Belle Air Europe suspends all flights

Pristina’s busiest airline goes bust

Belle Air Europe has suspended operations, a day after the airline issued a press release it was operating normally and planning future destinations. The Pristina based airline canceled most of its flights yesterday before officially announcing on Tuesday evening it was suspending all services. “Due to the general difficult economic situation, Belle Air Europe must temporarily suspend its flights”, the airline said. It comes only two days after its parent company, Belle Air from Tirana, halted all flights and grounded its fleet. Established in 2010, Belle Air Europe operated flights out of Pristina to Basel, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Malmo, Milan, Stuttgart, Venice and Verona and was planning to launch flights to Dortmund as well. In addition, it operated services out of Skopje too.

The downfall of Belle Air Europe will have an impact on Pristina Airport’s passenger numbers since it was the busiest carrier operating at the airport so far in 2013, ahead of Germanwings, Darwin Airline, Adria Airways and Turkish Airlines which came in at fifth place. It remains to be seen whether other airlines such as Slovenia’s Adria, which has its own base in Pristina, will boost its flight offering and take over Belle Air Europe’s position. Belle Air Europe had two aircraft, an Airbus A319 and an A320. Yesterday, the airline’s A319 operated its last service from Pristina to Basel, after which the aircraft was ferried to Ostrava in the Czech Republic and returned to its leaser.

In a message on its website, Albania’s Belle Air said, "We are obliged to temporarily suspend operations due to the general economic situation, the decline in the purchasing power, recession in the markets we operate to and due to the blockade of our bank accounts for over 18 days". Albania’s Economy Minister, Arben Ahmetaj, said the airline owes tax authorities 4.8 million euros. Hundreds of passengers have now been stranded in both Tirana and Pristina. Belle Air accounts for over 50% of all flights to and from the Albanian capital.


  1. Purger09:18

    Most of routes that Bellair had were serviced by one or more other airlines.

    Hannover - Germanwings
    Dusseldorf - Germanwings
    Brussels - Jetairfly
    Stuttgart - Germanwings
    Munich – Adria, Germanwings
    Mulhause – EasyJet, Germanwings
    Zurich – Belair (not Bellair, but Air Berlin subsidary), Edelweiss, Helvetic
    Geneve – EasyJet, Edelweiss
    Verona – Adria (charter)

    + Adria to Frankfurt and Ljubljana, Austrian to Vienna, Edelweiss to Geneva, Germania to London, Germanwings to Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Pegasus and Turkish to Istanbul, SAS to Copenhagen, Croatia to Zagreb

    So those airlines will increase capacity and load factor and that will do the trick.

    Adria can increase frequencies to Munich, again make route to Verona regular instead of charter one, and open Milano route instead of Bellair. I doubt about Venice route. Nothing spectacular.

    1. Anonymous18:25

      Admin you wrote yesterday that Belle Air Europe is working normally in the comments and today you write they went bankrupt... You're such an idiot.

    2. Anonymous18:26

      That's because yesterday the airline was operating normally.

    3. The airline issued a press release on Monday evening it was operating normally and will introduce new routes later on in the winter. On Tuesday night it issued a press release it was suspending operations. No need to throw insults before checking the facts.

    4. In addition, perhaps you should read today's article, in particular the first sentence. "Belle Air Europe has suspended operations, a day after the airline issued a press release it was operating normally and planning future destinations".

    5. Purger18:54

      Where is that press release?! You are just making stuff up cause you're a shitty journalist.

    6. Purger19:11

      That is not my comment. Someone again use my nick.

    7. Anonymous19:14

      Purger, calm down, I like reading your comments, but calling someone a "shitty journalist" is really not polite. I hope you just had a bad day. Btw., OT, have you seen article on about the fact that no one wants Croatia Airlines? I suppose we'll have to shut it down... Greetings from Croatia

    8. Anonymous19:15

      Sorry, just saw your 7:11 post, someone is playing an idiot using your nick

    9. Press releases are issued via e-mail hence they are PRESS releases. Monday night’s release was carried by Kosovan media including the Kosovo Privatisation Agency Last night’s was posted on the airline’s website itself.

    10. Purger, register your nick, so this stuff can't happen anymore. Thats the only reason I log into my Google account.

    11. JU520 BEGLAX23:17

      i think we very well see which comments are written bei orign Purger and which not. The others just ignore

  2. Anonymous09:31

    Wizz Air are already offering 40 EUR rescue fares on their SKP routes.

    1. wehe you find this news ??? Can you give me link? Tnx

    2. Anonymous16:08


  3. Anonymous09:35

    OT: Purger, today is the last day for showing interest in purchasing OU share, when can we expect results, if there are any?

    1. Purger11:48

      God knows... management doesn’t want to share that information.

    2. No self respecting company would share that info or make it public unlit the appropriate time to demonstrate both discipline and respect to all involved. In saying that I'm not too optimistic that we will see any major interest for a number of reasons.

      1. Croatian governments have done their best these past 20 years to make it very difficult for foreigners to invest in Croatia. So now especially in this financial environment you have to ask why would anyone seriously waste their time on trying.
      Many laws have to change to accommodate foreign capital flow into Croatia and from their into the region because Croatia desperately needs it and could position it self for this but doing this makes corrupt practices more difficult to conduct and is why it is so hard to change from this.

      2. OU being very heavily involved with Star and more so LH. This means that unless someone is prepared to spend a lot of money changing this than any realistic buyer would be a Star member. This is probably why Jat looked like such a better option for Etihad than OU if the Jat takeover was not already pre attached to other Serbia economic investments.
      I know Purger would prefer Singapore Airlines but why would Singapore buy OU when they would just feed LH. Fellow member but still a competitor.

      3. When financial times are bad the first things people sell are boats and aeroplanes. So again, very difficult to find a buyer unless it comes from Asia or the Middle East but I doubt there is any real room left for more major Middles East airline involvement or any other airline. So OU will be a hard sell and if they can pull it off than huge kudos to them but I have my doubts.

  4. Anonymous10:51

    Adria being a nearly dead and alive decaying matter herself (EU commission not realizing that but potential investors yes)
    is a scavenger that feeds on dead or decaying matter.

  5. Anonymous11:03

    This is not surprising at all. The ex-Yugoslav market is generally low-yielding but the one of Albania and Kosovo is even more so. On top of the market being low-yielding Belle Air had to compete with many other bigger carriers. It's always a shame when an airline goes bust but there isn't much we can do at this point. I guess there are always some others who will profit from the misery of others or in this case Wizz Air and Adria.

  6. Purger11:44

    Austrian already reacts on VIE-PRN flights:

    Friday flights from A320 to A321
    Tuesday flights from F100 to A319
    New extra flight on Saturday with A319

    1. Anonymous12:14

      from wehe is you information???? Pls if you can give me a link..... tnx

  7. Purger12:25

    Professional reservation system for tourist offices.

  8. 27/11/2013
    Wizz Air announces rescue fares for Belle Air Europe passengers

    Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, today announced €39.99 (MKD 2490) rescue fares for passengers affected by the sudden closure of Belle Air Europe, based at Pristina Airport (Kosovo). These rescue fares are available for passengers with valid bookings on the defunct carrier and are valid on Wizz Air’s Skopje routes (just 2 hours from Pristina Airport) to Basel Mulhouse, Dortmund, Milan Bergamo, Venice Treviso and Malmo. To qualify for the €39.99 rescue fares passengers must be in possession of a cancelled Belle Air Europe flight reservation, book via the Wizz Air call centre or online at (available soon) and bring their original reservation when they travel. Wizz Air launched this rescue fare of €39.99 to minimize disruption to Belle Air Europe passengers. Travel on these rescue fares must be concluded until 15 December and is subject to seat availability.

  9. Anonymous18:18

    This is almost gift for Adria. If they will not grab it then I don't know... They should ASAP base one more aircraft there and establish some decent network. With two CRJ 900 they can make good business there. Maybe there is even place for third one.

    1. Anonymous20:11

      today 5 flight from LJU to PRN, I think this is Bell Air reason...

  10. Anonymous19:14

    Can someone please explain the logic behind Air Serbia's Amsterdam flight? It arrives at 00.10 and there are absolutely no connections possible. Is it due to slots at AMS?

    1. Anonymous22:11

      That should be more or less fixed when the morning flights are added.

    2. Anonymous23:03

      Which morning flights do you mean?

    3. Anonymous09:57

      They will move their Amsterdam departure to 10.25 which, in my opinion, is still not good enough for connections. I wonder why Amsterdam is the odd one out. Maybe they are forced to keep similar flights because of the code-share agreement with KLM?

    4. Anonymous16:57

      What do you think would make most sense?
      Maybe they also should go double daily...

    5. Anonymous21:41

      I think they should and I think they eventually will. The arrival after midnight makes no sense as they can not get any connection flights in Belgrade. I guess they know more than we do, time will tell.

  11. Anonymous22:28

    How much percent did Belle Air Europe contribute to overall passenger traffic at Pristina airport?
    Any numbers?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. For the first 9 months of 2013, Belle Air Europe carried 18.42% of passengers at PRN. However, Belle Air Europe also used Darwin Airline for legal reasons to fly between Switzerland and Kosovo. Darwin Airline operated by Belle Air Europe carried a further 8.80% of passengers. So, all in all, Belle Air Europe carried over a quarter (27.22% of air passengers of PRN for the first 9 months of 2013) of all pax traffic at PRN. A huge impact for PRN, however a more serious airline might find over 350,000 passengers for 3/4 of a year inviting enough to setup a base or increase their offer at PRN. The Kosovar market is totally liberalised and any airline, bar Air Serbia I guess for obvious reasons, can setup a base at PRN.

  12. JU520 BEGLAX23:14

    considering the destinations listed ex PRN prob around 10-15%
    but it s good that they disappear. So market can recover and others will benefit from it. No need to have insane overcapacity on the market

  13. Anonymous23:51

    What insane capacity? And why would the market need to recover anyway? It wasn't in a slump to start with. And even if PRN was in a slump, it wouldn't recover by eliminating its biggest carrier.
    The insane capacity is in markets where the govt pays airlines to fly there or where flights exist for connecting purposes. PRN is holding its own quite nicely on just O&D traffic.

    I love it how people like you gloat at this failure simply because it was an Albanian airline, regardless of the stupid reason you gave.

    1. Anonymous00:10

      What's the reason they went bankrupt anyway? PRN has rather large O&D numbers (for Balkans, anyway). How come they couldn't break even at least?

    2. Anonymous10:01

      I don't think anyone cares that it was an Albanian airline, people keep on saying the same thing for Croatia Airlines, Adria, Montenegro Airlines and they even said similar things back in the day when Jat Airways was still around. Don't victimize yourself and your nationality because few people give a toss to be frank.

    3. JU520 BEGLAX20:55

      i have nothing against Albania but I worry about civil aviation nowadays especially in markets like Europe. way too many airlines, look at their financial situation. in the US the 6 big airlines were merging to 3 airlines. what happened Delta made profit again. Still they have debts of more than 10 bln usd. 10 A320neo for Air Serbia were ordered for more than 1 bln USD. what do u think u can fly for 100 eur return to Paris in brandnew aircrafts and the airline still make fat profits. and don t come up with LCC. so much subventions they get, no miracle they can fly for less.

  14. Anonymous01:30

    Darwin Airlines has canceled all flights to/from Pristina PRN for whole season also, operated by Belle Air Europe!! I feel so sorry for PRN.

    Hopefully Wizz Air opens service to/from Pristina operate during holidays season instead to/from Skopje, and add all those destinations where Belle Air Europe used to fly to/from Pristina PRN.

    1. Anonymous09:06

      Or you can also buy your tickets with Wizz Air to Skopje, it's just across the border.

    2. Anonymous10:04

      Well, Darwin belongs to Etihad now and we can assume that the route was not making good enough money for them to keep it.

    3. Anonymous19:55

      No thanks. We will wait for Wizzair to start operations from PRN.

    4. Anonymous20:49

      well wait then, idiot

  15. BAD MOOD03:38

    I do not feel for the blink of an eye sorry for Prishtina and that stupid fake airline Belle Air...
    And it has nothing to do that they are Albanians.
    Look all the other stupid airlines that are as bad and useless but will get saved by taxpayers money.OU,JP
    and YM,even Air Serbia...They are all useless!
    Have you seen how JU does perform?
    Its really a miracle to arrive with them on time.
    Airports should promise to pay every passenger that arrives with them on time one million dollar as it will so far never happen!
    Now a delay of at least an hour is the norm.
    Thats because their planes are technically not in the condition to work adequate in winter conditions...
    Even their so called"new Airbus"!
    Hmmm,how could they forget to fix this?

    Better never use a local airline from that region.

    1. Anonymous10:10

      I guess you were trying to be funny with the whole delay issue... Oh well, at least you tried. Here's a *hug*

      Luckily for you, you can fly on Star Alliance carriers all you want as their presence is rather big in the region. I guess you are just another искомплексирани комплексаш for whom anything that's not from the Balkans is immediately better. Quite pathetic.

  16. Anonymous12:27

    Seems as though Italian Blue Panorama Airlines's low-cost division is going to risk and assist Tirana Airport with about 7 routes to Italy but during the winter season.


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