Etihad Regional launching Belgrade and Zagreb

Etihad Regional to feed Etihad, Air Berlin and Air Serbia networks

Etihad Airways yesterday announced its acquisition of a 33.3% stake in Swiss regional carrier Darwin Airline. Following completion of the minority investment, which is subject to regulatory approval, Darwin Airline will rebrand its operations as Etihad Regional and align its network to connect passengers from secondary European markets onto the main networks of Etihad Airways and its equity alliance partners Air Serbia and Air Berlin. Darwin Airline has a fleet of ten 50-seat Saab 2000 aircraft. Based in Geneva and Lugarno, the airline currently operates flights to Western Europe. Etihad Regional will shift its main operating hub to Zurich.

Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan announced that Etihad Regional’s new routes will include Belgrade and Zagreb. “This is a step change for Etihad Airways. With our new partner Darwin Airline, we are creating a unique approach to network development for global airlines. We are also linking the new Etihad Regional network into the key hubs of our equity alliance partners, bringing benefits to the customers of Air Berlin and Air Serbia. This is not just a great new offer for European travellers. It is also great news for Darwin Airline, which will see increased investment, greater sales and marketing opportunities, and the chance to benefit from Etihad Airways’ global network”, Mr. Hogan said.

By mid 2014, Darwin Airline will add 21 new routes and eighteen new destinations. Subject to regulatory approval, Etihad Airways, Air Berlin and Air Serbia will codeshare on Darwin Airline routes, while Darwin Airline will codeshare on Etihad Airways, Air Berlin and Air Serbia flights from a range of European gateways. This will provide deeper access to Europe for the three larger carriers and significant new international connectivity and feeder traffic for Darwin Airline.

In April 2014, Etihad Regional will launch flights from Rome to Zagreb. The airline will face no direct competition on the route as Croatia Airlines operates its services to the Italian capital with stops in Dubrovnik and Split. In May, the airline will inaugurate services from Geneva to Belgrade. There it will face stiff competition with both Swiss International Air Lines and easyJet launching flights between the two cities this winter.


  1. Anonymous09:18

    That's one ugly livery. I would have expected much more from them. Maybe if they removed the Swiss flag and just left the E.

    I somehow can't see them sticking to the SAABs, the aircraft is no longer in production. I assume they will expand their fleet by introducing Embraers or Bombardiers.

    By the way, could we see OU launch Geneva or direct Rome flights in order to fight them?

    1. Anonymous09:26

      well, they should take DHC-8, since F7 already operated two in the past

    2. Anonymous09:35

      Swiss law dictates that the Swiss flag must dominate all tails of its registered airlines

    3. Anonymous09:48

      C'mon guys..This livery is much better than Air Serbia..In addition, if Air Serbia starts to code share with Etihad Regional Belgrade will be connected with Leipzig, Florence, Verona, Lyon, Lugano etc. and that is great!

    4. Anonymous10:26

      I don't think Swiss law dictates that. What about Edelweiss, Hello or Sky Work Airlines then? But I totally agree, the livery does suck.

  2. I agree that the livery is just horrible. And this article is good but most of it is not necessarily related to ex yu aviation...

    And somehow I think that lounching Belgrade Geneva route doesn't make sense at all after Easyjet and Swiss.

    1. Anonymous09:57

      Well, the article clearly states that Etihad Regional will feed Air Serbia's flights in Belgrade with Geneva flights. So they are after a completely different market from Swiss and easyJet.

    2. Anonymous10:50

      since when are teenies allowed on ths blog? ^^

    3. SuisseOuest11:21

      If GVA-BEG is a daily flight at reasonable time, it will be a no brainer pick for most of the price elastic O&D pax, even with saab prop. LX and U2 can go after the leisure market, but I don't see them being very successful. Also, I don't expect W6 from BSL to be competitive either.

      A few months of great news for GVA-BEG pax :) Let's hope this trends doesn't stop.
      Cheers for the shores of Lac Leman

    4. Feeding Air Serbia flights or not, this route can only be successful if the prices are reasonable(and for most passengers that means low). Price-wise I don't know how are they going to compete with Easyjet.

      I do hope that they will upgrade the fleet. I never flew on a plane like Saab, but still I'm sure that I would be more comfortable on a A319 that some loud turboprop.

    5. Anonymous13:07


    6. Anonymous13:37

      Za ime sveta, dete, kada ces najzad shvatiti da se fotografije koje uploadujes u svoj Google profil vecini desktop korisnika prikazuju PREKO POLA EKRANA, samo zbog toga sto uporno odbijas da naucis da avatare pre uploada treba SMANJITI na odgovarajucu rezoluciju?! Da, u pitanju je opcija RESIZE kojom postizes normalne dimenzije avatara! Citaoci ovog bloga nisu duzni da u svakom setu komentara na vesti nalete na po 5-6 tvojih portreta dimenzija 20x20 cm. Aman vise!

    7. Turboprops are very safe planes, remember C-130 Galaxy, still flying.....ATR is beauty, safe , loud but efficient...

    8. They are very safe and efficient but not very comfortable, especially on longer routes.

  3. Anonymous10:43

    As far as I am concerned livery is nice and it looks cute on Saab 2000.

    1. Anonymous11:44

      Good enough for me as well.
      Much better than Air Serbia livery on Air Serbia planes..

    2. Anonymous13:09

      Oh, you Croatians. Патетична љубомора на Србе...

  4. Purger10:55

    Etihad definitivno udara na Lufthansu. Ovo više nije slučajno, niti splet okolnosti. Da rezimiramo:

    1. Investicija u Air Berlin - direktan udarac na Lufthansu.

    2. Investicija u Jat/Air Serbia - svi znamo koliko se Lufthansa trudila u Beogradu (od brda linija i frekvencija, preko suradnje sa Jatom, code-share na linijama za MUC, FRA, DUS, ucjena Jata...), ali to je i udarac na tržište u kojem je Lufthansa gotovo monopolista preko vlastitih linija, te svoji pulena Austriana, Croatie, Adrie, Swissa i Aegeana.

    3. Investicija u Darwin kao direktan udarac na Lufthansin pulen Swiss.

    4. Pregovori oko investiranja Etihada u LOT, koji je jedna od kompanija u direktnom interesu Lufthanse.

    5. Brdo Etihadovih letova iz Abu Dhabia za Lufthansine hubove u MUC, FRA, VIE, ZRH, GVA, BRU, te Air Berlinove iz DUS i TXL prema AUH.

    Etihad može investirati u milijun kompanija. Zašto baš udara na Lufthansu? Sada je očito da je ovo dio nekog ozbiljnog plana!!

    1. Anonymous11:09

      Maybe because Lufthansa and British Airways are the only strong and profitable airlines in Europe? The only difference is that Lufthansa has the German government to limit competition on its home turf. I am waiting to see how the Germans will respond to this.

    2. Anonymous12:05

      Lufthansa hasn't been profitable in years.

    3. Eight12:19

      Mišljenja sam da nije toliko pitanje targetiranja Lufthanse koliko potraga za nekom sopstvenom nišom na bogatijem delu evropskog tržišta. Lufthansa se tokom proteklih desetak godina toliko razvila da je izuzetno teško proširiti poslovanje na evropskom nebu a ne "potkačiti" nešto što LH smatra "svojim".

    4. Anonymous12:23

      990 milions euros net income last year

    5. JU520 BEGLAX13:17

      Hi Purger,

      could u pls Keep it in english. Your comments are terrific, but plenty of us ex YU aviators are living as YU Diaspora abroad and don t speak the language properly or at all. So we miss all your valuable comments.....

      would really appreciate. Ciao iz ZRH

    6. Anonymous16:07

      JU520 BEGLAX:
      Google Translate may help here. :)

      Etihad is definitely making a move on Lufthansa. This is not by accident, or set of circumstances. To summarize:

      First The investment in Air Berlin - direct blow to Lufthansa.

      2nd Investment in Jat / Air Serbia - we all know how Lufthansa tried in Belgrade (the multitude of lines and frequencies, through cooperation with Jat, code-shares on the lines to MUC, FRA, DUS, blackmailing Jat ...), but it is also hitting the market in which Lufthansa has an almost monopoly with its own lines, and with the figurehead companies like Austrian, Croatia, Adria, Swiss and the Aegean.

      3rd Investment in Darwin as a direct blow to Lufthansa's Swiss protege.

      4th Negotiations on investment by Etihad in LOT, which is one of the companies in the direct interest of Lufthansa.

      5th A multitude of Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi to Lufthansa's hubs in the MUC, FRA, VIE, ZRH, GVA, BRU, and Air Berlin from DUS and TXL to AUH.

      Etihad could invest in a million companies. Why the attack on Lufthansa? Now it is obvious that this is a serious part of the plan!

    7. Anonymous16:17

      With apologies to Purger for an unauthorized translation. :)

      Bottom line: these days, language barrier should not prevent anyone from following Purger's terrific posts!

    8. JU520 BEGLAX16:22

      man u re unbelievable. Thank you 1000 x, really appreciated!

    9. Anonymous18:22

      Good analysis from purger and thanks to the translator!
      I ask myself how Lufty will react on all this...
      If they also will whine like a little child the same when Air Serbia was created ?

  5. Anonymous14:09

    Belgrade again.........Ahhhhhhhhh
    Hello ETIHAD, there is Nis Airport too !
    4 airlines will fly from Belgrade to Swiceraland.

    1. Anonymous15:11

      If they think flying to INI would generate profit, no worries - they would fly there. This way, sorry but INI is just not interesting.

    2. Anonymous17:35

      well, when their plane arrives at BEG, it could take off on BEG-INI route, and then return to GVA

  6. Anonymous15:10

    As much as i like Etihad but i dont want to see Etihad Regional on the Beg-Gva route!
    We will see a fierce fight between two much appreciated airlines Easyjet and Swiss and i would love to see them both succeeding.
    Better EY drop this route and "compensate" Belgrade with opening a route to St Petersburg by Air Serbia in next summer!

    1. SuisseOuest17:29

      Do you really consider 2 weekly service at weird times of day "a fierce fight"? Etihad Regional will bring completely different type of service with daily (and hopefully later double daily) flights at convenient times for connections.
      BEG-LED should happen regardless, IMO it is much better route than any other in Russia

    2. Anonymous17:32

      Well, except Moscow maybe. ;)

    3. Anonymous17:52

      Well Etihad Regional in this case really will be a feeder for Air Serbia.
      Their other flight feeds Etihad in Zürich.
      Easyjet and possibly Swiss aim at a different
      sort of clientele:
      Onward connections to other destinations that are not served directly like all those vacation spots in Spain and Portugal.

  7. Anonymous16:19

    They are rumored to start 2 daily flights (14 weekly) to Sarajevo as well. They have inquired for slots

    1. Anonymous16:25

      Well, they already have double daily flights loaded for the summer. An afternoon and a night departure from Belgrade.

    2. Anonymous17:15

      This is about Etihad Regional flights Zurich-Sarajevo.

      But the source is not the most reliable as that source also made up flights of Aeroflot, Air Berlin and FlyNiki to Sarajevo

    3. Anonymous17:31

      I could see it as a daily flight but not double daily.

  8. Anonymous16:20

    What happened to 14 promised new routes of Air Serbia in summer 14? So far SOF, IEV, VAR, BEY, CAI,WAW and CAI have not been loaded in the systems. What will happend with flights to MLA and Gerona?

  9. JU520 BEGLAX16:43

    Darwin Airline, soon to be rebranded as ETIHAD Regional, will introduce 21 new routes in Summer 2014 season, as part of the deal with ETIHAD purchasing 1/3 of Darwin Airline’s company share. Initially planned new routes as follow.
    From April 2014:
    Berlin – Poznan
    Berlin – Wroclaw
    Dusseldorf – Berlin
    Dusseldorf – Cambridge
    Dusseldorf – London City
    Geneva – Toulouse
    Rome – Tirana
    Rome – Zagreb
    Zurich – Leipzig
    From May 2014:
    Geneva – Belgrade
    Geneva – Zurich
    Zurich – Florence
    Zurich – Turin
    From June 2014:
    Geneva – Bordeaux
    Geneva – Marseille
    Geneva – Nantes
    Geneva – Verona
    Zurich – Graz
    Zurich – Linz
    Zurich – Lyon
    Zurich – Verona

  10. Anonymous17:01

    OT - Zagreb Airport strike dates announced as follows:
    1.phase 21NOV13 from 09:00 AM till 22NOV13 at 22:59 PM
    2. phase 25NOV13 from 22:59 AM till 28NOV13 at 22:59 PM
    3. phase 01DEC13 from 22:59 AM till fulfilment of conditions. All time UTC

    1. Anonymous18:11

      God, why oh why do they have to go on a strike! They are endangering their future with such actions!!!!
      I wonder how much OU and ZAG will lose from this.

  11. Anonymous18:56

    Etihad ordered the following aircraft at the Dubai air show:

    Etihad total Airbus order 87
    40 A350-900
    10 A350-1000
    26 A321neo
    10 A320neo
    1 A330-200F

    I think it's safe to assume that Air Serbia's future will tied to Airbus and not Boeing as it was speculated. FYI I am not saying that Air Serbia will get any of these just that it seems that Etihad is getting cosier with Airbus than Boeing.

  12. Etihad also placed the order for more than 50 Boeing aircraft (30x 787 and 25x 777X). Seems they will keep ties with Boeing - but not on the short haul metal, that goes to A320.

    Hogan said here they would also introduce 10x A380 late next year:

    1. Anonymous19:21

      Yes, that's why I said that they will most likely get Airbuses for JU. It's just easier especially since it is likely AB will keep theirs as well.

  13. FB@aerlingus21:12

    OT: Aerlingus DUB-PUY from March 2014 twice weekly flights 2,6

  14. The ten Airbus 320 Neos...
    Will they come to Air Serbia?
    EY mentioned that JUs fleet could get replaced by 2016 and that new ac will be included in EYs orders.

    Love the A320...
    They are definitely ahead of the Boeings.

  15. So, will we see Darwin flying to JFK and Toronto in 2015?

    1. Anonymous08:49

      No. Darwin will become Etihad Regional and it will solely feed airlines' networks.


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