Air Serbia devising long-term strategy


Air Serbia is in the process of devising a long-term strategy for the coming years based on several different scenarios and has begun discussions over its plans for 2021. Speaking to “New Deal Europe”, the airline’s Head of Trade and Corporate Sales, Boško Rupić, said, “The uncertainty of what kind of travel conditions will be in force puts a serious limit on long-term plans, but despite that we are working on making some plans and developing several business scenarios for the coming years. We have already had some negotiations for the next year, but it is very difficult to make a concrete plan when the travel conditions are unknown and constantly changing. This means we have to think fast and act within short deadlines. We often say that it is easier to make a plan for the next month than for the next year”. He added, “The level of demand comes down to the fact that most passengers decide to buy tickets and tourist packages between seven and ten days before their trip. Travel to countries for which the PCR test is mandatory is confirmed mainly 72 hours before the trip, since this is the accepted PCR test deadline. We follow IATA estimates, which say that next year will bring between 50% - 60% of traffic prior to Corona, and that 2019 air traffic levels will not return before 2024. In this regard, it is very important to make good assessments and continuously monitor the situation”.

The Serbian carrier is currently generating the majority of its passengers on regional routes who are also using the airline to transfer onto other flights. “Air Serbia currently generates the largest number of passengers through regional traffic, but also through transit traffic, which brings a large number of passengers through Belgrade Airport. We also generate many passengers through tourist charter flights to Turkey and Egypt. The challenge for us at the moment are the closed borders and travel restrictions in our main markets in Western Europe, which greatly restricts the movement of people, and so our flights, too”. Borders to the European Union are currently closed to most Serbian nationals, with the block to discuss the possibility of reopening them at a meeting on September 30.

The Serbian carrier is adapting its operations based on demand. As a result, it has recently increased operations to Zurich, Tivat and Istanbul and will boost operations to New York. “Constant monitoring of ticket reservations is crucial right now. This is the basis for further decisions and flights. If we see bookings increasing rapidly on certain flights, we react by increasing the capacity of those flights, allocating larger aircraft. Flexibility is currently the key issue in our business”, Mr Rupić noted. He believes leisure traffic will recover first, while business travel will be more affected in the post-corona era. “As the situation with the virus normalises, so will the movement of people. I am convinced that travel is a human need and that as soon as the virus weakens, a huge number of people will take the first opportunity to go on a leisure trip. On the other hand, we learned during the pandemic that many forms of business can take place successfully online, using various applications for organising video meetings or conferences. I think that the practice we got used to during the pandemic will affect the movement of businesspeople for years to come”, the company’s Head of Trade and Corporate Sales concluded.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    So can we conclude that more emphasis will be put on leisure traffic in the future?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      What would that mean? More charters or more leisure destinations like Nice for example.

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:09

      Or maybe they hope there will be more charter demand. Last year they operated charters until the second half of November. I think Egypt can be particularly popular this year especially since popular destinations such as Greece remained closed.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:23

      Let's see what the partnership with TK can bring.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:31

      Despite them operating more charters in recent weeks, they are still at a historic low compared to previous years.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:37

      Is their any potential for long haul leisure routes?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:06

      They said a few years ago they were considering them Thailand and the Caribbean but when they did the math it just wasn't profitable.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:05

    Good to see they are planning for the future.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:06

    So obviously they are not worried about the repayment of those loans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      Obviously as the government said it will deal with it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:00

      I'm interested to know what will be their future relationship with Etihad.

      Delete
  4. Nemjee09:07

    Good news is that Cyprus will be removing quarantine restrictions in about ten days. That will be another market that should recover for them. In addition to the one weekly they have now they can easily add another weekly departure... hopefully a daytime one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      But will they allow Serbian citizens to enter or its still not allowed?

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:11

      Yes, Serbian nationals will be allowed in. They removed quarantine restrictions for about two weeks when numbers were low back in July. Then it exploded and they brought it back.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:13

      That's great news

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:15

      Larnaka was supposed to be 9 time this year!

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:50

      11 if you count Wizz Air.

      Delete
    6. Nemjee15:14

      Starting from 24.09 quarantine is no longer required for Serbs entering Cyprus.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous07:08

      Serbs are no longer banned from entering bella Italia. So that's two markets where some movement can happen, Cyprus completely free, Italy with some restrictions.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:07

    I think under the circumstances they are doing relatively well. They are serving 30 destinations from BEG with decent frequencies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:48

      I must say they have brought a lot of routes back quickly.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:49

      But some markets will be out of reach for quite some time.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:10

    They have been pretty proactive and "flexible" as they say with adding flights and frequencies if there is demand which is good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      True. This is something I noticed from them from around the time Adria went belly up.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:33

      I agree. Remember they said last month that they have secure more favorable slots at a few European airports for the winter.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:04

      AMS, FRA and VIE and flight schedules have already been loaded into the system some two months ago.
      AMS now connects to everything in both directions.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:42

      AMS flights are so much better now. Now all connections are possible.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:06

      Yes it used to arrive at 23.30 while now it's 22.45!

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:11

    I was looking for the crucial keyword: fleet. Again, it doesn't seem to be of any priority to this airline. Yes, the current solution is obviously charter but them 737s really really need to be phased out.
    Even Air Moldova's and HiSky fleets are more modern.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      Meanwhile Air Baltic took delivery of their 23rd A220 yesterday.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:22

      airBaltic got €235 million from the Latvian government.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:29

      Considering their size and destination network that is not that much. Compare it to YM for example.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:33

      That is the aid for corona time. Everyone gets that. They didnt both an aircraft with that money....

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:43

      HiSky doesn't exist anymore, and Air Moldova has 4 planes that are 19.5 years old. Air Serbia has overall 20 planes that are 21.5 years old, so they're not comparable. Airbus only fleet is 15 years old (including all 319s, 320s and 330)

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:13

      I was referring to Aviolet. If charter is the future, then they'd better get even an older 320 like many charter companies have it.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:20

      Air Moldova has 7 planes with 18.3 years average.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:12

    What a gorgeous livery, one of my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:34

      It's nice. I just hope they revert to the standard livery on YU-ARA.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:07

      Yes repaint ARA into original livery and paint ARB into JU livery; that would be nicest!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:09

      YU-ARB?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:17

      Yes, YU-ARB

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:21

      That doesn’t exist.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:54

      Not yet but soon it will.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous12:52

      More details maybe anon 10:54?

      Delete
    8. Anonymous13:03

      His wishes.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous13:24

      It's not wishes. It's real.

      One widebody and 3-4 new routes.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous13:24

      And what would this extra widebody be used for?

      Delete
    11. Anonymous13:38

      For new routes.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous13:39

      Which ones? I doubt they would be able to operate more than one additional route with a second A330.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous13:40

      There is no such a thing as YU-ARB that is coming in JU. Nothing is announced.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous13:42

      If they have the finances, this would be a smart decision. Austrian is getting rid of its B777 and B767s. Their long haul network, which has been used heavily by people from ex-Yu is effectively gone.

      Delete
    15. Anonymous14:07

      JU can get second 330 because they one they have now is 50% cheaper! ARB is coming next year, that's confirmed in the airlines.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous14:18

      Four routes in North America.

      Delete
    17. Anonymous14:18

      In total.

      Delete
    18. Anonymous14:27

      I can't see them opening another 3 routes in North America in addition to New York.

      Delete
    19. Anonymous14:27

      Can you tell us what 4 routes in North America are they planning to start?
      ORD? YYZ?

      Delete
    20. Anonymous14:34

      IAD and YYZ

      Delete
    21. Anonymous14:47

      Please source?

      Delete
    22. Anonymous14:49

      If they have the finances

      Problem is, they never had them long haul or anything. Everything is payed by a goverment.

      Delete
    23. Anonymous14:50

      "ARB is coming next year, that's confirmed in the airlines."

      Who confirmed it?

      Delete
    24. Anonymous14:52

      Source is inside the airlines, if you want source wait for next year. Same thing with several other things and in the end they were truth. YU-ARB is coming and it will be wonderful!

      Delete
    25. Anonymous14:54

      Inside which airlines? Where did you get it? If you are talking thigs like this, you should have know from where did you get it?

      Delete
    26. Anonymous14:55

      But why IAD? Washington is already really close to New York.
      Wouldnt MIA be a better option? A lot of tourists from this region would fly to Florida

      Delete
    27. Anonymous14:56

      "Their long haul network, which has been used heavily by people from ex-Yu is effectively gone."

      False information based on Carsten Spohrs sentence that OSs widebodies have no future anymore.

      Delete
    28. Anonymous14:57

      IAS, ORD or MIA, it is a same thing when it would just lose money.

      Delete
    29. Anonymous14:57

      New York service is doing great for Air Serbia. Get another A330 while lease rates are low and use them to expand transfer network.

      Delete
    30. Anonymous14:59

      What's IAS?

      Delete
    31. Anonymous14:59

      Source is inside the airlines, if you want source wait for next year. Same thing with several other things and in the end they were truth. YU-ARB is coming and it will be wonderful! - Cathay Pacific and Qantas are coming in ZAG and it is wonderful!!! Wait for source.

      Delete
    32. Anonymous15:00

      Anon 14:49
      Im sorry i thought about IAD.

      Delete
    33. Anonymous15:11

      There's no IAD.

      It's YYZ, ORD & MIA.

      Delete
    34. Anonymous15:16

      That would be amazing

      Delete
    35. Anonymous15:45

      There is IAD ;)

      Delete
    36. Anonymous17:11

      Why doesn't JU just get the A310? Some Portuguese and Persian airlines are already still using it. The other option is the good, ol' 767 like Latam still operates to Peru.

      Delete
    37. Anonymous17:31

      Costs?

      Delete
    38. Anonymous17:51

      A310 is obsolete, nice try.

      Air Serbia already operates much more advanced A332. If it's good enough for Air Serbia, it's good enough for Wizzair (they will get F version)

      Delete
    39. Anonymous17:52

      There may be difficult to find A310 in good enough condition.

      Delete
    40. Anonymous17:55

      A310 is too old aircraft.

      Delete
    41. Anonymous18:29

      So when those flights are going to start? In march next year?

      Delete
    42. Anonymous20:42

      Now it's time to start thinking about long-haul expansion for next year. US and Serbia are finally mending their relationship and there is going to be much more demand in the coming month. Things are really looking up for good old Serbia.

      Meanwhile LH Group will struggle in the long-period, look what someone wrote on Airliners:

      Just to illustrate how little long haul traffic there is, the load factor from Frankfurt to the USA in July 2020 was 36.1%, FRA-SIN was at 12.2% and FRA-NRT was only 8.5%.

      Imagine how much money was burned on long-haul flying from FRA.

      Delete
    43. Anonymous20:47

      And how much money was made on cargo on these LH flights? Cargo prices went up...

      Delete
    44. Anonymous20:54

      Cargo is the only profitable segment but not profitable enough to save teh airline. All A380s and A346s are on their way out, 3.500 more people will be let go on top of 22.000

      Delete
    45. Anonymous21:10

      LH will shrink, but it will still be sizeable for now and will start to grow as soon as the profitable demand is there. It has a unique market: exporting country with business ties all around the globe, wealthy people with the habit of travelling. Against this unique background it will be ok. Many other airlines will die before it.

      Delete
    46. Anonymous21:24

      I think SN and OS are the next ones to collapse.

      Delete
    47. Anonymous21:34

      I beg to differ. It is not about collapsing. It is about how their owners may use this opportunity and restructure the entire group to be more financially efficient in the future. If they do, you will miss the old days when SN and OS were bringing LH group down.

      But at the end of the day it is nowadays about the respective governments willing to take part of the hit and having deep enough pockets. And both Austria and Belgium do.

      Also OS does a lot for connectivity in the ex-Yu, so it would certainly be missed.

      Delete
    48. Anonymous21:48

      @17:55 A310 is still used by Iranair until today. You also forgot about Air Transat that still this aircraft until today.



      Delete
    49. Anonymous21:54

      Which flights? No long haul routes were announcerd.

      Delete
    50. Anonymous21:56

      Iran use it because they cannot buy the brand new aircraft due imposed sanctions while Air Transat is going to retire it this year.

      Delete
    51. Anonymous00:18

      Not sure about the A310 but the Sukhoi jet YU-SSJ will look stunning once the final tests will be made in November:

      https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UvznB0UuDdM/XmXmfzCckEI/AAAAAAAAxMg/EUTTKeOKR34HMBc_zro04hbR5egMJAFTwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/567565.png

      Delete
    52. Anonymous06:53

      I don't see OS making it out alive, Ryanair market share has almost reached theirs. In August OS had around 40% in VIE while FR was at 35%.
      Austrian Airlines as we know it is gone. If they go bust, JU can take over regional connectivity to places like New York and soon Chicago.

      Delete
    53. Anonymous08:33

      JU must act really soon.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:14

    The long term strategy will be the same as the short term strategy. Lots and lots of government money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      That's basically everyone's modus operandi these days.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:29

    There is only so much you can plan for in situations like these.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:31

    If the EU lifted the entry ban and some countries reopened their borders, it would really help the airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:36

      No doubt. But the situation in the EU is so bad at the moment with the virus, maybe it's better that the borders stay closed for some time.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:05

      Germany and Switzerland even introduced restrictions for travel to Austria!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:07

      Even if they reopen them it is so volatile that within two weeks they could close them again (as has been done in the past).

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:12

      Like with many things during this crisis, the EU has shown it is completely incapable of acting jointly. They are killing their own airlines with these entry bans that every country is making up for themselves.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:21

      Not to mention their racist policy of restricting entry from countries based on citizenship and not actually based on the epidemiological situation in the country, unlike the US which has a more rational approach.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:33

      Except for Iran.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:57

      I love that people are finally realizing that the policy is racist. For everyone not from the "region", here's the rundown. A sizable number of Serbian nationals have passport of neighboring countries (Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia) along with their Serbian passports. Reasons are numerous - ancestors lived in those countries, they were born there before the war or they have blood relatives and so on. These people live in Serbia - they just have a passport to spare. And because they have a passport of an EU country, they can come to the EU/Schengen even though they are coming from a "risky" area. So as far as the EU is concerned, the area is not risky, but the passport is.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:32

    Good to see they are taking some concrete action.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:32

    They will pull through this.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:35

    The show must go on.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:37

    Corona will change the way people travel in the next few years and it's good to see they recognize that.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:53

    Use one ATR and sell tickets for Serbia tourist round-fly. I one hour, 30 people each next to window could see half of serbia's mountains, valleys, nature and cities from above. Market it and a lot of people could afford and would like to do this for a reasonable price.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:02

      That is actually great idea!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:04

      The only issue is that you cant see properly outside of the window from quite a few seats on the ATR because of the propellers.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous10:11

    Anyone know how Oslo is performing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:41

      I would assume well since they have been maintaining the route since they launched it, without cancelling a single flight. But there will be more competition in winter since Norwegian will restore its second weekly frequency.

      Delete
    2. It's questionable whether Norwegian will even exist next winter.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:08

      They just got another lifeline from the government. Don't know who has more lives, them or Alitalia.

      Delete
  18. Foreign airlines are preparing capacities for massive transport of vaccines around the world... Air Serbia cargo should step up in the game with plans to supply all countries of the region... (I guess these flights will be financed by governments, so guaranteed income for airline companies)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jatovac11:39

      +1000 They have few planes out of use so they can convert them to use them as cargo planes. Vaccine transport will be highly paid, and they can transport it to countries that does not have national carrier, like Slovenia North Macedonia, Bosnia,...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:05

      There are chances for ZAG (more for ZAG because it is in EU) and BEG to become a vaccine hub but i think vaccine will just be transported from larget EU hubs to every of these countries.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:20

      733 should have been converted as cargo.

      Delete
    4. Jatovac15:02

      Last anon, one of the options. They also have a319s grounded so they can also be converted. 733s are a bit old, they should be retired.

      Delete
    5. Jatovac15:05

      anon. 13.05, but from FRA, LHR, CDG, MUC, BRU, ARN, FCO,... vaccines also must be transported to Balkans and by truck or train will be a bit slow

      Delete
    6. Anonymous19:27

      JU doesn't have certificates for air transport of pharma. That is it.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous11:14

    Maybe they should launch Budapest?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:15

      Why? Hungary has completely shut borders to foreigners.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:29

      Exactly. But not to Hungarians. It's the only city they're missing for complete (near-) regional coverage.

      It could also be used by Hungarians on the flights to New York whilst also being a pre-emptive move against LOT.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:38

      When thinking of 2021 and JU's strategy for BEG, the important fact that needs to be considered is TSR because it will be the European Capital of Culture and this might mean there will be eventually more routes opened. Time for JU to react fast.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:41

      TSR just lost one Wizz Air A320 and so did several regional airports in Romania. I wouldn't worry too much about them.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:43

      Umm apart from the fact that being the capital of culture brings you very little additional traffic, TSR won't be the capital of culture until 2023! FYI, Novi Sad is the capital of culture next year.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous14:53

      So according to his logic Novi Sad will boost BEG numbers? lol

      Delete
    7. Anonymous15:47

      Yes, it may. After all, Novi Sad is the cultural capital of Serbia. No wonder why it still has its IATA code QND. It even managed to have an international flight last year.

      http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a507742/First-international-flight-at-Novi-Sad-airfield.html

      Delete
  20. Anonymous11:19

    U poslednje dve godine zaista brzo reaguju na specifične situacije. Nadam se da će tako nastaviti.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous11:55

    The 72 hour PCR test is the most useless and retarded thing countries could've come up with. It only complicates travel and hits the travelers pocket.
    Imagine the scenario. I go and get tested today, the results come in tomorrow, my flight is the day after.
    Am i supposed to be immune to the virus after the initial testing?
    What if i get infected in the meantime but i get negative results and my sypmtoms do not set in until after i arrive at my destination? During that week i can cause havoc.
    I belive that the obligatory 72hrs PCR test will only last until the test reserves are used up. They were payed for and now countries have to get the money back, soon they will scrap it like they did before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:12

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:12

      I even hate the word of it.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous12:40

    Would like to see what their plans are.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous12:42

    Good

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous12:43

    Good to see at least some charters could be salvaged. It's a great source of income for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:45

      Antalya is operating pretty much daily. Some days they have up to four flights per day.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous12:45

    I wonder which route is performing best for them now with all these restrictions still in place

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:47

      ZRH, JFK, IST.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:00

      When things get back to normal, JU should definitely open more routes to Turkey.

      Delete
  26. it is always good to see that someone is making long term plans in a moment when nobody knows what will the market look like after the virus is out of picture, what will be the pace of economy activity recovery, or to estimate the impact of 6 months working from home habits on business travels


    "perfect timing" is the word i am looking for probably

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:41

      If you cared to read the whole article before making comments you would know they are aware of all those things and are focusing on flexibility and being able to adapt quickly. Just another fail from PC.

      Delete
    2. Exactly , to be honest it was expected as PC has done it numerous times

      Delete
    3. Anonymous21:12

      What is PC, political correctness?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous08:23

      PC = Petar Celik

      guys, please understand it is nothing but provocation. Don't follow it.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:13

      Always so cynical.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous17:30

      Petar Čelik = PČ

      Delete
    7. Anonymous18:21

      PČ = PV

      Delete
    8. Anonymous22:06

      When you have somone as Nemjee you should also have someone totally opposite as PC.

      Delete

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