Qatar Airways to launch Belgrade flights

Qatar Airways heading to Belgrade in 2012
Days after announcing that Qatar Airways will launch flights to Zagreb, the airline’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker, says the airline will also inaugurate services to Belgrade in 2012. “We are also planning to go to Perth, Zagreb, Belgrade, Kiev, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and many other destinations within the next twelve months. Fifteen new destinations in the next twelve months”, Al Baker told the weekly “Arabian Business”. The new route announcement raises the possibility that the service to Zagreb will operate with a stop in Belgrade. Similarly, within the region, the Qatari national carrier operates flights to Sofia via Bucharest.

The new destinations will be progressively introduced from January 2012. The new flights to the EX-YU region are likely to coincide with the carrier’s launch of its Doha - Perth service in July. Once Qatar Airways commences flights to Belgrade, it will be in direct competition with the low cost Flydubai which currently operates four weekly flights to the Serbian capital. The fight will be on to take the much more lucrative transiting passengers, especially to Australia.

Qatar Airways continues to focus on “relentless expansion”, CEO Al Baker said. “On average, every eighteen days it is growing by one new aircraft”, he added. Qatar Airways currently operates flights to 109 cities with a fleet of 96 aircraft with a further 133 orders.

Zagreb Airport strike cancelled

Good news for passengers travelling to and from Zagreb today. The airport’s management and unions have made an agreement to make changes to the collective agreement, cancelling all planned strikes.


  1. Anonymous09:15

    Wonderful news. This means that Belgrade will be served by a legacy and a lowcost from the Middle East!

    Congratulations to Belgrade.

    I would like to use this opportunity and ask Purger to share his opinion, since he was quite malicious when QR announced Zagreb flights.

  2. Anonymous09:18

    From where is this info, because in Qatar Airways online site is just ZAG flight.

    Regards from Slovenia.

  3. Anonymous09:18

    I suppose that the flights will operate Doha-Belgrade-Zagreb-Belgrade-Doha...

    So that means that we will lose the one stop flight to Asia from Zagreb?!?!
    Then there is no difference if we fly on TK via Istanbul?!

  4. Anonymous09:42

    So QR is also introducing ZAG-BEG route? :)))))))))))))))))

  5. Anonymous09:44

    Yes but I doubt that you could book your flight between the two

  6. Dreamliner09:55

    I think Zagreb will be separate, Belgrade will be connected with Skopje, at least once a week. on that way they will have almost whole Balkan covered. Another gossip is after Perth , they will introduce Sydney, but they need midnight departure from syd, which they cant get approval.

  7. @ Anonymous 2: The source is given in the article.

  8. Anonymous10:03

    Yep, Zagreb is such a "huge" city, it must be separate! Haha, you're so funny...

    Welcome back to reality.

    Pozdrav svim Bosnjacima, Hrvatima i Slovencima!

  9. Anonymous10:05

    The best solution would be to fly
    DOH-SOF-BEG and DOH-OTP-ZAG with traffic rights between the cities. BEG/ZAG as a comibination is a bad idea.

  10. Dreamliner,

    Could you tell me about your logic that Zagreb will be direct whereas Belgrade will be linked with Skopje?

    If anything Belgrade has managed to prove itself that it can fill a flight to the Middle East (DXB). That means that the risk of entering the Serbian market is smaller than to enter the Croatian one which was left untapped until now. (for which I am sure that there is a reason)

    The end result will be, A319 to Zagreb via Belgrade.

    Also, they can't afford to have Serbs sit in the plane (if the flight goes BEG-DOH via SKP) because then no one will use it simply because there is a direct flight to DXB.

    Making flights DOH-BEG-SKP doesn't make sense due to geographical location of the cities.

    What might happen with SKP is when OTP matures enough they can link it with SOF.

  11. Anonymous10:13

    Great news! QR, welcome to Belgrade.
    This would offer passengers even more options and good competition having in mind FlyDubai and Emirates network, also available as a single ticket that you can buy from Belgrade.
    I do not think BEG and ZAG would be a joint flight from Qatar, but who knows... We will see once they put it on their website.
    Have a nice day!

  12. JU520 BEGLAX10:15

    Good Morning Zagreb, Good Morning Belgrade, Good Morning ex YU from Zurich, Switzerland

    We are very happy that BEG and ZAG both have their QR flights and one stop connections to Australia and other marvellous points in Asia.

    so stop the small provocations and rather be happy and enjoy your future travelling or plane spotting on one of the 2 airports..

  13. Dreamliner10:23


    I dont work for QR to tell u the actual plans for the airline. I just wrote the gossips what i heard down here.
    the other side I dont realy care where the plane stops , eighter Beg, Zag, Skp, Sof or whatever. People who leave down Aus and Nz will expereience the most. also Ju flight from Dxb , a quater from the passangers were flying to Skp.

    whoever mention above, Zag big city ... QR didnt mention that they will go daily to Zag or Beg , wont be more then 3 per week.

  14. Dreamliner,

    I know and I am not saying that there is no market for SKP, quite the contrary.
    However, Belgrade already has a direct service to the Middle East, the other cities don't.
    Which means that QR has to offer to passengers originating in Belgrade the same that they get from flydubai - that is direct flights to the Middle East (no stops).

    Why should anyone go on QR and sit for 40 minutes at an airport with all the landing and take off fuss when they can skip that and go directly. Not to mention that Balkan people are price sensitive, something that they can get with flydubai.

    That is why I think that QR will have Belgrade direct in both direction.
    Which means that there are two possible scenarios:

    I completely agree with you, it's not going to be more than three times per week on board their A319.

  15. Anonymous10:46

    I'm happy for Belgrade and for Zagreb.

    Pozdrav svim normalnim ljudima.

  16. Zagreb is well established for flights to the world via star alliance hubs. With this you get frequent flyer points and as a business passenger access to business lounge at many places worldwide. For this reason I believe Zagreb would have to be direct to have any chance of luring passengers away from original routes and why Zagreb may not be tapped just yet by airlines in the Mid East like Nemjee questioned .
    If there is a stop then they will have a hard time securing passenger the Australian East coast but flights from Perth may still be appealing to travelers.

    I wonder how much any of these 'new routes' have been finalised, I mean does Zagreb or Belgrade airports up until now anything about them?

    As for Qatar, they seem to be more focused on expanding then making a profit (which does not seem to be a problem for them). They posted a 1 billion dollar loss for the past few years per year so I wonder how much load factor is that much of a concern for them on any route for the time been.

  17. Purger11:15

    Malicious me? My god where did you read something malicious on my comments? Even more I totally refrain from any comments especially those stupid one “who has bigger....”. And some of those were so stupid and incorrect that one can not even put himself on same low-level to comment this.

    This is perfect for Belgrade and as I once mentioned Belgrade airport management is doing great job. Qatar just for Zagreb could be little chance to stay on track with BEG, unfortunately for ZAG that will not happened. The only chance for Zagreb, now, is entering EU in 2013 and huge growth which all major airports of countries entering EU had.

  18. Captain Cook12:06

    Qatar Airways is warmly welcome to ZAG/BEG .
    What it makes sense is the flight Doha-Zagreb-Belgrade-Doha or viceversa.
    Inbound/outbound flight legs with one stop more either ZAG or BEG.
    A QR A320 plane could be fit for this purpose as I think it's no time for a widebody yet.
    Connections to Perth, Melbourne and Sydney would work well earlier future.
    If so, Flydubai would disappear.

  19. Anonymous12:17

    Q400 said; They posted a 1 billion dollar loss for the past few years per year so I wonder how much load factor is that much of a concern for them on any route for the time been.

    Funny how you know that considering that Qatar does not publish its financial statements.

    Good news for BEG and ZAG in any case.

    As for flydubai - I'm sure they're not happy about this development. And rightfully so. Theys simply cannot compete against QR.

  20. Purger12:50

    DOH-ZAG-BEG-DOH is very stupid idea! Even more DOH-BEG-ZAG-BEG-DOH.

    As DOH-BUD-DOH LF is very low (some 40 pax per flight) I think that most logic flight would be DOH-BUD-ZAG-DOH and DOH-SOF-BEG-DOH.

    Even if they will fly DOH-BEG-ZAG-BEG-DOH there is no way that on leg BEG-ZAG-BEG can be any ticket to sell, exempt if Qatar will have code-share with Jat or Croatia and than Jat/Croatia can sell ticket on leg ZAG-BEG-ZAG (not Qatar). The same think we have on LIS-BLQ-ZAG flight where Croatia Airlines sell ticket for BLQ-ZAG leg.

  21. True, they are a bit vague with their financial reporting but I do recall reading an article in Airliners magazine about huge looses at Qatar Airways. A quick check online and they claim to be close to making a profit next year but do not release any financial data to prove this.

  22. frequentflyer13:06

    And today we read QR announce BEG for the coming year. I wish them every success as I did with ZAG!

    But still, why no month as to when they are to be launched?? Surely people want security and knowledge that the flight will run when they want holidays etc?

    Anyone hoping that they'll operate tag flights between ZAG and BEG will likely find this isn't the case, and the wording in the original post doesn't says this! Many of their European tag flights end up being standalone routes within a short period of time as new a/c come on board and demand increases (SOF seems the exception). And as for the a/c, the only narrowbodies arriving next year are 320s, making the service guaranteed 320 (and *NOT* 319s which are exclusively used for long-range routes to Scandinavia).

    As I alluded to in my posting a few days ago (which was perversely interpreted by some as ZAGvBEG contest), this exclusively undermines FlyDubai's position, and ultimately that of parent Emirates. EK saw no need for consistent full-service from their Asian/African/Australian long-haul flights, ending the arrangement with JU and choosing to send pax in a 6hr, tight-config (Y189) LCC flight. QR obviously sees demand for a full-service, and announces flights. What will EK do next? Is FZ likely to survive the route in the long run if pricing is comparable QR vs EK/FZ?

  23. Anonymous13:29

    FZ will be just fine with Qatar's flight to Belgrade.
    There is a huge Serbian diaspora living in Dubai, if I am not mistaken around 7,000 people.

    The advantaga QR has over EK is that it has A320 family at its disposal. EK has its smallest aircraft as A330-200.

    Next year it is expected that China will become the biggest investor in Serbia meaning that there will be a rise in passengers betweent the two countries.
    I am sure that QR is going to fight TK and SU for those.

  24. must say my first idea was too that they will add ZAG to their BUD flight, but now with anouncing BEG who knows ....

    Qatar, however is selling tickets between SOF and OTP

  25. Anonymous13:38

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  26. No way that QRs ZAG and BEG routes would be without stop in any direction. Theyll merge those destinations (or combine them with SOF/OTP) and advertise them as direct flights to DOH, no matter there is one stop. No change of a/c, thats the point.
    Look at DOH-SOF-OTP. SOF and OTP are close enough to each other, so I can easily see DOH-BEG-ZAG-BEG-DOH without any problem. 3-4 f/w max. btw-noway that QR will have local traffic rights on BEG-ZAG sector.
    Maybe therell be DOH-SOF-BEG and DOH-OTP-ZAG, but no chance for direct flights on DOH-ZAG or DOH-BEG sector.

  27. Anonymous14:04

    Anonymous said...
    So QR is also introducing ZAG-BEG route? :)))))))))))))))))

    Well, it's funny cause it's true, as Homer Simpson would put it. They do operate 5th freedom routes whereever possible, including SOF-OTP. I do hope they get approvals for this, if that routing happens. And ZAG pax should still be happy with flying via BEG, they get more overhead room as they board first.

    > So that means that we will lose the one stop flight to Asia from Zagreb?!?!

    Unless final destination is DOH, there are tons of one-stop flights from anywhere in Europe, including ZAG, to Asia. Usually via estabished hubs, such as FRA, MUC, VIE, LHR, CDG, etc.

  28. Purger14:56

    For sure if Qatar can secure 5th freedom it would be much easier if stop will be OTP or SOF, and much harder that if it will be BEG. You can see that we have problems on ZAG-BEG direct line for Jat or Croatia, and even to think that someone outside those countries will get 5th freedom for the line looks like science fiction. Of course ZAG is desperate for that line and because of this there is little chance for even 5th freedom on ZAG-BEG leg, but as I say if I would be ZAG CEO and official in Ministry I will try to force OTP or SOF, than BUD, and the last would be stop in BEG. Even for Qatar that will more possibility for profit on ZAG-SOF or ZAG-OTP leg than on ZAG-BEG and there is big chance of incident on board + big demotivation for possible Croatian passengers if stop will be in BEG. Clime about arrestment of Croatian citizen in Serbia and start of law process against Croatian citizen for sure is not god motivation to travel via BEG.

  29. Anonymous15:33


    well I am sorry but who says that it will not be demotivating for Serbs to board a flight full of hostile Croats?

    Miss Kosor certainly didn't contribute to the improvement of relations between the two countries. Quite the contrarty to what Mr Josipovic has tried to do.

  30. Anonymous15:59

    Hostile Croats and Serbs arresting pax in transit? Come on people, you obviously did not travel long haul with the Russians. Now, there's a chance for on board incident.

    By the way, there are at least 10+ Serbs and Croats on every single US-bound flight out of FRA/MUC and I haven't heard of any altercations.

  31. Koja seljacka mentaliteta (cast izuzecima). Ovo namjerno pisem u Srpsko-Hrvatskom, da se nam stranci ne smiju. Stvarno ne znam, cemu uzastopno prepucavanje tko je jaci, veci, bolji, ljepsi, itd. Trebamo biti sretni i zadovoljni, da konacno imamo neku respektabilnu avio kompaniju, koja ce nas povezati i omoguciti lakse veze sa istocnom poluoblom, a ne da se svadjamo, da li cemo morati presjedati u BEG ili ZAG. Iskreno, ja bih radje 100 puta presjedao u ZAG ili BEG nego u nekom FRA ili LHR, gdje mi treba sat vremena samo da nadjem pravi terminal. Ako nekom vise pase da leti preko Njemacke, Austrije, itd, niko vam ne brani, samo izvolite, a nas ostale postedite svojih ksenofobnih i nacionalistickih savjeta. Idu mi na povracanje ovi pojedini nacionalni izazivaci, koji u svemu moraju naci razlog za svadju i mrznju. Zahvaljujuci takvima i njihovoj "struci" smo danas najmanje 50 god za ostalima.

  32. Purger17:02

    "well I am sorry but who says that it will not be demotivating for Serbs to board a flight full of hostile Croats?"

    I absolutely agree with you. For me, personally, that is all bullshit, but that is, unfortunately, fact. For part of potential passengers. So, much better idea for Qatar would be to make it without that risk and including also those who don't wont to travel with Croats/Serbs or via ZAG/BEG.

  33. VisitBengaluru!18:09

    Has anybody seen the 747 400 of
    MyCargo in BEG at 28th october ?

    On you can find a photo of this impressive bird !

    MyCargo(ACT)is registered in IST Sabiha Gokcen (Turkey) but owned 50% by the same Chinese holding which also owns Hainan Airlines !
    MyCargo shares also its livery with Yangtze River Express !

    Does anybody know the reason of their visit in Belgrade ?

  34. hey gang,

    off topic, but can't pass out on this one - Dubrovnik and Belgrade airports in 1986 + JAT CEO interview

    some problems then, huh ? Chernobyl ? :)

    awesome -

  35. Anonymous19:18

    Dubai’s budget carrier Flydubai could soon be moving to Dubai World Central — the Al Maktoum International Airport — from its current home at Dubai International’s Terminal 2, according to the carrier’s Chairman, Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and CEO of Emirates airline and Group

  36. seljacina19:41

    Just a question. I'm not saying I expect QR to bring widebodies to BEG for a while, but is the width between gates at BEG enough to accomodate widebodies? Or would a widebody today in BEG be parked in an open tarmac away from a gate (ex: QR A332). Thanks for reply in advance

  37. Anonymous20:06

    Belgrade airport used to park wide-bodies 35 years ago, so.....

  38. Anonymous21:38

    which kind of aircraft Qatar will use? Is there a chance for Qatar Airways to send airbus 330-200

  39. Anonymous22:22

    For the very beginning it would be an Airbus320 , business and economy .

  40. VisitBengaluru!23:15

    At least strike at Zagreb airport was cancelled !

  41. JU520 BEGLAX00:10

    Belgrade used to handle Jat DC10s,
    QF 747s and even SR flew with Airbus A310-200 to BEG. Not to forget the Air China and Uzbekistan widebodies...

    same story in Zagreb, JU DC10s, AC Boeing 767-200s, MH 777-200 and PA A310-300 and recently JL 744 and KE 772

  42. JU520 BEGLAX00:15


    I can t remember having anyone 5th freedom rights between ZAG-BEG. Even in 80s when SR flew SR 456 ZRH-ZAG-BEG or PA flew ZRH-ZAG-BEG you could not board the plane from ZAG to BEG. Even the transatlantic flights lets say BEG-ZAG-JFK were only ok for transit passengers, boarding in ZAG another flight.

    So I can t imagine that OU and JU will grant QR 5th freedom. Also timings wont be attractive. Assuming that QR would depart early afternoon to DOH.
    ZAG-BEG is the biz of JU/OU and lets hope they will soon find an agreement which serves both parties. I think what s needed first are 6 weekly departures in the morning and evening each

  43. Purger00:35

    absolutly agree!

  44. seljacina03:18

    You guys did not understand my question. I am well aware that BEG and ZAG have handled widebodies like 747s and DC-10s in the past. But in the case in BEG, would a widebody today be parked at a gate or would it take in passengers from an open tarmac (ex: bus taking passengers from the terminal and having passengers climb up stairs into the a/c from outside)

    sorry if im unclear.

  45. Anonymous06:05

    Well, it depends on whether the airline pays for the airbridge service.

    Jetways at BEG - all of them - are perfectly capable of handling widebodies, although I would expect to see them parked at C gates just because waiting lounges are way bigger there.

    Perhaps A380 would be a challenge as there are no dual jetways at BEG, but somehow I don't expect to see an A380 full of passengers at Belgrade anytime soon.

  46. Anonymous07:44

    @SAM...veliki pozdrav razumnom coveku! Refering 5th freedom flights, that is granted by governments, not JU or OU, thanks good! It could happen that in such "sensitive" political situation between SER and CRO (damn politics) it could be kind of solution for ZAG-BEG route which is completely political issue! Commercialy it could be resolved easily between the airlines, who is selling what (a koliki je moj deo!)...will see, just my opinion!

  47. Anonymous07:49

    I remember QANTAS 747-200 as weekly visitor at BEG during 80's and of course few DC-10's park one beside other. It used to be on C platform almost always. Sometimes DC-10 used to be parked on A1 position. Regards

  48. Anonymous08:10

    Apology for OT;

    Is it correct that JAT is still without Web Check-in option?

    How to find out this?

  49. Anonymous08:15

    Yes, Jat does not offer online check-in.
    That is probably because it's managment is made up of fossiles that do not know what is a computer.

  50. lol the management is not made up of fossils. It is made up of young unprofessional who have never been on an airplane.

  51. Anonymous09:10

    Of course they have never been inside an airplane, they are too busy sitting in Strahinjica Bana wearing their fancy Gianfranco ''Bulevari''...

  52. Qatar airways is going well which is one of the best growing airline industry last year i got flight from Uzbekistan airways that was very comfortable and reliable i am sure it will also good competitor in international market.


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