Air Serbia cuts Premium Lounge work hours


Air Serbia will be reducing the opening hours of its dedicated Premium Lounge at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, in an apparent move aimed at cutting costs. The lounge, which is currently open 24 hours each day, will work from 05.00 until 20.00 daily starting October 1. The measure will impact passengers flying on Air Serbia's evening wave of flights between 23.00 and 01.00. However, only four of those, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Larnaca and Athens, offer a business class product, with the remaining services operated by single-class ATR72 tubroprops. Earlier this year, Air Serbia rolled out Premium Lounge passes, allowing economy class passengers, as well as those travelling on other airlines, access to the facility at a fee. Belgrade Airport's lounge, open 24 hours, will be used as an alternative for Air Serbia's premium passengers after 20.00 from October 1.

Air Serbia's Premium Lounge was opened in September 2015 and has the capacity to seat eighty guests. It features buffet and a-la-carte dining options, bathrooms with shower facilities and business amenities including Wi-Fi access, USB power outlets, as well as local and international newspapers. Some 23.000 premium passengers used the lounge during its first twelve months of operation.


  1. Anonymous14:10

    Oh, Jesus ... working all night is really nonsense, but closing it at 8PM is way too early IMO.

    1. Anonymous14:12

      They probably had records when there are the fewest passengers in the lounge since all boarding passes are scanned.

      But I must say lounge is superb. Been there once.

  2. this is cutting one shift
    also, utilization is interesting
    23k customers for a year is about 63 customers/daily.
    if the total capacity is 80 customers at any moment, that means utilization is far below what was planned

  3. JU520 BEGLAX15:34

    Sorry absolut no go. ATH BEY probl hve lots of transit passengers who would like to refresh before departure. U close after last pax left

    Is that lounge open for all carriers or just JU and EY partners?

    1. Anonymous15:40

      It was open just for JU and EY partners until recently. Now it's open for all but if you are on another airline you have to pay I think 50 euros for 3 hours. Still JU premium pax can use the Belgrade Airport lounge after 8pm though it's no match to the JU lounge which is really is great.

      I agree that there are a lot of transfer pax on those routes but question is how many of them are in the premium cabin.

    2. Anonymous22:51

      you sure about Belgrade airport lounge can be used for JU Etihad Guest high lever user? because i dont see they logo in front of lounge

    3. Anonymous13:55

      The changes are starting October 1st, so of course you don't see the logo yet.

  4. Anonymous16:58

    It's pity to see more and more of what was the new AS falling apart. I had a chance to fly SKG-LHR via BEG in April in maybe the last few days of the original business class and whole experience was top notch. I didn't had issue even with the overnight stay in BEG since I loved the service and the product AS was offering before they started cutting their offerings. Now I'll think twice if I'll fly AS again with no dedicated business class cabin and less and less business class offerings. But I understand that AS is now focused much more in their economy class product since majority of the passengers are flying economy.

  5. Anonymous18:34

    Etihad insisted on ASL opening this lounge, they even some some Indian guy to handle the whole process. Now we see that it was yet another pointless move by Etihad.

    As time goes by it has become obvious to what degree they have been incompetent.

    1. Anonymous20:05

      Just dont call Etihad incompetent please. Without them, there would be no AS.

    2. Anonymous22:02

      Lol... what exactly makes them.competent? The fact they got the Serbian government to invest into its own airline?

    3. AirCEO00:19

      @Anon (of course, no cojones!) at 10:02

      Name one airline that proved more competent at turning around jat. Anyone could have driven it to bankrupcy, so that can't be filed under competent. Name just one, so you don't end up being incompetent.

    4. @airceo
      turnaround with negative 39mil€ result? that's not turnaround, that's driving company into the ground.
      should we also call what happened at AZ & AB a turnaround?

    5. AirCEO09:52

      Negative result? Are you sure you know what are you talking about or you are just repeating what others are saying? Etihad was the only one to take the risk and they were never expected to do it for free. There would be no functional JU if it wasn't for EY help. Ask previous governments, no other airline was willing to help, Lufthansa, Aeroflot, no one. Etihad deserves a credit for taking that risk. Contract ends next year, let's see if JU will be driven into the ground as you say, shall we?

    6. i am not repeating, i am fully capable of reading financial reports and interpreting them, so i was calling bull on that business long time ago. and etihad is not doing it for free, it is doing it with loss at their own account :)

      second of all, there is no praise to be given if you take dysfunctional company, put a lipstick on a pig, walk it around for a couple of years until it proves to be to costly to maintain and then bankrupt it.
      do you think italy and germany are grateful to EY for great service they did with those two? the entire aviation world is acknowledged that etihad strategy was a bust and that non of it's "turnarounds" has worked at all.
      give praise for what? miserable failure of a business strategy?

      fortunately JU is smaller than AZ or AB so you can somehow patch it losses and not close the shop.

    7. AirCEO10:56

      We are not talking about AB and AZ. JU received support from governments before 2013 without any effective turnaround. Changes since 2013 have been impressive, they are not just patches as before.

    8. Anonymous11:37

      @AirCEO at 10:56

      You are talking about past: "have been impressive". Yes, in 2013-14. Since summer 2015 Kondic started changing path. Ever since, he acted as a spoiled child destroying his favorite toy. Results are visible today - ASL is heavily damaged company, struggling to survive on a state life-support.

      So, when you compare ASL today and JAT before 2013, no significant difference in almost every sense, except that ASL has 1.2 million pax more, which is respectful, but not enough.

    9. as i said, if the business doesn't provide profit, all changes in JU are lipstick on a pig. and with all of these changes/reduction lipstick starts to ware off

      what good is a premium product in the price sensitive market? what good is the good business class product when the business class is empty, what good are routes when planes are empty and finally what good are the changes when the company is loosing more money than before?
      no praise to be given, really.

    10. AirCEO14:47

      2012 jat lacked everything from decent service to online check-in to New York flights. You call it lipstick, I call it awesome.

      Not every change was perfect, and I agree on a business class product. Current config should have been selected from the start. I have criticized A330 business class config as well.

      As for the P/L, both shareholders want improvements (as with any other business) but seem to be mostly okay. As new PM said Air Serbia is very important for Serbia, so the investment is probably making positive overall return for the country. Some people are just not easy to give praise, so let's agree to disagree. Developments in the coming years will show who was on the right track.

  6. Anonymous07:46

    All things is going to shit!

  7. Anonymous10:11

    Lounge opening was an important move in the development of ASL. However, immediately after opening, Kondic heavily restricted the rules for its use. Add to that the poor functioning Etihad's loyalty program in ASL, the result was a mostly empty lounge, with a very good product. What is the purpose of a good product if only very few can use it?

    The lounge could become an important tool for creating a picture of ASL as a premium airline. Instead, management's approach is now destroying the lounge, like everything else in the company. No doubt that incompetence prevailed in JU.

    1. Anonymous10:25

      You must be joking if you see airserbia as a premium airline!?! How do they deserve that status?

    2. Anonymous10:37

      Sorry OP, but could you elaborate on how did "Kondic heavily restricted the rules for its use"? The lounge is open to status and business pax of JU, EY and EYP (notably AZ), as any other lounge out there is, plus it is one of only three lounges in the world also accessible to EY Guest Silver pax (other two being a contract lounge in AUH, and the one in Seychelles).

    3. Anonymous11:44

      Agree Anon 10.25. What is premium about JU theses days. That's right. Nothing

    4. Anonymous18:05

      Flying nonstop from Belgrade to New York while being pampered in business class is premium.

  8. Anonymous10:19

    I think it is fine and reasonable they cut some night hours with probably next to zero business between 1am and 5 am!

    BUT why cancel the whole night immediately?

    Without a doubt opening hours should be 5:00-0:15!

    That would make most sense, they'd cut half a shift but leave it open for the midnight wave.

    1. Anonymous10:20

      Because they will obviously fire one shift of workers.

  9. Anonymous10:28

    I can't wait to hear or read Kondic message about closing the lounge, I am sure it will be painted with some passenger value added BS!

    1. Anonymous10:30

      Where exatly did you see that they are closing the lounge?

  10. Anonymous14:38

    From 1 October 2017 on Air Serbia

    Silver Members Lounge Access
    Etihad Guest Silver Members will no longer have complimentary access to the Air Serbia Premium Lounge in Belgrade and the Al Reem Lounge in Abu Dhabi when flying on Air Serbia.

    However, you will be able to access the Premium Lounge in Belgrade at a special discounted rate of 50% off the selected walk in rate as well as continue to enjoy the following benefits on eligible flights: priority check-in, Tier Bonus of 25% more miles and additional baggage of up to 23kg in Economy or 32kg in Business

    1. Anonymous16:48

      This is one of the changes in EY Guest program. Other notable changes are that Gold and Platinum tiers are now valid for 1 year / 365 days (previously remainder of that year plus 2 calendar years on attainment, 1 calendar year on renewal), same thing with Silver (which was previously valid for the remainder of that year plus 1 calendar year on attainment); Golds get access to EY Business lounge in AUH; EY Silvers lose access to Al Reem AUH and BEG lounges, but only when flying on JU marketed and operated flights - so a Silver member flying EY from BEG can still use JU Premium lounge.

    2. Anonymous14:11

      Make sense as the lowest tiers on other FFPs traditionally don't get lounge access. Spent a good 5hrs there on a trip earlier this year and the lounge & JU hosts were lovely. A one time pass for Silver would be ~22.5 euros for 3hrs I think, which isn't bad at all.


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