Ryanair enters Serbian market

Europe's largest low cost airline, Ryanair, launched operations to Serbia this morning with the country becoming its third market in the former Yugoslavia following Croatia and Montenegro. The inaugural flight from Berlin to Niš was piloted by Serbian captain Vladimir Milićević. The service marks an important development for Niš Constantine the Great Airport, which will now be served by two major European budget carriers. Ryanair will introduce a further three routes to Niš (from Weeze, Bratislava and Bergamo) over the next two months. It will operate up to eight return flights each week from the south-east Serbian city as of November 1 and plans to handle 120.000 passengers on its services during its first year of operations.

Ryanair's Chief Commercial Officer, David O'Brien, said, "We have been planning our arrival onto the Serbian market for a long time. It will take a while to judge whether it was a wise decision but considering loads on our Berlin flights, we believe that the Serbian market has great potential". The airline's Sales and Marketing Executive for Italy, Greece and Croatia, Chiara Ravara, noted that the carrier plans to add more new routes to Niš. "We look forward to opening additional services in the future. Basing an aircraft is currently not an option for us, but developments take place quickly with Ryanair. Of course, this does not mean that Rynaiar will not continue expanding its network from Niš and attributing to its passenger growth".

Ryanair is considering introducing flights between Malta and Niš during the summer of 2017. According to Niš Airport's General Manager, Vladica Djurdjanović, discussions between Serbian and Maltese local authorities, as well as Ryanair, are currently under way. During the first eight months of the year Niš Airport handled 50.555 passengers, which is 14.300 travellers above its 2015 end-of-year result. The airport is also in talks with several other low cost airlines including Pegasus, easyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Eurowings. After years of being overlooked, Niš Airport has managed to attract no frills carrier over the past year by slashing its passenger tax to just three euros.


  1. Anonymous09:06

    I hope they eventually open a baae in INI

    1. Anonymous11:50

      Foreign carriers can't open a base in Serbia. They require a Serbian AOC to do so.

      EU carriers can fly as frequently as they want to and can even overnight aircraft, but they are not allowed to have any "base".

    2. European carriers can fly as frequently as they want to and from Serbia and they can also base as many aircrafts and crews they want to.
      What they can't do is fly from Serbia to non EU countries (e.g. Turkey, Israel, Russia) if Serbia or the other country doesn't want them to.
      Hope that clears it.

    3. Anonymous13:11

      How can they open a base with two aircrafts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but not in Serbia? Is that because of Air Serbia protection and to secure that It is only one single airline around in the area? Remember last summer (?) when Serbia did not allow other airlines to operate charter flights to and from Serbia for holidaymakers to Egypt and Turkey and people had to stay home just because of "damn" Air Serbia and their protection.

    4. Anonymous13:13

      What are you people talking about? Wizz Air has a base at Belgrade Airport and it will base a second plane there next May. Seeing Air Serbia in absolutely everything is not good for your health.

    5. Anonymous13:15

      @ AnonymousSeptember 4, 2016 at 11:50 AM

      You are very misinformed. Perhaps check the fact that Wizz Air has its own BASE in Belgrade, with Serbian crew members hired locally living in Belgrade and are payed locally and a handling company that works exclusively for them at Belgrade Airport

  2. Anonymous09:07

    Anyone know the loass?

    1. Anonymous09:08

      * loads, sorry

    2. Anonymous09:07

      SXF-INI 85%,INI-SXF 100% :)

  3. Bravo INI!
    Very happy that an airport that was sabotaged by politicians finds its true potential and a region whose only choice was to drive either to BEG or to other countries in order to catch a plane now it has flights to so all these places with many more to come.

    1. Anonymous10:09

      Imali su godinama saobracaj sa MA koji su placali pa su pukli. Imali su i domacu aviokompaniju i nista. Ni sada nemaju domacu avio kompaniju.

    2. The utter failure of politicians who controlled both the airport and the state run airline to recognize and develop INI's potential is what I am talking about.
      Both out of epic incompetence and also because they are too BEG centric in their mindset.
      Thankfully foreign airlines recognized the existing demand and potential for growth.
      And we are all seeing the results.

  4. Anonymous09:44

    How good is this really for Nis ?

    This is at a HUGE loss for the city and govt. EUR3 per pax, doesn't cover 10% of the airport's monthly operating expenses, so this is coming at huge expense to taxpayers, who are covering this loss and subsidy to foreign carrires.

    How come there is no noise at all about this ? If it was extended to Air Serbia, i could only imagine the howls of protest that would be covering the social media pages ....

    It seems as though it is not ok to help and subsidise your own, but perfectly ok to help and subsidise foriegn companies

    1. Anonymous09:57


    2. Anonymous11:05

      Of course that is not true. 3 EUR per passenger for sure is not enough but you have lot of parking fee, restaurants, duty free, rent'a'car, changing office, etc. Plus services to carrier (petrol, catering, maintenance, logistic...).

      With 400.000 LCC passengers they should be profitable.

      And it is not true that this is unfair subside. It would be if they give those discounts just to Wizz or Ryanair. But Air Serbia is free to use that discounts in absolutely same level and to open as many routes as they want. Not like in Belgrade where Air Serbia have much bigger discount than competition compare to number of passengers they carry from BEG.

    3. Anonymous11:22

      Anonymous at 11:05 AM

    4. Anonymous11:46

      Anon at 11.05... ALL airlines are free to use the same discounts in absolutely same level as Air Serbia and to open as many routes as they want from BEG. If they operate same level of routes and pax as Air Serbia, they get exactly the same that Air Serbia enjoys....

      Same as your argument for Nis .... no different

    5. Dejan12:10

      That "level" of service was set specifically to benefit only Air Serbia!
      No subsidies for new routes. Just subsidies to Air Serbia at the expense of the other airlines.
      This was a CONTRACTUAL obligation of the state towards Etihad!

      You know it, I know it, everyone knows it.
      So shall we stop treating each other like idiots by writing lies?
      Thank you!

    6. Anonymous00:43

      Not really. Contractual obligation was handing over an entire terminal of BEG airport over to JU, which did not happen. This is still an open issue and JU is waiting to see what happens. Some projects are on hold specifically because of this issue.

      Also, these subsidies (even though they weren't really subsidies, but for the sake of argument...) haven't been 'at the expense of the other airlines'. Other airlines did not have to pay extra, or pay something to Air Serbia.

      This is one example how the state efficiently used available funds from its public enterprises, which is a rarity! Extra 20 mil. EUR in BEG profit would be fine, but actually JU multiplied that profit that it "received" through discounts into much higher value for BEG shares. If you look at it that way, for 20 million in cash (discount), Air Serbia provided an extra 300 million (this is an educated guess, don't ask me to quote the source - it may be more or less) for the owner of both companies, i.e. the Governement, though the price for BEG concession. This benefits BEG as well, and does so directly.

    7. Anonymous01:27

      Please do not confuse subsidies (150 million till now) with huge discounts that were designed for JU, on top os subsidies.

      Yes everyone can have 1.000.000 passengers, just like that, and then will have same discounts as JU. If management will not change it to 2.000.000. And than again every company have possibility to reach 2 million and get discounts. Come on... be real.

      Why not smaller discount for 200.000, 400.000 etc. Just for 1.000.000!?!?!?!?

  5. Anonymous09:56

    Regarding possible Malta flights, it seems Wizz Air purposely beat them to it a few days ago ;)

  6. Anonymous09:57

    My guess is they are not considering a base until ILS is installed and that should be 2018.

    1. Anonymous15:22

      2018?? It was promised for this year.

    2. Anonymous15:41

      No it was always planned for 2018. You can check in articles here.

  7. Anonymous09:58

    It's crazy how quickly traffic developed at this airports. Just like in Tuzla. I don't understand that Mostar, Maribor or Banja Luka can't do the same.

    1. Anonymous10:12

      What do you mean "it's crazy how quickly traffic developed" ? It's not crazy at all, when they have practically offered landing charges and taxes for free. What is crazy, is offering EUR3 per pax at the expense of the city and taxpayers.... Mostar, MAribor and Banja Luka might be slow, but they are not crazy to offer deals like this which are at the expense of taxpayers

    2. Anonymous10:18

      LOL love all the compassion for "tax payers" be it Air Serbia, low cost airlines...

      The taxes are reduced for a three year period between 2016 - 2019 in order to attract airlines. In two years time you will be in a different position.

      Yep those three are not crazy. That's why they are so busy for years and years.

    3. Anonymous11:38

      Sure they are "crazy" like the SKP managers. Who long after the subsidies ended the flights they attracted remained.
      I understand that some people wanted the whole country to travel to Belgrade in order to fly and preferably do it only with JU but fortunately this is no longer the case.

    4. Anonymous11:53

      SKP never offered EUR3 per pax for all-in airport and handling charges.

    5. Anonymous12:00

      ΙΝΙ unlike SKP does not have to pay for a brand new terminal and supporting infrastructure to and from the airport!
      It does not have to pay dividents to a foreign company.
      So its cost base is much smaller than SKP.
      And so the whole of the South will enjoy the great benefited and the multiplying economic impact that so many new passengers a year bring to an area.
      Sorry if that upsets some ASL fanboys.
      ASL flights through BEG will just have to be the better choice for travelers to choose it. Not the only choice as you would like.

    6. Anonymous12:12

      Anonymous 12:00 PM


    7. Anonymous13:06

      Niko nije terao vladu Makedonije da pravi novi terminal. Prodali su sve i sada imaju LCC kompanije? Zar zaista mislis da je to pametno?

    8. Anonymous14:01

      It PROVED super wise for the Macedonian government and its economy!
      It is a decision that other airports in the Balkans are trying to copy.
      LCC companies are ideal for their market and an isolated country developed direct links to so many parts of Europe in a matter of few years.

    9. Anonymous15:03

      SKP Terminal was build by TAV (and only by TAV) and there is no chance they will let Ryanair or anybody fly fo 3euros

    10. Anonymous15:09

      Great win for SKP and Mac.

    11. Anonymous04:38

      I would say addition, not necessarily a win, because the struggle continues.

  8. Anonymous10:03

    "We have been planning our arrival onto the Serbian market for a long time" - such a lie

    They "moved" to Nis because they werent successful in getting "good conditions" in SKP (and because WIZZ ocupied their routes BTS, SXF)

    1. Anonymous10:17

      The "planning" seems to have been expedited when the local city decided to charge EUR3 per passenger all-in.

      It's only a matter of time before someone from "high-up" sends in the police to investigate this.

      Remember what happened to the former CEO of BEG airport when they investigated his "sweet deals" with Wizzair that were deemed to be at taxpayers expense ??

      This whole thing smells bad ....

    2. Anonymous10:19

      This has nothing to do with BEG as ALL airlines - FULL FARE and LOW COST - are offered 3 EUR charge in Nis. Unlike in Belgrade where only Wizz Air use to be propped up. So your comparison is quite wrong.

    3. Anonymous11:41

      But what is the basis of the EUR3 charge ? EUR3 does not AND can not cover the cost of operating Nis airport, so who is covering the differential ? The taxpayer of course. Do we as taxpayers know Who has approved this ? Do we as taxpayers know how long such a charge will exist and therefore, how much we as taxpayers will have to cover the cost for such a subsidy ?

      How is such a subsidy in the national interest, if all the money that these foreign LCCs earn will be remitted back to their home countries ? Nothing gets left in NIs or Serbia, except a huge burden to the taxpayer.

      This needs to be further investigated before the citizens of Nis and Serbia get caught out for millions and millions

    4. Anonymous13:47

      Anon 10:17,

      A large number of secondary airports across Europe and the world does exactly the same thing - they slash the price list to symbolic levels and cover the losses from the city/region/state budget. The alternative is to die and never see a single landing so the governments step in and help them hoping that the investment would pay off once the life has been injected into those airports.

      And you need to understand one thing - the state does not require your approval to decide how it will spend the tax money. Yours is to pay and the state is there to spend it. You don't like how they spend it - you vote someone else. That's how things work. Obsessive use of the word 'taxpayer' on the internet does not and will not help.

    5. Anonymous14:45

      Interesting to follow the comments and sentiments expressed thus far, but also taking into consideration the general sentiments expressed over the past on this website.

      To borrow a phrase from earlier, "my 2 cents worth" is that the overwhelming view with subsidies is that they ok and needed. The more the merrier, especially if they allow the growth of secondary airports, LCC's and other foreign carriers.

      Very few people seem to have issue with this.

      YET, contrast it with the same subsidies to Air Serbia and the tide of sentiment is the complete opposite.

      The overwhelming view is that Air Serbia subsidies are not ok.In other words, the same reason offered for subisidies to support the growth of forerign carriers, especially LCCs, as well as secondary airports, is not ok to support the growth of Air Serbia.

      So what am i trying to say ? The principle is what is important, not how you apply it or make a selective reason for it.

      If it is ok to subsidise Air Serbia, then it should be ok to subsidise Nis airport and foreign carriers such as LCCs etc etc. You can't make a case for one and then say it is outrageous for the other.

      To subsidise or not - that is the question ....

    6. Anonymous16:38

      Moras da objasnis Nislijama da je njihov aerodrom tesko podrzavan od drzave skoro jednako kao ASL ako uporedimo mogucnost zarad kompanija i da ASL zasada nece leteti ni u Nis ni iz Nisa. Onda nema zabune da li treba nesto subvencionisati. Ovako dok oni zamisljaju da su veliko trziste kuku lele od primedbi.

    7. Anonymous23:45

      Aerodrom u Nisu ni jedan dinar nije dobio od drzave jos uvek... ako neko veruje izjavama beogradskih politicara, e to je vec njegov problem...Grad ima trogodisnji program pomoci i ta cifra je smesna a kamoli skoro jednaka kao ASL. Usput, ASL nema sta da trazi u Nisu sa ovakvom konkurencijom, neka sede tamo gde su i neka rade to sto rade.

    8. Anonymous00:32

      Znači, aerodrom Niš je lokalno, niško, komunalno preduzeće, a plate zaposlenih, opremu i sve ostalo plaća grad? To zaista nije fer, imajući u vidu da je BEG u vlasništvu Republike, i sve ovo navedeno u godinama kada aerodrom nije bio profitabilan, plaćala je država, a ne Beograd.

    9. Anonymous01:33

      Nije u pitanju subvencija nego poštenost subvencije.

      U nišu svako, pa i JU može da leti sa 3 EUR takse.

      U Beogradu samo Air Serbia dobije 150 milijuna subvencije (ok 100 je investicija, a 50 subvencija jer je toliko više nego je Etihad dao), te još dovije popuste ko da ima 10 a ne 2 miliona putnika. Popuste koje niko druge ne može da dobi.

      Dati iste uvete u Beogradu pa da vidiš gde bi bila Air Serbia. Kao što iste uvete imaju u Nišu.

  9. Anonymous11:50

    Great news for Nis and generally Serbian travellers.

  10. Anonymous12:46

    OU experienced problem with left engine on one of airbuses this morning. After numerous problems with dash fleet, now they have been faced with age problem on airbus fleet. Hance there are no steps towards fleet renewal the only one solution is wet lease and dipper cooperation with Trade air.

    1. Anonymous12:52

      I love how "problem with left engine on one of airbuses" became a doom and gloom post about OU in general.
      I am laughing and I am not even a Croat!

    2. Anonymous15:37

      So what ? It's not the first or the last airline in the world with any kind of some damage, they will fix it and that's all! My god sometimes many guys here are becoming too exaggerated!

    3. Anonymous15:58


      last anon

    4. I'm laughing too... I can't see how the doom & gloom of the left engine of an airbus has resulted in OU suffering from an aging airbus fleet - and all following the start of Ryanair flying from Nis to Berlin!?! Bravo za moj Niš :D

  11. Anonymous17:17

    Berlin Nis 100% full!

    1. Anonymous21:10

      Any idea what some of the ticket prices were?

  12. Anonymous18:45

    Great news Niš neighbours! On Friday was the first flight from SXF to SOF, we are expecting the 3 Ryanair a/c this Tuesday 6th Sept.
    Also congrats BEG for the 2nd a-c next spring. The region is finally moving on.
    Time for SJJ, LJU and more airports to be connected to Europe and the world! ;)

    1. Anonymous21:25

      Thanks bratko. How is Varna airport doing with LLCs?

    2. Anonymous21:33

      VAR is very bad with LCC. They have only W6 to Luton and few seasonal lines.

    3. Anonymous07:50

      SOF also is getting an A321 from Wizz Air. This will be the 7th a/c based there.

  13. Anonymous21:33

    Kosovo pax can use nis as well. 100km from PRN airport. Hope wizz or ryanair open a base at prn. In case there will be visa liberalisation pax number will be increased


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