Turkish to boost flights across the former Yugoslavia


Turkish Airlines plans to increase its frequencies to a number of cities in the former Yugoslavia this summer as it prepares to fully move to its new hub in Istanbul on March 3. Notably, Turkish Airlines will maintain the greatest number of flights within the former Yugoslavia to Sarajevo this summer with three daily services planned from the very start of the 2019 summer season. The airline will maintain a total of 21 weekly flights from Istanbul. Furthermore, it will run over 220 regular charter flights from Antalya to the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from late May until mid-September. Services will be maintained by its subsidiary AnadoluJet. Turkish is also considering introducing a second destination in the country, to Mostar, but will do so only if it manages to negotiate subsidies with local authorities, similar to the ones enjoyed by Croatia Airlines and Eurowings, which maintain flights to the city.

In Croatia, Turkish Airlines will operate double daily flights to Dubrovnik, up from eleven per week last summer. The additional frequencies will be launched at the end of June. The carrier handled a total of 70.339 passengers from Croatia's third busiest airport in 2018, up 27.1% on the year before. It accounted for 2.2% of all passengers and was Dubrovnik's sixth busiest. Turkish recently noted, "Our plan is to launch another route to Croatia so we can better connect the country to the world and bring even more tourists". In cooperation with the Croatian National Tourist Board, Turkish Airlines is currently promoting Zagreb and Dubrovnik across Asia.

Turkish Airlines Zagreb ad in Singapore metro

The Turkish carrier will also grow its operations to Podgorica by adding an additional flight to the Montenegrin capital for a total of fourteen per week. "Turkish Airlines currently flies to every capital city in the region such as Belgrade, Sarajevo, Podgorica and Ljubljana. Before we decide on introducing a new route or increasing frequencies within our destination network, our team of experts conducts a number of studies focusing on various aspects and taking into account the performance of our existing destinations, which also plays a deciding role in our network expansion. In addition, it is important to take note of various changes on the market and have initiative", the company's Country Manager for Croatia, Ugur Cantimur, said recently.

Despite attempts to increase frequencies and capacity to Belgrade, Turkish Airlines will continue to operate doubly daily flights between its hub and the Serbian capital this summer. In 2018, the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate rejected the carrier's application to operate one of its two daily services with a wide-body Airbus A330-200 aircraft throughout the entire summer season and later rejected the its request to add an additional four weekly flights between Istanbul and Belgrade as of September 2018.




Comments

  1. So they are reintroducing 3 daily to Sarajevo after a few years. Last time they did that one of the flights was from Sabiha because of capacity restraints at IST.

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  2. No wonder. Their fares are reasonable and their service is excellent. Just have to look at the trip reports here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They crushed each and every ex-Yu airline on IST flights.

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    2. Not only Ex-yu.

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    3. On most European airlines you have to pay for luggage and some stale sandwich and drinks. In TK you have everything included in your ticket and fantastic catering in all classes. On top of that their fares are very competitive and usually cheaper than the competition. So no wonder.

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    4. So you have to ask yourself, "how is that even possible ?'

      The answer is obvious - they are an instrument of Turkish govt policy and are funded/subsidised to levels not known.

      As much as you think they are good, their unfair competition has forced so many airlines out of the game - which is why very few European carriers fly to Turkey today

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    5. Let me guess Anon 9:56 - you are a concerned Turkish taxpayer who is gravely worried that his precious money is used to open political routes no one actually flies?

      And of course good goody Lufty - or the big US airlines for that matter - would never, ever force another airline out of the game. Everything they do, they do in the name greater competition and higher number of airlines in the market. And never in their history they used a single dime of taxpayer money to achieve that. Right?

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    6. Turkish has defeated pretty much every ex-Yu airline. Adria stopped flying from LJU to IST because of them, Croatia Airlines stopped flying ZAG to IST because of them and Air Serbia stopped BEG to IST because of them. Now Turkish is spreading its wings even more in the region. I don't understand that none of these airlines had any sort of response.

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    7. It's very difficult to compete against Turkish because they attract a lot of transfer passengers and also because Turks who are going on city break holidays prefer and almost exclusively fly with Turkish carriers.

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    8. Their service on the ground is terrible and many of the passengers are not happy with them

      Skytrax ==> TK 5/10
      https://www.airlinequality.com/airline-reviews/turkish-airlines

      Trustpilot
      58% of passengers gave them 1 star only!
      https://de.trustpilot.com/review/turkish-airline.com

      Delete
  3. They are currently probably the number 1 airline for Asian transfers to ex-Yu.

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    Replies
    1. That must be Aeroflot.

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    2. Aeroflot has a very limited network in ex-Yu. Turkish flies to each ex-yu capital.

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    3. At least when it comes to BEG, Aeroflot is number 1 in terms of Asian transfers.

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    4. Who is then?

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  4. There were rumors they will introduce an extra daily flight to Ljubljana. Is this true?

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  5. Former management at Nis Airport said they were close to a deal with TK. Shame the new one isn't doing anything.

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    Replies
    1. The DCV wouldn't have allowed it. They are limited to two daily flights to Serbia. Both are to BEG. You see they are not allowing them to add flights to Belgrade.

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    2. Last anon is correct. The bilateral between Serbia and Turkey limits the number of flights Turkish can have to Serbia to 2 per day. It also restricts the aircraft type as well, to max A321 or B739.

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    3. I think that any airline that has been interested in establishing new flights from INI will now wait til they see the conditions, destinations and whatever needs to apply the government subsidies. 500k is good money ;)

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  6. I think they pulled away from the idea to introduce third daily flight to SKP. I checked again this morning their website and I'm not able to find third option for any day to SKP in June.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, seems so unfortunately.

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    2. well, its not like the third daily flight will be in the system the moment they announce it

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    3. ^ It was in the system but they removed it.

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    4. the reason is known. the fall of number of turkish tourists

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  7. They should let them operate 3rd daily flight to Belgrade ... in winter :D

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  8. Pitty its only summer frenquencies and not year round

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the past, on most occasions when they increase frequencies in summer, they stay the same in winter.

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  9. 220 charters by TK from Antalya to Sarajevo. wow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well they did used to own an airline in Bosnia. Not a big surprise considering Turkey is the number one destination for Bosnians, both touristically and for business.

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  10. Turkish may experience serious problems this summer. Although the new airport has been opened last year, majority of the flights are still operated at the old one and the planned transfer of all operations to the new airport keeps on postponing. I can see a new Brandenburg disaster emerging.

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    Replies
    1. It's official now the transfer will happen on March 1st and March 2nd

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    2. Also, Brandenburg Airport was never finished in the first place.

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    3. Anon 9:15,

      Total delay of TK's migration from IST to ISL will be four months. If you take into account it will be the largest such event in the history of commercial flying I would say even a year of delays would be tolerable, let alone 4 months. There will be no room for major errors so they obviously need to have everything well in place before they move >300 aircraft and all operations to another airport - at once.

      Delete
  11. Good to hear they plan to grow in Croatia. Seems they withstood Emirates in ZAG and Flydubai in DBV quite well.

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  12. Their next destination in ex-Yu could be Tivat in my opinion.

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    Replies
    1. There are not a lot of options left for them - Tivat, Split and secondary airports in Croatia. That's about it. They already serve all the capital cities.

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    2. TIV is too close to Dubrovnik.

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    3. Well obviously they are in discussions over Mostar.

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    4. To me this route to Mostar seems a bit more suited for Pegasus but anyway good to see they are thinking about it.

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    5. They will probably rather go for Mostar than Split IF they can receive (larger) subsidies at OMO.
      SPU will never offer them only a lipa as incentives, discounts or however one wishes to call it.

      Delete
  13. Can't wait for the new airport in Istanbul to be fully operations. Just a few weeks left!

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  14. Has Turkish Cargo suspended their Tuzla flights?

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    Replies
    1. Turkish Cargo has also stopped their Nis flights. They still fly to Belgrade though I think.

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    2. Yes, Belgrade is operated by the ULS A310. That said, Belgrade is no longer linked with any other city.

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  15. It amazes me how this airline is profitable at all. They seem to fly to every village in the world.

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    Replies
    1. Massive diaspora and they have made IST into a huge transfer point. They were also smart to expand in Africa before the competition.

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    2. You just forgot one point - they are heavily subsidised.

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    3. Any links where we can see the numbers, or they are heavily subsidized because you say so?

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  16. Good to hear. Hope they increase LJU and PRN too.

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  17. So from next summer all ex-Yu cities in their network will be at least two daily right?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is "impressive" when the Turkish govt funds them on such a mission of global expansion.... lucky for them

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    2. Well this always was their area of interest.

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    3. Impressive indeed. Your conspiracy theories won't make TK's success any less impressive last Anon.

      Delete
    4. Oh come on, everyboday knows how protective and supportive the regime of the emperor of Turkey is when it comes to Turkish companies of national interest and particularly in areas, where Turkey can present itself positively on both domestic and international soil.

      If you start googling a bit, you can see countless reports and websites about state subsidies for THY.

      Delete
    5. Yeah, imagine those Turks... they support their companies of strategic interest and turn them into global brands. If they knew anything about business they would be cheering for destruction and bankruptcy of those companies but instead they chose to to support them in any way they could. That is why Turkey is so poor and Serbia is so rich I suppose.

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    6. Why do you immediately assume the person is from Serbia?

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    7. It applies to anywhere else in the Balkans. Only 'balkanoids' believe in fairy tales about fair and uninfluenced global market where everyone plays a fair game, or even better, western companies play a fair game and everyone else are dirty cheaters.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong in being supported by your state, provided that you spend that money wisely and grab something for your country and economy in that gladiator arena which is naively referred to as 'global market'. TK did a tremendous job for its country and is a shining example of how this game is played.

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  18. Any airline growing in the region is good news. Hope they keep increasing frequencies and destinations.

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  19. I really hope they will consider transatlantic flights from an ex-Yu country soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This should be left to EU carriers, not non-EU carriers

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    2. Only HR and SLO are easy to operate transatlantic by EU carriers because there are no administrative obstacles. But any country willing to spend time and money on huge paperwork needed for establishing such flights of their national carrier to/from third country can do that, including Turkey for TK. But somehow I doubt it would happen, at least not soon.

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  20. Their services are far for excellent. I flew from BEG to SEZ via IST, and we had a delay of 3 hours in the second leg. Instead at 1am, the flight departed at 4:20am. Very convenient when you travel with small children. Service at the airport - very poor, got one burger king voucher. The food in the plane was not eatable - "chicken", and I am lover of airplane's food. The Ataturk airport is like a giant train station, hopefully they will improve things with the new airport.

    Regarding prices, they are far from cheap and often they are more expensive than Aeroflot, Qatar and Etihad. Actually, rarely you will find that they are providing the best rate among those.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prices: for all my travels over the last 2-3 years from Germany to Asia, TK has always been one of the most expensive options, more expensive than LH. Have no explanation for that, maybe tickets from other countries are cheaper, thus filling those planes..

      Airport: Ataturk is a desaster, you cant even sit there, as there are too few seats.

      Delete
    2. Fully agree. Flew several times TK, Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Accra, Tripoli, even JFK. Altogether more negative experiences than positive. They simply grew to fast that people who work there and are "TK product exclusively" can follow such growth. Simply lacking experience. Some ground staff even very bad in English. Ataturk became disaster lately, so glad they are moving to the new airport. And also the prices as much as I remember, were never really cheap. My favourite are Emirates and use them as much as I can. And also try to avoid TK.

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    3. I had more than terrible experience with TK.


      FRA-SAW-AYT
      On the check-in in FRA they do not want to issue you boarding pass for SAW-AYT. They say you will get it on the gate. On the gate I asked for it and got the answer - you will get it in SAW. After I strongly demanded to get boarding pass for SAW-AYT they issued it to me.
      In FRA they forgot stoller on the gate. In SAW they know nothing about the stroller. Finally in AYT we got inform that stroller will be delivered to our hotel. At least something.-

      AYT-IST-FRA
      Flight from Antalya was delayed due to weather conditions. We missed connection in Istanbul - last flight on 31.12.
      Many people waiting in a queue demanding accommodation. They can't handle it as they do not have enough hotels available. With 2 small kids we somehow managed to get at least second class lounge access.

      As the diapers were in our luggage we asked them to find our luggage in order we can at least keep the children clean. We had to wait in some TK office in IST 3-4 hours and finally they informed us that they can't locate our luggage. We got thrown out of the office.

      Next day we finally managed to board the plane to FRA and after we landed we noticed that the luggage they could find night before was all wet as it was raining on previous night. Who knows where it was kept...

      I had in my life more than 400 flights but such a terrible service I have never had before.

      TK? Thanks, but no thanks.

      Delete
  21. Meanwhile their Albanian offshoot - Air Albania has failed badly. They have taken back the aircraft they gave them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a surprise

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    2. @anon 09:54

      Do you have any link for it?

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    3. Just Google "Air Albania" and then use translate for all the Albanian websites that are reporting the news.
      The aircraft was in TIA for months but the airline never get off the ground and it returned to Turkey.

      Delete
    4. Found this English language news-piece:
      "IBNA’s Observation/Why did Air Albania vanish from the skies?"
      https://www.balkaneu.com/ibnas-observationwhy-did-air-albania-vanish-from-the-skies/

      Delete
    5. Coincidentically that aircraft is currently inbound TIA after being stored for more than 2 months in IST

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    6. It was also flying for Air Bosnia in the past.
      Seems TK has it for its failed investments in Balkan airlines.
      Oh well, they try to keep Erdogan happy by agreeing to his political projects.

      Delete
  22. We could have seen an even more massive Turkish expansion if it wasnt the fall of the lira.

    all turkish airports have a decline currently (with the one exception Antalya bringing foreign tourists to cheap Turkey). The numbers of turkish tourists in ex-yu plummeted since September

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  23. Any chance for any ex-Yu city to be permanently upgraded to an A330, at least during the summer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BEG was supposed to be. They filed it in the reservation system. Then the CAD decided to protect Air Serbia and Etihad.

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  24. What about Tuzla? Any plans for them to fly there?

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    Replies
    1. Would make more sense than Mostar.

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    2. How so? Mostar is a tourist destination in more ways then one.

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    3. Tuzla is a bigger city and does not have to compete against Dubrovnik.

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    4. Yes but it can't compete against Sarajevo, Tuzla is far from being an airport for commercial flights, they should stick to the low-cost ones.

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    5. Low-cost flights aren't commercial? If nothing else, LCCs tend to be more profitable than full service airlines. Especially in this part of the world.

      Delete
  25. I do hope they consider Nis as well. They fly to at least more than 1 city in most Balkan countries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the Balkans they fly to more than one city in Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania.

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    2. They already fly 2 daily from BEG and 3 daily from SOF.
      However, 3 weekly triangular route would make sense:
      IST-SKP-INI-IST or
      IST-BEG-INI-IST.

      Delete
    3. Why Kresimir?
      Do you remember how VAR and CND were "married" for many years?
      Now they are separated.
      It used to be IST-VAR-CND
      So the same can be applied to INI.

      Delete
    4. Ne vidim smisla u vezivanju postojecih destinacija s nepostojecim u trokut.

      No, povezati dvije nepostojece je vec nesto drugo

      Delete
  26. Turkish Airlines plans further expansion when the new airport in Istanbul is fully open in three weeks. Its impact will be felt everywhere.

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  27. My guess is the third destination in Croatia will be Split.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe Pula or Zadar. You never know especially since it seems they fly almost all their scheduled routes year round.

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  28. Where is Skopje on the list?

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    Replies
    1. It's not on the list because the planned three weekly increase has been removed by TK. They will fly double daily like they already do.

      Delete
  29. They are flying to Pristina too. I think is not mentioned in this article.

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    Replies
    1. Dude the article is about which cities TK will increase during summer season. Skopje and Pristina are not being increased. That's why they are not mentioned.

      Delete
    2. By the way Ljubljana is mentioned. So I was thinking it's an overview of all exYu destinations.

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    3. It's only mentioned in a quote by the TK executive who just listed a few destinations.

      Delete
  30. No one can beat TK in Belgrade because of its fantastic timetable. KK needs to revise its operations by introducing three weekly overnight flights.

    IST-BEG 22.00-22.40
    BEG-IST 07.00-09.40

    With a JU code this could be a real winner.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Once TK manages to stay safe and without a major incident or without accident for at least 10 years, then I will again consider flying on one of their aircrafts. Till then - no chance, my life is worth more than having an IFE or a complimentary meal on a short haul trip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would you fly with Aeroflot by any chance?

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    2. It's been long since Aeroflot doesn't operate Tupolevs which had bad safety record. I can't recall any incident of accident of Aeroflot in the last 10 years. And I can recall at least 5 of THY

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    3. Would you fly Air France, taking into account their safety record between 1999 and 2009?

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    4. Does rank 92 of 100 international airlines ring a bell regarding TK?

      Source: Jacdec international airlines safety ranking 2018

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    5. That does not answer my question above.

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    6. Ok, i see you did not get what I was trying to say. Have a look where Air France and Aeroflot are ranked - hope that clearly answers your question!

      Delete
    7. No it doesn't answer it. My question was simple: would you fly Air France, NOT based on their Jacdec ranking but based on their 10-year safety record between 1999 and 2009?

      TK's record is far from pristine but they never crashed an aircraft and killed everyone on board because the pilots put two children in their seats and switched the autopilot off. I bet Jacdec did not take that tiny detail into consideration.

      Delete
  32. Perhaps it would not be bad for Banja Luka airport administration to try to stimulate them to come on BNX. if three daily flights from Sarajevo believe that it could take three weekly from Banja Luka ...
    I know a lot of people from Banja Luka traveling to Istanbul from Zagreb

    ReplyDelete

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