Thursday, August 3, 2017

PM: Serbia negotiating New Delhi service


The Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, has said her government is currently negotiating the launch of nonstop flights between Belgrade and the Indian capital of New Delhi. She added that the flights would mark a natural progression of linking her country with strategically important markets, following the launch of services to New York last year and the introduction of flights to Beijing next month. While the Prime Minister did not indicate which carrier could operate the service, the remarks were made after she commented on Air Serbia's existing operations. Serbia and India revised their Air Service Agreement in late March. Under the deal, Indian carriers can operate flights from any city in the country to any point in Serbia, while Serbian carriers can fly from any city in Serbia to four metropolitan cities in India, including Mumbai, New Delhi and two other points which would be specified at a later date.

In June, InterGlobe Enterprises, the parent company of India’s largest and busiest carrier, IndiGo, with capital in tourism and aviation, expressed interest in linking India and Serbia to cater for Indian tourists visiting the entire region. The company is seeking cooperation with Air Serbia to jointly establish flights between the two countries. InterGlobe’s regional representative in Belgrade, Zoran Dražeta, said, “If Air Serbia accepts the offer and becomes a partner, we could secure up to 1.000 passengers per week, maybe even more. This is a major opportunity for Serbian tourism, as well as the hospitality sector”. He added that the company will look elsewhere to the region if a deal is not reached, “If no deal is made with Air Serbia, then Croatia Airlines or Aegean Airlines most likely will. Talks are underway with the government and the tourism board as well”.

The head of the Tourist Organisation of Serbia, Marija Labović, said, “India is a large and promising market. We are currently in talks with one of India’s largest tour operators concerning our inclusion in its package tours”. The Indian Ambassador to Serbia, Narinder Chauhan, noted, "The number of Serbian tourists visiting India grew 26% last year and the e-Visa facility is gaining popularity. Likewise, tourism in Serbia is being promoted through tie-ups between tourism authorities and tour operators". India's second largest airline, Jet Airways, is partly owned by Etihad Airways, which also holds a 49% stake in Air Serbia, while India’s GMR Infrastructure Limited has qualified for the final phase of bidding for a 25-year concession of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport.

The last time Belgrade was linked with flights to India was just prior to the collapse of the former Yugoslavia when JAT Yugoslav Airlines maintained services to Calcutta. In the late 1980s it was to introduce services to Mumbai as well (then known as Bombay) and opened its representative office in the city. However, negotiations with the relevant authorities stalled after the Indian government said ticket sales would be subject to a royalty tax, making it unfeasible for JAT to introduce the flights. The route was primarily aimed to cater for Indians travelling to the United States.

131 comments:

  1. Interesting. I guess if the Indian company secured passengers it could run once per week as a regular charter

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    1. Really unexpected but would be a positive development.

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  2. I doubt Air Serbia would accept any partnership.

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    1. It can only work with JU's partnership and metal because the airline that runs under this tour operator from India does not have any widebodies and cannot reach Europe.

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    2. they don't need a wide-body to reach Serbia.

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    3. What narrow body can make it? And I'm not talking about B737 MAXs which no one in India has at the moment.

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    4. Maybe A320 NEO? Both Air India and IndiGo have them.

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    5. Yep, both types could make it and it would make more sense then sending an A330 on this route.

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    6. I doubt Air Serbia would accept any partnership either. They seem to be allergic to expansion.

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    7. Air Serbia would accept partnership with Jet Airways as part of their Etihad link up. But anything is possible. This would be a link for East Europe and India. Most are now travelling via Istanbul, or Moscow, or German/Swiss hubs - of not through the Middle East

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  3. The only way flights from India could work is if an airline operated the flight onwards to the US or Canada.

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    1. Why? I think charters catering for tourists organized by an Indian company could work too.

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  4. New York, Beijing, New Delhi - nice spread.

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    1. Hopefully Toronto next year as well :)

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  5. If they are looking at another long haul destination, Toronto or Chicago should be a priority.

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    1. Or a route which would provide minimum risk which could be this one to India. If the Indian tour operators buys seats like on charter flights than it makes more sense than YYZ or ORD.

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    2. There is a risk of tour operator significantly overestimating demand.

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  6. What's a royalty tax.

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    1. Google is your friend.

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    2. I never understood those kind of comments like Anon 09.11.
      Do you feel better now? It's not just about researching it online, by asking it on here there is also a chance of a discussion on that topic.

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    3. In this context it would mean that the Indian government wanted a share from each ticket sold which made is unprofitable for JAT to fly the route. I know that the Indian government used to do it on flights to prime airports in the country. I doubt they did it for flights to Calcutta, that's why they flew there.

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    4. Interesting. Thank you.

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  7. These guys want to bring tourists in. In stead of having the A332 sit on the ground at BEG they could send it to India.
    BEG-DEL is around 6 hours so the plane could easily go there and come back in time for JFK.

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    1. More than enough time since JU will fly 3 per week during most o winter and 4 during peak travel times.

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    2. They are probably interested in BEG as a transfer point because JU is the only airline in this region that has the equipment to run these flights.

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    3. Best time to visit India is during the winter, between November and March so winter start would be good.

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    4. Never going to happen ... yields from the Indian market are TERRIBLE !

      You lose less by keeping the aircraft parked on the ground

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    5. Opet širiš neistinu..Jfk je cele zime 4 x nedeljno a tokom praznika 5x..

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    6. Opet širiš neistinu..Jfk je cele zime 4 x nedeljno a tokom praznika 5x..

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    7. Evo ga Hot Lane, opet dosao da siri dezinformacije. #punavionazapravo62putnika

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  8. Why India? Only thing that came to my head is that Air Serbia leases their A330 from an Indian carrier. Otherwise it seems very random.

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    1. There is a large Indian tour operator that wants to bring tourists to the region via Belgrade.

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    2. Why not? I have seen stranger things happen in this region.

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  9. If this tour operator and JU launch flights then it will be really bad news for EK in BUD. They are heavily relying on Indian tourists to fill their seats. It's not secret that EK's BUD service has been underperforming for a while now.

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    1. India is a country of 1.3 billion people and I am sure one weekly charter will not saturate the tourist demand and kill EK's daily flights to BUD.

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    2. No one said they will suspend it but it will affect them as Indian tourists are one of their main customers on the route.
      Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the same operator is filling EK's seats to Budapest.

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    3. Well, I don't really think that running charter service to BEG will affect regular daily EK in BUD at all; India is so massive market plus these passengers will be package type only and most probably aimed at Serbia/Montenegro.

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    4. We won't know for sure, the offer for the Chinese will be expanded to include Hungary and Bosnia so why not the same for the Indians?

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    5. Regardless, note that after all the capacity is not significant, and EK flies to zillion points in India + those will be targeted package deals; they may even affect demand increase.

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    6. 'It's not secret that EK's BUD service has been underperforming for a while now.': well, I for one did not know that...any valid source on this claim since it is apparently not a secret?

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    7. From a friend who works at EK. Or did you think that they list their underperforming routes in their annual reports? Get real.

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    8. I don't know, you said it wasn't a secret, so I thought you had some more info and insights apart from 'I know a guy'...that's all, I will keep it real.

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    9. And best regards from EK :)

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    10. Well that's what he told me and he isn't an fa or one of those, so...

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    11. If EK is struggling a bit with BUD, ongoing QR services increases there (and in ZAG, BEG) can only add to the pain.

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  10. Can't they get an Indian company to fly these flights if JU is not interested?

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    1. They said they are negotiating so whather it is Air Serbia or another company, someone is obviously in play.

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    2. Because I doubt any Indian company would be interested.

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    3. Why wouldn't they be interested if the tour operator will secure passengers?

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    4. Jet Airways would be the only one that would make some sense.

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  11. wow this would be nice.

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  12. It is impressive that Serbia is trying to establish flights to all corners of the globe and increase tourism. Not sure this will work out but I wouldn't dismiss it. Crazier things have happened.

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    1. A lot was invested in improving the tourist offer in Belgrade and Serbia. Results are showing where there were 20% more tourists visiting Belgrade alone.

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  13. Is this linked to the Indian company bidding for BEG concession? Do the flights depend on whather they win the tender?

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    1. No it has no relation.

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    2. No, they are two separate companies which have nothing one with the other.

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  14. How long would this flight take?

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    1. VIE-DEL is around six hours so I guess more or less the same.

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    2. It would take longer. Around 6.40 minutes. Vienna-Delhi is 7.10.

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  15. Possible charters, why not.

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  16. This would be great indeed and not totally surprising given how actively the Indian embassy in Belgrade has been promoting closer ties between the two countries.

    New York, Beijing and now India.... wow.

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  17. Air Serbia really has to do something with its A330 during the winter. I'm not saying they should fly to India but it is a good option since the rotation is shorter. Off course only if they can make some deal like this where a tour agent fills their plane. Otherwise there is no demand whatsoever.

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    1. I agree and a charter like this could work really well for them. It's easy cash during the slow winter period.
      New York is full but yields are horrible.

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  18. Meanwhile the US ambassador said he expected for flights from Chicago to Belgrade to start as well :)

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  19. Ana Brnabic talked a lot about India in an interview I read just before she was named PM and how after Russia and China it will be the next country where relations will be brought to the highest level. After she became PM one of the first ambassadors she held talks was the Indian one. So you never know, if the government wants to improve relations they could be interested in these flights happening.

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    1. Well they obviously are interested, otherwise she wouldn't have mentioned these flights.

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  20. BEG is so handling six million next year.

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    1. It like so is.

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    2. I think it will be 6.3 next year but dont think that 6 mil this year.

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  21. Would be really interesting if this materialised. Can money be made on this route?

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    1. If it is a charter, then yes.

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  22. This all seems like they are dreaming. I mean the guy expects 1000 passengers per week. How many planes is that?

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    1. The PM is also dreaming?

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    2. lol politicians dreaming? No way.

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    3. She said they were negotiating. She didn't say it was a done deal or that it will happen. But it certainly isn't just hot air or rumours.

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    4. @10.12 that's two return flights on the A330.

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    5. Iran was last months dream or was it Kazakhstan? If JU cant make IST work I don't have much confidence in DEL

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    6. No, last month's dream was Beijing. It becomes a reality in 43 days.

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    7. Many European carriers can't make Istanbul work. Some of them are Austrian, Alitalia, as well as all from ex-Yu.

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    8. The main difference is that it was the tour operator who mentioned 1,000 tourists per week, not a politician.

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    9. Filling a plane with tourists never contributes positively to the bottom line unless it's a LCC. Is JU becoming a LCC ? This concept is doomed even before take off

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    10. Huh? Since when filling seats with tourists has been a bad thing for business? Who do you think fills BA's or KL's seats to the sunny destinations in southern France or Spain? Or to all those destinations in the Caribbean.

      It all depends what fare you can get. If JU doesn't want to operate these flights then there is going to be someone else who will do it.

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  23. Bulgarians (BH) tried this last year, flying to India that is. But they didn't get approval from the Indians.

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    1. Ok but you might have missed the part where Serbia and India have an ASA which allows for JU to fly to 4 Indian cities, including Delhi.

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    2. Bulgaria also have it, but they didn't wan't to fly to Delhi or Bombay. They wanted to fly to Kolkata and Chandigarh.

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    3. Well than that would be a problem because the ASA specifies which cities can be flown.

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    4. Yeah but a major Indian company is pushing for these flights so I doubt the government would sabotage their own.

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    5. They sabotaged their own airports, so why not their airlines?
      The airports even took the case to the high court.

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    6. Because the Indian government has actually taken some measures to improve the business environment for local airlines.

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  24. Vucic that the government is working on establishing visa free travel with India.

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    1. That would be fantastic after visa free travel was secured to Russia and China.

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  25. This is great news for Belgrade Airport and Serbia

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  26. I really hope this materialises :)

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  27. Alitalia has also announced it will resume service to India for the first time in nine years during winter 2017/18. Daily flights between Rome and Delhi will operate over the period October 31, 2017, to March 24, 2018.

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    1. If they are still around by then...

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  28. I think Jet Airways flying to another European or US city via BEG would make much more sense.

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    1. Their European hub is Amsterdam. Why would they fly via BEG?

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    2. Well they wouldn't be moving all their flights but one to let's say Toronto or Chicago could work. They will consider it if they can make some money off of it ))

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  29. OT: LX to/ex INI this weekend

    A320
    LX2512/04 02/151 (cap 11/161)
    LX2513/04 24/138 (cap 26/138)

    A320
    LX2512/06 00/120 (cap 12/150)
    LX2513/04 14/142 (cap 16/144)

    Many times said, nice loads in C class.

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    1. These are really bad numbers. I'll be interested to see comparison of numbers before Germania started flying to INI and after. Also I'm interested to see average numbers for longer period not just one weekend.

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    2. Bad numbers? Can you read the data? Plalnes are full.

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    3. You have pax figures as a comments on various articles in this blog. Basically, since LX operations started in April.

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    4. strange numbers in c class
      i think nobody from the region has it that good

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    5. Look at the prices in C Class on swiss.com. They are soo cheap! 114 Eur this weekend in C Class OMG

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    6. Swiss is killing it in INI. Germania's loadfactor in July stood at 42%.

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    7. Hi, can you explain me how to read these numbers? What is cap, and what is 04 and 06 after the flight number?

      Thanks in advance :-)

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    8. @last anon
      Cap is the seating version for the flight in question (eg. 12/150 means 12 business seats available and 150 economy).

      04 & 06 are the dates, respectively 4th and 6th of August in this case.

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    9. Germania has better numbers and service too.

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    10. Thanks Dusan :-)

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  30. Who would have thought just 5 years ago BEG would have flights to New York and Beijing and now there is talk of even New Delhi. Great work!

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  31. And what? Another loss making destination for ASL? The politicians shall stop doing what isn't their job. The wannabe CEO of Air Serbia we all know his name. The current situation with the carrier is his sin.

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    1. Which more is a loss making destination? What did you expect to go on a profit on the first flight to NY for a airline in ex-yu? Not even air france or lufthansa eould make it, nevertheless ny route is profiting since a couple of months back.

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    2. No. JFK is still a loss making route, it's far from profitability despite flights being full to the last seat.

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    3. Ne lupetaj ne uracunavas zaradu od karga.

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    4. Ti ne lupetaj, kargo pomaze ali nije dovoljno. Radim za ASL

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    5. I naravno ovde si u radno vreme. Cccc glavni finansijski.

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    6. hehe leto je, ima malo posla. ;)

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  32. Ano 1:51, dont lie i beg you, the route is in profit since april you fool!! I dont need to justify my company i work for on this website im sick of you trolls, in the end we see wich of the company is well being

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    1. Continuation: We will expand long haul in 2018 and you Can keep dreaming!

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    2. Hahahaha ne drogiraj se covece, linija je u teskom minusu. Pogledaj klase koje se prodaju i sve ce ti biti jasno.

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    3. Zivo me zanima kako dva velika strucnjaka ovde na forumu, mogu da znaju dali je ili nije neka linija u minus? Verujem da oboica imate uvid u sve troskove istih...

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    4. Pa da brate, sve je rentabilno kad pitas Daneta, Hogana i ostale majstore. Samo je problem kad ljudi dolaze i otvare ormare.

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  33. They say they have 1000 passengers a week for BEG. But if deal with JU is not made, they will go after A3 or OU. If we ignore lack of widebody equipment at those two, it means 1000 passengers per week are willing to go wherever their agency takes them: BEG, ATH, ZAG. Just board the plane, you are going somewhere on your vacation.

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    1. It doesn't work like that, it makes story about 1000 tourists questionable.

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  34. Why doesn't AS test the market this autumn/winter in cooperation with Indian travel agencies and launch six charter flights.

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  35. Why doesn´t 9W fly to JU instead as they are brothers of the some mother company Etihad? It would be much easier as they have more widebodes compared to JU? Yet again, EY bs logic!

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  36. I'd sooner say that Serbian tourists would be flying to India and in that case Belgrade could be a hub for all ex Yu tourists to go there. Not the other way around. That seems kind of far-fetched.
    On the other hand...Belgrade should be doing way more to attract affluent western European tourists, since it's got so much more to offer than people here in Scandinavia, as well as in Britain, Benelux, Germany..etc.think. They mostly have no idea. And even those who do know something (mostly younger people), think of Belgrade almost exclusively as a 'party city'.

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