Serbian regulator blocks new Egypt flights


Serbia's Civil Aviation Directorate has blocked several Egyptian carriers from launching new flights to the country. The regulator has refused to issue Air Cairo permits to increase its five weekly service from Hurghada to Belgrade by a further two weekly frequencies and introduce new services from Sharm el Sheikh. In addition, AlMasria Universal Airlines' request to up its frequencies from Hurghada to the Serbian capital from two weekly to up to nine weekly flights has also been rejected, while the "Aviatica" portal reports that leisure carrier FlyEgypt has been blocked from introducing two weekly services from the Egyptian resort town to Niš. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, Almasria is now threatening to completely pull out of the Serbian market.

The Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate has not given a formal explanation as to why it has taken such a hard line towards Egyptian leisure carriers this year, although similar measures were enforced in 2015 when Nesma Airlines was blocked from operating flights between Hurghada and Belgrade, while Air Cairo was denied approval to increase frequencies on the same route. The Directorate usually forwards flight requests made by airlines from certain countries to the Ministry for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure. It is believed that the Ministry then sends these requests to Air Serbia for an "advisory opinion". The Serbian carrier will increase its operations to Hurghada this summer and will resume summer charters to Sharm El Sheikh after four years.

This summer, Air Serbia will also resume year-round operations between Belgrade and Cairo, linking the two cities with a scheduled air service for the first time in fourteen years. Air Cairo's CEO noted the airline was seeking to cooperate closely with the Serbian carrier on the new two weekly service, which is set to launch on June 4. This may include a codeshare agreement between the two airlines. Air Cairo's parent company, Egypt Air, currently codeshares on Aegean Airlines' service between Athens and Belgrade. The number of Serbian tourists visiting Egypt increased 144% in 2018 compared to the year before, according to the Egyptian Embassy in Belgrade. Air Cairo, Air Serbia and AlMasria Universal Airlines maintained flights between the two countries last summer, the latter with a widebody Airbus A330 aircraft.




Comments

  1. Yet another senseless decision

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Remember last year they blocked Turkish from adding four more weekly flights and introducing A330 on the evening flight.

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    2. The Turkish decision was anything but senseless.

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    3. The ASL political project must be protected from competition by all costs.

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    4. I agree that this decision is stupid but in general all agreements between countries regarding charter and leisure flights, in case if there is no open sky agreement, are made in such a way that carrier's from the country of origin have precedence. In this case, Serbian tourists travel to Egypt and carriers from Serbia have precedence. By agreement, they are obligated to ask AirSerbia are they interested to operate those flights and if they say yes then others are rejected. I just hope that in case they can't allocate enough capacity some additional flights will be allowed to Egyptian carriers.

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    5. And what if those companies target Egypt tourists to Serbia? For example Turks are one of biggest tourist nations in Serbia. And few years ago there was just symbolic number of them. Do they fly Turks to Serbia or Serbs to Turkey.

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    6. If I remember correctly last two years there was charter flight operated by Sun Express from Turkey to Belgrade that was carrying Turkish tourists.

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    7. Yes, they also flew in first week of April already this year.

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    8. I think that was Sun Express from Izmir, it even flew via SKP for a time. It departed BEG at an ungodly hour like 02.20 or something like that.

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  2. This is disgusting! I would personally not fly those Aviolet old Boeings anyway.

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    Replies
    1. They fly A319 for charter flights to Egypt

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    2. They flew with B737 to Sharm El Sheikh on their first charter to there in years on December 31.

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    3. The Aviolet interiors are much better than the Egyptian crappy planes. Come on.
      ¡No room for comparision!

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    4. Sorry, I would rather fly a widebody A330 to Hurghada then a 30 yrs old B737.

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    5. A319 flies to Egypt.

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    6. Those Egyptian carriers don't have 330s.

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    7. Yes they do. AlMasria operated the A330 all summer to Belgrade last year.

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  3. Idiots. Whose interest are they working for? The passengers or certain airline?

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    Replies
    1. They are doing it so they force tour operators to use Air Serbia's flights.

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  4. What does VINCI think about this? I doubt they are amused by the Directorate blocking their source of income.

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    Replies
    1. VINCI has little say in what the Directorate does.

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    2. Unlike Air Serbia ;)

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    3. Anonymous at 09:18
      +1000

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    4. On this way Directorate directly takes the money out of Vinci pocket. I am not that sure Vinci will remain silent for a long time

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  5. Thank god the open sky has been signed and Serbia has started EU accession talks. Otherwise the directorate would have been rejecting applications from LCCs and other European airlines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some EU laws are extremely efficient. The open skies one is simply superb.

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  6. I still hope we will see AlMasria's A330 in Belgrade this summer.

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    1. The two flights they will operate per week will probably be A330 to compensate for the feequencies they didn't get.

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    2. If they don't pull out...

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  7. It's a shame because it would have increased passenger numbers quite a bit.

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  8. It's impressive how much demand there is between Egypt and Serbia.

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    Replies
    1. Cheap destination but different compared to Greece and even Turkey. Not surprised.

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  9. Just open the entire market! Not just for EU airlines.

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    Replies
    1. JU would never allow that.

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    2. It is good they protect Air Serbia. This is important.

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    3. Not for the economy it isn't.
      it is only important for its excess staff and of course the politicians who use it as a propaganda tool.

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  10. Egypt should now not allow Aviolet to operate flights.

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    Replies
    1. Thankfully for the sake of their economy they don't have our protectionist attitudes.

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  11. Ok, Belgrade Air and co. are being protected but why punish INI too? The South too has the right to travel and have a wider choice of airlines!!

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    1. So tour agents would book with Air Serbia. That's why.

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    2. but of course the south the right to wider choice of airlines- you could find those in BEG, SOF, SKP and PRN

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    3. Ministry wants all traffic to go tought BEG/Air Serbia/Aviolet ;)

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    4. When permit is not issued it is for whole country not for one airport.

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  12. All hail Air Belgrade!

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  13. JU should sign a codeshare with Egypt Air on domestic routes. Perhaps they could get transfers via Cairo to resort towns.

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    Replies
    1. Air Cairo seems to have that idea.

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    2. Would be a good move for both airlines.

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  14. Haha nothing new from the regime. They will do anything to protect AS, let's see who gets the pie in INI :D

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  15. And at the same time an airline like Belavia get's fifth freedom rights to fly Budapest-Belgrade... I don't get it.

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    Replies
    1. Belavia is no threat to anyone.

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  16. This is just absurd.

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  17. I wouldn't be too surprised if Greece and Turkey lobbied for this. They stand to lose the most from more Serbs going to Egypt.

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    Replies
    1. Yes I'm sure that has been their greatest concern...

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    2. But, but JU is profitable, is doing great. It is very competitive! No need for subsidies either.
      LOL at the cheerleaders!

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    3. And what do you think the Greek and Turkish embassies do in Belgrade? Their main goal is to bring more Serbian tourists to their countries. More than 500.000 Serbs go to Greece every year especially from the south. If they get flights to Egypt then fewer will go to Greece. Two flights from INI in 2019 could easily become three in 2020 and four in 2021.

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    4. LOL, I have heard from multiple persons that Greek hotels during July, August, September are packed everywhere.
      They can not handle more tourists, they need more hotel rooms.
      So I highly doubt that their government phoned Ana and begged her to ban Serbs from flying to Hurghada.

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    5. It has nothing to do with Greek or Turkish embassies. Air Serbia decides who can and can't fly. Btw a record number of Serbian tourists - over 800,000 - are expected in Greece this year so Al Masria flights to Belgrade are not the top priority for the Greek tourism ministry.

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    6. Yes, political lobbying is unheard of...oh wait...

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    7. Guys, maybe AS as part of the "advisory opinion" was very much concerned about hotel owners in Greece and Turkey as well as Erdo and Alexi and decided to back our closest holiday-"neighbours"! At the end of the day, AS is not only national treasure but an asset for all the Balkans

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    8. Anonymous at 10:06
      True dat!
      Ana is also one of the more important leaders of Europe so it is only natural to be concerned about our close tourist destinations and their wishes.
      So much prestige!

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  18. They have the right to do it. Whether we like it or not is a different story.

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    Replies
    1. Just because they can do something doesn't mean they should.

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  19. Destructive decision.

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  20. What a dumb decision. I'm beyond words.

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  21. This is a usual decision, as it is a standard for the domestic carrier to transfer leisure passengers to their destination. Of course, I am happy as a taxpayer that the state will protect state operator in similar cases. Otherwise, they will generate loses that we have to pay eventually.

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    1. The day Air Serbia dies will be a bright day for Serbian travellers and taxpayers!

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    2. Anonymous at 10:01
      +1000

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    3. That's an utterly short-sighted statement. Air Serbia is a net contributor to the Serbian GDP by a long mile, and out of their 49 destinations, fewer than half would be covered by competition if they went bust.

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  22. So self destructive. I'm amazed.

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  23. Those that want to go to Egypt can use Aviolet.

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    Replies
    1. They can't because Aviolet doesn't have enough planes or capacity.

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    2. Why should they be forced to fly Aviolet?

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  24. Protecionisam of Air Serbia. Not first and for sure not last one.

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    Replies
    1. Does Ehyptian government favour foreign airlines over domestic ones?

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    2. The Egyptian government favors the economic development of the country.
      So they welcome all airlines who want to bring tourists and foreign currency to Egypt.

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  25. It is sad to see how Serbian government is working against private companies in Serbia. Let the market (supply and demand) do the job, stop protecting Air Serbia in every possible way.

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    Replies
    1. Tuzno je kako nemate pojma o avio saobracaju.

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  26. Finally a government in place that protects Serbian interests. A wise decision. Especially at the time when Cairo is being relaunched, this will make JU's route there far more profitable. Letting foreign companies, with pretty much dubious track record, flood the market and impede or curtail the expansion of the national carrier is pure stupidity. Once the route to Cairo matures, then we can gradually allow others to jump onto the bandwagon. A loss making national carrier is a far bigger concern for me asa taxpayer, than a few embittered negators of everything done by the "regime" and their outlook on how things should be done. Good work, directorate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment sounds like you are living in 1971, mate.
      In times when the customer MUST have options, MUST have the possibility to travel for less, MUST pick the better options that serves them...you come here giving us jurassic protectionism theories. But oh wait, it's a directorate or dictatorate?

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    2. I don't buy into that argument, protecting Serbian interests. The government has invested hundreds of millions funding the national carrier for poor decisions that it has made, money that otherwise could of funded for example improving health care or schooling.

      Its nice that there was the investment into Jat to modernize and transform it, however the negative trends we are seeing in the past couple of years does not prove that money was well spent.

      From a full service legacy airline we have an overpriced "hybrid" carrier that after years of investment through subsidies hasn't produced a single Euro in profit. There are many examples of poor implementation of product, services and total carelessness in their decision making:

      - Full Service carrier in a market that is showing trends of growing low cost demand in
      one of Europe's poorest countries.
      - 2 investments in 4 years refitting their fleet.
      - No investment or strategy into their regional aircraft.
      - Carboard box service in business class.
      - Forcing their customers into online check in through high fees.
      - Acquiring an A330 without a proper plan to further invest into that adventure.


      If we want to protect Serbian interests lets see them:


      - Offer their staff more job security by not making their staff work on 1 year contracts.
      - With an average CLF of roughly 70% they could offer Serbian students and pensioners discounts on air travel for the capacity in their network to encourage more travel.
      - Increase network through smart investment. Increase aircraft utilization with another 2 arrival/departure banks, acquisition of more ATR aircraft, adding more A330 aircraft to enable a decent utilization and combat the seasonality of the 1 aircraft and 1 route, as an example.

      In the end, it is these foreign carriers that have been fueling the rise in pax numbers in BEG, and that too funds Serbian interests.

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    3. The best way to protect Serbian interest is to make sure there is enough competition so fares are low to seaside resorts. Like this they are allowing JU to charge more to fly people making package holidays in Egypt much more expensive.

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  27. I don't see how Air Serbia will compensate the capacity. They don't have enough planes as is.

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  28. There are several aspects to this story. Outbound tourism is nothing but detrimental on the state level, as money made domestically is spent abroad. This is not just about protecting JU but minimizing the negative effects outbound tourism has in general by funneling money through the state asset, in this case the national airline. It affects end consumers as a side effect through lack of proper competition, but generally we all benefit in the long run, its a stretch but this is the logic, not just in this case but everywhere across industries. It is not controversial but rather highly logical and good business practice from the perspective of the state.
    In case of Turkish having their flights denied. This has a little or no effect on JU as they do not fly there anyway and their European transfers are not affected that much. Regulator is trying to create balance between the airlines preventing the state subsidized monopoly (Turkish Airlines) destroying other airlines through unfair competition, which they have done numerous times (take a look at every Balkan capital and wider where TK flies and what happened to national airlines on those routes).
    As for claims that Greek and Turkish embassy affect the decisions of the state regulator, it is a stretch. It stands however that their main job is to create favorable business environment to benefit their respective countries. Therefore sending Serbian tourists to spend their holidays there is their primary concern.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. care to elaborate what doesn't make sense to you?

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  29. Bravo Srbija?

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    Replies
    1. Bravo over-regulation of the airline business.

      Look at how European aviation has thrived since the deregulation in early 1990s. If you would tell somebody in 1990 you could fly across Europe and back for 50 EUR they would laugh.

      And yet today you can do it for even less. Although no politician's name and national flag on the plane.

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    2. Bravo????

      To all those who praise this decision, you all must be very wealthy and don't care to pay double the price for the monopoly routes and JU overcharging Serbian citizens who want to go on a holiday in Egypt or go to Turkey, etc.

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    3. I was joking, that's why I put the question mark at the end. I don't support this decision at all.

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  30. Imagine what a shame. Egypt will participate in the Beograd Tourism Fair 2020 and now this scandal with the blocked new flights happens.

    http://www.diplomacyandcommerce.rs/egypt-partner-country-for-tourism-fair-2020-in-belgrade/

    Here you have a 111 history between Serbia and Egypt:

    http://www.diplomacyandcommerce.rs/ambassador-of-egypt-announced-numerous-economic-and-cultural-activities-marking-111-years-of-diplomatic-relations-between-serbia-and-egypt/

    All this is now going to be ruined with this new blockage. Not good news at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't think a few charters will ruin relations.

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    2. It starts like this. 1-2 charter flights, then the other fights back and then tensions rise. They are putting the diplomacy and reputation in jeopardy.

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  31. Imagine that you actually do own an airline based in Serbia. Would you use every legal option to protect your own interests and business operation? I know I would, so I can't blame JU for doing the same.

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    Replies
    1. This would be an abuse of the free market and actually would do harm to the Serbian consumer, who has to deal with a monopoly.

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    2. I disagree because there is no free market in the airline industry in cases when it is regulated by bilateral agreements (Turkey, Egypt, etc).
      Therefore, protectionism is a valid business move in accordance with the current legal regulation. First we need to change the regulations and that act in compliance with the new improved ones.

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    3. So you are saying Egypt should retaliate? Maybe they could revoke JU's right to fly to Cairo.

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    4. You people don't get it all. They can't "retaliate" because the directorate has done nothing wrong and is acting in line with the bilateral air agreement between the two countries.

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    5. They could revoke the bilateral agreement though...

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    6. No honey, that's not how it works. And you do realise Egyptian airlines will have daily flights to Belgrade this summer, which is more than Air Serbia. So how do you think it's going to help them by revoking the agreement. Some of you people should think before commenting.

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    7. Just because JU cant operate more flights doesn't mean there is no market. Also they can retaliate since JU needs permit of the Egyptians to launch even a single weekly flight.

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    8. Doesen't work like that at all... Serbian CAD had done nothing unlawful or not included in the agreement. Only airlines covered in the bilateral are Air Serbia and Egypt Air.

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    9. By that logic Al Masria flew illegally last year. Lol

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    10. Not if they get a permit from the directorate which they did Einstein.

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    11. Meaning it's up to the directorate to decide who flies and who doesn't. Just because JU is listed in the bilateral does not mean they can fly no matter what.

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    12. There is really no use trying to explain it to you. You are either thick or playing dumb.

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    13. No, you don't understand that JU applied to operate ALL charter flights and two weekly scheduled flights this summer and the Egyptian directorate did not block them, they got the permit. You don't understand that JU can't operate as many flights as they want, they need approval by the Egyptian directorate. So JU got what they wanted while Egyptians were partially blocked in Serbia.

      Delete
    14. Big Blue
      Шарм ел Шеик SSH JU9180/1 25.06.2019 17.09.2019
      Шарм ел Шеик SSH JU9182/3 18.06.2019 10.09.2019

      Ponte
      Хургада HRG JU9282/3 15.06.2016. 13.09.2019.

      Belvi
      Хургада HRG JU9888/9 20.06.2019 11.09.2019

      Filip Travel
      Хургада HRG JU9280/1 20.06.2019. 08.09.2019.

      Viva
      Хургада HRG JU9380/1 16.06.2019. 14.09.2019.

      Way Out
      Хургада HRG JU9880/1 21.06.2019 03.09.2019

      Christian Tour
      Хургада HRG JU9982/3 17.06.2019. 19.09.2019.

      Now we know why JU wanted others blocked, they wanted to force everyone to work with them and not their competition.

      Delete
  32. Very stupid, with all these rejected we would have from BEG and INI at least two daily flight in season but obviously they are protecting AS.. Shame... Its impossible that all carriers have some paperwork issue or whatever

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  33. If I was an Egyptian official, I would make sure to block JU incl. Aviolet from flying to the same destinatons namely SSH and HRG until an even share is reached, e.g. 5 weekly flights from Serbian airline(s) and the same number of frequencies or seats by Egyptian carriers.
    Serbian tourists dont make up more than maybe 1% of tourists in EGY and I am sure they can manage in Egypt temporarily without a certain portion of them.

    Also, I find it very interesting that even INI flights are blocked! That is really brazenly stupid.

    Well, welcome to the Balkans! Simply incredible and sad.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Well, the Egyptian airlines should lobby their government to deny Air Serbia to fly to Cairo !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They can't even if they wanted as Air Serbia is covered by the bilateral air service agreement between the two countries.

      Delete
    2. Not only Cairo but whole also Sharm el Sheikh. Tit for tat. They should teach the Serbs a lesson !

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    3. Then Egypt should cancel the bilateral for at least this whole year - as this agreement is worthless for the Egyptian side.
      Serbian tourists still can come with other airlines.

      Delete
    4. That's not how aviation works. It's the deal they signed. If they are unhappy with it, they can ask to renegotiate. Simple as that.

      Delete
    5. First cancelling than renegotiate ! You people give me a laugh ...

      Delete
    6. Calm down a bit.

      Delete
  35. Does that mean we might never see MS in BEG one day?
    They do fly to BUD for many years now and is one of Africa's best airlines after ET, KQ and SA.
    They have very good prices to SSH, EBB, NBO and can even compete with ASL on the CAI route.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Да ли је могуће да је Директорат забранио летове из Кине? Пре 6 месеци то је била готова ствар:

    https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/11/new-carrier-to-take-over-belgrade.html

    "Flights between Belgrade and Beijing are set to resume mid next year and are to be operated by another carrier" и касније у тексту Air China said that flights to Belgrade were "looking very promising". It added, "It all depends on an agreement between the Serbian Prime Minister and our Prime Minister. We hope to spread our wings to Belgrade very soon"

    Средина 2019 је за 2 месеца, сви су у Кини потписали разне уговоре а о овоме ни реч, значи нешто је блокирано. Да није Директорат? Можда ово заслужује посебан чланак после Ускрса?

    ReplyDelete

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