Serbia - Russia flights set for unprecedented growth


Moscow is set to become one of Belgrade's most frequent destinations this winter season with 56% growth in capacity planned between the two cities compared to last year. It comes as Russia's Red Wings Airlines recently upgraded its seasonal summer service between the two capitals, launched this June, to year-round operations, with the carrier to maintain four weekly flights on the route with its Airbus A320 aircraft. The airline's CEO, Evgeny Klyucharev, noted, "In 2019, Red Wings will run daily services to Belgrade". The carrier has effectively ended the duopoly held by Air Serbia and Aeroflot on the route. In the past, several airlines have tried and failed to do so.

A total of 32 weekly flights are planned between the two cities for the majority of the winter season, increasing to 34 during the peak holiday travel period from mid-December until mid-January. Some 3.220 seats will be on sale between Belgrade and Moscow each way on a weekly basis. Aeroflot will introduce a third daily service to Belgrade for a total of 21 weekly flights from October 28. The additional daily frequency will depart Moscow in the afternoon. On the other hand, Air Serbia will maintain daily flights between the two cities, with ten to twelve weekly services to run from December 16, 2018 until January 20, 2019.

Russia continues to be one of Belgrade Airport's biggest markets. Both Air Serbia and Aeroflot have a wide-ranging codeshare agreement in place with the Serbian carrier maintaining its flight numbers and designator code on Aeroflot's services from Moscow to Belgrade, Kazan, Krasnodar, Samara, Sochi and St Petersburg. In return, Aerfolot codeshares on Air Serbia's flights from Belgrade to Moscow, St Petersburg, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje, Tirana and Tivat. The two countries maintain visa free travel for each others' nationals. A total of 49.857 Russian tourists visited Serbia in 2017, which was up 14% on the previous year. In addition to Moscow, Air Serbia maintains seasonal flights between Belgrade and St Petersburg and last year applied and received permits to operate daily flights to Krasnodar in southern Russia, however, it later scrapped such plans.

Comments

  1. I think Air Serbia will be most affected by this. They won't be able to compete against Aeroflot's service standards and gainst Red Wings' fares.

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    Replies
    1. Why so much negativity. This is an opportunity for ASL to distribute all those pax around

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    2. JU should have perhaps made LED year round.

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    3. Or they could start Nis-Moscow.

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    4. Red Wings used to operate some Nis charters last year.

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    5. Actually I think Pobeda would be best suited for Nis.

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    6. What happened with Pobeda's plans to launch INI?

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    7. They had plans but they obviously didn't see the potential, otherwise they would have started flights.

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    8. Can ATR make it from Nis to Moscow?

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    9. Maybe with five passengers on board. JU uses to send it to Kiev and the flight used to be close to four hours. Moscow would be like five. Lol

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    10. That would be fun! :)))

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  2. Nice to see Red Wings flying over winter. Although they really should have put winter season flights on sale earlier. They just did it a few days ago.

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    1. And people here were writing how they were going to suspend the flights.

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    2. They seems to have done really well this summer as their A321 was quite common.

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    3. Not only did Red Wings continue flying during winter, they increased frequencies. They flew 3 times per week in summer and now its 4 times.

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    4. The conclusion is that they smashed it during the summer season despite what everyone thought.

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    5. Makes sense. Transfer and business passengers went for SU (+JU).
      O&D mostly comprising . tourists and diaspora travel with Red wings

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  3. This is quite impressive if you ask me. Over 3,200 seats between Moscow and Belgrade in winter.

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    1. On average 1,800+ seats more per week compared to last winter season.

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    2. Nice. Fares should come down as a result.

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    3. Hopefully. And again one to loose will be JU

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  4. This is nice but I do think it's a bit too much seats. Someone will loose.

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    1. +1 market will become saturated.

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    2. The biggest losers will be TK, QR and EY. I searched to see prices for flights from BEG to China, Japan, Thailand and the rest of Asia. and SU was almost always cheaper. Or maybe there is just enough demand and nobody will loose.

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    3. People are traveling more and more to Asia and SU connections are very competitive. You do not have to spend 5+ hours in narrowbody

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  5. Has anyone flown Red Wings? What kind of service do they offer?

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  6. Since Red Wings seems to be sticking around next year as well, it will be a nice sight when they arrive with their new livery

    https://www.facebook.com/Aeronews.ro/posts/1897373247005433

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    1. No need to wait until next year, their new livery will be painted on an A321 very soon.

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  7. Are the fares between BEG and MOW expensive?

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    1. They were until Red Wings came which offers very affordable prices. Aeroflot and JU keep prices at around 300 euros.

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    2. The only down side to Red Wings is that they fly from Domodedovo which is in the middle of nowhere.

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    3. Most legacy foreign carriers fly to DME and their passengers do just fine.

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    4. Those legacies fly there because Aeroflot/Russian state to fly to SVO. Air Serbia was an exception.

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    5. @anon 09:32, there are many airlines flying to SVO not only SU and ASL... Finnair, LO, asian airlines, and since you have Aeroexpress to all three big MOW airports there is not a problem... I flew in/out of SVO, DME and VKO and didnt see any difference in commuting from these airports to the city.

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    6. I think you confused it with Zhukovsky. Domededovo is one of the Moscow's central airports along with Vnukovo and very well served by public transport.

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    7. 300€ is to much, 100€ would be OK, both ways of course!!!

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    8. Taxes are around 50 Eur. one-way between Belgrade and Moscow.

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    9. @09:32 - Have you recently checked the list of airlines flying to SVO? It is the second busiest airport in Russia with dozens of airlines flying there including - but not limited to - Alitalia, LOT, Korean...

      You might want to check a second time before making those stupid assumptions.

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  8. Great news for Belgrade

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  9. Big surprise about Red Wings. I really thought they didn't stand a chance. Equally surprising is extra 7 weekly flights from Aeroflot!

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  10. Great to see someone besides JU and SU making BEG-MOW work. Congratulations to them.

    I think Aeroflot is extremely aggressive on the Serbian market. The other day our company was sending some goods to Cyprus and Aeroflot was cheaper than Air Serbia which flies non-stop. Unfortunately JU is too passive to do anything about it. They are happy with whatever crumbs they can get.

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    1. I can bet that JU wasn't aware that Red Wings was even flying to Belgrade. Completely agree with you that they are completely passive.

      Speaking of prices, Aeroflot is always a few euros cheaper than Air Serbia on the Moscow flights, yet their standard of service now is way ahead of JU.

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    2. I noticed that as well but as far as cargo goes, the difference was of some €100.

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  11. 50k russian tourists is bit underwhelming though for not neding visas

    Is Redwings Kreml and independent airline?

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    1. Yep they are privately owned.

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  12. Number of Russian tourists in Serbia does not do a justice, there are actually many Russians living here. I literally bump into a Russian speaker every day in Novi Sad, especially around NIS headquarters. NIS CEOs bring families here and they often fly back home to Moscow ... because they can afford it :D

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  13. Bravo Vladimir Vladimirovich!

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  14. Great the more the merrier.

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  15. Red Wings has also revised its schedule, it's no longer all over the place.

    DME-BEG 12--56-
    12.00-13.00

    BEG-DME 12--56-
    14.00-18.50

    The flight will fly into BEG during the busiest period. It will depart within one hour of Aeroflot's SVO-BEG-SVO flight.

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    1. Much better schedule for passengers so they don't have to arrive in Moscow at the middle of the night.

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    2. And the operational days are quite good for tourists.

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    3. Very good schedule

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  16. Number of Chinese tourists in Serbia is skyrocketing and more of them are coming than Hainan offers seats. I am sure Aeroflot is an attractive option for them.

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    1. That Hainan thing never really picked up. So little seats offered.

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  17. Hopefully it won't damage JU's yields too much.

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  18. I will admit I though Red Wings wouldn't work past World cup or best case scenario past summer. Nice to see them stick around and give people more choice.

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  19. Would be nice of Red Wings to send the SSJ100 some time.

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    1. Why? They are flying to BEG with an aircraft with more capacity.

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    2. Redwings no longer have SSJs in their fleet.

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  20. BEG's connectivity is really nice now. If we look at overall markets these are the results:

    Almost all destinations have at least daily connections.

    More than daily:
    Paris, Moscow, Warsaw, Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Munich, Rome, Athens, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Sofia, Istanbul, Zurich, Vienna, Frankfurt, Podgorica, Tivat and Tel Aviv.

    At least double daily:
    Istanbul, Vienna, Moscow, Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam, Podgorica, London, Paris, Rome.

    This is for this winter and it looks at cities, not individual airports.

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    1. Also Abu Dhabi will be double daily (although only for short period this winter).

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    2. I think it will be a very strong winter for BEG, especially with Air Serbia not culling its network this winter.

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  21. It's interesting because only until last year demand for Moscow flights from Belgrade were declining, probably caused in part because of the economic situation in Russia. Now suddenly 32 weekly flights in the middle of winter. This is more than Belgrade-Podgorica!

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    1. Podgorica is no longer the benchmark in terms of frequnecies, at least during winter. I believe Belgrade-Zurich is.

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    2. Why did demand to Russia decline?

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    3. Due to sanctions, weak Ruble and Russians having less money to travel.

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    4. BEG-ZRH isn't that busy in winter, JU has 17 and LX 9 weekly.

      However, BEG-Switzerland is a different story:

      BEG-ZRH - 26
      BEG-GVA - 4
      BEG-BSL - 5

      Total 35 weekly.

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  22. Crazy how many flights there will be. Not saying it's a bad thing, just surprising.

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  23. So on some days there will be 5 daily flights between Belgrade and Moscow :O

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    1. From middle of December even 6 and 7 daily!

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  24. Not surprised. There are many types of passengers using these flights.

    - Russians living in Serbia (sizable number considering number of Russian companies operating in Serbia)
    - Serbs living in Russia (sizable number)
    - Russian tourists (not a huge number all things considering - expensive tickets have something to do with it)
    - Russian transfer passengers heading to Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia (handled by Air Serbia)
    - Asian transfer passengers (handled by Aeroflot)
    - Serbian construction workers in Russia (considerable number)

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  25. I wonder how much feed easch airline SU/JU get off each others flights.

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  26. Does Air Serbia's hybrid fares/model apply to SVO route or is it like their New York route?

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    1. Full service like to New York. I think it's the only other route they didn't apply the hybrid model and its primarily because of competition.

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    2. I think Beirut, TLV and LED are the same.

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    3. From what I know BEY, TLV and LED are same as the rest of the network.

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  27. Why did people think Red Wings would fail? Price is the key to their success. And for that price you get normal baggage allowance and meal.

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  28. One word - Crazy!

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  29. Most of the Russians do not know about free visa regime. I spoke with some Russians, and they were very surprised when I told them about visas. So with some better marketing and some travel packages JU can increase presence at this market.

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    1. Serbian tourist board should do a better job.

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    2. Haha you should see what our Serbian embassy looks like in Moscow...it would turn you back into Stalin era so don't be expecting too much from those people.

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    3. The one in Nicosia had Yugoslavia posters until a few years ago.

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  30. Why did Air Serbia shelve Krasnodar? As far as I can remember they applied for daily flights.

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    1. Who would fly from there?

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    2. There is obviously some demand seeing Air Serbia codeshares on Aeroflot's flights to Krasnodar. I doubt they added the codes for the fun of it.

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    3. Clear lack of vision and poor management.

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  31. Those Aeroflot uniforms are beautiful. So stylish.

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    1. +100. The crew isn't bad either ;)

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    2. All the ex-Soviet airlines now seem to have very similar unifiroms. Check out Belavia for example.

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    3. They look nice.

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  32. When did Russia/Serbia abolish visas?

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    1. Almost 10 years ago. In 2009.

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    2. Interestingly Serbia and the Seychelles are the only two countries in the world whose citizens do not need visas to access the EU, Russia and China.

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    3. Thanks. Wasn't aware the visa regime has been enforced for so long. Thought it was much more recent.

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  33. It looks as if Moscow will have the most weekly capacity available from Belgrade this winter. Wow.

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  34. Nice work BEG. Maybe 5.7/5.8 million pax could be achieved this year.

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  35. Anyone know how many flights are offered to Moscow from Bucharest, Budapest and Sofia?

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    1. I think all see more than Belgrade bit things are slowly but surely changing. After all Belgrade is the smallest of them all.

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    2. Not true actually. This winter

      OTP - 14 flights to Moscow
      SOF - 18 flights to Moscow
      BUD - 21 flights to Moscow

      So BEG has the most out of all of them

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    3. Moscow is also connected with VAR, BOJ and PDV in winter.
      This summer there were almost 100 weekly flights from BOJ to SVO/VKO and DME, making it the busiest route ever.

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  36. Will we ever see Pobeda arriving to INI?????

    https://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/09/pobeda-eyes-nis-service.html

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  37. I fly this route frequently about once amonth. I used to fly more often JU until they promoted their hybrid BS, now exclusively flyuing SU. Reasons why are: SU has a better onboard product; SU permits me to collect meaningful miles valod across SkyTeam; SU is always 10-15e cheaper than JU; SU on time performance is far better than JU. I feel sorry for JU because they lack vision, as a result SU flights are always 90+% full while JU struggles to get over 60-70%

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    1. Does JU offer low-cost or legacy service to SVO?

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    2. But someone above mentioned YU has a premium service on their flights to Moscow, like they do to NYC? I was recently flying with Aeroflot to Saint Peterborough via Moscow and I was not impressed with the aircraft, it was a bit old fashioned, I really prefer YU interior, felt more fresh.

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  38. SU has one one of the youngest fleets and that is something that every SU captain will proudly announce and brag about after each boarding. JU doesn't offer white tariff to SVO at all, only blue or red to chose from where blue doesn't provide for any catering...that is how much they are left of a legacy carrier!)) ...in addition you have to add at least another 30 minutes for each flight to their announced departure time from SVO as they are never capable of turning around the aircraft in within 45-50 minutes as per timetable.

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  39. This a clear example where government and politics should have intervened. JU should have asked to have equal number of flights in this wide codeshare partnership - 2 SU +2 JU daily

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    1. It used to be that way but a few years ago Serbia and Russia signed an open skies policy. Also, Air Serbia used to have double daily flights to Moscow until a few years ago. It's their own fault they failed.

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    2. That is why government/owner should approach the other and negotiate this for JU

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