Iran Air to launch Belgrade service


Iran Air plans to launch flights from Tehran to Belgrade after filing for a permit with the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate. According to the "Aviatica" portal, the service will operate twice per week and will launch in the following months, during the 2017/18 winter season. The development comes after the two countries inked a bilateral Air Service Agreement this July and Serbia abolished visa requirements for Iranian passport holders in September, thus becoming the only European country to do so. Iran has also waived visas for Serbian nationals. Speaking in Belgrade last week, the head of the Trade Promotion Organisation of Iran, Mojtaba Khosro Taj, said, "The visa waiver for both countries’ nationals is a positive step in facilitating travel and trade between Iranian and Serbian people. The launch of direct flights will also boost tourism and commercial exchange".

Iran Air maintains services to a number of European cities, including Amsterdam, Cologne, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Istanbul, Milan, Moscow and Vienna. The carrier began a fleet renewal program last year after international sanctions imposed onto the country were lifted. It is in the process of taking delivery of new Airbus A320, A321 and ATR 72 aircraft. Prior to the lifting of sanctions, Iran Air used Belgrade as a refuelling stop on its flights from western Europe to Tehran, but never held commercial rights to sell tickets to and from the Serbian capital. More recently, in September, Iranian carrier Qeshm Air ran several charter services between Tehran and Belgrade, while Turkish Airlines has capitalised on the abolishment of visas between the two nations by offering promotional fares to Iranian travellers headed to the Serbian capital.

Iran Air's Belgrade launch will mark the resumption of scheduled commercial flights between the two countries after more than 25 years. JAT Yugoslav Airlines previously operated services between Belgrade and Tehran, launching flights on April 19, 1991. The airline also opened its representative office in the Iranian city. The route was popular with a considerable number of transfer passengers to the United States at the time. However, the service was short-lived with the collapse of Yugoslavia halting all international operations. Last year, Air Serbia said it was considering launching flights to Tehran in cooperation with Iran Air.

Comments

  1. OMG how cool is that???

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  2. Nice. This is the second route to come out of abolishing visas.

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    Replies
    1. Not sure how good this idea is.

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    2. Third route coming soon, from Royal Air Maroc.

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  3. Missed opportunity for Air Serbia.

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    Replies
    1. Upravo suprotno.
      Ovo je sansa za AirSerbia.
      Codshare na svim linijama AS i AS profitira

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    2. Ako bude codeshare... Nadam se.

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    3. Let's hope it doesn't end up like with Hainan.

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    4. Air Serbia mora inzistirati na code share isto kao sto je prosle godine i Iran Air trazio da u slucaju letova air Serbia svi letovi budu u code share.

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  4. Good news and well done Serbia! First America, then China and now Iran. Good luck on 25th December with the concession and pozdravi from Sofia :)

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  5. Are there many ties between Serbia and Iran?

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    Replies
    1. Growing economic ties, but this route is mainly for Iranian tourists I think.

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  6. Wow cool... Iran is a beautiful country. Absolute time that we increase travel and business activities again with this interesting nation and society. Welcome to BEG IR

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    1. It is a scenic country - but how many Europeans would voluntarily want to go to Iran? While Tehran might still be more or less safe travelling to the countryside is a different story. These flights will aim for inbound tourists, hardly any gain for us here.

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    2. You gain from the fact that you have inbound tourists who will spend their money in your city.

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    3. It needs some time but travels will pick up. In Switzerland there is a growing demand especially for cultural travel to Iran. I hope that LX one day will connect ZRH and IKA again

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    4. to anon 10:05
      you must be joking! Iran is far from being Afganistan-like country.

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    5. @10:05 Stop with that nonsense. I have backpacked extensively around Iran. Aparyt from perhaps the southeast the country is one of the safest if not the safest in the region. A female friend of mine also recently traveled there by herself and had a great experience.

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  7. My only question is what will happen to all these routes once Serbia becomes obliged to implement the EU visa and entry policies, and that will happen quite soon as part of the accession process.

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    1. They many continue to operate, but the visa free regime will cease with immediate affect. Same for Russia.

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    2. Some of them will see reduced number of passenger, some may get shut down. All of which is not the reason not to do it now while it's possible.

      Not to mention that Serbia's accession to EU remains a huuuuuuuuge 'if'.

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    3. As far as I remember, the visa free regime between Russia and Croatia ended on the day Croatia entered the EU, not before. Serbia isn't expected to join the EU before 2025.

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    4. plus, who knows what may change by 2025. maybe EU falls apart, maybe they abolish visas for Russians and Iranians, you never know

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    5. Given the difficult relationship between Serbia and the EU I think it's safe to assume that we won't be becoming part of it any time soon.

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    6. Serbia will have to implement EU visa policy only after it joins Schengen agreement and it is not going to happen at least in next 10-12 years.
      Whole EU does not have its general visa policy.

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    7. @Nebojsa

      Actually, it does. UK and Ireland are an exception, and such exceptions are not the privilege of the new member states. So, Serbia will have to harmonize its visa waiver list with the one valid for the Schengen states, regardless of implementing the Schengen acquis, i.e. being part of the Schengen zone.

      For example, Hungary introduced visas for Serbian citizens on May 1, 2004, the day it entered the EU. Romania did it almost a year in advance of the entry. That tells you timing is something that's up for negotiations, but at the latest, on the day of entry into EU membership, Serbia will have to harmonize.

      That said, the date is provisionally set to 2025. That's plenty time for EU visa list to change, and/or to establish such connections to Iran or whomever that visas will not represent an insurmountable obstacle.

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  8. Alen Šćuric Purger15 December 2017 at 09:15

    That is very big news.

    Not just because of important route and feeding it will have by Air Serbia which will support JU regional network, but also because of Iran Air 111 planes to come.

    OK, most of it will change ancient planes they were forced to have in fleet, but for sure, at least 80 of those will support expansion. Iran Air will be important company in 2-3 years.

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    1. It's interesting that BEG is only their second Balkan destination after IST.

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  9. Hopefully JU makes some codeshare agreement. They could use this to get some Iranian expats to fly JFK-BEG too.

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    1. I hope so but they also planned to make a codeshare with Hainan and in the end nothing.

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    2. True in the end they started a pricing war with Hainan on BEG-PRG leg.

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    3. It's better like that. Both are forced to fight for passengers.

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    4. i can imagine them codesharing once hainan starts direct flights...

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  10. Srbija neće u EU bar još 10 godina, sve drugo su bajke za malu decu..a i ako bude morala da opet uvodi vize, to može biti neka jednostavna procedura na aerodromu..

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    Replies
    1. Naravno.
      On arrival visa i problem rijesen

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  11. Brilliant news. I think it was two years ago that Iran was one of the special guests at the Belgrade Tourism Fair. There was a lot of interest among Serbian holidaymakers so I am sure this route will be extremely interesting for them as well.

    I am curious to see who will sell their tickets here since you can't wire money from Serbia to Iran.

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    Replies
    1. Iran was guest of honour at the Beograd Book Fair a few years ago.

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  12. Congratulations to Serbia! This is bad news for Pegasus and Turkish Airlines though. Good thing for travelrs because there will be more cheap fares.

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    1. Surely not bad news as those airlines are not reliant on Tehran sales from BEG + IR will place low capacity (two weekly only) and, most of all, this can only increase demand.
      People on this blog are simply obsessed with bad news related to absolutely every airline all the time!

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    2. They also fly twice a week with the 321 to Cologne, an area with many Iranians. So it should be easy to fill the BEG-flights if its just two per week.

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  13. Two weekly is conservative but I think a good start for a route like this.

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    1. TK started with three weekly back in 2005 and look at where they are today.

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    2. Same with Qatar Airways babe

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    3. Wasn't Qatar three weekly via ESB?

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    4. I think three weekly would be good as well but let's not forget IR faces a shortage of aircraft.

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    5. I wouldn't complain if they end up sending their A300-600. <3

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    6. I do think that plane shortage is a problem for them like anon above says. For example, they fly only 1x weekly to Gothenburg and have just announced they will increase it to 2 weekly. As new planes come, they boost frequencies.

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    7. I work at BEG and there are rumors of FZ going double daily next summer to compensate for JU leaving AUH. I would not be surprised, they are always FULL.

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    8. Actually Iran Air flies almost all of its European routes just twice per week. Gothenburg, Cologne, Paris, Amsterdam all are two weekly.

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    9. I think double daily FZ would be too much, 10 weekly is much better.

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    10. JU flights to AUH during the summer were always full to the last seat, especially late June to begining September. However, their business class loads were never anything spectacular, 2-4 at most usually. JU did work up decent loads year round, however with the reconfiguration things might of changed.

      Double daily with FZ wouldnt surprise me, to be honest. Demand is there.

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    11. Well, the reconfiguration made the plane lighter so the lower LF with the bigger number of passengers would anyway be more profitable.

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  14. Good for Air Iran netvork. Too good to Air Serbia. And excelent to airport Nikola Tesla.
    Concesion will bring more airlines and raising
    oportunity to transforming Belgrade's airport in to regional Hub. New 2018 year is new begining to comercial aviation. 🇷🇸🌎🌐🌍🌏😀

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  15. So another Middle East airline starting flights to BEG. For now we have Etihad, Flydubai, Qatar Airways, Israiar and Arkia.

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    Replies
    1. I wonder who will be next. I think Egyptair could make Belgrade work.

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    2. Well there is Air Cairo, which is a subsidiary of Egypt Air.

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    3. Yeah but that's just for the tourists going to Hurgada.

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    4. True but it's still year round. But I agree that flights to Cairo are long overdue. Would be great to see Egypt Air in BEG.

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    5. They could send their E70 like they do to BUD and occasionally to VIE.

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    6. Leteo sam sa njima iz BUD i odusevljen sam bio samom kompanijom od koje nisam ocekivao puno...

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  16. They originally said that they were interested in flying IKA-BEG-SJJ but it seems the SJJ leg will not be realized, at least not at this moment.

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    Replies
    1. That routing would have been good if they got fifth freedom rights to SJJ.

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  17. Great news. Good to see some new airlines and routes coming.

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  18. This is unexpected! By the way, there were Iranian charters to Zagreb as well so maybe they launch ZAG as well soon?

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  19. The more the ex-Yu airlines wait to start flights to Iran the more difficult it will become to position themselves on the market. The ship has sailed for Air Serbia, if Adria and Croatia Airlines were smart one would take the opportunity.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think anyone expected Air Serbia to launch these flights. They are big when it comes to words, not actions.

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    2. That was what Air Serbia better should have done instead of "leasing out" there plane for the winter.

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    3. Montenegro Airlines has seen the potential
      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/11/montenegro-airlines-to-launch-tehran.html

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    4. Adria had plans to start Ljubljana-Tehran this summer. They even scheduled the flights but cancelled at the last moment.

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    5. I wonder why Air Serbia doesn't start AMM with a night rotation - it won't take anything out of their existing network, and the yields there are crazy.

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    6. AMM could work but connections would be tight as the flight would return to Belgrade at around 06.10 in the morning.

      That said, I think Ankara would be a much better choice.

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    7. Amman, Eilat, Tehran, Cairo, Ankara...the list is long where Air Serbia is doing nothing.

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  20. WOW!!! This is big news!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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  21. The list of airlines serving Belgrade is becoming truly impressive. If they keep this up the offer will be better than at OTP or BUD.

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  22. Great work. Can't wait.

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  23. Serbia being the only European country not requesting Visas for Chinese, Indian and Iranian citizens. I really think the potential is huge, we are like a bridge between the west and east. Just have a look at this photo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Iran#/media/File:Visa_policy_of_Iran.png

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    Replies
    1. Same principle as with the Turks. They are number one tourists in Serbia because they don't need a visa. KK is usually sending its A321 to BEG.

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  24. Whenever I see a new route being launched to/from Belgrade for the first time in X years it notes that JAT used to fly there. Is there anywhere this airline didn't fly to?

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    Replies
    1. Well it did have an extensive network for its time ;)

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    2. they didn't fly to Subsaharan Africa and South America

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    3. Caracas was to open in 1992. They even opened an office there in 91. Seoul and Tokyo were also planned in 92 and a lot of new direct routes from Skopje :/ You can actually find their 5 year development plans. They are in the national library.

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  25. Did their passengers disembark in BEG during refueling?

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    Replies
    1. No. The plane was parked at the B platform during refuelling (across from the terminal). Their stay was very short in BEG. Just an hour.

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  26. It will be interesting to see their schedule for this route and how it may or may not link to Air Serbia's network.

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    Replies
    1. An early morning arrival into BEG would be ideal for JU.

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    2. I doubt it. All their European flights depart Tehran between 9-10am.

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    3. If it leaves at 09.00 it should be in Belgrade at around 11.30. I doubt they will cooperate with JU, at least nothing more than a simple code-share.

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  27. This could be a feeder for NYC, no?

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    Replies
    1. It could be a good feeder but we will know when the schedule is out.

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    2. Verovatno ce puniti let za Kanadu.

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  28. Is it true that if you have an Iranian stamp in your passport it cancels out your US visa?

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    Replies
    1. Ok thank you. Then I was misinformed.

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    2. It's only problem for citizens of (e.g. EU) countries who do not need visa. If some of them visit Iran then they need visa for the US.

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    3. Ahaa Ok so that's the catch. Thanks.

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    4. Visiting Iran will probably trigger an additional question or two at an US visa interview, or at the border in the US. But that's it - there are worse places you can go as far as US administration is concerned :)

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    5. I think it also depends on what's your point of entry. In my experience SFO is the most relaxed when it comes to the list of the countries you visited. New York or Dallas are the worst.

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  29. Smart move. This route could perform really well for Iran Air.

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  30. Bravo Hrvats... ups, uslo u naviku :)

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  31. Just curious, how many Iranian tourists were there in Serbia so far in 2017?

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    Replies
    1. Not sure. Visas were just abolished 2 months ago so I doubt many. But there were charters from Tehran in September I think.

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  32. BEG growth so far is 9%.

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  33. So far for 2018 we have the following:

    1. IranAir two weekly
    2. Qatar from 4 to 7
    4. flydubai from 4 to 7
    5. easyJet from BSL
    6. Transavia from 3 to 6

    Let's see who else adds flights.

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    Replies
    1. Wizzair BEG>MLA from 2 to 3

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    2. Wizz Air is actually increasing a few routes to make up for the two routes it will suspend.
      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/12/wizz-to-suspend-five-ex-yu-routes.html

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    3. W6 is just reshuffling, no real growth.

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    4. With bilateral just ratified with Morocco, you can add either Air Serbia or RAM between CMN and BEG. RAM is more likely.

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    5. It will be RAM
      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/09/royal-air-maroc-plans-belgrade-service.html

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    6. I am sure RAM will grow to be three weekly very soon. Morocco has been really popular here in Serbia for many years now.

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    7. It will be at least four weekly. VIE and ZRH are 3 per week. So BEG can sustain at least four per week.

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    8. BEG will perform really well as its catchment area is quite large. I am sure many from outisde of Serbia will be using RAM especially if they have good fares.

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    9. I think we all know who else won't be adding flights...

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    10. Even at 1 or 2pw it's a great start. Any additional frequency is a bonus.

      Too bad ASL was not interested. Another nearby area ASL should consider is Canary Islands, at least as charter Aviolet ops. BEG-TFS would be pushing 5:30-6 hours so introducing A320 to charters would be ideal. No competition and extended season, don't wait until W6 starts getting some ideas!

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    11. They will. Then they'll codeshare with W6.

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  34. Add to this, AirSerbia starts Toronto from June 2018.

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    1. And LX 14 to 16 zrhbeg

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    2. JU would be complete idiot if they develope their sole a330 to Canada in peak summer season!

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    3. Since they got approved for 4 weekly slots for YYZ, new metal is more than certain.

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    4. You people believe anything some anon writes on some forum.

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    5. Where did you get that info?

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    6. Some anon wrote it on another forum and everyone believes it.

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    7. You never know it could also be from a completely unrelated source.

      A month ago rep from AirSerbia talked about flights to Canada.

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    8. Ex Yu aviation wrote about Air Serbia starting second long haul route, and Toronto in particular, last month. That was from inside govt sources. Info about revising ASA with Canada was also published here. There are more indications than some anon poster. They would not be working on all those items if the goal is launch in June of 2019. So everything points to launch in 2018.

      Air Serbia was late to annouce JFK in Nov, and they are already late to announce YYZ. That will affect sales.

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    9. Where should they get the Aircraft from? come on...

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    10. They just need another second hand A332, not something unavailable like 777-9.

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    11. They could technically do it already with their under utilised A330. Dropping JFK to 4 pw and flying YYZ 2 pw still leaves one day for maintenance. Tight, but possible.

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    12. Technically JU could do many things but they chose not to because it's easier.

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  35. Good luck Iran Air. Great news.

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  36. Excellent news for Belgrade Airport.

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  37. Adria was muling the Teheran connection, and now it was snatched by Belgrade....stupid 4K!

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    Replies
    1. Huh? What has BEG got to do with JP's intention to fly to IKA? They are unrelated.

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