Jat suspends Niš flights

Niš Airport passenger terminal
Jat will be suspending its 2 weekly flights from Serbia’s third largest city, Niš, to Zurich which was the only destination Jat served from the city. The flights will be discontinued from the winter season, starting October 25. Jat has endured much criticism for not investing more in its flights from Niš. In 2007, under political and public pressure, the airline launched several services from Niš, including Vienna and Dusseldorf, all of which barely secured a handful of passengers. Flights were, as predicted, cancelled soon after. A Jat spokesperson said that the airline will introduce new flights to Niš from the 2010 summer season if there is financial justification for it.

Niš, located in Serbia’s east reopened its airport, Constantine the Great in 2004, after a passenger terminal was built and the area was cleared of mine bombs. The airport has since struggled to attract airlines, blaming Jat for its misfortunes. An economic development forum which begins today in Niš is expected to address the issue of air transportation in the city. Niš, which has over 250.000 citizens lacks foreign investment

Visit the blog tomorrow for all of Montenegro Airlines' winter 2009/2010 timetable changes.


  1. ANONYMOUS09:57

    Nis Airport have nobody to blame but themselves for their terrible performance. Clearly passengers in the area are unwilling or unable to pay the sort of high fares that Jat charge, so the only option is to attract an LCC. And they haven't gotten off of their collective arses to do anything about that... they're just typical state owned employees - sit back, collect the monthly salary, and do nothing.

  2. JATBEGMEL10:01

    Not everything is JAT's fault. The problem is also the fact that Serbian passport holders need visas to travel to the EU. I dont know what JAT's fares are like on the route but i dont think they were exactly attractive, as seen from their flights from BEG. The B733 is too big for flights out of Nis and the government should invest into the JAT fleet. JAT should of considered BEG-INI-ZRH flights and sell tickets between BEG and INI and from INI to ZRH and vice versa. JAT should consider connecting passengers who could use the flights, especially those coming from further destinations such as North America and Australia who would rather connect onto a flight to Nis rather than drive another 4 hours to Nis.

  3. JATBEGMEL10:09

    @ anonymous

    you are partly correct but once again you forget the issue of VISAS! it seems that many people who comment on the forum are not from Serbia and do not hold Serbian passports. A schengen visa costs 40 euros, and when you earn 200-300 euros a month...40 euros is alot for that piece of paper that gets stuck into your passport. the proces to get that visa puts many many many people off from traveling as well. But yes, JAT is very inefficient yet its directors expect good results. Low Cost Carriers dont fly to Serbia because of the visa issue, because the visa issue makes filling their flights more challeging. LCC dont fly from LJU or ZAG where there is the visa liberation for its citizens and a bigger market, so i doubt INI would attract LCC once Serbia is granted white schengen listing.

  4. ANONYMOUS11:42


    Thanks for your comments but with all due respect, you know very little about the industry.

    1) There is no market for BEG-INI flights *unless* you can operate them hourly like a shuttle service and even then, the road option is easy: 200km or so, can be done in an hour and a half easily with a half decent car.

    2) The visa issue is important, yes. But ultimately in a market like ex-YU, for most short-haul flying air is competing with the bus.

    3) LCC's (at least the only ones that really matter - easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz) don't have a presence in LJU or ZAG because they have many many other more interesting markets to pursue, such as Italy and Spain where there's a been a huge increase in capacity recently due to varying reasons.

    They don't fly to Belgrade becuase of 1) high costs and 2) bilateral restrictions and 3) retarded airport management who don't know their arse from their elbow

  5. srebrni12:22

    I agree with discussion above. Southern Serbia is region with highest poverty index. In other hand airport in Sofia, Belgrade and Skopje are close to the city and it is very difficult to compete with them. Maybe there are two options: Shuttle bus or minibus from Nis to Belgrade Airport or small plane shuttle 2 xs or 3 xs per day to Belgrade or Budapest.

  6. JATBEGMEL14:20

    @ anonymous

    point taken. i never studyed the aviation industry so i know i know little of it. my comments is based more of logical sense and is just a comment :-)

    BEG-INI doesnt need to be run hourly to survive. This is where government action kicks in. For once would be nice of the government to do something right in JAT. Maybe bring in a couple ATR42's (assuming talks with airbus go well and that the order for 8 A319's can be changed into an order for several ATR aircraft both 72 and 42 series), the ATR42 could do say a BEG-INI-ZRH flight, maybe have it as an additional frequency from BEG with a stop in INI to pick up extra passengers, or have the ATR42 camp out at INI during the night and have a morning run from INI via BEG to ZRH where at BEG passengers from INI could connect to other JAT flights. I think daily could work, though there would need to be attractive prices and Serbian passports need white schengen. From BEG, try having the long haul passengers who would connect to cities in southern Serbia connect for the flight to Nis, and make the diasporra aware the flight exists, through newspapers and advertising at relevant Jat Airways offices abroad. This way you have BEG-INI and INI to a euro city, in this case ZRH. JAT tends to over the winter drop their flights to LHR from 8 pw to 7, where they could instead fly the 8, just maybe have the additional frequency via INI and attract British tourists to Kopaonik like Thompsonfly did previously from LGW for 2 winter seasons (with B738 and B757 aircraft might i add). Antoher suggestion. Effort needs to be put in, its just this is Serbia and words 'government' and 'effort' dont come in the same sentence, and lets not start on the word 'efficiency'.

    @ Srebrni

    you forgot PRN. They have much more flights than SKP ;-)

  7. ANONYMOUS15:26

    Jat is on course to lose €29m this year, almost a -25% loss margin. That means that the Serbian government is 'supporting' them to that extent, which is quite a lot (too much!)

  8. Anonymous17:37

    LCC are the future of thh airports like Nis, Banja Luka, Osijek, Mostar,.... LESS ATRACTIVE destinations in Europe are flooded with tourists(short holidays, long weekends, etc - for example in the Uk where I live it is extremly popular to go for a long weekend to unusal and not very often visited places and cities) because of the LCC! With nature beauites such southeast of Serbia has I cannot see the reason why it wouldn't atract holiday makers to Kopaonik(not only winter but summer as well)! This with INI airport has happend beacuse of the lack of managment and good marketing!!!! LCC are flying to some destinations that most of us haven't even had a clue they had an airport!!!!! Until Serbia doesn't get on "white Schengen list" why other people who do not need visa wouldn't come to Serbia :-) Simple as that! I flew to Zadar this year only beacuse Ryanair had such a great deal and spent a wonderful weekend there at the begining of October(when the most of the people wouldn't even think going to the coast!!!!!)

  9. Poor Nis airport management probably contributed to lack of flights, but in last several year Jat & Civil Air Traffic Authorities were simply blocking any possible Jat competition. Even now (after ratification) they are still delaying implementation of Open Sky agreement. As for Jat, they had lousy "attempts" to put airport in use, i.e. flight for Stuttgart was scheduled in Tuesday, very "convenient" for gastarbeiters (obvious target passengers). They offered promotional price, but who can fly on Tuesdays? Anyway, it was finally announced an intention of WindJet and MCA Airlines to start flying from Nis this December. WindJet has many connections via their hub in Forli. So let's hope that days of Jat monopol are gone.

  10. JATBEGMEL00:26

    @ anonymous.

    the lose is predicted at being €20M not the 25M they had originally predicted. Just because the government is funding its loses that its helping the airline, as a matter of fact far from it. Its like feeding a diabetic a rich chocolate cake. Ive heard that things will change once JAT becomes Air Serbia next year (there is a 90% chance JAT will become Air Serbia next year btw).

    As for Serbian tourism, people dont just randomly poke out places to travel. There needs to be some form of campaign that will attract passengers. How many people in Serbia even know where some places like Mokra Gora, Djavolja Varosh are located let alone some foreign tourists. JAT together with the Tourism Organisation of Serbia should be involved in the campaigning Serbia in Europe, and JAT should attract as mentioned weekend travelers and tourists which will give boost to local Serbian business etc. JAT could try and attract more cargo to be flown via Belgrade with them, as cargo also improves profitability of flights as well.

  11. ANONYMOUS13:15

    How will be being renamed make any difference at all?!

    By the way - Congratulations to Serbia for qualifying for the World Cup!

    And Bosnia for getting a playoff spot...

    As for Croatia - OOPS!

  12. JATBEGMEL16:59

    @ anonymous

    if the new guy is smart, he would make many changes in the new JAT (Air Serbia). Ive seen a couple of pics of JAT B733's with new leather seats throughout the cabin in both business and economy class.

    lol Well done to the Serbian team for qualifying and to the Bosnians for beating the Turks :-)

  13. I'm very happy and proud of my national team. Here in Melbourne (AUS) we've been celebrating a lot. Playing Estonia was the easiest!


    I've also seen pictures of the new seats, here's the link to a whole airline report:


  14. JATBEGMEL10:29

    @ Bosnian

    lol im from Melbourne too (SE suburbs) but now living in Belgrade :-) i can imagine how our people are celebrating down there. and yes, thats where i saw the new interior.



    I'm from the SE suburbs too! Why do you live in Belgrade now?

  16. Anonymous23:40

    It's a real shame Novi Sad (the capital of Vojvodina), a bigger and more divers city, does not have an airport and terminal capable of commercial airline traffic.


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