Qatar Airways suspends Skopje, Sarajevo until further notice


Qatar Airways has suspended flights from Doha to both Skopje and Sarajevo until further notice with services unlikely to resume before 2022. The carrier has been delaying the resumption of its operations to the two cities for some time now. It initially planned to restart flights at the start of the 2021/2022 winter season in late October but has now discontinued ticket sales. The decision comes as a result of weak demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with both routes being heavily reliant on transfer passengers coming from markets which are currently completely closed for both outbound and inbound travel.

In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News, Qatar Airways said, “Similar to other airlines around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has created significant operational challenges for Qatar Airways. While we continue to operate as many flights as possible, many routes remain commercially unviable due to the significant drop in global demand for air travel. After careful consideration, we have taken the decision to temporarily suspend the Sarajevo and Skopje routes. We have advised all stakeholders and impacted passengers and are working closely with them to offer alternative travel options to other points in our network or full refunds in line with our Travel With Confidence flexible travel policy”. It added, “We understand how important it is for many of our passengers to have access to flights and we want to reassure them we remain committed to operating as many flights as possible. An ongoing review is being conducted and the intention is to reinstate flights in line with a return to regular conditions and market demand”.

Qatar Airways inaugurated flights to both Skopje and Sarajevo in 2017. It was the only Oneworld alliance member to maintain services to the two cities. Elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia, Qatar Airways continues to maintain flights to Belgrade and Zagreb. It currently operates three weekly services to Belgrade with its Airbus A320 jet and one weekly to the Croatian capital with the same aircraft type. Due to increased demand for holiday destinations in the Indian Ocean, the airline will be increasing capacity to Belgrade on select dates in March to the Airbus A321 and has also pushed back its departure time from the Serbian capital in order to cut down on transfer time in Doha. It plans to increase services to four weekly from March 28. On the other hand, services to Zagreb will increase to two weekly at the start of the summer season.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    Not surprised at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      Something tells me these two ain't coming back.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:33

      I'm also not sure but you never know. They will grow their GCC network after the blockade so that might be good enough for SJJ.

      As for Skopje, it depends when Australia reopens.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    I think Zagreb will be further pushed back since there won't be Asian tourism this year and Australia is still closed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:33

      You mean the second weekly flight?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:51

      Obviously

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:02

    My guess main transfer market is Australia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:40

      bingo (at least for MK)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:46

      yes

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:03

    I find it a bit odd they are flying ZAG just one weekly. How can it be profitable for them? Could not they have done the same with SKP and SJJ then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      Maybe there is cargo?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:08

      Yes, possible

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:34

      I don't think Qatar Airways cares much about profit.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:37

      If they didn't they would still be flying to Sarajevo and Skopje.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:03

    Well, until Australia remains closed I'm not seeing any reason why they would comeback to Skopje since the majority of the passengers were transfers from Australia.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:03

    They could have maybe tried operating with a triangle routing. Similar to Bucharest/Sofia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:25

      Are OTP/SOF still combined?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:05

      Yes, but they will witness the deployment of the 787 next week for a couple of days, which is quite unusual.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:35

      It would be better if they unbundled those two routes.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous18:59

      Obviously this works best for them financially and demand wise.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:05

    Wow that is unfortunate.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:05

    A good indication of which routes perform well for them in the region.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      at the moment..

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:06

    This is sad news because QR at the moment (and probably in the future) has the biggest network to many places.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:35

      Yes. They are already flying to like 130 destinations, which is kind of crazy.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous00:46

      They were flying the most routes during the height of global lockdowns too.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:09

    :(

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:12

    Unfortunately this will be the post Covid world and this is probably light compared to what other airlines will do. Qatar will probably keep most of its routes because of the 2022 World Cup but for other airlines, I'm not so sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:36

      We haven't even arrived into post-covid.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:12

    I'm actually very surprised they even launched Skopje.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      Catering for big diaspora in Australia, so rather smart market research actually and no surprise.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:12

    There will be more and more news look this :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      Airlines will have to rethink their strategies.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:15

    Well that buries any chance of LJU getting QR any time soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      Until skobir/krašnja and co. are their management, they will never get QR

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:15

    I wonder through which cities they reroute passengers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      BEG, VIE and IST.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:44

      loving the order you put in here

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:49

      I just randomly wrote the cities as they came to my mind. I didn't categorise them by certain metrics. Jeez what triggers some of you people is astounding.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:56

      most connections in the region Qatar offers are through:

      1. Istanbul (Pegasus)
      2. Belgrade (Air Serbia)
      3. Vienna (Austrian Airlines)
      4. Frankfurt (Lufthansa) from Sarajevo
      5. Zagreb (Croatia Airlines)

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:30

      it's about who Qatar Airways has agreements with so they can sell you flights with a stop somewhere on a single ticket with your baggage checked through to the final destination.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:32

      yes and its exactly what he wrote.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous12:07

      The flight via Zagreb no longer works. OU will fly only twice per week to Sarajevo and they don't fly on the same day Qatar Airways flies.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous12:09

      Doesn't work for Skopje either. No flights on the day Qatar Airways flies to/from Zagreb.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:19

    I'm surprised about Sarajevo. With the blockade lifted and QR having resumed flights to Saudi and UAE, I would have thought they would have more of a chance of attracting transfer passengers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      I think Saudi is still closed.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:31

      But Flynas plans to resume SJJ flights

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2021/02/flynas-to-return-to-sarajevo.html

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:05

      We will see if it happens. Saudi Arabia was supposed to open in June. It's February now and it's still closed.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:22

    It's really unfortunate because this is the only oneworld airline operating to Sarajevo and Skopje. Hope we see them back sooner rather than later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:04

      I'm hoping we will see them back at all. I'm not too hopeful.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:22

    Great news for Turkish Airlines.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:24

    Very unfortunate! SJJ - Doha was very important for Bosnia, since Doha is a major hub for entire Asia. Hope they resume flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:51

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:32

      There are still connections via Dubai

      Delete
    3. Anonymous00:37

      Flydubai and then transferring onto Emirates is not a very convenient combination.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:26

    Ouch

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:26

    Advanced bookings must have been poor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      well everything else would ba a surprise...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:41

      ahh the advance bookings guru

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:43

      But he is probably right in this case

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:46

      this and the repetitive comment that "this shows which routes perform well in the region"

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:51

      That's right too...

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:08

      recognisible by his repetitive comments for every city's articles

      Delete
  22. Anonymous09:33

    I'm not liking there is any provisional resumption date.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:51

      Who knows if they will be back. Either one or the other.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous09:34

    I think their return to Dubai helped to improve sales from BEG. FZ increased BEG to daily during the slowest month of the year- February!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:47

      Them moving the departure from BEG by 3 hrs is really good news. They no longer have the wave of departures from Doha which immediately connected on from the BEG flights. Now they will connect onto the 2AM wave. And on top of that departure from Doha to BEG stays the same which is perfect for connections. So their planr will sit in BEG for 3 hrs.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:50

      *plane

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:09

    Actually, QR might give FZ a favour in SKP. Let's see if they return back too. They will still operate 2 weekly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:12

      Not happening unfortunately :((

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2021/02/flydubai-suspends-skopje-service-until.html

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:18

      This basically means no Gulf flights to Skopje this summer.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:24

      But Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is expected to start flights

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:54

      The issue is Abu Dhabi is closed (unlike Dubai)

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:56

      Abu Dhabi is not closed -> https://www.etihad.com/en-ae/fly-etihad/visas

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:01

      Yes that's great. You can enter and then go to 10 days quarantine with tracking bracelet.

      "If you are travelling from any other country, you are required to quarantine for 10 days upon your arrival in Abu Dhabi at home or at a hotel. If you are travelling from a country deemed high-risk by the UAE authorities, you may be subject to quarantine in a government facility. You will be required to wear a medically approved wristband for the duration of your quarantine – this will be provided by the authorities at Abu Dhabi Airport after you clear immigration."

      There are only 8 countries exempt from this and Macedonia isn't one of them.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous12:44

      This is the reason why people ditch AUH and go to DXB instead. W6 suddenly launched flights to DXB from BUD, OTP and SOF.
      FZ will be heavily increasing its frequencies during the upcoming 2 months.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous00:38

      Wizz Air would have been smarter if they stuck to Dubai instead of moving to Abu Dhabi.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous00:41

      It was kind of difficult for them to predict the coronavirus pandemic in 2019 when they decided to open a base in Abu Dhabi.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous00:41

      Plus they got a lot of money from the Abu Dhabi government to do this.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous10:30

    Great news for Turkish Airlines which, by the way, few days ago has resumed a sort of pre-COVID catering service in Business class: hot meals are finally back & the infamous food boxes are gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:33

      That's good to hear. It was completely stupid they removed it in the first place under some Covid excuse.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:35

      * has resumed a sort of pre-COVID catering service in Business class also on European flights & flights less <8 hours

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:07

      Finally

      Delete
    4. Anonymous15:50

      Good thing food boxes in C are gone- just hope that flights with TK will finally be available/reliable: cancel & reschedule to SEZ 3 times already: end of Jan, end of Feb, and yesterday cancellation for end of March- I gave up and will book a classic summer holiday in August- I hope things will normalize till then.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous00:39

      That's a pity. SEZ would have been nice. Will they refund you?

      Delete
  26. Anonymous10:33

    Its time TK to start SYD/MEL flights

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:02

      They considered it numerous times but always said that the costs are simply too expensive.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous11:14

    Its fine. Australia is closed anyway

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:04

      Is there no demand for some leisure destinations that are open? Maldives, Zanzibar?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:07

      Obviously not

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:49

      Most in demand leisure destinations from Macedonia by plane are in Turkey.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous17:47

    This sucks

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous17:48

    Without doubt the best airline flying to each city

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:07

      Unfortunately to Sarajevo they most often sent their oldest and worst A320s with no IFE!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous00:40

      That's true. I don't know why they used to schedule this plane to Sarajevo so often.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous00:45

      Probably because its a route with the least demand in Europe.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous18:48

    If Flydubai, with significantly greater P2P market from Macedonia can't make it work it's no surprise Qatar Airways can't either.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous00:40

    QR demand on these routes was low since the start. Like I said before, one of the destinations QR launched that never saw an increase in frequencies or capacity.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous00:45

    Hope they come bacl

    ReplyDelete

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