Air France to resume Belgrade flights


The French national carrier Air France will resume operations between Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Belgrade in 2019 following a six-year hiatus. The airline will run daily flights between the two cities with a mix of Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft starting March 31. The Sky Team-member airline operated its last service to the Serbian capital in March 2013. The announcement comes in the lead-up to the the 25-year takeover of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport by France's Vinci and the French President's state visit to Serbia next week. Air France will complement Air Serbia on the route, which plans to maintain thirteen weekly flights between the two cities next summer season. The French carrier codeshares on its counterpart's operations between Belgrade and Paris.

Air France's Country Manager for Hungary and the Balkans, Ildiko Kiss, said in a statement, "I am delighted that we are returning to Belgrade after several years. With this new flight, Serbian passengers will have a greater choice, thanks to Air France's extensive network from Paris. The three daily flights in our codeshare partnership with Air Serbia will allow excellent daily connections from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to more than 160 destinations on five continents". In addition to Air France and Air Serbia, low cost carrier Wizz Air maintains two weekly flights from Belgrade to Beauvais, which is some 85 kilometers north of central Paris.

Air France has been growing its presence in the former Yugoslavia in recent years, both through its mainline operations and low cost subsidiary Transavia. The French carrier maintains services from Paris to Zagreb and Ljubljana, as well as seasonal summer flights to Dubrovnik. Earlier this year, it told EX-YU Aviation News, "The Air France - KLM Group strongly believes in the potential of ex-Yugoslav countries. We have a real desire to serve the region to our best. Transavia maintains sustained growth and is developing its network on departure from all its bases in France and the Netherlands to the former Yugoslavia. We have also launched codeshare agreements with Croatia Airlines, Adria Airways and Air Serbia to Paris and Amsterdam. These agreements pave the way for further development opportunities. We are here to stay".

Flight details for Air France's new Paris - Belgrade service can be found here.

Comments

  1. Vinci! xD

    Good news for BEG however, I was hoping for Joon instead.
    This is not good news for W6 and the BEG-BVA route will be heavily affected :(

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  2. Replies
    1. Avoid Air Serbia

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    2. Zero chance of BA returning unless the UK drops the requirement of Serbian citizens to have transit visa's for the UK

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    3. Why would you need a transiti visa if you transfer at T5 at Heathrow ?

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    4. Because these are the regulations of UK Government

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    5. Plenty of exceptions in that regulation, meaning virtually no-one who travels to US/Canada needs a Airside Visa.

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  3. Great news. I am really curious to see what schedule they introduce. Would be great if they had a, let's say, 05.00 departure from BEG because like that they could offer even more connections at CDG.

    I was certain that if they came back it would be with Joon, especially since they replaced AF with it in BUD.

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    1. Timetable is in the article. They have a afternoon departure which means they are working with Air Serbia here. So now we have morning, afternoon and evening departure to Paris.

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    2. Yeah, I see it now. It was added after I posted my comment.

      BEG-CDG
      jU 06.40-09.15
      AF 15.25-17.55
      JU 17.05-19.40

      CDG-BEG
      JU 10.05-12.25
      AF 12.20-14.35
      JU 20.30-22.50

      Didn't Jat have a 15-something departure from BEG some years ago? Air France's schedule fits nicely but as far as locals go, I think JU schedule is still more appealing.

      Good thing is that AF flight arrives and departs during the quieter period.

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    3. You have nice connections to Latin America SE Asia. Good news for the Serbian diaspora in Argentina and Uruguay as they are now even more connected to their mother homeland.
      EZE-CDG-BEG or MVD-CDG-BEG.
      Good job BEG :)

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    4. There is a Serbian diaspora in Argentina and Uruguay?

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    5. Who would fly AF at 05:00?!!

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    6. Yes, around 70 thousand Serbs including famous football player Marcelo Burzac & Olympic Paola Vukojicic.

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    7. 05:00 would be tooo early, but around 09.00h would be ideal

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    8. JU has a flight to Paris at 06.40AM.

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    9. Anon 12.47

      Transfer passengers would.

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    10. Bravo Ana, bravo Milica!

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    11. @Nemjee

      Too bad no other airline has figured that out. Well, besides Wizz Air.

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    12. This route is mainly for O&D and business pax.

      Nemjee, your suggestion is outright stupid. AF would have departures one hour from JU both at night and in the morning (unless you suggest they depart CDG at 2AM).

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    13. When it comes to business passengers and O&D, JU times are much better than AF ones. Why should a businessman leave BEG at 15.25 when there is JU at 17.00? Same for the other direction.

      That said, improved connectivity at CDG is fantastic news as it will create a decent alternative to Star Alliance hubs which seem to dominate at the moment.

      Also RO seems to have revised its BEG schedule where 2 weekly flights arrive just before midnight to OTP. I suppose they are adjusting their schedule to make it more convenient to connect to their midnight network.

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    14. I'll translate to Nemjee. It is there mainly to complement the existing JU schedule.

      One can go on AF and return on JU and vice-versa.

      That makes it completely senseless introducing a 0500 departure out of all times except for a single pax.

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  4. And someone said here a few days ago that Air France is coming back.

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  5. I hope the first of many new announcements for BEG.

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    Replies
    1. Well we already have Lufthansa +7 flights to Munich and Swiss +7 flights to Zurich.

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    2. Plus Aeroflot +7 to Moscow and let's see if LO ends up adding more flights.

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    3. Heheh the guy with the frequencies increase mania is back. What is this forum without him?

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    4. Why is it a mania? Adding another 7 weekly flights is quite significant actually.

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    5. LH's new MUC flight is already scheduled as a mix of A319 and A320!

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    6. This was amazing and not expected.
      With so many additional frequencies BEG will have great 2019!
      And especially as we heard that JU will have interesting news :)

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    7. All these new frequencies will increase Belgrade's connectivity drastically!

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    8. Anon 12.49

      Add Aegean to the list of improve connectivity. Two of their five weekly flights will operate in the evening meaning connections to the Middle East will be offered.

      1--4--- BEG-ATH 18.55-21.40

      This schedule is great for both O&D and transfers.

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    9. That is bad news for JU flights to TLV, BEY and LCA.

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    10. You forgot Turkish Airlines and Pegasus. ;)

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  6. Wow this was unexpected. Not because its Air France but because I was expecting Joon. They just downgraded Budapest to Joon, so having Air France mainline flying to BEG is a really nice surprise.

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    1. Maybe we can expect also to see KLM instead of Transavia in BEG

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    2. It will be downgraded to Joon after a while. They will prefer to leave a good impression first and leave disappointments for later. But it's better than nothing of course.

      I am actually eager to see how Vinci attracts new routes to the airports they operate. We have seen in ZAG how AdP does this, if Vinci can make 70% of that BEG will flourish.

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    3. What else does your crystal ball say?

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    4. It is just a mix of fear and jealousy.

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    5. Don't you get that at the same time they downgrade Belgrade to Joon (they wanted to do it straight away but decided to soften the blow because of their love for Serbia) they will then upgrade Zagreb to A380.

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  7. Will Air Serbia codeshare on the Air France flight?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, even AF official mentioned that they will offer three daily thanks to JU.

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  8. Does HOP still fly to Ljubljana or has it been upgraded to AF mainline?

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    Replies
    1. So only BEG and ZAG get mainline?

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    2. AF usually use HOP E190 type in the winter to ZAG and anything from AF A318 to A320 in the summer.

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    3. Actually until November it was 319 and 320 in ZAG and now in dead season it's E90 and E75 on some days.I guess OU does much better.

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    4. I don't understand all the fuss about "mainline". The only difference is a type of an aircraft. You have the same service on HOP and Air France, just a slightly more comfortable flight on E75 and E95 due to more comfortable seats. Joon is a different story. That's the real difference.

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  9. Good to see. Might pose some issues for JU.

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    1. Look at the schedule, this is bad news for OS, LH and LO as CDG will become more competitive for transfers.

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    2. It could mean nothing but better price for BEG passengers

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  10. I'm still dumbstruck about Air France's suspension of BEG. Their planes were full and they flew daily.

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    Replies
    1. Healthy loads does not necessarily translate into profits.

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    2. They had really good loads and the fares were anything but cheap.

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    3. Not surprising really. At the time they suspended a few routes since they were recording massive losses and cost cutting left and right.

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    4. AF had flown BEG on and off during the 2000s for a range of reasons.

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  11. Good news for passengers and consumer in Serbia.

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  12. Haven't flown AF in years. Wonder what they are like now days.

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    Replies
    1. Same as LH for example. Staff neither rude nor friendly. Little free snack on short European flights.

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    2. Recently had a short CDG-AMS flight with them. Very modern and sleek cabin, and super friendly crew. Because we had some turbulence, the time for serving the snack and drinks was really short, but they organized really well and with big smiles on their faces managed to serve everyone. Overall a very positive experience!

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  13. Great news for travelling public but Air Serbia should be worried since other airlines are now circling around its home turf more and more.

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    Replies
    1. True. Especially from LH group.

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  14. Great to see a legacy back in BEG.

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  15. and another reason for JU to join SkyTeam. they're natural partners

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    Replies
    1. RO would never allow that.

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    2. There are different ways of persuasion if there is a business case.

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  16. SHOOK! It has started!

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  17. This article is definitely main news of a day!

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  18. Is Belgrade the only one in ex-Yu with so many new weekly frequencies (LX, LH, OS, AF, SU...) to the main hubs in Europe?

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    Replies
    1. I think ZAG also got an additional daily to FRA in summer and more flight to MUC next summer.

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    2. MUC 7x weekly added
      ZRH 7x weekly added
      CDG 7x weekly added
      SVO 7x weekly added

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    3. And more to come :)

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    4. Etihad loaded double daily flights for next summer, up from 12 last summer.

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  19. This is just a beginning...Forecasts says the next summer will be hot in Belgrade!

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  20. Great news for BEG, bad news for JU.

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    Replies
    1. Hhaah not today, mate. It would be very beneficial for JU to collaborate with AF on this route.
      If JU had another A330, it could easily deploy it on the BEG-CDG route to increase capacity and further boost the transit passengers from the rest of Yugoslavia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece.

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    2. Especially Lebanon!

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    3. @Anon 12:54
      LOL, AF already flies to all those destinations multiple times a day.
      No with the new flights to BEG it will have even less of a reason to give pax for JU to carry when it will be carrying them with their own metal.
      Why would a Lebanese, Bulgarian, Greek, Romanian go first through BEG to connect to CDG when he/she can fly directly to CDG?

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    4. Because of price. 95% of passengers on JUs flights from/to Beirut are transfers from western Eruope - mostly Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. And there are nonstop flights from all those cities to Beirut.

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    5. We know well that we subsidize cheap tickets for transfers from the Middle East with expensive tickets for Serbs flying from BEG.

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    6. Belgrade-Beirut is not that expensive, and if you knew anything about aviation you would know that transfer passengers always have it cheaper than point to point. I'm sure you don't subsidize anything.

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    7. Belgrade - Paris route is so successful for JU that almost all people from Serbia have to transfer in other European airports. Otherwise you have to pay 350 eur or more. Ridiculous, serving transfer passengers instead of own citizens/taxpayers.

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  21. Another ailine to Paris so there will be 22 weekly flights. ASL France will start from June 2/week

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  22. Nice to see AF back. Are tickets on sale already?

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    Replies
    1. Hopefully soon. The JU tickets for early June next year to Paris are expensive as hell.

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    2. I doubt AF fares will be much different.

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  23. Does AF offer free checked in baggage when you purchase your ticket in economy?

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    Replies
    1. Depends on the fare type. The lowest has no checked bags included. Like Air Serbia.

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    2. nope. they have a mini tarif without luggage, which is of course the cheapest

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    3. Thank you! :)

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  24. Congratulations Belgrad but...
    Don´t get me wrong, I am not sure if the Serbian market is will prepared to receive 9 additional flights to Paris + the existing one to Beauvais.
    Also I don´t think the LH Group would allow the slice of the cake to AF and HV (AF/KL Groupe).
    The issue with BEG is that few carriers have been really stable during the last decades.
    We have seen so many new comers, old comers but also many leavers.

    The Serbian market is mature enough for flights to Germany and Switzerland but not sure about France.
    We have seen interesting devolpments on charters + Malta which was a big surprise too.

    Should AF/KL Group further expand, then the role of JU as a regional, key player will be effecient only via CDG. The flights to LHR and AMS will lose their credibility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. European major airline groups increasing their services to BEG is great both for the city and the country.
      It is very bad though for Air Serbia, both on number of potential passengers AND its yields being pressured.

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  25. congrats to BEG, good thing with AF and also with frequencies raising from other big boys, beg as airport can feed this planes, but it will be interesting to see JU position in coming years

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  26. Sorry but AF/KL, LH and BA/IB are just overpriced national proud blah blah airlines so nothing to cheer about. And their Mickey Mouse companies/knock offs like Joon, Eurowings and LEVEL are just slightly cheaper but still overpriced copies.

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely right. Belgrade needs more LCCs, not overpriced flag carriers. We already have Air Serbia which is as overpriced as it gets, relative to the spending power of the Belgrade area catchment area.

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    2. I don't know enough about the others, but KL is definitely not a 'blah blah' airline. It has a rich home market, a very strong business model and very wisely crafted pricing strategy, and it's profitable.

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    3. Do you think KL might be interested in buying JU one day?
      I have always considered JU as a SkyTeam Member.
      Good relationship with AF, RO, KL, OK, DL and so on.
      Also JU has a chance to tie with UX, they are growing like crazy in MAD competing with IB on already many routes like Latin America.

      With relation to AF, I hope HV France also considers launching flights from Orly to Belgrade to give more options to the Serbian customer.
      Covering CDG, ORY and BVA just like BUD.

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    4. "AF/KL, LH and BA/IB are just overpriced national proud blah blah airlines so nothing to cheer about."

      Oh my, I did not know that! When I was reading comments the other day about those same airlines at Zagreb airport and they were called "premium airlines" and "quality brands". Well thank you, now I know!

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    5. Anon 05.50

      I think the term used was 'fancy airlines.'
      Also, BEG has a good mix of lowcost and legacy carriers so why is this a problem? Who can't afford JU-AF to CDG is more than welcome to fly on Wizz Air to BVA... which is also extremely expensive btw. In summer W6 tends to be between 300 and 400 Euros!

      Norwegian increased OSL this winter while ARN goes 2 weekly next summer. easyJet added 7 weekly flights this year in addition to their GVA flights. Vueling regularly flies as well to BEG and so does Pegasus.

      So where exactly do we need more LCCs? In ex-YU, BEG is by far the most competitive airport and there is very little to complain about.

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    6. It is obvious that whatever happens (and a lot of great things are expected to happen soon) there will be bunch of people who will always try to find something negative although it'snot there.
      The reason is to belittle the results BEG has and to make their frustration easier

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  27. Congrats to Beg for this news and hopefully many more good news. And also wish our neighbours at Zag and others many many good news!

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  28. Ah, a ja 15. idem za Pariz -.- da su poranili jedno dve nedelje ništa im ne bi falilo

    ReplyDelete

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