Serbia to obtain category one rating by FAA

USA to give all clear
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States is to grant Serbia a “category one” rating this year, paving way for scheduled flights between the United States and Serbia. As part of the FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program, the agency assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that operate or wish to operate to the United States and makes that information available to the public. The assessments also determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting international safety standards. Specifically, the FAA determines whether a foreign civil aviation authority has the adequate infrastructure for international aviation safety oversight as defined by international standards.

The head of the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate, Nebojša Starčević, has told the media that Serbia has applied for an assessment by the FAA, with the review set to take place by August. “Serbia meets all international safety standards and there is no doubt that American authorities will confirm this”, Starčević said. He noted that obtaining the category one rating would be much quicker if an airline were to apply to launch flights between the two countries. Serbia held a category one rating until 2002 when it was downgraded to category two. It has since been reviewed twice when there was both the will and political backing for Jat Airways to launch flights to the United States, in 2004 and 2006. While it is highly unlikely for the Serbian carrier to be able to launch flights to the United States now, a category one rating would give it rights to code share on flights operated by airlines from the United States. However, Starčević remains optimistic, saying that Jat could be ready to launch flights to the US by 2014.

The announcement coincides with the opening of a tender by Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport for interested parties to work on the development of a feasibility study for flights between the Serbian capital and the United States. The last commercial flight betwen Belgrade to the United States was operated by JAT Yugoslav Airlines on May 19, 1992 from New York. Recently, on January 27, 2011 the FAA granted Croatia a category one rating.


  1. Purger09:31

    Here is one of the reasons why Qatar will open flights to Croatia:

    [quote]"Katar je zemlja prijatelj Hrvatskoj, kaže bivši premijer Zlatko Mateša. Još 1996. bio je u službenom posjetu toj zemlji koja se obogatila na golemim prirodnim resursima. Već tada su željeli ulagati u Hrvatsku, tvrdi Mateša. 'Oni imaju jednostavnu ali učinkovitu strategiju. Prije svega kao zemlja izvoznica nafte žele iz tog posla uzeti najbolje i žele iskoristiti sve dodane vrijednosti koje ima nafta pruža poput LNG-a i petrokemijskih kompleksa', tvrdi bivši premijer Mateša.

    Katar je htio graditi LNG terminal i u Hrvatskoj. Ideja je nakon brojnih protivljenja propala pa su se okrenuli ulaganjima u turizam. 'LNG je vrlo atraktivan i ako ćemo takvom lakoćom odbacivati sve razvojne projekte...', poručuje Mateša. Bogata državica jedna je od rijetkih s kojima Hrvatska ima pozitivnu trgovačku bilancu.

    Lani smo im prodali robe i usluga u vrijednosti 46 milijuna dolara, a od njih uvezli svega milijun. No prava šansa tek dolazi. Katar je već dobio organizaciju svjetskog nogometnog i rukometnog prvenstva, nedavno su se kandidirali i za domaćinstvo Olimpijskih igara. Ukupno izgradit će 20 stadiona i dvorana.

    'Znači to je velika prilika za naše tvrtke da pobijede na natječajima.Već sad su prisutne neke tvrtke i imaju dosta šansi.Tamo su Konstruktor i IGH i neke manje tvrtke', ističe Sunčanica Skupnjak Kapić. Unatoč svemu navedenom Hrvatska još uvijek nema veleposlanstvo u Kataru. Prošla Vlada donijela je odluku o otvaranju. Kako doznajemo veleposlanstvo u Dohi otvoriti će se u svibnju ove godine."

  2. Anonymous10:21

    That picture, air force one 757..?

    1. Anonymous13:00

      Yep. And I think that's BEG airport.

    2. JU520 BEGLAX15:19

      I think it s used when secretary of states flies....

  3. Anonymous10:25

    Excellent news. I can definitely envisage twice or thrice weekly flights from BEG to ORD.

  4. Anonymous10:29

    Purger, stop trolling around and wait for a thread about Croatia to post that.

    This is really great news, however I do not see any airline launching flights just yet between that two countries. Maybe a summer charter like last summer but the market is not ready to handle a direct, scheduled flight.

  5. JU520 BEGLAX10:52

    haha Serbia fullfills all safety requirements....
    Since 40 years no Serbian civial aircraft has crashed. I can t remember having any accident in BEG at all (at least not in the past 50 years)...
    but ok that s the way it goes and it s good Serbia finally got the status again and let s hope that one day direct US flights from BEG will be a fact again...

    Purger, I m not that well in serbo-croatian, so big part of your post I can t understand. But I have no doubt that it was the right choice for QR to fly to ZAG.

    btway for all JAT fans: check

    u can buy old JAT logo shirts :-)

  6. Anonymous11:14

    Serbs can not manage to do direct flights between USA and Serbia.

  7. Purger11:17

    Anonymous Feb 22 and 01:29:
    "Purger, stop trolling around and wait for a thread about Croatia to post that."

    In this blog, absolutely in every post, you have 2-3 comments which are not related to subject at all... and you don't have any problem with that, exempt when it is "Croatian story". In Montenegro post 2 of 11 comments were about B&H Airlines, in EasyJet in Zagreb post there was 5 of 17 comments (all about BEG, Aerosvit, Air Baltic...), in "Croatia airlines open new routes" there were 2 nonrealated comments, in "Decision time for Zagreb terminal" there was discussion about possibility that AA start to fly to BEG instead to BUD (7 out of 11 comments)... Why you didn't react than? Congratulations!

    1. Anonymous11:58

      First of all, it's airBaltic, not Air Baltic. Air Baltic is the corporation, a professional such as yourself should know that.

      Don't victimize yourself and play the card it's coz of Croatia, it's because the story wasn't as nearly as important as the other ones. B&H is falling apart so naturally it is important to mention it because there might be people on here who could be travelling with them.
      The fact that AA was discussed was because of the cancellation of their flights to BUD and the possibility of moving them to another destination in the region.

      Your comment was totally pointless, some random dude speaking why these flight might prove profitable. First, have the flights and then speculate.
      If you had mentioned the possibility of them expanding to another CRO airport or some new airline aiming at serving ZAG then it would have been fine.

      ''Why you didn't react than? Congratulations!''

      I guess you meant 'then'.

    2. Anonymous16:08

      You shouldn't have to explain yourself. This blog is an excellent, even though sometimes a to passionate source of aviation information. If you have something valuable to share, you should not have to wait for country-related topic to be posted. Actually, sometimes more information can be found in comments than in actual news.

      Keep up the good work, I love your analysis and your input.

      Rgds from BEG

  8. QR92113:02

    Purger, could you translate your post please, i don't know what that language is...thanks.

  9. Purger, no matter what company starts flying to ZAG, that will not make your city nor your country (or airport) - or yourself - better. Stop behaving as if QR to ZAG was the event of your life, cause you'll feel very crashed when suddenly they stop flying there cause it's just not realistic. On many main aviation forums on the internet (, people talking about Qatar are asking "WTF are they flying to ZAG" and that includes many aviation specialists and frequent premium travelers. I am not saying this cause i have something against Croatia. At best that flight will be like DOH-OTP-SOF, which means YES there ARE flights there as well but loads are so scarce that fares will be exorbitant and that it'll be cheaper for you to come and fly FZ from BEG (and fly for example BEG-DXB-LKO for just 200 Eur) or connect from BEG with Wizz Air to Rome and then catch QR if you're so fond of it... Also i don't think it'll be pleasant to wait for an hour and half in BUD everytime you go back home from the Middle East (or further), especially after you've paid so much money, it just makes no sense. If Qatar is doing investment in Croatia - great, but let the Qatar Executive aviation handle that, they don't need regular civilian flights, period.

  10. Tupolev16013:31

    PS: Premium travellers are looking forward for QR opening: LED, KBP, WAW and BEG (in Eastern Europe) and LIS in Western Europe. The ZAG choice was very unexpected and controversial. It came as surprise for many - and a bad one - cause it's certainly not a priority. ZAG is just a short-term patch for the ailing flights to BUD instead of diminishing the frequencies to there - what would have otherwise lowered their competitiveness with Egypt Air and others ex-BUD->ME->Asia carriers - that's all. They even didn't invest a dollar in promoting the destination. Me who i'm flying often with QR without this blog i wouldn't even know about this Zagreb story. ZAG is not even on their updated route map so it tells about how important is it to them. Seeing that i'm prone to think that those flights might even face a last-minute cancellation. Just face and accept the reality.

  11. DKinVXO13:48

    Oh my God... what is all this rage against Purger?! Even if his comment was OT, at least his comments are most of the times INTERESTING to read!No nationalist-influenced crap and insults towards other people! The man WORKS in the aviation business for Christ's sake! Purger, you deserve some own space on this blog. Cheers from Sweden

    1. Anonymous10:03

      Purger's English could be better. Regarding his profesionalism, I'm not allowed to comment it. Speaking about his "national- influenced" comments, I remember when he mentioned his driver is Serb, and he's a "good man". Would he say that if his chief was Serb? Then, malitious impressions when visiting Belgrade recently....that was completely OT. Plus political "analysis" on how difficult was to be Croat in Yugoslavia....

  12. Anonymous13:55

    Reality is that they fly 7 flights per week from ZAG. That was not decide by cleaning lady, but by management of company which is little bigger than Jat, Croatia or Adria.

    Premium travelers are looking for BEG? And they still decide ZAG! Wooow, for sure they are idiots.

    1. Anonymous15:05

      Belgrade is incomparably more competitive than Zagreb will ever be. flyDubai is going to fly to Belgrade 5 times per week and Turkish Airlines is increasing their own flights from 7 to 14 weekly flights. Not to mention 17 weekly flights to Moscow offering convenient onward connections to Asia.
      So why should QR get into all of that now? Afterall, they could have made BEG a tagg from BUD, they chose ZAG in stead, that should say a lot.

    2. Anonymous19:13

      Think QR will fly to Belgrade via Ankara, look at the timetable Doha-Ankara....Coming soon...

    3. Anonymous16:35

      DOH-KBP-BEG-DOH is another possibility, especially if they obtain the right to fly between the two cities, the route would be the perfect shot.

  13. @exyuaviation
    Is it just me or is the title and (in particular) the subtitle of this post not consistent with its contents. Stating that "Serbia to obtain category one rating by FAA" and "USA to give all clear" are not consistent with "Serbia has applied for an assessment by the FAA, with the review set to take place by August." Hence, the review has not taken place yet and it's wrong to draw conclusions about its outcome.

    I like your blog and I want to point out weaknesses so that it's even better :)

  14. JATBEGMEL15:33

    @ Purger

    Keep posting. It was an interesting read as always :) Not all people from Serbia are seljaci and im sure QR will do well in ZAG. Pozdrav!

    @ exYU

    HY had flights between BEG and JFK a few years ago with JAT codeshare. To my understanding, airlines from Serbia can codeshare to the US as its not their own metal flying, rather the problem lies that Serbian airline companies are unable to use their metal on US bound flights.

    @ 1st anonymous

    Stop with your negativity, its not welcome. Any news and any comments is welcomed on any thread, regardless. If you have a problem with reading any discussions on aviation outside of Serbia, why come to a Yugoslav aviation forum? It is people like you who give our country a bad reputation! And your attack on his grammer is not nice considering that not all on this forum are commenting and reading from outside of the ex-YU region.

    1. Anonymous15:57

      I live in the ex-Yugoslav region, Ljubljana to be more precise. So I am not even a Serb, sorry to break it to you.

      His comment was irrelevant and pointless to this topic. He can wait for a Croatian post to be published. Like I said earlier, his writting was pointless and not even interesting. It is just pure speculations of some random person.

      Also, you can apologize to the Serbs for attacking them without having concrete information to sustain your argument.


      Nick from LJU

  15. pupejmonstor18:14

    Gospodine Starcevicu,

    I would love for you to be right. I would love for JU to shut all these pessimists up and lease a pair of 762ER/763ER or maybe even 788 from the ILFC in 2 or 3 years. But to be honest, we don't even know if JU will exist in 2 or 3 years looking at how these embeciles run the airline.

    A US Airline may be more likely to begin flights to BEG before JU does to JFK or somewhere in north america. Most likely candidate is Delta although they have recently pulled out of Bucharest, Budapest, and what have you not. But on the other side you have the case of Kiev where Delta pulled out but Aerosvit stayed, as if suggesting eastern euro carriers are braver to go to America than US carriers are to go to eastern europe.

    The 762ER and the 763ER are no longer very efficient long haul aircraft, even with full loads the fuel burn would cost too much. Maybe, just maybe ownership of a 762ER would not lose JU an unsustainable amount of money IF Jat utilizes the plane properly (e.g., not letting the plane sit uselessly 40 hours a week). Any long haul a/c obtained would HAVE to be used for shorter haul flights, for example they could use the remaining block hours on a hypothetical 762ER to LHR, DXB which may negate the negative profits generated by transat fuel burn.

    JU's only long term hope would be in the 788, and they for sure could not get their hands on those for another 2 years at least.

    1. Anonymous18:56

      Actually A330-200 would be perfect. The smallest long haul they could get and yet economically sound is the only way to go.

    2. Anonymous19:03

      I guess I was wrong. I just checked it seems b767 is still most efficient plane per passenger but not per passenger per flight. I am not sure if it matters. Are 767 still being produced? I am sure they would get a great deal for these aircrafts.

    3. Anonymous19:59

      They're still getting produced, but I'm not sure if they're accepting new orders. However, JAT has no chance of buying a new one, however, second hand would be a great choice. Also, A332 would do the job equally well. But you're right, it has to be utilized efficiently and DXB looks like a good destination :)

  16. JU520 BEGLAX19:06

    QR needs no quick success in Zagreb. Their strategy is very simple: put a step / footprint into a market, kill other competitor routes, don t let new competitors come into that market and wait until the route gets profitable.
    They have big amounts of money and they got their time. QRs A320 has only 144 seats (12 F and 132 Y). So no big deal to fill it up on a flight with two destinations.

    They will wait until Croatias and the regions economy will p/u further. Wait for Croats, Slovenes, Northern Bosnians to have more money for travel. Croatia is in the Top 10 list of Europes tourist destinations. And they are not at their peak yet. QR means a great potential of tourists from Asia and Australia, the visitor numbers from China, India, Japan, Australia etc will increase.

    The strategy of the ME carriers is everywhere the same. In ZAG they have to fill half of plane per day. To London, EK has 8 flights per day. 5 of them to LHR. 4 of them with A380s. To GVA, we have QR,EK and EY operating daily with widebodies. They are not close to loadfactors thrughout the year from 70%. But first victims are here: MK leaves GVA after 25 years of operation. MK also leaves MUC,FRA,MXP. Why? EK has 11 weekly widebodies to Mauritius (332 and 773/77W). In GVA they had one weekly flight but offices at the airport and downtown GVA. nice fun, but no more affordable with the heavy competition. Prizes are getting under attack.
    in GVA we sold EY Cargo and we killed the market with our rates. Just to gain market shares and revenues. Who was suffering from this? For example AF, LH and other Europeans. Until June 2011, EY had 5 weekly flights but was already Nr. 2 Cargo Airlines at GVA behind LX.
    In Zagreb or later also in BEG, Europeans airline will suffer as they already do now in their own markets. Why should someone from ex YU heading to Singapore still fly via CDG,FRA,MUC? Just a waste of time and money since the best rates and good products are offered by QR,EK,EY. One big advantage European Carriers still have is their mileage program. And that s the picture we have in ZRH:
    Star Alliance is strong, of course it s one of their hubs and QR and EK with 3 daily flights. 15-20 years ago we still had Japan Airlines,Air China, PIA, Philippine Airline, Garuda, Royal Brunei, Malaysian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air Seychelles, Air Mauritius, Sri Lankan. They all left. Only one to came back was after 23DEC Sri Lankan. Will see how long they will sustain.

    and if the citizens of western european countries will not stop to become more and more saturated and cushy, we soon face even harder times than now. The US carriers are giving a good pictures of what Europeans could await if we don t wake up.

    One thing is sure. QR is now in ZAG and other european markets (SOF/BUH/BUD), which at the moment are might not profitable. But let s just wait. With the big amount of money and the terrific products those carriers have, the gold rush will become a fact.

    1. pupejmonstor19:33


      Great post. Not only are mideast connections inevitable to ex yu destinations, but for those flying to Africa it is a great inconvenience to have to fly up northwestish to FRA just to get to Johannesburg. It is a matter of time before higher frequency flights from north africa notice east euro market.

  17. Anonymous22:01

    The person behind nickname Purger doesn't work in aviation and has never worked in any aviation company, airport or authority.

  18. Anonymous22:37

    That probably applies to most people here on this forum ...not only to Purger.

    What is the problem?

    1. Anonymous22:41

      this response was for Anonymous 01:01

  19. Anonymous09:15

    I was just replying to the following sentence: "The man WORKS in the aviation business for Christ's sake!" That is siply not correct. As I know, this person has never had any connections to the airline industry, but behaves so on this blog.

  20. Anonymous10:32

    Wow, the article about the FAA aproval, but here you can read nationalistic bullshit only, coming back and forth. shame! who cares if BEG will get transatlantic flights. i would use it in a heartbeat, reather than flying to FRA, AMS or elswhere in Europe. Though my opinion is that that will never happen, considering economical situation in the whole world and on the Balkans.

  21. frequentflyer13:46

    Firstly, to the topic posted for the day. Some need a reality check: Cat.1 does not equal direct TATL flights. They're just not going to be profitable. Even OS is struggling with theirs. The days of JU flying around the world are sadly over, but nostalgia is strong on this forum.

    Now to the real topic being discussed (and wouldn't it be great if people couldn't be called 'Anonymous' on this forum!?), QRs flights to ZAG.

    As I've mentioned previously, these flights were announced because there are serious business contracts in place which affect Croatia: LNG investments by the State of Qatar, and INA/MOLs worldwide operations involve long-haul flying to Africa and Asia, which can be best accessed through a convenient hub. DOH is one of many points in the M.East which could be *that* hub, they're just the first to give the route a try in ZAG.

    These routes are never about 'the diaspora' or about whether 'the locals' can afford to fly them as wrongly argued by others: it's about providing the right service to the right destination, and secondly the level of quality/service matches the price demand. Anyone who has studied business knows it. Airlines don't always get this right (Kingfisher, for example in India is about to disappear), but QR have obviously done their sums when announcing this route...

    Sure, this route can also draw in others from Asia/Pacific/Africa to get to ZAG through this M.East waypoint, but a route has to operate in two directions, and the business opportunities are there for all to see. (Incidentally, the ones for FZs service to BEG aren't! Are they in place for the same purpose?)

    It's not about load factor either, its about YIELD - and a small plane (with ~140 seats) provides the right demand/supply while keeping costs low on a new route. EKs smallest plane next year will have 270 seats, good luck that starting any direct route in the exYU! QR provide high-quality product and reasonable prices. I know - I use them, and have been very impressed with both C and Y product.

  22. Anonymous14:45


    @ frequent flyer

    no, if the serbian government will pay for a 767, even an old 767, then there we go... they are spending like crazy, for now at least. (in serbia) if the new air carrier they create is doing good, they can possibly even lease a 767 or long haul airplane,,, you never know what can happen, nothing is 100% sure until it does...

    and for someone who said yesterday that "Qatar is now a reality in Zagreb"... no it is not, they have not begun the flights yet, so it is not 100% until their first flight touches down in Zagreb.

    i believe and pretty much can say i know 1-2 weekly ORD - BEG charter flights can work... look at last summer at Rockford... 1. out of area airport 2. most people did not get tickets with them because they were unsure about their flights.. and STILL 221 passengers (100% capacity) at gate at Rockford for ZAG - BEG, with majority being for BEG...... now imagine if connections and a stable carrier were into place for the seasonal period (summer)

    if JAT purchased long haul aircraft, they could easily do these summer charters, which they are willing to.... if not earlier an american airline launches the flights....

    and for those who said yesterday how the comment about Qatar in Zagreb was off topic and should not have been commented on.. that is not fair as belgrade topics and others come up, on readings about other countries (slovenia, bosnia, macedonia, eg's.) :)

    Pozdravim Svima!

    1. Doot12:01

      That would be a colossal waste if JAT did that.

      They should be focusing on their regional network

  23. Anonymous15:02


  24. JATBEGMEL15:27

    I think a B772 for JAT wouldnt be too bad, it isnt much larger than the B767 and is more economical. I am a licenced crew for the B777 and the A330 aircraft and think the A330 is European trash, its a horrible aircraft to work with. The B767 is ok.

    What would be perfect, if it could go ahead, with JAT leasing the aircraft and codesharing with OU and flying via ZAG to the US. I dont know how economical the B777 would be for the first BEG-ZAG sector, but the stop will improve seat capacity, possible attract higher yield pax. The B777 is a great aircraft for cargo loads, and im sure both Serbia and definately Croatia will have a fair amount of export it can do via air. I doubt OU will codeshare but im sure a secondary Croatian carrier will.

    People tend to forget that passengers paying a cheap economy class air fare doesnt mean they are making the route profitable. But in order for higher yielding pax, JAT will need to change its product and drastically!

    Maybe 3 aircraft will be enough for JFK, ORD, YYZ and DXB rotations.

    @ Nick from LJU

    being from LJU was enough said :)

  25. Anonymous16:33

    In term of wide-bodies Airbus is far inferior to Boeing.

    1. JATBEGMEL12:38

      hahahahaha funny guy :D the airbus ac is designed for midgets :D have you seen the dedicated assist space in the airbus ac at any possition :D the A330 and A340 cant compare to the B777 :D i cant talk for the A380, but i hear its spacious and quiet, but the B777 is a much better ac, crew perspective. I hear the A346 galleys are quite interesting. I remember on my LH flight that the lavs are downstairs which was cool :)

  26. Anonymous18:45

    Turkish will probably open a new route Istambul-Skopje-Newark with Airbus A330-200 with configuration of seats 22 business and 228 economy from the summer.TAV Macedonia airports is closely related to Turkish airlines and turkish is one of the biggest and fastest growing airline with new Airbus and Boeing fleet in SE europe.

    1. Anonymous19:31

      hahahaahah EWR via SKP ahahhahaha :D

      ok, now seriously.
      seriously?? no offence, but i cant stop laughing :)

    2. JU520 BEGLAX20:05

      TK indeed is opening a 3rd flight during Summer months JKF-IST.
      Also United is launching daily EWR-IST flights with 763. But I read nothing about a stop in SKP

    3. JATBEGMEL12:49

      I seriosuly doubt that will happen. TK are looking into frequencies and are a serious airline, the stop in SKP would just be an inconvience to its pax who would prefer a direct flight to IST. I doubt that low yielding pax at SKP is something that TK is going for. SKP is lacking proper connections to European airports like LHR, AMS, CDG, ZRH, FCO, something that OU and JU are offering the market via its hubs.

  27. Anonymous07:54

    If Belgrade airport records a 10% passenger growth this year, that will mean that in one decade its numbers grew by 211%.

    In 2002 it handled 1.621.798 and in 2012 we can assume it will handle around 3.437.096 passengers.

  28. Anonymous12:16

    IST-SKP-SOMWHERE USA ahahahahahahahaha good joke. and good luck with that fiction. JAT to USA maybe in a decade or so, but probably not happening ever.


Post a Comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.