Etihad touches down in Belgrade

Etihad launches first EX-YU flights

Etihad Airways will today launch daily flights to Belgrade, marking its arrival in the former Yugoslavia for the first time. On its inaugural service, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates will be carrying VIP’s from the airline arriving ahead of talks with Jat Airways on Monday and a planned press conference. Etihad’s daily service to the Serbian capital will cater primarily for the Serbian diaspora in Australia which will be able to travel with a single stop to either Belgrade or back to Australia, using the same airline.

Starting from today Jat Airways will add its flight number on the Belgrade - Abu Dhabi - Belgrade service (JU8080/81). From this evening Jat’s flight numbers will once again be appearing in Sydney (JU8582/583) and Melbourne (JU8580/581) as well as in Brisbane (8584/586) for the first time. The codes will appear from today, although won’t show up in the Amadeus global ticketing system until mid next week. Jat will progressively introduce its flight numbers onto other Etihad destinations as aviation authorities from different countries approve the codesharing arrangements. Meanwhile, starting with Jat’s evening service to Sarajevo tonight, Etihad Airways adds its own codes to Jat’s flights (EY5952/953).

The aircraft was welcomed at the gate by Joost den Hartog, Etihad Airways' Vice President for Europe, and Violeta Jovanović, Belgrade Airport Chief Financial Officer. They were joined by Captain Suliman Yaqoobi Chief A320 pilot at Etihad Airways who operated the return flight to Abu Dhabi, and first officer Aisha Al Mansoori.

Meanwhile, the Serbian national carrier will tonight mark its 86th anniversary at the National Theatre in Belgrade. While the actual anniversary is on Monday June 17, it has been brought forward due to the planned Etihad - Jat conference. Attending this evening’s festivities will be the Etihad delegation arriving on today’s inaugural service. Ironically, Jat’s former management did not bother to mark last year’s all-important 85th anniversary. In a recent interview, Jat’s acting CEO Velibor Vukašinović noted, “We have come to a point where our partners mark our anniversaries for us. Just imagine how many chances Jat has missed to promote itself and make it known that it has been in existence for 86 years”. Jat, as the successor to the airline Aeroput, is one of the oldest airlines in the world still in operation.


  1. Anonymous09:41

    Go Jat! It's really nice that the Etihad team will be present at the celebration tonight.
    Can't wait for Monday!

    1. JATBEGMEL09:46

      And so will Emirates :) Today is their recruitment day in Belgrade :)

    2. Anonymous15:12

      Ahlan Etihad!
      Hopefully we will hear lots of good news from them regarding BEG in the coming months.

  2. JATBEGMEL09:44

    Flight EY071 (JU8081) will land half an hour early into BEG (@11:45 BGD time). A6-EIE A319 is the equipment they sent today.

    Welcome to Belgrade! - Добродошли у Београд! - Marhaba bikum fi Belhrad! :)

    1. Anonymous09:54

      Argh... I can't catch it on flightradar24

    2. JATBEGMEL10:09

      Must of entered Turkish airspace. Search for A6-EIE in the search, it should appear.

      Btw, it will use stand A4, while A6-FDR B738 from FZ will use A5. A1-A3 is not being used the past couple of days as the air bridges have been removed, as the new jet bridges will be installed within a week or 2 :)

    3. Anonymous10:16

      And next to them will be Jat's Atr from Vienna and next to them a Wizz Air A320 :D
      It will be a colourful line-up that's for sure.

  3. Anonymous10:20

    Etihad's flight is currently over the Black Sea turning towards Bulgaria.

    1. Anonymous11:19

      Yeah and it just entered the Serbian air space, right over Zajecar.

    2. you guys sure know how to spend your weekends

  4. Anonymous11:26

    Wizz Air's flight from Gothenburg was operated by the A320 with sharklets! I hope someone was there to take a picture of it.

  5. Anonymous11:35

    Hahahaha this is probably Jatovanje and Beogradovanje again.

    1. Anonymous11:37

      Give it a rest.

    2. JATBEGMEL13:11

      Does mummy know your on the internet? give it a rest, go for some play time, the sun is out. Your probably a bored 14 y/o seeking attention.

  6. Anonymous11:54

    It landed. :)

  7. Anonymous12:00

    With the arrival of Etihad to Belgrade, can we consider that Belgrade is one of the top airports in eastern Europe and the Balkans when it comes to competition to Asia?

    - Turkish Airlines
    - Pegasus
    - Qatar
    - Etihad
    - flydubai
    - Aeroflot

    1. JATBEGMEL13:09

      No. BEG has got a bit of work to become something special of an airport.

      TK offers great service to BEG, not only on board but in terms of transfer and service provided at its hub. Pegasus, although it offers connections to many destinations, will be great mainly for cheap tickets to Istanbul and Turkey. QR is not doing well in BEG, with the flight filling DOH-ESB-DOH but not filling to and from BEG. FZ is doing ok I guess, but nothing amazing, they have had very unattractive fares to BEG, which personally for me was somthing I avoided and never flew them. SU is doing great, but I dont think its mainly due to connections rather to the trade and diaspora between the 2 countries.

      As for Etihad, its their first day in BEG and they have bigger plans rather than offering connections in AUH, but to buy shares into its base airline, JAT, from who they expect will feed their AUH flights with traffic. Having said that and their interest in trade, PKB etc we could see cargo bringing better profitablity to the route. Time will tell.

      As for BEG as an airport, although it is renovating, the process is still very slow. Both terminals are half finished and half dillapidated and falling apart. The access roads to the terminals are appauling and have several huge 'pot holes' in them. Parking is ridiculous, the arrivals hall is small, cramped and claustrophobic. Departures is becoming cramped, more check in desks are needed to accomodate the growing pax numbers. Flight boards dont work properly other than the tiny LCD screens, shops sell limited and very overpriced products. Not enough places to sit and enjoy coffee, the coffee shops are often crowded especially in peak times, no smoking area means that people use the toilet cubicles to smoke. Ground staff are amazing, very friendly, helpful and professional. Top airport? long way to go. WAW, BUD, PRG, OTP, KBP, SVO, LED, IST, VIE, ATH all come to mind before even starting to think of BEG.

    2. Anonymous13:26

      I was not talking about the shape or design of the airport but rather about options passengers have to chose from when travelling from Belgrade to Asia.
      Also, Vienna is neither in eastern Europe or the Balkans so it does not apply here.

      Also I said one of the top airports in this region, not the top- there is a huge difference.

      OTP has good options but they are not far superior to what's offered in Belgrade. The new terminal is very nice BUT all the areas in the old part are more than horrible; that is the check in areas and the arrival halls. The only advantage they have is that Tarom has a relatively ok Middle Eastern network but then again Belgrade has Etihad which compensates especially since Tarom is not that cheap to start with.

      BUD has Wizz Air as the national carrier, an airline which never published its financial reports. In 2009 when someone leaked their financial report... well, it left a lot to be desired. When it comes to other carriers, they have the same as Belgrade minus Etihad.

      PRG was saved by Korean otherwise they would have lost their national carrier. We will have to wait and see how they develop in the future. But teh problem here is that they do not have Pegasus, Qatar, Etihad or flydubai. What they have is countless flights to Moscow, Finnair and CSA's flight to Abu Dhabi. Hardly something that would make it superior to the rest of us.

      KBP, SVO and LED are doing really well. However, LED's position could be questioned because they lack some decent low-cost carriers.
      Also, KBP terminal is a joke, even the new part which has only two air bridges.

      ATH is competitive but it lost a lot of passengers and carriers due to the crisis. So we have to wait and see who will still keep on operating there, especially with Turkish Airlines becoming more and more aggressive in Greece.

      All in all, the situation in Belgrade is far from bad with all these carriers offering connections to Asia.

      Also, I would like to add that Aeroflot relies heavily on transit flights to Asia and the CIS. There are about 4,500 Serbs living in Moscow while there are around 5,000 Russians living in Serbia. Far from enough to justify four daily flights between the two capitals.

    3. JATBEGMEL15:19

      For options, BEG is the best in the ex-YU. BUT, what is the market in each ex-YU republic, and what is the demand for such flights?

      ZAG is better in the sense it actualy has direct flights to the Far East (Japan and Korea). It is complemented with QR who offer daily connections to ZAG.

      BEG and Serbia hasnt developed its tourism properly, tourist attractions dont get infrastructure needed and alot of corruption still goes on. Belgrade still has alot to change, the Savski afiteatar for example is very nice and has potentialm yet its is dilapidated and disgusting. Remember the LGW charters to INI? It happened once, twice poorly and never went for a third season.

      Your choice of airlines is not something impressive. FZ dont fly past BEG is because of their structure - they dont put their crew in hotels in outstations, and dont do flights that exceed crew limitations. FZ might not fly to PRG, but EK does and has so for a couple years, and OK is also flying to AUH. WAW has daily flights with EK on their A332, as well as LED on the A343. ATH have QR, EK and EY, EK upgraded ATH from an A345 to a B773 recently.

      OK fly alot of ex-USSR destinations is because they have a market for them, and that PRG is convenient for transfer for pax originating in western europe.

      As for Wizz Air, if they were doing bad than they would of went the same way Sky Europe did, but instead, they are launching new flights with new hubs and recieving more and more new aircraft.

    4. Anonymous20:34

      ZAG does not have connections to the far East. Korean Air and JAL were only present for 1-2 summer seasons but did not make the summer schedules permanent. Thus, you cannot say that ZAG has connections in the far East when those 2 airlines only chartered less than 10 flights in the whole summer!!!

      You're right Serbia has not promoted itself as a touristy place, but have you been to Serbia? It's located next to Croatia and Montenegro which have coasts. Coast = better/more tourism. Serbia can offer countryside explorations, Belgrade is a party mecca, and then there's Guca and Exit Festivals. Serbia has been getting an increase in tourism, but the country can better use funds than promoting tourism.

      I did want to ask if anyone knows about potential Belgrade-US/Canada flights? I remember people talking about it and I wanted to see if there are any such flights that might take place in the near future.

    5. Anonymous21:22

      Serbia has barely 650 000 foreign tourist in whole of 2012, not sure you can call Serbia a mecca for tourist, it seems tourist are going everywhere else buy Serbia. Zagreb had 3 years in a row Korean Air and JAL seasonal flights, sure only 12-10 flights but as Zagreb becomes more attractive Tourist destination and it looks it will.

      Don;t forget Zagreb has seasonal flights to Japan, South Korea and now China with Air China charters, not long ago it had Malaysian scheduled service but due to recession route was cut, and now had Qatar Air link.

      I'm sure things will improve dramatically as EU starts to recover, more airlines will come and more will choose Zagreb as their destination. Only good things to look forward to.

    6. I did want to ask if anyone knows about potential Belgrade-US/Canada flights? I remember people talking about it and I wanted to see if there are any such flights that might take place in the near future.



      There is zero chance of this happening. This should be abundantly clear to anyone.

    7. Anonymous00:49

      Well, the one weekly B752 to Toronto was doing fine so I am sure Air Canada Rouge could do well with its network feed in Toronto.
      So yes, there is potential to Canada at least.

    8. When you take into consideration the extra landing and handling fees (this aircraft can't do this non stop), fuel burn for the extra take off and just the limited capacity of the aircraft type you mentioned, it will be very difficult to make money here and the aircraft will be more useful to the company doing something else. But the newer more efficient aircraft like the A350 and the 787 might soon be used for medium / long haul low cost services. I just think other mid size cities in Europe will see this type of service before the Ex Yu.

    9. Anonymous08:44

      The B752 was operated by a now defunct Canadian carrier. They used to stop in Dublin and since they did this for two seasons I guess they made money off of it. Unfortunately they went belly up shortly after.

      Air Canada Rouge doesn't have any B752 in its fleet. They would operate the route with the B767-300 which could operate the route without any problem.

    10. No, Air Canada Rouge is not going to land in Belgrade. Don't be ridiculous.

    11. Anonymous13:15

      God, you truly are one bitter queen, aren't you?

    12. yes yes! that's right! Stating the obvious makes me a "bitter queen".

      Curious though... what does getting angry at someone saying the self-evidently obvious make you?

  8. Anonymous15:04

    I remember that the 85th JAT anniversary was celebrated last year..

  9. JU520 BEGLAX20:12

    Anyone knows pax loads AUH-BEG-AUH today and within next days
    Paxloada QR via ESB?


    1. Anonymous20:47

      I was going to ask the same question and LF for TZL-BSL-TZL today.....?

  10. Anonymous00:50

    Most people who visit Belgrade or Exit are also visiting Bosnia(especially Sarajevo) and the coast.

    Never ever only visit one single country!!!!!

    So any initiative to promote tourism either in Serbia/Bosnia/Croatia has to be multinational/Yugoslavian.

    The perfect journey worth a flight from far abroad would thus be :
    Landing in Belgrade.Explore the countryside of Serbia and Bosnia the adventurous way by bike or wandering.
    Visit Exit,Guca,Sarajevo,Mostar or other interesting places.
    Then relax from it on the Croatian/Montenegrin seaside
    .Then back to Belgrade and have fun in a real city and leave by plane.

  11. Man, some people here make it sound like Belgrade is the only city in the world that has a 'country side' and a club.

    I have never been to Belgrade and I'm sure its a fine place but you have to understand that whatever you find in Belgrade you can find in any other capital or secondary city of the former Yugo.

    In my experience, most young people from other countries of the former Yugo who spend there weekends in Belgrade are there mainly due to the popularity of turbo folk music, not on my ipod playlist so this is not a reason for me to go and the Exit music festival. Apart from that, what makes Belgrade so special and will make me decide to spend time there compared to Zagreb (easiest option for me) of Budapest, Vienna, Prague?

    1. Anonymous08:41

      Belgrade was voted as the top undiscovered destination, so I guess it does have something.

      First of all the location, size and design of Kalemegdan make it attractive. The Budapest castle for example is stunning but it is not integrated into the city. You can't go there and walk freely with your friends, sit, drink beer... in Belgrade you can. Also, from Kalemegdan the views are amazing which makes the experience even better. Furthermore, Belgrade is located on two rivers whose confluence is right in the centre. Ada Ciganlija is a great recreational place (especially for those who love golf).
      Belgrade, unlike Budapest or Bucharest, has a ton of coffee places around the city. If you are in Budapest you can't find that many in the city, you are forced to go to a stupid mall.

      One of the greatest things in Belgrade for me is that no matter what time you are out, there will be people in the streets. For example if you are walking through Vaci street in Budapest after 20:30 there will be no one there.

      Belgrade has a vibe and that is why people keep on coming back. Just look at the number of foreigners that attend the Belgrade Beer Fest or the Exit Festival (which is in Novi Sad but still.). And mind you, there is no turbo folk there.

      The main challenge for Belgrade will be to remove the bad reputation it got during the 1990s. But as with everything else, time will fix that- as it has been proven until now.

    2. Anonymous10:32

      Exit and turbo folk?! Come on, give me a break! Ridicoulous..

    3. @ OP

      No kidding. It's ridiculous reading some of these comments. Sure, Kalemegdan is nice, but no huge reason to visit and certainly no reason to visit more than once.

      Huge numbers of foreigners at beer fest? How many dozen, exactly?

      People keep coming back? I don't think people "keep coming back" to any of the Ex-yu countries. Maybe visit once.

      Croatia is the most popular tourist destination in the Ex-YU and I happen to find that it's way over rated. Serbia? gimmie a break! definitely an interesting place to visit to see a place where everything is crumbling and decaying and nothing works (I mean that seriously. It is interesting and worth seeing), but to spend 1000s of dollars just to sit in Kalemegdan and have a beer? wtf.

    4. Anonymous13:09

      Doot, we never expected you to understand as your frustrations are not allowing you to actually enjoy the city.
      I still don't understand why you are still in Belgrade if you hate it so much. Go to your lovely US of A where everything is perfect and where everything sparkles.

    5. oh, I enjoy what there is to enjoy.

      That doesn't mean that it's somehow "understandable" that someone's really going to go out of their way to sit in a park and look at two rivers or that's a legitimate tourist draw.

  12. Anonymous05:34

    Comparing Zagreb with Budapest, Prague and Vienna is even more rediculous then comparing Belgrade with them.
    Belgrade has at least some respectable cultural heritage and expression of its own, while Zagreb is nothing more then overgrowed and confused Austro-Hungarian province capital. But I hope you will go to Zagreb and see yourself. Have fun! And do not forget visiting Graz afterwords, so that you can see Zagreb in intented and properly preserved version.
    Greetings from Ljubljana

    1. Anonymous06:03

      Yeah, Belgrade is full of history gained from 400 years of Turkish occupation.

    2. Anonymous08:33

      Belgrade existed long before the Ottomans came, all those monasteries and churches around Serbia are the best proof of that.
      Zagreb was developed in the 19th century by Strossmeyer who tried to turn it into some sort of Balkan Florence, naturally this plan failed. If you look at the number of buildings before his 'plan' and after everything will be clear.

      Zagreb is a cute town, nothing more than that. Sorry.

    3. JATBEGMEL09:27

      The sad part is reading these comments by people who have never been to Belgrade. After the Otttomans left, alot of their mosques etc were ruined. One remained, Bajrakli dzamija which is from the 17th century. A few things remain from the Ottoman times. Belgrade lost alot of its cultural buildings in both world wars and alot was rebuilt by the communists after World War II with concrete and steel. The older buildings that are still there lack resortation, ie Savski amfeteatar.

    4. Anonymous09:36

      Or the post office building by the railway station:

    5. Anonymous11:25

      "Zagreb is nothing more then overgrowed and confused Austro-Hungarian province capital."

      +1 :D

  13. Anonymous10:56

    Once upon a time, I used to get annoyed reading these comments... Now I just laugh my ass off at how ignorant people here can be at times.

    1. +2

      Not quite as evolved as you, though. I still get annoyed.

  14. Anonymous03:35

    JAT Tehnika is technical provider of Etihads A319,

    I think its the online Line Maintenence customer of Tehnika, or am I wrong?

    Regards from Basel


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