ASL Airlines France eyes success on Belgrade route


ASL Airlines France, which will launch two weekly flights between Paris and Belgrade from June 24, 2019, is confident it will be successful on the route, despite strong competition from Air Serbia and Air France. Furthermore, the carrier says it will consider maintaining the service throughout the year, as well as introduce additional destinations, depending on the new route's performance over the summer. ASL France's Sales and Programme Director, Eric Vincent, told EX-YU Aviation News, "When you look at the traffic, you can see that in the summer time there is high demand that today's providers - Air Serbia and Air France - cannot totally fulfil. There is an opportunity for us. In terms of offered capacity, we will put 6.500 seats on the market. It is not much compared to the flows that are moving between Paris and Belgrade. We will not disrupt the market. It is an additional offer and, in the summer time, we are targeting a load factor of more than 80%. We think we can reach it. We have to be careful about the pricing so we achieve a good load factor. If we have 80% or above, it will mean we transport over 5.000 people. The target really is the families and visitors moving between the two countries".

Mr Vincent noted that the flights will primarily cater for the Serbian diaspora in France, but also stimulate tourism between the two countries. "We understand and we realise that these flights will serve the Serbian community, mainly family travellers that want to come back to Serbia. There is high demand on the French side and we are sure that there is big demand in Serbia also in this peak time of year for visitors to France because today the choice is limited with high prices". He added, "A lot of people will see our flights in the summer, with the possibility to spend a long weekend in a new city break destination - Belgrade. People in France, particularly younger ones, are looking for alternatives to Prague and Budapest, so Belgrade is an excellent opportunity. We see this as a real potential destination for city breakers and a lot of people will want to discover Belgrade and Serbia for holidays, so we will also focus on that clientele".


ASL Airlines France's CEO, Jean-Francois Dominiak, said he believes the flights, which have initially been scheduled to run seasonally until early September will be extended throughout the year. "First thing that we need to do is to make it a success during the summer time. That is a must. This will happen not if we are totally profitable but if we don't burn too much cash. It would be crazy for me to say at this moment that we will open year-long flights. We are very prudent in this business. We trust that it will work but we need to get some experience with Belgrade. What I can say is that, yes, if it works, we will then focus on winter flights and probably, that is my feeling, we will extend it to a year-long basis. However, first we need to focus on the summer and make it a success". He added that the carrier could potentially add services between Lyon and Belgrade in the future. "We have made some plans and we have had talks with tour operators and tourism specialists. Obviously there is demand for other routes, such as Lyon for example, and we will keep this in mind, since we have an aircraft based in Lyon. This could be a possibility. The biggest demand for us is Paris, but first we need to make it a success in summer. Of course, we are looking at all possibilities".

Asked by EX-YU Aviation News if the carrier's decision to launch services to the Serbian capital was influenced by the upcoming takeover of Belgrade Airport by France's VINCI, Mr Dominiak said, "Our decision to launch flights was only influenced by the market and the demand. I discovered myself only recently that VINCI is taking over the airport. We are working at some airports with them, so we will see what that brings. For the last ten years we have been in business with Jat Tehnika. They are mainlining our aircraft at the airport and the partnership is very good. Good services, nice prices, and we are developing more business with them". Questioned whether the carrier could add more destinations within the former Yugoslavia, the CEO noted, "Not yet. When we did our marketing survey, really, the demand was out of Belgrade to France, more precisely to Paris".

Tickets for the new route have been put on sale online, while TAL Aviation Group will act as the airline's general sales agent in Belgrade. Its Director for Global Sales, Rami Holtzman, said the new flights will create additional demand and cater for passengers who previously did not fly between the two cities due to high ticket fares during the summer season.

Comments

  1. Great article and nice to read insight from the decision makers of this airline. What I think will be key here is marketing. ASL is completely unknown in Serbia so they will really need to work on ads and promotion. I agree this is a great opportunity for attracting completely new passengers because fares between Belgrade and Charles de Gaulle are expensive as hell in summer. Even at this moment fares are at 300 euro already in peak season and Air France entering the game hasn't changed that at all

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. They will really have to work on promoting themselves.

      Delete
    2. ASL Airlines is very well known in Serbia especially among the local flatearthers, paranoids and tabloids who have recently discovered flightradar. They call them Chemtrail Airlines as mysterious white ASL planes are spraying holy Serbian land every time their plane goes on test flight over Serbia after check at Jat Tehnika. And now they are asking us to pay fee for spraying us MONSTERS :-D

      Delete
    3. Is ASL famous in Serbia? I didn't know this!

      Delete
    4. Well they did say that their primary target are Serbs living in France so they are not relying as much on Serbian point of sales. That said, they seem to be going after locals so they will try to get a share of passengers who previously flew on Wizz Air. That's why they mentioned the importance of decent fares.

      Delete
  2. I think this airline will primarily hurt Wizz Air which is also not cheap on this route in summer. ASL's advantage is that they fly from CDG and not some village far away from Paris which is advertised as being Paris.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great to see they are thinking of Lyon and year round flights. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lyon would be a great addition. Biggest Serbian community there in France after Paris.

      Delete
    2. I wonder which combination they use to get to BEG now.

      Delete
    3. Probably on easyJet from GVA.

      Delete
    4. Would the launch of BEG-LYS kill off BEG-GVA? GVA route seems pretty troublesome as LX, F7 and JU all dropped it while U2 almost suspended it earlier this year. LYS on the other hand seems more convenient for the diaspora as they won't have to cross the border to get to GVA. I assume VINCI itself will also boost the business travel between BEG and LYS making the route more sustainable.

      Delete
    5. easyJet almost suspended it? Not quite, they actually increased both the capacity and frequencies, from 2 weekly A319 to 3 weekly A320.

      Delete
    6. @Anon 10:52
      I guess 'suspended' was not the right term, but there sure were uncertainties about the route and consideration of switching to BSL back in January.
      In the end, it worked out, but still it seems like the most difficult Swiss destination, hence my concern whether GVA and LYS routes could coexist.

      Delete
  4. Does anyone know how many passengers annually fly between BEG and CDG?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee might have some data.

      Delete
    2. This is what is available:

      BEG-CDG
      2014: 161.179
      2015: 161.643
      2016: 158.189
      2017: 157.596

      BEG-BVA
      2015: 41.359
      2016: 44.912
      2017: 47.323

      So it seems there is growing demand between Belgrade and Paris. However, I wouldn't be surprised if high fares (both on W6 and JU) are slowing things down. With AF returning to BEG I am certain BEG-CDG will have over 200.000 passengers in 2018.

      Delete
    3. Member from the data provided it seems that the market for the last four years is basically stable.
      Very small fluctuations of less than 1% and a small trend towards low cost carriers.

      Delete
    4. Interesting to note that Wizz Air obviously did affect Air Serbia from 2016 onward despite going after different passengers. Thank you for these numbers. There does seem to be a lot of traffic between Belgrade and Paris.

      Delete
    5. @9.45 I don't think Wizz had anything to do with it. Its rather Air Serbia launching New York which reduced numbers slightly on Paris line which was used (and still is used) for transfers to the US.

      Delete
    6. and only Wizz had growth it seems ..

      Delete
    7. CDG will grow now with ASL and Air France.

      Delete
    8. Do you know biggest ex YU markets from Paris nemjee?

      Delete
    9. This is what's available:

      2015
      BEG 161.643
      ZAG 139.998

      2016
      BEG 158.189
      ZAG 148.655

      2017
      BEG 157.596
      ZAG 151.112
      LJU 85.195

      Delete
    10. LJU does surprising well.

      Delete
  5. It's good that there will not be a duopoly on this route as planned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true. On every route JU has a duopoly someone, prices are high, willingly in cooperation with the other airline. Just look at Belgrade - Vienna. Austrian and Air Serbia don't cooperate but both keep high fares for P2P travel.

      Delete
  6. I really think they should have looked into Nis. I think it would have been a great opportunity for them. Even at one flight per week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "When we did our marketing survey, really, the demand was out of Belgrade to France, more precisely to Paris".

      Delete
    2. I don't believe there there is not sufficient demand for INI-CDG.

      Delete
    3. correction: that there is not

      Delete
    4. No one said that there isn't but they are going from where there is most, like the CEO says.

      Delete
    5. Who knows if there is enough demand from INI to CDG. If there was someone would have already started it. Look at Pristina for example. Flights to CDG have failed several times. Even Easy jet suspended the route.

      Delete
    6. Does Wizz fly to Beauvais from Skopje?

      Delete
    7. Twice per week all year.

      Delete
    8. where does the demand come from in the winter? diaspora?

      Delete
    9. Diaspora pretty much covers this route year round.

      Delete
    10. There are many Southern Serbs in France, so yes. INI-CDG seems a quite reasonable route.
      Orly and Beauvais too. BEG-BVA is extremely successful route.
      The only closer routes to France are:
      BEG-CDG
      BEG-BVA
      Skp-BVA
      SOF-CDG
      SOF-BVA

      Just shows how this region needs more flights to France.
      SOF-NCE

      Delete
    11. forget about it.

      Delete
  7. I like their optimism and wish them the best of luck but I still think three airlines is too much on this route. We will see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can anyone guess which new airlines we could realistically expect in BEG?

      Delete
    2. TAP, Aerosvit and Iberia in my opinion.

      Delete
    3. Aerosvit was meant to be Ukraine International lol, sorry

      Delete
    4. UIA said they will launch Belgrade but they said in 2021!

      Delete
    5. My mistake Zagreb is in 2021, Belgrade is in 2022. Haha
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/03/ukraine-international-plans-zagreb.html

      Delete
    6. TAP already tried and failed. Maybe VINCI nudges them since they operate Portugal's airports but I'm not sure it could work outside of the high season.

      Delete
    7. TAP failed because their fleet was stretched thin, they had massive delays and cancellations.

      Delete
    8. Also interesting to note that TAP planned to fly year round to BEG via Budapest (in winter).

      Delete
    9. Maybe Aer Lingus?

      Delete
    10. What about KLM?

      Delete
    11. Is there a chance we see flights from Serbia to Morocco too now that Vinci and the French took over?
      Belgrade-Marrakech or Rabat seem to be a wise choice.

      Royal Air Maroc is set to join oneworld soon so this will be an opportunity even for JU to code share with RAM.
      Aviolet in turn can launch Belgrade-Agadir.

      Delete
    12. You can expect EK soon

      Delete
  8. Great news for BEG, bad news for JU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why is it bad news for JU but not for example for Air France or Wizz Air?

      Delete
    2. I think this is the Serbian equivalent of 'Bravo Hrvatska.'

      Delete
    3. There is always something that keep us from having glorious life. First it was H&M, then it was IKEA, now its JU & Starbacks :)))

      Delete
    4. There will be enough to go around for everyone. I'm sure business (and perhaps premium) travel on Paris route will increase with French at the airport, getting the contract for Vinča rehabilitation and likely for Belgrade metro.

      Delete
  9. Nice! Happy to hear that. Also great to see they are a long time customer of Jat Tehnika. Had no idea.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Funky livery. Will bring some colour to BEG :D

    ReplyDelete
  11. They fly Algiers and Tel Aviv year round so hopefully Belgrade will make the cut as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I assume similar traffic structure to the one they expect to Belgrade. Mostly VFR with some tourists here and there.

      Delete
  12. Could Air Serbia make some codeshare deal with them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. Why would they when they have a codeshare partnership with Air France.

      Delete
  13. They have the right idea. Hope it works out for them.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I fear they will only stick around for one season. Hope I'm wrong though.

    ReplyDelete
  15. French tourist topic.

    Does somebody know the French tourist numbers in RS over the last years?
    And about their "habits":
    I have the feeling that French prefer Western EU, Asia, US, South Am. Haven't come across many of them in Eastern Europe though. And they still have BVA connected to almost every village in this part of Europe. On the other hand, in London you hear French every second step (I know it is close and has a large community there but still..). Same in NYC, Asia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The average French tourist is a rather ignorant fellow. Very few of them would be able to list 10 Eastern European countries if asked in the streets. No wonder they ignore the region.

      Delete
  16. Anyone ever flown with them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt too many on here took their flight from Paris to Algiers.

      Delete
    2. i doubt anybody of us have heard of them before

      Delete
  17. I booked my ticket for July with them. Price was 196 euros return. On the same dates Air Serbia was 350 euros and Air France 318 euros. So this worked out well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you check Wizz Air? You should make a trip report. :D

      Delete
    2. I did check. Total cost was 212 euros. And on top of that I would have to pay for some transport to get to the city.

      I will definitely do a trip report :) I'm looking forward to see what they are like.

      Delete
    3. wow booking a ticket 7 months in advance is imho hilarious. you will always pay the highest fare

      Delete
    4. Not when it comes to Paris, the longer you wait the worse it gets. Wizz is regularly 300 to 400 on this route when booking a month or two in advance.

      Delete
    5. true, FR and W6 reduce prices 2-3 months before the flight! Before that they can be more expensive than a legacy carrier!

      Delete
    6. "wow booking a ticket 7 months in advance is imho hilarious. you will always pay the highest fare"

      spoken like a true expert who flies twice a year

      Delete
  18. Nice to see 4 airlines flying from Belgrade to Paris

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is horrible news for Wizz Air. First they failed in Oslo, Brussels, Rome and Larnaca. Then they got direct competition from Basel and they missed the chance to launch Berlin.

    Now they are getting direct competition in Paris and ASL will even fly on the same day as Wizz Air.

    What does W6 do? Nothing. BVA was moved to 06.00 deprture while BSL returns to BEG at 00.25.

    It's as if they want to be crushed by everyone else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. but who knows ASL?

      Delete
    2. People in France?

      Delete
    3. So maybe W6 should try some more exotic markets, like BEG Tenerifa or Malaga?

      Delete
    4. Malta is agreat success!

      Delete
    5. They ignored basic markets like Berlin so I doubt they would go for something more exotic.

      Delete
  20. In my opinion Wizz Air will stop its BEG-BVA flights and start INI-BVA flights. First they will be able to avoid more competition. Having flights to Nis they will pay 3e tax instead of BEG tax. Demand for Nis-Paris flights is there so I dont see why wouldnt they do this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree as I don't know how Wizz will survive here unless they destroy their yields through really cheap tickets.

      Delete
    2. What is funny?

      Delete
    3. Niš-Paris is one of the most underserved routes in the entire ex-YU if you ask me.
      I hope Viz Er is reading my comment. God bless them, they brought nothing but money and happy customers to Niš.

      Delete
    4. Yes, line is needed asap.I have read somewhere that former CEO of Nis airport said that they were in talks with Wizz over introduction of BVA flight.As always, GOV made a mess at the airport when they took it from the city so it is no wonder that the airlines are affraid to star new flights to Nis when the future is so uncertian.

      Delete
    5. I read this too and in the flyfromNiš portal and Niš websites in the comment sections, southerns always mention France.
      If ASL decided to first expand in Belgrade, then hopefully they will look into Niš.

      Delete
    6. It probably was Flyfromnis.However I belive that Wizz would be the best choice.ASL is totaly unknown airline in Serbia and this region of Europe.And they are not that cheap for a LCC, more like some kind of hybrid which is totaly ok because in the end they fly to CDG and have some service.

      Delete
    7. I agree that Wizz is the best choice.
      ASL is currently the cheapest option flying from Belgrade but 250€ for a low-cost is too much.
      Their BoB menu is okayish:

      http://www.aslairlines.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/180507-Menu-BOB-FR_2018-1.pdf

      5€ for a sandwich is kinda okay.

      Delete
  21. 4% lower landing fee for this airline is offered by Airport authorities

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where did you get that from?

      Delete
  22. Like they say 6.500 searlts is not too much. If they want 80% LF that's just over 5000 dlseats. I'm confident they will hace a surprise success on this route considering their fares.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Détails de votre voyage
    Belgrade Beograd - Paris CDG
    Départ : jeu. 27 juin 21:40
    Arrivée : ven. 28 juin 00:05
    Montant : 82,18 EUR
    Direct
    5O 914

    Belgrade Beograd jeu. 27 juin 21:40

    Paris CDG ven. 28 juin 00:05

    Appareil : BOEING 737-700
    Paris CDG - Belgrade Beograd
    Départ : lun. 01 juil. 18:20
    Arrivée : lun. 01 juil. 20:40
    Montant : 143,72 EUR
    Direct
    5O 913

    Paris CDG lun. 01 juil. 18:20

    Belgrade Beograd lun. 01 juil. 20:40

    Appareil : BOEING 737-700

    Montant total réservation
    226,90 EUR

    --------------------------------------
    WIZZAIR

    FLIGHTS ‎​din​20,274
    JUN
    27
    Belgrade – Paris Beauvais
    06:30 – 09:05 (W6 4045)
    Basic fare
    1 × Flight ticket ‎​din​3,275
    1 × Administration fee ‎​din​1,000
    JUL
    02
    Paris Beauvais – Belgrade
    09:35 – 12:05 (W6 4046)
    Basic fare
    1 × Flight ticket ‎​din​14,999
    1 × Administration fee ‎​din​1,000
    PASSENGERS ‎​din​8,300
    Adult 1
    BELGRADE – PARIS BEAUVAIS

    1 × 20 kg Checked-in baggage ‎​din​4,150
    PARIS BEAUVAIS – BELGRADE

    1 × 20 kg Checked-in baggage ‎​din​4,150
    Provide passenger details!
    Approx. 172€
    ------------------------------
    AIR SERBIA

    26 Jun 2019
    BEG
    17:05to
    CDG
    19:40DIRECT2 h 35 m
    ECONOMY STANDARD
    CHANGE
    View flight details
    YOUR RETURNING FLIGHT
    Paris to Belgrade
    Price for all guests including estimated taxes, fees and surcharges. After selecting your preferred flights, please refer to the booking summary for the exact cost.
    02 Jul 2019
    CDG
    20:30to
    BEG
    22:50DIRECT2 h 20 m
    ECONOMY STANDARD
    CHANGE
    View flight details
    Trip Total Cost
    Trip total cost
    Cart Items Cost Item breakdowns
    FareEUR 246.00cart.BASE_FARE Breakdown
    TaxesEUR 143.90cart.TAXES Breakdown

    Total to be chargedEUR 389.90
    (includes luggage)
    ----------------------------
    AIR FRANCE

    RÉCAPITULATIF DE VOTRE VOYAGE
    VOTRE VOL ALLER
    DESCRIPTION LIGHT
    Belgrade > Paris
    Départ : Mer. 26 juin 2019 à 15h25 (Mercredi 26 juin 2019 à 15h25)
    Arrivée : Mer. 26 juin 2019 à 17h55 (Mercredi 26 juin 2019 à 17h55)
    VOTRE VOL RETOUR
    DESCRIPTION LIGHT
    Paris > Belgrade
    Départ : Lun. 1 juil. 2019 à 12h20 (Lundi 1 juillet 2019 à 12h20)
    Arrivée : Lun. 1 juil. 2019 à 14h35 (Lundi 1 juillet 2019 à 14h35)
    Passagers
    1
    Durée
    6 j (6 jour(s))
    TOTAL TTC
    278,90 €
    VOTRE VOL ALLER : Mer. 26 juin 2019 DESCRIPTION LIGHT
    15:25 Belgrade, Nikola Tesla 17:55 Paris, Charles de Gaulle
    VOTRE VOL RETOUR : Lun. 1 juil. 2019 DESCRIPTION LIGHT
    12:20 Paris, Charles de Gaulle 14:35 Belgrade, Nikola Tesla
    PASSAGERS 1 Adulte (25 - 64 ans)
    DURÉE 6 jour(s)
    DÉTAILS DU TARIF
    Détails du tarif : Billet Adulte
    Vol(s) hors taxes 1 x 202,00 €
    Taxes et surcharges 1 x 75,90 €
    Frais d'émission
    1 x 1 €
    TOTAL TTC 1 x 278,90 €
    TOTAL TTC
    278,90 €
    Convertir 278,90 € - Sélectionner la devise


    ================

    4 carriers and the prices are insanely expensive. I think this is because of extremely high demand.
    Still 300€ average price BEG-PAR is insane...it´s like going to NYC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree. I'm really surprised at the high fares, Wizz included.

      Delete
    2. It would be interesting to compare to fares from other airports in the region - ZAG, BUD, OTP and SOF.

      Delete
    3. ZAG-PAR-ZAG 2 options 26/06-01/07


      17:55 — 20:00
      Air France
      direct
      2h 05min
      ZAG ‐ CDG


      15:15 — 17:10
      Air France
      direct
      1h 55min
      CDG ‐ ZAG

      155€

      -------------
      Croatia Airlines:



      09:00 — 11:05
      Croatia Airlines
      direct
      2h 05min
      ZAG ‐ CDG


      18:30 — 20:20
      Croatia Airlines
      direct
      1h 50min
      CDG ‐ ZAG

      171€

      Still much cheaper only with 2 carriers:

      *************************
      SOF-PAR-SOF 26/06-01/07

      13:45 — 15:45
      Wizz Air
      direct
      3h 00min
      SOF ‐ BVA


      16:20 — 20:05
      Wizz Air
      direct
      2h 45min
      BVA ‐ SOF

      164€



      07:10 — 09:10
      Bulgaria Air
      direct
      3h 00min
      SOF ‐ CDG


      10:10 — 13:50
      Bulgaria Air
      direct
      2h 40min
      CDG ‐ SOF

      225€




      17:30 — 19:30
      Air France
      direct
      3h 00min
      SOF ‐ CDG


      12:55 — 16:40
      Air France
      direct
      2h 45min
      CDG ‐ SOF

      367€

      Air France is also extremely expensive from SOF. CDG is mainly transfer.

      =================

      LJUBLJANA



      07:00 — 09:00
      Adria Airways
      direct
      2h 00min
      LJU ‐ CDG

      09:45 — 11:45
      Adria Airways
      direct
      2h 00min
      CDG ‐ LJU

      222€


      15:15 — 17:10
      Air France
      direct
      1h 55min
      LJU ‐ CDG


      12:45 — 14:35
      Air France
      direct
      1h 50min
      CDG ‐ LJU

      225€

      Conclusion is that Croatia clearly beats the prices which is also positive.
      Serbia and Bulgaria have very similar pricing.
      Slovenia is kinda in the middle.

      Compared to UK and Germany, flying to France is generally expensive.

      Finally, BEG or ZAG can try getting a connection to Nice, Southern France. Here are the same dates from SOF:

      FLIGHTS ‎​lv​286.98
      JUN
      28
      Sofia – Nice
      06:10 – 08:30 (W6 4415)
      Basic fare
      1 × Flight ticket ‎​lv​100.99
      1 × Administration fee ‎​lv​16.00
      JUL
      01
      Nice – Sofia
      09:00 – 12:15 (W6 4416)
      Basic fare
      1 × Flight ticket ‎​lv​153.99
      1 × Administration fee ‎​lv​16.00

      lv​422.98

      Approx 210€

      Again, insane fares to France with LCC.

      Delete
    4. I read somewhere that France is the most taxed country in either Europe or the world. It could also be a reason why fares are so expensive, airlines probably have a lot of fees to pay.

      Delete
  24. Don't be hatin' the numbers8 December 2018 at 20:10

    CDG-BEG: 13 pw JU + 7 pw AF = 20 pw. ASL only 2 pw or 10% of JU+AF (even less including W6), and only during approx 2 months as per current info. During other 10 months: 0%. Total annual impact on the market: about 2%. Two news items in the last 10 days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well you can always start by reading the article once again. They say they are hoping to be successful and that they are willing and ready to extend flights into the winter.

      Delete

Post a Comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.