LCC dominance growing across EX-YU


Low cost carriers (LCCs) now offer the most seat capacity from four markets in the former Yugoslavia and are second or third in the remaining three. Currently, budget airlines command the markets in Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, while flag carriers rule in Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, the latter being the only country in the region in which two full-service airlines take the top two positions.

Following the demise of Adria, easyJet has emerged as the biggest carrier in Slovenia, ahead of Turkish Airlines. It maintains services from London Gatwick, Stansted and Berlin to Ljubljana and has expressed interest in launching additional flights to the city. It expanded its capacity to the Slovenian capital by 10%. In both Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Wizz Air is the largest carrier. In Macedonia, the low cost airline continued to add seats on the market by basing a fifth aircraft in Skopje and is well ahead of second-placed Turkish Airlines and third-placed Austrian Airlines. Overall, Wizz Air has over 1.9 million seats for sale from the country this year, which is 18% more than in 2018. On the other hand, despite a slight dip in offered seat capacity this year, Wizz Air continued to maintain its position as the number one carrier in Bosnia and Herzegovina thanks to its operations from Tuzla. It is followed by Turkish Airlines in a distant second and Austrian Airlines.

Eurowings has stepped in following the collapse of Pristina Airport’s largest carrier, Germania, earlier this year and has based an aircraft in the city. As a result, the amount capacity offered by the budget carrier has grown over 100%. It is now the largest airline in Kosovo, followed by easyJet and Orange2Fly. Pristina Airport's Scheduling Manager, Driton Hyseni, recently said the government should do more to attract low cost carriers. “The time has come for us to offer greater support to airlines and the tourism industry in Kosovo, which would provide our countrymen with more convenient and affordable travel. Furthermore, such support would increase the number of foreign visitors to Kosovo, which would generate additional income and provide more jobs in the aviation industry, tourism sector and other services".

Croatia Airlines remains the biggest in its home market despite not adding any additional capacity this year. It is followed by easyJet, which only runs seasonal summer flights to Croatia, and Eurowings. The latter saw a slight decline in the amount of offered seats from the Croatian market this year. In Serbia, the national carrier remains the biggest player. It is followed by Wizz Air, which has increased capacity from the country this year, and Lufthansa, which has seen considerable growth thanks to the introduction of additional flights. Air Serbia’s Head of Network, Alliances and Fleet Planning, And Salt, said in October, “One key issue for us is the amount of competition on the market. In the past you had the legacy airlines which built up their own market and brand identity. These days you can see that development in the industry changes so quickly. You can have a new competitor coming up and really revolutionising who is carrying your customers around Europe. The sheer quantity of competition is an issue. This means you have to innovate and differentiate as an airline in order to survive”.

Montenegro is the only market in the former Yugoslavia where two flag carriers offer the most available seats. Montenegro Airlines increased its capacity by 6%, which was followed by Air Serbia. However, Ryanair, which positioned itself as the third biggest airline in the country has registered growth of 29% as it continues to expand its operations to Montenegro. The figure will further grow in 2020 as it adds three new routes to Podgorica, from Dublin, Krakow and Poznan, with more expected to be announced in the coming period.




Comments

  1. From what I've heard, easyJet has offered to base a plane in LJU. The airport agreed but started giving them conditions about where they should fly so easy eventually gave up.

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    1. That's terrible. Would be nice to have easy stationed in LJU.

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    2. rumors rumors, rekla kazala. link or it didnt happen

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    3. I also could hardly believe LJU would have such weird demands. They should be happy that the carrier would bring in the customers... So I think this is just a rumour and I keep my fingers crossed that we could soon fly to some other destinations from LJU with EasyJet

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    4. Single aircraft bases are not profitable for LCCs.

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  2. It's amazing how quickly Ryanair has been growing from Podgorica. They could become the number 2 carrier in 2021.

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  3. The reality of the poor ex-Yu market.

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    1. Well in some markets like BEG legacies have managed to survive and even thrive. Aegean is adding flights and seats, Aeroflot added a third daily last year, Lufthansa added third daily from MUC, Air France returned with daily flights ...

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  4. So basically Serbia is the only local airline that's successfully competing against LCCs. That's great to hear but I think it also helps that JU is based in a market like BEG that is rapidly growing.

    I might be wrong but I think BEG is the only market in ex-YU where both legacies and LCCs are growing the whole year.

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    1. Based on what did you conclude that it is the only airline successfully competing against LCCs?

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    2. In ex-YU obviously. Feel free to prove me wrong.

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    3. Yes, I'm asking based on what did you make that conclusion?

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    4. LCCs are crushing airlines all around ex-YU while JU keeps on growing and expanding and thriving. Yes they get subsidies but so did OU and JP yet look at where they are today.

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    5. @Anon 09:04: based on the facht that Air Serbia gets a lot of money hidden against such endeavours as Morava´s 2 flights for which the Serbian taxpayer bleeds.

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    6. Based on their growth in passenger numbers, destinations, network, services ... JU is thriving, just look at their winter network and all that despite LCCs increasing their presence in BEG. Transavia boosted flights, easyJet launched Basel and Berlin, Wizz Air is increasing FKB and they upgraded LTN to the 230 seat A321, Vueling is competing against them in Barcelona and so on.

      Some years ago JU would have retreated. Now they are fighting ferociously for their piece of cake.

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    7. JU shrunk significantly in 2017 and 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. During that time other airlines expanded. Again, for example, Montenegro Airlines added capacity this year too. So I don't understand your statement how Air Serbia is the only one successfully competing against LCCs.

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    8. YM losses are increasing while JU subventions are going down each year. So how can someone who is sinking deeper into debt be a winner? Also JU adapted its product to new market realities.

      Anon 09.07

      And what has OU done with over €130.000.000 it received from the state? How did the Croatian taxpayer benefit?

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    9. JU subsidies (it's called subsidies not subventions) have increase significantly this year.

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    10. Croatia Airlines launched 9 new routes from 2016-2019.

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    11. OU launched 9 new routes and how many of those are year-round?

      JU subsidies increased not because JU needed more money but because the government decided for JU to operate unprofitable flights from INI and KVO so the comparison is not right. JU performance in BEG is getting better and better and that's what matters the most.

      What I find depressing is that every time anyone dares say how Serbia is best in anything there is a sea of negative comments appearing trashing and attacking Serbia while rarely presenting any concrete facts. Really disgusting.

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    12. Nobody is attacking or thrashing. It's that most of your comments have little to do with reality. For example like Air Serbia's market share in Belgrade collapsed in the last two years which you completely ignore. You also have to learn that a difference of opinion doesn't mean someone hates you, your country or your people.

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    13. He is just as bad as the Bravo Croatia guy. Just ignore him.

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    14. It did not collapse it decreased due to increased competition. Also I said that JU is the only ex YU carrier to effectively fight off LCCs which is true, iyou didn't present absolutely any arguments to prove otherwise. I at least showed arguments and facts.

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    15. It's growing after two and a half years of significant shrinking. At the same time, when JU was shrinking other airlines grew where this year they mostly stagnated. So I still don't agree with your claim that they are the only airline effectively fighting off LCCs.

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    16. So which airline is fighting them efficiently? JP? Lol

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    17. They are all fighting them off to the best of their abilities with significant help from their states. JP never had any significant low cost competition and their bankruptcy certainly wasn't related to low cost carrier competition.

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    18. Ya'll obviously missed this news:
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/11/air-serbia-registers-busiest-october.html

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    19. No one said they are not fighting them off but that JU is the only one to efficiently to it. They are fighting W6 to LCA, U2 to TXL, HV to AMS, VY to BCN ... and yet they manage to survive and thrive in those markets, especially LCA and BCN which were even increased.

      OU is protected by ZAG so LCCs aren't even getting a chance at attacking them. Quite the opposite, EW is even almost completely abandoning ZAG. So what kind of fight is OU putting? They are using creative protectionist machinations to fight them off

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    20. Yes, I can also provide you a link that Montenegro Airlines had its busiest October
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/11/montenegro-airlines-registers-busiest.html

      Or that Croatia Airlines had its busiest April.
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/05/croatia-airlines-registers-record-april.html

      So?

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    21. OU competes against something like 100 airlines in the summer. It is the airline with the most competition.

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    22. You can also add that YM amassed over €70 million in debt, their fleet is falling apart and they are a mess.

      OU sold its LHR slots, their network is stagnating, they were kicked out of the coast, their losses are actually increasing despite ZAG's protectionist policies.

      So no, you can't compare them in any way. JU on the other hand is expanding its network, is slowly replacing their 733s (ANJ with APK) is recording lower losses and is actually creating a product people are willing to pay for.

      Once again, JU is the only ex-YU airline to be doing something right.

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    23. OU competed with most of those, they were more or less kicked out of the coast. They are fighting a losing battle so they are not efficiently fighting off LCCs. Fact.

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    24. YM has retired all but 1 Fokker and is leasing another Embraer next year. Don't know how their fleet is "falling apart". They have also added new routes to Germany last year which all continued this year.

      OU added nine new routes in last few years, several of them are year round and several of them are from the coast. OU already had competition in the form of Wizz Air and Easyjet from Zagreb. Both airlines failed on several routes.

      JU is finally expanding after 2 and a half years of cutting routes and frequnecies left and right. I'm glad they are expanding. They still operate a regional fleet which will next year turn 30 and Boeing which have passed the age of 30.

      As for financials, all are in a terrible shape, JU included with massive subsidies, apparent and hidden. So spare me the story about sound financial performance.

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    25. JU's regional fleet is not turning 30, stop being malicious. Three Atrs are older while three are not. Do some research before posting. Also, JU was cutting flights after adding many in 2013-2015 period, so this is a return to growth and prosperity. This time around they have a much leaner business model and their losses have been going down which indicates they are doing something right. Look at the amount of subsidies they were getting from the government excluding the government adventures in KVO and INI, JU had nothing to do with that.

      OU on the other hand is sinking. They got €130 million in a few years, they had to sell engines, Pleso prevoz, LHR slots and still required a bailout by the government on top of being protected by ZAG from extra competition, a luxury JU or YM don't have. They lost the battle for the coast despite having the advantage of being the home carrier and having closer ties with domestic airports. Thanks to ZAG charges they are losing competition on many routes (ZRH, PRG...).

      YM is a joke, they are racists who fired Serbian employees some years ago (you can find the article on here), they operate ancient planes including that Blue Air jet and the Carpatair Fokker that regularly flew for them. The only market they can realistically serve the whole year is BEG. They are amassing losses every year and they required over €20 million this year to maintain that small fleet and modest network. Mind you they are getting as much in financing as JU is which operates a fleet of 20+ aircraft.

      So let me repeat myself once again, JU is the only airline in ex-YU that seems to be on the right path. Both in terms of network, operations, product and vision.

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    26. Oh sorry you are right about the regional fleet. Only 3 are turning 30 next year. The others are turning 23. An effective way to fight LCCs.

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    27. It's pointless to discuss with some people on here whose main motivation is nationalism and patriotism. Has little to do with aviation and for them difficult to be objective.

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    28. This discussion was all about aviation or maybe you didn't like some of the facts so you are resorting to the usual nationalism argument.

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    29. Montenegro retired 3xFokker 100 in 2017 and returend one Embraer 190 to the lessor

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    30. The E90 was returned because YM could no longer afford to pay the lease.

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    31. Well it is leasing another E195 next year
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/11/montenegro-airlines-to-acquire-e195-jet.html

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    32. What about the percentage of the OU and JU workforce? No checks there¿

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  5. MK and ME are the true winners here. They made travelling a much affordable options not only for the locals but for the tourists visiting them. SKP topping the charts, that for sure.
    Trend will follow very soon in BiH, having a quiet boom too. BNX is already gearing up and catching up with other regional players of its size. Interesting times ahead.

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    1. The main problem in Bosnia is that Sarajevo does not want to open up. A lot of routes would be successful had they allowed Wizz Air to base a plane a few years ago when they were negotiating. SJJ would have had flights to many European destinations. Now we have Fly Bosnia.

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    2. The problem with SKP is that it has put all its eggs in one basket. If there was a variety of LCCs I would say good job. But the entire market now depends on one airline.

      Also thanks to lack of legacy carriers in SKP prices are very expensive. Austrian is ripping people off to Vienna purely because they know that anyone that needs a connection to go somewhere has very limited choices.

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    3. SKP tried to diversify its offer but we all know how Wizz reacted to that.

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    4. There are decent prices with OS from SKP, if its not a holiday season you can fly to multiple European airports for eur 150 return

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  6. Any chance of Eurowings basing a second plane in Pristina?

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    1. They have increased capacity. They replaced that stationed A319 with an A320.

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    2. Nice. Hopefully next year we see some more new destinations.

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  7. With Wizz having suspended London from Ljubljana, easyjet's passenger numbers to UK will kepp growing.

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    1. Maybe Easy Jet adds more flights from London to Ljubljana soon.

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    2. It would be nice if they added something other than London actually.

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  8. Interesting that Ryanair is only in top 3 in one ex-Yu market.

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    1. And in the region, they are no. 1 in Bulgaria, no. 2 in Hungary and no.3 in Greece.

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    2. How are they positioned in Croatia? I'm surprised they are not in top 3 considering all the flights they have to Zadar.

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    3. @9.24 - Ryanair is 5th in Croatia based on capacity. 1) Croatia Airlines, 2) Easyjet, 3) Eurowings, 4) Lufthansa, 5) Ryanair.

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    4. @9.26 my comments was not about CRO but ex-yu in total => they failed

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    5. Thanks, Ryanair group is adding quite a few flights to Croatia next year, so we will see if things change.

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    6. @9.29 I was responding to the person who wrote a comment above yours at the same time ;)

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    7. A 09:22,
      Ryan bashed Wizz in SOF but Wizz has a strong grip in VAR. Not sure if FR is interested.

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    8. BS...W6 has far more passangers in SOF than FR. Check wikipedia.

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    9. W6 was adding 1 aircraft/year until FR opened a base in SOF and since then they have pulled 2 aircraft from SOF.

      While W6 still has more pax, FR has put a very large dent into their expansion in Bulgaria.

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    10. FR came like a bomb and detonated right in the middle of Wizz Air's expansion. There isn't room for two such large players in Sofia, that is why one had to start cutting.

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  9. Is there any chance Ryanair will open a base in TGD?

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    1. No way. Not until Montenegro Airlines is privatised.

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    2. We never expected FR would launch flights to Podgorica in the first place so you never know.

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  10. Who would have thought just 10 years ago when ex-Yu was mostly an LLC black hole.

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  11. And a lot of LCCs with new flights next year.

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  12. Ha interesting. So in Pristina LCCs take all three positions.

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    1. Is Orange 2 fly a low cost airline?

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    2. It's a charter airline operating on behalf of 'famed' Kosovo tour operators. I'm not surprised they are third. Don't they also have a plane based in PRN?

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  13. Any guesses on what might be the busiest LCC route to ex-Yu?

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    1. Probably some high frequency route from the UK to the Croatian coast.

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    2. Uk routes are only seasonal and im not aware of high frequency routes so probably no chance. Basel and Memmingen get the most exyu flights in general but who is the busiest single route is unknown.

      My candidate is: SKP-BSL . daily year round

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  14. Eurowings has really stagnated this year in Croatia. Seems like it will continue in 2020. Shame because I was certain they would open a base in Zagreb sooner or later.

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    1. perhaps they've fired their HQ Croatian route planner

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  15. Time for EasyJet to FINALLY open a base in Croatia. They are second busiest airline in the country and fly only 6 months per year.

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    1. They don't have to open a base but for beginners they could convert some route to year-round.

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    2. I think Eurowings is the only LCC with year-round flights to Croatia.

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    3. Nope, Vueling also flies year-round to Dubrovnik.

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    4. Vueling in Dubrovnik and Lauda in Split

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    5. Which route does Lauda operate to Split year round? Vienna?

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    6. No it's Stuttgart.

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  16. Ok now we need LCCs to start flying inside ex-Yu.

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    1. Hopefully first route will be Skopje-Ljubljana with Wizz Air :)

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  17. To me it seems the Serbian government is doing everything possible to reduce presence of LCCs in Serbia.

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    1. by transforming its airline into a lcc ?? as they did in NIs and Kraljevo??

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  18. And no local ex-Yu LCC.

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    1. there is absolutely no need. No local LCC could compete with Ryan, Wizz, Eurowings. It could have if it were around before all of these entered the market but now no chance.

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    2. You need large aircraft and large fleet to be a profitable LCC - and as the market develops, it seems this will become valid for all airlines.

      There's no point of limiting airline's market artificially like exyu carriers do.

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. It says that U2 offers the most capacity overall. Which is true. It has been the number 2 airline in Slovenia for a while (after Adria). Now with Adria gone it's number 1.

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  20. Does Easyjet have more seat capacity than LH with FRA&MUC?

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    1. I think so. The article talks about capacity this year, considering LH started flying in November it's difficult they can catch up. it might change next year (I think LH will probably upgauge aircraft to LJU next year).

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  21. Is there any chance that easyjet or Ryanair may open a base in Croatia?

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    1. Unlikely. Ryanair had a base in Zadar but they closed it. Also both airlines fly only seasonally to Croatia. So first I would expect we see some routes being extended to year round. For example I think Dublin-Split could work year round.

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    2. Plus Vienna - Split.

      Perfect for Lauda or even Wizz!

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  22. Good. I hope they increase their share more and more in ex-Yu.

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  23. More Norwegian please. The best LCC without doubt.

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    1. +1
      But they are in deep financial troubles do I do not expect them to experiment much with new routes.

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    2. They are adding Stockholm-Tivat from April 2020.

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