Monday, July 17, 2017

Serbia plans for flights from new markets


The Serbian Ministry for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure is aiming to attract more medium and long haul flights to the country in an effort to boost tourism and connectivity. It has identified several markets which hold potential to generate inbound or outbound travel from Serbia in the form of seasonal or charter flights, including Canada, Japan, India, South Korea and Morocco, as well as further opportunities in the United States and China. In its latest report, the European Travel Commission linked Serbia's tourism growth during the first half of the year to strong marketing efforts and improved air connectivity. Last week, Iranian carrier Qeshm Airlines launched charter flights from Tehran to Belgrade, while from mid-September China's Hainan Airlines will introduce two weekly services from Beijing via Prague.

Commenting on its upcoming plans, the Serbian Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlović, said, "In the coming period we expect even more new flights from Belgrade Airport, which will link us with previously unserved markets and in turn boost tourism. The government is working towards establishing flights to Chicago, and hopefully to Canada". The head of the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia, Marija Labović, added, "The development of air transport is one of the most important factors in increasing tourist numbers. When it comes to new markets, our selection is based primarily on the availability of direct flights. Thanks to our national carrier Air Serbia, in recent years, both Belgrade and our country have been well connected to a number of destinations, which is a basic prerequisite for the development of tourism. Furthermore, the upcoming flights to Beijing represents an extremely positive step forward". The substantial 40.3% growth in the number of visitors from the US to Serbia this year has been linked to Air Serbia's service to and from New York. Furthermore, the country has seen the largest growth in the number of Chinese tourists in Europe this year, up 166.6%, which has been attributed to the abolishment of visa requirements for Chinese nationals.

The Transport Ministry told EX-YU Aviation News in a statement it has renegotiated a number of air service agreements in order to open up new markets and attract new carriers. Over the past year, new agreements have been inked with the United States, India, South Korea, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, the Dominican Republic, Israel, Iran and Iraq, to name a few, while new accords are being negotiated with Canada, Azerbaijan and Pakistan. The importance of such agreements is illustrated in the case of Israel, where an additional two airlines launched services between Tel Aviv and Belgrade after the two sides reached an air deal. "By revising the agreement we have encouraged competition and increased the number of seats between Israel and Serbia, which has resulted in lower fares. In 2016, approximately 55.000 passengers flew between the two countries, and the number of travellers is expected to increase significantly this year, with capacity also rising", Israel's Minister for Transport, Yisrael Katz, said.

The Serbian government has also expressed its hope to further boost connectivity with China through the potential introduction of flights to Shanghai and has announced nonstop services from Beijing next year, without the intermediate stop in Prague. Furthermore, InterGlobe Enterprises, the parent company of India’s largest and busiest carrier, IndiGo, with capital in tourism and aviation, has expressed interest in linking India and Serbia to cater for Indian tourists visiting the entire region. The company is currently seeking cooperation with Air Serbia to jointly establish flights between the two countries. Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister for Civil Aviation in the South Korean government, Suh Hoon-Taik, said last month, "There is interest on both sides to establish scheduled flights between Korea and Serbia and we will undertake a study to determine if there is sufficient demand. The prerequisite for these flights is an Air Service Agreement, which was concluded with Serbia last year".

134 comments:

  1. When will those China Flights be bookable?

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    1. they are still not?

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    2. You wish. President of HNA was in Serbia last week with Vucic.

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    3. Btw Qatar starts flights to Sarajevo in a month and tickets are not on sale yet. But that does not seem to be an issue for you.

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    4. Well if you dont seen the difference between the two, well then....

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    5. No I don't.

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    6. Me neither.

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    7. Qatar has free capacity caused by the isolation in the Middle East. They are desperately looking at deploying their aircraft and crew. They just scheduled the SJJ flight and will be putting them up for sale shortly. In the case of Hainan they know the frequencies the aircraft everything. Obviously for a long time already- BUT they still are not selling it? Why? Bacause they want to fly empty- or they never really intend to commence services. President of HNA was in BEG because of the airport, noth the route.

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    8. President of HNA was attending Vucic's inauguration. HNA tourism is already selling tours to Serbia and people will be put on this flight. Online sales are not their priority. This service is prinarily for Chinese.

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    9. Still not bookable? China is probably waiting for the keys to BEG airport before they commit to these flights

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    10. I think there are more chances of QR flying empty to SJJ than Hainan flying empty to BEG.

      What we read in your comment is the exact same we saw when JFK was announced.

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    11. Sorry didnt know JU put up their flights for sale also 7 weeks before the first flight.:(

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    12. Not sure when the flights went for sale for JU flights to JFK. Still a JU loss maker route. Hopefully they will turn it around

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    13. I think initially QR will go light to SJJ because of the last minute loading into the system. What you are forgeting is that Gulf tourists have drastically increased to BiH the past year or 2. Add on the Bosnian diaspora in Australia, Bosnians travelling abroad as well as other tourists visiting the region and I think the flights will do well. A320 isnt too large of an aircraft.

      As for Hainan, I think the larger pax numbers will come with direct flights. Interesting enough, the planned flights dont seem to connect well to the JU regional network nor does it seem there will be any codeshare with JU.

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    14. JU started to sell tickets to JFK mid February 2016 during the Tourism Fair in Belgrade.

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    15. Yes, those Saudi and Emirati tourists will surely benefit from this QR route

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    16. @JATBEGMEL, yes they started in February, with the remark: "We are selling this ticket but we haven't received the flight permission from US yet". That was hilarious!

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    17. @10,53

      Not Emirati or Saudi, but Kuwaiti and Omani. The blockade will have to end sooner or later.

      @10,58
      I dont think its funny but sad, really. Interesting enough Pakistan fits the criterea for US flights and Serbia initially didnt. In the end JU sold tickets for 5 months and had approval in time for its launch, which isnt bad. JU stated prior to customers purchasing tickets that the flights are pending government approval so people werent mislead in anyway, purchasing tickets knowing it was possible the flights could be rejected by the DOT. I think JU has been amazing compared to the so called airlines attempting TATL rotations from the Balkan region ie Sky Greece, Swift Air, Skanderberg Air...

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    18. JU sold ticket and promoted them well in advance- Hainan is not doing any of it....

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    19. How come they are not on sale. I just tried to book a flight and the system have allowed me.

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    20. I don't see why people are so concerned. Hainan just today put 3 routes on sale and their launch date is exactly 10 days from today!

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    21. @AnonymousJuly 17, 2017 at 11:47 AM

      That is cause, HNA has no intention of flying to Belgrade, it was a political game by both sides. Soon it'll be evident HNA when to delay Belgrade launch. If this was Qatar or Emirates, they'd market the launch of flights 4-5 months ahead, and do proper marketing. Qatar now has surplus of aircraft and they're sending their spare aircraft everywhere....

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    22. You are right, thanks for opening up our eyes as far as Hainan goes. What would have we done without your visionary insight.

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  2. The initiative taken by the Serbian government is quite good but lacks some strategy. What's the point of inking so many agreements without applying actions? I think they could've focuses on China then Canada and not a bit of everything.

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    1. Agree but I'm glad that the government has a proactive approach to aviation. I hope we see some new routes.

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    2. Revising the agreements is important in case some third player (non flag carrier) decides to launch flights. Israel is a great example of that where EL AL lost its monopoly thus allowing airlines such as Arkia and Israir to launch flights.

      We don't live in Communism anymore. It's not the government that needs to 'apply some action.'Their job is to create a good business environment within which companies can operate efficiently.

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    3. Nema to veze sa komunizmom, americka vlada je do guse u avio saobracaju i finansijski i pravno.

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    4. Она је у тој ситуацији због лобиста али нико у DOT-у не одлучује где ће Јунајтед или Делта летети.
      Посао бирократа је да олакшају пословање њиховим авио-компанијама, не да им сугеришу како да раде свој посао.

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  3. In my opinion only Canada, Iran and Morocco could work. Everything else is a bit of a stretch.

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    1. You don't think that Morroco is a stretch?

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    2. Charters or seasonal can work. Lots of tourists going there during the summer. 2 yrs ago Air Serbia was thinking about this route and this is from an inside source.

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    3. I would also add Chicago to the list of potential destinations. There are many Serbs in Wisconsin and Ohio that could use this flight.

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    4. Yes. At least Royal Air Maroc is interested

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/06/royal-air-maroc-considering-belgrade.html

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  4. It's a shame Air Serbia has no plans to grow its TATL network

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    1. They could fly 3 pw to JFK and 3 pw to Chicago.

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    2. And lose even more money than they do now?

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    3. And you have proof they are losing money?

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    4. They would not have made a complete strategy change if they were not.

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    5. They were already making money and changed strategy to make even more money.

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    6. Unfortunately that's not true, they introduced cost cutting measures because they needed extra cash

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  5. Finally they are talking about Chicago and Toronto. Nothing more is needed.

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    1. They have been considering it for some time. That's why they are renegotiating the ASA with Canada, just like they did with the US before Air Serbia announced flights.

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  6. So again no plans to deploy that JU A330 anywhere else other than JFK this winter?

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    1. JFK ove zime ide na 4 nedeljna leta.

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    2. Samo na mesec dana.

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    3. Uskoro se unose letovi u sistem, cak ce u toku decembra i janurara ici na 5, jedino februar ostaje na 3

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    4. Wow nice. Super :)

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  7. If Etihad had a more hands on approach they could get one of their widebodies to land in BEG on its way to Toronto or Chicago.

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    1. Etihad has too many issues now to do that. But I agree.

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  8. Mislim da JU mnogo gubi nemajuci let za CAI, taj let bi radio isto kao BEY i punio ostale letove. Imali su ga u planu, ali su nazalost odustali od strategije za transfernim putnicima tako da ga ne ocekujem u skorijoj buducnosti!

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    1. Not launching Cairo and making a real go of Kiev was a mistake.

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    2. Why was making a go of Kiev a mistake?

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    3. I meant not making a real go of Kiev was a mistake. They gave up far to soon.

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    4. True dat. Kiev has real potential for once daily flights. To bad AS can not realize that.

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    5. If Kiev has so much potential, why doesn't Ukraine International Airlines launch the route ? They have many more aircraft than does JU....

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    6. Good question, I have no idea what their strategy is. I just remember that AS had pretty solid loads.

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    7. Loads are one thing... yields and flying profitably are another thing altogether. It is obvious that AS are taking the knife to their network and business and are sharpening their blade significantly

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    8. I think AS could have made it work. First by establishing a presence in Kiev (Ukraine). Then slowly increasing fares. It would work especially with the new hybrid pricing and service.

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  9. If Koreans get the airport we probably will see some charters from Seoul.

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    1. They won't get the airport.

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  10. I hope some of this materializes.

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  11. They should get a Canadian leisure airline to fly seasonal from YYZ since Air Serbia has absolutely no plans to grow in the future.

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    1. There is talk that Rouge is interested.

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    2. Two weekly Rouge would be ideal, especially if we factor in the connections they could offer, not only in Canada but in the US as well.

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    3. According to new stats number of Canadian visitors increase 30% to Serbia this year, which is not bad.

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    4. Tourist arrivals are booming this year, especially since INI started operating regularly.

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    5. Seasonal AC Rouge 2pw sounds right but Air Serbia codeshare could be a challenge. On Rouge flights to Europe most codeshares are with JV partners except with Aegean to ATH and they are StarAlliance. For feed inside Europe it is all StarAlliance parners except Air Lingus LHR-DUB, and that one looks more as a backup for mainline. Air Serbia best bets for feed could be from Montenegro or SKP depending on timing.

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    6. I don't think AC Rouge would care much about JU or its network. They would be after p2p and their own connections through Canada.

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    7. They use Rouge WAW flight to connect to couple of LOT flights to other cities in Poland. Or perhaps they don't want full plane out of BEG to avoid fuel stops like this one from BUD:

      https://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/ac1911/#e1ca2ec

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  12. Nice to see Serbia taking the initiative.

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  13. Less talk, more action.

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    Replies
    1. They have done ok. Lots of new flights and destinations from BEG this year.

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  14. Well it's the first Serbian government which has made tourism growth as one of their strategic goals.

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  15. I was surprised yesterday on JU flight to Split how many Asians were on board. Pozdravi sa letovanja iz Splita :)

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    Replies
    1. Don't say that. People here believe no one transfers via Belgrade.

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    2. I flew BEG-SPU last Monday. At least 35-40 passengers from AUS and NZ.

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    3. Take care, I just returned and now hear there are wildfires approaching the city itself!

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  16. I look forward to seeing the next new destination.

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  17. If Air Serbia decides to stick with long haul in the long run, they might consider ordering a Boeing. Yes, Boeing 797. It could be ideal aircraft for many potential long haul destinations from Belgrade. It will be available after 2025. Boeing already talked to 57 airlines about it. I am willing to bet at least one of those 57 airlines are from ExYu region.

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  18. More excited by the fact that Hainan will get fifth freedom rights between BEG and Prague :D

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  19. Canada, China, Israel & Morocco are likely to succeed. BEG can still remain a Balkan hub but no need for further expansion.

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    1. I think it's safe to assume that Israel has succeeded already

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    2. Israel has been a real success story. You go into Usce Shopping Center during the day, you can only hear Hebrew.

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    3. Ušće. Usce does not mean anything.

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    4. You are wrong. If he wanted to write it in a foreign language like English, French of German then Ušće would be wrong. Actually it would be as correct as writing Ушће.
      Those foreign languages don't have letter such as š or ć. ;)

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    5. In any language when referring to that shopping center, and writing in Serbian Roman (Latin) you are to use the proper spelling, which is ušće.
      Any other spelling is disrespectful.

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  20. Bez pronalazenja novih prevoznika i otvaranja novih trzista, otvaranja jos dva regionalna Srpska aerodroma nemoze se mnogo povecati promet. Er Srbija je ogranicena za saobracaj do sest hiljada kilometara. Izuzev jedinog A332. Ipak jedna lasta ne cini prolece. Potrebno je dozvoliti nisko budzetnim kompanijama na dugolinijskim destinacijama da bi se privukli turisti povecao saobracaj za poboljsanje profita aerodroma. Naravno, novi prevoznici nebih konkurisali Er Srbiji na njenim linijama.Postoji podpisan novi sporazum o vazdusnom saobracaju izmedu Australije i Srbije. Jos od prije par godina. Ali do sada nema ponude da se leti...
    Qantas - ova cerka kompanija JetStar, prema informacijama iz vazduhoplovnih krugova trebao bi da leti do Evropskih gradova. Naprimer Atine, Rima... Dobro bi bilo i do Beograda. To nebih ugrozavalo profit Ar Srbiji. Etihadu, Emiratima i Kataru bih. Ali bi dobro bilo zbog aerodroma na Surcinu. Verujem da vlada radi na ovome, ali nisam siguran dali to radi efektivno i dinamicno. Moralo bi. Sve u svemu, sadasnji i buduci putnici i turisti ce zaobilaziti drzave i oblasti ukoliko nisu vrlo blizu destinacije. Za razliku od proslosti o kojoj nas narod najvise prica o onome sto je proslo...!. Na kraju krajeva, koncesionar koji dobije koncesiju, dovesce visestruko putnika i aviona na Nikolu Teslu. Bez uvevcanog broja prevoznika putnika i karga nema ni profita... Ako mira bude na Balkanu, bice i velikog uvecanja avio saobracaja
    Pozdrav iz Kings Park - a NSW Australia.

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    1. You talk sense, sir! Too often I have a feeling that people from ex Yugoslavia still don't understand what free market means. Some don't even want it...they like the nanny state and usually expect everything to be done by the state and politicians.

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  21. Good news for the flying public and Serbian tourism.

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  22. Big but expected news out of the UAE this morning:

    https://news.flydubai.com/emirates-and-flydubai-join-forces-announce-extensive-partnership-agreement#

    EK will codeshare on many FZ services, and almost all scheduled flights to ex-YU operated by FZ will also bear an EK flight number.

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    1. That's great, EK will finally start selling direct flights to Belgrade in stead of connections via VIE.

      Flydubai loads were already fantastic as is, this will further consolidate their BEG operations.

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    2. Polako postaju EK express...

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    3. Ako, mislim da im je ovo dobitna kombinacija posebno jer su fz troskovi znatno nizi. Verujem da su zbog ovog I povecali beograd

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  23. I'm really hoping for Toronto flights. I think it has potential.

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    1. Out of all the long haul routes, it has the most potential.

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    2. It only has potential as a seasonal route. For JU, JFK is the best option as a year round route... no doubt, thats why they fly it

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    3. Toronto has big time potential. Lots of people from Balkans live there. Greater Toronto has some six million people, wider southern Ontario has plus 3-4 mil.

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    4. So why aren't the many Canadian carriers beating a door down to fly the route if what you say is true ?

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    5. Well one of their airlines successfully operated flights a few years ago before they went bankrupt. Another will eventually come back.

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    6. Just a matter of time before AS, AC (Rouge) Air Transat, or another leisure airline starts YYZ-BEG.

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  24. Ryanair in BEG would be the bomb. Any chance for that?

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    1. Belgrade is too expensive for them.

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    2. And it's not expensive for Wizz Air and Easy Jet?

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  25. It will be interesting to see how BEG's route network develops when the new owners come. Free of politics.

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    1. Hopefully they will work on attracting more European legacy airlines

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    2. @ Anonymous July 17, 2017 at 12:34 PM

      +1000

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  26. If Air Serbia is not planning any other long haul routes then they really have to start thinking about next winter and how to utilise that A330.

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    1. As you might have read, Air Serbia will increase New York to 4 weekly this winter and it will operate 5 weekly during Christmas-New Year. So there is no time to utilize the plane elsewhere.

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  27. I never understood how tourists can be correctly counted in these regions considering the massive diaspora.

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  28. I think we should connect BEG with Tbilisi,Baku,and maybe some cities in Russian Federation

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    1. Why on earth would you do that?

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    2. Transfer potential. Just like Beirut,

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    3. Air Serbia could certainly fill up their plane to European connecting flights with competitive prices.

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  29. I think having New York and Beijing is a good start. Maybe eventually add in a couple of year Toronto and possibly Chicago and that is more than respectable for a Balkan airport.

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    1. How having Beijing? Where?

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    2. It starts 15th September. You have trolled enough for today, like you trolled when New York was announced with same comments until it was put on sale.

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    3. What airline could fly Chicago - Belgrade?

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    4. Maybe someone like National or like USA 3000 used to be

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  30. Chinese are everywhere this past few months in Belgrade, which is refreshing. Shows how much visas can have an impact on tourism.

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    1. Politics too.

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    2. True !!! I see them almost every day in groups, in restaurants, on Zemun qai, Ada Ciganlija, everywhere. Despite of that, Turks are more numerous turists. Everywhere u can hear turkish language.

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    3. Is it true that around 40,000 Chinese expats live in Belgrade?

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    4. Maybe not 40 but I wouldn't be surprised if it's 10,000.

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  31. Nothing really serious comes from this lady, this is all propaganda blablabla

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  32. New daily maximum at BEG, 21 297 on July 14th.

    http://www.b92.net/biz/vesti/srbija.php?yyyy=2017&mm=07&dd=17&nav_id=1283541

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    1. i think it was reported on here, I might be wrong.

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  33. What about Amman (5mil people city)? It was a jat destination for a long time and can also produce many connecting passengers. Jat had legal problem there and maybe it is still not solved.

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    1. Good idea. If BEY is successful so should AMM.

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  34. Postovani gospodine Michael at 1:16 PM.
    Hvala vam sto se slazete sa mojim tekstom o razvoju avio saobracaja i aerodroma drzave Srbije. Razumno, zaista je razumno otvarati aerodrome, ulagati u avio infra strukturu i dozvoliti legacy, nisko budzetnim i sezonskim prevoziocima dolazak sa putnicima, turistima i kargo transportom na aerodrome Beograda i Nisa za sada, i sto prije i Kraljeva i Uzica...
    Efektivnost analiza i odluka jesu osnov efikasnosti u razvoju avio saobracaja. I ne samo njega. Srbija je dosla do shvatanja da informatika i mreza avio saobracaja u zemlji su hleb danasnjice i sutrasnjice. To su dva segmenta komunikacija koji najefikasnije spajaju ljude, dopremaju robu. Stvaraju osnov i uslove veoma pristojnog zivota. To se svakog trenutka uveravam putujuci sirom sveta i svedoci bez prestanka u zadnjih pedeset godina. Mnogi to u srbiji znaju, ali ne shvataju. Zbog lokalnog iskustva, sporog, sporog prihvatanja. I jos sporijeg primenjivanja. Ljudi su mnogo staticni. Mnogo pripadaju proslosti. Ogledalo im je pozadi
    Ali svetlost jeste ispred!. Iskustvo je majka znanja. A promena je uslovno receno uvecavanje hleba, koji svakom treba. I niko se ne zali sa vise hleba. Ostalo je ep prohujalih vremena, od kojih dobar deo ljudi u Otadzbini ostaje uz guslanje da "netreba i nemoze to u Srbiji"...
    Iskreno nisam ni sam sa znanjem, ali svedocim putovanjima kja neprestaju evo vec ce pedeset godina. Na kraju kao i na pocetku, Srbija ulazi u fazu privrednog i saobracajnog preporoda.
    Mnogima, pa i meni komercijalna avijacija i aerodromi su druga strana srca!.
    S'postovanjem,
    Rodney Marinkovic i mlada krila Sidneja.
    Kings Park NSW Australia

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