Friday, August 18, 2017

Hainan Airlines confident in Belgrade success


Hainan Airlines will become the first Chinese carrier to operate flights to Belgrade in 25 years when it launches operations to the Serbian capital on September 15. The carrier is confident its new route between Beijing and Belgrade, to be maintained via Prague, will prove popular with passengers. Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News, the airline said, "Both Chinese tourists and Serbian passengers are equally important to us, we expect that this new route could enhance the exchange of visits between the two peoples. At present, 90% of bookings are generated by Chinese tourists. We hope more Serbian customers will recognise us, and we’d like to see more and more Serbian travellers come to China".

The airline has been granted fifth freedom rights between Prague and Belgrade, allowing it to sell tickets between the two cities as well. "With these rights in place, once the new service is launched, Hainan Airlines can offer round trip services between Beijing and Prague, Beijing and Belgrade, as well as Prague and Belgrade. This is the only fifth freedom route that Hainan Airlines is currently operating. These rights build a convenient air bridge for passengers in China, the Czech Republic and Serbia", an airline spokesperson told EX-YU Aviation News. Although no codeshare agreement has been signed with Air Serbia, the two airlines have a special prorate agreement (SPA) in place and the Chinese carrier is exploring further cooperation. "Currently, Hainan Airlines has signed an SPA with Air Serbia. Passengers arriving in Belgrade will be able to transfer to other European cities with Air Serbia. We are looking forward to having deeper cooperation with Air Serbia", the carrier noted.


Hainan Airlines will operate its service to Belgrade with the 292-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft, boasting 32 seats in business class and a further 260 in economy. The aircraft features the airline's latest business class product in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration featuring 180 degree lie-flat seats, while all passengers have access to the airline's in-flight entertainment system through personal television screens. Hainan Airlines is China's largest private carrier by both market share and fleet size. The airline is considering removing the Prague stop on its Belgrade service in the future, with the development likely to occur during the 2018 summer season. "It is possible to operate nonstop. Currently we plan to run two flights per week. We will adjust these plans based on market demands. We will evaluate the possibilities whether to increase frequency or operate nonstop before the summer season", the airline said.

Flight details for Hainan Airlines service between Beijing and Belgrade can be found here.

124 comments:

  1. Great. Can't wait :)

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  2. Still waiting for experts to say how this won't happen.

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    Replies
    1. They waited "this flight to appear in reservation system" :-)
      Well, I might dissapoint some of them, but it's there!

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  3. "90% of bookings are generated by Chinese tourists"

    interesting.

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    1. 90% tourists? I hope HNA stick with this.

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    2. That's what Hainan says in the article.

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    3. Tickets have been on sale for less than a month! Give it a break.

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  4. It would be beneficial if they got rid of the Prague stop and kept 2 weekly flights next summer. But anyway it is good to see they are already making plans for next year.

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    1. It's a cautious start and seeing as they are practically starting during the winter season (if you exclude one month and a half) it's a smart move.

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    2. Next summer they could go nonstop, keep the two weekly frequency but use the B787 which has less capacity.

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    3. True. 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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    4. Well not all airlines are like Air Serbia who give up on routes within a few weeks.

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    5. Which route Air Serbia gave up within a few weeks?

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  5. Where is our expert who kept on reminding us the flights were not in the system and the tickets could not be purchased?

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    Replies
    1. He will now start saying that it will be cancelled in weeks.

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    2. Here he is! And at the time they were not in the system and could not be purchased. Now it works and it is good to seem the finally saying something about that route.

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    3. Well many people said that that this is how Chinese carriers function for most international routes. Sales start 1-2 months in advance and routes launches are low key. You were still saying it's not true.

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  6. Hope they make that codeshare with JU happen although an SPA is fine to begin with.

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    Replies
    1. Would anyone mind explaining the difference between SPA and a codeshare agreement and how this affects AS?

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    2. Codeshare is where one carrier markets its flights under another carrier's brand and IATA code. SPA simply means that they will transfer your bags between the two carriers and have the ability to issue a boarding pass to your final destination, although this is not always the case.

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    3. SPA does not mean that, but who cares? ;-)

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  7. Great news for BEG.

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  8. Their prices between Belgrade and Prague match Air Serbia's. This is a great alternative. I would much rather fly with an A330 then on a 2 hour ride on an ATR. Whats good is that they fly on Fridays and Mondays. Perfect for a weekend stay.

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    Replies
    1. On Mondays and Fridays there will now be three departures to Prague!

      06.50
      11.10
      18.10

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    2. Yep and Air Serbia is not planning to drop the Monday and Friday flight.

      So in total from September - October 29 there will be 14 weekly flights to Prague and from the winter season 12. Not bad.

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    3. Still, the price on the BEG-PRG sector is expensive imo... If they block certain number for BEG-PEK sector, why wouldn't they tend to sell those remaining seats between Belgrade and Prague, offering more competitive fares, mind you they fly on the dates which can attract many weekend travelers...

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  9. Will be good to see another regular widebody in BEG.

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  10. What are the fares like from BEG to PEK with them?

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    Replies
    1. Prices in October are 750 euros. There are much cheaper options. For example Etihad is currently the cheapest at around 420 euros (but it is longer flight time).

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    2. I found 10-17.11.2017
      BEG-PEK-BEG for 462 EUR.

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    3. Thanks. Probably depends on the date of travel.

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    4. I found tickets for 560 with Hainan.
      They charge 171 Euros to.Prague

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    5. I think those are reasonable fares.

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  11. Good news BEG. Good luck with the new service.

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  12. Congratulation to BEG!
    This is a big thing, we got second wide-body plane in Serbian capital on regular basis and BEG is cementing its position as the leading airport in ex-Yu.

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    Replies
    1. The first wide body flight to JFK operated by JU will vanish soon. Great news for BEG. HNA flights to China 2 flights per week via PRG. Awesome.

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    2. ^ what a pathetic hater you are. That's two flights more to Beijing than any other city, including yours.

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    3. Pathetic? Realist. Wake up.

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    4. No, just pathetic.

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    5. @ 12.12. Keep it up buddy. You have been wrong every time. But whatever it takes for you to get through the day.

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    6. Why do you people even respond to provocations? Who cares what he thinks? It's the same guy who said these flights would never happen. He needs something to vent his anger and frustrations. Let him.

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    7. Agreed. He's just angry because his city doesn't have JFK, nor will it any time soon :)

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    8. Or maybe because Hainan should have flown first to Croatia, but instead of it will land in September to BEG?

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

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  14. How long is the journey from BEG to China including stopover in PRG?

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    Replies
    1. BEG-PEK 12:25h
      PEK-BEG 13:50h

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    2. I predict a scenario like with Qatar, if they decide to go with nonstop, the loads should pick up, this way there is not really any advantage over the other airlines from BEG that offer connections through their hubs ... Dreamliner could be perfect aircraft for the route if they decide to do it...

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    3. Advantages:
      - you do not have to change plane
      - you do not have to look for another gate
      - you do not have to go through security once again (if you make connecting flights from BEG very often you have to go through additional security control on the airport where you catch another flight)
      - there are lower chances your luggage to be lost as it remains in original plane
      - there is no risk you will use your connecting flight etc.

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  15. Alen Šćuric PurgerAugust 18, 2017 at 9:43 AM

    OT: idući primjer pokazuje:
    1. Zašto se putnik odluči za LCC (usprkos toga da će potrošiti sati i pola više)

    2. Kako su cijene LH nerealne i demotivirajuće

    3. Zašto je u LJU manje putnika, tj. kako su cijene za LJU više od ZAG

    Kolega treba doći u Laško (Slovenija) 7.9. iz Cluj Napoce (Rumunjska)

    66 EUR Cluj-Treviso nonstop, Wizzair +60 EUR auto 620 km oba smjera = 126 EUR - KUPLJENO!

    399 EUR Cluj-Munich-Zagreb, Lufthansa povratna +20 EUR auto 210 km = 419 EUR

    482 EUR Cluj-Munich-Zagreb, Lufthansa jednosmjerna +20 EUR auto 210 km = 502 EUR

    514 EUR Cluj-Munich-Ljubljana, Lufthansa jednostmjerna + 20 EUR auto 204 km = 534 EUR

    525 EUR Cluj-Munich-Ljubljana, Lufthansa povratna ' 20 EUR auto 204 km = 545 EUR

    Nije mi jasna Lufthansa. OK, jedini su realan legacy carrier za Europu tamo. TAROM i Turkish nisu opcija. Nema čak ni Austriana, ali ipak 400+ EUR!?!?!?!?!

    I kako to da je Ljubljana toliko skuplja

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  16. This is finally happening! Great news.

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  17. Good for Serbian tourism.

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    1. It is also good for the airport. Not just in the sense that there will be some extra passengers but because it does mean something when you have schedule year round flights to both US and China. Sometimes having a certain airline fly to a city increases the visibility of the airport to other airlines which might then consider flying there too.

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    2. BEG has come a long way in the last 5 years. Congrats to everyone.

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    3. It sure did, but a lot can still be done. Recently I flew in/out of BEG and was a bit disappointed with the overall shape of the facilities. I’m not talking about the overall look, architecture etc. but the small details. It seems to me that in a whole country, they spend more time thinking and talking about these big expensive long term state of the art projects (like hotel, second runway etc. in the case of BEG) than about day to day maintenance and upkeep visible to everybody. Some of these are not very expensive and can be financed out of the operations since the airport is generating healthy profits every year. For example, parking. You don’t have to build multi story, state of the art facility that realistically you don’t need at this time. Fresh coat of asphalt and new signage will do. This can be done overnight and probably in week or two. Other things that can be done is to improve the signage, fix the drywall where you have holes (like the place where carts are held in the baggage pickup area), clean or paint the walls where needed, make sure everything in toilets works, mow the lawn around the buildings, plant some flowers, wash the area in the front of the terminals once in a while, clearly identify place for smokers in the front and install ashtrays etc. For this you don’t need outside consultants to identify what needs to be done, you don’t need lengthy “javna nabavka” process – have our people do it. Just walk around and look. If you really want to go above and beyond, send someone for a trip or two to other airports and have them pickup ideas how things are done or ask your customers what they would like you to improve upon.

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    4. One other thing I don't understand (and for this might be good reason), how come they don't have centralized security check, right after passport control. Is this some requirement for US flights maybe? If it isn't, to me it doesn't make sense to have x-ray machine by every gate.

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    5. You get faster through the security than it was before the passport control

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    6. It might be faster but it’s definitely more expensive way of doing things. Also, BEG doesn’t strike me as an airport with humongous amount of passengers so that it must be done this way. I’m sure there are others, but this is the only airport I visited in last 10-15 years that do it this way. Doesn’t it make more sense to let people roam around, stretch their legs between the flights, have a coffee, buy a souvenir etc. People leasing stores will make more money and in turn the airport will be able to charge them more. Plus they can cut on the number of x-ray machines, have access people that they can use somewhere else (see my post above). Also, god knows how much they spent on all that glass they used to physically separate people. It was funny when four of us (two small kids) 6AM were standing in the front having a breakfast because we couldn’t take our drinks inside. Boarding was still good 15 minutes away and there was no empty seat available inside but that wasn’t enough for the girl working the doors. She was adamant that we should be inside because that’s the rule (as she put it).

      All I’m trying to say is that while this might’ve been a norm 30 years ago, it’s not anymore. Move on with times please.

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    7. They have to have checks like this because of the way the airport was designed. Arriving and departing passengers mix so if you had a security check after passport control then you wouldn't be screeing those that have just arrived and that are either going out or that are in transit.

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    8. I'm sorry but there is planty of airports where pax aren't segregated. AMS for example. Incoming pax have been screened at the point of departure and the fact they just arrived is enough. Even FAA is OK withe this.

      Optimize your ops wherever you canand put the leftover people to work somewhere elese.

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  18. And so many people said how this route would never happen. Same story like with New York.

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    Replies
    1. Just let them be. No one takes the naysayers seriously anymore.

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  19. Happy to hear this will materialize.

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  20. They have started advertising a lot in Belgrade. Billboards and commercials on public transport.

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  21. It might have been posted before but this is a recent video review of their flight between PEK and PRG.

    They look like a very good airline

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re345FkiQjM

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    Replies
    1. Good to see times have changed when it comes to Chinese carriers.

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    2. 3 Skytrax 5* airlines are now regularly landing in BEG:
      Hainan
      Etihad
      Qatar

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    3. Only thing they need more is onboard wi-fi and they would be perfect.

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  22. Nice work Ex-Yu on getting statements from them. Chinese airline usually never comment about anything especially future routes :)

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  23. How soon after these flights begin do you think we will see direct flights? I'm hoping for spring 2018.

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    Replies
    1. Summer 2018 if they think there is sufficient demand, like they said in the article.

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  24. Still don't see the benefit if it goes via Prague.

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  25. It's nice to see Asian routes expanding in ex-yu. BEG started with China, hopefully Korean next year to ZAG and ANA to DBV.

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    Replies
    1. ANA to DBV? regular weekly charter service or what?

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    2. http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/07/ana-to-run-ljubljana-and-dubrovnik.html

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  26. Has the number of Chinese passengers arriving to Belgrade increased with the newly established visa-free regime?

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    1. Peeps on here were talking about doubling numbers of chinese tourists directly related to the visa-free regime

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    2. Yes. Over 100% in first 6 months.

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    3. +124% Chinese visitors, while the number of overnight stays increased 116%

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    4. I remember many on here said there would be no impact, I think AirCEO was one of them.

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    5. any absolute numbers? percentages may give distorted picture because the starting number could have been low.

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    6. Yes, that is 7.000 more Chinese visitors in first 6 months.

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    7. Last anon why post false information if you can easily check.

      Number of Chinese visitors to Serbia

      January - June 2017: 21,335
      January - June 2016: 8,153

      So additional 13,182 tourists or +161%

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    8. 21k, that's like 80 something days worth of flying. or good enough for 3-4 weekly flights in the summer season.

      i guess most of them were coming through moscow and istanbul.

      sounds good, and with this regional combined offer it will probably get even better.

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    9. My vacation (away from everything, including this site) was great! Today I start reading comments for the first time in two weeks and someone calls me out for things I never said! Can you point me to a post where I said visa-free regime would not have an impact? Quite the opposite, visa-free is a great leverage to boost visitors from China. Mandarin/Serbian speaking tourist guide will be hottest job in Belgrade next summer.

      But I said this on June 16: “I am not confident PEK route will be able to sustainably operate as a nonstop PEK-BEG, year round service” and I still stand behind it. While Belgrade improved many open areas, I fail to see many all-season attractions for Nov-Feb period. If Belgrade had built largest luxury goods shopping mall in Europe, or biggest, flashiest casino, or has largest Chinese New Year parade/celebration in Europe, or most important (working) museum in the region, or had most watched romantic movie of the year shot in snow covered Skadarlija, I could understand the appeal and confidence during low season. New Year celebrations are attracting regional tourists but might not be as appealing to Chinese visitors.

      I am therefore reserved about winter passenger numbers, but it would be great for BEG and HU if I am wrong about it!

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  27. Bravo BEG, Hainan is very good company. Now, we will have direct flights BEG - PEK in April, May 2018.

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  28. What about Shanghai?

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  29. So with this we can be sure they will also get airport concession?

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  30. Anyone care to predict what the loads will be like>

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    1. Forget the loads, no one even knows how many seats will be reserved for PEK-BEG sector :)))

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    2. Yep it would be interesting to know how many seats they have blocked for PEK-BEG.

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  31. Is the Serbian government subsidising these flights?

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    Replies
    1. No, they are not.

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    2. And I am the Queen of England...

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    3. You're just bitter...

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    4. If Croatian Government pays other airliners to land in ZAG it does not mean every Government is doing the same.

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    5. Leave em alone. It's really fine - everyone knows there are supportive reasons why Hainan is introducing BEG flights. They are doing off season in winter - there is no sane person on the world who would discharge the fact that they will get nice incentives. Every intercontinental carrier opening routes now to small(er) countries/markets receives good money and other support for opening such routes. Ever wondered why some of these airlines don't even serve much larger markets such as Vienna? Not a single US airline is flying to VIE instead they introduce e.g. Budapest and Prague - known for massive incentive schemes. You think those are all coincides?

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  32. This is great news and it will definitely help Belgrade grow even more. 5.5 million doesn't seem so unrealistic.

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  33. The thing is I have a feeling these flights are being conditioned with the airport concession and I would rather someone else get it.

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  34. Da li neko zna, ima li sličnog primera vršenja interkontinentalnog saobraćaja kao što je PEK-PRG-BEG-PRG-PEK, mislim po pitanju rasporeda segmenata ? Poznat je kružni let PEK-MSQ-BUD-PEK.

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    Replies
    1. CA
      PEK VIE BCN VIE PEK
      CA
      PEK MUC ATH MUC PEK

      ET
      ADD VIE BRU VIE ADD

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    2. Ima i LH i to vise. FRA-DMM-BAH-DMM-FRA; FRA-KWI-DOH-KWI-FRA; FRA-JED-ADD-JED-FRA; FRA-LOS-SSG-LOS-FRA; FRA-ABV-PHC-ABV-FRA; I ovaj ke letio ali je otkazan FRA-AUH-MCT-AUH-FRA. Znam I da LX leti iz Ciriha multisector za Najrobi i Dar es Salam

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    3. In his article Purger predict Hainan will have 5th freedom on PRG-BEG part of flight. He was sure about it.

      Guy is almost always wright in his predictions.

      He also predict that there will be Air Serbia code-share on that route. We will see if he will be right again.

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    4. Maybe he has a magic ball that tells him things like that? Or it's just a common sense? What do you think?

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    5. Anon 2:05, you plan on repeating that post many more times in the same thread? Are you in love, what's the story?

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  35. Interesting that this will be Hainan's only fifth freedom route!

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  36. Will these flights connect onto Air Serbia's wave of departures?

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    Replies
    1. Not really, I think only TGD works.

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  37. In his article Purger predict Hainan will have 5th freedom on PRG-BEG part of flight. He was sure about it.

    Guy is almost always wright in his predictions.

    He also predict that there will be Air Serbia code-share on that route. We will see if he will be right again.

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    Replies
    1. Everyone said they would get 5th freedom Purger. It was a no brainier.

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    2. It is huge for him, he actually guessed!!!

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    3. Let's not make expected educated guesses into Nostradamus level visionaries here...

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  38. I still cant believe this is Hainans only 5th freedom ... and for Belgrade :D

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    Replies
    1. Belavia Beg Bud Minsk?

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    2. I know about this one, I was talking about Hainan.

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    3. You said only 5th freedom route for Hainan and for BEG...

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    4. I meant that Hainan's only 5th freedom flight is to BEG (PRG).

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  39. Great news for BEG.

    ReplyDelete

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