Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
The delivery of the Bombardier was made under an agreement Croatia Airlines signed with Bombardier Aerospace on May 31, 2007. The fleet of Bombardiers has replaced the airline’s short haul fleet of ATR aircraft. The Bombardiers operating for Croatia Airlines have a capacity of 76 seats and is organized in an all economy class layout. 9A-CQD which recently arrived is the last Bombardier to be delivered this year to Croatia Airlines. The other 2 orders will be delivered during 2011. The airline now operates 13 aircraft (which includes the leased Adria Airways CRJ200 for the summer). Together with the 2 Bombardier orders it has another 4 Airbus A319s on order.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Jat will be the official carrier of Universiade for a second time, after it held the same title in 1987 for the Universiade in Zagreb. Over the years Jat has also been the official carrier of the Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo in 1984. Universiade will be the largest sporting event ever to be held in Belgrade and Serbia.
The start to Jat’s pre-Universiade passenger rise has not gone too well. On Thursday the Serbian carrier’s B737-400 had problems with starting up one of its engines and therefore the pilots decided to wait for spare parts to arrive from Belgrade to Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt). The aircraft finally departed 24 hours later on Friday evening. The trouble continued when one of Jat’s B737-300s operating from Tripoli to Belgrade had to land in Malta after a passenger felt very ill. As a result of these two aircraft being extremely late on their arrival into Belgrade, many of Jat’s flights have been delayed and some even cancelled. The schedule is expected to be normalised by Sunday morning.
Jat has also announced that it will bring forward its services to Dubrovnik. The flights which will resume to the Croatian coast town after more than 18 years will be Jat’s second in Croatia after Pula and will begin on July 2, rather than July 6 as previously announced.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Ljubljana Airport has also suffered a passenger and financial decrease due to the crisis. Looking at the figures for the first three months of 2009, it can be seen that the number of passengers is down by 23%, while the number of takeoffs and landings decreased by 16%. Cargo traffic, however, has taken the most serious battering, with throughput 30% lower than in the same period last year. Recently low cost Spanish airline Click Air and the Finnish national carrier Finnair ceased services to Ljubljana.
The airport’s CEO also says that he hopes there will be a railway link between the airport and the city. “I think the railway link could be built in eight to ten years. In any case, the sooner, the better. Slovenia is a small market and logistics companies usually choose bigger over smaller markets as their base. Zagreb, for example, is quickly catching up, so we must act now”, Skobir said.
Friday, June 26, 2009
The first man of Slovenia’s national carrier has also said that he is happy with the cooperation with Ljubljana Airport and that the airline will not introduce any new services during the 2009/10 winter season which begins in late October. In 2008, Adria increased the number of transported passengers by 27%, largely because of the Slovenian EU presidency. In the first quarter of this year, Adria registered a 14% decline in passenger numbers. However, because of Slovenia’s EU presidency in the first 6 months of last year, Tufek believes that 2009 should be compared to 2007. When compared to 2007, Adria has recorded more passengers in the first 4 months this year.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Meanwhile, another Croatia Airlines Dash 8 Q400 aircraft has been involved in an incident, this time however the incident was minor and through no fault of any mechanical failure. The aircraft was hit by a bird which flew in the propeller of the aircraft as it was landing at Split Airport from Vienna. No one was aware of the strike until ground handling staff noticed blood on the wing of the aircraft and found the birds’ remains in the engine. The aircraft’s next flight, to Zagreb, was cancelled as a result. Despite the fact that there was absolutely no danger to passengers, some Croatian tabloid newspapers did not hold back in dramatizing the event. The aircraft in question is the brand new Dash 8 called Istra which began operating for the airline less than a week ago.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The airline already has 3 scenarios of what should happen with their existing fleet. By July 9, the Serbian national carrier should have a clearer picture if it will go ahead with the takeover of MAT Macedonian Airlines. If the takeover is finalised, some of Jats B737s will be deployed to Macedonia in 2010. The other plan is to lease the B737s to Air Ivoire, the national carrier of the Ivory Coast while the third scenario is to sell 7 B737s. For example, by selling 7 aircraft of this type, whose age amounts to 23 years, the airline could receive enough money to lease aircraft for the next 2 to 3 years. Jat will also pursue to upgrade its ATR72s however whether it will do so depends on upcoming talks with Airbus regarding the purchase of 8 Airbus A319s.
The company’s management has announced that with the aircraft which have a capacity of 70 seats the airline will carry out regional services. The airline would use aircraft with a capacity of 90 seats to destinations in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece and Turkey while larger aircraft with over 125 seats would be used to London, Paris, Zurich, Frankfurt, Moscow and Abu Dhabi. This way the airline would significantly improve its cabin occupancy index. An airline spokesperson said that the carrier finds it difficult to fill aircraft on services which should be served with aircraft with a capacity of 90 seats.
Today Jat’s new CEO should be named.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Croatia’s largest airport, Zagreb, reported a 6.7% decline in passengers, from 195.817 in May 2008 to 182.342 in May 2009. The airport saw a sharp decline in transit passenger which fell by a hefty 78%. Split Airport reported even worse numbers. Passengers declined by 11.6% and transit passengers waned by 23%. In May 2009, a total of 108.351 passengers passed through the airport, compared to 122.567 last year. Dubrovnik Airport continued its negative run of results with passengers declining by 5.3%. However, the airport did report an increase in transit passengers by 11.45%. Pula Airport recorded the largest decline in passengers. Its results worsened by a total of 17.9%. This is despite the fact that the number of aircraft operations increased by nearly 6% when compared to May 2008. A similar trend can be seen in Rijeka where passengers decreased by 11.65% while aircraft operations increased by nearly 7%. A total of 10.885 passengers used Rijeka Airport in May 2009, compared to 12.320 during the same period last year.
As reported earlier, Zadar continued its impressive results with a passenger increase of nearly 17%. Even more impressive is the fact that transit passengers at Zadar increased by 136.8%. The only other Croatian airport that managed to report growth in May 2009 is Osijek, with an increase of 1%. Most of the results have been affected by the global financial crisis. There is fear that the tourism industry in Croatia may be heavily impacted by the crisis. Interestingly, Croatia Airlines seems not to be affected as much as its hub and secondary airports.Passenger figures at Croatian airports:
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The European airline performing worst in the first four months was Icelandiar which saw passengers decrease by more than 22%. TAROM Romanian Airlines reports the worst cabin occupancy index of only 48% followed closely by Ukraine International Airlines and Croatia Airlines. The airline performing the best so far this year, in Europe in terms of passengers, is Turkish Airlines. Spain’s Iberia is reporting the best load factor in Europe of over 78%.
Current data shows that May will be even worse for European carriers while in June airlines should expect to see the worst figures so far this year.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Meanwhile, Jat Airways, Serbia’s national carrier has proposed for MAT Macedonian Airlines to change its name and reregister as a new airline called Mat Airways. The name change would also finally settle a dispute between Greece and Macedonia in terms of air service. Greek authorities have banned MAT from flying to Greek airports due to the fact that the airline holds in its name the words “Macedonian Airlines”, which, according to Greece, displays territorial advances. The Greek government has been pushing Eurocontrol to pressure MAT into changing its name. Gruevski did not directly comment about the name change and a future with Jat, saying only that the management’s top priority is to rescue the existing company.
The Macedonian CAA has grounded MAT’s Boeing B737-500 for safety reasons until further notice although the aircraft seems to have been safe enough to transport Antonio Milošoski, Macedonia’s minister for foreign affairs to Corfu yesterday. Despite airlines from Macedonia being banned from Greece, the flight received special permission to land in Corfu as Milošoski was attending a special meeting by the OSCE.
Friday, June 19, 2009
June and July are looking good for the airport as well. Ryanair will commence services from Pisa, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf during the summer months while the Slovakian low cost carrier Danube Wings will also begin new services from Bratislava to Zadar. For the first time since World War Two services between Ancona and Zadar are scheduled to resume his year. Ryanair is now the dominant airline at the airport accounting for over 30% of all traffic. Airport authorities believe that there is significant interest on behalf of passengers for direct services to begin between Zadar and Paris, Barcelona, Oslo, Milan and Marseille. Zadar Airport is currently also home to one of Lufthansa’s pilot schools.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
The airline’s management successfully completed talks with Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport which has promised the low cost airline cheaper handling. The airline’s management is optimistic that it could, if it receives a license, have many passengers after it was announced that from January 1, 2010 Serbian citizens will no longer need visas to travel to countries from the European Union. Although the airline’s management hasn’t decided which destinations would be served from Belgrade, Niki Lauda says that the most probable are Vienna (currently operated by Austrian and Jat), Munich (operated by Lufthansa), Hamburg (not operated) Stockholm (operated by Jat and Norwegian Air Shuttle), Palma de Mallorca (not operated), Milan (operated by Jat) and Palermo (not operated). These would be scheduled destinations rather than charters.
The major problem low cost airlines face when flying from Serbia is the extremely high airport taxes at Nikola Tesla. From June 1, after months of negotiations Jat Airways has been able to secure for all its passengers taxes of only 4 Euros, rather than the 16.5 payed until now. However, foreign carriers still have to deal with the high taxes although it is believed that they will be lowered to 4 Euros soon.
Meanwhile, Jat Airways’ new CEO should be named today. According to media reports it is Srđan Radovanović, a surprise choice by the government as he has neither any experience in aviation nor has he ever worked in Jat. He has a law degree and worked for a few state owned companies.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Jat has sent a delegation to the Paris Air Show where it is hunting down regional jets. All manufacturers are in play especially Bombardier, Embarer and the Russian Sukhoi which secured an order from Malev yesterday. You can read about last week’s meeting between the Serbian government and Airbus here. There, you can also find more about the 1998 order. Jat should receive up to 4 aircraft in 2010 as part of its fleet renewal. The airline currently operates 10 Boeing B737-300 aircraft (although one is leased to Air Ivorie), 5 ATR72s, 1 Boeing B737-400 and 1 Boeing B737-200, a gift from Aviogenex for the decades of debt owed to Jat. Jat has struggled this year with a fleet shortage. The airline’s dominance at Belgrade Airport has, as a result, declined dramatically. From a 75% share in 2003 to 42% today. The airline’s services to Montenegro have strugled the most due to the reduced capacity. Jat has handed over most of its passengers to competitor Montenegro Airlines on lines to Tivat and Podgorica. Jat is operating 3 daily flights to Montenegro from Belgrade this summer compared to 7 daily flights by Montenegro Airlines.
Monday, June 15, 2009
The delivery of the Bombardier was made under an agreement Croatia Airlines signed with Bombardier Aerospace on May 31, 2007. The fleet of Bombardiers has replaced the airline’s short haul fleet of ATR aircraft. The Bombardiers operating for Croatia Airlines have a capacity of 67 seats and is organized in an all economy class layout. The airline now has a total of 11 aircraft (with 2 aircraft leased for the current summer season not included). The airline has a total of 6 aircraft on order with 2 Bombardiers set to arrive next year and 4 Airbus A319s to be delivered from 2012.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
The two projects mentioned above are only a small part of the massive 100 million Euro development at Ljubljana’s Airport. The greatest portion of this sum (over 50 million) will be spent on a new terminal, scheduled to be opened in late 2011. The new terminal, which will have a capacity of 3 million passengers annually, will form the core of Ljubljana’s Airport City. Airport City will be opened in 2015. The business and logistics centre will offer infrastructure for tourism, warehousing, logistics and other commercial services. Airport City will also feature a business hotel with more than 150 rooms. It will be operated by the Residor Group, a renowned hotel operator. The hotel will open its doors in autumn of 2010. At the moment the airport has no railway link to the city but Ljubljana Airport management expects that in a few years time, passengers will be able to travel by train from the capital directly to the airport. The only other city in the Ex-Yu region which has its own Airport City is Belgrade, with most of the multi million Euro project already complete. Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is used by a total of 10 scheduled airlines (only 1 of which is low cost). Except for Zagreb, the airport is connected to all former Yugoslav capital cities by air.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
It was a bad day for the Airbus aircraft manufacturer yesterday with many incidents involving its aircraft. First an Airbus A330-200 operated by Jetstar International from Japan to Australia had to make an emergency landing in Guam due to a fire which broke out in the cockpit. On the other side of the world, an Iberworld A320-200 from Las Palmas to Oslo with 180 passengers and 9 crew, returned to Las Palmas' Gran Canaria Airport after one of the engines failed emitting loud bangs, sparks andflames. The airplane landed safely 10 minutes after departure. The incident in Belgrade is the fifth Airbus incident in the last 5 days.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
With 3 regional aircraft Albanian Airlines is a struggling carrier mostly due to the dominance of low cost Albanian airline Belle Air, which also operates from Tirana Mother Theresa Airport. While Belle Air has a 40% share of all flights from Tirana, the national carrier only has a 14.4% share while Alitalia comes in third.
Meanwhile, another airline which has recently commenced new services is Croatia Airlines from Zagreb to Barcelona. The flights between the two cities have resumed on Tuesday after 10 years and will operate 3 times per week using a combination of Croatia Airlines’ A319/A320 fleet.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
However, Serbian tour operators, which have been determined to see Turkish carriers commencing services to Belgrade, are now stepping away from previous comments and sticking to the national carrier Jat Airways. Serbian tour operators are sceptical to use Atalsjet due to the air disaster the airline had 2 years ago where 56 passengers lost their life. Further scepticism comes from using Tailwind Airlines due to the fact that it is unknown and new. Tour operators have welcomed the news that Jat Airways will decrease ticket prices on charter flights by 5% but they are demanding a further reduction. A spokesperson for Jat says that tickets for charter flights on Jat Airways are significantly cheaper than last year and that ticket prices only account for 20% of the entire arrangement holiday makers pay to their tour operators.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Rijeka is served by 5 airlines, all of which operate seasonal summer charters. Croatian airports are reporting a decline in passenger figures this year and the trend seems to have continued into May, with Zagreb Airport also reporting a significant decline although official data should be published within the next few days.
Monday, June 8, 2009
MAT’s management doesn’t seem to be concerned by the new demands and says that the carrier will be flying again by the end of this week. The Boeing B737-500 should be arriving in Skopje within the following few days after more repairs were done to the aircraft’s front leg. Even though the aircraft was serviced and repaired free of charge in Belgrade a few weeks ago, the CAA did not recognise that the aircraft has been mended.
News is circulating that certain individuals within Macedonia, mainly affluent businessmen, are already setting up a new airline which would replace MAT. Some argue that all the actions undertaken by the CAA are aimed at destroying MAT and allowing a new carrier to be created. If MAT declares bankruptcy it would be the third national carrier from the EX-YU to do so, after Palair which was also the national carrier of Macedonia until its demise in 1996 and Air Bosna which was the national carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina declaring bankruptcy in 2003. MAT’s status as the national carrier of Macedonia ends in 2010 according to an agreement between the Macedonian Government and MAT, signed in 2000. With the current situation it is unlikely that its flag carrier status would be extended.
Meanwhile, other foreign airlines are benefiting on the account of MAT’s troubles. Airlines are drastically increasing services to Skopje as passenger numbers rise. The latest airline to announce an increase in service is Turkish Airlines. The Turkish national carrier will increase services from Istanbul to Skopje from 5 to 7 weekly flights starting June 8.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
The breakthrough came yesterday after 9 hours of negotiating between the two sides in the Turkish capital Ankara. The row with Turkey seriously threatened Jat’s charter operations which have been the only sector recording big success for the airline this year. However, it has not yet been disclosed if the Turkish side has received something in return. The Serbian Directorate for Civil Aviation argued that the Turkish government should be happy with the fact that Serbian tourists are choosing to spend their summer in Turkey and therefore easing the financial crisis.
Meanwhile, after Jat’s Boeing B737-300 registered YU-ANJ received a new look interior, a second aircraft is to follow and expected to enter service during next week. During the fitting of Jat’s new cabin in YU-ANJ, the engines were also replaced with new ones. Another piece of news regarding Jat’s fleet includes a B737-300 registered YU-ANI, which is wearing the titles of Air Ivoire, the national carrier of the Ivory Coast. This is because the airline has been serving in Abidjan for the past few months and will once again be leased to the African carrier from July 1, 2009 until late October this year. The aircraft will replace Air Ivoire’s MD80s.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Scanderbeg Air was established earlier this year by Albanian tour operators in the United States. The airline has a total of 2 aircraft (Boeing B767-200ERs) and will operate its maiden service by commencing flights to Tirana on June 14. The average return ticket price to Priština amounts to 1.200 American dollar (approximately 845 Euros), all taxes included. Ticket prices to Tirana are somewhat cheaper. Therefore, Priština will once again be the only city in the region to offer direct flights to New York.
All flight details can be found on the right hand side in the new route launches section.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Meanwhile, the enlargement of Dubrovnik Airport continues. Construction work on the 147 million Euro reconstruction of Terminal B at Dubrovnik Airport is in the final phases.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
On Monday, June 1, the airline’s management officially passed the plan for a new visual look as well as a new name for the Serbian carrier, to be applied in 2010. The airline’s management also announced that all sectors of Jat will have younger employees replacing current ones, something which will not go down well with the unions within Jat, especially cabin crew. From tomorrow evening Jat will have a new CEO. The Serbian government will, during its usual Thursday afternoon ministry meeting, select and name the airline’s new CEO.
Meanwhile, a resolution to the war between Jat Airways and Turkish charter companies is nowhere in sight. The Turkish government will not issue a licence to Jat to begin charter flights to Antalya while the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate will not issue licenses to a total of 6 Turkish charter companies wanting to begin flights to Belgrade. Many Serbian tourists travelling to Turkey with Jat this summer are anxious to see a resolution to this problem. Jat’s management has said that if the airline does not receive a license for charter flights to Turkey it will apply for a license for regular flights between Belgrade and Antalya. Reports also suggest that the Serbian national carrier has received the green light from the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency to commence flights to Dubrovnik from July this year.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Yesterday, B&H Airlines’ management held talks with the Montenegrin minister for transportation as the Bosnian airline plans to commence services from Sarajevo to Skopje via Podgorica. The service would operate in form of a charter flight with 3 weekly flights. The service would operate with an ATR72. The Montenegrin minister said flights could begin within 2 weeks. B&H Airlines operates flights to Skopje but does not fly to Podgorica.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Meanwhile, other airlines have been increasing frequencies and capacity to Skopje in order to deal with extra passengers. MAT is currently facing many criminal charges including those from EUROCONTROL for unpaid debt and from the Civil Aviation Agency, also for unpaid debt and selling tickets after the airline was grounded. Negotiations regarding a possible takeover by Jat Airways will be intensified in mid June with the Serbian national carrier still interested in purchasing the Macedonian airline.
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