Friday, July 15, 2016

Beijing - Belgrade service to launch in 2017


Flights between Beijing and Belgrade are set to begin next year after the Serbian government entered into talks with a yet-to-be named Chinese carrier over the matter on Wednesday. Speaking at a press conference yesterday, the Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić, said, "I can announce that we have started talks with a Chinese airline yesterday, which will begin flying to Serbia. Belgraders will soon have the opportunity to travel to Beijing". The comments came less than a month after the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, visited Serbia. Mr Vučić added, "I expect the service will be introduced before flights between Beijing and Zagreb are launched". Last week Beijing Capital Airlines, a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines, was granted regulatory approval to commence two weekly services from the Chinese capital to Zagreb starting June 2017.

Initial discussions over a possible air link between China and Serbia began in late 2013, when the then General Manager of Belgrade Airport, Velimir Radosavljević, told China Radio International there was a possibility for the Serbian capital to be linked with Beijing through Air China. In 2014, the two countries signed an Agreement for the Establishment of Air Traffic. Last year, Air Serbia began codesharing on Air China's services between Vienna and Beijing, while the Chinese national carrier placed its code onto Air Serbia's flights between Belgrade and the Austrian capital. Interest in flights to China has been growing throughout the region. Apart from the planned service between Beijing and Zagreb, the Slovenian government has also expressed its interest in linking the two countries with a scheduled air service, while a Chinese investor is in the process of purchasing a stake in the operator of Maribor Airport and has promised both passenger and cargo flights to China.

The last time a Chinese airline operated flights to Belgrade was prior to the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. Services were initially launched from Beijing in the early 1980s by Air China’s predecessor CAAC and were operated with a Boeing 707 via Karachi. Later on, flights were introduced from Urumqi via Budapest. On the other hand, JAT Yugoslav Airlines operated its final service to Beijing in late 2000. The airline resumed three weekly flights to the Chinese capital in the late 1990s and maintained services with a DC-10 aircraft.

75 comments:

  1. This is a politically driven route. By the way, during the same interview, Vucic said that he is being informed every morning how many passengers there are on the JFK flight that day. lol

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    1. Wait, wasn't New York a political route according to you too? Everything that is launched from Belgrade is a political route it seems.

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    2. People on the ground don't give a flying hoot if it's political or not. They just want to travel as hassle-free as possible. Political or not, this is great news for Serbian air travel industry. On the other hand, with huge Chinese investments in Serbian steel, rail and road infrastructure taking place, this route makes complete sense, both politically and economically.

      Go Serbia!

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    3. He doesn't NEED to know how many passengers are on JFK flight every day, but he might WANT to know. As in aviation fan. He might be on this site as a fan of Air Serbia?

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    4. He said that he wants to know so as to be informed of how the route is performing and if it's doing well or not. ;)

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  2. Why is Vucic the one to announce everything? Do we have minister of transport? Airport CEO? Such an attention w**re.

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    1. Mu question also?

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    2. It a question for psychiatrists. Completely irrelevant for this blog. We should focus on the aviation part.

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    3. Anonymous July 15, 2016 at 9:34 AM

      Well said.

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    4. Zato sto je Vucic tata i pita se za sve. Cak i za to dal ces biti lecen ili ne ukoliko ti to zatreba.

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    5. INN-NS, tvoji izrazi stranačke lojalnosti, koje uporno postuješ nakon što se obrišu, su neukusni i nije im mesto na ovom portalu. Ne postižu se rezultati laskanjem i tapšanjem. Da je tako, Severna Koreja bi bila uspešnija i bogatija od celog sveta zajedno.

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  3. Jesus, this is just like "moj tata je jaci od tvog tate..."

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    1. Exactly, trying to get the bigger car before your neighbour. :D

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    2. That has been the modus operandi between these two states since time began.

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  4. Air China flying PEK-BEG with feed from ASL would work almost certainly.

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  5. OK, political circus aside, let's see how this would work and whether it would work.

    Yesterday someone mentioned it could be a flight via BUD. While a direct flight would definitely work better, possible 5th freedom on the BUD-BEG segment would be interesting because it could effectively replace ASL's route to BUD that has been suspended. That way they could feed some passengers from BUD to their JFK flight.

    I wonder if passengers from the region would be interested in using this service with an additional landing in BUD. How much extra time does it take altogether?

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    1. Well, I think a stop in BUD would add at least another 90 to 120 minutes. As you said, it would be better to have a direct flight especially since Belavia already flies between the two cities.

      Also, only an ULCC can make BUD-BEG work. Fares need to be around €50 to attract passengers. The two cities are not far from each other and they are linked by a highway.

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    2. If there was a stop in BUD I don't think it would be competitive for people connecting from outside of Serbia. They can already one-stop in Vienna which has some quick connections. Aeroflot also offers so cheap fares from Zagreb to PEK it seems.

      Anyway, BUD already has flights to PEK with Air China so hopefully BEG can get non-stop flights.

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    3. If the goal of the BUD-BEG segment would be to feed JFK and some other ASL's routes then I guess they could afford to sell it for 50 euro?

      Belavia and ASL do not codeshare so their BUD-BEG segment makes no use in feeding ASL's routes.

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    4. Belavia can't codeshare with JU because they are not part of some IATA profit sharing programme which deals with airline profits and transparency. ;)

      I doubt they would be after the JFK flights. If they come to BEG it will be because they want to fill their PEK flights.

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    5. What I mean is that ASL would be keen to pick up some connecting passengers from BUD for their JFK flight.

      Air China, on the other hand, has no particular interest in the BUD-BEG segment. No money for them in it, even if 20-30 pax boarded in BUD in order to transfer in BEG. You are right, they will probably hope to fill a direct BEG-PEK flight with some pax from ASL's network (primarily in the region).

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    6. What could make some sense is for Air China to switch PEK-MUC-ATH to PEK-BEG-ATH.

      It makes no sense to have it via MUC.

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  6. I dont get it both cities Zagreb and belgrade will have flights to the same city, the distance between those two cities is relatevly small. Why Belgrade don't introducte flights for eg. to Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzen or Hong Kong??

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    1. So what if the distance is small? No one is willing to travel 450km and cross a border to fly to china when they can fly from their city with a stop in DOH or VIE for example.

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    2. That's irrelevant, it would be better for both travelers if they directly could go to another Chinese city, non of the two cities has direct flights to Shanghai or Guangzhou...

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    3. Neocekivana najava leta PEK-BEG. Ova ruta bi bila veoma uspesna ako bi se letelo sa avionima sa pola putnickom, pola kargo verzijom. Ili kratko, comby aircrafts. Mada koliko mi je poznato, Kina nema u flotama svojih avio kompanija ovakav tip aviona. Ipak buduci prevozilac na ovoj destinaciji sigurno zna svoju racunicu. Za razliku od vecine nas na ovom blogu. Nemogu kriti radost za pocetak letenja jos jedne inter kontinentalne linije na Aerodrom Nikolu Teslu. Od mene toliko. Srecni letovi i prijatno leto. Rodney & Globtroters Team✈.

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  7. Only Maribor has enough potencial for those flights therefore both pax and cargo flights will be opreating.

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  8. Uz Božju pomoć i podršku države ni Johanesburg i Rio de Žaneiro nisu daleko kao što bi zli jezici hteli!

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    1. Kakav Rio, od tamo svi bježe trenutno....a i da nije tako, nisam siguran da uopće ima ikakve relevantne potražnje iz Srbije i Balkana da to ima i teoretske šanse da uspije, ikakve. JNB je isto negdje u tom segmentu....mislim da nije stvar zlih jezika nego naprosto nema neke veze sa realnošću.

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    2. Gluposti. JNB sigurno nije u "tom segmentu". Potraznje je i vise nego zavidna. Mada, kao sto sam rekao pre, bilo bi bolje da se otvori direktan let za CPT, umesto JNB, posto Etihad vec leti za JNB.

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    3. Covek je samo sarkastican...

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    4. Stari, dobri Srpski samo-sarkazam.

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  9. How many times did we hear,onthis forum from Vucic, Mali and possibly Hogan that ASL would be flying to PEK. I truly believe that the announcements are a setback to ASL.The so called expansion of ASL may not be as fast as they may want it to be.

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    1. You obviously got a few things wrong.
      1) The only person who said, and I quote "the next long haul destination for Air Serbia COULD be Beijing" was Vucic in November last year. Neither Mali nor 'possibly' Hogan ever said such a thing. So to answer your first question it was once.
      2) Setback for Air Serbia? Apart from the fact that you probably view everything as a setback for Air Serbia they will obviously focus on NA flights and that's where comments from Hogan and Mali have been coming from.
      3) The Serbian government obviously initiated these talks with a Chinese carrier.
      4) How you managed to link Air Serbia, and its "so called", as you say, expansion with this is beyond me. Keep your hate, jelousy or whatever you are suffering from in check because pretty much everything you wrote in your comment is false.

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    2. Was never intended as hate. Just a discussion.

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    3. Then you need to adjust the tonality of your "discussions", for them to be deemed as such.

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  10. Ovo su odlicne vesti za LYBE .
    Ako bude HU letio kao sto se prica najbolja opcija bi bila A333 posto ima vise ekonomskih sedista od A332 ili B788.
    Ja se nadam da ce to biti ipak CA i da ce kao i za VIE leteti sa A359 sto bi bilo odlicno.
    INN-NS

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  11. OT: Istraga Evropske komisije utvrdila da Etihad nema upravljačka prava u Er Srbiji

    http://tangosix.rs/2016/15/07/istraga-evropske-komisije-utvrdila-da-etihad-nema-upravljacka-prava-u-er-srbiji/


    ready, aim, fire!

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    1. Fantastic news, God bless them all.

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    2. No need to aim and fire. Outcome is completely expected but long overdue. For Air Serbia it will continue to be business as usual, for couple of remaining haters and "journalists", they will just have to accept they were wrong all along.

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    3. My oh my... I hope the pharmacies across the region are well supplied today. There will be a huge demand for antidepressants.

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    4. But why do you immediately make mention of pharmacies and whatnot. It's not like they don't have a thousand other reasons to feel happy since JU has many, many issues. I could mention some of them but there is no need to.

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    5. Let me also add that JU's winter timetable is the best thing that happened to the 'haters' as it went to show how badly JU sucks when it comes to selling itself, selling its brand.

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    6. Of course JU has many, many issues. Everything is bad news for JU and everything is an issue for JU. And whatever they do badly sucks. This augmented reality of the hater brigade cannot be influenced. However, it is good that at least some of their malicious fabrications will be debunked. For example, the famous and a million times repeated mantra: 'EU has the rule of law and if Serbia wants to become a member she will have to accept the outcome of the EC investigation into the Etihad deal'. Well, there you go.

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    7. Are you saying that if the ruling was otherwise that they would just ignore it?

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    8. Well...that was expected. Rich daddy ( etihad ) " took care " of everything.

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    9. Anon 5:02,

      I am saying that the EC ruled exactly the opposite of what the hater brigade has been announcing here for more than two years. The Anon below you (5:06) is a perfect example of this blind hate - he is now suggesting that the European Commission took some kind of a bribe from Etihad. And up until yesterday he was preaching about the rule of law and how Serbia's fishy deals will not get past the EC and Serbia will have to face it.

      Crazy stuff dude. Seriously crazy.

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    10. @An. 4:34
      I'm one of the "hater brigade", which translated to aviation terminology, means : "objective, balanced person, non-ASL fanboy&cheerleader. The result of the EC investigation on EY effective control over JU shows only that EC follows the evidence and objectively decides and has nothing "against" JU. Unfortunatelly, it's not EC which decides in the negotiation process, it's the member countries. And JU will very soon have very serious problems in transport chapter negotiations which will result either in operations shrinking (similar happened to OU) or will Serbia be stopped on its way towards EU, because of hidden subsidies and investments, and it could easily lead to EY's withdrawal from JU, no matter the opposite statements few days ago. So, unfortunately, it's not over yet, despite your enthusiasm

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    11. So the EC ruling is credible? The same way they said government aid to Adria was legal? LOL

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    12. Anon at 5:34

      Objective and balanced observers back in 2013 were right to question if new management could execute the turnaround needed for Air Serbia. Since then, Air Serbia introduced Airbus fleet, improved cabin service, expanded network, increased key factors like number of passengers and cargo, LF, on time performance, revenue and profit; they also added wifi to Airbus fleet, introduced online checkin, free inflight entertainment, added lounge at BEG, started long haul service to JFK...objective and balanced observers praised rate of change and how well it was executed by Air Serbia. You are not one of them, which makes your opinion on future of Air Serbia and todo list on their agenda irrelevant. If they did all of this in the first three years, you can imagine what they will deliver in the next three. Oh you can't imagine it, you only see negative in Air Serbia :)

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    13. Well one could say that you can't see the reality because you only see the positive. Air Serbia is far from being a stable airline. They are faced with way too many issues and Vucic's constant meddling doesn't help either. Like the idiotic decision to start flying to JFK.

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    14. @ Fanboy&cheerleader 7:16

      Please tell me where I said one negative thing about the ASL achievements? On the contrary, I fully agree with your full list of ASL/JU achievements over short period. The only thing you don't want to admit is that those achievements were made possible by, as I've stated before, hidden subsidies and semi-(or fully)-illegal investments. And EU carriers know about that, and WILL use that when Serbia start negotiations over Transportation Chapter. That makes my opinion very relevant, and your pathetic attempt to prove I was wrong unsuccessful

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    15. I am little bit confused, if someone can explain to me one thing. So if Serbia signed open skies agreement, does that mean carriers registered in Serbia are obliged to follow EU rules?

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    16. @Anon at 10:58

      Regarding EU carrier's "knowledge" of JU illegal investments and subsidies: those EU carriers are hurting themselves for not acting on that knowledge and complaining to EC right away. They would use any documents or info on illegal investments if they existed, but they don't exist so that’s why they don’t object.

      JU asked for retarded (see, I am not a fanboy) BEG-AUH-JFK codeshare in 2013, DL and ALPA objected to DoT and codeshare was rejected. LH, W6, OU or any of your EU airlines could have objected to DoT when JU made new request last year, but they did NOT object, because they don’t have your imaginary info or documents about some illegal financing as you claim. As part of the request, JU submitted financial statements to DoT (held from public release at JU request), but absolutely no doubt US DoT would NOT approve flights to the JFK if there was any funny business there. This proves your claim about subsidies or illegal JU investments is bogus! As you seem to pretend to be a pundit, you would also understand DoT cleared the issue of effective control before EC did, all in a matter of weeks not years like EC.

      Sorry to burst your bubble (again).

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  12. The very important thing about those flights will be the frequency. Four times per week should be a minimum to offer good connectivity across JU's network on one end and the one of the Chinese carrier in question on the other. As for the candidates, although the most likely candidate at the moment is set to be Air China due to the contacts being made on the government level, i'd go for China Southern as the ideal candidate due to:

    - Best network out of Beijing, offering the most connectivity to the industrial South (CAN being its second hub)
    - Competition with other Chinese airlines operating in the region, that would see no profit in starting Belgrade: Air China in BUD and ATH, Hainan in ZAG
    - Partner from Skyteam, Alitalia, operating a decent amount of frequencies to Belgrade, /code-sharing with/ in addition to Air Serbia's regional AND European network
    - Is starting Tbilisi at the end of the year what might be a sign of an imminent Eastern European expansion
    - Not flying anywhere near in Europe, allowing them to cover through Belgrade a huge untapped region
    - Largest fleet both in numbers and flexibility

    Ultimately, the choice might be more political than financial or operational so Air China still remains the favourite, although it remains to be seen what'll be the ultimate choice.

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  13. Is there some sort of a storm over the Balkans?

    OHD-BEG
    BEG-PUY
    SOF-BEG

    All seem to have extremely strange flight paths. OHD-BEG took off, started flying over Albania then turned around and is currently flying across southern Macedonia.

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    1. S7 is also not landing in PUY. Maybe some storm?

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    2. Storms

      www.lightningmaps.org

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    3. Thanks for the interesting link. It doesn't show like there is anything over PUY.

      Seems like YU-ALU to PUY is diverting to LJU.

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  14. Da su u Zagrebu objavili da će uspostaviti liniju za Ulan Bator, Vučić bi za dva dana odmah najavio kako će i BEG imati letove za tamo i to PRIJE ZAG....koji kompleksi...

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    1. Vi ste zadnji da pričate nama o kompleksima.

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  15. OT - Emergency nad Srbijom, TVS 2670 squakuje 7700 i ide na BEG upravo - 737-700 ex PRG

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  16. OT:
    ASL 737 will start operate MGX flights from tomorrow. Help is always appreciated.

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    1. Are you serious, despite Air Serbia's fleet shortage?

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    2. IT is Air Serbia that needs birds from MGX, not the other way around.

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    3. YU-ANI has been leased for one day (will operate two flights for MGX) because one of MGX's F100s is out of service because of engine issues.

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    4. Absolutely wrong information. Today afternoon YU-ALV broke down at SJJ and could not execute JU113 SJJ-BEG. YU-ANI took off just after 9 PM and is heading to SJJ to pick up JU passengers and drive them to BEG. JU113 is late nearly six hours.

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    5. YU-ALV is descending for BEG at the moment. I wonder what the issue is. This is one of the 'better' ATR's.

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    6. Wrong information?!?!? Have a seat (FR24) and good spotting of MGX flights till 21July

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  17. Coup d Etat in Turkey appening -military attempt to remove Erdogan and his party from power.
    All airports in Turkey closed.
    All bridges in Istanbul blocked.

    ReplyDelete

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