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Danube Wings - Winter Expansion  
User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Posted (5 years 1 month 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 6206 times:

Hello, first of all, I have found topic about V5, but it says it is archived and can not be replied to. Thus, new topic. Please pardon me if there is way to bring it back to life, I dont know as I have only recently joined Premium.

Well, get to business now.

Danube Wings is a new airline operating from Bratislava, scheduled ops since May. Since last thread, they have acquired third ATR72-200, reg. OM-VRC, yet to be shown on Airliners as it seems. Also, they became a member of ERA, European Regions Airline Association. IATA code is V5, ICAO VPA, c/s Viptaxi, operating company VIPWings s.r.o.

Current operations include:
From BTS destinations:
BSL, BLQ, BOJ (charter), CFU (charter), KSC, TAT, SPU (summer ops only), ZAD (summer ops only)

From KSC destinations:
BTS, RJK (summer ops only)

From TAT destinations:
BTS, SPU (summer ops only)

From BLQ destinations:
BTS, CRV (summer ops only)

Airline also offers services on ad-hoc charters, such as sporting teams transfer, but also charitable flights (see here).

Services are currently very low on load factor, but this is slowly rising, for example normal l/f on KSC-BTS service would be around 20 late spring, but is in mid to high 20s now with loads over 35 pax being no surprise - unlike sooner.

V5 is expecting growth in winter, ordering one ATR of 500 series, most likely 72-500. This should be primarily used for BTS-BRU flights. Apart from this service, KSC-BGY, TAT-WAW and TAT-KBP (or maybe IEV - operated in similar manner as summers Croatian destinations) are expected to be open, all on October 27. So far, only KSC-BGY is in sale, scheduled three times weekly on -2-4--7 basis. Fares start at 88€ one way incl. all fees.


The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4328 posts, RR: 35
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 month 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6164 times:

I follow Danube Wings with more then normal interest. I think they can become the boutique low cost airline which Sky Europe was in the early 2000s, connecting Bratislava with some 2nd hand props. Low acquisition costs and wages should keep their RPM reasonable and with smaller aircraft they can make routes work which failed or are impossible by Sky Europe or Ryanair. I´d love to see them with about 8 ATRs in a year or two, adding flights from BTS to PRG, VCE, ZRH, BGY, DUS, BUD and any market left by Sky Europe.


nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 month 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6129 times:

Yep, it would be pretty nice seeing them flying the former Brasilia routes, indeed. Although, I have some comments to your choice - BTS to PRG - this is just too close to be viable as point-to-point travel, and feeding from PRG to BTS is not really a possibility. Convenient city center to city center service by ČD train SC Pendolino takes just under 4 hours, with conventional EC trains not much more, and if we account the time spent traveling from Bratislava center to airport, convenient 1 hour before departure arrival, about 1 hour gate-to-gate flight time and transport to the center of Prague, we get too little time savings for fulling the AT72. Maybe in future with AT42s?

Also, BTS-BUD, these are even closer and better connected. About 200km, practically all of which is motorway.

But I would love to see KSC-PRG service, another one of the routes flown by EMB-120 of SkyEurope, then cancelled with advent of 737s. Brief attempt of NE to restart this route was not long-lived. Now given that such route takes about ten hours by train, of which standart price is about 45€ for one-way ticket, and demand exists, I honestly believe, that V5 with their price policies could very well make this into one profitable route. I, for one, would be more than willing to use their services at least once a month as I study in PRG. Current options include 9hrs overnight bus services (about 6 companies, several departures every night) of price at around 20€, or slightly more costly 11hrs overnight sleeper train at 25-30€, all student prices. Given pricing of V5 flights out of KSC for now, I believe we could expect starting prices at some 44-55€ one way. With that, you have 15kgs of checked luggage, standart carry-on luggage of 55-40-20 and officially up to 3kgs (but believe me, I have marked MUCH heavier DAAs) plus small inflight which, AFAIK, should be of one small CSA comparable baguettete (or how to call the thing) and soft drinks. And being in Prague in no time. Go figure which one would I take.



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlineThomas_Jaeger From Switzerland, joined Apr 2002, 2388 posts, RR: 28
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 month 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6101 times:

If the load factors you mention are correct, that would not be that a good sign although I heard some other routes were doing better. I think they will certainly be in the best starting position if and when SkyEurope stops operations and the BTS-KSC market will then become much better business for them. Maybe they are betting on that as well and want to sit it out for now.


Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 month 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6085 times:

I dont honestly think it is that bad for a startup, especially today, when people are not only less happy to spend their money, but would usually tend to trust them to someone with tradition of offering the product they really get. Simplified, they would just not yet believe V5 enough to buy tickets from them. Even though V5 made some good publicity for themselves when flying for NE on KSC route. They occasionaly take their passengers now too. Now, it is needed to understand, that I can only talk about intra-slovakia travel, that means TAT and KSC from BTS. There is a thing worth noting, and that is the general decline in travel on KSC-BTS route - about a year and a half ago, we dispatched 7 to 8 hundred passengers to Bratislava daily. Today, if we dispatch 150 we can call it a good day. In the peak, NE offered up to 5 flights daily. Now, NE offers 2, at not really convenient times. Standart load is 50 people - not much, really. V5 offers much more convenient times in both directions, and they are easier to rely on.


The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlineJU068 From Vanuatu, joined Aug 2009, 2643 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 month 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5953 times:
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I ve got a question. What is happening with Air Slovakia?
About a month ago I had the 'pleasure' of flying with OM-ASC from BEG-CPH and back. The plane was leased to JU for about a month.
The plane was just horrible, the seats were leather, but extremly dirty. There was no legroom and the cabin crew (3 Slovak girls) were the only nice thing there. Nice change to the JU grannies.
And I suppose the plane belonged to some Greek airline (OA?) before as there were greek sentences carved into the tray.
So can someone tell me what is happening with that airline? And maybe V5 would consider BEG more than BUD as NE asked for 5x a week some time ago due to the proximity of Bratislava to VIE. It would be a good competition to OS and JU!
Thanks

JU068


User currently offlineHumberside From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 4920 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5856 times:



Quoting Fabo (Thread starter):
From BLQ destinations:
BTS, CRV (summer ops only)

There is also a BLQ-Poprad non-stop service

BLQ-Crotone is an interesting market with TrawelFly and ItAliTour Airlines also serving it



Visit the Air Humberside Website and Forum
User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5771 times:

Ah, sure, TAT-BLQ, forgot about that one.

JU086: Air Slovakia is a very... specific airline, to say. They expanded greatly after demise of Slovak Airlines early 2007, at least in terms of fleet size, peaking at 3 757-200s and 4 737-300s, and were, as de facto successors of Slovak Airlines charter ops biggest charter operators in Slovakia for seasons 2007 and 2008. Now they only have one 757 and the 737s are being leased to various other airlines, while GM left almost the entire charter market for SJ. If I recall correctly, GM operates only about 5 flights from KSC in summer as their own operations, and not much more from Bratislava, while SJ is several times daily to be seen. That leaves GM as ACMI and leasor of their aircraft - at least two of them operated for african Bellview in the winter, and now they lease aircraft to NE on long-term, also to some other local carriers (SJ) on ad-hoc basis + foreign carriers such as JU. Greek inscriptions might be heritage of leasing by some greek airline, as none of their 737s have a history of ownership by Greeks.



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlineJU068 From Vanuatu, joined Aug 2009, 2643 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5695 times:
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@Fabo
Thanks, I was wondering coz it was an interesting experience to fly on a JU flight where the cabin crew was made up of 3 extremly good looking Slovak girls. They do have nice uniforms tough  Smile
I remember I used to see the GM plane in LCA some time ago on their middle of the night flight. I am not sure if they operate the flight now.
What happened to them in the mean time? What was the reason for the decline? Bad management?
Well a few years ago i know that BEG was in talks with NE in order for them to establish a base there. Looking at the things now, thank God for JU and the Serbian government...  Smile


User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5685 times:

It might as well be not bad management, but good management instead. No idea if that maight affect things at all, but SJ is told to have people in current government behind it. Independently of this, ACMI might be quite a good business there. Currently they are flying also quite a bit for Royal Air Maroc, and they have somehow won contract for British Army transporting, which they do with one last 757.

But if we want to discuss GM, please, let us move to another topic, this one is for V5.



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlineJU068 From Vanuatu, joined Aug 2009, 2643 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5681 times:
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@Fabo
Meh it's cool, no need. Was just curious to see where does GM fit into the whole story and how it might affect V5- if it does affect it. But like I can see it doesn't really...
So if things remain like this V5 might become the next national carrier of Slovakia?


User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5670 times:

National carrier? Since demise of 6Q we do not have one designated. Although some sources cite GM as such (up until recently, their scheduled business was based on Indian minority in the UK, now they have none), others do cite NE (whose last delivered NGs did not even wear Slovak flag, only EU), this is only speculation.


The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlineJU068 From Vanuatu, joined Aug 2009, 2643 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5663 times:
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Hence why I said if thing remain like this and might...  Wink

User currently offlineAlexEU From Serbia, joined Oct 2007, 1817 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5620 times:



Quoting JU068 (Reply 5):
About a month ago I had the 'pleasure' of flying with OM-ASC from BEG-CPH and back. The plane was leased to JU for about a month.

Interesting...didn´t know that!

Quoting JU068 (Reply 5):
So can someone tell me what is happening with that airline? And maybe V5 would consider BEG more than BUD as NE asked for 5x a week some time ago due to the proximity of Bratislava to VIE. It would be a good competition to OS and JU!

I bet thet BEG-BTS would work great with ATR-42 as those flights would be cheaper then flights to VIE.

What about BTS-Salzburg? Sure that VIE is close, but it is a hassle for such a short flights.


User currently offlineThomas_Jaeger From Switzerland, joined Apr 2002, 2388 posts, RR: 28
Reply 14, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5568 times:

BTS/VIE-SZG is too short to really generate a lot of O&D traffic. VIE-INN and VIE-ACH/FDH are the biggest domestic markets in Austria in terms of local traffic (although ACH and FDH are both not in Austria but also serving the most western state of Vorarlberg).


Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
User currently offlineSAAB900 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 489 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5445 times:

Peter,
Great thread. Its nice to see something positive about Slovakian aviation for a change!
Do you think that Danube Wings could be there to take over from Sky Europe if they go under(which I hope that they dont!),especially with the BTS-KSC flights & the flights from TAT?
These two airports rely on NE for most of there business especially TAT where NE provide the only scheduled services. KSC has other scheduled services but these are mainly towards the businessman/woman(Austrian to Vienna & CSA to Prague), Sky Europe brings in the people who either live up in this part of Slovakia or who are visiting & dont fancy the 6+ hour train ride from Bratislava!
I myself use flights to KSC quite a few times a year as my fiancee is Slovakian & comes from Presov, so KSC is very handy for us when visiting her parents especially the direct flights from MAN!



Quoting Fabo (Reply 4):
the general decline in travel on KSC-BTS route - about a year and a half ago, we dispatched 7 to 8 hundred passengers to Bratislava daily. Today, if we dispatch 150 we can call it a good day

I hope when this recession ends that these flight pick up with pax numbers again, as I said above a 40-45min flight beats a 6+ hour train ride anyday(even though I enjoy my trips by train)!
I do hope that Danube Wings go from strength to strenght they look a very good airline & I cant wait to fly them sometime soon.
Peter can I email you with some questions that I have about Slovakian aviation?

Dave(SAAB900)


User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5400 times:

I fear that V5 is far too small of an airline to be counted with as a possible NE successor, except BTS-KSC route. FR and W6 are all over the place waiting just to jump on their routes, and U2 might be (hopefully, I like them much more then those two) considering as well. Still, so far V5 looks like a very good service for money, and I hope to try them soon.

If you wish to ask something, you can of course mail me.



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlineJU068 From Vanuatu, joined Aug 2009, 2643 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5386 times:
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Can someone tell me more about their product? What do they offer on board? Is it the low cost product or..?
They have a nice livery! Thank God it isn't just another boring all white livery!


User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5712 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5354 times:



Quoting SAAB900 (Reply 15):
These two airports rely on NE for most of there business especially TAT where NE provide the only scheduled services. KSC has other scheduled services but these are mainly towards the businessman/woman(Austrian to Vienna & CSA to Prague), Sky Europe brings in the people who either live up in this part of Slovakia or who are visiting & dont fancy the 6+ hour train ride from Bratislava!

I'd still think they could succeed with a PRG-KSC route as there is LOT of people from Slovakia working/studying in Prague and the train ride all the way to Kosice is a drag and far from cheap. Since prop has lower operating costs this might be a viable alternative for cost-sensitive pax.
Or perhaps a service from cheaper "Prague-east" airport such as PED (90km)? An underutilized regional airport which itself is situated in the middle of an agglomeration of 250,000 and is well connected by trains/highway with Prague.


User currently offlineSAAB900 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 489 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 1 month 17 hours ago) and read 5265 times:



Quoting Fabo (Reply 16):
I fear that V5 is far too small of an airline to be counted with as a possible NE successor,

Yes but dont forget that NE started off with just a couple of EMB120's!  Wink

Quoting Fabo (Reply 16):
FR and W6 are all over the place waiting just to jump on their routes,

I'm very surprised that Wizz Air haven't tried to step in on some of the Sky Europe routes yet although I think that they are watching the developments with the Sky Europe saga very closely! I remember reading somewhere that Ryanair were thinking of opening a base and expanding their flights from BTS, what happened to this idea? It all went very quiet from them! In my mind this is the worst thing that could happen, Im not a great lover of Ryanair, I use them either if nobody else flies where I want to go, or if their flights are at a ridiculous cheap price, although with the add on's they end up anything but cheap! I have flown on Wizz Air before & rate them very highly although Easyjet are at the top of my list of LCC's!

Quoting Fabo (Reply 16):
If you wish to ask something, you can of course mail me.

It might take me a few days to email you as I have very little spare time at the moment with my crazy shifts at work!  Sad

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 18):
I'd still think they could succeed with a PRG-KSC route as there is LOT of people from Slovakia working/studying in Prague and the train ride all the way to Kosice is a drag and far from cheap.

I think if they started giving CSA some competition on this route ten CSA might try & use a price war against them, & this wouldn't be good for Danube Wings, although it would be for the passenger!

Dave(SSAB900)


User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (5 years 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 5048 times:



Quoting JU068 (Reply 17):
Can someone tell me more about their product? What do they offer on board? Is it the low cost product or..?
They have a nice livery! Thank God it isn't just another boring all white livery!

They market themselves as low-fare regional airline. However, being low-fare, they are not low-cost. Services are similar to those of Air Berlin or FlyNiki, who I take offer one free bag (V5 of weight 15kgs, which is reasonable with their routes), light refreshment on board the aircraft, "official connection" possibilities.

Quoting SAAB900 (Reply 19):
Yes but dont forget that NE started off with just a couple of EMB120's!  

That is true, but NE had a "green meadow" to build on, but V5 is born into very competitive area.

Quoting SAAB900 (Reply 19):
I'm very surprised that Wizz Air haven't tried to step in on some of the Sky Europe routes yet

Oh, they have, but they overcalculated... with no demise of NE, they have been cancelling flights and frequencies a lot - especially in PRG.

Quoting SAAB900 (Reply 19):
I remember reading somewhere that Ryanair were thinking of opening a base and expanding their flights from BTS, what happened to this idea? It all went very quiet from them!

They do open new flights indeed, but there is no official word for a base... yet.

Quoting SAAB900 (Reply 19):
It might take me a few days to email you as I have very little spare time at the moment with my crazy shifts at work!

No need to tell me about crazy shifts... At least I have internet for me to play with.

Quoting SAAB900 (Reply 19):
I think if they started giving CSA some competition on this route ten CSA might try & use a price war against them, & this wouldn't be good for Danube Wings, although it would be for the passenger!

I am afriad not. Not now, at least. As their current CEO Lasak said, they dont want pax who decide by the dime. That basically means, no price challenging, they are usually the most expensive way of getting somewhere from PRG where direct legacy competition is. Try BA to LON, LH to Germany... cheaper than OK. Now, it they were sold to private entity, that would make a difference.



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (5 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5035 times:

Forgot...

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 18):
Or perhaps a service from cheaper "Prague-east" airport such as PED (90km)?

No news about Vodochody yet?



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5712 posts, RR: 18
Reply 22, posted (5 years 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5012 times:



Quoting Fabo (Reply 21):
No news about Vodochody yet?

The idea of Prague's secondary airport aimed at low-cost airlines has been entertained maybe 2 years ago and with the downturn in air travel I think it will remain just that... an idea. At least for the next couple of years.
I think Vodochody migth become a viable alternative should the project of a 3rd runway at PRG be axed or stalled thanks to NIMBYs from surrounding municipalities.


User currently offlineAlexEU From Serbia, joined Oct 2007, 1817 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (5 years 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4989 times:

How is Slovakian domestic market doing?

Are typical fares from BTS lower then VIE?


User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (5 years 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4867 times:

BTS-WAW and WAW-TAT went into sale today. Routing is: BTS-WAW-TAT-WAW-BTS. Basic price on BTS-WAW segment is 55€, on TAT-WAW segment it is 33€.

Neither IEV/KBP nor BRU are saleable yet.



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
25 JU068 : What is the main reason for the flights between BTS and Kiev? Business, O&D(doubt it but..)..?
26 Fabo : JU068 - it will be IEV-TAT and majority of pax should be tourists. Tatras are traditional destination of Russians and Ukrainians. Also, Brussels is in
27 MHG : Suppose some business and VFR traffic ... I remember Motor Sich serving IEV-BTS with AN-140 a few years ago !!! But when i decided to try them they h
28 JU068 : How often will they fly to BRU and to IEV? And where would they use those jets?
29 SAAB900 : Peter, where have you heard about this? On the one hand they want to grow & possibly take over some of the longer NE routes, but on the other hand th
30 Fabo : It was overheard on frequency in TAT. Nevertheless, now it looks like idea went to drain. Maybe they learnt about some competant wanting to step in w
31 JU068 : So the plane will sit the whole day at BRU?
32 Fabo : Hardly. They are not that stupid. Prolly a charter in between.[Edited 2009-09-16 07:10:17]
33 Fabo : So I am taking back what I took back, and promising what I promised. Yet again is situation around Danube Wings 737 changing... Latest news says it WI
34 Post contains links L410Turbolet : According to Czech newspaper the plane will be indeed wet leased from Czech Airlines and that the jet service will include TAT, MAN, DUB and BTS. http
35 RJ100 : They are also starting a once weekly flight Poprad/Tatry-Basel-Poprad/Tatry effective winter schedule. Every Saturday with the ATR-72.
36 VH-OJO : I am afraid Slovakia is about to get a new "National Carrier" emerging from Danube Wings.
37 Fabo : True, a change from Veteska Airlines to Poor Airlines as the "National Carrier" is not that big
38 Post contains links Pe@rson : Some might find this useful: http://www.anna.aero/2009/10/09/slov...ll-skyeuropes-uk-and-irish-routes/
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