Meanwhile, Jat is reporting strong growth in 2011. In February the airline saw a 30% passenger increase. Following a successful discount fare sale, which is said to have led to an increase in passenger numbers, another one has just been launched. The Serbian flag carrier is also expected to end code sharing on the Adria Airways Ljubljana – Belgrade – Ljubljana service from April, Ognjenović revealed.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Meanwhile, Jat is enjoying unprecedented praise from local media following its swift and successful evacuation of Serbian citizens from Libya. Yesterday, the airline operated its fifth evacuation flight from the North African country. Four flights were operated from Tripoli and one from Sebha in South-western Libya.
As the 2011 summer season approaches, EX-YU Aviation News will begin publishing preliminary summer season timetables from next weekend.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Djurišić launched a scathing attack on low cost airlines, which are expected to enter the Montenegrin market this summer. He maintains that if low cost airlines come to Montenegro they should operate an all year round service and as a result, struggle. “Montenegro Airlines struggles for 8 months while low cost airlines will operate for 3 months and fill their aircraft to London, Paris and Moscow, services which we have nurtured for 8 months. I have cut pilot and engineer salaries by 30% so we can survive”, Djurišić says.
On Wednesday the airline suspended flights to Priština and Skopje indefinitely without prior notice. The Montenegrin Government attempted to sell 30% of the airline last year but there was no interest in the carrier.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Montenegro Airlines has denied the claims, saying that the aircraft was delayed due to the late arrival of incoming connecting passengers. However, no airline was late in arriving that morning into Priština. Furthermore, the national airline of Montenegro explains that it has suspended flights to Priština and Skopje due to poor loads. Late last year the airline’s CEO, Zoran Djurišić, said that the airline was doing particularly well thanks to flights from Priština and Niš.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Yesterday morning 3 Jat Airways Boeing B737-300s left Belgrade. The aircraft were expected to have a short stay at Tripoli Airport but were stranded for hours in the city as total chaos ensued at Libya’s main airport. One American who reached Vienna on a flight from Libya told the Associated Press the scene at Tripoli Airport was "total chaos", adding: "The airport was mobbed, you wouldn't believe the number of people”. Jat’s first two flights evacuated mostly women and children. Some 1.500 Serbian nationals reside in Libya working mostly in hospitals and construction sites. The airline has said it is prepared to operate additional evacuation flights to Tripoli if needed. Tonight, the Serbian carrier will operate its scheduled service to Tripoli via Malta, Vladimir Ognjenović, the airline’s CEO confirmed. The flight will operate under its normal routing, Belgrade – Malta – Tripoli – Belgrade.
Meanwhile, the Libyan based Buraq Air planned to operate its scheduled service to Sarajevo last night but the service was cancelled. B&H Airlines originally planned to operate an evacuation flight yesterday but was not granted clearance by the Libyan authorities. Nevertheless, the airline has been granted rights to operate an evacuation flight today with its Airbus A319. Buraq Air will also operate a special service today from Tripoli to Sarajevo.
Croatia Airlines operated a special charter flight to Tripoli on Wednesday night to evacuate its citizens. A Montenegrin naval vessel will evacuate EX-YU nationals from cities such as Benghazi where the airport has been destroyed.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Serbia’s main hub is posting good results in 2011 with a significant passenger increase recorded. Radosavljević explains that Jat Airways has had a lot to do with the passenger increase but believes that the airport will see its biggest boom this upcoming summer season, which begins in just over a month. “This summer Jat will fly daily to Dusseldorf and Athens while low cost airlines will operate 7 daily flights out of Belgrade”, Radosavljević explains. Furthermore, Jat will reveal its 2011 summer timetable this weekend at the Belgrade Tourism Fair.
Due to encouraging operational results, the airport is expected to expand its facilities, in particular Terminal 2. The project design for the expanded Terminal 2 has been completed. This summer airBaltic, Croatia Airlines, Ryan International Airlines, Eagles Airlines, Dubrovnik Airline and Albanian Airlines are set to commence flights to the city while Wizz Air will open its base.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Currently, it is known that Croatia Airlines will operate flights between Dubrovnik and Belgrade, which are expected to commence on June 20. Jat Airways will operate flights between Belgrade and Pula. Croatia Airlines will most likely operate flights between Zagreb and Belgrade with the service codeshared by Jat Airways, although this has not been officially confirmed. Rumours are circulating that the Zagreb – Belgrade service will be brought forward and will start this summer instead of the 2011/2012 winter, as was initially planed. Finally, which airline will fly between Split and Belgrade remains to be seen.
Croatia Airlines has never operated scheduled flights to Belgrade while Jat Airways served flights between Belgrade and Pula in 2008, although both Zagreb and Split haven’t been in the airline’s network for almost 2 decades.
Monday, February 21, 2011
A few days prior to the Brussels launch, the airline will commence scheduled flights to Milan in Italy. The service, which will be inaugurated on April 8, will also operate 3 times per week from Podgorica. The airline already operates to Italy with flights to Rome. In 2010, some 40.000 Italian tourists visited the Montenegrin coastline.
The new route additions bring Montenegro Airlines’ network of scheduled destinations to 18. The airline is expected to face some tough competition from low cost airlines soon. Flight details for the new services can be seen on the right hand side in the new route launches section.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Several other municipalities and companies have also thrown in their support for the airport project. The automobile maker Fiat, which runs a car making factory in nearby Kragujevac, has requested for the airport’s development. Furthermore, it is believed that residents of the Raška District would use Kraljevo for flights to Turkey while tourists could use the airport as a transit point to the mountain of Kopaonik and the Vrnjačka Banja spa resort. Additionally, fruit growers from nearby towns and villages believe an air link to foreign markets would make their produce more competitive with others
The Ladjevci air base was built in 1965 and used until its destruction in 1999. Like most townships in Southern Serbia, Kraljevo has been struggling economically and some members of the local parliament have expressed their concern on spending so much money on such a project. In late 2010, Kraljevo was devastated by a powerful earthquake, brining it more hardship.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
|Airport||Passengers JAN 2011||Passengers JAN 2010||Change (%)|
|Mali Lošinj||72||52||▲ 38.5|
Friday, February 18, 2011
Recently a delegation from Houston Airport System toured Zagreb, visiting the American Embassy in Croatia in a bid to secure government support. The Americans are a firm favourite to win the concession. According to current plans, the new terminal should spread over 65.600 square metres and should be 5 times the size of the current terminal. However, construction is not set to begin until August next year as the terminal will have to be designed on paper first, tenders for construction companies will have to be launched and land ownership issues will have to be resolved. The new terminal is planned to be built in 3 phases, with the first set to be completed in 2014. The current terminal will undergo a smaller expansion and face lift to accommodate the rising number of passengers until the new terminal is completed.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wizz Air’s arrival in Macedonia is the first major win for Skopje Airport’s operator, TAV, which has been working on attracting low cost airlines to the country. Wizz Air CEO, Josef Varadi, told the “Utrinski Vesnik” newspaper that the airline is considering commencing flights to Skopje out of Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona.
There is more good news for Macedonia’s hub with Mat Airways planning to commence flights to Amsterdam this summer season. A total of 40 flights are planned between the two cities. Skopje Airport handled 700.000 passengers in 2010, an increase of 13.7% compared to 2009.
Flight details for the new Wizz Air service can be found in the new route launches section on the right hand side.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Most of Skywings’ staff have already left the company, while its sales office in Skopje has been closed. Passengers who purchased tickets with the airline cannot refund them. A similar scenario took place with the country’s former national carrier, MAT Macedonian Airlines, which was grounded in 2009 and declared bankruptcy in 2010. Skywings International operated flights out of both Skopje and Ohrid to several major European hubs.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
TAV claims that without a national carrier growth at Macedonia’s airports will be blocked. The Turkish airport operator hopes that Turkish Airlines will set up a national carrier in Macedonia. However, they also hope that some of Turkey’s 10 million strong diaspora will reroute via Skopje on their way to their homeland. Work on Skopje’s new terminal is expected to be complete in time for the 2011/2012 winter season in October.
Renovations are also under way at Ohrid's St. Paul the Apostle Airport, and plans are going ahead for the construction of the Philip II cargo airport, to be located in Štip in Eastern Macedonia.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Last week one of Jat’s ATR72s, which has been grounded for more than 2 years, returned to the airline’s mainstream fleet. The Serbian Government has guaranteed a 140 million Euro loan to Jat for the purchase of new aircraft in 2011.
Jat’s acting CEO, Vladimir Ognjenović, told the Serbian public broadcaster, RTS, that the company is recovering. In January it sold 11.500 promotional discounted tickets and saw income increase by 27%.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
While Niš handled the most passengers since 2007, the airport will have to find new airlines if it wishes to attract more passengers. In late 2010 the airport was closed for several days due to a dire financial situation until its rival, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, provided it with some much needed cash. Last year, Adria Airways’ regional director for Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Orhan Hodžić, said the airline was planning to introduce flights from Ljubljana to Niš in the summer of 2011, although there is no evidence that the Slovenian carrier, which is struggling with its own finances, will be doing so. It is believed that the city authorities no longer have funds in order to subsidise airlines to commence flights to Niš.
Niš Constantine the Great Airport is currently advertising itself on the market, claiming that flights from Niš to Frankfurt Hahn, Zurich (4 times per week), Paris (2 times per week), London (2 times per week), Vienna (3 times per week), Munich (2 – 3 times per week), Istanbul (2 times per week) and Moscow would be a success.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
The national carrier of Romania will continue its seasonal summer charters to Dubrovnik, after 2 sucsesfull years of operations. Flights to Dubrovnik will begin on June 16. The service will operate twice per week, every Thursday and Saturday and will operate with the regional ATR72 aircraft.
On the other hand, ČSA Czech Airlines has discontinued its seasonal summer flights from Prague to Dubrovnik and Split but will be increasing its frequencies to Zagreb, which was the airline’s first international destination back in 1930. Yesterday, low cost easyJet began flights from London Gatwick to Zagreb.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Meanwhile, Montenegro could be getting some low cost flights in an apparent shift in government policy. Last year, the Montenegrin Government claimed that no low cost airline was interested in commencing services to their country and that too many incentives would have to be given. The government is now singing a different tune. It now says that it will commence negotiations with 3 low cost airlines: Wizz Air, Ryanair and easyJet. The flights would operate on a scheduled basis. Previously, easyJet claimed it had no interest in commencing flights to Montenegro, Macedonia or Serbia. Currently, there are now scheduled low cost flights to Montenegro.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Meanwhile, B&H’s hub airport, Sarajevo, reported some good news as the airport handled 563.266 passengers in 2010, up by 6.2% on 2009. The airport saw the number of flights increase by 5%. 2010 marks Sarajevo Airport’s 7th consecutive year of growth.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
On the other hand, Adria Airways handled 1.170.235 passengers, which is 104.468 more than Jat. Its average cabin load factor stood at 65%. However, if only scheduled traffic was to be taken into account Jat would have come on top ahead of Adria. Despite Croatia Airlines seeing a decrease in passenger numbers in 2010, it is still ahead of its EX-YU counterparts, carrying well over 1.5 million passengers in 2010.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Meanwhile, from Monday, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport shares have been placed on the Belgrade Stock Exchange with a starting share price of approximately 6 Euros. On Monday, most Serbian citizens over the age of 18 became owners of 1 airport share.
Monday, February 7, 2011
With B&H cancelling many of its flights and no new destinations planned for the summer season, the national carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina once again faces the prospect of having too many aircraft and only a handful of routes. Furthermore, the scheduled arrival of an Airbus A319 this summer is also under review. Amongst employees, dissatisfaction with Turkish Airlines (a 49% share holder), is growing as the airline continues to operate with multi million Euro losses and seems unable to expand. Turkish is keen to buy out the airline but the political limbo in the Federation is blocking the purchase.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Ryanair won’t be the only airline flying out of Rijeka this summer. Croatia Airlines will compete with the no frills carrier on the London service while others will operate flights to Gothenburg, Riga, Bucharest and Moscow. According to the airport’s management, talks are already underway for new flights to be initiated during the 2012 summer season.
As a result, Rijeka expects to see an influx of much needed tourists in the coming summer.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
In 1987, the golden year of Yugoslav aviation, JAT Yugoslav Airlines operated flights to 17 domestic destinations: Belgrade, Niš, Priština, Skopje, Ohrid, Podgorica, Tivat, Sarajevo, Dubrovnik, Osijek, Split, Zadar, Pula, Rijeka, Zagreb, Ljubljana and Maribor. Seasonal flights were operated from Banja Luka , Portorož and occasionally Mali Lošinj. In 1987, JAT carried an impressive 2.255.000 passengers on domestic flights only, with an average cabin load factor of 63.4%. Furthermore, Adria Airways had a 15% share in domestic traffic by 1990. It is important to note that, at the time, road infrastructure was not up to standard and in some cases air was the only way to get to another city.
The most popular domestic flights during the 1980s were those from Belgrade to Dubrovnik and Split, followed by the service from Belgrade to Zagreb, Ljubljana and Podgorica. The most popular domestic flight from Zagreb, besides Belgrade, proved to be Split and Dubrovnik as well. On the domestic front, the most popular service from Priština was Belgrade while those in Skopje travelled most to Zagreb. Sarajevo’s residents flew mostly to Belgrade and Zagreb. Out of a 100% share on domestic services, 34% flew between Serbia and Croatia, 21% within Croatia, 9% between Serbia and Macedonia and Montenegro, 7% between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, 6% between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and 4% between Croatia and Macedonia.
On international flights in 1990, Belgrade held the largest share of passengers (67%), followed by Zagreb (23%), Ljubljana (7%) and Split and Dubrovnik (3%). JAT sold most tickets for its domestic and international flights in Serbia and the least in Montenegro. While more Macedonians purchased tickets for domestic flights, Bosnians bought more tickets for international flights. Despite Adria’s presence, JAT sold some 7.6% of its domestic tickets in Slovenia and 11.6% of tickets for international flights.
Although it has taken 20 years for relations to somewhat stabilise across the former Yugoslavia, the former market and passenger numbers are unlikely ever to be achieved again.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Meanwhile, the Serbian carrier will suspend flights to the Slovenian capital Ljubljana as part of its destination rationalisation scheme. Passenger loads on the Ljubljana flights have always been light and the recent arrival of Adria Airways on the same route put even more pressure on Jat. However, the final nail in the coffin was delivered after the decision made by Jat’s former management to sign a codeshare agreement with Adria (ordered by the former CEO himself), virtually handing over most of its own passengers to its rival. Adria, which is also struggling on the route, benefited greatly from the codeshare deal. Jat Airways will operate its last flight to Ljubljana on Friday, March 25. Adria will remain as the sole operator on the Ljubljana – Belgrade – Ljubljana service. However, Jat is expected to stay in Slovenia as it will operate 2 weekly flights to Portorož, if the long delayed launch of the new service commences on February 20.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Staying in Croatia, Dubrovnik Airline, Croatia’s second largest airline, is set to receive 2 new Airbus A320s this spring, with the first set to arrive in April and the second in May. According to earlier announcements, the airline will inaugurate flights from Split to Lille and from Dubrovnik to Ljubljana and Belgrade this summer. Dubrovnik Airline recently farewelled its aged MD aircraft, with only 1 MD82 and MD83 remaining in its fleet.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
On the other hand, sources close to Jat Airways say that Turkish Airlines is no longer interested in purchasing Jat. In fact, the Serbian Government will give guarantees for another multi million Euro loan to the Serbian carrier in 2011 to buy Airbus aircraft and does not plan to sell the airline for at least another 2 years. The Serbian Government as a whole is the only one authorised to make decisions about Jat’s future, the daily “Danas” reports, making Ugljanin’s comments more implausible.
Analysts have concluded that the announcement made by Ugljanin is a political stunt and that both the Ministry for Infrastructure (in charge of aviation in Serbia) and Jat Airways were caught by surprise by the recent announcement.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
North American Airlines is based at Kennedy Airport in New York. It operates scheduled flights within the United States and South America. The airline relies heavily on charters during the summer.
Talks between Zagreb Airport and North American Airlines are set to be finalised within the next few weeks.