Adria files EU complaint against Air Serbia


Adria Airways has filed a complaint against Air Serbia with relevant European institutions over what it sees as illegal state aid provided by the Serbian government to its national carrier. “Adria Airways is concerned over the aid the Republic of Serbia has illegally granted to Air Serbia and believes such behaviour to be unlawful as it goes against free market principles”, the Slovenian carrier’s legal representative in Serbia, Dragan Gajin, said. He added that the aid, in the form of unlawful subsidies, which it alleges Air Serbia has benefited from over the past years, are not only contrary to local Serbian laws and regulations but also international obligations the country must adhere to as a signatory to the EU Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

Adria’s complaint comes prior to Air Serbia adding an extra 576 seats onto the Slovenian market from August with the launch of its newly subsidised two weekly service between Niš and Ljubljana, complementing its existing twelve weekly flights from Belgrade, which are codeshared by Adria itself. Exactly a year ago, Adria filed a similar claim against Alitalia after it was propped up by the Italian government following Etihad Airways’ withdrawal from the airline. The matter is still being investigated by the European Commission. The Slovenian carrier itself was subject to an investigation by the Commission several years ago over illegal state aid in a complaint filed by Ryanair. Ultimately, the airline was cleared of wrongdoing. The Slovenian carrier is facing increased competition on its home market as it continues to struggle operationally for a second year in a row. It recently denied claims it tried to blackmail the Slovenian government into providing funds to the company which is 100% privately owned.

In the European Commission’s annual progress report for Serbia, which was published last month, the body made no mention of state aid or market distortion in the chapter dedicated to air transport. The Commission had previously investigated Air Serbia in 2014 based on a Lufthansa complaint over the airline’s ownership structure. The Commission found that Etihad Airways’ investment in the Serbian carrier was in line with European Union rules on ownership and effective control of airlines. The ruling coincided with the United States Federal Aviation Administration’s findings that effective control at Air Serbia lies with the government and not its part-owner Etihad.

Air Serbia has not publically commented on Adria Airways’ complaint. The Serbian government had previously said it will continue to support its national carrier, which it believes is in line with EU rules. Last November, the Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, said, “The government of Serbia will maintain its strong support for Air Serbia. This support will be in line with European Union regulations, as it has been so far, however, no one can prevent us or limit our support for Air Serbia”. The airline posted a record sixteen million euro profit in 2017. Those record results were achieved in part due to a significant reduction in expenditures and an increase in revenue. However, the state provided a twenty million euro subsidy, which is half of what the company used to receive from its majority shareholder following its relaunch in late 2013. In April, Serbia's Finance Minister, Siniša Mali, said the country's national carrier had operated with a profit over the past year and has not been a recipient of state subsidies. "Air Serbia has not been receiving subsidies for the past two years, and that is not down to me or the government but the European Commission which monitors state support", Mr Mali said. Air Serbia's financial results for last year are expected to be made public later this month or in early July by the Serbian Business Registers Agency.




Comments

  1. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

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  2. JU management must have rocks in their heads if they continue to codeshare with Adria to/from Ljubljana.

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    Replies
    1. At the end of last year Adria applied for permits to start flying between Ljubljana and Belgrade but they decided not to start the flights after all.

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    2. I don't think any airline needs a prior permit to start Serbia-EU flights.

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    3. You have to file a permit, even if it is a formality. In 2013, easy jet was first rejected to launch new Belgrade route from Milan. Of course two weeks later they were issued a permit when it got to the EU.

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    4. No but they need permits for Intra-EU flights ;) And JU is one of the biggest if not largest benificiaries of this. AF also cannot fly passengers between BEG and INI on a single ticket.

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    5. Well flying between HEL and DBV is no intra EU flight. All airlines can do that.

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    6. Gotta love how CAD's protectionism is stuck in the 1950s.

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    7. CAD was probably doing easyJet a favor since they failed on the route very fast. lol

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    8. Just like CAD was doing TK a favour by not letting them operate couple of flights with A330, right?

      Such a nice friendly bunch.

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    9. They were doing KK and EY a favour by blocking TK.

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    10. who complained? was it JU ? or their owner, thet GoS?

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    11. EY complained and so did SU.

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  3. I suppose Adria's dodgy dealings are legal then?

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  4. It probably means that Air Serbia is taking more than a fare share of passengers away from Adria.

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    Replies
    1. yes with the help of 5 million Euros ;)

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    2. And how many millions did JP get and they are still failing. At least JU is growing and operationally stable.

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    3. Adria was under investigation, but was cleared of all accusations. JU will have the chance to prove the same.

      But the real question is whether the consequences justify the means ?

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    4. In order for EU to start an investigation into JU, it first has to decide if there is a cause to investigate, and we have still not come to that stage.

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    5. Anon 0949
      Actually Adria will have to prove faul play as Air Serbia is presumed innocent until proven otherwise, its not the other way around.

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  5. And they just tried to blackmail the Slovenian government to pay up... Ironic.

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    Replies
    1. They are in pure survival mode.

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  6. It's just a question is this 4K's decision or were they put up to this by a much bigger player?

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    Replies
    1. If it's not their own initiative, it can only be Lufthansa.

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    2. Maybe it was the Estonian magician.

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    3. Lufthansa got afraid of JU!

      LOL1

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    4. Yes, LH wanted to open a base in INI and now they want payback :D

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    5. If LH didn't care then they wouldn't have sued them a few years ago. LH knows that JU is a threat to the struggling OS.

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    6. o ovome se čak priča i u filmu kum, ima čuvena rečenica that goes like this
      "Tattagli... Adria’s a pimp. He never coulda outfought Sant.... JU. But I didn't know until this day, that it was Barz.... Lufthansa all along!!!!”

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    7. "Yes, LH wanted to open a base in INI and now they want payback :D"

      Exactly. It was a very wise idea to employ a couple of A380s with great loads from and to INI. But it failed when Serbian army and DCV disallowed the runway and apron extension, so the agreement failed LOL

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    8. "JU is a threat to the struggling OS"
      SMFH
      Only here you can read so many pearls of wisdom...

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    9. Plane Mad, are you implying that OS is not struggling? Why is there always so much negativity whever there is something on JU or Serbia.

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  7. Tattletale! ..is this meaning the end of Adria is about to happen?

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    Replies
    1. Looks like it. They are an absolute mess at the moment. Several aircraft grounded, flights being cancelled and combined...

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    2. JP is a dead man walking.

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  8. What do they get from filing these claims against airlines. Like Alitalia last year and Air Serbia this year?

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    Replies
    1. They are angry that the Slovenian government can't give them aid until 2021 so hey lash out by filing complaints against others :D

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    2. Well maybe 5 million Euros like Air Serbia got for the Nis expansion ;)

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    3. JU got 5 million for how many routes? Now compare that to how much JP got for LJU-BRU.

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    4. well compare FREQUENCIES and not ROUTES. In terms of frequency the INI Expansion is like a double daily in frequncies.

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  9. The EU doesn't give a stuff about EU candidate states.

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  10. 4K German management better focus on another mess of a summer they have created.

    Cancelled flights

    15JUN
    JP376/7 LJUBRULJU
    JP810 LJUSKP
    JP726 LJUTIA

    16JUN
    811SKPLJU
    727 TIALJU
    JP376/7 LJUBRULJU
    JP324/5 LJUSOFLJU
    JP890 LJUPRN
    JP726 LJUTIA

    17JUN
    JP891 PRNLJU
    JP727 TIALJU
    JP852/3 LJUTGDLJU

    18JUN
    JP838/9 LJUPRNLJU
    JP510/1 LJUCPHLJU

    19JUN
    JP568/9 LJUPRGLJU
    JP838/9 LJUPRNLJU
    JP364/5 LJUZRHLJU

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    Replies
    1. Tomorrow's cancellations have been exapnded

      Ljubljana-Tirana-Ljubljana
      Ljubljana-Skopje-Ljubljana
      Ljubljana-Pristina-Ljubljana
      Ljubljana-Brussels-Ljubljana
      Ljubljana-Munich-Ljubljana
      Ljubljana-Zurich-Ljubljana

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    2. Also the other cancellations you listed for coming days will grow larger closer to the date.

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    3. And that's on top of Carpatair F100 and Nordica ATR flying for them out of LJU.

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    4. Didn't they know peak summer was coming? And they promised that this year would be nothing like last year in terms of cancellations and it is turning out to be the same.

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    5. The thing is that they operate a lot of charters these days (as they desperately need money) with limited fleet. And my bet is that tourist agencies don't pay 100% upfront like the passengers on regular flights, so in order to get the money, they have to complete the flight(s). Unlike when they cancel scheduled pax flights, it takes months to pay them back EU261 compensation, if they pay at all. So it makes more sense to make sure charters are operated on time than regular scheduled flying.

      It's a very nice scam to ensure cash flow.

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    6. Have 10 ooen cases since June 2018. Meanwhile transferred to Swiss CAA

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    7. It\s not about charters. Several planes are not flying.

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    8. well its good at least none steals luggage.

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    9. Every serious airline in the world would prioritise scheduled flights over charters, unless it was VVIP.

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    10. from SKP airport page: sutra lete uvece LJU-SKP-TIA-LJU

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    11. RE: Didn't they know peak summer was coming?

      How would they know this? Do they have psychic abilities? You never know when summer will come and people will be taking summer vacations!

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  11. wow didn't see this one coming.

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  12. In Srbistan there is a very precise term for this kind of behaviour. It is called: ЗАДУШНА БАБА

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  13. I really don't think they will have much success with this case.

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  14. This is ridiculous. They are really close to their end and it speaks more about themeselves than it speaks about JU. Or better to say they made excellent marketing to JU!

    It will finish on the same way like OU lawsuit against JU for transporting the passengers via BEG to Croatia.

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  15. To set the record straight - the public in Slovenia hates JP so much, that the government would fall the minute they give a single dime to these German crooks. And given the fact JP is in the news every other day (cancelled flights, Swiss investigation of ex 4K managers etc) the end is near.

    Adria was the main reason LJU is (or was until not so long ago) so severely underfeed.

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    Replies
    1. The public in Slovenia also hates Melania Trump. The reasons are unclear, but the media told the people it's commendable and ok. Therefore Adria may not be that bad.

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  16. Whats left from Adria is only more a joke. Unbelievable and che figura di m......

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  17. Croatia Airlines got 106 million EUR from Croatian Government in 2012 before joining EU.
    Why didn't Adria react at that time?
    Hilarious

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    Replies
    1. Because Adria got 50 million the year before while being in the EU.

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    2. And they complain now about Air Serbia?

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    3. Because you can do it one time and that is it, by rules of EU. In same time Serbia was invest on same pattern more than 400 EUR (old debt + investment in Air Serbia) + they support company with 40-75 million per year, only last year it was "only" 20 million. That is 202 million in last 5 years + money came from Belgrade Airport in first 3 years. By EU rules that is not legal.

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    4. But Serbia is not in EU

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    5. It looks like all subventions to Air Serbia have been approved by EU

      "Vlada Srbije može jedino kad dobije dozvolu Evropske komisije, što je dobila za prve tri godine poslovanja Air Srbije. Sada će, nemamo zvanične potvrde za to, ali verovatno će hteti ući u nove pregovore i onda će i država Srbija morati da se bori pred EK za nastavak subvencija", kaže Vojinović.

      http://balkans.aljazeera.net/vijesti/avijacija-u-regiji-svi-u-zraku-samo-bih-prikovana-za-zemlju

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    6. When are some on here going to understand that because of geopolitics the EU can't do anything. Support for EU membership is on decline and any Brussels actions against JU would only add fuel to the fire and would push Serbia closer to Russia and China. It's quite simple. That is why nothing will become of this.

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    7. When are some going to understand that geopolitics (and in our banana countries also daily politics) has nothing to do with popular support, but that is rather decided in cabinets, couple of thousands miles to the west?

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    8. Maybe decisions are taken in the West in Croatia and Slovenia but not in Serbia. Over here eastern capitals also have a lot of say.

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  18. Air Serbia and the Serbian government are far from being innocent angels but I find it pointless for a company on its deathbed to be engaging in this.

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    Replies
    1. +1 should focus on its current schedule.

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  19. Back in 2014 it was Lufthansa that complained. Those who think LH is behind 4K will say LH is doing it again, this time through a proxy.

    Sad truth is 4K management has been like a Chernobyl disaster for Adria. They are now trying to blame someone else for the tragedy.

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    Replies
    1. Chernobyl looks like a fairly nice Sunday afternoon compared to Adria's situation at the moment.

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    2. Just like Chernobyl, 4K is still in denial about the current state at Adria. Proud airline with long history is now in ruins.

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    3. We should get HBO or Netflix to do a show about Adria saga :)

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  20. circus adria continues to amaze

    essentially they are right, but instead on improving the ridiculous operation they have, they are throwing this sucker punches at competition with one foot in the grave

    i don't see eu punishing vučić's pet project and additionally pissing him off... same as they let this "EY doesn't control JU" slide away

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  21. I guess JU loads might be a rral reason for this.

    Two flights today, both on ATR

    BEG-LJU 39
    LJU-BEG 69
    BEG-LJU 67
    LJU-BEG 64

    Great job JU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is for sure the real reason! Nobody complained about Jat Airways as it wasn't threat to anyone...

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    2. Adria loved Jat because they handed over LJU-BEG to them without questions asked.

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    3. 2017 BEG-LJU: 62.684
      2018 BEG-LJU: 61.459

      That's roughly 84 passengers per day so it's a healthy route for JU.

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    4. Passengers per day is very interesting metric for airline :)

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  22. Čini mi se da se u narodu kaže za ovakvu situaciju:
    Ko o čemu, kurva o poštenju...

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  23. I'm still convinced that the "new" Adria Airways owners:
    are just a cover for the "dirty business" still managed at the back from the "old" ramified structure ... getting profits (for themselves only) like in the "old" times.

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    Replies
    1. What profits? Seriously?

      You think you can make profit while cancelling flights day after day after day (and have to pay compensation) and ad-hoc wet leasing 2 or 3 aircraft a day in the summer?

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  24. I understand JP's concern about JU.
    If it weren't for Abu Dhabi and the Serbian Government, JU would probably be something like RO today.
    The good thing is that Slovene taxpayers are charged for other more beneficial projects...

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    Replies
    1. Luckily JU is in much better shape today than it was in 2013 so the investment is paying off. Where is JP today after millions and millions were wasted on its life support.

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    2. And JP is in much worse shape than in 2013...

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  25. This is just going to have a boomerang effect because the Slovenian media will savage them for this (because of the irony). Bad press is the last thing they currently need.

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    Replies
    1. Agree. They are being savaged by the media for the reckless behavior. And so they should. They don't seem to learn.

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    2. Well according to 4K management, all the problems Adria is facing is because of bad press ad nothing else.

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  26. What an odd thing to do at this point in time.

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  27. Adria better start focusing on how to survive the winter season which is coming. They have been close to insolvency and bankruptcy several times during winter period and this year will be the toughest.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know how they managed to survive with so many debts

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    2. They have been technically insolvent already, but it's not like Slovenian CAA will ever revoke their AOC.

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    3. Not revoking an airline's AOC whilst all conditions are met is also protectionism.

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    4. Exactly anon 11:51! Excellent point.

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    5. It's called Balkans.

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  28. Well Adria said they want to become a Balkan transfer airline. Air Serbia stands in the way of that.

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    Replies
    1. JP is too small for JU

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    2. Their own incompetence stands in the way of that. How can you be a transfer airline when you cancel or join bunch or flights on a daily basis. So all connections are missed.

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  29. Adria = broken airline with a proud history and no future

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    Replies
    1. "We are very proud to have been a loss making airline for the last 3 decades"

      "Great history of loss making"

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  30. Tužibabe ;) Adrija gleda preko plota, a da svojim radnicima ne uplaćuje 8 meseci penziono a da ih o tome nije ni obavestila nije frka..

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  31. Da li je EU uopće nadležna za ovo, budući da Srbija nije članica?

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  32. Well, it was just a matter of time when somebody would open this question. The state aid JU is continuously receiving from Serbian government is absolutely against EU state aid rules which Serbia undertook to adhere to. If JU was an EU company it would surely be ordered to pay back the aid received. However, it is much more political with accession countries so it will be very interesting to follow this case.

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    Replies
    1. So why Adria, Alitalia and LOT aren't asked to pay back the aid?

      The last ones i remember doing so was Malev.

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    2. MM you are dreaming and your sources of info are wrong. Read the third paragraph of today's article in detail for sobering info.

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    3. @anon 21:40
      That is completely different issue. It was circumvent but granting Serbian citizenship to various people hired by Etihad. That investigation had nothing to do with state aid.

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    4. @anon 21:26
      These state aid measures first need to be find incompatible with the EU state aid rules by the European Commission.

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    5. Who cares about EU rules in Serbia. We are not members so stop with all this nonsense.

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    6. How about the EU shows some respect towards the Serbian constitution before forcing others to play by its rules.

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    7. Do check article 73 of Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU 😉

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    8. Yeah and let's see what actually becomes of it...nothing.

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    9. We will see. Political conditions have changed. Commission will probably not be as lenient as it was when AirSerbia project was launched.

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    10. One can only hope right MM? Crazy.

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    11. And it's interesting how you are not concerned over the millions poured into Montenegro Airlines, so much so that the Comission writes about it each year in their progress report.

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    12. I am in general. But I am not tax payer in Montenegro nor this news is about YM.

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    13. You wish. The new Commission doesn't care about expansion or Serbia for that matter. They have bigger fish to fry.

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    14. Which new Commission?!

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    15. @MM at 22:47

      Third paragraph lists three separate cases. You attempted to respond to only one ("we will see"). It appears you are unable to comprehend or lack mental capacity to process and respond to all three items listed in the thrid paragraph. If you lack that capacity, I am afraid this forum is not the right place to help you. Otherwise, please respond to other two items in a factual way or consider your slander attempt at Air Serbia massive failure.

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    16. @anon 00:25
      No need for insults. You even made me reread the third paragraph :)
      AirSerbia start was political it end will be as well. I am sorry if you will loose your job as a consequence of that but I am sure you'll find something good in short period. Have a great weekend!

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    17. I find it tragic that someone from Serbia is rooting from Air Serbia's demise which would result in loss of so many jobs, tax income, connectivity, economic competitiveness... You might not agree with the way Air Serbia was founded but wanting it to collapse is beyond disgusting, no matter how much you try to justify yourself.

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    18. Немјее не нервирај се. Видиш да је ММ неспособан да одговори на три једноставна случаја па користи хејт као одговор.

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    19. И то што кажеш.

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    20. chill out people! Too much negative energy. I am not happy about the fact that JU does not have a sustainable model. I will not celebrate when it collapses or once it is massively scaled down. Most important is for Belgrade to have good connectivity and Serbian citizens cheap travel options.

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    21. MM већ трећи пут покушаваш да скренеш са теме коју си сам покренуо и на коју су контра аргументи наведени у самој вести. Ако ниси способан да на та три случаја аргументовано одговориш, није страшно да признаш пораз уместо да нас гушиш сталним мењањем тема.

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    22. Koje tri teme? Koliko negativnosti kada se dirne JU...cccc

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    23. Sad je MM anoniman? Ex yu admin, predlazem da se MM banuje jer krsi navedena pravila.

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    24. "Too much negative energy"

      You are the one bringing it. Every comment you every made about JU was negative.

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    25. Nije tacno. Uvek sam hvalio njihove orasnice i rado ih kupovao. :))) Steta sto ih vise nemaju u ponudi.
      Evo mislim da je fino sto imaju trenutno promo tarife za 89 (+2x20 + 2x3).

      Delete
  33. Oh my, how are people going to handle this news. In August JU is increasing both MAD and BCN to 3 weekly. Both destinations have two afternoon departures.

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    Replies
    1. Citizens of Krasnodar and Helsinki are celebrating in the streets xD

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    2. Yeah because Vueling was carrying Finns and Russians and not Serbs. Haters gonna hate.

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    3. Vueling is still carrying people from Belgrade at.decent prices. :)

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    4. And so is JU so I don't get the point of your highly idiotic comment. FYI JU has average fares for connecting traffic. Loss making routes were cut .

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    5. Why is idiotic if somebody says that Vueling has decent prices?!

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    6. Because of yory malicious first comment.

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    7. It wasn't mine xD
      Chill out!

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    8. Of course it wasn't. ;)

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