Monday, August 24, 2009

Beijing – Belgrade air link soon

Soon in Belgrade?
By next summer it is expected that the Chinese capital will be connected to Belgrade via the air after the Serbian and Chinese governments signed a strategic partnership agreement, an agreement China has only offered to 3 other countries (United Sates, Brazil and South Africa). The partnership, the highest of its kind that China offers to another country, puts particular emphasis on the development of tourism between the two countries. It has been speculated by a Serbian newspaper that Air China will begin charter services to Belgrade next summer with 1.500 Chinese tourists estimated to visit Serbia during the summer of 2010. The strategic partnership also gives Chinese companies power over the development of Belgrade’s port, the construction of the longest bridge in Europe to be situated in Belgrade and calls upon Chinese companies to invest in Serbia. With all this in mind a large number of Chinese residents will temporarily call Serbia their home and join an already sizable Chinese community in the country.

If the plan for an air link between Serbia and China goes ahead, air travel would be resumed between the two countries after 10 years. Jat last operated scheduled services to Beijing in late 2000. The service, which operated 3 times per week, was finally terminated when the European Union requested Jat to end the flights as a large number of illegal Chinese immigrants were using Belgrade as a transit point on their way to countries of the European Union (in particular using Jat’s service). Jat complied with the EU’s wishes. At the time Serbia did not have a strict boarder policy. However, Jat still has an office in Beijing which was extremely busy during 2000 and 2001 as the Serbian diaspora in Australia made use of a special prorate agreement between Jat and Air China.

More news regarding the flights from Beijing will be available next year. Serbian tour operators are also said to be interested in offering holiday packages for Serbian citizens who, as they say, are extremely interested in visiting China. However, initial charters would only be offered to Chinese citizens. Serbian and Chinese relations are at their highest point since they were established 55 years ago.


  1. @ ex yu aviation

    What other destinations did Jat Airways offer after sanctions were dropped and before Jat gave it's DC-10's away?

  2. That was the only long haul Jat had at hat time. They were extremely close to opening services to Johannesburg but backed out in the last minute. They were also close to opening services to Lagos, Nigeria but they abandoned the idea after they realised that no money could be taken out of Nigeria.

  3. EX-YU Aviation - you forgot to mention Toronto too, which was offered alongside Johannesburg. They backed out of Toronto due to the inability of receiving rights to fly to Toronto. pozzz

    I hope the flights materialise and do well.

  4. @ ex yu aviation

    Why Johannesburg? Large Serbian diaspora there?

  5. ^
    Yes, large Yugoslav diaspora there and also lots of Greeks too - who would of course have been willing to fly to Athens via Belgrade possibly.

  6. I didn't know that. I know South Africa is a modern, westernised country, but didn't expect for so many Yugoslavs to live in this continent!

  7. question for ex yu: do the space at the gates in BEG have enough space to handle a plane like the A330 or would passengers board and depart on a remote stand if these flights would take place?

  8. The “C” gates at BEG can handle the A330 and larger aircraft. These gates use to handle the DC10s.


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