Last year, when there was talk of Montenegro’s sale, El-Al Israel Airlines expressed the most interest carrier. However, the Israeli national airline also requested the ownership of Podgorica and Tivat airports as part of the purchase, which was unacceptable for the Montenegrin Government at the time.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Jat will use part of the loan for some major changes it is planning to introduce, soon to be exclusively revealed on EX-YU Aviation News. Because the loan has just been approved by the Government, the arrival of the first Boeing B737-700 aircraft might be pushed back by several weeks. Furthermore, the Serbian carrier is once again turning to the prospect of transatlantic operations. The last time the airline had such plans was in 2006. It believes that the only way it can resume long haul flights is by strengthening its regional network which is why Jat is signing new code share agreements with both Adria Airways and B&H Airlines.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Currently, a 1.000 square meter hanger and a 2.000 square meter VIP lounge are under construction at Ohrid. The airport has already received a 6.000 square meter parking lot. The main terminal building is next to go under the hammer. TAV is investing 200 million Euros into Skopje and Ohrid airports. Currently, at Skopje, foundations are being laid for the new terminal building while its runway is being extended.
In July, Ohrid handled 7.341 passengers, a decrease of 4.2% from last year while Skopje welcomed 90.269 passengers, a strong surge of 17%.
Monday, September 27, 2010
It is certain that whoever takes on Croatia Airlines has a difficult job ahead of them. In a recent nine page document, the Union of Croatian Pilots blasted Croatia Airlines and its managerial practices. The pilots are unhappy with the extremely low average cabin occupancy, the financial problems the airline has encountered and its decreasing share in the charter market. The document states that “While 102 charter companies operate to Croatia, the management of Croatia Airlines states that charter flights are not economically viable so it only operates 10 charters per week”. The document also reveals that Croatia Airlines only has a 2.4% share of flights from Croatia to Scandinavia, 7.7% to Spain and Portugal and no flights to Russia. Furthermore, lucrative ad-hoc charters operated for sports teams are decreasing rapidly as they flock towards other airlines. The document concludes that the only route Croatia Airlines dominates on is to Brussels.
Who should take on Croatia Airlines and which direction should the airline go in? Leave a comment with your thoughts.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Adria now has a fleet of 13 aircraft (six CRJ200s, four CRJ900s, two A319s and one CRJ100), with one order each for the CRJ900 and Airbus A319, which have replaced the aging A320s. Adria chose the A319s as a replacement for the A320s because the aircraft belong to the same category as the Airbus A320, which means the pilots, the cabin crew and the technical personnel needed no additional training. Furthermore, Adria explains that the new aircraft are more economical and environmentally friendly and are consistent with the carbon dioxide emission standard that steps into force in 2011.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
EX-YU Aviation News can now exclusively reveal that the airline has recently allocated significant funds towards improving its in-flight service with new tableware, blankets and pillows ordered. Furthermore, the airline plans to upgrade toilet facilities on all of its aircraft. The airline justifies the spending, claiming it will better compete with low cost airlines. Jat has also announced that it will not be continuing its seasonal service to Portorož, Slovenia despite an offer from the Piran – Portorož tourist board for subsidised flights to carry on throughout the winter.
Finally, the CEO of Jat Airways, Srdjan Radovanović has been on a business trip to the United States for the past ten days. It is unclear who Radovanović will be meeting in the US although the Serbian Government has said that Radovanović will be seeking a category one rating from the Federal Aviation Administration which would allow a Serbian airline to operate flights to the United States. At a recent gala dinner in New York, dedicated to foreign investment in Serbia and attended by the Serbian president Boris Tadić, a delegation from Boeing was present.
Friday, September 24, 2010
The arrival of low cost airlines is said to have had a direct impact on passenger numbers. The director of Belgrade Airport, Velimir Radosavljević, said that instead of taking passengers away from other airlines, low cost airlines have bought new customers to Belgrade. Since the low cost Wizz Air inaugurated flights from London Luton to Belgrade, the number of passengers travelling between the two cities rose by 27.1%. Wizz Air has a share of 27.8% of all passengers travelling to London. Other routes experiencing a boom from Belgrade include flights to Vienna, which have seen a 24.9% passenger surge and flights to Rome, Milan, Stockholm and Oslo. In 2009 the share of low cost airlines operating out of Belgrade stood at 4.5%. By September 2010 the number increased to 7%, while Radosavljević believes that by the end of the year the number will increase to 9%.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
B&H Airlines carried 54.191 passengers in the first two quarters, an increase of just over 200% compared to the same period last year. The increase coincides with the 50% jump in the number of operated flights. With visa restrictions to be abolished to most countries within the European Union for Bosnian citizens by the end of the year, the airline will hope to see an even further increase in passenger numbers.
Croatia Airlines transported 695.200 passengers, a decrease of 8.4%. The airline’s average cabin occupancy index stood at 56.6%. The airline decreased its capacity by almost 10% in the first six months. Croatia Airlines has publicly said that it hopes that a strong summer season will improve both its passenger numbers and finances. It should be noted that in the first six months Croatia Airlines was significantly impacted by the volcanic ash cloud and the cabin crew strike.
Slovenia’s Adria Airways handled 433.600 passengers, a decrease of 2.6% compared to last year. Its load factor stood at a respectable 62.2%. It, too, cut capacity in the first half of the year by 12.5%. Adria had to significantly reduce the number of flights earlier in the year after Ljubljana Airport closed its doors in favour of a runway reconstruction.
Jat Airways carried 418.300, the same amount it did in the first half of 2009. The number of flights barely increased, by 0.4%, while capacity was cut by 6%. Its average load factor stood at 56.2%, an increase of 3%. Jat has been hit by competition from Belgrade and local media doubt the airline will manage to transport over 1 million passengers by the end of the year.
Despite being a public company, Montenegro Airlines has not published its results for the first two quarters, although growth has been reported during the summer months. Among other legacy carriers in Europe, TAROM Romanian Airlines saw the greatest passenger increase (+ 31.4%), while KLM had the greatest cabin load factor (82.1%). On the other end of the spectrum, BMI International saw the biggest passenger decrease (- 23.8%).
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Meanwhile, the CEO of Turkish Airlines, Temel Kotil, said he is happy with the way B&H is developing. “B&H is a young company and is trying to develop air travel in the country. I believe they have a bright future ahead of them and we will try and make the partnership as profitable as possible”, he said. Turkish Airlines owns 49% of B&H Airlines.
All flight details from Banja Luka can be viewed on the right hand side in the new route launches section.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Last week there was confusion when the CEO of Montenegro Airlines, Zoran Djurišić, said there would be no unification of airlines or alliances. However, a few days later Montenegro’s Minister for Transportation, Andrija Lompar, told the media that Djurišić meant that there would be no takeover of airlines like some media suggested, rather, Jat and Montenegro Airlines would cooperate in order to decrease prices and jointly participate on certain routes.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Mišetić has taken on a new job with the Atlantic Group. He told the “vecernji.hr” portal that he is not leaving a sinking ship. “During my time at Croatia Airline we faced the bird flu, SARS, September 11 attacks, NATO bombing, oil crisis and a big increase in competition. Despite these crises we have managed to renew our fleet, increase capacity and revenue, receive international certificates, become a Star Alliance member and most important of all have no serious incidents. Croatia Airlines is not facing anything else then what other airline in the industry are facing. I thank everyone for what we have achieved in the past 13 years”, Mišetić said.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
So what went wrong? In the past several months British Airways has been struggling against its direct competitor on the route – Jat Airways. Jat operates daily flights to Heathrow and has managed to lure away British Airways’ main customer base on the route – transit passengers. Thanks to a new agreement with the Dutch KLM, Jat has managed to pinch away transit passengers to the United States and Canada from other airlines (primarily British Airways) and re-route them via Amsterdam. This August, Jat carried over 7.000 passengers on the Belgrade – London – Belgrade route. Its average cabin load factor stood at an impressive 82%, with an average of 110 passengers per flight. The route was made more successful by the fact that there were a significant number of business class passengers. Furthermore, the national carrier of the United Kingdom was hit by low cost competition from Wizz Air, which operates flights from London Luton.
British Airways is not the only airline bidding farewell to Belgrade this winter. It joins Greece’s Aegean Airlines which will end services soon. For the first time in almost a decade Jat will have no competition on the London Heathrow or Athens route. Latvia’s airBaltic will terminate its services from Riga to Belgrade this winter as well.
Meanwhile, without much fuss and advertising, Turkish airline Borajet launched two weekly flights between Turkey’s fourth largest city, Bursa, and Skopje on Thursday. The airline operates exclusively within Turkey with Skopje being its first international destination. All flight details can be found here.
Friday, September 17, 2010
The low cost easyJet is no stranger to the region. It operates scheduled flights to Ljubljana from London Stansted and will commence flights to the Slovenian capital from Paris and Milan this December. easyJet will begin flights to Zagreb from Paris in November and will introduce flights from London in February 2011. easyJet also operates flights from Basel and Geneva to Priština.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
The airline recorded the biggest passenger increase on flights to Amsterdam and Podgorica, at 69% and 68% respectively. The greatest passenger decrease was reported on flights to Thessaloniki and Trieste. The biggest average load factor per flight was recorded on services to Stockholm (97%), Frankfurt (95%) and Zurich (92%).
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Currently, JAL has been operating summer charters from Japan to Zagreb and Dubrovnik. The Japanese national carrier conducted a total of five charters to Zagreb this summer from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Sapporo with the Boeing B747-400. JAL has also operated flights from Japan to Ljubljana this summer, from the end of August to the beginning of September.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Since the visa liberalisation and TAV’s takeover of Skopje and Ohrid airports, the number of flights from Macedonia has increased 10%, even though the management projected an increase of around 30 to 40%, the ”Utrinski Vesnik” newspaper reports. There are still no low cost flights to and from the country either, and Macedonians find it cheaper to travel to Belgrade, Sofia, Priština or Thessaloniki, from where they can use no frills airlines. The publication cites examples of ticket prices from Skopje to some destinations in Western Europe and compares them to the prices of budget airlines in the region. For example, a return ticket from Skopje to Vienna costs around 400 Euros, while from Sofia, it is only around 70 Euros. A return ticket from Skopje to Vienna on Austrian Airlines amounts to approximately 259 Euro. On the other hand, a return ticket between Montenegro’s capital Podgorica and Vienna amounts to approximately 100 Euros.
Experts believe that low cost airlines will commence flights to Skopje after the new terminal at Alexander the Great Airport in Skopje is completed. Construction of the terminal building began 3 months ago and it is that it will be completed by the end of next year. Another reason for the absence of low cost airlines on the Macedonian market is that it is too small, the newspaper noted.
Skopje Airport is currently served by nine scheduled airlines. B&H Airlines will commence flights to the Macedonian capital in November.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Meanwhile, the director of Serbia’s second airport, Niš Constantine the Great, says that he is “in contact” with low cost airlines interested in commencing flights to the city. Currently, Wind Jet operates low cost flights between Forli and Niš. Montenegro Airlines CEO recently stated that the new alliance between his airline and Jat Airways will allow them to expand services from Niš. During the 2010/11 winter season, the national carrier of Belarus, Belavia, will commence charter flights from Minsk to Niš in order to transport tourists to the nearby Kopaonik Mountain resort.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Emma Day, who arrived on an easyJet flight from London, was Dubrovnik’s millionth passenger. The airport has been served from 44 destinations this summer. In May, Dubrovnik opened its multi million Euro terminal, stretching over 13.700 square metres. Thanks to the new terminal, the airport can now handle 2 million passengers per year. It is the most modern airport in Croatia. Dubrovnik has already secured some new routes and airlines for the 2011 summer season. Jet2.com announced that it will commence seasonal flights from Belfast to the Croatian city during the 2011 summer season. Although Croatia reported a disastrous pre tourist season, things dramatically changed during the summer and the Croatian tourism industry staged an impressive comeback which has impacted the performance of most airports across the country.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
It is believed that interest was low because potential buyers were unhappy with the terms and conditions of the tender. The national postal service “Pošta Slovenije” was most interested in the lease, although Adria Airways also expressed interest.
Maribor is Slovenia’s second largest airport, behind Ljubljana but ahead of Portorož. Maribor Airport opened to commercial traffic in 1976 and upgraded its runway in 1999. In 2007, the airport reported 1.480 flight operations, 31.936 passengers and over 19 tonnes of transported cargo. The airport was, for several months, served by the low cost Ryanair, between 2007 and 2008. In 2010, Adria Airways and several other airlines relocated to Maribor during Ljubljana’s runway overhaul.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Adria Airways is a member of Star Alliance and has a strong regional network. Montenegro Airlines and Adria have a code share agreement on routes between Podgorica and Ljubljana. If the three national carriers of Serbia, Slovenia and Montenegro were to join, the united company (as of this moment) would have a fleet of twenty six aircraft and would operate scheduled flights to forty eight destinations.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
However, the aviation unification proposal won’t go too far. Croatia Airlines has rejected the offer to team up with Jat and Montenegro Airlines in a joint regional company. Air travel experts from Zagreb do not support the idea of Croatia Airlines entering such a deal, because it is unclear what kind of cooperation would be required in the joint company, the “B92” network reports. Croatia Airlines stated that they have already decided on a strategic partnership with Star Alliance, the largest air travel association in the world, which Croatia Airlines has been a member of since 2004. On the other hand, Belgrade believes that the deal would be useful for all companies involved, because money would be saved and capacity would be used more efficiently, with reduced airport taxes that would make the companies more competitive with other airlines around the world. B&H Airlines, which is not tied up to an alliance and whose fleet would fit into the new regional venture has not commented on the proposal. Previously, it had been suggested that Adria Airways and Croatia Airlines should unite.
In 2009, all national carriers of the former Yugoslav republics ended the year with a multi million Euro loss, except for Montenegro Airlines which just broke even.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
The new service would help Banja Luka Airport which is currently only being served by Adria Airways from Ljubljana. Together with Banja Luka, B&H Airlines is set to introduce flights to Skopje and Amsterdam during the 2010/11 winter season.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Following detailed checks, the Montenegrin police concluded that the three accused passengers had no weapons and the flight to Frankfurt resumed at 13.30, together with the three passengers in question. The twenty seven year old who made the claims is from Stuttgart but is of Montenegrin descent. The prosecutor said that no charges would be laid against her. However, the police later found out that she had spent time in Montenegro without reporting her stay in the country. The police will begin court proceedings against her.
Yesterday’s flight was operated by the airline’s Fokker F100.
Monday, September 6, 2010
“We believe that Croatia Airlines’ announcement regarding the suspension of some services shows the airline’s inability to face up to competition”, a spokesperson from Zagreb Airport said. He continued by stating that low cost airlines do not only operate from secondary airports. During the winter season a total of four low cost airlines will operate flights out of Croatia’s main hub – Germanwings, Wizz Air, easyJet and Norwegian Air Shuttle.Meanwhile, Split is reporting record traffic. When statistics for July and August are combined, Split Airport handeled more passengers than any other airport in Croatia. A total of 502.100 passengers used Split in the past two months, comapred to 486.400 in Dubrovnik and 465.700 in Zagreb. Split is benifiting from a sucsesfull tourist season in Croatia and an influx of Russian tourists.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Meanwhile, Adria Airways’ shareholders and partners have passed a motion to inject 2.5 million Euros into the airline. In the first half of the year, Adria Airways transported 433.600 passengers, a decrease of 2.6% compared to 2009. However, the airline’s average cabin load factor stood at nearly 63%.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s national carrier is also expected to launch flights to Amsterdam this November. The new service is being primarily introduced for the Bosnian diaspora in the United States, which would have a quick transfer through Amsterdam onwards to Sarajevo.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
At a press conference in Belgrade, Varadi announced that between thirty to forty workers from Serbia will be employed by the airline. “It is our goal to become the leading airline in Serbia”, he said. He also believes the new move will have a positive impact on the Serbian economy. It is anticipated that Wizz Air will carry some 300.000 passengers to and from Serbia in 2011.
All flight details for the new services can be found on the right hand side in the new route launches section.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Croatia is served by many low cost airlines but none are local. There have been numerous plans for a Croatian low cost carrier to be created but none have ever materialised. Do you think Croatia needs a low cost airline? Will the abovementioned airline ever see the light of day? Post a comment.