EX-YU responds to Malaysia Airlines disaster

EX-YU airlines take action following loss of flight MH17

EX-YU carriers have responded to last Thursday’s tragic loss of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 which crashed en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur near the Ukraine-Russia boarder, believed to have been shot down with a Buk surface to air missile, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board. The national carriers of Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro say they are now avoiding Ukrainian airspace until further notice. On the other hand, Croatian and Serbian air traffic control is prepared to handle additional aircraft as most international airlines bypass Ukraine, which has lead to busy flight paths in the region, particularly in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.

Adria Airways says none of its flights have been forced to reroute since they do not fly near the Donetsk region where the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crashed. The Slovenian carrier said it issued an advisory to its pilots back in April to avoid the airspace under Simferopol flight control in case its jets have to fly over Ukraine. Meanwhile, Air Serbia issued a statement saying, “In light of current events and the Malaysia Airlines disaster on Ukrainian territory, we inform that we no longer fly through Ukrainian airspace. Air Serbia flights will continue to operate according to schedule”. The carrier's last flight over Ukraine was operated on Friday afternoon, away from the conflict zone, after which all services were rerouted. Earlier this year the Serbian carrier cancelled plans to launch flights to the Ukrainian capital Kiev due to security concerns. At the time, the airline’s CEO, Dane Kondić, said, “The safety of our guests and crew is paramount to the airline”. Montenegro Airlines operated its last flight through Ukraine’s airspace on Friday, however, nowhere near the country’s boarder with Russia where fighting between the military and separatists has been intensifying over the past few weeks. The carrier has since said its Russia bound flights will now avoid Ukraine in accordance with Eurocotrnol guidelines, which regulates European airspace. All flight plans that are filed using flight paths above eastern Ukraine are now being rejected by Eurocotnrol. The routes will remain closed until further notice.

Most airlines avoiding Ukraine's airspace

Croatian Air Traffic Control has said it is prepared to take on extra traffic as airlines avoid Ukraine’s airspace altogether. It noted it is already dealing with busy skies as the height of the summer season approaches. On the day of the Malaysia Airlines crash, Croatia Air Traffic Control handled 2.074 aircraft. Its 24-hour record stands at 2.520 jets. Similarly, the Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency (SMATSA) is prepared to cope with extra traffic. SMATSA CEO, Radojica Rovčanin, said, “SMATSA won’t have any trouble handling and guiding an increased number of aircraft as we have sufficient capacity to do so. Currently, an average of 2.230 aircraft fly over Serbia and Montenegro, while this figure sometimes reaches up to 2.600”.


  1. BA88809:36

    Can someone remind me what was going on above Ex-YU skies durring hoorible 90s?

    I mean...I remember Serbia being cut off due to sanctions but unsure about the rest of the regione esp. B&H.

    Wasnt the ban on flying above us done much, much sooner than in Ukraine?

    1. Anonymous10:19

      During the 90s airspace was closed off in Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo (at different times of course)

  2. Anonymous10:19

    Interesting to see that Adria was the only one to warn its pilots about the problems months ago.

  3. Anonymous10:20

    Remember the amount of hate here when it was announced Air Serbia was cancelling its Kiev flights because of safety concerns. Airlines like Emirates have also done the same.

    1. Anonymous12:29

      That is pure lies and hypocrisy that Kiev was cancelled due to security concerns. I really don't see how street battles could affect aircraft security, if not for the landscape. This is just a good opportunity for Mr. Kondich to save his face and it's quite a shame that Ex-Yu uses this situation to *ick his ass litterally.

      There isn't a reason either for JU not to fly over Ukraine, that is a very stupid precaution, since the area affected by the fighting represents less than 10% of the territory over which JU isn't flying anyway.

      As you can guess, besides Emirates (who also did it for commercial reasons) no other airline stopped their services into Ukraine:


      So one might wonder, how they're flying there, via the Moon?

    2. Anonymous12:58

      How do you accuse someone of licking ass if they just quoted what he said a few months ago. Did they also lick ass to Adria which was given a license to fly to Kiev this year but they cancelled the flights after issues in the country? You might want to keep down the hate and show some compassion. And your language is appalling.

    3. Anonymous13:24

      There are no 'issues' in the country besides appalling ticket sales that Air Serbia exprienced therefore there wasn't even a reson to include that interwiew and those comments in this article, since it has nothing to do with the crash and only reminds us of Air Serbia's hypocrisy.

    4. Anonymous13:27

      I don't mind Air Serbia'a hipocrisy as long as it comes with a 70% month rise in passenger numbers, new fleet and destinations... but then again, that's just me.

    5. Anonymous13:32

      To heighten the hypocrisy, as a commercial stunt, they're "not flying over Ukraine" adding time to the journey and burning additional fuel, while the airspace is perfectly safe.

      I know that most of ex-yugos are totally oblivious of Eastern European geography, but f.y.i Air Serbia never flew above those regions, maybe only over Crimea on its flights to Sochi.

    6. Anonymous13:35

      So then Adria Airways and Montenegro Airlines are also hyprcritical since they no longer fly over Ukraine? You seem to only have read parts of the article related to Air Serbia.

    7. Anonymous13:42

      Well, Croatia Airlines isn't flying over Ukraine, that's for sure :D

    8. Anonymous13:46

      No, but they did not announce hypocritical and false concerns at time there were none in order to justify disastrous sales which obviously isn't their fault.

    9. Anonymous13:47

      Adria isn't flying over Ukraine en-route to Moscow anyway.

    10. Anonymous13:48

      Any idea on July's numbers for Air Serbia btw?

    11. Anonymous15:10

      Yeah but Adria doesn't care since they send their CRJ-200 there so it's almost unnoticeable.

    12. JATBEGMEL16:08

      @ Anonymous July 21, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      Perfectly safe? Read the article above which explains how a B772 with 298 pax was shot down over Ukrainian territory. And to you this is a normal occurance that a pax a/c randomly is selected to be shot down? Its disgraceful that you show a lack of remorce for those deaths to come with a statement announcing something as radical as the Ukrainian airspace is safe. And in fact, military aircraft have been for weeks following the shadows of commercial aircraft to avoid detection on radar screens. This is disgusting and outrageous!

      EK pulled out of KBP to security concerns, as well with LHE, DAM and TIP and cancelled the launch of KAN making ABV direct daily.

      As for JU to KBP, that was a stupid route to announce and would of been stupid if they actually went ahead with it. Same with JP.

    13. Anonymous17:43

      As far as i know Emirates reduced frequencies but did not terminate its Kiev route...

    14. Anonymous17:54

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    15. Anonymous19:15

      @admin blog, can you either remove posts that are highly offensive or rude to users, clearly some users here need a lesson in manners. AnonymousJuly 21, 2014 at 5:54 PM posted some sick stuff on this blog and I am sure you know who it is, in fact we all know who it is. perhaps it would be wise to lock blog to all replies, clearly some people belong to lunatic asylum.

    16. JATBEGMEL19:20

      @ Anonymous July 21, 2014 at 5:54 PM

      You need to tone down the language to something civilised for the public. Just because you know insults and add them to a discussion doesnt make it of value.

      EK had a flight enroute to KBP on the 17th, and upon learning of MH17 rerouted it back to DXB, and suspended it since, before the scheduled pull out. Just as EK have suspended LHE, DAM, TIP as well as cancelling the KAN launch. This information is public and a google search will give you results my friend.

      Just because they announce a destination doesnt mean they predict an esculation of fighting. Looking at it now, a few months forward, suspending the launch seemed to be the best option.

    17. Anonymous20:08

      Let me post again what I posted last week, in the immediate aftermath of this tragedy ...

      The below notice was issued by US authorities on Apr 23 of this year -

      "The US Federal Aviation Administration on April 23 issued a "special notice" regarding Ukrainian airspace to US aviators and air carriers advising them not to fly in airspace around the Crimean city of Simferopol without special approval of the US government.

      The notice also warned US operators and pilots flying in other parts of Ukraine, including Kiev, Lvov, Dnepropetrovsk and Odessa, to "exercise extreme caution due to the continuing potential for instability."

      The warning remains in effect until April 23, 2015.

      International aviation agencies in April also had warned pilots and airlines to avoid the airspace around Simferopol.

      Agencies including the European Aviation Safety Agency and ICAO, a United Nations civil aviation agency, warned that airlines faced "serious risks" in the area and advised airlines to take alternate routes".

      JU mgt obviously knew something that the rest of us didn't - BRAVO JU mgt - keep up the good work !!!

    18. Anonymous20:49

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    19. Anonymous00:04

      There is nothing that JU knew besides appalling ticket sales so stop making things up.

  4. Air space restrictions (ExYu region), according to my memory:
    - Slovenia (briefly: June/July/August 1991)
    - Croatia, total cut off: June/July 1991 - July 1992
    - Croatia, domestic flight re-routing over Adriatic instead of over Krajina region and BiH: April 1992 - end of 1995
    - BiH, restrictions: rerouting ZG- Split - Sarajevo accross Hercegovina (April 1992 - end of 1995)
    - Serbia/Kosovo - not sure, but imagine during the entire 1999

    *** Air space over Serbia (except in 1999) I imagine was never restricted, but Serbia had sanctions which didn't allow serbian carrier JAT to fly outside domestic routes:
    - May 1992 - mid 1994 (1st period)
    - end of 1998 - end of 1999 (2nd period)

    all these are from my memory, so please don't hold me accountable for 100% accuracy :)

    1. 1 correction:
      Croatia's total space restriction summer 1991 - April 1992, not July 1992. The first aircraft to land at LDZA in 1992 was Aeroflot's Tu-154B

    2. Anonymous11:47

      Thank you Petar :)

    3. First trip to Croatia was in 1994. I can remember flying Zagreb - Split in OU's 737-200 adv via the coast, definitely avoiding the Krajina region.

      Also just to add to Peters list, Croatian airspace was closed and or restricted during the Nato campaign in 1999. From memory, only a 'corridor' was left open North from Zagreb.

    4. BA88821:06

      Thank you Petar!

      I just remember endless trips to Budapest Airport and paying to get out...

      Nikad se ponovilo!

  5. OT,


    The article states Korean Air direct flights to Split???

    1. Anonymous13:41

      It makes more sense than ZAG, don't know why they're flying there anyway.

    2. Anonymous14:01

      Not true. Koreans, Chinese and Japanese don't visit the sea only. They visit Plitvice in huge numbers, as well as Slavonija and Zagorje. In addition to that, Split airport is not capable of handling fully loaded 777 or 747, both apron-wise, and runway-wise, especially in summer. Zagreb and Dubrovnik absolutely no restrictions, but Split at the moment unfortunatelly has that issue.

  6. Anonymous14:41

    The macedonian sky looks pretty full...


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