Air Serbia to take former Rossiya jet


Air Serbia will lease an Airbus A319 aircraft formerly operated by Rossiya Airlines and owned by financing and leasing company GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). According to the Russian "Avioport" portal, Rossiya Airlines has confirmed that an A319, registered EI-EZD, will soon undergo painting and a cabin retrofit prior to its delivery to Air Serbia. The jet in question was manufactured in 2006 and is almost twelve years old. The development comes as Rossiya Airlines returns five of its Airbus A320-family aircraft to lessors ahead of the 2018/19 winter season. Air Serbia has neither confirmed nor denied reports whether it will take on the A319 jet.

The aircraft is likely to replace another within the Air Serbia fleet. As reported in January, the Serbian carrier is expected to return some of its narrow-body Airbus-family jets at the end of the year as their leasing contracts expire. The airline has been tight-lipped on its future fleet plans, in particular the delivery of ten Airbus A320neos which are due to begin arriving in the fourth quarter of the year. Commenting on the aircraft, which were secured as part of a major fleet order by equity partner Etihad Airways, the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vučić, said in June he would "have to check" whether the aircraft will be delivered. The delivery of the neos to Air Serbia has been slated in between late 2018 and 2020.

The airline is also yet to address the future of its Boeing fleet, currently utilised primarily by its dedicated charter brand Aviolet. Earlier this year, Air Serbia retired two of the four B737-300s only to return one of them back to service this summer due to a record number of charter operations. Last year, Air Serbia's Chief Operations Officer, Declan Keller, said the carrier could invest in the B737 jets and thus extend their utilisation by a further four to five years. However, such a move would require a costly engine overhaul and a cabin refurbishment. Alternatively, Mr Keller noted that the airline would consider the retirement of two B737s.

Comments

  1. I hope they get serious about their fleet and do something about the old ATRs and Boeings. I guess the neos ain't coming.

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    1. Unfortunately, not. Plus, the article says: the Serbian carrier is expected to return some of its narrow-body Airbus-family jets at the end of the year as their leasing contracts expire.
      This also gives you another idea on how significantly their fleet will be reduced.
      Just hoping that this will be temporary during the winter season because less fleet = less destinations.

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    2. Actually if you click on the linked article they are due to return two planes in total. And they already found the replacement for one.

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    3. Honestly I don't think JU needs neos at this point. It needs planes of around 100 seats and much more regional aircraft.

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    4. Agree. Focus should be on replacing and expanding regional fleet.

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    5. I actually think they need a regional jet plane. Something with the capacity to seat 100 passengers. Jat and now Air Serbia never filled the void of getting rid of the DC9/B727s which were actually the backbone of their fleet. They retired all those planes over night and had no alternative planned. 100-seaters would be perfect for many routes.

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    6. Airbus now has C series. CS100 would be a perfect fit for ASL.

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    7. They could always wet lease CRJs from Adria.

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    8. With what money they would buy or lease A220 (CS100)?

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    9. With the same money they are now paying for A320 leases.

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    10. Only problem is that lease of new A220 is much bigger than A319 7 years old. You should know that.

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    11. Hopefully they reach less scandalous leasing agreement for the new aircraft than they had for current planes.

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  2. My guess is they will only find a replacement for one of the two aircraft they return. They don't need 10 A319/320s in winter.

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    1. True. I think last winter they parked one aircraft.

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  3. Good news! That is a relatively young bird!

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  4. Wouldn't it have been less expensive just to extend the existing contract and not have to paint and refit the cabins on another plane?

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    1. It would indicate that the leasing terms they had for one of the existing planes wasn't very good. And everyone knows already that the leasing terms for all of their planes are poor.

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    2. Cost of repainting is not going to be paid by Air Serbia:

      https://airlinerwatch.com/rossiya-to-return-five-airbus-a319-2/

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    3. Ok thanks, interesting

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    4. But there will be costs for those wich ASL returning.

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  5. Nadam se da ce iznajmljivanje ovog aviona biti pod povoljnijim uslovima nego sto je slucaj sa postojecim. Ne znam za koliko aviona istice lizing ove god.? Bilo bi pametno recimo vratiti 5 A319,uzeti ovaj iz Rusije i uvesti u flotu 2 A320 neo. Tako bi znatno smanjili troskove za zimu a na prolece expanzija i dolazak drugog A330.Toronto i Cikago moraju krenuti sto pre jer je konkurencija nemilosrdna.

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  6. So ASL doesn't have any plans to retire the resto of the B733 aircraft for now, interesting...

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    1. That surprised me too. At the end of the day, this type of aircraft is extremely reliable. I think it is one of the most successful aircraft ever. Reliable bird. Remember Lufti? They used them for decades and had an excellent safe record.
      As for JU, just imagine the history they had since Jat.
      Anyway, a Max 8 upgrade won't be bad at all.

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  7. Do we know what their winter schedule is going to look like? Are there going to be any reductions? Or increases?

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    1. It was published here that Zurich will increase from 14 to 17 weekly in winter. Not sure about anything else.

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    2. Za sada kolko se moze videti u rezervacionom sistemu otprilike isti broj letova kao prosle god. Pariz -1 Cirih+1 Prag -3(povecan kapacitet) Stokholm +1 i ne mogu da se setim a mrzi me da proveravam,jos jedna destinacija je -1.Interesantno je da je Njujork bio 5x u spicu oko nove god. pa je smanjen na 3x. Mozda je ostavljen prostor za Toronto 2x.

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    3. Cirih ide na +1. Ukinuta su 2 jutarnja polaska a dodata 3 popodnevna.

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    4. Sad sam proverio za Cirih, u spicu oko nove godine 3X dnevno!Neverovatno al tako stoji u redu letenja.

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    5. They currently have a code-share on the BEG-SOF route with FB that apparently is working quite well, which really surprises me. From what I have read they have a mix of transfer and business travellers and decent load factor.
      Last year, they used to regularly send the A319 to SOF especially on weekdays, which proves that there are business travellers on the route. I hope they consider those extra early morning flights, connecting JFK. SOF-BEG used to be 9 weekly but I believe the fleet reduction led to them cutting them to 7.
      Also, what bothers me is that FB is not launching any flights to BEG, but I think it would be tricky to fill an Embraer 190 jet (108 seats).

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    6. It's good that there are no major cuts to the network this winter. @Realan I doubt there is any chance for Toronto this winter. They would have had to announce it a long time ago. But if they do plan Toronto next year, then I expect them to announce it next month.

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    7. SOF codeshare with FB on what routes?

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    8. JU and FB both have a codeshare on the BEG-SOF route.

      https://www.airserbia.com/en/corporate/code-share-partners. I had no clue JU had codeshares with both CA and UX! Nice!

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    9. thats not much

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  8. They could refresh the livery while they are at it.

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    1. Why? The livery is fine and they have barely had it for 5 years.

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    2. Well if this planes arrives in October it will be exactly 5 years since Air Serbia's first flight so they could do some special Etihad-Air Serbia combo livery since EY extended the partnership.

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    3. Like this https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/64/Airberlin_and_Etihad_Airways_joint_livery..jpg

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    4. Well that turned out well.

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    5. I disagree. It's a very decent livery representing a true, legacy carrier.

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  9. Let's say JU does not get those NEOs. What happens with the 28 million USD deposit from JAT times that Etihad used for these planes?

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    1. I'm wondering that too.

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    2. I don't understand why Air Serbia does not come out and say what's going to happen with these planes? What is the point of keeping quiet and thinking people will forget about it?

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    3. I see no business reason for them to come out with such information.

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    4. They are still a majority state owned company, so I think they should.

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    5. Because they are probably waiting for Etihad to solve their orders/fleet puzzle first.
      Also, maybe there are still dilemmas of level of Etihad's involvement in decision made by Air Serbia.

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    6. If they will not take all 10 A320neo, 28 million USD deposit is history, will stay in Etihad. But in same time they will be some extra penalty and that would be not cheap. 28 million will be nothing in number they would pay in the end.

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    7. The order is by Etihad, not Air Serbia. So any penalty will be paid for by Air Serbia.

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    8. But Etihad and Air Serbia have contract about that

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  10. Air Serbia needs ad least 3 planes this year. 2 for A320 that are return to lessor and one for 737-300 that is out of service this year.

    In 2020 Air Serbia will need 6 planes, 4 A319, and 2 instead of 737-300.

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    1. Thanks for that. So they really have to start thinking about their future fleet.

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  11. Instead of replacing current decent A319/320 JU fleet, I think they should give priority to the ATR.

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  12. This particular aircraft has different engines from the rest of the Airbus fleet of Air Serbia. However old B737-300 have similar, but not the same engines. That might increase maintenance costs.

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    1. I wonder why they chose it then. They couldn't find other planes with the same engines? Or it was a good cheap deal so they leased it.

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  13. Their ATRs are in relatively good shape after they refurbished them to match the Airbus cabins. I think they should just replace oldest ATRs with newer ones. It's the simplest option.

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  14. So when will this plane arrive at Air Serbia?

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  15. The plane is in good condition so I;m happy they will lease it.

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  16. Does anyone know the registration of the plane(s) that will be returned?

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    1. And will this plane carry the same registration as the one it replaces?

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    2. YU-API izlazi iz flote, vec sam pre par meseci najavio da ce biti vracen lizoru. Tada nisam znao da ce dobiti zamenu.
      Sada se ubrzano radi i na pronalasku 2 aviona od juna.

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    3. AFAIK, planes in Serbian register have not been reusing registrations... so next A319/320s to arrive would be APK, APL, APM, APN, etc.

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  17. Which B737 was brought out of retirement for the summer?

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  18. Why is president of a country commenting on things what happen in airline company? I dont see other presidents doing same (for state owned airlines). Air Serbia has its own management

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    1. Because he was directly responding to a question by a journalist at a press conference.

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    2. The fact that he of all people doesen't know if they are coming indicates that the planes are not coming.

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    3. Of course, he lies that he doesn't know. He knows that neos will not come.

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    4. How dare you saying His Majesty lies? LOL

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  19. What's the avarage age of Air Serbia's narrow body fleet?

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    1. Not true, narrow body fleet is average 19,2 years old:

      A319 average 14,2 x 8 = 113,6
      A320 average 12,8 x 2 = 25,6
      737-300 average 32,4 x 4 = 129,6
      = 268,6/14
      = 19,2 average years old

      Even if you put 2 737-300 out (and they are still in registration as active planes) it is
      17,0 average years old

      A319/320 fleet is 13,9 years old.

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    2. You are right. Sorry my 13 years reffered to Airbus fleet. For some reason I thought he asked how old is the narrow body Airbus fleet. My mistake.

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  20. It's a shame they are just replacing planes and not actually growing.

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  21. Why does everyone keep claiming JU's current narrowbody fleet has expensive lease rates?
    This plane will probably cost them more than what they're paying now.

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    1. I think they showed some evidence on that "Insajder" show that the current leasing arrangements are expensive.

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    2. I wouldn't be so sure, at least for the A319/320 fleet...

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    3. Please do read financial report. And you will see how expensive lease is. Everything is there.

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    4. Can you give us a summary?

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    5. 31 million EUR per yearfor 2 A320, 8 A319, 1 A330 and 3 ATR72

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    6. Gosh! That is a lot of money!

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  22. So the aircraft in question comes with CFM engines compared to IAE engines mounted on the existing A319/A320 fleet. Probably a more sensible option as CFM are more common and probably cheaper to get. But on the other hand there's higher maintenance cost of having two engine types on a fleet of only 10 aircraft.

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    1. Don't the B737s have CFM engines?

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    2. Aviolet 737-300 - CFM56-3
      EI-EZD - A319 - CFM56-5B

      It is interesting. First CFM powered Airbus in AS fleet.
      Comparing to V2500 it is EPR vs. N1

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  23. Nice move JU!

    By the way, they have really good fares, I am not sure why people are complaining all the time. They have to also make money somehow:

    https://www.airserbia.com/en/special-offers-best-deals-1

    I am shocked to learn that BNX-BEG RETURN is 56€ all inclusive!!!!!!!!! This is the lowest JU price I have ever seen!

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    1. They should have done the same for Budapest, wouldn't be there where it is now.

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    2. Yes but keep in mind that Air Serbia pays no handling, landing or fees at BNX. So the costs are much lower whereas they would have to pay for all of that in Budapest.

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    3. So perhaps they should keep BNX as their sole and only destination since problems arise as soon as they have to pay like everybody else.

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    4. Do you think they will face fierce competition from FR in winter? Also why is the schedule so strange? The return to BEG is quite late!

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    5. @16.14

      I didn't mean it that way but I just wanted to highlight that it is impossible for them to have fares like that to pretty much anywhere else.

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    6. BEG - BNX - BEG ticket were always starting from 50-ish Euros, ever since the route was relaunched.

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    7. Does anyone know about the LF? The prices seem to be same in September for almost all the dates...after all ZAG is also close to BNX.

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  24. Avion koi Air Serbia namerava kupiti je dobar Airbus 319 Rossia airlinesa i koristi skoro identicne moderne mlazne motore CFM56 samo razlicita specifikacija sa postojecim avionom Boeing 737-300 classic registracije YU-ANI(AVIOLET bivsi JAT Airways-ov avion, stara makedonska registracija istog Aviona je bila Z3-AAA,veoma kratak period na taj avion je letio i jedan od najboljih makedonskih Pilota porodice Stefanovski)ekonomican i dobar avion ali ipak boeing737-600/700 ima bolje performanse.

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    1. Ne kupuju ga nego iznajmljuju

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  25. They could bring the aircraft to Jat tehnika and refurbish it there and put the wifi antenna on the roof.

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  26. That's a good question. Will they install wifi on this plane? Or will they eventually start getting rid of that service toom

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  27. Well it's good they are replacing those expensive leases they have now.

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  28. I can imagine the extra cost for extra parts for only two airbus cfm engines + higher oil consumption consumption compaired with v2500.
    Mechanics having only Airbus course with RR engine, can not sign for airbus with CFM, so the need a few days of school to get the CFM in their lic.

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  29. Correct solution is SSJ-100.We do financing for this type of plane

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  30. U periodu od 1985 do 1989 JAT je bio prva kompanija u Europi koja je kupila u to vrijeme najmodernije avione Boeing 737-300 sa ultra modernim mlaznim motorima CFM56. I u sadasnje vrijeme u 2018 godini to su moderni i kvalitetni motori.Avion registracije YU-ANI je bio najkvalitetniji u floti bivseg JAT Airways-a.Danas je u floti Aviolet aviokompanije.

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  31. Will this aircraft get a name of a famous serbian?
    How about naming the ATRs with mountains, the A320 fleet with citys and the A330 will stay with names as this is the case with ARA?

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