easyJet to discontinue Belgrade service


easyJet will terminate flights between Basel and Belgrade next year, leaving the low cost carrier with a single route out of the Serbian capital. The airline will discontinue operations between the two cities on May 8. Up until then, services will be maintained between two and four times per week. In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News, the budget carrier said, “easyJet can confirm that it will cease operating its route from Basel to Belgrade from next summer onwards. easyJet regularly reviews all of its routes to ensure its network best reflects demand which can vary regionally. Passengers whose flights have been cancelled as a result of this can change their flight free of charge or receive a refund and passengers can amend their booking. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause".

easyJet competed against Wizz Air on the route. The latter plans to increase frequencies between the two cities next summer. Wizz will maintain four weekly flights from Belgrade to Basel starting April 2023, up from three weekly rotations. Furthermore, it will increase services from Niš to the Swiss city to four per week as well. On the other hand, as a result of its route termination, easyJet will operate just a single route out of Belgrade from May of next year. Services to Geneva, where the airline faces no direct competition, will run four times per week for the majority of the summer

easyJet has had mixed success in Belgrade. It launched operations to the city back in 2013 with a three weekly service from Milan Malpensa Airport. Shortly after it introduced operations from Rome and Geneva. Services from Italy were discontinued in 2014, while the airline withstood a slew of competition on the Geneva route over the years including Air Serbia, Etihad Regional and Swiss International Air Lines. In 2018, both Basel and Berlin were added the low cost airline’s network out of Belgrade. Operations from Berlin were discontinued last year. easyJet has terminated a number of routes over the past year across its network as it looks to stabilise its finances. The airline is set to post a loss of between 195 and 218 million euros this year.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    I’m surprised they couldn’t make it work but I guess Wizz Air was too strong of competition for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:37

      It's just odd. They will have a record number of frequencies in February - the slowest month of the year and then they will end flights in May.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    What is goind on with easyJet and Wizzair in the region? Belgrade, Sarajevo, Ljubljana, ... al have cancelations of the routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:11

      Money is the problem. Both are posting big losses this year.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:14

      Covid related travel restrictions, consequently lower gasto and other traffic. And low yield on top of that. Seems that all three big euro LCC's are in "service mode" at the moment.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:21

      The only difference is that Ryanair's and Wizz Air's suspensions are temporary. EasyJet are usually permanent.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:21

      It would be interesting to see if this is only a trend in the region or it is a wider issue

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:38

      Both Wizz and Ryan have 15% more flights in Europe now vs. 2019, that's not "service mode".

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:35

      easyjet's and Wizz Air's only long term solution is to merge.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous12:37

      Didn't Wizz offer to buy easyjet?

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    I had high hopes for Easy jet considering they have very good cooperation with Vinci in general.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:05

    Its good to see Wizz Air increasing flights from Belgrade, and not just to Basel next summer.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:07

    Winter is coming!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      May 2023 has nothing to do with winter.

      And how ridiciolus your comment is shows the fact that during some winter months next year easyJet will be flying 4 times weekly on BSL-BEG route that was never the case during the summer!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:48

      That is a gasto route.
      Tourism and business travel bookings is way down for this coming winter all over Europe.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:50

      Next winter has 4 weekly flights on this route and the summer is cancelled!

      How difficult is to understand it?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:50

      Isn't it weird to cancel flights in May while flying regularly in, like, February? I mean, if they don't perform well, why waiting half of year (slower half of year) to cancel it? Something just doesn't add up here. Maybe some incentive scheme is coming to the end in May or something like that.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:53

      You are fully right. That was the point I did not get at all as well.

      And whole situation to be more ironical they fly 4 weekly in February 2023! They did not have that frequency of flying even in summer 2022 to BEG.

      Right after February 223 they lower BEG to 2 weekly in April and cancel it in May!

      Weird.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:08

    Does anybody know the LF for easyjet flights to Basel?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:08

    "Passengers whose flights have been cancelled as a result of this can change their flight free of charge or receive a refund and passengers can amend their booking"

    Someone should think first before publishing something like this.

    How on Earth the flights can be cancelled as they have never been in the system after 8th May 2023?

    It is truly disspointing to see easyJet cancelled BSL-BEG and that obviously Wizzair won in this battle as U2 was better alternative. As soon as it was known that easyJet is leaving this route Wizzair increased the prices and now for some days in August 2023 the return prices are more than 200 EUR that is ridiciolus.

    We see now that unfortunately the dreams about easyJet making a base in BEG only because Vinci is airport operator simply vanished. Sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:53

      200 Euros is still 5 times cheaper than what flying between Switzerland and Belgrade cost 25 years ago.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:09

    Sad, especially considering their presence in ex-Yu rather small outside of summer in Croatia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      they have a very light presence in ex-Yu in winter in general. I can't believe they don't fly a single route to Croatia.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:14

      You mean they don't fly year-round single route to Croatia?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:15

      Sorry, yes I meant year-round route

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:17

      ex-Yu markets are not an area of interest to them unlike FR and W6.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:19

      Their costs are also higher than those two, meaning they have to performance much better to make money.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:22

      They cancel heavily also many routes out of ex-Yu area.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:10

    Now we will get 250+ Euro fares to Basel from Belgrade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      We got them already. Check the prices for next summer.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:11

    What's going on with easyjet? Last year they also cut a lot of routes to ex-Yu. None of them were restored.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:11

      Their finances are quite poor.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:12

      easyjet's that is.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:12

    Easyjet is losing to Wizz Air.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      They were never winning against them in this region in the first place.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:18

    IMO one can only reasonably differentiate between a legacy and a LCC, but just as there are few differences between legacy carriers (Gulf carriers being an exception compared to the rest), I think there are also very few differences between LCCs.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:21

    We should not forget that it seems Basel does not work quite well for easyJet lately as they cancelled in last 2-3 years many routes to the cities much bigger than Belgrade.

    They cancelled WAW, ARN, VIE, KEF, BRU, MUC and from March next year long existing route to VCE will be also discontinued.

    Apart from it they do not fly anymore from FRA (before pandemic they had 3-4 daily flights to BER) and STR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      Same thing happened to them in Berlin last year. They discontinued a lot of routes. I think they might have even closed their base there.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:23

      You are right. They butchered BER last year, but they did not close the base. It was only heavily downsized.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:40

      Why did they cut so many routes from BER?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:59

      BER went from 38 based aircraft when the new airport opened to 11 from this month. Germany might be a wealthy country, but Berlin‘s economy isn’t exactly thriving, yields are notoriously low and costs at the new airport are high. Berlin‘s former mayor liked to say that Berlin was „poor but sexy“, but sexy doesn’t pay the bills.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:23

    Come to Bosnia please!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:49

      yessssssss please :)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:51

      Yeah right. They cancel BEG and they will come to Bosnia.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:24

    Not good but primarily for easyjet. The airport has an alternative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:39

      Yes, prices on the route are already up on Wizz.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:27

    Knowing that Air Serbia reacts quickly on some changes and that they do not have a problem flighting with Wizz maybe we can see JU on BEG-BSL route next summer.

    Jat Airwas was flyng this route in the past but it did not last long.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:29

      Honestly I don't think we will see them launch this route. Wizz Air already performs really well on this route and will have four weekly flights with A321 next summer. But who knows.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:32

      Ironically when Air Serbia tried competing against easyjet in Geneva they failed.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:45

      They failed two times in Geneva.

      Delete
    4. BSL is only one hour away from ZRH. It wouldn't make any sense that JU starts flying to BSL. They could maybe increase ZRH if there is need and eventually rethink of their GVA comeback. But probably its better for them to stick with LYS.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:15

      They did in the past. At least twice.

      Mind you BSL serves also Mulhouse and Freiburg area, not only Switzerland.

      In order to reach ZRH by car from Germany and France one need to buy yearly vignette and access to BSL through France is free of charge.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:30

    Are they launching any new route next summer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:32

      At this moment, not a single one to any city in ex-Yu.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:39

      This region simply isn't much on their radar. Look at their destination network. You will see a big hole in this area.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:31

    Any reason why Ryanair is not expanding their destination to more cities? Maybe Billund, Barcelona, Tenerife, Porto, Stockholm would be great since nobody is flying there year round. Why they don't base 2 more planes and fly 10 more destinations, i think there is demand for it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:44

      I guess you are talking about ZAG since Ryan is yet to launch their first flight to BEG. I believe they have good coverage of year-round destinations, but yes, Stockholm sounds like no brainer.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:54

      Yes, ZAG, forgot to say...

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:32

    So basically they will have a very symbolic presence in BEG.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous09:40

    And I was expecting them to open the base in BEG once Vinci finishes reconstruction...

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:46

    :(

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous09:46

    Just another gasto route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      I don't get the point of this comment.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous03:51

      Gasto route??

      Delete
  23. Anonymous09:58

    That's always matter of perception. In my perception Ryan and easy are two different worlds.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous09:59

    At least another airline is operating this route but it's a shame easyjet is decreasing their presence.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous10:01

    Hopefully they see some other opportunity and launch another route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:01

      Is there really an opportunity for them to start something to Belgrade? Almost all main routes in Europe are covered.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:07

      Maybe LIS seasonally, but it would be too optimistic.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:09

      Interestingly they never operated any seasonal routes to BEG.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:38

      Would it be worth trying Rome again considering ITA (Alitalia) is no longer flying.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:41

      You already have Wizz and Air Serbia on that route. It would be a waste.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:17

      Malaga is their stronghold, Naples too. But I guess they just don't wanna bother with anything new.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous10:09

    BEG should try to get Ryanair to launch flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:11

      Thanks, but no thanks.

      As long as BEG keeps regular prices they won't come and BEG has no a single reason to lower the prices for them.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:12

      It's weird BEG doesn't need them while Vienna, Rome, Lisbon, Berlin, Madrid, Riga, even Amsterdam do. Furthermore, it's not (just) about what airport needs.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:41

      No, these airports do not need Ryanair, Ryanair needs them.

      Once when they make their calculation and figure out that they could make some profit in BEG by paying regular prices (as Wizz does) they might come, but BEG surely should not offer them special prices as some neighbour airports do as BEG is not in position to beg for new airlines.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous15:12

      I honestly do think Zagreb airport isn’t the best led airport, but I remember a few years ago people made fun of Zagreb for being a “prestigious” airport and not lowering their taxes, then they do lower their taxes and offer incentives and now they’re a “sellout”?
      Let me be clear, it’s neither of those, it’s definitely not a prestigious airport(whatever that means) and definelty not a sellout for Ryanair. People always have something to complain about. Makes you think…

      Delete
    5. Anonymous15:32

      Makes you wander...

      Delete
  27. Nemjee10:28

    Market in BEG is too small for a third big player. Wizz Air is far more committed to Serbia than easyJet is. BSL is a good and growing market for them. I think this year they increased BEG flights from 2 to 3. Or maybe it was in 2019. Can't remember now.

    Also, don't forget that as the Serbian market started to recover, both JU and W6 launched a war. Wizz Air threw the first punch last year when they boosted capacity in BEG from A320 to A321, then they attacked JU in BCN and NCE and while both routes proved to be a success, NCE was a triumph for them as they forced JU out of the market.

    Air Serbia on the other hand responded by putting pressure on them in LCA and BCN by boosting flights. They also did not butcher CPH thus killing Wizz Air in BLL and they slowed their growth in MMX. Before covid, MMX was their busiest route out of BEG based on frequencies.
    The latest punch came when they launched MLA in the middle of the winter. The jury is still out on this one but at least it forced JU to discover the charms of marketing. There are billboards all around Belgrade promoting their Malta flights.

    In order for easyJet to survive in Belgrade they would have to spend money on market consolidation. Obviously this market is not a priority for them and that is why they chose to simply walk away from fierce competition.

    Interestingly enough, Norwegian chose a different strategy and actually fought JU and W6 for its own share of the market. Not only did they increase OSL-BEG, they also considerably boosted their summer seasonal flights from ARN. This year they started much earlier and finished much later. I believe they also added the second weekly rotation throughout the whole summer period. Remains to be see what they will do with ARN-BEG in 2023.

    Norwegian contained JU's and W6's growth in Stockholm while they completely pushed W6 out of the BEG-OSL market. Now they are coexisting with JU which is fine since the market is big enough for both of them.

    The Serbian market is growing so if easyJet is shrinking then it's up to them to do some soul searching. Personally, I am not paying much attention to easyJet as much as I am following Eurowings. This is because EW's parent company is doing extremely well in Belgrade (as well as its daughters: OS and LX) so they will back and support EWs ambitions to position itself here. So far they struggled to maintain regular operations but that could be caused by staffing issues rather than by lack of demand.

    As the Serbian economy keeps on growing, we are going to keep on seeing a larger shift from gasto to leisure routes. After all, we saw JU launch BCN, PMI, BRI, VLC... Wizz launched HER, NCE, FCO... and others like Aegean added flights from the Greek islands to Belgrade.

    Even though I'm sad to see this route go, at the end of the day they did lose a fight to Wizz Air like they already lost to JU in Berlin, Milan and Rome. Both JU and W6 are very territorial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:33

      Although I prefer much more U2 than W6 I must admit you are correct here Nemjee.

      It would have been much better for all if W6 lost this battle like they did in Oslo, but unfortunately it is not the case. They won here and therefore BSL will become now poisonly expensive as only W6 flies this route.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:37

      Good analysis.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:34

      I wouldnt say u2 lost mxp or fco (cia) to asl. they were at least 3 times cheaper on both routes.. i remember i was shocked they cancelled routes to italy. i still dont know why that happened.

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL17:54

      @nemjee

      Excellent comment.

      I will add that it was in 2020 when Wizz announced a massive (failed) expansion in BEG and when the A321's came to BEG. SZG was one of the routes Wizz announced in 2020, which they operated for 2 weeks, before retreating, only for JU to take over, initially with the ATR, from December with the A319. MXP and CRL were also routes announced in that expansion which never launched.

      As for the growth of the Serbian economy, I'm not so convinced that that is having that great of an effect on pax numbers. RZS recently published their report on inflation, air transportation was 1 of 2 categories that showed price decreases. I think it's the cheaper air travel in the country having more of an effect. For example, it wasn't uncommon to see deals to FCO and BCN this summer for 50-60€ return, which wasn't the case in previous years. As for leisure routes, Wizz is not returning BEG-JTR next summer, while A3 didn't have a smooth start to their HER-BEG route this summer. BRI loads were apparently not the best and there were rumors that it won't stay. VLC definitely was a hit, PMI as well. But I can't help wonder if the convenience of a direct flight had anything to do with it as well, and if there were a certain number of pax on these flights that used to fly to these destinations from BUD.

      https://rs.n1info.com/biznis/rzs-medjugodisnja-inflacija-u-srbiji-u-septembru-14-odsto/

      Serbian tourism has increased from 2019 levels. More and more foreign tourists are visiting Serbia. Migrant arrivals have also increased which have had their effect on a couple of routes, however not on the routes you mentioned (maybe LCA with an increase in Russian pax flow transiting BEG). It'll be interesting to see what will come next summer.

      Delete
    5. Nemjee06:38

      Thank you.
      Well, inflation has been going up but so have salaries. I believe average salary in Belgrade is around 93.000 Dinars which is an all time record. Naturally this is being driven by the IT sector but still.

      Bari was around 40 passengers per flight but what's good is that most of the passengers were Serbian tourists so yields weren't trash. I believe this is a good result given the fact that they invested next to nothing in promoting this route.

      I think you are right on both ends, having nonstop flights definitely helped. Why would someone drive 360 km to BUD to catch a flight that is being offered from BEG. Furthermore, I always said that as BEG's offer improves, they will become more competitive in the overlapping catchment area with BUD. Someone from Subotica, Vrbas... might switch to flying from BEG now. In September BUD massively underperformed by being 22% below their 2019 numbers.

      I think these migrant numbers on flights are blown out of proportion. Most of them come via land routes. I doubt they represented more than 0.5% of all new passengers at BEG.

      As far as LCA goes, Russians helped but not as much as Serbian holidaymakers. Cyprus was extremely popular this summer and package tours were selling like crazy. Most of the growth we saw was actually driven by local tour operators. Wizz Air was sold out for most of the summer by mid-June. From what I can see they are boosting LCA to 4 weekly next summer which makes absolute sense.

      Also, don't forget that Air Serbia has been extremely consistent in LCA. They were also one of the few airlines that kept on flying at a time when Cyprus imposed draconian covid measures. Even at that time they managed to carry 50 to 60 passengers per flight. They have become quite popular for transfers to Germany, Denmark and France. Even before the war they were becoming increasingly popular for transfers to Russia.

      Delete
    6. Nemjee06:43

      Anon 13.34

      Serbia-Italy is notoriously difficult to develop as a market. So many airlines have come and gone. So far Wizz Air seems to be performing well on their BEG-FCO. It could be that they found some space after ITA Airways/Alitalia suspended flights.

      Italy is extremely popular as a holiday destination among Serbs.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous07:21

      @Nemjee
      +100

      Delete
  28. Anonymous10:34

    Bas news for BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:55

      U2 was flying BSL-BEG 2 weekly with A319/320 (in total approx. 336 seats)

      W6 has increased BSL from 3 to 4 weekly next summer with A321 (230 seats)

      BEG lost something like 100 seats per week. Really not a big deal.

      But you know that already, don't you?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:38

      It's not a major loss.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous11:13

    Hope they restore the route sometime in the future. Wizz Air is notorious with its route monopolies.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous12:36

    I think there are considerable differences in the way LCCs treat their customers, the destinations they fly to (it main airports) etc.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous12:37

    easyjet hit hard by Covid. They have been cutting a lot of routes across their network to stabilize their finances.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous13:38

    They were more expensive out of Basel than Wizzair. But their service was way beyond that what we are used from Wizzair. For me a huge loss for the passengers out of Basel. I just wonder why they are terminating it… it was always pretty full when I was on board.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:37

      I am sorry, but they weren't. Minimum price for BSL-BEG-BSL by W6 was 80 EUR and with easyJet you could have found return ticket starting from 50 EUR. Also they had much better flying times.

      But when it comes to service I fully agree with you. EasyJet can't be anyhow compared to Wizz and this is huge loss for the passengers that used to fly with them, including myself.

      Delete
  33. Anonymous15:06

    They are strange, that’s why they discontinued.
    Load Factor from Malpensa was good enough, but they left, even Flight Attendants were surprised.
    Who cares anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous15:32

    Launch Malaga, Lisabon, Palermo, Naples, Bratislava...there is always demand and space for growth when you actually look for it, the easiest thing on the world is to pack your stuff and leave..

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous15:52

    Palermo is cheap, everything is cheap, eat, drink, accommodation, Barocco Architecture.
    Malpensa is possible target for Wizzair, there is Ticino in Switzerland nearby, so they can cover it, lot of people are there, also Lake of Como, LCC Airports in Milan as transit.
    Marrocco also, interesting destination.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous16:09

    This is only the beginning .
    Not only in Belgrade but the whole region as recession kicks in in the whole of Europe thanks to sanctions, the loss of russian commodities in the global market and resulting inflation ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:17

      I really like these end of the world scenarios. There is always at least one person predicting something like that.

      FYI - W6 increased many frequencies to BEG next summer. It seems they were not informed about recesion and Russian sanctions.

      Delete
  37. Anonymous16:51

    Gastos Folks tried to save 5 euros, getting Wizzair in Basel Mulhouse Freiburg and lost one carrier, so they gonna pay it now as twice as double.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:49

      Just try Balcanicos Ignoranticos to respect opinion of others without insulting.

      Delete
  38. Anonymous17:15

    Easyjet has something like 10 planes based at their Basel hub and over 70 routes from there. Obviously, during their review of the routes they decided that a different route from Basel has more potential. As simple as that.
    Though, shame for the lack of competition now that only Wizz remains.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Low cost has lost its mojo. The fare structure became unfriendly towards travellers with hand luggege only. I checked several options for extended weekend out of Belgrade on Wizz and Easy and both have ridiculous charges for hand luggage. In a way it is better to fly AirSerbia and at least get the hand luggage included in the price. No wonder many routes are struggling. I only hope AirSerbia returns to Geneva.

    ReplyDelete

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