The changing face of EX-YU aviation

Crunch time for EX-YU airlines

The aviation industry in the former Yugoslavia is at a crossroads with major changes taking place across the region. Adria Airways has implemented deep cost cutting measures which are beginning to show results and the Slovenian carrier is earmarked for sale this year. Croatia Airlines recently became a national carrier within the European Union and can no longer rely on wide raging subsidies. It too is in the middle of a restructuring program with the aim of improving its finances in two years time. The “Jat” brand will disappear after more than sixty years this winter with Air Serbia taking its place with financial backing from the United Arab Emirates. Montenegro Airlines has a new management team this year for the first time since it was created and faces tough competition in the coming months on its main market - Serbia. In addition, it will be an important winter for B&H Airlines which will have to employ both of its aircraft and seek a new direction if it is to compete not only with stronger neighbouring carriers but low cost airlines as well. Wizz Air, which has established itself as the main carrier in Macedonia, is set to continue to expand as results at its Skopje base go from strength to strength.

Omer Kulić, who heads the Bosnia and Herzegovina Air Navigation Services Agency, believes it is crunch time for the carriers of the former Yugoslavia. “The business model to be used by Etihad in Serbia could represent the saviour for other national carriers in the Balkans. Air Serbia’s ambitious timetable will mark the arrival of a strong regional player with the aim of transforming Belgrade Airport into a transit hub for the western Balkans”, Mr. Kulić says.

Recently, the idea of merging Croatia Airlines and Adria Airways once again surfaced. The Croatian President Ivo Josipović and his Slovenian counterpart Danilo Turk discussed the possibility at a recent meeting. Former Croatia Airlines CEO, Ivan Mišetić, believes merging the two airlines could save both from financial ruin. Both share a similar fleet structure and destination network. Mr. Mišetić believes that with a fleet of thirty aircraft the two merged carriers could become a powerful European airline.

So far this year Montenegro Airlines has managed to halve its losses and increase passenger numbers. However, the carrier faces a Ryanair expansion from Montenegro next year which could have an impact on its operations. Furthermore, a strong Serbian carrier could mark trouble for Montenegro Airlines which has been dominant on flights between Podgorica, Tivat and Belgrade for the past few years.


Jat Airways takeover coverage

EX-YU Aviation News will be covering tomorrow's takeover of Jat Airways from 09.00 CEST, including a live report from the press conference where further details will be revealed. Don't forget to visit.



  1. Anonymous09:11

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, merge JP and OU. They have a very similar fleet and structure. After the merger sever all ties with LH and become a strong transit airline for the region. This way, you would build up a competitor to Air Serbia.

  2. JU520 BEGLAX09:14

    Thanks Ex Yu Aviation for tomorrows live coverage, will be hooked to the blog like a bunch of adicts.

    and yep ex yu aviation world is changing and this is good so. And for all bloggers working for JU. Finally there is real hope for a good future for you and yr airline. Wishing u all the best and good succeess. I m especially for all the workers who suffered quite enough the past 2 decades
    looking forward to see JU A319s in ZRH
    happy day to all of u

  3. Anonymous09:16

    I can't wait for the conference tomorrow.

  4. Anonymous09:52

    No one mentioned anything about this but do they intend on introducing new uniforms? I really hope they will as the ones they have now are nothing special.

  5. Anonymous09:58

    Hey ex-YU-Aviation,

    I would like to attend the press conference tomorrow. Any accreditation needed?


    1. Anonymous23:01

      It is interesting how he ignored your question yet he rushed to delete all the comments related to Aviokarta.

    2. Yes, it is invite based. As for the “Aviokarta” comments, if you have problems with the editorial policy of that particular website or any other, perhaps it is best you take it up with them.

  6. Anonymous10:13

    Danilo Turk, the former Slovenian president? I don't think he's in any position to be in talks about restructuring government owned companies.

  7. Anonymous10:38

    Hoppe conference and celebration will be over by
    midnight tomorrow Sydney time. The news be ready
    to be officially published AIR SERBIA. Lot of as in Sidney awaiting for that happen. After two decades is opportunity to see in the air and on airports great loved insignia AIR SERBIA.
    Happy flying. AIR SERBIA waiting you on her wings.
    Greeting from Sydney to people of commercial aviation.
    Rodney Marinkovic Aircraft Mechanical Engineer,ret Sydney / Kraljevo.

    1. Only Fools and Horses12:23

      Rodney, your English is not getting better despite two decades?

    2. Anonymous04:28

      MR. Fool(s} and Mrs./Mr. Hors(es),
      Uvazavam vasu primedbu, s'time sto sam
      u Australiji 43 a ne samo 20 godina. Utoliko gore po mene, a bolje po vas jer
      ste prosveceniji. Eto pored nebrojenih mana i engleski je moja slabost. Nadam se da necete vise citati moje tekstove
      zbog vaseg mira. Svako dobro i radost
      vama pod imenom kojim ste se obratili.
      Ovde me srbi zovu Radovan sto mi je Krsteno ime.Prezime vec znate a i naziv avio kompanije Otadzbine je AIR SERBIA
      Prosveceni zivite u miru!

    3. Anonymous04:53

      His English is not bad .... How old are you, 10? Grow up. Sve naj svima.

      Can't wait to hear the news tomorrow!

  8. Anonymous10:42

    Realistically without government funding there is only room for 2 proper airlines max based in the region. One of those flying to US other being a competitor on local routes. Population in the region is uneducated. i took the train from zg to bg and a family travelling locally refused to sit in the serbian carriage... ended up in a croatian carriage which was full of smoke which I can tell you is not good for the baby... until all the population gets better educated patchiness of the economies and airlines will continue

  9. Anonymous10:44

    Kulic said "The business model to be used by Etihad in Serbia could represent the saviour for other national carriers in the Balkans". Again he showed how our managers do not understand global aviation market. In US in 70-80's, in Europe started within 90's and continued up to date, there are now more "national carriers" because of one single proccess: deliberalization! Supporting national carriers is paying them to be and survive there before they restructure themselves and face to such market! And Kulic showed his full ability to manage anything while he was general director of Air Bosnia - grounded after few years with enourmous debt! These people should be forgoten and retired, they do not deserve to have mm of the space in media.

  10. I hope all ex yu carriers will be able to find some airline like Air Serbis found Etihad.

    By the way are we going to have live stream somewhere like we did last time.

  11. Anonymous13:54

    AnonymousJuly 31, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    With every new word you write you show how hurt and angry are you. But I get it... Serbia will get a brand new airline, and Croatia Airlines is...well...OU is slowly disappearing. But you don't have to worry... When Croatia Airlines declared bankruptcy in 2015 Air Serbia will be there for you Croatians too. You will be happy to fly with such strong airline like Air Serbia will be!

  12. Anonymous13:54

    @JU520 BEGLAXJuly 31, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Absolutely right, efforts, tremendous efforts are required for any airline to succeed.

    Just to correct you on Turkish air, Turkish Air was voted among best cause mostly turks voted for it, if you have 80 million Turks who vote on nationalistic basis you tend to get these results, imagine Eurovision just in skies and where you can vote for your own country ;).

    I also agree for Belgrade to become a hub of some sort it needs to invest large amounts of money for that to happen, but reality is, all major airports in Ex-Yu have made these investments over past few years, Skopje, ljubljana, Dubrovnik, Sarajevo, Pristina, Podgorica and now even Zagreb finally is getting state of the art terminal.

    Required investments Belgrade would need for it to become a major hub are enormous, we're talking 2nd runway, 3rd terminal and major carrgo terminal, upgrading their ILS to the latest standards just what Zagreb and Ljubljana airports did way back in 2004, and only airports in Ex-yu to have these high standards, than new ATC with latest support infrastructure, you're talking $600-800 million investment Belgrade can only dream and hope for.

    And you are spot on issue of mentality and way whole business is done in Serbia and generally in the region.

    Reason why I said there's little chance of Belgrade of becoming anything more than it is now as there's such hostility towards any new idea and approach of doing business.

    thank you for your post, you've made it quite clear to all who think Ethiad deal is milk and honey, its not, far from it, you guys will need to work it hard to make it work, really hard !!!

  13. JU520 BEGLAX16:20

    ex Yu Aviation:
    we were at 30 comments and now back to 13... seems we lost some in between..

    1. Anonymous16:43

      It's cause Ex-Yu deleted all the comments that were discussing the mistake Aviokarta did today and his behavior towards Jat.

    2. Anonymous16:53

      It says: "EX-YU aviation news does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic, xenophobic or any other chauvinist remarks as well as provocative posts with the intention of creating arguments" while there were none of those. Ex-Yu, you're failing yourself and your readers. This is the second time it has been happening and you're only redirecting a wide wawe of hatred towards you.

  14. Anonymous16:21

    Wizz Air, which has established itself as the main carrier in Macedonia, is set to continue to expand as results at its Skopje base go from strength to strength.
    Očekujte važne vesti u ponedeljak.

    1. DLDTWSKP20:34

      It would be nice to see connections to more larger airports (ie. AMS, FRA, CDG).

      Right now, it is Star Alliance dominated. Perhaps some direct competition from Skyteam or Oneworld could benefit the area instead of the monopoly right now.

    2. Anonymous21:54

      I dont mind the Star Alliance monopoly in SKP at all.
      I made it to Senator 2 years ago and eventhough the privileges were reduced Miles & More is still better than Skyteam or Oneworld. (besides access to the best lounges & priority boarding I also got a free credit card & xtra luggage allowance.
      Air Serbia and Etihad being in no global alliance, it seems I'll continue flying with OU, JP and OS.
      And Wizz Air can suck it!

  15. ^Anonymous: nove destinacije? Ili neka novost za OHD?

    1. Anonymous16:29

      Trpenie - spasenie ;)

    2. Anonymous16:44

      No way?!

    3. Can't wait!;)

  16. Anonymous16:43

    Ex-Yu, you are a complete son of a bitch disrespectful of your readers for again deleting the comments discussing Aviokarta that were nowhere offensive. You fucking morron, this will bounce against you sooner or later.

  17. JU520 BEGLAX17:39

    sorry 04:43 pm

    that s unacceptable. Ex Yu provides us freaks with daily aviation updates from the region, he does it with a great sense of passion, since years and I guess the least he needs is such kinna attitude towards him.

    no way we tolerate this

  18. Anonymous18:10

    To the Anonymous of 4:43 pm:

    I for one appreciate this blog and the tremendous energy and time that the author of the blog is investing into informing the rest of us -- FOR FREE -- on the state of aviation in the ex-YU region. Respect to him.

    Shame on you for using expletives and for your rudeness. If you don't like the blog, then don't read it and don't post your drivel here.

  19. Anonymous19:10

    Would it make sense for EK or QR to buy Serbias second airline Aviogenex and thus to compete directly with Air Serbia out of Belgrade Airport?
    And what would be if Etihad would "sandwich" TK hub Istanbul Airport
    between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade?

  20. Anonymous19:17

    Does someone have information about wet lease 2 Fokker 100 from Trade Air?

    1. Yes. Airplanes are wet leased. Today one aircraft flew on behalf of Jat from Stockholm I think.

    2. Anonymous23:01

      Apparently Trade Air is not a particularly reputable carrier, they've had bad press and even an accident in the not-so-distant past. Also both of the Fokkers are over 20 yrs old, I reckon they were hastily leased on the cheapo. However they'll have to do until the fleet is rejuvenated.

  21. Anonymous19:38

    I like the idea of merger JP/OU. Could use 51%/49% Croatian/Slovenian money. JP could easily base some aircraft along the coast in summer time and LJU could be scaled back to O/D traffic. In a next step they could swallow YM, while Air Serbia will set up an arm in FYR Macedonia called Aeromak. I only don't know what could happen with BH Airline....

    1. Anonymous20:16

      Though I don't see your proposal become reality I still don't see how it is a logical step for JP/OU to take over YM. Montenegro as a country based on Serbian culture will always be more prone to having links with Serbia. It's more logical for JP-OU to be centred around Croatia and Slovenia, especially on the coast.

    2. Anonymous21:05

      YM will get devoured by JU considering their strongest market is Serbia. BH is a non-factor. Larger part of Bosnia will gravitate toward Air Serbia, while a smaller one will go to whatever's left of OU.

    3. Anonymous21:06

      It really makes me wonder how long OU's SJJ service will last.

  22. Anonymous21:34

    Any specific reason why there is a charter flight from Varna landing in Belgrade tonight? Could it be related to the even tomorrow morning?

  23. Anonymous21:37

    Informer is reporting that Mr. Kondic will take over Air Serbia starting on December 31st.

  24. Anonymous22:46

    Why so late?
    Why waiting?

  25. Anonymous14:31

    "Omer Kulić, who heads the Bosnia and Herzegovina Air Navigation Services Agency"...Omer Kulić is BHANSA Council Chairman and Counselor for Aviation to the Minister Hadžić (Ministry of Transporation and Com.) while "head" or Acting Director of BHANSA is Mr. Marin Raspudić, which is also Director or the Mostar Airport (he's also a FC Zrinjski chairman or something similar).


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