Serbia and Canada to re-establish flights


Serbia and Canada plan to resume nonstop flights in the near future after the two countries signed a bilateral Air Service Agreement on Monday, almost twelve years after the deal was initially drafted. The Serbian Foreign Minister, Ivica Dačić, noted, "The agreement will pave way for negotiations to start between Air Serbia and Air Canada. Their representatives have to determine how many flights there should be and what would be the most profitable solution. However, there is no doubt that the introduction of nonstop flights to Canada would be extremely important for our citizens and country". The Serbian Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlović, said the government was anticipating the introduction of flights to Canada this year. "We are talking to and working with Canada to try and secure nonstop services", she said.

Transport Canada, which regulates aviation matters in the country, has told EX-YU Aviation News that the initial Air Service Agreement between the two countries was drafted back in December 2006 but has only come into effect with its signing several days ago. It noted that the deal was only provisionally applied over the past decade and has now been updated. Air Serbia and Air Canada have been designated by each country as their operating carrier, while the routes and associated rights remain confidential. "We would really like for flights to commence and we are certain Canadian Serbs would want it too as they have fond memories of JAT's nonstop service", the Canadian Embassy in Belgrade said.

Toronto's Pearson Airport confirmed earlier this year that it held talks with Air Serbia over the resumption of flights between Belgrade and Canada's largest city. A spokesman for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Robin Smith, said, "At this time, Air Serbia's service will not be starting this summer, but we will continue to work with Air Serbia to find an opportunity to add Toronto Pearson as one of their newest travel destinations". Mr Smith added, "We will make an announcement in cooperation with Air Serbia if there is any future development of service to Toronto Pearson". The Serbian government said last November that Air Serbia was considering Toronto as its second long haul route after New York. At the time, it noted that preparations for the new service were underway and in the advanced planning stages, however, it emphasised that there was still a lot of work to be done concerning the Air Service Agreement, which has since been dealt with.

Air Serbia itself has noted, "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. It is a complex project which takes several months and does not depend solely on us, but also on regulatory authorities since all procedures must be harmonised with the laws and regulations of the country we fly to". Flights between Serbia and Canada were last operated a decade ago by leisure carrier Skyservice, which has since gone bankrupt. During the 1970s and 1980s, JAT Yugoslav Airlines maintained services from Belgrade to Toronto and Montreal.

Comments

  1. JU should launch 3 weekly in summer season, and 2 weekly in winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they should lose even more millions they don't have.

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    2. I'm sure you know everything about airline finances.

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    3. I'm sure you are one of the few remaining cheerleaders that still believe JFK route is not a financial black hole

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    4. It is..but who cares..it carries the name to the world and the taxpayer pays..it is ok. Just for the fame.

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    5. Some get additional long haul routes some are jelly over the first one still, that's life.

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    6. Options for JU
      1. Get rid of A330 and reduce losses - the best
      2. Better utilise one existing plane with split schedule between JFK and YYZ
      3. Get additional aircraft for the second route - unfortunately government will probably go for this one

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  2. It all sounds like Air Serbia will be starting the flights, but we will see. Can Air Serbia make NYC and Toronto work with 1 plane?

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    Replies
    1. In winter, yes.

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    2. In winter yes, in summer no.

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    3. They'll probably fly with one plane and then get the second in spring.

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  3. Interestingly Air Serbia has scheduled JFK at only 2 per week this winter. Making space for YYZ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you think we might see them start YYZ this winter? Starting a new route in the low season doesn't make too much sense.

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    2. Previous winter JFK was on 2 pw after Christmas holidays (until March)

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    3. Having a leased plane sit on tarmac for 5 days a week is just crazy.

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  4. It took them 12 years to sign the agreement!!! Bloody hell.

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    Replies
    1. They took their time :D

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  5. I think JU is starting these flights. Not surprising then how Vinci was saying they will support JU's long haul expansion and Vlaisavljevic was saying how JU will be making an important announcement this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Makes sense but in that case I doubt it will launch before summer 2019.

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  6. Fantastic, especially if it's year round.

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  7. Lift up visas please... Canada visa processing in Vienna complicates everything...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not until Serbia joins the EU.

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    2. So that is a no then. The flight will have to rely on Canadian based traffic.

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    3. Serbs need visas to the US too but flights to New York are up to 6 per week and loads are good.

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    4. Croatia did not have visa even when it was not in EU.

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    5. So? There's plenty of countries Serbs can go to visa free, that Croats can't. I don't see that as some sort of a measure for anything. The visa free regime was discussed during Dacic's last trip to Ottawa a few month ago. It's in the pipeline. Along with some fresh South American waivers.

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    6. Yes but you need to have esta

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    7. I think he was just implying that you don't have to be an EU member, as anon 9.12 said, to have a visa free regime with Canada.

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    8. As Schengen area example has demonstrated visas for Serbian citizens should be lifted for all major countries.

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  8. Which combination do people use the most at the moment to fly from BEG-YYZ and back?

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    Replies
    1. A lot of people go via Amsterdam and Stockholm.

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    2. Also AC has a codeshare with Lufthansa from Frankfurt.

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    3. Munich and Frankfurt.

      AC 9166/9167
      AC 9334/9335

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    4. Anon 09.15

      You mean Copenhagen, not Stockholm.

      I think number one is Lufthansa via MUC/FRA.

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    5. LH is way too expensive. By far the best deals are available via tourist agencies selling AC/JU. Sometimes out/in legs of the trip go via different airports such as CPH, ZRH, LHR, PRG. Those deals are not available online and are far better than LH ones.

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    6. Since 2014 Ju has a really good interline with AC. Most Serbs I know that live arround Toronto use it because it's the cheapest, has lots of connecting options, free stopover and two free checked bags. The price remained the same, around CAD 1100 in high season. They offer many connections points like Rome, Paris, London, Copenhagen; even Athens is possible.

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    7. @SM and anon 11:16
      Thanks. Great info!

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    8. This summer prices from YYZ to BEG are "paprene"

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    9. 2-3 weeks ago I bought one for $1080 through one of our travel agents. She told me that there is still open dates for this price but mostly midweek

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  9. I agree, YYZ would do well even up to 4 flights a week summer time
    AC is looking to deploy a dreamliner for 2 rotations somewhere in central/eastern Europe ( beside Poland) and might be a good opportunity to do so with BEG. Also AS should do up to 2x a week to YYZ and ones a week YUL.

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  10. The major issue with YYZ from BEG is seasonality, which is much greater than on US routes,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not Really, statistic is showing 42% increase for Canadians travelling to Serbia over winter time in the last 2 years. It use to be low but not anymore.. good numbers year round

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    2. And this 42% is 200 or 220 passengers per month?

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    3. Yields to YYZ could probably be better than to JFK.

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  11. I like the engagement on finishing the inter-state agreement. What I don't like is to push a state-owned company in this service. Let the market close this gap.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think Air Serbia is being pushed. In 2016 Hogan said Toronto would be launched in two to three years. It has been in their plans for a while.

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    2. The agreement is only for airSerbia and airCanada. It's sad that they couldn't manage an open sky deal :(

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    3. They could, but they did not want it.

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  12. Not Really, statistic is showing 42% increase for Canadians travelling to Serbia over winter time in the last 2 years. It use to be low but not anymore.. good numbers year round

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  13. I hope this materializes. It would be fantastic to be linked with Canada in addition to USA and China.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree and it looks like the second China route will be announced in September when Xi Jinping visits Belgrade again.

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    2. I assume we're talking about Shanghai, as a direct route?

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    3. There are some rumors that it might be some other city. Ok, whole "second route to China" story is a rumor, but anyway... :)

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    4. I would not say it's a rumour since the Chinese ambassador himself said in February that they are talking to an airline aboutnthe second route and he even confirmed it is Shanghai.

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    5. Well, it's a rumor until officiall announcement...

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  14. Good news. I hope some serious discussions start now that the agreement is signed. It will benefit the Serbian diaspora.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My guess is Air Serbia may consider launching Toronto around Christmas and try to get a second long haul plane by the summer of 2019.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be the best case scenario. Let's wait and see.

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    2. In that case with a second A330 they would probably introduce a third long haul destination as well?

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    3. Or they could start Belgrade-Chicago-Toronto.

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    4. Triangle route?

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  16. So soon we will have:

    BEG-PEK
    BEG-PVG
    BEG-JFK
    BEG-YYZ

    Not bad, not bad at all.

    This is what BEG CEO was talking about the other day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's just the start, India, Japan and South Korea coming right after. It's going to be fun few years for BEG!

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    2. Vinci did say they want BEG to be their hub for this part of Europe.

      Given the developments it seems like we are about to see some rivalry between BEG and BUD for the Pannonian plain.

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  17. Why not. This would make absolute sense.

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  18. With one A330 that will be suicide. You can not shrink JFK in summer to less than 5 pw and that leave space for YYZ for just 1 pw what is stupid.

    Only option is that Air Serbia opens 3 pw in winter to JFK and 2 pw to YYZ, in April and May 3 pw to JFK and 3 pw to YYZ, and than lease second A330 with 6 pw to JFK, 3 pw to YYZ and 3 pw to ORD. In winter it can be again 3 pw to JFK and 3 pw to YYZ (or 2 pw to YYZ and 1 pw to ORD) with 2nd plane for charter with staying in destinations with tourists (on that way you can change location every few rotations, for example 5 times to Varadero, 5 times to Dominican R, 5 times to Seychelles, 2 times to Bali...).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shame JU never in this years tried to work on developing land hoult charters. It requires a lot of work with agencies but is doable.

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  19. I wonder if they will fly it only seasonal or year round?

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    Replies
    1. Year round for sure.

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    2. Seasonal. Only during the winter :-)

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  20. They will need to put tickets on sale soon if they want to start during winter 2018/19.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. maybe they will..
      there will be room...
      https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/278787/air-serbia-4q18-new-york-frequency-changes/

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    2. There is no room because that reduction is only a month long.

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  21. An upcoming oil crisis will wipe out most small airlines in Europe including JU, OU, JP, YM....i am not even sure for LO and TK. TK faces competition from MEB3 that get free fuel from their respective government. LO is too close to Germany and Russia to succeed. If oil goes over $100 a barrel and remains there for 2 years, small airlines will die off

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And what government will allow for JU to go bankrupt? If they need more cash they'll get it from the national budget.

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    2. 5 years ago oil was over $100 a barrel. All the airlines will do is add a fuel levy like they did the world over last time. Turned out to be very profitable for them as many kept the levy long after the oil price stabalised at 'normal levels'.

      In saying that, doubt we will get oil over $80 a barrel. There are too many explorers in the US (mainly Alaska) who are about to come online or are just waiting for oil at $70 per barrel to come back online which they are doing now. This just floods the world with extra oil and forces the price down again. This year, oil will get to $80 a barrel but wont stay there long.

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    3. Turkish? Com'on man, TK will never go bankrupt.

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  22. Somehow I don't see the Canadians just handing over the market to the Serbs.

    Maybe both Air Serbia and Rouge will launch flights, two flights each?

    However it would be suicide if Rouge had to compete with JU's A330 which has good legroom (32'), decent comfort and a complimentary service onboard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe Air Canada will just codeshare on the JU route.

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    2. A codeshare with Air Canada would be very beneficial and would guarantee more passengers.

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    3. If they get to code-share then they could cover all of North America through Toronto. It would be a major win-win situation.

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    4. NO way they could codeshare....AC has antitrust immunty with the SA Carriers on the NA Market.

      Delete
  23. I actually think Toronto will perform better than NY.

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    Replies
    1. Me too. Much bigger diaspora.

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    2. Agreed. NY is for political show, Toronto has true potential.

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  24. Cool. Good luck Air Serbia :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. They would rely on transfer passengers here, particularly from Bulgaria and Romania.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rouge is launching Bucharest this summer.

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    2. They could get quite a lot of feed from is Macedonia.

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    3. Albania too! Thessaloniki as well.

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    4. Thessaloniki, Tirana, Montenegro, Sofia, Skopje, possibly SJJ and one day PRN. If they go year round also ATH and Bucharest. On the other side, possible interline with Air Canada for links to places like Vancouver and Montreal. If Air Canada doesn't want it, Air Serbia would have to find another interline partner like they found JetBlue at JFK.

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    5. Westjet please. <3

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    6. It would be nice but WestJet is big on their long haul plans but you never know. it would be great though since WS is basically like AC as far as domestic or even NA market

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    7. Probably not, the Serbian community in Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener are large enough to sustain these flights from these people alone. Ofc there will be transfer passengers too but they won't be relying on them as much as they are with BEG-JFK...

      Delete
    8. Well, BEG-JFK is the single largest north American market. Larger than even Chicago or Toronto. That said, there is less competition to ORD and YYZ so yields should be healthier.

      BEG has a lot of demand for MIA and LAX as well. If they could get access to these markets as well it would be great.

      Delete
  26. Great so we can expect a second A330 :)

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    Replies
    1. It has to be a different plane for that distance.

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    2. Sorry, it doesn't have to be a different plane for that distance. Considering utilization of the one current one.

      Delete
  27. Why is it that only Air Canada Rouge is launching flights in this area. Is there a chance that Air Canada itself launches Belgrade?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because all these markets are low yielding.

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    2. Belgrade is all about doing business.

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  28. Etihad could have flown AUH-BEG-YYZ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look up at the massive dispute between Canada and the UAE on flying rights. No chance Canada would ever allow it.

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    2. Canadian authorities maybe allow this, but Turopean ones will never let it happen.

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    3. Which European authority has any sort of jurisdiction in this case except for the Serbian one?

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    4. None. It's between Serbia and Canada.

      Delete
  29. Good news for ASL.

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  30. I think this was the best May in the history of Serbian aviation. :D

    ReplyDelete
  31. The Canada-Serbia route will most likely be operated with a lower cost version such as AC Rouge or Air Transat. JU does not have the possibility now as they are focusing on their business model in Europe and rest of the short haul destinations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What does this mean
      "Air Serbia and Air Canada have been designated by each country as their operating carrier, while the routes and associated rights remain confidential".
      Air Transat can't fly YYZ-BEG?

      Delete
    2. Upravo to.

      Delete
    3. Yes, exactly.
      We need open skies agreement like EU countries have so that any airline is allowed to fly

      Delete
    4. Yes, a designated carrier means that only those chosen by their government are allowed to fly. Air Transat can launch flights only with special permit from both governments.

      This was the same as with Israel and Russia until Serbia signed open sky agreements with them.

      Delete
    5. and most importantly they negotiate PRICES!

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    6. Does that mean that only 1 route by only 1 airline can be operated or any airport in Canada or any other Serbian airport?

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    7. Designated companies, one from each country, can operate flights between airports in two countries.

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    8. JU from BEG and Rouge from INI. lol

      Delete
    9. Rouge in INI :)))

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  32. BEG's catchment area will greatly help fill these seats.

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  33. Air Serbia has been talking about launching Toronto for some time now and its obvious that they have been held back by the woes at Etihad. If these flights are announced by Air Serbia than we might have our answer regarding the future of the Air Serbia/Etihad partnership.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the partnership is pretty secured. Etihad twice so far increased flights to BEG and Etihad Cargo boosted Belgrade from one to two weekly flights.

      I think Qatar gave up on increasing BEG though. Maybe they didn't get the permit which is a shame.

      Delete
    2. If visas are abolished for Serbians, you will see a sharp increase in flights to DOH.

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    3. Not really, as demand to Doha is very low. With or without visa. It is not Dubai like, and wont be for at least couple of years to come. If QR increases it BEG ops, it will be because of opportunity to sell some other destinations, not Doha bound traffic as any trigger.
      Same is in Zagreb which doesn't see double daily because of Doha (and visas were abolished some time ago), Doha simply isn't a destination that has relevant appeal to mass leisure travelers, only business ones.

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    4. Our diaspora is growing in Doha as well?

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    5. Yes it is but few of them fly on Qatar which charges €700 for a return flight.

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    6. That is crazy! I heard of that. So people mostly use Turkish?

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    7. I fly regularly Belgrade-Doha. QR is actually closer to 800 euros than 700. Turkish charges around 450. Sometimes I fly the on, sometime the other. The only issue with TK are the tight connections, especially on the Doha-Istanbul sector (1 hour transfer via Ataturk). But I have to say I have not noticed many Serbian passengers using this connection and I fly once per month.

      Delete
  34. Alpha Six posted a pretty phenomenal video of Aeroflot A333 landing at BEG and parking next to a TK A333 while a SU B738 is being pushed back.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lWzcg08724&feature=youtu.be

    ReplyDelete
  35. Can an A321LR fly from YYZ to BEG? I don't think so... but just asking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, they can't. I think it can barely reach BOS from BUD.

      Delete
    2. Alen Šćuric Purger24 May 2018 at 14:19

      No! It can not even fly ZAG-YYZ. Nearest airport A321LR can reach YYZ is Pula.

      Delete
    3. @Alen Šćuric PurgerMay 24, 2018 at 2:19 PM

      Stop that!!

      You're talking nonsense, A321LR NEO can reach Zagreb, and it can even reach Tula and Split.

      The guided range is 4245 NM, with 60 min reserve, that is nearly 7900km.

      Delete
    4. I found the range is up to 4000 NM

      http://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-releases/en/2018/01/first-a321lr-takes-to-the-skies-for-its-maiden-flight.html

      Delete
    5. @Nebojsa PopovicMay 24, 2018 at 4:08 PM

      No, this was like estimated range, the actual range is ~4250 NM, nearly 8000km, they did test flight, with simulated pax of 206 from Seychelles to Toulouse, 4108NM flight (4750NM equivalence due to wind).

      It was a big story few months ago, as Boeing is pitching B797 with similar specs, and Airbus already has A321 LR NEO ready.

      The range of A3421 was only estimated before any test were done.

      http://atwonline.com/airframes/airbus-a321lr-flies-longest-flight-seychelles-toulouse-route

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DZigYvjWkAAKALf.jpg

      Delete
    6. To add, if Croatian Airlines were to order two A321 LR NEO, on top of 4 A320 NEO, use the two A4321 LR on service to New York and Toronto, year round, the aircraft would be perfectly suited for the route. Zagreb- NYC - 6900km,

      A321-LR NEO - 7900km range configured for 196 pax, 16 Business and 180 Economy.

      With 176 seats, ideal configuration, would allow A321 LR, 8000km range.

      So out of Zagreb, OU could fly to Toronto, NYC, Boston and Montreal.

      And I bet Airbus will optimize A321 NEO LR for even greater range, perhaps 4500NM with standard 206 pax.

      Delete
    7. Thats all gtatg guys....but have you been on a long haul 200+ pax flight in a narrow body airliner?? I wouldn't want to be in one for more than 5hrs...even that is too much. Barrow bodies were designed for short to meduim haul flights not so long ago... now they are pushing this idea that they can replace wide bodies....and you know that people will pay for less regardless of the final product they get. Air Transat packs their 330 to Europe like sardines and everyone that I know who flew them said "never again"...jet Transat is the launch customer for A321LR for North America.... WestJet already does Hawaii and UK with their B737NG and Air Canada is already talking about using their new 737Max on European flights....oh brother! Lol

      Delete
    8. At Anonymous 5:04

      Have you seen some of FlyDubai's 737Max flights?

      Delete
    9. Q400 they might have some longer flights but at least they were reasonable enough to suspend BKK. That seems to have been the straw that broke the camel's back.

      I think six hour flights are their maximum right now.

      Delete
    10. Didn't know they suspend BKK. My only argument against these types of flight would be the very slim margins (if any). I would argue that it would be hard to make them profitable.

      Delete
    11. @AnonymousMay 25, 2018 at 5:04 AM

      I a not saying I would want to be on an A321 LR doing Zagreb - NYC, I am just correcting Alan, who comes across as an expert and what he says must be the truth, his holier than holy attitude has made be irritant and had to respond.

      A421 NEO LR is a direct response to B797 concept, for an mid-range mid-size airliner Boeing is developing.

      Proposed B797 800 would have a range of around 8000-10 000km, max 250 pax in twin class configuration. Cabin would be single isle like A321, slightly wider than A321.

      Airbus, with launch of A321 NEO LR is hoping to grab market currently occupied by B757 customers.

      Delete
  36. Air Serbia will take off in either one of the 2 directions a) to YYZ if AV decides so and is ready to supplement the route from state coffins or b) into bankruptcy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JU didn't go bankrupt when they were under sanctions and couldn't fly anywhere except BEG-TIV via Uzice or when they only had five airworthy planes and had to combine flights and operate triangle routes on major European airports such as BEG-AMS-BRU.

      Delete
    2. Most comments that express concern about AirSerbia's future are actually worried about her success :).

      To them I dedicate the following video:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi9LoaOMz8s

      Especially the part at 2:05 :).

      Delete
    3. Things you can do with lots of money being poured in your company :)

      Delete
  37. If it is JU, then they need to get second longhaul plane. Why would they cancel JFK ( which is performing brilliant, flights for this summer are 80% full) because of a new route? But the problem with it is that they would need to start 3rd longhaul route with second aircraft. (China?) But that is a huge amount of money which they don't have ( unless Vucko doesn't help ). But even if AirCanada (Rouge) starts flying on this route, a codeshare with JU would fill JUs regional flights quite well.

    ReplyDelete
  38. What a rubbish agreement this is, in this new age of open skies and liberalisation we have an ASA that restricts access to direct flights to only two carriers, JU and AC. Shame on the Canadian government for agreeing to this. They're a sufficiently forward thinking country to know better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This only goes to show AC has plans to serve Belgrade. If they didn't then they would have accepted Open Skies.

      Delete
  39. In W18 LO increases BEG from 7 to 10 weekly.

    This is the second increases for the airport as easyJet decided to keep ten weekly frequencies year-round.

    Getting closer to six million.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With ju decreasing flights, I'm not surprised..

      Delete

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