Regional markets vying for Emirates service


Regional airports are increasingly hoping to attract Emirates with the market between Southeast Europe and Dubai completely recovered following the coronavirus pandemic. Belgrade and Sarajevo are eying operations from the world’s busiest international carrier, while Zagreb is aiming to see the airline restore flights to Croatia. However, the competition is growing with Greece inviting Emirates to consider the possibility of launching flights to Thessaloniki, which would continue on to New York. Greece’s Tourism Minister, Vassillis Kikilas, said, “Residents of Balkan countries prefer to travel abroad through Thessaloniki. The airport currently connects to several cities across the Balkans including Belgrade, Zagreb and Tirana. The potential is great and would contribute to establishing Thessaloniki into a hub for the Balkans”.


The Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brabiฤ‡, recently held talks with the Founder and CEO of Emirates, Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, in Dubai. The meeting is said to have been successful with the Emirati carrier previously having studied options of introducing flights to the Serbian capital. On the other hand, Sarajevo Airport believes that existing operations from Dubai, maintained by hybrid carrier Flydubai, could be further expanded by Emirates’ arrival. “We sincerely hope that a respectable airline such as Emirates will consider and accept our offer in order for us to commence negotiations. There is strong demand and potential between the UAE and our country. Flydubai has been our partner for many years, and we have excellent cooperation with them. In the coming period, we will work to further enhance our partnership”, the General Manager of Sarajevo Airport, Alan Bajiฤ‡, said last year. Emirates has also conducted a feasibility study on operations to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital, showing solid, albeit highly seasonal, demand in both the premium and economy cabins.

Emirates discontinued flights to Zagreb in 2020 at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the airline said that while it is recovering quickly from the pandemic and capacity should return to pre-Covid levels next year, no final decision has been made concerning its Zagreb flights. “We hope to restart our operations in Zagreb when it is commercially and operationally feasible to do so in the future, and we will make a formal announcement if there are any developments in this regard”, the airline said. Flydubai, which has served as Emirates’ replacement on the route since this summer, has scheduled flights to the Croatian capital into the 2023 summer season, which begins next March.

Although Emirates is considering Belgrade, Sarajevo and Zagreb, the existing make-up of its fleet and the delay in the delivery of new aircraft are causing issues in launching new markets with softer premium demand or greater seasonality. Deliveries of Boeing 787 Dreamliners have been pushed back by at least a year until 2024 and it could be even longer due to the US plane maker's continued delivery suspension over structural flaws. The Dubai-based carrier ordered thirty of the twin-aisle jets nearly three years ago as part of a broader deal that saw it cut the number of orders for larger 777X aircraft, now also delayed. "Now we know for sure that Dreamliner deliveries are not going to happen in 2023. It may not even happen in 2024", Emirates' Chief Operating Officer, Adel Al Redha, said, adding, “Emirates is in talks with Boeing over the delays to the 787 Dreamliner and 777X deliveries”. The carrier has a fleet of Airbus A380 and B777 aircraft.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    Emirates has a huge number of aircraft on order and will eventually have to factor in more cities in Eastern Europe into its plans. Hopefully we see more of them at our airports soon.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:07

    Thessaloniki hub for the Balkans???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      You can't blame them for trying to present themselves on that way although we all know it is not realistic.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:12

      Everybody wants to be a hub for the Balkans

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:15

      The Greek minster's suggestion that someone would fly from BEG, ZAG or TIA to catch an EK flight is a bit ridiculous, especially considering people would have to buy two separate tickets and collect their luggage in SKG and then check in again.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:16

      Agree.

      Especially as we have already possibility of flying with FZ directly to DXB.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:18

      I think he was more thinking about connecting to New York.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:20

      His statement is in line with what you would expect from any Balkan politician when they comment on aviation :D

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:40

      Especially considering BEG connects all those places.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:30

      SKG doesnt even have airbridges...

      Delete
    9. Anonymous12:48

      I guess JU could easily prove the Greek tourism minister wrong by suspending that SKG-BEG connection he is talking about haha.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous18:34

      Yes Anon 10:30, without air bridges its going to be a little bit complicated for the 773ER from EK

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:08

    The biggest "problem" EK has is that they mainly fly bigger planes which can be tricky for smaller cities and markets. This deal with Fly Dubai is perfect for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      The deal with Flydubai is perfect to a certain extent. But with strong demand, it is time EK to start thinking about sending its own metal.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:08

    One of the favorite topics for ex-yu aviation fans is waiting for Emirates ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:08

    Well it's good that they are focusing more and more on the region which was a black hole for them just 10 years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:10

    This time BEG needs to play smart and not to protect EY as it was the case last time when EK knocked on BEG's door.

    As the biggest airport in ex Yugoslavia it has now the biggest chances of getting EK especially as FZ successfully flies to BEG and seasonality is not that big as in ZAG or SJJ.

    If code share for ex-Yu cities would be signed between JU and EK it would be more than good for Emirates, Air Serbia and air connectivity in Ex YU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:11

      I doubt we will see JU-EK codeshare while Etihad is part of the shareholding at JU.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:12

      I really do hope that BEG won't protect EY like last time, although the airport was under different management. There are rumors EY is considering returning to BEG.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:13

    It is amazing to see that LJU has already surpassed ZAG in that graph.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:14

    ZAG is not among top 10 south east routes to UAE?

    That is strange, even LJU is there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      Well there are more flights from LJU than from ZAG.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:16

      It actually means the chances of EK returning to ZAG are zero.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:41

      +1

      Delete
    4. Wrong. It's result of pandemic and transfers from Australia and Far East traffic down to between 0 and 10 percent. ZAG to DXB will again be ahead of LJU, maybe even BEG, as soon as Australia and Far East markets open fully again. And also EK is highly likely to restart ZAG first, and before BEG or SJJ, because their premium product, and cargo, were very good on ZAG flights, seasonaly, of course. The reason why ZAG at the moment is down, compared to BEG, SJJ and LJU is because ZAG traffic is primarily transfer, the other three primarily P2P

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:09

      Australia has been fully open to foreigners since March and Australians have been able to travel freely abroad since then too.

      Delete
    6. Formally, yes, but it will take time until is fully normal again. Plus, much more transfers were from China, Korea and Japan, which are still closed

      Delete
    7. Anonymous13:38

      Well, interesting that just ZAG has this problem.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:20

      Or justification that hurts the least why we won't see anytime soon EK in ZAG.

      Even KE that announced flights to ZAG for this year actually never started selling the tickets.
      And Korea & Japan are open

      Delete
    9. Anonymous14:29

      "The reason why ZAG at the moment is down, compared to BEG, SJJ and LJU is because ZAG traffic is primarily transfer, the other three primarily P2P" poz from Riki.
      Whaaaaaat???

      Delete
    10. Lol. The only logical thing is that most of the passengers in ZAG were from Slovenia

      Delete
    11. Most of the passengers in Zagreb on EK and FZ were and are from Japan, Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. You can LOL as much as you like, and whaaaaaat as much as you like, but once travelling habits get back to normal on the Far East and AUS/NZ, EK will be back to ZAG.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous20:16

      There is enough demand for both cities, I am telling this every time ...

      Delete
    13. Anonymous20:17

      As with Turkish, Aeroflot, British Airways, ... both LJU and ZAG will sustain these flights. Qatar also coming to LJU very likely.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:14

    ex-you, thank you for providing this interesting/informative statistics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:34

      It's Ex-YU. Respect.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:21

    If EK is not sure about demand in premium cabins why don't they link two cities? DXB-BEG-SJJ or SXB-ZAG-BEG or DXB-SJJ-ZAG?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:25

      I am not sure they are doing it anywhere.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:28

      They do. They fly some long haul routes via other cities. Dubai-Athens-New York, Dubai-Milan-New York, Dubai-Barcelona- Mexico City. In Europe they fly Dubai-Larnaca-Malta.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:31

      https://simpleflying.com/emirates-one-stop-routes/

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:39

      I knew they connect ATH with JFK, but I thought that connecting two so close cities as SJJ and BEG or SJJ and ZAG is not their way of working.

      And then I saw they do it with ALG and TUN. Thank you for these information.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:50

      Emirates connects ATH and EWR,not JFK.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous18:43

      Anon 09:50, it's the same, its New York

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:26

    It is interesting to see that BEG is positioned even better than OTP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:41

      ...and not far from BUD at all.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:08

      12 vs. 9 = 33,3% more. And don't forget, there is 5% AUH-BUD

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:58

      There is AUH-BEG too.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:30

    I think next for Flydubai in ex-Yu will be Pristina or Split.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:31

    I hope that the UAE will soon abolish visas for Bosnians and Macedonians. It is an unnecessary and expensive hassle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:15

      I can't believe UAE still requires visa to BiH passport holders. Demand would be greater if this was abolished.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:00

      Wow, I thought the UAE visas are gone for all ex-YU, shame they should abolish them.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:31

    Great news. Hope they add destinations in ex-Yu soon.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:31

    PRG and BUD are considered south-east Europe? Strange

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:35

    The only other destination which will work for EK is SKP, which will catchment zone of 5 1/2 countries, Macedonia, Northern Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Kosovo. Eventually they'll land there I'm pretty sure. I hope SKP has a way to handle 773.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:36

      Are you serious? Fly dubai no longer flies to SKP and you expect Emirates to strat flights there?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:36

      My friend FZ can't make SKP work and you expect EK..

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:38

      Good troll

      Delete
    4. It's not Northern Greece and Macedonia, it's Northern Macedonia and Greece ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

      Delete
    5. Anonymous21:39

      It is northern Greece and North Macedonia, as well as Albania, western Bulgaria, southern Serbia and Kosovo. I'm talk'in about the catchment area of the country of North Macedonia.

      Delete
    6. Smiley at the end mate, just a joke, sorry if I hurt your feelings

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:35

    EK's connection from DXB can not be compared with Fly Dubai

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous09:38

    Don't get all this obsession with EK from Dubai.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:43

      It is one the world's most valuable and best known brands. Of course everyone wants them to fly to their airport.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:46

      Not for the previous BEG airport management haha

      Delete
    3. Flew with over 100 airlines. Emirates are one of my 3 favourite

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:47

    ex-Yu airports should have offered to Emirates what Greece has - flights to the US.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know for the others, but in Croatia they won't do it because they expect Croatia Airlines to start it, Hahahahahahahaha

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:44

      Hahahahaha, on their graveyard there is going to be: Croatia airlines dreaming for flights to JFK!!! HAhahahaha

      Delete
    3. The worst thing is they don't even dream about it. They are perfectly happy feeding LH for peanuts, what make them closer and closer to graveyard, day by day

      Delete
  20. Ohrabrujuca prica za buduca cetiri aerodroma u Jugoistocnoj Evropi. Veliki nedostataak ovih aerodroma je
    sto nemaju potencijal putnika za za premium i poslovnu klasu. O prvoj klasi da ne pominjem. Buduci razvoj ovog dela Evrope i modernizacija aerodroma uz savremeni personal i opsluzivanje, donece i nove kompanije.
    Poput Emirata. Obzirom na investicije i razvoj Aerodroma Beograd, verujem da ce Srpska vazdusna luka imati uslove za preporod u vazdusnom saobracaju. O cemu se cesce govori i na ovom Blogu. Uz postovanje ostalih aerodroma , koji se takode menjaju na bole..
    Vera, trud, volja i nada su osnov preobrazaja. U comercijalnoj avijaciji pogotovo.
    To se upravo dogadja i na Balkanu. Tom delu Evrope,
    Koji moze postatai Otvoreni Balkan. To upravo su pocele tri zemlje za sada. Bice ih jos. Sinergija jeste platforma uspeha aerodroma i vazdusnog saobracaja.
    Let fly! ✈๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ›ซ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ›ซ
    Rodney Marinkovic and Aviation Enthusiast Associate Group. ✈

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:50

    You never know with EK. Let's see how things develop.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous09:58

    EK could fly seasonally to Sarajevo with B777.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:59

      ZAG was their only seasonal route.

      I don't think they will repeat the same mistake again.

      Delete
    2. Mistake? 777 was constantly full in ZAG in season, not only economy but premium and cargo as well. If you think it's mistake to have smaller equipment and Flydubai in winter when demand is less, the only one making mistake is you. PLandemic, on the other hand, is completely different story

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:16

      Wow, it seems we got a bit sensitive this morning, huh saluti da Fiume?

      It was not constantly full as it was downgraded to 5 weekly even during the season. Mind you, on the beginning they were flying 7 weekly even during the winter.

      Your wet dreams are something totally different.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:28

      I'm sure the reduction came as a result of the high premium and cargo demand

      Delete
    5. You can scroll all comments again and you will see I make jokes, post smileys and there is absolutely not one single indicator that I would be sensitive, upset, or whatever this morning. I just don't like people who have crystall ball and know that everything bad is going to happen in neighbour 's yard, and everything good is going to happen in their own yard. The fact is that EK was in ZAG with 777-300 before pLandemic, 5 or 7 weekly, irrelevant. It was there because of the transfer passengers, mostly tourists, from Far East and Australia. Those tourists are not back yet, so is not Emirates. Once they travel again as before, some company will have to take them to their destination. Croatia Airlines will not be that airline for sure, so it's Qatar, which is already back, and Emirates, which is at the moment replaced with Flydubai. The only next thing I can do for you to understand, is to draw it, but I was never very good in drawing in the school. Ciao bello! Tanti saluti da Fiume!

      Delete
    6. Anonymous20:12

      I would not say that drawing was the only problem you had.

      Delete
    7. The only one with a problem here is one who can't make difference between "not being very good in something", and " having problem". But I expected nothing less from person who turns it personal when lacking arguments ☺

      Delete
    8. JATBEGMEL00:54

      @14,16

      EK had exceptional loads to ZAG in the front cabins for a new route, compared to other routes they had previously launched ie BUD.
      Have in mind that BUD was launched with a 2 class configured A330 that had only 27 seats in Business Class. Interesting to note is that ZAG was mostly operated on 3 class configured B777's, where as you have European destinations such as CPH, BHX, NCL that are served with 2 class configured aircraft.

      5 pw reduction mid-season came in 2019 when DXB was doing runway works. EK reduced frequenies all over their network. ZAG was typically daily from the start of the season. And no, in the only winter season they operated, flights were reduced due to horrible loads. They were not daily.

      Had EK had something smaller, they would not have operated seasonally as they did.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous10:03

    It would be interesting to see FZ loads to BEG, SJJ, ZAG and LJU if someone has them :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:59

      Off season SJJ 60% load, in season 97%.

      Delete
    2. LJU in March was around 65-70% if i’m not mistaken

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:07

    I recommend Emirates EK to start flights DXB-TIA-JFK-PRN-DXB summer season & US diaspora.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:04

      EK is not Zlatan Reisen to make 10 stops along the way

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:49

      Neither TIA, nor PRN can accommodate B777-300 as they are not 4E category airports.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:55

      TIA's expanding, they'll be one by 2024.

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL17:52

      I believe the previous JFK flights to TIA were flown via PRN (DC10-30, ATA Airlines, summer 2007) as TIA had limited capabilities in handling fully loaded widebodies. Maybe someone with better info could talk more on it.

      Delete
    5. iloveexyuaviation18:47

      Anon 16:49, but LJU could well handle the 773, am i right?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous22:39

      If not mistaken, LJU has a runway which is 45m wide. The runway has to be at least 60m wide in order to operate a commercial B777

      Delete
    7. Anonymous23:32

      LJU had EL AL, ANA, Egyptair, Turkish, Nordwind, Aerologic... B777s on its runway. It doesn't need to be 45m wide.

      Delete
    8. Of course it doesn't. Fully loaded 747-400 freighter lands in RJK regularly

      Delete
    9. JATBEGMEL00:41

      @22,39

      60m wide is for A380.

      B777 needs 45m which LJU has.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous10:20

    Emirates has 10 Boeing 777-200 LRs. These aircraft are in a 2-class configuration of 302 seats. Considering the SJJ airport limitations, this version with its powerful engines should not have any issues on climb out, plus the capacity is just about right (seasonally).

    This aircraft could also work for BEG as FZ now offers 344 seats on most days - but without the needed cargo capacity... demand for which is only going to grow even further on both the pax and cargo decks.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous10:21

    If they are prepared to fly seasonally then BEG, SJJ and ZAG could work for Emirates in peak season.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous10:21

    Hopefully they start next summer

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous10:24

    Not sure if people have had a look but EK ha become extremely expensive since Covid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:34

      I believe they raised their prices for approx 30%.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:55

      Quite a bit. And EK also increased fares just before Covid.

      Delete
    3. Almost all airlines did. I used to go AMM to ZAG for 300-400 euro one way, two weeks ago on TK it was 750, one way

      Delete
  29. Anonymous10:37

    I kinda believe that Thessaloniki is gonna take Emirates service. Maybe with a stop to ATH like DXB-ATH-SKG and EK will not think of any other Balkan country sadly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ATH already has EK service. Dobt they would connect ATH and SKG. But SKG has potential for EK, because Greek community in Australia is huge, plus service could be used by people from N. Macedonia who are also plenty in AUS. Long long long time ago, B707, JAT even had scheduled landing in SKP on flights from SYD-SIN-KWI, continuing to BEG

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL17:36

      @10,37

      DXB-ATH route barely fits crew legalities. In fact, the morning EK105 rotation was a turn around for the crew, while the afternoon EK103 required a layover. I don't see them doing DXB-ATH-SKG. They even abandoned DXB-LCA-ATH (EK107) quite quickly back in 2016.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous10:55

    Fingers crossed

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous10:55

    if EK does eventually start one of these cities, I wonder what QR's response would be.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous10:58

    Now that would be a nice sight at BEG and SJJ!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous10:59

    When did EK start ticket sales for Zagreb and how long was that before flights started?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:03

      They announced the route and started sales in early January, while they launched flights in June.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:43

      Thank you

      Delete
  34. Anonymous11:56

    This would be epic

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous11:57

    I also think there is potential for EK in these markets.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous12:15

    It's not impossible to see Emirates in some of these markets.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous18:31

    EK deserves to/from PRN more than SJJ.

    PRN currently second busiest airport in exyu is moving forward! EK should fly DXB-PRN-JFK same way home full with American diaspora.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:59

      I think we all know SJJ has much bigger demand for DXB than PRN.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:20

      Everyone know PRN has more passengers for nonstop flights to/from JFK and DXB than SJJ just to DXB.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:26

      So EK will fly to PRN just because of JFK with zero DXB demand? Reality check please, they don't do this in much bigger cities and you expect them to do this in PRN..

      Delete
  38. Anonymous18:43

    Fly Dubai during peak times has like three flights a day to Sarajevo and Air Arabia also has one or two. Many GCC nationals travel to BiH so I don't understand why a full a full B 777 wouldn't go to Sarajevo unless there are issues with airport size or something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:26

      SJJ Airport is tricky in summer and high temps for a fully-laden 77W to depart due to obstacles on both sides and short runway in case of engine failure as per OEM mandatory procedures in such instances. 77L would face less payload penalties as a result... simply not a wide-body friendly airport geographically at 590m ASL and 2,600m runway and usual day highs in mid to late 30'C in summer (peak traffic) months.

      Delete

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