Sunday, March 13, 2016

Croatian start-up plans Belgrade flights

Croatian newcomer eyes flights from Rijeka, Zadar and Brač to Belgrade

Start-up airline AWEX Croatia, based in Rijeka, plans to launch operations this summer from the country's coast to Belgrade. The carrier intends to operate flights from Rijeka, Zadar and Brač to the Serbian capital during the summer. Furthermore, it also plans to link Portorož in Slovenia with Belgrade. AWEX will run the flights with a leased 34-seat Saab 340B turboprop aircraft and has signed on a major Serbian tour operator as its general sales agent (GSA). Naturally, the flights are aimed at Serbian tourists. "This is the first time in a long time that Rijeka and Belgrade will be connected with a direct air service. In addition to improving connectivity between Serbia and Croatia, flights to Portorož will improve access to Slovenia", the airline's Serbian sales representative says, adding that further details will be revealed soon.

AWEX Croatia, formed in 2012, is believed to be linked to businessman Marijan Tuškan, who managed Croatia's first privately owned airline Air Adriatic from 2006. With bases in Pula and Dubrovnik, the carrier launched charters from the Croatian coast to northern Europe in 2001, boasting a fleet of up to four MD-82 aircraft at one point. In 2007, the airline planned to launch scheduled services from Zagreb to Berlin, Dusseldorf, Malmo, Moscow, Pristina, Skopje and Zurich and renew its fleet with Boeing 737-700 and two B767 aircraft. However, Air Adriatic ceased operations and lost its Air Operator's Certificate that same year. Later on, it was announced the airline would resume operations under the name Adria Wings with flights from Rijeka to Belgrade, Niš and Pristina, and would lease four Donier 328 turboprop aircraft. These plans never materialised.

During this summer season, Air Serbia and Croatia Airlines will link the two countries with scheduled flights. The Serbian carrier will boost operations to Dubrovnik, Split and Pula and maintain services to Zagreb. It will run a total of thirty weekly flights between the two countries. On the other hand, Croatia Airlines will maintain its seasonal three weekly service from Split to the Serbian capital. The last scheduled commercial flight between Zadar and Belgrade was operated by JAT Yugoslav Airlines on August 3, 1991, while the final service from Rijeka ran on August 5. Brač Airport was opened for commercial use in 1993. There have never been scheduled flights from the airport to Serbia.

80 comments:

  1. Wasn't there talk of some Tushkan Air? Was this it?

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    1. This is probably that they just haven't officially named the company

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    2. love that the guy wants to name the airline after himself.

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    3. Anonymous @9:12
      Ever heard of Ryanair?

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    4. Lauda air too.

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    5. Even Saudia can be put in that category! :O

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  2. I've lost all trust in Croatian start-ups but this seems like an interesting idea. Good luck to them anyway.

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    1. Seems like a promising market niche and I think BWK and ZAD could work. Not sure for RJK and POW though.

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    2. speaking of serbian tourists coming to croatia, you are absolutely right - brac and zadar are much more interesting than rijeka. however, there is consulate general of serbia in rijeka, for huge serbian community living there, rijeka and primorsko-goranska county being one of few parts serbs haven't fled during 1991-1995, but remained to live. also important is cultural and economic cooperation, lots of goods for serbia being imported/exported through rijeka port, and the fact that there were up to 3 daily rjk-beg flights in ex-yu optd even by b727/b737/b707 is not insignificant. actually if the base for the new company would be rjk as the article says, i think that rjk-beg flights could be even daily, than flying from beg to bwk and pow and back twice weekly and zad 3 weekly, and returning daily beg to rjk. maybe it will be completely different but for me this kind and quantity of services, with 30-seater, make sense

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    3. Last anon,

      Thank you for that insightful comment. Do you think Rijeka could also be an alternative to flying into Pula? JU is not cheap and fares can go as high as €200!

      If they can make a deal with the regional authorities like they did with BNX and if the average fare can be around €55 then they could fill 5x weekly with O&D alone.

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    4. @anon 4:07: you are perfectly right, too. indeed, i was looking at it too much from a tourism related point of view. RJK is a bigger city and has the port plus some diaspora. However, it is "only" 5 hours or less by car from Beograd, so most people do use a car - but if the price is okay, it will be likely that some of them switch to faster and much more comfortable travel by air.

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  3. OT

    Meanwhile @BEG... explosives were found onboard a JU flight, the goods were travelling between BEY and LHR.

    http://www.blic.rs/vesti/hronika/drama-na-aerodromu-policija-pronasla-rakete-sa-eksplozivom-u-avionu/3zfhzf9

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    1. It was actually all declared, just made up into a big story by the "newspaper"

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  4. Well they have the right aircraft for these flights if nothing else.

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    1. I agree. Good aircraft for these flights. Not sure about places like Portoroz. I remember when Jat wanted to resume flights to there in 2009 they sold a total of 13 tickets for the first month. But we will see.

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    2. Don't forget that JU had weight restrictions so if I remember correctly they could not sell more than 30 seats per flight.

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    3. True I forgot about that. Jat also got fifth freedom to operate Portoroz-Rome but they never started those flights.

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  5. interesting, but there are so many open questions. good luck.

    ATCO

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  6. Replies
    1. At least there is MBX-SPU this summer.

      Haplek

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  7. Btw I noticed that both Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa are increasing capacity to BEG this summer. The overnight flight from FRA will be operated by an A321 (A320 last year) while the morning departure out of VIE was uprgaded from a F100 to an A320.

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    1. Wow scheduled daily 321 to BEG. Great news !!

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    2. Great news for passengers, bad news for Air Serbia.

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    3. Yeah, last year they used to send it from time to time when there was such need and it was mostly on the daytime flight. Night one was almost exclusively operated by the A319/320. Seems like Lufthansa is on the move as far as BEG goes.

      I wonder if it has anything to do with JU's north American flights? By sending a larger aircraft (LH&OS) they are reducing CASM. Mind you, you can fly from BEG to ORD in summer for as little as €560!

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    4. Bigger aircraft means they can offer more seats for connecting passengers to North America.
      It will keep ASL from increasing their prices to JFK.

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    5. I think that the brutal competition at JFK will ensure JU keeps its fares low. Their first north American destination should have been Chicago followed by Toronto. Both markets are less competitive which would enable JU to keep higher yields.

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    6. sada ce lufthansa da primeni dumping kako bi oslabila JFK performans Air Serbie. zvuci poznato?

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    7. Actually there won't be any dumping as the fares to JFK have been this low even before Air Serbia was setup. What LH and others did was that they created ATIs across the Atlantic which actually enables them to make money while charging such low fares.

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    8. Tickets to NA were low since around 2008

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    9. If the Lufthansa group of companies offer dumping prices for travel between BEG and JFK the government must intervene and protect the proper functioning of the market.
      They would only be offering below cost prices to drive JU out of the market, not because they care about Serbia passengers!
      The responsible authorities (I dont know which ministries are responsible exactly) should protect the national airline and the public who in the long term would suffer if we return to LH group near monopoly for travel to North America.

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    10. The only issue is that these are not dumping prices, they have been like this for at least 7, 8 years now. Lufthansa's fares are comparable to those offered by TK or LO.

      Even AZ is cheaper to JFK, does it mean their alliance buddy is undercutting them?

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    11. JU BEG-JFK-BEG €680
      JU SKG-BEG-JFK around €960

      Is it me or has Air Serbia spiked their fares? Charging almost 900 Euros from SKG is not cheap, especially when your brand is virtually unknown.

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    12. You fly someone else on a cheaper fare and enjoy.

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    13. Anon 1:45,

      You are talking absolute nonsense. Learn something about market strategies before you come up with conspiracy theories.


      Anon 10:05,

      Monkey eating a banana under the moon. Very bad news for Air Serbia.

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    14. I dont know why people are making such a big fuss since this A321 is NOT a default increase since on plenty of days in June and July you can find A320 and A319 on both of the two daily flights. Yes, some flights in July,August, and Septemebr are upgraded to A321 but same happened last year.

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    15. In terms of Austrian, during July and August on that afternoon flight you guys in BEG will be able to see one day A320, the next A319, the next E95, the next F100, and so on. Austrian will use every aircraft type they have to BEG other than widebodies of course. But the initial person who started this discussion seemed like it was DEFAULT INCREASE WHICH IS NOT!!!! Gotta love those people who find one or two flights with A321 or A320 with OS and say BEG upgraded to A321 :D :D

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    16. Actually, last summer season a total of 8 night flights were operated by the A321 so this is definitely an increase. I love when we get people like las anonymous who are writing nonsense and they pretending as if they wrote something smart

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    17. So many experts on here. For example, the plan is to have 14 rotations of the A319/320 this coming July but as time goes by almost all departures at 15.20 from BEG will be on the Airbus. Summer sales are going strong especially since the no luggage fare was introduced.

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    18. Anon 4:44 and 5:07, I never said I was an expert lol. I clearly acknowledged the increase, my only complaint was that the first anon who posted this made it sound as if the whole summer season the night flight will be operated by A321. It would have been better and more accurate to say "LH and OS will be operating flights to BEG with a mix of A320 family aircraft and E195 and on a number of days LH will send the A321".

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    19. But why are you obsessing over such meaningless things? Maybe English is not his/her first language?

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    20. I was trying to state the actual info and state that the increase is not default from May-October, but mostly in July-September and not on all days. Anyhow, always happy to see increases and bigger aircraft in BEG. I was not blaming anybody and no hard feelings :D

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    21. If you are that happy then imagine how happy I am since I work for OS. ;)

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    22. OS nema fiksno zacrtano sta ce da salje nije istina od Q400 pa do A321 je moguce sve . Ali let u 14:00 je planiran vecinom miks E95 i Airbus .
      INN-NS

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    23. Jutarnji let iz Beograda i onaj u ranim popodnevnim satima su glavni i oni uglavnom lete puni. Jutarnji jer vozi putnike ka americi a ovaj drugi ih vraca za beograd. Dakle, tokom leta oko 90% popodnevnih letova ce biti sa erbasom.

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    24. ^correct, just to add that flight which departs BEG after bringing N.American pax is also decently filled based on two times I travelled. No idea about how is that evening flight to BEG doing, but probably not as good as other 3 timings.

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  8. Why doesn't AWEX and ASL codeshare? It would be beneficial for both companies.

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    1. Can a non-IATA member and IATA member codeshare?

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  9. zanimljiva je registracija ovog aviona na slici ;)

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    1. she is very sexy bird, i agree :)

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  10. I have a question for the ones who have some experience in the industry. Can this type of aircraft be profitable? If I remember correctly, a few days (or weeks) ago, Purger said that these airplanes can not be profitable without PSO.

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    1. The point Purger was making is that the minimum fees required to be paid to Euro Control for use of controlled airspace makes this type of operation unprofitable. I don't know if this is or is not true but I often wondered why we don't see more 20 to 40 seat aircraft flying RPT or airlines ops around Europe. This could be the reason.

      ECA or Croatia's European Coastal Airlines probably avoids controlled airspace as much as possible so they are not so much effected by these fees.

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    2. Not sure about it. It seems these flights will be charter services as sales according to the article will happen through a TO.

      Admin, can you enlighten us here if you have any information on it, please? Are these planned split-charter or full-charter services?

      If a TO buys all seats to offer them for sales by itself then it guarantees the income for the whole plane. Hence the airline has no risk and will make money with every flight (if they do their part of the math correctly).

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  11. Insiders, what's going on with Brac airport? Austrian suspended flights, Express too, will they have a huge decline this year? Croatia introduced one more flight, can it maintain current number of pax?

    Losinj is doing great, ECA added more frequencies, last year they had 300% more pax, this year could be even better.

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    1. If I am not mistaken Austrian suspended (VIE) already 1,5 years ago before Express started flying there.

      I am sure that Express did not operate to the satisfaction of the TOs, nor of the passengers, as they were sometimes very unreliable.

      Brac is a pretty and sunny but really quite small island with small number of proper hotels - basically it means that charters there should ideally have 50 seats, no more than that.
      Austrians Dash has almost 80 seats, it's Austrian's smallest machine. I am quite sure they can't sell like 90% of seats to make it profitable.

      BWK's biggest issue in my opinion is the lack of suitable aircraft in proper, reknown airlines in the area and in particularly Germany and Austria for incoming tourism.

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    2. What on earth is Croatia Airlines doing? Bol (BWK) is not bookable from anywhere on their website other than ZAG!! It was the same last summer already! I cannot even imagine the amount of passengers and bookings they are losing out. ZAG-BWK-ZAG has 2x weekly perfect times for all ZAG connections, yet it cannot be booked! I tried VIE-BWK, ZRH-BWK, OSI-BWK, MUC-BWK. The website says "Please check your departure and destination." Thats insane if you ask me. Maybe someone from OU reads this and fixes it asap.

      I can only book connections on flight comparison engines such as momondo, swoodoo, etc.

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    3. it's Balkan..

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    4. here is the reliable info: BWK will get its runway extended, enough to accommodate A319/20...737-3,4,7

      This will hopefully be completed for 2017...

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    5. Hello Petar,

      this would be big news. Can you please provide a source?

      I am not saying it's impossible; they already discussed adding 500m to the current runway, but that was long time ago.

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    6. source: I work for Bluesun Hotels & Resorts (my position within upper management). Bluesun company is a partial owner of BWK and this is direct source from the owner and Mr. Peovic... I personally talk to him often...

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    7. Thanks Petar! Now if you don't mind me asking a few questions to understand Brac tourism and its "airside" potential better: what is the guest structure on Brac - I suppose mostly Austrian, then German as second biggest intl. visitors, and then? How many of them come by airplane, and how many of them fly rather into SPU than BWK? E.g. I can't seem to find any offers for Brac or your hotel group from the world's biggest tour operator TUI group, not TUI, not Gulet, not 1-2-fly etc. Maybe it would make sense to actively approach them or their buying agents in early autumn and talk to them about charters from Germany and Austria directly to BWK in summer 2017. Having said that they might want guaranteed hotel rooms so they can be sure to sell the charter seats. That would be a win-win-win for the hotels, BWK airport and the Brac economy/tourism generally, I assume? Also, are there any VIE-BWK charters this summer at all, if yes with what TOs - again I could not find any?

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    8. Bluesun is present with TUI for sure, you must have not looked into the right places. However, the strategy is not to rely on TOs, hence direct sales channels are chamioned (contact center reservations, direct marketing, web bookings etc.).

      TUI France is the new partner for 2016: besides Germans, French are large customers (agency Fram had gone bust last year and TUI France is a substitute...)

      Austrians - well, those are mainly the clients of 1 brač agency, whose owner is also the owner of one Brač hotel (not Bluesun) and the same guy with that same agency used to buy seats on Austrian's flights from Vienna to BWK...

      I would say potential is there for whoever wants to take it - it's just that due to different circumstances big TOs are not working so much with Brač hotels as they used to...
      Those agencies are not always the great thing: while providing stability (guests for the entire period from April to October), they take huge percentage ... and are practically sabotaging the margins... it's a complicated game that the entire destinations and hoteliers have to play...

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    9. Alright, thanks for the insight. Btw, I found the hotels on Gulet website, however only with SPU arrivals (I was searching for BWK flights from VIE before). I had the impression to have met many German speaking tourists on Brac two or three years ago.

      Regarding the sales channels used by your hotel group - fair enough, it is a business decision and there are reasons for it, I sure understand some - just for package holidays and tourists coming by air to Brac this probably is quite a drawback and partially explains decreasing charters to Brac the last one or two summers.

      It would be nice nevertheless to see regular charters from France in Brac - maybe someday with a Dash or Saab2000.

      Perhaps what BWK airport needs is a large club hotel such as Magic Life, Robinson, RIU, Puravida etc. - couple of hundred rooms fully in guarantee of a TO to offer package deals who needs to make sure guests can arrive conveniently - meaning directly by air. Not too likely to happen/ I am just thinking out loud...

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    10. You are right. In fact one of bluesun hotels in bol Will be hosting a hotel club...with almost 80 % capacity garanteed. This is a deal made with TUI France.

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  12. jednom nedeljno atr iz Bg za Brac bi funkcionisao sa preko 80 procenata LF ali verovatno nema slobodnog aviona u dnevnim talasima, slicna je situacija i sa Zadrom pa cak i Rijekom. forsira se i dalje lose popunjena Varna dok se potencijalno dobre linije ignorisu iz meni nepoznatih razloga.

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    1. valjda imaju neki ugovor za var

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    2. One weekly from BEG to Brač? Not sure if that would be enough. I assume that would mean that people travelling from BEG have a summer house there or are renting one. I'm thinking at least twice or thrice weekly on a smaller aircraft, 30-50 seater would give travellers more options.

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  13. Ne znam kakva je poslovna taktika ali trebali su uzeti Q400 ili ATR 72.
    INN-NS

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    1. ako ne znaš poslovnu taktiku, kako znaš koji su zrakoplov trebali uzeti? hahahaha svašta!

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    2. Pa ne znam koja je njivova svrha otvaranje Firme i reko sam moje misljenje sa cim bi bio isplativ let.
      INN-NS

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  14. Why they are affraid to go to OTP? What is so scary?

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    1. I don't think that there is reason for fear, probably figured that there is little interest.

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    2. little iinterest from Romanians? Please, check the number of Romanians visiting Croatia. Furthermoe - check the numbers of Romanians viting Greece and Bulgaria.

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    3. Maybe so, but what about Croats visiting Romania? There should be some two way interest.

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    4. I don't think that there either a lot of Croats visiting Serbia.

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    5. "I don't think that there either a lot of Croats visiting Serbia."

      You're very wrong. Croatian plates have become an everyday sight on the streets of Belgrade (mostly businesspeople visiting regional company HQs) and I know at least 5-6 unofficial taxi companies hauling people from Dalmatia to Belgrade and back throughout the year.

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    6. Bas je to pravi signal za otvaranje aviolinija.

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  15. Is this http://belgrade.flights

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