TRIP REPORT: Tunisair, Belgrade - Tunis

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Written by Amar

I travel to Tunisia often since my company does a lot of work there so I decided it might be interesting to bring you a short report from one of their flights. This one is from the middle of December 2018 from Belgrade to Tunis on Tunisair. Tunisair flies to Belgrade throughout the year from the Tunisian capital and seasonally from Monastir as well.

While there are a lot of tourists using these flights, in winter you will mostly see Tunisian expats living in Serbia flying on this route, which was the case this time around. Tunisians have had uninterrupted visa free access, first to Yugoslavia, and now Serbia for exactly 40 years now. Our flight on this occasion was operated by an Airbus A320. It was a full flight and there was a long line at check-in when I arrived even though there were four desks servicing Tunisair passengers.


Although Tunisians are very hospitable people, crew on Tunisair can be a hit or a miss. Sometimes they are polite, sometimes not. They were not too courteous this time around and just seemed like they would rather be elsewhere.


We departed on time and soon after takeoff meal service started. This is not a very long flight and I think it is commendable that Tunisair serves a hot meal on this route, plus drinks (soft drinks and alcohol) and it is all free of charge. The meal consisted of some lamb stew, tuna salad and a Tunisian traditional dessert. Although it does not look very appealing it tasted good. I had some red wine along with it and they serve Tunisian wine, which is also nice.


The rest of the flight was mostly uneventful. There are overhead screens per every few set of seats which just displayed a moving map. The leather seats are mostly comfortable and have nice padding.

The capitan gave us an informative announcement about our route path and the general details of the flight. When we started our descent into Tunis over the Mediterranean we hit some heavy turbulence as there was a storm and we were right in the midst of it.




Ground service at Carthage Airport varies like Tunisair crew. Sometimes you have to wait almost an hour to pick up your bags, as was the case this time, and staff "discipline" has sharply deteriorated since the fall of Ben Ali.

Overall Tunisair is an ok airline and for me above average compared to many European airlines based on the service they offer on short flights.

I apologise for the lack of photos but crew on Tunisair gets very shifty if you are taking photos on board, and the same is at the airport in Tunis.


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Comments

  1. I noticed Jat Airways' "dots" logo behind the meal (and there seems to be a reference to 2009). What was the logo on and why?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi
      It's a bookmark that I still use for my book which I put in the seat pocket. It has a calendar on it for 2009. I got it in a gift bag at Universiade games in 2009.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the explanation Amar. I thought it was strange to have "Jat Airways" merchandise on a Tunisair flight.

      In any case, keep the bookmark, don't lose it. It's a piece of history, particularly since that Jat branding was short lived. I personally liked the branding on its own, but the livery was poor, very poor.

      Delete
  2. Nice trip report, quite a rare airline so it's refreshing! TU seems to be doing quite well in Belgrade, probably because Tunis is a popular year-round destination.

    By the way, I noticed that most TU flights are late, even by several hours at a time. Are they experiencing a fleet shortage?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks.

      Yes, I wanted to write that they are constantly delayed (surprisingly this flight was almost on time). I think it's a mix of too many destinations for fleet size and bad ground handling across Tunisia.

      Delete
    2. I remember some years ago they used to send their A300-600. With the security situation in Tunis improving, maybe we'll see the A330 some time.

      Delete
    3. I was once on their A300-600 from BEG. They sent it when they had to cancel several flights (to Monastir) around the Arab spring. Flight was full because seemingly no one decided against traveling to Tunisia but the plane was really ancient inside. I have some photos somewhere. Everything seemed like from a museum. The seats, toilets...

      It was an enjoyable experience anyway.

      Delete
    4. No, no... this was before the Arab Spring, I think around 2005 or 2007. Quite a while ago. I think it's before visas were suspended so many people went there.

      Delete
    5. visas suspended?
      "Tunisians have had uninterrupted visa free access, first to Yugoslavia, and now Serbia for exactly 40 years now."

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    6. Schengen visa, before Serbs could go freely to Greece, Spain, Italy...

      Delete
  3. Nice trip report and very interesting catering on board. It looks great and very rich

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  4. Nice report, Amar. Thanks!
    I flew Tunisair from Belgrade to Tunis and back from Monastir when I went there on holiday back in 2008. I remember it as a very pleasant flight experience. And Tunisia is so beautiful. I would love to go again, and it would be interesting to see if and how it changed after Ben Ali, as you hint in your report.
    Anyway, thanks again.

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  5. Does Tunis Air offers connecting flights from Belgrade?

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