Saturday, October 15, 2016

Belgrade poised for Beijing service


The Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić, has confirmed plans for the introduction of flights between Belgrade and Beijing in 2017 after announcing the forthcoming abolishment of visa restrictions between the two countries. Mr Vučić said the move will fuel travel between Serbia and China and bring forward the introduction of flights between the two countries. "Serbia will authorise visa free travel for Chinese nationals, while the Chinese have given consent to abolish visas for Serbian citizens. This is a fantastic development which will result in the speedy opening of new flights between Beijing and Belgrade and I also believe Shanghai and Belgrade. This will also allow us to further boost our business ties", the Prime Minister said. It comes three months after Mr Vučić announced that the Serbian government had entered into talks with a Chinese carrier to launch services to Belgrade in 2017.

Serbia and China signed an Agreement for the Establishment of Air Traffic in 2014. Air Serbia currently codeshares with Air China on its flight between Beijing and Vienna. Furthermore, the airline also has special prorate agreements (SPA) on all of Etihad Airways' flights out of China, as well as SPA’s with China Southern, Xiamen Airlines and Hainan Airlines. Last month, Air Serbia's CEO, Dane Kondić, said that China will play an important role in the airline's continued expansion, noting that the market represents a critical step in the company's growth in Asia. The Chairman of the Air Serbia Supervisory Board, Siniša Mali, said in September, "Belgrade is becoming the region’s hub. If we manage to introduce flights to Beijing, it will strengthen our position and a service to Tehran will then also become fully justified".

Chinese citizens currently require visas to enter all European countries with exception to San Marino. Those with residency in a European Union member state or the United States are free to enter Serbia without a visa. The last time a Chinese carrier operated services to Belgrade was prior to the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. Flights were initially launched from Beijing in 1978 by Air China’s predecessor CAAC and were operated with a Boeing 707 via Karachi (and for a short period of time via Tehran). Later on, services were introduced from Urumqi via Budapest. On the other hand, JAT Yugoslav Airlines launched Beijing in 1979 and operated its final flight to the city in late 2000.

79 comments:

  1. This is really ridiculous!

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    1. Because it does not fit the expectations, where the negative stereotype of Serbia is taken as a "normal".

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  2. Great but would these flights be operated by JU or another airline?

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  3. Niko nije spomenuo da bi letove obavljala AirSerbija a da je tako Vucic sigurno to ne bi propustio da istakne ;)

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    1. Pa čime? YU-ANJ (andjom)?

      Man'te se ćorava posla ljudi...

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    2. Same was said about JFK.

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    3. Yes but JFK has some local traffic to make it work, Beijing doesn't.

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    4. Beijing would be an even bigger money looser than JFK.

      Just my 2cents

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    5. Also the market between China and the Balkans is not big so where would they get the transfer passengers from?

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    6. Letove bi trebalo da obavlja neka od kineskih kompanija, da obavestim ASL hejtere..

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    7. @Anonymous at 9:49 AM
      What Chinese companies have a need to transfer about 1000 people each week between PEK and BEG?
      Also easy with the "hater" crap. Not everyone who does not praise JU 24/7 is a hater. Calm down.

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    8. Nema razloga zasto bi iko sem JU leteo na ovoj liniji. Imaju jaku regionalnu mrezu i lakse ce popuniti sedista nego bilo koji kinez.

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    9. You can always fill seats.
      The point is filling them without loosing a lot of money. Even braking even would be fantastic.
      But I see it as more difficult t make money on the Beijing route than on the JFK one.

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    10. @10:12 ako nisi hejter zasto se nalazis prozvanim?
      Naravno da su Kinezi zainteresovani za letove a BEG je idealan za nastavak putovanja prema regionu.

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    11. a zasto bi beograd bio idealniji od beca ili istanbula?

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    12. ...zato sto Beč i Istanbul nisu region, za početak..

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    13. zavisi o kom se regionu prica... a sa druge strane i OS i TK pokrivaju taj region o kom pricas.

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    14. Ovo je exYu forum tako da je više nego jasno o kom regionu govorimo. OS i TK pokrivaju region ali ni izbliza kao JU

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    15. Stvarno? Gde leti ASL u regionu gde ne leti OS ili TK?

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    16. Banja Luka. Tivat. Split. Ohrid. Pula.

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    17. Beč i Istanbul su na marginama regiona, ako su uopšte njegov deo. Beograd je u centru.

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    18. To the first commenter:
      AND - ANDJA
      ANJ - ANJA
      ANI - ANICA
      ANK - ANKA

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    19. VIE i IST su mozda na marginama regiona ali njihova pokrivenost regiona je neuporedivo bolja od JU. Pobogu pa JU ima daily za SJJ, OTP i SOF. O cemu mi pricamo.

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    20. JU takođe ima letove za aerodrome gde Turksiha i Austriana nema. Niko ne tvrdi da je JU i istoj ligi sa Austrianom ili Turkishom. Daleko od toga. Ali su paušalne izjave da JU nema nikakvu mrežu u regionu takođe besmislica.

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    21. JU "round-the-world" service: Belgrade-New York-Beijing-Belgrade v.v. Ahahaha...

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    22. Sta se ovde sve nece procitati onda nebi trebala ni LH da ima letove iz MUC posto je blizu OS u VIE .
      Letovi za PEK ko god ih bude leteo imace uspeh zbog O&D pax i zbog velikog kargo potencijala i naravno znamo da ima dosta Kineskih Kompanija.
      Ali ovde je samo razlog zato sto je G Vucic objavio te vesti.
      INN-NS

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  4. What I find even more interesting is that they will abolish visas which is great.

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  5. Interesting. And yesterday I saw Aeroflot billboards in Belgrade advertising Belgrade-Shangahai and Beijing via Moscow

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    1. That is bad news for direct flights.
      If the price is cheap people will take the connection over the direct option.

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    2. SU has been the most dominant player on the Serbia-China for over a decade now. With four daily between BEG and SVO they offer the most flexibility.

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    3. SU flies four daily between Beograd and Moskva? Really?

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    4. With JU code-shares, yes it does.

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    5. Caught this yesterday
      https://s11.postimg.org/8egw00loz/20161014_232609_1.jpg?1

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    6. Even without JU, SU offers the fastest journey between BEG and PEK.

      BEG-SVO 13.25-17.15
      SVO-PEK 18.45-07.15

      The second fastest is Austrian Airlines with four weekly flights and a journey that lasts 5 minutes longer.

      My guess is that BEG-PEK will depart at around 17.30 if it ever happens.

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    7. Many more companies offer connections to JFK. Some with significantly lower prices. Yet, hundreds of people fly each week with ASL. I rest my case.

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  6. Confirmed from SUTT 2017: ASL A319 Belgrade-Teheran-Urumqi 4xWeekly

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    1. Haahaha yeah right

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    2. if you just said tehran I would have believed it. Urumqi killed it

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  7. Ko ce iz Srbije putovati u Kinu? Ukinuli ili ne vize za ljude koji imaju srpsko drzavljanstvo i zive u Srbiji, tesko da ce neko imati para za putovanje u Kinu jer tu nije samo avionska karta nego i smjestaj, hotel, hrana, zabava i sve ono ostalo kad se ide na put. U drzavi gdje je najbolja plata 350-400 eura i gdje mnogi se moraju zadovoljiti sa 200 eura tesko da ima dovoljno putnika da bi ova veza opstala. Sve zavjesi od kinezki turista koji bi eventualno dolazili u Srbiju.

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    1. Nudice transfere za Atinu, Solun, Sarajevo, Tiranu, Sofiju, Bukurest i tako dalje :)

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    2. So more subsidizing of other countries travelers.

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    3. Look at it like this: more passengers, more revenue, less subsidies. :)

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    4. Look at it like it is in reality.
      More passengers at below cost ticket prices, more losses, more subsidies.

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    5. Nije najbolja plata 350-400 evra. To je prosečna.
      Ima inače dosta Kineza po Balkanu i okolini. U poslednje vreme su kineske komapnije angažovane na velikim građevinskim projektima u Srbiji, Crnoj Gori i susednim zemljama.
      Da je uspeh zagarantovan, nije. Ali da je to najveće avio tržište na svetu, koje najbrže raste i da ima dobrih izlgeda da se zauzme njegov sitan segment i na tome zarađuje, i to stoji.
      Plus, ukidanje viza. Ako dobro razumem, Srbija će biti prva zemlja u Evropi gde Kinezima neće trebati vize. Nije to loša stvar :)

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    6. Actually, there are lots of Serbians that go for business reasons to China. Does it merit a direct flight just for them is another question, but many do travel to Chinese fairs to order products.

      I wonder how the EU (with which Serbia is negotiating membership) will look into the abolishment of visas. Chinese can travel to very few countries in the world without visas (they can't even travel to their own territory, Hong Kong), and yet, a country in Central Europe, so near the borders of the EU is letting them in...

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    7. If the EU has no problem letting in all those illegal immigrants then it shouldn't worry about the Chinese.

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    8. Why not? Serbia is not as close to the EU yet. First there is a need to recognize independent Kosovo. Not true quite many countries especially in Asia are visa free for Chinese.
      USA citizen can easily get multiple visas valid for more years to travel to China. 2. Chinese government is not encouraging visa free travel for Chinese unless it's a pure business destination e.g. Belarus. Chinese need an ,exit visa, sometimes is hard for them but with money all can be done quickly and easily.By the waySerbia is not in central Europe. Abolishment of visas will be mutual. well done Serbia cool for businesses and probably tourist too. Serbia is following the usa facilitations strategy!

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    9. Chinese citizens can also get multiple entries long term visas for Usa

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    10. Canada,Usa,Uk,Israel,Russia etc. Too very open long term stay visa policy with China too.

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    11. Za prvog komentatora informacija da ambasada Kine u Beogradu nedeljno izda preko 400 viza za Kinu.
      Svi privrednici su usko povezani sa Kinom,m ali je broj turista o kojima ti govris. Transferi, Kineska dijaspora...

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    12. Regarding the geography. BEG is in Central Europe. Of other ex-yu airports, only MBX, LJU and OSI are also in Central Europe. All others are in the Balkans. And I don't think being in the Balkans is a negative thing. The European civilization is first created here. Cheers!

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    13. Just thought you'd point that out.

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  8. It is great news. This is very crucial move to establising future transcontinetal network. To ading flights to Johannesburg in the future and govermment to helping to developing airports in Serbia. All that will be powerfull move to establising solid civil aviation development as parts of strategy for nxt fifty years.
    From Sydney, best wishes to Air Serbia, and eforts for solid establishment. Rodney & people from Morava airport.

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  9. The only thing ridiculous here is the fact that the PM himself announces routes in the name of the carrier (to not be confused, it happens all over ex-Yu and for everything, but what picture do we get from that?!).
    Apart from that, this is wonderful news and I'm sure they'll make it good.
    Cheers!

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    1. In the name of which avio carrier?

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  10. Jest neukusno što Vučić koristi ovu vest za hvalisanje. Ali to je dobra vest, ne samo za Srbiju, već i za susedne zemlje, posebno ex-yu. Putnici će imati još jedan način da dođu ovamo. Da se razumemo, i OU i JP bi rado otvorili liniju za Kinu da ima ko da stane iza njih i izbroji pare koje tu treba uložiti. I, još važnije, da podeli rizik.
    Nije naravno isto kada sve moraš od nule i kada te, kao JU na JFK, već čeka Etihadov ground staff, lounge...

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  11. Next China Town :D

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  12. Air business is not a zero sum game. There is significant growth each year all around the world. Every year the market is bigger and bigger. The growth of one company does not automatically mean the decrease of the competition, as many here so readily assume.

    Also, the market is not static. It is changing constantly and you need to adjust. Just compare it 10, or 20, or 30 years ago with the situation now. So many old big players are not around any more and so many new small, medium and big players. According to some commenters, this would never be possible, because the company X or Y is so important at this moment. Well...

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  13. I have a feeling that Vucic couldn't handle China flights to Zagreb before Belgrade. I just get that type of vibe from this this guy.

    This will be a great opportunity for Air Serbia if they make the flights fit well with transfers to their Croatia flights. If he his relying of a Chinese airline to start the flights next year, well it could be Zadar airport all over again.

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    1. Funnily enough, it would be better if a Chinese airline launches flights. It would be easier to schedule them. Arrival at around 11.00 and return at 17.00.

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    2. Vucic said last year it would be Beijing with Air Serbia. He wouldn't make a promise he could not keep, right?

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    3. Somewhat ot, but it's not just up to Vucic to approve BEG-PEK. Not even the most powerful can keep all of their promises:

      https://youtu.be/KEbFtMgGhPY?t=13s

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  14. OT: Incident on OS flight from BEG to VIE, with 3 cabincrew suffering light injuries due to turbulence. If it were JU or OU, local media would already be having front page headlines: Drama in the skies

    http://www.avherald.com/h?article=49f4333a&opt=0

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    1. I don't think they would. There wasn't so much talk of it when JU lost a wheel in BEG or when ALP had a system shutdown after taking off from BEG to TIV a few months ago.

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    2. Blic had it as breaking news. The link was posted but deleted for some reason. Showed an OS Caravelle and details of the "E185" drama on decent into VIE.

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  15. So it´s either that frequencies will be reduced to JFK or they are getting a 2nd A330.
    Can the A330 still manage to fly 5x weekly and 2x to PEK?

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    1. ASL is getting another 332 and I think there will be at least 3 weekly to PEK and 2 to PVG

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    2. They can use their current metal to serve PEK 2x weekly. They don't need another 332.

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    3. What about JFK?

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    4. 2 per week is not sufficient and not sustainable plus the 1 332 they currently operate needs time off for possible maintanence.Besides, they said that there will be 2 332's joining the fleet by the end of 2016 if I remember correctly.The second one will probably arrive some time next year before PEK starts

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  16. Tomorrow LH is sending A380 to SOF for a promotional flight. I'm going there to see it. Will make a short brief after I return.

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  17. Naravno najbolje resenje je da ASL obavlja te letove sa A332 sto ce doci .
    Ako se bude islo na oba dve Destinacije moze se leteti ja mislim 3pw PEK i 3pw PVG sto bi bilo i najbolje resenje.
    A takodje treba se razmisljati o uvodjenju RJ flote posto su odlicni primeri za uspeh sa tom Strategijom LO i AY.I naravno to bi oslobodilo A319 koji bi se mogli slati na neke druge destinacije poput IKA.
    INN-NS

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  18. OT 1500 members of Bank Austria visiting Montenegro these days with Nikki Air
    info: http://www.vijesti.me/vijesti/na-jednodnevni-izlet-stiglo-720-predstavnika-banke-austrije-907614

    http://www.montenegroairports.com/index2.php?a=2&m=2&o=0&ms=2

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  19. I flew from Belgrade to Beijing on Saturday Sep,24th, via Rome. There were 7 passenger besides me. I know that there were on the same day 6 passenger via Berlin (Air Berlin), and some using Aeroflot and Etihad. At least 25 which I know. And not in the high season. With some project like TE DRMNO, highways (Obrenovac-Lakovac, ring road around Belgrade, Montenegrin highway), some new project like Belgrade-Budapest high speed railway) the demand for this flight will increase, particularly business travelers. Having in mind that Chinese will become the the biggest tourist nation (Serbia need only 0.1% of their foreign visits), it can be reachable at least 4 times per week service. My prediction is that China Southern will be interesting in this leg too.

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    1. How long is the flight from Roma? I to think there is demand for BEG-PEK route. Plus add to that people from the Balkans and demand goes up.

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    2. It was exactly 10 hours. I flew with Al Italia and was pleasantly surprise (only 45 min transfer time in Rome, no lost baggage). I came back with Etihad (stop in Abu Dhabi) 9+6 hours flights, and Etihad service was worse than Al Italia.

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