Air Serbia leases A319 jet


Air Serbia has concluded a long-term lease for an Airbus A319 aircraft, with the jet recently being painted in the carrier’s livery at Shannon Airport in Ireland. The sixteen year-old aircraft was previously operated by Royal Brunei Airlines and Cobalt Air, prior to being stored at Shannon for the past five months. The jet, the ninth of its type in Air Serbia’s fleet, will support the airline’s growing destination network which will see the addition of 21 routes over the next two months. The aircraft has been registered as YU-APK. Its delivery to Belgrade is expected soon. As previously reported, the Serbian carrier will also wet-lease a Bombardier CRJ900 jet from Nordica between June and October.

Air Serbia recently said, "Discussions on the long-term development of our fleet continue to be a part of strategic talks with our partner Etihad Airways. The airline industry is experiencing significant competition, which is becoming stronger. With changes in demand and aggressive competition, as well as fluctuating fuel prices as the biggest fixed cost for any airline, all carriers are carefully examining the long-term development of their fleets”. Air Serbia's existing Airbus fleet, which also includes one wide-body A330-200 jet, has an average age of thirteen years. The airline leases all of its aircraft produced by the European manufacturer.

In January, Air Serbia cancelled an order for ten Airbus A320neo aircraft made on its behalf by Etihad. Deliveries were to commence late last year. However, Serbia’s Finance Minister, Siniša Mali, recently noted the airline’s short haul Airbus fleet would be replaced within a three-year leading up to 2025. “The acquisition of the neos has not been terminated but moved for the period between 2022 and 2025, as the aircraft we have been leasing so far have shown to be very efficient. Since the A319 and A320 have done a stellar job, there is no need to acquire the A320neos at this point. They are better in terms of fuel efficiency, but considering Air Serbia's destination network, which is primarily made up of short haul routes, this efficiency would not give desired results".




Comments

  1. Nice. Do we know how many Boeings will be operational this summer?

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    Replies
    1. How long can the B737-300s keep flying?

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    2. About two more years, same with the older Atrs.

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    3. Anon 09:18 I suppose as long as JU can not get the funds to lease much younger A320s and as long as it is willing to pay for the higher maintenance costs and fuel burn the 737s are staying.

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    4. What is going to replace them?

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    5. Well the A319 is the perfect replacement for the old B733s. Also the A319 is not as popular so it's not hard to find good ones on the market.

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    6. Nemjee, do you know why YU-ANI has been returned to service and YU-ANJ not?
      They were both retired last year at the same time,but only one brought back to service...
      I believe one more YU-ANJ would be helpful in this expansion.

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    7. To be honest I do not know why exactly but I guess it had something to do with the overall state of the plane. Maybe it cost more to bring ANJ back from the dead?

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    8. founds cracks on the structure of the plane....told by one of maintenance guys.

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    9. Do you know where the cracks were? I guess must have been somewhere where it's not easy/cheat to replace.

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    10. Thank you...

      Well, if they found it when they stored it and not earlier... it is not very comforting news for passengers

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    11. Planes are checked before take off so it was probably noticed immediately.

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    12. Extremely few cracks can be noticed by the preflight check. They would have to be visible from the outside of the aircraft.

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    13. Luckily no plane crashed so I guess no need to worry.

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    14. Not sure Nemjee, but they were found by boroscope inspection, not something you can see with a naked eye. Not sure if the jet will be permanently grounded or returned to service.

      See, the thing is, some of you guys keep talking here about these great 737s from JAT ere, that are so cheap to operate and are relatively comfortable for pax and that they have saved the "day" so many times when Airbus or ATR went mechanical....and all this is TRUE.

      However, you guys don't realize that everything has to eventually come to an end, and these 737s are a perfect example. As much as we all loved them or hate them, they were supposed to be retired years ago, and replaced by newer, more efficient and most reliable aircraft.

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    15. Despite all the "not a lot of hours because of the war" propaganda, it becomes clearer every day and day that Aviolet B737s are no longer fit for purpose. If the old avionics, preventing crews to navigate properly in busy European skies will not ground them, the CPCP definitely will.

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    16. What is CPCP ?

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    17. @anon 15:06

      YU-ANJ was retired in January or February 2018.

      I highly doubt it will be brought to service ever again

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    18. Anon 15.06

      Thank you for the information. I don't know if you wrote the comment at 15.26 as well but it's so true. Recently one of the Atrs broke down and it was replaced by the B733. I was so happy because I imagined they were still in the same shape they were back when Jat operated them. When we entered, the cabin was old and worn out and the plane felt archaic! It's time for these birds to be moved to the aviation museum as they served us well over the past three decades.

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    19. Was it YU-ANI Nemjee?

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    20. It was YU-AND. :)

      Though we were initially scheduled to fly on YU-ALN so I am not sure if it was really a downgrade. :D

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    21. That was BEG-SOF-BEG flight few days ago. It was a significant delay as an ALN had met-radar failure.

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    22. CPCP = Corrosion Prevention and Correction Programme.

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    23. I did not write the comment @ 15:26, but I think we all agree Nemjee that it is time to retire these old workhorses in the museum as they have served JAT quite well in it's long history.

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  2. Good work. Nice to see much positive developments after what seemed to be an endless downward spiral.

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    1. Interestingly their expansion began when Etihad stopped playing a major role in the airline after 5 years and key departments were moved back to Belgrade.

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    2. I think it also has to do with the fact that JU consolidated over last 2 yrs and had to cut costs.

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    3. ^ somewhat but primarily that Etihad is no longer the main company steering the ship.

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  3. It's good that this is on a long term basis.

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    Replies
    1. Well they will need it since one will be based in Nis.

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  4. Is this one will be based in Nis for twelwe new routes?

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  5. Those A320neos would come handy right about now.

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    1. I think they would have killed JU. Too much capacity and leases would have been much higher since it's a brand new plane. JU needs more (cheap) second hand planes.

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    2. Agree with Nemjee. Acquiring neos would have been too costly for them. Leasing aircraft is the way to go.

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    3. Their lease rates would have been very high, especially if we leased them from Etihad.
      We are better off leasing aircraft on the open market without EY being the middle man.
      Hopefully with the greater introduction of NEOs to aieline fleets around the world the leasing rates for CEOs will come down and we would be able to replace all the current leases plus the 737s at a good price.

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  6. Will they also wetlease an Etihad A320?

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    1. In the slot swap request for the Heathrow flights an EY A320 is listed as operational equipment but when you go to book tickets it's just a standard A319/320 from Air Serbia so we will see.

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    2. Nothing about the EY's 320 in this story?

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    3. Do they really need it?

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    4. Yes because JU doesn't have the plane for the extra LHR flights. So EY is sending the A320 in order to save those valuable slots.

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    5. What will EY charging us for that extra aircraft and who will cover the loses of this last minute announced route to LHR?

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    6. Seriously doubt that Nemjee...

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    7. That's entirely your right to believe in but there is no need for never-ending conspiracy theories... especially when it comes to JU. Gets boring after a while.

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    8. JU has sufficient number of planes.

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  7. And people were saying how the Nis flights would be operated with Aviolet B737....

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    Replies
    1. Who said that? There are hardly enough 737s to cover Aviolet's charter operations, never mind JU's.

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    2. According to the tender the plane that needs to operate the routes from INI can be max 20 years old and all B733's are older than that.
      So no Aviolet...

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  8. So how many aircraft will Air Serbia have in total now?

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    Replies
    1. I think 22 if you include the CRJ900.

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    2. With EY Airbus320 23 planes this summer operating

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    3. That must be some kind of a record for the airline since JAT retired the DC9s and B727s.

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  9. Good work Air Serbia.

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  10. I just keep wondering what the balance sheet will look like at the end of the year.

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    Replies
    1. With so many subsidies this year, who knows.

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    2. Enough with the subsidies. So many airlines get them, especially in our region.

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    3. People are conveniently forgetting that JU is also getting money from RJK to fly there.

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    4. From BNX as well

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    5. ZAD as well.

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    6. The deal with ZAD and RJK is actually very good.

      Air Serbia is getting revenue from P2P and transfer passengers to these 2 airports, BEG is getting more passengers and at the same time any unsold seat has been financially covered by ZAD and RJK.

      Well done Air Serbia!

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    7. Could OSI subsidize BEG flights? I know cities are close but with JU's large network it could work?

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    8. It would be really pointless.

      Distance between 2 airports is 152km only so it is much more convinient for anyone from Osijek simply to drive to Belgrade

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    9. exactly like many already do. So many cars from eastern Croatia at BEG.

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    10. Border crossings are nightmare during high season and travel time is unpredictable. For transfer passengers it could be very convenient to pass trough border checkpoint at OSI and do transfer in BEG

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    11. But OSI is not big enough to generate amount of traffic that would justify it.

      After all border crossings is not JU fault. It is the risk the passenger need to take into account

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    12. Two weekly on the Atr can work. I mean Trade Air can operate it in stead of ZAG especially since BEG and JU offer far more opportunities. I am sure there is a large Croatian diaspora in the US that would fly to JFK via BEG.

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    13. If OSI or city is ready to subsidise it.

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  11. Sooner or later they will have to start leasing some planes to replace ATRs and B737s. They can't fly forever.

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    1. It's obvious that they will keep on utilizing the ATRs until their resources completely expire. After that they will probably lease a few regional jets to replace them.

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    2. The older ATRs really need to be taken out of service. ASAP. Everyone that has flown them recently knows what I'm talking about.

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    3. Air Serbia must replace 200 series with 500 or even 600 and additionally introduce rj planes, if they want to be more competitive on the market. CRJ would be a good option.

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    4. I wonder if turboprop or jet engines would be better for regional destinations...

      From the passengers and comfort point of view probably jet engines, but from the effeciency angle ATR's are probably better.

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    5. Anonymous at 09:40
      +1000

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    6. Preaching to the choir here boys...

      JU has been trying to figure out the ATR replacement for what, over 5 years not, and still doesn't know what to do with them in the next couple of years. That simply shows how clueless or careless high level management is over there. Just look at Neo or-deal ....poor long term strategy and decision making....doesn't surprise me, since the entire region works in the same manner. Day to day...."who cares about a year or 10 from now, because I won't be here anyways so let someone else deal with it". Short term gain, no long term profit.

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    7. I'm not sure if ATR 600 has some noticable advantages comparing to 500 but probably not. JU should think about moving to jets as most European airlines are in similar process.
      At the moment, not so much reasonable choices in sub 100 seats segments but CRJ.
      Although there are some new opportunities on horizont in timeframe predicted by JU for fleet renewals. But again, thinking about new planes may be too optimistic.

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    8. What will you do when price of gas goes up to double to what it costs now?? Will you guys still think JETS are best choice for short 25-35 min flights? Don't think so....there is a reason why a propeller aircraft are still around :)

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    9. Well, for a start, JU doesnt have any flights of 30min with ATRs :)
      As stated before, its trade off - on one side you have lower costs and not happy customers, on the other little but higher costs but much improved customer experience.

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    10. All JU routes to the ExYu countries+Albania+Bulgaria+Romania+Thessaloniki are best served by ATRs.
      The ATR 600 has major advantages compared with the 500 such as electronics, more efficient structure, better fuel burn, it's more quiet etc.
      There is a reason ATRs are produced by record numbers for airlines all over the world.

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    11. BEG - SJJ effective flying time with ATR72 = 35 min
      BEG - BNX effective flying time with ATR72 = 35-40 min

      Not 30 min but not far from it

      For short routes under 60 min (SOF, ZAG, BNX, SJJ, TGD, SKP, DBV) ATR72 is much beter option but not for destinations like PRG. Way too far

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    12. What about passengers comfort with ATR600? Overhead compartment same or bigger? Seating? I guess no jetbridges for boarding...

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    13. Not using ATR, but if you were to replace turboprop with jets, then Tiv, Tgd, Spu, Dbv, Sof, Sjj, Skp, Bnx then all these fltights would be 20-35min airtime. That is a huge chunk of Air Serbia's regional network. Then your jet becomes too expensive to operate unless you can increase the capacity beyond the size of the proposed regional jet wih which you were planning to replace the ATR with.

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    14. Except on routes to Podgorica and Bucharest JU does not have competition on routes operated by ATR. People are just forced to pay 150+ eur tickets and fly uncomfortable planes. Even Bucharest is operated by uncomfortable ATR from TAROM.

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    15. What's with all the hate towards turboprops? Always a favorite of mine, jets are boring.

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    16. I'm flying regularly those regional ATR routes you listed here and I am going to throw a party if they replaced with something better :))

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    17. I travel regionally frequently, in addition to BEG-LJU-BEG once a week. I must say that I would prefer to avoid ATR72-200, they do show their age and it cant be hidden. ATR72-500 is quieter and more comfortable but the interiors are showing their age. They should just need to keep them in the better shape.

      However, I would hate to see them deploy a regional jet and be forced to cut down the frequencies. Two daily flights are key factor in most our business plans in addition to reliability of services. There was only one cancellation and one delay of 15+min. As a business passenger on JU, I do appreciate that.

      I have flown YM E90 and it is much more comfortable, LH CR9 and JP CR9 not so much. But on these short hops, frequency is what matters the most.

      Regards,
      Eight.

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    18. Why do you think that introduction of jets would result in frequency decrease?
      I mean, overall time spent on individual flights would shorter (shorter boarding time, flight time...) so that should enable more frequencies?

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    19. The newest ATR in the JU fleet is a former OK aircraft. At the same time, I read that OK is planning to phase out more of their ATRs, so maybe this will be a good way for JU to get somewhat newer ATRs into the fleet whilst ensuring commonality, since I expect all OK aircraft will have the same configurations?

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  12. JU might not be perfect (far from it actually) but at least I am happy Serbian aviation is expanding and growing thanks to a local company/airline. This expansion, especially to places such as Cairo and Krasnodar actually goes to show that things are starting to change for the better now that EY is out of the picture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EY out of the picture? Really Nemjee? :D

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    2. Agree anon @ 14.45. If they are out of the picture as Nemjee suggests, then why do they have even more Etihad people there today than they did on Dec 31 ? I thought the management deal finished then, yet it appears that Etihad shipped the excess of people that it no longer wanted to JU

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    3. Anon 14.45

      Well they no longer micromanage things at JU giving locals much more freedom to arrange things and run the company. Fares have also been reduced to make them more realistic especially when compared to the competition.
      Some executives have moved to JU but they did not all come from EY. A lot of them are from AB actually. However to say that things are as before is completely wrong. Just look at the news we are reading now and compare them to the time when the EY contract was valid. JU is a growing airline these days that actually seems to be doing something regarding its future.

      That was not the case before.

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    4. It's only moving because behind the scenes, the Govt is much more involved in the decision making and they are freer to do so, now that the shackles of the Etihad management agreement are no longer there.

      Trust me, it isn't for any other reason than that.

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    5. But I see nothing wrong with that. I mean the Polish government invested in LO in order to kick-start the restructuring process and look at them now. I mean if the Serbian government gave them money and they didn't do anything then it would be different. This time around they seem to be doing something. Look at the situation with places such as Cairo or Barcelona, both are more or less sold out for the summer season and both markets were ignored by Etihad.

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    6. Can we expect BCN to be 3pw?

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    7. I don't think they have the planes to add more flights this summer but I am sure next one they will do it for sure. Not to mention that with more weekly flights they can carry even more transfers.

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  13. Are they using A319 or B737 for charter flights from Banja Luka?

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    Replies
    1. A319 last year so I am sure this again.

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    2. Thanks. That's great news for Banja Luka passengers.

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  14. This is published on LJU Airport official webpage:

    NIS
    - - - 4 - - - 14:00 15:00 JU 1193 01.08. - 24.10.
    1 - - - - - - 22:00 23:00 JU 1193 05.08. - 21.10.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's for LJU-INI? Funny how on Mondays there will be two JU planes in LJU.

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    2. I wonder when they will start selling the tickets for the flights from INI...

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    3. Nemjee not same time but close :D

      20.45 JU BEG
      22.00 JU INI

      INI goes when airport is very quiet.

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

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    Replies
    1. They were consolidating. Expansion was bound to happen sooner or later.

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    2. But this is massive.

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    3. That is true. As if the slowdown in expansion the last two years didn't even happen.

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  16. Nice and understandable since 1 A319 will be in Nis.

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  17. Can JU replace their 737 and ATR fleet with the current profits they are generating?

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    Replies
    1. Don't push too hard. Step by step

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    2. If they could they probably would have done it by now.

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    3. What profits?
      They receive state subventions every year. If they want to replace already paid for 737s and ATRs they will have to pay monthly leases. So more subventions will be needed.

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    4. And that's the point ! If they can't make an operational profit while they have 3 x 733's and 3 ATR's fully paid and depreciated - in other words, at no holding costs - then how on Earth are they going to make money when they have to pay market rates for leases to replace these 6 aircraft ?

      Oh wait, new and creative ways for the Govt to subsidise JU !

      Delete
    5. Having A319 from lets say year 2010 fully paid and B733 from year 1986 fully paid is not the same.

      B733 has higher maintenance costs and burns much more fuel (less effecient). Therefore it is for sure advantage for JU to have B733's fully paid but not so big as some might think

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    6. Don't forget another thing, finding pilots to operate these 737 classics is getting more and more difficult especially as older JU pilots retire.

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    7. Are the pilots with B738 licence allowed to fly on B733?

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    8. That I don't know but I guess they are not.

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    9. With a short training course, yes.

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  18. Will YU-APK have the wifi antenna installed?
    Will it get a name?

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    Replies
    1. The wifi question is a good one. I also wonder if they will install it on the plane. It's actually very expensive for an airline to install and maintain these antenna and wifi services. Nevertheless, JU still does. I used wifi on my flight to Copenhagen 2 months ago. Worked well.

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    2. I suppose they will.
      Apart from ATR and B733 fleet all the other Air Serbia Airbus planes have wi-fi antenna so it would not be logical only this one to remain without

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    3. Antenna is there but wifi isn't working any more. It wasn't profitable for JU

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    4. It is working I used it recently.

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    5. Not sure about a 16 year old relic having wifi.

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    6. That "relic" is younger for example then Croatia Airlines' Airbus fleet.

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  19. Nice. Good luck Air Serbia.

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  20. 16 year old 144 seater is not the best option if you are gonna compete with the bigger boys in the market: W6 A321 230 seater, LX A320 180 seater, TK A321 194 seater.
    They'd better carefully launch it on routes with little or no competition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What do you suggest, to take bigger and more expensive airplane and then fly it half empty?

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    2. Either way, the Serbian Tax Payer was charged for 5 years in advance. Why not increase the amount a bit and fly bigger planes?
      767 is a very good example of a bigger, leased jet.

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    3. The level of idiocy (or trolling, it's hard to tell sometimes) in this site is beyond imaginable.

      B767 to, say, INI-LJU? *facepalm

      Delete
    4. He was sarcastic

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    5. A B767 could be used not only for short haul flights but also for routes such as INI-JFK, INI-ORD, INI-YYZ or INI-PEK.
      And the lease rates for it is very attractive now.

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    6. 767 lease rates are attractive, because most of the airframes are old and tired, so reliability suffers and fuel bill when oil is at 80 USD/barrel will be enormous.

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    7. Would it be cheaper to have 3 B737 relics or 1 B767?
      JU could lease 1 in the sumer seazon May - October for example.

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    8. 767? I wish it was A350. Livery fits perfectly the JU livery....

      https://i.pinimg.com/736x/c4/ed/cb/c4edcbae12fa8d5c7e90350aa9182b37--air-serbia-airbus.jpg

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    9. Really, it looks great :)

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    10. Can a B767 make INI-LAX or it will be weight restricted?

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    11. Weight restricted, even OS sends its 777 from Vienna.

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  21. Wrong.
    This plane is leased for INI flights and they were carefully chosen not to have any foreign competition (Bologna, Hahn, Rome, Salzburg, Budapest etc...)

    Bigger boys as W6 or FR get big discount when they place orders for new planes so JU can't be compared with them.

    Turkish does not even fly to INI.

    Bit older plane means for JU cheaper leasing rate and that is exatcly what they need at this moment for INI flights in combination with lower airport taxes (at departure and destinations airports) and financial stimulation from Serbian Government.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great. Would like to try this plane out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why? It will be no different than the rest of the A319 fleet.

      Delete
  23. OE-IAN future YU-APK
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanair/47054731644/

    ReplyDelete
  24. What happened to the former Rossiya bird which was supposed to be leased to YU?

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    Replies
    1. And what happened to the Aviogenex 737 that was younger than the 733s?

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    2. Collects the dust with other forgotten planes
      https://tangosix.rs/2017/12/04/hitno-ako-muzej-vazduhoplovstva-beograd-ne-prikupi-20-000-evra-boing-727-konver-440-mogu-biti-zauvek-izgubljeni/

      Delete
    3. AGX 732 was sold to an African airline

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    4. But never delivered

      Delete

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