Air Serbia adds Etihad A320 to fleet


Air Serbia has finalised the wet-lease of an Etihad Airways Airbus A320 aircraft, with the jet entering into service on behalf of the Serbian carrier yesterday afternoon. Initially, the plane will be used exclusively on the airline's new afternoon flights between Belgrade and London Heathrow. Air Serbia has leased seven weekly slot pairs from Etihad at Heathrow Airport for a total of sixteen weekly rotations between the two cities. The 136-seat jet will represent a product upgrade compared to Air Serbia's 174-seat A320s. Business class passengers will enjoy a two by two configuration with recliner seats, while economy class travellers will have a wider seat pitch and width.

Etihad A320 business class cabin

The aircraft contracted under the wet-lease arrangement is registered A6-EIC and is fifteen years old. It has been stored at Abu Dhabi Airport since late March. Prior to Etihad, the aircraft was utilised by Martinair. In addition to the Etihad-operated A320, Air Serbia will wet-lease a Nordica Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft as of next month and add a ninth Airbus A319 aircraft to its fleet, which has been painted in the company's corporate livery and has received a Serbian registration - YU-APK. The three jets will assist in maintaining the airline's busy summer schedule which will see it launch 21 new routes from Belgrade and Niš with an A319 to be based in the south-east Serbian city.

Etihad A320 economy class cabin

Ahead of its busiest summer season since its relaunch in October 2013, Air Serbia has hired more than 100 new cabin crew members, as well as 21 junior co-pilots for ATR and Airbus aircraft. At the same time, the national airline has organised pilot training, with eleven fulfilling requirements to be promoted to the position of captain, or move up to a different aircraft type. In addition, the process of appointing new cabin seniors has been initiated, with their selection to be finalised by mid-June. "The upcoming period is very important for us. Our company's best individuals have been given the opportunity to be promoted. At the same time, we have also strengthened our team with young and qualified talents. The biggest growth of our destination network comes as a result of a great team effort, and I strongly believe we will be satisfied with the outcome, all with the support of our new team members", Air Serbia's CEO, Duncan Naysmith, said.




Comments

  1. Can this plane be used on any other route other than London? Seems a bit wasteful to keep it on the ground for more than half a day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think there are some restrictions in terms of where this plane can be used due to its UAE registration.

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    2. As far as I'm aware Air Serbia used to have 2 A319s with UAE registrations and they were able to use it on most routes.

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    3. It's funny that the Etihad A320 has less seats than Air Serbia's A319.

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    4. I think all EY A320s have only 136 seats. so pretty easy to fill. Like a 735.

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    5. ^^^

      JU did have some issues with Emirati registered aircraft in the past while 2 of their A319's carried Emirati registration with EY crew, Germany and Russia if I remember correctly. However most of Europe is fine. Even BA was using QR aircraft and crew throughout Europe.

      Delete
  2. Good hard product upgrade for LHR passengers, especially business.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And the prices are the same as the morning flight which is good.

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  3. So 22 planes in total this summer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It depends on the amount of Boeings that will be active. It could be 23.

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    2. 23

      1-A330
      3-A320
      9-A319
      3-B733
      3-ATR72
      3-ATR75
      1-CRJ900

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    3. I thought only 2 B737 were active.

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    4. The B737s refuse to give up :D

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    5. YU-AND, YU-ANI and YU-ANK are still operational althought only YU-ANI was flying recently

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    6. AND and ANK will be back in service at the end of June.

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    7. Are they on technical check now?

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    8. Yes, regular checks.

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  4. Well at least they seemed to have planned ahead by leasing planes, hiring 100 new crew (tat's huge) and promoting pilots. Unlike what Adria did when they introduced 8 routes last summer.

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  5. This is truly a massive expansion. 21 routes!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations Air Serbia.

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    2. How many destinations will Air Serbia have in total this summer?

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    3. So 59. That's impressive

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    4. I'm still wondering if we will see a long haul expansion any time soon.

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    5. +1
      Long haul expansion is needed next to enhance the profitability!

      Delete
    6. Every long haul route needs the time to bring the profit.

      It would be better for JU first to develop fully European network before opening route to Canada or China

      Delete
    7. ^^

      JU could do with another 1-2 A330's to help the seasonality of its long haul network.

      JU seems to make good money in the summer peak but parking the A330 for 4-5 days a week in the winter is expensive.

      With an average of 5-6 long haul rotations we should see with 3 A330's:

      - 7 x JFK
      - 4 x YYZ
      - 4 x PVG

      3 weeks of maintenance per aircraft from end of january to end of march leaves 2 in constant service during the slow months, just as we saw this winter with the leased in EY A330, which leaves:

      - 3 x JFK
      - 2 x YYZ
      - 2-3 x PVG

      Having crew in YYZ would help the JFK flight in case of any unplanned diversions due to weather in JFK as previously seen.

      As seen with JFK, JU would also offer transfer options via BEG helping boost regional loads.

      Delete
  6. So they really have on Saturday and Sunday flights to LHR in the afternoon departing BEG 15 minutes between each other? Plus morning flight?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The yields will get a massive hit. Good news for us passengers though.

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  7. Where do they suddenly have the money from to be leasing planes, slots, open 20+ new routes???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They got back the Airbus deposit. Plus they are getting subsidised on all 12 routes out of Nis and I think Rijeka and Zadar are also giving some sort of subsidies for the new routes.

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    2. Correct, plus the annual subsidy by the GoS that covers any losses.

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    3. Those 23.5 million they got from Airbus certainly helped.

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    4. How much is the Serbian taxpayer being charged approximately?

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    5. Nice collection of experts. No one thought Air Serbia makes revenue from selling tickets and ancillary services. But they complain when tickets are 300 eur.

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    6. 19.05.2019
      BEG-FRA
      A320
      98% LF

      Delete
    7. Last anon, is that on JU yesterday?

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    8. Regarding LHR slots, JU previously requested for 5 slots pairs in LHR and were denied. With 9W gone bankrupt EY have 21 slot pairs in LHR they need to use or they lose them. If the offer from EY was not good, they could of refused just as they did with aircraft from AZ (JU was offered previously any aircraft for lease from AZ and declined the offer), which would of forced EY to open an additional 3 daily LHR. Since the financial situation in EY is crap and those slots cost EY 75 million USD, we can safely say JU got a good deal.

      As for the rest, the Serbian government has financially been supporting JU for years, nothing new here. Difference being the USD$23,5 million depost from the cancelled A320 neo order coming back to JU (which is enough to lease 10-15 A319's for a year) as well as a few of these airports offering subsidies for new routes, plus the subsidies for the INI routes.

      JU has drastically reduced its loses from its worst being -49 million Euros to something around -18 million in 2017. 2018 must have been a better year, lets wait and see.

      Delete
    9. Don't see why are people so shocked about LHR being increased. JU flies two times a day to Zurich, Vienna, Paris and 10 times a week to Moscow and Amsterdam. It makes sense for London to have two flights a day. BEG seems to be the only airport that can make LHR work despite LCC competition.

      Delete
  8. Any info how much JU is paying to lease this aircraft and the LHR slots?
    The story clearly states that both aircraft and slots are leased to JU by EY, not given away for free as some had suggested previously..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one can tell you that or what sort of arrangement the two made.

      Delete
  9. Fantastic news. The fleet and route network keep growing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So at one period during the day there will be up to 4 Etihad aircraft in Belgrade - 2 from Abu Dhabi, one leased to Air Serbia, and one B777 Etihad cargo plane.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wonder if the in seat PTVs will be active during the flight.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Will Etihad's aircraft be painted in Air Serbia's livery?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's white.

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    2. Well it is a time slot keeper for EY until EY decides what to do with that slot.

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  13. Is the crew from Etihad?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Serbian speaking crew.

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    2. Yes, wet lease means that crew, maintenance and insurance are all provided by the lessor.

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    3. Not nessecarily all of the crew. One at least cabin member must speak Serbian.

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    4. I'm telling you they sent Serbian crew working at Etihad. Same way Serbian crew from Etihad worked on the A330 which flew for a month from Belgrade to New York on behalf of Air Serbia earlier this year.

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  14. Great news. And people were worrying they won't have enough planes from the summer.

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  15. Cabin looks good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The livery is beautiful too.

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    2. One of my favorites too :)

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    3. It is very nice. Fun fact: it is also very expensive because of the glaze they use to give the body of the plane a kind of champagne look. Very expensive but quality too. But they introduced this when Etihad was on a spending spree and rolling out the apartment cabins etc.

      Delete
    4. This plane does not have the Etihad livery. They painted it white before it came to Belgrade.

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    5. So will it fly forJU in all white or will be painted to our livery?

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    6. It will fly all white for time being. I say time being because maybe it will eventually become a dry lease. Depends what happens with the Heathrow slots.

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    7. Wasn't it allowed to fly in EY livery?

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    8. I think the plane ended its career with Etihad. It was stored at AUH since March, livery was immediately removed.

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  16. Good move! Leasing aircraft and launching new destinations.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is turning out to be a good summer for Air Serbia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Belgrade Airport too.

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    2. Both Air Serbia and Belgrade Airport will sigificantly increase passenger numbers.

      There is no single ompetitor in ex-YU anymore, now it is time for wider region

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    3. It's just nice to see Air Serbia waking up after a few years.

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    4. I just hope they can sustain all new routes.

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    5. All new routes can be sustained as long as taxpayers continue to subsidize them.

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    6. How come Ohrid, Kiev, Varna and Budapest were not sustained then? The taxpayer arguments are getting old.

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    7. Even more subsidies would be needed for those at a time that the launching of the JFK route was the main focus.
      And of course needed a lot of financial support.
      Prestige has its price.

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    8. Long haul routes needs more time to become profitable. It looks like Air Serbia goal is to build market presence and lay groundwork for additional long haul destinations, and it turn help grow overall network and passengers numbers. It has nothing to do with prestige. Learn about history of LOT and how long it took them to get from 2 to 3 million passengers per year, and how long haul helped them with growth beyond that.
      Prestige is a term mostly used to describe questionable goal of supporting or subsidizing other long haul airlines at some other airports in the region. Those airlines could depart as soon as financial support ends, while Air Serbia will likely have more stable and predicable growth of long haul services.

      Delete
    9. JU long haul will never be profitable with 1 aircraft. The summer season sure, they even increased from 5 to 6 per week maximising the utilisation, but winter is terrible and there is no market launching seasonal winter flights as of yet. Time to expand the long haul offer and there is demand for it...if done correctly.

      Delete
    10. JU's losses on JFK were halved yoy. Profitability is possible but only in maybe 2 to 4 years.

      Delete
  18. It turns out that cooperation with Etihad is not that bad after all

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, cooperation with EY was proven very profitable for JU.

      SMFH

      Delete
    2. Has it not, Anon 10:09? When you draw the line, Air Serbia still got more from Etihad than it gave back.

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    3. I am sure many airlines from the region would like to have relation with some bigger player as JU has with EY.

      Delete
    4. Yes I am sure many airlines envy the deal GoS made with Etihad!
      LOL dude!

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    5. 20 May 2019 at 10:18
      Seriously now?
      We gave them 50% of the airline, we cover 100% of the losses and we have to lease planes and services from them for a price way above market rate!
      No wonder JU was the only venture that Etihad group didn't lose money on...

      Delete
    6. I am sure too, "dude".

      They brought JU back from dead, they managed to lease many Airbus planes (Jat Airways could lease only broken and old Bulgarian B733's as nobody trusted they will pay their lease rate), without them it would not have been possible at all to open TATL route, they managed Air Serbia to get back 23,5 million from Airbus and finally today we see massive expansion Air Serbia is making thanks to the changes done in the last few years.

      And, don't start the topic that it could have been done also with Jat Airways if GoS invested the money they invested in Air Serbia. GoS was covering Jat's debts every single year and the service and route's network just got worse.

      So, yes, many airlines especially from the region would like to have that kind of support, to be brought from dead and to expand as much as JU did.

      Delete
    7. We also covered all of JAT debt so they hot 50% of a zero debt airline
      PLUS the 25 million that JAT had paid to Airbus went into an airline that we only own 50% of.
      EY just had those money appear into the ASK accounts without lifting a finger or putting its hand anywhere near its own wallet...

      Delete
    8. Any proof for your claims?

      Delete
    9. The money that GoS invested could have been much, much better spent.
      And we would still own all of JU, not just half of it.
      EY's contribution and know how was the "new wings if Europe" luxury airline concept, the boutique experience with luxurious business class and lounge.
      No wonder with such brains they failed at all of the airlines they invested!

      Delete
    10. Anon 10:54! You are talking about things and keep forgetting the reviews on extremely trusted and prestigious websites such as TrustPilot.
      As you can see JU must work extremely hard to improve this. The current ranking is 1/5.

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

      You can also see the current EY-JU relationship mentioned:

      "Air Berlin and Jet Air weremuchbetter, hopefully next Airline,which goes off marketby Etihad" - Updated Apr 29, 2019
      Updated Apr 29, 2019
      Published Apr 24, 2019


      Delete
    11. GoS was investing millions and million into Jat Airways so what happened?

      Delete
    12. That TATL route is possible because the government insisted on it and paid for its losses.
      It also pays EY for the A330-200 a lease rate much higher than what it could get in the open market.

      Delete
    13. Where is the evidence that they are paying "much higher" rate for A330? You have the papers? They phoned you and told you? Or you just think it's good for your argument so you make it up as you go.

      Delete
    14. You can easily find out what the lease rates for a 330-200 at YU-ARA's age is.
      The almost 600.000 a month that YU is paying to its "partner" for it is much, much higher.
      And JU had to pay for the D-check just one year after leasing it.
      EY is laughing all the way to the bank!!!

      Delete
    15. @Anon 11:15

      I can give you a link of much more reliable website where Air Serbia has 3,5 stars voted by 1299 people.

      https://www.tripadvisor.com/Airline_Review-d8729096-Reviews-Air-Serbia

      Trustpilot has only 36 opinions or 36 times less that tripadvisor. I wonder which results are more accurate?

      We know there are many people who would like JU to dissapear, but I am afraid they will have to be dissapointed.

      TATL route is financially covered by GoS as they insisted it to be open, but technically it would not have been possible to fly to JFK with EY support no matter how much money GoS prepared for it.

      Even EY A330 was flying BEG-JFK at the time YU-ARA was on technical check

      Delete
    16. @Dejan
      Show me evidence how much they are paying for the aircraft. Since you know exactly how much they are paying, you must have some evidence?

      Delete
    17. TrustPilot is much more reliable compared to TripAdvisor. Also, a score of 3 out of 5 is not any great either!

      Delete
    18. Anon 11:34
      You can ask at the office, they will confirm it for you.
      Don't attack reality because it doesn't agree withe propaganda. We are not in the 70s any more.

      Delete
    19. Yeah sure. 36 people know better than 1299. You won.

      3,5 stars is in range of Air France. Very "bad"

      Delete
    20. @Dejan, where is your source for 600.000?

      It is actually 500.000 USD per month (you have not mentioned currency so it could be wrongly understood as EUR)

      https://www.b92.net/biz/vesti/srbija.php?yyyy=2015&mm=08&dd=13&nav_id=1026626

      Delete
    21. @Dejan
      What you wanted to say is that you have no proof. With the lack of proof you started attacking.

      Delete
    22. Anon 11:44
      That was what Vučić said it COULD cost for the A330-200 BEFORE it was leased from EY.
      The final lease rate agreed was closer to 600.000$.

      Delete
    23. Oh Lord. If you are the representation of "reality" then I rather not comment. And of coruse when all else fails, take a swipe at the "regime" and the "propaganda". Ha ha. Serbian average.

      Even if some money has been wasted, as a taxpayer I am very happy that I don't have to fly anymore with that Jat Airways sky rot and now have a company like Air Serbia to get me from A to B. And, many more other options at BEG to chose from.

      Delete
    24. @Dejan
      Please show some proof to your "closer to 600.000$".

      Delete
    25. @Dejan,

      Ok, I gave you link as a proof. You don't want to see it. And don't make it up. Nobody used potential tense in the link

      "Kako je rekao, za SAD će verovatno leteti avion A330 koji će biti kupljen na lizing, a koštaće 500.000 dolara mesečno".

      It WILL COST and not IT WOULD COST.

      Any link for 600.000 USD? Still nothing no matter how hard you try?

      Delete
    26. Dane Kondić je istakao da će iznajmljivanje aviona u narednih pet godina koštati 500.000 dolara mesečno...

      http://www.novosti.rs/vesti/naslovna/ekonomija/aktuelno.239.html:604810-Stigao-erbas-A330-koji-ce-leteti-za-Njujork

      Delete
    27. Dejan is like one of those embittered agitators who push personal vendettas through their frustrated comments.

      Delete
    28. A 15 year old A332 is dry leased for around 300.000$.
      If you can wait after the summer season to close the deal the rate will be lower than that.

      Delete
    29. But YU-ARA is 11,5 years old, not 15.

      "Small" difference.

      Delete
    30. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    31. I only have info for a 15 year old A332 that was recently on the market.
      I assume a 11,5 year old frame will be more expensive than that but not much more.
      My guess is as good as yours. But we are currently at a market situation that the leasing customers have the upper hand compared with the lessors.
      Kind regards.

      Delete
    32. Please do not forget that it was the price agreed at the time it was leased (2016) and YU-ARA was only 9 years old then.
      So, after all we could say it is really good price.
      Have a nice day

      Delete
    33. YU-ARA seems to have been leased atabout a 30% premium compared with the market rate.
      That is too much!
      Either JU made a very bad de or some manager made a great deal for his pocket

      Delete
    34. No supporting links, no proof, no reasonabale argumentation.

      Just empty accusations.

      Delete
    35. Is the A330 neo a possibility or perhaps a 767?

      Delete
    36. JESUS CHRIST! YU-ARA is not leased from Etihad but rather from the lessor that leased it to Jet Airways. How about doing some research before writing nonsense on here.

      Delete
  19. It is official now that Serbian citizens do not need anymore visas for UAE.

    This can only improve cooperation between JU and EY and bring more flights / passengers to BEG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. UAE citizens got visa free in Serbia first from any European country yet its Bosnia that recieves more Emirati tourists. Indians also have visa free entry to Serbia, again first European country to do so yet there isnt alot coming.

      Visa free for Serbians to UAE will boost Serbian tourists to UAE more than anything. FZ will return the daily winter flights, which went down to 5 pw last winter.

      Delete
  20. Nice. Good luck Air Serbia.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Very nice. Does anyone know when the A319 is coming from Ireland?

    ReplyDelete
  22. From the moment when it has been established, until today ASL has hired more than 400 new cabin crew.
    Only more than 200 cabin crews left the company in last 5 years because of really bad contracts and conditions.
    Really sad story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crew at other airlines never leave?

      Delete
    2. The amount of people that left left because most crew are contracted seasonally during the summer. In 2017, 2018 they didn't call them back since there was no need for them.

      Delete
  23. so this stays in JU fleet as long as JU baby sits on LHR slots for EY?
    EY livery will remain, i presume?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes and yes.

      Delete
    2. No, the livery is actually all white. That's how it arrived in BEG.

      Delete
  24. Very nice for passengers who get this aircraft even in economy. Better legroom, wider seats, USB charging at every seat. I doubt the PTVs will be turned on, probably just the moving map.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +1 pity it's only being used on 1 route.

      Delete
    2. We will see. Maybe they add them on more but if the plane is leased with crew then unlikely. They probably sent just enough crew to serve this one route.

      Delete
    3. Legroom in economy is actually worse than JU.

      Delete
  25. Could they reach 3 million passengers this year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think that will be possible because of their lackluster performance in Q1. Next year yes.

      Delete
  26. Дали ће Ер Србија летети и са Краљевачког аеродрома Морава? Или ће летети неки од лоу костера? Или комбиновано... Видовдан и дан отварања Мораве је само мало више од месец дана од ове седмице.
    Видимо се на Морави 28 јуна!. ✈🌐✈🌞✈🌍✈☺✈
    Rodney & Assoc. ✈☺✈😇✈💒✈🌏✈

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ja i dalje ne vidim poentu tog aerodroma? Cisto bacanje para.

      Delete
    2. Gospoda "eksperti" su tako govorili i o Nisu.

      Delete
    3. Any ongoing work in KVO?

      Delete
  27. JU haters out in force today lol. From reviews, crew, leasing rates, and of course the concern for the famous Serbian taxpayers. Bromazepan should be used heavily these next few weeks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said

      Delete
    2. Exactly. Taxonomy of Air Serbia haters has been established with scientific accuracy: failed former management, political opponents, jealous neighbors, competitors. They throw temper tantrums every time Air Serbia expands or succeeds. Taxpayer argument is their pacifier. Those spoiled babies should grow up already.

      Delete
    3. It's actually so bloody satisfying watching them rant and rave. The more they rage on here, the more I know that we are on the right path with JU. As long as the reality is the opposite to how they wish to portray it here, the more I'm reassured good things will come. They are just so comical. Regurgitated tax payer, government loans and expenses stories over and over again. Disseminating their "expertise" while they sit a drink coffee the whole day in one of Belgrade's cafes.

      Delete
    4. Im a tax payer and Im very happy how my money is spent in JU case.
      We have respectable airline with good network.

      Delete
  28. Na flightradar-u ovaj avion je po rasporedu sutra da leti za Abu Dhabi EY72 je broj leta, dok je dolazni let EY71 drugi A320. Moguce da ce biti izmena.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I want this plane of BEG-FRA route! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Well, the question is why is plane operating just on the London route? Traffic rights, lease agreement based on hours and/or any other reason. The other big question is the economics, would be interesting to know the term and rates of the lease. Second factor for economics is that the airplane may have been fitted for the needs of the gulf airline but with 40-44 seats less the usual in Europe for an A320 this will impact the income and the profitability on the BEG-LHR route!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's only used on LHR because it was a last minute decision and there was no time to modify the schedule or add flights. It will be used during the morning wave but not before June.

      Delete

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