Air France readies for Belgrade return


Air France is set to resume operations between Paris and Belgrade this Sunday following a six-year hiatus. This time around, the airline will work closely with Air Serbia, with the two to offer 21 weekly services between the two capitals. The French carrier will host a special event in Belgrade next Monday to mark its return to the Serbian market. Among those in attendance will be Air France - KLM's General Manager for Alps, Balkans and Central Europe, Thijs Komen, the General Manager of the French-operated Nikola Tesla Airport, Nicholas Brus, and the French Ambassador to Serbia Frederic Mondoloni. The Sky Team-member airline will maintain daily services to Belgrade.

Air France and Air Serbia will also expand their codeshare partnership as of this Sunday. Apart from displaying each others' codes on flights between Belgrade and Paris, the French carrier will place its "AF" designator code and flight numbers onto its Serbian counterpart's services to Larnaca, Nice, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje, Thessaloniki, Tirana and Tivat. In return, Air Serbia will codeshare on Air Frances' flights from Paris to Barcelona, Dublin, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice and Palma de Mallorca. This summer, Air Serbia will add an extra weekly flight to the French capital for a total of two daily services. Furthermore, the airline will introduce two weekly seasonal flights to Nice, starting June 6.

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 kilometres north of central Paris, while ASL Airlines France will introduce two weekly seasonal services from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the Serbian capital starting June 24.




Comments

  1. Wish them well but there is just too much capacity on the route. From what I've seen they agree as well since they launched seasonal flights. Nice to see JU up their game as well.

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    1. They won't be seasonal.

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    2. You will see next week when route is laumched.

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    3. Let's see.

      On their web page is says

      "For the 2019 summer season (March 31 to October 26, 2019), Air France will offer its customers Belgrade (Serbia) on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle"

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    4. And next week you will see it has been extended to winter.

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  2. Already with ticket BEG-CDG-LHR in September.

    There was no competition with ticket price compared with JU!

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    Replies
    1. Aren't the fares the same or similar?

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    2. How much did you pay? I hope AF isn't dumping fares on the market, never a good sign.

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    3. If you call 300 euros dumpimg fares...

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    4. The tickets on Air France and Air Serbia are sooo expensive. I can't believe it. This is like the most overpriced route from BEG along with London. Just nuts.

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    5. Everyone rips off passengers from Belgrade to Paris, even shitty Wizz Air makes you pay more than €300 most days! It's crazy. I don't know what will happen but I hope ASL survives as they seem to be only cheap option.

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    6. ASL is also pricey but most affordable and they will be flying out of CDG

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    7. Does anyone know the reasom why the prices are so high? Taxes?

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    8. @9.13 unfortunately I think ASL has the least chance of surviving on this route. But we will see.

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    9. JU is so expensive on this route that I know a few people who go to Brussels to catch the JU flight to BEG.

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    10. Well it's only 1h20 by train from Paris to Brussels. Sometimes I travel longer between two points in Belgrade on a Friday afternoon.

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    11. Few days ago, there was a discussion how prices on BRU-BEG are overpriced :) :) :)

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    12. JU always has the same price to Brussels at 250 EUR. Paris goes from 350 EUR upwards.

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    13. And I go to Amsterdam from Brussels, cause it is cheaper with train connection.

      What i find the best optoption is multy city where Amsterdam - Belgrade - Brussels is the cheapest solution. I recommend this option.

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  3. Great to see LCA added to the list of code-share flights. I checked some flights on their website and they sell it for around €400 which isn't cheap but it's much cheaper than other options while connecting times are around 55 minutes. Only cheaper option is via AMS with Transavia.

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    1. Is there no nonstop flight from Paris to Larnaca?

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    2. Nope, none. Cobalt and Cyprus Airways flew the route in the past and both have gone bankrupt since. There are numerous charters in summer but that's about it.

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    3. Wow that's surprising. Interesting that Air France has not considered it.

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    4. it's probably too long of a flight and there is too much competition from all over Europe, Turkey included which sells flights via ECN.
      Maybe Transavia could take over like they did with AMS but who knows...

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    5. Good news for Air Serbia I guess. I assume they get quite a few transfers on that route.

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    6. Oh yes, absolutely. Connecting times are good as well, an hour both ways and the flight leaves Paris late so you get the whole day in the city. Also LCA does well for JU these days which, of course, makes me happy.

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  4. Great to see Air France and Air Serbia expanding their cooperation.

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    Replies
    1. another reason for JU to join SkyTeam.

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  5. AF is codesharing on JU flights. Why should they also launch flights and drive down yields and loadfactors for their partner?

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    Replies
    1. There is obviously sufficient demand for both to benefit.

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    2. Also remember that a great dhare of Air Serbia passengers on the Paris flights are transfers.

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    3. That is bad news for JU.

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    4. Troll alert

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  6. Any chance that Air Serbia might become a Sky Team member. I remember many years ago that Jat Airways tried to become a member. Perhaps Air France could sponsor them.

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    Replies
    1. Didn't Air France sponsor TAROM to become a member?

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    2. No, it was sponsored by Alitalia.

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    3. BTW, Tarom was talking about possibility to leave SkyTeam few month ago...

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    4. In 2009 Jat CEO said they were about to become a Sky Team associate member and that KLM is sponsoring them... but it never happened obviously.

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    5. Number of codeshares between both AirSerbia & Eithad and SkyTeam members is huge. If we skip technical / financial issues at the moment probably biggest obstacle would be relation with Delta because of Etihad.

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    6. RO will not allow another Skyteam member in a neighboring country.
      They see themselves as the alliance representative in Southeast Europe.

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    7. RO with their ancient fleet cannot be compared.
      JU has a much superior product compared to RO.
      Additionally, RO does NOT fly to JFK. Its network is weak.

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    8. Your really think that SkyTeam need a solution for flights to JFK? :)
      I mean, I would love to see JU joining SkyTeam but this argument is ridiculous.
      Alliance membership brings some benefits and some obligation to airline, so it is question of balance. Also there are different levels of membership and question if and when current members can veto entrance of the one.
      And, at the end, additionally its about relationship between US and UAE carriers, which have been turbulent...

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    9. SkyTeam is quite weak in the Balkans and this is why JU should step in. JU connects all Balkan capitals and almost the entire Croatian coast to its hub and therefore BEG is no doubt an important hub in the region.
      Add to this the numerous Etihad codeshares.
      RO was accepted in SkyTeam because of pure politics. France has it´s say, the similar way to forced Romanians to buy A318s. Old trick.

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    10. Anonymous26 March 2019 at 11:56:
      "RO with their ancient fleet cannot be compared.
      JU has a much superior product compared to RO."

      ARE YOU SERIOUS? Come on, if anyone has ancient fleet it's Air Dzamah.. Air Serbia, that is. One of the oldest. Just because they changed aircraft type, it doesn't mean that the Airbuses are new. Inform yourself before writing, a friendly advice.

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    11. Average age of the fleet:

      Air Serbia: 17.4 years
      Tarom: 15.6 year

      This is if we exclude Aviolet and its three B733. I don't know how old its fleet would be then.

      Mind you, RO's B733s are on average 25 years old. Atrs are 18 years old while these planes are in a really bad shape, their seats are literally falling apart inside and legroom is atrocious.

      https://www.airfleets.net/ageflotte/TAROM.htm
      https://www.airfleets.net/ageflotte/Air%20Serbia.htm

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  7. I'm surprised by all the demand for France.

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    1. It obviously took Vinci for French airlines to take note of BEG.

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    2. Very big Serbian diaspora in France and lots of transfer traffic both ways. Not that surprising really.

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  8. Does the schedule for these flights offer good onwards connections? And how are the flights scheduled in comparison to Air Serbia's flights?

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    1. Connection wise so and so. Most connections are made with JU's morning flight.

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    2. As for timing it's perfect. Early afternoon and you have JU with morning and evening service.

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    3. AF flight is there to optimize connections in CDG, not so much in Belgrade. Flights from BEG are on their code but on JU metal.

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  9. This is bad news for Lufthansa group. Paris will become much competative for transfers.

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    1. *much more

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    2. Nothing will hurt LH in Belgrade. They are still (for some reason) the most loved airline by Serbs and a preferred airline among tour agencies.

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    3. They didn't leave Serbian market like AF, they fly to 2 big airports from BEG with huge number of connections, they have more frequencies from BEG (3 x daily MUC and 2 x daily FRA), they have decent product, they still offer food and drinks free of charge, they are reliable and usually not overpriced.

      These are the reasons.

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    4. Anon 09.49

      Can you blame them? LH might not be the best airline out there but they are consistent in terms of product they offer. They had some cuts but they still offer a decent enough service which can be best described as just ok, not bad but not great either.
      Lufthansa's best selling point is that they are extremely reliable and you know what you pay for. TK on the other hand has a fantastic onboard product but there are so many unpredictable factors which can transform a fantastic experience into a nightmare.

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

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    6. Staff neither rude nor friendly. Little free snack on short European flights.

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  10. It is great news seeing Air France return to BEG and not with Hop! but with the main line.

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  11. Welcome back.

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  12. Air France has been selling some fantastic fares to the US and South America this summer. I will be suing them to Quito in June. I bought the ticket just last week at a very affordable price. But point to point tickets are expensive.

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    Replies
    1. Nice. How much did you pay?

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    2. It was 750 euros which is good for South America. Although flight from Paris is with Joon and there is a stop in Panama City.

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    3. Thanks. Good price and interesting destination.

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  13. I don't understand why AF ever suspended this route. They flew daily and with full planes.

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

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

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  14. AF and JU are natural partners

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  15. Number of French tourists visiting Serbia has grown a lot these past few years. Last year over 20%. Another source of traffic.

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    Replies
    1. We should thank Wizz Air for that, not overpriced JU.

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    2. Obviously JU is finding the passengers for their flights even overpriced.

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    3. I think CDG has always been one of JU's best performing routes passenger wise.

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  16. Good news for passengers and consumer in Serbia.

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  17. So in total 25 weekly flights to Paris this summer?

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    Replies
    1. And 29 to Framce in total. Still a way behind German, Swiss and Russian market from Serbia.

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    2. Belgrade-Paris is 23 to CDG and 4 to BVA so 27 a week plus 2 LYS and 2 NCE comes to 31 a week which isn't all that bad.

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    3. Oops I thought W6 flew only twice weekly to BVA. I stand corrected.

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    4. I think they launched it with 3 weekly and then 4th was added about a year ago. I think they can easily operate a fifth one but they don't have enough aircraft in BEG and BVA isn't a base for them.

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  18. Hope all of these new France flights survive till next summer.

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    Replies
    1. Why wouldn't they? I think only ASL might have problems, simply because no one knows about them.

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  19. They should have considered 2 weekly flights to Nis. Would have been a hit.

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    Replies
    1. And they would have offered competition to Swiss.

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    2. Paris will certainly be included in tender for subsidy grant.

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    3. Good to hear Anon 10:27
      Any info what other destinations will be part of the tender process?

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

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    Replies
    1. Depends which economy fare. Like with Air Serbia and most European airlines nowadays.

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  21. Cool to see more flights when the airport is really dead. I think it will be them and Swiss at the airport.

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    Replies
    1. Surely there are more carriers at that time. What about easyjet and LOT?

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  22. Interesting choice of codeshare destinations.

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    Replies
    1. Actually they make a lot of sense.

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  23. So that means they won't be starting Sarajevo any time soon :(

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    Replies
    1. Let's see if TXL-SJJ survives, diaspora is much larger there.

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    2. I don't think they ever had the intention of starting SJJ.

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  24. Great to see this legacy back in BEG.

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    Replies
    1. Hoping BA is next up.

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    2. Major European airline groups increasing their flights to BEG is good for the city.

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  25. Can't wait to see that cute Porsche 911 of Airbus in Belgrade! Air France used to send A318 to BEG and there are not too many A318s left in the world. When half empty, that thing takes off like a rocket!

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    Replies
    1. A319 and 320 is operating this route.

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    2. What flies AF to ZAG?
      A318

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    3. According to FR24 AF sends its E90 to ZAG.

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    4. Sorry, Nemanja. This time you ain't right. 320 will be sent on 31st March 2019 and the A32A the following day. As you can see BEG will initially be receiving A319....

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    5. Very sorry for you but both A320 and A319 operating to Belgrade straight away. It's amazing what some people get jelous over. You already have AF. Get over it.

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    6. My comment was a reply to Anon 18.51 and his question on what equipment AF sends to Zagreb.

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    7. A320 sent twice to BEG. ZAG gets A32A sharklets newer model.

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    8. ZAG gets that in summer not winter.

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    9. AF sends the mix of E90, A318,A319 and A320 to ZAG

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    10. Not in last two months. March saw mix E75/90.

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