LCCs unaffected by Air Serbia’s PSO routes


Low cost carriers (LCCs) Wizz Air and Ryanair have been largely unaffected by the Serbian government’s decision to subsidise eleven Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes from Niš Constantine the Great Airport, all of which are operated by Air Serbia. This summer season, Wizz Air will be adding capacity to Niš, with the airline offering 66.850 tickets for sale according to OAG, up from 63.090 last year. The airline will operate an additional 22 flights to and from Niš between March 29 and late October. Based on offered capacity, the budget carrier was the largest in the south-east Serbian city last summer but will be overtaken by Air Serbia in 2020, which will offer 96.048 seats.

Ryanair will offer less capacity than last summer due to the closure of its Skavsta base, resulting in the termination of its flights from Sweden to Niš at the end of the month. The airline will offer 44.037 seats compared to 45.927 in the summer of 2019. Ryanair’s attempt to introduce services from Hahn this January was blocked by the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate as the route had already been launched by Air Serbia with state subsidies. The tender which called on airlines to vie for state-sponsored flights of public interest did not initially preclude other carriers from operating the same routes without incentives. However, the documentation was altered after Ryanair was denied a permit for the flights. Europe’s largest airline accused the Directorate of protectionism.

Germany will be the largest market from Niš this summer, followed by Italy, Sweden and Switzerland. Swiss, which terminated flights from Zurich to the south-east Serbian city this winter, will not be returning. It offered over 10.300 seats for sale last summer on the route. On the other hand, Air Serbia will continue to maintain services to eleven destinations from Niš this year. Tivat remains its only seasonal route, on which it carried 7.567 passengers across 36 flights during its operating period from July 16 until October 13. Niš Airport handled 78.772 travellers during the first two months of 2020, representing an increase of 61.2%. Overall, it added an extra 29.900 passengers on last year.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN39.807 57.8
FEB38.965 64.7

The airport noted last year that the subsidised Air Serbia flights were not aimed against Ryanair or Wizz Air, which have been serving the city for several years. The Serbian national carrier will receive some five million euros per year over the next five years for its Niš operations. On the other hand, the two budget airlines enjoy a low three euro fee for handling, landing and passenger services under their current contracts with the airport which run until 2021. "These low cost airlines won't be chased out. Traffic from Niš will continue to develop and there will be more demand and the need for more carriers", the General Manager of operator Airports of Serbia, Mihajlo Zdravković, said.




Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    We kind of all knew that, only malicious voices claimed otherwise. JU's flights are not competition to anyone out there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tell that to Ryanair.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:10

      No need, they knew they were going to be turned down for HHN flights. They launched Malta without a single issue, there was no need for them to operate a route they ignored for years until a PSO was issued.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:13

      How do you know if there was a need to or not? And why wouldn't the government then end subsidies on this route if another company wanted to fly it. Like the article says, the rules were change AFTER Ryanair applied. The document for that tender was something to laugh about. Full of mistakes. They even got the year wrong on one of the pages.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:13

      @anon 09:10
      +100

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:15

      Because contract with JU was already signed and money given to them. Biggest question is why did FR ignore it for years and how come they have an alternative so fast after INI? It was all for show, don't fall for their tricks. They just wanted Serbian media to write for it so that more people read Ryanair flies from INI.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:15

      LCCs unaffected by Air Serbia’s PSO routes. Read the title.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:18

      Your explanation makes no sense whatsoever. Malta was there for years too but they only started serving it this winter. Nis was here for centuries but they only started serving it two years ago. Also modifying the documentation after you realize you can be in trouble for denying someone a permit speaks volumes.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:19

      Why didn't they open INI-FRA?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:21

      Because FRA is an expensive airport and Nis extremely low yielding on all routes.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:22

      Source on INI yields please? If yields were low on all routes airlines would not be flying out there as was the case with some other airports in ex-YU like OSI or OMO.

      Mind you, this year INI will most likely overtake TZL which is an impressive achieivement.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous09:36

      Hahn is the only route out of INI that is somewhat working for JU

      Delete
    12. Anonymous09:56

      You don't get the point of PSO. Those routes exist because they are not commercially viable. They are all working as PSO routes.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous09:59

      Hahn should have been removed from the PSO as soon Ryanair scheduled the flights as there is obviously commercial interest. Same way Budapest was removed when they saw they had an average of 1 passenger.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous10:05

      i dont understand the point of having not commercially viable routes

      Delete
    15. Anonymous10:40

      Then you don’t understand the point of PSOs in general.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous11:23

      Agree with 9.59. They shoud have let Ryanair fly the route and JU could have launched something else instead.

      Delete
    17. "The tender which called on airlines to vie for state-sponsored flights of public interest did not initially preclude other carriers from operating the same routes without incentives. However, the documentation was altered after Ryanair was denied a permit for the flights."
      What is not clear here? I don't know why are people playing stupid. Maybe JU is paying some of the guys.

      Delete
    18. Anonymous00:22

      Ryanair had a chance to open INI-HHN for years but they didn't. Only when Air Serbia launched it, Ryan suddenly became "interested". Please...

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:04

    It will be interesting to see who will pick up Swiss' passengers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      JU to FDH

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:10

      There are no connecting possibilities with JU to FDH and LX had many passengers that continued flying from ZRH

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:13

      Obviously the number of transfers wasn't that big since they decided to cut the route. They know those passengers will switch to flying from BEG which is why LX increased ZRH-BEG to 21 weekly making it one of their busiest destinations in the wider region.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:17

      How can you possibly know if the number of transfer passenger was big or not? If anything, this cancellation indicates they were. You don't cancel flights based on transfer passenger numbers, you cancel them based on the amount of money you make. A route like this with predominately transfer passengers bring you no money.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:19

      Huh? What's that twisted logic. And you think LO carries predominantly local traffic from BEG to WAW or B2 boosted capacity from BEG this spring (CRJ to E75/95) because there is so much demand from BEG to MSQ? You can make money on transfers alone, the main difference is if there are enough of them willing to pay the price you need. For LX that obviously wasn't the case, not only in INI but in all other ex-YU besides BEG.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:23

      LO carries transfers but their average price is higher than the ones you get out of Nis. So they can actually make some money from the route.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    So what increases are we going to see from Wizz Air in INI?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      The other day they sent an A321 from Malmo. Don't know if it was a one off or if it will become a common thing.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:44

      Malmo and Memmingen are both up this summer compared to last year. That's why the increase in capacity.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:56

      Actually only Memmingen is being increased. They dropped plans to increase Malmo. it was supposed to go from 2 to 4 weekly. But it will stay at 2.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:24

      Not surprised considering the economic downturn in Sweden.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:15

    Strange that no one introduced BVA. What are FR and W6 waiting for?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      It's an expensive route for them. Yields from Nis are very low.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:21

      What's your source that yields from INI are low? MMX is about the same distance as BVA and Wizz thrives on this route.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:23

      Wizz Air has different kinds of deals with different airports to minimize risks, one of them being Malmo. If you think Nis is high yielding then the state would not be subsidising 11 routes, which are from full, and neither would the predominant airlines be budget ones.

      Delete
    4. Nemjee09:39

      Government did not give money to JU because INI is low yielding, they gave them money because they insisted Air Serbia launches destinations that were commercially unsustainable at the moment. That is why destinations such as Bologna or Budapest were initially selected in stead of Paris, Eindhoven or whatever.

      This is a form of long-term investment with the aim of encouraging people from INI's catchment area to use them in stead of their competition (SOF, SKP, PRN, BEG). From what I heard Bologna is extremely popular in summer, especially with Albanians. Now without those subsidies this route would have never happened and it would have been a missed opportunity for the city of Nis, the airport and the state. Don't forget that the state collects taxes from road tolls, parking... and all other things that are needed for these new passengers to reach INI. This goes beyond the €3 passenger tax at the airport.

      On top of all that, key markets were left for other carriers to serve. In such a way the government avoided being accused of distorting competition and pushing other airlines out of INI - or even as some claimed out of Serbia.

      Civil aviation is not only about business, it's also about geopolitics. With Air Serbia opening a base in INI, southern Serbia has become more competitive and more relevant in the grand scheme of things. This is a long-term project from which Serbia stands to gain the most.

      Finally, given JU's fares out of INI, the market is not at a loss from not gaining FR from HHN. Now, if JU was ripping people off while getting subsidies then it would have been a whole different story, however that's not the case here.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:43

      BVA is a bush strip in the middle of nowhere. When you take into account transit costs and time lost to get to Paris, you realize its no cheaper than flying legacies to CDG.

      Delete
    6. Nemjee09:58

      I agree with you but it seems many disagree with us since both Wizz Air and Ryanair seem to do quite ok there. I think their numbers even grew on BEG-BVA last year.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:23

      That is just because there is still too many people - mainly from Eastern Europe who stil lthink they can "save" by using bush-strips like BVA, HHN, FMM... It was good idea to fly there when LCCs were really cheap....now they put on more and more restrictions and are often not so cheap.

      Delete
    8. Nemjee10:28

      Not only that but some like Wizz Air are expensive on BEG-BVA even before you factor in all the additional charges. Air Serbia adding more flights to Paris only indicates that there is room and potential for more seats on the market. Who knows, maybe Air France also boosts Belgrade, I heard their planes are around 95% full out of BEG. Not bad when compared to some others like Swiss which are at around 82%. Both numbers are for 2019. Number of passengers on BEG-CDG exploded last year.

      Delete
    9. Nemjee you are completely correct in your analysis. I visited Nis for a weekend and stayed at an AirBnB. The number and quality of private accommodations increased dramatically. I was told by the owner that he was booked for the next 2 months (back in September) because of the increase in tourists. The waitress at a restaurant in the center told me that tourists from Northern Europe come for the weekend and spend loads of money & tips (by Nis standards) at the restaurants and cafe's. So there has been direct impact on the local economy.

      Even more interesting, many from the area are taking advantage of the cheap flights (like Tivat 35 minutes) instead of driving 7 hours to Greece.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous10:50

      95% on AF is fantastic and I am not surprised as this winter they send usually A320 and maybe once A318 and few times A319

      Delete
    11. Anonymous11:50

      Would be nice if AF adds overnight BEG flights

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:23

    Former management of Nis Airport and some amateur analyst said Air Serbia woild chase away Wizz and Ryan. Now you have a proof they didn't chase them away. So much for former management and amateur analyst and how credible their predictions were.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:24

      There is still time.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:37

      clinging on the last thread of hope, trying to buy more time. No, more time will not change the outcome.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:26

      I'm not clinging on any hope. What I hope is that I'm wrong. But I think that next year when the terms and conditions for Wizz and Ryanair change at Nis Airport, they will stop the majority of their flights.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous15:30

      And when they don't stop their flights next year, will you ask for more time? Pathetic.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:26

    It hasn't had a major affect on LCCs because Air Serbia is not full on any of the flights from Nis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:30

      Exception is the seasonal Tivat route which does quite well. Based on the data provided they had 7567 passengers out of 9216 seats. This means they had an average load factor of 82% on this route.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:39

      what about the other routes? any LF there?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:40

      That makes no sense. Can you come up with more reasonable argument?

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:33

    They are not being affected in terms of their existing flights but they may be affected in introducing new ones.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:34

    LCCs won't be affected until next year. Then the state will change the rules and say how the airport has to become sustainable and hike fees. You will see.

    "On the other hand, the two budget airlines enjoy a low three euro fee for handling, landing and passenger services under their current contracts with the airport which run until 2021"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:36

      Unfortunately I think so too :(

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:50

      Some people didn't get the memo. For those that didn't get it, it is no longer cool to blame Air 🇷🇸 Serbia for everything. Try to find recent anti-JU article in the so called free media.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:58

      Give me a rest with "anti-JU" articles. Other than this site and one newspaper no one even reported that JU's CEO is implicated in an investigation for money siphoning at Alitalia in Italy.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:15

      I gave you a rest with anti Air Serbia sentiment. That article was about Alitalia.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:29

      Air Serbia gets a very free ride in the media. There is maybe one negative report about them once every 2-3 months in one newspaper which is not pro-government. For some of the blunders Air Serbia has had, in a country with greater media freedoms they would be roasted.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous15:38

      "There is maybe one negative report about them once every 2-3 months in one newspaper which is not pro-government"

      Not true at all, you were either not following closely or are trying to inject fake news. For example N1, Danas, M. Brkic etc they sometimes had daily negative comments in media and some other online forums. It all abruptly stopped around the same time.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:34

    The results for January and February are really impressive. Congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee09:47

      What's interesting is that February was almost as strong as January, a month that sees holiday traffic especially in the first half of the month.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:03

      Growth should continue throughout the year.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:48

    I hope FR introduces another route to compensate the closure of Stockholm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:55

      Which new routes could be plausible for them?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:24

      I think seasonal Malta flights could work well.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:28

      LOL anon they launched Malta this winter year round!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:10

      Oops sorry. I completely forgot about that. Anyone know how the route is performing?

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:53

    Good news

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous10:04

    INI german routes: (as always one way LF D->RS)

    Hahn: Oct: 62,5% Nov:59% Dec: 74,2%
    Friedrichshafen: Oct:42.4% Nov:18.1% (274 pax) Dec: 53.6%
    Nürnberg: Oct:47% Nov:52.2% Dec: 60.1%
    Karlsruhe: Oct:40.2% Nov:34.4% Dec:59.9%
    Hannover: Oct:46.4% Nov:33.6% Dec:57.9%

    Berlin Ryanair: Oct:80.5% Nov:81.7%: Dec:89.8%

    Wizz is doing fine. December is generally the second biggest gasto wave in all ex-yu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:14

      Those are not good figures at all.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:16

      It seems that FKB is not that popular from INI compared to BEG. Just wondering if INI will add more German villages in the future.Serbia is insanely connected to literally each part of Germany. Almost in par with SKP.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:17

      oh wow, that's really bad :(

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:23

      Well they were launched as PSO because the flights can't be filled. That was the idea to begin with.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:45

      Again, this is why they are getting a lot of money per every year of the contract - because the state knew the routes will not be viable.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:20

      I think the routes will develop with time.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous12:56

      To show a broader picture LF both ways for 2019:

      Hahn: 65.6% (4.476 pax)
      Friedrichshafen: 45.4% (3.868 pax)
      Nürnberg: 55.6% (3.937 pax)
      Karlsruhe: 44% (2.674 pax)
      Hannover: 48% (3.430 pax)

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:15

      @ Anonymus 12:56,
      do you also have the LF and pax numbers for FCO, BLQ and SZG ?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous14:21

      Why are FKB and FDH so low? It seems that HHN is doing great!
      Time to launch FRA-INI with Luftie...

      Delete
    10. Anonymous14:28

      Crazy that JU only around 45% LF on INI-FKB and INI-FDH during W6 can make >80% on TZL-FKB and TZL-FDH. Can't imagine that the demand for Tuzla is that much higher.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous14:32

      You should keep in mind that other than Munich/Frankfurt from Sarajevo there are no other flights from Bosnia to Germany whereas Serbia has a lot of flights to many German cities.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous17:29

      Is there room for INI-BRE similar to SKP and possible INI-NRN resumption?
      NRN has a strategic location because it is located between 2 financial cities - DUS & EIN.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous10:04

    Any other PAX/ Loadfactor information about JU INI flights?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous10:24

    What are the future projections for INI for the upcoming 5 years?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:56

      Don't know how it may develop in 5 years but for this year my guess is 500.000 passengers.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous10:27

    This thing with these PSO flights is just madness in my opinion. Wouldn't it have been better for them to launch 2-3 routes that can actually work from Nis?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:20

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:22

      couldnt agree more with you.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:12

      Diaspora using PSO lines to travel back to Nis could not disagree more.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous22:04

      well they are not using them as we see

      Delete
    5. Anonymous00:17

      They are mostly diaspora destinations. Try new glasses.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous11:21

    Congrats INI!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous11:22

    And still no Nis-Paris flights. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:27

      I think this might be the next route from Nis.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous11:26

    Chair Airlines should have considered Nis flights from Zurich, at least seasonally, to replace Swiss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:30

      Germania used to fly Zurich-Nis. It didn't work out for them.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:31

      Yes they did. And a couple of days after they announced that route Swiss announced it was also launching Nis. They could not compete against them. This time around, without Swiss, I think they could do well.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:34

      Me too. I think with Swiss out of the picture, there is a good chance they could make this route work.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous12:00

    Good to see some myths being debunked

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous12:10

    We were told new management will close down the airport because of Vinci at Belgrade and that Air Serbia came to Nis to kick out Wizz and Ryan. Nis airport is growing and Ryan has introduced flights to Malta while Wizz is increasing capacity.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous12:56

    Those Tivat flights seem to be doing rather well. Didn't think that would be the case honestly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:03

      Didn't MGX fly to Nis at one point?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:07

      Yes from Podgorica

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:08

      And it should be said that those flights were subsidised. They stopped them when the subsidies ended.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:11

      MGX also wanted to set up a base in Nis years ago in the form of Master Airways.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous13:06

    Now the most important thing is to increase the terminal capacity as INI is becoming a bigger and bigger airport with time. There are already circulating negative comments about the limited space and especially when 2 planes land at the same time.
    If JU is considering basing a second Airbus, things will become worse and the terminal will be well above capacity. Even if the Vinci contract restricts INI traffic not exceeding the 1 million mark, still a new terminal and runway refurb is needed.

    https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/04/serbia-to-limit-airport-growth-outside.html

    INI is developing as a city and those new routes will bring more money to the city and villages around. There are almost 40 daily departures already and GOT being the busiest route.
    The highway to the Bulgarian border is now completed, which adds to its importance. This is an airport that used to be served only with YM and some ski charters and look where it is now. Hitting the half million.
    The second step is to construct a 4 star hotel next to the airport, sometimes there are late arrivals or early departures and having one would be great. The closest one is PRENOĆIŠTE PILOT but this is not really a real airport hotel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:01

      Sigurno će niskobudžetni putnici da plaćaju 4 star hotel. :) U Nišu treba izgraditi aerodromski HOSTEL, prenoćište za 10-20 evra, možda neko i svrati. U hotel sa 4 zvezdice neće ući niko, u Nišu nema putnika tog profila.

      Delete
  23. Bad numbers. Wizz will add more than 50 flights this summer (Basel and Memmingem 3x per week)
    And how AS is offering 96.048 seats? That is 667 flights, where is return flight?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:38

      Memmingem is not increasing to 3.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Yes, from 01.04. increasing to 3 per week.
      Also, Basel will move from tuesday and saturday to monday, wednesday and friday, increasing to 3.
      During the summer that is 30 more return flights of both - 10.800 (21600)seats

      Delete
  24. Btw, this picture is from the last friday
    Wizz from Vienna
    Ryan from Malta
    AS from Salzburg
    I guess?
    Nice to see anyway:)

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment

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