Saturday, October 22, 2016

Three Chinese airlines vying for Belgrade flights


Air China, Hainan Airlines and China Eastern Airlines have all entered into negotiations to commence flights from Beijing to Belgrade next year, the Chinese Ambassador to Serbia, Li Manchang, has said. One will ultimately launch the service, with an agreement expected to be reached next month at the Summit of Prime Ministers of China and Central and Eastern European Countries in Riga. According to Mr Manchang, a Serbian delegation is currently in China negotiating the flights. Furthermore, the Ambassador said that a fourth carrier, from China's south (tipped to be China Southern Airlines) is also considering the service. All four carriers operate international flights out of Beijing.

During the upcoming Summit in Riga, Serbia and China will sign a draft agreement on the mutual abolishment of visas, which will enter into force in early 2017. This will give both Serbian and Chinese nationals the opportunity to visit each others' countries visa free for up to thirty days. Currently, the microstate of San Marino is the only European country not to require entry visas for Chinese travellers. "Serbia was the first country in Europe with which China established a comprehensive strategic partnership. That is why, following our President's visit to Belgrade in June, Chinese delegations are flocking to Serbia", Mr Manchang said, adding that 7.000 visas are issued each year to Serbian citizens visiting China. On the other hand, in 2015 there were 14.238 Chinese arrivals in Serbia, while during the first half of 2016, a record 10.000 arrivals were registered.

As China's national carrier, Air China operates to over 200 destinations with a fleet of over 300 aircraft. It has a codeshare agreement in place with Air Serbia, placing its flight numbers onto the Serbian carrier's service between Belgrade and Vienna. In return, Air Serbia codeshares on Air China's flights between Beijing and the Austrian capital. Hainan Airlines is China's largest privately owned carrier. It has a special prorate agreement in place with Air Serbia. On the other hand, the state-owned China Eastern Airlines, based in Shanghai, operates a fleet of over 400 aircraft to 200 destinations. The last time scheduled flights were maintained between the two countries was in 2000.

97 comments:

  1. Nice! Any of them would do just fine.

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  2. Very good news. My guess is it will be Air China in the end.

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  3. Let it be China Southern, with 3 times per week to Beijing and 2 times per week to Wuhan to ensure easy covering form east and south. They have the newest planes and often ridiculous discounts (Rome-Beijing less then 400 € -end of September). Air China is always expensive. I flew with both.

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    1. Who would you say has the better service and on board product? I have heard Chinese carriers have a very tight pitch in economy. Don't know if it's true.

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    2. I think Hainan would be the best option followed by as you said China Southern. Air China is the worst option.

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  4. Nice that we finally know which airlines they are talking to. Also, the visa thing is quite huge. It will significantly increase visitor numbers from China.

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  5. What I would really like to know is why EU/European countries didn't abolish visas for the Chinese (except for San Marino)? There has to be a catch, a reason...

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    1. I think it's a political thing but not sure. Possibly in the past they feared many would stay.

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  6. I wonder what Aerflot's response will be. They have the biggest share of passengers from/to China on their Belgrade flights.

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    1. They are already advertizing promotional fares on billboards in Belgrade for flights to China.

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  7. OT: Croatia airlines selling slots at Heathrow airport! Shame on those idiots!

    http://www.vecernji.hr/kompanije-i-trzista/croatia-airlines-vise-nece-slijetati-na-londonski-heathrow-1122911

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    1. Katastrofa. Tako ce prikazati plus u poslovanju i ove godine. Ugasite tu firmu sto prije.

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    2. Haha, perhaps JP should buy them.

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    3. OU or the slots? :P

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    4. JU should buy them if possible. Air Serbia already tried earlier to get new slots at LHR , but was rejected.

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    5. When slots are being sold, you don't get rejected, it's only a question of cash, that is if you have enough.

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    6. JU was rejected by LHR as they did not have available slots at the time JU needed them

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    7. That's not how it works my friend. Also airlines are selling slots all the time so if JU had the money they could buy them from someone.

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    8. Do I remember correct that both Malev and Cyprus sold their LHR slots ahead of their final doom?

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    9. Malev moved to LGW a few years before they went bankrupt while CY sold theirs less than a year before shutting down. They sold them for $31 million to American Airlines.

      That said, an airline is usually at the end of the road if it starts selling something as lucrative as LHR slots.

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    10. Croatia should start thinking about running a charter airline for inbound tourists. That would be more lucrative for them than having a large national airline. Even Bulgaria is reaping from inbound charters with own airlines, not to mention Greece and Turkey.

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    11. It's a joke of an airline. Obviously they don't know how to manage it. So let's put and end to the agony.

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    12. The OU management is a joke, I agree that they should shut it down or the new government should react immediately and fire Kucko! The problem is, if they decide to shut OU down, there are domestic routes in Croatia, so I hope someone else will jump in!

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    13. Nece je ugasiti jer ce i ove godine prikazati da posluju u plusu. Tako sto ce prodati slotove na LHR.

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    14. A iduće godine? Ministar prometa bi trebao Kučka nabiti nogom i pod hitno poduzeti nešto prije nego naprave ovu sramotu od prodaje slotova!

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    15. Tko? Ministar je iz Mosta i nema pojma o pojmu. Vec je bio ministar u Oreskovicevoj vladì

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    16. Oleg Butković je HDZ-ovac (nažalost) i ne treba biti Einstein da zbroji 2 i 2 nakon što pročita najavu o prodaji slotova od strane Kučka (postavljenog od strane vlade Zorana Milanovića).

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    17. prodaju slotove, ne dopunjuju flotu, odustali od baza u Tirani, Skopju, Pristini i Sarajevu-koja je to strategija u pitanju ?

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    18. OU had an average LF of 75% on the route and losses ranging between €1.000.000 and €3.000.000.

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  8. This is really good news. From the selection of airline I can conclude it will be a year-long service.

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  9. All three have A330s in their fleet so my assumption is this is the aircraft that will be used.

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    1. P hope for Dreamliners.

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  10. And today I see China Eastern sponsored on my Facebook feed advertizing flights to China :D

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  11. So there was 21.000 visas last year for travelliing between China and Serbia. If they will open 3 flights per week what is minimum that is 48.600 passengers per year. Where will they find another 27.000 passengers???? Not to mention that just part of this 21.000 came from Bejing (others from rest part of China like Shanghai) and that not every passengers will use that route but also other carriers. I can not find that there is market for 50.000 passengers one way from Belgrade.

    This route does not have any logic at all. It is political route.

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    1. So you see no increase in travel as a result of visa free travel? No worry we already know you think everything is a political route from BEG.

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    2. It will not fly to Franjo Tudjman. Odakle ti samo te naduvane brojke.

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    3. AnonymousOctober 22, 2016 at 10:17 AM aj iskuliraj malo sa hejtom i racunicama

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    4. What you mentioned in your post is the O&D market before the visa regime was suspended. What you need to take into consideration is the growth that will come once visas are fully abolished.

      Also, any Chinese carrier will offer connections onto their domestic market as well as to Japan and South Korea. Given the ever-increasing Chinese investment in Serbia, one can assume that there will be quite a bit of premium demand.

      When you take all of these into consideration, a three weekly flight make sense.

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    5. Po rečima kineskog ambasadora, Ambasada Kine je prošle godine izdala 7.000 viza a Srbiju je u prvih 6 meseci posetilo skoro 10.000 putnika sto je tri puta vise od 2011.
      Za ocekivati je da će se broj putnika značajno povećati posle ukidanja viza kao i da će zbog velikih kineskih ivesticija i kapitalnih infrastrukturnih radova u regionu rasti i broj poslovnih putnika.

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  12. It is a shame that we have such close relations with China but only now we are abolishing visas. It started with Boris Tadić (one of four pillars of foreign policy) and extends to this moment. This will significantly increase the number of Serbia-China passengers in next two years.

    Also, what could really come in hand is simplifying visa policy with Qatar. It is weird that while current Serbian government is in quite goood relations with Qatar, yet Russia (!?) and Bosnia and Herzegovina are set to introduce visa on arrival regime, while people from Serbia have to struggle to visit their friends in Qatar.

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  13. Great news for BEG and Serbia in general.

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    1. I agree but it's also great for the wider region.

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  14. Jako je dobro sto ce se ostvariti letovi za Kinu .
    I nadam se da ce MU ili CA leteti za PVG sa A350 a da ce CA za PEK leteti sa A330 .
    INN-NS

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    1. I jos se nadam da ce imati veliki Codeshare ugovor sa ASL za sve destinacije u EX YU .
      INN-NS

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  15. Not 3. 10 airlines are fighting to launch these flights. LOL

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    1. Are you implying the ambassador is lying?

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  16. OT : Croatia airlines must be ashamed for those prices! I wanted to book a round trip to London 2nd March outbound 6th March inbound, the price: 294 € ! I just wonder what do they offer for that ?

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    1. That's not really a bad price, it's similar to what BA charges.

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    2. First of all the price is more like 281 euro, if you return the 7th so one day later its 195 euros. I fly from Amsterdam to Zagreb and back about two times per year, and I always pay between 100 and 130 euros, this is a price with a suitcase included. While KLM is always more expensive + you have to pay even extra for the suitcase. OU has really good fares if you book in advance, they often have offers to all destinations from 100 to 130 euros and even now they have an offer from Sarajevo and Skopje to all the destinations they offer in Europe for 130 euros. While JU Amsterdam - Belgrade is never cheaper than 200 euros. The other day I travelled with Wizz from Eindhoven for 300 euros, because JU was 400!

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    3. What's with Wizz Air these days, seems like they increased their fares quite a bit out of BEG.

      Your last sentence did make me laugh though. :(

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    4. haha yes since they launched Nis, they increased flights from BEG a lot, unfortunately I was forced to travel these dates, so couldnt fly out of Nis.

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    5. increased fares*

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    6. Makes sense, there is no one to make them compete in BEG. JU is failing on all fronts, hopefully they pull their act together by next summer.

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    7. Anon 15.39

      Same with LCA, Wizz Air has considerably increased their fares. You can barely find tickets for less than €150 with no luggage. The other day I was looking for some flights and they had BEG-LCA for around €250 (31.000 RSD). Crazy.

      Such a shame that JU flies at an ungodly hour.

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  17. http://www.aviatica.rs/air-serbia-zaustavila-prodaju-za-dva-nedeljna-leta-njujorka/

    Air Serbia downgrading New York ? Can somebody confirm this ?

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    1. Lepo je bilo dok je trajalo... svi smo znali da je bilo prevremno

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    2. Ali pazi Aviatiku... "AirSerbija ZAUSTAVILA prodaju za dva nedeljna leta"! ...sto bi napisali, Air Serbija smanjila broj nedeljnih letova.. "lepše" zvuci ZAUSTAVILA.

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    3. It was discussed yesterday. It will operate 3x per week during winter, 4x per week during Christmas/New Year period and 5x per week from March 2017.

      @Lepo je bilo dok je trajalo
      Linija nije ukinuta. Smanjenje tokom zimskog reda letenja je normalno.

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    4. Tako sve pocinje prijatelju, nisko smo pali od onog gde smo trebali biti... pa cak i gde smo bili 2013. godine. Ja mislim da je vremen da Etihad smeni Daneta. Ne znam ko bi drugi bio kriv.

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    5. 2013 smo imali 4 operativna aviona u floti.

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    6. "Linija nije ukinuta. Smanjenje tokom zimskog reda letenja je normalno."

      No, it's absolutely not normal to make decision like this only one week before the start of W16.

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    7. Haha, maybe this is the surprise they've been talking about! :D

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    8. O glupostima koje pise aviotabloid ne treba gubiti vreme. Smanjenje letova sam ocekivao ali je totalno moronski uraditi nedelju dana pre pocetka zimakog reda letenja. Smanjenje je pozitivna stvar kao sto sam juce objasnio jer predstavlja razumnu odluku i daje sansu Torontu i Cikagu jer su oni vrlo sezonske destinacije.

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    9. Mnogo dobra posto sada samo ne znam ko ce leteti sa njima... to jest kod od transfernih putnika. Skupljace mrve koje su ostalima ispale. Al ajde, neka ide zivot, barem nek voze ono p2p sto ima

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    10. Cudno da smanjuju, ja sam bas mislio da ce svi leteti njima jer su butik kompanija. Inace JU ej ukinula drugi obrok, sada daju onaj jadan bajati sendvicic kao na letovima za Bec

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    11. 21. aprila 2016. evo sta je aviatica objavila
      http://www.aviatica.rs/air-serbia-bez-aviona-bez-dozvole-za-letove-njujorka/
      njima se i deca smeju

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    12. Bolje da je i bilo tako, manje bi para bacili u vazduh brate.

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    13. JU reducing New York flights to three times a week is the right decision. It is good news that the management thinks about profitability.

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    14. What about connectivity, what connections will they offer?

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    15. What will they do with the aircraft while it is not flying JFK? YYZ anyone? Or maybe ORD?

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    16. They will use it on the afternoon rotation to TIV, at least that's what management proposed.

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    17. Dobar dan. Vidim da dosta ljudi ovde komentariše i da se svašta može pročitati. Radim za Er Srbiju u finansijama. Linija za JFK je imala relativno loše performansu jer smo morali da se pozicioniramo na tržištu i da nateramo ljude da lete sa nama, to je normalno. Kako je vreme prolazilo to se situacija polako poboljsavala. Žao mi je što nismo krenuli barem u martu da letimo kako bi se konsolidovali do leta.

      Svi znate da je linija krajnje sezonska tako da je broj putnika naglo opao što se videlo i po cenama koje su puštene na tržište. Naravno, krajnja odluka je u Abu Dabiju, ne na nama.

      Letite Er Srbijom da nam svima bude bolje. :)

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    18. How can we be sure you work for ASL?

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    19. Nikada ne sumnjate kada neko napiše bljuvotine ili kada prosipa laži. Ja nažalost više od ovog ne smem da kažem, to jest od ovog gore.

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    20. I think it's quite obvious he does. What a stupid question. Keep your insecurities to yourself or don't bother reading, you're polluting the forum

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    21. Quite a few bots out today.

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    22. "Naravno, krajnja odluka je u Abu Dabiju, ne na nama."

      Mjesecima smo slušali kako je Air Serbia neovisna kompanija jer Etihad ima manji udio, dok je većinski vlasnik Srbija. Tako su uvjeravali i Europsku uniju.

      Eto sada imamo i svjedočanstvo iz same kompanije da nije tako i da Etihad kontrolira kompaniju, tj. da se Beograd ne pita nego se odluke donose u Abu Dhabiu.

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    23. @7:41
      Da ali je to svjedočanstvo sa anonimnog foruma. Sve i da je istina niko ne može da se pozove na ovu izjavu u nekom sudskom postupku (DoT npr).
      Sa druge strane, mislim da nije nužno tako loše da se odluke donose iz Abu Dhabija - bolje nego da ih Vučić donosi.

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    24. @Croat 7:41PM - Most of OU decisions are made by Lufthansa even with no ownership of the company so...

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    25. Of course they are, who said they aren't? Because of that, among other things, we are selling slots at LHR! Yayyyyyyyy!

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    26. It seems that Air Serbia has just cancelled it's fifth weekly flight to Tel Aviv for winter season, the Friday's one.

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    27. "Bolje da je i bilo tako, manje bi para bacili u vazduh brate."

      Flying with LH team out of BEG is throwing money out the window. Money is already invested to clear JAT debt and reboot an airline. They are on the right path but ambitions need to grow.

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  18. 2017 is looking quite good for BEG at the moment - Beijing flights starting, Wizz Air starting new routes and basing second aircraft, Transavia starting flights from Amsterdam and Air Serbia is epected to start Tehran next summer too.

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    1. JU je samo rekla da razmatra teheran. Nemaju oni aviona za tu ekspanziju. Teheran treba uvrstati sa bakuom i kazahstanom

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    2. English please.

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    3. I say that JU only consider Tehran as they have not enough aircraft for the expansion. It the same as what they say about Baku and Kazakhstan.

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    4. BEG and Serbian gov should do what ever is needed to get flights to Tehran, China, Japan, and other destinations, including subsidies and extra low fees at BEG for the first 6-12 months. Then slowly increase. And this should be done fast.
      This way BEG will become true Balkan hub. Plus ASL should add year round LED, Kiev, Cairo, Pristina, MUC, and few other Balkan destinations.

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    5. Whatever is needed? In a country as poor as Serbia is? Really?

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    6. Yes, because this is sustainable economic development.

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    7. And above all others, I suppose?

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    8. Not above all others. Moderate investment with 49/51 EY split would help bring JU closer to LOT size. That would solve many issues and help with long term sustainability.

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  19. Is Shanghai-Belgrade a sure thing as well?

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    1. No. Just PEK for the moment.

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  21. all those armchair experts here on this blog.Complaining about Etihad making all the decisions at Air Serbia.
    Etihad at least want to avoid mistakes they made with Air Berlin and Alitalia.
    Btw Etihad next year reduces Abu Dhabi - San Francisco from daily to three times a week.

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    1. Aren't you also an armchair expert though?

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