Iran Air plans Belgrade resumption in late November


Iran Air is likely to resume operations between Tehran and Belgrade in late November, following a temporary suspension. The airline, which initially scheduled flights between the two cities for the entire winter season, discontinued ticket sales for the route on the day the two countries reintroduced visa requirements for each others' nationals. However, the Iranian carrier has since filed for a permit with the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate to operate two weekly flights between the two capitals as of November 24. If the service goes ahead as scheduled, it will run each Tuesday afternoon / evening and Saturday morning. Iran Air operated its last flight between the two cities last Saturday, prior to the hiatus.

More than 15.000 Iranians have visited Serbia since visas were abolished last August. However, being the only European country to allow visa-free entry for Iranian passport holders and one of only a handful in the world, Serbia responded to European Union pressure after the system was abused by migrants trying to reach the bloc. The Iranian flag carrier resumed operations to Belgrade in early March following a 27-year hiatus. It utilised its Airbus A320 aircraft on the route, and upped capacity during peak travel periods to its 260-seat twin-aisle Airbus A300-600 aircraft.

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has secured a number of new flights for the upcoming winter season, which begins this Sunday. Austrian Airlines, Aeroflot, Belavia, easyJet, LOT, Norwegian Air Shuttle, TAROM and Transavia will all introduce additional frequencies this winter when compared to last. Aeroflot will add a third daily service to Belgrade for a total of 21 weekly flights, LOT Polish Airlines will boost operations, from daily last winter, to ten weekly starting October 28, while Belavia will maintain its third weekly service from Minsk to Belgrade launched this summer (two via Budapest and one nonstop). Austrian Airlines and TAROM will introduce an extra weekly service to the Serbian capital for a total of nineteen from Vienna and nine flights per week from Bucharest. Russia's Red Wings Airlines, which introduced flights from Moscow to Belgrade this summer, will continue flying to the Serbian capital this winter four times per week. Air Serbia will increase its frequencies to Zurich with an additional three weekly services for a total of seventeen, add an extra weekly rotation to Stockholm for a total of four per week and upgrade its seasonal Larnaca service to year-round operations. Furthermore, Etihad Airways will add a second daily flight between the two cities from mid-December to mid-January, while Egypt's AlMasria Universal Airlines, which has been operating two weekly flights between the holiday resort town of Hurghada and Belgrade with its Airbus A330-200 aircraft throughout the summer, has upgraded the service to year-round operations.

Low cost airlines will also be adding frequencies. easyJet will maintain all three of its routes to Belgrade - Geneva, Basel and Berlin - on a year-round basis, with the latter two to be operated for the first time. Furthermore, Transavia will run five weekly services between Amsterdam and Belgrade for the entire season, whereas additional flights were introduced last winter from February onwards. Norwegian Air Shuttle plans to boost its frequencies from Oslo to Belgrade from two to three per week, while it will also maintain its Stockholm service throughout the winter with one weekly flight. On the other hand, Flydubai will decrease its flight offering from daily to five weekly.

Comments

  1. How will they fill the flights if no one gets visas anymore? Or will visa policies be slackend?

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    1. Why would no one get visas anymore?

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    2. What was the issue then in the past, before visas were abandoned?

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    3. Serbia has an embassy in Tehran that issues visas. There shouldn't be a problem, the same way Serbs get an Iranian visa without any issues.

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    4. @ 9.08 I guess people got to no the country. Diplomatic relations were virtually nonexistent before a couple of years ago.

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    5. I am sure there is room for two direct weekly flights. Even with visas there will be tourist groups coming to visit Belgrade.

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  2. So much for there being no interest or demand for these flights other than for migrants.

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  3. While I do understand they have scheduled these flights, I'm not so sure they will be going ahead. Time will tell.

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  4. They’ll probably have some deal where Iran Air sponsors the visa application or some one day turnaround at the embassy.

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  5. Now you see it, now you don't. lol

    I guess there were far more tourists than illegal immigrants on these flights otherwise IR would not be returning to BEG. I guess now we can put to rest the claims made by many that this route was purely used by these 'passengers.'

    It only goes to show what tourist potential Belgrade has and that in the coming years it will keep on attracting more and more foreign visitors. Great to see IR stick around, hope Qeshm is next.

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    1. Yes Nemjee, you are right. Iranians are crazy after Belgrade. They do not want to go anywhere else but to BEG. Not even London, Paris, Rome or Venice can attract as many Iranians as BEG can.

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    2. Have you maybe thought that the cities you listed are quite expensive when compared to Belgrade, especially hotel accommodation which in Belgrade averages just 80 euros per night.

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    3. I am sorry if my post triggered you however once you come back from your safe space could you point out where I said Iranians will no longer go to those places because they will all flock to Belgrade?

      Personally I think it's impressive that BEG manages to retain non-stop flights to IKA while much larger airports such as BUD and ATH have failed. I guess BEG will be only the second Balkan airports after IST to have these. Isn't that impressive?

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    4. Or maybe it is tortute for them to get Schengen visa?

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    5. Anon 9:09

      Iran is a country of >80 million and there are people there who want to travel regardless of administrative and political obstacles. Some of them would certainly not mind doing a city break in Belgrade if they can get a tourist visa. Could be just enough for one or two flights per week. What will certainly help is the experience of those 15 thousand who visited already - word of mouth is the best marketing tool that exist. Your city could have as well done something to attract Iranian tourists. Just because it didn't doesn't mean those that did should be exposed to your hate and chauvinist rants.

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    6. Iranians cannot get visas to virtually anywhere in the world. They can now however easily get them for Serbia, as no one is asking them anything. It is just a formal process.

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    7. Yes, yes, yes. IR will be flying empty to Belgrade because no one can get a Serbian visa.

      Seriously people.

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    8. @Anon 9.19

      "people there who want to travel regardless of administrative and political obstacles"

      You are a funny guy. "administrative and political obstacles" are exactly what distinguishes a free world from an unfree world. Look at Eastern Germany- people could not travel in the GDR, now they can. Once the regime changes in Iran people will be able to travel freely anywhere..

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    9. Anon 09.29

      So imagine how many will want to come and visit Serbia if they are coming now when they are unfree as you say! :O

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    10. Anon 9.29

      Your military interventionist agenda has nothing to do with aviation and is a disgrace for this blog as well as for humanity.

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    11. You forget that the travel obstacles are being put in place by the supposedly 'free world'.

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    12. @las anon:
      my god, you just seriously have not heard the bang yet!

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  6. It's looking like a very impressive winter at BEG. Almost all airlines increasing frequencies.

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    1. Pretty much every single foreign airline is either boosting frequencies or capacity. For example Aegean will be flying all flights with A320 equipment, Austrian will also no longer fly turboprops to BEG.

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    2. Aeroflot jumping from two to three daily is quite impressive, especially in winter

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    3. OS Friday night flight has mostly A319!!

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    4. And finally Norwegian keeping Stockholm throughout the year. Good news.

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    5. JU and DY increasing ARN is really bad news for W6.

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    6. Nice to see JU fight for a market.

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    7. Don't see why. People flying with JU probably don't fly with W6. Norwegian will keep ARN just symbolically at one weekly so I don't think it will affect anyone too much.

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    8. At least some good news/initiative from JU. With proper prices they can have good loads. It is so sad to see them charging 300+ eur tickets and flying half empty which I regularly see every winter.

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    9. Passengers might fly on JU now as ARN is a much nicer airport than NYO. also Wizz is extremely expensive.

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  7. First of all this is going to be very busy winter for BEG.
    It is really awesome to see how many new frequencies will be introduced to the busiest airport in ex Yugoslavia and all of it happens before Vinci takes it over.

    Second, it is nice to see IR will continue flying to BEG. The most probably the demand for BEG is big in Iran and the people who travelled up to now (real tourists) certainly had nice time in Belgrade so many other Iranians would like to visit it no matter of visa regime.

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  8. Too good to be true. I don't think this will happen.
    Politics will take over as usual and EU + US will not allow this.
    The only possible solution is to have an Iranian investment or Serbian one to boost those ties.

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    1. I also don't think it will materialize in the end but I hope I'm wrong. We will see soon enough.

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  9. If they are introducing an afternoon/evening flight it seems they made changes to the timetable since all of them were in the morning this summer.

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    1. That's how they were supposed to fly in winter, it was a 21.00 or 20.30 departure from BEG.

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  10. Interestingly, at the same time, Iran Air is suspending flights to Rome. Although Alitalia will keep flying to IKA.

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    1. AZ is reducing FCO from daily to 5 weekly and from a A330 to A320.

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  11. We will see how this will unfold. Those very tough and strict US sanctions come into force in mid November.

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    1. EU already informed its companies to ignore them and to continue business as usual

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    2. They have but many have pulled out of Iran because they do business in the US and they don't want any issues, despite the protection.

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    3. Yes the big ones who are present on the US market, this is an opportunity for smaller players to make the most of it.

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  12. Air Cairo is also increasing BEG-HRG from 1 to 2 weekly.

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    1. And with Almasria operating 2 weekly flights, there will be a total of 4 to Hurghada in the winter.

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    2. It is really difficult to count how many new frequencies will be added to BEG this winter. Something like 50!
      Crazy!

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    3. Imagine what expansion would be if Ryan is attracted to place 4-5 planes in Belgrade.

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    4. 4-5 planes is a bit too much even for FR.

      I believe it is more realistic U2 to open base in BEG with 1 plane and than slowly increasing it as W6 did.

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    5. easyJet would be nice since Wizz Air is becoming too passive.

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    6. Ryanair placed 4 planes in Bologna and now has 50+ destinations alongside more than 20 legacy and low cost carriers operating from the city, so it is possible. Let hope if Vinci indeed takes over that they will attract Ryan, Easy or both to open base in Belgrade.

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    7. Italy and Serbia cannot be compared and on the same wasy BLQ and BEG can't be compared.

      For example AA will seasonally start flying to BLQ next year that had last year 8,2 million passengers.

      How far are we from that?

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    8. Of course, Bologna is capital of one of the richest regions in Europe. However, it is a good example what kind of expansion you can get with Ryan basing 4 planes. Just five years ago it was completely different world and now numerous destinations.
      AA is starting Bologna probably because they can not land in Florence and want to fly closest possible.

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  13. Good news. Nice to see BEG retain services to Tehran for most of winter.

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  14. Are tickets bookable on Iran Air's website?

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    1. Yes. But their site is horrible and unusable if you are not a Farsi speaker.

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    2. When you open their web site click "English" as the only word you and me probably understand.
      After it click in the same row forth icon from left to right where also little arrow is. You will see then possibility of opening the site in English and French.
      And it works :)

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  15. Nice developments in terms of BEG winter operations.

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    1. Any Chance they can reach 6 million this year?

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    2. Also anyone know how October has been performing so far?

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    3. No 6 mil.
      5.8 is realiastic

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  16. It would be nice to see Air Baltic, Tap, Air France and BA come back.

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    1. BA and Air France are discontinuing more and more European routes or transferring them to their low cost offshoots. Both are a shadow of what they used to be.

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    2. Air Baltic yes

      Tap - I am not sure there is demand for Tap flights in BEG although it could bring some good connections to S.America

      Air France would probably come as soon as Vinci takes over BEG but they curently do not have much interest flying to BEG because they have for them more than good code-share with JU that brings them connecting passengers to CDG without need to fly their own metal to Serbian capital.

      BA has no interest flying to BEG and their presence is not expected. They simply failed in BEG

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    3. Nema putnika za full service. Zato rade sa drugacijim kompanijama. Videli smo kako je Air Serbia zahebala stvar sa butikom od kompanije.

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    4. Obviously BA can utilize LHR slot better and not use it for BEG. Shame but that is reality. UK visas do not help either. Even JU is half full on that route most of the year (in addition to being pricey).

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    5. LHR will get new slots but even then they have nothing to do in BEG. They lost in 2010 and they have nothing to offer to Serbian market anymore.

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    6. Nothing to offer the Serbian market? BA? Seriously? The biggest North Atlantic programme ever, flying over 100 flights across the Atlantic just is nothing?? Yes they are discontinuing their Tehran flights- those they cannot offer to the Serbian market (anymore).

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    7. Hey anonymous 11.40, you do realize Serbian passport holders need a Transit visa at LHR if they want to connect onto a flight. So paying for a transit visa and waiting for it to be issued just so you can fly with BA is probably not on top of everyone's list.

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    8. Exactly. Nothing new as so many foreign carriers already fly to BEG and offer all the possibilities BA offers but WITHOUT VISA.

      You need with Serbian passport transit visa even if you do not go through passport control in UK. What a stupidity!

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    9. Well for a holder of a serbian passport it might be stupidity fort the UK it obviously is not.

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    10. Good. Basically your stupidity from comment 11.40 has been proven.

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    11. So your modified your statement now when the original rude one was deleted, dear jeaulous neigbour.

      Taking in consideration we are talking about BA route to BEG that mostly includes Serbian passport holders it is much more important what Serbs think about it and not what London thinks about it.

      Do you realize now that there is no point BA to fly to BEG and has nothing to offer to the Serbian market?



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    12. Congratulations anon @12:51!

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    13. JU has 9 weekly flights to LHR and Wizz Air has 4 to LTN. That's almost double daily, there is no need for another LCC on the market.

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    14. Wizz has 4 flights and they are super pricey but make sense for those living in/around North part of London. JU has 7 weekly flights to LHR. They manage to get full planes only during school holidays, and that is when they introduce additional daily flights on weekends, but only for limited time. Visa is still a grave problem to have more links with London. Plus Belgrade is not well advertised as destination in the UK so we do not see number of weekend breakers as we could. That would bring additional passengers to both JU (if they lower prices) and EasyJet (hopefully once they introduce flights to London).

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    15. JU to London is full the whole year and it's one of their top performing routes.

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    16. Yet every time me or my friends fly to London we do not manage to see full planes.

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    17. You needs new specs. I flew number of times in the off season this year and it was always close to a full. Last time it was on Oct 13 with certified Air Serbia hater Aca Twitterati and even he would have to admit it was almost full.

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    18. Why are you even acknowledging him? Just let him hate on and mind his on business, these news just ruined his day so the guy has to vent, so let him.

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    19. He comes here on a regular basis writing the same thing even after I shared JU numbers in LHR. February last year was the worst with around 110 passengers per flight which is a great load.

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    20. He is the one who repeatedly claims JU is empty to LHR outside the school holiday season.

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    21. But it seems you know who is that person...

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    22. I just shared my impression from few recent travels and feedback I got from my friends. I am happy to be wrong but I keep seeing JU flights half full outside busy summer season and Christmas holidays. I have witnessed it numerous times on flights to LHR, BRU, FRA, FCO... again I am not happy about it.

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    23. You are certainly lying about it as my experience and numbers we have all seen show LHR is very busy outside summer as well. Give us exact dates when you travelled to LHR when it was "half full" as you said. Give us a proof it was 50% LF or you are lying. Simple as that.

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    24. I fly quite often BEG-FRA and it was never half empty!

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    25. It is very hard to accept that JU is not that successful and that it is overall struggling with loads. It is very sad to see only 50 passengers from Brussels on spring Friday night for example.

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    26. It is sad to see you abandon your claim that "They manage to get full planes only during school holidays" (talikng about JU to LHR) and are now talking about BRU. Nice attemp to switch topic instead of admitting you were trolling and lying. Even more disturbing is admin's tolerance of your trolling when your lies are exposed.

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  17. Wouldn't it be wiser for Etihad just to send an A330 instead of having two flights?

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    1. Two flights = better connectivity = more passengers than on a single flight with larger metal.

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    2. Actually not. Having two flights gives more flexibility to the connecting passengers

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    3. No, it's the same as with Qatar in Zagreb. More frequencies with smaller equipment on smaller markets increase connectivity and it results in more passengers/income

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    4. Exactly. We need flexibility rather than slightly better product.

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  18. I really do not understand why JU is reluctant to start Tehran flights!
    They can codeshare with IranAir. They have wide possibilities through Etihad and AlItalia to secure multiple daily connections. Not to mention possibility to charge premium prices to Iranians transfering in Belgrade.

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    Replies
    1. UAE bas ne mirise Iran.

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    2. @anon 11:11
      Yes, but flights will be planned in Belgrade and not anymore in Abu Dhabi starting from 01.01.2019.

      @anon at 10:52
      I wonder that as well. I suppose they are quite conservative about IKA. Maybe too long rotation

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    3. @anon 11:18 They definitely have a plane as many frequencies were cut. The rotation would be 9+ hours making it hard to connect to/from Paris and Amsterdam and basically all those pairs centered around early morning/late evening departures/arrivals to/from Belgrade. Can work reasonably well for London, New York, Frankfurt and other German cities served by JU. However, tourists plus transfer passengers with long wait (but somewhat cheaper tickets compared to major airlines) could fill the plane.

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  19. A lot of people were doubting this route would ever launch. Good to see it not only performed well but Iran Air seems to think it can sustain it over winter with visas.

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  20. Iran Air wants Air Serbia to cooperate but what is Air Serbia doing? Doesn't seem they are interested.

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    1. Missed opportunity for Air Serbia.

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    2. Hopefully JU makes some codeshare agreement.

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    3. Highly unlikely that Abu Dhabi will allow this with the crisis between the Sunni Gulf countries and Iran.

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    4. I'm sorry but what would be the benefit of Air Serbia cooperating with Iran Air on this route. It's not like Air Serbia can get any transfer passengers from this route.

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    5. Because it is difficult for them to travel anywhere in Europe!

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    6. It is true, but still there is a lot of diaspora and poeple travellling from and to Iran with foreign passport.
      Connecting flights via BEG could help for destination where IR anyhow already flies like AMS, FRA, LHR, MXP, SVO, CDG, FCO, ARN and VIE

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    7. Iran Air and Lufthansa code-share so JU could do the same, the market is there.

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  21. Good. Hopefully all these development should help BEG have a strong winter.

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    1. Too strong for region to handle :)

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    2. If anything BEG should work on is negotiating with JU and Serbian government to really connect region with triple daily frequences to all major regional airports.

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    3. I am not sure there are enough planes inJU fleet for triple daily frequencies.
      From the other side it might raise costs JU is trying to minimize

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  22. I am seeing JU launching flights to Isfahan very soon.

    http://www.iran-daily.com/News/214412.html

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    1. This article is a bit old, from May 2018.

      In the meanwhile Serbia and Iran have unfortunately again introduced visas.

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  23. Has anyone else noticed how LH keeps on sending the A320neo for a few days to BEG? Interesting since it has 180 seats compared to 168 on the older A320s. I guess loads must be good.

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    1. Yes, it happpens mostly from FRA.
      I have flown with this plane and the noise from the engines in the cabin is significantly reduced comparing to the older A320s. Much more pleasant.

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    2. Don't forget that the seat pitch in economy was reduced to 29 inches so the overall flying experience was made worse.

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    3. I was talking about the noise and not about whole flying experience.
      To be honest seat reduction was not even noticed at all

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  24. Another great thing for BEG is that Aegean is increasing BEG from 3 to 4 weekly already from 04.03.2019!

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