Qatar Airways eyes further EX-YU growth


Qatar Airways plans to further grow its operations in the former Yugoslavia in 2020 and 2021. As previously reported, the airline will introduce seasonal flights to Dubrovnik this summer, which will be maintained up to five times per week. The carrier is also in the process of evaluating potential operations to Ljubljana and Pristina. The Doha-based airline has been considering flights to the Slovenian capital since 2017. The company’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker, previously said, “Ljubljana is being looked at. We have many destinations we plan to operate with our narrowbodies”. The General Manager of Ljubljana Airport, Zmago Skobir, noted, “The East continues to be another big market for us which is mostly served through Turkish Airlines. In my opinion, we do need flights to the Arabian Peninsula, which would act as a transfer point to other destinations. These are primarily Dubai and Doha. We have been working hard on this matter over the past six years, and we expect progress very soon”.

Qatar Airways recently held talks with officials from Kosovo, with the Kosovan Ambassador to Qatar meeting with Mr Al Baker late last year. The two discussed potential operations between Doha and Pristina. Several weeks later, Qatar Airways issued a call for its first crew recruitment event in Pristina. “We feel that the Balkans are underserved and we would like to provide countries in the Balkans with a five star product they deserve. That is why we are focusing on such markets with high opportunities, which benefits both sides, the people in these countries and Qatar Airways as well. We will continue to seek opportunities in this region”, the carrier noted. Qatar Airways has announced its full list of new destinations, which are due to launch this year. However, the airline will also outline new routes for 2021 over the coming months and has hinted at developments during the upcoming largest tourism trade fair in the world - the ITB Berlin - taking place next month.

This summer, the Qatari carrier will keep frequencies and capacity on its existing routes in the former Yugoslavia unchanged. It will continue to serve Zagreb twice per day with its Airbus A320 aircraft, while Belgrade will be maintained up to ten times per week with one daily A321 service and three weekly A320 flights. "Qatar Airways constantly reviews market conditions in order to respond to passenger demand and the increase in flights to Belgrade to a ten weekly operation was a direct reflection of this. While we are unable to comment directly on future commercial plans, it is true that in a number of markets, where we have increased operations from a daily, to then ten weekly operation, we have then seen an increase to a double daily operation", the company said. The Oneworld alliance member recently added its first codeshare partner on a route to the former Yugoslavia - SriLankan Airlines to Belgrade - with more cities to follow during the implementation of the second phase of the deal later this year. Services to Sarajevo and Skopje will continue to operate four times per week this summer with A320 jets.




Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    I really hope LJU will finally happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      +100000

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:15

      I don't think so. Slovenia is too small market. Slovenian pax are bonus on flights to/from Zagreb. Why would they jeopardize that?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:19

      I think if they launch Ljubljana they might covert Zagreb to one daily with widebody.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:20

      Well look at KL, if they thought the same Transavia would not been booming in LJU today. So I think people are exaggerating when it comes to Slovenia. Mind you, SU launched LJU, increased it from daily SSJ to daily A320 only to make it double daily A320. Meanwhile ZAG got reduced to daily SSJ in summer. So I don't think LJU is so insignificant as a market.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:13

      Meanwhile, the flights from Russia and all other carriers (with connecting flights such as OS, LH..) are flying to 5-6 Croatian airports. Why would QR cut the double daily flights to/from ZAG with good LF? Why? Who does that?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous07:08

      Air France had no such problems, why should Qatar? You make it seem like there is no market in Slovenia. I am sure FZ will come once the MAX is flying again, after all they fly to freaking Catania so why not LJU? Once that happens QR will be taught a lesson.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous02:30

      They can use seasonal flights
      May to September prishtina to new york
      30k to 70k potencial in summer fall season more than air Serbia
      U will see all Albanians from Albania north macedonia montenegro will use that connection to come from usa in balkans
      Total 100k a year
      Theyre 1 milion albanians in usa
      600k of them are in east coast of usa
      Almost 300k in new york city

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    I don't think there is much logic in launching PRN. They are obviously not performing as well as they expected in SKP since frequencies and capacity has not changed for years. Wouldn't launching PRN take a portion of passengers from SKP?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      To Skopje they often send the oldest A320s they got without PTVs even PTVs in economy.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:09

      Really? No wonder they get crushed by TK there.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:12

      Same story with Sarajevo. In summer Flydubai has 3 daily while Qatar stays with 4 weekly.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:34

      I think they actually reduced one frequency to Skopje. Maybe during winter. Can't remember now.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:37

      PRN could work once the blockade is lifted and they get to fly to Gulf cities, particularly Dubai. Until then I don't see it happening.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:23

      In 2018 they used to send mix of A320/A321 to Skopje in summer. Last year it was mostly A320 and seems it will stay that way in 2020 too.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    I think the most logical next destination in the region would be Tirana.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      Especially since they don't fly to Podgorica and like that they could cover both markets, same way they do with SKP/PRN.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:46

      Is there really any demand from Middle East, Asia or Australia for Albania though?
      Who would use that route?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:53

      flynas will be serving Tirana-Riyadh from May of this year. So, I suppose this will tell if there is market to the Middle East.
      Although I'm not sure what kind of connections does flynas offer from Riyadh to Asia and Australia.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:04

    Since Etihad is reducing BEG from 14 to 7 and with TK blocked from expanding, Qatar should respond and increase BEG to double daily. They already do very well there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:49

      That would really hurt the EY flight and the JU codeshare.
      I hope it does not get approved.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:50

      ^ So you would rather have less choice, fewer options and less competition? You are a very strange person.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:53

      JU and QR cooperate. They now have an interline agreement. On some flights from BEG QR has transfers coming off JU flights.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:02

      Interline is the lowest form of cooperation.
      Codeshares is what benefits both carriers.
      We should focus on what is best for our economy and our national carrier. Passengers stll have great choice.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:04

      The best for your and mine economy is to have diversity, options and competition. You probably don't fly at all. That's why you don't care.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:05

    Last Friday QR sent their A330-200 to BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Wow nice! Hopefully we see more of that this summer!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:07

      So QR can send widebodies but TK cannot?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:10

      Yes, there is an open skies agreement with Qatar. All aircraft types are allowed. They can even launch flights to another country if from Belgrade if they want. Same with UAE airlines.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:26

      Their A321 is frequently insufficient capacity wise to BEG. I travel to Africa via DOH 3-4 times per year and many times could not get a seat on a particular date because the flight was full. Must admit these were all last minute decisions/purchases but it does appear they need bigger capacity on the route.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:27

      QR had their own issues with Serbian CAD who didn't want to give them fifth freedom rights for Ankara-Belgrade and I believe Sofia-Belgrade later on.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:15

      Qatar Airways has already sent widebodies to BEG on occasion. Also, the directorate can't do anything about it because unlike the bilateral agreement with Turkey, Serbia and Qatar have a free sky agreement which allows any aircraft type to be used.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:08

    Interestingly Dubrovnik will have more frequencies than SJJ and SKP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:13

      but only in summer

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:08

    I don't think they will perform well. Are there any locals visiting each cities? The only destination in Ex-YU that QR is doing well is Zagreb, all other places they can't make profit but as far as I know, they don't care if they make profit in a route or not, they just want to expand with the unlimited arab money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      How do you know where they make a profit?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:14

      I'm not so sure with your logic. ZAG used to be a mix of A321s and A320s. Now it's all A320s.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:15

      A321 was ditched when EK launched their own flights to ZAG.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:16

      One thing I do know is that QR has been quite successful in competing against Emirates in Zagreb. Smarter strategy by deploying narrow bodies twice per day and catching all connections in their network, rather than sending a widebody in peak summer and then having a few weekly flights with low cost in winter.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:17

      @anon 09:10

      I don't know. I only know their CEO said they don't care if they make profit at the end of the year, they only care if they expanded to more locations.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:48

      Qatar Airways operates at close to $1 billion net loss each year, which of course they don't disclose. That means that as regards route performance, every single route they operate loses money, just a question of how much.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:28

      Hahaha, great, and they just disclose it to you, I guess :)

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:56

      It is true that ME airlines are losing money like hell, and QR was known for their strategy to grow at all cost. Until few years ago. Now they are more careful in losing money, at least the losses stopped increasing exponentially.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:09

    I was expecting this upcoming summer SKP to go at least to 5 flights per week but since its staying with 4 rotations per week I think their development in SKP is going slower then expected. I doubt there is enough demand for both SKP and PRN to sustain flights to DOH.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      How many weekly flights does Flydubai have in the summer? To Skopje I mean.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:16

      Two in summer.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:18

      I see. Well it's still double on FZ and with 6 weekly flights to the Gulf (Dubai + Doha) that is probably sufficient for the market.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:22

      3

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:16

    Can someone list all of ex-YU links to the Middle East in summer 2020? There seems to be more and more flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      Here are numbers for BEG, don't know for sure about others but cool idea.

      IKA x2
      DOH X10
      AUH x7
      DXB x7
      AMM x4 (still to be announced)
      CAI x2
      BEY x7
      TLV x7
      HRG x5
      SAW X4

      Total: 55 weekly flights or 7.8 per day.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:33

      SAW is considered Middle East? :D It serves to the city of Istanbul which is a European city. :D

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:33

      DXB-BEG is constantly full but FZ can't grow because their MAXes are grounded. Remember that Belgrade was one of their first MAX destinations.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:44

      SAW is located on the Asian side of Istanbul on the landmass that is not considered Europe. Turkey is 97% a Middle Eastern country. Notice that IST was not included on the list.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:30

      Since when is Hurghada in the Middle East??

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:39

      @Anon 09:44

      Turkey is a Euroasian country, just like Russia.

      Turkey's land in European side is bigger than some of European countries, I will not discuss whether you call it Middle Eastern or European.

      I can only discuss that SAW is an airport serving Istanbul, which is a European city, and can't be added to your Middle Eastern city list.

      But you also added Hurghada to Middle East, I guess you prepare your list depends on the religion of the cities(of the population), not their locations.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:59

      For ZAG:

      DOH 14x
      DXB 7x
      TLV 6X

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:00

      Someone should do the list for Sarajevo. It's never ending :D

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:34

      Istanbul and Turkey are not Middle East. It's Asia Minor and partially Europe.
      Despite half of Istanbul is on Asian side, it has nothing to do with Middle East and somehow with the east, overall: it is a very European city. So including SAW on this list is a bit ridiculous.
      Middle East in this sense, is Saudia Arabia, Qatar, surrounding countries (Gulf countries, to be precise), Lebanon, Israel etc. You get my point.
      And Turks and Arabs are two different worlds, just to add.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:50

      According to World Atlas both SAW and HRG are Middle East

      https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/which-are-the-middle-eastern-countries.html

      Delete
    11. Anonymous13:58

      Actually i would go as far as to include IST into Middle-East since generally that's where Turkey belongs.

      There is nothing European about Istanbul, i guess you haven't lived there.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous14:33

      ^^ Only in your dreams. :)

      Delete
    13. Anonymous07:13

      Excuse me but SAW doesn't only serve Istanbul but other cities such as Bursa which are well deep on the Asian side of Turkey. SAW is convenient for many passengers living in what is called the Marmara region which is basically everything from Izmir to Istanbul. Now that area is not Europe as it lies on the Asian tectonic plate.

      As for Hurgada, it can be considered either way because Egypt belongs to a geographical term called MENA - Middle East and North Africa, it's a region that encompasses what is predominantly populated by Muslim Arabs.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:18

    Their strategy is usually
    4 weekly upgrades to 7 weekly upgrades to 10 weekly upgrades to double daily. We saw the same in Zagreb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:26

      Ah I remember the day when they used to fly Doha-Budapest-Zagreb and Doha-Ankara-Belgrade :D

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:28

      DOH-SOF-BEG as well.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:19

    LJU is taking them ages. TK is apparently doing quite well and sending A321 almost everyday. That said, LH also began upgrading its MUC from CR9 to A319 on some days.
    Just simply thinking that the Gulf region was never interesting for Slovenia.
    1. No general interest towards Asia
    2. Extremely small diaspora in Australia
    3. More demand for UK and Europe. Best example BA and IB upgrade.
    4. Will be tricky to fill 3 or 4 planes per week.
    5. Little or very small number of Slovenes working in the Gulf region.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:22

    Had the chance to fly with them for the first time 9 days ago. Wow what a great airline and service. Really well done. Hope we see more of them in the region.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:35

    Don't forget that Qatar doesn't get feed from the Gulf states at the moment (embargo). Flights would be more successful once the embargo is lifted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:36

      Agree. They flew 18 routes to UAE, Saudi and other countries participating in the blockade.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:44

    Great news. With world cup being hosted in qatar in a few years numbers will continue to go up. Good luck to QR on their ex-Yu routes.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:45

    Time for B787 to ZAG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:58

      I'd rather see A350 or B77W

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:06

      I expect they will eventually send widebody planes to Zagreb. In 2018 they started widebody ops to Budapest which they also fly to double daily.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:07

      I think that this two daily arrangement works for them best so not sure if there is a need for them to add more capacity at the moment but probably at one point they will switch to A330 or B787.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:08

      the only difference is that BUD was increased from A320 to A321 and then widebody while ZAG went the other way around. They used to fly with A321 and now it's A320.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:46

    Good news for all airports involved and passengers too.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous10:00

    I hope that Qatar eventually starts Ljubljana. I don't understand why Gulf carriers are avoiding LJU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:08

      Small market? And the fact that they fly to most neighbouring airports with widebodies?

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:15

    For BEG pax it would also be much better to first go down the path of ZAG: have 2x daily connection on A320 instead of 1x A330 or 788.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:20

      Well they seem to be going down that path since they are increasing it to 10 weekly.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:52

      QR izbacuje dreamliner-e iz flote. Povukli su ih u zadnjih mesec dana vise od 10. Njihova sirokotrupna flota ce biti sastavljena ikljucivo od b777 i a350

      Delete
  19. Anonymous10:22

    They definitely did not expect the competition they have in Sarajevo. When the route was launching they said how they expect flights to operate daily with A321 in the near future. Three years later they are still flying the same frequency and capacity as when they started flights.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous10:25

    Anyone know their average loads on ex-Yu flights?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous10:25

    looking forward to their new DBV flights. Which aircraft type are they using on this route?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:28

      A320

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/p/qatar-airways-doha-dubrovnik.html

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:06

      Thanks!

      Delete
  22. Anonymous11:06

    It is likely that the embargo on Qatar by Arab states will be lifted in fourth quarter so if Qatar restarts all those Middle East routes they will also add more frequencies to ex-Yu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:11

      I don't think so because they will require a lot of aircraft to operate these Middle Eastern routs. They won't have enough to add extra frequencies.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:15

      What makes you think the embargo will be lifted?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:12

      Follow Gulf politics and it will be clear.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous11:55

    Any plans to possibly upgrade equipment on Zagreb flights?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:57

      Not at the moment.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous11:56

    Good to see gulf airlines fighting over the market.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous11:59

    Question about their Zagreb flights. Are the A320s they send there with the upgraded premium product or the old one? Last summer I flew the evening flight from Belgrade to Doha twice. These were advertised as having the new premium product. The first time it did but the second time it didn't. One of the Arab passengers got really angry about it and protested with the crew. So just wondering. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:03

      Yes, both QR215/6 and QR217/8 almost always have the new premium product. You can check out the plane registrations on flightradar. A320s registered A7-AHL,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,W,X,Y have the (outstanding) short haul premium seats.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:06

      Thank you so much for the registrations and quick reply!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:04

      They have an entire system. Those A320s with great premium cabins are reserved for routes where there is strong premium demand. Zagreb is one of them. For example they also send A320s to SKP but they are never with the new ones. Same with Sofia too.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous12:05

    I just realized QR is the only one world airline in Belgrade, Skopje and Sarajevo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:05

      Oneworld is a good alliance. Shame are airports are overrun by Star Alliance.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:11

      Well since BA withdrew from most markets...

      Delete
    3. Well, since Malev went bankrupt.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:27

      Oh that's right. Forgot that Malev was in OW.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous15:07

    They are not making profit on these routes at all... these are low yield markets and they are selling for peanuts.. QR is only alive because of huge money injection every year

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:11

      I wouldn't exactly say they are penuts but prices to southeast Asia are very competitive from ex-Yu thanks to presence of a lot of competition on the market. For example point to point prices between ex-yu and Doha are crazy expensive. Usually over 800 euros return.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous16:39

    Why doesn't QR try and launch JFK from ex-YU? Something like DOH-PRN-JFK or DOH-SPU-JFK. EK is very well in doing this but QR could consider this option. 787 is the perfect aircraft for this.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous16:45

    Qatar trying to include TIV in triangle flight DOH-TIV-ZAG and v/v.Reason: Qatar state investment in Blue Horizon(Tivat)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous21:54

    Qatar donated 28 million euros (the total cost of the mosque was 34 million euros) for the new mosque of Ljubljana (as of now the only mosque in Slovenia).
    Mosque will be operational these days.
    So spending peanuts for flying there is not a problem if they want it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous07:16

      Maybe it's time for the Slovenian government to donate for the construction of a church in Doha. :)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:43

      :D U make my day

      Delete
  31. Anonymous22:39

    Bilo bi odlicno kd bi QR ponekad slao A350 za LYBE.Ali svakako je radi konekcija mnogo bolje ima 2 daily sa A320 ili A321.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:51

      INN-NS

      Delete
    2. QR decide to close office in SKP , so MK market not interesting for them at all.

      Delete

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