EX-YU airlines plan fleet renewal

EX-YU national carriers to develop younger fleets

The national carriers of the former Yugoslavia have all made plans to renew their fleets in the coming years as they look to operate younger, lighter, more fuel efficient and comfortable aircraft. Croatia Airlines currently has the youngest fleet in the former Yugoslavia with its twelve aircraft averaging only 9.6 years. While its Airbus jets are now approaching fifteen years of age, the carrier undertook a fleet modernisation program in 2008 by replacing its ATR42s with the larger Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft. The airline recently retired one of its Airbus A320s which has been scrapped in the Netherlands. Recently, Croatia Airlines’ CEO, Krešimir Kučko, revealed plans to expand the carrier’s fleet in 2015. The airline is looking at adding aircraft with the capacity to seat up to 100 passenger since they would be best suited to operate not only during the summer but also during the slow winter months. In addition, the airline says the aircraft would not be too small like the Bombardier Dash 8 or too large like the Airbus A319/A320 jets it currently features in its fleet. Croatia Airlines has four A319s on order, however, the carrier has delayed their arrival by several years and is looking at completely cancelling the controversial order. The current delivery date of the is now set for 2017 but is likely to be renegotiated.

Adria Airways has made changes to its fleet in 2013. It sold one of its CRJ200s as it looks to ease its reliance on the gas guzzling jet. Another two out of the four CRJ200s are set to be sold by the end of this year with the airline expected to replace them with the extended range version of the CRJ900. Adra’s fleet is currently ten years old with its single A320 entering its twenties. However, both the much younger A319s and the A320 will stay part of the Slovenian carrier’s fleet in the coming years according to its CEO Mark Anžur.

Montenegro Airlines now has some of the oldest Fokker 100s still operating in the world and will have to look for their replacement sooner rather than later. At 23.5 years of age only two other airlines operate older aircraft of the same type. However, the Montenegrin carrier also features some of the youngest planes in the former Yugoslavia. At only four year of age, its Embraer fleet will be bolstered by the arrival of a fourth member this year. The aircraft’s arrival has originally been slated for this April, in time for the 2014 summer season.

With only two aircraft, B&H Airlines’ fleet is now eighteen years old. During last year the Bosnian carrier planned to lease a jet engine aircraft, a Fokker 100, and resume operations to cities such as Amsterdam and Stockholm. However, a difficult financial situation brought to an end such plans. There are currently no means to renew the carrier’s fleet though the financial lease of its two ATRs will expire in 2016. The Bosnian government has revealed the lease agreement has been extremely damaging for the national carrier since it will still be unable to own the aircraft after the financial lease with the Hypo Alpe Adria Bank expires in two years time.

Air Serbia currently has the oldest fleet in the former Yugoslavia at a whopping average age of 22 years. The statistic is dragged down with the airline operating some of the oldest Boeing 737-300s in the world. However, this is expected to change during the year as the carrier phases out all of its B737s. A total of four will be kept for the coming summer season where they will cater exclusively for charters, after which they will end their long run. The airline will continue to add Airbus aircraft this year with the arrival of a further three A319s and another two A320s by April which is further set to bring down its fleet’s average age. It is also believed the carrier will lease additional ATR72s. Air Serbia currently has ten Airbus A320neos on order which will be delivered new to the airline from 2018. The jets will be the first brand new aircraft the carrier has seen since the delivery of an ATR72, registered YU-ALP, on January 29, 1991.


  1. Ex-YU, didn't Air Serbia order A320neos in Dubai? Or did they convert their order?

    Does anyone know if the reincarnated YU-AND will stay for the summer season or was it introduced only until the A319s arrive?

    Also, can Croatia Airlines cancel their Airbus order or will it turn into the same ordeal as the JAT order from back in 1998? Did they pay a deposit for them?

  2. Anonymous10:25

    It would be nice to see these JU A319 flying instead of being parked in the hangar.With the 4 newer A319 there have been many maintenance issues during the past 2-3 months; that tells that these parked birds were not properly maintained by previous owners and now JU is paying the price. B733 were maintained properly and although old are more dependable. JAT Tehnika did a good job with what they had on hands...

    1. Anonymous10:35

      Could it be also that there are mechanical issues because it's a new model in their fleet? It's not uncommon for new models to be a problem for a carrier.
      Also, could it be that the A319s were underutilized because JU pilots were on training?

    2. If beg.aero was correct, 4 A319s were in service this week (5th only arrived two days ago).

      And isn't the leaser responsible for delivering them in 100% proper condition?

    3. Anonymous11:03

      Well, from my experience, the leaser has a wide variety of aircraft, some are in a better shape than the others. Naturally, since JU was rushing to get some A319s then there is a possibility they got some which were not in a perfect shape and which need some minor fixing at Jat Tehnika, naturally, nothing too serious.

      It would be cool to see a picture of Belgrade airport when the fifth A319 enters service and when they are all parked next to each other. :)

    4. Anonymous11:06

      I am also surprised that so many A319 flights are delayed due to technical problems. I thought the fact that they were newer meant that they would have less problems. It must be due to it being a new type in the JU fleet.

    5. Anonymous11:24

      Also, overall on time performance dropped from 85% to 81%. However, I am sure that was because of the pump issue. Only 8% of JU's flights are heavily delayed so it's not that bad.

    6. Anonymous11:49

      I do not agree with you; 8% is not acceptable and should not be more than 1-3% max. Also the % for delays that are not so severe should be lower. It is notorious that JU Support starts boarding 5-10 min prior to departure thus casuing a 10-15 min delay at the start. That can be fixed ... either the gate is closed 15 min prior to departure as most airlines do or you fix the timetable to schedule for a longer stopover. Usual JU 45-50 min stopover does not fit well with the Serbian mentality (read as lack of willingness to work hard).... Overall it could and should be much better!

    7. Anonymous12:48

      8% is not a big deal, that's a severely delayed flight (one to two hours) every second day.

    8. Anonymous12:57

      Anonymous @ 11:49am:

      Even though I don't think that 8% is unacceptable, you do have a point about ground staff starting boarding 10-15 mins before departure. I think this needs to change.

    9. JATBEGMEL13:38

      8% is a terrible number.

      Boarding can only start once the aircraft is ready to board. There are many things to be done before any pax can board, from cleaning to catering, inspecting the aircraft, security search by crew for suspicious items etc. But issues in organisation are the biggest factor to on time departures. Loading baggage and cargo is slow and manually done as an example. Cleaning is fast and efficient. Catering department needs more and better facilities to meet demand and to deliver catering on time.

      Things can be done, but there are issues in controlling the staff to be efficient is the problem. Counting baggage is for example a hasstle because most times it isnt done correctly and needs to be done several times to ensure the right numbers and bags are loaded to the flight. For this, there needs to be a suporvisor to ensure the team is doing to job properly, if not, the employee needs to be terminated and replaced. Simple.

  3. Weren't there talks in the past that JP is going to seli its 2 A319 to JU. Is that just a history now?

    1. Anonymous11:05

      Yes, that was a deal initiated by the previous management but it was dropped once Etihad stepped in as the deal JP offered was not good at all, they were way too expensive and JU would barely make any money off of them.

    2. Anonymous11:08

      I think that was planned for last summer. If i remember, JU canceled it and JP gave the money back and there was no problems :)

    3. Anonymous11:16

      An another problem was that the lessor wanted guarantees from the government, which they refused (because the Etihad deal was on).

    4. JATBEGMEL13:40

      JP wasnt going to sell its A319's but to lease them to JAT. The problem was with the deal made which was a scandal. Over priced and far too many crew taken for the 2 aircraft, which was purposly done to damage the airline, as the CEO was to be replaced.

  4. It's airbus 320neo not 319

  5. Anonymous11:55

    Air Serbia is already an awesome airline, but they're going to be top tier among smaller European carriers when they get thhose Neos and if they build the new terminal (or the entire airport?). Also, it has been rumored that Air Serbia will get 8 new ATRs out of the 16 allegedly ordered by Etihad, out of which 8 are for Darwin.

  6. Anonymous11:59

    JU doesn't need A320 ... it doesn't have the passenger count to support that on most routes. Instead it should be 4-5 A320 and two other smaller capacity planes (max capacity up to 60 and max capacity up to 100). Airbus 320 for the entire fleet is the product of Serbian megalomania to be the biggest ...

    1. Anonymous12:45

      Can you please share some facts to back your theory of Serbian megalomania?
      I would like to remind you that the highly dysfunctional Jat Airways managed to fill double daily flights with B737-300 to both Paris and Moscow without offering any real connecting possibilities in Belgrade. So, on top of this 'heavy flow' of passengers from these two cities, now thanks to Air Serbia we have a real hub with real connecting possibilities. In other words, operating double daily flights with B733/A319 is simply not enough.
      Moscow will see 7/14 frequencies upgauged, from A319 to A320, as they are sharing passengers with Aeroflot which more or less regularly sends two A321 to Belgrade every day. To Paris they have a monopoly so they can easily fill their A320s. Naturally, I do not take seriously Wizz Air and their Beauvais flights. They did not take many passengers away from JU as they created their own market- who really wants to land at an airport 120 km from Paris.

      I look forward to reading your reply backed with some data. :)

    2. Anonymous12:50

      Yes, Hogan is such a typical Serbian megalomaniac. Oh, wait, you're just bitter. :( Just because OU's strategy sucks and can't support A32X doesn't mean JU can't as well. And since Etihad bought them 10 brand new A320 Neos, it probably means they think the same.

    3. Here is Serbian megalomania in numbers, randomly chosen years and months:

      Belgrade-Paris passengers per day during the summer 2010/2011:

      06.2010 - 175
      06.2011 - 203

      07.2010 - 273
      07.2011 - 290

      08.2010 - 285
      09.2011 - 304

      Since August is one of the busiest months here are Jat Airways' numbers for both 2010 and 2011:

      August 2010: 8.837
      August 2011: 9.414

      I leave it up to your imagination to figure out how much the numbers will grow during the summer months of 2014. However, please take into account that Air Serbia will be offering a total of 24 destinations from Paris via its hub in Belgrade. ;)

    4. JATBEGMEL13:47

      The A320's are to replace the A319's in 5 years from now, so it is relying on the projected growth of Air Serbia, which has shown some outstanding growth. If everything goes well there will be justification for the A320 fleet. However, a smaller jet will need to be acquired for the thinner routes as it is a big jump in numbers from the ATR7 to A320. Other than that, it is an order by EY team, so things could be reworked to better suit EY, JU and its partner airlines. Maybe less A320's but additional A319's. That is the idea beind the EY alliance and the reason why Air Serbia went all Airbus, to ensure flexibility.

    5. Anonymous14:42

      A319 Neo has terrible CASM and after Qatar's cancellation, the entire project is probably dead. It's going to A320 Neo and A321 Neo only.

    6. Anonymous21:04

      Would you visit a doctor to treat your srbofoby, please?

  7. Anonymous12:49

    They will start arriving from 2018, and by then JU's all a320neo fleet will be ok for the carrier with planned number of transit pax at the time ;-)

  8. Anonymous13:10

    Does anyone think that we could see the following airlines in BEG in the near future (by 2018):

    SAS, KLM, Finnair, Ryanair, British Airways, Air France, Brussels Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines, Emirates?

    1. Anonymous13:15

      Emirates probably, when Flydubai hits capacity peak. Ryanair potentially yes, especially after their Montenegro expansion.

    2. Anonymous13:18

      I think a better question is if Air Serbia will be gravitating towards an alliance. Etihad is quite cosy with Sky Team and Air Serbia has very good cooperation with KLM, Air France and Aeroflot.

    3. Anonymous13:21

      The government should start considering the conversion of Batajnica into a commercial airport, mostly for lowcost and cost sensitive carriers. That should help Belgrade airport handle the increase of passenger numbers in the future until they are ready to invest in a new terminal.

    4. Anonymous13:57


      Croatian Airlines is getting 4 A319 Neos, they're already paid for, first 140 million paid in full between 2010 and 2013 and remaining to be paid by 2017, reason why OU is in financial difficulties now, for they ordered brand new aircraft outright, not on lease to own deal which is a normal way of doing things. But Ivo Sanader wanted to secure French support for Croatia's EU entry so it was a highly political decision and not commercially thought out.

      Current A319s in OU fleet are all brand new aircraft delivered in 2000-2003, only A320s have been leased and they'll be replaced by 4 new A319s in 2017, purchase of new A319s is a done deal and there won't be any further delays as compromise was 2017, or 4 year delay in delivery.

      OU plans to add additional 4-6 smaller jetliners, most likely CS100 by 2017, on lease to own deal, to maintain two manufactures in the fleet, Dash 8 are also Bombardier aircraft. A deal is valued at $380 million over 10 years, if aircraft are purchased delivery dates are expected around 2017/18 time frame and Croatian would be among the first to use CS100 series.

      Dash 8 will remain in the fleet and used only on regional and domestic service, with 8 A319s and potentially 4-6 CS100s doing European destinations. Older A319s will remain in the fleet till 2020 at least as they were purchased brand new from the manufacturer in 2000/3.

    5. Oh, come on. Current terminal is nowhere near capacity in BEG, why would anyone want to go to Batajnica, where there's no terminal, no gates, no customs, no luggage delivery etc, etc...

    6. Anonymous14:31

      Have you been to Belgrade during peak hours? It's getting quite horrible. Also the airport's capacity is 7.5 million passengers and in 2014 it will handle 4 million. They are past 50% of the total capacity. I think when they reach 65% they should think about what to do in the future.

      Naturally the easiest way to overcome this is to , for example, add another gate (A12 or C7 and C8).

    7. Nikola17:46

      well, they will make bus gates beneath A4/A5. but in my opinion, T3 should be considered exclusively for LCCs on location of present B platform or Tehnika's hangars (and them to move further towards the fire department)

    8. Anonymous17:55

      OR they can try to revive Nis airport and place some ATRs there and use them for diaspora routes.

      It would be a hypocrisy to let Belgrade have two airports while other cities in Serbia have nothing.

    9. Anonymous22:51

      There is no market is Nis, simple as that. If Belgrade ever gets a second airport that's because the market demands it. There is nothing hypocritical about it.
      However, if you people from the south feel that you are neglected then your city authorities are more than welcome to start their own airline.

  9. 9A-CRO14:20

    I see that a lot of people here have no clue whatsoever on maintenance, or operational better to say, cost of operating A320 aircraft...

  10. Anonymous15:58

    amendments, didn't see where I was posting, should be separate reply.

    Croatian Airlines is getting 4 A319 Neos, they're already paid for, first 140 million paid in full between 2010 and 2013 and remaining to be paid by 2017, reason why OU is in financial difficulties now, for they ordered brand new aircraft outright, not on lease to own deal which is a normal way of doing things. But Ivo Sanader wanted to secure French support for Croatia's EU entry so it was a highly political decision and not commercially thought out.

    Current A319s in OU fleet where purchased as brand new aircraft delivered in 1998-2001, and additional purchase of 4 A319s is a done deal and there won't be any further delays as compromise was 2017, or 4 year delay in delivery, allowing OU to sort its finances and come up with rest of the funds for 4 brand new A319s.

    OU plans to add additional 4-6 smaller jetliners, most likely CS100 by 2017, on lease to own deal, to maintain two manufactures in the fleet, Dash 8 are also Bombardier aircraft. A deal is valued at $380 million over 10 years, if aircraft are purchased delivery dates are expected around 2017/18 time frame and Croatian would be among the first to use CS100 series.

    Dash 8 will remain in the fleet and used only on regional and domestic service, with 8 A319s and potentially 4-6 CS100s doing European destinations. Older A319s will remain in the fleet till 2020 at least as they were purchased brand new from the manufacturer in 2000/3.

    It is quite likely A320s will remain in the fleet for some time, at least until 2020, used for charters in summer months.

    OU wants to be the largest airline in the the region by plane numbers not only passengers and revenue.

    1. Anonymous16:05

      Why are you repeating these laughable posts? Do you think it will make them more true? LOL
      OU is a near bankrupt airline that nobody wants to buy and which can't get subsidies anymore. It will continue downscaling into a smaller airline or get wiped out entirely.

    2. Anonymous16:36

      Much easier to say that when Arabs pay for your planes? Try to buy them yourselves!

    3. Anonymous16:41

      Serbia pays 51% of everything so technically the Arabs are giving less money than we are. ;)

      Also, what's the problem if the Arabs are paying for it? It's Serbia and its citizens that are benefiting from it. Soon the Indonesians will be paying for you too.. oh wait.... lol

    4. Anonymous16:54

      OU bought their Airbus planes 15 (fifth-teen) years ago with their own money. It is quite different when you bought something in 1998., just 3 years after war and with your own money. I know you want OU to bankrupt,

    5. Anonymous17:11

      I really don't care about financial situation or business performance OU as I have zero interest in flying with it (due to its destination list and so on). You're trying to turn this conversation into Serbia vs. Croatia (yet again) by implying that Serbia is using "Arab money" (as if goverment of Serbia doesn't own 51% of JU) and that Serbs are somehow incapable of running an airline, while glorious Croatia made OU from scratch (and placed it on trajectory to Chapter 11). Newsflash: Serbs made Aeroput from scratch and Serbs later ressurected it into JAT Airways, a much larger airline than OU will ever be. Serbia also has an airforce which is over 100 years ago and today Serbs are running pesky Air Serbia. So, your hatred-fueled comparisons are rather laughable as both Aeroput and JAT Airways were formed in times much, much worse than 1998.

    6. Anonymous17:12

      Danke Deutschland. We all know how Croatia Airlines came to life. ;)

    7. Anonymous17:30

      Plus. Air Serbia's CEO is a Serb despite Etihad running the show. I just wonder why the French did not place a Croat to run Zagreb airport... in my opinion it shows disrespect towards Croatia.

    8. Anonymous17:54

      Disrespect? Show to people of Serbia the contract that Kim Jong Vucic signed with Etihad and then we'll talk about (dis)respect

    9. Anonymous17:56

      No thats not the reason , the real reason is to have something like the Ceo of Croatia Airlines you can better have your own people in charge.

    10. Anonymous17:59

      Who cares what they signed. The most important thing is that they got the airline back on its feet. Beggars can't be choosers. Both Serbia and Croatia are beggars but it seems to me that it's only us, the Serbs, who are being realistic.

    11. Anonymous19:36

      Haha, you gotta be kidding me?

    12. Anonymous20:28

      @AnonymousJanuary 19, 2014 at 5:59 PM

      Serbs are very realistic with Air Serbia and Belgrade transcontinental hub.

      Not many Croats or other ex-YU nationalities post here mainly cause most Serbs here post so much shit they rather stay away from your crap.

    13. Anonymous21:25

      Maybe you don't post here because there is 'Nothing new in the West'. So, be quite and enjoy in Air Serbia growth!

    14. Anonymous22:53

      I love ice cream.

  11. 9A-CRO16:36

    Well the part with the smaller jets are true. EU regulations of -10% fleet removal is ending in 2015. The only difference is that, from what I've heard, it's that Lufthansa will probably "give" Embreaers 195 (I think it's 195 ?!?!) from Augsburg. Also, we need to see results for start of the year and next offer, there are informations that Chinese are looking into Croatia's traffic in whole (sea, air, land).

    We will see.

    Pozdrav svim ljudima dobre volje!

    1. Anonymous19:15

      I hope not Emb 195, that would mean 3 manufacture types, too expensive for OU, best is to go with CS100 from 2017/8 and see how that pans out.

      Croatian currently owns 6A319/320 and 6 Dash 8, they're ordering 4 brand new A319 from Airbus that will join the fleet in 2017/8 and I think order for 4 CS100 would be a best thing for OU, no need to rush things, let OU first pay back what it owes for new aircraft and than see how things go from there,

      6 319s and 320s are well maintained, now few are 15 years old.

      Zadar and Zagreb joined the fleet in late 1998, Vukovar in 1999 and Pula in 2000. Dubrovnik and Split joined the fleet in late 1999 and 2000.

      All brand new, and they're well maintained, only problem is that A320s are bit too large for Croatian needs, they should have ordered 6 A319s.

      Right now it would be stupid to sell off A320 even though they're only 14 years old, they can be used on summer charters and fly from Split and Dubrovnik to UK, Scandinavia and Benelux.

      In longer term CS100 would be best aircraft for Croatia Airlines, mix CS100 and A319 Neo,

      Fleet post 2020 I think should consist of two aicraft types only.

      4 A319 Neo
      12 CS100

      Sell of 6 older A319/320s and 6 Dash 8 or lease them out and use proceeds towards the purchase of CS100.

    2. Anonymous23:04

      Air Serbia revealed it's new fleet expansion plans.
      They already payed 300 million euros for 10 new A380. They will be used for flights to New York, Los Angles, Chicago, Sao Paulo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo, Singapore and Dubai.

      Also they will buy 15 new A340 for flights to Atlanta, Washington, Toronto, San Francisco, Vancouver, Seattle, Denver, Miami, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Addis Abeba, Abu Dhabi, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Doha, Shanghai.

      Also A330 orders will be used for Moscow, Paris, London, Rome, Madrid, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Amsterdam, Saint Petersburg, Istanbul, Zurich and so.

      This are the new orders besides the 10 A320neo-s.

      Total cost will be 12 billion euros.
      They payed for now 2.5 billion euros.
      All planes should be in the fleet until 2020.


      You see how it is nice to dream.

    3. Anonymous00:03

      O boy, i cannot wait for those new A340`s to arrive.. lol :D

    4. Anonymous00:51

      I heard they are getting A340-300, I wonder why they did not go for the -600 series.

    5. Anonymous10:51

      odd, I heard they are getting 22 B747-8I and 26 A380 solely for european network, and 20 interstellar space ships for flights to Moon and Mars

    6. Anonymous18:57

      So I could fly in 2020 from Belgrade to Milan in a A380.


  12. Anonymous04:28

    Intresting trip report!!!

    1. Great review. It is nice to show that international passengers are happy with the product.


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