Niš outlines planned new subsidised routes for 2022


New flights of public interest will be established from Niš Constantine the Great Airport next year, according to the City Assembly. The operating carrier will be selected through an international tender. The planned subsidised routes include Hahn, Ljubljana, Cologne and Istanbul on a year-round basis, as well as Tivat and Athens over the summer months. "This list is not final and there is a possibility it may be modified. A task group has been formed by the Ministry for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure to determine potential new routes from Niš. Around 8.5 million euros will be set aside from the state budget to fund the flights", Assembly member, Nenad Stanković, said. All services will operate twice per week. The Mayor of Niš, Dragana Sotirovski, recently noted that the "long awaited" flights to Istanbul would soon be established.

In 2019 Air Serbia won a tender to operate two weekly flights deemed of “public interest” from Niš to Baden Baden, Bologna, Budapest, Hahn, Friedrichshafen, Gothenburg, Hanover, Ljubljana, Nuremberg, Rome, Salzburg and Tivat. The subsidy was valued at five million euros per year and the contract was to run until 2024. However, three months into its launch, services to Budapest were discontinued. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, all routes were suspended. Eventually, only Hahn was reinstated on a year-round basis while Tivat operated this summer. It is believed that due to Covid-19, Air Serbia is no longer able to deliver on its contractual obligations and the deal has been halted, resulting in a new tender next year.

The 2019 tender outlined that the operating carrier must base an aircraft in Niš with the capacity to seat at least 125 passengers. The jet in question could not be over twenty years old. Furthermore, the selected airline was required to have another jet stationed in Serbia. A group of carriers could submit a joint bid. The Serbian government has defined routes of public interest as being eligible for subsidies, as they either lack commercial interest, carry less than 100.000 passengers per year, or are insufficiently served by other means of transport. The aim of the subsidies is to stimulate travel, boost tourism, business links and improve the local economy. Air Serbia’s flights out of Niš are sold at low cost fares. Passengers on these services are unable to accrue miles through the airline’s loyalty program and no business class tickets are sold. During the first three quarters of this year, Niš Airport handled 98.436 passengers, representing a decrease of 66.7% on the same period during the record breaking 2019.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    So I guess the government admitted they made a terrible selection of routes the first time around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:29

      Considering how many of them are not coming back, I would say so.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    Glad to see Nis-Ljubljana coming back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:16

      Which means that along with Hahn and Tivat it was the only one that was successful.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:47

      well the price was really good. way cheaper than going by car even if it was full. And way faster hehe.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:30

      It was actually popular with Slovenes going for tourist purposes.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    So they are going to pay more for fewer routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      They will probably add more routes.

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL11:35

      If you read the article it says that the list is not final.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:05

    I guess now we know why Anadolujet will be given approval for Ankara-Belgrade, so Air Serbia can start Nis-Istanbul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:58

      Will Air Serbia codeshare with TK on this route?

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:06

    If nothing else it is good to see more main airports being included from Nis - Istanbul, Athens and Cologne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:31

      True. These flights are really cheap. You can basically use ATH or IST and connect onto another flight on two separate tickets.

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL11:38

      Finally, it's nice to see hubs. SVO and AMS would be great while they're at it.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:06

    No need to guess who will win the tender.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:37

      Same as PSO in Croatia for example. That's okay everywhere.

      Delete
    2. Excuse me. I disagree how lot of things are done in croatian aviation, but let's not write lies : Last PSO tender in Croatia was won by Trade Air, not Croatia Airlines.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:31

      Trade Air is Croatian airline.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:07

    The "international tender" is hilarious because no other airline is allowed to operate between Nis and Istanbul other than Turkish or Serbian company and since no Turkish company meets the requirements...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:11

      What a farce

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:20

      Well the same thing applied for the previous tender as Tivat was included, meaning no other airline could operate it.

      Delete
    3. Nemjee09:38

      So what? Government is using tax money so they might as well spend it on JU so that money stays in the country. Don't forget that each time you buy a W6 ticket your money is deposited on their accounts in Budapest.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:57

      @Nemjee Lets ban all foreign airlines then. What a stupid argument.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous15:36

      There is no monopoly in INI, Ryan and Wizz have been flying there for years. Unlike Tuzla, where Wizz couple of months ago basically banned Ryan from flying there according to news.

      Delete
    6. Nemjee09:09

      Who said anything about banning all foreign airlines? If you can't make a valid argument then you might skip commenting.
      I was referring to the scenario when the government uses public funds to stimulate demand as is the case with INI. Since they are using tax money they might as well give it to a local company so that the funds stay in the country. Giving subsidies to foreign airlines when you have your own is the very definition of stupidity.

      Like Anon 15.36 said, foreign carriers are more than welcome to launch INI flights and anyway, they have done so in the past. Here we are talking about economically unsustainable routes which are of no interest to foreign LCCs.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:12

    It is good that in addition to these, Nis is getting flights from real LCCs. Yesterday Ryan launched Stockholm-Nis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      And on Monday they start flights from Vienna.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:39

      Next summer Air Cairo will also launch Hurghada-Nis.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:14

    This amount of money is huge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:25

      It's around a million per route. Nothing major. It exactly covers the losses of those flights and the low fares they are sold at.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:14

    Same should be done for other struggling airports like OSI or OMO.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:16

    Great news

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:16

    No Italy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      Maybe JU launches Bologna from Belgrade instead.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:31

      I'm also surprised. No Rome either.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:17

    Good development for Nis. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      I remember when people were writing in the comments how Nis Airport would be closed after Vinci took over Belgrade.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:18

    Why make Athens seasonal?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:19

    Mislim da će Salcburg dodati ovom spisku,dobro je funkcionisao pre pandemije.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:21

    Nice :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous09:23

    Still no INI-BEG? Why??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:25

      winter time, no demand, etc...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:26

      BEG - INI flights are simply not possible due to infrastructure and a lack od domestic terminal in BEG.

      Delete
    3. JATBEGMEL11:08

      These issues are fixed by not selling the INI-BEG-INI sector but selling tickets exclusively for international transfer ie INI-BEG-AMS. All pax clear customs and immigration in INI and thus are treated as international transfer pax in BEG.

      Similar to what QF was doing with LAX-JFK.

      Since BEG and INI are being renovated, small works could be done for a domestic gate at both airports.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:07

      Maybe road and rail infrastructure in Serbia is not yet ready, but operating flights on such a short distance is never gonna happen. If you look at the European trends, they are doing everything to destimulate flights shorter than 500km. Soon, Serbia will have to comply with these rules. In Belgium they will impose additional tax on those tickets making them more expensive.
      So, forget about Serbian domestic lines, but build fast railways.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:25

    Bad news for bus companies.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:27

    Does that mean they will do the same for KVO?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      They were mentioning how flights from Kraljevo to Tivat and Istanbul are likely. So they will probably launch a new tender from there too.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:29

      Will be interesting to see if Kraljevo-Thessaloniki comes back next year.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:30

    HNH is nice but FRA would have been much better...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:27

      Especially, since HHN filed for bankruptcy a week ago.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:21

      Yes, strange that Hahn and Baden-Baden are in public interest, but not nearby Luxembourg or Frankfurt, or Stuttgart or Strasbourg.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous09:30

    So basically INI will be again competing with SKP as most of the routes are already covered by it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous09:33

    It seem theyo make tenders every time Air Serbia needs money! Let me guess who will win the tender..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:38

      Definitely

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:48

      Anonymous 09:33
      Exactly!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:30

      When Wizzair gets money in SKP by winning a tender every time were you also able to guess?

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL11:41

      I have nothing against JU winning the tender. But if they're going to be pushed into subsidised routes out of INI, it would be great for some thought to be put into it this time. Obviously the last list failed big time since the destinations have mostly changed.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous09:38

    "The operating carrier will be selected through an international tender."
    LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous09:39

    Istanbul seems like an interesting choice. I suppose it will be aimed at both Serbian and Turkish tourists.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous09:39

    8.5 mln euro is equivalent to the state purchasing 85,000 tickets with the price of 100 euro each. Because most of the routes are short (TIV, ATH, LJU), I assume 100 euro should on average suffice for a return ticket on these routes.

    I further assume that these tickets, "purchased" by the state by way of this subsidy, should make up for 50% of seats, with normal customers, paying for their tickets from their own pockets, filling at least another 20-30% of the plane, so altogether the airline would have 70-80% seats paid for in their flights. I think this assumption is very cautious, as I expect that the airline will manage to sell to normal customers more than 20-30% of seats.

    85,000 tickets purchased by the state means 1,360 return flights with the plane seating 125 people, where those tickets purchased by the state, as mentioned, ensure 50% load factor (62,5 seats sold to the state per flight). That would mean almost four return flights daily... We shall see...

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous09:40

    I'm from Greece and we had school excursion to Nis in 1990s :D It will be nice to have second destination in Serbia from Athens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I will use LJU to come to have "voz". I already have! 😃 Niski rostilj rules! 😃

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL11:58

      @pozdrav iz Rijeke

      If you are in Zagreb, there is a little place in that had Leskovacki rostilj. Tvornica pljeskavica is the name. The food was quite good.

      Delete
    3. In AMM now. Not very often in ZAG. But will try when there! Thanks JATBEGMEL! 😃

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL15:39

      No problem :)

      Delete
  27. Anonymous09:44

    HNH airport filed for bankrupty.
    https://www.dw.com/en/ryanair-hub-frankfurt-hahn-airport-files-for-bankruptcy/a-59550808

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:45

      It doesn't matter. It doesn't impact flights.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:47

      A FRA flight would have been a much smarter choice.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:50

      It would also be much more expensive.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:00

      No it would not. Otherwise FR would n't have cut back HNH flying so much in favor of FRA.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:05

      FR got big subsidies from FRA.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous09:44

    ATH should be year-round

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous09:45

    they should operate Athens year-round .

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous09:57

    Basically ANY route can be subsidised. 100,000 passenger per year on a route is a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous09:59

    I'm really happy for INI. I hope that whoever gets the support makes good choices and the routes end up being self-sustainable.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous10:10

    Elections are coming!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:45

      Is that the reason Air Serbia won the tender last time? No it wasn't.

      Delete
  33. Anonymous10:11

    Wouldn't it be better to operate routes of Nis with ATR rather than A319?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:50

      No, there is greater demand than for an ATR.

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL11:47

      ATR is really restrictive and not really competitive for them. W6 and FR have no problems with 180 seat capacities, JU shouldn't have a problem with a smaller A319 and subsidies to give routes some time to mature...that is, if the destinations were selected well.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous10:50

    Why did Air Serbia bring back just one route?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:08

      Corona. There is not enough demand and there are travel restrictions

      Delete
  35. Anonymous11:07

    Why no Nis-London?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JATBEGMEL11:50

      Smaller demand and visas are needed for Serbian passport holders, even in transit. Even out of BEG, there isn't much to the UK compared to other airports in countries surrounding Serbia.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:23

      Transfer visas not needed in transit if flying to USA or Canada.

      Delete
  36. I am so happy, well done Niš

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous11:22

    One condition of pervious tender was to have call center in Serbia. Also, I do not see point that government stimulate tourist destinations out of country. Those routes should be of public interest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:40

      Even in theory there is only one airline that can take part in this tender.

      Why?

      INI-IST can only be flown by a Serbian or Turkish airline.


      INI-TIV can only be flown by a Serbian or Montegrin airline.


      Together INI-IST and INI-TIV can only be flown by a Serbian airline.


      No need for a call center requiremnent.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:26

      Did you check conditions for other tenders in the surrounding area? Conditions are tailored for one airline. In those other countries conditions are set so Air Serbia could not apply but you don't seem to care when that happens.

      Delete
  38. Jel će opet da se namešta tender za AS ili će i druge kompanije moći da učestvuju?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:46

      Jedina avio firma koja moze u njemu da ucestvuje jeste Air Srbia zbog ruta do Tivta i Istanbula

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL15:38

      @Mehanicar

      Since only Serbian and Turkish carriers can operate between the 2 countries, the tender will go to Kenya Airways who has decades of tradition as a Serbian airline.

      Delete
    3. @jatbegmel
      I know, I'm being sarcastic. It's just a legal way for government to pump in more money into black hole known as AS. Elections are coming, few milions need to be pumped in so company cán show profit again. And then after few months flights will be cancelled like previous time.

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL14:22

      @Mehanicar

      Loving the sarcasm here haha :)

      The initial rebranding of JU into a full service airline was an expensive mistake. The past couple of years has looked promising that they are on the road to profitability, dropping from around 50 million euros to around 9 with expansion. My guesstimate is that JU will save around 3 million just on ARB alone. With a change in A319 leases, it could be more. But it is a horrible moment for aviation so it's hard to make assumptions. But they seem to be on the right path to profitability. I think the goal with the tender is more to showcase how Serbia is being connected with more cities, aviation is booming etc rather than to showcase how profitable JU is.

      Delete
    5. Sarkazam17:11

      Mehanicaru svako ko umislja da tender ima veze sa izborima treba da proveri da li mu fali neki sraf u glavi. Ako ti smeta sto je firma iz Srbija dobila tender drzave Srbije a ne smeta ti kad firma iz Madjarske dobije tender u Madjarskoj i Makedoniji onda osim srafova proveri da li fale i matice, bolcne, karike, amortizeri i ostalo.

      Delete
  39. Bravo Nis. I hope Air Serbia does not get the tender.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:28

      Who do you want to win? Delta?

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL15:36

      @Miroslav

      Kenya Airways will be awarded the tender.

      Delete
    3. Air Serbia will ultimately fail as do all airlines or businesses that do not cater to the customer. When I only get a 10 percent refund when missing a flight, that's bad business. And I know their flights are not full so re-scheduling should not be a problem. And their customer service center is and has always been horrible.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:59

      Kakva fraza. Hiljade firmi su bile sjajne prema kupcima pa su opet bankrotirale. Ja nisam stigao na Air France let pa nikad nisam dobio povracaj para. Kakav covek treba da budem da zato mrzim Air France ceo zivot i da zelim da propadnu? Moja je krivica sto nisam dosao na let i kupio kartu bez promene. Za LOT sam cekao vise od sat pre par nedelja i kad sam dosao na red nisu hteli da mi izadju u susret, pa sta sad, treba da mrzim LOT i da zelim da nikad ne dobiju na nekom tenderu?

      Delete
    5. Prepelica17:00

      Not trying to defend Air Serbia at all, but I was in contact with their customer service on three different occasions (1 refund, 1 reschedule, 1 technical issue) and all three times they were super polite and helpful and I was promptly refunded in full.

      Delete
  40. Anonymous16:45

    When will these flights start? Late March or June/July?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anonymous16:48

    Why they dont fly for Paris ,Basel,Amsterdam,Frankfurt am Main,Gothenburg,Ljubljana,Istanbul,Tivat,Moscow and Greece leisure

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:14

      They want people fly to those destinations from BEG.

      Delete
  42. Anonymous19:38

    Time for Eurowings expansion in Serbia? They "officially" fulfill all the terms of the old tender (=have a base in PRN), CGN is one of their main home bases, they are focused on opening new bases in Europe (PRG and ARN), they could add a few more German gasto routes etc. They could maintain the costs of their operations + get some subsidies. A little bit out of the box, but I don't see a reason why not?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JATBEGMEL19:50

      Bilaterals.

      They cannot operate routes between Serbia and Turkey as well as Montenegro.

      PRN has not been in Serbian control for 21 years. Officially for Serbia, the airport is "closed", and it is an invalid entry point for foreigners entering Serbia. In fact, DCV used to, many years ago, deny airlines from flying to BEG if they flew to PRN.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:55

      Have I missed something but EW do not have any planes based in Serbia?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous21:15

      @JATBEGMEL - super interesting, thanks for sharing! I know it's a bit farfetched, but I still think it could happen though.

      The routes regulated by mentioned bilaterals (TIV,IST) could be easily left out for JU to serve (as these are potentially profitable routes, for which incentives might not even be a necessity).

      As for DCV, let's not forget that as per Serbia-USA and Kosovo-USA agreements, Eurowings was the chosen LHG carrier supposed to connect BEG and PRN. If the GoS approved this, why would not they at least consider to be a bit more flexible in terms of evaluating EW's application when it comes to this criterion of having at least 1 aircraft based in Serbia?

      Having a new airline in INI, even more so a LHG airline, would be a potential game changer for INI!

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL22:23

      @21,15

      The routes are going as a package. All or nothing. 2 or more airlines wont be awarded the tender, which means it's left for JU as although Wizz has aircraft based in Serbia, it's not registered in Serbia and cannot use Serbia's bilateral agreements as a Serbian carrier.

      Same applies to Eurowings. Although they may have a base in PRN, they are not registered in Serbia and cannot operate flights between Serbia and Turkey/Montenegro. The agreement that you mentioned doesn't change that. Even if Serbia wanted to award Eurowings the tender, it still wont be allowed Serbia-Turkey/Montenegro routes as not only that the other side needs to approve it, but bilaterals need to change to accommodate that, which wont happen.

      As an example, when Montenegro separated from the union with Serbia in 2006, YM had to stop flying BEG/INI-ZRH, which at the time was an excellent route for them. JU also had to stop TIV-LED/LGW flights. YM tried to register an airline based in INI called Master Airways, which was not approved by the DCV. YM even painted a F100 in Master Airways livery. When YM applied for Serbia-ZRH flights, it was the Swiss that rejected the application.

      Delete

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