FAA begins final Serbia evaluation

FAA to make decision on Serbia’s rating

Today in Belgrade, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will begin its final assessment of Serbia’s aviation authorities which could see the country upgraded from its current category two status to category one, paving way for scheduled flights between the two countries, impossible under the present rating. The FAA will assess whether the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate meets US and international safety standards and whether it has adequate infrastructure for international aviation safety oversight as defined by international standards. The evaluation will last seven days. Serbia is optimistic it will be granted the category one status it lost in 2004.

Serbia’s Assistant Minister for Air Transport, Milutin Popović, says, “We are ready to obtain a category one status and, after this check, we could receive it quickly if the FAA inspectors are content with their findings. We anticipate a positive outcome”. One of the country’s major hurdles in obtaining a category one ranking was the absence of an independent air accidents investigation authority. Serbia will form one this year. Last February, during its preliminary checks, the FAA found that regulations in Serbia‘s air sector are in line with international standards.

The last time Serbia was linked with the US was in 2004 when Uzbekistan Airways operated flights from Belgrade to the Big Apple. Air Serbia has said it plans to launch transatlantic flights in 2016. Last year, Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić said that Etihad Airways’ CEO, James Hogan, confirmed plans for the Serbian carrier to operate flights to Chicago and Toronto in 2016 with Airbus A330 aircraft. However, Mr. Vučić added he was pushing for transatlantic flights to be launched later this year, in particular to New York. The last time a Serbian carrier applied to operate flights to the US was in August 2003 when Jat Airways submitted its application to provide “nonstop scheduled flights of persons, property and mail two times per week between Belgrade and New York and Chicago using a 271 seat DC-10-30 aircraft”. The FAA never responded to the application.

Serbia's last air bilateral with the US was inked in 1989

Croatia is currently the only country in the former Yugoslavia with a category one status, which it obtained on January 24, 2011. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Kosovo must be assessed again since, in the past four years, they either did not have direct flights to the United States, have no codeshare agreements with US carriers or have no significant interaction with the FAA. However, most countries have inked an Air Transport Agreement with the US, designed to promote air travel between the signatory parties. Serbia, as the legal successor to Yugoslavia, last signed an Air Transport Memorandum of Understanding with the United States on June 28, 1989. Since then, no other form of bilateral cooperation in the field of aviation has been made between the two countries.


  1. Anonymous09:18

    Hoping for the positive outcome :)

  2. Anonymous09:33

    We will see how much of a day Delta had in this.

    1. Anonymous09:35

      Damn auto correct!!!

      We will see if Delta has much of a say in this.

    2. Anonymous13:17

      FAA does not represent Delta's interests. Mission goals are to assess country status as per blog post. You are probably confusing FAA with DoT.

      Just a reminder, if Air Serbia is to launch flights to North America they might cooperate with other airlines in that venture. As an example, Etihad is codesharing with American Airlines and Air Canada on it's flights to North America, so Air Serbia might follow the similar approach.

    3. Miroslav14:57

      Delta? I doubt they are actually much bothered. Delta flies nowhere close to the Balkans, their closest destinations are in Italy and Ukraine. I think it all was journalists ploy.

    4. Anonymous15:11

      Delta no longer flies to Ukraine and they actually fly to the Balkans. Seasonally to Istanbul Ataturk and then they also have flights to Greece, that is Athens.

    5. Anonymous16:52

      Even for the optimists it is very unlikely Air Serbia will fly to North America in the short term (2014-2015), but JU could benefit from positive FAA decision to then place JU codeshare on partners such as Air Berlin.

      We'll see what will happen with restructuring changes at Air Berlin, but if they continue to fly to the US I could see JU codeshare on Air Berlin USA flights in 2014.

      American Airlines is a member of the same alliance as Air Berlin and they already codeshare on a number of flights. Having both AA and JU codeshare on BEG-TXL-JFK (and other) flights would be in mutual interest of Serbia and the US, and that cooperation could expand if one day Air Serbia finds enough feed to fly profitably to North America.

    6. Anonymous17:14

      Well, Air Serbia already sells flights to north America via their website thanks to its interline agreement with Virgin Atlantic. That's already a step in the right direction.

    7. Anonymous17:23

      I think JU should first consolidate it's route network, add new routes focusing on transfer pax, finish Airbus fleet renewal and buy new ATRs first before going for US longhaul. They should have a really solid foundation by the end of 2015 to launch those flights in 2016 and they could be a real cash cow.

    8. Anonymous18:53

      Not so sure about the cash cow. Look at LOT - they have respectable tradition, started flying to the US in the seventies and then with Boeing 767 since late 80's. They have large immigrant communities in North America. They currently have some 35+ aircraft and fairly developed feeder network in Central/East Europe. They operate modern, fuel efficient 787-8 that is ideal for their transatlantic routes. They are a member of the most powerful airline alliance in Europe. Warsaw airport handles almost $11M passengers a year. What can go wrong, right?

      Well LOT is in a lot of financial trouble. Outside of summer season, they are struggling to keep the frequencies, so they are leasing 787's to Finland or using them for tourist charters to destinations like Sri Lanka or Thailand. Just a cautionary tale to anyone planning to start route from CEE to North America.

      JU operated those flights since the seventies but times have changed a lot in terms of competition and market. I am not saying it is not possible for JU, they just have to be very focused and be extremely low risk in their approach.

    9. LOT's primary issues are Poland's geography and its decentralization. Warsaw is located to the east of the country which means feeding your transatlantic flights from the 'countryside' forces passengers to backtrack. On top of all this, Poland's secondary cities are well connected to Star Alliance hubs either by Star carriers or by LOT's own flights.
      That's why it makes far more sense for LOT to concentrate on Asia rather than north America; especially since they are trying to build a solid hub at Warsaw airport. Naturally, there is enough O&D demand to maintain daily flights throughout the year to both Chicago and New York,
      I don't think LOT is leasing out its B787 because they can't make any money off of their transatlantic flights but rather because they desperately need extra income. Let's not forget that LOT suspended Hanoi flights, despite good loads, simply because it was not making them any profit.

      I do not see why people are getting so worked up when someone mentions Air Serbia's transatlantic ambitions. Anyone remotely familiar with aviation will know that this can not happen before: Belgrade airport expands its facilities, Air Serbia further enhances its network, records a profit...

    10. Anonymous19:33

      Nemjee, I agree with your last paragraph, those things should happen first. I was not negative about potential Air Serbia transatlantic ambitions, quite the opposite: for them to succeed they have to look closely at what caused graveyard of failed transatlantic routes from the "region" (Malev, CSA, Tarom and now even LOT issues, but they will survive).

    11. Of course, I was merely referring to some which mock their transatlantic ambitions/aspirations.
      In my opinion, the most important thing is for them to keep on building a hub which will link the Balkans with the Middle East and the rest of Europe. Only when most of their destinations are operated on a double daily basis can they think of adding long-haul routes.

      Just look at Tel Aviv, a month ago the route was departing with 13 passengers and today it is a common occurrence for the flight to depart with 100 passengers- mostly transfer traffic. I believe that Tel Aviv is one of the more important routes in Air Serbia's network primarily because of its potential and a rather high yielding travelling public.

    12. Anonymous22:26

      Sta ce im A330 bolje da im Etihad da 9 Boeing 787-9 (Porucili 41) i da daju 6 Boeing 777-300 ER (17 imaju trenutno).

    13. Anonymous00:28

      Ma naravno... bar 30 širokotrupaca. I jedan na liniji Beograd-mjesec.

  3. Anonymous09:35

    Is there an actual reason why Croatia is not using this benefits?

    1. Anonymous10:26

      Because there's no demand for it?

    2. Anonymous11:29

      That's absurd, they have thousands of american tourists each summer.

    3. Anonymous11:31

      I think he meant that there isn't enough demand for direct flights between the United States and Croatia. If there was money to be made in Croatia, I am sure there would have been an airline flying by now.

    4. Miroslav15:12

      its not that Serbs or Croats travel exclusively, or American tourists to just see Croatian coast. There would be some of them of course, but definately not enought to take at least 200 seats daily from JFK. Major contributor to the load factor in long haul flights is number of short haul flights that feed the target long haul airport. Zagreb currrently doesnt have this much destinations to offer, partly because EU is forced to stretch its fleet of 12 aircraft to four existing year round worthy airports in the country and three more airports during summer. Other than that Pleso terminal is obsolete and doesnt even have jetways that some North American airlines may require.
      Belgrade is expanding its number of destinations and number of passengers flown, so its already a hub and many people use it as a stop, which is remarkable knowing there are currently no long haul services from BEG. However i dont think load factor for transatlantic flights toBEG wouldnt be satisfactory unless the airport reach 5 million pax a year, which will most likely happen in 2015.

    5. Anonymous18:14

      Actually there are around 200.000 US tourists every year in Croatia. Roughly speaking, about a half of the number are one-day visits from cruising ships, mostly in Dubrovnik, but even 100.000 which come by air is decent number which deserves attention. If existing and potential transit passengers to other ex-yu countries, mostly immigrants are added, we come to the numbers which can sustain direct operations. But concerning Croatia, there are 3 main reasons which are preventing any operator to start such services : the first is high seasonality, as almost 90% of all those passengers travel betwen April and October, and the second is incompetent and corrupt management of Croatia Airlines, both present and former, which "closely cooperates" (read : willingly gives up) in favour of Lufthansa all those northamerican passengers

    6. Anonymous18:17

      LH being the 3rd reason, just to add

    7. Anonymous19:58

      Anonymous 6:14 PM, totally agree with you! Croatia has a huge potential, Zagreb has seasonal flights from South Korea and Japan, a huge diaspora in both USA and Canada, unfortunately Lufthansa dictates everything and OU has a bad management (Kucko and others)!

    8. Anonymous20:22

      I am personally shocked that they are reducing Vienna. They won't be even flying two times per day from Zagreb this summer!! O&D should be enough for two to three daily Q400.

    9. Anonymous21:47

      There are 5 daily ZAG-VIE v.v : OU 2, and OS 3.
      OU operates Q400, and OS mixture of Q400, F70/100, and A319/320. OS Morning flights in peak season are usually A319/320. in addition to that, OS operates daily direct VIE-DBV on A320/321, and OU Q400 to VIE from ZAD and SPU. So, there are some 7 daily flights form Croatia to Vienna and back, not 2.

    10. Anonymous22:33

      Ja sam na Aerodromu u Innsbrucku pricao sa jednim Menedzerom za Rute iz Lufthanse i on mi rekao da nema gorih od Njih teraju ga da ide po Evropi i Slika Avione na Aerodromima da vide kolko kasne.

    11. Anonymous23:54

      Promeni menedžera.

  4. Anonymous10:00

    Hope to start inter-continental air traffic Serbia-USA- Canada. Time is for Serbian authority to satisfy FAA inspection team. Hope happy days is ahead of as. Australia... and rest will be next. Keep hope, but to working hard for restart long haul air traffic. AIR SERBIA are you ready? Shure will be soon.
    Rod. Marinkovic, AME. Kraljevo / Sydney

    1. Anonymous16:01

      Sure, Austrian stop Austalia, Lufthansa, Air France, KLM, Alitalia... does not fly to Australi. British has 2 daily flights to Australia, Qantas just one. But Air Serbia will show them all, and will open frlights from Belgrade to Malbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, and many more to come.

    2. Anonymous17:27

      maybe air serbia will invent a plane that travels that far.

    3. Anonymous18:22

      It's already invented. PPV invented it. He will go public with it the day he becomes PV. And it goes much further than just Australia. And Air Serbia using it will become official carrier of the Universe and surrounding Spaces.

    4. Anonymous18:59

      Still sore your party failed to pass the census?

    5. Anonymous19:13

      My party is my money and I'm sore for being aware I'll be paying for the fraud of the century; and you will be sore as well when you realize it; unfortunately it takes longer for some people to understand the world around them

    6. Anonymous19:17

      Thank God Serbia is filled with conscious people such as yourself. No wonder we are doing so well.

  5. Anonymous10:47

    Turkish Airlines Cargo has applied to operate a one weekly flight between Belgrade and Istanbul.
    The route will operate as Istanbul-Madrid-Belgrade-Istanbul.
    The aircraft in question is an A330F.

    If they get the green light then the flight will arrive to Belgrade every Saturday ten minutes after midnight.

    1. Anonymous11:11

      RAF Avia will be also launching five weekly cargo flights between Budapest and Belgrade.

      In 2014 cargo has been growing steadily at Belgrade airport:

      January: +24%
      February: +27%

      This growth has been like this since October 2013, don't know if Air Serbia's launch has something to do with it.

      October: +36%
      November: +18%
      December: +30%

    2. Anonymous12:09

      Very interesting. Let's hope it's an indicator of an upswing in economic activity.

    3. I would like to know more about the cargo traffic. What are major goods that go through BEG cargo terminal, what of it is imports and what is exports? Does anyone here know that, or maybe its a top business secret?

    4. That would be very interesting! EX-YU, if it is possilbe, maybe some of the future articles could focus on Cargo aviation on ex Yugoslavia.

      That is area I assume not a lot of people have sufficient information.

  6. Anonymous11:39

    dali je moguce, da air serbia i austrian airline ukidaju codeshare, posto na sajtu kompanija nemaju vise letovi od code share partnera?

    1. Anonymous12:19

      Зашто би било немогуће? Ер Сербија тренутно сарађује са Ер Берлином, авио компанијом која је директан конкуренција Луфтханси и њеним ћеркицама у Бечу и Цириху.

    2. Anonymous13:28

      Ne ukidaju se codeshare letovi između JU i OS.

    3. Anonymous18:34

      @ 12:19
      Daleko od toga da sam veliki fan LH, ali malo vise postovanja prema Swissu i Austrianu ne bi bilo na odmet, posto su to kompanije takvog formata, i po velicini, i vrsti operacija, i broju putnika, i starosti flote, i nacionalnom menedzmentu, i ucescu u turizmu, a pogotovo u transparentnosti poslovanja i ekonomskim pokazateljima, da im "Er Srbija" nikada nece biti ni "do kolena", dakle ni unucica, a kamoli cerkica

    4. Anonymous18:55

      Какве везе има Ер Сербија са Луфтхансиним клинкама?
      Притом, Остријан је и даље у проблематичној ситуацији тако да у будуће боље проучи материју пре него што паметујеш.

      А да не спомињем колико је смешно што поредиш Ер Сербију са њима, компанију која званично постоји скоро 4 месеца. Жасу.

    5. Anonymous19:16

      "...pogotovo u trasparentnosti poslovanja i ekonomskim pokazateljima.."


      Austrian has been bleeding money for 7 out of last 9 years, has been under investigation, CEO resigned in 2013. You can easily find much better examples for respectable airlines.

    6. Anonymous19:34

      @ 6.55
      I te kako ima veze, budi onda dosledan pa ako Austrian i Swiss nazivas Lufthanzinim cerkicama i klinkama, onda se referisi na Er Srbiju kao na Etihadovo kopile, sto i jeste.

      @ 7:16
      I didn't write "profits"; "economic results" could be quantitative results, or total flow of money, which are some 6-7 times bigger compared to, for example, Air Serbia. Bottomline being, did they cease operations? No. Are Austrian citizens paying their debts? No. Thank you!

    7. Anonymous19:44

      Не можеш да зовеш Ер Сербију 'етихадово копиле' зато што је власник фирме држава Србија. У случају ћеркица, власнике је Луфтика. Поредиш бабе и жабе срце.
      Притом, шта мислиш, ко ће да отплаћује Остријанове губитке које је покривала држава? Наравно да ће Аустријанци.

      Пс престани да се брукаш више.

    8. Anonymous20:15

      Anonymous 7:44 PM, kako znaš tko je vlasnik, jesi li vidio ugovor? Ti se ne brukaj, Austrian i Swiss su daleko od savršenstva, ali stavljati novu balkansku aviokompaniju i ove dve u istu rečenicu je apsurdno!

    9. Anonymous21:08

      Пошто видим да се овде санкционише слобода говора као у СФРЈ поновићу само да због ЕУ прописа који су усклађени са српским ниједна фирма која је ван ЕУ не може да има већи удео од 49% укључујући и Етихад.

    10. Anonymous21:37

      "economic results" could be quantitative results, or total flow of money"

      Yeah, OCF is a parameter, but not even close in importance to net profit even in the airline business. Not just in my book. Most of AUA economic parameters over the last decade are just bad, no matter how you position it. When you add transparency issues, scandals, EU commission investigation and resignations, my comment is still valid: You can easily find much better examples for respectable, well managed airlines. I am talking on global scale, for example just look at Singapore or Southwest reputation in the airline world.

    11. Anonymous21:58

      Absolutely agree. I'm fully aware OS is not the best airline ever, and it has problems and issues. My post was just a response to guy who call names both Austrian and Swiss, at the same time speaking of Air Serbia as it were Singapore, or Emirates, or at least Air Berlin ("with which it currently co-operates), not being aware that JU is (still) a baloon which can explode and deflate in matter of days or months.

    12. Anonymous23:22

      JAT was a deflated balloon in the final years so Air Serbia is not doing bad at all. As each month goes by, they are improving by leaps and bounds, but they are not out of the (financial) woods just yet.

    13. Anonymous23:42

      Једино овде копиле нису ни OS, ни JU ни LX - него OU. Луфтино копиле. Луфтханса је израбљује као да је њена, а притом не поседује нити улаже ни 1% у њу. Постоји ли боља дефиниција односа копилета и лоше маћехе?

    14. Anonymous00:20

      Nevjerovatno je kako ovdje postoje dva kriterija.

      1. Tvrdiš da Air Serbija nije Etihadovo kopile jer Etihad ima tek 49% vlasništva, dok to u slučaju OS i LX nije tako, iako sva upravljačka prava u JU ima isključivo Etihad. 100%.

      2.Istovremeno OU jest, po tebi, Luftansino kopile iako LH nema ni 1% vlasništava u OU. E sad, jel vlasništvo bitno za ocjenu jel netko kopile ili nije? Ili jedna kriterij vrijedi za JU, a drugi za OU?

      3. A onda svoju atitezu potrkepljuješ činjenicom da OU radi za LH (feeder) a da istovremeno smatraš kako JU sretno i samostalno odlučuje letjeti za Abu Dhabi sa samo 20 putnika po letu. I opet u ovom slučaju JU nije feeder i kopile, a OU jest?

      Nevjerovatno nacionalisičko sljepilo!

      Austrijan je profitabilan posljednje 4 godine unutar koji je ukupno ostvario 635 milijuna EUR (samo u prošloj godini ostvarili su 201 milijun EUR profita). I to smatrate lošim rezultatom? Jedva čekam financijske reultate Air Serbije obirom na loš LF, ekspanziju, enormne troškove, kompenzaije radi neprofesionalizma (okazivanje linija, kašnjenje aviona), lošeg managementa i administracije...

    15. Anonymous00:24

      Austrian ne samo da je profitabilan posljednjih 4 godine, nego im je i posljednjih 5 godina porastao broj putnika sa 9,9 na 11,3 milijuna putnika, a load faktor je porastao sa 74,0 nevjerovatnih 78,6%

    16. Anonymous00:43

      Ти лепото мала или не разумеш или ниси у стању да разумеш. Управо ти је речено да копилад нису ни LX ни OS (оне су само ћеркице) већ OU. То је под један.

      Два - власништво је битно јер ни једна фирма неће водити своју сопствену компанију у губитке и самоуништење док са OU Луфтханса нема никакву одговорност ни последице јер има нула улагања. Даље.

      3. Тако је. Ако пара на лету губи Србија, подједнако губи и Етихад (49% власништва како си паметно поменуо). За разлику од Кроације и Загреба, Београд и JU имају по два до три лета дневно за УАЕ (ZAG нема ни један). Те линије су недавно отворене и сада су већ много боље.

      4. Подсећам те (пошто очигледно не схваташ) да feed на тој рути иде у оба правца и да многи људи путују за/из AUH преко BEG за земље региона, Западне и Северне Европе (ускоро и источне). За то ти је довољно да погледаш број EY кодова на летовима из Београда. Уз то, на летовима за AUH Air Serbia користи искључиво авионе регистроване у Емиратима, чиме добија знатне попусте на гориво у Абу Дабију :)

      5. Осим Каира ни једна линија није била отказана. LF од 64% у Фебруару је не само солидан већ импресиван имајући у виду број отворених линија и то да је флота дуплирана.

      PS: Драго ми је што нисте заборавили ћирилицу. Лепо спавај.

  7. Anonymous12:15

    status jedan se u hrvatskoj koristi u code share aranžmanima sa United Airlines i US Airways i to na način da u zračnoj luci Pleso možete napraviti direktan check in za letove iz Hrvatske u USA (jedino što morate presjesti u FRA ili nekoj drugoj zračnoj luci)

    1. Anonymous16:13

      I thought the US Airways codeshare was cancelled due to their leaving *A?

  8. Anonymous21:28

    Still not a single word on topic. No one to say anything about process nor about what kind of issues they will insist on.. does BEG fulfills FAA criteria? What is next step? please folks any useful info about this topic?

    1. Anonymous21:40

      Article had a couple of points on the main issues. Visit will be for one week, so we'll have to wait for the outcome.

  9. Anonymous22:20

    Sta ce im A330 bolje da im Etihad da 9 Boeing 787-9 (Porucili 41) i da daju 6 Boeing 777-300 ER (17 imaju trenutno).

    1. Anonymous00:26

      Malo je 15 širokotrupaca. Ako nije bar 50 i to A380 onda nije ništa...

  10. Anonymous22:58

    Luthansa drzi dijasporu i amere sto idu htvatsku.

    Oni samo dampuju cijene karti i svi trce nemackoj. plus koliko treba slati para doma i nahraniti bijedu.

  11. Anonymous23:04

    Verovatno zato sto je mnogo lakse da piloti sa A319/320 predju na A330 obuku. Ako se ne varam za preobuku je potrebno svega 2 nedelje...