Adria to take over Darwin Saabs


Adria Airways plans to take over Saab 2000 regional tubroprops from its former subsidiary Darwin Airline, which declared bankruptcy in December of last year. The fifty-seat aircraft are expected to re-enter Adria's fleet at the start of the 2018 summer season in March. It ends several months of uncertainty whether the turboprops, which have been grounded since Darwin's demise, would be taken over by the Slovenian carrier. Adria has based its expansion plans out of Ljubljana this summer on the utilisation of the aircraft, which are scheduled to operate all six of its new routes, as well as a select number of other cities. The majority of the Saabs have been sitting on the tarmac at Ljubljana Airport for the past few weeks. As previously reported, Adria also plans to lease additional Bombardier CRJ900 capacity, with two of its own Bombardiers to be wet-leased to other carriers over the summer.

Adria took over some of Darwin Airline's Saabs, which were operating under the brand name Adria Airways Switzerland, during the last two quarters of 2017. They were deployed on regional routes from Ljubljana to Podgorica, Prague, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Tirana and Vienna. In an interview to the "Aero Telegraph" portal in October of last year, Adria's CEO, Arno Schuster, noted, "Our fleet now ranges from the 140-seat A319 to the 50-seat Saab 2000. We are thus much more flexible. We now have the right aircraft for every situation. Likewise, we can do better in the wet-lease market because we now have a suitable aircraft for every need".

Slovenia's national airline yesterday reported it carried more than 1.2 million passengers in 2017, representing an increase of 10% on the year before. From its second base in Pristina, the airline handled 177.166 travellers, which is similar to 2016's figure. It retained its position as the fourth busiest airline in the city. Its network-wide passenger growth came as result of the introduction of additional frequencies on existing services and the launch of flights between Ljubljana and Kiev. Mr Schuster noted that 2017 was key for the carrier as it improved frequencies and reduced its minimum connecting time at Ljubljana Airport. Adria handled a record 1.740.000 passengers with an average cabin load factor of 80% in 1987, which was the busiest year for aviation in the former Yugoslavia. It has been unable to surpass the figure since. The airline is yet to release its financial results.

Comments

  1. I notice they already put it on some Podgorica flights from 25 March.

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    1. Wouldn't this indicate that their loads are not that great on these routes? I mean Saab has 20 seats less than CRJ700 which is the smallest plane in their fleet.

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    2. They adjust capacity depending on occupancy. Basically they send the ATR or Saab depending on how the cabin is filled. Very smart in my opinion.

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    3. I am sure they aim at selling more than 50 seats on most of flights due to be operated by S20 and if they sell more then they'll simply use a CR7 or CR9 on that rotation.

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    4. It's not that simple, you need to know which aircraft you are targeting before you start selling tickets, to adjust prices.

      For example, first 60 tickets for A319 will be quite cheap. So you sell only 60 tickets, decide that you can't fill A319, so you send CRJ700. While LF will be very high, you only sold cheap tickets and flight will most likely operate with loss.

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  2. Perfect time to relaunch BEG from LJU flights with the SAABs....

    Can these planes operate out of POW as well?

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    1. It can take off from POW but unfortunately can't land because of the displaced threshold at Portoroz.

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    2. Unfortunate. I think Portoroz airport would have traffic if it could handle commercial planes. The fact that they have 25,000 passengers last year shows how much potential it has.

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    3. Quite sure it can operate at POW but with weight restrictions.

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    4. It can without any weight restriction

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  3. They seem to need them. Last night they had to wet lease a Dash from Croatia Airlines to operate a charter.

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    1. Charter on a Dash? o.O

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    2. charter was FCO - TRS

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    3. They have been provided charter flights for Udinese football club from 2015.

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    4. Well there are really quite a few charters on turboprops here in the wider region for example GRZBWK, INNSPU, Italian Destinations to BWK, BZO to 6 or 7 Italian Destinations etc

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    5. BWK with italian destination can be good

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  4. Good passenger results in 2017. Could they overtake the record in 2018?

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    1. I doubt they will add half a million passengers.

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    2. It is possible actually.

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  5. Launching a whole bunch of flights is easy. Filling the seats at a decent price is more challenging. Let's see how JP performs and what is kept in winter time.

    KBP seems to have been the right move for them despite some on here (JATBEGLAX) saying it was unnecessary.

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    1. I agree but I think the risk is not as great because of these planes. It's only 50 seats.

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    2. KBP had a 20% increase in traffic and is the perfect destination.
      The same applies to SOF, I think both destinations will be successful.

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    3. I do wonder how Hamburg and Geneva will perform.

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    4. Why hasn't OU launched KBP? Seems like a good route for their Q400. It could leave at night and return in the morning.

      They deseperately need to think of a new business approach.

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    5. @Anonymous January 25, 2018 at 9:09 AM
      Not if they keep these prices. 150 EUR for a return flight to SOF is too much. After all they are using turbo-props. They need to give much lower price. I think the maximum have to be 100 EUR for the return flight. KBP is a different story and they can afford having these prices, but on SOF route no.

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    6. I think SOF-LJU is destined for business travellers rather than transfer. JU has better coverage to the Balkan capitals compared to LJU . I also think that travellers will use it as a ZAG alternative unless, OU decides to launch flights from ZAG to SOF.

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    7. Main problem with OU is that they fly seasonally to a lot of markets. This makes it difficult for passengers to get used to flying with them. They need to pull their act together and to be more serious.

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    8. O&D-wise: ZAG SOF has far better chances of survival than LJU SOF

      Transfer-wise: with these prices LJU stands no chance. Sorry but MUC-SOF via LJU with a 2WW plane in August is 315 EUR vs LH direct 3x daily for 180 EUR. Don't really see their point

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  6. Anyone flown with these Saabs?

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    1. yes and it's more confortable than ATR or Dash

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    2. These particular ones look nice inside courtesy of Etihad

      http://www.airlinereporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_4229.jpg

      http://www.airlinereporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_4269.jpg

      https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/darwin-airline-saab-interior-leipzig-germany-sep-september-operating-under-brand-name-etihad-regional-59747333.jpg

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    3. Etihad did a fantastic job retrofitting those planes. They are more comfortable than Adria's CRJs.

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    4. I did it last time in the middle of November last year on a flight from Ljubljana to Vienna. Had also several flights from Trieste to Linate in late 2016 with them when Alitalia utilised them on this route. As you can see the cabin is in Etihad send colours, pleasant and comfortable. I agree that the whole flying experience is much better than with ATR or Dash. All my flights were really enjoyable.

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    5. Too bad they didn't do such a good job running the airline

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    6. Good to hear anon 10.06 (1).

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  7. So that means 20 planes in the fleet? -3 which are/will be leased out?

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    1. It doesn't mean they will take all the Saabs, which I believe there are 6. It's not clarified how many they will take.

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    2. They may even get all of them but they will probably wet lease the majority, liked they plan to with Darwin in the first place.

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    3. Adria is gaining traction in the ACMI business. It's no guarantee they're making money doing this but it's promising.

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  8. So, the timeline is:

    They purchased an airline
    They did not even try to operate with it
    The airline goes bankrupt
    Swiss authorities start investigation
    Adria gets their planes

    ...

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    1. I think there will be some criminal charges against 4K by the Swiss. Reading Swiss newspapers it is becoming more and more obvious that the financial hole was created during their stint at running the airline.

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    2. I still don't understand what they wanted to achieve by buying Darwin.

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    3. Having an AOC in Switzerland would give them acces to some cash cow routes. Unfortunately the 4K installed incapable management so here the outcome. And of course, they got it almost for free. Like they did Adria.

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  9. I thought they had more passengers from PRN.

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    1. 177,000 isn't bad.

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    2. I'm interested to see what they will do with their Pristina and Tirana bases. They don't seem to be doing much with them.

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  10. Wondering where they will get the pilots and flt dispatchers from to handle all these aircraft.

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    1. It was reported last week on this site

      "Adria has invited former Darwin cabin crew to apply for jobs through Swiss-based aviation employment agency Growing.Aero, who will then be assigned onto Adria-operated flights"

      But apparently a lot of the Darwin pilots do not want to work for JP under the terms offered.

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    2. Of course not, I imagine they were offered Adria's salaries, which you probably can't live on in Switzerland.

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    3. growing is not employment agency but engineering provider (camo). one of the owners of was hired by 4K last year. unfortunatelly, known in the area as a grave digger.
      Contract offered to the crew is the last option anyone would want but of course better than unemployment which they caused.
      The end story of this saga is, that 4K has completely incompetent management, which proven before these people were even hired by it.

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  11. These guys have planes coming and going on a daily basis. I can't keep up.

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    1. Are they wet leasing a Fokker at the moment? Or has that ended?

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  12. Congratulations on the traffic figures and the new planes Adria.

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    1. I wouldn't exactly call them new.

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    2. How old are they?

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    3. average age 21 years!

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    4. There goes their title of having the youngest fleet in ex-yu.

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    5. Still it is.

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  13. Adria with turboprops for the first time in over 20 years.

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  14. These planes give them a lot more flexibility in my opinion to launch new routes. Much less of a risk. Allows them to develop a route before upgrading to the CRJ.

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  15. Does anyone know on which routes are the A319s used?

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    1. Svo,Fra,Prn,Tia,tgd in summer and charter flights

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    2. Mostly to A* Hubs

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  16. Bravo Slovenia!

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  17. As expected. They will be in the Slovenian register soon.

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    1. I assume they will be removing the Swiss flag from the tail?

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  18. Smart idea to use Saabs.

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  19. Not sure how much passengers will appreciate seeing a turboprop waiting for them rather than a nice Bombardier

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    1. Average flyer (who does not post on Aviation board) will not care, trust me. Most people can't even tell the difference.

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    2. Exactly no one will notice. Like someone wrote above, the Saabs are in good shape and look good inside.

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    3. Average flier who pay 480 EUR for a return ticket will care a lot when boarding this plane.

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    4. That depends on the passenger type... for business passengers (myself included) the most important thing by far is the timing of the flight... I couldn't care less about the plane if it gets there in my convenient time. Only in cases where you have more offer on the same hours (like in LJU you don't), you would care about the experience. In my free time, I wouldn't fly to LJU for 480 EUR even if they send an A380.

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    5. Many people see propellers and get scared. Concur (used for business bookings) even has a checkmark when searching flights to hide any turboprop flights.

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    6. How could they know which plane will fly on their route? Will they freak out at the gate, turn around and leave?

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  20. Anyone know how their finances are performing? Profit or loss in 2017?

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  21. Pitty they didn't report on their load factor for last year.

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    1. They did. It was 66,9%, which is better then 2016 and in line with long-term avarege.

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    2. That's a bit better than 2016 when it was 65.5%.

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    3. But it is still down on 2015 - 67.9%.

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    4. They have more planes now so it's understandable.

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    5. LF depends on rpks and asks, no. of planes doesn't matter

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  22. Do they sell business class fares on these Saab planes?

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    1. Yes they do. LJU-TGD-LJU in late March/early April on Saab on business class fare 669.66 EUR. Haha

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    2. Very competitive price there :D

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    3. Aj sad, LJU-TGD let od cca 1 i pol sat.....business klasa.....650 ojrica.
      Pa da sam Rokofeler, ne bi

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    4. who on earth would fly to pay C class between LJU and TGD.

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    5. Well at that price - no one.

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    6. Well, you do have an option on their page to upgrade to business class for 49 euros...

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    7. Don't you have to bid for the upgrade?

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  23. Congratulations Adria. I hope the investment turns out to be a smart one.

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    1. Unlike the investment in Darwin...

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  24. Cutting transfer time at LJU airport was one of their smartest moves.

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    1. +1
      Also turned out to be great news for Ljubljana Airport. Number of transfer passengers has grown significantly.

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  25. Adria actually used to operate a Saab long ago. A cargo version Saab340.

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    1. http://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/airliners/9/8/1/2737189.jpg?v=v40

      http://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/airliners/3/0/2/2385203.jpg?v=v40

      http://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/airliners/0/6/4/1069460.jpg?v=v40

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    2. wow when was this? Where did this plane fly to?

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    3. Not much to compare between SF34 and SB20 but the name

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  26. Paying high prices to fly on a Saab with the pilots who does not know if they will have a job tomorrow...

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    1. how you know that you will have a job tomorrow?

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    2. It's completely unperspective rating for the pilots, particulary with this employer

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    3. Well CRJ is not much better, pilot job-wise.

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  27. This will be a great year for Adria and a lot of expansion is involved. New routes, extra frequencies and extra planes. I think Adria is on its way to recovery and is looking more and more as serious player in ex-Yu.

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  28. I'm looking forward to seeing how their new routes will perform this summer.

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  29. Congrats Adria. Those Saabs would be ideal for JU.

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    1. Well at least it would bring the fleet average age a year or two down. And that's about it.

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  30. With the Saabs, they may target secondary airports in exYu in the future. We will see.

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    1. Sure: INI and BWK must on the top of their list

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    2. BWK is connected to the majority of Europe, while INI needs more legacy airlines such as JP, JU and OS.

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    3. Zaista nema smisla da siromasni gradjani Tuzle i Nisa placaju aerodromske radnike da bi se gradjani Beograda i gastosi prevozili za dzabe. Kad Zadar
      plati nekom avio prevozniku tada dodje turista koji ostavi 200-500 jura za odmor dok gastosi ne potrose ni 100 jura za taj vikend. Ni Adria tu ne daje nista za dzabe, samo neka voze na Brac.

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    4. anon 3:19: they already announced that they are going to bwk satrting at the end of April.

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  31. Hope they change the livery soon to full JP colours.

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  32. Saab aircrafts are not that cheap anymore to operate. Spare parts are rate nowadays as just one company sells them. Also hve my doubts that overwriting the fleet with all permits will be possible within a few months.
    Lets see how that will develop

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