Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
On the other hand, Osijek and Rijeka, the two cities which did not host last year’s event managed to increase their passenger volume by 122.2% and 35% respectively. However, it should be noted that Osijek only handled a total of 80 passengers compared to 36 last year, explaining its remarkable growth.
Below you can view January’s 2010 results for Croatian airports:
|Airport||Passengers JAN 2010||Passengers JAN 2009||Change (%)|
Friday, February 26, 2010
Serbia’s Minister for Infrastructure, Milutin Mrkonjić, said that Serbia was interested in finalising the dispute between Jat and Airbus. He said that he hopes Airbus will be a new partner in Jat’s fleet renewal process.
Jat is keen on modifying the Airbus order to ATR aircraft. Its previous attempts to do so have been rejected by Airbus. Jat has a mixture of Boeing and ATR aircraft in its fleet. It has never had any Airbus aircraft in its ownership.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The cabin crew are unhappy with a proposed 10% pay cut, a 30% per diem decrease and the loss of other benefits such as meals, annual bonuses and solidarity bonuses. The leader of the cabin crew union announced that the union has already agreed to a 5% pay decrease but will not agree to 10% or a per diem decrease of any kind. A total of 160 cabin crew members will be on strike on Friday although, due to law regulations, 20% of cabin crew will have to work which would allow 11 flights to be carried out, Croatian business magazine “Lider” reports. However, as each strike day continues a smaller amount of cabin crew will be required to work.
An airline statement reads that the strike will cost it 600.000 Euros per day, which the cabin crew have labelled as misleading. The airline’s modified schedule for this Friday can be viewed here. Croatia Airlines will publish Saturday’s schedule (February 27) today at 15.00 CET on its website.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Meanwhile, about 4.000 Lufthansa pilots have gone on strike for 4 days in a dispute over job security. The carrier has cancelled about 3.000 flights and has warned of delays both domestically and internationally. The strike will also disrupt flights operated by low cost subsidiary Germanwings. Croatia Airlines announced that the strike would not affect the Croatian national carrier, although it will affect the airline’s passengers transiting through Germany to onward Lufthansa flights. Zagreb Airport said that only the Lufthansa flight from Zagreb to Frankfurt scheduled for 14.35 had been cancelled on Monday. Croatia Airlines said it would be willing to accept Lufthansa passengers on their routes between Germany and Croatia. The strike has since been suspended.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Meanwhile, Jat’s CEO Srdjan Radovanović has admitted that his optimistic 2010 recovery plan is unlikely to be carried out in full due to “unforseen circumstances”. Radovanvić states that Jat’s Macedonian subsidiary Aeromak has failed to receive necessary permits from the Macedonian Government, despite being guaranteed such rights in 2009 from the Macedonian Minister for Transport and Communication himself. The Sky Srpska project in Banja Luka, in which Jat will play a part of, has also been delayed. The CEO states that the airline will probably finish the year with a loss and should be happy with anything over 1.2 million passengers.
Despite its troubles, the airline is said to have had a better than expected February with passenger number anticipated to rise. In March, the airline will launch its summer timetable and select a new company to provide its on board catering service. Despite the lack of information, the lease of 2 Boeing B737-700 aircraft has not been cancelled and has so far not been delayed.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
JAT Yugoslav Airlines’ services to Spain were one of the last European destination expansions it carried out. Flights to Barcelona commenced on March 28, 1986 and were terminated in December 1991. JAT also operated flights to Madrid.
Spanair will conduct the new service using its Airbus A320 aircraft. The airline also announced that it will introduce 3 weekly flights from Barcelona to Zagreb from April 19. It will be in direct competition with Croatia Airlines on the route. All flight details can be found on the right hand side in the new route launches section.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Despite the void left by the collapse of MAT Macedonian Airlines, the 2 airports are recovering from the global financial crisis which hit passenger figures in March 2009. While Macedonian airports did not see an immediate increase in passenger numbers following the visa liberalisation for Macedonian citizen, the effects are now starting to be felt. The following table displays the current share of flights each scheduled airline holds out of Skopje:
Friday, February 19, 2010
Speaking to the media Kramer said, “It is our wish to meet with Jat’s management and discuss possible changes and modifications to the order so the aircraft could finally be delivered. Many parts of the purchasing agreement have to be changed, including the price which is no longer adequate to that of 12 years ago. We realise that Jat does not need this amount of aircraft and does not have the means to finance them. Thus, we have prepared a new solution to the problem”. Jat’s management met with Airbus last month. At that meting Airbus proposed 2 solutions to the problem. One was to slash the number of ordered aircraft from 8 to 2 or 4. However, they would immediately be sold to another airline and Jat would lease the aircraft from that airline, which is the only way Jat could afford to operate the aircraft. The other proposal Airbus brought to the table was for the airline to purchase 1 Airbus A319CJ (corporate jet), which Jat rejected due to its high costs. Jat’s proposal for the carrier to receive 1 ATR72 in exchange for the 23.5 million Dollar deposit was overruled by Airbus.
Jat said that having Airbus aircraft in its fleet would cproduce extra costs as the airline would have to train its pilots and cabin crew for the aircraft while Jat Tehnika does not possess the necessary certificates for the maintenance of Airbuses.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Lufthansa and Croatia Airlines signed a strategic partnership agreement in 2004 when Croatia Airlines become a regional Star Alliance member with the support and sponsorship of Lufthansa. It was in fact Lufthansa which provided Croatia Airlines with 3 Boeing B737-200s in 1993 at a heavily discounted price. All of these factors, including Croatia Airlines’ route network would, analysts believe, be enough motive for a Lufthansa purchase.
Croatia Airlines did not wish to comment on the speculations. In a statement released by the airline it said, “The privatisation of Croatia Airlines is a possible future business move. Whether it will take place and in which form will be up to the owners, the Government, to decide. We can not speculate about future owners or partnerships”.
Adding to the airline’s big losses is the monopoly it is forced to operate under. Croatia Airlines is only allowed to buy its fuel from Croatia’s National Petroleum Industry (INA) which the carrier believes is too expensive while airports across the country have enforced new, more expensive, handling fees under the Government’s order. Analysts predict that Croatia Airlines is far from bankruptcy because, as in the past, the Government will continue to cover all of the airline’s losses.
Do you think that Croatia Airlines should be bought by Lufthansa or another airline? Send a comment.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
As previously reported, Adria Airways will relocate to Maribor during runway upgrades at Ljubljana Airport which will be carried out from April 7 to 20. Other airlines have also announced their alternatives with easyJet temporarily suspending its London Stansted route during this period. Jat Airways will move its services to Portorož and Turkish Airlines is reportedly also considering serving Maribor. It is unclear at this point what alternatives will be chosen by Air France, CSA Czech Airlines and Montenegro Airlines.
This summer, Jat will join Edelweiss Air as the only confirmed carrier that will be operating to Ohrid. Jat will, for a second year in a row, operate direct services to the lake side town, rather than via Skopje as it has done previously. The 2 weekly flights commence June 1 and can be found in the new route launches section.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Jat’s off-again on-again flights from Belgrade to Banja Luka failed to attract passengers in the past 2 years. Speaking to a Belgrade newspaper, a spokesperson from Jat said that in 2008 the airline carried 2.678 passengers on 170 flights to Banja Luka. The average cabin occupancy index on these flights amounted to 26%, meaning that there were approximately 17 passengers on each flight. Results for 2009 were even less impressive. “In October we transported a total of 45 passengers", a Jat spokesperson said. The CEO of Banja Luka Airport said that the airline did not terminate flights due to low interest but rather due to the fact that it did not have any available aircraft.
Last year, Jat Airways’ CEO, Srdjan Radovanović stated that the airline would carry 50.000 passengers from Banja Luka in 2010.
Monday, February 15, 2010
B&H Airlines will operate the new aircraft on services to Istanbul, Copenhagen, Zurich, Düsseldorf, Gothenburg and Stockholm. The airline’s planned new service to Amsterdam may be delayed until June as well. As it currently stands, the B737-400 is to perform its last revenue flight on May 31 as flight JA102 to Istanbul, departing Sarajevo at 18.30 and it will not be returning home. Any further developments on he arrival of the new aircraft will be reported here.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Three of the selected bidders are strong international consortiums. The first competitor is the Turkish-German consortium Fraport / ICTAS that manage the Antalya Airport in Turkey. The Fraport Company manages Frankfurt International Airport and together with other companies manages 10 other airports. The second bidders are the Turkish-French consortium Limak / Airport de Lyon. The Limak Company manages Sabiha Gökçen Airport in Istanbul. The third bidder for the concession of Priština Airport is the international consortium Bouyges Batiment- Egis- PAIC.
Priština Airport handled 1.191.978 passengers in 2009 and had a 11 million Euro profit
Friday, February 12, 2010
A total of 33 airlines will serve Split this summer. As a result, a total of 1.5 million seats will be up for sale during 2010. Moreover, travellers will have the opportunity of reaching Split on a daily basis using charter carriers which will be operating from 28 European cities.
Croatia Airlines will be increasing its flight offering from Split by 7%. Meanwhile, foreign companies, including the low cost EasyJet and Germanwings as well as SAS and Norwegian Air Shuttle, will be increasing their number of flights by 80% compared to last year.
The management of Split Airport believes that it will see an increase in the number of passengers in 2010 due to a strong summer season. In 2009, the airport handled a total of 1.080.121 passengers, a decrease of almost 8% compared to 2008.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
The ideal design for the new terminal was chosen last year. However, after the city and Government cancelled the project until further notice, due to the global financial crisis, the designers sold their idea to the City of Donetsk in Ukraine. The new terminal in Zagreb will most probably be financed through a PPP (Public Private Project) where the building would be constructed in collaboration between Government bodies and a private company with the latter gaining control of the airport for an agreed amount of years, after the project is complete. This has proven to be a successful formula in Croatia and neighbouring Slovenia.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Croatia Airlines nearly had one of its Airbus A319s revoked in December when it failed to make a payment for the aircraft. The Government of Croatia signed documentation and guarantees stating that the aircraft’s leasing fees would be payed in full. The Government payed the bill for the aircraft in December. The next payment is to be made on June 1.
On a more optimistic note, the airline’s management has struck a deal with 3 out of 5 unions for pay cuts to be implemented. A strike by the airline’s unions, announced to ground the airline on February 26, could be avoided if the union of pilots and the union of cabin crew agree to the new terms.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Jat Catering could now disappear after Jat Airways commenced tender procedures to find a new company which should provide meals to the airline on all outbound flights out of Belgrade. The tender will last for 30 days and the new company should be providing meals effective immediately. The company with the least expensive offer will be chosen. The future meal provider must also have all sanitary certificates and must have tasty and presentable food, according to a Jat statement. For the past month Airport Catering Belgrade has provided meals to the airline while Jat’s ground handling unit SU-PORT has provided drinks.
Jat Catering was, until 1990, the most modern and best equipped catering unit in Europe having the most modern facilities for food production at Belgrade Airport and producing thousands of meals per day. The food production building was spread over 8.000 square metres and Jat Catering was the largest food production company in the former Yugoslavia. In 2005, it was decided that Jat Catering should be separated from Jat Airways. Furthermore, the company was divided and a new catering company, Airport Catering Belgrade, was created. Jat Catering significantly decreased its meal offering in 2008 when the then management of Jat Airways decided it would cut costs by offering less food to passengers.
Meanwhile, the Government of Serbia said that it offered to help Jat Catering a year ago but the company was not interested. The Government now says that it is up to Jat Catering to solve its own problems.
With no customers, the company which has existed for decades may soon disappear. For the first time in its long history Jat Airways will no longer be serving meals prepared by Jat Catering.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Nevertheless, the airline will, as planned, receive 2 Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft this year and increase frequencies to Barcelona during the summer.
Another potential nightmare the national carrier of Croatia is facing is a strike by its workers which is set to ground the airline’s entire fleet. The Croatia Airlines union of cabin crew has voted for strike action which will commence at 6.00 on February 26. The cabin crew have received unconditional support from the pilot’s union which is set to announce that it too is going on strike in the following days. Syndicate representatives do not want to accept the January 1 decision of the Croatia Airlines Board. According to this decision, pay will be decreased by 10% or rather 30% per day. Compensation for meals and transportation will be cancelled, while both sick leave and vacation times will be shortened.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Montenegro Airlines had anticipated to commence flights from Niš to Zurich in November 2009, however the airline was turned down by Swiss authorities. Montenegro Airlines regularly operates seasonal summer flights from Tivat to Niš. Niš Constantine the Great Airport is currently served by 1 airline - the low cost Wind Jet.
All flight details can be found on the right hand side in the new route launches section.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Route / Frequency / Starting date
Dortmund / 3 times per week / June 12
London Luton / 3 times per week / July 24
György Abrán, Chief Commercial Officer of Wizz Air said, “We are delighted to extend our service offering to Serbian passengers, who can now enjoy our low fares coupled with excellent travel experience all along their journey. Wizz Air has been proving its commitment to the region by opening new bases and routes and growing the fleet of our brand new Airbus A320 airplanes. The Serbian market has good development potential and we are looking forward to exploit it. We look forward to working together with all parties to address the regulatory constraints and cost of logistics in order to unleash the full growth potential Wizz could deliver”.
Velimir Radosavljević, the General Manager of Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade said, “Considering that the strategic orientation for Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is to recognise and meet the demands of our users, whether passengers or airlines, it is my pleasure to announce that we have succeeded to bring to Serbia yet another low cost airline, to the benefit of the Serbian citizens. At the same time, and co-operating with the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development and the Tourist Organization of Serbia, we would like to have as many foreign tourists as possible. It is our wish for Belgrade and Serbia to be recognized as a destination offering a new picture of hospitality, and able to meet the wishes and needs of different categories of our foreign guests”
Friday, February 5, 2010
B&H Airlines will operate the new aircraft on services to Istanbul, Copenhagen, Zurich, Düsseldorf, Gothenburg and Stockholm. Soon, the airline is also expected to announce the launch of its flights to Amsterdam. As is often the case with B&H Airlines, transparency is not at the highest level of priorities and thus there are conflicting reports about the arrival of the second B737-700. Although it is scheduled to operate flights on March 28, some sources claim that the aircraft will arrive in late summer of 2010 and that the B737-400 will stay in the fleet until that day. As it currently stands, the B737-400 is to perform its last revenue flight on March 27 as flight JA102 to Istanbul, departing Sarajevo at 18.30 and it will not be returning home. Any developments regarding the second B737-700 and the B737-400 will be reported.
Below you can see the scheduled rotation for the B737-700s on their inaugural day - Sunday March 28, 2010:
|Flight number||Route||Departure / Arrival time|
|JA103||Istanbul - Sarajevo||08.00 / 08.50|
|JA424||Sarajevo - Stockholm (via Copenhagen)||09.45 / 14.05|
|JA425||Stockholm - Sarajevo||14.50 / 17.45|
|JA102||Sarajevo - Istanbul||18.30 / 21.20|
|Flight number||Route||Departure / Arrival time|
|JA306||Sarajevo - Zurich||07.15 / 08.40|
|JA307||Zurich - Sarajevo||09.35 / 11.00|
Thursday, February 4, 2010
The greatest passenger increase was seen this January on flights to Brussels, with passenger numbers increasing by 123%. It is followed by Thessaloniki which recorded a 78% passenger increase. The greatest decline was seen on flights to Monastir in Tunisia (-81%).
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
A spokesperson from the Dutch embassy in Macedonia said that the new flights will strengthen the potential and competitiveness of Macedonia on the international tourist market. The embassy announced that a group of 30 Dutch tour operators and journalists will visit Macedonia next month in order to get acquainted with the country’s beauties and to present Macedonia to Dutch tourists. There is hope that Transavia will mostly carry tourists to Ohrid while passengers from Skopje will mostly use the line in order to transfer at Schipol Airport onto other flights.
Skopje is currently being used by 8 scheduled airlines. Transavia will be the only low cost airline to serve the airport. Skopje reported that it had 600.000 passengers in 2009, a decrease of 8% compared to 2008.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
In 2009, Jat had success on the Belgrade - Stuttgart line. Despite being exposed to direct competition from the low cost Germanwings, according to data processed on behalf of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, Jat regularly has more passengers than its rival. Although the route is far from popular, it has given the carrier some confidence in managing to overcome the onslaught of low cost airlines expected to arrive soon. Jat has also claimed victory over British Airways on flights to London Heathrow Airport. In 2009, Jat transported 72.310 passengers on this route, which is 1.9% less then last year. On the other hand, British Airways carried 52.244 passengers in 2009 and recorded a decline of 7.3%. Thus, Jat’s share on the route increased from 57 to 58%. Whether this share will be destabilised by the announced Wizz Air flights from London Luton Airport remains to be seen.
However, Jat is trailing on routes to Istanbul, Vienna, Frankfurt, Athens and more notably Montenegro. Jat only holds a share of 29% of all transported passengers to Istanbul, the other 71% going to Turkish Airlines. According to Belgrade Airport data, Jat transported 57.121 passengers to Podgorica in 2009 compared to 143.076 by Montenegro Airlines. To Tivat Jat carried 57.121 passengers (47.5% less than in 2008). This is in comparison to 133.063 passengers carried by Montenegro Airlines. Jat has begun reviewing its flights to Montenegro for the 2010 summer season in hope of attracting more passengers.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Gilfredo Milanes Molina, the First Secretary of the Cuban Embassy in Belgrade, said that Serbia and Cuba are at the onset of a new era of economic cooperation. He noted that some 500 Serbian tourists spent New Year’s Eve on the island.