LOT puts greater focus on EX-YU market




LOT Polish Airlines will continue to grow its operations to the former Yugoslavia this summer by adding one new route to its network, as well as increasing frequencies and capacity on a number of existing services. Furthermore, the airline has identified the Balkan region as an important market for its future development. The Polish national carrier will commence a one weekly seasonal service from Krakow to Dubrovnik from May 25, making it its sixth route to Croatia following services from Warsaw to Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Pula and Zadar, with the latter four all being maintained only during the summer, all of which will see a boost in capacity this year. "Croatia is becoming more and more popular among our passengers each year and is one of the most common holiday destinations in the Mediterranean basin for Polish travellers. We are convinced that, as a result of LOT's enhanced offer, Poles will be even more willing to visit Croatia, as well as plan a longer vacation or weekend trip", the carrier said. In addition, the airline will boost capacity on its Warsaw - Zagreb service by operating both of its daily flights with the 112-seat Embraer E195 jet.

The airline plans to increase its frequencies to Belgrade this summer from eleven to twelve per week starting in late September. "There is no dominant category of passengers on our Belgrade service. It varies based on the day of the week. Of those transferring through Warsaw, the majority of passengers connect onto flights to Toronto and several points in Western Europe", LOT said. Furthermore, the carrier will add an additional weekly flight to Ljubljana this summer for a total of seven per week and boost capacity from the Dash 8 turboprop to the jet-engine Embraer aircraft. The airline codeshares on its services out of Warsaw with almost all of the national carriers from the former Yugoslavia - Adria Airways, Air Serbia and Croatia Airlines.

Following the successful launch of its Warsaw - Skopje service last year, the airline will maintain the route six times per week this summer. The carrier noted that although these flights provide opportunities for Polish tourists to discover Macedonia in greater numbers, its primary focus is on transfer passengers, in particular those connecting to the United States, Canada and Scandinavia. "LOT offers passengers from Macedonia the most comfortable connections to Scandinavia and Western Europe, as well as the airports we fly to in North America. We are sure the new offer will meet the expectations of passengers travelling for business and leisure", the airline said. It added that the flights are scheduled so as to offer fast and convenient connections from Warsaw.

LOT will continue to serve Podgorica six times per week this summer. “Our passengers had an opportunity to get to know what Podgorica has to offer during the previous summer season. In our opinion, this destination has a lot of potential”, the airline said. Elsewhere within the region, the Polish carrier has announced it will launch nonstop flights from Budapest to both Brussels and Bucharest this September, complementing its existing services from the Hungarian capital to Chicago, Krakow, London City, New York and Warsaw. Its CEO, Rafał Milczarski, previously noted the airline would focus on the Baltic and the Balkan region. Notably, emphasis will be put on cities in the area which serve as hubs for Star Alliance member airlines with whom LOT can cooperate. Both Zagreb and Ljubljana are home to national carriers which are part of the alliance.




Comments

  1. Impressive growth on all markets really. I think they have added new routes to ex-Yu each year for the last 3 or 4 years. Wonder what we might see next from them.

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    1. Hopefully Sarajevo. I don't understand why these airlines overlook SJJ. I'm sure they would get nice feed to US and Canada.

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    2. There are several options in my opinion. Sarajevo and Pristina year round and/or Tivat, Ohrid seasonally.

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    3. There are a number of expansion opportunities for them in ex-Yu from Krakow too.

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    4. They could also consider Rijeka seasonally. I mean they are only missing Rijeka and Brac in Croatia :D

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    5. Brac airport is in talk with lot for flights in s 19. Or s 20..

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    6. Banja Luka is a possibility too :P

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    7. Maybe that's the surprise they are preparing for autumn? LO is also increasing BEG in autumn so it could be that. LO could offer nice connections to Russia, the US, Canada, Scandinavia...

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    8. Why Banja Luka? This is a serious question, not being negative. Are there business interests or diaspora or another reason to fill that route? Just because I am not aware of it, doesn't mean the demand does not exist, so I am curious why you mention BNX.

      I would think Mostar would be a good option due to tourism (at least seasonally).

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    9. Well Banja Luka has some 200.000 people and as many living around it. The airport has only JU and now FR and there is growing demand. That area of Srpska has a large diaspora in Sweden and Denmark, two regions served by LO. On top of that there are quite a few Serbs who emigrated to Canada and the US.

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    10. LOT starts TIV on 09JUNE to Katowitze.
      Flight details:
      LO 6447/6448 7:45/8:45 (TIV ARR/DEP) with B738, day 7, from 09/06/2019 to 29/09/2019.

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    11. Regarding Banja Luka, It would be excellent for me, I have business partner in Warsaw. I will give one or two passenger, others is up to you :-)

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  2. They have managed to beat ex-Yu airlines on all routes they had competition. First Air Serbia, now Adria. Others didn't even try to compete.

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    1. Because the number of transfer passengers they can pick up from BEG and LJU is far greater than the number of passengers JU and JP could pick up from WAW due to the size and variety of LOT's network.

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    2. Exactly. I think there is little P2P traffic between Warsaw and ex-Yu cities.

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    3. One thing to keep in mind is that LOT has a perfect fleet to serve ex-Yu markets and can adjust the equipment based on their loads. Something all ex-Yu airlines are unable to do.

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    4. Well Air Serbia could have picked up transfers from Poland to Montenegro and the Croatian coast.

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    5. They did do that but
      1. That is applicable for 3 months per year
      2. LOT has since introduced all those routes nonstop from Warsaw and Wizz Air is increasingly flying from Poland to ex-Yu. They have flights to Split and Podgorica too.

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    6. @Anonymous 4 March 2019 at 09:09
      "Because the number of transfer passengers they can pick up from BEG and LJU is far greater than the number of passengers JU and JP could pick up from WAW due to the size and variety of LOT's network."

      There is also the geographical location.

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  3. What equipment do they use on the BEG flights?

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    1. mostly E75.

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    2. LO sends pretty much everything to BEG.

      This is February, the slowest month in aviation:

      E95 x11
      E75 x23
      E70 x5
      E90 x1

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    3. LOT offers some great fares from Belgrade to Asia too. They are often the cheapest option.

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    4. BEG will probably go to double daily in summer 2020.

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    5. Issue are the slots at WAW, that is why LO is sending larger aircraft to BEG in stead of adding flights.

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  4. Yay LJU goes daily. Nice.

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    1. And from Q400 to ERJ-175/195.

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  5. It would be great if they launched BUD-BEG-BUD and offered good connections to Chicago and New York :D

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    1. ...cannibalizing their feed route to WAW.

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    2. Yes it would probably affect their WAW loads although it would be a nice option for P2P travelers since Belavia doesn't offer a convenient schedule for citybreak.

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    3. Interesting that Belavia kept the route so it must have some demand from local traffic. I wonder if they might increase flights as well in the future.

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  6. Good to see them operating the 737Max8 on flights to ZAD/DBV and SPU.

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    1. This is a significant increase there.

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    2. B738 was common in BEG as well, I think they sent their max once or twice in addition to the older generation.

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  7. Could their expansion in BUD be a reason why they are no longer interested in OU? It makes no sense to have two bases in such a small area.

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    1. They already had a base in BUD when they announced their interest in OU last year. I think they just realised they would burn too much money.

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  8. I think they would be a great solution for Zagreb and flights to the US.

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    1. The B787 would be the perfect aircraft to operate ZAG-JFK route.

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    2. People in BUD hate LOT because they treat it as a second tier point in their destination network with North America flights often delayed or cancelled.

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  9. They will go bust sooner or later. They were on the brink of collapse a few years ago and I don't think opening new routes left and right, with poor load factors will help them in the long run.

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    1. Erm LO is profitable.

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    2. Lot is a good airline and it's great to see them back in the game.

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    3. ^ They are good at expanding and I commend them on that but service wise they are nothing special. Typical Eastern european style of service.

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    4. LO's long-haul product isn't much worse than, let's say, LH. Their B789 seem to be superb, especially their IFE.

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    5. I have only had good experiences with LOT.

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  10. LO has grown so well lately not just in ex-Yu but everywhere. Good work.

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  11. So they will have most flights to Croatia. Good work.

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  12. I doubt Lufthansa is happy with this development.

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    1. They are definitely being squeezed out of many transfer passengers from Eastern Europe.

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    2. I think Austrian is the biggest victim from Lot's expansion.

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    3. LH turning ZAG into a mostly regional aircraft service is most likely because of LO's expansion. If LO keeps on expanding at this rate in ZAG it will further harm them. Can't complain, LH has become extremely lazy and expensive in ZAG.

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    4. JU is also a victim. They cancelled WAW route. LOT is taking most BEG passengers to Toronto and JU is unable to launch Toronto as a result.

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    5. Yeah... I highly doubt JU isn't launching YYZ because LO is taking away its passengers. By that logic no one was carrying passengers to New York when JU 500 was launched? lol

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    6. Lufthansa has shifted capacity away from FRA to MUC. They fly Airbus 320 and 319 from MUC and from FRA double daily CRJ1000. In addition to the 3 flights on 319/320 ops by OU and double daily DH4 from MUC ops by OU.

      It will take a LOT of time for LOT to offer the same capacity.

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    7. Don't forget that unlike LH and its affiliate companies, LO has next to no local demand between ZAG and WAW. Meaning that it's flights are primarily filled with transfer passengers making their growth extremely impressive.

      January-July

      VIE
      2017: 91.908
      2018: 95.711

      FRA
      2017: 182.539
      2018: 188.972

      ZRH:
      2017: 63.487
      2018: 62.125

      MUC:
      2017: 107.708
      2018: 115.658

      WAW:
      2017: 23.760
      2018: 36.963

      LO added some 13.203 additional passengers and if I am not wrong that's extra 63 passengers per day or some 31 one way passengers per day. So LO might not be where LH is today but they seem to be getting there. If this trend continues, WAW might become as busy as ZRH. ;)

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    8. So LO affected OU/LX not LH.

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    9. I think LO have taken away passengers from LX and JU in BEG and ZAG.

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    10. Exactly, how can LOT have affected LH and OU, when all markets grew with CAPS beings the same?

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    11. Can you please explain to me how did LO affect JU when they are not after the same market? Also I think they affected OU's yield to Star Alliance hubs. Those flights are already loss making.

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    12. I am Serb in BEG. Want to go to JFK. Fly LO instead of JU. This is how LO affects JU.

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    13. JU is increasing JFK so it's generally unaffected by competition. Also the guys said LO affected JU in ZAG.

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  13. Great news. I assume the capacity upgrade is CRO are mostly from Dashes to Embraers?

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    1. The upgrade is more from E95 to 737-800 /MAX

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  14. I'm really happy Skopje has worked out for them!

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    1. They don't have a whole lot of competition for transfer passengers. Just Austrian mostly.

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    2. And they first scheduled it as seasonal route :) obviously it has performed better than expected.

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    3. @9.37 there are also Adria, Croatia Airlines, Air Serbia and Aegean carrying transfer passengers.

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    4. And with exception to Air Serbia having New York, none of these airlines have long haul flights to North America and Asia, which Austrian and LOT do.

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    5. There is also TK which carries a lot of passengers to NA. I guess LO is the reason why they decided against the third daily flight.

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  15. LOT and Aegean now serve the most points in ex-Yu of the European legacies. More than Austrian, Lufthansa, Swiss...

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    1. Well Swiss wanted to serve all capitals 3 years ago. Opened them and failed on all of them.

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    2. The only route that seems to be performing well for LX is BEG. All others aren't doing as great.

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    3. Astonishing what a failure Swiss's exyu expansion has been!

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    4. I think LX's costs are very high given the fact they are based in Switzerland. Ex-YU folk probably wasn't willing to pay more to fly with them so they handed over the market back to OS.

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    5. Actually I think Austrian and LH still fly to the most cities and capital cities in ex-YU.

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    6. More than Air Serbia?

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    7. Air Serbia has the largest network:

      LJU: JU
      ZAG: JU, OS
      RJK, JU
      PUY: JU
      ZAD: JU
      SPU: JU, OS
      DBV: JU, OS
      TIV: JU
      TGD: JU, OS
      SJJ: JU, OS
      BNX: JU
      SKP: JU, OS
      PRN: OS

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  16. LOT is doing what ex-YU airlines should have done.

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    1. You cannot seriously compare Poland with its population and diaspora size to any ex-Yu country.

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    2. Yes u can. Lot growth is based on transfer passengers just like UAE airlines do. Population of Poland has nothing to do with LOT going from couple of weekly flights to BEG 5 years ago to 12 weekly. Transfers to YYZ do. Air Serbia blinked, gave up on Toronto expansion and allowed LOT to grow.

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    3. The didn't give up on Toronto expansion at all, as you will see in a few months.

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    4. LOL, if I had a penny every time some Anonymous said You will see in a few months!

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    5. I said the same a month before Air Serbia announced 9 new European routes and someone commented to the same affect. I guess you will just have to wait and see.

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  17. If they are expanding because of the 'transfer passengers strategy' they should establish a connection to Sarajevo.

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  18. Not surprised they are increasing frequencies. There fares are quite good.

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  19. I think they will launch Sarajevo next year.

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    Replies
    1. If SJJ is more proactive maybe they will. You can't just sit with your hands crossed and expect airlines to flock to you.

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  20. Seems like many airlines have discovered Podgorica over the last few years.

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    Replies
    1. Tourism industry is growing so more and more airlines are coming.

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  21. I'm really surprised Wizz Air hasn't launched more flights from Warsaw to ex-yu.

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    1. Simple. Like I said in one of the comments above there is very little point to point traffic from Warsaw to ex-Yu region and vice versa. Almost all is transfer, which obviously doesn't work for Wizz.

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    2. Because they can only carry P2P PAX and there is little demand for that outside of peak summer when Polish tourists go to the Croatian coast. Majority of passengers on flights to LJU, BEG, ZAG and soon SKP are transfers.

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    3. Wizz Air has only been expanding in SKP and OHD, their service at other airports has either stagnated or gone down.

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    4. ^^ I don't see what that has to do with Warsaw?

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    5. It has to do with the fact that ex-YU probably isn't their priority right now. They are expanding elsewhere.

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  22. Missed opportunities for Croatia and Air Serbia.

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    1. What are missed opportunities?

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  23. They should start PRN.

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    1. We often complain about Skopje but in fact Pristina has a very low presence of legacy airlines. So LOT would be a nice addition.

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    2. True very few legacy airlines present. Swiss, Austrian, Adria, SAS and Turkish only.

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    3. Meanwhile Skopje has Adria, Croatia Airlines, Air Serbia, Qatar Airways, Austrian, CSA, Turkish, LOT and Aegean.

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    4. Once EU visas are lifted PRN will attract more established airline.

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    5. Yeah but they won't lift visas in the next five years...

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  24. They have very, very good prices to YYZ and the connection via WAW is less than 2 hours.
    It will be extremely difficult for JU to penetrate the Canadian market with LO and TK around.
    Both airlines are agressively expanding in the Balkans.
    LO have super prices to SIN, NRT, SFO, LAX, YYZ, JFK/EWR, PEK and who knows, maybe they will launch SYD one day.

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    1. But generally, they need an early morning departure from BEG to improve their connecting flight offer.

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    2. They need a 05.00AM departure

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    3. 5 AM departure would mean plane spending the night in Belgrade.

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    4. I think the most affected in BEG will be LH followed by KLM.

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    5. True and the biggest advantage of this early morning flight is that it leaves one day before from Warsaw around 22:45h which guarantees even a more range of their network.
      I think BEG-WAW will turn 3 daily by 2020 and 4 daily 1 year later.

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    6. Anon 10:59, check the WAW-OTP or WAW-SOF LO schedules, ok?
      The plane leaves Chopin Airport at night and arrives in the middle of the night and stays for a couple of hours on the tarmac before heading back to Warsaw in the early morning.
      This flight will be a game changer in Belgrade and Vinci MUST check this with LO.

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    7. They are missing HK and SHA, would be fantastic if they offer cheap connection to there one day...

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  25. I think they should offer services to Niš or maybe even better - to the upcomming Kraljevo airport as well.

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  26. Why not Mostar?

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  27. Semi OT, it strange they didn't consider Tirana, at least seasonal. There are so many polish tourist in Albania.

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    1. True, could work great for transfers as well. Strange...

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  28. Da se mene pita svatko tko muti vodu LH je dobro došao. Već sam više puta letio s LO prema bivšoj SSSR i imaju sasvim solidan servis. Doduše malo ih muči logistika, pa se letovi kasne ili se otkazuju. No, moram priznati da u ovom slučaju reagiraju jako profesionalno. Meni su otkazali u WAW connecting do PRG. Ali bez ikakvih komplikacija odmah hotel, taksi do hotel, voucher za hranu.
    Kad sam tražio odštetu bez ikakvih pregovora odgovorili da im pošaljem bankovni račun i dobio sam 250 €. Sve sređeno u mjesec dana.
    Kolegici se nešto slično dogodilo s OS čekala 3 mjesece da se sredi.
    Jedino je aerodrom u WAW već malen za sve ove putnike. Pogotovo je usko grlo sigurnosna kontrola kad dođeš izvan EU i ideš na EU transfer. Ponekad bolje izaći iz transfer zone i na glavnu kontrolu.
    I personal u avionu jako ljubazan, a na B737 imaš u economyu i štekdoze za laptop ili mob.

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