Air Serbia plans to maintain strong growth in 2020


Air Serbia has handled over 2.5 million passengers in 2019 and is on course to register its busiest year since its relaunch in 2013. Last Friday, the airline surpassed its 2018 end-of-year result, welcoming 2.512.324 travellers on board its aircraft from its Belgrade base alone. The carrier also maintains ten routes from Niš Constantine the Great Airport. “The entire Air Serbia team is responsible for this exceptional result. With hard work, dedication, strategic planning and timely recognition of opportunities in the market, we are setting new records. The ending year was marked by growth that has never been stronger and we are planning to continue with this tempo in the future as well”, Air Serbia’s General Manager for Commercial and Strategy, Jiri Marek, said. The airline is expected to overtake its busiest year, in 2016, when it handled 2.62 million passengers.

The Serbian carrier plans to further grow its destination network this month. This week it is expected to schedule and put on sale flights between Kraljevo and Vienna from mid-December, while it will also resume services from Belgrade to Istanbul on December 11 following a two-and-a-half-year hiatus. It follows on from the nine new routes introduced from the Serbian capital this summer and twelve from Niš, with the latter being fully subsidised by the state. This October, Air Serbia’s passenger numbers increased 13.6%, while its November figures grew 25%. “We are working hard on making the next twelve months even better for our guests. A solid foundation and a strong wind in our sails have been provided by these results. We have continued to post exceptionally good operating results from the summer season into October and November, which were previously considered as slower months of the year”, the company said.

Air Serbia’s CEO, Duncan Naysmith, noted, “A year ago, when we commemorated the fifth anniversary of the launch of our operations under the name of Air Serbia, we had twelve very challenging months ahead of us. From that perspective, our plans might have appeared exceptionally ambitious, and some of them even extremely difficult. However, nonetheless we succeeded”. He added, “Today, we operate flights to a total of sixty destinations - half as many more than a year ago. This winter we have over 100 additional flights per week compared to the previous winter season. We’ve also introduced, and continue to introduce, numerous technical innovations that will ease our business and ensure our daily operations run smoother and with far greater efficiency”.




Comments

  1. I think the main thing they need to do in 2020 is expand their fleet. With all the new routes they will definitely need more capacity.

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    Replies
    1. A lot more subsidies would be needed to both expand the fleet and replace old ATRs and Aviolet 737s.

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    2. I don't mind giving them more subsidies from my taxes as long as they are expanding.

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    3. Anon at 09:18
      You should really give them your money directly instead of the Government forcing everyone to do the same.

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    4. I already give them directly by paying taxes and by regularly flying with them.

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    5. Flying with them should be enough.
      Forcing every Serb whether they fly or not to also give them money is wrong.

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    6. Everyone in Belgrade has to subsidies public transport, whether you take it or not.

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    7. What is important is that you get a return on investment and in JU's case it is visible.

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  2. Passenger growth is impressive. Next year it could go up to 3.1 million even.

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    Replies
    1. It is possible. Q1 of this year was terrible for JU so next year will be much better.

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  3. So for now the new routes they will be operating next summer, that were not operated last summer are Kraljevo-Vienna, Kraljevo-Thessaloniki, Belgrade-Istanbul. The only route that's gone is Nis-Budapest.

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    Replies
    1. From what I hear there will be few more additions to route network :)

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    2. And some routes already have an increase in frequencies for next summer.

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    3. Any other besides BCN?

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    4. Charter traffic will also be increased in 2020 again.

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    5. B733 fleet can't last forever

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    6. Nice funfact. OU´s 737-200 9A-CTA was newer in production than the B737-300 Air Serbia operates today.

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    7. What a nonsence.

      9A-CTA was produced in 1980 / 1981 and its first registration was D-ABFK in February 1981

      The olderst YU-AND in JU's fleet was produced in 1985. It is old but not older than the plane produced in 1981

      Delete
    8. Fun fact the 737 Max 8 with registration ET-AVJ is decades newer than the 737-300 Air Serbia operates today...

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  4. Lol why don't they include INI in their statistic?

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    Replies
    1. because it gives a better picture.

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    2. How exactly? Passenger numbers would be even higher with INI included. They don't need to break down the number and say how many passengers they had from Nis and how many from Belgrade.

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    3. They already published total numbers, keep up

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    4. They wanted to show real YoY growth in Belgrade base, and that is very welcome. Nis tickets are sold basically under different model so its really ok to present figures separately.
      I really don't understand, people usually complaining about lack of details, and now when details are visible there are some that want to hide them :))

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    5. INI stats would probably bring down the overall loadfactor.
      It is better to give only info for BEG flights as it has a much better loads.

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    6. They didn't provide any load factor data.

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    7. they better not provide INI loads, until late spring. If you know what I mean ;)

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  5. From what I hear there are plans for additional seven dedtinstions from BEG starting from next summer season.

    I do not know which ones or even if they sre short haul or long haul...

    I just hope we have more good news coming from JU next year :)

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    Replies
    1. That would be huge

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    2. That would require a significant fleet expansion. Leasing one CRJ900 in summer won't cut it anymore.

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    3. At least two more planes would have to be added as I guess they'll increase frequencies on destinations added last year, for sure for BCN, MAD, KRR and hopefully for others as well.

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    4. Any ideas what the new routes may be?

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    5. Europe is pretty good covered with JU flights.

      It would be crazy to open DUB or LIS, but realistically they could open ODS, CLJ, LWO, AMM

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  6. So JU passenger share at BEG is now around 50% again?

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    Replies
    1. BEG will have around 6.1-6.2 million so I do not think JU can carry 3 million this year.

      They'll carry 45% or so this year. Hopefully the percentage go up next year too

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  7. Not even a word about expansion of long haul? Shame.

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    Replies
    1. They suffered a lot to be close to break even with JFK.

      They do not need now new 5 years disaster. Better to develop first European / North African network

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    2. I think a few surprises are in store. We will see.

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    3. JU seem to do well with JFK from May through to end of September. December may possibly be another good month for them as they still keep decent frequencies. Its the winter schedule that eats into all the profit made while the aircraft sits in BEG 5 days in a week.

      Nothing will change unless JU either expands with another A330 or cancels long haul all together. I honestly dont think Vucic would allow JFK to end.

      2nd A332 should come to boost JFK to daily and to launch a new destination (YYZ, PVG, ORD).

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  8. Great to see an ex YU carrier thrive and be proactive.

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  9. Congratulations Air Serbia. It has been a very busy year.

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  10. I wonder how their finances are performing.

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  11. Does anyone know what was JAT's best result in late 80's?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Their best result on record was 1987 when they had 4,5 million passengers.

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    2. 4.531.000 to be precise. 2.255.000 on domestic flights that year.

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    3. So in terms of international traffic Air Serbia carries more passengers today than JAT in its best days... that is outstanding!

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    4. And to think JAT could have been one of the very largest airlines in Europe today.

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    5. It would be today's LO.

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  12. I would like to see the following destinations by AS from BEG:
    Balkans,
    Prishtina, Varna, Ohrid, Maribor, Niš
    Euro,
    Munich, Warsaw, Odessa,
    Americas,
    Chicago, Toronto
    Asia,
    Ankara, Beijing, Singapore, Delhi, Tehran

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How about they serve every city in the world?

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    2. They already flew Ohrid and Warsaw and it didn't work out. Ankara they can't add due to bilateral restrictions.

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    3. And PRN is no go due to political reasons

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    4. Toronto has 3 things working against it:-

      1. Seasonality is even more extreme than JFK
      2. Slots that work to JU's network are not available
      3. Toronto airport is one of if not, THE most expensive airport to fly to

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    5. With another A332 JFK could go daily, and 4x in winter. ORD & YYZ could go 3x in summer and 2x in winter. In winter they could do some charters for Serbian market or other markets.

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  13. It just shows how much the current management's hands were tied during the last few months of the Etihad meddling. JU has really blossomed since, with all the strategic decisions now back in Belgrade.

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    Replies
    1. Which begs the question do you need Etihad as a partner at all.

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    2. The majority of the top management is still from Etihad including the CEO.

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  14. 2018 looked really bleak for Air Serbia but this year has been a real game changer for them. Hope it continues in 2020.

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    Replies
    1. That year of consolidation was obviously needed in order to sustain the growth we have today.

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    2. And that's exactly what they announced in 2017 :)
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/04/air-serbia-to-consolidate-prior-to.html

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  15. Like someone said, fleet renewal should be top priority now.

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    Replies
    1. It can't come soon enough, but I don't think they have any plans on this front.

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    2. They have to because they simply won't have enough aircraft to transport passengers.

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    3. They probably don't want to renew because they would have to lease planes and leases cost money each month. It is cheaper to operate the older aircraft they own and not need to pay for.

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    4. At some point it will become more expensive to service and maintain those old birds then pay for a lease.

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    5. JU needs more year round destinations to justify leasing in more aircraft to replace the B733's. This years expansion has been positive but I think it will result in 1 more A319 coming into the fleet (YU-APL) by june, while the B733's operate their last flights in 2020, to be replaced by the 2021 season. There has been talk for a while that the B733's are due for expensive overhaul (engines?) which may not be worth the investment.

      If JU dabbles with the SSJ, this may be an inexpensive way to relieve pressure on the ATR's and replace the A319's on a few routes.

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    6. Inexpensive? :)

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    7. More than expensive..at the end of the day.

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    8. Sukhoi is penny wise and pound foolish

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    9. How do you know that?

      Not tired of repeating that mantra?

      When is the Max coming back?

      Delete
  16. My guess is they finish this year with 2.75 million passengers.

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  17. November up by 25% is really good. Congrats.

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  18. They should really schedule those Kraljevo flights soon if they plan to start them in 2 weeks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The amount of subsidies they will get on this route for this year (i.e two weeks) is so large that they can afford flying empty.

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    2. Good things is to see they do not burn that money for nothing.
      They invest it in new destinations and further development

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  19. If they will expand their routes and frequencies-when do they get more planes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they are getting more planes it will happen in summer 2020.

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  20. I just realized that they fly to almost 100 destinations if you count their subsidy Aviolet. They even seem to plan further expansion. That’s mayor impressive. The only mess with this airline is their fleet - they NEED to get rid of 737s and older ATRs and expand their fleet significantly as soon as possible. Other than that, this is really the only ex-yu airline worth giving subsides to, and they probably won’t even need them in a couple of years.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. Don't the B737s and ATR72s have some sort of exploitation period? I mean after a while you have to do a D check of the plane and in most cases it's just not worth it.

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  21. It would be nice if they published their LF figures.

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    Replies
    1. They said their October LF was 75%.

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    2. Does that include Nis or not?

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    3. JU November LF in Belgrade was 72,5%, up even 8% compared to November 2018 which is incredible.

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  22. They really have to think of doing something with that A330 sitting in BEG most days of the winter.

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    Replies
    1. It may be that they calculated that it is cheaper to keep the plane on the ground then flying it to a more unprofitable route.

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    2. I'm sure some winter charters to Asia might work.

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    3. I'm sure they would have done it if the figures were ther

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    4. I think the plane would make more money flying once a week to YYZ than sitting on the ground waiting for the next JFK flight. It would carry our diaspora back home so frequencies are not important to them.

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    5. And what, you leave 19 crew sitting in a hotel and collecting allowances for 1 week ?

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    6. You fly them back as regular passengers.

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    7. And who operates the flight on the way back? You don't fly in the crew and then have them work on the way back....

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    8. If you fly them back "as regular passengers" (btw it's called DHC and done often, but not in cases like this one), than who would fly the plane /operate returning flight? You would have to send another crew from the base, again DHC, at least one day before, because of flight time and duty time regulations, again pay hotel, expenses, ground transportation, plus Pearson is one of the most expensive airports in the world, so it would definitely not be profitable service, especially concerning low yields on almost all Balkan flights. On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised if YYZ happens, because we've already seen similar profitability scenario with JFK

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    9. Crew could fly YYZ-JFK-YYZ and avoid lengthy stay in YYZ.

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    10. Again, dead heading crew between the 2 involves paying an airline for roughly 12 seats each sector, plus crew transport (bus) between the airport and crew hotel in both cities, its probably just cheaper keeping the crew in their respective cities.

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  23. Reading the news flash about Jat Tehnika becoming a Sukhoi service center, it is not looking more and more likely that Air Serbia will order Sukhois.

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    Replies
    1. I hope not.

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    2. Well Vucic is heading to Russia on Wednesday. Maybe he places the order :D

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    3. Jat Tehnika is foreign company on Serbian soil. They can do whatever they want but it has no impact on Air Serbia business

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    4. They got the certificate on the 11th of November while they were a state owned company, meaning they did all the procedures to get the certificates this summer when there wasn't even talk of selling Jat Tehnika.

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    5. Jat Tehnika was on sale for a very long time

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    6. With the only European MRO being based in Belgrade this could actually work.

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  24. When it comes to new destinations, we should always look at potential pairs. One point on its own would not mean much. I guess AirSerbia would focus on opening destinations that would enable them to feed the current network and increase frequencies on existing routes.

    Even Lisbon could work if they manage to provide feed with TAP or LATAM to South America or provide feed to Lisbon from points east of Belgrade. It is up to them to do crunch the numbers.

    ReplyDelete
  25. AirSerbia should use their A330 to Istanbul in Q1 and CAD let TK to use their widebodies to BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why would JU give up the only thing that protects them? It is not as if TK is a random airline from some country lost on the map. They are heavily protected in Istanbul and will continue to remain protected. They will conquer any market given to them. So why capitulate without even trying to save some grounds for the home based airline?

      Regards,
      Eight

      Delete
  26. According to LHR initilal coordination report https://www.acl-uk.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/LHR-S20-INITIAL-COORDINATION-REPORT-FINAL.pdf AirSerbia has 32 slot. They ask for two more which they didn't get . That mean they will have same number of flights as they had in S19 . Off course this is initial and maybe those 7 weekly will be return to Etihad...

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  27. god forbids they give any financial plan, for example how they plan to repay the debt?

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  28. Someone mentioned that there will be 7 new destinations they will serve from summer and in order of most likely to least likely (complete speculation) I would say:
    1.Krakow (Poland noticeably missing from the route network - LOT has WAW covered but Krakow is a very popular destination for Serbians and it has a very large catchment area as well).
    2.Ohrid (seasonal) - Likely now to come back, hopefully with a better schedule than last time
    3.Lviv - with Kiev being a relative success and Lviv having previously been mentioned as seeking flights to BEG, it would be a good one to have a crack at. Plus it can be served by an ATR.
    4.Tbilisi - visas no longer required, the whole region is unserved from Belgrade in terms of direct flights and with KRR being such a success for transfers, I feel that they're going to want to venture out to one of the three Caucasus countries.
    5.Palma de Mallorca (seasonal) - it is already covered by charters but nowhere near as frequently as some of the others. It's a growing destination in popularity in Serbia (as is Spain in general) and I think will slot in really well perhaps 2 weekly to begin with.
    6.Casablanca - To be announced together with the mutual abolishment of visas between Morocco and Serbia.
    7.Riga / Amman / Dublin - something left of field that noone sees coming, which will rely on transfers to the region, just like the HEL/KRR additions. I feel that Lisbon will come on next year but not with Air Serbia, I can see it more likely being easyjet or another low-cost carrier, which is why I've left that one out.
    Fun to speculate either way :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohrid I see working seasonally.
      Krakow & Lviv might work, could be surprise success, similar to HEL.
      Tbilisi might work, but Baku might also be interesting.
      Palma de Mallorca I don't see working. This is more of a summer charter destination.
      Casablanca / Amman, could work and have similar success as Cairo and Beirut.
      Riga / Dublin could work, and also be surprise hits.

      I think Odessa could also work.

      Cheers mate.

      Delete
    2. DUB wouldnt fit any of the JU waves. Its slightly longer than MAD, which in itself doesnt fit for immediate connections in BEG. I think JU needs to expand more flights at 10am and 8pm where longer flights like DUB would better fit.

      KRK and LWO seem both as destinations where the A319 would be too much capacity, meaning ATR, which is not available, or a regional jet.

      Expanding in the Caucuses seems logical, and I think TBS or EVN would be great additions for the midnight wave.

      AMM I think would do well considering the other ME destinations do well. I would go a step further and say DAM, EBL or BGW. All are possible without crew layover and fit well in the midnight schedule.

      OHD would probably work if JU could free an ATR during the midday wave.

      As for PMI, if any seasonal charter should be upgraded to seasonal scheduled, it should be AYT going by the amount of flights JU operate there. PMI I dont see happening.

      Delete
  29. Listen air Serbia is going jat bad service rude air stewardess cant be arsed doing there job I love Serbia but gives a bad image

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Take it easy amigo.
      Syntax, grammar ... try some commas man.

      Delete
  30. Booming charter demand also means more people can afford to fly which is also great for their regular flights.

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  31. I'm wondering if their cabin crew just from Serbia or they hiring crew from different countries

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  32. Does anyone think it's possible or probable for AirSerbia to pickup those Mexican SSJ's since InterJet doesn't want them and JAT Tehnika is certified now?

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  33. I think they need to lease more CRJ-900s to cover the gap between the AT7s and A319s, plus it will help them start new routes and increase frequencies.If the routes are successful and demand increases they can upgrade to A319..Garuda is also gettimg rod of their CRJ-1000s which can hold up to 104pax..The CRJs are lighter than other regional jets and have low operating costs in the 100seat category

    ReplyDelete

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