With another A319 on order, the airline is also awaiting the arrival of yet another Bombardier CRJ900. These aircraft will replace the airline’s sole Airbus A320.
Friday, April 30, 2010
With another A319 on order, the airline is also awaiting the arrival of yet another Bombardier CRJ900. These aircraft will replace the airline’s sole Airbus A320.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
With the addition of Split and Dubrovnik, Wizz Air will operate flights to 3 Croatian destinations as it already serves Zagreb from London Luton and Dortmund in Germany.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Berane has both a paved runway and a derelict terminal building which has seen better days. In the 1970s JAT Yugoslav Airlines operated flights from Belgrade to Berane, then known as Ivangrad. Plans to develop Berane into an international airport were formulated several years ago with a visualisation of the future terminal made.
Together with Berane, Trebinje in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Štip in Macedonia could receive airports in the near future. Do you think Montenegro needs another airport? Send a comment.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
It is uncertain whether the abrupt move has anything to do with plans to create a new national carrier by the end of the year. Jat currently has 16 aircraft in its fleet, some of which are grounded and in need of engine overhauls. All of the airline’s aircraft are expected to be in the sky by July.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Radosavljević says that all of these investments will be financed from the airport’s net profit from 2009. In the first 3 moths of 2010 the airport is recording the same profit as in the first 3 months of 2009. Belgrade Nikola Tesla is served by 24 scheduled airlines with the number set to increase in the coming months.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Zagreb saw its passenger numbers decrease by 3.3% in March. The airport handled 144.074 compared to 149.086 last year. It is important to point out that the airport had 5.4% less flights than in March 2009. Pula continued its steep slide with passenger numbers decreasing by 26.8%. With only 48 passengers handled, Osijek’s airport figures decreased by 22%. Then again, Dubrovnik’s passenger decrease is slowing with the airport posting a decrease of less than half of a precent.
Good news comes from Zadar and Rijeka. The 2 airports increased their passenger numbers by 62.8% and 13.7% respectively. Zadar handled an impressive 3.103 passengers. This is despite the fact the number of flights to the seaside town decreased by 2%. The passenger increase is much needed for Rijeka Airport which has been financially struggling over the past year. However, the recent volcanic ash cloud, which grounded flights across Europe, could have a highly negative effect on airport recovery in April.Below you can view March’s 2010 results for Croatian airports:
|Airport||Passengers MAR 2010||Passengers MAR 2009||Change (%)|
Saturday, April 24, 2010
The closure of the airport was part of the third and final phase of the runway reconstruction project. The overhaul of the runway included resurfacing the asphalt as well as expanding parts of the taxiways, replacing the lighting system and installing additional cable conduits. The first phase, covering around 800 metres, was concluded on June 25, 2009 while the reconditioning of the other section, involving over 1.000 metres of runway, was completed in the early hours of July 15, 200. The final and most time consuming phase was completed on Wednesday, April 21, 2010. The entire runway upgrade project has amounted to a cost of 9 million Euros. It is the first time since 1978 that the runway has been upgraded.
Meanwhile, Ljubljana Airport announced that it recorded a 14% passenger decline in 2009 when compared to 2008. It handled 1.42 million passengers. According to airport statistics, in 2009, most passengers originating from Ljubljana Airport travelled to Germany (18%), followed by the United Kingdom (12%), Turkey and France (8%) and Serbia (7%). The greatest increase in passenger numbers was recorded on flights to Serbia while the greatest decline on flights to Belgium.
Friday, April 23, 2010
On the other hand, there is some good news. Despite initial problems, the Bosnian and Herzegovinian national carrier will commence flights from Sarajevo to Zagreb from May 21, 6 times per week (flight details can be found on the right hand side in the new route launches section). The airline will also operate charter flights from Tuzla to Hurghada in Egypt and Antalya in Turkey.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Aviogenex was formed in 1968 by one of Yugoslavia’s largest companies called “Genex”. The airline operated both domestic and international charter flights. As Yugoslavia disintegrated in the 1990s so did Genex and its airline subsidiary. The airline was forced to either sell or retire all of its aircraft except 1 Boeing B737-200, in use today. In 2001 the airline started leasing the aircraft to various airlines such as Sudan Airways. The aircraft was eventually returned to Belgrade and given to Jat Airways, due to outstanding debt that Aviogenex had to the national carrier dating back from the 1990s era. Until March 2010 the aircraft served with Jat. Aviogenex is now, for the first time in many years, operating services independently under its own name. The Boeing B737-200 Advance, serving with Aviogenex, is one of the last produced by Boeing in 1987.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Croatia Airlines said that its losses have amounted to at least 2.5 million Euros. The airline could not handle some 24.000 passengers, which were supposed to fly with Croatia Airlines since April 16 until today, the airline’s spokesperson Davor Janušić said. The CEO of Croatia Airlines, Ivan Mišetić, confirmed that the airline is considering increasing ticket prices to cope with the massive losses. “I’m afraid to say that increasing tickets will come as a relief to the airline”, he added.
The Slovenian flag carrier Adria Airways said it had lost up to 1.4 million Euros due to cancelled flights and would ask the Government for a refund, the Slovenian news agency “STA” reports. Transport Minister Patrick Vlačič said he was inclined to the idea of providing state aid to the airline.
Serbia’s Jat Airways said that the volcanic ash has created a loss of 900.000 Euros. However, the airline said it was still too early to predict the final loss as some services are still being cancelled.
Montenegro Airlines is asking the Montenegrin Government for a refund of up to 1 million Euros. The airline’s CEO told the national broadcaster RTCG that the airline had lost up to 4.500 passengers by Sunday afternoon. Montenegro Airlines has said it will not be offering refunds to passengers as the natural disaster was an act of God. The newspaper “Dan” states that this could have a negative affect on the airline’s image as other regional carriers such as Jat Airways and Croatia Airlines are fully refunding tickets. Airports of Montenegro, which runs Podgorica and Tivat airports, said that it lost some 80.000 Euros in 2 days due to the ash cloud.
B&H Airlines is yet to announce its losses. The airline was forced to virtually cancel all of its services in the past few days with the exclusion of Istanbul.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The Serbian Government announced that together with a new strategic partner it would name the new carrier. It is believed that the Government’s rash decision to form a new airline is a result of Turkish Airlines’ demands which will most likely take on the new Jat. Since Turkey is not part of the European Union Turkish Airlines would most probably take over 49% of the new airline while the Serbian Government would own the other 51%, in order to avoid membership problems in the future.
The CEO of Jat Airways said that none of the airline’s passengers will be affected by the change and that Jat will do everything for the transitional process to pass by as smoothly as possible. However, the airline’s workers union “Nezavisnost” was shocked by the news. The union leader told the country’s public broadcaster RTS, “This is very bad news. Many will loose their jobs. We have learned that the Government made such a monumental decision via a telephone conference. They might as well have sent SMS messages to each other”. The pilots union welcomed the news.
Nevertheless, it is expected that Jat Airways will celebrate 83 years of existence under this name in June.
Ash cloud update
Today all airports across the EX-YU are open. Flights are operating to unaffected areas of Europe. A small number of flights have taken off in northern Europe after five days of inactivity caused by the spread of volcanic ash from Iceland.
Monday, April 19, 2010
UPDATED: 22.15 CET
After several days of chaos, many airports are set to open today across Europe due to a clearing ash cloud created by a volcano in Iceland. All airports in the former Yugoslavia will be open today with flights to unaffected areas of Europe and beyond set to commence. The airlines have lost millions over the weekend and now face logistical problems of how to transport a backlog of passengers that did not find alternative transportation to their destinations.
Slovenia, which was the first EX-YU nation to close its airspace on Friday, opened its airspace at 20.10 CET on Sunday. However, Slovenia remains on the lookout as another cloud of ash is heading for the country. Nevertheless, the airspace will be open until Tuesday morning. Adria’s planned weekend charter flights took off last night. The airline has cancelled today’s and tomorrow's flights to London-Gatwick, Warsaw, Vienna, Frankfurt, Zurich, Amsterdam, Moscow and Paris. Adria is operating flights to Priština, Skopje, Moscow and Istanbul today.
Croatia Airlines has cancelled all international flights until 16.00 CET with the exception of regional flights to Sarajevo, Skopje and Rome. Dubrovnik, Pula and Split are set to operate as per normal from Zagreb. Spanair is managed to inaugurate its service from Barcelona to Zagreb this afternoon as initially planned (flight details available in new route launches section). Zagreb Airport was closed at 08.00 CET but was reopened an hour later. Other airports in Croatia are also open. Some airports in Croatia may be closed for several hours tonight due to the oncoming ash cloud from Slovenia, meteorologists predict. Croatia Airlines was due to transport 14.500 passengers since Thursday. The airline predicts that it has lost 2 million Euros since then, a press release reads.
Jat Airways will operate flights to all airports that are not affected by the ash cloud. Services to Athens, Podgorica and Rome were the first to depart this morning. Unlike some other EX-YU airlines, Jat has some luck as all of its aircraft are in Belgrade rather than being scattered across Europe.
Montenegro Airlines will today operate flights to Belgrade and Niš. Finally, B&H Airlines is only expected to operate its flight to Istanbul tonight.
So far Jat Airways and Croatia Airlines have offered refunds to passengers that have been affected by the weekend cancellations. Adria has offered to rebook passengers on to later flights.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
UPDATED: 21.00 CET
Europe's airlines and airports have called for an immediate reassessment of flight restrictions imposed because of volcanic ash from Iceland, the BBC reports. Flights are set to resume across the former Yugoslavia later tonight. According to the latest metrological information, the cloud of ash should completely clear over Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia by 02.00 CET Monday morning.
At 18.00 CET airports in Niš, Podgorica and Tivat reopened. Belgrade will open at midnight. Despite the Montenegrin airspace reopening, the country's national carrier has cancelled all services today.
All of Adria Airways’ flights have been cancelled for today. At 20.30 CET Adria will announce the scale on which it will be operating tomorrow.
All airports in Croatia have reopened with the exception of Osijek which remains closed. Croatia Airlines has already operated or will operate the following flight tonight: Split - Rome (2 return flights), Zagreb - Dubrovnik (2 flights), Zagreb - Split and Zagreb - Sarajevo.
Bosnia and Herzegovina's airspace has been reopened as has Sarajevo Airport since 12.00 CET. Although, nearly all flights to and from Sarajevo have been cancelled.
Macedonian airspace was open today. However, most services from Skopje had been cancelled as they were due to operate either to Western Europe or the former Yugoslavia.
Airlines are losing millions for each day that their aircraft spend on the ground. The ash drama could have a big impact on the finances of EX-YU airlines, especially when their already less than impressive balance sheets are taken into account.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
UPDATED 18.20 CET
Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro join the long list of countries closing their airspace. Flights across much of Europe will be severely disrupted well into Saturday because of drifting ash ejected from a volcano in Iceland, officials say. Much of the airspace across Northern and Western Europe is closed, with fewer than half the usual number of flights operating yesterday. The ash has severely disrupted services in EX-YU countries as well.
Slovenia has closed its entire air space until further notice. Flights from Maribor, where Adria has relocated its operations for the time being, has cancelled its services.
Croatia closed its Northern air space from 02.00 CET. Zagreb Pleso Airport as well as airports in Pula, Rijeka and Zadar have been closed since 08.00 CET. At 14.00 CET Dubrovnik and Split airports closed their doors. Croatia Airlines has cancelled all of its flights until Sunday morning.
Serbia closed its air space at 16.00 CET. All flights to and from Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport have been cancelled until 07.10 CET Sunday morning. This evening’s flight from Podgorica to Niš has also been cancelled.
Airspace above Bosnia and Herzegovina has been shut down since 08.00 CET. The only flights that managed to depart beforehand were Jat Airways’ flight to Belgrade and Croatia Airlines’ service to Zagreb which had been rerouted to Split.
Serbia, which has control over Montenegro's air space, has announced that it will close it from 16.00 CET. The only flights operating out of Tivat and Podgorica this morning were to Belgrade and Niš. Montenegro Airlines has cancelled its service to Moscow this evening.
Macedonia is currently the only EX-YU republic not to be affected greatly, however Western European services have been cancelled.
Among others, Croatia Airlines’ new Dash 8 Q400 is stuck in Happy Valley, better known as Goose Bay, Canada. On its delivery flight to Zagreb, the aircraft is supposed to land in Iceland itself. Croatia’s newest Q400 is the last out of 6 to be delivered.
This is the first time that airspace across nearly the entire European continent has been closed since World War Two.
Slovenia will close its airspace at 02.00 CET.
Croatia will close the airspace across the North of its country with Zagreb Airport to be shut down as well from 02.00 CET until at least 08.00 CET.
Serbia closed a small pocket of airspace in the country’s North near the Hungarian boarded from midnight until further notice.
Visit at 09.00 CET for the latest roundup on the airspace situation across the entire former Yugoslavia.
Friday, April 16, 2010
The Macedonian International News Agency reports that Macedonian companies will participate in the construction of Skopje’s new terminal with TAV deciding which companies will conduct the construction work. “This is important because Macedonian workers will build the airport, while Turkish experts will supervise the construction”, Macedonia’s Minister for Transportation, Mile Janakieski, said.
Meanwhile, for a second consecutive month, Skopje and Ohrid airports reported improved passengers figures compared to last year. A total of 36.153 passengers were served at Macedonia’s 2 airports in February, which is an increase of 3.3% in comparison with the same period last year, the Macedonian “Makfax” news agency reports. Alexander the Great Airport in Skopje served 34.481 passengers, an increase of 1.7% compared with the same month last year. The number of charter flights increased as well. In February 2010 there were a total 76 charters, or 61.7% more than in February 2009. On the other hand, 1.672 passed through Saint Paul the Apostle Airport in Ohrid in February, an increase of 70.6% compared to last year. From June 20, Bulgaria Air will launch 2 weekly flights from Sofia to Skopje. Flight details will soon be available in the new route launches section.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Speaking at an economic forum in Belgrade yesterday, representatives of Spanair said that they chose to commence services to Belgrade because they see great potential and want to get in early. The airline says that Spaniards are world travellers and that Belgrade will be a popular destination. Similarly, Serbs hold Spain in high regard and Spanish holiday resorts have become a popular place for Serbian tourists.
Yugoslav Airlines began flights to Madrid and Barcelona in the late 1980s. They were terminated after economic sanctions were introduced in May 1992. Spanair will also commence services from Madrid to Belgrade on May 28. All flight details for the Barcelona and Madrid services can be found on the right hand side in the new route launches section.
On another note, Jat Airways will also celebrate today. The airline will resume flights to the Slovenian town of Portorož after 19 years.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Zoran Kristevski, the director of the Directorate said that, “Turkish Airlines would have to apply for a permit. They would have to submit a business plan and choose whether they would want to be a charter or scheduled carrier. Turkish already operates services to Macedonia and is a renowned world carrier. They have a strong presence in the region as well”. Kristevski also said that if Turkish Airlines were to apply for national carrier status, the Directorate would follow European Union regulations and procedures. He added that changes to the Macedonian aviation law will see the enforcement of the open sky policy. It would also allow the Government to subsidise routes and as a result entice airlines to operate flights to both Skopje and Ohrid. The law could also introduce relaxed rules on airline ownership which would pave the way for Turkish Airlines to become Macedonia’s national carrier.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
It is believed that Banja Luka Airport does not want to let B&H Airlines to pose as a competitor to a future airline to be based at the airport – Sky Srpska. The Government of Republika Srpska, the entity in which Banja Luka lies, has said that it does not want to get involved in the issue but believes that one international route should be kept operational from the airport. Until recently B&H Airlines operated flights from Banja Luka to Zurich. These have been cancelled with the start of the summer season and were to be substituted with the Sarajevo service.
The CEO of B&H Airlines, Nudžeim Rečica, said that the airline is loosing its patience with Banja Luka and would turn to other destinations, “There are so many destinations we can serve, from Skopje to Rome”, Rečica told the “Dnevni Avaz” newspaper.
If B&H is not granted rights to operate flights to Sarajevo, Banja Luka will be left without any customers. Currently, the airport doesn’t have a CEO as the previous one was recently removed from his post.
Together with Banja Luka, Zagreb is also expected to be dumped as a destination. Fights to the Croatian capital were supposed to begin in May as well. Skopje seems to be the front runner as a substitute to the cancelled regional services.
Monday, April 12, 2010
“The privatisation model will propose the creation of a new company which would become the national carrier of Serbia, free of debt and unprofitable assets”, Miodrag Miljković, the state secretary for aviation said. He also announced that the Government is currently not taking part in strategic partnership talks between Jat Airways and Turkish Airlines. Recently Jat Airways and high representatives of Turkish Airlines held talks about a possible partnership while last Thursday Jat sent requested documentation to Istanbul.
The Government is determined to sell off its national carrier this year along with its profitable state telecommunications giant. Meanwhile, this year, Jat has been reporting an increase in passenger numbers although it has also spent big on free health insurance for passengers and an ongoing media campaign. Further funds are being set aside for free taxi service for all of Jat’s passengers in Belgrade.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
During the week, Turkish Airlines and the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina signed an agreement which will see both sides fork out 8 million Covertable Marks (4 million Euros) for the national carrier. A Government official told the “Dnevni avaz” newspaper that the airline will receive a new aircraft during the summer season, most probably an Airbus A319. He also mentioned that the Bosnian Government gave an advance payment to Airbus years ago for the purchase of a new plane for B&H. However, the money is still with Airbus and further payments were never made. He hopes that this issue will also be resolved soon. No mention was made of Boeing.
The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina last week also announced that B&H Airlines is 1 of 2 publicly owned companies to record financial losses in 2009 although it did not specify how big of a loss the airline recorded.
Friday, April 9, 2010
This is the first time Adria will feature an A319 in its fleet. It has ordered a total of 3 aircraft of this type. The order is part of Adria’s multi million Euro fleet upgrade, which will see the Airbus A320 phased out.
Adria has moved all operations from Ljubljana Airport to Maribor recently as work on the runway upgrade at Slovenia’s largest airport began. Adria has been denied rights to operate charter flights and services to Istanbul from Trieste in Italy as it had apparently applied for a permit too late for the authorities to except.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
In March, most of Jat’s destinations reported an increase in the number of passengers. Once again, flights to and from Brussels are marking the greatest improvement with passenger figures increasing by 145%. These good results can be explained by the fact that Serbian passengers from the United States are now using Brussels as their transit point to Belgrade. Services to Tel Aviv reported an increase of 75% and Amsterdam came in third with an increase of 45% compared to last year. Other notable increases include Podgorica, Tivat, Rome and Dusseldorf while flights to Dubai have also reported impressive numbers and a large amount of bookings for the summer months have been made. The greatest decrease in passenger numbers was recorded on flights to Istanbul (37%). Adria’s new service to Ljubljana impacted on Jat with passenger numbers to the Slovenian capital sliding by 27% compared to March 2009. The low cost Niki is yet to make an impact on Jat with passenger numbers to Vienna also increasing.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Further questioned about Croatia Airlines’ imminent privatisation, Mišetić claims that recent rumours about a possible Lufthansa takeover are premature and speculative but shouldn’t be ruled out. Mišetić criticised Zagreb Airport and its high handling prices which are only enforced onto its biggest customer – Croatia Airlines. He laughed off suggestions that low cost airlines will bring Zagreb substantial passenger growth and doesn’t believe that low costers will particularly hurt Croatia Airlines. Mišetić also claimed that Croatia Airlines is working out its problems with its hub airport in regards to the debt it owes to its home base. “In my 18 years of working at Croatia Airlines I have never seen a tougher and more demanding year”, Mišetić said expressing his hope that the airline will be able to end 2010 with a loss of 13 million Euros.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Nevertheless, Jat Airways will go ahead with obtaining a 51 million Euro loan, which it eventually might not even have to pay back as it would stick to the old airline.
Competition is now becoming fierce in the Serbian aviation industry with a dozen new airlines beginning services to Belgrade in the past few months. Yesterday, the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate said that a popular low cost European airline has acquired information about Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. The Directorate said it did not wish to reveal the airline’s name as it has not applied for a license yet.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Meanwhile, the airline partied with one of its Airbus A320s, registered 9A-CTM. The aircraft ended its service with the airline last week.
Croatia Airlines now has a total of 13 aircraft. It has 4 Airbus A319s on order, which are due to be delivered in 2012 and 2013. The airline also has 4 more options for the Q400.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
The expansion is supported by the Dutch Government, the Western Balkans Fund and EBRD Shareholder Special Fund. With the expansion of its facilities, Sarajevo Airport will also draft a new corporate plan outlining the airport’s future strategy.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Meanwhile, Jat has announced that Lufthansa Technic has won in a bid to perform work on engines on 2 of Jat’s Boeing B737-300s which have been grounded for months. The work must be completed by June 1, according to the agreement. From today, Jat becomes the first airline in the world to issue free travel insurance to its passengers. All Serbian citizens travelling with Jat to any destination within the European Union will receive free health insurance cover of up to 5.000 Euros. Prior to the visa liberalisation, Serbian citizens were required to take out travel insurance with their visa applications. Jat’s CEO, Srdjan Radovanović, said, “Thanks to free health insurance, Jat Airways’ passengers will be going to Europe safely. This is a way for us to beat our competitors. I believe that Jat, with or without a strategic partner, will find its place in the open Serbian sky in order for Belgrade to become a regional air centre and a business centre for South East Europe”.