Air Serbia: Regional airline consolidation unlikely


Consolidating airlines within the former Yugoslavia or wider Balkan region is unlikely at this point, Air Serbia’s CEO, Jiri Marek, told the “Aerotelegraph” portal recently. Although Mr Marek believes that such a development would be practical, and a sensible way forward, he noted it is unrealistic. “I think in Europe, the attachment to an airline brand, not only on a country level, but even on a regional level, is very strong. Therefore, any form of consolidation is very, very hard to imagine. Strategically, I believe it would make great sense. But being realistic, I don’t think that it will happen in the near future. There are no serious talks going on right now”, the CEO said.

Over the years there have been attempts for some of the carriers in the former Yugoslavia to broaden their cooperation and synch operations. A 2012 initiative to merge the national carriers of the former Yugoslavia was blocked by political forces in the region. In 2013, Croatia Airlines said it was willing to merge its operations with Adria Airways but also added that politicians were unwilling to carry through with the plan. The second phase of such a tie-up would have included a merger with Montenegro Airlines. In 2014, Air Serbia attempted to conclude a codeshare partnership with its Croatian counterpart, however, this was knocked back. It had greater success in forging similar agreements with Adria Airways, Montenegro Airlines and B&H Airlines. Since then, all three of those have gone bankrupt and only three former Yugoslav markets now boast a flag carrier, each with varying degrees of success.

Commenting on Air Serbia’s operations in the region, Mr Marek noted, “We already fly to fifteen destinations in the region. That’s more than any other airline. And we will continue to add frequencies to all the countries since they also provide us with passenger flow for connecting flights, especially for our long haul operations”. Air Serbia still has a 100% ownership stake in AeroMak, a Macedonian registered airline which is inactive, and Priština Air in Kosovo. The carrier also owns a 50% stake in the Banja Luka-based Air Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is also inactive. The other 50% is owned by the Airports of Republika Srpska company.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    Good. It would never have worked out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If JU had selected a different name, such as its original name "Aeroput" or something else that's more neutral than the current name, it would be possible.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:59

      Oh Romeo, Romeo, why are you Romeo? Discard your parents and disown your name. Or if you won't do that, tell me you love me and I'll no longer be called Capulet.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:49

      Thank you, Anon 16.59

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    I think it was a mistake for Croatia Airlines and Adria not to have merged. It would have been a strong airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:03

      Wouldn't the hubs be too close?

      Delete
    2. notLufthansa09:13

      Yep, one and half Cartel feeder airlines were perfect match for merge.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:24

      There is very little difference between JP and OU. What would be the point?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:27

      Well Adria would probably still be alive. But shows that LH didn't care much about its regional partners.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:33

      Two loss-making airlines with unsustainable business models, with hubs located 90 mins between eachother by car. Yeah, what a great success story that would be.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:34

      LH cares, and rightfully so, about profit. It is how it can afford to create jobs and pay its employees. If its regional partners can't care for themselves, as was the case with Adria, well that's their own problem. Unfortunately, people lost jobs because of that.

      Delete
    7. @An.09.27
      Thanks for being polite and considerate, but it's servants and feeders, rather than regional partners.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:31

      Air Serbia should focus in near future on regional fleet and form Air Serbia Regional branch with the name, Air Serbia Regional or Air Serbia express

      Delete
    9. They don't need dual brand unless this would enable lower costs. Having in mind the political sensitivity in the region, they would have been better with buying Adria brand for peanuts and use it on ATR's to the region, but even that spending could be an overkill.

      Delete
    10. JATBEGMEL21:30

      @10,31

      What's the point other than to increase costs and dilute the core brand? What benefit does JU get financially?

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    I think there is still a possibility for JU to takeover Air Montenegro sone time in the future.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Why would JU need them? For 2 ERJs? Don't think so.

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    2. Anonymous09:11

      Its not just about the planes. It's about greater market access, a market with growing tourism industry and workforce.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:36

      Mm, they can have all that without having to bother with Air Montenegro (and all the Bagage that probably comes with it, such as overemployment, nepotism and debt)

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:41

      Exactly what last anon said. Why bother?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:54

      +1000

      Delete
    6. The only thing JU is perhaps missing on MNE market is night rotation to Podgorica and maybe, just maybe Tivat during summer, similar to Tirana's. Nothing else.

      Delete
    7. JATBEGMEL22:02

      @Eight

      TGD operating hours are 0500 until 2200 and isn't open outside of these times unless for emergencies, while TIV is restricted to daylight operations due to the airport not having equipment for night operations. First flight possible out of TGD would miss all the early morning departures in BEG, while all the late evening arrivals would miss the last possible flight to TGD. JU would of definitely have launched midnight flights not only to TGD but SJJ too if they could.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:03

    Shame

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:04

    I wonder if there is a future for some pan Balkan airine which are member of Open Balkans

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      The open balkans doesn't really involve air transport at the moment

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:09

      At the moment but it is planned in future stages.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:36

      We will see. I'm doubtful.

      Delete
    4. Meyraf09:50

      Open Balkans doesn't involve air transport because all participating countries are also signatories to the ECAA (European Common Aviation Area) Agreement (see: https://transport.ec.europa.eu/transport-modes/air/international-aviation/status-aviation-relations-country/ecaa_en), therefore, part of broader European open skies agreement, thus achieving the objective in the air transport domain.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:53

      Thanks for the explanation.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:06

    No thank you

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:07

    Regional consolidation does not only include ex-Yu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:29

      It's not happening either way.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:07

    we will have to wait until summer peak season to verify their words, very easy to speak now in winter and off-season when many big airlines are cancelling and not only wizzair their routes, time will tell us

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      What are you talking about?

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:08

    Well taking over air Montenegro for pennies on the dollar (with 3 e95s owned by them) would be a good idea imo.
    Station one a319 and one atr in Podgorica and one a320 in Tivat, while taking e95 for BEG base would be ideal for them

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Sounds good on paper but doubt politics would allow it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:10

      Yep, I'm talking only about the operations here. The politics on the other hand is a lottery, especially in the balkans

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:10

    Aeromak :D i remember when Jat had plans to start this airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      Why didn't they launch it?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:14

      Aeromak’s application for an air operator’s certificate was refused by the Civil Aviation Directorate

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:24

      Why?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:26

      Macedonian CAA literally closed down MAT to completely make way for Wizz Air and then let the goverment fix 3 tenders to subsidize their flights.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:32

      True

      Delete
    6. What happened with the Kontiki and whoever airline in Macedonia.
      I remember them staring and about half a year later, stoping.
      Was it chapter or did it try to run schedule routes?

      Delete
    7. JATBEGMEL22:23

      @maxi4492

      Check out this article. It explains quite well what happened with MAT Airways / Kon Tiki Sky, along with the articles under the MAT Airways tags.

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2012/03/wishful-thinking.html?m=1

      The MAT B735 had some hybrid Kon Tiki Sky livery. Inaugural flight under the Kon Tiki brand was BEG-CFU operating on Aviogenex flight numbers, who I believe also did maintenance on the aircraft.

      https://www.airliners.net/photo/MAT-Airways-Kon-Tiki-Sky/Boeing-737-529/1751489?qsp=eJwtjLEOwjAMBf/FMyytxNAt7AgGJjbLfqIVhUSOJYiq/jtJYbt3T7qFJL4cH7%2BWBBoog01G2lFi42emYaEHyjuaVqZbvw/hVN8czY%2BlGmVHEEFy6N%2BfTWHtQpYtdG/hriHs8lv9oU6dcpp5q8B5mmldv1%2BILmk%3D

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:12

    SAS model would be ideal for this region.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      Impossible in this region

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:36

      It isn't working out that great in Scandinavia either.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:41

      Correct. Norway has divested

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:41

      SAS model would be optimal for the region, most probably in the form of a hybrid LCC model. Legacy not so as the region is price sensitive and there is already an LCC competition-the latter is also why SAS does not work well

      Delete
    5. In heavily regulated business like aviation where all decisions are politically motivated we would have bloodbath in that hybrid LCC airline in days. Balkan politics and Scandinavian politics are two planets in two remote galaxies. Besides, it appears that SAS model is not working so well for SAS eather. So, no.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:27

    Nothing of this is a surprise! Welcome to The Balkans

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:31

    "But being realistic, I don’t think that it will happen in the near future"

    Enough said

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:53

      Good riddance if you ask me.

      Delete
  14. Miroslav iz Kolara09:32

    Air Serbia is now too big to be thinking about changing it's brand due to consolidation.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:33

    Well at least this puts to rest some rumours how JU wants to take over Air Montenegro

    "There are no serious talks going on right now"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:35

      Who even thought this was happening?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:37

      Montenegrin media. They were quite hysterical about it a while ago.

      Delete
    3. JATBEGMEL22:38

      Media all over the Balkans should be ignored. It's as if they are all trying to compete who can create the worst articles, some compete with who can be the most radical nationalistic. Sadly, we unfortunately have far too many people dumb enough to believe and agree with the xenophobia the politicians throw into the media with their comments. Better to sell assets to Kenyans/Mongolians/Bolivians or any other nationality rather than to the Serbs/Croats/Bosnians....

      How Adria was privatised says it all.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:35

    Always thought Adria Airways would be the perfect name for a pan-regional airline :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:37

      Or Pan Adria :D

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:54

      Balkan Airlines.

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    3. Both existed. Pan Adria, later Transadria, from Zagreb, and Balkan Blgarska Grazdanska Avijacja, from Sofia. Not sure if their names could be re-used

      Delete
    4. Anonymous22:31

      If Dan Air is reusing the name of the old British Dan-Air, why not? :)

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:39

    It would make sense like Marek says but obviously he is aware in what region we are talking about.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous09:43

    The last thing ASL needs at this stage is a messed up entity in its structure.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:43

    What's happening with TAROM's sale? I'm not insinuating that JU will or could ever buy TAROM, I'm just wondering what's going on with them since they were supposed to be privatised many times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:47

      Nothing. TAROM is just changing CEOs, each of them have a different strategy, it is still loss making and the government doesn't know what to do with it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:29

      tarom took over blue air and this might be bad news for ju on the beg-otp route
      more competition for sure

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:35

      Isn't Blue Air bankrupt?

      Delete
    4. Does anyone know if Tarom actually had done anything with the space opened by Blue Air's demise?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous21:29

      They haven't

      Delete
    6. Anonymous07:06

      JU even survived a Timisoara-based airline Carpatair running with 10 jet airliners, and saw its demise, why wouldnt they survive Blue Air takeover by Tarom?

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:44

    I think there was always an idea to put MGX and JU together. From October 2013. Time will tell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:46

      That was the plan and was abondend when Etihad fell apart.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous09:48

    I would love to see a regional LCC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:52

      Too late. None could compete against Wizz and Ryanair.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous09:55

    I don't see this happening because of 2 reasons:
    it is politically unwanted and more importantly,
    it would be like a merger of losers.
    None of these carriers are really viable. Even the ones that actually do post profits, such as JU can hardly do it without a direct (or indirect) support of their governments. Where should the money come from for e.g JU to buy OU? from the 20 million they allegedly make in profits? What bank would give them a loan to expand when they can hardly make a profit. and even if some bank agrees to this, what would they gain by this? all these carriers are perpetual losers, with ageing fleet, burdened with overemployment and politics involved in every segment of their work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:13

      They're losers precisely because they operate on small markets. I don't say ex-Yu is the only way to expand market but focusing only on local tiny markets will never put these companies out of the red.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:28

      What are you talking about? JU is starting to make some real profits and it's only going to get better from now on.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:34

      JU's example is good. We will see about profits. Adria had similar ideas at the time, we'll have to wait a bit to see how this turns out. JU has better chances, I think. But we can't say "JU is starting to make some real profits", that's just not true.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:32

      Agree with 10:34 JU is making profit for the sake of the statistics. It needs funds all the time and politicians to speak on their behalf. China and Chicago are good examples.

      Delete
    5. There are several major advantages when AirSerbia is compared to Adria. ATR fleet is much better suited to short regional hops than Adria's. Also, LJU is too close to VCE, BUD, ZAG, VIE and MUC and well connected by highways to all those hubs. Star Alliance did not bring any benefits to small regional airlines. Last but not least, the Slovenian leaders decided to kill the airline, first through the shameful privatisation process, and then they just pulled the plug when only bare bones remained. Shame really.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous17:53

      I agree. Plus JU has only a few destinations that are purely feeders (Kazan and likes), it has significant base of P2P travellers both in Serbia and diaspora, unlike Adria. At the end it results in the long haul flights which can be key diferentiator.

      Delete
  23. "And we will continue to add frequencies to all the countries since they also provide us with passenger flow for connecting flights, especially for our long haul operations."

    Jasmineeeeeee!!!! Dje si? Jel'dobijo gazda Ivan pinku od dabl liza za Dasinke za prosli mjesec?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous10:16

    Very good.

    Air Serbia should concentrate only on themselves and their future. We do not need so called cooperation with companies that have no vision and no knowledge about aviation business especially as some of them rejected JU proposal even for code share cooperation.

    Daleko im lepa kuca.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:35

      Who are "We"?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:52

      Air Serbia owners.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:22

      +1000

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:51

      Absolutely.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous17:21

      I guess you still may have airport and NIS stakes, but JU's you don't own.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous07:55

      You are wrong.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous10:18

    That ship had sailed three decades ago. We had that on the table: independent countries with single market. We didn't pick that up and the rest is history we hopefully will not be discussing here. The region is just not on the level to be able to comprehend this kind of ideas any more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually we had on the table Yugoslav Confederation, with single market, single Defence and single Diplomacy. And we also had JAT, which was that much developed, organized and famous, worldwide, that it could have been almost as big as TK today. But, if I continue further, my post is likely to be erased....

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:40

      Saying JAT would have been as big as TK today, is just like saying Malev should have been as big as TK today or CSA, LOT too.... Maybe JAT would have gone bankrupt if Yugo didn't collapse like Malev....You just don't know. Also, nearly everyone thinks they had it better in the 80's. its all our generation talk about even in the west, how good the 80's were but that's just perception and selective thinking, looking at all the economic stats for example, the 80s were a mess, even in (actually especially in) Yugo.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:56

      Remembering JAT and 80’s, flying from Belgrade to New York on DC-10 with stop in Ljubljana only 7 passengers to board in LJU. What a nightmare.

      Delete
    4. First, if you want to hide, or to change real life picture, you use statistics. Second, you can't compare Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland with Yugoslavia because they belonged to one World and Yugoslavia belonged to the other World. JAT was not communist Party run entity, but independent airline, very succesfull on the open market, and as such, had all predispositions to grow and become similar to what TK is today, taking into account all comparative advantages that Yugoslavia as a single market had, including tourism, diaspora, ties to non-aligned countries, industry.... But if you are in favour of what was happening in ex-yu after 1990, that"s another story

      Delete
    5. I remember flying JAT in the mid-80s from Zagreb to New York directly. What a nightmare, I didn't even get to see other airports and buy overpriced airport food while I waited on my connection. In 1985 JAT carried 5 million passengers compared to TK's 3 million. TK had 16 domestic and 36 international routes whereas JAT had 19 domestic and 61 international routes. JAT was definitely in a great place to compete.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous17:06

      If Yugoslavia was so good, why did it cease to exist?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous17:11

      Because all good things must come to an end.

      Delete
    8. @17.06
      Roman Empire and Austrohungarian Union, let's just remain in the neighbourhood with these two, ceased to exist as well. Were they bad or underdeveloped? No, they were the strongest, most powerful and most important states of their respective times. Yugoslavia had to disappear in blood because it was combining the best from the West and the East, and with its model, the only in the World, was potential danger to today's dominant liberal capitalism model.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous03:31

      Everything Pozdrav just wrote about the collapse of Yugo is fake and not supported by any data from the time whatsoever. Yugo was the darling of the west and the world, especially the US main priority was to keep it united in the early 90's until it was clear that Yugo people' would not stay in one country anymore.

      Delete
    10. Good that you gave us thousands of arguments and plenty of data to support your claims and that your claims are not fake 😃

      Delete
  26. @An.13.56
    Did they board the first, second, or fourth doors? I mean if you remember they were 7 you must remember this one as well LOL. And btw even if what you write is true, which I highly doubt, one flight means nothing and proves nothing. It's overall results that count, but some people here are not to comment aviation

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:17

      I don't think 7 people boarding from LJU to JFK is bad. That's like extra 7k USD today and the landing on LJU definitelly doesn't cost 7k. Pure profit. And the company could tell it serves the whole nation cause it trully did.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous19:35

    Not surprised

    ReplyDelete