Qatar Airways to expand EX-YU operations


Qatar Airways will further grow its operations in the former Yugoslavia this summer following frequency and capacity upgrades last year. In line with plans announced in 2017, the Qatari carrier will boost capacity on its fights between Doha and Sarajevo from the 144-seat Airbus A320 aircraft to the 182-seat A321 starting today, with the route to be maintained four times per week with a mix of both jets. "We plan to increase the Sarajevo route to daily and introduce the larger Airbus A321 aircraft", Qatar Airways' CEO, Akbar Al Baker, said recently. In addition, the airline has upgraded all of its daily services to Belgrade to the A321 and has received permits to run an additional four weekly flights to the Serbian capital, for a total of eleven. However, it is yet to schedule the additional frequencies. From July, Qatar Airways will also upgauge equipment on its Skopje service, which will run with a mix of A320/A321 aircraft.

Qatar Airways' Chief Commercial Officer, Ehab Amin, said the region remains an important one within the carrier's network, "We feel that the Balkans are underserved and we would like to provide countries in the Balkans with a five star product they deserve. That is why we are focusing on such markets with high opportunities, which benefits both sides, the people in these countries and Qatar Airways as well. We will continue to seek opportunities in this region". On the other hand, Mr Al Baker noted, "This region is growing. It is becoming affluent and at the same time there is economic growth here and an airline plays a very important part in the economic growth of a country. So we intend to continue our expansion in Eastern Europe. We still have several destinations in the Balkans which we will launch".

Despite interest in Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital has not been included in the airline's raft of upcoming new routes for 2018 and 2019. Zagreb remains Qatar Airways' most frequent destination in the former Yugoslavia with a total of two daily flights. The airline is considering increasing capacity on the route next year, with the deployment of wide-body aircraft. Meanwhile, the General Manager of Tuzla AIrport, Rifet Karasalihović, noted, "Qatar Airways has shown interest in cooperating with us, so we can first and foremost become an alternative to Sarajevo in case of adverse weather conditions and later see the establishment of regular charter flights".

Comments

  1. Aviatica reported that they decided against adding more BEG flights. So this suspension is not confirmed? Would be great to know what's happening.

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    1. What suspension are you talking about? You can't suspend something if you didn't have it to begin with. They asked for permits, they got them and they can schedule them anytime they want to.

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    2. You can also suspend plans or suspend the sale of flights that were loaded in the system. They obviously won't go ahead. I can only imagine there wasn't enough demand.

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    3. They were never loaded in the system... furthermore they would not increase capacity and frequencies these past 6 months if they were struglling to fill planes.

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    4. All of their expansions in BEG happened during winter season so this is when they will add the further 4 flights.

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    5. There was no increase last winter.

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    6. Today DOH - BEG 163economy 8 business A321

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    7. That is extremely good! Still very few business passengers to Belgrade to start sending wide body.

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    8. Today BEG DOH LF 49%. Seems that more inboud demand these days...

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    9. Diaspora, tourists cooming to Serbia

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    10. 49% is quite bad. What a difference between inbound and outbound flights.

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    11. A i vi vjerujete svemu sto bilo tko napise ovdje...bilo da je pun ili prazan let bii...

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  2. DBV maybe next year?

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    1. DBV is served via ZAG.

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    2. So is via Emirates, but they still got FlyDubai.

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    3. Pusti ZAG, Dubrovnik treba i zaslužuje izravni let.

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    4. That would be great!

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  3. No wonder they increased BEG to all A321. Serbian market is bouncing back this year which is best seen through so many extra scheduled flights.

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  4. In SOF, they will maintain their 11 weekly service this winter and also deploy their A321 4 times per week.

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  5. Nice to see them increasing capacity to Sarajevo less than a year after the flights were launched.

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    1. And remember the competition they have here like 3 daily Fly Dubai.

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  6. How is Skopje performing for them? Anyone know?

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  7. If they start using widebody next year to Zagreb I doubt they will keep double daily flights. Or will they?

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    1. Highly doubt we will see a widebody since they are no longer sending A321s, only A320s.

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    2. No logic in reducing the number of frequencies in order to deploy bigger aircraft.

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    3. A321 has payload restriction on DOH ZAG sector so not much point really to do it as they have enough 320s. I believe that ZAG may see widebody on one frequency during next summer.

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    4. Well they didn't mind sending the A321 before EK came into town. Just sayin'.

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    5. Why payload restrictions?

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    6. Qatar operates the A321 without a prooblem to places like BUD, BEG, SJJ, OTP and even DME. Moscow flight takes almost 5 hours.

      If they can profitabily operate Moscow with A321 then why not ZAG?

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    7. Well, the fact is that 321 faced about 30-40 seats payload during summer season on DOH ZAG ever since they couldnt overfly Syria and Iraq. That penalty is not present on DME, BEG or BUD. Check the mileage, maybe ZAG is longer and faces some other issues as well re 321. That I do not know, but payload on 321 on ZAG is a fact. As for profitability, they also operate 320 on DME, much like 330 and 777. So that in on itself says nothing, comparison is out of place, especially since you probably dont know if ZAG is more profitable than DME, or if they both make a profit or lose money and on which a/c and periods of year. As much as people in ex yu are OBSESSED with LF, it is not really a measure of profitability...especially for the airlines that do not live on p2p, like QR.

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    8. @AnonymousJune 17, 2018 at 9:34 AM

      Demand for Zagreb is very high among Asian and Australian visitors. B787 + A320 is most likely combo that will be used on the route.

      Although, Emirates has eaten in to Qatar's market share, there's plenty of fish in the water.

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    9. LOL 787 QR ZAG...relax Max! Don´t take it too far! :D

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    10. Seems like QR will be sending larger aircraft to Zagreb next year. Which aircraft and how many frequencies is what we don't know yet but the 787 or A330 seems most likley.

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    11. Tell that to QR..as them themselves dont know abt wide body planned :)

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    12. At last anon, did you read the article above?

      "Zagreb remains Qatar Airways' most frequent destination in the former Yugoslavia with a total of two daily flights. The airline is considering increasing capacity on the route next year, with the deployment of wide-body aircraft."

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  8. I love how optimistic Tuzla Airport is lol

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    1. I agree..how is it possible to think about QR flights with that awful facilities

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  9. Starting 04.07.2018 also Skopje will update the capacity with mix a320/321 - you can check this.

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  10. It is likely that the embargo on Qatar by Arab states will be lifted in fourth quarter so if Qatar restarts all those Middle East routes they will also add more frequencies to ex-Yu.

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    1. I don't think so because they will require a lot of aircraft to operate these Middle Eastern routs. They won't have enough to add extra frequencies.

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    2. At present absolutely nothing indicates that the embargo will end, so not sure why do you expect it and why in 4th quarter?

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    3. In September Trump is meeting with Mid East leaders at Camp David with Qatar being the main topic. He wants them to end the embargo.

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    4. US has been on that for months...so am not holding my breath.

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    5. Do not forget that they are employing a number of aircrafts with AirItaly project!

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  11. Great news. With world cup being hosted in qatar in a few years numbers will continue to go up. Good luck to QR on their ex-Yu routes.

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  12. Does anybody know anything why they misleaded the market in Serbia by announcing last year that they are deploying A320 with a widebody like business class for BEG flights. That’s just not true and they never recalled that info marketed last your around spring.

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    1. I really hope we will see wide body from Qatar/UAE in Belgrade soon. It would add so much comfort to flying and connecting.

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  13. Surprised about the Skopje upgrade. I was on that route 6 times this year and the flights were 50 to 60% full.

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    1. Australia diaspore more then 500.000 Macedonians live there

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    2. Yet seems like many don't fly on QR ;)

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    3. But still not enough to deploy Emirates plane to Skopje but only FlyDubai.

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    4. Not nearly 500k by anybodies count...https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macedonian_diaspora?wprov=sfla1

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    5. 500,000 Macedonians in Australia? What are you on, lol?

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    6. @ObedinetaMKDJune 17, 2018 at 10:22 AM

      130 000 Macedonians 1st and 2nd generation in Ozz, the fact in Macedonia there are only 1.4 million of you, how can there be 500k in Ozz???

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    7. sorry about my mistake...

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    8. LOL 500k??? hahaah relax your dreams a bit

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  14. SKP will have soo many A321 this summer!! 2 wizz 1 Germania 1 Qatar sometimes TK sends 321. Can someone count how many weekly flights will be operated by 321?

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    1. also sometimes Austrian send A321!

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    2. oh wow, that is so stunning!

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  15. I wonder which ex-Yu city QR could go to next.

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    1. I'd say Dubrovnik. Or Ljubljana.

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  16. In summer months most flights out of or to Zagreb are have great load factor, normally 90-92%, problem is winters, OU has terrible management which can't do what every normal airline does, and has tuned up code-share and transfers so that passengers arrive in waves and can be quickly transferred to their final destinations.

    l,eave you with few nice images of Air Canada in Zagreb.

    https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/34337253_1886553434973812_7332747366098796544_n.jpg?_nc_cat=0&oh=6473f9b6caf1c3d8625c58ed2cd835b6&oe=5BB86D3C

    https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/34201280_1886553498307139_2573510056909733888_n.jpg?_nc_cat=0&oh=46fe929cb677d84ba4d7b4b43efe4170&oe=5BA2A5FE

    https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/34411850_1886553524973803_9135671613579067392_n.jpg?_nc_cat=0&oh=2bc4d71a683544e7494dcd5639e646d8&oe=5BBF9263

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  17. I think they will send 787 next year in ZAG, but not 2daily, maybe 10pw (5xQR215/6 & 5XQR217/8)

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