Serbia negotiating new long haul flights


The Serbian government has said it is negotiating the introduction of new long haul services from Belgrade to Asia and North America set to launch next year. The Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlović, noted that talks will soon begin with Hainan Airlines to upgrade its Beijing - Prague - Belgrade operations to nonstop flights. "The service was established three months ago on a trial basis to test interest on the market. Based on the data we have received, the flights are always full and have proved profitable for the airline, so we can now start negotiating the establishment of a nonstop Belgrade - Beijing service. There are also talks concerning several other destinations in China", Ms Mihajlović said. She added, "The aviation sector is one of the fastest growing means of transportation in Serbia and is fully harmonised with European and world standards. This is one of the main reasons we have managed to secure flights to certain destinations, such as New York and Beijing, other countries have been trying to for years but have been unable to so far".

Hainan Airlines previously told EX-YU Aviation News it would either up frequencies or introduce a nonstop service from Beijing to Belgrade next spring if there is sufficient demand. "We will adjust these plans based on market demand. We will evaluate the possibilities whether to increase frequencies or operate nonstop before the summer season", the carrier said in October. Hainan holds fifth freedom rights between Prague and Belgrade, allowing it to sell tickets on the sector. The Mayor of Belgrade, Siniša Mali, noted recently that he would hold talks with Hainan and suggest for the route from the Chinese capital to operate nonstop and then continue on to Sarajevo. Furthermore, Mr Mali said that services from a second Chinese city are expected to be launched "very soon". The Serbian government has also entered into negotiations for the establishment of scheduled cargo-only flights between Hangzhou and Niš.

The Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure further noted that the government is anticipating the introduction of flights to Canada in 2018. "We are talking to and working with Canada as well to try and secure nonstop flights", Ms Mihajlović said. Last month it was reported that Air Serbia is considering launching services to Toronto as its second long haul route. In a statement, the carrier said at the time, "We are working on a complete analysis and we are seriously considering all aspects. A final decision on the potential introduction of a new transcontinental service will be made in the coming period". Transport Canada, which regulates aviation matters in the country, has told EX-YU Aviation News it is "aware that Air Serbia may be interested in serving the Canada - Serbia market". It added, "Canada concluded its first Air Transport Agreement with Serbia in December 2006. No further talks have taken place since that time. The agreement is being applied administratively, meaning the rights set out in the agreement are available to air carriers now, pending its ratification".

Comments

  1. "...the flights are always full and have proved profitable for the airline..."

    Seriously?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hainan group is renowned for its managerial competence as sell as its profitability!

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    2. HNA is one of the most indebted companies in the world. Numbers are readily available.

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    3. Yes, I was being sarcastic!

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  2. Good luck BEG. I think the most realistic new long haul route will be Toronto but who knows. Beijing came as a surprise. We will see.

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  3. So basically Toronto and/or Shanghai.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In my opinion only Canada could work. Everything else is a bit of a stretch.

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    2. I would also add Chicago to the list of potential destinations that could be successful from BEG.

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  4. If there will be six rotations to JFK next season where will JU find the additional metal to do YYZ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Etihad Airways, Jet Airways? Etihad will have a lot of additional spare additional capacity next summer.

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    2. I'm curious to know where exactly will EY will have alot of spare capacity? As we know EY are shell shocked with their recent loses, and rumours have it their on the verge of major airframe delivery cancellations. Jet Airways seems to be doing fine so where's their extra airframe coming from? Regarding Chinese flights Beijing was a good will gesture to the anticipated BEG airport concession take over until they realized the books were being cooked. I don't know, but usually when something is to good to be true it usually isn't. Let's see how things play out.

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    3. So Hainan realized Belgrade was "cooking the books" but not Zurich Airport, Incheon, Eiffage, Meridiam? Get a life "noir-dresses".

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    4. Yes a good will gesture. That's why they plan to increase flights to Belgrade or go nonstop and that's why a second route from China is being negotiated. I wonder if the people who write bull like Anon 9.20, also known as "noir-dresses" on a Croatian forum actually believe in what they write.

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    5. Just let it be if it helps him get through the day. He will always think up of something to belittle others.

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    6. So explain to me why did the Chinese really pull out when the concession was theirs for the taking?

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    7. Read up on what's going on at the HNA group. It's been in the news lately not to mention that the Chinese government has ordered private Chinese companies to scale down foreign investment. And who said it was "theirs for the taking"? People making up how the Chinese are getting the concession 100% does not mean it was their for the taking. Before that it was the Arabs 100% and then the French 100%. And you think Chinese saw Belgrade Airport was cooking the books like you said but not other world established companies? Or you probably have a theory they have stayed in the running as a "good will gesture" too?

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    8. Here is why the pulled out:

      China’s HNA Group Is Looking to Offload Billions in Overseas Property Amid Worries About Its Debt

      Chinese HNA Group is offloading commercial properties in major cities as it looks to pay off the debt that has funded over $40 billion worth of acquisitions since 2015.
      According to the Wall Street Journal, the sharp reversal of the company’s recent buying spree, which resulted in more than 80 deals in recent years—from large stakes in Deutsche Bank (DB, -1.65%), the Hilton (HLT, +0.00%) hotel chain, and many of other businesses—comes about as the company’s liquidity has come under pressure and borrowing costs have increased, causing investors to grow concerned about the company’s ability to pay off tens of billions in debt that comes due next year.

      http://fortune.com/2017/12/19/chinas-hna-overseas-property/

      But I guess they saw someone cooking the books LOL. Thank god Zurich Airport didn't see it.

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    9. Just curious, do you guys really think flights to/from Beijing are "full"?

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    10. No its empty to the last seat. They keep flying as a "good will gesture" because they love Serbs so much.

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    11. and dislike money off course.

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    12. They are probably full from Prague, they do have decent loads from BEG.

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    13. I asked you a question, no need for a childish sarcasm. Once again, do you have any numbers to prove the flights are full/empty?

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    14. Numbers from a Serbian guy on another forum (November 2017):

      u dolasku: 562
      u odlasku: 540
      ukupno: 1.102
      broj letova: 16 (8+8)
      ukupno: 69 putnika po letu

      Peking (od/do) 455/390, ukupno: 845 - 52,8 putnika po letu
      Prag (od/do) 107/150, ukupno: 257 -16 putnika po letu
      __________________

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    15. Čoveče, takve besmislice pišeš na hrvatskom ssc forumu, da je to žalosno čitati. Bolje uložite trud da Zagreb dobije nove letove, nego što se nadate da će Beograd svoje izgubiti. Prvo se pričalo da će Arapi sigurno dobiti koncesiju, pa kad su odustali odmah ste se ponadali da i Etihad izlazi iz Er Srbije. Onda priče kako Kinezi dobijaju pa su eto zato hteli da zamažu oči uvodjenjem letova iz Pekinga. Sad kad su Kinezi odustali odmah novo nadanje da se prekidaju letovi Hainana..Postajete smešni u svojoj negativnosti. Srećna 2018. godina i da i vi dobijete letove kojima se nadate, bićete valjda manji hejteri.

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    16. So wait... Hainan said themselves that their bookings exceeded all expectations so if they are carrying 69 passengers then how many did they hope to get at first? 50?

      Something doesn't add up here.

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    17. Anon 9:46, brojevi su sa srpskog foruma i to ne od Hrvata.

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    18. The phrase "exceeded all expectations" is standard marketing BS.

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    19. ^ Njegov komentar se odnosi na 9:20 AM koji je rec za rec prepisan sa hrvatskog foruma koji se vise bavi Beogradom i Srbijom nego bilo cime drugim.

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    20. @9:52

      There is only a limited amount of seats sold from Belgrade to Beijing.

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    21. Don't take your eye off the ball, you'll have many interesting things to follow on the "other sites".

      BTW never forget were watching you, while your watching us!!!

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    22. Anon 10:41, what's your point?

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    23. I'm happy that there is a lot more talk about long haul flights in the entire region. Wishing that your neighbor will loose flights for personal satisfaction is sick.

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    24. There's a big difference between wishing, and a feasible well calculated analysis on the numbers/demand, and supply.

      Nobody still answered my earlier question regarding where is the additional airframe coming from for 6 JFK rotatations, and additional YYZ service? Now if it were 4 JFK rotations, and let's say 2 YYZ rotations a week then yes it's feasible with JUs resources as of now.

      It's natural for a competitor country to assess what the competition is doing, especially when the competitor is practising alot of poaching in your local market. It's normal practice everywhere in the aviation industry to assess the situation, adjust, and compete so get with the program, and grow up.



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    25. ^ Your original post was so full of vile and nastiness that I don't think anyone is interested in answering you.

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    26. True, Anon with many blank lines at the end is always vicious against BEG/ASL.

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  5. They should focus on China and then Canada.

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    Replies
    1. It seems as if they are doing that.

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    2. I'm glad that the government has a proactive approach to aviation. I hope we see some new routes.

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    3. +1
      Nice to see Serbia taking the initiative.

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    4. Well it's the first Serbian government which has made tourism growth as one of their strategic goals.

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  6. I wonder if Dane Kondic leaving Air Serbia will affect their plans to fly to Toronto.

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    Replies
    1. It's not as if the whole company functioned only because of one man. They have probably done their feasibility now. Like it says in the article Transport Canada is aware that JU wants to fly to YYZ and the word is they have asked for slots too.

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    2. His successor is a person who was brought in to cut costs a month aggo. I don't see how launching Toronto would cut Air Serbia's costs so I think it is much less likely they will fly to Toronto now that Dane is gone. Plus, I don't think Naysmith will be so easily persuaded by politicians for JU to fly somewhere.

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    3. We heard before that BEG was not likely to get Cat 1, that Air Serbia was not likely to get A319, that DoT is not likely to give them approval for JFK, that ZAG is not happening, that PEK is not likely... didn't you learn anything? Plus ownership structure didn't change a bit, Govt still has 51% majority.

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    4. Anon 11:11 AM, opet uzaludno nadanje da sa odlaskom Daneta padaju u vodu i letovi do Toronta. Pa da je Dane do sada odlučivao ne bi se nikada poletelo za Njujork, on je bio protiv toga od prvog dana. Većinski vlasnik Er Srbije je država i i dalje će biti kako ona, tj. Vučić hoće. S tim u vezi biće uvedeni i letovi za Toronto jer to održava korak Beograda kao čvorišta naspram Budimpešte pre svega, koja od sledeće godine dobija letove za Ameriku. Nije Srbija toliko siromašna da ne može da finansira dva širokotrupna aviona koji Beograd povezuju sa svetom. Brojni su benefiti takvih linija i biće sve veći.

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  7. If Koreans get the airport we probably will see some charters from Seoul too in 2019.

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    Replies
    1. It will be interesting to see how BEG's route network develops when the new owners come. Free of politics.

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    2. Koreans got CSA, but we don't see this company really improving. So, let's not start dreaming again like with Arabs. If they get the concession they will want to make as bigger profit as they can. They aren't coming to run a charity organization or to create a dream land.

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    3. Arabs have done quite well. Increased passenger numbers for the airline by over 1 million, introduced at least a net of 10 new routes, launched transatlantic flights, introduced a functioning frequent flyer program, opened a dedicated lounge, introduced online checkin. All in all in very good for 4 years.

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    4. Unlike Arabs, Koreans are business\profit orientated.

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  8. I hope some of this materializes.

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  9. Less talk, more action.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They have done ok. Lots of new flights and destinations from BEG this year. Nad several already announced for 2018.

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    2. Are you implying the government had something to do with QR upgrading BEG to A321 from March or with Transavia doubling its flights or with flydubai going daily..?

      The only part where the government can get credit for is PEK... or and that they finally agreed to sack Dane. That was an unusually smart move from them.

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    3. The topic is long haul flights and I think they did a lot to facilitate these long haul flights. They got moving on air service agreements, talks with relevant authorities etc. That goes for New York and Beijing and from what it looks like Toronto too.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of the administration but on this aspect I have to give them credit, probably the only aspect they deserve credit.

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    4. What about the government that was in power the time we had Uzbekistan flights to JFK or those flights to Canada?

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    5. You answered your question. You had a flight by Uzbekistan Airlines (for less than a year) to New York because government was unable to get FAA category 1.

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    6. Doesn't matter, the fact remains that this government was not the first one to invest a lot of effort into attracting long-haul airlines.

      Furthermore, political climate was different back then so getting FAA Cat 1 was impossible. We all know what this government did in order to get it (all the concessions regarding Kosovo).

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    7. Hahahahahahaha so now Air Serbia launched flights to New York so US could butter up Serbia because of Kosovo. I have heard of so many reasons why Air Serbia introduced flights to New York. It was first because of elections. Every time any route in Serbia opens there is a posy of people who come to explain the conspiracy behind the introduction.

      Maybe it was introduced because there is sufficient demand, especially during the summer. So maybe that's why they will fly there six times per week next summer.

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    8. Are you that naive to think the US gave the Cat 1 because they were desperate to link New York to Belgrde?

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    9. Or maybe they just met Cat 1 standards.

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  10. Sinisa Mali has much bigger fish to fry with the Belgrade elections being just around the corner.

    Proposing for Hainan to introduce PEK-BEG-SJJ only goes to show how limited his knowledge of aviation is. Then again, he isn't where he is today based on merit so...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But so many people on this board thought that was a great idea, at least for Belgrade, much better than being the 2nd stop after Prague.

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    2. If Sinisa was on such good terms with the Chinese so as to offer them that routing then why didn't he use his connections to secure a code-share with JU to PRG/PEK?

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    3. Maybe Air Serbia doesn't want to chodeshare on BEG-PRG-BEG with Hainan.

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    4. Aha... because of its highly successful codeshare to PEK via VIE for €1.100? :D

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    5. With a certain person leaving JU, the cooperation between JU and HU may change,

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  11. I look forward to seeing the next new destination.

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  12. In all honesty I would prefer if Hainan kept PEK-PRG-BEG. Having fifth freedom on PRG-BEG leg is a great alternative to Air Serbia on the route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is one of the reasons JU has been forced to introduce Airbuses on this route next summer.

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    2. Amin to that Anon9:43

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  13. I'm really hoping for Toronto flights. I think it has potential.

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    Replies
    1. Out of all the long haul routes, it has the most potential.

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    2. I think a lot of people are forgetting how highly seasonal Toronto is.

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    3. Pa neka tokom letnjih meseci iznajme još jedan avion od partnerskih kompanija sa pisadom i lete 6 puta Njujork i 4 puta Toronto, a van sezone mogu samo svojim avionom leteti 3 puta Njujork i 2 puta Toronto i to bi bilo ok.

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  14. I think having New York and Beijing is a good start. Maybe eventually add Toronto and possibly Chicago and that is more than respectable for a Balkan airport.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Adding a second Chinese route would be oversaturation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that adding it this early would be.

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  16. While back, JU flew to Chicago with a stop at Clevelend. Could something like that work now, BEG-JFK-ORD-JFK-BEG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While back, JU flew to Chicago via Cleveland only for about a year, something like 1995. Later on, JU flew twice weekly BEG-ZAG-ORD, twice weekly BEG-ORD-LAX, plus twice weekly to CLE/DTW, once via ZAG, once via LJU. In summer season, of course, reduced in winter to once weekly ORD-LAX, and once CLE/DTW, with all year round twice weekly BEG-ZAG-LAX, all with DC10

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  17. Tehran, Basel and Geneva scheduled as new routes for next year so far. Toronto is looking highly likely. I think overall it will be a good one for BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There will be a couple of more announcements soon.

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    2. lets hope!!! second a330!!!

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    3. Regarding new announcements, what is your source? Is it trustworthy?

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  18. Good luck BEG :)

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  19. Is there any interest from Air Serbia to fly to Amman? With the current situation in the Middle East, Amman is the main airport for many Syrians, Palestinians and Iraqis and it can be a perfect destination to pick up transit passengers going further to western Europe and north America.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aman čoveče!

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    2. Beirut is, more so than Amman. Amman should be considered nevertheless.

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    3. It would be very hard to put Amman in night wave and to have good connection to Pariz or other cities

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    4. Main focus should be strengthening the regional network which is abysmal. Romania - largest market in the neighbourhood lies totally unexploited. Air Serbia could have three destinations in Romania and Romanians seem keen on flying with JU. Let's not forget South/Western Ukraine, Southern Poland, Hungary all within ATR reach.

      The focus on Ex-Yu (markets seeing same fluctuations as the O&D one) has been a disaster.

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  20. Beijing will go nonstop from April next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt anything will change really.

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  21. What about those New Delhi flights? Brnabic said they are negotiating. Can we take that seriously?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think those New Delhi flights are not serious. I was surprised that the PM was talking about them a few weeks ago.

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  22. Next year will be the third consecutive year that Belgrade Airport will get a new long haul destination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From your lips to God's ears.

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  23. Replies
    1. A320 yes, they offered me the evening flight for 300 chf

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    2. Interesting. Do you know how many were overbooked? Shame they didn't send the A321.

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    3. Really strange, one could think it is some holiday or something and they fill flights. Crazy.

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    4. 1 overbooked

      Last anon hahaha

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    5. Anon 11.42

      No need to be malicious. It's nice that even with all those daily flights they still manage to fill the whole plane.

      Delete
  24. Who knows what the new concessionaires will do with BEG but it has good predispositions for more long hauls with a lot of regional links.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will be an exciting year for BEG nonetheless with new operataors and new management team.

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    2. All of the bidders will manage to boost numbers but only Incheon and perhaps GMR will aim at growing transfer pax sector more significantly.

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    3. Incheon bi znacio prebacivanje leta sa Zagreba na Beograd pa odatle na obalu. Bolje Zurich.

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    4. +1

      More or less the same as with HNA flights that were initially planned for ZAG.

      Also BEG is cheaper than ZAG.

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    5. Što, šta je tu loše za BEG?

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    6. @12:07

      Za Beograd nista :).

      Navijamo za Korejance!

      Delete
  25. JU ce lizovati A6-EYG na period od 3 meseca i avion ce biti u EY bojama.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A зашто лажеш и шириш дезинформације?

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    2. To verovatno znaci da ce pokriti dve linije tokom letnje sezone, a da ce zimi obe linije leteti ARA vrv 3+2.

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    3. Koliko je ovo pouzdano? Bilo je price da ce AirBerlin-ov avion biti.

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  26. Wow, Serbian Government really tries to improve INI. Regular widebody a/c from China to INI. Wow, just wow. I would love to see that happening:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cargo flight to Nis is related to Alibaba opening a distribution center in Serbia.

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    2. As far as I know Alibabba are opening it in Burgas

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  27. Good news. I hopethey continue th trend, 2016 - New York, 2017 - Beijing, 2018 - ? The good thing is that these routes are year round.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Would route from BEG to South America (example GIG, EZE or GRU) have potential to success? Let's say at summer, maybe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember some years ago Cubana was interested in launching direct flights from Havana. They were supposed to be operated every ten days.

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    2. @Pe eM
      You mean our winter, their summer? Flights toward South America are very expensive w/o much competition... just like ASL like it...

      Delete
    3. HAV-BEG-IKA Ilyushin IL-96 confirmed.

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  29. This year Belgrade will have some 900.000 foreign tourists while I wouldn't be surprised if next year that number increases to some 1.300.000.

    Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised by the number of Indians roaming around the city.
    I am sure more and more airlines will add flights so as to capture a share of the market.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you seriously expect Belgrade to get extra 400.000 tourists?!

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    2. Sure, 50% increase. That will happen.

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    3. People are starting to discover Serbia. The genie is out of the bottle. You surely can expect huge growth in the coming period

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    4. In the first 8 months Belgrade recorded a 20% increase in tourist numbers. With Iranian charters, Hainan (which started flying only in September) and many others, I don't see why it's unrealistic.

      Just look at the number of Turkish and Israeli tourists. I think the latter grew by some 245% this year. Indians are also starting to arrive and so will many others.
      Belgrade's great advantage is that it's cheap to reach from any part of the world all thanks to healthy competition at BEG.

      And by the way, take a look at airlines like Transavia, Swiss, Qatar or Vueling which are not waiting for June (like Air Serbia) to increase their flights but are doing it in March which can only mean advance bookings are solid.

      Delete
    5. And just to show that Belgrade doesn't only attract non-European tourists here are some numbers:

      I am going to use only October which is one of the slowest months.

      Tourist arrivals from:

      1. Belgium 987 (+58%) (in 2017: 10.661)
      2. Denmark 745 (32%) (5.940)
      3. Hungary 2.963 (14%) (30.494)
      4. Germany 2.963 (10%) (69.667)
      5. Poland 2.065 (22%) (43.185)
      6. Romania 3.743 (37%) (57.984)
      7. Russia 4.116 (5%) (44.829)
      8. Slovenia 8.109 (5%) (64.160)
      9. Turkey 8.523 (21%) (91.175)
      10. France 2.092 (8%) (25.972)
      11. The Netherlands 1.482 (8%) (25.972)
      12. Croatia 10.394 (21%) (66.481)
      13. Switzerland 2.332 (22%) (22.626)
      14. Sweden 2.009 (16%) (22.626)
      15. Canada 813 (29%) (8.605)
      16. USA 3.046 (34%) (30.510)
      17. Israel 3.851 (95%) (37.062)
      18. South Korea 863 (9%) (7.059)
      19. China 7.038 (306%) (45.204)

      Belgrade isn't a sun and beach destination meaning that most of these (European) tourists have come for an extended weekend. The number of American and Chinese tourists in Serbia goes to show that it was the right move to introduce both PEK and JFK.

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    6. Great numbers! No wonder LO is doing well in BEG. Look at the number of Polish tourists!

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    7. No Bulgarians in October - they must prepare for new year invasion

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    8. Nemjee, super brojke jer je october jedan od naj mjeseci u godini za city break. November je lošiji.

      Znači march, april a posebno may& jun i onda september, october su najjači mjeseci za city break.

      Delete
    9. Thank you, I didn't know that. :)

      Then I guess all this growth is impressive and it goes to show how popular Belgrade is becoming.

      What I find particularly interesting is the 34% growth of US tourists. That can only mean JU's JFK flight is seeing a lot of extra passengers this October, despite the two week suspension.

      Delete

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