want to stay in business if every portion of their product(s) is actually inferior to competition???

    Despite trying to be a patriot and while being a long time enthusiast and fan of all related to JU I recently gave up and started to use services that are actually cheaper and better (Aeroflot in this particular case). I assume many others have followed the same path …as a proof we can compare the average boarding time in SVO for JU and SU flights where JU takes an average 10-15 minutes to board compared to 20-35 minutes for Aeroflot (based on SVO website stats related to start and finish of boarding).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Moscow is one of the markets they should not loose.

      Delete
  32. That's actually very sad. I am not from the Balkans so I cannot enjoy as some of the negative people here often do when YU is loosing (always wondering if these are ex employees, no-Serbs or Serbs in opposition to the current government slash taxpayers).

    I am an EY frequent traveller living in NYC and was extremely happy when ASL launched their JFK route. Especially with unpredictable Alitalia or already forgotten Air Berlin. Easy access & transfer when flying to TIA, ATH or OTP plus earning or burning guest miles. "Yay!" I thought.
    In my apparent ignorance I thought that YU would profit from neighboring Croatia tourist boom (so many of my friends and colleagues here in the US went there the last three years) not to mention other connections within the region. But personally I could never understand the logics behind those 4 dark am departures from TIA or ATH. Also, why at the beginning, there was absolutely no advertisement of the JFK route in the US. Why were they not offering some lucrative BEG stopover options (that was EY model with AUH and I find Belgrade an undiscovered and a very affordable gem), etc. It looked to me like that stunning Air Serbia lounge was the only thing they imitated from EY. And please believe this is one of the nicest lounges in Europe especially for an airline that size. Haters will start comparing with Concord Room at LHR or Senator Lounges at FRA or MUC but that's not my point.

    As I said it's rather saddening. Also, I never ever had any issue whether traveling on YU in Y or C. Whether it was ATR 72, A330 or A320. Decent and efficient service.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JU did have its adds on a massive billboard in Times Square.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA0EEpM3I7E

      There was some promotion of the JFK route, not just in Belgrade, but I've seen it in Zagreb as well for example. But I agree, more could be done and should of been done. Unfortunately, JU suffers from the inability to implement things properly for the past couple of years, leaving the impression that things are incomplete.

      Just recently, they introduced buy on board. Card payments was initially not possible, as mentioned above. JU previously had fantastic catering, which I'm sure passengers would purchase if they had the opportunity to do so.

      Another is, as you mention, transfer market. The A320 aircraft they have is mainly unused for most of the year, yet regional aircraft is insufficient to boost connectivity to flights such as JFK, from where there have been, regionally an increase in travel.

      As for the 4am departures, they work for some destinations, however not all. The initial banks that JU created worked well, but nothing has changed to improve them since.

      Unfortunately, all this is saddening to watch, considering at the beginning it looked very promising that things would be changing for the better.

      Delete
    2. Thank you JATBEGMEL for posting that video link. Had no idea it was there but Times Square is rather a very touristy area New Yorkers avoid;) Would be nice to see some promotional activity within the travel bloggers community, social media, some iconic influencers (you have had Djokovic for heavens; there is US Open here) but perhaps JU didn't deem it proper or efficient. That moving billboard at the TS must have cost a fortune but not sure what ROI was if it can be measured or monetized. It looks like that despite EY involvement certain things were still run in a very "old style" way. Nothing unseen. It often happens even in the biggest legacy corporations: everybody know what's wrong, everyone has some "fabulous" ideas a/o recipes until it come to the *execution*.

      I love this web. I visit it frequently but so often I am simply displeased with the negativity, defeatism if not a direct hatred of some commenters.

      Delete
    3. @ GS

      Djokovic was part of the campaign too.

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

      There was a lot going on in the Air Serbia social media pages too, a lot of news coverage in the ex-YU, test flights on the A330 to ZAG, BNX and TGD, as well as hiring Albanian speakers in BEG to assist transfer pax.

      I think more should of been done on the US end, from which JU receives the higher yields. Teaming up with the Serbian Tourism Board to advertise the flights as well as Air Serbia would of probably done more.

      In the end, regardless of their advertisements, Air Serbia still had (and has) a lot of negative press and poor relations with their passengers which isn't doing good for building up their brand. Drastic changes to its product and offering isn't helping this either.

      Delete
    4. Thank you JATBEGMEL for another link. I must have missed it and I am someone who had been rooting for the YU before the JFK route was even launched. I started the day when EY partnership announced the new ASL. I remember the 330 coming from JET Airways, its painting and those test flights but that was just because I followed this blog. Definitely more could have been done on the US front. Youtube is an amazing platform yet that Djokovic video after almost two years has not even reached 5 K views. I wonder what went wrong and I do not even pretend I might have an answer. But I don't think it is about making the wheel rounder;) I travel a lot and so many people never ever heard about ASL. Also, you are right about negative opinion especially in the homeland. On several occasions when I complimented ASL to my Serbian friends and acquaintances ...they were amused if not simply astonished always counterposing with how great ...LH is.

      Delete
    5. You are not traveling much. LH has ten levels of different meals in theirs airplains. I am tired of your lies.

      Delete
    6. @last anon
      I do not understand your comment?!
      @GS
      Indeed, JU now seems quite good but do not be surprised when people in Serbia are angry. We got very little out of it. Cost us a fortune and many times we have to fly with LH or other companies as direct flights with JU are just too expensive.

      Delete
  33. Why are people so happy about this? What's wrong with you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one is happy. We re just sad because one potentialy great project was brought into one way blind street of failed airlines by someones incompetence, megalomania, lies and politics too. What looked like great chance back in summer of 2013 nowdays looks like clueless basket case airline. They are sinking and orchestra is still playing but not on the violines because we're low cost now not some fancy boutique airline.

      Delete
    2. Seriously people, I agree with Anon 8:05pm.
      People are being so drama queens when it comes to JU. THIS IS A CHANGE IN THE BUSINESS MODEL not any degrading service or such.
      JU has to undergo radical changes to survive in this tough and harsh industry. Yes, they once thought that generosity and loyal passengers are the key factor, but this was not the case.
      In 5 years aviation has changed so much, especially in Europe. The rise of LCC, the growth of VY, EW, FR, W6, HV. Volotea quietly growing. IAG growth and so on and so on.
      Please, if you want a free, nice fluffy pillow or a generous meal for a 2.5h hour flight, just book with Lufthansa and pay more, that's it.
      You cannot be so harsh and cruel with your comments on JU, who is doing all its best to adapt to the market.
      JU cannot expand eastwards because of the lack of aircraft. On my opinion, they must do exactly what JP does. Focusing on REGIONAL O&D traffic and forget about all this "leading Balkan hub" nonsense. The whole of Europe is getting more and more O&D traffic and transfer traffic is dieing. This is very simple because people simply take a train or bus to a nearby bigger city and reach their final destination.
      JU can apply the Volotea model and focus on Balkans, more flights to France - LYS, MRS, NCE, BOD, etc.
      More flights to Israel, Egypt. More O&D traffic.
      Forget about JFK and focus on China, which is a much bigger country. Flights to Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, etc. JFK is a SATURATED, difficult and expensive market, so why bother?

      Delete
    3. @Anon 9:38

      Air Serbia is now low cost? Are you out of your mind? Why don't you learn the basics of airline industry before trying to be smart here? Charging for food or seats does not make an airline low cost. You comments show serious incompetence.

      Delete
    4. JU is making radical decisions in a desperate way to become profitable after years of poor decisions, not necessarily because of changes in the market. Where Air Serbia gets its criticism is the fact that after false propaganda and creative accounting, the reality is that the whole project isn't working and is not sustainable. Had Air Serbia been as profitable as it had claimed, it shouldn't need to be making the changes it has the past year.

      LCC isn't a new phenomen that has just started, Serbia hasnt last year become one of the worst economies of Europe.

      The reality is that millions were wasted on a concept that hasn't exactly worked, leaving a highly inflated work force in a company lacking direction and poorly, incomplete services.

      JP is far from the example that any airline should be following.

      Transfer traffic is far from dying and will be hear to stay for decades to come and this is evident. JU has a niche it fails to adequately tap into, both O&D and transfer. Transfer traffic should be the bonus to the O&D demand for a market from Serbia (Belgrade).

      You clearly have no idea on Serbia to comment so poorly as you have done. Train travel in Serbia is horrible and unreliable, and will not change any time soon.

      In regards to JFK, the demand is there and a lot of the demand has shifted to JU since its launch. This is evident with a 6th flight being added next month. Chinese tourism might be growing, but not in the numbers to justify direct flights, as seen with Hainan who still fly via PRG.

      Delete
    5. "In regards to JFK, the demand is there and a lot of the demand has shifted to JU since its launch. This is evident with a 6th flight being added next month.".....dropping to 2 weekly in winter...wow what a demand that is.

      Delete
    6. There is enough passenger demand in the winter for a third flight, but all the profits are in the summer. It's better to have 6th flight in the summer than 3rd in the winter.

      Delete
    7. ^^^

      They also increased to 4 p/w in December/January. On average, winter was flown 3 p/w.

      Delete
    8. I am really curious if this route generates cash. Summer is easy because of the weather and such but hey, even much richer countries in Central and Eastern Europe do not have their own flights to New York. Only country is Poland because of its almost 5 times higher size compared to Serbia.
      BEG-JFK is purely financed by EY, nothing more, nothing less.

      Delete
    9. It must be that tickets BEG-JFK are free because Etihad is financing it? Are you sober? BEG-JFK existed since the seventies. EY does not pay a cent for that route.

      Delete
  34. I wanted to hear your opinion on this topic. Am I am the only one who thinks that connections from BEG to Europe are actually poor and lacking? If we take Germany and Switzerland out of the equation that is.

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    Replies
    1. I completely agree!
      Only one in UK and France. Only three to Italy. Just seasonal to Barcelona...etc
      BEG market is poor. Things could however change if Ryan opens the base eventually.

      Delete
    2. Ryan would do much better by opening a base in ZAG. There is no Wizz competition unlike BEG, GDP is higher in Cro, more EU tourists visit Zagreb.

      Delete
    3. Wonder why they didn't?

      Delete
    4. But this is about BEG not ZAG :)
      Wish Ryan to both!

      Delete
    5. It’s the second lowest gdp in EU, so really cool off on this continuous yours is bigger than ours complexes. You are not America of the Balkans, as much as your warped sense of identity so wishes. BEG is the biggest airport by far in the region and will most likely get RyanAir before ZAG ever does, especially with ZAG current way of doing things.

      Delete
    6. BEG will be taken over by Vinci soon therefore no more ULCC in the near future. ZAG fanboys are afraid FR or W6 will destroy OU so they don't want it.

      Delete
    7. BEG is the biggest in which region? You meant ex-Yu perhaps... If you're referring to the Balkans, then this is definitely not the case.
      Even though Croatia has a higher GDP compared to Serbia, it's still half the size of it. Additionally, BEG is much better connected to the world, compared to ZAG.

      Delete
    8. This is an ex-YU blog, so naturally I am referring to that region. Luxembourg is also happens to be smaller than Croatia but has way larger GDP. Not sure where you are going with your comment though? Besides the usual regional superiority complexes, according to your logic (smaller land mass and larger GDP), RyanAir would do best in Slovenia.

      Delete
  35. I love the fact that companies with annual turnover several times the size of Serbia GDP publish results during third week of January, yet Air Serbia 'crunches' the figures until July. It should look the same, whether in January or July.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because you need time to fudge the numbers :)

      Plus the government needs time to figure out how to spin the poor financial results of 2017...

      Delete

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