Russia's iFly plans Belgrade, Zagreb, Sarajevo service


Russian carrier iFly Airlines has received permits from the country's federal aviation authority Rosaviatsia on Wednesday to launch flights from Sochi to Belgrade, Zagreb and Sarajevo. The company filed an application to operate up to four weekly services from the Black Sea resort city to the three capitals. The airline must now receive approvals from the respective regulators of each of the three countries. Furthermore, it may choose not to exercise its rights. iFly Airlines is a private charter carrier which operates flights on behalf of Tez Tour, Tempus Tour, TUI and Russian travel agency Intourist - Thomas Cook. The fast-growing airline carried 1.1 million passengers last year with its nine-strong fleet of two Airbus A319s and seven A330s.

Founded in 2009, iFly Airlines is under the control of Alexander Burtin, who is also the head of the large travel company Tez Tour. A 9% share of the airline was acquired last spring by Silk Way, which is owned by Hong Kong-based Joy Tour Global Limited. Currently, neither Belgrade, Zagreb or Sarajevo have nonstop flights to Sochi, although Air Serbia codeshares on Aeroflot's services between Moscow and the resort city. Aeroflot also maintains operations between the Russian capital and Zagreb, while there are no flights between Russia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Gazpromavia previously maintained services between Sochi and Belgrade for several years.

Rosaviatsia approval for iFly services


The former Yugoslavia is becoming increasingly popular with Russian holidaymakers. Over 130.000 Russian tourists visited Croatia in 2018 with numbers set to rise some 20% this year. "Russian tourists in Croatia mostly stay in Istria, the Split-Dalmatia county and Kvarner. However, our goal is to focus the future growth of Russian arrivals within continental Croatia", the head of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Kristjan Staničić, said. He added, "Russia is an important market for Croatia, with Russian tourists spending 50% more than the average guest". In 2018, 50.000 Russian nationals visited Serbia. The government recently approved funds to subsidise tour operators who bring Russian holidaymaykers to the country. A total of twenty euros is being provided per guest, or thirty euros if they stay over five nights. The tour groups must be made of at least fifteen people to be eligible for the incentives. On the other hand, the number of Russian tourists visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2018 stood at 6.000.




Comments

  1. Well that's interesting. Could the flights work?

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    1. If they are bringing organised tour groups, why not?

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    2. Belgrade on the first place due to the visa regime as well as due to excellent political relations between Serbia and Russia

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    3. l dont think russian tourists care about political relations..

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    4. Exactly. The tourist numbers in the article prove it.

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    5. DontD forget that here we are talking about ZAG and not the coast. I dontd see Sochi working out, Zagreb has abysmal demand to Russia.

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    6. So you have the figures to back that up?

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    7. Daily flights on a mix of Airbus and SSJ is all we need as proof. That's same as LJU btw.

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    8. ZAG-SVO 01-08.2018 42.019 passengers. That comes out to be, on average, 86 passengers per flight.

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    9. Thanks Nemjee for providing wrong numbers. In 2018 Su flew to ZAG 4 times a week from January to April. Thereafter daily on the 320. So you numbers as to the average per flight are wrong!

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    10. I don't follow Zagreb closely so I don't know who flies how often, I assumed it was daily. Still, total number remains as is.

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    11. So loads to ZAG are horrible in winter then even with 4 weekly? I say that because that is whole number for high and low seasons.

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    12. Obviously that is why they fly 4/week.

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  2. How many weekly flights did Gazpromavia have to BEG?

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    1. There was one flight every 2nd Saturday all flight was realised with gaspromavia planes in most cases, but several Times there was other carier (Yakutia i.e.). But, all those companies was hired to do so. Company which sold ticket called "Montavia".

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    2. Thanks. Were these mostly for construction workers?

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  3. Never heard of this airline.

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    1. They have 7 A330s :O

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    2. They look good
      https://cdn.planespotters.net/photo/356000/original/ei-eti-i-fly-airbus-a330-322_PlanespottersNet_356108_11527250ca.jpg

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    3. They fly to Tivat from time to time.

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    4. Would be nice if they sent one of their A330s to one of these destinations :D

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    5. +1 last anon

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  4. Great. The more airlines the better for the entire region.

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  5. Hahah Sochi, like who the f*ck would even fly on this routes? Tourists? No cuz theres not enough demand ! The only destination it could maybe but just maybe work would be the at the coast. Tivat, Dubrovnik, Maybe even Pula ? But hey you never know !

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    1. How do you know if there is not enough demand? They didn't ask for a license to fly empty planes.

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    2. Actually only Belgrade makes sense from the list since Red Wings seems to be doing fine.

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    3. What does Red Wings from Moscow have to do with regular charters from Sochi?

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    4. It has to do with overall demand from Russia. Serbia has the most demand for flights.

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    5. But much fewer visitors from Russia then other nearby markets...

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    6. Those are tourists, you need to add VFR, ethnic traffic, connections and business passengers.

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    7. Russia is a big country. Just like the Chinese they are used to travelling great distances. Therefore, tourists which would usually fly to either of the three countries would usually fly through Moscow or which ever airport, but now they have a connection through Sochi. Do you think thethe Chinese have a direct flight from each and every city in China

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  6. "with Russian tourists spending 50% more than the average guest"

    Didn't expect that. I know Chinese and Asian tourists in general spend more than the average guest.

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    1. Croatian Chamber of Commerce reported last year that Serbian tourists spend more than German ones :)

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    2. Bravo Srbija! :)

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  7. And Silk Way which has a share in iFly is a regular visitor in Belgrade with their B747 cargo plane.

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    1. Carrying mostly arms to the Middle East.

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  8. Nice. Let's see if their plans materialize.

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  9. I'm surprised there are so few visitors from Russia in BiH.

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    1. Moskovia Airlines from Zhukovsky Airport started flights to Sarajevo a few years ago but they cancelled the route just a week after it started.

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    2. Well with those figures its no surprise.

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    3. It's unfortunate especially since Russians don't need visas to visit Bosnia.

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    4. And vice versa. They should make the most out of the visa-free regime.

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    5. More PR and marketing has to be done so people visit beautiful BiH.

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    6. Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro have a joint marketing strategy to promote themelves in China. They could/should expand this to new markets such as Russia and the CIS.

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  10. They have a fleet of 7 aircraft. 2 A319s and 5 A330s. Now, that's a story.
    Never heard of them. Logo looks peculiar, too.

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    1. They have 9 planes - 2 A319s and 7 A330s.

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    2. My bad. That's correct. Still impressive I'd say. Imagine a 330 from Sochi to Belgrade. Pretty exotic :D

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    3. Would be nice :D

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  11. Sochi Is near Krasnodar, so the flights to the region from BEG have already been arranged.

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  12. The owner of this airline owns Tez Tour which is a big Russian tour operator. So flights will be operated for them.

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  13. Last year in Greece I had some communication with one Russian couple in mid 20's, from Moscow,well educated and generally pleasant. They were really surprised when I have told them that Serbia abolished visas for Russians, and even more surprised, better to say shocked, for fact how Russia and Putin are popular in Serbia. So I have realized that do not know anything about Serbia, and about visiting Serbia, not to mention.

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    1. At the end of the day, political relationships bear no significant impact on the lives of everyday people.

      Russia and Croatia are not on friendly terms politically yet Russians continue to be a large source of tourism, despite a visa regime.

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    2. Russians generally love anything western. A common misconception in Serbia and surroundings that they are somehow east oriented.

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    3. Russians come from a large nation that's neither western or eastern oriented, they go everywhere. Look at the number of Russians that go to places like Thailand, India... and it will become clear.

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  14. Haha love how they wrote I fly in the application form :D

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  15. These flights may be used for domicile passangerd to visit Sochi. Who was there know what I mean. Sochi is mixture of Beirut and Azur coast. And surroundings amazing. Wirh proper advertising might become very popular.

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    1. I think the idea is that these flights are for Russian tourists, not the other way around.

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  16. Неће бити ништа од овога20 April 2019 at 19:47

    Џаба ти та дозвола да летиш кад немаш потпис и печат. Попуни уплатницу и врати се у ред за шалтер број 13 а тамо ће ти рећи шта још од формулара треба да набавиш.

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    1. Србија и Русија имају споразум о отвореном небу тако да могу слободно да лете баш као и Red Wings.

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    2. Види шта пише поред шалтера: The airline must now receive approvals from the respective regulators of each of the three countries. А треба ти и извод из катастра и оверена изјава два жиранта, и наравно печат са шалтера 13 који ради само 30тог фебруара.

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    3. То што пише не значи да је и тачно. Од како је потписан споразум о Отвореном небу нема више препрека од стране државе. Они само аминују и не блокирају као што је случај са Red Wings-ом.

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    4. Kako nije tacno? I kompanije iz EU moraju da dobiju dozvolu naseg direktorata. Ne mogu samo da odluce da od sutra slecu u Beograd. Da li je to samo formalnost je druga stvar ali je tacno da moraju da dobiju dozvolu i srspkog direktorata. Svaka kompanija mora, iz koje god zemlje bila i kakav god sporazum imale drzave.

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    5. A sad ozbiljno: ko bre normalan hoce da dovodi turiste iz turistickog grada Socija u Beograd i da to subvencionise?!?! Soci ima samo 360 hiljada stanovnika i zivi od turizma! Ako hoces da dovodis turiste, dovodi ih dzinovske i bogate Moskve, a ne Socija. To je kao da Filadeljija subvencionise stanovnike Dubrovnika da dolaze u turisticku posetu Filadelfiji! Nema nikakve logike ni komercijalne osnove!

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    6. Директорат не одобрава летове, он само добија најаву летова а на аеродрому је да им потврди у зависности од слотова и тако даље. Ово се односи искључиво на државе са којима Србија има потписан споразум о Отвореном небу.
      А Србија већ промовише себе у Москви, кога мислиш да Red Wings вози? Они су одмах рекли да су њима туристи циљна група. А што се Сочија тиче, мислиш да тих 360.000 људи нема жељу да оде у иностранство и види нешто ново?

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    7. Nije tacno to sto pises vezano za direktorat.

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  17. Hope they get permits from local authorities and start flights. More pax for these three airports.

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  18. Sochi is an incredible place !
    I have been there last year for the World Cup and have never seen so many Peruvians at the same time. They loved the place as much as myself. You have the sea ,the sun and the snow covered Caucasus mountains in the background which is incredible.Sochi is also a very special place for the German National Team as it is winning every game playing there.
    What a surprise that neither Lufthansa nor the likes of Qatar Airways or Flydubai fly to there.
    MfM

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    1. I met croatians people in Sochi. Zagreb Sochi is a must.Russians love croatian People.

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  19. Dobro dosli dragi Russi, BiH je lijepa zemlja samo nas jebu politicari.

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