Etihad launching Belgrade flights

Soon in Belgrade

The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, will launch services from Abu Dhabi to Belgrade. Flights are to be inaugurated as soon as possible, within the next two months, no later than June. Jat Airways will codeshare on the service. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, the two airlines worked throughout the weekend, signing the codeshare agreement on Saturday. During this week the two will finalise their codesharing arrangements on other flights. Etihad will codeshare on several Jat Airways flights beyond Belgrade, while in return the Serbian carrier will place its “JU” code on several Etihad flights out of Abu Dhabi.

The two airlines are speeding up cooperation ahead of a visit by Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan to Belgrade next Monday, April 15. Mr. Hogan will sign a memorandum of understanding for a strategic partnership agreement with Jat. The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates has been offered a 49% stake in Jat over the next five years with the possibility to extend its control over the airline for a further five years, until 2023. Etihad’s takeover of Jat would be carried out in a similar fashion to its takeover of Air Seychelles. Etihad will be required to renew Jat’s aging fleet.

Next week Etihad and Jat will trial the Abu Dhabi - Belgrade service in global reservation systems. Etihad’s arrival into Belgrade will further shake up the increasingly competitive market between Serbia and the Middle East which primarily aims to capture transfer passengers. Etihad will compete against Qatar Airways which maintains flights from Doha to Belgrade via Ankara and the low cost Flydubai which operates services to the Serbian capital out of Dubai. Hardest hit by all the additional competition is Turkish Airlines which carries more transit than point to point passengers from Belgrade via its Istanbul hub. Yesterday, Etihad Airways reported its best ever first quarter passenger and revenue results since it launched operations ten years ago. The airline carried a record 2.8 million passengers in the first three months of the year. Revenue from codeshare and equity partners jumped by 34%.


  1. Anonymous09:04

    o.O AUH-BEG that soon?
    I guess this Etihad thing will still materialize. Who knew.

    @Ex-YU - I know you made an honest mistake: QR operates flights via Ankara not via Istanbul.

  2. Anonymous09:06

    Don't you mena Doha flights via Ankara?

  3. JU520 BEGLAX09:09


    Bravo Belgrade, Bravo JAT
    let s hope this will lead into a bright and sustainable future

  4. Anonymous09:15

    Low-cost FlyDubai?! Seen their prices to DXB lately? They're far more expensive than Qatar Airways. Pegasus is part of the puzzle/competition as well, it should be mentionned in the article.

    1. Anonymous09:18

      Sounds like an oxymoron really.

    2. definitely cheaper to fly to Dubai via Istanbul with Pegasus.

    3. Anonymous10:06

      Low cost does not mean low fares, don't get those two confused.

  5. Anonymous09:21

    Great news! To hell with Turkish Airlines! Haters/Purgers/zagrabs/zagy and others you're welcome, you can't spoil the day!

    1. Anonymous23:21

      We don't need to spoil your day, it's been already spoiled by your politicians, who exactly today managed to do the following :
      EU off, visas most probably coming, passenger numbers down, EY deal questionable

    2. Anonymous01:05

      EU off - good thing if you ask me,
      Visas - to where?
      Passenger numbers - no down nor up so far,
      EY deal - what it has to do with the EU crap anyway?
      You just can't content your hatred cause this deal struck you right in the head. Relax, you'll be able to fly on Etihad too, first by JU's ATR from Croatia :D Cheers!

    3. Anonymous02:02

      ^ ***** comment above me , bravo.

    4. Anonymous02:33

      Who cares about the f****ng EU anymore. EU didn't save Spain, didn't save Greece, didn't save Cyprus or Ireland - why should it save Serbia (that didn't reach bankruptcy yet)?
      Serbia should cooperate with other friendly countries, that do not ask from it to destroy its industry, military, culture, identity, relinquish territory in order to be invited at the table and the cooperation with Etihad is one of the best examples of such cooperation that could happen. Bravo for that!

  6. Aэrologic09:24

    POLL: Who's gonna pull-out/reduce frequencies out of Belgrade first (and why) :

    a) Turkish Airlines
    b) FlyDubai
    c) Qatar Airways
    d) Pegasus Airlines

    1. Anonymous11:34

      Pegasus - without a doubt!

    2. why Pegasus? Most of their traffic is O&D. Everyone else, including Etihad is mostly transfer passengers.

      I'm going to go with Qatar.

    3. Anonymous11:44

      Pegasus won't leave for sure. They cater o&d traffic plus some transit passangers.

      QR won't leave neather, as well as FZ.
      I don't think that anyone will leave at all.

      When there's such a competition between EY and QR plus EK indirectly through FZ - 3 biggest rivals of the middle east then they don't leave, they go into price war. See what happens with other apts.

    4. Anonymous11:49

      Ok, but what about TK 2 daily flights? Sustainable still?

    5. True re' TK flights along with Jats 5. Something's got to give here, at least for the short term.

    6. except that Jat passengers are mostly O&D and TK is mostly transit

    7. Anonymous20:28

      I would say Turkish, the op said it as well that they'll suffer the most, the competition is just too much for them to maintain double daily, unless they're insane. By the way, what's the TK frequency for Budapest and Bucharest?

  7. Anonymous09:45

    This is great news. The guys at EY knew what they were doing and where all others failed for different reason: daily direct flights+codeshare with JU to the region, they got SE Europe covered up and competition clueless. Someone will have to step out of BEG. Only EK could have done this but they choose Warsaw instead, for the better i suppose.

  8. Anonymous10:38

    I knew this was going to happen! I was obvious because of the close relationship Vucic has with the sheikh of Abu Dhabi. Etihad being a state owned company meant that they were forced into this take over.
    Naturally, seeing that there is concrete progress makes me happy especially when I think of all the haters on here who made fun of our government's efforts to find a long-lasting solution to the problem named Jat Airways.

  9. Anonymous10:51

    Ex-Yu, Politika reports that Etihad's flights will be daily. I am sure they have their information right so you can add it in your text.

  10. JATBEGMEL12:04

    I doubt the daily flights would be profitable but it will be interesting with what equipment (A320, A332) they will do the flight. I am however very interested to see what the schedules will look like. Last time when JAT flew into AUH the EY connections wasnt the best for AU & NZ like it had with EK.

    If JAT is to codeshare with EY ex AUH, I see it being MEL, SYD and maybe BNE and JNB.

    If EY does launch BEG i can see FZ lowering their fares.

    Fingers crossed that this is a sign of good things to come (doubt it).

    1. Anonymous12:30

      I think that flights to China could get JU's codeshare as well. Flights to Belgrade will most likely be operated by an A319. Since they will also build a cargo centre at the airport there is no need to upgrade the cargo capacity.
      I am curious to see where will EY place its codeshare on JU's flights. Most likely on ex-YU flights.

    2. Anonymous13:11

      Standard equipment will be A320. A319 flies to Minsk and Almaty - long and thin. EY has got just two of them. There might be occasional upgrades to wide-body in the summer or holidays.

      How come you don't question the TK's 14 weekly flights without home-carrier code-share?

    3. JATBEGMEL20:41

      TK has grown itself not only a reliable O&D market in BEG, it also attracts a growing number of connecting pax not just for the Middle and Far East, but also to North America. I dont think the EY flights will have as much affect on TK as it will have on QR and FZ.

    4. Anonymous21:16

      Or it is you who would like it to be that way?

  11. Anonymous12:09

    Na Beg.aero piše da Jat počinje leteti od 30.6 za Abu Dhabi

    1. gde? ne vidim. link pliz :)

    2. Anonymous12:24

      On Belgrade Airport Wiki-airlines and destinations

    3. jesus.... how hard is it to paste a link?

    4. Anonymous12:33

      He says it is on Wikipedia from what I can understand. So the information is not really reliable.

    5. ok, but first poster said it was on beg.aero

      can't see anything on there.

      Maybe the first poster sucks at the internet :)

    6. Anonymous13:17

      Better to suck at only one thing, right Doot?

    7. Anonymous13:27

      I know, I checked beg.aero and got confused as well. Oh well...

  12. Congratulations to Belgrade. This is a real win for the airport.

    I know some will kick and scream with this suggestion but I wonder it Etihad would consider extending the service to Zagreb. They could even try for selling tickets Belgrade to Zagreb. This will give them access on the Australia to Croatia market, where they are in a better position at this time than Qatar, as well as making a daily service more possible.

    Just a thought.

    1. That would be great!

    2. Anonymous12:32

      If there is real interest for them they could use Jat's ATRs to operate the route. The distance is not big and the turboprops are far more economical.

    3. Anonymous18:22

      From BEG to Pula,Split and Dubrovnik would make more sense to codeshare for Etihad !

    4. Anonymous02:12

      you can just get off in BEG if you livd east of zagrrb or slavonski brod.

    5. Or you can fly star alliance and land in Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Pula, Zadar up to 5 times per day.

      So would you choose Belgrade and walk?

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. There are two main traffic waves at AUH, but the most important ones are arrivals until 0630h local and departures after 2000h local, so Etihad will probably fit BEG somewhere in between. Approx. schedule could be (with hypotetical flight numbers):

    EY071 0730AUH-1115BEG 32S x246
    EY073 0145AUH-0515+1BEG 32S 246

    EY072 2300BEG-0615AUH 32S x246
    EY074 1200BEG-1915AUH 32S 357

    That way JU can integrate all destinations with EY arrivals and departures to/from AUH with its schedule ex BEG.
    Don't forget that Vienna and Zurich don't have direct air links to Abu Dhabi, so JU+EY could possibly catch some pax from VIE/ZRH, too.

    So destinations from which pax could transfer through BEG onto EY flights to AUH are:

    1. Bucharest (through JUs codeshare on TAROM's flights) with no direct air link to AUH. FZ to DXB and QR to DOH;
    2. Copenhagen with no direct air link to AUH. EK and DY to DXB and QR to DOH;
    3. Gothenburg GOT with no direct air link to AUH;
    4. Ljubljana (through JUs codeshare on Adria's flights);
    5. Podgorica;
    6. Sarajevo;
    7. Skopje;
    8. Stockholm ARN with no direct air link to AUH. DY to DXB, QR to DOH;
    9. Stuttgart with no direct air link to AUH;
    10. Ohrid;
    11. Vienna with no direct air link to AUH. OS and EK to DXB, QR to DOH;
    12. Warsaw (through JUs codeshare on LOT's flights). EK to DXB, QR to DOH;
    13. Zurich with no direct air link to AUH. EK and LX to DXB, QR to DOH.
    14. plus some seasonal destinations like Dubrovnik, Malta, Rijeka and Split.

    When you take a closer look at all this like I did BEG could really have a potentional of becoming strategicaly good regional mini transit hub for ETIHAD.

    1. Anonymous14:59

      Hmm I agree with all that you wrote, just a small correction, flydubai already flies to Bucharest.

      I can't wait for all this to become more real. I am sure that Jat's schedule will be shifted and adjusted to resemble a serious timetable.

    2. Yeap, flyDubai (FZ) already flies to Bucharest, that is what I wrote :)

    3. Anonymous16:32

      Ah sorry, my bad. Misread it :)

    4. Moreover, EY might require JAT to swap code sharing on Vienna flights from OS to HG/AB. OS is the only airline from the LH group still code sharing with JU and it stopped combining its fares with JU fares 10 days ago. Who knows, we may see TRS and BNX back on the map of JU destinations with new ATR's coming. :-)

    5. Anonymous17:59

      Oh the codeshare with Austrian will most likely go. I think one difference now is that Jat will not be a passive airline seeking the support of others for its own survival. A more aggressive policy might be implemented all thanks to Etihad.

    6. Yes, VIE codeshare will definitely happen.

      Air Berlin could put its codeshare on JU's flights to/from DUS, FRA and TXL besides VIE. That way JU could put some of its codeshares on AB's flights ex DUS, FRA, TXL and VIE. Jat already sells some AB's destinations on their website.

    7. Anonymous20:19

      Then again there isn't much Air Berlin can offer to Jat with the exception of its domestic market and north American flights. I doubt Jat would rely too much on Niki in Vienna. Maybe to a certain extent but nothing spectacular. Jat already has a decent market ex-Belgrade.

    8. JATBEGMEL21:02

      I dont think that the OS codeshare will go. Actually, if anyone has noticed, visit jat.com and check the list of destinations. GYD, AXD, ALG, KRR, MRS...all OS flights now available to be booked via jat.com.

      @ JU500

      Its one thing the bulk departures ex AUH, but for EY what is also to be looked at is ex BEG for them. If they are to codeshare ex BEG, I think your 'EY073' will only connect to AMS, BRU, DUS, VIE and FCO. 'EY071' wouldnt connect to anything. 'EY074' would only connect FCO, while 'EY072' would connect ZRH, TXL, VIE, TGD, MXP....

      Will JAT have a/c to cater to EY's desire ex BEG is another question, as the current fleet is unreliable. And will JAT need to do major adjustments to its timetable to cater to EY.

    9. Anonymous21:20

      Well, part of the deal was for Etihad to facilitate the fleet renewal process for them.

    10. @JATBEGMEL

      I didn't say that JU's timetable should stay the same. It also requires some tweaking, but I wanted to show the bigger picture. Jat for sure needs to go through huge and serious changes and that includes its timetable also so that destinations ex BEG could easily transfer onto EY's flights to AUH.

  15. Anonymous19:23

    Prica se po JAT-u da ce, ako Etihad udje u JAT, ostati samo 300 zaposlenih, uglavnom letacko osoblje, mladji piloti i stjuardese, a da svi zaposleni sa preko 55 godina starosti ne ocekuju da ce ostati u JAT-u.

    1. Anonymous19:29

      Of course... Who needs grandmas and grandpas as a crew?

    2. Anonymous20:17

      Старији пилоти неће бити отпуштени већ ће бити премештени у Абу Даби.
      Што се тиче старијих чланова кабинског особља, они ће највероватније бити послати у пензију.

      Надам се да ће особље које ради за Јат добити нове униформе.

    3. Doot21:34

      That's exactly what Jat needs

  16. Anonymous05:34

    The guy is giving a "best comment" to himself lol. Well, EY isn't advising JU to scale down its fleet and network but quite on the contrary.
    That's the difference between a successful business "marriage" and pure rod-sucking a-la-OU.

  17. Purger09:40

    First of all CONGRATULATIONS to BEG for this collaboration and route!!!!

    This route is huge thing if it is beginning of deal between Jat and Etihad in which Belgrade will have any role exempt feeding Abu Dhabi. Because if that happens it is the same shit Croatia Airlines has with Lufthansa, exempt Croatia Airlines fly at least 8 flights per day to Germany and 10 flights per day to other LH and Star Alliance hubs (VIE, ZRH, BRU, CPH); but in this example Jat flies non, even Etihad operate on BEG-AUH route. And than it is just one more route which will just make other airlines from Middle East to reduce frequencies or stop flying to BEG.

    To materialized any deal good for Jat and Belgrade it has to:
    1. put Jat to operate BEG-AUH route instead of Etihad and for that Etihad will have to help Jat to bring new planes
    2. put Jat to operate BEG-TXL and BEG-DUS route to code-share in Air Berlin routes out of those two hubs
    3. open at least two routes from BEG via TXL and DUS to North America (the best option for sure would be Chicago and New York with at least 4 flights per week) + connections with minimum transfer time to other North American destinations
    4. totally reorganized time-table to have connections to TGD, SKP, TIV, SJJ at least twice per day, and OHR, SPU, DBV, PUY + some new routes (OMO, RJK, ZAD, ZAG, OTP, SOF, LJU) at least 8 times per week to have minimum possible connection flights (4 per week) to make those routes attractive enough for connections (you must understand that overnight is option for some of those but not for more than 50% of regional planes, and for sure not for those which in same time has to be P2P routes primarily used for tourists like RJK and ZAD, or business passengers like ZAG and LJU).
    5. have more flights to destinations in Europe where Etihad does not fly for now to attract some connections via BEG, but in same time that means Jat will have huge job to
    - rebuild image which is lowest in Europe now (who will like to fly via BEG with Jat to AUH, if there is possibility to do it via Berlin or Dusseldorf with Air Berlin/Etihad or via other hubs with some of mayor airliners)
    - urgently bring some new planes to fly instead very old 737-300 and ATR 72-200 (few of those can be used for 2-3 more years to routes to SKP, TIV, TGD, SVO, AMS, BRU, LHR..., but for sure not to Western Europe where you plan to have any kind of code-share for Etihad)
    - totally change of way of doing business in Jat with no more stealing of money, no more to many employees, no more politics in company, no more 5 hours working time per day, no more trips with pretty secretaries for days to London or New York

    If this materialized, and there is very good chance to do it this time (please, be claver this time and don't ruin this like you did so many deals in past), Jat will become good company in near future, and BEG biggest, or even only real, hub in exYU, and for sure will make ZAG provincial airport like SJJ, TGD or SKP.

    1. Anonymous19:10

      All very good and interesting points. I agree with a lot but there are some things missing:

      1) Becoming a feeder for Etihad is not a bad thing. It makes Belgrade the local transit route for Balkan diaspora living in Asia/Oceania, which would bring lots of money to both the airport and JAT.

      2) Direct flights to New York, Chicago, and Toronto would be better than stopover flights, but obviously it would be 1-2 times per week not 4.

      3) The Ex-Yu network needs to be strengthened. More permanent flights to Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, and Bosnia are necessary and I'm sure people will fly to Belgrade to get to North America/Australia

  18. Anonymous18:18

    Hmm...Purger ,
    now you think like a Serbian.

    First i think there is nothing wrong with feeding -
    feeding LH is actually the only thing where OU is good in
    and it is also the only profitable part of this airline!

    Second - Etihads daily nonstop to Belgrade even would make sense
    if there will/would be not cooperation with Jat at all !
    I would never want to fly this route with Jat -
    but i could imagine flying Jat from Macedonia or the Croatian coast
    to BEG to catch that flight of EY.

  19. Anonymous19:08

    Assuming Jat gets new aircraft why would you not want to fly with them to Abu Dhabi? But have no problem flying with them within Ex-YU?

    @ Purger, good analysis of the situation with Etihad.

    -- Charlie

  20. Anonymous22:13

    ^ Because customer service of Jat is in the moment not the best -
    of course this can change but it will take some time !

    Also Jat will not /should not use the new planes within Ex-Yu.
    They will serve bigger European destinations like London,Paris or Moscow.

    Also as someone already mentioned Jat crew has first to train
    on the Airbus as there is in the moment no experience with this type of plane.


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