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November 24, 2005

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Oskar L.

Interesting point on the regional air hub. You're probably right in that things look bleak on this for the foreseable future. Don't know if there's that much intra-Balkan flying even. Most flights are pobably in or out of the region.

The Balkans will probably end up being serviced out of Vienna, a bit like Latin America is serviced out of Miami.

Mihai

Well, Budapest is a bit of a hub already. I don't see why Belgrade should be the hub. Serbia is not the most visited of places, Belgarde is a fairly small city (though centrally located in Southeastern Europe), but I don't see why they would be good at this stuff. I'd say the Bucharesters would be much better in terms of expertise and personnel, considering that Serbia is one of Europe's poorest countries and has been a backwater from the late 1990s up to now (when it's starting to come back again).

Carlos

We-ell, Memphis in Tennessee in the US became an enormous air hub, even though it was a segregated rivertown backwater at the time (that produced its own form of turbo-folk, back in the day).

But the situation really isn't comparable.

Doug M.

I don't see why Belgrade should be the hub.

1) Central location.

2) Serbia has enough trained personnel to support it. The former Yugoslavia had very strong technical and engineering traditions, and Serbia inherited a lot of human capital.

3) Much of the necessary infrastructure is already in place, as Belgrade airport is quite large. (It doubled as an AF base, back in the day.)

4) Cultural stuff: by regional standards, Serbia has a pretty strong work ethic, and also some concept of service.

5) Belgrade airport sits just a couple of km from the Danube, making it easy to bring in fuel (barges much cheaper than trucks) and large parts like engines and fuselage bits.

6) Again, central location.

Bucharest is not really better in terms of personnel. Remember, just 15 years ago Serbia was part of the richest country in Eastern Europe. If they hadn't gone to war, Yugoslavia would be in the EU now. The war was devastating, but a lot of the human capital is still there.


Doug M.

Oskar L.

Again, I'm not sure there is enough intra-regional flying to support/require a regional Balkan air hub. My guess is most of the flights are in or out of the region. Vienna is probably the closest thing so far and is pretty well located for that.

What would be interesting is if there appeared a low-fare airline, something like a Balkan Ryanair.

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