JoKeR
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Serbia Opening Its Skies

Wed May 25, 2005 8:30 pm

Serbia's Deputy Director for Civil Aviation, Mr Dragoljub Trgovcevic, has announced that the country will sign a multilateral agreement on open skies with Europe which, according to Mr Trgovcevic, will mean that "all foreign carriers will have a status of a domestic carrier and will be able to enter and exit the market as they please".

He also confirmed that the Government will remove all policies relating to the protection of the domestic airlines and local market as well as removing all entry obstacles.

And, surprise, surprise, Deputy Minister for Capital Investments Mr Milan Mokovic, who is heading to Brussels on business, announced the very likelihood of a meeting between himself and a certain Mr O'Leary.

This also unfortunately means the probable end of JAT as the struggling carrier will unlikely be able to fight-off the competitors who will definitely be coming to Belgrade and other airports in the country.

(Article in Serbian only http://www.blic.co.yu )
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Pe@rson
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Wed May 25, 2005 8:44 pm

Quoting JoKeR (Thread starter):
And, surprise, surprise, Deputy Minister for Capital Investments Mr Milan Mokovic, who is heading to Brussels on business, announced the very likelihood of a meeting between himself and a certain Mr O'Leary.

Let's hope so.  

Glad that the open skies policy will go ahead.

Prices to BEG from LON are actually the cheapest in the region (less than LON-SJJ; -TIA; -SKP; etc.).

Quoting JoKeR (Thread starter):
This also unfortunately means the probable end of JAT as the struggling carrier will unlikely be able to fight-off the competitors who will definitely be coming to Belgrade and other airports in the country.

Isn't that just competition? Survival of the fittest?

Will this open skies policy apply to Montenegro and Kosovo too?

Other than Belgrade, Podgorica, Pristina and Tivat, which cities have airports which could serve commercial flights? Novi Sad? Nis?

[Edited 2005-05-25 13:46:24]
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
JoKeR
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Wed May 25, 2005 9:29 pm

Yes P@arson, simply the survival of the fittest, its sad that JAT does not belong to that group  Sad

With regards to the policy, it should be applicable to Montenegro as well, not sure about Kosovo though.

Nis has been rebuilt completely following the NATO strikes of '99; the airport - Konstantin Veliki International Airport is totally ready to receive traffic and it is, albeit in trickles...

I think that Sombor, Vrsac, Novi Sad and a few others could easily be developed into commercial, international airports; let's not forget Batajnica in Belgrade which will almost definitely become Belgrade's no. 2 Airport.
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Pe@rson
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Wed May 25, 2005 9:32 pm

Quoting JoKeR (Reply 2):
Batajnica in Belgrade

Could you tell me more about this?  Big grin
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
JoKeR
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Thu May 26, 2005 6:55 am

Very simple; this once important military airport will eventually be privatized as the air force has basically been dismembered and Belgrade will definitely need a second gateway.
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Aleksandar
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Thu May 26, 2005 8:23 am

It would be great, but let's wait and see. I believe that JAT will fight hard not to allow such deal, because it might mean the beginning of their end. Even so, passengers will really benefit from such agreement. The only problem left is the one regarding visas and once it is solved, air traffic in Serbia and Montenegro will experience some real growth.

Quoting JoKeR (Reply 2):
Batajnica in Belgrade

Hey, they're already busy enough. Last week they had truck race. Only joking.

I believe that O'Leary would also be very interested in Nis. After all, using that airport, Ryanair would not only attract passengers from south of Serbia but Bulgaria and FYR Macedonia, as well.
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sacflyer
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Thu May 26, 2005 8:29 am

Do you get the feeling that President Bush, the FAA, and the TSA will somehow see this as a threat to National Security and will find a way to stop it since it goes against the current administration's vision of the American way?
I'm just happy that RR ratings can't be in negative numbers!
 
BEG2IAH
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Thu May 26, 2005 8:44 am

You guys really believe that the Serbian Government would allow Ryanair to fly to/from BEG? Nis maybe, but if you have to take a bus to Nis (235 km) it wouldn't be cheap anymore. There are a few military airports that could be used, but I just don't believe these are viable - Batajnica (near BEG), Ladjevci (near Kraljevo), Sombor...

JAT will be around for longer than many think. It is a state-owned enterprise, and as such it's condemned to (some) inefficiency. Hopefully they learned something in the last few months. Didn't they shrink flight schedule 'till June 1 as a consequence of strikes?

News from BEG is also great: completion of T2 reconstruction by September, runway re-pavement (or possible reconstruction), introduction of CAT IIIb, new air bridges at platform C, wireless internet in the whole terminal building, new cargo terminal to be built. I just miss BEG!

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Aleksandar
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Thu May 26, 2005 9:22 am

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 7):
You guys really believe that the Serbian Government would allow Ryanair to fly to/from BEG?

I do. If Serbia wants to become a member of EU some day, the government has to liberalize the whole air transport market. Some will feel bad about it (JAT will hate it), but passengers could only benefit from it. If you read O'Realy's statement, he is waiting such decision to be made.

There is another problem. Ryanair might find Belgrade too expensive, for example, but we should all wait and see.

Also, don't forget hat Air Maxi is due to start low-cost service as well and if other LCCs are not allowed to operate in Serbia, believe me, Air Maxi won't have any future at all.

Renovation of Belgrade airport is a great news. Once the Terminal 2 is in use, Terminal 1 will be left almost empty and perfect for LCC.
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BEG2IAH
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Thu May 26, 2005 9:39 am

Aleksandar, (tj. Aleksandre)

I agree with you, but Serbia is still quite far from the EU membership. Knowing that nothing cannot be done smoothly (i.e. without some corruption or affair), we will still have to wait and see LCCs around Serbia. My expectation is that they would allow them to operate, then recalculate and set the fees higher than initially. Or I just freaked out too many times, and I can't have better expectations.  Smile

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Aleksandar
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Thu May 26, 2005 12:24 pm

U pravu si!

There is a long way before Serbia becomes a member of EU, but in the meantime, the government will have to open up skies sooner or later (I expect sooner).

As for higher fees, it happens in countries that already are EU members. Budapest and Prague recently set higher fees for LCC, but even with new fees, they charge them less then "regular" airlines. As for Belgrade, the main setback would be if they charge them the same way as others.

Again, Belgrade airport, could easily benefit too. In just a few months from now, Terminal 1 will have not more than five departures a day. Although it is basic, it can fit the needs of LCCs.

Personally, I am not thrilled with Ryanair and I don't like what they offer and would gladly see Easyjet instead, but whoever (if at all) comes here, they will completely change the situation here and people in JAT will be forced to work hard and change its attitude if they want to survive.

Sve najbolje,
Aleksandar
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BEG2IAH
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Thu May 26, 2005 1:25 pm

Aleksandar,

You're absolutely right.

T1 is absolutely ok for LCCs. I remember it from the times I was waiting to board B733s or ATR72s for TGD around 6:30 am almost every week for about two years in a row. It was almost always sunny, and the view was not bad!

There was something in press maybe a year ago that once T2 is done, BEG could renovate T1 as well.

Best,
BEG2IAH
 
mig21umd
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Thu May 26, 2005 11:31 pm

JoKeR,

regarding reply 4.

It is good to see you are looking as fare forward to the year 2050 when Belgrade MIGHT need a second airport.

As fare as Belgrade gov keeping Jat alive if open skies is introduce remains to be seen, maybe this is just their way of solving the Jat problem once and for all.

As stated before, the airforce is almost vanished, so why would 2000 or more unemployed citizens cause them concern if it will save them some $.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
 
JoKeR
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Thu May 26, 2005 11:51 pm

Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 12):
It is good to see you are looking as fare forward to the year 2050

Fare forward, not quite, far forward, yeah, of course I am!
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KUGN
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Fri May 27, 2005 12:07 am

Whats wrong with Ryanair? The choice between flying with them or JAT seems very obvious to me.
 
Aleksandar
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Fri May 27, 2005 12:57 am

Quoting KUGN (Reply 14):
Whats wrong with Ryanair? The choice between flying with them or JAT seems very obvious to

Donekle si u pravu.

If there is a choice between Ryanair and JAT, it is obvious, I would have used Ryanair. It is just that I prefer the product of Easyjet. They have slightly higher prices, but they use bigger airports and their livery looks BRIGHT. Anyway, Ryanair's arrival here would be the best change in ages.

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 11):
There was something in press maybe a year ago that once T2 is done, BEG could renovate T1 as well.

There are plans for it, but..... Renovation of T2 took ages (this is going to be the second high season without it). Anyway, even if nothing is done, T1 looks OK. It's not perfect, but it's not bad for small number of domestic flights.
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adriaticflight
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Fri May 27, 2005 1:39 am

Amazing news. I think Belgrade has such potential for a Ryanair (or other LCC hub). It is a large and vibrant city right in the centre of the Balkans. I would be sad to see JAT go, but its likely that Serbia would keep a much smaller and leaner state run airline. If this happens its a great day for Serbian tourism, economy and lets hope future.
Also i was reading that the EU is considering allowing Serbs entry into the Schengen are without visas. Of course the UK is not considering this.
Good luck Belgrade.
 
Aleksandar
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Fri May 27, 2005 2:25 am

Quoting Adriaticflight (Reply 16):
Also i was reading that the EU is considering allowing Serbs entry into the Schengen are without visas

Can you tell me more about it? It would be a great news!!  bouncy   veryhappy   cheerful 
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PADSpot
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Fri May 27, 2005 3:58 am

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 1):
Will this open skies policy apply to Montenegro and Kosovo too?

Although Kosovo is officially a part of Serbia, its still under UN-administration. It's questionable if it applies to Kosovo. Especially because this decision is relevant to security.

Quoting JoKeR (Reply 4):
... and Belgrade will definitely need a second gateway.

??? How much traffic do you have at BEG ? It was my understanding that is something in the low one-digit millions ? Why do you think you need a second gateway (or even runway) ?  wideeyed 
 
BEG2IAH
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Fri May 27, 2005 4:21 am

Quoting Adriaticflight (Reply 16):
Also i was reading that the EU is considering allowing Serbs entry into the Schengen are without visas. Of course the UK is not considering this.

Adriaticflight,

Serbia needs to fulfill some 30+ requirements to get to the so called White list. It won't happen any time soon, at least not in the next 2 or so years.

BEG2IAH
 
JoKeR
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Fri May 27, 2005 6:16 am

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 18):
??? How much traffic do you have at BEG ? It was my understanding that is something in the low one-digit millions ? Why do you think you need a second gateway (or even runway) ?

Simple, to separate the mainline carriers from the low-cost ones, at least that's the idea being tossed 'round, and because Batajnica is a rock-bottom basic facility, it will provide far cheaper landing fees than Surcin.
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Aleksandar
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Fri May 27, 2005 11:51 am

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 19):
It won't happen any time soon, at least not in the next 2 or so years.

According to some information, it is possible by the end of this year.

Quoting JoKeR (Reply 20):
Simple, to separate the mainline carriers from the low-cost ones

Doesn't sound bad, but it can be done on Surcin as well at T1. Once the T2 is but back in service and I hope it will be soon  crossfingers   pray  T1 would be almost empty and having an empty terminal is quite expensive.
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PADSpot
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Fri May 27, 2005 4:20 pm

Quoting JoKeR (Reply 20):
ity, it will provide far cheaper landing fees than Surcin.

Well, how expensive is Surcin when compared internationally? Although Mr O'Leary cares about every cent, no matter if his pax have pay 10 more Euros for the bus ride ...

You cannot really separate LCC from legacy traffic, you can only offer them cheap alternatives. 4U for instance would always choose BEG for landing, if the alternative airport is 100km away (as they did in Stockholm, Rome etc.) ...

Jan
 
mrcomet
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Fri May 27, 2005 6:19 pm

Smart move by Serbia. Congratulations. I wish BiH would do the same but I think the government hasn't figured out how to steal more from an open skies policy.
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JoKeR
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Fri May 27, 2005 7:36 pm

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 22):
Well, how expensive is Surcin when compared internationally? Although Mr O'Leary cares about every cent, no matter if his pax have pay 10 more Euros for the bus ride ...

... and Batajnica welcomes the Irish!!!!! Big grin

PAD Spot I'll try and find out, but since the army is basically financially kaput, Batajnica will probably be flunked at such a ridiculous price that it will be worth running two airports.... something of a South European mentality... the more, the merrier...
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Aleksandar
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Fri May 27, 2005 11:37 pm

Joker,

Have you been to Batajnica? I don't know much about facilities there. Despite the fact that the airport might be cheaply sold out, some investments are needed there, I guess regarding customs, check-in area, etc.

Personally, I doubt that the Army will sell such an important airport, but they could easily sell some others, like the one in Sombor.
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UN_B732
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Wed Jun 01, 2005 4:32 am

JoKeR, do you think Ryanair will be capable of serving Surcin, or will they resort to alternate fields? Knowing Ryanair, they could fly to Vrsac, taunt Jat's employees for charging lousy rates and call it Belgrade! Where in Belgrade is Batajnica?
I don't know, if I had a choice between Jat and Ryanair, and the fare was decent I would fly Jat. Ryanair is international and faceless while Jat is Srbija! Which other airline would give you red eggs on orthodox easter? And, shall I add, according to the F/A there were blessed.
What now?
 
adriaticflight
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:14 am

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 19):
Serbia needs to fulfill some 30+ requirements to get to the so called White list

This maybe true, but the lifting of the visa requirements will, i think, be used by the EU as a symbolic jesture to Serbia thats its on the right track. I suspect it will occur soon.
I can't imagine Ryanair wanting to fly from anywhere except Belgrade (surcin) or prehaps Nis. Belgrade is not a busy airport and lets face it Vrsac is not really a sutable place to fly to. If and when LCC come to Serbia-Montenegro they will use the main airports...Tivat/Kotor could be renamed Dubrovnik-South
 Yeah sure
 
UN_B732
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:23 am

Vrsac was meant as a joke about Ryanair's alternate airports. I guess it didn't get the desired effect.
-Mr. X
What now?
 
adriaticflight
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:50 am

With ryanair you can never be to sure... but Vrsac is way out of thei league.
Sombor in Vojvodina is a big military airport and is close to the borders of HR and MG, this could work.
Batajnica is located north/west of Belgrade (or so i remember). It was bombed by NATO during the attack of 1999.
I can't imagine Batjnica being converted to handle civillion flights...why do this when Belgrade airport is under-used? Look at Prague, there are many LCC operating into Ruzyne airport and no-one talks about converting one of the miliatry airbases located near Prague to serve as a LCC hub. Batajnica is a non starter in my view.
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Wed Jun 01, 2005 7:31 am

Quoting Adriaticflight (Reply 29):
Look at Prague, there are many LCC operating into Ruzyne airport and no-one talks about converting one of the miliatry airbases located near Prague to serve as a LCC hub.

I believe PED secretly hopes to attract some of the LCCs but it will not happen until the remaining 30-40km of the freeway to Prague are built.
I can name 100+1 things I don't like about the way PRG airport is managed, but I can't deny them credit for one thing: They've been smart enough to offer incentive fees for new carriers and also not to favor the domestic carrier so blatantly the way BUD or WAW does. So far it seems to be for the benefit of the airport, which managed to get almost on par with VIE in numbers of pax handled in VIE (lack of longhaul destinations/carriers is still the major difference).
Also CSA was forced to actively cope with the growing commpetition of the LCCs on more and more routes and yet they still manage to make a decent profit.
I believe that in the countries the size of the Czech Rep or Serbia (10 million each), with moreless centrally located capital and given the current level of purchase power of the population only one airport has a reasonable chance to be a significant one, others have to rely on picking niche markets or depend on charter/GA traffic. OK, maybe two in the case of Serbia-Montenegro given the tremendous tourism potential of the Adriatic coast.
 
Aleksandar
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RE: Serbia Opening Its Skies

Wed Jun 01, 2005 8:35 am

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 30):
OK, maybe two in the case of Serbia-Montenegro given the tremendous tourism potential of the Adriatic coast.

Yes, there is a toursim potential in Montenegro, but traffic growth could also create some problems. Tivat has a lovely airport, but it is located on such position that I really doubt that any expansion is possible at all. From what I've heard, they are doing there well.

We should all consider Nis as a potential destination of LCCs. It is situated in such position that it ca attract passengers not only from souther part of Serbia, but Bulgaria and FYR Macedonia, as well.
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