AirBaltic puts Belgrade on hiatus

Bye bye Belgrade
Despite surprising success on the Riga – Belgrade route, launched earlier this year, AirBaltic will suspend services to Serbia’s capital until at least January 2011, the “” portal reports. The airline has sighted a fleet shortage as the reason for the route’s suspension. During the summer, AirBaltic leased aircraft from other airlines in order to deal with its fleet shortage until new Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft arrive later this year. However, Belgrade will be the only route suspended from AirBaltic’s network this winter. According to “”, the average load factor from Belgrade to Riga amounts to 88%, with most passengers using Riga as a transit point for flights to Russia and Scandinavia.

AirBaltic operates four weekly flights from and to Belgrade. The airline will operate its last service to Belgrade on September 12.


  1. Anonymous09:12

    I am really sad that they are suspending Belgrade! They really had good prices and amazing connecting times to the North. I really hope they come back to Belgrade in 2011... However 88% is amazing but that is how Malév started as well in the beggining and now they can barely fill a Dash-8

  2. Anonymous09:14

    oh nooooo! thats no good news.

  3. Anonymous11:07

    ...and they were so cheap :(
    However I am glad that they are coming back, all we have to do now is wait for January :(
    I suppose other airlines can be happy with this news :)
    I hope they restart it in time to get the Christmass passengers to/from Belgrade.
    Does anyone know if they are keeping Bucharest? Was that flight operated by them or Tarom?

  4. frequentflyer15:43

    There is likely more to this story than load factor - if the fares were so cheap, were they making any money?? Let them come back in a few months to re-launch the route (oddly in the middle of winter!)...

    In other news today, figures for ZAG July '10 just released - 234261 pax for the month, 3.5% increase (or 6k pax) on '09. Still tracking 4% or 42.5k down on overall numbers for the year - will they match the 2009 figures??

    @ Anonymous (#1)

    MA did heavy discounting when they entered the market, and obviously can't sustain the low fares given their precarious operating position. They're in it for the long-haul and wouldn't be surprised if it ends up like ZAG being operated by the 30-seat EMB-120...

  5. This just simply doesn't add up.

    We're in a middle of a world recession and the aviation industry is supposed to be in a deep crisis. The word has it that there's enough leasing aircraft for cows to eat let alone to fly passengers. Amidst all this, airBaltic cannot find an aircraft to serve a destination with a PLF of 88%. But they'll be back in January just after the Christmas period and at the worst possible season for the aviation business (post-Christmas to pre-Spring).

    Yes, sure. I was having a similar problem too. Beyonce wanted to spend a wild night with me yesterday, but I'm holding out for Rihanna (or both).

  6. JATBEGMEL01:46

    Sad to see them leave BEG...i hope they come back to us soon.

    @ frequentflyer

    They already do send their EMB120's to BEG, along with the Dash 8's and B738's. Problem for MA is they face competition on getting connecting pax from JAT, LH, OS, HG, which all offer good fares too, and BUD isnt too far to travel to by car. By train i think its a 3.000 din. (30 EUR) return ticket, and how much O&D do they get...

    @ Visit Kosovo

    True, but i wonder how long is the least amount of time an airline can lease aircraft for. Is it better to temporarily suspend the service while new aircraft come or lease aircraft.

  7. Anonymous09:24

    I am agree with JATBEGMEL
    Probably the leasing period is one year and I am sure they have added up things and realised that they don't need those Fokkers at this point and it's far better to wait the Dash8s...

    Well they can afford to be cheap. They are basically the owners of Riga Airport (they are both government owned) and that considerably reduces the operating costs for them.

  8. Anonymous16:06

    Well Adria and Aerodrom Ljubljana are both owned by state - and sadly that does not help Adria, they still pay a lot mroe than Easyjet for example.


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