AtlasGlobal suspends Belgrade flights amid financial turmoil


Turkish carrier AtlasGlobal has suspended all operations, including its flights between Istanbul and Belgrade, amid financial problems. The carrier plans to resume services on December 21, although it is unlikely to deliver on its promise. AtlasGlobal maintained four weekly flights between Turkey's largest city and the Serbian capital this winter season. It competed directly against Turkish Airlines’ double daily service from Istanbul and Pegasus Airlines’ four weekly flights from Sabiha Gokcen Airport. AtlasGlobal was a close partner of Air Serbia, with the two airlines having a wide-ranging codeshare agreement in place on each other’s networks. AtlasGlobal boasted domestic flights to a dozen cities in Turkey, as well as international services from Istanbul to the Middle East, Europe and the CIS.

Atlasglobal entered the Serbian market in 2017. Its operations were made possible after Air Serbia discontinued scheduled flights to Turkey. Under the restrictive bilateral Air Service Agreement between the two countries, only a select number of carriers and scheduled flights can be maintained between the two states. In response to AtlasGlobal's simmering financial issues over the past few months, Air Serbia recently concluded a Special Prorate Agreement with Turkish Airlines, signalling the first form of commercial cooperation between the two carriers. Based on the agreement, passengers can purchase Air Serbia tickets from one of its European destinations and fly to Belgrade, from which they can continue with Turkish Airlines to Istanbul and onwards to Antalya, Ankara, Adana, Bodrum, Dalaman, Gaziantep, Gazipasa, Izmir, Kayseri, Trabzon and Konya.

The Serbian Ambassador to Turkey, Zoran Marković, recently said the new deal between Air Serbia and Turkish Airlines would lead to a codeshare agreement in the foreseeable future. “I expect a draft codeshare agreement from Belgrade to be delivered to their Turkish counterparts and for authorities to push for the deal to be expedited. The new agreement envisages an additional flight from Turkey to Serbia. If Turkish Airlines is not interested, Air Serbia is eager to launch an additional flight between the two countries”, Mr Marković said. The elimination of AtlasGlobal on services between Turkey and Serbia allows for frequencies and capacity to be increased by others. Air Serbia, AtlasGlobal, Pegasus Airlines and Turkish Airlines are the only four carriers nominated to perform scheduled flights between the two countries under the Air Service Agreement.




Comments

  1. Could this be a chance for Air Serbia to return on this route?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think anyone will be making changes until the airline goes officially under on 21st December.

      Delete
    2. No chance. That route has been surrendered to the Turks.

      Delete
    3. Both airports in Istanbul welcomed +105 million passengers in 2018. And SAW is going to have its 2nd runway and IST will have its 3rd in 2020 summer, so the capacity will even increase more, it will surpass Frankfurt, Amsterdam and also Paris. Turks and Serbs don't need a visa to travel both countries. JU has to start flying to the new Istanbul airport and CAD let TK to use their 777, 787 or A333. There is always a share in Istanbul's pie!!

      Delete
    4. Atlasglobal cited high operational costs at the new Istanbul airport as the reason for suspension of operations. I doubt JU will enjoy the "pie" in potential IST operations.

      Delete
    5. Given their finances, I think KK would have found OSI too expensive.

      Delete
  2. This is bad news for the Serbian government since KK carried thousands of Turkish tourists to Serbia. What happens now? Someone will have to step in and handle the passengers. Will TK and PC get more flights, will TK finally get a widebody or will JU return?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think JU will return.

      Delete
    2. It is not so easy getting a slot at IST and resuming services to a country you have completely withdrawn from.

      Delete
    3. ^Ok... if you say so...

      Delete
    4. JU has not withdrawn completely from Turkey since they run summer charters from BEG and BNX.

      Also getting slots at the new airport is easy since there is more than enough room.

      Delete
    5. Charters mean nothing. I'm referring to the fact that they no longer have a sales network in Turkey. Charters are flights bought up by Serbian tour operators. They are merely transporting people back and forth. Having your own flights requires different kind of infrastructure in a market.

      Delete
    6. Then you need to be more specific with your phrasing, this is what you wrote and that was not a correct statement.

      '...to a country you have completely withdrawn from.'

      Delete
  3. Is Turkish increasing capacity over the next few days to accommodate stranded passengers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Today they are sending A321 in the morning and evening. I think that's regular.

      Delete
    2. A321 is a regular visitor, they wanted to increase it to A333 but the Directorate turned them down.

      Delete
    3. They might change the equipment for tonight. TK does swaps during the day. I remember when they had to cancel the morning flight to BEG because of that Egypt Air incident, they boosted the evening flight to an A330 during the afternoon.

      Delete
  4. Sad :( They were a fantastic airline in terms of service and on board product while their prices were very cheap. They were a good alternative to TK which is often full from BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To me it seems that all the Turkish carriers have very cheap prices from BEG while offering really good service for a 1h15 flight.

      Delete
    2. Except Pegasus, they offer cheap prices but no onboard product.

      Delete
    3. @ Anon: 9:06- Spot the mistake in your comment ;)

      Delete
    4. Prices are low from Belgrade because there are/were 3 airlines flying the route, one of which is low cost. TK isn't so cheap from other markets in the region where they have no competition.

      Delete
    5. I wouldn't really say TK is cheap, they tend to be affordable. There are times when in February they charge €350. Of course, that's because planes are full and they can't add more capacity to the market.

      Delete
  5. The bilateral between Serbia and Turkey is an utter disaster. I can't believe they negotiated this in the 21st century.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +100 but seems to suit the protectionist policies of both countries.

      Delete
    2. Actually the agreement is very much in favor of Turkey. They have 3 nominated to operate this route. Serbia only 1.

      Delete
  6. Well now it is clear why Air Serbia started negotiations with TK. Obviously they saw the writing on the wall with KK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well TK CodeShare will only be Point to Point without any contribution to JU´s network.

      Delete
    2. Not necessarily. JU flies to many cities regionally that TK doesn't - Banja Luka, Tivat, Zadar, Rijeka, Split, Pula...

      Delete
    3. JU also has LCA :D

      Delete
    4. It will benefit JU because they will finally have access to the TK global network out of IST.

      Delete
    5. TK has an extensive Code Share coverage to Croatia through OU- which is in the same alliance. So no need to add JU.

      Delete
    6. Are you sure? The only codeshare I'm aware of between Turkish Airlines and Croatia Airlines is between Istanbul and Zagreb and Istanbul and Dubrovnik.

      Delete
    7. Sorry my bad. I just checked and they indeed codeshare on OU domestic flights. Ignore my comment from above.

      Delete
    8. BEG would offer more flexibility since there are more flights from IST

      Delete
    9. two daily to Beg vs two to Zag are more?

      Delete
    10. ZAG is ten weekly in winter, look at the numbers below. Demand is really weak compared to other cities in the region.

      Delete
    11. ZAG is ten, the other are 14. All others cities in ex-yu are 14 in winter. How is demand week? considering the numbers and flights offered. So Zag is actually a stronger performer.

      Delete
    12. Airlines go where money is and for TK that's Belgrade given the number of passengers and what increases they proposed over the years. Very simple, don't see why they would chose ZAG and OU

      Delete
  7. I wonder how many pax KK contributed to Air Serbia's network, if any at all. They had codeshares on a lot of routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well obviously a lot- they had an extensive codeshare agreement with JU.

      Delete
    2. That doesn't have to mean much. Air France has about the same number of codeshare routes on JU but somehow I doubt they are transferring a lot of passengers to JU.

      Delete
  8. JUst allow TK to send B77W and get it over with.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Something will have to happen, capacity needs to be compensated since demand is there. Even with ASA restrictions, BEG was (I think) the fourth busiest market from IST to the wider Balkan region. I think BEG and BUD were tied last year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2018 biggest markets from IST

      1. ATH - 670.904
      2. OTP - 441.980
      3. VIE - 429.724
      4. BUD - 276.095
      5. BEG - 262.017
      6. SOF - 198.017
      7. SJJ - 194.254
      8. TIA - 184.012
      9. SKP - 163.791
      10. ZAG - 157.032
      11. LJU - 154.679
      12. PRN - 151.652
      13. TGD - 132.087
      14. SKG - 131.951

      Delete
    2. Very interesting numbers. Thank you.

      Delete
    3. Shocking that OTP is higher than VIE! :O

      Delete
    4. Figures provided by Nemjee include only Ataturk passengers, Pegasus transported some 66.000 pax during 2018 as well.

      Delete
    5. Its really not shocking, Turks come for entertainment to Bucharest...all types of it :)

      Delete
    6. TK sends A330 to OTP on daily basis (plus two more daily flights with narrow bodies). I don't think the reason is as sinister as the last anon suggests - after all Turkish citizens need visas to enter Romania. I believe TK would have the same structure of flights to BEG if that damn bilateral finally got dropped or renewed.

      Shame about KK.

      Delete
    7. There was nothing sinister in my comment. Turks love going out to casinos, night clubs, etc. over there. Bucharest can provide all of that, basically its' cheap etc.
      Or you think that OTP is popular because of....?

      You should go & hang out with some of them, roll few dices, spin the wheel, buy a drink to a beautiful lady... :)

      Delete
    8. TK is very popular as a transfer airline not only to Asia but Europe and North America from Bucharest. On top of that Romanians adore going to IST, even RO flies there, that's how big the market is.

      Delete
    9. Nemjee, where do you get these numbers from?

      Delete
    10. Bucharest region has accumulated a lot of wealth since the EU accession!
      People are travelling like crazy to exotic destination, especially Thailand. And they mostly use TK, and then QR.

      + all the business traffic that Bucharest generates.

      No suprise here

      Delete
    11. Istanbul is a massive market in itself, it's one of those cities to which any market can at least fill a daily flight on the A319 or E95. Now when you add other factors the situation can only improve from there. Turkish economy might not be doing that well but don't forget that Istanbul is a whole different animal. It's a world of its own.

      Delete
  10. JU can now introduce Kraljevo - Istanbul :D

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think someone will definitely step in seeing as Turks are the largest group of international visitors to Serbia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who?
      JU gave up fighting with TK in IST and I am not sure they want to fight again
      TK already sends maximum allowed size of the plane to BEG meaining the capacity is full. Only by introducing wide body plane TK could help in this case but we have here our belowed CAD which did not permit it.
      I do not think Pegasus would increase their frequency to BEG

      Delete
    2. Pegasus has an average of 152 pax per flight in 2019 but they can't add flights because of CAD. Its not only TK that is limited ;)

      Brgds from BEG

      Delete
    3. no they are not. its the Chinese

      Delete
    4. @ anonymous 9,31

      I dont think JU gave up IST solely for giving up in competing with TK.

      The political stability in Turkey wasnt great and travel demand to Turkey took a big dive following terrorist attacks and a failed coup.

      I think now with a new code share agreement with TK, JU could easily replace KK.

      Delete
    5. Turkish arrivals to Serbia in September rose by like 70%.

      Delete
    6. @10.50 radio mileva.
      official data: nr of turkish tourists in Srbija: I-IX 2019 86946 +2% compared to I-IX 2018.

      Delete
    7. Anon 11.17

      You do realize that you are speaking for NINE months while I am speaking about ONE month alone, the month of September.

      Delete
    8. There were 12.311 Turkish visitors to Serbia in September which is an increase of 57%. That's roughly 400 passengers a day ... granted they all flew into Belgrade. Add to that number VFR, Serbian tourists to Turkey and transfers and you get close to 600 passengers a day if not more.

      Delete
  12. It shouldn't impact on Belgrade Airport's numbers too much but I hope a replacement is found.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TK should be allowed to use wide body to BEG

      Delete
  13. This is unfortunately not good news.

    Even if JU returns to IST Turkish tourists won't be flying with Air Serbia on the way they did it with KK.
    When they travel abroad Turks prefer to use their own language from the moment they buy the package till the moment they land back at IST. That was something KK was offereing. JU obviously can't do it and TK does not care so much about tourists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe Onur Air would give it a try though I doubt it. I wouldn't say TK doesn't care much about tourists. They have agreements with every tour operator that matters in Turkey. Packages to European destinations very often include transfers on TK flights. Now, KK may have been cheaper and so the packages with KK transfers may have been cheaper. It could be more expensive with TK but I don't think tour operators will stop offering them just because KK is gone.

      Delete
    2. I meant that tourists are not the main category of the passengers TK is targeting. They need transfer passengers and they need business passengers. Of course they will not reject any tourist, but they are not specialzed in that field on the way KK was.

      Delete
    3. That I agree with. On the other hand, if they get the approval to step in and fill in the capacity blank left after KK, they better pay some attention to tourists otherwise they won't be able to fill it.

      Btw, 6-7 years ago TK flights to BEG were $140-150 on average and there were always promo fares in February ($95). Today, with so much more capacity, average fare is $170-180 ($200 or more in summer) and the best promo fare you can get in low season is $120-130. The infamous bilateral agreement is probably one of the reasons for this.

      Delete
    4. @ anonymous 9,25

      I think this time will be different as TK would be potentially code sharing a JU service. With TK, JU will have better access to the Turkish market than it did on its own.

      Delete
    5. We need to unilaterally allow TK to fly as many flights with any aircraft

      Delete
  14. This summer I was flying with KK from Belgrade to Bodrum. It was nice expirience. Stops in Istambul in both dirsctions were less then hour but without any issue even had time to drink something on magnificant airport custom clearence were in minutes. If KK dissapear might be a good idea for JU to make codeshare agreement with Onur air and start flights to IST for example 3 times pw JU and 4 tpw ONUR from BEG and JU combined 4 tpw from Niš and Kraljevo

    ReplyDelete
  15. Unfortunate. KK used to send its A321 to Belgrade quite often too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, today's flight was meant to be on an A321.

      Delete
  16. Someone will step in quickly, no doubt about that. The demand is there. I think TK will be allowed to add an additional daily flight as I somehow doubt JU will not bother with Istanbul anytime soon.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Did Atlasglobal fly anywhere else in the region? I remember at one point they started Sarajevo but that didn't last long.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No they didn't. Belgrade was their only scheduled destination in southeastern Europe.

      Delete
    2. I think they flew to SJJ some years ago. Didn't last long.

      Delete
  18. I'm curious as to whether JU would have better luck on the route to IST this time round since it seems to have rationalised its business model and developed a better network and general business strategy. The one weakness that I believe JU has is that the market is heavily Turkey point-of-sale and I wonder how easy it would be for JU to overcome this issue.

    In other markets I think JU has held its own against local carriers as well as other transit options such as BEY or TLV for example but given TK's quite aggressive pricing and quite decent on-board product I wonder whether JU could make a niche for itself here and capture transfer passengers heading to IST.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Shame about Air Serbia dropping this route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it was one of their better decisions. Many major European airlines have dropped Istanbul because they are unable to compete against an aggressive Turkish Airlines.

      Delete
    2. I think the terrorist attacks and the failed coup didnt help much either. Pax numbers were affected even in the charter flight due to the events occuring in Turket. If I'm not mistaken, 2017 was a tough year for TK as well when JU last served IST.

      Delete
  20. They've been having financial problems for the past few months so I'm not surprised. No wonder Air Serbia started cooperating with Turkish Airlines recently.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Best combination would be daily by JU and widebody by TK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Istanbul simply doesn't bring money to JU. Too much competition.

      Delete
    2. Of course it doesn't bring money when they don't even fly there at the moment. Lol

      Delete
  22. Last year Turkish Airlines first wanted to increase capacity by introducing widebody aircraft on evening flights but got rejected by Serbian CAD. Then they applied for an extra 3 weekly flights but got rejected by CAD. Now they could easily introduce a third daily flight with AtlasGlobal gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a shame they haven't been allowed. Would be nice seeing Turkish's A330 on a daily basis in Belgrade.

      Delete
    2. But I like Turkish's determination :D even though they realize the bilateral doesn't allow them, they keep applying for more flights and seats.

      Delete
    3. It just shows how CAD is still stuck in 1960s.

      Delete
    4. But in this case, they are actually acting in line with the agreement that the Turks themselves signed.

      Delete
  23. Wonder how the affected passengers on today's KK flights from BEG to IST have been rerouted. TK is probably full on its own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes and today's Atlasglobal flights to/from Belgrade was meant to be on an A321 so it was probably full.

      Delete
    2. I think that is why TK will be allowed to send a bigger plane tonight and maybe until the end of the year.

      Delete
  24. Considering Air Serbia and Turkish Airlines are mending ties, it is possible that CAD will now allow Turkish to increase frequencies or capacity. Remember this is one of the provisions of the bilateral:

    "Under the agreement, each airline must take into consideration how their operations will affect their competitors, while regulators will be able to determine if any increase in capacity or frequencies is justified and in line with market conditions."

    So if Air Serbia says yes to TK, CAD will give the green light.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that code share between JU and TK would be very good for both companies.

      JU would get transfer passengers in the summer to PUY, ZAD, SPU, TIV, BNX and TK would get permission to fly wide body planes to BEG

      Delete
  25. KK was not really efficient as an airline. TK and PC are already enough. Not to mention that there are tens of other carriers in the market.
    The Turkish economy is not at its best shape neither.
    JU doesn't have planes to fly and TK likely to be restricted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How are TK and PC enough if KK was also full? It shows the market is big enough for many players and even more frequencies.

      Delete
  26. Turkish carriers have almost completely handed over the charter traffic to JU, it's only fair they get more flights from IST.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I still see A321 from TK tonight, I guess there is no need for extra capacity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Has it crossed your mind that passengers have been rebooked onto other flights to reach Belgrade?

      Delete
    2. What other flights? OS doesn't fly to IST and neither does LH from MUC or LX from ZRH. AZ cut IST and there is no Aegean today.

      Delete
    3. The gazillion other destinations Turkish Airlines flies to from which passengers can connect onto any airline flying to Belgrade. You don't know much about how rebooking works if you think Atlasglobal ticketing staff is waiting for Turkish Airlines to schedule an A330 in the evening so they can start rebooking passengers.

      Delete
  28. This opens up opportunity for Morava KVO - Istanbul service. It has to be ATR until new runway is ready.

    ReplyDelete
  29. JU not flying to Istanbul is still a mystery to me. One of The busiest routes from BEG....
    If they dont step in now, I dont know when.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Air Serbia is already selling tickets to Istanbul from Belgrade. Bought it through my agent (Omega Travel) in Vancouver. They are also cheaper, CAN$180 - which is about 120 Euros.

    I have submitted to my credit card company to cancel my ticket with Atlas (it will take two weeks to prove that the company didn't respond).

    ReplyDelete
  31. Actually, the AirSerbia flights Belgrade - Istanbul are already shown on Google flights! Well (and fast) done! https://flights.app.goo.gl/khuLS

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.