Air Arabia shelves Belgrade flights


Low cost carrier Air Arabia has cancelled plans to launch four weekly flights between Sharjah and Belgrade this summer season. According to the "Aviatica" portal, the airline decided on the move due to insufficient time to prepare for the launch, which was scheduled for June 28. The decision comes just weeks after the carrier selected its general sales agent in Belgrade. Ticket sales for the service, which began in January, have now been suspended.

The Middle East and North Africa’s largest low cost airline would have faced stiff indirect competition on the route, with Etihad to run double daily services between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade during the peak summer months, while Flydubai will maintain five weekly services until July 1, after which flights will be increased to daily. In total, the two airlines will offer 3.066 seats each way between Serbia and the United Arab Emirates during the height of summer.

The Chairman of operator VINCI Airports, Nicolas Notebaert, said on Monday, "Traffic development is vital in VINCI's objectives for the development of Nikola Tesla Airport. Our teams, in partnership with various airlines, identify opportunities for new routes to provide airlines with the best conditions to allow efficient operations and a friendly environment for passengers. This is exactly what we are doing here in Belgrade where our experts are already at work to develop solutions. New routes will benefit the citizens of Serbia and Belgrade. Like any airport in a capital city, Nikola Tesla is an essential asset for both the country's economic development and international visibility".

Air Arabia has had mixed success in the former Yugoslavia. It currently maintains seasonal summer flights to Sarajevo which were initially scheduled to run throughout the year. The carrier will operate double daily services to the Bosnian capital this summer. On the other hand, in 2011, the budget airline introduced two weekly services from Dubai to Tuzla, which were cancelled a month later due to extremely poor loads. A year later, in 2012, the airline introduced two weekly flights between Sharjah and Pristina. The service was also discontinued within a month. Air Arabia currently operates a fleet of 54 Airbus A320 aircraft, serving over 150 routes from four hubs - Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE, Alexandria in Egypt and Casablanca in Morocco.




Comments

  1. Considering their prices were the same as Flydubai's yet they fly to Sharjah and are a full LCC I'm not surprised.

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    Replies
    1. They are quite expensive for an LCC.

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    2. Yes. In July return ticket prices on Air Arabia were 460 euros.

      Same dates with Flydubai and the price was 440 euros.

      One flies to Sharjah, the other to Dubai.

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    3. And with Wizz Air from Budapest to Dubai World you can fly for 260 euros.

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    4. Well keep in mind that Wizz Air flies to Dubai World Airport which is further away from Dubai then Sharjah for example.

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    5. There were no promo fares for these flights.

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  2. Probably because of poor sales. Had they tried any sort of promotion maybe they would have had some passengers.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly. Transiting trough Dubai offers you much more opportunities than Sharjah. Many people haven't even heard of the place.

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    2. Not to mention that Sharjah Airport is terrible.

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    3. They also took a financial hit, they are probably staying away from unprofitable businesses.

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    4. Sharjah is becoming more popular because hotels there are much less expensive than Dubai, yet it is very close to Dubai and you can go there every day.

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    5. But Sharjah in Dubai are two VERY different places.

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    6. The funny thing is you can fly to Sharjah for dirt cheap with Turkish Airlines. The last few months they were selling tickets from Belgrade to Sharjah (which is a new destination that just launched from Istanbul) for 200 euros.

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    7. Guys, do you know what Sharjah is, how is to live over there, or spend vacation? I mean, google it before start talking about these things.

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    8. I do and I don't get your point.

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  3. '...and a friendly environment for passengers...'

    I flew out of BEG yesterday and just for the record, during the morning wave of departures toilets by the C gates were a disaster. All urinals were out of service while only one regular cubicle was operational as well as one for the handicapped. Maybe they should first address this issue before dreaming of far away destinations and bringing in even more passengers and even more airlines.

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    Replies
    1. Some things never change. Toilets were always problem at BEG.

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    2. Or maybe the guests are the bigger issue here?? We live in the Balkans remember?

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    3. Wuuuut... how are guests responsible for not working urinals?

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    4. Trust me the current toilets in Sarajevo departures are an even bigger disaster!

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    5. Nemjee, my friend. I invite you to check the toilets in the LCC SOF Terminal 1. You will be flipping :D

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    6. Having flown from Norway to Belgrade regularly the past six years, I must say I'm surprised at hearing toilets are always a problem in BEG. My impression are that they are the cleanest toilets of any working airport in Europe, and compared to OSL they are a nice-smelling paradise!

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    7. I also fly from BEG every month at least once and I don't understand these stories with toilets. They are fine, especially the renovated ones in the departures area across C1 gate. The only time I thought they were substandard was the toilet in the gate area inside C6.

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    8. Those are the best because they are newest, try using older ones in the airport and you will see what we are talking about.

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    9. T1 is disaster. Toilets in basement are worst. Toilets like those should not be even in Railway station.

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  4. Would have been too much capacity to the UAE and Middle East overall.

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  5. Očigledno nisu mogli da se izbore sa žestokom konkurencijom iz UAE. 23 leta nedeljno i više nego dovoljno

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  6. The market would be oversaturated.

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    Replies
    1. It would, wouldn't it?

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    2. Agree with you. So many seats to the Gulf is just not so normal. Also EY double daily, QR daily, FZ daily + Air Arabia = would have been a total of 32 weekly flights.

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    3. And don't forget that on top of that TK wanted to deploy its widebody to Belgrade! They also carry similar passengers as the Arabs.

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  7. The market is limited.
    Clearly their sales since January were very poor.

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  8. Except for Sarajevo they seem to have failed everywhere in ex-Yu. And even in Sarajevo they didn't manage to keep the route year round.

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  9. When do their Sarajevo flights resume?

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  10. I would prefer if their Moroccan subsidiary started flights.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, this makes much more sense. 2 weekly flights to CMN would be really good.

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    2. Interestingly they just launches Casablanca-Prague. And they launched Sharjah-Prague just this January.

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    3. I don't get why Morocco insists so much on visa regime with Serbia.

      Taking in consideration that Serbia allowed visa free entry to Chinese, Indians and many more citizens I honestly doubt that Serbian Government makes any problem here.

      From the other side Morocco could become a lot of new tourist passengers from Serbia if they lift the visas and could be good source of income for the Kingdom.

      Last but not the least there is surely no risk of illegal immigration from Serbia to Morocco.

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    4. Watch out from the Moroccans. TNot sure it's a good idea for Serbia to open its doors like that. When Serbia joins EU, they will lift the visas, you will see.

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    5. +1 @Anonymous 11:44

      Same was with Croatia. Needed visas until they joined EU. Right now all nationals of Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, (North) Macedonia and Albania need visas (as well as Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus). A couple of times I asked some people involved in the politics in Morocco and the answer was that all these countries were put on a black list in 1984 when Yugoslavia recognized the independence of South Sahara (Western Sahara in the rest of the world) and supported Polisario.

      In addition, Bosnia and Serbia have (apparently) supported Algeria very strongly in the UN sessions and Algeria in turn supports Polisario, leading to the fact that the non-EU citizens of the Balkans need visas to Morocco.

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    6. Maybe Morocco is also obsessed with prestige. In that case probably with prestigious tourists ?

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    7. Exactly. A lot of prestigious tourists come visa free from from Algeria, Senegal, Phillipines, Niger, Gabon and many other "prestigious" countries

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  11. When does Etihad start the second daily flight to BEG?

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    Replies
    1. 24.06 but they rescheduled their daily flight so now it leaves AUH in the morning, same as JU 801 in the past when things were much more promising.

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    2. I just noticed that Etihad has moved its departure from Abu Dhabi on EY71. It now leaves at 8 in the morning and not at 2.

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    3. Interestingly, Oman Air (WY) has a code share with EY on the BEG-AUH route too.

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    4. That route must be one of the most codeshared.

      According to this article https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/10/saudia-to-begin-belgrade-codeshare.html

      "Saudia becomes the eighth codeshare partner on Etihad's Belgrade service, joining Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Jet Airways, Montenegro Airlines, Oman Air, Sri Lankan Airlines and Virgin Australia."

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    5. @9.21 I assume the flight that starts at 24.06 will have the early morning departure like EY71 in the past?

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    6. Thanks Anon 9:33. Missed that one out. Seems route is quite popular for EY.

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    7. Yes that is quite correct.

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  12. According to Purger these flights were not on sales at all

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    Replies
    1. Purger is wrong. They were on sale. I looked at the fares myself.

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    2. It was on sale.

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    3. Well at the time that I wrote article (weekends) they were not.

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    4. Yes, they were. These flights were on sale since January.

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    5. They were not!!! My god! I try to buy ticket on Air Arabia and there was message "no flights for those dates" for all season and every day!

      Purger

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    6. For goodness sake Purger they obviously suspended ticket sales in the last week but tickets were on sale and I saw it with my own eyes as did many othera who looked over their prices so your claim that tickets were never on sale is wrong.

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  13. Didn't think there is was room for three players here and Fly Dubai/Etihad are in a much better position.

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  14. The market to the East isn't that big to support so many new players. Let these mature for the time being and then let's see if there is room for more players.
    Talking of maturing, I am impressed with LH's new overnight flight from MUC, it has been an A320 since day 1!

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  15. Those sudden massive increases in seats by different carriers were never any good.
    You simply cannot have almost 4 daily frequencies in summer from Belgrade to UAE + Gulf. EY already increased them in summer so G9 was way too late.
    BEG-AUH 2 daily
    BEG-DXB daily
    BEG-SHJ 4 weekly
    BEG-DOH daily

    This is just not normal.

    I think the next destination will be Paris. With those sudden 9 weekly flights, not sure if BEG will sustain so many seats even if the Serbian diaspora is large. Add to this BEG-LYS and BEG-BVA.

    We witnessed the same thing with the flights to Iran. Suddenly 70 carriers and then all gone.

    BEG management must carefully reach out with future destinations and take it easy, on my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You play the same tune every single time any Belgrade topic comes along (wonder why). I doubt anyone approached Air Arabia to start flights especially since they announced their flights before Vinci even took over. They came at their own free will, like most carriers have to Belgrade so far.

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    2. Agree with above anon. If you seriously think someone from BEG airport went to Iranian carriers and pitched to them to start flights to BEG then you are disillusion. They started flights because visas were abolished and when the visas were reintroduced they stopped flights. Had nothing to do with the airport or the management.

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    3. Iran can't be put in the same basket with other airlines.

      These flights were directly related to the removal of visa regime between Serbia and Iran and if the visa regime had not been reintroduced we would have had the same or increased number of flights from BEG to Iran

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    4. Are you comparing Paris with Sharjah and Tehran? For starters JU-AF offer connections on both ends while Wizz relies on gasterbajters who are more price sensitive.
      Also how will LYS affect CDG numbers when those cities are 600 km apart?

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    5. is that french airline (somwthing with S) flying ro BEG?

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    6. If you are referring to ASL Airlines France they start flights on 24.6.

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    7. Because this is the truth. The management has to try and diversify in the destinations and not negotiate 1 route and have so many carriers at the same time.
      The JU expansion was a great move for instance. Carefully picked up destinations and others mostly inherited from the previous Jat.
      How about BTS or TBS for instance? Why not Morocco or Jordan?
      BEG is already very well connected to the Gulf, no need for more flights except for seasonal frequency increases.

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    8. If anybody is to be squeezed out of Paris it will be JU. They are anyway massively flying AF passengers. Once Easy starts flights between Paris and Belgrade JU will go to daily or less.

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  16. I would love to hear what was their rationale for these flights.

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  17. If you need to fly cheap to the Middle East just fly with Pegasus from Belgrade. They have fantastic fares.

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    Replies
    1. Yes but the issue with Pegasus is that one way the connection is very long.

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    2. Does Air Arabia even allow you to buy connecting tickets?

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    3. Yes it does.

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    4. But Pegasus do not fly daily so on three days of the week they are utterly useless !

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    5. Your comment is so dumb. So what? Korean Air is utterly useless on the 4 days of the week it does not fly out of Zagreb... Don't understand your point. Air Arabia didn't plan to fly daily either.

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    6. For business pax you have to offer at least daily flights as Turkish does. Even Atlasglobal does it. So why not Pegasus in gods name ? Now let me tell you why fares of Pegasus are so fantastic : They cannot fill their planes to Belgrade and thus offer dirt cheap tickets !
      So even if planes are full, yields are a disaster.
      Korean Air is an exception because they sell their tickets mostly to tour operators.

      And what Air Arabia plans to do is totally irrelevant because whatever they do is bound to fail miserably as they have shown us for a third time in a row.

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    7. No, it surely does not have to be daily, but 4 times a week is minimum.

      Cheap tickets out of Belgrade have nothing to do with ability to fill out the plane. It is their policy.

      If they couldn't make any money flying to BEG, then they would simply not fly there. As they do not fly to ZAG.

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  18. Yes, I doubted they would be successful.

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  19. And when they announced flights to BEG people in the comments were writing how they are getting subsidies for this LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usual conspiracy theory on here.

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    2. And a lot of people were writing that there is a enought demand from Gulf ... and then.. AirArabia cancels plans because of poor sales.

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    3. I see you were one of the members of the conspiracy group. At least today's news will make you happy.

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    4. It does not make me happy. I am aviation fan and Im happy if new route is open anywhere in ex-yu! Have a good day.

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  20. What I don't get is that just recently they found a GSA and then they cancelled the flights. Perhaps not enough equipment as they planned in order to launch flights.

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  21. 3,738 weekly seats to UAE would have been a huge amount of capacity.

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    Replies
    1. Etihad is killing it on this route. No wonder they offer the most capacity.

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    2. They could substitute these with one daily widebody flights.

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    3. It works much better for them to have two flights and collect people in Abu Dhabi from two different arrival waves.

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    4. And less risk and costs which are associated with a widebody.

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  22. They failed in Pristina, Tuzla and Belgrade (at least here they didn't start flights and embarrass themselves). In Sarajevo they started bombastic and finished on seasonal flights.

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  23. Their prices were too high to be considered a viable LOW COST option.

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  24. An advertising campaign in BEG might have helped if they wanted to attract people to fly with them.

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    Replies
    1. Very correct.
      Many people did not hear for Air Arabia and especially not for Sharjah.
      They really did not do their homework, but after TZL, PRN and partially SJJ it does not come as surprise at all.

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  25. Really useless flights. With daily flydubai at more or less the same price, who needed these?

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  26. Maybe the UAE should drop visas for Serbian citizens and airlines like Air Arabia may have more success.

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    Replies
    1. +100
      Nice to see Qatar dropped visas though.

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    2. They are in the process of being lifted. UAE council needs to confirm it. Agreement has already been signed.

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    3. UAE council needs to confirm it - well but they did not and never will.
      An agreement signed only by one party is useless.

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    4. Would be interesting to know why ---

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    5. Why ? Because of incompetence ! Watch them out and you will find out, they get their jobs ony because of being part of the ruling family. These kind of people are useless.

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  27. Has anyone bothered checking the prices on the FZ website? 340€ RT (with luggage) from BEG is a very good price! I think they lowered it because of G9. Example date: 13-20 may:

    Рейс туда
    BEG Аэропорт Белграда DXB Международный Аэропорт Дубая 13 мая 2019 понедельник
    12:30
    BEG
    Белград
    05 ч 30 м
    Без остановок
    20:00
    DXB
    Дубай
    класс
    Эконом-класс; -; Выгодный
    Номер рейса(ов)
    FZ 1746
    EUR 167,37
    Рейс обратно
    DXB Международный Аэропорт Дубая BEG Аэропорт Белграда 20 мая 2019 понедельник
    06:45
    DXB
    Дубай
    05 ч 55 м
    Без остановок
    10:40
    BEG
    Белград
    класс
    Эконом-класс; -; Выгодный
    Номер рейса(ов)
    FZ 1745
    EUR 173,38
    Налоги и сборы могут меняться в зависимости от текущего курса валют.
    Итого
    На 1 Пассажиров
    1 Взрослый, 0 Дети, 0 Младенец
    EUR 340,75

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a bad price but Flydubai's BEG flights are currently on promotion. Commercials on Facebook and Instagram everywhere.

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    2. is this ruski or bg?

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    3. A 11:02 - thanks. Considering it's a medium haul route, the price is extremely good in promo.
      A 11:08 - RU :) forgot to switch to EN

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  28. Is there an estimate how many Serbian people live in the UAE?

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Officially it is 15,000-20,000.

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    2. And unfortunately, the number will just keep growing.

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    3. Great, thanks for the info!

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    4. I'm guessing 50% of them are Emirates/Etihad crew :D

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  29. Shame but considering they didn't even start flights it's not a major loss. Hopefully we see some more new airlines at BEG.

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  30. There is a rumour that Air Arabia did not receive the plane they planned to use for BEG so therefore they cancelled this route

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    Replies
    1. Where did you heart that? Wich plane? A321LR?

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    2. I don't know which plane.
      It was mentioned on skyscrapercity

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    3. They were supposed to receive A321neo.

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  31. Visas are the big problem. Belgrade was Flydubais first destination in Ex Yu. Now after so many years only five times a week till high season.While Zagreb and Sarajevo are miles ahead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's five till high season because of runway work in Dubai Einstein. During the same period Emirates is flying 4 per week to Zagreb because of runway work as well.

      Delete