Chicago – Belgrade this summer

Directorate announces Chicago – Belgrade flights
Flights between Chicago and Belgrade are set to begin this summer. The Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate has confirmed, to local press, that it has received a formal request from an airline to commence flights between the two cities. Serbia is currently classified as a category 2 country by the United States Federal Aviation Administration, meaning that a Serbian registered airline cannot operate flights to the United States.

The Directorate has said that it is awaiting some additional documentation from a carrier from the United States after which it could issue a license within days. Over the past decade there have been several seasonal services from North America to the EX-YU region. There have been flights from New York and Toronto to Belgrade, as well as flights from Toronto to Zagreb and New York to Priština. Rumours suggest that the airline set to operate from Chicago to Belgrade is EuroAtlantic Airways, on a seasonal summer basis.

Flights between Belgrade and Chicago last operated on May 17, 1992 when JAT Yugoslav Airlines operated its final service in face of international sanctions. The route was first inaugurated on April 10, 1980 as a charter service and became a regular 4 weekly service on November 4 that same year.


  1. Anonymous09:38

    Great news! wich airline will operate this route? Hope its an star alliance airline! / Philname

  2. Anonymous09:55

    I suppose that it would be the new United but I do not know with what equipment.

  3. Anonymous10:31


  4. Anonymous10:38

    Welcome :)

    Actually now that I think of it it will probably be a 767-200.

    It got me thinking, could this have something to do with OU coming to Belgrade? They did ask for the Zagreb-Belgrade flights... Man that would be a total slap to the managment of Zagreb airport!

    So I guess with this news Tirana-Belgrade becomes more possible!

  5. Anonymous10:56

    It is not Star Alliance, it is not United and it has nothing in common with OU flights to Belgrade. These will be charter flights operated by Ryan International Airlines only as sesonal. The same apply was recieved in Zagreb for flights to Chichago. It is the same agency.

    BTW OU is to come next week to Belgrade for negotations for flights ZAG-BEG and it was written here on the blog.

  6. Anonymous11:05

    Aren't Ryan International doing military charters?

  7. Anonymous11:40

    Category 2 means that airlines from the country falling under it cannot operate new flights to the US. Airlines from countries in the Category 1 can operate new flights, meaning that a US airline can operate flights to Serbia and Croatia, as long as it receives the agreement from Serbian and Croatian authorities.

    Please do not post misleading information without verifying it first.

  8. With such huge Serbian diaspora in Chicago and the area, this service makes sense.

    As well as other flights make sense from/to Toronto and NewYork on one,and Belgrade, Zagreb, Dubrovnik on the other side.

    Probably all of these services, maybie some others as well, will start this, or the next year, but only as seasonal flights, operated by some smaller carrier(s).

    And despite all people here who permanently claim that we can forget direct ex-yu - North America flights, I still claim that such flights could be operated, even by an ex-yu carrier, on regular bases, throughout the year, of course with less frequencies in winter.

    And of course, providing that at least one ex-yu country obtains FAA category 1, and an airline here starts which will be run by experts, not aparatchiks, or existing air carriers transform completely, which is hard to believe is possible, at least today.

    Personally, I think project is something which could have sucess.

    @ Anonymous nr 4 :

    Maybie total slap to Belgrade Airport are flights from Japan which will be operated on A340 this year to Zagreb, (operated by JAL B744 during last 2 years), as well as KoreanAir B777 flights Seoul-Zagreb, announced for this summer, too. I just don't know why you interprete this service announced to BEG as "victory" over ZAG. I would be happiest if both BEG and ZAG, and other ex-yu airports, could see big increase in both volume and quality of traffic, and especially if we could see modern normal market-oriented airline in ex-yu, which will start long-haul flights,too.

  9. Anonymous12:28

    Ryan International is normal private charter company, doing charters where ever needed, so execept other business they are also doing military charters for USAF, not only military charters.

  10. @pozdrav iz Rijeke

    Good on you mate! Finally someone who uses common sense here. :-) I'm sick of those keeping score here. Professionally I am really keen to see the whole region go forward and couldn't care less if new flights are introduced from SJJ, SKP, ZAG, TGD or BEG as long as they are introduced.

  11. Purger17:07 business model:
    - starts every year for Easter for some 6 years now
    - ask for slots (for example Prague) but doen't have AOC
    - CCAA never get any papers from this coumpany but in same time they present as coumpany will start to fly in some 60 days
    - LCC which wont to fly some 5-6 models od planes in same time
    - Intercontinental LCC will happend in Croatia and Ryan prolong that decision for nother 3-4 years - of cours would be first

    This is not a company but parody!!!! If they will ever secess with this model I would dance in midle of Jelacic square.

  12. Anonymous17:56

    Excellent news from Belgrade as now there is competition in the Ex-Yu market. Belgrade now has flights to USA and Croatia which is the best thing that could have happened. Toronto is also very close to negotiating a direct summer line, and Serbia is in the process of negotiating visa-free access to Canada as well. Hopefully, these two things could be accomplished by next summer, although the Serbian Embassy predicts that flights could very well begin this year. All that's left is NYC and China.

    And this is not a competition between Zagreb and Belgrade. Both have good chances of making it big, However, Belgrade has the edge due to its geographic location. It is the perfect transit spot in Europe and I am sure that airlines will take advantage of that within the next 10 years. As for the's effectively dead. It has been going on for so many years now, and nothing happened. So please stop advertising it like its the idea of the century because it is not. And to my fellow Serbs, Belgrade is the capital of the Balkans, and always will be. Who cares what Zagreb has, as long as Belgrade get what it wants and needs. Thank you.

  13. Anonymous17:58

    By the way, what ever happened to the Toronto flights. I am hearing that Toronto wants to establish a link, but again something is in the way. Ex-Yu Aviation, would you mind looking into that please? I would love to know if they are actually going to happen soon. Thx

  14. Anonymous18:23

    ..."And to my fellow Serbs, Belgrade is the capital of the Balkans, and always will be"...And i always thought that capital of the Balkans is Athens!!:)

  15. @ Purger

    Maybie you should read bit more carefully.

    I never said "business model" as you imply, but "project". There is huge difference between the 2.

    And if CTN/OU didn't have PRIVILEGED, SUBSIDISED, AND OVERPROTECTED position in HR, controlled by few people and one political party (Vrdoljak-Katicic-Misetic-Zuzul-all "EXPERTS" in the aviation field), this, I repeat "PROJECT", would have had chance to come into position to have Business plan, as well as before : Air Croatia, Ivan Air, Zubak, Anic Airways, Air Adriatic (which was closed and lost AOC, imagine, just after annuoncing scheduled low cost flights from Zagreb), and plenty of others. DBK and TDR have been surviving only because CTN had absolute guarantees that they are not coming into "their, scheduled" - sold ass to LH field".

    After the crisis which is coming to an end, hopefully, and with some new winds, which (only maybie) are blowing in HR, political- and market-wise, I just express my support here for an IDEA, which could be good idea for whole ex-yu region, which has big, unused potential.

    If I need to be guilty for that, mate, I admit guilt.

  16. Anonymous18:31


    You know what would save the Ex-Yu region? If Croatia and Serbia finally reconciled and opened each other's markets fully to the other. also, combining and solidifying the two markets would bring an incredible amount of money to both. Alas, this will take some time obviously, but if I understand what you are talking about, then this is the perfect model for business in Ex-Yu.

  17. Blica18:36

    At least we know for sure that Serbia will have flights to USA. Still not sure about Croatia though.

  18. Nikola18:54

    What is the point of that comment? Does it make you feel better about yourself? If it does, than it says something about you. That you are a really sad person. And not just you, but most of the BEG>ZAG comments here. I am a 23 year old Serb and i feel ashamed when i read comments like this. You all are acting like 12 year old kids, as it can be seen on yesterday's comments as well.
    Just for the record, BEG will maybe be better than ZAG in term of pax numbers, but look at how many airports they have, and how smaller Zagreb city is. When you consider all of that, Croatian aviation is on much higher level tan Serbian. FFS, we can't even push INI with some decent numbers..
    'nuff said.

  19. Anonymous19:37

    Mostly of you are writing here that something is sure, at the moment completely nothing is sure!!! There are some flights applying for direct flights as charters, nothing is started, and all of it are 3rd class airlines. In European competition this is very small and irrelevant offer, all markets around are bigger and already having better flights then Zagreb and Belgrade together. These comparations between ZAG and BEG almost daily in each topic are primitive, neverless that aviation is this region in both of them are at the bottom of European offer of flights. And finnaly the capital of Balkans aviation is Istanbul! When you comare tens of millions of passangers in Istabul and in Turkish Airlines our 2-3 millions in BEG and ZAG are small irrelevant number in aviation. Neighter Belgrade neither Zagreb are the centre of anyting, irrelevant little aviation players without any importance ...

  20. @ Dear last Anonymous

    In whole of Europe, maybie even on world scale, 2 airlines which saw the most dramatic increase and development during last 20-30 years, are Austrian Airlines, and Turkish Airlines - companies which "surround" ex-yu, and, wow, what a coincidence, controlled or owned by LH.

    Let me remind you, that about 30 years ago, Turkish passengers used to fly to North America via ex-yu, because there were no flight to the USA form Turkey, THY was one of the lousiest airlines in the world, and Istanbul, compared to both Belgrade and Zagreb, in aviation sense, literally was a village, especcially when we compare size of Turkey, and ex-Yugoslavia.

    I agree with you that aviation in ex-yu today is very very very low, lowest ever. I agree, too, it's stupid and primitive to compare BEG and ZAG day by day in every topic. But, there are some of us here who would like things in aviation in ex-yu to change to better, and we express our opinions about that here. Should we stop?

  21. Anonymous20:38


    You can not compare Nis to Dubrovnik or Pula, not even Zagreb.
    Naturally that the Serbian market is less developped and will probably be in the future when compared to the Croatian one. Croatia has a few advantages in comparison to Serbia, first of all they have been travelling for a longer time without visas, second of all they have a booming tourist industry, thirdly Croatia has a much more stable situation in the country which makes it far more attractive to foreign investors- hence why a higher standard of living.
    Serbia however on the other hand is getting there. Belgrade is booming and is developping at a fast pace. No one can expect Nis to get decent flights until Belgrade has them, simply because Belgrade is the capital and gets all the attention.
    However, now that Belgrade is becoming more and more saturated airlines will start to consider Nis. Let's not forget that south Serbia was very underdevelopped and only now with the new foreign investment (as Fiat) it is becoming more interesting. There were flights to Italy which failed so why would any other flight work. Sure they might manage to make a small profit but it would take less time to make a profit out of Belgrade.

    Personally, I do not give a damn what is happening in Croatia. Wether their market is crashing or booming it makes no difference to me. Naturally I wish them all the best and I hope that the average Croatian citizen can profit from healthy competition.
    All I care about is what is happening in Belgrade and that the aviation business in Serbia is heading in the right direction.

    So please before you trash some comments here make sure that you know all the facts about your own home market first.

    As for this North American flight, good for Belgrade. This will drive airlines like Lufthansa, Austrian, Air France... to offer better deals since all of the get a lot of North American traffic from Belgrade.
    I doubt that Ryan International will send their 767-300 to Belgrade so I suppose a 757-200 it is (naturally with a stop somewhere).

    Does anyone have any update on the expansion of the Belgrade terminal?
    That parking spot that they are planning, where is it going to be?

  22. Anonymous20:41

    I agree with PozdravIzRijeke. There are those of us that want to share nationalist ideas on this blogs and others like it. Let me ask you guys something...Do you want this blog to be shut down? I for one enjoy reading news about all of the Ex-Yu region. I am a Serb, but this is overboard. Yes, Zagreb and Belgrade are competing against each other, and so what. I'd rather they compete, then not try anything at all.

    And Istanbul is at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. I don't consider it to be in the Balkans per-say. Croatia is more-developed and that is because of its tourist industry. That is FACT. Is Serbia had such a coastline than it too would be just as developed. But Serbia has Belgrade, which Croatia does not. That is FACT. History has proven that Belgrade is a regional center and it is slowly becoming that once more. That is FACT. Now al of you nationalists shut the fuck up, and enjoy reading the news, rather than spitting on it.

  23. Anonymous20:42

    "surround" ex-yu, and, wow, what a coincidence, controlled or owned by LH.''

    Turkish Airlines is everything BUT controlled by Lufthansa. The success of Turkish Airlines doesn't lie in the work of Lufthansa but in the decisivness of the Turkish government to do something about the failing airline. They paid a large sum of money to a consulting agency which transformed Turkish in what it is today!

  24. Blica20:49


    You know what, it does make me better. As far as I can read, this information has the airport names, and the NAME OF THE AIRLINE that will be flying. Zagreb was stuck up about being the hub for regional transportation and people kept shoving that constantly in my face. I guarantee that no such flights will take place. NYC-Zagreb is a myth. Which airline is so ashamed of admitting it is starting such flights huh? You tell me. At least EuroAtlantic is not afraid of saying, "We will be flying the Belgrade-Chicago route."

    And sure Croatia has a better developed aviation industry, but look at the country. It has a coastline that is increasing with tourists, a EU candidate, and it did not have sanctions nor bombs dropped on them by the 20 something most powerful nations on earth. Serbia is still premature economically, and every intellectual has agreed that Serbia will have a huge market economy once it reaches its developed stage. Belgrade will be the new Istanbul in 10 years, and with more flights than ever.

  25. Anonymous20:54

    I don't understand why all the fighting. The aviation industry doesn't even have a future anymore. In 20-50 years, people will be traveling by high-speed trains, and use airlines only when necessary to cross large bodies of water. The smarter country will quickly try to establish high-speed rail links, and not worry about how many airlines it will attract.

    And to all my fellow Serbs who constantly argue nationalism. Please stop. It is absolutely unnecessary. Keep patriotism at heart and not nationalism. Like Anonymous said, Belgrade will once again be the regional capital. For goodness sake even the USA and EU are pushing for such an agenda. So please, there is no need to fight.

  26. Anonymous20:56

    Lets also get the record straight, it's not just Serbs doing the nationalist shit here. That goes for all Croats as well.

    Anyway, Chicago-Belgrade is a great first step. Next Toronto, then New York, and possibly Beijing.

  27. I thought I won't write again, but I have to :
    Lot of people here ( I will deliberately omit their ethnicity or origin ), behave in a way: All that's mine is triple better then the other people's, and all what's good and belong to other people might be good, but is still triple worse than anything mine, no matter how bad that mine could be.

    And obviously lot of people here don't have basical idea at all what's the difference between seasonal and all-year-round services, what's the difference between charters and scheduled operations, and after all, what civil aviation could be, or contribute for a country: have a look at Emirates, Singapore, Malaysia, even Turkey or Germany.

    Lot of people here don't understand how developed ex-yu aviation used to be, and that we could do that again. But no, better is to fight, to proclaim "our" cities capitols of region, world, whatever, and fight forever showing worst possible primitivism while airline alliancies, for 2 decades have been taking our money, transporting our passengers, and making us feel humiliated (at least I do), whenever we transfer to ATR, Q400, ERJ or CRJ from 330,340, 767, 777, 747 at some FRA, MUC, VIE, ZRH,CDG, LHR, and now when even small third-class charter operators are starting to do the same on seasonal or charter flights.

  28. Anonymous00:36

    Chicago to Belgrade. As much as I enjoy thinking about the possibility, I can't but shudder at the thought of a 10hr flight. I barely manage on the 8hr one from Paris to Toronto. And, if it's United flying where the passengers are so crammed in there, I'll look for other options (sorry, can't afford business).

  29. Purger01:04

    Statistics for 2009 (2008, 2007)

    1. Hrvatska 4.972.873 (5.284.715) ili 40,85% (40,36%, 40,17%)
    2. Srbija 2.401.236 (2.680.048) ili 19,72% (20,47%, 20,38%)
    3. Slovenija 1.433.562 (1.658.000) ili 11,78% (12,66%, 12,52%)
    4. Kosovo 1.191.978 (1.130.640) ili 9,79% (8,63%, 8,97%)
    5. Crna Gora 982.456 (1.109.113) ili 8,07% (8,47%, 8,28%)
    6. Makedonija 643.298 (697.814) ili 5,28% (5,33%, 5,39%)
    7. Bosna i Hercegovina 548.391 (535.398) ili 4,50% (4,09%, 4,30%)


    13.013 tona

    1. ZAGREB
    11.232 tone (-6,49% u usporedbi sa 2008.)

    2. BEOGRAD
    7.687 tona (-16,08%)

    6.307 tona (-30,07%)

    4. SKOPJE
    2.125 tona (-2,20%)

    1.837 tona (- 1,20%)

    6. SPLIT
    819 tona (-23,74%)

    516 tona (-48,25%)

  30. AirKoryoTU-20401:22

    Why would there be flights from Belgrade to Beijing? You can hardly consider this a progressive step forward, Euro Atlantic is a ACIM based carrier! If it were a main stream U.S. carrier diffrent story, untill then please stop making such a big fuss of this all!

  31. Anonymous01:30

    ORD-ZAG and ORD-BEG will be operated by Ryan Interntional based in IL, USA. It will not be operated by Euroatlatic Airways as they were represented by broker known as scam artist and lost the business because of it. Behind this, is company backed by 2 major US banks and BEG and ZAG are just a first step in getting AOC aplication done within next 10-12 months. They acquired aircrafts already on long term dry lease. Ryan International was logical choice due to strict military type personnel, good on time performance and operation-wise judgement, closest to Lufthansa you could get for startup. They are also well funded by Rubloff Development Company which assures that operation will not have money hickups on the start. Rubloff owns half of Midwest in US. Application to both CAA in Serbia and Croatia was given with term for 6 months 3JUN2011 - 14JAN2012 which will extend JULY 1ST 2011 to another year. That is standard procedure with startup projects in US. Both ZAG and BEG will have same chances, but it will take them much more than just forum BS to become transatlantic hubs. Plans are not to stay only on those routes but rather extend further. Behind whole project is a group of 12 well experienced aviation experts, all with more than 15 years of experience. Multi cultural group involving both Serbian and Croatian people as well as French, Irish and Americans. Serbian and Croatian in this case minorities. ZAGREB AND BELGRADE RIVALRY CAN JUST KILL THE PROJECT! You have to understand that gruop like this looks only at bank statements and those will tell if project was good and should they change it SOF, BUD or PRG maybe.
    So do not kid yourself, in aviation pilots and politics do not fly the aircrafts! MONEY DOES! It will all depend on sales in both Serbia and Croatia and what those governments are ready to do in order to help with starting costs.

  32. Anonymous02:04

    Also, one more fact. Yes this is happening. Prospectus to DOT in US was filled also. So let me teach you few things, no one gives 250,000$ for prospectus in US if they wont fly for sure. So lets hope for the best. Also I heard this is the group behind it.

  33. Anonymous09:10

    IST is situated on two continents, has 13 milion people, Turkey has population of almost 80 milion...not comparable at all with complete ex-yu market!
    OU is coming on meeting in Belgrade not for ZAG-BEG flights but DBV-BEG flights intstead!

  34. Doot09:40

    I'm always surprised when I see people spout the nonsense that "Belgrade is the perfect transit spot in Europe".

    What could possible cause someone to think such nonsense? How is it that sentimentality clouds people's judgment so completely.

    Look on a map. Belgrade is no-where near perfectly situation as a european hub.

    Plus, take into account that airports at real hubs have airports that are at a standard higher than the 1970s.

  35. Dreamliner11:44

    Yeah, it might work …. But to make the route profitable, I would fly ORD-YYZ-BGD-YYZ-ORD, 3 times a week . ORD-BEG-ORD, I don’t think so that the flight will be full, even half. They need to get the passengers from both countries, USA and Canada in this case.
    Another point, do not worries about LH, BA,AF, LX …they will not lose any passengers, who ever will start to fly from ORD to BEG , they will match the price, or even cheaper. They have money to spend.
    Later in the future if the above mention scenario is working, they should go for LAX/SFO-JFK-BEG-JFK-LAX/SFO, to get the passengers from the other side of the continent.

    Someone mention… Bejing…. : ) , yeah maybe in the 2050 , when the Chinese will have invasion over the Balkan.

  36. Anonymous16:44

    Whoever said that Belgrade is not a good transit point, please retake every history class you can. From before the Roman empire to today, Belgrade was a key pint for all transit and travel. Even the EU is trying to regionalize the Ex-Yu market through Belgrade. And its geographic position is perfect for all kinds of travel. From BEG, you could go to Japan, USA, Brazil, etc. And it will be such...just give it some time.

  37. Aleks Nikolic USA17:01

    FINALLY!! There is HUGE diaspora of people in the USA who love to go back to Serbia, and do it so oftenly... I live in Cleveland, maybe the 2nd or 3rd largest Serbian populated city in USA behind Chicago, here there are a LOT. When I fly in the summer, the the airport wherever we transfer on every one of our flights there is someone who also is flying from cleveland. We have to end up flying from Cleveland to some bigger city in USA, to some big city in Europe, to Beograd. This is sucj a long trip and real annoying! If the flights began from Chicago to Belgrade I would assure you 99% of Serbians in Cleveland who fly to Serbia would go Cleveland to Chicago, Chicago to Beograd :)))) not to mention people all over the United States, they would love flying from LA , San Diego , New York, even Toronto, FLorida to Chicago to catch their flight to Srbija :DDD SAMO NAPRED SRBIJAAAA!!! CCCC....

    and belgrade is the regional capital in europe, i dont care what anyone says. we have been for a long time and will always be. for the last 20 years because of the 1999 bombing and our wars we are so untouched.... HIllary Clinton even said , Serbia will become a leader in Europe... :D:DDDD

  38. Aleks Nikolic USA17:06

    Plus, the population growth in Serbia is negative - not mostly in birth rate but immigration is negative, this means a lot of Serbians are moving out of Serbia... where are most of them going a person might ask? USA!!! i personally know a few families just in the last few months who moved here in cleveland from serbia, all have plans next summer to go back. same is with chicago , germany , and many countries in the world. this means demand for flights to beograd are going up, now airlines need to meet to the demands :D and there is no reason chicago - belgrade flights shouldnt commence, they would be pretty full and make a lot of people happy, plus serbia does not have sanction anymore :)

  39. Anonymous17:47

    @ Dreamliner

    ORD-YYZ-BEG-YYZ-ORD Could never work because Serbia has visa requirement for Canada. So pax traveling to US would need Canada visa also. You could not open the door of the a/c because of it. You could do ORD-YYZ-ZAG-YYZ-ORD as Croatia does not have visa requirement for Canada.


    Strategic spot of both ZAG and BEG is much better than FRA. But making city an airline hub demands much more than just geo-position. So you are part right but you are mistaken at a same time. You would see much different picture if both belgrade and agreb could invest few billions of dollars in roads,infrastructure and equipment.

  40. Doot17:48

    "Whoever said that Belgrade is not a good transit point, please retake every history class you can. From before the Roman empire to today, Belgrade was a key pint for all transit and travel."

    WAS WAS WAS WAS WAS WAS WAS. Key word: WAS (100s of years ago).

    it no longer is. It will no longer be. No amount of reading history books is going to change this fact

  41. Anonymous17:59

    can we get back on the subject? ORD-BEG and ORD-ZAG. I like the Idea, I like the fact of someone actually operating that and I will do everything to help. They will sure have my business. I hope this lasts and that both Serbian and Croatian community put everything behind as separatly they are both too small for their egos but together they form decent market and have better chances.

  42. Aleks Nikolic USA22:08

    hahah WILL BE lets try that, belgrade was... look at how jat operated, damn they flew EVERYWHERE from beograd and kept expanding..... with their huge fleet and worldwide destinations....and then the 90's hit... well you know yes cities around beograd exploded now w airlines and stuff but belgrade is about to have a HUGE come back. it will be again a hugeeee hub for the region. nobody knows anything for sure, but this is like 99% sure because what is holding beograd back? NOTHING NOW.. thank you

  43. Anonymous22:31

    Jat hada a market of 20 MIL in '90. They have half of it now. That is why I am saying that Only together former YU can form decent market. Tickets over then were over 1500$. Would you pay 1500$ for ticket from Cleveland now?

  44. Aleks Nikolic USA23:45

    I would check your sources. My mother and grandparents flew Cleveland - Beograd with JAT for about 700-800$ round trip (charter flights). MUCH cheaper than how it is now flying to there from Cleveland.

  45. Anonymous00:34

    Actualy my sources are sales on daily basis for last 15 years... That is what I do. So yes, 700-800 base fare in low season without taxes. Cleveland in high season was never under 1400$. Ask Panorama Travel, their owner was JU representative in Cleveland when those charters were operated.
    Also you should consider inflation. In those years can of coke was 25C while today it is 79C. Think about that also. Currently no self respective airline will operate that for that amount of money. Simple test, try to find fare with two or more stops to Belgrade from Cleveland this summer for less than 1400$.

  46. Lukavi Bosanac!03:04

    For us Bosnians and Herzegovinians, our capital is and will only be Sarajevo, not Zagreb or Belgrade, well at least for the ones who aren't nationalistic!

    In terms of travel, particularly for the Bosniaks and most other Bosnians of other nationalities, Istanbul is our hub for travel to the world, especially since B&H Airlines and Turkish Airlines has a great market share in our homeland. Vienna is also a really large base here for us, and Belgrade is slowly becoming a much more popular route where we can transit to go through other countries. Just to say that the Serbian community channel here in Australia, MIS Televizija, is advertising Jat Airways flights to Belgrade for this summer, and they are also promoting flights to Sarajevo where the Bosnian diaspora here will have an easy connection through our former capital, Belgrade with Jat Airways. Anyways, Zagreb for us, is not mostly used to transit through for us to go to Sarajevo, but rather our final destination, especially for the people of Bosnian Krajina, which is the north-western part of the homeland!

    You guys can rival all you want. In fact, it can be quite funny at times sitting back and seeing you guys argue. Just don't use nationalism please!

  47. Aleks Nikolic USA03:28

    I know him, Vladan is his name correct.... and no they showed me a ticket or itinerary i dont remember what it was we left it in serbia, 700 and something $ for the round trip flight, during summer, with taxes.. :) so i dont know how that happened but it is true, even family and friends i ask when they flew back then tell me that they flew for real low price. and yes but who knows, we have to wait and see. also i did, depends on what dates but cheapest i found was a little over 1000$ flying through hungary, even thought you have to wait i believe 20 hours haha next cheapest i saw was around 1100 -1200 with multiple carries. i also do a lot of this reasearch my self. all those prices are WITH taxes

  48. Anonymous04:42

    @ alex
    My friend, here is Malev and it is overnight without paid hotel. 1000 was without taxes. Malev Hungarian $1354.30. That is cheapest with taxes you can get on 3JUN2011 from CLE to BEG. And that is now in January. In may you can only dream about that price trust me. Been long enough on market to know. Also this year market changed after JU lost SPA contract with UA. With this ORD-BEG flights you will have option to fly 1 stop to Belgrade and cut your travel time for some 8 hours per direction at least. Price will be high probably as I do not think Ryan will sign baggage agreements in first year. But you can expect to pay 1350$ + for one stop flight from CLE-BEG this summer if you are lucky enough to purchase separate ticket for CLE - ORD. I suggest you better contact RIA and try to organize Bus Charters from CLE-ORD as I think that will be good business this summer.

    @ Lukavi Bosanac

    You are damn wrong my friend. Neither OS nor TK had biggest market share or influence on Sarajevo. It is LH that controls SJJ with firm grip on all transatlantic routes. If you want to go from SJJ to any part of US where majority of Bosnians are you cannot even think of it without using Starr Alliance. BH airlines at this moment has maybe 1% market share on all transatlantic flights. Lufthansa has only one 1 stop connection to US, JU has connections trough their SPA with LH (not for long as I heard) and OU has best connections with LH,UA,KL,BA but prices are much higher than JU. Also you are very wrong that Zag is not point of interest for Bosnians. Actually US-SJJ market is equally split between ZAG-BEG because do not forget that whole West Bosnia is in STL or ORD. And for them traveling to ZAG is much easier than to SJJ or BEG. Kladusa, Cazin, Banja Luka have huge diaspora on Midwest and they all rather travel to ZAG than to SJJ. I agree SJJ is separate city, but expecting SJJ to bloom due to TK is damn wrong. TK does not have not one connection from SJJ to us without sleepover and trust me they will not be able to do anything until they ask LH. TK is only good as Starr Alliance, without it they would file for Chapter 11 in two seconds. If you think that airlines like UA,CO,LH will allow TK to become anything serious on North America market that is not gonna happen. Look at Starr Alliance more as authocracy where there is only one boss because he is smarter than all others and everybody play by his book. My friend his name is LUFTHANSA!

  49. Aleks Nikolic USA04:49

    i was looking a little later into june and a little later into august and there was option of 1000-1100 with taxes through hungary... majke mi if u understand what that means my friend haha. oh well it seems like a lot of things are changing and if we , or me alone go again this summer i am not sure what to choose. thank you for the advice! and i am looking for cheap, but i wouldnt mind pitching in a little more to go 1 stop since it is less hassle. do you know how much flights might be if euro atlantic does the flights chicago to belgrade? just that flight... and it is charter so i would expect it to be cheap..? please correct if i am wrong, thanks

  50. Anonymous06:58

    Quite oposite. Charters are almost allways more expensive than scheduled flights. Two reasons.
    One they are set for shorter time so all fixed cost are much higher.
    Second, cost of charter aircrafts are much higher than cost of scheduled airlines cost. Regarding tickets, trust me if you tried to book it they allways change the price to what I sent you. Especially when it is weekend fare. Regarding ORD-BEG flights, they are not operated by Euroatlantic they are operated by Ryan International. Much better choice in my opinion. Euroatlatic would probably have much higher price and I remember when they operated WC in South Africa pax did not have nice things to say about them. But pax always complain that is for sure. Regarding price we recieved an email that selling of tickets will be done from Feb 1st. I asked how will the prices look like and recieved an answer that price of return ticket will start from 950$ with taxes included in high season. But per my experience that will be a starting price, and due to huge demand I think their average price will be somewhere around 1200$. All airlines offer low start prices but average ends up allways 200-300 at least more than what they started with. Which I think is a great price.But I look at it more as someone who sels it rather than flies. LH has airfare ORD-BEG 1300$ for same period, and only one cheaper right now is LH/JU combination which is somewhere around 1000$. Per my opinion this will not be cheapest option but by far it will be best option. Price of that ticket I think will much more depend on price of the CLE-ORD airfare.

  51. Jeebusman15:29

    First of all. Someone said that there would be Chicago-Zagreb flights. That is false. The flights will be from New York if they ever take place.

    Second, Canada is making it easier for Serbs to get visas due to Serbia progressing in the visa regime field. Serbia is very close to achieving the visa-free regime and this will surely happen within the next two years. So flights to Canada still make sense.

    Thirdly, Belgrade is a regional capital. Politicians, bankers, athletes, etc. have all said so. And yes even Hilary Clinton said this.

    Fourthly, Cleveland is the third largest Serbian diaspora city (after Chicago and NYC).

    Fifthly, These flights make more sense now, especially because of Cleveland and Toronto's proximity. Not to mention that American businessmen are flocking to Belgrade like sheep, and they always fly Business or First Class.

    Sixthly, Flights to New York and Toronto will also commence. The Serbian diaspora in NYC is very demanding, and there are those on the east coast of USA that already use NYC to get to Belgrade, so New York will also start. Toronto is also very Serb populated and I'm 99% sure that some smart Canadian will start flights at least to see how they will go.

    Seventh thing, Someone mentioned flights to Beijing. Do NOT ignore this possibility. Chinese are coming to Serbia very frequently nowadays, and there are those that wish to go to Serbia from China. Such good Serbia-China relations make this possible, so do not ignore this. But alas, it may take some time to get there...maybe 10 years.

  52. Anonymous17:17


    Japan Prime Minister asked Serbian Prime Minister that EI Nis needs to stop exporting that many tv's into US as if they continue Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic will file for bankruptcy.

  53. Doot17:23

    it's so funny to read some of the strange ideas ethnic-Serbs who don't live in Serbia have about Serbia.

    American Businessmen flocking to Belgrade?

    lol. uh, no.

    Nothing hold Belgrade back? Nice thought, maybe. Fact is Serbs don't need anyone to hold them back, they do that just fine themselves.

    I've been living in Belgrade for 2 years and I laugh at these weird ideas people have about this place they actually know very little about.

    FYI diaspora Serbs: Just because you have dinner once a year a 3 sesiri doesn't mean you know a thing about Serbia.

  54. Anonymous17:58


    You are completly right.

  55. Jeebusman19:36


    I go to BGD every summer for 2 months. And its the diaspora that is investing the most in Serbia and every time they go to 3 sesiri, they give money to Serbia. It may not be such a big contribution, but its something.

    And I too know that Belgrade is not a hub for business, but increasingly so, more and more businessmen are interested in it. The fact that they don't directly travel to BGD, drive around in a limo, and see the place for themselves doesn't mean that they are not taking interest. And they are. For example, one of the reasons Clinton even came to Serbia was to connect businesses in USA with those in Serbia. I'm surprised how that fact eluded you.

    And when you say that Serbs keep themselves back, you are absolutely right. We do. But we are not alone, as others hold us back too.

  56. Anonymous21:33


    Do not kid yourself Clinton was there to tell Serbs hands off Kosovo again... not because of business.
    But I like your optimism.

  57. Anonymous22:09

    We will never catch Istanbul and Turkish traffic ... Turkish found its potential what was not used before, and we lost it. Dream on but Jat will never ever be the half of that what it was ... Jat was operating when middle east airlines hasn't have any importance, Now it is much much bigger competition than in the time of Yugoslavia, there are much better companies Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, and today the meaning of Jat and Belgrade as a hub isn't and can not be even the half of what was it durnig Yugoslavia.

  58. Aleks Nikolic USA23:56

    ok thank you so much. i will be monitoring this situation so closely, thank you so much for the info. oh so the flight from ord to beg might actully be like 1200 dollars? flight from cleveland to chicago in summer is 200$ average. i am hoping for cheapest as my family has started talking about purchasing tickets for this summer. cheaper, sooner, better

  59. Purger01:14

    "Jat will have in 2010 1,5 milion pax"
    = what happends was 900.000

    "Jat will take 2x 767 to fly to USA"
    = nothing, not even one new 320

    Belgrade airport is most important hub in Balkans
    = SOF and OTP are much bigger, not to mention that balkan hubs are VIE, IST, ATH, FRA and MUC!!!

    Belgrade airport is much bigger than Zagreb
    = Belgrade have 2,7 million pax on 1,7 million population, ZAG have 2,1 milion pax on 0,8 million population
    = Serbia have 2,8 million air-pax on 7,3 million population, Croatia have 5,2 million pax on 4,5 million population

    Belgrade is a regional capital
    = Belgrade net pay 760 USD, Zagreb net pay 1.510 USD
    = Serbia GDP is 10.897 USD per capita, Croatia GBP is 18.575 USD per capita
    = Serbia GDP is 80.620 billion USD, Croatia GBP is 82.407 billion USD
    = Croatia will enter EU till 2012 what will be blooming of air-trafic
    = Croatia will have no visa to USA till end of 2011 what would be blooming of air-trafic

    Stop dreaming! Your life would be much easier

  60. Aleks Nikolic USA01:59

    hahaha! you have to keep your mind open, like many serbians do. serbia is growing at a very very good rate, and is returning to the hub it once was and will be even better, but it will take much time. croatia has tourist industry, which is great. srbija has beograd, and known for many things that croatia isent. i think that is so funny how you compared hrvatska to srbija. yes croatia has big help from us and eu, but where will that get them other than their tourist industry. it is honestly funny thinking about nonstop flights to zagreb before beograd, we wil have to wait and see! srbija is more like a serious country and is becoming more of it, business wise too. croatia is some reallll nice tourist country who i see doing great in tourism especially w flights around europe, but we wil see for other countries. who knows. but beograd - flights intercontinental is about to become a reality and everybody knows it, there are more serbians out of serbia then it and many people love returning to their country. plus business wise travelers, and also people flying to visit srbija (tourist wise). i went this summer and could not believe what ive seen and in how many places, how many people went back to srbija to visit and how many people went for tourism and business. do not diss my srbija, ok ? <3

  61. At mr Nikolic above,

    I was reading the replies on this blog and it is quite amusing how we are arguing about which country is best. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with that, as we know both Serbs and Croats are very patriotic and as long as we do not offend then we should be free to express our feelings. Also, I think both countries are working towards bettering themselves in terms of attracting foreign investment and improving commercial out put.

    I was waiting for someone to bring up the Diaspora question. It seems that since Serbia has a larger population then Croatia then many assume that there are more Serbs in the USA and Australia then Croats. This is basically not the case. A simple search online can get you the results of the latest census for both countries.

    Even Chicago has a smaller Serb population than Croatian.

    To keep this short and simple according to the last US census total persons who identified themselves as Croatians 420763 compared to 170312 who identifed themselves as Serb. All in all it is a big difference and an important point for this blog because many people see the Diaspora size as an important factor in the success of direct flight to the region.

  62. Aleks Nikolic USA03:23

    yes i am not trying to show serbia is better than croatia because, no country is better than the other.all countries are different, some have advantages over the other, and disadvantages. but that is very false as there are at least about 150,000 serbians in cleveland, a much larger number is expected in chicago i hear there are anywhere from 300,000-600,000 .. nobody knows exactly not even the census because a lot of people dont put serbian or croatian or anything in their census. but it depends on a lot of factors, situation in home country, wealth of those people abroad, how many want to go back. and it is always the case that more serbians travel back to serbia then croatians do to croatia. PLUS serbia has bigger population, and also MORE AND MORE people are moving from serbia to usa.. i know 3 families in cleveland who in past 6 months have moved here to cleveland from serbia, all planning to visit next summer. and all myy friends and family tell me its even more in chicago. those numbers are fake, as serbians in chicago isent gona kump from half a million to 100 something thousand. and belgrade's location is just there for international travel. we can only wait and see, we could be here guessing for the rest of our lifetime.

    and yes croatia has more advanced aviation since 1. they havent got bombed in last 30 years and 2. they havent had sanctions like we had in serbia which haulted our economy and brought it down.

  63. Anonymous03:46

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  64. Aleks Nikolic USA05:25

    Anybody know why all inbound and outbound flights (BEG) are cancelled?

  65. Purger09:28

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  66. Doot09:29

    You know, repeating the same nonsense doesn't make it more true.

    Firstly, the average wage in Belgrade is NOT 760USD. It's more like $450 tops.

    I pay my 2 employees about $330 for a starting wage, and that's considered a solid salary in Belgrade.

    "businesses are taking interest in Belgrade"

    Maybe. But whenever they actually try something, they run like hell. Serbia's tax code, insurmountable beauro-crazy, the impossibility to getting accurate information from anyone, the overall incompetence and laziness of most Serbian workers (sorry, but this is true), make Serbia a difficult place to do anything. The only hope for Serbia is to become some sort of low-wage outsourcing place, but that's tricky, because the low standard of the people make it a "you get what you pay for situation".

    I used to think that Serbia would burst of the workwork and explode into a vibrant place.

    Then I moved here.

    Belgrade will not become any kind of serious hub. not now, not ever.

  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

  68. 'a much larger number is expected in chicago i hear there are anywhere from 300,000-600,000'

    @ Mr Nikolic,

    I also read on various web sites that 2 to 3 million Croatian call the United States home but is it true???? I think not.
    Unless you’re third or fourth plus generation migrant then you may identify you’re self as not having any other ancestry but if that was the case then you would probably have no interest in the respective land of your fore fathers let alone any interest in flying there on a regular basis.

  69. Anonymous16:01

    This is the las time I will post here. You guys turn everything into freaking war all the time. THE SUBJECT WAS ORD-BEG NON STOP FLIGHTS THIS SUMMER!!!

  70. Jeebusman20:09

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  71. Aleks Nikolic USA21:26

    Hey im 100% serbian orthodox, born in america and i go back with my family as much as we can..... i am so proud to be serbian more than a lot of ppl here i know fluent serbian only listen to our music and am involed w the serbian community here, kno almost every kolo and go to mostly serbian parties. My life revolves around srbija ok so i think what ever you want to... :))) plus i have a house over there and my mama and tata were born over there. When i go to serbia i feel at home, all my friends, family, and life is over there. I honestly dont like living here in usa at all aside from emplyment opportunities, but i want to go to serbia for schooling after im done with high school

    Yes that is exactly what i meant i hope best for serbia and croatia all i want for balkans is peace and that id what i said how serbia is starting to catch up

  72. Anonymous22:45

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  73. I am Bosnian and I like both Serbs and Croats until they start talking nonsense on how big and important they are, how BEG and Croatian coastline are the most beautiful place in the world. How does it make us Bosnians, Slovenians, Montenegrins and Macedonians feel? Have you guys ever visited any other country in the world? Be realistic and don't live in the past anymore. We used to be something but not anymore. The thing that makes me upset is that most of the nationalistic comments here come from Diaspora (Aleks, Jeeb...). If you really like your country that much maybe you should have stayed/returned there and actually do something than just empty talk.

  74. Purger23:07

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  75. Aleks Nikolic USA23:09

    if you read anything i said i was born here and am not an adult yet, not out of high school so i have no choices since my mom cannot find a job there and my grandparents want to stay here. i cannot WAIT till the day comes for me to move there, because i am not spending the rest of my life in usa..... we are talking about the real, and we never said "out of the balkans serbia and croatia are most beautiful", like i said before EVERY country has something unique bout them compared to others, positive and negative.

  76. Jeebusman23:31

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  77. BlicMan23:33


    I agree with you. Everyone just stop talking nonsense and start blogging about aviation for Christ's sake.

    I did read that US Airways, Aegean, and some other airlines were going to have regional offices in Belgrade, but I am not sure as to why. Does anyone have any info on this?

  78. Purger23:37

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  79. Since most people can’t separate politics from aviation, commenting for this post has been disabled. This is becoming a standard procedure now. If this continues in the next couple of day I will introduce moderated comments where as I have to approve each comment before it gets published. Apologies to those actually discussing about aviation.