Air Serbia to postpone Beirut launch

Safety concerns delay Beirut service

Air Serbia will postpone the launch of its flights to the Lebanese capital Beirut due to the deteriorating safety situation in the country. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, flight will be launched in June if safety conditions in Lebanon improve. Beirut, which was to be inaugurated by Air Serbia along with a further five new destinations this summer, has been the best selling route out of the batch which includes Budapest, Sofia, Varna, Warsaw and Kiev. The new service to Beirut has been popular mainly with transit passengers from France and Germany. The Serbian carrier suspended ticket sales to the Lebanese capital yesterday and is due to give an official statement next week.

Lebanon has been engulfed by a series of suicide bombings in the past few weeks, the latest of which occurred last Saturday when three people were killed and fifteen others wounded. The political and security situation in the country has been hit by the ongoing civil war in neighbouring Syria. Lebanon has seen the number of visiting tourists plunge in the past year with several Gulf states banning their nationals from entering the country. Earlier this year, Air Serbia cancelled planned flights to Cairo in Egypt due to the political situation in the country. Despite the unrest in Ukraine, the Serbian carrier will go ahead with plans to launch the new service to Kiev on May 28.

Air Serbia’s flights to Beirut were to initially launch on March 30 with three weekly services, increasing to daily from June 1. Passengers who have booked tickets with the airline will be offered alternative transport or a full refund. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, Air Serbia is considering launching new destinations as a result of its decision to pull out of Beirut with the Albanian capital Tirana being the frontrunner. Within the former Yugoslavia this summer, Lebanon’s national carrier, Middle East Airlines, will operate a one weekly service to Sarajevo, while charter carrier Wings of Lebanon plans to offer up to 22 flights between Beirut and Dubrovnik between June and September.


  1. Anonymous10:06

    I don't see that Etihad (Air Serbia's parent company) has suspended flights to Beirut, nor has any other major European airline announced suspension of flights. Austrian flies to Baghdad which is security wise in a much worse shape than Beirut.

    Aside security issues, this will be bad marketing for JU if they ever reconsider launching flights to Beirut - don't know how many tickets they've sold on this route... those pax who have seen their tickets cancelled will probably not reconsider JU for their next travels.

    Does anyone know how this will affect other routes? I suppose that most of pax to Beirut would be connecting pax from France, Scandinavia, etc.

    1. Anonymous18:04

      Airlines cancel routes all the time. It will not affect customers in the future once route is launched if the fare is competitive, connections are good and service is enjoyable. This tends to happens everywhere.

  2. Anonymous10:06

    BEG announced 232.000 PAX in February claiming growth of 34% yoy. Awesome !

    1. Is that insider information? I can't find that news anywhere.

    2. Anonymous10:14

      It's a press release from the airport

    3. Anonymous10:31

      It's available on

    4. Anonymous10:33

      Objavljeno na,impresivno

    5. Anonymous11:39

      Hahaha, first of the month early morning... they couldn't wait to post these results, I guess good news travels fast. Well done Belgrade!

    6. Anonymous11:54

      I think it has more to do with the fact that it's election time and the URS member management wants to show how well they have been doing. Too bad that any other professional management would have used these good numbers and increased profits to much better and more effective use.

    7. Anonymous12:47


  4. I think the major problem for postponing new AirSerbia new destinations is delay of leasing new planes....YU-APA is sitting in MUC, YU-APD lost in space, F-ORAJ ( YU-APB) is in GYR fo reconfiguration and painting, there were works on second A320 in SNN. Lack of planes caused big problems for planning new routes, not political situation in Lebanon and Egypt.

  5. Anonymous11:43

    I also think that the fleet delays and/or weak prebookings for BEY are the real reason. If all other major airlines fly, I don't see a reason why AS should be extra-cautious. Not a very clever move.....

    1. Anonymous11:45


      "eirut, which was to be inaugurated by Air Serbia along with a further five new destinations this summer, has been the best selling route out of the batch which includes Budapest, Sofia, Varna, Warsaw and Kiev."

    2. Anonymous11:53

      I think most people here don’t even read the articles, they just see the headline and start commenting. It’s the Balkan way. On topic, it’s true about Beirut. Sales have been really good (even during JU era 2004-2006 sales to Beirut were always good with transits to CDG). Budapest and Sofia are also doing good. Varna not so great. Think that one will be turning seasonal.

  6. Anonymous11:52

    It would be fabulous if they launch Tirana or Zagreb, which are one of the most important cities in the region.

    1. Or just both, after all they are aiming for the regional leader title :)

  7. Anonymous13:20

    Because situation there is almost same since Lebanese Civil War (since 1975), so 40 years.

    2005 Syrian soldiers in Lebanon

    2006 Hezbollah launched a series of rocket attacks - Israel respond

    2006-2008 huge violent demonstrations against Fouad Siniora

    2008-2009 Lebanon conflict (fights betwen Hezbollah and Lebanese Army)

    2011 the national unity government collapsed due to growing tensions

    2012-2013 Syrian civil war threatens to spill over in Lebanon, causing more incidents of sectarian violence and armed clashes between Sunnis and Alawites (more than 677,702 Syrian refugees are in Lebanon)

    On 27 December 2013, former Minister of Finance Mohamad Chatah, a senior aide to former Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri, was killed along with seven others in a car bomb explosion in Downtown Beirut

    So, tell me what's new? And Air Serbia management did not know that whan they announce route? Congretulations

  8. Anonymous13:23

    Non of so many arilines cancel flights to Beirut:

    Aegean Airlines
    Air Algérie
    Air Arabia
    Air Arabia Egypt
    Air France
    British Airways
    Bulgaria Air
    Cyprus Airways
    EgyptAir Express
    Etihad Airways
    Ethiopian Airlines
    Freebird Airlines
    Germania - 2 routes
    Gulf Air
    Iran Air
    Iraqi Airways - 3 routes
    Jazeera Airways
    Kuwait Airways
    Mahan Air
    Med Airways - 5 routes
    Middle East Airlines - 37 routes
    Pegasus Airlines- 3 routes
    Qatar Airways
    Royal Air Maroc
    Royal Jordanian
    Saudia - 3 routes
    Syrian Air
    Turkish Airlines
    UM Airlines
    Wings of Lebanon


    1. Anonymous17:57

      This is fantastic! Troll now uses copy & paste to repost hate comments from yesterday! He might have a daily quota of anti Air Serbia comments he has to post! Does this mean he is paid per comment? I hope not, as most bosses don't allow copy & paste to retire quota! LOL!

      So if you want to copy earlier post, here's a copy of a post from few days ago that fits just right as a reply to your hate:

      No need to get all hot and bothered about yet another (or is it just the same one?) disgruntled employee or competitor (ab)using free social media access to create Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) about Air Serbia. Common FUD themes on the blog are Load Factor, foreign investment and contract, delayed or cancelled flights.

      Clearly the FUD campaign is not working, as customers are overwhelmingly embracing new product and positively reacting in the social media. Most of the readers on this blog are doing a fine job refuting false claims and exposing FUD posters for what they really are. Campaign is likely to continue as some former employees and competitors are clearly affected by seismic shift in attitude Air Serbia created in the region, so they will likely try to inject seemingly negative news on a daily basis.

      Their voices will eventually be diminished and overwhelmed by Air Serbia’s consistent product improvements and service levels, but it will take more than couple of months before they give up.

    2. Anonymous19:18

      Anonymous 5:57 PM

      Is that you, Vucic?

    3. Anonymous19:59

      Who is Vucic?

    4. Niti su svi koji vide mrzitelji, niti zaposlenici Jata15:17

      How can you find fact that 44 companies Etihad including on 91 routes did not cancel any route and Air Serbia did, as hate?

      That is not hate, that is fact. And to proclame fact as hate is Fascism!

    5. Anonymous17:17

      Air Serbia didn't cancel it, they just postponed it

    6. Anonymous21:33

      I love reading through all the bullshit that so many self appointed experts seem to have the "inside" line on. It is not catastrophic that JU postpones - yes, POSTPONES it's startup - and with good reason. 1. there are issues with the current Bilateral that the Lebanese have cited at this late stage, as a problem - chief of which is the fact that the ASA (along with, shamefully, a shitload of other ASA's) remain in the fucking name of the SFR of Jugoslavia. - which the Lebanese don't recognize, despite having given indications that it would be ok with. So, shit happens and bureaucrats change their mind. What it reflects on though, is not so much JU, rather, on what the baboons in the CAD and MoT have been doing. There are almost 50 such ASA's which still after all these years haven't been corrected. 2. AS a new market entrant, many countries have a foreign travel advisory warning against travel to Lebanon. That means that travel insurance is invalidated and so greatly restricts the ability to grow the market and attract new customers - something that any new carrier has to do. So it's not about other companies, incl even EY who continue to fly to BEY. They do so because they already have their market share carved out and are primarily carrying Lebanese people back home, who are otherwise not so concerned about war and bombings. 3. There is no Serbian Embassy in Lebanon that can process and issue visas to Lebanese. Get this, they currently have to submit their application to the honorary counsel of Serbia who then sends it to - wait for it - Damascus/Syria, which is currently a war zone - for visas to be processed which takes at least 30 days ! Who in their right mind would send their p/port to a war zone ? So, things are not always as they seem and the conspiracy theorists should not always jump to conclusions and kick JU in the nuts .... Have faith people, things happen for a reason ... Otherwise, things are good and under control and heading in the right direction ....

    7. Anonymous01:34

      And Air Serbia management did not know that several weeks ago whan they announce route? That is news for tham? And thay announce route without any infomration in advance?

      Well than it is just unprofessionalism!!! Big one!

    8. Anonymous01:36

      Air Serbia did not know that there is no Serbian embassy in Lebanon?

      Or they did no know that there is war in Syria for 2 year now? And that potential passengers must go to war zone for visa?

      Bravo! Very professional! Hahahaha... That is more than Jatovanje!

    9. Anonymous01:40

      No, that can not be true. Non company in the wolrd can have as big diletantism as this! So that excuse can not be true.

    10. Anonymous03:36

      "conspiracy theorists should not always jump to conclusions and kick JU in the nuts"

      That's exactly why they (perhaps I shouldn't use plural?) write here, to spin every possible event into negative for Air Serbia. No need to state the facts for haters, 99.99% of visitors here clearly see Air Serbia's improvements while one (or a few, admin can see where IP addresses come from) will always try to falsify the truth so it looks bad for JU. Ignore haters and let JU's success speak for itself.

    11. Anonymous12:11

      By the number of coms here it not even 50% of Air Serbia supporters. It is so funny that you can see 99,9%.

      And I agree just with one thing. One can see JU that speak for itself. So many bad things, delays and passengers problems we can not find in all exYu carriers together.

      If nothing we still have Jatovanje to make us smile.

    12. Anonymous13:06

      This blog has visitor's counter and one lone loser/hater that has to copy & paste comments from before to make up the quota still makes 0.01% of visitors. Repeating negative things about Air Serbia again and again does not make them true, but there are those who look at old propaganda ideas and are desperate to make them work today.

    13. Anonymous09:12

      You are accusing the person, that criticed what Airserbia did, to be a loser. Well me and my friends booked flights on air serbia to lebanon one week ago. and they confirmed the damned flights. We even paid taxes because Air serbia forgot to say this may include taxes. They didn't even bother informing us they cancelled the flights! Till I saw this post I wouldn't even know it. So God job Air serbia, you just losed a country by itself that won't ever book a ticket on your flights.. This is just racism!! War is everywhere, and this was the only destination that made them afraid???!
      Even before they launched their damned flights to Lebanon, there were some problems.. Even in the golf countries there are problems.. But who cares.. Take it on the poor people and countries. On those that you know well how to manipulate.
      And now you can criticise me also.. I really don't care. it's my opinion, and the opinion of all those that reserved flights on Airserbia.

  9. Anonymous13:39

    Does anybody know if Air Serbia will ever fly to MUC again? I think they would have great demand for the route, and also, someone needs to compete with LH that has really big prices most of the time.

  10. These are some great numbers and they are mostly thanks to Air Serbia's increased passenger numbers.February has always been a disastrous month, it's nice to see this changing.
    Boeing B737-300s are still used a lot. This has to change as soon as possible as these planes are in a really bad shape when compared to the A319s which look amazing on the inside.

    In the first two months of 2014, Belgrade airport already passed the 500.000 passenger mark!

  11. Not so long ago pilots from Turkish Airlines were kidnapped in Beirut by strangers.
    I think they got free in exchange for Shiite pilgrims that were hold hostage by Syrian rebels.
    If im not mistaken.

    1. Anonymous21:20

      The only difference is that TK crew stays in Beirut, whereas JU would fly back immediately to BEG.

  12. b73719:51

    Last flight of Boeing 737 was scheduled for Belgrade – Podgorica on 31MAR14, but now in reservation system I find that is planned A319. Does anyone know what is happening, is there new date of last flight

    1. In theory, the B737 should be used less and less as new aircraft arrive. Looking at things as they are now, the B737 will definitely be in service until the end of March.
      It all depends on when the other Airbus birds arrive. In my opinion, YU-ANJ and YU-AND look fine on the inside, the rest are horrible.

  13. Anonymous20:11

    Dragi ex yu fanovi,
    Voleo bi da priznam da pratim ovaj sajt vec dosta dugo. Imam veliki politicki uticaj u zemlji Srbiji, i mislim da je vreme da vam kazem ko sam ja ustvari.
    Aleksandar Vucic
    Podpredsnik Vlade Srbije

    Dear ex yu aviation fans,
    I would like to give a confession. I have been following this site for a long time. I am on a high political position in the country of Serbia, and I believe its time to revial who I really am.
    So here you go:
    I am Aleksandar Vucic
    Deputy President of Republic of Serbia

    1. Hahahhhahahah....ali, pise se Potpredsednik vlade, a na engleskom je to Vice Prime Minister...inace je dobar stos

    2. Anonymous21:27

      Using Anonymous profile to reveal true identity... classy!

  14. Anonymous00:14

    I nije voleo bi nego voleo bih...šteta što si nepismen, Aleksandre ;)

  15. ok,izgleda previse vremena provodim sa Arapima

    1. Anonymous14:17

      Had you ever spent any time with Arabs, you would have perhaps learnt some manners. This way you are just a small delusional racist who will forever live in the imaginary world in which his small village is the center of the universe. What a pity the rest of the world does not follow your vivid imagination.

    2. Anonymous20:38

      haha, your a funny guy! If you were to guess from where I was, what would be your guess?

    3. Anonymous01:16


  16. Anonymous21:15

    Tirana would be excellent move!

  17. Anonymous21:20

    It seems that Air Serbia changed their mind and now 3 A320s to enter service:

  18. Anonymous01:08

    Where did you get these news that air serbia will start flights to Tirana?

  19. Anonymous20:55

    Had nothing to do with security in Lebanon. Flights to be launched on June 1, 2014:


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