Air Serbia plans for future under new leadership


Air Serbia is entering the new year with a new interim Chief Executive, who will manage the airline until a permanent replacement for its outgoing head, Dane Kondić, is found. Duncan Naysmith becomes the first foreigner to run Serbia's national airline, having served as the carrier's Chief Financial and Business Transformation Officer since late last year. Mr Naysmith was brought in to oversee the implementation of the airline's new business strategy and its transformation from a full fare into a hybrid carrier. He previously served as the Vice President for Financial Reporting at Etihad Airways before taking up the role as Chief Financial Officer at Alitalia, where he was responsible for the airline's finances, treasury, supply chain and property from December 2014 until the Emirati airline pulled the plug on its loss-making Italian investment.

Following a year of optimisation in 2017, Air Serbia is set to continue on the same trajectory in the new year. The carrier has announced the roll out a new fare model in time for the 2018 summer season, which will give it a greater opportunity to entice travellers with à la carte fees and services, while at the same time benefiting from ancillary revenue and further cost cutting. "There is a fresh new year ahead of us and at Air Serbia we're excited about the developments we have planned over the next twelve months. January is the perfect time of year for innovations and making positive changes and we're doing exactly that at Air Serbia", the company said. It added, "Right now, we're putting the finishing touches on a new fare model that will give even more flexibility when planning travel with Air Serbia, continuing a trend we set last year in introducing more options to our service offering and making the journey more convenient". Some of the changes expected to take place under the new fare system are luggage-free fares, as well as on board catering for a fee. "Soon you will be able to personalise your journey on a whole new level. We know that our guests are looking for more choice in customising their journey and we can't wait to announce these changes over the coming weeks", Air Serbia noted.

Both of Air Serbia's shareholders - the Serbian government and Etihad Airways - have given their vote of confidence to the airline's new management to oversee the implementation of the new services and changes set to take place. “Duncan Naysmith is an experienced leader and has the complete confidence of the Board as we reposition the business for continued development. The new leadership will focus on a clear strategy to meet the challenges ahead and ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for the airline. We know we can rely on Duncan Naysmith’s proven skills and experience to lead Air Serbia during this time. Etihad is committed to providing its expertise and on-going support to Air Serbia both as a major shareholder and partner”, the airline's shareholders said in  a statement. The company has provided no timeframe as to how long Mr Naysmith will serve as interim CEO. In previous shake-ups within the group's management, Etihad Airways' Ray Gammell was interim chief from May 2017 until early this week.

Comments

  1. Well I hope he has better luck with Air Serbia then he did with Alitalia.

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    Replies
    1. It's still early to judge how this new CEO will work out. I hope he listens to the people around him at JU.

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    2. Oso Dane, doso Dankan. U Alitaliji se nije bas pokazo ko dobar menadzer. Nisam impresioniran

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    3. E ako ti sa svojim dubokim uvidom u poslovanje obe firme nisi impresioniran, onda bolje da menjaju pod hitno.

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  2. I don't get how some people still think they will introduce Toronto this year. How would that make sense with them trying to squeeze out every penny they can.

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    1. Why would it not make sense?

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    2. Let's start from the fact that they would have to lease a second long haul plane.

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    3. People said how New York would strain them and they will be flying 6 weekly next summer on this route.

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    4. Yes and loosing a small fortune. Prestige route only.

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    5. Not sure they would be increasing ops. if it were loosing a small fortune.

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    6. If they do start Toronto that means they would have to lease a second long haul plane during the summer. It could be a short term lease and then operate JFK and YYZ with one plane over winter but I still think financially this would be very difficult.

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    7. Unless Etihad provides an A330 for free.

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    8. Don't count on it. Etihad doesn't do anything for free

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    9. EY is not doing that well on its own flights to Toronto, plus they are restricted on frequencies... maybe, just maybe, EY will put in additional frequencies via BEG and use JU landing rights in Canada? If they were smart, they'd do the same with JFK and let JU return the costly A330 and perhaps allow them to recover a bit financially...

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    10. nope.. get two a330 ..myb even 3... and start YYZ

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  3. Its good they are starting to copy the likes of Wizz and Ryanair.

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    Replies
    1. Looking forward to seeing their tickets in the same price bracket! (Looolllll!!!)

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  4. There will be no real change under this "interim" ceo. Look at his previous title - Business Transformation Officer. Means he was the one to start all of this cost cutting.

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    Replies
    1. at least Etihad is here to stay

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    2. Someone had to, otherwise the company would no longer exist. Money doesn't grow on tress. They finally realized that over in the United Arab Emirates.

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    3. Exactly it means more of the same, but like someone said it is an indication Etihad is staying with Air Serbia.

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  5. Last ditch effort. Oh dear. Does anyone know why Kondić was given the flick and why they temporarily filled the void with an ex Alitalia CFO / ex EY exec of sorts? Competing with Wizz? Good luck

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    Replies
    1. Who knows what the financial results are like for this year.

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    2. Financial loss, of course! (unless government gives money or they sell some slots/motors/b737/anything)

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  6. Will Sinisa Mali bi the next CEO?

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    1. God I hope not.

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    2. They must have been better than last year after all the savings they made. I doubt it's that.

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  7. I don't see what's all the fuss about. They will have the same service as most European legacy carriers. BTW BA just announced it is introducing non reclining seats in its short haul fleet.

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    1. Exactly. People act as if its armagedon.

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    2. That's not the issue. The issue is that my money is paying for it.

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    3. BA is a global brand operating from one of the worlds busiest airports. JU on the other hand is/does not....

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    4. Its funny how you compare BA to JU :D

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    5. I didn't compare them. I just noted that numerous European legacy airlines are introducing hard cost cutting measures. Even in the region you have Croatia Airlines selling food for a fee with exception to a small snack box on some longer flights which you get for free. Same with Adria. In Croatia Airlines they have advertisements on the overhead bins. I mean this is regular stuff.

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    6. Croatia Airline has exactly 2 stickers promoting Croatia as a destination on the overhead bins but no commercial ads and you get free drinks and a snack on flights.

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    7. You get the same on JU. Plus free streaming of movies, music and TV shows through their Elevate application, which is also free.

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    8. Anon 9.29 AM
      It wouldn’t be Armageddon if JU didn’t have to sustain operations by using Euro40m of Serbian taxpayer monies

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    9. divide by the population and it makes 5-6 euro per person which is not that much for what you get in return

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    10. No streaming from 1st Jan. Only wi-fi for a fee and gsm service.

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    11. Speaking of Croatia Airlines and Air Serbia, based on the photo in the article, seats in both look exactly the same.

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    12. Ja stvarno ne razumem ljude koji se dive Tuzli, Nisu, Skoplju, Zadru koji se dotiraju novcem lokalnih zajednica.

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  8. JU's biggest issue is not its cost structure but weak sales. They need to invest in sales and in promoting their brand/flights. Etihad just like Dane or this bloke have no clue what they are doing.

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    1. I tend to agree - however they still need to urgently cut back on personnel - they employ too many people judging by the revenue/size of the company

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  9. So it took them 6 months to move from interim CEO to regular CEO at Etihad o.O

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  10. So those neos are definitely off the table? I assume by now they would have boasted that they are getting new planes this year.

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    1. Looks like it. To be honest don't know what's Etihad going to do with them either.

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    2. Well they are not differed or delayed, they are coming to Etihad. It will be up to Air Serbia to decide whether they need them in October (when the first is supposed to arrive) or if they will wait and take the first one in April next year for the 2019 summer.

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  11. Whole Balkan has to thank for the cheap connectivity to the Serbian tax payer being so patient with this prestige project and these amateurs experimenting around..

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    1. You're right, that was a good run. I think even LCCs can't offer RT NY flight for less than 250 EUR, right?

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    2. 250 EUR wtf? When were those fares around and from where?

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    3. The fares were around when loads were really low and the Serbian taxpayer was being generous

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    4. The fares were never that low, stop lying.

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    5. Greek and Cyprus flyers also would like to thank the Serbian goverment for offering souper cheap fares via BEG.
      It was a great relief for New York because the Americans were souper expensive.
      Thankfully though EK now offers very cheap fares.

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    6. Samo ti nemas novca da putujes. Shmrc.

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    7. So, now we complain about high fares AND low fares? Can you please make up your mind :)

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  12. I think there will be many surprises when Air Serbia is in question this year. Few people expected Geneva, increase in frequencies to New York. I think more is to come.

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    Replies
    1. Surprise me. I like surprises

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    2. Me too. I like surprises.

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  13. Unbundling fares is a smart thing. Said the same thing when Adria did it years ago.

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    1. +1 it will be especially useful for regional flights where you usually don't need anything other than hand luggage. Prices to places like Podgorica and Tivat are expensive. I hope with this new fare system prices will go down.

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    2. Prices to places like Podgorica and Sarajevo are expensive because of the expensive taxes and "security taxes" at these airports. Look at the fare breakdown when you purchase a ticket. 70% on the fare to Sarajevo are just taxes.

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    3. True. That's why no low cost airline could survive flying intra-ex-yu routes unless heavily subsidised.

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    4. The lowest prices will remain the same, but this time with no luggage included.
      With lugagge ca 20 EUR per flight segment

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  14. Buducnost za Er Srbiju jeste puna privaizacija. Povecanje flote, uvecanje destinacija. Zavrsetak uplitanje politicara u biznis. Izuzev naplate poreza i sprovodjenja zakona...
    Er Srbija je kompanija koja ce se transformisati i preporoditi. Bez toga ne samo da postavljanje direktora nece pomoci, vec od Air Serbia ostace samo Srbija. Sposobni ljudi uvek postoje. Er Srbija ima potrebu i mesto. Er Srbija ce se razvijati i rasti. Bez sumlje.
    Radovan.
    Kraljevo

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    1. Rodney touches on a good point there. Has the Serbian government actually thought of fully privatizing the airline?

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    2. That's very risky in places such as the Balkans. Just look at what happened with Balkan Airlines when they privatised it.

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    3. Rodni prica svoju uobicajenu pricu. To ne radi ni kod Qvantasa. Prodali su Terminal 3 u Sidneju da bi se izvukli iz gubitaka.

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    4. Radovane,
      Srpska vlada bi bila presrecna da je svojevremeno mogla potpuno da privatizuje Jat Airways ali niko nije hteo ni da ga pogleda...
      Onda je dosao politicki deal sa EY ali oni ne smeju da imaju vise od 49% jer su van Evrope.
      Dakle, to ti je sto ti je.

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    5. Anon 10:32,
      Qantas je u fiskalnoj 2016 / 2017 godine sakljucno sa 3o junom imao gross profit jednu ipo milijardu Australijskih dolara. U drzavama napredne privrede, prodaja svojih upravnih zgrada, terminala... i lissing back je logican nacin poslovanja kada je to u interesu.
      Ovde u Srbiji jeste socio sindikalni sistem odnosa medju ljudima i odnos prema prema vlasnistvu. Ostalo, kako Vi kazete. Oprostite ako sam nerazumljiv.
      Srecan Vam Bozic i radosna nova godina.
      Vas Rodney.
      Kraljevo🇷🇸 🇦🇺Sydney

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  15. Good luck with the new CEO.

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  16. Does anyone know how many passengers Air Serbia had in 2017?

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    1. I think it was slightly down on last year.

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    2. That is bad news.

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    3. It was expected because the number of operations was down on last year. They actually did quite well considering.

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  17. It just seems to me that Etihad doesn't have an idea what to do next.

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  18. We will see if Etihad stays with Air Serbia. Their contract expires in exactly a year. It will also be interesting if they did some deal with Eurowings/Lufthansa like they've done for Air Berlin and Alitalia.

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    Replies
    1. This was meant as a reply to the comment above mine.

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  19. December was not good for Air Serbia at all, 20000 fewer pax compared to December 2016.

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  20. They are stupid. Fares will stay the same while the quality will be destroyed. They are not going to make more money because they will lose passengers.

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  21. Let's face it: project Air Serbia might have not been a good idea. It really had the chance to become a leading air line, with the main focus on connecting people. I'm not surprised this whole luxury upper class concept didn’t work. They behave like in 1988, opening ticket shops, when no airline is doing it anymore – and then closing them again. They should have made a cool young fresh hybrid LCC air line out of it, with a smart, edgy, contemporary name/branding, not necessarily putting an emphasis on Serbia. Air Serbia sounds lame and isn’t unsurprisingly accepted by most of the West Balkan peoples. All these Balkan Airlines want to be bold as Air France, BA etc, but they just aren’t. Air Serbia got the chance, I also believed in it. It could have become THE connector! No clear vision, no ideas -> no success.

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    1. Western balkans.... You are nobody.

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    2. People living in the West of the Balkan Peninsula. GOSH! Don't be so fussy. And no need for insultments! And it's Western Balkans.

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  22. Air Serbia is the leading carrier in the region. It brings the pride of Serbia to all destinations and makes a good promotion for tourism industry. Therefore money invested in the company is never wasted. In fact Serbia needs to invest even more money as half done solutions are never good.

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    1. LOL sure :D

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    2. Lol, Mali jesi li to ti :DD

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    3. I agree, OU is receiving favourable status at ZAG and that is also a form of subsidy. Therefore Serbia should help the national carrier as well.

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    4. Well it does handle the most passengers. It depends how you define "leading". I don't think it really matters who is leading and who is not. That depends on a whole heap of factors like how big is your country size wise, population wise, how big is your tourism sector etc.

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    5. OU is receiving favourable status at ZAG?

      Bullshit! So not true...

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    6. Of course OU has a favourable status at ZAG. Other carriers' expansion is severely limited to secure OU's existence. Not to mention that Air Serbia is prevented in establishing new lines because of the protection OU receives from the state.

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    7. Hahahaha, good one. And that is why there are British, Air France, KLM, Iberia, ČSA, Brussels, Emirates, Air Canada, Air Transat... and 13 flights per day from Lufthansa group per day in Zagreb. Real protectionism.

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    8. Almost all the airlines you listed fly only seasonally.

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    9. Your nationalist blindness prevents you from seeing the obvious truth. OU is protected in ZAG and in Croatia. I have nothing against, just use this as an argument why Serbia needs to protect and subsidize its national carrier.

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    10. And why is ZAG one of the few cities in Europe to not have a lowcost link to either Paris or London?

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    11. ZAG won't let other carriers expand in ZAG because OU is a holy cow there. Sure thing. Classic case of "lupi i ostane živ".

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  23. Finally tickets without luggage. They have been trialing those for years. Last time they did tickets were very cheap. I hope for the same now.

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  24. Considering the CEO's history I'm not expecting much.

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    1. Let's hope he doesn't close down this airline too.

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    2. @Anonymous January 3, 2018 at 1:09 PM
      A good one

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  25. 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 loose the ones you already have.

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  26. Znači Etihad sprema isti scenario kao sa AliItaly

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    1. Vidim da Alitalia leti i uvodi nove linije.

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    2. Alitalija je pocela da raste tek kada se nesposobni etihad povukao.

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  27. These hybrid airlines have never worked out with full fare model on long haul and low cost on short haul.

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  28. They should have created a low cost airline for regional flights with low fares and basic service and kept their standard airline for the reat. Simmilar to what Jat wanted to do in 2003 by creating Inter Airlink. The plan failed when pilots went mental because it would have meant transferring some of them to the new airline and flying with lower wages.

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    1. But with what planes?

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    2. The ATRs and 1 A319.

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    3. Turboprops are not economical for an LCC

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    4. Ni jedna kompanija ne moze da ima LCC cene na letovima za TGD, SJJ, ZAG, BEG jer tu samo takse iznose preko 50 eur...

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  29. BEG FRA povratni sa ASL u ekonomskoj za mart 2018 cena karte oko 4000 RSD plus takse 30 000 RSD :-P pa koga vi u zdrav mozak da li ste normalni šta planirate, čemu li se nadate? I nemoj samo neko da je rekao visoke takse u FRA nisu.

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    Replies
    1. Zasto lazes? Upravo sam proverio 05.03.-12.03. cena karte 19 747RSD. Od toga karta iznosi 4 519RSD, a takse 15 228RSD.

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    2. Koliko je to u € ili kunama?

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    3. @last anon

      165€

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    4. That's because the YQ tax is included in the 'taxes' even if its pure profit for the airline so they earn much more than the 4.000.

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  30. This gift basket is for you. It's a gift that keeps on giving with a simple copy&paste every time Air Serbia is daily topic:

    -Ticket prices are too expensive (no one will fly with them)
    -Ticket prices are too cheap (they are losing money)
    -Outgoing CEO/Incoming CEO don't know what they are doing (pick one or both)
    -They are becoming just like LCC but with soggy sandwiches and expensive tickets
    -They are doomed because EY is staying/because EY is leaving them (pick one or both)
    -Expense cuts went too far/they are still bloated
    -EY will steal their NEO deposits/EY will steal their NEO planes
    -EY is making millions on their loans/JU is taking millions from taxpayers
    -No one is transferring with JU/yields for transfer pax are zero
    -JU has less passengers/more passengers but they are doomed.

    Simple to use even for tycoons bots and jealous neighbors!

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    Replies
    1. +1000
      They are never satisfied.

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  31. A380, Belgrade-Toronto-Chicago?

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  32. I am not saying that they should or would or even could pull a stunt like this but someting like Abu Dhabi-Belgrade-Toronto/Chicago might be fun... or even Abu Dhabi-Belgrade-JFK. JU A332 remains, additional metal coming from EY.
    Add frequencies, no new metal needed, enhancing connectivity and helping routes that are underperforming...

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  33. Je li ostao codeshare Alitalie i Air Serbie, s obzirom na to da se Etihad povukao iz Alitalie?

    ReplyDelete

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