Air Serbia expansion "not aimed against LCCs"


Niš Constantine the Great Airport has said the twelve new subsidised routes, which are to be progressively introduced by Air Serbia through July and August, are not aimed against low cost carriers (LCCs) Wizz Air and Ryanair that have been serving the city for several years. The Serbian national carrier will receive some five million euros per year for its Niš operations. On the other hand, the two budget airlines enjoy a low three euro fee for handling, landing and passenger services under their current contracts with the airport which run until 2021. "These low cost airlines won't be chased out. Traffic from Niš will continue to develop and there will be more demand and the need for more carriers", the General Manager of operator Airports of Serbia, Mihajlo Zdravković, said.

According to the airport operator, Niš is courting several carriers to launch flights to France, Spain, Turkey and Russia. "The introduction of twelve new routes next month is an important step, not just for Niš but for the whole of south-eastern Serbia and has the potential to aid the development of the local economy and tourism. This is not just an airport for Niš, but of all the citizens from southern and eastern Serbia", Mr Zdravković said. Previously, Wizz Air accused the Serbian government of protectionism. In December last year it said, "The Serbian government has taken steps towards protecting Air Serbia's business and they are trying to put some pressure on competitors like ourselves".

Niš Airport returned to growth in May following seven consecutive months of declining passenger figures. It handled 31.026 travellers, representing an increase of 3.7% on last year. During the January - May period, Constantine the Great Airport welcomed 135.826 passengers through its doors, down 6.4%.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN25.221 11.4
FEB23.651 15.6
MAR26.448 9.1
APR26.448 2.6
MAY31.026 3.7

Air Serbia will initially introduce services from the south-east Serbian city to Nuremberg, Bologna, Tivat, Hanover, Gothenburg and Hahn in July, before launching operations to Budapest, Ljubljana, Salzburg, Rome, Baden Baden and Friedrichshafen in early August. All of them will run twice per week with exception to Tivat, which will initially operate two times per week before increasing to three weekly at the start of August. The airline's CEO, Duncan Naysmith, said, "Our aim is to enable the citizens of Niš to fly under the most favourable possible conditions to these twelve destinations on offer. The flights will be performed using an Airbus A319 aircraft in Air Serbia's livery. We will provide Serbian hospitality to our passengers at the best possible prices".




Comments

  1. Yeah right. They purposely chose the routes from Nis to enable LCCs to launch them.

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    Replies
    1. Wizz Air could have applied if they wanted to.

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    2. Did you see the conditions of the tender? It was made for JU.

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    3. They could´t since the tender was too demanding for anyone except ASL. For ie. 15 workers in call center.. there is few ridiculous point as well..but it doesn´t matter know.. everything was done Air Serbia to win.

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    4. But the question is, was this done simply to pump money into JU or was it really done to hit FR and W6.

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    5. JU doesn't have any chance to compete with WizzAir and Ryanair they are simply too big. This is only done so that government legally can pump the money into JU.

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    6. So what? It makes more sense to keep tax money in Serbia rather than to move them to Ireland or Hungary. No one seems to mind that W6 took over the Hungarian market after MA went bankrupt. No one complained that it wasn't FR or some other European LCC. Everyone protects its own so Serbia should do the same.

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    7. LCC expansion in Nish is finished with this move. I'm sure this is in the best interest of taxp.. well, whoever is left in Serbia.

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    8. So, 9:20, what do you prefer? Ten times bigger impact for the final customer in terms of destinations and lower prices, or ten times lower in terms of taxes and employees (approved by the governing party)?

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    9. If we have to provide subsidies then we might as well give it to a local company that pays taxes in Serbia, hires Serbs, has their planes registered in Serbia, provides Serbian catering... Don't forget that all sandwiches sold on Wizz are actually made in Hungary, not the country where the plane is based.
      Also, JU prices out of INI are more than fair. You are delusional if you think W6 is cheap, just look at their prices from BEG, €350 to 'Paris' with no luggage. Yeah, so cheap.

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    10. Sandwiches? Seriously? Is that what it's come down to?

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    11. well, no one banned FR & W6 from launching new routes, they had plenty of time to do this. W6 constantly brags about state protectionism, instead of focusing on its own development. as it's said in Serbia "kukaju k'o baba iza kace". maybe this will make them increase their frequencies

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    12. Anon @ 09:38 - In the rest of the world, business decisions are not made "out of spite". Moves like this drive business away, they do not "provoke" new business. Just as well, there is no interest in launching new routes if there is no visibility of profitability and a level playing field for the foreseeable future, i.e. where a key cost element like airport fees is mandated by the government who is obviously protecting the state carrier and could change at any minute if its existence was jeopardized, regardless of its actual efficiency or justifiability of its raison d'etre.

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    13. Anon 09.30

      Sandwiches are just part of the bigger picture. Why should they be made in Hungary when there are options in Serbia? Have we allowed our complexes to take over completely that even foreign sandwiches are better? Also, funny how you only mentioned sandwiches despite other examples being listed as well.

      As for W6 and FR, they had TWO years to expand and add flights. They didn't, actually they reduced their presence so the government made a deal with JU which will commit itself to the Serbian market. Quite simple.

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    14. The argument that by funding Air Serbia you are keeping money in Serbia is very debatable. A lot of that money goes to the UAE.

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    15. Anon 10.09

      Do you have any proof to back your claim or is it yet another groundless nonsense.

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    16. I can tell you that the splurge went as far as Etihad bringing window cleaners - yes window cleaners from Abu Dhabi to show Serbian window cleaners how to clean the facade of Air Serbia's HQ. And no they didn't do it for free. This is just a small drop in an ocean of such extravagant wasteful measures Etihad enacted.

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    17. It's funny sandwiches were brought up in the first place.

      I'm done trying to use fancy terms like load factor, revenue and cost per available seat kilometer and revenue per seat. Doesn't work. I'll instead convert everything to sandwiches from now on so the regular reader can relate the impact magnitude to something tangible from their own everyday life.

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    18. Yet they couldn't notice the Air Serbia insignia on top of the building is way too small.

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    19. Sandwiches were brought as one of the examples, others included registration of planes, taxes and so on. As mentioned elsewhere, others found it profitable to expand in BEG so if W6 can't do it then they should step aside and let others do it.

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  2. "Niš is courting several carriers to launch flights to France, Spain, Turkey and Russia."

    I wonder which airlines

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    Replies
    1. ASL Airlines France could do the France flights,Pegasus or Atlasglobal to Turkey, Pobeda to Russia and not sure about Spain.

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    2. Vueling to Barcelona?
      Or Volotea?

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  3. I think Air Arabia would be a success at INI. 2pw, offering good connections to Middle East and further Asian regions. Turkey and Russia carriers can also see success, but maybe not to hurry.INI can quickly reach 400k pax and its really the time to discuss a new terminal.

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  4. I really wonder how JUs bookings are going on these routes.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, especially routes like Budapest and Ljubljana.

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    2. It is completely subsidised operation, no worries about how many people they actually end up having on board.

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    3. What's wrong with subsidies, isn't that how W6 started off in SKP?

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    4. That's also how every large airline out there started, Lufthansa included.

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  5. What contributed to growth in May? The number of flights are more or less the same as last year.

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    Replies
    1. Better loads, although they seem to be always full or near full. W6 maybe sending A321 instead of 320?

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    2. I think it may also have something to do with Easter falling at the end of April so there was more travel in the first week of May.

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  6. "The Serbian government has taken steps towards protecting Air Serbia's business and they are trying to put some pressure on competitors like ourselves".
    Ne,nego ce placati strancima pored nacionalne avio kpmpanije? Trubili su oni i za Beograd pa vratise treci avion.

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    Replies
    1. There is no third plane in Belgrade.

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    2. And the question isn't did they return the SECOND plane. They did it after several years. So growth has been impacted.

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    3. Excuse me but what growth was impacted? BEG kept on booming even after they withdrew the second A320. Their return was a pure collapse of their blackmailing strategy. They knew BEG was not going to 'BEG' and humiliate itself so ... here we are. The world and Serbia with it moved on even without W6.

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    4. The growth would have been much higher with them and much more beneficial for the flying public.

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    5. In the meantime the world is moving on at a ten time higher pace than Serbia. It was unthinkable that SOF and OTP are orders of magnitude larger than BEG, especially if you take P2P (true) traffic in account, yet here we are.

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    6. How much higher the growth would have been because of one A320?

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    7. By now they would have had a third or fourth plane in BEG

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    8. Who forbids them?

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    9. Did anyone forbid Wizz Air to launch Madrid or Barcelona?

      No. They did it to protect their BUD hub.

      The network Wizz Air serves from BEG other than London is more than pathetic and they have nobody else to blame.

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    10. I AS bi do sada imala drugi A330 al nema para

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    11. Do you really believe Hungary wants to shift away the tourist flow from Hungary?

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    12. yes that's why they fly so many routes from neighboring countries... because they are concerned about Hungary's tourist flow. LOL.

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    13. Wizz would've put at least a couple more aircraft years ago if the airport tax situation was clear. But it wasn't and it doesn't look like things are changing in the foreseeable future - now the govt is getting more creative, e.g. subsidies for INI flights.

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    14. Wizz Air serves almost exclusively the destinations where Serbs go and not those that bring tourists to Serbia, unlike in Budapest.

      In that sense, the new AS route to Budapest makes no sense, unless it's paid by Hungary.

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    15. What are those neighboring countries, you mean Bosnia or Montenegro? Croatia?

      Macedonia in no way can influence Hungarian tourism yet Serbia does.

      Romania is a non-touristic country and they also carry gastos workers.

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    16. Ali su iskusno letove za Budimpestu stavili kasno uvece da putnici ne mogu da se konektuku na Wizz :)

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    17. Wait you are telling me it's Wizz Air's fault Serbia doesn't have a greater number of tourists, because they are protecting Hungary? Yeah right. Go and visit Budapest and you will realize why tourists go there.

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    18. Wizz Air can expand in INI or KVO as much as they want.

      The money that goes from Serbia should be given to a Serbian airline (either directly or through discounts) or else used to promote Serbia abroad.

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    19. I've been numerous times and still can't realize why tourists go there besides the fact it's heavily promoted and relatively cheap to reach, something that Belgrade isn't.

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    20. Great if you think that's the reason people go there. I guess the 12 million overnight stays just in Budapest show that everyone is crazy but you are right.

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    21. OTP and SOF boomed because millions of people emigrated and that stimulated demand for air travel. How many millions of them live in Italy or Spain? Exactly.

      As for BEG, Wizz is more than welcome to launch flights if it wants to. Why did they ignore Berlin which was launched by easyJet. Why did they ignore Barcelona which was launched by Veling? Airport charges are not the issue here, it's their willingness to commit to the Serbian market. Simple as that.
      Belgrade is very well connected and that's a fact. BUD on the other hand is posting losses year after year, that's what happens when you go into bed with FR and W6.

      SOF on the other hand isn't doing that well this year:

      JAN 5.5%
      FEB 5.2%
      MAR 2.9%
      APR -1.4%
      MAY 2.6%

      Honeymoon phase is over, time to face reality.

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    22. Bending yourself backwards to prove BEG is doing good I see.

      So Serbia doesn't have a comparable emigration? Seriously?

      And look at the total number of passengers: 7 mil in Sofia, most of the P2P, so not double counted unlike in BEG. Add to that 2.3M in Varna and 3.3M in Bourgas. 13.8M in Bucharest, again most of them P2P. Add to that TSR, CLJ, TGM, IAS, etc..

      You want to compare propensity to travel, i.e. # of passengers / # of inhabitants? Do that instead, even worse!

      These countries weren't afraid to let foreign carriers in at a level playing field, and Tarom and Bulgaria air are still up and flying - if that's a matter of 'National pride', and they're much better off, all things considered.

      The fact is Serbia has nowhere near exploited its potential effectively and is further suffocating any chances of proper take off.

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    23. 7 millions Romanians have left Romania since it joined the EU.

      I wouldn't call that comparable.

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    24. Wizz was waiting for Jat to colapse, copied their destinations, and then nothing.

      Serbian government at that time was for years looking for an airline to buy into JU, Wizz was hoping for it to be shut down. JU found a partner, Wizz protested by pulling an aircraft out of BEG which they eventually brought back. They complained about unfair competition but kept quiet on the illegal deal they got in BEG when it became public.

      Nothing stops Wizz from opening more routes from BEG. Its not as if BEG isnt seeing growth from foreign carriers for us to believe there is unfair protectionism.

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    25. 7 million LOL, where did you read this haha? How many left Serbia during Yugo times and since then? Don't they fly home or people take boats from Australia?

      And besides, the EU gives you the chance to work and live whereever you want. There is nothing better than gaining experience abroad and sharing this at home. Wasn't this the main advantage of Yugoslavia compared to other EE nations? That people are not locked in a cage?

      Romania has overtaken Croatia in terms of gdp/capita ppp and is growing at a double pace and is already decades ahead of Serbia. People have more and more money and travel, did you check how many flights Bucharest has to IST and ME3, go to Thailand see how many holidaymakers from Romania are there.

      Keep telling us how great things in BEG are and how shitty Bucharest, Budapest and Sofija are, serving gastos or poor tourists coming due to promotion.

      At the end of the day it is one connected region, your neighbours are biggest trade partners. If your neighbour is doing well, you will also do better. Up to you to what extent.

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    26. Are you seriously comparing the diaspora in Australia to the one in Germany or Spain?

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    27. According to official numbers 3.5 million Romanians have left Romania.

      That is the half of the population of Serbia.

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    28. Romania has three times the population of Serbia.

      Bulgaria a comparable country by population and harder to reach by road has - one - yes, 1 million pax more in SOF. That also since recently.

      As for Burgas and Varna, should we maybe also include TIV, TGD, PRN and BNX in the Serbian count?

      Let's not mix politics here.

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    29. That's how Bulgaria is doing great.

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    30. Anonymous12 June 2019 at 10:18

      Who is stopping W6 from expanding and adding a third plane? The government certainly isn't. why didn't they add more flights from INI where they literally pay nothing? Matter of fact is that Wizz is forcing airports to reduces their charges so they can maximize their profits. Look at the losses BUD incurred from such a model. BEG is smart not to do it because even without it they do just fine, actually more than fine.
      FR tried to do it in Athens and they were massacred by local airlines. So maybe here the issue is not BEG or Serbia but rather the model of LCCs that can't make it in small or medium sized airports without massive subsidies.

      So the market is open and free for whoever wants to grab it. easyJet seems to be doing just fine without these massive subsidies.

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    31. Funny about SOF since many on here were worshipping their business model on here.

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    32. Btw,
      LYBE is experiencing 12% passenger volume growth.

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    33. Last Anon, stop trolling please. At best they will have 3% more passengers since there are no Iranian carriers this year.

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    34. Yes because the 9 new Air Serbia destinations, new Air France, ASL France and Wizz Air flights, as well as additional 40 frequencies from foreign carriers are all less than the 5 weekly flights with Iranians from last year. You should stop trolling.

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    35. Newsflash: all Iranian flights were on widebodies, JU launched mostly flights on the small Atr.

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    36. Um no, two routes are on the ATR. So yeah you are a troll.

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    37. Yeah ...the fairy-tale for SOF is over and that is why MAG and ADP are offering almost 2 bln. EUR for the concession of the airport. To be accurate ADP is offering 1.9 bln. EUR and MAG is offering 2.5 bln. EUR. The fairy-tale is over indeed :)

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  7. So in 2021 we will see Wizz and Ryan leave. I can guarantee they won't get 3 euro fee again.

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    Replies
    1. Here we go with the crystal ball predictions.

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    2. It's not a crystal ball prediction. The airport's CEO said that the contracts will be reviewed and the minister for transport said how the fees are low and unsustainable.

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    3. even if they double the fees to 6€, it's still cheap

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    4. It's not cheap from Nis where no flights seem to work without some form of subsidies.

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    5. 3 EUR increase is not cheap if your average fare achieved is 30 EUR and profit per passenger is 2 EUR.

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    6. Anon 09.41

      You mean like Swiss which gets no subsidies yet it manages to fly year-round, something it could do in TGD, ZAG, LJU, SKP...

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    7. 3 euros thatswhy

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    8. So? If the market was there it would have failed regardless.

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    9. Swiss flies to ZRH from both BEG and INI because Switzerland and Serbia are something like Switzerland and London. Huge business (especially in the banking sector) demand. So that is why they are flying year round.

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  8. Is unfortunate how protectionist the government is becoming. Not letting TK increase flights, targeting LCCs in Nis....

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    Replies
    1. ... becoming??

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    2. How about Turkey's protectionism?

      No European airline flies to Istanbul.

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    3. You might want to check that again.

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    4. Aegean, Air France, Aeroflot, Air Moldova, British Airways, Belavia, KLM, Lufthansa, LOT, TAROM, Ukraine International, Rossiya Airlines are all African carriers flying to Istanbul.

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    5. *very few

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    6. Now make a new list of all European airlines that cut IST flights. Even KLM reduced it to just a daily rotation. Tragic.

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    7. Serbia has been more than fair with Turkish carriers considering the agreement both governments have signed. 3 Turkish carriers fly to Serbia and only JU seasonally to Turkey.

      As far as INI is concerned, Serbia hasnt and cannot reject any EU carrier to launch flights out of INI. None of JU's flights are to destinations already served, while LCC had a 2 year head start in INI to expand and havnt. Lets not forget the the hate speach towards JU for ignorning INI.

      Serbia has to do something with these smaller airports to attract tourists and investors to come, and that will only happen if accessibility is possible. A couple of destinations are for me personally questionable in terms of rentability, however I also dont have the numbers JU has to make that judgement. Lets wait and see.

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  9. If you read the article carefully, it clearly says that the low rates of 3eur pp will be valid until 2021, when the contracts end. What does this really mean? Increasing these taxes means targeting these companies to withdraw from the market. What else? It would be much better if the government invested that money in a terminal building at INI that is in horrible conditions, instead of pumping money into a "national" airline. I do agree with others, that lcc could have done a better job opening new routes until now. Then there would be no place for Air Serbia flights then.

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    Replies
    1. I dont see INI drastically increasing its fees for LCC's. However, these carriers would of been flying out of INI for 5 years by then and should be established by then in Nis if they arent already. This incentive was meerly to attract airlines to begin flights, which until then INI didnt have.

      Lets not forget the subsidies given to YM to operate in INI previously.

      Delete
    2. Targetting?

      Are you basically saying the LCC's cannot operate under normal economic conditions?

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  10. Air Serbia could propose to replace some routes, for example INI-BUD, with another destination from the list, such as Istanbul or Moscow.

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  11. people from Niš are funny. first, they complained why Air Serbia is not flying from Niš, called it Air Belgrade etc. now, they're complaining why they won the bid, and are going to fly from Niš O_o

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    Replies
    1. im not sure that the INI trolls here are actually from Nis, more likely some diaspora members

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  12. But taxes at INI are nonsense...
    If they doubled them, it wouldn’t even be noticeable but would have a great impact on airports sustainability.
    The terminals interior and infrastructure around airport should be a priority for this year.
    Good luck INI!

    ReplyDelete
  13. INI - BTS

    When will this line be discontinued, I bet on latest October. I am impressed how patient Ryanair is after cutting routes across Europe and still fighting for this route with below 10 € tickets across the board.

    And this won't be AS fault or of the government.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yet AS wants to introducs INI-BUD.

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  14. The same bitter people who complained about ‘Air Serbia being Air Belgrade’ are now obviously complaining about them now actually flying from Nis because it will ‘chase away the LCCs’. Hilarious yet atrocious at the same time.

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  15. If Air Serbia have introduced flights under the same conditions as airlines that currently operate and fly Nis then I would believe them and that would be absolutely fine, but with 5 million a year it is too much and there is an ulterior motive.

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  16. JU should have set up an LCC brand to operate the Nis flights.

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  17. Do you think W6 and FR will stay? I am not sure.

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    Replies
    1. Until 2021 yes, afterwards we will see.

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  18. The Nis flights are nothing more then another way to subsidize Air Serbia.

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    Replies
    1. With 0,5 million euros per year, they could at least provide much better destinations then villages.

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    2. You didn't complain when villages were proposed as destinations by Wizz and Ryan. Besides, Air Serbia will fly to Rome FCO, Budapest, Ljubljana, Hannover or Bologna, all much bigger aiports than INI. Nis seems like a little village compared to those cities. SKP is subsidizing Wizz, Croatia gets PSO, Hungary subsidizes Wizz to fly to Balkans from BUD, Ryan gets subsidies at some airports, Tuzla works for free to support W6 monopoly, Slovenia helps Adria fly to BRU, Croatia helps promote tourism to bring long haul airlines, Montenegro pays for it's airline - and where are you to complain about those? Air Serbia haters are asking for response like this.

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    3. Nuremberg, Hannover, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe in Germany, Gothenburg in Sweden, Bologna and Rome in Italy, Salzburg in Austria, Budapest in Hungary are all bigger then Nis.

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    4. Exactly. It's not the problem with destination "villages", the problem for haters is that Air Serbia will get to fly there. Pathetic bunch.

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    5. Što Er Srbija nije došla 2015?
      15 mil evra za nešto što košta 3 miliona, i subvencionisana taksa od 3 evra pride, pa moj moj preko....
      A ovaj tkzv Drvce ili ti g. Zdravkovic može da vrti u krug koliko hoće. Kad mi neko objasni da je Fridrihshafen toliko bitan za juznu Srbiju i to 70 km od Memingema i Ciriha ili Baden Baden koji je 100 km od Basela, pa Budimpešta, da ne pominjem Nirnberg koji je i u Bg puko... radiće Tivat i Geteborg i to leti, ostalo je vrlo problematično i u letnjoj sezoni, zimsku ne smem ni da pomenem. Realno, ovo je uvreda za zdrav razum. Ne žive ovde idioti pa da im prisipate takva sr...

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    6. Sad prvi put cujem da je taksa od 3 evra subvencionisana. Pa gde si bio svih ovih godina da nam to objasnis? Jedan se onomad hvalio da je doveo svetske avio kompanije BEZ ikakvih subvencija, pa ko sad laze? U to vreme niko se nije zalio da se subvencionise Wizz i Ryan niti su se ljudi zalili na sela gde oni lete a sad svi hoce samo na LHR i smeta im podrska za JU. Uzdrzavam se od citiranja nekih ljudi iz onog doba, to bi sad delovalo kao cista laz.

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    7. И не само што хоће да лете за LHR него хоће за 20 евра! Одређени људи су овде изгубили компас. А тврдити да је 3 евра субвенција је чиста смехотека јер је то полиса која је свима доступна, и Рајану и Визеру и Свису... Дакле само је питање колико ко жели да се посвети тржишту југоисточне Србије. Ето Визер је био приморан да угаси Малме-Ниш због затварања пољске базе али су вратили линију када су нашли авион. Дакле све се може када се хоће.

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  19. Anti-Serbian hate brigade is out in full force today.

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  20. Its done so peoe in Serbia pay hihg price for flights w AirSerbia

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  21. It was a taylor-made tender for Air Serbia.

    ReplyDelete

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