Air Serbia considering regional fleet options


Air Serbia is studying the renewal of its ageing regional fleet, comprising of six ATR72 turboprops, as some of the aircraft enter their 29th year of service for the carrier this summer. Both ATR and Bombardier aircraft are being considered. Plans to renew the regional fleet were made in 2017 as part of a five-year development plan. The airline has previously leaned towards the Franco-Italian manufactured ATRs, noting, "There are a few options we are looking at as part of the five-year plan. We are still wedded to the ATRs as an aircraft type because the ATR has great economics. It is not as fast as the [Bombardier Dash] Q400 and does not carry as many people but, on the short routes that we employ those aircraft, the ATR is the perfect aircraft".

Air Serbia inherited part of its ATR fleet from JAT Yugoslav Airlines, which were delivered new to the carrier in 1990. Their overall average age stands at 23 years. The airline has previously defended its decision to keep the older turboprops in its fleet, noting, "We have three aircraft which are fully owned and cost us nothing in terms of lease costs versus three that are payed in excess of $100.000 a month. When you remove a few of the older aircraft you are adding $300.000 a month to the business without the ability to improve the revenue, so they are not easy decisions to make". The Canadian manufacturer Bombardier previously urged Air Serbia to replace its ATRs with Dash 8s. "Looking at Air Serbia, the Q400 not only replaces the ATRs but also helps them on some routes that are longer and that are narrower, that go up to narrow-bodies, which we understand are not being flown to full capacity, which is important", Bombardier said. The Dash 8 program is now owned by Longview Aviation Capital.

Despite significantly expanding its route network this summer and introducing an extra Airbus A319 to its fleet, as well as wet-leasing a Nordica Bombardier CRJ900 and an Etihad Airbus A320, Air Serbia has increased its overall capacity by just 4% this summer. The CRJ900 is operating an average of three rotations per day for Air Serbia, and is being used across twelve of the airline’s routes. During the peak of the summer season, in August, the carrier will have the most Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) on flights from Belgrade to New York, followed by London Heathrow, Paris, Zurich, Moscow, Beirut, Amsterdam, Athens, Larnaca, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Copenhagen and Frankfurt.




Comments

  1. They really need to replace these aircraft ASAP. While it could be expensive replacing them, I think keeping these 30 year old dinosaurs in the fleet will become more and more costly.

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    Replies
    1. True. They are breaking down more often.

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    2. When you're cash-strapped such as Air Serbia, it is very difficult to think about sinking money into new planes while you already have capacity with the old ones that are your property.

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    3. They don't have to purchase new aircraft. Just lease newer generation planes.

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    4. In my opinion both ATRs and Boeings should be replaced immediately.

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    5. my guess is that replacing owned atrs and boeings with the newer aircraft which will the have to pay for will be postponed as much as possible, since it will burn another hole in airserbia's pockets.

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    6. Anon 9:37, you should add to your list some existing A319 as some of them actually break down more often than the good old B733.

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    7. They announced they would retire B737s in 2020.

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    8. They should get rid of the 737s and standardise the fleet with A320- family jets.

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  2. Hope it comes sooner rather than later.

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    Replies
    1. Don't hold your breath. In 2013 they said they would launch international tender to replace turboprop fleet. It is 2019.

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  3. Thank goodness they won't go for the SSJ.

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    Replies
    1. How do you know?

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    2. They were offered similar deal as Adria and JU didn't go for it.

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    3. They can probably get Sukhois for free.

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    4. Thank goodness they won't go for the MAX.

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    5. Even if they get the SSJs for free they would be paying too much. ;)

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    6. At least they wouldn't be paying with human lives as would be the case with the disastrous MAX program.

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  4. Makes sense sticking with the ATR then introducing a different aircraft type altogether.

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    Replies
    1. ATR are great aircraft.

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    2. I personally enjoy Q400 more than the ATR.

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    3. Doesn't the Q400 consume more fuel vs the ATR?

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    4. That depends on way how you use it and also on length of flight.

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    5. Q400 will always burn more fuel than the ATR.

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    6. Anonymous 8 July 2019 at 10:29
      Of course they do. They carry more passengers and fly faster.

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  5. I actually think they need a regional jet plane. Something with the capacity to seat 100 passengers.

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    1. I think they need a regional jet with between 60-80 seats. Don't know which is the most economical. These are needed so that their Balkan network can go double daily.

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    2. It would seem to me that JU needs two types of "regional" planes. On the very short segments like throughout the Balkans the cheap ATRs win. On the other hand, there are many destinations like Kiev, Krasnodar, etc. that could well work for JU with a regional jet like an Embraer, Bombarider, SSJ, etc. but are out of the range for ATRs and too thin for an A319.

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    3. Krasnodar is full on the A319.

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    4. So is HEL on days it operates there.

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  6. good. hope they replace them soon.

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  7. I think the EMB 190 is perfect to change ATR on many short routes including those that don´t need A319/320.

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    Replies
    1. And how much would it cost to retrain pilots, crews, where would you do maintenance since Jat Tehnika doesn't have certificatesd for Embraers???

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    2. JU has a mix of Airbus, Boeing and ATR. A 4th addition won't be bad.

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    3. Yes it would. For an airline of ASL's size having 4 different pilot pools as well as maintenance engineers and flight crews is just insane.

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    4. The B733's are practically useless. They wont bring in more of them, theyre expensive to maintain and operate, while only 1 is flying. Remove that and add a type that has potential to grow in the fleet.

      LO has 6 types in their fleet without including the B737 max.

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    5. Introducing E190 would make sense with retirement of the 737 and atr fleets. It's not as economical as atr on short routes, but the 100 seat capacity I'd say is more flexible. JU could fly it on longer distances and would also benefit in winter time deploying them where there's not enough demand for an a319 while maintaining better frequncies.
      Also, in the upcoming period some 100 E190 will flood the market with American, JetBlue, Avianca and few other carriers retiring the type, meaning they'll be available at lower price, with most of them at around 10yrs old and younger.

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    6. With E190 they could be competitive on Vienna and Montenegro market as people will rather choose jet plane. Also it would be perfect for Prague , Venice and Bucharest and don't see any problem with Sofija,Sarajevo ,Skopje. Only problem i could see with Banja Luka,Ljubljana and Zagreb as E190 is maybe to big for this line.

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  8. Mix of turbo props and regional Jets would mKe most sense for JU, as if it would them to achieve good financial returns on short routes and yet open new routes that are uncomfortable on a turbo prop yet beneficial for longer flights covered by the Airbus fleet. With CRJ they could cover Moldavia, Romania, Ukraine, Baltic even Caucasus countries in addition to the routes Nordica's plane is doing at the moment. CRJ opens much more possibilities for expansion in untested markets.

    JU would probably have betrer bargaining power if it decided to take both CRJ's and Dash's and opt for its entire regional fleet to be from Bombardier.

    On the other hand ATR is part of Airbus so together with NEO's cost cuts could be achieved.

    Nonetheless, something needs to be done immediately. Fleet is falling apart, constant delays, brrakdowns... I am sure those compensations cost a lot of money for the company.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bombardier has sold both Q400 and CRJ lines; Q400 to LongView and CRJ to Mitsubishi. There is no longer a common marketing team.

      And CRJ is due to be discontinued in 2020.

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  9. Is Etihad's A320 still only flying to London?

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    Replies
    1. Bombardier sold both, CRJ and Dash production, CRJ to Mitsubishi and Dash to De Havilland (Viking Air). After Airbus acquisition of C-series, Bombardier will now focus on more profitable business jets and passenger rail cars. So, it doesn't really matter what Bombardier said. There are now new players out there for negotiation.

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    2. I don't know if you haven't realized but it's more than obvious that Air Serbia won't buy brand new planes from the manufacturers. They will lease newer ATRs or Dashes from leasing companies. Just like they added the A319 a few weeks ago and its not a brand new plane.

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  10. $100.000 a month lease payments for a very old ATR is just crazy!
    Someone made a horrible deal for JU but great for the lessor....

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    Replies
    1. text is saying that is price for 3 planes...

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    2. It says that:
      "We have three aircraft which are fully owned and cost us nothing in terms of lease costs versus three that are payed in excess of $100.000 a month. When you remove a few of the older aircraft you are adding $300.000 a month to the business without the ability to improve the revenue, so they are not easy decisions to make"

      To me it seems like it is $100.000 for each so if the three owned ATRs from the JAT days are replaced the airline's monthly cost would increase by $300.000

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  11. It goes to show that they need smaller 100 seaters since they are using the leased CRJ900 on so many routes.

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  12. Easiest and cheapest option is just to replace the 3 oldest ATRs with newer ones and that is it.

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  13. How many daily rotations to the ATRs do?

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    Replies
    1. Mainly three or four but only 8-9 hours per day. Only one ATR is utilize more as it have two morning and sometimes two afternoon flight (Friday and Sunday)

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  14. Leteo sam sa novim str 72-500 u floti air serbia i sa starijim 72-200. Razlike oko buke za mene nema. Ali mogu da kazem da su stariji atr 72-200 dosta udobniji.

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  15. They need the entire regional fleet overhaul. They should eliminate 72-200s and 7373s.

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    Replies
    1. With what money?

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    2. Airbus installment has come back to JU. There is enough money to lease a small fleet of ERJ/CRJ's for example for the next couple of years.

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    3. JU already used part of that money to fund the capacity increases and leases for this year.
      Also training pilots and crews to the ERJ/CRJ's for just two years worth of flying them is highly uneconomical.

      Just my2cents

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    4. Naturally JU is looking for long term solution so it wouldnt be a couple of years. My comment was on the basis that money was there for that period.

      Im sure long term lease with crew training would be cheaper and have better benefits than leasing in a single type with crew for a few months. After all, JU did move from the B737 classics to the A319.

      Besides, Im sure they would make better money in the long run with an aircraft more suited to their needs with better loads and better yields.

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    5. Question is what period is short term and what is long term :)
      I'm guessing that they are looking for solution for next 5 years max.

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    6. I would assume the same as what theyre doing currently with all their leased ac. All except 1 A330 and 1 A319 has been in the fleet more than 5 years.

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  16. They have no vision nor strategy when it comes to their fleet.

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  17. I think Air Serbia should order passenger jets instead of replacing them with new atr 72s, I think getting more Airbus would be best solution, 6 A319s, to have all airbus fleet. However if they do decided to go for smaller passenger jet, Sukhoi Superjet 100, should be best solution and Athey can get them cheap.

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    Replies
    1. Are you serious? How would they fill an A319 in winter on flights to Banja Luka, Podgorica, Tivat, Tirana etc...

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    2. SSJ is out of the question due to poor after sales support.

      A319 is too big for many routes especially outside the season. They have struggled for years to bring the average CLF close to 80%.

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  18. The Q400 is the best regional jet replacement on the market, especially for sectors over one hour which are horrible on the ATR.

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    Replies
    1. ATRs are true working horses. Very efficient and reliable.

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    2. ATR72 - znacajno jeftiniji, manja potrosnja ali i manja brzina, manja visina leta, manji dolet.
      Q400 - znacajno skuplji, brzi, veca potrosnja goriva, veci dolet, veca visina leta.

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    3. za destinacije na koje JU šalje ATR, Q400 nema nikakve šanse. Q400 možda, ali možda, jedino može da bude bolji na liniji za Prag. na ostalim je ATR u velikoj prednosti

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    4. Letio sam na ATR dok sam još živio u Tunisu nekoliko puta na linji DJE-TUN i sa Dash 8 što od OS, OU što od LO. Za mene osobno nije bilo neke razlike.

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  19. It´s strange that neither JU nor OU are interested in Embraers. Its a very reliable and efficient aircraft and already used by so many European airlines.

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    Replies
    1. 70 seats Embraer would be nice. Much more comfortable than ATR and interchangeable with JU airbus fleet depending on demand.

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  20. A lot of people actually do not like flying with turboprops be it ATR or Dash 8s. Is there an jet engine 70-80 seat alternative?

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    Replies
    1. Yes Embraer E170 it 175. Perfect replacement for ATRs. Has 80 seats or around 70 in two classes.

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    2. Turbo props are efficient aircraft, but they are also high maintenance aircraft. And I agree people want jet engines and that's the case everywhere. You only have to see what kind of aircraft are being produced now to realise that the manufacturers know that as well.

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    3. Some of the fare search sites even have filters for avoiding turboprop flights. The opinion may not be based on fact but many people get uncomfortable after seeing their plane is a turboprop (probably false sense that it is old technology).

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  21. Air Serbia doesn't have the money to buy or lease planes.

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    Replies
    1. They are currently leasing 16 planes in their fleet and I haven't heard that they have had issues paying for them.

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    2. Airbus installment for the A320neo was returned to JU. 22,5 million euros can bring a nice ERJ/CRJ fleet for the next couple of years.

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    3. JU already used part of that airbus money to fund the capacity increases and leases for this year.
      Αlso training pilots and crews to the ERJ/CRJ's for just two years worth of flying them is highly uneconomical.

      Just my2cents

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    4. Same reply as above

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    5. People are still talking about this 22.5eur? That money is already spent, one way or another...

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  22. ATR 500s & 600s with contemporary interior are perfectly adequate aircraft for 45-60 min flights, silent, comfortable. economical.

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  23. When the time comes to renew the regional fleet, they will just take second hands ATRs. It's the cheapest option.

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    Replies
    1. The time is now.

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    2. How many more years can the old ATRs keep flying?

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  24. It might be cheaper for them to keep these old ATRs but it doesn't change the fact that the planes will be 30 years old in 2020!! You have to draw the line at some point and replace them.

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  25. A220 would be good for JU but probably too expensive

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    Replies
    1. Not good as ATR replacement, too big.

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    2. A220-300s would be the ideal replacement for most of the A319-320 fleet.

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  26. JU is really a regional leader in the area.
    Stick to the good old ATR - Avions de Transport Régional. Reliable Franco-Italian jet for decades!

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    Replies
    1. Jet? Gde vas samo pronalaze?

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    2. "regional leader"
      SMFH....

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    3. Pa dovoljno je procitati da je ATR "jet". No further comment needed. U stilu "Bravo Hrvatska"

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    4. Sto napadate coveka? ATR i DASH jesu turboprop avioni, a turboprop je varijanta jet motora tj mlaznog. Osnovno vazduhoplovno obrazovanje. Pozdrav iz Beograda.

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  27. How come capacity is only up 4% when they got another 3 planes?

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    Replies
    1. 1 of those 3 is only being used to London. The CRJ is being used on many routes, meaning less seats are on sale on routes that used to operate with A319/320. There are much fewer B737s in the fleet this summer too.

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    2. Anyone know which A319 will be based in Nis?

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    3. Someone said YU-APD. Not sure if it's true.

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    4. Not APK, its APD.

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  28. 2-3 more ATRs would be nice. Mostar, Maribor, Ohrid could all be launched.

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    Replies
    1. +1
      Also increase frequencies in SKG, TIA and try again VAR during the Summer season.

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    2. Realno Mostar ni sa Zagrebom ne moze da odrzava saobracaj, a tek Maribor. Odakle ti nicu takve ideje?

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    3. You could do that while adding a regional jet. Shifting the better performing ATR routes onto a regional jet would allow JU capacity to use the ATR else were, including adding new regional destinations.

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    4. Anonymous at 11:17
      Agree, also they could try BUD again.

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    5. @ anonymous 11,19

      JU has more to offer in BEG than OU in ZAG. ATR is cheaper to operate than the Dash. JU after all has kept BNX.

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    6. Drze oni i NYC tako da nije problem da letis NYC-BNX sa jednom avio kompanijom.

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  29. Shouldn't be a problem to replace at least the three oldest props with newer ATRs.

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  30. I think money will be best spent introducing a regional jet fleet into JU.

    JU seem to like the CRJ900 since its the second time that it is operating for them. They are fairly familiar with the type so introducing it should be easier.

    CRJ900 leasing costs are cheaper than the ERJ175. There are articles on airliners.net which get updated showing the list price.

    CRJ900 is perfect for routes where ATR cannot do the job yet the A319 too much capacity. It would also allow JU to free up the ATR for expanding the shorter, regional network by upping the capacity on better performing ATR routes, as well to downsize A319 routes that show to the aircraft to be too much capacity but not too bad to discontinue.

    This would allow JU to retire the B733. If JU were to have 4 types in the fleet, better to have it with aircraft that works for them. Afterall, the B733 is pretty much the same capacity as the A319, however cheaper to operate. JU is currently ooerating oy 1 B733. YU-ANI has been active this season, YU-AND hasnt flown since september last year and YU-ANK since march. The B733 might be fully paid off but operating and maintaining it isnt cheap.

    At worst, 4 CRJ's would cost JU roughly 10 million USD per year. If they did not use them, there would be money for the next 2 years at least to keep them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zasto bi pravili gluposti kao Adria?

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    2. Kakve gluposti?

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    3. Najam izdrkanih aviona koje nece vise niko. CRJ. I ovaj jedan im je previse. Mislim koriste neke kompanije i Fokkere u okruzenju.

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    4. my guess is that JU will go for MRJ for regional jets, and stick with ATR for shorter routes

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    5. There are big differences between JP and JU.

      Were not talking about Saab's.

      JU has a better track record on keeping their destinations, BEG is much larger to LJU, JU has a much larger operation to JP, and this is just to start.

      JU has shown that it needs the type in their fleet. KBP is back the moment the CRJ returned, the CRJ is very active in the JU fleet.

      A regional jet would improve their CLF, boost yield, add frequencies while enabling them to add and return destinations.

      After all, how much is JU spending to keep those B733's and old ATR's flying. Those heavy maintenance checks sure isnt cheap. They need to be replaced at some point and JU isnt in a position to buy new planes. JU also has a massive gap between the ATR and A319 thats puts them in a tricky situation.

      CRJ900 gives them more capacity but not too much, seats more than the ERJ175 which is more expensive and doesnt offer much in more in pax capacity compared to the ATR. Replacing completely the ATR to a regional jet would be a disaster to many routes that see loads of 30-40 pax which defeats the purpose of a mixed ERJ fleet. CRJ900 seems to be a good fit for JU.

      Delete
  31. Perhaps they are waiting on IL-114?
    :-)

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  32. Today's JU500 to JFK is cancelled, anyone knows why ?

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    Replies
    1. YU-ARA ist kaputt...

      Supposedly something serious, but I dont know what exactly... Tomorrow's flight will be cancelled as well

      Delete
    2. That is not old plane...12years...it was recently on maintenance..
      I wonder if there is a chance to get some kind of emergency replacement from Etihad

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    3. Yeap - flight canceled. Seems that the US basketball team was supposed to be on that flight. Check the whole story: https://twitter.com/AmandaZahuiB

      Btw - what happened with the Stockholm flight which returned to Belgrade?

      And what is happening with the B733 - seems that only 1 is operating?

      Delete
    4. ARN flight went back to Belgrade, I think the pax are still at tge airport.

      One 733 has been flying for last six months or so, but I had small malfunction today as well...

      Overall, Ex Yu picked the right day to publish a story about JU's need to rejuvenate its fleet

      Delete
    5. Not good in plain summer. This is an important prestigious route and JU must be very careful. Why don't they ask EY for an emergency replacement?
      It is more that clear that JU needs an extra replacement such as a B767-300ER.

      Delete
    6. That is bad news for JU!

      Delete
    7. @Anon 20:14
      Yes, it is very convenient to have Airbus wide body and replacement of totally different type...jesus...how do you come to that idea...

      Delete
    8. @ Anonymous8 July 2019 at 15:47
      Well that was a complete lie. The plane departed nomrally this morning to New York.

      Delete
  33. I do not have issues with 30y old ATRs actually.
    In JAT Tehnika we trust

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  34. ASL needs 5 E175 and 5 E195 to replace turboprop from the fleet

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  35. YU-ANK did a test flight today, so hopefully it will be in service soon.

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    Replies
    1. Milose, thanks for info, what about YU-AND?

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. No info yet, both AND and ANJ are grounded for a long time now.

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    4. ANJ is retired and won't return, but AND should...

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  36. They should stick with what they already have : lease new ATRs, lease the CRJ900s .

    ReplyDelete
  37. најбоље рјешење за ер србију је 4 нова ATR 72-600 и три нова CRJ 900. Е175 кошта нов колико и CRJ 900. Сматрам да је CRJ бољи. Треба имати турбопроп авионе у флоти. Имају предности. Не може ништа да улети у моторе и сјетите се ерупције вулкана. Млазни нису могли да лете

    ReplyDelete
  38. Tarom is also renewing their regional fleet. They order 9 ATR 72-600, ASL should maybe do the same since ATRs schedule is full. They need new aircraft and more aircraft.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Why they don't consider the A220 is beyond me, it is the perfect medium-range aircraft for AS.

    ReplyDelete

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