Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Air Serbia begins summer expansion


Air Serbia has begun its network expansion this morning, which will see the carrier introduce five new routes over the next week for a total of 45 destinations. Furthermore, the airline has added a wet-leased Adria Airways Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft to its fleet as of this morning in order to support its network growth over the summer. “This arrangement with Adria Airways is a perfect example of the growth opportunities that can be created when small, like-minded airlines work together for a mutually beneficial outcome”, Air Serbia's CEO, Dane Kondić, previously said. The 86-seat CRJ900 will be deployed on flights to Hamburg, Kiev and Sofia. The addition of five new routes marks Air Serbia's biggest network expansion since the summer of 2014 and the first new routes to be introduced since flights to Zagreb were launched in December that same year.

Services to Hamburg were resumed this morning after nine years. Later on in the afternoon, Air Serbia will return to Ohrid following a three-year hiatus. The Mayor of Ohrid, Nikola Bakračeski, said, "The Belgrade - Ohrid service is significant for us in two respects. Firstly, the flights will cater for Serbian tourists but also travellers across Europe and the United States, keeping in mind that services from New York to Belgrade will be launched. On the other hand, these flights will benefit locals who will be able to travel to various destinations and back home via Belgrade". The Ohrid service will operate with an ATR 72 turboprop, with exception to the inaugural flight which will be run with an Airbus A319 aircraft.

Tomorrow, the Serbian carrier will launch flights to Kiev. It will be the first time the two cities have been linked since Ukraine's Aerosvit Airlines suspended services between Kiev and the Serbian capital in June 2011 citing "technical reasons". The carrier has since filed for bankruptcy. Two years ago, Air Serbia cancelled plans to launch daily flights to the Ukrainian capital due to instability in the country at the time. Adria Airways is expected to codeshare on the route. Services between the Serbian and Ukrainian capitals will come exactly 42 years to the day Air Serbia's predecessor, JAT Yugoslav Airlines, introduced the route.


On Saturday, Air Serbia will launch flights to St. Petersburg. Services will operate with an A319 aircraft. In 2015, Belgrade was the top unserved destination in Europe for Pulkovo Airport, with no direct air service between St. Petersburg and the Serbian capital. Over the past five years, indirect traffic between the two cities grew by 263%, and in 2015 amounted to over 20.000 passengers. "The new service represents a weekly capacity of 768 seats and will enable us to capture the significant demand for point-to-point travel between Belgrade and St. Petersburg, enhance the flow of trade and strengthen the long-held and friendly bilateral relations between Serbia and Russia", CEO Kondić, said. Close to 42.000 Russian tourists visited Serbia in 2015.

Finally, Air Serbia will launch its first long haul service to New York next Thursday. It will mark the return of flight numbers JU500/501 after 24 years. Previously, JAT used the flight numbers for its Belgrade - Zagreb - New York service. The inaugural flight to the Big Apple will carry a number of VIP guests including the Ambassador of the United States to Serbia, Air Serbia's CEO and others. However, despite being amongst the first to purchase a ticket, the Serbian Prime Minister yesterday said he would not be flying on the inaugural service. The route will be launched exactly fourty years since JAT introduced flights to New York.

DestinationLaunch date
Hamburg15.06.2016
Ohrid15.06.2016
Kiev16.06.2016
New York23.06.2016
Click link for more details

84 comments:

  1. Nice to see some new routes finally. Which one is filling up best out of these? My guess is St Petersburg.

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  2. Judging by those numbers LED was long overdue. Will probably have some impact on SU's flights from Moscow. They probably had quite a few transfers.

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    1. I come back from LED on saturday. With aeroflot

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    2. What was the load from Moscow?

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    3. I will come back this saturday and I will tell you that day

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    4. Aeroflot is always full in and out of Belgrade.

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  3. There is a rumour that Air Serbia will replace that Adria CRJ with Montenegro Airlines' Embraer after the summer :)

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    1. I heard this rumour, props Etihad-Montenegro deal going ahead?

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    2. It's unerelated to the EY-YM deal.

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    3. Only one Embraer?

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    4. Should be correct, since Adria's wet lease ends on 15th Sept. And just to correct Mr. Kondić, it's not "small, like-minded airlines working together", but an old debt being paid off by Adria, i.e. Adria is working for peanuts.

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    5. Apparently 2 MGX Embraers. Montenegro is desparate to get rid of planes during the winter. The company is in a really bad state.

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    6. it looks like JU is testing regional types on the cheap before placing an order.

      JU desperately needs to increase regional capacity. The ATR is not suitable for a couple routes and the A319 is too much capacity.

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    7. I don't see JU placing an order for regional aircraft, best case scenario they will lease some.

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  4. I realised that they even launched the winter 2016/2017 timetable. Not so many differences vs last year. Flights to TIA, SOF will be maintained like in the summer as there is demand. No significant. KBP, HAM and LED are seasonal.

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    1. It's preliminary so people can start booking tickets. There will be some changes and some of the seasonal flights will go year round.

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    2. As far as I'm aware, LED will become year-round.

      The fine-tuning of the winter timetable will, in large measure, depend on the expectations of the winter flights to JFK.

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    3. So is WAW in the preliminary winter schedule?

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  5. Ex-YU, you forgot to put LED on the picture :)

    When it comes to the winter schedule, it is definitely too early to tell... My bet is that LED will stay and even go to daily. I think JU simply did not have an A319 at their disposal to do it from the beginning

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  6. Slight OT

    Would someone know the percentage of transfer passengers at BEG?

    Thanks in advance!

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    1. I don't know about the airport but I remember Air Serbia saying a year ago that 50% of its passengers were transfers.

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  7. OT: low-cost race in Niš is gaining momentum:
    Wizz Air najavio letove iz Niša do Minhena i Ajndhovena

    http://www.aviatica.rs/wizz-air-najavio-letove-iz-nisa-minhena-ajndhovena/

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    1. Interesting article even if I dislike his style of writing.

      What will be interesting to see is how the routes to Eindhoven and Weeze perform as they are quite close to each other and their catchment areas overlap. This is the first time FR and W6 will (in)directly compete for a same market out of Nis.

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    2. Where do most Nislije and southern Serbs live in Germany?

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    3. Who would have thought a year ago that this sleepy city in south of Serbia would become such a potential cash cow for low cost airlines.

      Outstanding, Nis!

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    4. Tooooo lutko! +1000

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    5. Al' ono Ve-ce kod Dizeldorfa.. vrh!

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    6. I guess the next logical step for W6 (or even FR) would be to base a plane in INI. The question is, how many routes are needed for this kind of move to be justified?

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    7. It's rather the frequency - 20-ish weekly rts.

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    8. Next year almost certainly 300.000 for INI.

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  8. HAM and LED will do well. KBP not so sure. Ohrid was always successful during the summer.

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    1. I don't know why they ever suspended that route. It was always full. Ohrid I mean.

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    2. +1 to last comment. Use to be packed.

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    3. They had five operating aircraft at the time. Somethings gotta give.

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    4. @ anonymous 10,26am

      Jat had a chronic fleet shortage and poor fleet reliability problems forcing them to suspend routes and cut back frequencies.

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  9. EX-YU, CR9 did not fly to WAW this morning, it was B733 instead.

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    1. CRJ was planned yesterday. They changed it it seems. Also anyone notice Zagreb is operating with B737-300 this morning. Seems like the A330 went tech.

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    2. No it did not go tech, stop hating! They just didn't want to send it this morning.

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    3. If so, why was JU230 two and a half hours late ?

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    4. B733 went to ZAG as there were more than 80 pax today, so ATR was not big enough... don't troll when you have no idea of what is happening

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    5. Ans JU230 was late 2 hrs and 10 min today.

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    6. Oh, cause the A330 can't carry more than 80 pax...

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    7. Anonymous 10:39 AM, I think you're desperately seeking for someone to write something you don't like about AirSerbia. You just LOVE it when this happens, you adore to argue....so masochistic!

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    8. Fleet shortage hits again. 737 classics flying in full swing today!

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    9. Wasn't it written on this blog that the A330 for ASL will be doing some promotional flights ? I even read daily between BEG and ZAG. Could it be that they figured it to be too costly to do this with this aircraft? Just a thought.

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    10. Last night the ac came from ZAG and was parked at C6 before being towed towards the hangar where it usually parks.

      Another batch of crew have been sent btw to AUH for A330 training recently.

      @ anonymous 3,37pm

      JU must have a certain amount of flights with the ac (40) before sending it on longer flights. LX recently did the same with the B77W. Currently its scheduled for double daily ZAG.

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    11. I have to seriously wonder how many of those 80 on the Zagreb route this morning booked the A330 promotiomal fares only in the last few days in order to experience the wide body jet - JU announced ZAG twice daily for these days but instead now they decided to let their enthusiasts down! That is a very bad and disgraceful behaviour. Unless of course the plane actually did go tech! 80 pax on that route is surely all but normal so they must have disappointed a lot of people this morning.

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    12. Give it a break. Evening flight was with the A330.

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    13. That is a very bad and disgraceful behaviour.

      Comments like this are disgraceful. Air Serbia received A330 and some people are jealous.

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    14. Little fanboys, this has nothing to do with jealousy. If you cannot handle criticism that is supported by facts then just be quiet. If JU is announcing such a tight A330 short haul schedule that either they cannot deliver on or that they just cannot afford then they should be badly ashamed of themselves. They tripped a lot of people in buying tickets to experience their new wide body jet but instead they get an ancient short haul Boeing. I am sure your reactions would be different if you would have been screwed over badly by your favourite airline.

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    15. But they are not screwed. They returned to Zagreb with A330 anyway.

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    16. Oh, burn! Our little Anonymous at 10:14 got slapped like a little b that he is with "this is very bad for JU" and "not gut for Belgrad" nonsense.

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  10. Good luck JU. Love the vintage photo with the Kiev flight. I don't think they are aware even at Air Serbia :D

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    1. +1 on the ex-YU facebook page it also says today is exactly 40 years since New York was launched with a nice vintage photo.

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  11. Hope these work out. Good choices. Mark my words next expansion will include Italy.

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  12. A few photos of YU-ARA - https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B5BQ5KlupgSRaUg2Q3U2UXFvQzA&usp=sharing

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    1. Dejane hvala.

      Pozdrav, Vlada

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    2. Spectacular! Thank you!

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    3. @ Dejan

      simply amazing. thank you for sharing the photos.

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  13. I applaud the mutual visa free policy for travel between Serbia/Bosnia/Macedonia/Montenegro - Russia, Ukraine
    it's especially welcoming the visa free between system Serbia - Kazakhstan and Belarus.
    Well done brothers!

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    1. Welcome! Although, in all honesty, the Montenegirn decision in this regard is solely based on economic gain, and not on love for Russia. Montenegrin NATO backed regime is openly hostile to Russia, although no to Russian tourist roubles.

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    2. Good for Montenegro! You would like some of that rubles in exchange for your "love", would you? Russia would have disappeared long time ago if it had fallen on such cheap tricks. Every rational country, Russia included, bases its politic on political and economic interests. Only charlatans and hoaxers talk about love.

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    3. Any link about that, is it some new decision or news?

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  14. Does anyone have info whether JFK flights will continue to carry 500/501 flighnumbers indefinitely? It seems strange to have 500 to JFK and 506 to LCA.

    I understand the current promotional value at the moment but if I recall well, there was some talk that JU020/JU021 was reserved for JFK flights. It seems strange that JU deviate so much from the current flight numbering scheme.

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    1. That deviation is called nostalgia which is all too often misused in the post-Yugo Serbia. Personally i would have used the old number for the first flight and continued with the new one later-on.

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    2. First flight only... my thoughts exactly.

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    3. Exactly what rules are they breaking ??

      Seems like people are clutching for straws here ... give it a rest

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    4. @ anonymous 7,23pm

      When ASL started, they changed most if not all the flight numbers to go into a new order. JFK is the odd one out.

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  15. Управо објављено да Виз ер уводи нове линије из Ниша,за Ајндховен и Мемингем од 01.08.2016.

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    1. Невероватно.

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    2. Već piše gore.

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  16. There's nice story about BEG-HAM flight on Snapchat @air_serbia

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  17. JU must react and include INI this winter before it's too late. With the new W6 destinations launched today proves that the city has potential. INI-BEG 3x daily will do the trick.

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    1. Nema Air Serbia na šta više da reaguje i da ponudi Nišu. Sa ovom ekspanzijom u zadnja dva meseca kasno je za bilo šta i što je najbolje ovo nije kraj tek će biti novih letova iz Niša.

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    2. INI is doing much better with LCC than when they had full fare carriers using the airport. Nemjee made a great comment the other day, mentioning that the increase in pax numbers in INI would only acclimitise local pax to fly, who up until now would travel by car/bus. Travel habits will take some time to change and once that happens, it will be easier for JU to jump in.

      My guess is another year of expansion ex BEG and we could see JU return to INI. However, I see PRN opening first.

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    3. I guess JU are just ditching INI. I understand how important BEG is but domestic flights are also feeder ones! Even Slovakia which is much smaller than Serbia have flights from BTS-KSC.

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    4. I don't think theyre ditching it, more as they don't seem to have a market there just as yet. Sure, INI has had huge jump in numbers, but that's thanks to LCC. I am sure soon enough JU will have the market and feed for INI and will start it the first moment possible. JU is keep on increasing its presence in the region.

      KSC on the other hand has a couple legacy carriers. Slovak standard is higher lets not forget. BTS-KSC is operated with the ATR42, which JU doesn't have nor does it need it.

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  18. I hope I am wrong, but initial winter timetable starts with reductions :( e.g. SKP down to daily, TIA down to 8 from 9, SKG only 4 flights per week down from 14, CPH down to 4...lets hope this changes!

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    1. JU updates its timetable really late so I am sure things will change by October. They need the night flights otherwise New York will turn into a financial fiasco.

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    2. SKP is not downscaled. They always fly 7 p/w in winter.
      Btw. JU has a great chance now in OHD. They're the only legacy carrier there and I hope they will materialise this first mover advantage.
      Would like to know the LF on the route!

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  19. Ovo su odlicne vesti za ASL pogotovu za LYBE .
    Nadam se da ce sledeca ekspanzija imati i YYZ, PEK ,IKA i HEL.
    INN-NS

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