Royal Air Maroc plans Belgrade service


Royal Air Maroc plans to launch operations to Belgrade within the next six months. Talks over the new service began last year, however, negotiations over the introduction of flights to the Serbian capital are now in their final stages, with the Moroccan Embassy in Belgrade playing an instrumental role. The Moroccan Ambassador to Serbia, Mohammed Amine Belhaj, confirmed that the kingdom's national carrier plans to introduce flights between Casablanca and the Serbian capital in 2018. "The new flights will certainly increase the number of Serbian tourists visiting Morocco and vice versa. In addition to the launch of this service, we are exploring the possibility of charter flights with Serbian tour operators. There is demand from both sides", Mr Belhaj said.

Serbia and Morocco signed a revised Air Service Agreement last September, updating the pact which regulates air traffic between the two nations for the first time since 1964. Both sides have called on the private sector and tourism professionals to explore all opportunities for cooperation and have agreed for the development of an expanded cooperation programme in the tourism sector. The Moroccan Prime Minister noted, "The recently signed bilateral air agreement and the discussions on visa exemption for ordinary passport holders will develop tourism ties between the two countries". Currently, Belgrade Airport is served only by two African carriers on a year-round basis, with Tunis Air maintaining services from Tunis and Air Cairo from Hurghada.

There have never been nonstop services between Belgrade and any point in Morocco. The north African nation had strained relations with the former Yugoslavia due to the latter's recognition of the breakaway territory of Western Sahara (Sahrawi Republic) as an independent state. However, Serbia reversed the recognition in 2004. Last year, Air Serbia said it saw potential in North Africa as a possible market in the future, noting that it is home to destinations that are within a two-and-a-half hour radius from Belgrade, which could be served by the Airbus A320neo aircraft. On the other hand, Royal Air Maroc boasts a fleet of 56 aircraft and an extensive domestic and international network. It has a broad codeshare agreement in place with Air Serbia's part-owner Etihad Airways.

Comments

  1. That would make it the 5th new airline in Belgrade this year.

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  2. Good news! I was afraid they gave up on their plans.

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  3. Wonder what the frequencies could be.

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    1. And the aircraft type

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    2. Embraer or B737

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    3. Maybe one day they will send their Dreamliner. <3

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  4. They could actually get transit passengers to points in Africa, Brazil and the US!

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    1. I don't understand who flies between Morroco and Brazil?

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    2. *morocco, sorry

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    3. Many people travel on numerous routes for various reasons. That is why connectivity is so important. I am sure there is a number of ties between Morocco and Brazil - both big countries.

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  5. Do they fly anywhere in Eastern Europe. Budapest?

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    1. In Europe they fly Brussels, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and a whole lot of cities in France, Spain, UK and Italy,

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    2. Basically Moroccan diaspora centres.

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    3. Moscow as well, codeshared with SU

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  6. But is there enough demand?

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    1. They obviously seem to think so.

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    2. No need for visas would encourage many Moroccans to come to Belgrade.
      Maybe even stay for long and continue on to the EU country of their choosing. ;)

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    3. There is demand during summer season plus opening of the new route always creates some additional demand.

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    4. If there is enough demand for Tunis year round and keeping in mind the state of the country, then I assume Morocco can work too.

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    5. Exactly and flights were never suspended even during the height of the crisis.

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    6. But there are much longer and stroger ties between Tunisa and Serbia than between Serbia and Morocco.

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    7. Well Serbia has to start somewhere with Morocco. Ties with Tunis didn't come out of nowhere, they are a result of long and prosperous relationship between the two countries.

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  7. If they plan to start flights in the next 6 months it means they pla to operate year round.

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  8. Do Serbians need a visa for Morocco?

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    1. Yes, but it is a simple process to get one.

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    2. They should at least introduce visa on arrival.

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  9. Have Serbia and Morocco abolished visas?

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    1. In the article it says:
      The Moroccan Prime Minister noted, "The recently signed bilateral air agreement and the discussions on visa exemption for ordinary passport holders will develop tourism ties between the two countries".

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  10. Another potential market lost for JU.

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    1. Hopefully they will be smart enough to conclude a code share agreement.

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    2. They had trouble sustaining flights to Istanbul, let alone Morocco.

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    3. More and more airlines coming to BEG, more and more competition for Air Serbia. They better start growing soon or they will be squeezed out of many markets.

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    4. Anon @9:51 Morocco and Istanbul can't be compared at all. Competition in Istanbul was Turkish Airlines one of the biggest airlines in the world. AirSerbia on that route mostly carried point to point passengers and after all those terrorist attacks and attempted coup in Turkey there was no enough demand. It's big question would JU stop flying on Istanbul route if they haven't had alternative in cooperation with Atlas Global.

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  11. This is great news as it shows Belgrade's true potential as a regional hub. This route will be popular with passengers from Croatia, Bosnia, Romania, Hungary ...

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    1. Please do not start regional hub thread :)))

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    2. Passengers from Croatia, at least its northwestern and richer part, have already plentiful LCC plus RAM options from Venice to Morroco, plus Croatia flies charter to Marakesh on Saturdays, plus RAM is one of the worst airlines I ever flew with, so I doubt there would be lot of demand from Croatia. Maybe few tourists from Slavonija and that's it

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    3. Why do you say that? You know how often I've seen groups of about 20 Croats on my flights to Larnaca? (Wizz Air)

      I don't see why this would be any different especially if the price is right.

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    4. Are there any flights from VCE to LCA? If not the closest options are BEG or VIE.

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    5. @Nemjee
      1.Much less or none LCC options to LCA from VCE
      2.No OU charters to LCA
      3.Heading 400 km eastwards to fly back to the West, and you can go 200 km in "right direction"
      4.One of the worst airlines I ever flown
      Hope enough. Brgd

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    6. Well, both BUD and BTS have lowcost flights to LCA/PFO and are closer to ZAG than BEG is yet large groups come here to fly.

      Furthermore, I don't think many mind going east to fly west. Look at how many Croats fly on JU to JFK. If the price is right then there shouldn't be any problem.

      Many lowcost carriers are horrible yet people keep on flying them as long as they are affordable and cheap.

      By the way, CMN-VCE is operated by 2 airlines having a total of 5 weekly flights. RAM has 3 while Air Arabia Morocco has 2.

      I don't know if you've ever flown on Air Arabia but they are much worse than RAM. VCE's offer isn't that great which works in BEG's favour.

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    7. My mistake to write VCE instead Venice, which includes Treviso with Ryanair Morocco flights. Also you compare apples and pears comparing euromed and long-haul destinations, and ones operated with feeding flights of the same operator or without. Also speaking of BUD and BTS, true that ZAG is quite close but HR is not only ZAG and nobody from RJK or Istra would go that far to fly what you speak of. And for the end I don't intend to continue with this discussion - I gave firm reasons why I think there would be very few passengers on this flights, when and if they start. And the future will show who was right, you or me. Ciao!

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    8. And yet you gave theories while I gave you firm and concrete examples of how Croats are already flying out of BEG to various destinations. So there is nothing to wait and see, we are already there.

      It's your choice to believe it or not. To me it seems as if there is some shame in flying out of BEG.

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    9. very few pax from Croatia

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    10. I flew personaly from BEG to IST on Pegasus and to Perth on Etihad. This has nothing to do with me liking or not liking BEG, or with any kind of "shame" about anything. I responded again with facts to your facts, and now when you don't have any more facts, you are applying old very well known tactics to call out any one who has opinion different from yours to have something against BEG and Serbia, which is, at least in my case, not true. And now I will definitely not reply any more Cheers!

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    11. You are right, I am not presenting any additional arguments because I really have none. Like I said, many Croats already fly from BEG to various destinations and if the price is right they will fly to Morocco as well.

      I agree with you, I think it's better you stop replying as your posts have started to make little sense.

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  12. Algeria should be next as there are growing business links between our two countries. More and more Serbian companies are entering their market.

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    1. Due to the growing business yes but unfortunately tourism is not so developed in Algeria like in Egypt, Tunis or Morocco.

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  13. Great score for BEG! I was on their website and it seems their list of destinations is rather limited in this part of Europe. They don't fly to any popular destinations in this area Vienna, Budapest, Split, Athens, Bucharest ... yet they chose Belgrade.

    BEG is finally starting to shine.

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    1. No flights to Vienna? That is strange.

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    2. No, none. Austrian Airlines has charter flights to Marrakesh but that's about it.

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    3. RAM probably needs a regional center for their 'collection of tourists' heading to Morocco. BEG is conveniently located on top of there being great interest among local population.

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    4. This could (again) only work because of the planned visa free regime for Moroccans. EU is quite restrictive as a very noticeable number of terrorists are originating from Morocco and African refugees gather in Morocco to emigrate into EU. In my opinion Serbia should be careful on this one.

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    5. Lol of course. I was just waiting for "This is a refugee route". Jeez, they fly to 7 cities in France alone, 5 in Italy, 4 in Spain.

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    6. Yet most terrorist attacks in the UK were committed by British nationals. Maybe it's time for Serbia to introduce visas for the Brits?

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    7. They held British nationality but they were actually Africans and Asians.

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    8. Stop polluting this aviation site with nonsense.

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    9. Yeah, but France and such nations have visas for Morocco. With a visa free regime anyone can come with no screening...

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    10. How many times do you have to be told that both Morocco and Serbia require visas for each other?

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    11. BEG is the most conveniently placed airport where every Moroccan "tourist" can arrive by air without visa and then continue by land westwards (illegally of course). At any EU airport (...RAM is flying to) they can't enter EU illegally. It's just common sense.

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    12. ^ What on earth are you talking about? Moroccans require visas to enter Serbia. Inform yourself before posting bs.

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    13. Did you not read above? It is planned to abolish those visas!
      You better inform yourself first!

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    14. It is planned but it has not happened yet, inform yourself first.

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  14. It would be strange if they start BEG before BUD, OTP or SOF considering that all of these cities have year-around charters to Morocco + sum of them already have flights to Agadir or other Moroccan cities.

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    1. Belgrade got year-round flights to China, the US, Lebanon or Iran before they did. Why wouldn't we get Morocco as well?

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    2. BEG is becoming a bit like a Balkan KUL - interesting collection of exotic airlines.

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    3. Interesting comparison, why KUL though? I've never been so I am asking. :)

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    4. BEG leader of Balkana!

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    5. I think the much stranger thing here is EK starting ZAG before much of those listed cities. That's the real elephant in the room, litterally.

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    6. Even if it was the elephant in the room, it is not anymore as the flight has been a success for quite a while.

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    7. Well EK is generally subsidized by Dubai so ...

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    8. ... so ... that is your argument? What ever route by EK you 'don't like' is subsidized? What about OTP, is that subsidized? What, JU & OU do not subsidize? C'mom man you can do better than that.
      Just burned you Jackie.

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    9. I am not that Anon but you didn't burn anyone, your arguments are as lame as the other guy.

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    10. Damn girl!

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  15. Soon BEG will be connected to every country in the Mare Nostrum region:

    Turkey: check
    Syria: soon
    Lebanon: check
    Israel: check
    Cyprus: check
    Libya: error 404 - not found
    Tunis: check
    Malta: check
    Algeria: not yet
    Morocco: check
    Spain: sesonally
    France: check
    Italia: check
    Slovenia: check
    Croatia: check
    Bosnia: check
    Montenegro: check
    Greece: check
    Albania: check

    Not bad at all.

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    1. Relatively good coverage.

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    2. Egypt could definitely have year round flights to Serbia.

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    3. Egypt already does on Air Cairo.

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    4. Are there any news regarding to Damascus?
      According to BEG webpage the flights should start from 01.06.2018, but there is nothing on Charm Wings webpage...

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  16. While it's nice I would have preferred an LCC to fly this route. Morocco has liberalized its sky to EU airlines so it has been flooded by LCCs.

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    1. LCCs are not cheap when they have a monopoly on a certain market.

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    2. Don't talk nonsens please. I flew Ryanair Treviso to Morroco for 90 euro return

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    3. That's not that cheap for a two hours flight.

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    4. First of all it's 3 hours one way, and 90 euro for 6 hours is not cheap, you are right, it's EXTREMELY cheap

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    5. First of all there were 132.728 passengers that flew from MXP to Casablanca last year. Ryanair needs to be cheap so as to force people to fly out of the hut called Treviso.

      RAM and Jetairfly fly out of MXP.

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    6. Sorry if I hurt your feelings by telling facts, and sorry again that I, being from Rijeka choose the "hut called Treviso" which I reach by car in 2 hours and live the car on Parking there for 5 euro per day. But if it will make you happy, next time I promise I would fly out of MXP , drive longer and have bigger costs, in order to prove you are right

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    7. Rijeka is a tiny place, very few airports/airlines are after your market. Those that matter are Purgeri which best shows by the amount of year-round flights at the airport.

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    8. Very nice to talk to you because you stick firmly to the topic - also interesting to find out that "LCCs are not cheap" became Zagreb is important Rijeka not. Also I will share with friends your knowledge that "only few airports are after rjk market". And after all these BS I really don't think I have counterpart to talk to any more. Ciao!

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    9. Treviso is not substitute for Malpensa. It is alternative for Venice.

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    10. Actually I've flew Bergamo to Morocco for 17 EUR and the way back was 25 EUR which makes it - 42 EUR the return ticket ;)

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    11. I've never flown out of Bergamo, no need when there are plenty of options out of Zagreb.

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  17. Nice. The more airlines the better.

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  18. Out of the box. Nice addition.

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  19. This is going to be a good winter season at BEG:

    1. extra 7 weekly flights on easyJet
    2. LO increasing BEG to 10
    3. RO increasing BEG to 9
    4. Transavia having 5 in stead of 3 flights
    5. RAM introducing flights

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    1. But JFK decreased to 2pw

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    2. Only for a month then it goes back to 3 but anyway we are getting YYZ on JU so wouldn't you say that's a good compensation. )))

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  20. Well I read here a few months ago that the Ministry in charge of Transport in Serbia said one of their aims was to have flights to Morocco and here we go :)

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  21. Azerbaijan should be next.

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    1. Ukraine and Georgia have much better potential.

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    2. Political ties between Serbia and Ukraine are not that good.

      Azerbaijan companies are hired on infrastructural project(s) in Serbia and visa regime lifting is expected so therefore Azerbaijan looks at the moment like more realistic option

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  22. Anyone flown with RAM?

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    1. Avoid, avoid, avoid. Dirty planes, rude staff, delays, never again

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    2. Wizz is also dirty but people fly them.

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    3. Several times, from Europe always from Venice to Casablanca. Several times also on their domestic flights. Last time in April also from Casablanca to Praia. I quite like them: they are like European airlines two decades ago. Full service, good food, nice polite service. Casablanca airport is another story. A total mess of an airport. Would bi great if Marrakesh could be their hub :)

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  23. The Serbian government has been quite proactive in the aviation sector and has actually managed to bring quite a few airlines.

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  24. Cancel visas first.

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    1. Do you know that a large chunk of Moroccans are claiming asylum in Germany and co?

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    2. So are we aswell, so?

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    3. What does co mean?

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    4. Co mean company in the sense Germany and others.

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  25. I have no doubt that tour operators will add the Morocco in their programs as soon as this route launches,

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  26. I am still wondering if Mahan will be able to fly to BEG following US sanction announcement: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm0395
    Anyone with an idea?

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    1. If they don't fly to Belgrade based on those sanctios, they won't be able to fly anywhere else in the world either.

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  27. First of all congratulations to BEG! Even before Vinci took over the airport many new airlines started or announced it would be done. Starting from beginning of next year it is expected many new airlines to come!

    There is no doubt that lifting visa regime would surely encourage people from Morocco to visit Serbia, but it is more expected that Morocco will become new Tunis or Egypt for Serbian travellers.

    From the other side RAM, although not high class airline, has developed network of destinations particularly in western and south western Africa that would provide to the passengers from BEG and surrounding countries more choice and opportunities for travelling in that part of the world.

    By the way Moscow is their only east European destination...but not for a long time!

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    1. Vlaisavljevic today said "We expect many surprises from 30 airlines but especially from Air Serbia"

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    2. What more surprises could there be? I mean from other airlines besides JU.

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    3. How 'bout a link to that?

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    4. Google is your friend.

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    5. What about you?

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    6. I am not friends with Google, it's mean.

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  28. Hahahahah i flew Treviso - Marrakesh for 50€ rt! DIRTY CHEAP!

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    1. You should have flown on JP via FRA. I think you are classier than Ryanair.

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  29. There are so mean bitter people on here, I guess they are really bothered by BEG getting this nice and exotic link to charming Morocco.

    Congrats to Belgrade.

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    1. What are you talking about? Don't be paranoid. Chill it dawg.

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    2. How am I being paranoid when there are people above saying how this will be some sort of an immigrant express?

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  30. It's surprising to see so much anti-immigrant sentiment here, considering how many of ex-Yugoslavs are immigrants.
    The illegals, or potential terrorists arriving on planes is such a corny, long debunked argument. The screening on flights nowadays is so thorough, and Serbia is no exception, especially as a future EU member. Even the Netherlands where Moroccans are a hotly debated topic has flights to Morocco.
    They should gather as many flights such as this one or the one from Iran as possible, before officially acceding to the EU.

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    Replies
    1. Hypocrisy much, right...

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    2. @ Michael, true dat.

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  31. Hope they offer connections to places like Portugal, Brazil and Nigeria.

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