Riyadh - Belgrade service to be launched


Flights between the capital of Saudi Arabia and Belgrade will be introduced in the coming period, marking the first time the two countries have been linked with a nonstop air service. Talks between a Saudi Arabian tour operator, which will have exclusive rights to sell tickets on the route, and airline operators are currently under way with a decision to be made in the coming week. The first service is expected to launch during the Eid al-Adha holiday, which runs between August 21 and 25. The Serbian Embassy in Saudi Arabia is assisting the parties involved with the planned launch. The two countries recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the promotion of tourism and have pledged to work together to encourage people-to-people exchange between the two nations. More details on the planned new service will be revealed next week.

Sarajevo is currently the only city in the former Yugoslavia with nonstop flights to the Kingdom, operated by the Saudi subsidiary of Egypt's Nesma Airlines. Carriers from the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) have significantly boosted their capacity or increased operations to the Serbian capital this summer. Among them, Etihad Airways has added an extra five weekly flights for a total of twelve on its service between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade, while Qatar Airways has boosted capacity and been granted rights for an additional four weekly flights from Doha for a total of eleven. However, the airline is yet to exercise those rights. Furthermore, Egypt Air's subsidiary Air Cairo has increased frequencies from Hurghada from four to five per week, while Egyptian carrier AlMasria Universal Airlines, which runs seasonal services between Hurghada and Belgrade, has upgraded its equipment to the Serbian capital and now maintains flights with a wide-body Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Over the past six months, three Iranian carriers have also launched operations to Belgrade, with two of them now maintaining wide-body operations to the city. Iran Air has upgraded capacity on the route during the peak summer travel period to its twin-aisle Airbus A300 and A310 aircraft, which can seat between 210 and 260 passengers, while Mahan Air has been running its services with a mix of wide-body equipment, deploying a 300-seat Airbus A340-300 jet on its flight today. Further interest from the Middle East to Belgrade was demonstrated earlier this year by Syria's Cham Wings Airlines, which planned to launch a three weekly service from Damascus, however, the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate rejected the carrier's application.

Comments

  1. Nice. Seems like quite a few markets from the Middle East will now be covered from BEG.

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    Replies
    1. True. Lebanon, Israel, UAE, Qatar, Iran and now Saudi Arabia.

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    2. Belgrade has already become the leader of aviation and connectivity in the Balkans.

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    3. No, it is not. In Balkans leaders are Istanbul and Athens. Heraklion, Thessaloniki and Sofia are bigger than Belgrade and Rhodes has almost same number of passengers as Belgrade (missing 40.000). But they are not hubs.

      For sure Ahtens and Istanbul are much bigger hubs than Belgrade in Balkans. It is not comparable.

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    4. Your hate is blinding you from making a difference between connectivity and passenger numbers.

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    5. What ??? You mean to tell me that ATH and IST are not bigger than BEG also in connectivity ? You really must be trolling.

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    6. Not Istanbul but Athens has almost the same offer as Belgrade.

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    7. ''almost''

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    8. OK, same old story. This is exYU forum so we should keep Athens and Istanbul out of the picture :)

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    9. Once again anonymous 11:42 you still comparing ATH with BEG as equal in every way ????!!!! BEG has 15 wide bodies a week , while ATH has 16 to 20 every day and you are still talking ??? Come on get real please .

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    10. Keep Calm and visit Dalmatia5 July 2018 at 18:59

      ATH I believe has four times as many pax as BEG.
      BEG is BEHIND OTP, SOF, SKG, HER and from this year RHO as well. Not to mention IST..
      So no, BEG is no leader of Balkana or anything close to that.

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    11. Less passangers than Rhodes....ahahahaha leaders of the Balkans :)))

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    12. BEG might be behind ATH or IST in more ways than one but no one can say Belgrade's connectivity is bad. The airport is nicely expanding given all the things we've been through.

      Talking of Athens, Scoot will most likely increase SIN-ATH to daily next summer while increasing winter to 3 (or 4, can't remember now). They had a loadfactor of 81.5% while their breakeven on the route is 55%.

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    13. Speaking of RHO, BEG should have A NUMBER of seasonal scheduled flights to the above-mentioned, as well as to Corfu, Preveza, Skiathos and some other greek airports. The demand is huge, more and more people are arrangeing their holhdays themselves, and more and more of them are fed up with Chalkidiki and Northern Greece.

      Yes, I know, Wizz tried and left, but a 100-seater would, as I presume, be a sustainable option

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    14. BEG airport January to end of June 2.463.720 passengers, ATH airport June 2.428.589 passengers , please do compare that anonymous 11:42.

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    15. Anonymous at 9:30 PM
      I agree 100% but JU does not have a 100 seater nor it is getting one any time soon.
      Such a plane would solve many more of JU's problems than just holiday flights.

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    16. Anon 10.53

      I think you are still missing the point of the whole discussion. As someone mentioned earlier, it's not about passenger numbers, it's about the opportunities you offer as an airport.

      By the way, take Iran as an example. Seems like Aegean isn't doing all that great there while BEG-IKA is booming. I think Mahan didn't return with their summer charters this year either.

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  2. This will be like the 5th or 6th new airline that started flights to Belgrade this year?

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    Replies
    1. 5th I think - Iran Air, Mahan Air, Qeshm Airlines, Red Wings

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    2. And there are many more months left to the year.

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  3. Mahan A340-300 woow

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    Replies
    1. Yep. Parked at gate C5. Departing from BEG in about a hour.

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    2. And a nice pic from BEG from the other day

      https://s15.postimg.cc/f60plidkr/Matthias_Moder.png

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    3. Cool. Is that an A310?

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    4. I think it's an A300-600.

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  4. I didn't even know we had an embassy in Saudi Arabia.

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  5. So which airline is a likely candidate for this? Probably not Saudi Arabian but a smaller airline or a charter operator. What was the name of the airline that flies to SJJ?

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    Replies
    1. Says in the article ;)

      Sarajevo is currently the only city in the former Yugoslavia with nonstop flights to the Kingdom, operated by the Saudi subsidiary of Egypt's Nesma Airlines.

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    2. I will never understand why ASL is not involved in these deals. This is great money!

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  6. I presume these will operate on a similar basis as the Sarajevo flights.

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  7. So soon BEG will have people partying together from Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia?

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    Replies
    1. Haha crazy

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    2. Why not? We are open and inclusive city :)

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  8. Wonder who’ll do the route? I’m thinking Newmarket or flynas.

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  9. Interesting development. Would not have though there would be flights from KSA to BEG.

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    Replies
    1. ** thought sorry

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    2. Ko ce inace da kupuje Beograd na vodi.

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    3. i would not be surprised to see a handful of middle class Saudis buying apartments in Belgrade waterfront project. It is being developed to their taste and style. Direct flight might just contribute to that.

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  10. So these are expected to launch in just over a month and a half?

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  11. Serbia wins again!

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    Replies
    1. In securing new and exciting flights. Duh.

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    2. Yeah, I don't think there is a battle on that field. Duh.

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    3. Frishki, relax a bit. You don't have to be so jealous whenever there are postive news about BEG and JU. Chill...

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    4. Oh my, the classic jealous/envy accusation post. What am I supposed to be jealous of?

      Also, did I mention anything bad about BEG now or ever? If I did, please, link it.

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    5. Of course there is a battle as all airports try to attract as many carriers as possible.
      Soon Belgrade will have more flights to the middle east than Athens. You still think that's not a win?

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    6. Oh, I absolutely love those predicting posts. Vučić, is that you?

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    7. frishki why this jealousy? where are you from?

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    8. Here we go again. Why would I be jealous? I'm just amazed by this "we're the best" cheer from some users, no matter where they're from.

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    9. All the time we read "bravo Hrvatska" and similar cheerposting and its ignored almost always.

      But similar low-effort troll comments on Serbian topics can't go a moment without Frishki furiously replying and arguing.

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    10. Guys why don't you just focus on the news?

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    11. First of all, no one takes serious the "Bravo Hrvatska/Srbija/Whatever" troll guy, since he is, well - a troll.

      Second of all, some of you have really a selective memory and remember and point out only the things that suits you, like this one. I've reacted the same on bunch of other posts, including from Croatian fanboys.

      And thirdly, there's nothing "furiously" about my comments. Did I use any profanities?

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    12. You may write different but i can almost read your hate towards anything that has to do with serbia. for a change maybe try to say something good about serbia and mayby people will stop attacking you! Or stat away from the topics about serbia because your negative comments is getting boring to read.

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    13. Of alm the things you could have wrote on this topic you choose to go into an argument with "wins what" istead you could have wrote a regular comment like , good for serbia attracting passengers from saudi arabia or something!

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    14. There's absolutely no hate, you just like to accuse people. Also, I don't go around tossing "Bravo this" or "Bravo that". I react to posts, like I'm doing now.

      And I don't think you have any right to order people to stay away. But you do have a right not to read and respond.

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    15. You have NEVER EVER written anything positive about Serbia.

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    16. Not true.
      The other day I commented on BEGs' new terminal design and said, I quote: "That is one really nice looking terminal."

      And guess what! No one commented on that one.

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    17. Pobogu, koliko godina imate vi?

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    18. Ajme!! So someone has to write something really really nice/psoitive about Serbia now or they can't comment?? lol lol lol and lol

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    19. Do any women come on these flights?? Is Belgrade's nightlife becoming a major Arab sausage fest...?

      Well at least the Scandinavian countries will be happy.

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    20. frishki, hang tough man.

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  12. Unbelievable!! This is such great news and it will further boost passenger numbers in Belgrade. Not to mention that all these tourists should bring a lot of cash to Serbia.

    Saudia just launched Vienna, they could also launch BEG especially since they are trying to attract transfers.

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  13. A market Air Serbia should have considered.

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  14. What about Amman? Even ryanair sees AMM as a chance

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    Replies
    1. You're right. Jordan is becoming quite popular.

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    2. Years ago there used to be flights to Aqaba.

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    3. Wasn't it with Aviogenex B732?

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    4. Aviogenex B732!
      I fondly remember flights on this bird! For couple of months in 2008/2009 they used to perform flights to LHR with that one. It was always packed back in time.

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    5. What happened with that 737-200? Is it still parked at BEG?

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    6. I think so but have not been able to see it from the airport building.

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  15. i am amazed with this tourism development in serbia
    couple of weeks ago i was on avala and met tourist group from iran

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    Replies
    1. i was on Tara and saw a lot of foreign tourists, some of them with cars rented in Belgrade. And Tara is relatively hard to reach, its far from main motorways and only reachable via mountain roads full of horseshoe curves. But even that does not deter tourists. And Tara as well as Zlatibor are next to UZC. I believe UZC flights can start soon, there is demand.

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  16. With Saudi opening up to tourism, maybe one day there will be two way travel.

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    Replies
    1. Uskoro......

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    2. Saudi Arabia is already a major tourist destination, which attracts way more travellers than Croatia or Greece. But it is not people who go to sea holidays or city break.

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    3. It is not tourism, it is pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.

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    4. Yes they only go visit Jeddah and Mekka and maybe a few more very religious places. We all know the reason. To call them normal tourists is not correct though, in my opinion.

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    5. A Medjugorije?

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  17. I'm glad about BEG's ME success but what happened to W6? Why are they so passive in BEG? Nothing new for years! No TLV, no leisure destinations?!
    They've just expanded in Moldova and opened a nice hangar in SOF.
    Very disappointing indeed not to see any developments.
    They can easily launch daily flights to BVA and MMX just like SKP.

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    Replies
    1. They can't do TLV becauae of bilaterals. Only Serbian and Israeli airlines can fly there. But I agree with your assesment that W6 has become very passive.

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    2. I think Wizz is planning to start ZAG.

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    3. Yes,but agreements are meant to be improved! Come on, Israel is a year round destination.
      Also BEG to Spain! They can kick off VY with their lousy schedule and launch MAD or VLC.
      LIS,NCE,LYS,BHX,BTS....

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    4. I agree but it is very difficult because Serbia isn't in the EU. Same reason why W6 does not fly from Skopje to TLV.

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    5. W6 not flying BEG-BCN at least (maybe later on BEG-MAD) is the huge dissapointment the< are making in Belgrade.
      VY has crazy hours of flying to BEG and it is almost always delayed. This could be good chance for W6, after all they are flying SKP-BCN...

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    6. VY always have delays. They have a very bad reputation concerning this, especially in summer.
      In July 2016, they had a huge scandal with delays because they launched many routes and had fewer planes. Of course, FR took advantage.
      Anyway, back to W6. I hope they base a 4th a/c soon in BEG and maybe A321 like SKP or SOF.

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    7. Before they base the 4th aircraft they will first have to base the 3rd one.

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  18. I'm really interested to see how BEG will perform this year. So many new airlines but JU is tge risk factor. Will BEG reach over its 5.6 million estimate?

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    Replies
    1. If current growth trends continue for the rest of the year it should be over 5.6 million.

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  19. One more step towards JU joining SkyTeam

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    Replies
    1. How come?

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    2. fake news

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    3. JU is more likely to join oneworld if you ask me. It has prestigious airlines like QR, AY, JL.
      Skyteam is a more cheap alliance: OK, RO, DL...

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    4. And what exactly makes you think that ASL has the prestige" to join oneworld?
      What makes you think that it is better than OK, RO, DL?!?!?!

      What even makes you think that RO would allow another a neighboring airline to join SkyTeam?

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    5. Because JU is a prestigious airline in the Balkans.
      RO does not fly to JFK and has no wide body.
      OK has lost all of its previous gem destinations.

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    6. Anonymous at 1:58 AM

      Thank you for that sir, I had a great laugh this morning!!!

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  20. Can the GoS persuade the Saudi sheikh to give some money to construct the AIRPORT RAIL? This is a very important project!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Odakle ti takva ideja. Autoputem osim kad je spic si za 15 min na aerodromu.

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    2. For locals highway is enough but foreign visitors want convenient, easy and fast way of transfer to the downtown. Currently foreigners mostly use taxi but in the future with expected growth we need urban railway from the airport to the city.

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  21. what could attract Saudis to come to Belgrade as tourists? I am sure some would be interested in buying some property as well as experiencing the night life but I do wonder how if they could fill a A320?

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    Replies
    1. There is more to Serbia then just Belgrade.

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    2. Easier to travel to Serbia than to EU countries. Same reason that Chinese and Iranians come here, in Bosnia and in Kosovo.

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  22. Did Jat fly to Saudi?

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  23. This is very good and quite unexpected news.
    Belgrade becomes truly very popular among ME countries. Congratulations!

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  24. Slightly off topic but I flew into BEG tonight and I noticed IranAir opened its office at the airport. It wasn't there a week ago.

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  25. What do you guys think - when will an airline of Wizz's kind launch service to neighbouring markets, e. g. to Sofia? We'we seen a vawe of bulgarian tourists in Serbia now, maybe lowcost flights would bring them more and beyond South-east Serbia?

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    Replies
    1. Most Bulgarians head south so SOF-BEG would be very difficult to pull off.

      A market I could see happen in the future is BEG-LJU. Demand is quite strong and Belgrade is very popular among Slovenes.

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    2. Or BEG-ATH. How come that wasn't launched is beyond me.

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    3. or W6 A321 VIE-ZAG and FRA-ZAG

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    4. I think FRA-ZAG would be a bigger success though as less people take alternative ways to travel between the two cities, they are not that close.

      BEG-ATH could work only if they are willing to operate at least 4 weekly otherwise they would be buried by JU/A3.

      Delete

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