EX-YU carriers feeling the coronavirus crunch


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) foresees 2020 revenue losses in numbers above $100 billion for the global air transport industry as a result of the coronavirus Covid-19 health emergency which has led airlines to suspend flights and ground aircraft. Some carriers are planning to completely suspend operations this week. The three national carriers in the former Yugoslavia are continuing to run flights, albeit at a significantly reduced rate. However, all three will be severely affected by the ongoing situation as each one relies on government support to stay afloat even in the best of times.

Air Serbia has cancelled hundreds of flights. The Serbian government on Sunday declared a state of emergency, banning all foreigners from entering the country, which will further impact the carrier’s operations. The airline is already the beneficiary of state subsidies. The national carrier is one of 63 companies “of special importance” which will share eighty million euros in subsidies among themselves this year. Although the exact amount of funds has not been specified, the airline was the beneficiary of 20.8 million euros "from premiums, subsidies, grants and donations" both in 2017 and 2018. In addition, Air Serbia will pocket five million euros for subsidised operations out of Niš this year and 2.7 million euros for its services from Kraljevo, both of which are currently suspended.

Croatia Airlines has cancelled all international flights from the country’s coast and has begun cancelling select services from Zagreb. The carrier’s privatisation process, which was expected to boost its liquidity and investments in fleet and network, has been suspended until further notice. Croatia Airlines will be the beneficiary of the second instalment of the government’s 33.7 million euro cash injection this year, which was aimed at stabilising the carrier prior to its privatisation. The airline will receive 20.2 million euros this year which will go towards aircraft maintenance, debt and loan repayments, as well as other essential investments. However, the figure will have to be repaid within two years.

Montenegro Airlines has suspended the majority of its flights, with services to one of its most important market - Serbia - to be further affected by the country’s state of emergency. Late last year, the Montenegrin government adopted a bill “for the investment and consolidation of the national carrier”, granting 155 million euros to the airline over a six-year period. The government noted that 105 million euros would be used to cover the airline’s debt, while fifty million would be utilised for the acquisition of new aircraft. The state emphasised that the bankruptcy or closure of the carrier would have a negative impact on the Montenegrin economy and its tourism sector. In early March, the airline adopted a decision to shut down its representative offices in Moscow, Paris, Vienna, Frankfurt and London by the end of this summer, as well as reduce its workforce by 50% at its Belgrade office. The carrier has also begun talks with unions over reducing its overall headcount. These measures were adopted prior to the full impact of the coronavirus.




Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    Does anyone know (first hand experience) what the situation is at Belgrade airport today if I land? How long are the lines and what are the measures they are taking to make sure you self-quaranteen? Or do they take you somewhere to be quaranteened? Any info would help, I have a flight to BEG this evening and am a citizen of Serbia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BA88809:07

      Sister flew from LHR yesterday pm. No problems.

      Delete
    2. Just call Belgrade airport information center, it's likely they know what to tell you to do.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:13

      (To continue my previous post) good luck!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:20

      I would not expect long lines as traffic level is quite low (I was traveling last week and airport was half deserted, now its even less people I guess).
      Again, as far as I know, you will not be quarantined (no such facilities are organized at the moment) but requested to go to self quarantine and maybe tested if you come from hot areas or have some symptoms.

      Delete
    5. Voja09:22

      As I know all Serbian citizens will be allowed to enter country but they will get a peace of paper that will say they need to go to self-quarantine. The only difference will be from where they are coming. If they are coming from countries with high level of virus transmission that period is 28 days, for other countries it will be 14 days.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:26

      A friend who passed through over the weekend told me that it’s very unorganised at passport control. They insist (sensibly) that a medical specialist takes passengers details in order to trace arrivals. Nevertheless, only two of these were on duty and therefore people were crowded into the passport control area for a very long time (not good for virus containment!). To make things worse, anyone complaining of the situation was dealt with by security!

      Obviously this is different from the other replies so maybe it was bad timing...

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:29

      On aside note, I know of someone who travelled from Turin through Niš at the peak of their problem and they were not challenged, checked, or given advice! They just passed through as normal!

      Delete
    8. Spale17:30

      Just came back UK from Belgrade.
      No issues leaving Serbia (they were checking foreign passports on the gate with magnifying glass...for whatever reason)

      Incoming flight from London, they let Serbian nationals through, I think they gave them pieces of paper to say they had to self isolate.
      Non Serbian Citizens, returned on the flight with us back to London.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:05

    Very bleak times ahead. That's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:26

      The German States is expected to enter Lufthansa as german media report.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:06

    The governments will have to provide much more cash in the future if they want these airlines to survive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      The governments will have to provide a lot of cash to various industries due to this crisis. The question remains will they have enough the cover the losses for airlines.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:06

    I wonder if all the ex-Yu carriers will make it in the end

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      They will because they will be saved by the government. What wil be interesting is to see what becomes of Wizz. Sure they have large monetary reserves but those are not endless.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:21

      Not all countries have the same amount of money to spend on their national airline, not all countries are wealthy enough for the recession to come after this is over.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:46

      I wouldn't worry about Wizz. They went through the Icelandic volcano traffic break without a hitch and they were in a much worse position back then.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:16

      maybe Hungary steps in?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:25

      The Icelandic volcano traffic break lasted a week. This is going to last months.

      Even the LCCs will need substantial government help, if not directly, at least to cover all the employees, who will be temporarily laid off.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:26

      Hungary will not for sure, but JP Morgan might ;)

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:56

      Don't forget that all of Wizz Air's Polish operations have been suspended, that will cost them quite a bit.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous12:34

      The volcano traffic break lasted a week? You weren't in the industry were you.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:37

    This is not going to end well.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:58

    By May 2020 most airlines in the works will be bankrupt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:37

      Neki su sigurni
      https://www.b92.net/biz/vesti/svet.php?yyyy=2020&mm=03&dd=16&nav_id=1666817

      Delete
  7. Anonymous10:28

    How is Wizz Air doing in SKP? Any signs of a slowdown, reduction?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:32

      they stil fly to where its allowed (not allowed: Bratislava, Malta, Italy, Norway )

      Delete
  8. Anonymous11:33

    Honestly, I don't think Montenegro Airlines will survive this. It took a lot of time for them to be persuaded to save MGX last year. With all of this, they might just give up and let LCCs take over the market.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:26

      From the text

      "The state emphasised that the bankruptcy or closure of the carrier would have a negative impact on the Montenegrin economy and its tourism sector. "

      Delete
  9. Anonymous11:42

    Does anybody know do Serbian border police allow transfer passengers to continue their travel upon landing at BEG ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:08

      Yes it's allowed. Restrictions only apply on passport controls when entering the country.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:11

      Unfortunately not, these passengers are not allowed to leave the airplane at BEG.

      Delete
    3. This simply can't be true at least for the inbound Air Serbia flights, because not being allowed to leave the JU airplane at BEG would mean flying a passenger to another random destination, which just can't be done...

      Delete
  10. What are the load factors to NY? I tried to book a flight to Canada and got routed through JFK to YYZ.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous12:19

    With American announcing the retirement of their 767s by May 2020, could we see their 787s or A330s on their flights to DBV? As of now the 767 is still in their system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:26

      It's questionable if there will even be DBV flights this year.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous12:35

    All ex-yu flag carriers were loss making when the aviation industry was booking. What hope is there for them now...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous16:44

    Anyone know why a Wamos Air B747 just landed in Belgrade from San Francisco?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:02

      Transporting passengers from the Grand Princess cruise liner.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:06

      Thanks

      Delete
  14. Anonymous17:15

    I have tickets on JU JFK-BEG on April 3. I am really hoping Air Serbia cancels the flight, so I can get a refund (or at least a voucher). No way I can reschedule when we have no idea what the future holds!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:07

      Air Serbia does not require you to reschedule (ie choose a new date). They let you cancel your ticket and then phone them when you are ready to book, whenever that may be. I'm talking from experience as I had to cancel BRU-BEG-BRU flight.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:17

      So far as I understand from the website, that was the policy for flights in March. But it does not apply to flights in April (at least according to the website). I hope they will update the website soon or I will have to try calling them.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous18:56

    My bf has a booking from BEG-MAD via AMS on JU and UX for April 10th. He was supposed to fly in through BUD with Wizz a week earlier and they just cancelled his flight and offered him a refund. Is anyone familiar with JU’s cancellation policy? Do passengers get a refund? Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luka20:39

      That depends on type of fare booked. Unless he paid a lot for the ticket chances are he has a non refundable fare. So in case none of the flights (JU or UX) gets cancelled or travel ban is imposed in April, he will only be able to get airport taxes refunded.
      Wait and see, situation is changing by the hour. It makes no difference if you cancel now or a day before the flight.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:07

      Yeah makes sense, thank you very much!!

      Delete
  16. LOL LOL LOL. I just got confirmation I was right :) :) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:47

      About what?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:48

      EU to close its borders tomorrow for 30 days!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:38


      A0311/20

      Q) LJLA/QAFXX/IV/NBO/E/000/999/4609N01454E999
      A) LJLA
      B) 16.03.2020 17:29
      C) 16.03.2020 23:00
      E) LANDING WITHIN FIR LJLA PROHIBITED FOR ALL FLIGHTS DEPARTING
      FROM ITALIAN REPUBLIC, ACCORDING TO DECISION OF MINISTER OF
      INFRASTRUCTURE DUE TO SARS-COV2/COVID-19.
      EXCEPTIONS ARE MAIL AND CARGO FLIGHTS, EMERGENCY FLIGHTS,
      AMBULANCE FLIGHTS, FERRY FLIGHTS AND STATE FLIGHTS.

      Publication time: 16.3.2020 18:01:15
      Link: C0338/20

      (Recently issued)
      A0312/20

      Q) LJLA/QAFXX/IV/NBO/E/000/999/4609N01454E999
      A) LJLA
      B) 16.03.2020 17:30
      C) 16.03.2020 23:00
      E) LANDING WITHIN FIR LJLA PROHIBITED FOR ALL FLIGHTS DEPARTING
      FROM PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, REPUBLIC OF KOREA AND ISLAMIC
      REPUBLIC OF IRAN, ACCORDING TO DECISION OF MINISTER OF
      INFRASTRUCTURE DUE TO SARS-COV2/COVID-19.
      EXCEPTIONS ARE MAIL AND CARGO FLIGHTS, EMERGENCY FLIGHTS,
      AMBULANCE FLIGHTS, FERRY FLIGHTS AND STATE FLIGHTS.

      Publication time: 16.3.2020 18:01:50
      Link: C0339/20

      (Recently issued)
      A0313/20

      Q) LJLA/QAFXX/IV/NBO/E/000/999/4609N01454E999
      A) LJLA
      B) 16.03.2020 23:00
      C) 16.06.2020 23:00
      C) EST
      E) LANDING/DEPARTING WITHIN FIR LJLA PROHIBITED FOR ALL PASSENGERS
      FLIGHTS FROM/INTO THIRD COUNTRIES ACCORDING TO DECISION OF THE
      GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA DUE TO SARS-COV2/COVID-19.
      EXCEPTIONS ARE MAIL AND CARGO FLIGHTS, EMERGENCY FLIGHTS, AMBULANCE
      FLIGHTS, FERRY FLIGHTS AND STATE FLIGHTS. SPECIAL EXCEPTION COULD BE
      GIVEN BY THE MINISTRY OF INFRASTRUCTURE OR THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN
      AFFAIRS.

      Publication time: 16.3.2020 18:02:16
      Link: C0340/20

      (Recently issued)
      A0314/20

      Q) LJLA/QAFXX/IV/NBO/E/000/999/4609N01454E999
      A) LJLA
      B) 16.03.2020 23:00
      C) 30.03.2020 22:00
      C) EST
      E) LANDING/DEPARTING WITHIN FIR LJLA PROHIBITED FOR ALL PASSENGER
      FLIGHTS WITHIN EU ACCORDING TO DECISION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
      REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA DUE TO SARS-COV2/COVID-19.
      EXCEPTIONS ARE MAIL AND CARGO FLIGHTS, EMERGENCY FLIGHTS, AMBULANCE
      FLIGHTS, FERRY FLIGHTS AND STATE FLIGHTS. SPECIAL EXCEPTION COULD BE
      GIVEN BY THE MINISTRY OF INFRASTRUCTURE OR THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN
      AFFAIRS.

      Publication time: 16.3.2020 18:02:26
      Link: C0341/20

      Delete
  17. Anonymous00:27

    Does JU fly Belgrade-New York-Belgrade? - Thx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous00:29

      At the moment, yes.

      Delete

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.