The year ahead for EX-YU airlines


Following on from a busy year for the national carriers of the former Yugoslavia, 2019 is shaping up to be another eventful one for the aviation sector. The following are some of the highlights which have been confirmed and scheduled to take place over the next 365 days.

Adria Airways will introduce a brand new aircraft type to its fleet with the first of fifteen Russian-made Superjet 100 aircraft scheduled to arrive in April. Prior to this, the Slovenian carrier will firm up its order for the jets with the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company during the first quarter. Adria's owner, 4K Invest, is also set to recapitalise the airline with at least ten million euros during the first three months of 2019. The carrier will put an emphasis on returning to profitability next year following a difficult 2018, which is expected to result in the airline's worst financial performance in decades. Adria will further grow its lucrative ACMI business with plans to wet-lease additional aircraft to Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Luxair and Lufthansa next summer. In addition, it will continue expanding its operations outside of Ljubljana, due to limited opportunities on the Slovenian market. "We see huge potential in the company, with our priority being to stabilise our operations and restore the trust of our passengers. There is a lot of hard work ahead of us, but we are confident that we will succeed", Adria's CEO, Holger Kowarsch, said recently.

Air Serbia will enter the New Year with part-owner Etihad Airways ending its Management Services Agreement with the airline. This will result in the departure of Etihad-appointed staff from key management roles, which will coincide with the transfer of the airline's revenue management and network planning departments from Abu Dhabi back to Belgrade next month. A number of high-ranking positions at Air Serbia are currently held by Etihad employees, including the post of Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer. Etihad Airways will continue to own a 49% stake in Air Serbia and will play a role in the carrier's future network expansion plans which will take place in 2019. Air Serbia still hasn't taken delivery of ten Airbus A320neo aircraft ordered by Erihad which were due to begin arriving in November. The future of this order will depend largely on the Emirati carrier. As of November, the ten jets are still listed in Airbus' order books for Etihad.

Croatia Airlines will bring forward the resumption of its growing list of seasonal summer routes by several weeks and plans to lease two aircraft during peak travel months to maintain its schedule. During 2019, Croatia Airlines will begin tender procedures for the procurement of financial advisory services to seek out the appropriate module to recapitalise and find a strategic partner. The government has conceded that a future partner is necessary in order to fund the airline's order for four Airbus A320neo aircraft, the first two of which are set to arrive in 2021. EX-YU Aviation News will bring you an extended insight into Croatia Airlines' plans for the coming year over the next few weeks.

Montenegro Airlines will continue its recovery in 2019, following solid results achieved during the year. The carrier is again expected to lease a larger aircraft during the summer months. "Leasing an aircraft for a longer period of time during the peak summer months, which we did for the first time this year, proved to be extremely successful and efficient so we will likely do the same next year", the company said. The Montenegrin carrier has made some tentative changes to its 2019 summer season network including the launch of a new seasonal service between Tivat and Hannover, additional frequencies on flights from Podgorica and Tivat, as well as a move from Moscow's Domodedovo to Sheremetyevo Airport from March 31. The Montenegrin government has said it will make a final decision on the airline's privatisation process in early 2019.

Photo courtsey of Nikola Kovačević/Pixsell

Comments

  1. Unfortunately, I think it will be the year Adria goes bust. Hope I'm wrong but it's not looking good.

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    1. This prediction has been published on many aviation portals recently.

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    2. Every year it's the same prediction but they are still around.

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    3. If Adria take those Russian jets, there is no way they will return to profit.

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    4. @0954

      The thing with going bust is you only go bust once and it's over. Yes, we have been panicking about JP for the last year, but unfortunately the facts show us, they can bankrupt tomorrow.

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    5. Let's hope 4K gets its act together.

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    6. In Adria's case, I think it would be best if 4k sold it to another airline.

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    7. I am looking forward to see SSJ100 in Adria fleet. At my first opportunity I will book Adria flight with SSJ

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    8. Does anyone know how many SSJs Adria will have in its fleet this time next year? Will all 15 be delivered at a speedy pace?

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  2. Does anyone have any hints who could be Air Serbia's new CEO?

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    1. Sadly, the new year will bring very few changes to JU's mgt. CEO will stay the same and other functions coming from AUH will also be helmed by Etihad stooges. Only change thus far is the COO (good riddance !!), who will be replaced by a JU old hand. Everything else - same old same old ie. no changes !

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    2. Not true, head of network isn't coming from AUH, he is British and came from easyJet.

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    3. But the CEO will remain in place, right ? And isn't that THE key position ?

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    4. Not really, middle management runs the airline on a day to day basis. The CEO can't micromanage every aspect of the airline, his role is to give the overall direction in which the airline to go. A new chief commercial officer came so let's see what he does.

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    5. I missed the news about a new CCO. Where is he from ?

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    6. He's a Serb from Montenegro but I don't know where he worked before. The guy before him was totally useless.

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    7. If CEO is staying I suppose he has Serbian or citizenship o some EU country.

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    8. There will be a new CEO. Don't know where you all got that Naysmith is staying. He has already left.

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  3. YM can consider a 767 this time and not the smaller 737. Lease the aircraft and launch long haul where the real money is.

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    1. I hear they are considering the A380.

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    2. Actually they are tossing up between the B747-800 and the A380. Final decision in a few months after they finish testing the capabilities of Tivat Airport's new departure terminal.

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    3. They should go with the B77W. I fear that A380 on take off in TIV will blow away that matchbox they call an airport.

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    4. Does it all hurt you that MGX is the fastest growing airline in Yugoslavia?

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/11/montenegro-airlines-becomes-ex-yus.html

      Does it also hurt you it was the smartest carrier to increase capacity this summer? But yeah, this doesn't count.

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    5. Fastest-growing means nothing against such a small base. Wake up, it's the most inefficient carrier in ex-YU.

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    6. They are going bankrupt, there is nothing to be jealous of.

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    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    8. Why would YM take the risk of buying a widebody aircraft?
      They can just wet-lease YU-ARA during the days of the week that is just seating at N.Tesla's tarmac to fly lucrative langhawl routes like TIV-Réunion or TGD-HAV.
      Everybody wins!

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    9. They can't because in summer ARA flies non-stop, without a break, no time to sleep. This summer they will fly six times a week between Belgrade and New York! So YM will have to lease someone else's widebody.

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    10. Which airline leases cheap 767s? Condor or American Airlines?

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    11. Its not 'Nikola Tesla' anymore, its 'powered by Vinci'

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    12. The airport's name has not changed. The style of the logo does not dictate the airport's name. Same as Ljubljana Airport is called Joze Pucnik but all signs at the airport show Fraport Slivenia and before that just Aerodrom Ljubljana. Same in Zagreb where all logos just say MZLZ.

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    13. Some of you people are crazy. MGX to consider wide body? Are you fore real?

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    14. The 767 is not as big as you think. It's definitely a baby compared to the 777, especially 773 - a flying beast. As a matter of fact it indeeds suits the needs of MGX during the summer.

      Maybe the mature guys can tell us how it before? Did Titograd have any flights to America or Canada?

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  4. Most interesting next year for me will be the arrival of the SSJ100s for Adria.

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    1. Can't wait to see it in Adria's livery.

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    2. You will be waiting a long time

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    3. So far, American airlines in DBV will be really interesting to see, at least for me.

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    4. ^That will be a nice sight!

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  5. OU should finally be privatized in 2019.

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    1. They tried many times in the past but no one wants to buy them.

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    2. I wouldn't hope it will realize. Ever.

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    3. Why not? What is the alternative? Lease two CRJ900s for 5 months until the end of time?

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    4. It's a CRJ1000s, not 900s ;)

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    5. They could easily lease some of Adria's CRJs since they won't be needing them.

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    6. With what money?

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  6. Admin, you forgot to mention FlyBosnia. It is a new adventure in Bosnian aviation so I hope the airline's development will get coverage on your blog. Should be exciting times for Bosnian aviation in 2019 !

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    1. I read the same about Bosnian Wand Airlines.

      Btw, there has been a lot of coverage about it here.

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    2. It will be interesting to see if Fly Bosnia will actually launch. If these guys are serious it could be a great year for SJJ.

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    3. Agree, that would be really great news for Bosnia and Herzegovina!

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  7. Very difficult year ahead of us,lets hope for the best.

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    1. Agree! Wish them all the best, but I fear that Adria and YM are the next ones to go bust.

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    2. Adria is in a more vulnerable state because it can't count on government support.

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  8. Looking forward to it

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  9. Happy New year!

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  10. Hope for 2019: new longhaul destinations for Air Serbia and going over 6 million passengers at BEG airport.

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  11. Wish all ex-Yu airports and airlines record traffic, better infrastructure and a great year.

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  12. Wish everyone a happy New Year! 2019 will be very exciting for Ex-Yu region!

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  13. Interesting times ahead, that's for sure.

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  14. Radovan Marinkovic31 December 2018 at 12:10

    Nova godina ce doneti resavanje problema iz stare godine i povecati mogucnosti razvoja u dekadi koja dolazi, Ovde u jugoistocnoj Evropi. Prvenstveno misleci na uvecanje Beogradske vazdusne luke i uvecanja flote Er Srbije. Ostvarenje proklamovane zajednice Aerodromi Srbije. Otvaranjem saobracaja na Kraljevackoj Moravi i Uzickoj Ponikvi. Dolazi vreme da se i ovi delovi Evropskog kontinenta uzlete, To potvrdjuje novo formirane avio kompanije Albanije, Bosne i Makedonije. Jedna lasta ne pravi prolece. Bez laste ni proleca nema. vec skoro stize prva cetvrtina dvadeset prvog veka. Mir i razvoj je uslov za komercijalnu avijaciju. I zivot i posvecenost razvoju aerodroma i avio kompanija... Srecna, napredna i blagoslovena Nova 2019 Godina.
    Vas Rodney, Kraljevo / Sydney.

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  15. I hope all the airlines achieve new records next year.

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    1. And airports too.

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    2. More airports than airlines

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    3. Why not both? :)

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    4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgk-lA12FBk

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  16. Let's hope they all get completely privatized or go bust so that we can have a free market from 2020.

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  17. U 2019 ocekujem tri stvari:
    1. Privatizaciju Croatia-e.
    2. Bankrot Adria-e
    3. Ryan u Beogradu.

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    1. Druga i treca vrlo verovatno.
      Prva jako tesko

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    2. jadan ti
      koliko dugo ti vec cekas da Adria ode u stecaj....i nikako da ti se ta zelja ispuni....

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    3. I have a feeling on December 31, 2019 some will still be writing that they predict Adria to go bust, but in 2020 :D

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  18. 2019 looks interesting. Bring it on! i wish you and all readers Happy New Year, and more good news in 2019

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  19. Srecna svima Nova Godina i sve najbolje. I da sve aviokompanije u EX YU imaju profit u 2019.

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  20. In 2019, my money is on OU finally getting privatized, SPU overtaking ZAG as Croatia's busiest airport, JU starting more long haul flights and Wizz basing a fifth plane in Skopje.

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  21. Which of these airlines has the last flight in 2018? :)

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    1. Adria 15.55 FRA-LJU
      Croatia Airlines 18.00 FRA-ZAG
      Montenegro 18.25 BEG-TGD
      Air Serbia 23.15 BEG-SVO

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    2. I really wonder if there will be any passengers on that flight to Moscow that leaves just after 11pm.

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    3. If there weren't the flight would have been cancelled. And the load on the return flight might be high. Besides, crews that do the 11.15pm flight to Moscow have a 24 hour layover there :)

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    4. Ironically Adria cancelled its Ljubljana-Zurich flight today. Another cancellation in a sea of cancellations this year.

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    5. First 2019 flights:
      Adria 10.00 LJU-SVO
      Croatia 06.40 DBV-ZAG
      Montenegro 10.40 TGD-FCO
      Air Serbia 00.20 BEG-TIA

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    6. Interesting. Seems JU is the only airline continuing 24 hour ops.

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    7. There are many airlines out there that operate on New Year's. Aeroflot has a flight out of BEG at 23.35.

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    8. I had a flight on 1 JAN couple of years ago, PEK via DOH. While DOH sector was reasonably full, DOH-PEK had 9 (nine) pax in Y, and zero in C. Now, that's what I call personalized service.

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    9. Nice haha. From where was your flight?

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  22. I wish all of them success in 2019 and hopefully less bickering among aviation enthusiasts here.

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    1. That's what most of our hope for too :)

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  23. Happy New Year to you and all contributors to Ex-Yu Aviation.

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  24. 2019 is gonna be challenging:

    JU - possible announcment of YYZ in 2020.
    Increasing capacity in busier routes with demand: OTP, SKG, SOF. The need to send bigger birds.
    Focus heavily on JFK route and turn 10 weekly when the 2nd A330 arrives.

    OU - restore previous seasonal routes and send bigger birds to OTP and code share with A3 on the ZAG-ATH. A3 is an extremely important Star Alliance member.
    Maintain the coastal airports and consider BWK expansion.

    JP - restore previously launched destinations and launch daily flights to increase coverage. The SuperJet is a regional horse for those tough routes.

    YM - lease 738 and not 735 as it's cheaper and more efficient. Deploy it to Germany and UK where the pound is weaker.

    Air Bosnia - if the Arabs are serious, this can turn out to be a crucial airline in SJJ if no fierce competition with OU and JP.

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  25. happy new year to all visitors, lots of health and happiness, and most important, safe skies to all aviatiors in exYU and around the world

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  26. Only thing for sure is that the Croatian coast-airports are gonna work there ass of this summer.

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    1. Yes and it will be nice to see the opening of the SPU terminal this summer.

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  27. I wish all airlines (more) success in 2019. I don't really care if it's Adria, Air Serbia or Croatia (written in alphabetical order - so no drama pls).

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  28. Sadly I don't think much will change with ex-yu airlines in 2019.

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  29. 2018 was great for aviation in the region. Have no doubt 2019 will top it.

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