Belavia to Belgrade

Minsk - Budapest - Belgrade service in the works

Belavia, the national carrier of Belarus, plans to launch services from Minsk to Belgrade this summer, the Serbian Ministry for Transport has confirmed for EX-YU Aviation News. The airline intends to operate the flights to the Serbian capital via Budapest. The Belarusian national carrier has informed the ministry of its intention to launch flights to Belgrade and has requested further information on passenger flow between the two countries in the past few year. The airline has also requested fifth freedom rights between Budapest and Belgrade, allowing it to sell tickets between the two. If it is granted such rights, it will be the first airline since the demise of Malév to connect the two cities.

Belavia first announced plans to launch services to Belgrade in November last year after the two countries agreed on a bilateral air agreement. Several years ago it was planned for the airline to launch winter charters from Minsk to Niš Constantine the Great Airport, however, the airline and hoteliers at the nearby mountain resort of Kopaonik failed to reach an agreement. Thus, the flights never went ahead. Several airlines from the former Soviet Union have operated flights to Belgrade in the past few years. They include airBaltic from Riga, Aerosvit from Kiev and Uzbekistan Airlines which operated flights from Tashkent to New York via the Serbian capital.

While it is unlikely that flights between Minsk and Belgrade could generate too much interest, the Belarusian national carrier offers an extensive network to Russia which could entice some transit passengers. The Belgrade - Moscow route is one of the busiest operating out of the Serbian capital with 28 weekly flights planned for the upcoming summer season. Furthermore, Belavia has smaller aircraft in its fleet such as the Bombardier CRJ200 and the Embraer E175. However, the Budapest - Belgrade service could generate significant traffic, though it is highly questionable whether the airline will be granted fifth freedom rights.


  1. Anonymous09:16

    The market between Belgrade and Budapest is non-existent. Malév's flights were filled with passengers connecting onwards to Germany and the Nordic region.

    The best solution for Belavia is to push for an agreement between the tour operators in southern Serbia and Belarus. Then they could launch flights from Minsk to Nis via Belgrade. Routing this flight via Budapest will only increase the costs- unless there is a viable market between Minsk and Budapest (which I doubt).

    1. Anonymous10:07

      Fully agree.

    2. Anonymous10:15

      Kopaonik is a great destination, and Belarus is a big market to expand.. So I think Minsk - Niš flights would be ideal during winter season with their Embraer or maybe some bigger planes.

    3. Anonymous15:26

      I would probably agree with you if you said this before QR started daily ZAG-BUD.

      I thought, too, that 2 or 3 daily MA flights BUD-ZAG-BUD were primarily for transit passengers, but QR numbers whichfollowed, showed minimum 40, up to 100 P2P passengers on each ZAG-BUD-ZAG flight.

      If Belavia is granted traffic rights BEG-BUD, and I think it will, because everything in Serbia is politics, and Nikolic has just come back from Minsk, remains to be seen whether differences between BEG and ZAG concerning existent or non-existent P2P market to BUD are really so big.

    4. Anonymous22:21

      There is usualy 3-10 passangers in QR on ZAG-BUD leg. Not 40-100. That is not true

    5. Anonymous23:59

      Sure; 3-10 ZAG-BUD, 3-10 ZAG-DOH and 3-10 BUD-DOH; that's why they send A321 almost regularly. Btw I assume you are QR employee in ZAG to know all facts

    6. Anonymous07:53

      Erm... you do understand that Qatar is most likely not sending their A321 to ZAG via BUD because of that market? That is Zagreb to Budapest.
      They are sending it because they are carrying passengers onwards to Asia from both of these cities. The fact that they sell tickets from ZAG to BUD only represents a small bonus.

    7. Anonymous09:51

      Absolutely. Average loading is

      ZAG-BUD 4 pax per flight
      ZAG-DOH 60 pax per flight (it goes from 30 up to 100), usually it is close to 100 where there is group of Japanese tourists
      BUD-DOH 110 pax

  2. Anonymous10:45

    Why anybody would fly to Nis when there is an new airport in Kraljevo which is closest city to Kopaonik?

    1. Anonymous10:52

      Well the question is if the airport can handle international flights at this point. The airport might be lacking the necessary infrastructure.

    2. JATBEGMEL12:26

      KVO doesnt lack infrastructure, rather apparently licences to operate as a civilian airport. It is questionable whether a regional jet could even land at the airport with the current runway length and width.

  3. OT

    February increase for Zagreb!

    Zagreb had a 7.3% increase in passengers in what is traditionally a slow month.

    March and April should be interesting.

    1. Anonymous18:57

      Q400, why do you say that "March and April should be interesting." Any particular reason why they will be more "interesting" than May or any other month in the year?

      Just curious.

    2. Hey,

      It will be interesting to see if the trend continues and by how much. Since as mentioned February is usually a slow growth month, than maybe we will see double digit growth numbers for Zagreb in March and April as well the busy summer period. That's all.

  4. JATBEGMEL12:40

    It is scandelous the fact that Belavia will most likely be given the licences without even the government blinking yet they made problems for issuing Pegasus and easyJet the landing rights to BEG! I doubt the flights would generate much traffic and would end just like those to KBP. However, considering the growing in trade between the 2 countries, maybe it could attract cargo which would also boost the profitability of the flights.

    I think maybe attracting FB to open direct links to SOF, and having OU operate to BEG all year would be some good regional routes. But considering the amount of visits the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi has made recently to Serbia, even holidaying in Kopaonik, I wouldnt be surprised if Etihad made its appearance in BEG, with Mudabala from the UAE looking into purchasing Jat Tehnika.

    1. Dan Syd14:27

      Not scandelous its called protecting there assets, their peoples jobs, and a Business + flag carrier.The country cant afford to pay Pensions so doing what ever they can to preserve peoples employment, keep a business in business is helping its own economy... I condemn it, the 1000 Peoples jobs with a average income of 600 euros a month goes a long way in circulating money into its economy....

    2. Anonymous15:30

      Cargo can boost the service on E175/CRJ200 ?If we were talking A320 yes, but this planes have barely space for passengers luggage, and quantity of freight they can transport is pure symbolic.

    3. JATBEGMEL18:38

      @ Dan Syd

      I dont see how the mismanegement of JAT is proof of protecting assests! CEO after CEO have done nothing but ruin the once good name and reputation of the airline and its standard. If the Serbian government wanted to protect its 'assets' (ie: JAT) then it would of appointed someone with knowledge in aviation to run the airline and not advocates and managers of coffee factories (Radovanovic). It would of supported a fleet renewal program. It would of not allowed BEG to charge its 'asset' scandelous fees at its home base. It wouldnt of allowed the selling of slots in airports where they made big profits (DXB). It wouldnt allow the canibalisation of other aircrafts in order to have some form of spare parts. It wouldnt allow that more than half the fleet be grounded for the lack of maintenance. It wouldnt purchase used interior fittings from LH. It wouldnt of seperated Jat Tehnika from JAT. It would pay out their workers proper saleries. I think this alone is enough to pass my message. The country cant afford the level of corruption either, neither JAT who purchased telephones for 1.000,- euros each! I dont see how what they are doing is helping our economy what so ever!

      If the situation was different, and the government had a serious restructuring plan to stabilise the airline, and to bring it to standard than I would agree that supporting the national airline is important.

    4. Anonymous22:51

      How can you compare Belavia with Pegasus/easyJet? That's very stupid of you. JU doesn't flies to MSQ, that would be a new route with new possibilities so why would the government even care or be against?

    5. Dan Syd06:11


      I Agree with what your saying and in no way do i agree with most of your points but you brought up one point which is Not giving licenses to airlines that will directly affect Jat is fine by me at least its one thing they got right.... Please dont bring up its cheaper for the pax because BG is the only country with a major LCC based there along side a its own National carrier so having them there is more then enough for Pax to find cheaper flights

    6. JATBEGMEL21:46

      @ Dan Syd

      A LCC was not always based in BEG and before even the first LCC came to BEG prices were very inflated compared to that in the region. Before Niki came to BEG a return trip to VIE came at a minimum of 250 euros, which btw is a 1 hour flight! After Niki came to BEG and when I was travelling for a weekend to VIE, JAT was offering VIE at around 95 euros! Its not about the price, its about the principal. The 'protecting' of the national airline has almost cost it routes in the past, namely the mass charters to Turkey and Egypt who refused to allow JAT and AGX rights because their airlines were refused rights to BEG. If the government showed interest in supporting its national carrier, it would of done it by now, it has had 12 years to do so.

  5. Anonymous16:25

    They said the route would be MSQ-BUD-BEG-MSQ so there's no chance for local traffic rights between BUD and BEG cause its a one way trip.

  6. Anonymous18:51

    Summer 13: B2 8317/8318 MSQ-TIV-MSQ 1700/1800LT Day 2,5 B733.Total:33 rotations.

    1. Anonymous19:03

      B2 B733? Is that a typo?

  7. Anonymous22:26

    Is that correct that jat paid €1000 for a phone? Is it made from Gold or something?

    1. JATBEGMEL21:55

      That is correct, and not just 1, but a minimum of 50 at that price, and the link is available here:

      sorry, its in Serbian, but I am sure google translate can give some help.

  8. Anonymous23:33

    It was the bat phone...., they need the help.

  9. Anonymous08:31

    Belgrade statistics are out for February,

    210 Pax less than 2012.

    So no growth (-1.2%)so far this year.

  10. Anonymous08:37

    February 2013 was one day shorter than February 2012, so daily average this year was better ....

    1. Anonymous09:46

      Yes, but last year February was disaster because of weather conditions.

  11. Purger10:01

    BEG should make maximum to attract routes and airlines from exUSSR!!! BEG deviation is ideal for connections to Russia, Belarus, Ukraine etc. So Minsk can do the trick if they will have connections to SKP, OHR, TIV, TGD, DBV, SPU, PUY, SKG and one day to ZAG, ZAD, LJU and OMO.

    1. Purger10:37

      Concerning relations between Serbia and Russia (and also ex USSR) for BEG is essential to connect to:

      - 28 weekly flights now - OK
      - Sheremetyeavo 26,2 million passengers per year, Moscow 64,1 million

      St. Petersburg Pulkovo
      - at least 5 times weekly
      - 11,2 million passengers per year

      - at least 2 times weekly
      - 3,8 million passengers per year

      - at least 1 time weekly
      - 2,1 million passengers, but huge tourist destination and Winter Olympic games

      Kiev, Ukraine
      - Boryspil 8,5 million passengers, Kiev 9,3 million passengers
      - at least 4 times weekly

      Minsk, Belarus
      - 1,3 million passengers
      - at least 2 times weekly via BUD.

    2. Purger10:40

      Sheremetyeavo = Sheremetyevo

    3. JATBEGMEL22:17

      @ Purger

      JAT is flying regular charters to Sochi as JU1324/1325 with a B733 once a week. Gazprom Avia was flying the route before every saturdays with a mix of Tu-154 and Yak 42. But definately JAT should open AER with regular flights as Serbia and Russia have good trading relations and the AER line has for several years now been there as a seasonal charter, every season.

      JAT previously was flying TIV-LED before Montenegro splited from the state union with Serbia. But definately JAT should open a direct BEG-LED line.


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