Etihad Regional to suspend Belgrade service

Etihad Regional terminating Geneva - Belgrade flights

Etihad Regional will suspend its flights from Geneva to Belgrade at the end of the 2014 summer season, just five months after the service was launched. Regional’s last flight to the Serbian capital will operate on October 23. The airline, which ran the service with the fifty seat Saab 2000 aircraft, faced stiff competition on the route from both Swiss International Air Lines and easyJet . The two will continue flying between Geneva and Belgrade this winter. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, the route is likely to be turned into a seasonal summer service only, with flights to resume next year. No official reason has been given for the termination, with ticket sales suspended last week.

Etihad Regional, previously known as Darwin Airline, launched three weekly flights to Belgrade on May 1, several months after Etihad Airways acquired a 33% stake in the airline. Swiss authorities are yet to approve Etihad’s minority takeover of Darwin. Back in May, the President and CEO of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said in a statement, “We are 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, as well as the chance to benefit from Etihad Airways’ global network”.

The Swiss airline has expanded its network significantly over the past few months but has also been quick to cut underperforming routes. Etihad Regional planned to launch four weekly flights from Rome to Zagreb in March but suspend ticket sales a month prior to the service launch. This summer, the airline inaugurated five weekly flights from Zurich to Pristina with an ATR72 aircraft. During the peak summer months, the Etihad Regional Saab 2000 operated three weekly flights from Belgrade to Banja Luka on behalf of Air Serbia. Regional will continue codesharing on Air Serbia's flights to Zurich.


  1. Anonymous09:16

    So many airlines withdrawing from BEG

    1. Anonymous09:24

      I guess it's all Air Serbia's fault for going for a total monopoly in Belgrade!

    2. Anonymous09:26

      But what do you expect, Swiss and Air Serbia already flying to Switzerland? I'm surprised that Zagreb has only OU flying to Zurich, totally underserved! And their prices are terrible!

    3. Anonymous09:29

      Air Serbia's fault? Etihad Regional and JU are part of the same alliance group.

    4. Anonymous09:38

      Sarcasm my friend, sarcasm. ;)

  2. Lufthansa Group strikes back

  3. A jel zna neko, u kontekstu ove vesti, jel BL ove zime 4 ili 7 ? Prvo najavljeno 4 a onda receno 7 i to saabom. Da nece jedan saab biti recimo wetlease ASL?

    1. Anonymous09:38

      Ne znam ko je rekao da ide 7x jer ide 4x nedeljno i sve ATR-om. Vidiljivo je i u rezervacionom sistemu. 3 popodnevna leta i 1 jutarnju.

    2. Anonymous09:39

      У плану су 4 лета недељно али се уводи јутарњи полазак из Београда.

  4. Prava je steta sto Etihad Regional napusta Beograd, pa bar i privremeno. Zeneva je izgubila mogucnost izbora da putnici mogu birati izmedju clana Star Alliance i pripadnika Etihad Aviation Group, Etihad Regional.
    Beogradski aerodrom gubi jos jednu avio kompaniju pa je i to smanje saobracaja, pogotov za zimsku sezonu letenja. U nadi da ce uskoro jesenas aerodrom Nikola Tesla dobiti investitora, partnera da bih se naglo prosirio i ozbiljno razvio sa odrzivim brojem dnevnih poletanja kojih trba biti dvostruko vise nego u sadasnjem vremenu. To znaci sa investicijama koja dolaze u ovu zemlju i poslovnim aktivnostima Srbije u narednih deset godina.
    Nadajmo se da ce Etihad Regional, bar sezonski leteo.
    Do tada pozdrav iz Kraljeva.
    Rod & associated near Morava Airport.

  5. Anonymous10:16

    This is very unfortunate :( Especially when both U2 and LX reduced frequencies to 2 weekly and shifted flight times to less convenient times (U2 to crazy early 6:40 departure from GVA and LX to 11pm arrival from BEG). At least fares were reasonably low this whole year (though planes were over 90% full every time i flew)...
    It was nice while it lasted...

  6. Anonymous10:42

    Will Air Croatia cooperate with Air Serbia?

  7. ToldYouSo10:49

    Dying to know what is INN-NS take on this development. His in-depth expertise beggars belief. Read and learn people before he realises he should charge an arm and a leg for his services.

  8. NoNamePlease11:04

    LX new to ZAG , LJU and SJJ (also SOF and SKG)

    plus Edelweiss to Banja Luka and Podgorica as reported

  9. JustAName11:36

    Swiss new to ZAG, LJU and SJJ !

    1. Anonymous12:25

      Swiss is coming on aggressively, good news for the markets, more airlines, more destinations, more choices, cheaper prices.

      SAS, Brussels Air, Czech Air, FinnAir are yet to announce their plans for Zagreb next year.Hope they come to Zagreb in 2015.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Anonymous17:28

      Great year ahead for Zagreb! Hope for more carriers and new routes!

    4. Anonymous18:12

      Does OU still fly its Q400 on the route?

    5. Anonymous20:15

      @AnonymousOctober 6, 2014 at 6:12 PM

      Yes, it does

    6. Anonymous20:49

      So the route doesn't see any Airbuses or..?

    7. Anonymous21:43

      @AnonymousOctober 6, 2014 at 8:49 PM

      On certain days its A319 and other days its Q400.

      Right now Air Swiss will bring welcomed competition, more choices is what we need at Zagreb airport, more airlines, ideally what we need is 3 airlines on each route out of Zagreb, I'd love to see EasyJet come back and service some of the routes in competition with OU.

    8. JATBEGMEL22:07


      I dont see the competition with LX returning to ZAG. Both OU and LX are in the same alliance, with the same FF program, same lounges, similar benefits. LX and OU are both partner airlines. Competition would be if lets say easyJet stepped in.

    9. Anonymous22:24

      Neracunaju se isto u Star Allianci, ;)
      OU je samo regionalni clan a LX je svetski ;)

    10. Anonymous22:57

      Ne lupaj, ne postoje vise regionalni clanovi. Taj status je ukinut pre nekoliko godina.

    11. JATBEGMEL23:07

      @ INN

      Opet lupetas i opet provociras. Nije lepo.

    12. Anonymous23:34

      Ja ne lupam jel imate mozda codeshare sa SQ-AC-NH-LO-CA ili TG .
      PA sto nisu bili pozvani Piloti CTN na sastanak pilota Star Alliance ;) ako je CTN bitan clan, Piloti od OS sto ja poznajem nisu ih nigde videli tako su mi rekli .

  10. JU520 BEGLAX11:47

    Yes Swiss has confirmedcas of S15 Timetable new flights all year to LJU ZAG SJJ and apx 20 others such as Bilbao, Krakow, Dresden, Leipzig etc
    SKG will come back as Summer Season destination
    also new food concept, away from sandwiches to wraps, salads, meals or hot desserts depending on flight lenght

    1. Anonymous12:02

      It will be interesting to see what kind of schedule they will present for their Zagreb flights and if they will coordinate them with OU.

    2. JU520 BEGLAX12:03

      New LX all year destinations:
      Bari, Bilbao, Goeteborg, Graz, Helsinki, Krakow, Ljubljana, Napoli, Porto, Riga, Sarajevo, Sofia, Toulouse, Zagreb
      during Summer:
      Brindisi, Izmir, Malta, Palermo, Santiago de Compostela, SKG
      part of the galley on 321 320 will be dismantled. So 12 more seats in 320 and 19 more in 321

      food: warm Quiches, Bakery, Salads or warm desserts

      main goal of this all is to put pressure on Etihad and its subsidies such as AZ F7 JU

    3. Anonymous12:12

      Wow. That escalated quickly.

      This reflects on Air Serbia's attempt to have Ljubljana, Sofia and Sarajevo passengers funneled thru BEG to reach European destinations :/ .

    4. Anonymous12:18

      @JU520 BEGLAXOctober 6, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      Sorry, don't follow aviation much, what are these codes and what destinations are you referring to ?

    5. JU520 BEGLAX12:46

      GVA - Geneva
      ZRH - Zurich
      LUG - Lugano, Ticino
      F7 - Etihad Regional (Darwin Airlines)
      JU - Air Serbia
      EY - Etihad Airways
      AZ - Alitalia

      Darwin was flying for Swiss ZRH-LUG but once Etihad Regional bought stake of Darwin, Swiss (LX) cancelled contract and Austrian will now operate LUG-ZRH and brand new since LX has not operated this for years is GVA-LUG

      Some routes out of ZRH were flown by Air Berlin, e.g. Brindisi, Bari, Napoli, clear sign to whom the message is adressed

      remains interesting to see if the LH group can win that battle. Belair Air Berlin in ZRH is not doing too well, also F7 many routes were doing badly. So now it s the time to strike back....

      We will follow with excitement :-)

    6. JU520 BEGLAX13:02

      320 - Airbus A320
      321 - Airbus A321
      Anonym 1218h if u re a Spotter in BEG, LX A320
      can be seen daily, A321 in busy Holidays time such as July August October Christmas and Easter

    7. Anonymous14:36

      Is there any chance of JU opening Geneva?

    8. Purger14:52

      ZAG 7x weekly AR1 + 14x weekly code-share on OU = that is 3 flights per day.

    9. Anonymous16:05

      Without a closer look, this looks like family feud between Swiss and Austrian. Balkans and ex-Yu are well covered by Austrian (and LH) feed, so what the heck are Swiss trying to gain here?

    10. Anonymous17:50

      It's much easier for Swiss to fight this battle since they are profitable, Austrian Airlines isn't.

    11. Anonymous19:09

      Hoce LX za LJU-SJJ isto leteti sa AR1 :)
      Hvala unapred :)

    12. Anonymous20:18

      "This reflects on Air Serbia's attempt to have Ljubljana, Sofia and Sarajevo passengers funneled thru BEG to reach European destinations "

      Come again? All three cities already have multiple Star Alliance carriers to European destinations, so adding LX would hurt LH, JP, OS and even TK more than Air Serbia.

    13. Anonymous20:48

      Ok... I have an honest question here. Who will be hurt more by this? Adria or Croatia Airlines?

    14. JATBEGMEL22:03

      I dont think its family fued, more of the LH group trying to penetrate more into our respective markets. More options for travellers from more hubs, with more connecting possibilities, and the best part is that its all from Star Alliance and LH sister companies, with customers getting similar service, similar lounges, collecting miles in the same program etc. This is something that JU and AZ would have to step into to compete, which is why I say, lets wait to see how AZ and JU will compete now being into EY alliance. Early days. Its good to see LX back into our respective cities :)

    15. Anonymous04:14

      So you think LH Group wants a fight? Here's what I would suggest to Mr. Kondic at Air Serbia, and it would hurt LH Group in the long run far more than, say, JU starting MUC daily.

      Air Serbia should approach Icelandair for codeshare cooperation. Air Serbia could fly A319 to KEF (shorter than BEG-AUH) and then let FI take passengers to their North American destinations, with JFK and YYZ codeshare dropping once Air Serbia starts those routes. That would allow one stop flights from BEG to destinations like Portland, Minneapolis and Edmonton. Lufthansa can't match that as they don't even serve those NA cities.

      Icelandair has better NA coverage than LX and OS, and once those long range MAX8 start arriving to KEF in 2018, FI will overshadow LH Group with one stop Europe-NA connections. Too bad they dropped 787 order as those are needed for faraway corners like California, but that's the future of KEF: one stop transatlantic Dubai from any airport in Europe to almost any airport in NA with cheap narrowbody like 737MAX (or 320NEO).

      Air Serbia would need to run checks and balances to see if this could work, but with some planning it looks like it could. Easy way to rob LH of many customers.

    16. AirCEO19:19

      Icelandair will grow their fleet by 50% in about 5 years. If they get to 40 destinations in Europe and 30 in North America, that comes to 1200 possible transatlantic city pairs with only one short stop. BA, LH or AF/KL won't be able to beat that.

  11. Anonymous12:20

    Chance to come in Skopje, however we don't have flight to Geneva :)

    1. Anonymous12:58

      Swiss (Edelweiss) is flying to SKP

    2. Anonymous13:21

      Yes, from/to Zurich, but not to Geneva! :)

    3. Anonymous14:21

      Exactly, that's what I am talking about

  12. Anonymous12:46

    Belgrade cancelations this winter compering to last winter:

    - Wizzair (50% of frequencies),
    - easyJet (70%),
    - Germanwings (100%),
    - Swiss (20%),
    - Turkish (30%),
    - Etidad Regional (100%),
    - Lufthansa (10%),
    - Adria (100%),
    - LOT (100%)
    - Belavia (100%)

    Still think 50-100% discount of BEG airport, NIS and huge Serbian subsidies are good for Serbian passengers?

    1. Anonymous13:13

      Your list is false since LOT and Beliavia will be flying to BEG this winter. and at very cheap prices I might add. A quick check of the reservation system would save you the embarrassment.

    2. Anonymous13:18

      Etihad regional started its operations in May, so there is no change in cancellations. By "cancellation" I suppose you mean suspension.

      As much as I know and as much as it can be seen on BEG website, Belavia and LOT still have their flights, actually they have them today.

      Yeah, Adria would stand a chance with their expensive tickets ans limited transferring options against Air Serbia's insane dumping prices.

      Germanwings had only three flights per week, but I guess it makes more sense to use percentages, so it looks more dramatic.

      I am not saying it is good, but you need to get your facts straight first.

    3. Anonymous13:26

      Also, Turkish reduced frequencies from 17 per week to 14. If you know how to use calculator, you would see it makes less then 18% cut. Not 30% .

      Conclusion: I have no idea what are you taking about.

    4. Anonymous14:33

      He is talking about Zagreb.

    5. Anonymous16:09

      The JU ticket prices are not quite cheap into insanity,maybe you have up to 20 ticket per flight and the rest are normal prices such 200-250 euros to arn,cph,paris,fra etc etc

    6. JATBEGMEL21:49

      TK was forced to reduce due to their flights conflicting with the bilateral agreement between Serbia and Turkey. Even the current 2 x daily is conflicting with current bilaterals.

      Germanwings pulled a destination from BEG where it was the only carrier flying back when we had Jat. LH also flew daily DUS-BEG at a time when Jat flew it 5 x weekly and still pulled out. Says alot about our market, doesnt it.

      JP was the weaker carrier on the BEG-LJU route and pulled out when JU restarted opps.

      People seem to forget that Serbia isnt exactly a gold mine for airlines. JU has been focusing more on transit pax as that is fueling its current growth and increasing its yields. Its not like average Serbs can afford travel abroad much, and its not easy when even with visa liberalisation people are being turned back at the borders for insufficient funds for their stay in the Schengen zone. Salaries are being decreased, the dinar is weakening to the euro, and the growing prices in Serbia isnt encouraging people to travel. Once again, the growth in pax numbers both in BEG and JU is due mainly to transit pax, not exactly O&D.

      Last but not least, if Wizz had a proper strategy for BEG then they wouldnt be whining and complaining as much as they are. They expected Jat to shut operations and it didnt. Just copied the Jat route network and hoped for the best. Well, that plan back fired. And whats next? nothing. Since Wizz is a Hungarian airline using Hungarian registered aircraft in Serbia, I wonder if the Hungarians will allow Air Serbia to base in BUD with a Serbian registered aircraft.

    7. Anonymous21:51

      Well of course tickets are expensive for destitations for which there is big demand: moscow, frankfurt, london, copenhagen, paris etc... They send a320 to paris...

    8. JATBEGMEL21:55

      Regarding ticket prices in JU, just like in every airline, the more the aircraft fills the more expensive the tickets get. Every airline has fare classes and certain amount of seats it sells at certain prices. The cheapest ones naturally sell first. CDG and FRA generally have good loads, naturally they will be more expensive. Basic economics of supply and demand.

    9. Anonymous23:20

      the serbian market is still a minor goldmine for kh group

  13. Aэrologic12:49

    I wonder if we might see JU opening Geneva instead.

    1. Aэrologic12:53

      PS: Shame on Ex-Yu for having deleted the funny discussion two days ago, which perfectly reflects the reason why i'm staying away from this blog.

    2. SuisseOuest15:40

      Not likely. With current route strategy, such a route would need to be daily and there is not enough O&D traffic for a daily flight. Also, connections in BEG need to be much smoother for the spoiled GVA crowd...

  14. Anonymous13:09

    What's happening in regional flights in Europe?

  15. Anonymous14:28

    Dear Aviation fans,
    I am seriously concidering taking a Master Course in the field of Aviation or Airport Management therefore I would like to ask you for some sugestion. What University in Europe or Middle East offers good education in the field? Since my pocket is not so deap therefore Eastern Europe or University that offers schoolarships would be the best option.
    Thank you!

    1. JU520 BEGLAX16:24

      Zurich Winterthur has one or Linz Woerms i think
      Both in english

    2. Anonymous21:40

      ZHAW? Huere geil!

    3. JU520 BEGLAX21:53

      Ja genau. Sogar i 2 richtige. Gits öpe sit 5-6 Jahr

    4. Anonymous20:08

  16. Anonymous16:28

    It was previously reported that Fraport walked away from that BEG deal. They are now planning to pay 234 million EUR for 100% of LJU airport.

    If it's true they turned down 250 million EUR for BEG, it is clear Fraport's decision was politically motivated rather than based on economic benefit. Hard to believe.

    Perhaps there was another unreasonable condition attached by Govt of Serbia, like building a second runway? Seems more like it. Yeah, I'd walk away from that as well.

  17. JU520 BEGLAX16:34

    Write to they can help with adresses
    i think it s Krems Austria, Zurich Winterthur, Worms Germany

  18. Anonymous20:19

    It's interesting that Yamal seems to be launching charter flights to Nis airport on 28.12.
    They also had plans to launch Belgrade and they even published a schedule but they could not secure the necessary permit back then.

  19. Anonymous20:20

    @AnonymousOctober 6, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    Fraport never had any plans for Belgrade airport, so no idea where you're getting your info from.

    Its not a political decision even if there was some interest in Belgrade, Ljubljana is a natural choice for an German based group, its a regional thing, they've lost Zagreb to French consortium, next best thing for them was Ljubljana and they went for it with a very high bid.

    TAV can still go for Belgrade, but political situation in Serbia and corruption might be determining factor who buys Belgrade airport.

  20. Anonymous20:47

    Hmm I doubt corruption would play a big role, it didn't when it came to Jat Airways so I doubt this would be any different.

  21. Anonymous21:03

    TAV - are you serious ??? After the flare up between JU and TK over the summer, there is no way that TAV would even get to the starting line of potential concessionaires to be considered ... For me, it'll either be the Arabs or Russians, with the French an outside chance ...

  22. Anonymous21:18

    He is the dellusional Zagreb guy with a provincial flare, don't be surprised...

  23. Anonymous21:21

    Najbolje bi bilo da ga kui neki Rus ili Arap, najgore resenje da se da TAVU ili da se napravi nesto slicno kao sto je uradio VIE:

  24. Anonymous21:22

    kao sto je uraadio VIE bilo bi najbolje .

  25. Anonymous21:36

    @AnonymousOctober 6, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    I assumed that might pose a significant problem, but considering TAV already owns 2 other airports in the region it seemed logical.

    But most likely Arabs might be the ones o purchase Belgrade airport.

    Russians unlikely, they're facing tough economic sanctions, they need money at home, French, not sure about the French, they're not that keen on new investments in the region, corruption might play a significant role why they'd stay clear of any investments in Belgrade Airport, other groups might be that Spanish Airport Group that owns Barcelona airport, or was it Madrid airport, but than again corruption might be problem for Serbs, major investments such as these need clear picture, Belgrade airport has far from clear picture right now.

  26. Anonymous21:38

    What it'll look like when its finished, massive, 320m from one end to other, main terminal building itself is 155x165m, 4 levels.

  27. Anonymous22:05


    Why would such an investment need a 'clear picture?'
    We sold our gas company, Jat Airways, SARTID... without any transparency so I don't see why the same should apply for the airport. If the government finds a partner that's serious enough then they should give it to them, the same way they did it with Jat.

    Also, the whole region reeks of corruption and foreign investors are used to it and they know how to manage it. ;)
    It's not like the French took over Zagreb because there was no corruption involved.

  28. JATBEGMEL22:11

    The progress seems fantastic. Its good to see progress being made well and hopefully soon it will be complete. The render seems like it will be a great terminal upon completion :) thanks for sharing the links.

  29. Anonymous22:20

    @AnonymousOctober 6, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    If you know something about Zagreb airport proceedings, plz report it to Uskok, from what I've see so far its all been with accordance of Croatian and the EU laws Major investment banks assign risk to each investment, the higher the risk, less likelihood of investment being approved, especially if investment is in the region of $300 million.

    JAT investment was a political investment throwed with complicated and secret deals no one in Serbia apart from current PM knows about.

    U should ask yourself would Arabs invest $300 million in to Belgrade airport, knowing investment of $60 million JAT investment took ages to complete.

  30. Anonymous22:24

    Project is nearly 3 months ahead of schedule. unless major issues arise new terminal should open this time in 2016, or even September if things pick up.

    Zagreb airport is about to handle 2 millionth passenger, sometimes this week.

  31. Anonymous22:55

    The deal with the UAE was made public so I don't know what you are going on about. How long did it take for the Croatian government to publish its own deal with MOL?

    Just because you and the UAE are doing things one way, doesn't mean it's the right way for everyone. We tried to put Jat Airways up for sale and it failed many times so we took a different road and it worked. Maybe it's time for you guys to think the same after the tender for OU fails.

    Also, there isn't much to complain about Air Serbia, is there?

  32. Anonymous22:56

    *EU not UAE

  33. JATBEGMEL23:22

    I have to agree with comments that corruption will get in the way of the privatisation of BEG. Lets face it, looks who's running the airport. However much corruption our neighbours in Croatia and Slovenia complain about, we have 10 times more.

    As for the Jat deal, I dont think its the best privatisation but neither is it the worst. It has changed Serbian aviation more the 360 and is finally taking a possitive step forward. Lets cross our fingers and hope that our government or a change of government wont ruin the progress that has so far been made.

    As for taking the airport, I would love to say lets not privatise it but the fact is, our government wont do anything positive to it (hint: the new manager). This idea for a second runway is stupid, its not needed. A bigger terminal for start is needed, with better facilities, a proper car par facility too, a larger arrivals hall, more gates and parking possitions, a new control tower, an automised luggage sorting facility, a bigger cargo centre, linking BG:voz to the airport and Surcin - this all must be the priority. Lets see what the offers are, and who will bring to light these important upgrades needed.

  34. Anonymous23:24

    Air Serbia (JU, Belgrade) will begin operating Belgrade to Abu Dhabi Int'l and Abu Dhabi Int'l to Muscat flights for and on behalf of Etihad Airways (EY, Abu Dhabi Int'l) effective October 26. The routes will operate daily onboard A319-100 aircraft.

  35. Anonymous23:37

    @AnonymousOctober 6, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    Completly agree on Ina Mol deal, although few people are in prison now, including former PM, deputy PM and minister of Energy, whole deal stinks to high haven.

    Ina Mol deal was published when new government took charge in 2012, but MOL is still keeping many things away and CEO of MOL is being investigated by the authorities in Zagreb. International Warrant for his arrest was issued and he can't leave Hungary now, guy is a slime and should rot in prison.

  36. Anonymous23:45

    Yeah but the thing is that there was nothing illegal or harming in the deal with Etihad. However, if we are to investigate Sartid then similarities with MOL-INA will start to surface.

    Bottom line is, if there is any company that's interested in BEG then they will find a way to get their hands on it, corruption or no corruption. Especially when you have a desperate government like we have it now.

  37. Anonymous01:18

    Someone said Fraport was not interested in BEG airport. They were, but not after LJU deal was made. Info about the Fraport interest in BEG:

    Article claims BEG was valued at 208 million EUR which is really on the low end.

    One scenario claims that UAE investors were originally interested for BEG, however GoS was told by EU that UAE investing in both Air Serbia and BEG airport would be too much, so alternate investor was sought. With Fraport not interested any more and French moving quickly in ZAG, it looks like BEG has no other choice but to complete upgrades on it's own, and as soon as possible, before returning to market.

    It should not come as a surprise if UAE investors come back to BEG in a year or more, if acceptable conditions are negotiated with the EU.


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