Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hainan Airlines schedules Belgrade launch


Hainan Airlines will introduce flights between Beijing and Belgrade via Prague on September 15, with ticket sales to commence in the coming weeks. Flight HU7937 from Beijing via Prague will touch down in Belgrade at 09.20 local time, with the return journey scheduled for 11.10, each Monday and Friday. The airline will maintain flights with an Airbus A330-200/-300 aircraft depending on demand, but has also received approval to dispatch a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route if the need arises. China's largest private carrier is seeking regulatory approval for fifth freedom rights between Prague and Belgrade, which would allow it to sell tickets between the two capitals. Currently, Air Serbia maintains flights between the two cities ten times per week. If the existing schedule is sustained by both airlines, there will be a total of three daily flights on the Belgrade - Prague - Belgrade sectors each Monday and Friday. Hainan has also received approval to operate a third weekly flight to the Serbian capital if it wishes to do so.

Meanwhile, Belgrade Airport handled its second-millionth traveller of the year this Tuesday, the earliest it has done so since opening its doors more than half a century ago. The two millionth passenger passed through Serbia's busiest airport eleven days ahead of last year. As a result, it welcomed 194.875 travellers during the first two weeks of June and is on course to overtake both the record set for the month in 2015, as well as last year when there were 1.000 passengers less. Despite a fewer number of flights by Air Serbia this summer, which no longer maintains services to Istanbul, Warsaw, Kiev and Varna, foreign carriers, which are registering a significant increase in both passenger numbers and aircraft movements, are expected to push the airport to a record breaking year.

During 2017, both Transavia and Atlasglobal launched flights to the Serbian capital from Amsterdam and Istanbul respectively. The latter has boosted its operations from daily to ten weekly services due to strong demand. On the other hand, Wizz Air stationed its second aircraft in the city, launching four new routes. Furthermore, Greek leisure carrier Ellinair introduced new flights over the weekend, while Egyptian airline AlMasria Universal Airlines will introduce two weekly seasonal flights from Hurghada tomorrow, which will be run until the end of summer. Other notable changes include an additional six weekly flights by two Israeli carriers from Tel Aviv this summer, an extra three weekly services by Qatar Airways from Doha starting in September, as well as Air Serbia's new four weekly service to Venice which will be maintained during the winter season as well.

120 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Great news for BEG and good results so far this year.

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  3. Thankfully there are foreign airlines to make up for Air Serbia's shortfalls.

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  4. Great news. I am happy this is finally happening. If Hainan gets 5th freedom then they will be a great option for weekend travel to Prague. It will be interesting to see if JU lowers its fares on this route as they are currently extremely expensive.

    Last year BEG handled 460.000 passengers, I wonder if we might hit 490.000 or maybe even 500.000. One step closer to 5.5 million this year.

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    1. In June there will be more than 510.000 passengers. Air Serbia is not so bad in June so far, passenger numbers are in very low minus, -3%.

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    2. Thanks. Let's hope VCE and summer charters push their numbers up. If June performs well then with zero growth until the end we are going to be at 5.25 already.

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    3. That's good. I know its a long way away but I do wonder how October numbers will be impacted because of New York absence for 2 weeks.

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    4. How often did they fly to JFK last October? was it five or three weekly?

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    5. 5 they started with 3 weekly from 8th november.

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    6. Well, growth might be there but not as much as expected. I mean BEG numbers grew in May despite JU's cuts.

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    7. JU recorded decline in pax figures by 5% in May, so foreign airlines must have had nearly 20% growth.

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    8. Summer performance will also depend on charters. Anyone know if there are more/less charters this summer?

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    9. Sofia has been growing at about 50% since the start of the year.

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    10. Yes because of a war between low cost airlines.

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    11. October might be a bit problematic this year. Despite New York not being around for half a month, Air Serbia's Abu Dhabi flights are also ending.

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    12. But this October we will have Atlasjet, Transavia, Hainan and Wizz Air's second A320.

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    13. True. Hope that will be enough to get decent growth.

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  5. So how long will the flights last with the Prague stop?

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    1. I think until summer 2018.

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    2. Thanks but I meant flight time :D trying to calculate how long the stop will be in PRG.

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    3. look it up on their homepage ;)

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    4. I guess you could calculate from here

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/p/hainan-airlines-beijing-belgrade.html

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    5. @9.10 it will be around 1 hour 50.

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    6. so it will be around 13 hours! It departs BEG at 11.10 and land in PEK 5:55 the next day.

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    7. It is still the best option without the need of getting two boarding passes, having your baggage lost at a transferring airport etc.

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  6. So on Mondays and Fridays there will be three departures to Prague (unless JU drops two because they will codeshare with Hainan)

    06.50
    11.10
    18.10

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    1. JU should drop two and increase Venice.

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    2. Are more than 4 weekly flights to Venice necessary during the winter?

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    3. What other destinations other then Venice could you deploy the ATR for 2 hours of flying time, twice per week?

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    4. There are a lot of options they could try with the ATR.

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  7. Another frequency addition is Belavia which is now flying with 3x per week instead of 2. I also notice more and more they are sending a B737 on this route.

    Great news for Belgrade all around.

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    1. That's probably because of the Budapest leg.

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    2. True, God forbid BEG can fill a plane.

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    3. Well somehow I doubt there are too many people flying from Belgrade to Minsk.

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    4. Serbia and Belarus do not have a visa regime and there is quite a lot of economic ties between the two countries... even Karic has his own mall in Minsk ;)

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    5. Not just that, there are also quite a few people using BEG-BUD flights. Belavia has fifth freedom.

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    6. Well, in that case the 3rd frequency would be only to BUD and not extended onto Belgrade.

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  8. Congratulations to our neighbors! Regards from Zagreb.

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  9. I notice that the flights have been added on BEG airport website too :)

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  10. OMG! Another regular widebody at BEG! Let's hope Etihad is next.

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  11. So on Fridays two widebodies at the gate at the same time.

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    1. Not really. JFK departs at 13.15 so it won't be there when the Chinese are at BEG.

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    2. True they will roll the JU A330 to the gate once Hainan leaves.

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  12. The article failed to account for the increase in seat capacity of Air Serbia and its impact on the overall passenger numbers somewhat negating the flight reductions

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    1. When are all the aircraft going to be retrofitted? I think they said by the end of the June but can they do it that quickly?

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    2. If you are referring to the cabin reconfiguration then you should also know that only a handful of aircraft have the new interiors. So compared to last year when they had an extra aircraft it's not such a considerable jump

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    3. Aircraft retrofit will be completed by mid next week - so they will have done 10 aircraft in 1 mth...

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  13. I can't wait to see their fares. They are currently selling BEG-PEK via FCO for €880.

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    1. Chinese airlines have some pretty good fares. I'm sure they will be quite low on this route to start with.

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    2. Since they started flying to YYZ, many people visited China on a two week tour since the overall cost was something like $1700 CAD per person (cost of an average 7 day package to Mexico). Apparently, Heinan low fares was what enabled this.

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  14. Is there any truth in rumors that EY will be increasing capacity to BEG this winter?

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    1. If they are it will be known soon. They are currently making changes to their winter ops. Yesterday they added another A380 to LHR flights, cancelled San Francisco and they also made a few changes on regional flights.

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    2. People were saying A321 this winter and A330 from next summer.

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    3. That would be nice. Let's wait and see. They will have to make that change in the system soon if it's happening.

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    4. Sure they will. Just like Emirate coming to Belgrade ;)

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    5. Or United and American Airlines coming to Zagreb ;)

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    6. you are getting really rediculous with you BEG ZAG complex.

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    7. For starters, it would be nice if they adjusted their schedule, be it with A320 or A321 or whatever. You cannot have a one stop journey from the Far East to BEG anymore with EY. Booking forces you to choose a 2 stop journey (e.g. PVG-AUH-FCO-BEG), rather than keep you waiting for 20+ hours for the connection in AUH. Sounds logical, but if this becomes the only option, it is safe to say EY will lose a LOT of ground in BEG.

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  15. Great news BEG. Good luck with the new service.

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  16. 5,5 million passengers by the end of the year looks very possible now.

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    1. No, it is not. 46 less flights on Air Serbia, and even with new flights of other carriers, there would be -1 flight all summer season. Of course LCC (2nd Wizz plane + Transavia) will accumulate more passengers as they have bigger planes and much bigger LF than Air Serbia, but still there will much less than 10% increase of passengers in yearly basics.

      Also you must know that Hainan will accumulate just 6.000-7.000 yearly passengers, not more than that (or you think that 100% capacity will be from BEG and non from PRG).

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    2. Most passengers will head to BEG, that's almost certain. Also, we are roughly 250.000 short of 5.5 million which is doable in the next six months. Winter will be really strong as JU won't be cutting many flights and we will have extra three daily flights by Wizz Air.

      I know you really don't want BEG to make it but at this point I think you need to give it a rest.

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    3. +1 last anon

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    4. @AnonymousJune 15, 2017 at 9:42 AM

      Why not 6.5 million ??
      I mean since you're throwing figures out there. I mean I project 6.5 million, based on your detailed analysis.

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    5. Based on the analysis there are going to be 5.5 million passengers this year, BEG management has said the same thing. The only one who has an issue with it is you. I bet you would be the happiest if BEG handled 1.8 million a year, less than ZAG,DBV and SPU. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

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    6. @AnonymousJune 16, 2017 at 7:39 AM

      I couldn't care how much pax Belgrade has, just you and some of you here, are so delusional and make numbers as you go.

      I've looked at Belgrade figures and my projections say 5.3 million if all goes well. 5.2 million if projected growth can be maintained.

      October, November and December will be really bad for Belgrade as cuts will start to reflect on final figures.

      June, July, August should be fine with 6-9% growth if all goes well and Wizz air numbers improve the situation.

      Otherwise it'll be at most 5.2 million.
      2018 on the other hand Belgrade numbers might go down.




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    7. You have proved yourself as being very bad with projections, especially in regards to Zagreb Airport.

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  17. Good news for Belgrade. So how many passengers can we expect in June?

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    1. I think we will see around 475,000.

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    2. That would be growth of around 3%. I think we might see a bit more, especially since Air Serbia isn't performing terribly this month.

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  18. If there was a professional management in place we would be looking at 6 million passengers this year.

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    1. Thankfully when the concession is awarded this should change.

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  19. Will Air Serbia codeshare on flights to Beijing?

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    1. They said they would.

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  20. Well done. Hainan will succeed I'm sure.

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  21. Shame they go via Prague and that they are not nonstop flights.

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    1. It's smart since they are introducing the route in 3 months and will be flying during the winter. This way they will develop the route. Better than flying empty to BEG in winter time and suspending it a few months later.

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    2. Obviously no potential for this route.

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    3. Obviously no potential for the cure of your nationalist hater syndrome.

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    4. I agree that it is a wise decision to go via another city during the low season for a new route like this.

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  22. Air Serbia's flight from Belgrade to Amsterdam this morning was pretty much full!

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  23. This is finally happening! Great news.

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    1. i don't see any of the naysayers who said this wouldn't happen posting any comments ...

      H E L L O O O O - Where are you all ??

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    2. I am here. If HNA gets Belgrade airport concession, PEK line is a given. BEG will likely get PVG as well.

      However, if concession goes to someone else, I am not confident PEK route will be able to sustainably operate as a nonstop PEK-BEG, year round service.

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    3. With the number of Chinese tourists growing at a triple digit rate I don't see why it wouldn't be able to happen.

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  24. Can't wait for their A330 to land in BEG. Oh and good results for the airport.

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  25. Great news for BEG and Serbia. I think having a visa free regime with China is also an excellent thing and will benefit both countries.

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  26. 4 new airlines in one year is not bad.

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  27. ... and so many people said how this route would never happen. Just like New York.

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    1. So many? Really? There was not more than few here to say so.

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  28. Their A330 business class looks the same like in Etihad's B787s and A380s. Pretty good product.

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  29. Anyone ever flown with them? What's the service like? How do they compare with other Chinese airlines?

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    1. They are rated as a 5* airline on Skytrax so I assume they are good. They also have their own dedicated terminal in Beijing.

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  30. Politically forced route.

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    1. So? Many in the world are. The benefit for people and the airport remain.

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    2. Politically forced route just like EK flight to ZAG

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    3. Politically forced route just like EK flight to ZAG????? Hahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa hahahhahaaahaaaaa

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    4. Well, it is politically motivated since they are getting subventions to fly to ZAG.

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    5. You got proof? Or like to read between the lines and making conclusions based on that?

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    6. @AnonymousJune 15, 2017 at 5:00 PM

      Your brain is politically motivated to spew stupid and trollish comments which you can't substantiate. And Zagreb numbers are quite good. Initially return flights were half empty, but now all is well, and B777 200 LR is now flying instead of B777ER which most of us in Zagreb thought it was way too big for Zagreb. However not with B777 LR only empty seats are in Business and First. With bookings for both at 50%~.

      Also I'd rather have double daily with B777 LR than single daily with A380 or B777ER. And it seems in 2018, at least we might see double daily with B777LR in summer moths if emirates keeps B777LR in its fleet. I hope they do. Perfect Aircraft for Zagreb.



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  31. Happy to hear this will materialize.

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  32. Do they fly anywhere else in Eastern Europe?

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    1. Prague. Lol

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    2. I don't consider Prague to be in Eastern Europe.

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    3. Only Moscow.

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    4. So, you consider BEG to be in Eastern Europe, but not PRG? That's a very interesting take on European geography.

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    5. Both Belgrade and Serbia are in Southeastern Europe.

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  33. Let's hope they don't suspend it like they did Budapest.

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    1. And 35 other routes out of 150 total routes they open till now?

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    2. What's your problem?

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    3. It's not my problem but fact that they cancel more than 20% of their routes. Not very good reputation for air company.

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    4. You counted them did you? No, it is a problem. But when you're soar you're soar.

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  34. It's interesting that last year LJU was in talks with Hainan and they suggested for flights to Prague to go via Ljubljana. I think it was reported here too.

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    1. http://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/06/ljubljana-airport-seeking-beijing.html

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  35. Bravo Србиja!

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  36. Nice!And congrats on the 2 mill. Reaching 5,5 mill this year definitely isn't impossible. And even if it doesn't happen, I'd be very surprised if BEG doesn't go over 5,3 million.

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