Serbia seeks Kiev, Cairo flights


The Serbian government is negotiating the introduction of flights from Belgrade to the capitals of Ukraine and Egypt, both of which were served in previous years. "We have already started negotiations concerning the launch of new regular flights between Belgrade and Kiev", the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said following talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko. He added that nonstop services would help establish closer ties between businesses and improve people to people exchange. In 2014, Air Serbia cancelled plans to launch daily services to the Ukrainian capital due to instability in the country at the time. However, it introduced six weekly flights between Belgrade and Kiev in the summer of 2016, utilising leased equipment from Adria Airways. Despite solid loads, the route was operated only seasonally that year and flights were never resumed.

Ukraine International Airlines, a 100% privately owned carrier, announced in March that it plans to introduce flights to Belgrade in 2022, along with Bratislava, Beirut, Shiraz, Addis Ababa, and Chicago. On the other hand, Ukraine's Aerosvit Airlines operated flights between Kiev and the Serbian capital until June 2011, after which the route was suspended as a result of "technical reasons". The carrier has since filed for bankruptcy. The Ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia, Oleksandr Aleksandrovych, noted that services between Lviv, in the country's west, and Belgrade are also being discussed as part of efforts to link the two countries with scheduled flights.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Ambassador to Serbia, Amr al Jowaily, confirmed that talks were under way for the resumption of scheduled flights between Cairo and Belgrade after more than a decade. Air Serbia was to introduce services to Cairo in 2014 but cancelled such plans due to deteriorating security in the country at the time. Egypt Air's subsidiary, Air Cairo, maintains scheduled year-round flights between Hurghada and Belgrade, "We are currently negotiating the establishment of other nonstop flights from Belgrade including Cairo and Sharm el Sheikh through the national airlines of Egypt and Serbia. This proposal has been greeted with positive feedback from all sides in both Cairo and Belgrade", Mr Jowaily said. Air Cairo recently confirmed to EX-YU Aviation News that it would consider introducing flights from Sharm el Sheikh to Belgrade and would coordinate future operations on this route with Egypt Air Express, which itself will open a base in the holiday resort town with the arrival of its new Airbus A220-300 aircraft from November onwards.

Comments

  1. Air Serbia should start Cairo. It probably would have been surprisingly successful as Beirut turned out to be.

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    1. I agree. Cairo could be successful for them right now, plus unlike most routes you could actually count on more P2P traffic with people from Serbia going there on holiday.

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    2. Bring on Egypt Air I say.

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  2. Lviv is a much more logical and less riskier option to operate than Kiev so I'm glad it is part of the talks.

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    1. I've been repeating that for ages.

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    2. Kiev would be much more popular.

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    3. Can an ATR make it to Lviv or Kiev?

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    4. LWO is a low-risk regional destination with lots of transfer potential. It is roughly the same distance as LJU. When you think of ''region" you think of Ex-Yu whereas Western Ukraine, Hungary, Southern Poland (most populated areas) and Slovakia are within the same distance as Trieste or Tirana. The other option would be Odessa. If PS starts flights it'll be from Kiev due to its transfer network.

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    5. Odessa and Kiev have more Serbs and ex - yu people and Eastern Ukraine waa generally more developed before the war. Also, it has more potential for religious tourism than the west.

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    6. Atr can make it, It's shorter than Prague or Venice.

      http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=Beg-krk%0D%0ABeg-prg%0D%0ABeg-vce%0D%0ABeg-lwo%0D%0ABeg-kiv%0D%0ABeg-ath&MS=wls&DU=mi

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    7. Interesting. Who would have thought. Well they could use one of them for this route 2 or 3 times per week.

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    8. Odessa is dirt cheap and it's a beautiful city. Now even more so than before the war. I was in Odessa two years ago, after the problems and it was awesome! The Turks arriving as sex tourists are so annoying tho (and they're not the only ones just the most arrogant), but still...it's an unbelievably beautiful city absolutely worth seeing. Such an amazing mix of cultural influences, architecture, beaches...
      Ukraine in general used to be a tourist superpower. Now Croatia has overtaken it. It's so sad what happened to that country. However if there were flights to Ukraine, the Black Sea coast would be a better destination.

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    9. Is Belgrade turning into another Odessa with all the traffic from Turkey and Middle East?

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    10. Then what to say about Zagreb with its EK 777...oups, flyDubai 737-MAX.

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    11. Don't worry mate, EK 777 is still there and will be until December. There's no way that 737 can satisfy the demand over the rest of the year. On the other hand if during the last winter their LF on 777 was 55%, then 737 should be perfect for the winter months, especially as they watch the impact that Korean will have. It's a smart move and it shows that the market works. That should be an example for the Croatian government, which still largely runs the country in a communist fashion. Tax cuts aren't as important as it is eradicating the remains of the communist mentality.

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    12. Time will tell.

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  3. Both long overdue.

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  4. I always found it interesting how Air Cairo and Tunis Air fly to BEG year round on what are summer holiday routes.

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    1. And don;t forget Almasria whcih flies seasonally from Hurghada to Belgrade with the A330. There is obviously sufficient demand.

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    2. A lot of people during winter months is seeking to go somewhere where climate is nicer and Northern Africa have perfect climate and also is close and cheap.

      That is the reason why Egypt and Tunis and hope soon Morocco have year round flights to Belgrade.

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    3. It's cheaper to spend 2 weeks in Sharm or Tunis in winter then stay at home in Belgrade. I'm serious, whole hotel package and air fare included.

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    4. Egypt is definitely on my bucket list, however I still would not dare taking my family there for a vacation.
      Otherwise I imagine that Belgrade has been popular with Egyptians ever since Yugoslavia days and vice versa. Same with Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese...etc.

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  5. Security situation in both countries has stabilizes significantly.

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    1. Until the next episode.

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  6. I wish Egypt Air introduced flights from Cairo. If Air Cairo can make it work year round from Hurghada then surely Cairo can too.

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    1. MS already fly to BUD so I HIGHLY doubt that they will consider Belgarde's Nikola Tesla International Airport - LYBE.

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    2. Lol ... of course. By that logic they shouldn't fly to BUD because they fly to VIE.

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  7. Egypt Air could use Egypt Air Express to fly to Belgrade

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  8. Bravo Srbija!

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  9. Zasto niko ne uzima u razmatranje Amman? Znam dosta Jordanaca koji do Srbije dolaze preko Istanbula i posle blokiramo Turkish. A drage volje bi ljudi dolazili direktnim letom u Srbiju ili iz Beograda dalje nastavljali ka Evropi. Stvarno mi nisu jasni. Vise optimizma imam za letove ka bliskom istoku i severu Afrike nego za Ukrajinu na zalost.

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  10. From last year Egyptair is codesharing on Aegean's flights to Belgrade, which is a good indication of their interest and potential future flights.

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  11. I am wondering what would the point of beginning Cairo and Kyev for Air Serbua? Isn't it logical to go to the market where you can earn some money and than to play with cities which can never be full loaded??

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    1. You mean like they are not fully loaded to Beirut?

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  12. I absolutely see no point in Kiev. UIA has become such a large airline that transfer options are no longer necessary. Point to point travel between Kiev and Belgrade is minimal and route can't be sustained on that.

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    1. Exactly. UIA has daily flights to JFK.

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    2. So? Do they fly to Zagreb, Sarajevo, Podgorica, Tirana, Ljubljana, Banja Luka, Tivat, Thessaloniki? All these destinations could be covered by Air Serbia.

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    3. I can guarantee there could not be more than 2 passengers transferring to each of those.

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    4. You would be surprised.

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    5. Each Air Serbia flight had about 40-50 transfer passengers.

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    6. Tirana, Tivat, Thessaloniki are fairily popular destinations from Ukraine. And remember, Ukrainians don't need visas for most EU countries since 2017, so demand is there.

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  13. I hope to see UIA in the region before 2022!! They offer very good prices...

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    1. lol their announcement is funny. I don't understand why a company would outline each route they will open in next 5 years. Isn't this giving the competition insight into exactly what you plan to do?

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    2. True. Who knows what's going to be with Ukraine in 5 years.

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    3. Or Serbia for that matter :D

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    4. Each Air Serbia flight had about 40-50 transfer passengers.

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    5. UIA's Embraers would be good equipment for this route.

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  14. Why did JU stop Kiev?

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    1. Yields were poor.

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    2. They also had/have no equipment.

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    3. After returning equipment to Adria they didn't have appropriate plane for this market...
      A319 is to big.

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  15. Great news. Good to see more and more flights in the pipeline for BEG.

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  16. When it comes to Kiev, I think this route should be left to UIA. They have the connections at KBP and have the capacity flexibility to make adjustments depending on their needs. I fear that JU would launch it with the A319, charge €400 for a White Tariff, struggle to fill seats, lose money, downgrade the route to an Atr, keep on struggling, downgrade it to a summer seasonal before completely suspending it ... for the second time.

    As for Egypt, JU should stick to charters to the seaside resorts. Beirut is chronically late during summer as they can't efficiently operate the route when planes are full. Adding Cairo to this equation would make things even worse. Egyptair on the other hand could rely on their own connections at CAI and could attract a lot of passengers to places like South Africa or the Middle East.

    As for Serbia, I think our next target should be India. It could become another Iran. This morning I was at the airport and a total of five buses were filled with Iranian tourists. That means that Mahan's A343 came almost, if not completely, full. India could be the same ... not to mention that Indians tend to be big spenders which would be great for our economy.

    Even tiny Belavia has done wonders in Serbia. Since they launched flights we started recording arrivals of Belorussian tourists. Each month there are more and more of them which is not surprising given the fact they added a non-stop flight on Saturdays.

    Until JU adds more aircraft, they shouldn't be thinking of any new adventures unless it's a relatively short night flight that has enough time to go and come back between 00.00 and 05.45.

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    1. Agree. JU first a foremost needs to renew its fleet before getting into any new adventures.

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    2. Air Serbia is in this position because they've been completely ignoring the four major markets at the east of them: Turkey, Romania, Ukraine and Iran. Both Ankara and Kiev could fit in a night flight. I mean even JP managed to make Kiev work. Standing still didn't help anyone.

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    3. +10000 Iran is best proof of their incompetence

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    4. Absolutely.

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  17. UIA would affect LO in BEG a bit as they offer cheap tickets to western Europe.

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    1. It's kind of strange that Windrose never launched flights to BEG!
      They launched daily flights to SOF and 4 weekly to OTP for almost 2 years now.
      The Embraer 145 is easier to fill and they have code share with Ukraine International.
      I think they should reconsider the flights before 2022 or maybe FR, when they open their base in October 2018.

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    2. LO offers tickets to western Europe but I wouldn't really call them cheap. They do have a great sales team thanks to which they have great results. The other day they managed to fill a B734 to BEG!

      Generally speaking, I think most foreign carriers are doing well in BEG. This morning alone Aegean filled its A320 while RO departed full on its Atr-72.

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    3. I meant UIA offers very cheap fares so I would expect them to take some transfer passengers.

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    4. With their cheap fares UIA could take away passengers from JU on their BEG-JFK flights.

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    5. Star Alliance is upping their game in BEG this winter. LO goes to 10x and OS is adding 19th weekly flight that sleeps in BEG.

      VIE-BEG 20.25-21.30
      BEG-VIE 07.35-08.50

      Almost the same times as JU.

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    6. @10.30
      Would it be cheaper to fly to JFK via KBP?

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  18. Do Ukrainians need visas to enter Serbia?

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    1. No. Ukrainian tourist arrivals are up by some 25% this year.

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    2. 1.114 Ukrainian tourists in May.

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  19. Any guesses if there will be growth at BEG in July? If yes, how much?

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    1. I'd say 6-7% max.

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    2. Belgrade has a large base so 7% is quite respectable.

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    3. Yes I agree. 7% growth in Belgrade is in absolute numbers same as 12% growth in Zagreb. I think that 7% is possible but not sure that it will be that hight. During July BEG had increase in charter traffic of 25% but charters are below 10% of all traffic at BEG so that increase will add some 2% on total. Tehran will add around 1%. Increase in frequencies on few routes will add 1-2% max. So in order to have 7% BEG need to have increase on routes that are not changed from last year and I'm not sure will that happen because LF during July and August was very high last year.

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    4. Well Iranians are operating six weekly flights all on widebodies. I hope it will be more than 1%!

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    5. Qeshm A300-600 arrives tonight at 23.40. Is this an extra flight or..?

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    6. During summer there is more than 100 flights daily from BEG. So adding 6 weekly flights even widebodies is like adding one daily flight on smaller plane. It is probably more than 1% but not much more than that. Maybe it is max 1.5%.

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    7. Mahan has re-applied for a third weekly flight to BEG. They requested to operate it from 02.08 to 25.10.

      Well the Iranians should have the same effect as JU's JFK.

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    8. I am sure August will see 7% with easyJet's expansion. Time to crush W6 to BSL!

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    9. BEG have more room for growth during winter season. I hope we will see growth above 10% in winter season. BEG like all other major airports in ex yu need to reduce seasonality.

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    10. I think that's already happening. So far this winter we have:

      1. easyJet adds 4x to TXL.
      2. easyJet adds 3x to BSL.
      3. LO adds 3x to WAW.
      4. RO adds 1x to OTP.
      5. JU adds 3x to ZRH.
      6. JU adds 1x to SOF.
      7. JU adds 1x to MXP.
      8. HV adds 2x to AMS.

      So far that's 18 extra flights per week. Since Wizz Air is cancelling LCA, that brings us down to 16. We still have to wait and see if the Iranians stay in winter and if maybe Qatar or flydubai add frequencies.

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    11. Will there be more flight from BEG to Germany?
      What about MLA? There are rumours that it will turn daily and operated by W6 next year. It seems that there is a huge number of Serbs in Malta.

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    12. Yes, there is a significant number of Serbs in Malta but also there is big increase in number of tourists from Serbia to Malta. Majority of them are going there in their own arrangement flying with W6. Many even are booked complete holiday via wizztours.com.

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    13. MLA was actually increased by Wizz this summer but it will be two weekly in winter. I don't see it going daily any time soon.

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    14. I am shocked to learn, that the Serbians are the second largest foreigner group in MLA!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malta–Serbia_relations

      If official data is 3000 Serbs, then I would say there are much more unregistered perhaps. Maybe 15,000 Serbs?

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    15. W6 will increase frequencies in winter to DTM (3 from 2) and also EIN (4 from 2).

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    16. So much demand to the Netherlands! We will have JU with 7x, HV with 5x and W6 with 4. That's 19 weekly flights!

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    17. So they added a second A320 but are adding three weekly frequencies in winter? Pathetic doesn't start to describe it.

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    18. Yes, NL is a rich country so this is normal.
      MLA can turn daily during the summer peak season. I have just sent an email to air malta asking them if they are going to launch flights to BEG anytime soon.
      After all 2 carriers are competing on this popular route. I wasn't expecting those remarkable results.

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    19. Don't know if these are good numbers or not but anyway...

      Malta-Belgrade passenger numbers:

      Q2 2017: 6.572
      Q3 2017: 15.627
      Q4 2017: 8.663

      That means that on average during Q3, there were 87 daily, one way passengers between the two.

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    20. And some people want daily flights with those numbers? Megalomania.

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    21. Thank you, Nemjee. Very interesting calculations indeed.
      Do you think JU can fly the ATR and launch daily flights and connect the Balkans?

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    22. No problem.
      Personally, I think JU should concentrate on local and regional demand. Regional in the sense of BEG's catchment area. I checked Malta's numbers and the only regional market with some decent year-round demand is Hungary (82.000 passengers in 2017).

      They should promote their flights among locals but also those living in Bosnia, eastern Croatia, southern Hungary and western Romania.

      However, in order to succeed in this they need to make sure they offer stability with at least two weekly year-round flights. Maybe flights on Thursdays and Sundays at 17.00 could do the trick. They have to remain committed to a market for it to work.

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    23. Good points! But still MLA is now a business destination and the standard of living increased dramatically. Also famous for its English language lessons.
      As for the rest of regions you mentioned, that's true.

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  20. Belgrade and Serbia are becoming more and more popular among foreign tourists. In May 2018 number of foreign tourists grew by 20% while in the first five months it jumped by 13.5%!

    Here are some of the most popular tourists in Serbia this May:

    1. Turks 13.002 (33.381 / +23%)
    2. Chinese 11.908 (30.438 / +112%)
    3. Bosnians 11.687 (40.875 / +5%)
    4. Slovenes 9.620 (30.847 / +10%)
    5. Germans 8.672 (26.044 / +11%)
    6. Croats 8.181 (34.505 / +7.5%)
    7. Bulgarians 7.489 (38.189 / +10%)
    8. Montenegro 6.796 (28.831 / +4%)
    9. Romanians 5.601 (25.663 / +37%)
    10. N. Macedonians 5.370 (25.845 / +9%)

    May 2018: 163.466 (+19.7%)
    Jan-May 2018: 555.455 (+13.5%)

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    1. Are these numbers for N. Macedonians with the tourists in Kosovo or without?

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    2. These numbers only include tourists that visit areas controlled by the government in Belgrade. They exclude Kosovo and Metohija.

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    3. I can only imagine the number of Turks if TK was allowed to operate the A333!

      Any numbers for the Iranians?

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    4. Iranians: 1.597 (6.057)
      Indians: 782 (2.330)

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    5. Wizz should start SOF - BEG, thus bringing more Bulgarian tourists.

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    6. LJU-BEG would be an even bigger success.

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  21. These flights would be a nice addition to BEG .

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  22. Anybody knows how are UIA's finances? Are they getting any state aid from the Ukrainian government?

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    1. It says in the article that they are 100% state owned.

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    2. 'Ukraine International Airlines, a 100% privately owned carrier...'

      Anon 11.16, you sure about that. ;)

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    3. Haha sorry I mean to say privately owned not state owned.

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    4. UIA don't get any state help. In fact Minister of Infrastructure recently was heavily lobbying on behalf of Ryanair to enter Ukrainian market (to counter UIA)

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  23. While Air Serbia flew to Kiev, this route was generated many passengers to New York.

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    1. Ma kad stigne drugi sirokotrupac dizu NYC na 10 puta sedmicno samo zbog njih i putnika iz Kaira.

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    2. You like making fool of yourself don't you.

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  24. Any destination within 2,5 hours flight time one way is worth considering. Whether those would work largely depends on the connectivity on the other side, and the equipment used. Since Air Serbia is adapting to new Etihad-less circumstances, many destinations remain possible, even if they don't appear to be viable on its own. It is a vehicle to support Belgrade as a destination and hopefully hub, not a purely business oriented enterprise. We all know that.

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  25. Lviv service would be great. It is one of hardest to reach cities from Belgrade. UIA service to Kyev would offer good connections to Georia and Armenia, too.

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