Air Serbia plans 2019 network expansion


Air Serbia plans to expand its network during the upcoming 2019 summer season, which will see the carrier launch new routes after two years. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, new destinations will span across three continents - Europe, North America and Asia - however, its long haul operations will largely depend on securing necessary permits and overcoming bureaucratic hurdles on time. Air Serbia's minority shareholder, Etihad Airways, will play a significant role in the expansion, in terms of providing necessary equipment. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier is looking to transfer surplus aircraft to its partner airlines as its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets continue to arrive and replace older wide-bodies. In Europe, Air Serbia plans to grow its network in both the west and within the region.

Last year, Air Serbia said it was "seriously considering expanding" its destination network with long haul flights. In the past, the airline earmarked Chicago and Toronto as points of interest, as well as China. "We have already considered flights to Chicago and Toronto and these services could be introduced in two to three years", the company said in 2016. It also noted, "The Far East is also a potential market for us if you consider relations between Serbia and the People's Republic of China". Of its Europe netowrk, the airline previously commented, "There’s probably half-a-dozen to a dozen points that we could cover that we haven’t started flying to yet".

Air Serbia last introduced a new scheduled service to Venice during the summer of 2017. This year, the airline announced new flights to Geneva, only to shelve its launch less than a month after putting tickets on sale in order to "transfer capacities for charter flights". The future operator of Belgrade Airport, VINCI, has said it will fully support Air Serbia's network growth. "As concessionaire, VINCI Airports will aim at improving airport operating conditions to enable Air Serbia to offer new long haul routes as part of its hub strategy. We will work to help Air Serbia introduce new long haul routes", the company's Chairman, Nicolas Notebaert, said.

Comments

  1. The Etihad A332 that's coming in January will most likely stay.

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    Replies
    1. It won't stay from February but it will most probably come back in the summer.

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    2. Or maybe it will stay to get registered in Serbia and reconfigured. It will take at least two months.

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    3. Doubt it. It will probably stay as is. Some wet lease combination.

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    4. I also think it is more likely they will wetlease plane and crew than do full refurbishment, painting, registration etc.

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    5. They can do a summer wet lease so they can start new routes and then in winter they can use the one A330 they have which sits at the tarmac for four days a week.

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    6. So you are saying they are going to keep the EY type of in-flight service level for flights operated by the EY aircraft and crews?
      Catering, IFE, etc?
      Thanks for any info.

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    7. They will probably do the same as they will do next month on New York route. Serbian speaking Etihad crew, Air Serbia catering, menus etc... Seats and IFE would stay from Etihad.

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    8. @9.49 A 4-day parking is a disaster. Seasonality is really a deadly factor in this part of the world...

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    9. It may be that they calculated that it is cheaper to keep the plane on the ground then flying it to a more unprofitable route.

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    10. I think a wet lease would overall be more expensive.

      There is no point starting new long haul routes only for 3 months. Either they open them year round or dont start them.

      YYZ and PVG at 4 pw and PEK at 2-3 pw should keep 3 aircraft decently busy even in the slow periods.

      Add in that maintenance happens during the slower winter period, it effectively leaves 2 aircraft doing roughly 10 weekly rotations which is ideal.

      Adding more A330's shouldnt cost as much as the first as they dont need to go through the whole procedure they did when ARA arrived.

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    11. Three wide bodies! Gash that will cost us 25 mil+ a year!

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    12. Anonymous at 17:36 don't think of it in terms of what it will cost the tax payers of our country.
      Think of all the prestige we will get and especially the big smiles of our politicians at the airport for the inaugural flights celebrations!

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    13. Tax breaks, incentives and subsidies are the norm around the world: "when $3 million in public subsidies were handed out to British Airways to fly direct to London, Delta pulled out completely"

      https://triblive.com/opinion/featuredcommentary/14399437-74/colin-mcnickle-wow-other-astonishing-airport-authority-deals

      "Subsidies for the four-year period cannot exceed $13.3 million"

      https://www.courant.com/business/hc-aer-lingus-bradley-international-airport-guarantees-20180913-story.html

      https://liveandletsfly.boardingarea.com/2017/07/21/10-ways-taxpayers-subsidize-u-s-airlines/

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    14. I am neither UK or US taxpayer so I really do not care. Any more links? :)))

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    15. and in that case I really don't care what you think about how your taxes are being spent.

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    16. You are paying yours in UK?

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  2. About time they expanded. There have been no new routes in over a year. With competition on the rise, they will have to do something.

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    Replies
    1. Competition will be felt, especially next year.

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    2. +1
      They have lost a lot of marketsharem over the last year.

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  3. Unless they plan on adding new planes it will boil down to пресипање из шупљег у празно.

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    Replies
    1. Well they obviously plan to add new planes.

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    2. @Anon at 09:04

      "пресипање из шупљег у празно" se stručno naziva JATOVANJE. :)

      Od jatovanja smo krenuli, u jatovanju ćemo završiti. Takva nam sudbina, šta da se radi...

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  4. Heard Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokio are coming. Plus Barcelona, Madrid, Toulouse and Lyon.

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    Replies
    1. Doubt that those are the destinations.

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    2. New long haul will be YYZ, ORD and PEK. If they get all the paperwork done.

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    3. Hong Kong, Singapore...na kojoj pijaci si ti to cuo???

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    4. srbija je do tokija, a sva tri pomenuta grada imaju veliku srpsku emigraciju, veću od beča. pozdravljam ovaj mudar potez rukovodstva

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    5. Johanezburg i Melburn onda znaci ostaju za 2020?!

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    6. If they would like to be considered as serious airline, then at least few of the following destinations should be considered -
      North America - Atlanta, Toronto, Washington DC and Miami - launched at the SAME TIME
      OR
      South America - Lima, Bogota, Caracas, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires launched at the SAME TIME
      OR
      Africa - Addis Ababa, Casablanca, Lagos, Johannesburg and Capetown launched at the SAME TIME
      OR
      Far Asia - Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokio and Osaka launched at the SAME TIME

      In this way, Air Serbia can establish itself as alternative to one of the continents of their preference comparing to other airlines. If not, it is just random picking of destinations from someones wish-list.

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  5. Hopefully in Europe they will finally consider Spain.

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    Replies
    1. Daily MAD in summer!

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    2. If Spain get started it will surely be only BCN in the beginning.

      MAD will not be introduced any time soon.

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    3. Aviolet flies to much cheaper Girona (GRO) still close enough to Barcelona and covering Costa Brava. An all-year-round BCN service sounds fine, like a dream, as would seasonal flights or charters to Malaga - Costa del Sol Airport (AGP). Madrid needs to be appropriately promoted, and there's a lot to see for youths, young and mature families, business travellers, old folks. Madrid is great metropolis to explore or negotiate a business and it's not very far either.

      Bearing in mind that Vinci owns Lyon and Lisbon, i gues these flights are very likely, but I'm not sure Air Serbia will fly these destinations.

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    4. Well Vici is definitely postponed for 2019?

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    5. Why don't you read the article from 2 days ago?

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    6. Ah OK, tnx. They are really taking over after all. :)

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  6. After two years of consolidation it's time to return to growth.

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    Replies
    1. Their consolidation hasnt brought them into profitability, just decreased their intake of government subsidies, which are still high. On top of that, they continue to see a decrease in pax figures (-5% for the first 3 quaters in 2018 if I'm not mistaken) all while the competition has been increasing capacity into BEG.

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    2. It decreased government subsidies and increased overall profit, which translates to them having smaller losses.

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  7. It's obviously going to be Beijing. Makes sense with that announcement that another airline will take over the route.

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  8. Regional route is probably Brac or something like that.

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    Replies
    1. Is there any chance for JU to start BEG-MBX route with ATR?

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    2. No. The market is well served via LJU and it would be a waste of aircraft.

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    3. They need to open OMO.

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    4. Brac would be really nice :)

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    5. Ima li istine u tome da brac ide u s19 2 puta tjedno od sredine 5 mjeseca?

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    6. Sve je moguce u ovom trenutku, OTP i TIA su proterani na nocni spic tako da su se oslobodili neki Atrovi tokom dana.

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  9. What about INI?

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    Replies
    1. They don't care about it.

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    2. And also nobody else cares about INI

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    3. I don't see how they could compete with FR and W6 out of Nis to western Europe.

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    4. I am sure AS will settle victoriously at INI, just wait and see once FR/W6 cut some other routes with the increasing kerosene prices (BTS is next).

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    5. The state appointed management will make sure that INI will not become a bigger threat to JU, BEG and their potential customers.

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    6. U vasem svetu INI je pretnja BEG?

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  10. They need to find a way to improve their sales so that their summer seasonal routes can survive the whole year.

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  11. Kakva bi perspektiva bila da Er Srbija pokrene letove za Kinu?

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    Replies
    1. I think there is potential, but to Shanghai, not Beijing.

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    2. I tkink so too. The people from the Balkans want a direct flight for which they are willing to pay more. HU didn´t make PEK work, because HU was not non stop. As to the Chinese travellers, most dont know HU. So when JU makes it direct it will be a great success, but since HU did not work with 2 weekly JU needs to have at least 4 times a week.

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    3. Chinese travellers don't know about Hainan Airlines? Right...

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  12. Euro routes will probably be announced next month.

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    Replies
    1. Or at the end of this month.

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  13. "The Abu Dhabi-based carrier is looking to transfer surplus aircraft to its partner airlines"

    So, Serbian taxpayers will cover Etihad's losses. Etihad would be real fools to abandon this cash-cow.

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    Replies
    1. That's why they are not abandoning it.

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    2. Taxpayers will be affected only if the newly launched routes are loss-making.

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    3. @Nemjee - which, if operated by Etihad's old wide bodies, they certainly will be.

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    4. Znas li koliko kostaju novi avioni cak i sa popustom? To moze samo LOT uz veliku podrsku njihove vlade. Ovo sto kukate na Vucica je kikiriki u odnosu na to.

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    5. I don't care about LOT, I'm not paying taxes in Poland. Also, I don't mind the government subsidizing AirSerbia, but I would like to see how they justify it. A serious report outlining concrete benefits of the NYC route would be a good start. And then we could talk about investing in further long-haul aircraft for new routes. But like this, we are asked to accept the spending of our money based on some vague notion that these routes are super beneficial for our economy.

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    6. Taxpayers will be affected if JU pays for EY aircraft at lease rates far above the current market level.
      Like the YU-ARA for example.

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    7. Anon at 10:10
      +1000
      Don't forget the "prestige" we get as a country from an A330 in ASL colours flying to JFK.
      Balkana mentality 100%

      Delete

    8. Prvo moras da shvatis da to nije tvoj novac. Vladin je i moraju samo da opravdaju na kraju godine potrosnju u budzet. Our money znaci ne postoji. Znaci samo kao vlasnik akcija aviokompanije mozes da pricas na taj nacin, a AS ima veoma malo akcija u privatnom vlasnistvu. Niko te nista ne pita da prihvatis, jer nisi suvlasnik AS. Mozemo samo da caprzdivanimo da li bi mogli za 40 M jura godisnje da otvore jos neku fabriku za moanje kablova.

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    9. Anonymous at 10:33
      LOL, spoken like a 1930's type of Stalinist communist!
      The government does not create any money. The citizens and the businesses of the country create the wealth that the government and Dear leader tax. And those taxes they use them among other things to fund "prestige" projects.

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    10. I think the prestige thing is quite normal and every country wants to have it.
      ZAG also considers itself a prestigious airport given the current airline portfolio it has.
      BEG has ASL which converts it as a mini, regional hub.

      Prestige is not very easy to achieve and sustain though.

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    11. Biznisi kao velika americka trojka moraju uvek zestoko da lobiraju za silne milijarde koje su dobili od americke vlade. Ovdasnji klinci zamisljaju da sve to radi samo od sebe po svetu. Sve je izregulisano i ukalupljeno u zakone i onaj koji placa taksu moze samo da pise svom poslaniku u Parlamentu ili Kongresu dok ti baljezgas po mrezi. Vlade i te kako kreiraju i prave pare, imaju svoje prihode i slobodu da trose taj novac. Sve mora da prodje parlamete.

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    12. "if operated by Etihad's old wide bodies, they certainly will be"

      Anon @9:46, what better aircraft did you have in mind instead of used A330 for potential routes?

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  14. Good to hear. It will bring some new life to the airline.

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  15. They should give Kiev another try.

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    Replies
    1. Why? It failed once and it will fail again. There have been no major changes since they flew the route two years ago and today.

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    2. Except for the fact that UIA has grown with a lot of new long haul and offers dirt cheap prices. Why would someone from Kiev transfer through BEG to reach JFK for example.

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    3. They did two years ago.

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  16. Good for ASL! I was hoping for some expansion news for next spring/summer!

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  17. First thing they should do is get regional jets.

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    Replies
    1. That would be the logical strategy. But instead they will get more old long haul planes from EY to get more prestige...

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  18. I think JU must look into Israel, Egypt or even Africa. Why not fly to AMM, HRG...

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    Replies
    1. JU has Aviolet for these kind of routes.

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    2. +1000 Anon 09:44.
      CAI is a must. Along with BUD, IEV, IST.

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    3. CAI yes

      BUD, IEV, IST surely not.

      JU already tried these airorts and it did not work. No need to re-start them as nothing changed in favor of JU

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  19. I hope they try again with VAR, W6 is slowly taking its stake away from OS, TK and FB.
    The only thing is that they need to change the schedule and make it similar to the one in SOF.
    Anyway, good luck ASL!

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  20. We already should have had a 320neo deployed.....

    Down with the lies, close Air Serbia now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JU has no cash for new planes unfortunately. Also, they really don't need the neos at the moment.

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  21. It's really good that they are considering expansion but, they have to hire someone to take care of their reviews online. They are getting worse day by day :( :(

    https://www.trustpilot.com/review/airserbia.com

    And here there is a nasty comment about their long haul JFK service and the quality of food and IFE:

    https://www.airlinequality.com/airline-reviews/air-serbia/

    I hope they consider something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Hiring (even more) trolls to write good reviews will not solve the problem.
      Actually improving the service levels and address the concerns of the customers would solve the problem.


      Delete
    2. "Hiring (even more) trolls to write good reviews"

      When have they ever done that? Give me a break. It's one thing not to like the airline. Making up stuff as you do is actually being a troll.

      Delete
  22. I will just drop this here as a Christmas decoration :-D

    https://www.krik.rs/dokument-vlade-otkriva-kako-je-14-miliona-evra-poklonjeno-air-serbia/?fbclid=IwAR3QCM29j5bJnRASyiQmuzcnEaZTm8HcLH6k76BP946vXZ0HGfIuydNr0YA

    Merry Christmas y'all

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 14 million over 2 year period is not a lot at all.

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    2. Da li IKO vise u ovoj zemlji uzima za ozbiljno sta KRIK pise? Give me a break, LOL

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    3. zapravo uzimam ja i oba podatka su tačna i veoma je vredno da i dalje postoji ovakva vrsta novinarstva koja ti može predočiti šta se zapravo dešava.

      to je 14 miliona za sada, jer bi upravo oko ovog doba godine trebalo da im legne još 10tak miliona evra na ime JFK-BEG letova, koje će, ako je slutiti po mahinacijama koje su uradili prošle godine, neće prikazati kao posebnu liniju u bilansu uspeha, već će tu sumu iskoristiti da smanje operativne troškove.

      zapravo ova 2.3 miliona su skandal. "za gorivo". pa majku mu, dokle više
      to samo pokazuje koliko se sipa u er srbijicu

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    4. Nije samo gorivo, troše pare da sponzorišu nekakve konferencije.

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    5. Mislis one konferencije koje na kraju tvrde "nije ni dinara leglo od strane er srbije na nas racun. obezbedili su nam samo govornike, njihov smestaj i prostorije"?

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  23. Good. I hope we soon see the next chapter of expansion and the first real major expansion since 2016.

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  24. I'm looking forward to see the new European route(s). Fingers crossed for Spain.

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    Replies
    1. I think the most logical destination is BIO. JU can compete with UX and LH and offer early departures from BIO to the rest of the Balkan region.
      The Basque Country is the second most richest autonomous community in Spain after Madrid.
      Even Catalonia is not as rich as a region.

      Schedule can be every Monday and Friday as a start:

      BEG-BIO 23:55 02:40 A319
      BIO-BEG 03:40 05:40 A319

      Even possiblity to link JFK and SVO.

      The airport has a very similar traffic to that in BEG.

      2017:
      BEG: 5,343,420
      BIO: 4,973,712

      Not sure about the number of Serbs in Spain but this route is quite viable and connected to a rich region. In 2017, the Basque Country had a GDP of 33.088€!

      Delete
    2. What planet are you on?

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    3. Good idea. Brunei should be next! Two daily.

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    4. They can't as they don't have an aircraft that can make it to Brunei.

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    5. Yes it can, the A320 can easily fly from BEG to India and Bandar Seri Begawan, which is a very very boring city. I have already been there on my way back to Malaysia. There is a huge mosque of the Sultan and his palace and the rest of the city nothing. Transport is old.
      There is a tour in the river where you can see interesting things and a city floating on the river.

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  25. It will be a busy summer for BEG in 2019.

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  26. If they are going to launch new route, they are going to have to make announcements sooner rather than later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. last year they announced Geneva in late December and a couple of years ago Venice in lat January.

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    2. So hopefully soon they announce something.

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  27. Good luck JU. I hope 2019 will be a year of nice surprises.

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  28. What is the story with the Geneva flights they planned? Why did they start sales in the first place if they needed to transfer capacities for charters.

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    Replies
    1. They thought easyJet was cancelling flights to Geneva but when they realised it wasn't they pulled out.

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  29. Potential new routes for AS:

    Prishtina (when tensions subside)
    Munich
    Kiev
    Odesa
    Istanbul
    Machester
    Madrid
    Barcelona
    Lisabon
    Cairo
    Lyon
    Krasnodor
    Yekaterinburg
    Tripoli
    Damascus (when war ends)
    Teheran


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be nice to see all these routes but we all know it ain't gonna happen.

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    2. Samo Krasnodar i Lion ostalo nema trika Minhen LH i Istambul TK npr. Krakov, Ankara i Kiev ako kupe neki manji dzet ali ni od toga nema vajde.

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    3. AS can't just run away from competition. Be competitive, fight for market share and product recognition. If there is room for both LH and AS on Frankfurt, why not Munich?

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    4. Only CAI and BCN possible

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  30. "long haul operations will largely depend on securing necessary permits and overcoming bureaucratic hurdles on time"

    Except brief mention at 9:37, no one else bothered to comment on the most important info. Just wow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and so, what is your comment? or is it only to comment on a comment?

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    2. The level of inquisitiveness and expertise of most commentators is fascinating, focusing on the irrelevant.

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  31. From what I have heard within JU, routes should be the following:

    - Krasnodsr
    - Trieste, instead of Venice
    - Madrid
    - Rijeka or some airport on the coast

    I guess it was five routes, but I can't remember the fifth.

    Hopefully this materializes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trieste actually makes more sense. It is relatively small airport and if the schedule is right they could have a number of transfer passengers.

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    2. Rijeka & Trst? Two nearby cities at the same time? Not sure about that.

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    3. Please try to understand JU will not be flying to MAD

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    4. How do you f"""ing know?

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  32. Tesko je zamisliti ekspanziju Er Srbije bez privatizacije i povecanja flote putem srednjerocnog i dugorocnog lisinga. Zavisno od buduceg suvlasnika. Drzava je aerodrom Nikolu Teslu dala pod koncesiju. Sada je na redu da privatizuje Er Srbiju. Time bi se resia perspektiva razvoja i ekspanzija flote i destinacija. Mozda se jos mnogi misli sindikalno sa "samoupravnom" ideologijom i zavlacenjem ruku u dzepove poreskih obaveznika... Na kraju i vlasnicki odnosi u komercijalnoj avijaciji ce biti i u Er Srbiji. I ako je mnogo volim, ipak ona nije "sveta krava". Ali jeste kompanija koja se mora transformisati istinski. Srecna Nova Godina sa prosirenjem trzista i zdravim profitom.
    Radovan Marinkovic, Kraljevo.

    ReplyDelete

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