TRIP REPORT: Belavia, Belgrade - Budapest


I took this flight a few days ago. Belavia operates three weekly services to Belgrade, two of which are via Budapest, and the recently introduced third weekly flight runs nonstop. I purchased my return ticket exactly a week in advance directly from their website at a price of 90 euros. Since Belavia is a full-fare carrier, this also included 23 kilograms of checked-in luggage. Having in mind the price and the time of my booking, I expected for the flight to be empty, but I was mistaken.

I arrived at Belgrade Airport just over two hours before the scheduled departure time. I realised quickly that the load on the flight would not be as light as I initially thought since two lines had already formed at the Belavia check-in counters, which still had not opened at that point. Exactly two hours prior to departure, check-in started.

The passengers in line seemed to be a mix of Russians, Belarusians and Serbs. The girl checking-in in front of me told the check-in lady her final destination was St Petersburg, so I assume they get some transfer passengers via Minsk as well.

I like Belavia's new branding.

After check-in, and with time to spare, I walked around the airport a bit which was quiet at that time of day.

There was an Aviolet charter to Thessaloniki

Our flight was ultimately delayed by some 40 minutes as it was late on arrival from Budapest. Although we were at gate C3, the air bridge was obviously not used for this small plane, and passengers were required to walk down the steps and then proceed to the aircraft.

There were two cabin crew members greeting passengers upon boarding. I was seated in row 12 which is the last row on the right side of the aircraft, the left one has one additional row. To my great surprise, the flight was full to the last seat. One should keep in mind that this flight also picks up passengers in Budapest bound for Minsk.

Flight: B2812
Aircraft reg: EW-276PJ (15 years old)
Load: 50/50

The CRJ200 definitely showed signs of wear and tear but for a 40 minute flight it was more than satisfactory. It reminded me a bit of Air Serbia's ATR72s.

Before departure all passengers were offered a lolly.

Around 10 minutes after takeoff the captain switched off the fasten seatbelt sign and the cabin crew began service. To my surprise, passengers were offered coffee, several juices and water. The crew was polite and did their job quickly and efficiently, considering how short this sector is.

By the time the cups were cleared we started our descent into Budapest.

Upon landing, passengers continuing to Minsk were told to stay seated, while we disembarked and went onto a bus. I counted a total of 12 passengers on the bus, all of which seemed to be Serbian, meaning that over 35 passengers from Belgrade were continuing to Minsk.

It is difficult to judge an airline based on a single flight, but the experience was enjoyable and worth not having to drive to Budapest, especially in late August when queues at the border crossings are long.

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  1. Anonymous09:10

    Nice and unusual trip report. I think Belavia does well as they are keeping three weekly this winter including the non-stop flight on Saturdays. Maybe we get a 4th flight next summer.

  2. Great and interesting report, thanks

  3. Anonymous09:26

    I was sure they were going to fail when they launched BEG but now I am impressed. Congrats.

    They are as exotic as the Iranian airlines.

    1. Anonymous18:17

      Have a look on their destination map and you will se they are surely not exotic, unless exoticness is a term for a company that does not fly to western Serbian neighbourhood

    2. Anonymous18:34

      I think he meant exotic for BEG. Chill.

  4. Anonymous12:41

    Their new rebranding is definitely cool.
    Were you offered any snack from BUD to MSQ?

    1. Anonymous12:53

      The person only went to Budapest. In the last sentence they say they were one of 12 passengers to leave in BUD.

  5. Anonymous12:53

    Vec sam dvaput letio MSQ-KBP odn. IEV. Mogu potvrditi sve sto pise. Avioni malo zastrjeli, malo imaju retrodesign koji mi se svidja. Ovi CRJ bacaju na Yakoleve, barem meni osobno.
    Personal je solidan, mada istocno-evropski hladan.
    Let traje sat vremena i dobijes kavu/caj, vodu i sendvic.
    Sve u svemu za kratak let vise nego solidno,
    Samo pitanje autoru. Pise da lete 3puta tjedno? Koje dane? Moja cura je iz Magyarske, pa bi bilo fora neki vikend u BEG na Skadarliju itd.

    1. Anonymous13:48

      Monday: 08.45-09.30
      Thursday: 13.45-14.30

      Saturday: 09.25-09.30

  6. Aэrologic13:21

    It definitely begs a few questions how this segment was 'unprofitable' for JU at 170 Euros.

    1. Anonymous13:37

      Well you definitely can't compare these two as Belavia has a continuing flight to Minsk, which Air Serbia didn't have.

    2. Anonymous15:19

      Yes and JU had the whole network at its home base.

    3. Aэrologic18:31

      You do understand that JU would earn more for ~120 Eur. to Budapest on turboprop than 220 Eur. BUD-BEG-TLV round-trip? What's not clear for you?

  7. Anonymous15:11

    Лепо је видети да је сутрашњи лет преко Будимпеште са Е75. Верујем да је то делимично и због добре попуњености из Београда.

  8. Anonymous15:13

    Will JU fky to MSQ soon? Not sure if the ATR72 can make it to Minsk...........

    1. Anonymous15:14

      JU failed in WAW so I doubt they would survive in MSQ.

  9. Anonymous15:14

    Tomorrwow it's 3rd September and there are 9 charter flights! Impressive!

  10. Anonymous16:19

    I don't find this route very important. I mean less than 50 pax is not a big thing and flying with a small ac like this all the way to Belarus should be a thing...

    1. Anonymous16:46

      I think it's extremely important as it increases the overall connectivity at BEG. Not many airports in Europe have a link with Belaus.

  11. Anonymous13:31

    Price at their site is 160 euros, not 90 euros!

    1. Anonymous13:35

      Prices change and fluctuate Einstein.

    2. There might be a market for BEG-BUD during summer, pointing out the border crossing clogs and extremely slow trains (takes eight hours) or "barely legal" vans (take six to seven hours when borders are clogged). 5-6pw would be good to have. Wizz or Air Serbia, or whoever.


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