Minister: Worst of Covid crisis over for Air Serbia


The Serbian Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Tomislav Momirović, has said the worst of the Corvid-19 crisis has passed for Air Serbia which is preparing an “aggressive” response to changing market conditions in the region. “Air transport is slowly recovering. Air Serbia is rebuilding its network and will restore flights to Prague, Bucharest and Sofia on May 10, as well as Thessaloniki on May 21. We have to utilise the successful vaccination campaign to our advantage in order to enable people to travel again. We have over 200 charter flights planned to Greece and another 200 to Turkey this summer, because the public can no longer endure the limitations placed around their lifestyles”.

Mr Momimirović noted that Air Serbia will play a more active role in the region. “Air Serbia has survived and is becoming a respectable European carrier. Most airlines in the region have practically gone bankrupt. Air Serbia was forced to reduce its network of destinations from 65 to 27. We are trying to take over markets in those countries whose national carriers no longer realistically exist. As measures begin to be relaxed, we want to mount an aggressive market response and we are preparing for that. We are doing all of this so we can come out as winners from this crisis”, the Minister said.

Commenting on the upcoming summer months, Mr Momirović noted, “I am certain that people will go on holidays this summer as was the case prior to the pandemic. We have made serious preparations for it and worked hard. The public has to be awarded for taking part in the vaccination process and enduring strict measures over the past year. We will also bring guests from countries that have put in the effort too, like Israel. We want to lift the aviation industry and bring about its recovery”. During the 2021 summer season, Air Serbia plans to operate more than 800 charter flights to Turkey, Egypt, Greece and Tunisia. The carrier will commence its summer charter programme over the upcoming Orthodox Easter and May Day holidays, with services to Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt. Charters to Turkey will focus on the Antalya region, but there are plans to also serve Bodrum and Dalaman. In Greece, flights will operate to Rhodes, Crete, Skiathos, Corfu, Kefalonia, Zakynthos and other popular destinations.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    Does this mean we might see some new destination in the near future?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:04

      That's not the point of this article.
      New destinations or whatever else you wish to happen is all possible. Anything is possible. We'll see.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:06

      My question is with which aircraft? The JU fleet has become smaller during this pandemic and with a lot of charters planned they will have to start eventually thinking of expanding their fleet.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:08

      There is a plenty of unused aircraft all over the world, waiting for someone to lease them for a pittance. So "lack of fleet" isn't really a problem nowadays.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:14

      Hopefully they can introduce some routes planned for 2020. They have started Geneva out of those already

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:45

      They will need additional aircraft to serve charter and scheduled traffic if demand starts to increase by summer.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:45

      Like anon 9.08 said, it's easy to quickly lease aircraft if they need it. And cheap.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    The right approach. Good news

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:09

    Hopefully things will improve

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:09

    Great to see them being this proactive.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:10

    Today there are 40 scheduled departures from BEG which is great news

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:45

      but tomorrow only 15 flights

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:45

      There are over 200 departures from FRA/LHR/CDG today- still pax numbers are down 80%.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:47

      Tuesday has been the weakest day since the crisis started. It's still 8 flights more than we had two weeks ago.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:49

      @9.45 as you saw last week, pax numbers are down 69% at BEG in Q1, so well below the 80% at other airports in Western Europe.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:51

      Why do people travel more to Serbia in the pandemic? Would be nice to know?

      Delete
    6. Nemjee09:56

      Many travel to get vaccinated but many others come because measures aren't as strict as in many other places.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:57

      There are less restrictions and people from countries that can't enter the rest of Europe, like Russians and Turks are going on holidays or weekend breaks to Serbia. Also some are using it to transfer because restrictions elsewhere do not permit them.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:11

      Tuesday is a low frequency day because Air Serbia decided to streamline their schedule to particular days due to connecting traffic because demand is still low. There are some days they are operating 80% of their schedule from 2019 and then there is Tuesday where they barely have a couple of flights.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:17

    Good to see the situation improving.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:17

    JU is slowly rebuilding its network. Of course frequencies are not the same but they reflect reality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee09:22

      LCA was quietly boosted from 1 to 2 weekly some two weeks ago. Both flights are doing ok, for example last night the flight departed with 8 in business and 59 in economy while the flight back had 5 in business and 65 in economy.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:37

      Is arrival into Cyprus now quarantine free?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:46

      No. Some transfers though.

      Delete
    4. Nemjee09:46

      You enter with a PCR even if you are vaccinated. You get tested in Cyprus at your expense and remain in isolation until the test results arrive. Covid is exploding in Cyprus so they are still rather strict with the measures.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:18

    Hmm I wonder what this "aggressive" response in the region means. More flights to Montenegro?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      Well they had talks with the Slovenian government. Who knows what's cooking there.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:09

      This morning they were operating A319 to TGD.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:33

      They should stop being stupid and start thinking about the region on a much wider scale.

      They have zero presence in Hungary (not even 'luxurious' bus service), barely any presence in Romania, Slovakia, southern Poland, Bari in Italy etc.

      Lviv and Chisinau were steps in the right direction prior to Covid.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:05

      Hope that showed that they are looking at other destinations. After all they did launch KRR which proved to be a fantastic success.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:20

    I really like to see how well JU is managed during these terrible times. Much, much better than many other airlines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:05

      I agree. I think they have been rather flexible through this whole crisis and quick to respond to some potential market opportunities by launching new routes and replacing older aircraft.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:01

      They still think transatlantic market is not ready for new JU services this year. They are now embracing long haul "it's too early to react" attitude. By the time they wake up, A330 lease rates will be higher and US based airlines will start new routes to Ex Yu region. Wait, that's already happening. JU deserve thumbs down for avoiding second A330 and long haul expansion.

      Delete
  10. Nemjee09:20

    I think Belgrade needs to work on restoring normality on the Serbia-Russia market. On Saturday I was at the airport waiting for a friend who arrived on TK.
    At the same time, passengers from Aeroflot's A333 were coming out. The flight was full for sure and from what I could see 90% of the passengers were Russians. In the arrivals hall one tourist group was assembling and I counted 74 people. They were mostly middle aged couples.

    Russians are restricted and can't go to many places. This could be a perfect opportunity for Serbia to earn some extra money. I also noticed that JU's default equipment to SVO is A320. Market should not suffer because of bureaucracy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      I noticed yesterday that Air Serbia also sent its A330 to Moscow

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:24

      Yes, that was a charter flight that carried workers to/from Russia. There was another charter flight a few days before that but on the A320.
      Nordwind has also increased capacity on tomorrow's flight since they scheduled the A321.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:43

      I don't understand why they just don't allow frequencies back to normal. Makes no sense anymore.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:48

      What is the difference between Serbia and the rest of Europe? Why do they need to travel more in the pandemic?

      Delete
    5. Nemjee09:48

      Russians are restricting flights, it's Moscow that's insisting on this. However the market is forcing them to be more flexible since Russian carriers are also profiting from this boom on the Russia-Serbia market.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:14

      SU every flight is packed and most of them on widebodies. JU just lately seems to be able to fill an A320 but until recently it was A319 flying. The JU A330 has nothing to do with OBD demand as it is purely a charter flight for Velestroy. Sometimes JU light fares are even higher than SU. Their service is not comparable to SU.

      Delete
    7. Nemjee13:09

      Are you implying that passengers who are flying on JU A330 are connecting onto a flight in SVO? O&D refers to origin and destination passengers that is those who are flying between two points without connecting.
      As for JU, their sales department is generally not the best out there. They are sending the A320 these days because they are profiting from Putin's Turkish blockade.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:42

    Good luck. Hope there is more good news soon.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:43

    Here is hoping we have another Israeli travel boom like last year :D

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:44

    Positive development is that furloughed Air Serbia cabin crew are being called up to start working again from May. So it's a good indication.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:04

      That's good to hear. Do you know how many crew have been furloughed?

      Delete
  14. Anonymous10:04

    And JU is finally resuming Italy flights on 30th April :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous10:06

    Interesting points. Let's see how summer develops

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous10:06

    I wonder how many PAX they handled last year and their expectations for this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:07

      Did they reach a million?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:32

      No way... They had slightly under 3 million in 2019. If the number of pax went down 70-80% as was the average of BEG they ended up with around 700-900 thousand at best

      Delete
  17. Anonymous10:07

    Considering the situation, it's good JU is still standing and even opening some new routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:09

      Especially considering the fact that Serbian passport holders can't enter EU.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:11

    Anyone know if KVO flights are going to resume?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:17

      Doubt it in this climate. Maybe towards the end of summer if things and travel restrictions imporve.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:17

      *improve

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:17

      They could start Thessaloniki, like they wanted last year. No travel restrictions from next month any more.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:05

      Yes they are resuming Kraljevo flights in 2 weeks (to Vienna). Thessaloniki is cancelled completely for this summer.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous11:03

    Does this means that they will return our salaries on level at the beginning of pandemic? Or we are waiting for some "better" times?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:09

      Is that a serious question? Are you aware they are struggling like most airlines out there and you are asking here if your salaries will be boosted? At the end of the day if you are unhappy why don't you quit in stead of trashing your employer on here? The same one who slashed your salary so that he doesn't have to fire you.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:25

      They are well paid. 80% of salary for 20% work.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous11:03

    I believe their recovery could be quicker if they finally seeked to join an alliance. What do you guys think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:06

      An alliance would be very beneficial for them. Have they actually ever looked into it?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:46

      Adria is gone, Malev is gone, OU is going as well as OK. So much about alliances...

      Delete
  21. Anonymous11:14

    Good for Air Serbia

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous12:18

    It is funny how these newly appointed politicians quickly become experts in everything including aviation. T. Momirovic now already knows that Covid is beaten and that JU is recovering. I am sure he doesn't know to list 15 cities where the airline flies currently. What a joke!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:55

      But the guy is so eloquent when he speaks... ;-()

      Delete
  23. Anonymous12:34

    I have hears some rumpurs saying JU will restore 1 destination and open quite new one soon.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Бежи бре!14:31

    Government: "We are trying to take over markets in those countries whose national carriers no longer realistically exist"

    Countries in the EX YU region whose national carriers went bankrupt in recent years:

    Slovenia: JU: quickly added some flights. Others: market is controlled by StarAlliance; EU airline will open a mini base.
    Bosnia: JU: did almost nothing. Others: Wizzair is opening a base in SJJ, adding flights in BNX.
    Montenegro: JU: added capacity. Others: Air Montenegro is consulted by Lufthansa on return to service, service to BEG will be certainly be restored.

    Total score: JU is not trying to take over those markets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:09

      Meanwhile JU boosted Athens both flights and capacity. Two weeks ago they increased flights to IST from 5 to 7 and TIA got more flights over the past few weeks. It's not JU's fault that some regional markets are not showing much life.

      Also are you seriously implying JU did not react in MNE? Silly.

      JU looks beyond ex-YU which is what it needs to do in order to survive. Look at their growh in SVO.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:47

      Government said they are trying to take over markets in those countries whose national carriers no longer exist. You are responding with JU examples from ATH, IST and SVO. No comment.

      I am not implying JU did not react in MNE. Read it again: JU added capacity (and probably frequency) in MNE. That's it, they did nothing else. Did JU offer to base an aircraft in MNE? No. Did they try to help new MNE government start a new airline? No. Germans on the other hand sent their ambassador three times to influence creation of the new airline and got Lufthansa to advise them.

      In SLO, B&H and MNE others are taking over the market, not JU. Please share this with the Minister and those who are feeding him incorrect info about JU.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous06:18

      Huh? Why would JU base a plane in an extremely seasonal market with limited demand? They increased flights to offer more connections via BEG, that's the most rational way to respond in these circumstances.
      I don't have to share anything. Simply restoring or boosting flights to these markets is a step in taking them over. They don't have to base a plane there. After all very few airlines in much richer marekts successfully manage to operate more than one hub.

      Just because your idea of it is to base a whole bunch of A319s doesn't mean that's the case in reality. Why should JU even bother with a base in places like LJU when other larger carriers failed with flights from some of the biggest markets?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:46

      Za veliki LOT je dobra prilika otvaranje tri linije i mini baze u Ljubljani. Za jos vecu Lufthanzu je dobra prilika rad u Crnoj Gori. Za JU je sve to "bother"

      Delete
  25. Anonymous20:03

    Prag 2X
    Sofija 3X
    Bukurešt 5X
    Solun 2X
    Nije loše za novi početak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:14

      * per week

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:22

      Букурешт је неочекивано добар, чак пет недељних!

      Delete

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