IndiGo sees Serbia flight potential


India's largest and busiest carrier, IndiGo, has said it sees potential in serving the Serbian market in the near future after announcing its European expansion plans. Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News, an airline spokesperson said that IndiGo has already held talks with the Serbian government through a third party. "We have been involved in fruitful discussions with the Serbian government and the local tourism board through an intermediary concerning potential operations to Serbia. We plan to continue these talks and explore opportunities to serve the market sometime in the future, in order to offer affordable and unmatched travel experience to passengers between India and Serbia".

IndiGo's parent company, InterGlobe Enterprises, has expressed interest in linking the two counties to cater for Indian tourists visiting the entire region. InterGlobe's regional representative in Belgrade, Zoran Dražeta, said, "We could secure up to 1.000 passengers per week, maybe even more". Last August, the Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, noted that her government is negotiating the launch of nonstop services between Belgrade and the Indian capital of New Delhi. InterGlobe was initially seeking to partner up with Air Serbia, however, this was before IndiGo announced plans to add at least fifty wide-body aircraft to its fleet to commence long haul flights next winter after its attempts to take over Air India's international operating arm stalled. The airline has already sought regulatory approval to launch operations to London, Paris, Birmingham, Manchester, Brussels, Rome, Milan and Zurich. It is also looking at secondary European cities and onward connectivity to other European destinations. “The low cost structure of IndiGo makes it ideal to offer a long haul service. An airline’s cost is primarily towards fuel burn, aircraft acquisition, and labour - all of which are among the lowest for IndiGo”, the airline said. IndiGo currently has a fleet of 158 Airbus A320 and A320neo planes and an order for over 400 more. The carrier also has the option of ordering the Airbus A330-800neo jet.

Last September, Serbia become the only European country to abolish visa requirements for Indian citizens. It has also inked a new Air Service Agreement with India. Under the deal, Indian carriers can operate flights from any city in the country to any point in Serbia, while Serbian carriers can fly from any city in Serbia to four metropolitan cities in India. Designated airlines are also able to exercise domestic codeshare rights to any four additional points in the territory of the other party. According to the Indian government, "The new updated and liberalised Air Service Agreement between India and Serbia has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between the two countries. The agreement will provide commercial opportunities for carriers on both sides, ensuring greater safety and security. Currently, there is no connectivity between the two nations and the revised agreement may lead to establishing connectivity between the two countries".

Comments

  1. Quite interesting to see what visa abolishment can do. Visas for Chinese abolished and Hainan Airlines starts flights, visas for Iranians abolished and Iran Air and Qeshm Air starting flights, now visas for Indians being dropped and major Indian airlines considering flights. Impressive.

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    1. They have a formula. First they renegotiate bilateral air agreement, then they abolish visas and then flights begin.

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    2. And then you get a large number of people abusing that visa free system. Iranians in particular.

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    3. How many Iranians have abused the system so far?

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    4. Could you provide us with some proof of how many Iranians have abused the system. Thank you in advance.

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    5. good move on visa free arrangements. no point of having visas for country like serbia. it's not like we gonna have migrants wanting to stay here. also it seems the chinese who came here the first decade of 00's and opened shops didn't find visa to be a big issue.

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    6. There was enough for the Iranian Ambassador to issue an appeal in Iranian press for people not to abuse the system. I read it last month. I will look up the link.

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    7. That doesn't necessarily have to do with the suspension of the visa regime. There were always a lot of Iranians among the illegal immigrants that were arriving to Europe from the Middle East.

      Visas were removed because Serbia is keen on deepening its economic ties with Iran.

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    8. I would refer to them as migrants, even though they are, or will become immigrants.

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    9. Well his appeal was included in an article about how another Iranian was returned back from Belgrade airport and denied entry.

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    10. So we are talking about suspending the visa free regime because one person was refused entry at the airport?

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    11. I didn't say they should suspend it but there is a reason no other European country allows visa free travel for these countries. And there are regular problems not one isolated case. This is just from a few days ago
      https://www.blic.rs/vesti/beograd/iranci-zadrzani-na-beogradskom-aerodromu-mislili-su-da-ih-drze-zbog-vece-sume-novca/tt90tt5

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    12. Visas about to be abolished for Vietnamese citizens as well - again only country in Europe. So maybe we Vietnam Airlines in Belgrade soon :D ;P

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    13. By that logic the European Union should suspend the visa free regime with Serbia because of all the Albanian immigrants from Kosovo and Metohija who are staying illegally in the West. Because of that every time you land at MUC or FRA they check the passports at the airbridge.

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    14. Hanoi - Belgrade sounds nice @anon 11.1 ;)

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  2. This could work especially since BEG would become only the third city in the wider Balkan region to have non-stop flights to India after Istanbul and Vienna.
    Given BEG's large catchment area it could also attract passengers from neighboring countries such as Croatia, Hungary, Romania ...

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    1. EK covers the Croatian market to India.

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    2. Turkish covers India market for whole Balkan.

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    3. TK is heavily restricted in India.

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    4. EK and QR have the India-Croatia market stitched up. TK doesn't have much of a presence in India.

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    5. Air India (Star Alliance) codeshares on several Croatia Airlines flights to/from ZAG,SPU,DBV, so they have their share as well. And it's not impossible, (which was precisely the case with Air Canada which had, and still has codeshare on OU flights), that Air India starts ZAG, once the number of Indian tourists to Croatia, which is steadily improving, reaches the number which will sustain direct flights. Btw, demand is not just one-way, as Indian Embassy in Zagreb gives out about 50 visas every day to Croatian citizens visiting India

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    6. I don't see AI launching ZAG anytime in the future. Rouge is different because there is a large Croatian community in Canada.

      Air India already serves Vienna which is nearby and has a code-share agreement.
      Handing out 50 visas a day is not enough to sustain year-round flights on a Dreamliner.

      AI pulled off a 75% average lf in CPH after it launched it. I can only imagine ZAG would be around 30%.

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    7. You cant even take these discussion seriously nowadays... Do people really think Air India would start India-ZAG? Come on now. Even BEG is almost impossible i d say for the next 10 years

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  3. What is taking so long? This has been talked about for years already. Air agreements exist, no visas,..

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    1. They just abolished visas a few months ago and renegotiated bilateral last year too.

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  4. Can the A321neo make it from New Delhi to Belgrade?

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    1. Yes without a problem.

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    2. Thanks. It's possible then that they may use this aircraft if they start these flights. They have 25 on order and they start arriving in 2019.

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  5. Traveled to India this December from Belgrade in Kon Tiki group. There were 25 of us on packaged tour of 10 days. We flew with Qatar Airways.

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    1. How was the load on your QR flight?

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    2. How much was flight?

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    3. It was full to the last seat. But we were travelling on 28th December when I expect it is very busy.

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    4. So you returned in early January, what about the return flight?

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    5. @9.15 I don't know because we paid full packaged holiday - hotels and transport in India because we visited few cities. So when you pay the full price Kon Tiki then secures tickets for you. Return flight was also full, maybe a few seats free.

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    6. How much cost full package tour?

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    7. They have India and Nepal tours for €4.000.

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    8. 1040 euros. We visited Delhi, Jaipur and Agra then back to Delhi to take the flight back. All accommodation was either 4 or 5 star. I booked in August. There was a group in September and then this one in December for New Year.. There quite a few Serbs in this group who don't actually live in Serbia. One family was from France and one person from the US!

      Yes there is also India+Nepal tour but that is another tour.

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    9. Just to mention that I didn't include the 50 euro for visa.

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    10. Thanks for those details man.

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    11. You're welcome. It was the first time I went to a far away destination with a tour operator but I must say it was very well organised. We had a Serbian tour guide along with us for the entire trip from Belgrade.

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    12. The price seems to be good. But 10 days was probably too short for India trip.

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    13. KonTiki is quite good, they are the oldest tour operator in Serbia I think.

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    14. I thought it was Putnik.

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    15. Putnik went bust a long time ago. It is in liquidation. Another victim of Serbia's "transition".

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    16. Their downtown office was really interesting back in the day. Now there is nothing, the pharmacy that used to be there also closed.

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    17. You're probably talking about Novi Sad, and you're right. They also had their hotel at the same location.

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    18. Nope, in Belgrade they had an office right next to the Old Palace.

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    19. I think he is referring to their Belgrade office
      http://i40.tinypic.com/2nrfp06.jpg

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    20. Thanks for posting the link, looks impressive. He could have mentioned that he was referring to Beograd when he said 'downtown' though.

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    21. Maybe he didn't know there was a Novi Sad office.

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    22. Putnik was a national company, with offices all over Serbia.

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    23. @AnonymousFebruary 21, 2018 at 10:14 AM
      Kon Tiki vise nije cak ni pravni naslednik te firme. Sada je njegov vlasnik Big Blue i nemaju ni 10 posto putnika koliko u njihovo zlatno vreme.
      Nekada su bili lideri za Egzotiku, ali su ih ubile cene. Sada imas Mangu, Jungle Tribe, Globtroter, agencije koje iste aranzmane prodaju za tri puta nize cene. Te tri agencije, a narocito srednja su pojele Kon Tiki na egzoticnim destinacijama.

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    24. Da ali Jungle Tribe nudi egzoticne destinacije sa smestajem u buvarama i hostelima. Zato su tako jeftini.

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    25. Moguce da zavisi od destinacije do destinacije, ja sam bio sa njima na Zanzibaru, leteli sa TK, tamo hotel 3***, sasvim solidno za avio kartu,sve takse, 12 dana za 750e.
      Manga je takodje super, bio na Tajladnu za 790e, 11 dana, leteo sa QR, bungalov na samoj plazi. Samo hrana nije bila ukljucena

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    26. 1040 EUR is a very good price for the tour you had.
      Were you satisfied with hotels they arranged?

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    27. I think we'll see even more demand for travel this year as the Dinars keeps on getting stronger. Today it reached a new high against the Euro, €1 =118.08.

      A few months ago it was €1=124!

      It will be cheaper to travel now.

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    28. Kon tiki ne postoji. Propao u dugovima. Ovo je KT travel vlasnik isti kao i Big Blue. Srpska posla.

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  6. This could work from summer season 2018, or is it too late for that?

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    1. Too late. They say "sometime in the future" and also says Indigo plans to first start Europe flights to demand heavy routes.

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    2. Maybe autumn 2018?

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    3. Funnily enough they could be making more money in Belgrade than in London due to less competition which usually means yields will be higher.

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    4. You talking about IndiGo?

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    5. What do you mean by competition?

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    6. India is already linked with many Western European markets so yields tend to be trash. In markets such as Serbia there are no direct flights so the yields can be higher.

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  7. Do many Indians already travel to Serbia & Balkans as tourists already?

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    1. Iranian and Indian tourists are non-existent in Serbia. That's why they will experience massive growth once both flights start.

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    2. Not too many in Serbia at this time. Visas were abolished only in September and only from this year will Serbia be in offer of main Indian tour operator. Croatia gets quite a few. There was an article on here last year how Emirates has seen a lot of Indians on its Zagreb flights.

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    3. Funny how Croatia always has more of these exotic tourists than Serbia yet its BEG that keeps on adding flights.

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    4. You talk'in 'bout Air Korean or Japanese flights to ZAG?

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    5. There are no Japanese flights to Zagreb.

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    6. There have been many charter flights over the years.

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    7. Air Korean? Are they a new start-up? Those are a few charter flights, I was talking about real flights which can be used by both sides.

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    8. Oh I just thought you were try'in to be funny.

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    9. @Anon 9:33 - How can it be surprising when they have the one thing tourists want for their summer holidays - the sea. I am from Serbia and to be honest I always find it kinda weird that there are a lot of tourists here during summer. I get that if you are middle class (real one) you’ve been everywhere you wanted to go to so why not visit the cheap country that is Serbia. So you can never compare tourism offers of Croatia and Serbia - Croatia will always be on top because of their access to the sea.

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    10. I love these Serbian apologists that show up on this blog. The point is that Serbia is far more proactive in securing new flights to faraway destinations despite having fewer tourists.

      Not everyone wants to sit on a beach and roast his skin under the sun. Asian tourists can do that for less money closer to home. That is why countries such as Hungary, Poland, Czechia or others have a lot of tourists from far away places.

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    11. Croatia has cultural heritage as well, Anon 10:18, so, check some facts, please.

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  8. Could time flights for JFK departures to pick up a few transit pax as well.

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    1. True. There is a never ending demand for India-US flights. Despite nonstop flights from India many transit through various points.

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  9. Jet Airways is also Indian carrier, could get them to also launch flights to BEG from Toronto and other North American cities.

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    1. It would make more sense seeing they are Etihad partner airline.

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    2. Not gonna happen. Jet blew off Etihad and Air Berlin when they chose AMS as their European base in stead of DUS.

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  10. This would be fantastic since they are a low cost airline so they could offer some great fares. If they do this I wouldn't be surprised to see growth in interest from Serbia to India too.

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  11. " It is also looking at secondary European cities and onward connectivity to other European destinations. "

    This would be interesting if they choose BEG. Would they codeshare or operate to a third city?

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    1. I think they would operate directly to BEG, IndiGo that is. Onward connectivity refers to connections with AS network.

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    2. That's what I meant. Would they codeshare then on JU flights or continue to a third destination from Belgrade.

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    3. I would hope so. That's how you build a hub airport... cough, cough

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  12. Good work from Serbia. I assume these flights might happen next summer. They approved visa free travel for Chinese while they were negotiating flights to Beijing so the same is happening here.

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    1. Chinese flights started in autumn so these might as well.

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    2. For once they strategically plan for something.

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  13. These flights could open up a new market for Indian and Asian tourists. Also do wonders for BEGs connectivity.

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  14. I would prefer if they focused a bit more on negotiating flights to Canada rather than India.

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    1. Airlines are free to launch flights from/to Canada. Air agreements exist.

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  15. Good luck. Hope it happens.

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  16. An interview with Jet Airways CEO was published today and he gives some interesting insights into the market.

    "Passenger growth in India increasing by more than 20 percent per annum over the past two years – buoyed by a domestic market that is outpacing all other regions of the world. This growth is expected to continue with India’s GDP forecast to pick up momentum during the rest of the decade – the current annual economic growth rate of 6.3 percent is set to rise to 7.5 percent per year by 2019-20.

    “Indian aviation has the kind of numbers that make any other country jealous,” enthuses Dube during a visit to London to celebrate the launch of a third daily flight from its key hub Mumbai to Heathrow, the busiest airport in Europe. “Air travel demand is closely correlated to the growth in GDP,” he adds."

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  17. If this happens I think BEG along with IST would be the only two airports in the wider region with nonstop flights to India.

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  18. Very nice. Good work Serbia on being proactive on getting long haul flights

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    1. It would be very nice having flights to the US, China and India from BEG.

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    2. All that's missing then would be Canada.

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    3. And include Australia as vell from Belgrade. Concession oñ ANT Belgrade will providing oportuniti to buil solid
      facility to suport raising long haul network. Three quotre bilion dollars invesment must be good amount for BEG Airport.
      Rodney. 🇷🇸

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  19. The only way flights from India could work is if an airline operated an onward transatlantic service.

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  20. as if anyone is willing to spend seven hours aboard a narrowbody plane. It is not the year 1970 when Boeing 707 and Ilyushin IL62 dominated the long haul...

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    1. You may notice that narrow bodies are being used more and more on long haul flights. Look at WOW Air, Norwegian... For the right price people would sit in a narrow body for seven hours.

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    2. U cem se razlika?
      Nema je.
      Sjedio u B777 ili A320.....isti ti je djava.

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    3. Norwegian uses Dreamliners for long haul. Icelandic airlines are midway between the continents so its two portions of several hours with few hours waiting the connection. And despite the cheapes, still too few people use them on major routes instead of direct flights.

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    4. Norwegian uses B737 MAX planes on a number of long haul routes from Europe to the USA. WOW has flights from Reykyavik to LA which is almost 9 hours.

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    5. Honestly, I see no real difference in Y in narrow and wide bodies. Especially if narrow bodies are configured with long haul Y seats, as in QR for example.

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    6. WOW Air uses A330 on their routes to SFO and LAX (2-4-2 configuration).

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  21. I really hope this materialises :)

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  22. Fingers crossed.

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  23. If the idea is to bring tourists on packaged tours from India, someone should look at the numbers of Hainan tourists from China. There are not too many packaged tourists from China in the past couple of months.

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  24. Serbia invests many efforts to develop new air connections especially with the countries that do not have currently big presence in ex-Yu or Balkan region.

    In the long term it could be very benefitial for BEG as the biggest airport in ex-Yu to maintain its leading role as well as to contribute developing of tourism in Serbia.

    Looks very impressive

    For already a long time TUN to BEG (year round)
    JFK in 2016 (year round)
    PEK in 2017 (year round via PRG)
    IKA in 2018 (year round)
    CMN in 2018 (high probability)
    DEL in 2019 (less probability)
    ICN in 2020 (high probability)

    Well done!

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    1. I honestly don't see DEL nor ICN. There just isn't the demand there and I don't see it developing in the near future either.

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    2. Jin Air hass already officially announced ICN-BEG flights for 2020.

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    3. I see both developing.

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    4. Jin Air hasn't officially announced anything. All there has been was an article on this website saying they were looking at Budapest and Zagreb as possible destinations in 2019 and then maybe Bucharest and Belgrade in 2020. Had the Incheon Consortium won the BEG tender then maybe it could be possible but there simply aren't many South Koreans travelling to BEG. The numbers are just not there unlike to Croatia which has a very high tourist profile in South Korea.

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    5. Where do you see here "maybe"?
      https://labsseoul.com/2017/12/30/news-jin-air-announces-plan-to-connect-eastern-europe-by-2019/

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    6. Their CEO announced it. If you had read the actual article and not just the headline you would have known that.

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  25. "is looking to serve Eastern Europe by 2019" ... what is definite about that?

    Then the article goes on to talk about Korean Air's summer charters to ZAG.

    If I had a ₩on for every "airline X is looking at flying to Y" I could buy a Gangnam penthouse ㅋㅋ

    Lets talk again when the Jin Air website is actually selling tickets to BEG.

    ZAG maybe (because of the heavy existing tourist flow), BEG just doesn't stack up at this point in time, its not realistic just yet.

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