Air Serbia to focus on merchandising


Air Serbia plans to put a greater emphasis on merchandising in the coming period in order to drive revenues. Speaking to "Amadeus", the airline's Chief Commercial Officer, Veljko Ristić, said, "Air Serbia provides premium and high-quality service, and in a few short years we have succeeded in building our reputation as the leading full service carrier in Southeast Europe. Our efforts have illuminated a new path to achieve the next phase of our growth with a focus on merchandising. Traditional commercial approaches are no longer sufficient in making an airline competitive enough to ensure its long term profitability. Passenger numbers are booming, competition has intensified, and LCCs have made the aviation industry even more dynamic and tougher than ever before. But most importantly, with flights more affordable than ever, travellers are paying more attention to factors outside of price that differentiate airlines". He added, "And this is where merchandising comes into place. It is a vital commercial tool for every airline looking to meet the needs of its passengers. What do I mean by this? Well, for us at Air Serbia, merchandising is all about offering our guests specific, tailor-made airline packages".

Only a few airlines have so far applied merchandising techniques in a comprehensive way, primarily low cost carriers. Several full service airlines are meeting the challenge of LCCs in their markets through ancillary offerings similar to budget carriers in areas such as baggage, seat assignment, packs of services, cabin upgrades, Wi-Fi with in-flight entertainment, as well as boarding privileges. Air Serbia itself has rolled out numerous measures over the past six months such as preferred seating, lounge passes and a Belgrade Airport check-in fee for the lowest subclasses (if not previously completed online). Its Slovenian counterpart, Adria, was the first in the region to begin focusing on merchandising and moving towards a hybrid business model back in 2014. On the other hand, Croatia Airlines has ruled out the strategy. "Many airlines have attempted to adopt a hybrid business model and failed. You have to define yourself in one niche instead of doing a bit of everything. The only real hybrid company in Europe at the moment is the Lufthansa Group. They, however, are big enough to allow themselves to operate different models within the same company. I think that Air Baltic's no-frills product for example, with so many selections available at an extra fee and even business class, is a bit too complex for such a small number of seats", the carrier's former CEO, Krešimir Kučko, said recently.

Mr Ristić noted however that Air Serbia will become more customer-centric, in line with the needs of the market where the national carrier faces strong competition for Wizz Air, and more recently, Ryanair, with airfares falling by almost 40% over the past two decades. "It’s all about unbundling the traditional airline product proposition, and allowing travellers to create or choose their own journey based on their travel styles and preferences. It’s all about making these packages simple and easy to understand for both the market and the sales network. And in short, merchandising is all about that first marketing lesson we are taught in business school: offering the right service proposal to the right passenger at the right price at the right time in the right sales channel. It’s as simple as that", Mr Ristić noted.

Comments

  1. As long as they don't introduce paid checked in baggage I won't mind.

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  2. What about focusing on the network? Any new destinations planned for next year?

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    1. I highly doubt they will launch Toronto at the time they are "merchandising".

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    2. Those two aren't really related. Air Berlin launched a bunch of long haul routes in the last year.

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    3. And we see where Air Berlin is now.

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    4. Didn't someone say in the comments that they already asked for slots at YYZ?

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    5. What about Europe. Any plans to grow Europe network?

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    6. With what planes?

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    7. @9.35
      So many things people write in the comments here turn out to be false.

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    8. They have grown a lot on in the last couple of years. Over 10 new destinations in three years: Tirana, Zagreb, Sofia, Bucharest, Hamburg, St Petersburg, New York, Ohrid, Venice, Prague, Banja Luka... so I think it's normal to put the breaks on further growth, especially if you are changing your business model.

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    9. To break growth is ok, but to have 46 less weekly flights last summer and 58 less flights this winter then 2015/16 is not breaking growth but huge reduction! Huge

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    10. come on!! start toronto please. at this point ill take any airline but Air Serbia would be the best!

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    11. How can Air Serbia justify all the effort made (ATA, trip to Toronto, slots at YYZ etc) unless they launch Toronto in 2018?

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  3. For once I actually agree with Kresimir Kucko! Well said.

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    1. Me too. You have to choose a niche and stick with it like he says. You can't do everything like Air Serbia is doing. Low cost airline on regional flights with high fares and a full service airline on long haul flights.

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    2. Mark my words Croatia Airlines will follow the same path. They already have some tickets with hand luggage only and they already have additional food option onboard for a price.

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    3. I don't agree with his statement because there are many airlines that managed to successfully implement hybrid modelling. Aer Lingus for starters.

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    4. Aye Mr Kucko, "you have to define yourself in one niche instead of doing a bit of everything". That's why you claimed Croatia Airlines a hub&spoke legacy carrier and operated from three different cities instead of one (even shared his intention to operate more flights from different cities in the region, as if that was not enough), operated charter flights while you struggle to find equipment for your scheduled flights etc., right?

      Air Serbia at least follows the basic rules of its business, and that's the only single reason the company is still alive, despite its enormous cost burden. And Adria has entered (unintentionally) the right path too, thanks to the failure of Nordica deal.

      We'll see how far Croatia Airlines can go with its unique(!) model.

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    5. I agree with the anon above. Kucko is hardly a person that can preach to others.

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  4. So basically like Wizz Air?

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    1. With high fares.

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    2. Wizz Air does not fly to main airports like Air Serbia.

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    3. No matter, Wizz Air lower prices better than Air Serbia.

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    4. JU is becoming more like Easy Jet.

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    5. More like British Airways, Iberia, Air France, SAS or most airlines in Europe.

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    6. also wizz has much lower CASK than JU

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    7. Air France doesn't do buy on board and neither does KL. Both have actually gone the other way in recent years.
      As for BA, their CEO admitted that the cost cutting wasn't as great and that they will 'make BA great again.'

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    8. Hop! gives you a choice between a sweet or salty snack plus a drink of your choice.

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    9. Joon is hybrid.

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    10. Joon is not hybrid but LCC.

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    11. Wizz can't offer what Air Serbia has: connections, long haul, codeshares, airports like LHR and CDG, loungem wi-fi on board, free baggage. So not like Wizz Air.

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    12. Alen Šćuric Purger18 December 2017 at 12:44

      Are you sure?

      New principles in LCC:

      connections - you have it in easyJet, Norwegian (even combination those two), Ryanair, Eurowings...
      long haul - Norwegian, Wow, Joon, LEVEL, Eurowings...

      codeshares - Eurowings, Transavia, Vueling...

      airports like LHR and CDG - most of LCC today espetialy easyJet, Eurowings, Vueling, Norwegian (exempt LHR, but even there some of those have flights)

      wi-fi on board - Norwegian even for free

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    13. I get lounge access through my credit card, so i don't really need to fly with Air Serbia to get in

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    14. You get access to the crappy contract lounge, the Air Serbia lounge is miles ahead.

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  5. Why didn't Air Serbia wait and introduce all these no frills options at the same time? Doing like this every two months just highlights the fall in your product quality. Adria did it all over night. Yes its drastic but at least it doesn't get brought up anymore. Air Serbia first changed seats, then introduced check in charge at the airport for some, then killed off catering etc.

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    1. Air Serbia is a bit bigger than Adria (especially at the time Adria went for this model) and you can't do it overnight. Better to start saving money straight away then waiting for months to be able to roll everything out. But I agree with you that their image and product has certainly been damaged by all of this.

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    2. Na kašičicu

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    3. I wasn't flying with AirSerbia for seven months and on Saturday I finally had opportunity to fly with them to Amsterdam. First I did this online check in because I had only hand luggage and I needed only 10min form entering the airport to reach the gate. For me this is step forward not backward. Also, I had opportunity to try new seats. I had more space for my knees than before. Only thing worst than before is the meal. Small sandwich and some sweet cake. But who asked they gave him another one if that one is not enough. I think that for flight little longer than 2h that's good enough.

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    4. Changing the seats was an upgrade! There's a LOT more legroom now.

      As for the food, I would actually prefer an option to order a proper meal (like one they used to offer) for a fee - or just skip it entirely. This sandwich they offer is truly horrible...

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  6. So they replaced boutique with merchandising.

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    1. Ah the "boutique airline" concept.

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    2. If it what helps them reach profitability then so be it.

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  7. "Air Serbia provides premium and high-quality service, and in a few short years we have succeeded in building our reputation as the leading full service carrier in Southeast Europe."

    Have these executives flown on the airline recently?

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    1. I have and that statement is out of place. The crew is very nice but service was made up of a plastic cup of half filled water. That's not a full service carrier. They should fly Turkish Airlines a bit to see what is a full service carrier.

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    2. Even Austrian Airlines or Aegean.

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    3. and by the way I paid 170 euros for my ticket so it wasn't as if I paid 80 or even 100 euros. Then I would understand the one prefilled cup of water.

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    4. Air Serbia's product has gradually been going down hill since the day it started. First they removed pillows from seats, then they removed metal cutlery in economy, then they removed the menus, then they removed catering all together and replaced it with a poorly packaged sandwich.

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    5. You forgot wet tissues and dessert, both were cut.

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    6. Honestly for a flight to Tivat or Podgorica I really don't need foodn but the current prices on these routes are ridiculous.

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    7. premium quality service on 30y old planes that are falling apart. lol. no thanks, with or without the metal cutlery

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  8. Adria saw it coming couple of years ago.

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    1. I remember the scorn they got when they introduced their hybrid model. Although they did go overboard with charging even for a cup of water.

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    2. Countless other traditional airlines have gone down this path. It's nothing surprising. It seems only people from the Balkans expect first class service for tickets under 200 euros.

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    3. Air Serbia is rarely under €200 so Balkanites are right to be denanding good service

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    4. @ Anon 9.20

      Adria charged 2€ for a cup of water (not a bottle, a cup). Crazy. Thankfully they discontinued that and at least give cup of water for free now.

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  9. The problem with JU is that they have defacto became a WizzAir 2.0 in terms of offer, however ironic is they have high prices throughout their whole network and offer pathetic product such as the ATR.

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  10. I'm actually supportive of this. It's the way the wind is blowing in the aviation industry and it is what people (not avgeeks necessarily) but the general public wants.

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  11. Air Berlin went bust, Etihad regional went bust, Niki went bust. Thank you Hogan. You have been Europe's nightmare. Soon EY will go bust too...

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    1. Of course EY won't go bust. It's the sheikh's personal pride and joy.

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    2. Sorry but Etihad Regional (AKA Darwin, AKA Adria Switzerland) went bust because of 4K Invest.

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    3. Because Darwin was such a successful business before 4K.

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    4. According to 4K it was solvent. And don't forget that all those airlines were near bankruptcy when Etihad bought them anyway. Air Berlin probably would have been gone years ago had it not been for Etihad pumping money into it.

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    5. entire ey strategy went in flames with one european major dead and several on their dethbeds, arabs withdrew themselves back to gulf and you are here somehow still defending that fiasco?
      btw darwin was a money-looser just like all the others

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    6. @Anon at 9:36

      Blaming Hogan or Etihad for all of this?!?! Read that story on the left side. Industry veteran Niki Lauda is not blaming Etihad but Lufthansa. Look at how LH now jacked up their prices. Bust of AB and others is in LH interest.

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  12. "Traditional commercial approaches are no longer sufficient in making an airline competitive "

    Only thing that is no longer sufficient is Etihad and that is why all of this has come about.

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    1. Exactly, Alitalia is smart to be removing any trace of Etihad. If Swissair failed back in the day then I don't see how clueless Etihad could have.

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  13. Good luck with them competing against Wizz Air and trying to snatch passengers of them. I think it is a lost battle already.

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    1. Most people said the same about Aer Lingus. And yet they transformed into a hybrid airline and have managed to survive next to Ryanair.

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    2. Yes, that's why they needed to be bought and saved by IAG.

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    3. They don't need to be cheaper than W6. All they need to do is make life tougher for Wizz at BEG. And perhaps it is working. W6 will close 2 routes from BEG.

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    4. Aer Lingus was doing so well that at one point they were 30% owned by Ryanair. And if it wasn't for EC, they would have been bought by Ryanair long ago.

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    5. Ryanair bought Aer Lingus because it was a faster way to get rid of them. That's why the EC stopped them.

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  14. Who cares about a meal on a 2h flight. Does anyone got anything on a bus?

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    1. It's not about the meal, it'as about the fares not going down.

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    2. On a bus I can take as much luggage as I want for less money.

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    3. Than use the bus and your time

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    4. You mean then, not than. I am rich enough to afford to fly on normal airlines so I don't need the bus or JU.

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    5. Wealthy ili affluent su reci koja ti trebaju. Ko od "normalnih" linija leti za BEG?

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    6. You are rich enough yet looking to fly with more luggage for LESS money? Rich and LESS money do not mix :)

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    7. Anon @10:07

      But according to the some previous comments here, most people consider sandwiches as the most important thing in (Balkan(JU)) aviation!

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    8. Anon 10.49

      I don't think he was talking about himself but other people who end up taking the bus.

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  15. Only thing that's certain is that Etihad is incompetent.

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  16. let me try being a gadfly and kick some random thoughts on this:

    "offering the right service proposal to the right passenger at the right price at the right time in the right sales channel"

    1. right customer & right service
    almost all JU flights are short hauls, with so few business class customers. for me it is hard to imagine that people are looking here more than a skeleton service with possible baggage upgrade. this will basically mean almost an lcc business with some fragments of full service.

    2. right price
    you were previously charging customers the service which they didn't use, so how do you plan to compensate for the loss in revenue (you should have lower RPK). raising overall prices of service or additional customers? the company answer will be attracting more customers, of course, but i find that hard to believe. the summer prices with good load factors will be especially interesting to watch. my guess is that customers will receive less for the same money.

    also, how do you form the price? based on your costs or on the market? if JU is already losing 40mil€ per year it is obvious that they are forming price based on the competition prices. i ran into an article online suggesting that wizz has almost half JU CASK. so how the hell they plan to compete with LCCs who already have great load factors? I don't see pax numbers booming that much, competition remaining that idle and churning customers from bus transports to fill those empty seats during the winter season.

    4. right channels
    JU sales channels are on of the bigger revenue eaters. my guess is that a big portion of the sales goes through traveling agencies, and there you have a problem of not controlling your sales channels like LCCs does. this FlyFly offices are mushrooming all over serbia and that is completely against all the trends. i was amazed when the agency people told me about commissions and possible discounts to customers they get from JU, if i remember correctly they can easily take off 20€ of one ticket and that is certainly eating JU profitability.
    so again, how do you plan to fight with competition that doesn't have this much revenue lost on commissions?

    ------

    my bottom line is that JU is entering a fight with LCCs with higher operating costs and unfit sales channels so it would be hard to see it winning that fight. so consequentially, it is diffucult to believe that customers will really feel much of those discounts. to me this looks like JU goals is to lower it expenses (less weight means less fees) than to attract more revenue.

    it will interesting to see how much JU LF will improve in the winter

    and it is probably safe to predict that in the summer customers will on average pay the same price as they did last year for less service package

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    1. it is probably not correct to say that JU is "entering fight with lccs", since they are already competing with them but it would have been wiser if i wrote "JU is suggesting that it will structure price like lccs, but with current cost structure, and unfit sales channels it is more likley that customers will pay similair prices for less service and JU is actually targeting to lower the costs by doing this"

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    2. I agree with a lot of points you write Petar. I think one of the issues that a lot of people overlook is revenue management and network planning at JU which was relocated to Abu Dhabi in 2013. This is a disaster in my opinion and the reason there have been so many senseless moves from Air Serbia. They all come from Abu Dhabi and people who have no clue how the local market functions.

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  17. Let's see how these new plans turn out. It is a big risk to change your strategy in such a way. Sure it can work and attract new customers but you could also loos the ones you already have.

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    1. Well passenger numbers are down.

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    2. They are down because they cut frequents and destinations, not because of merchandising lol.

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    3. The only result that will matter is their finances.

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    4. Adria's numbers went up when they went hybrid even though they didn't introduce new routes.

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    5. I think you can't compare the two. They operate in completely different markets.

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  18. shame, another legacy carrier turning into a lost direction hybrid airline

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    1. Legacy carrier with 30+ year old jets and 25-year old regional turboprops representing the majority of the fleet. Such great legacy.

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    2. I have just checked that the average fleet age is 19.2 years, the A330 is 10 years old, which is not bad at all. The only problem is the 737s that are 31 years old. But the planes are perfectly maintained and in excellent condition especially the true, reliable ATR-72.

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  19. It's normal to review your strategy after some time. The main aim is to bring in cash.

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    1. I hope it works out for them.

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  20. Is online check in available across Air Serbia's network yet?

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    1. Available for Air Serbia flights departing from Belgrade, Amsterdam, Athens, Banja Luka, Beirut, Bucharest, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Moscow, Paris, Prague, Rome, Sofia, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki, Venice, Vienna and Zagreb

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    2. Ok thanks. They should work on covering the entire network. That said, no ex-Yu airline currently offers on line check in for its entire network.

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    3. From Ljubljana as well

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  21. They have to find a way to effectively compete against LCCs. They are being challenged on more and more routes which is great for consumers but this year they are competing against Transavia on Amsterdam route, Wizz on Malta route. What I do question is whether they can efficiently compete against LCCs by adopting a hybrid model.

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    1. I think their future plan is actually good but the challenge is how to sell it as an improvement to consumers.

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    2. Has the LCC boom at Nis Airport had an impact on JU?

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    3. Of course and now with the arrival of LX people will no longer need to travel to BEG. INI is connected to primary and secondary destinations unlike SKP for instance. So, yes I would say it did.

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    4. Unlike SKP. Now this is most stupid comment in this blog.

      INI
      - Swiss to Zurich 3 pw, not even close to daily connection

      SKP
      - Austrian to Vienna 14 pw
      - Turkish to Istanbul 14 pw
      - Adria to Ljubljana 14 pw
      - Croatia to Zagreb 9 pw
      - Air Serbia to Belgrade 10 pw
      - Edelweiss (Swiss) to Zurich 4 pw
      - Qatar to Doha 4 pw

      So...

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    5. SKP is connected to many more primary airports than INI - the only legacy carrier that flies to INI is LX, and even Wizz who also flies to some primary airports has many more destionations out of SKP than INI.

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    6. and Flydubai to Dubai 3pw

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    7. SKP has about two million passengers this year.

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    8. Why are you turning this into a Skopje discussion?

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    9. Both airports are doing a great job. It is just that they are different.
      INI is slowly becoming an important regional player while SKP is seeking to increase the number of primary destinations.
      We have all mentioned this so many times.

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  22. Each airline goes through something like this especially from poorer markets. We had Adria and Croatia Airlines do the same.

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  23. I remember all the comments and euphoria and the super boutique product of JU. Nowadays a passenger is no longer loyal to an airline and will always choose the lower price.
    Times have changed guys and so is JU.
    I personally don't find any problem of JU changing its business model so it can be more competitive. Most JU flights are around 2 and a half hours so a tiny sandwich is more than enough.
    Also introducing hand luggage only tarif is so normal. Nowadays, people travel with less belongings. JU will remain the leading airline in the Balkans as there is no other on the same level.

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    1. Not really. I was really loyal to JU. Despite sometimes higher fares than with the competition. I was EY Gold at a point, then EY Silver for two years.

      Couple of months back, I get denied check in at premium check in desks at BEG, contrary to EY policy and JU published rules. Why? Some manager decided so. Ten emails back and forth with Belgrade and Abu Dhabi, couple of phone calls, that gets reinstated.

      A month later, I check in for a TXL flight with two bags and get asked how would I like to pay for the second bag. Perplexed, I tell them that I am a silver member, thus entitled to one additional bag at no charge, again, as per publisher rules. They say they've changed it today... 15 minutes and a lot of nerves later, supervisor grants "special one time exception", even though they are unable to provide any written proof of new policy anywhere. Printed matter at check in desk, website, no mention of revoking this privilege.

      Oh by the way, they also pulled the lounge access privileges for silvers, with the lounge being desolate almost all the time.

      So, loyalty? They should get their act together.

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    2. Oh by the way, no one in their call center that evening didn't have a clue about this, and check in staff at TXL checked in the second bag without any issues. They did have to check with JU supervisor, as they didn't know the rules - staff was just changed from Air Berlin's to a contractor.

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    3. Thanks for sharing. So it seems that they are cutting costs even in the lounge itself. But your deception is comprehensible. You pay and expect a good service especially being a VIP client. And how is their frequent flyer programme working?

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    4. JU management is not making it easy for one to stay loyal to them. Such a shame.

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    5. @7:19

      It's a hit and miss.

      Privileges were fine, but as you can see, they play with them a lot, thereby introducing so much uncertainty that I just don't take anything for granted now. I honestly don't know what next to expect when I arrive at the airport.

      Redemption rates are great, honestly.

      Posting miles is a different story. Almost every time I have to write an email to EY, scan my boarding passes and then wait for an unspecified amount of time... My TXL flight (early November) still hasn't posted. Same goes for VCE in July and FCO in September. So, that's an uphill battle.

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    6. Also, their website still, almost two months later, clearly states that there is an additional one bag free of charge for silver members. There was even an update to this very policy in the footnote, stating that this does not apply if no bag fare was selected (also interesting - AZ doesn't do that, and these are only EY partners to offer no bag tickets).

      They are, surely, unable to publicly change their policy, as that would be contrary to Etihad Guest rules and they would face a backlash from AUH. So, they are doing this informal changes, informing passangers at check in they can't do this or that.

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    7. @ 12:30

      Until October changes to FF program came out together with new web site miles for every flight were automatically confirmed after couple of days. Since that moment it became an issue, I had to manually ask for miles, send documentation and then wait for over a month. Then, they introduced separate email account for AirSerbia claims only and in that way I've got miles in my account in a day or two.
      One of the biggest issues with FF program (besides cutting some of privileges)currently is lower number of qualifying flight. AirSerbia accepts only flights that are operated by themselves or Etihad, unlike Etihad which accept all flights with are booked as EY flight. So, in most AirSerbia code share flights in Europe you will not get miles.

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  24. odlično to će im pomoći da skrenu misli sa takvih trivijalnosti kao sto su broj zaposlenih...treba se uvek fokusirati na narative i samo narative to je jedini recept za uspeh

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    1. Plate zaposlenih nisu razlog gubitaka, niti je velika usteda na bednim zamenama pristojnih sendvica, ti jednostavno ne znas da racunas.

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    2. "Plate zaposlenih nisu razlog gubitaka"

      Apsolutno jesu. Kompaniji ove veličine ne treba više od 1000-1200 zaposlenih, oni su ih do skoro imali duplo toliko.

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  25. While competition is booming and increasing it's network ASL is sleeping, tailoring and individualizing it's products. Now came the term merchandising!...all nonsense words and stupid moves instead of launching Krasnodar, Tehran, Ankara or other destinations where they could charge a better price and where there is little competition. If a business sucks that means a)revenue is low b) your cost is too high c)your pricing is not right so cutting service to the bone is not going to help a great deal.

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    1. You listed destinations where they would make the least money.

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    2. As example only but feel free to add your suggestions that would make a lot of money

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    3. I think Teheran could be money maker.

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  26. I think the best idea was to crate LCC (saling those old B733) and leasing 2x738. Instead of atcing as LCC and having FC prices. These way they would get those ppl that wanna fly for example at CDG, but those that flying BVA competing directlly with W6 or any other destination or lcc. These way they just gonna get worst and worst...

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  27. 2 possible options for JU could've been:

    a) Convert Aviolet into a LCC airline e.g. What IB did with VY or KL with HV
    b) Merge with OU or buying YM. JU need more smaller planes desperately and increase current frequencies. This way the NYC will be continuously fed throughout the whole year.

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    1. aviolet isn't shit with those dinosaurs in its fleet. JU has to figure its main business model first before it even attempts a Serbian VY/HV

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    2. The Aviolets have 134 seats and they can be EASILY filled if they turn it into an LCC.
      Alternatively, they can sell the 4 aircraft and buy 2 new 738 with 189 seats like Ryanair.
      KL did the same when they created Transavia.
      The Aviolets can be used in busy routes from BEG to TGD, ZRH, MLA or used for leisure destinations in summer.
      It is all a matter of transformation.

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  28. What about new procedure during the boarding? Why every lady bag and even a little box has to have a white or blue tag?That reminds me on some low cost companies! ?or I am maby wrong for noticing that.

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  29. Totally ridiculous or more of gipsy business. FlyDubai and Qatar are trying to capitalize on the visa-free regime between Serbia and China/India which opens an immense potential. Yet, Air Serbia talks of 'merchandising' and all sort of crap and has cut the AUH flights. Etihad is not much better with their pathetic A320 while FlyDubai has 40% more capacity even without the JU feed. An alliance of idiots left and right. 3 left, 4 to go.

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    Replies
    1. I think the Gulf carriers had big and ambitious plans to conquer the world but European airlines were quite clever to tackle back. They quickly made reforms to battle with the giants. Some of them merged, created LCC divisions and found ways. Best example is AF/KL and LH groups.
      In general EK is making huge losses, EY on the same path.
      QR was smarter in investing in smaller a/c and covering smaller capital cities.
      As JU forms part of EY, they will have to abide to the rules and God knows if they will decide to unplug the socket and stop financing just like they abandoned all the rest of its siblings who are now bankrupt.

      Delete
    2. That is all true but JU is a European airline on the European market and a loss-making JU is certainly not gonna help a fledging EY (nor that its losses are paramount anyway to the scale of EY group).

      Delete
    3. Compared to the other airlines JU's situation is not that tragic. It is still enjoying high load factors and demand on routes where there is no competition by the rivals. Such examples include PRG, BNX, VCE, LJU, SOF, etc.
      Yes, they lost some potential destinations but also managed to sustain the situation.
      They introduced cost cutting measures: no pillows, no hefty or generous meals, hand luggage fares which is all fine if want to survive.
      The other issue is that Europe, being a smaller continent and not so big in size already has an extreme and very fierce competition where only the weaker will fail.
      JU will have to resist the pressure and continue its battle of survival. If it falls, the bigger sharks will arrive and grab their meal very quickly.

      Delete
  30. BEG is getting another long haul route:

    "Putnicima su u redovnom aviosaobraćaju na raspolaganju direktni letovi 33 aviokompanije ka 91 destinaciji, u 38 država na četiri kontinenta, uključujući i letove za Njujork i Peking, uz najavljeno dalje proširenje ponude letova u dugolinijskom saobraćaju."

    https://www.b92.net/biz/vesti/srbija.php?yyyy=2017&mm=12&dd=18&nav_id=1337651

    Could this be Air Serbia to Toronto?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why not? There are around 100 000 Serbs in Canada so it will not be a problem to launch such a flight. Also remember that Romanians and Bulgarians no longer need visa to enter Canada and may use JU as a cheaper and shorter way to reach Canada or vice versa. There are plenty of flights from OTP to BEG and back. I still think JU can consider more Romanian airports being such a huge country. If Tarom decide to expand they can send their ATR-42 to Belgrade from Cluj or Timisoara and therefore codeshare with JU. The flights can be coordinated with BEG-YYZ flights and ensuring more feeder flights. The problem is that these are long term plans which JU I think does not have much priority as they are focusing on the new merchandising strategy.
      As they say, you never know what can happen one day and they might suddenly surprise all of us by launching competitive or innovative services not offered by other carriers.

      Delete
    2. That day might be closer than some people think. Official announcement could be only days or weeks away. Three weeks ago this blog said: "We are aware that Air Serbia may be interested in serving the Canada - Serbia market", Transport Canada said.

      Delete
    3. Just imagine, Serbia connected to 5 worldwide continents one day. If Serbia continues bilateral agreements like it did with China and Iran, I won't be surprised to see a future BEG-GRU flight.

      Delete
    4. Don't forget that JU has its code on RO's morning flight out of Belgrade which means they can offer connections from JFK.

      No wonder OTP's night flights were kept despite massive cuts this winter.

      Delete

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