Monday, November 23, 2009

Serbia invites low cost airlines

Will Belgrade be seeing pink anytime soon?
Ryanair, Wizz Air and easyJet , Europe’s leading low cost airlines have been invited to Belgrade by the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate. The Directorate will present to them the structure of Serbia’s travel industry and the advantages of doing business in Serbia. The presentations will be headed by the director of Serbia’s Civil Aviation Directorate, Nebojša Starčević (a former Jat Airways CEO). “We want to show that things in Serbia are changing”, a spokeswomen from the Directorate was quoted by local media. Last year, answering to questions posed by a Belgrade newspaper, a Ryanair spokesperson said that “the airline has no immediate plans to begin services to Serbia”. None of the 3 aforementioned airlines have responded to the Directorate’s invitation.

Drawn in by the new open sky agreement and a European Union decision to allow Serbian citizens to travel visa free from December 19, airlines from Romania, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia are set to begin flying from Belgrade in the next 6 months. Romania's TAROM will commence flights between Bucharest and Belgrade on December 7. Croatia Airlines and Slovenia's Adria Airways are due to begin flights to Belgrade next year. The Adria Airways service from Ljubljana to Belgrade is planned from March 1, while flights from Zagreb are expected to commence on May 1. Hungary’s Malev is set to begin flights to Belgrade in mid December.


  1. such a contrast with those dreamers in Podgorica. good luck serbia, i wish you the best.

  2. ^

    We need so much of these LCC's in the ex-Yugoslav region. Good luck to any country, especialy now, SERBIA!


  3. @ Bosnian

    there was a Serbian based low cost airline (Centavia) back a couple years ago but neither Croatia nor Montenegro would give them the landing rights needed for air services and the airline only lived to do summer charters for a few months.

    Ryan Air dont seem that impressive...

    i hope we will get cheaper air travel here on the balkans soon...

  4. ^
    Wow - Once again JATBEGMEL, you've shown a total and complete misunderstanding of the airline industry.

    "Ryanair don't seem that impressive"
    Well, they've been the most profitable airline in Europe, if not the world, over the last 10 years - operate almost 200 737-800s, have around 35 bases across Europe.

    That is INCREDIBLY impressive. They have almost singlehandedly, along with easyJet, revolutionised short haul travel in Europe.

    15 years ago, flying from London to Dublin used to cost around £250-£300. Now, if you book a little in advance you can easily do the same journey for £50. Now THAT is impressive.

    That said, for a number of reasons I think they won't get into Serbia, not least of which is the fact they badly got into trouble with a former politician and the way they do business in terms of treating suppliers will simply be unacceptable in Serbia, and many other countries in the region.

    Wizz and easyJet, on the other hand - are a completely different story...

  5. I would actually hate to see Ryanair fly into Belgrade, rather I would see Wizzair and Easyjet...

    Above all I am happy to see Belgrade getting some healthy competition from 'legacy' carriers...

    All this talk about new airlines starting flights, but is there any news on the frequency changes of the carriers that fly to Belgrade now?

  6. I have flown with all mentioned LCC and I woudl really like to see all of them in Serbia, but In Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro!!!! They will start, they will have to start!!!!

  7. I like easyJet but absolutely hate Ryanair. No customer care at all and flights between the airports mostly in the middle of nowhere.

  8. A slight problem is, it takes a little more than a 2 1/4 hours to reach most cities in western Europe. While we're talking about those €50 flights, they are mostly under the 1.5 hours flying range. A longer duration in the air eliminates the competitive advantage of LCC over legacies. Plus it pushes the fuel cost up too.

    Anyway, best of luck Serbia. It's a smart move. And I hope Emirates would SERIOUSLY study DXB-BEG-VCE.

  9. @ EX-YU aviation

    you forgot to mention that a new low cost airline is to be launched in Serbia. Tafa Air will be based in PRN (another based in TIA) and commencing December 1 offers flights to Dortmund, Berlin, Friedrichshafen and Tirana. The airline will receive 2 A320's.

    @ anonymous

    ive havnt personally flown with Ryan Air, but alot complain about customer service. A £40 (4.200 RSD) check in charge is very low cost! Revolutionising! Should i continue?


    The normal online check-in fee for RyanAir is 5€ per flight, but it can be often found to be free in many special offers. I haven't flown with any other airline for FREE like I did with Ryanair, or for just couple of euros between Germany and Spain. However, if you are so stupid not to check-in online on time, when you have 15 days time in advance, I think Ryanair should charge you even more then 40€ for issuing you a boarding pass.

  11. to everyone here ,
    me my self i flew many times during last 2 years with RyanAir and WizzAir
    i love them :)!!!
    becasue i had flight with all check in fees and all card payment fee total cost return ticket 20 EUR!
    i done this many times
    this is low cost airlines my frineds :)
    and i am really waiting to see them fly in Macedonia or even Serbia as well Montenegro for me will be great so i could travel more often back to Macedonia!
    again i work for Easy Jet lost baggage tracing team!if you need any help with this you are welcome to ask for help.


  12. @ JAT BEGMEL

    No, you shouldn't continue. it would just be great if you just stopped posting your continual garbage to this forum.

    Even if one does not like the flying experience on Ryanair (and I personally do not like it and almost never fly with them), they are a hugely succesful business and whenever they enter a new market, they force everyones prices down - that leads to one thing - the competition either lower their own costs or if they can't do that, or do it quickly enough, they go bankrupt.

  13. Just one from left field - why must a country ask these airlines to operate services, and not let the free market dictate? The best thing they could do is actually ease restrictions on companies wanting to start up flights (and that will happen soon).

    LCCs have an important role for leisure travel and can often keep the full service carriers in check. Are the ex-YU airlines mature enough yet and in such strong positions that they could survive an onslaught if the LCCs saw the area as rich pickings?

    The other issue is that many LCCs operating across Europe fly into secondary airports to lower costs: where in the ex-YU do you get that alternative?

  14. to
    frequentflyer said...

    Well secondary airports there are a lot in each balkan coutry, Macedonia - OHD
    Serbia - INI
    Montenegro- TIV
    and others there are many
    so this can really make the market easier
    but on the end let's be honest
    Balkan has been always a problem in any field, while all Europe has huge income salary and they have many low cost carriers
    balkan citizents are with the lowest income and the highiest prices in airline tickets,
    it is obvious that it's a great place for manipulation and making money.
    this is sad ,anyway we hope that very soon with free visa travel we will get low cost carriers and people will really enjoy to travel more.


  15. @Aleksandar

    Thanks God someone normal to say something normal!

    Exactly, Ex Yu has more alternative airports than any country! Better airports than so many in Europe I have flown from or to!!!!!

    Airports which they are hardly used or not at all are :

    Macedonia - OHRID

    BiH - Banja Luka (has better control tower and facilites than at least 10 airports in Europe I have flown to!!!)
    -Mostar (the similar story)


    Serbia - Nis



    Zrenjanin itd.....

    Croatia - Osijek

    Montenegro - Tivat

    Slovenia -Maribor

    I have used Ryanair, Easyjet, Germanwings, Wizzair! You get what you pay for, that's what I say!!!!!

    Come on guys, if you go to 2 star hotel you will not expect 5 star service????!!!!!!

    I flew SEVERAL times with Ryanair for approximately 20 euros, to be honest I do not expect anything from them for that money! By the way, they have got the best timing- THE FACT!!!!!!!!

    Can't wait to go To Belgrade, Nis, Tivat, Ohrid, Banja Luka, Mostar with them!

  16. yes please :)
    i wait for the day when i see flight with Ryanair or wizzair and Easy jet start flying to Macedonia,Serbia,Montenegro or any other ExYu state.
    then all sceptics will see that this will only let people to travel a lot for 10-20 eur all inclu. :)



Before posting a comment be mindful of other participants and readers. EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. Such comments will be deleted as soon as possible. The opinions expressed by those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of EX-YU Aviation News. Thank you for your cooperation.