Ryanair plans Serbia expansion


Ryanair has held talks with the Serbian government over plans to expand its operations in the country. The Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, has confirmed that a meeting between the two sides took place recently. "We just held talks with Ryanair. They have given us suggestions on how they could expand and how we could further improve our partnership. We are currently working on it but we will also continue supporting our national carrier", Ms Branbić said. It comes just several weeks after the Serbian Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlović, noted that Belgrade Airport should see more low cost flights following its takeover by VINCI in late September.

Ryanair launched operations to Serbia in 2016 by introducing flights to Niš Constantine the Great Airport, from which it now maintains services to five destinations. Among no frill carriers, it had the second largest passenger share in Serbia in 2017, behind only Wizz Air but ahead of Flydubai. Ryanair's Chief Commercial Officer, David O'Brien, said last year, "We believe that the Serbian market has great potential. Basing an aircraft is currently not an option for us, but developments take place quickly with Ryanair. Of course, this does not mean that Rynaiar will not continue expanding its network from Niš and attributing to its passenger growth".

The Serbian government has previously said that there is interest from carriers to set up a base in Niš. "The airport lacks the capacity to act as a base, however, this is set to change with the completion of several ongoing projects. There is interest from airlines to establish a base but we have to finish a few things first. We are hopeful that the planned investments will be completed and that an airline will then station an aircraft in Niš", the government said. Air Serbia recently warned that a number of low cost airlines would enter its home market in the near future. "The flood of low cost carriers that have waged war on traditional airlines across Europe is on its way to Serbia. It definitely weighs heavily on our thoughts in terms of our future plans”, the airline noted.


Comments

  1. I really hope this means they will start flights from BEG!

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    1. No chance. Unless they are given huge discounts which I doubt. That's why you don't see them at any capital city airport in ex-Yu.

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    2. Not true. They fly to Podgorica.

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    3. Well, you have them in Sofia, Budapest and Bucharest so Belgrade makes sense. They will accept higher charges if demand is there.

      I could see them looking at FRA-BEG. Another possibility is AMS but I doubt they have any slots left.

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    4. They are flying from/to Amsterdam so you can see them on main airports.

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    5. FRA-BEG would be awesome! LH and JU keep prices up in the sky.

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  2. Wait but wasn't the narrative that when the government takes over INI they will chase Ryanair out?

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  3. Ryanair has always been the toughest negotiator regarding airport taxes. Them talking directly to the government could be very good sign.

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    1. Ryanair is always trying to get a very good deal on fees. But in the end, if they see a profitable market, they go there, even if the nominal fees are high (FRA, VIE, AMS)

      An airline talking directly to the government about its business is nowhere a good sign. It shows that the system is broken. It is not just the smell of corruption, it stinks horrible. What could they possibly talk about that would be acceptable and involves the PM? To me it sounds like that they just ordered a tender procedure exactly as was tailor-made for Wizz in Skopje few months ago. It is so disgusting. Ryanair will try to expand here anyway, if not now than in a few months.

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    2. Serbia isn't a major market like FRA, VIE and AMS so the airline certainly has to have good relations with the airport's main stakeholder, which is the government.

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    3. Airport main and only stakeholder is Vinci Airports

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  4. I think their INI-BTS route is doomed once Wizz Air launches Vienna. I have a feeling Laudamotion might be stepping in while Bratislava might be discontinued.

    In the first three months of 2018, Ryanair carried 7.680 passengers to Bratislava which is a 78% load-factor. The market from Vienna will most definitely be bigger so it's not surprising Wizz Air is being aggressive.

    One market they could be looking at is The Netherlands. Q1 of 2017 there were 35.853 passengers from BEG while this year the number grew to 51.397!

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    1. Thanks for the stats. I agree with you that they are probably toast on the INI-BTS route after Wizz Air launches Vienna.

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    2. Why such a boom from the NL?

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    3. Transavia and an additional frequency to EIN by Wizz Air.

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  5. They need to start flights from Nis to Paris ASAP.

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    1. Agree. Paris seems a logical choice. I'm surprised they haven't launched it before. Quite a lot pf people from east/south serbia lives around that area.

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  6. The only question is whether these talks are regarding them flying out of Nis or starting Belgrade.

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  7. I don't understand that they haven't launched flights from BEG. Taxes can't be an excuse since Wizz has a base in BEG and easy jet is expanding as well.

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    1. Maybe rather Kraljevo or Uzice in the larger catchment area of Belgrade? That way they can avoid BEG fees.

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  8. Come on...STN-BEG to teach the rest of duopoly...

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    1. Are prices on Wizz Air expensive on the London route?

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    2. Yes, please STN-BEG, prices have gone up significantly. End the duopoly.

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  9. I hope Ryanair eventually opens a base in INI.

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    1. Doubt it with current limbo Nis is in. But it could mean they want to start flights to BEG.

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  10. Finally a useful airline the government is talking to!

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    1. I fully appreciate it may be of use to you and I hope you will appreciate that some of the airlines the government previously talked to have been very useful to others.

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  11. If they come to BEG, we might have a little LCC war at hands between them and Wizz. Like in Sofia.

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    1. If Ryanair came to BEG and opened as many lines as in SOF, it would be the end of JU.

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    2. They don't seem to have crushed Bulgaria Air which is still flying.

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    3. Bulgaria Air is a dead man walking.

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    4. Not only that but Tarom and Lot are still around. Ryanair is not as dangerous as they were a decade ago, airlines have adapted to their tricks.

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    5. They have crushed it and Bulgaria air is surely not profitable in SOF, in the warm months it deployes all its A320s at the seaside.
      However, it is part of a huge air industry conglomerate, as its owner has substantial shares in the Lufthansa Technik JV, as well as in the Fraport JV who got the concession for the two airports in Varna and Burgas some years ago (both highly lucrative)...Thus, I guess there are cross subsidies between those businesses

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    6. If JU gets crushed so be it. They should face that challenge. Survival of the fittest.

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    7. Well read what the PM said. She said they will continue supporting JU while also negotiating with other airlines. So any expansion will either be controlled or the government will keep pumping money into JU.

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    8. Air Serbia simply doesn't have a strategy. And that's the main problem.

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    9. With the current strategy a potential LCC war in BEG will definately kill AS in terms of O&D folks

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    10. The government can't do anything to protect JU from EU-based airlines. There is an Open Skies Agreement in place that removed any restrictions. If they could protect JU then easyJet would never get the permit to fly from Berlin.

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    11. Bingo last anon

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    12. but the issues is that ryanair would like to get some discounts and support, otherwise he will not fly in serbia. if government doesn't give them some incentive they will not fly. that's what this is about.

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    13. Maybe if we are speaking about secondary markets like INI or KVO. BEG is a different story. Same way they get help from Plovdiv but not from Sofia.

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    14. Bulgaria Air definitely struggled yet kept its situation, somehow.
      Their strongest routes were affected namely: MAD, BRU.
      What keeps them on is the continuous transfer traffic via AMS, CDG and VAR is a very important market too as its both transfer + O&D.
      Other strong routes with no competition yet are PRG, PMI, BEY, ODS & ZRH.
      The 4 Embraer jets purchased in 2012 definitely played a good role as it is easier to fill them.
      The Airbus fleet is not new, but in excellent conditions.
      Therefore, even though the thirsty vultures W6 and FR are fighting in SOF, we are unlikely to see FB die anytime soon as they have a different market.

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    15. Plus, seems like both W6 and FR are struggling to find new markets given the amount of frequencies they are cutting.

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  12. Ryanair will come to Belgrade. The only question is when.

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    1. I think Ryan is happy with flying to Nis for the time being.

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  13. Wonder which routes they could start from BEG.

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    1. Madrid or Barcelona!!!

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    2. Frankfirt main. Would give Lufthansa and Air Serbia a run for their money.

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  14. Maybe this will wake up Wizz Air and force them to do more in Serbia.

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    1. Any chance for them to base a third plane in BEG?

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    2. Not before 2019.

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    3. They haven't exactly had too much success with the latest round of routes they launched from BEG. They had to cancel two.

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    4. they have never stopped a route from SKP though, that is funny...

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    5. They virtually have no competition in SKP.

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  15. I think Vinci will first focus on bringing some legacy airlines to BEG rather than LCCs.

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    1. Don't be so sure. They do a lot of business with LCCs at the airports they run.

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    2. KLM, SAS, Air France and British Airways would be good additions.

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    3. VINCI cooperates more with LCCs then with legacies actually.

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    4. I could see FR launch LIS-BEG, two weekly, if TAP isn't interested. Linking two Vinci airports would be a no brainer.

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    5. Very Good idea LIS, and this wont harm AS!

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  16. Can they try to fly from nis to some italian cities? Many albanians live in italy from kosoco and macedonia, and serbs aswell, maybe they would use nis if they offer cheap tickets?

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    1. Isn't there Nis-Bergamo?

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    2. Yes, they fly to Bergamo twice a week.

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  17. Would love to see Ryan in BEG. Also good to see BEG getting many wide bodies this summer. Mahan again sending A340-300 today. Also at the airport today Hainan A330 and Air Serbia A330. Tomorrow Iran Air with A310 and AlMasria with A330.

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    1. I think on average there are three widebodies per day now!

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    2. Well, third.

      #1 IST
      #2 ATH
      #3 BEG

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    3. Iran Air with A300-600(capacity: 278), not A310 (capacity 200)

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  18. Keep them out of Sarajevo, we don't want them there!

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    1. You don't want LCC's in Sarajevo?

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    2. No, we want quality airlines like Lufthansa, Austrian.

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  19. Dobra vest. Dobro za povecanje broja putnika. Povecanje broja letova. Ryanair ocekuje otvaranje aerodroma Morave Kraljevo. Kao i Ponikvi kod Uzica... Tim pre sto pojedinacni potencijali ova dva aerodroma nece ugrozavati poziciju koncesionara VINCI Aviation na aerodromu Nikola Tesla.
    Low Cost-eri mogu uspesno razvijati aerodrome Srbije. Za razliku od Nacionalnog prevozioca Air Serbia. Bar je pozicija za sada takva. Aerodromima su potrebni avioni i putnici, a vladi Srbije povecan broj turista, kargo saobracaja i brzi razvoj domace mreze. Ne za iducih 20 godina vec u ovom vremenu. Sigurna je jedna cinjenica. A to je da rzava nece rusiti putnicke terminale Morave ni Ponikve, vec napravljene vec otvoriti za letove onima koji mogu razvijati saobracaj i sekundarnih aerodroma. Sto prije to bolje za pocetak ekspanzije civilne avijacije u Srbije. Planovi se menjaju zbog potreba razvoja. I ubrzava planiranje.
    Rodney, Sydney.

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  20. Hope they put these plans in motion by winter 18/19.

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  21. Several years ago it was impossible to even think about Ryan in Serbia so this is great news.

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    1. +1 good to see some rational progress.

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  22. Can't wait to see what they have planned.

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  23. When they base a plane how many new routes do they usually open?

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  24. What happened to Croatia Airlines strike?

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    1. Read the news item from last Friday.

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  25. Maybe they are simply talking to the government to see how Nis will be affected by their takeover.

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    1. The PM clearly said they are talking about expanding.

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    2. And the PM would never lie to the people of course.

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  26. "PM: They have given us suggestions on how they could expand" -- haha they have told them how much popust they want to have

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    1. Exactly. Wonder if the government will cave in. Then again getting more LCC flights is always good PR for the government.

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    2. If they managed to persuade the Republika Srpska government, they will manage the Serbian one too.

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  27. How many aircraft will be based in INI? Will they be 3 similar to SOF?

    My guess for destinations from/to INI is:
    BVA, BCN, LIS, STR, FKB, STN, KBP, LYS, SKG, DUB, EDI, RAK, TLV.

    If this ever happens, INI will become a small, important FR base.

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    1. Again airlines from EU are unlikely to get approval to launch flights between two non EU countries.

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    2. So what I want to say is that Tel Aviv is highly unlikely. Although I doubt there would be demand anyway.

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    3. INI - LIS/DUB/EDI/RAK ? come on...get real

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    4. They could try INI-JFK with the 737 max that are coming next year

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    5. If this ever happens, it will be very bad news for SKP.
      SKP has been anticipating FR for many years but have been completely dominated by W6.
      Also, FR has shown its solid position in INI with the 5 routes.

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    6. INI can position itself to big European capitals + gastarbeiter markets + focus on Scandinavia (which SOF can apparently not sustain). But no TLV, RAK and stuff like that...

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    7. i have heard that they will close SKP if FR opens a base in INI

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    8. 737 MAX 200 doesn't have much larger range than 737-800, so good luck with INI-JFK. Not to mention it's crazy to even propose that.

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    9. .. and i have heard that INI JFK, INI LAX and INI SIN is in the talks...

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    10. Anon 2:17 PM
      Scandinavia was never successful for SOF. Bulgarian diaspora over there is extremely small. The only route doing well is CPH. Most Bulgarians live in Spain and UK.
      TLV is becoming the new BCN with more new destinations from Eastern Europe so INI has much potential.
      RAK is a very affordable destination as Serbs want to try something new.
      I also see potential in STN or LTN because flights from Serbia to London are extremely high.
      There was a serb living there and he shared with us on how expensive it is to travel from London.
      DUB and BHX are big cities not offered from BEG, so FR can prove itself there too.

      Possible scenario in 2019 is daily ZRH operated by LX.

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    11. I am curious to find out two things:

      1. Swiss' INI frequencies in winter 2018
      2. Swiss' INI frequencies in summer 2019

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  28. I think a Ryanair blitz in Belgrade like the one in Sofia is imminent.

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  29. They could come to BEG as a way to harm W6 and JU.

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  30. Once Vinci takes over BEG I do expect a number of announcements from airlines. Ryanair would be a great addition.

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    1. I am sure Vinci made sure that the government doesn't block all new entrants onto the market. They are already preparing for a busy winter season. So far we have the following:

      1. Tarom +1
      2. LOT +3
      3. easyJet +10

      I don't know what will happen to the Iranians or Red Wings but right now we are looking at an additional two daily flights for BEG during the upcoming winter season.

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    2. JU will fly daily to SOF(+1) and daily to Milan (+2) so far that's three more than last year. Though knowing Jat...sorry, Air Serbia... they will probably cut something else.

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  31. Typical news for Serbia: nothing exactly was said but politicians are in mention...

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    1. Like Croatia - USA flights, years and years

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  32. Ryanair is launching Marseille-Budapest/Bucharest. I wonder if they might consider Belgrade as well, even on a summer seasonal basis, two times per week. Belgrade is an upcoming tourist destination so it is attractive to many different airlines.

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    1. Do you see BEG or INI as future FR base?

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    2. Hello. I don't think either one will become in the next five years. I think they will first see how the market responds to them before making such a big and important decision. Time will tell. That said, BEG is tricky for them as Wizz Air is strong and easyJet is expanding. I fear they missed their train.

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  33. Hope they fly from the North of England LBA-BEG

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