Windrose satisfied with EX-YU performance, eyes further expansion

Ukraine’s Windrose Airlines has bucked the trend compared to most European carriers and launched a number of new routes from Kiev to the region over the past three months including Zagreb, Podgorica, Skopje and Belgrade with plans to further increase operations in the coming period. Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News, the carrier said, “We can say that the performance of the abovementioned routes has been quite successful. There is demand and interest for these routes. All of the initial flights flew with a load of more 80%”. The carrier is primarily utilising the 49-seat Embraer 145 jet on its flights to the former Yugoslav republics but does deploy the 78-seat ATR72 turboprop on occasion. 

The Ukrainian carrier noted it was the coronavirus pandemic that brought the region to its attention, with the majority of Ukrainian nationals currently unable to enter the European Union. “Originally, Windrose Airlines planned to start flights only to Zagreb and Ljubljana. The decision about the remaining routes came in due course”, the airline said. Windrose shelved plans to commence operations to the Slovenian capital due to strict entry requirements but has not given up on the route. “We plan to restart flights to Ljubljana, after local authorities give us the all clear”, it said. Last year, some 10.000 passengers travelled between Ljubljana and Kiev indirectly, 4.000 to and from Skopje and 11.000 to and from Zagreb. Air Serbia handled 11.114 passengers between Kiev and Belgrade last year, registering an average annual cabin load factor of 81%.

The airline briefly suspended operations to Zagreb earlier this month following changes to entry requirements into Croatia but has since restored the route. Windrose’s flights to Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia all operate twice per week. “Podgorica and Skopje are popular among tourists, while Belgrade and Zagreb with businesspeople. We are considering continuing all these routes over the summer, and we plan to increase frequencies to those that prove most popular”, the company noted. Windrose has also scheduled a one-off flight from Kiev to Dubrovnik tomorrow. As its operations in the former Yugoslavia continue to grow, Windrose has requested permission from US authorities to start flying to New York as soon as possible. The airline will initially operate these flights under a wet-lease agreement (meaning it will lease a plane and crew from another carrier), but also anticipates operating ad-hoc charters using its own equipment.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    Great to see they plan to start Ljubljana after all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:41

      At least something for us in LJU to look forward to.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:08

      As far as I remember, Ljubljana is now the biggest unserved market in CEE from Boryspil.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:10

      10,000 indirect pax is not bad at all.

      Delete
  2. JU has 70 seats on their -500, right? I guess with 78 situation is preety cramped...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      But Windrose operated the -600 version. And they are brand new planes.

      Delete
    2. Ok, but -600 has the same fuselage lenght as -500?
      I know its quieter and more modern but im talking about leg situation on a 2h+ flight.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:13

      In December 2015, the EASA approved a new high-density seating layout, raising the maximum capacity from 74 to 78 seats.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:17

      This is their ATR cabin.

      https://scontent.ffjr1-4.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/120949419_3334864286569436_7163183010384282164_o.jpg?_nc_cat=110&ccb=2&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=t8f1Vmfzep0AX80dsuf&_nc_ht=scontent.ffjr1-4.fna&oh=aa88e8ce6fb850466186007aebdf266b&oe=6000D527

      @Milos, JU still uses thick old seats in the ATR. Capacity could be improved by using light slim seats.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous17:59

      Agree , cabin looks very good.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:08

    Very interesting to read about their plans for New York. Could they attract some passengers from the region?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      I don't think this would be their priority.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:18

      You never know. If they offer good prices, why not?

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:09

    I'm also satisfied if they are satisfied.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:09

    "Podgorica and Skopje are popular among tourists, while Belgrade and Zagreb with businesspeople."

    There are businesspeople traveling now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      There are tourists traveling now?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:14

      If the airline says these are the type of passengers they are seeing most on these flights there there are obviously both categories.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:10

    Considering the situation, this is great to see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:18

      They seem to be looking for any market that is open.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:10

    What is the Dubrovnik flight for?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      Probably tour group

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:58

      Nope, seasonal workers on a cargo ship.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:00

      Ah thank you :)

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:11

    Good capacity for these routes. But next year they retire the E145s so they will have to start using the ATRs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      That would be the perfect increase for summer next year.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:12

    In summer they also serve PUY, SPU and DBV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      Sometimes. These are not on sale for summer 2021.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:15

    They put a nice ad for BEG :)
    https://scontent.ffjr1-4.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/131028128_3520005338055329_7775266619892304989_o.jpg?_nc_cat=106&ccb=2&_nc_sid=8bfeb9&_nc_ohc=VCZTeh9GhrwAX8MmdbE&_nc_ht=scontent.ffjr1-4.fna&oh=1997138353e620b80753bdbaa03188b0&oe=60025F35

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      Nice :)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:20

      Wow Belgrade looks nice! What is that building?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:23

      Parliament :)

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:17

    What are their fares like?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      You can see on their website.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:25

      They are expensive as hell. 240 euros return ticket from Kiev to Belgrade.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:18

    They will have some tough competition next year in BEG. SkyWings will fly 2x per week with B737-800 (and tickets are dirt cheap) while JU is also expected to restart flights. Let's see who outlasts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      I think JU will be the weak link. Let's wait and see.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:24

      They will also have competition from Montenegro Airlines on Kiev route next summer.
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/p/montenegro-airlines-podgorica-kiev.html

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:27

      I really wouldn't count on that YM route. Considering the state they are in.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:19

    Congratulations on taking a risk in these tough times!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:20

    we will see how long will it last after corona

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      Why wouldn't it last? Markets can be created. There will be word of mouth now about these destinations, tour operators will establish relations with hotels...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:23

      Also don't forget that Ukraine is a huge market. And cheap and affordable holidays and city break destinations are popular.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:42

      All that you said is true, but why Windsor or some other Ukrainian company did not start flights by now. They were only flying to leisure destinations in EX-YU during summer seasons

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:44

      It is no doubt that corona made them take note of the region. They say so themsleves

      "The Ukrainian carrier noted it was the coronavirus pandemic that brought the region to its attention"

      But I don't think they will stop flights when corona fades now when they start developing and creating a market between these countries.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:45

      This is something JU should have done. But they focused mostly on transfer pax. Had they did a bit more work, they would be flying there now. They could have stimulated interest among Serbian tour operators. Ukraine is cheap for Serbian standards, especially accommodation which could have been offered by tour operators. Shame.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:04

      +100 last anon

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:25

    At least they announced and followed through with all of their routes. Exception is LJU but because foreigners are not allowed in at the moment but they even plan to launch that. Compared that to the grand announcements made by Wizz Air.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:26

    I hope it can work.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous09:26

    How many passengers would they need on the E145 to make it break even on these routes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:39

      With the prices they are charging, they don't need much.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:00

      50 seaters are gas guzzlers.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:41

    Good on them. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:41

    No plans to Sarajevo? :( why don't they consider it. It would be popular with tourists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:49

      Maybe in 2021 they will have plans for it

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:57

      Do Ukrainians need visa to enter Bosnia?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:57

      No

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:58

      No visa required for 30 days within any 2-month period

      Delete
    5. Anonymous21:19

      Ok, thank you. Let's hope they look into SJJ.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous06:39

      It's truly crazy how many airlines have overlooked SJJ over the years. I wish we had a more proactive government.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous10:04

    Nice, any new addition is welcome. For next summer too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:13

      Yes, I think people wrongly believe how next summer will be business as usual, but not quite.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:19

      It will certainly be better than this summer.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous10:12

    I'm surprised. I expected all of these would have been cancelled.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous10:22

    Finally a right sized plane for KBP-BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:33

      With JU having 81% LF according to the article, I don't think it was so bad after all.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous10:32

    Reading the article, Air Serbia's results were quite good on this route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:45

      Yes, I'm quite surprised. Not bad at all.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:33

    With 4,000 pax in normal circumstances, lets hope Skopje can work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:45

      With E145 it can.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:17

      LJU also had 4000 before the direct flight

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:15

      Anon 17:17 it would be nice if you would read again. LJU had around 10 000, not 4000.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:07

      @19.15 OAG says something else "Ljubljana is now Kiev’s top unserved route in Central and Eastern Europe with about the same demand in 2019 as Skopje – before stimulation."

      Delete
  25. Anonymous10:45

    They should increase advertising of these flights in the countries they are serving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:03

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:03

      These flights are mainly targeted at Ukrainians. Not ex-Yu locals.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:07

      That's a mistake. Why exclude a group of potential passengers?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:43

      There are even commercials for the Windrose flights at Belgrade Airport.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous10:54

    So in terms of most indirect pax last year

    Zagreb: 11,000
    Ljubljana: 10,000
    Skopje: 4,000

    Belgrade (actual passengers carried) 11,114

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:02

      Don't forget that those Belgrade numbers are without indirect passengers that is those who flew via WAW, IST, VIE...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:03

      What about Podgorica

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:06

      @11.02 Yes these are just passengers actually carried. There were probably a couple of thousand other that went indirect.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous11:08

    Considering the number of pax Air Serbia had last year, that there are no strict restrictions for entering Ukraine (you just need PCR test) and no strict restriction for entering Serbia I'm dumbfounded as to why they have not restored this route?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:14

      Passenger numbers are one thing. The big question is how much money you make on the route.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous11:26

    Nice!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous11:26

    Hope they make it to New York. Will they use JFK?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:59

      Yes, they applied for two weekly flights to JFK airport.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous11:43

    Thank you for the interesting stats. Let's hope these work out.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous11:53

    Very good news.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous11:53

    РОЗА ВІТРІВ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:41

      What does it mean?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:58

      Windrose haha. It's their official name.

      Delete
  33. Anonymous11:53

    Nice to see loads are doing alright.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous16:23

    Bizarre timing, no economic justification, fuzzy goals with JFK on one hand and ExYu on the other. Horrible livery sums it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:41

      I would be thankful an airline has decided to start flights to the region at this time.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:41

      And also, airline with great liveries seem to have all suspended flights to the region, straight away.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:05

      Anon 17:41 Your views are expected of someone well versed in crop husbandry.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous20:08

      I just got to wonder what's your problem with this airline? It's doing well on the new routes, it started flights when no one else would... if the livery is an issue for you close your eyes.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous22:52

      Exactly. The Balkans need to be connected to Europe's second largest country. Ukraine has at least 10 major international airports and has a population of nearly 43 million - a huge market. Kyiv the capital has 2 airports itself to begin with.

      Delete
  35. Anonymous21:17

    Let's see if the flights last.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous21:17

    I don't understand who is on these flights.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous09:31

    So, like they bring successful their citizens to other EU countries for working maybe they could also hire foreign first officers/captains.

    ReplyDelete

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