Casablanca, Sochi and Lviv seek Belgrade flights


Several cities have recently expressed interest in establishing nonstop flights to Belgrade, with talks between relevant stakeholders currently taking place.

The Moroccan Ambassador to Serbia, Mohammed Amine Belhaj, reiterated plans this month to connect the two countries with a nonstop air service. "The increase in the number of tourists from Serbia to Morocco is our utmost goal, and in this sense, strengthening Morocco's air connectivity and its accessibility is at the heart of our concerns. The cooperation agreement in the air transport sector signed between Morocco and Serbia is the perfect illustration of that, as it demonstrates our determination to open up to this strategic region. This is important for us as it has allowed for several air links to be established recently between countries in the region and Morocco, such as flights to Budapest, Vienna and Warsaw. I hope that this step, which is part of a gradual process, will include Belgrade soon". Low cost airline Air Arabia Maroc is considering introducing flights to the Serbian capital, after the national carrier Royal Air Maroc, which showed initial interest in flying from Casablanca, decided against the move.

The Mayor of the Black Sea resort city of Sochi in Russia has initiated the introduction of flights to Belgrade. The Serbian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Rasim Ljajić, said, "This initiative has been met with great understanding and can be used to increase people-to-people exchange between our two countries. Sochi is an important destination for us. I have held talks with the Mayor of Sochi and we also discussed what Serbia has to offer to Russian travellers. However, the prerequisite is for nonstop flights to be launched between our two cities. I believe this initiative is a real turning point". Russian carrier iFly Airlines recently received permits from the country's federal aviation authority Rosaviatsia to launch flights from Sochi to Belgrade. The company filed an application to operate up to four weekly services from the Black Sea resort city, however, it is yet to schedule any flights.

The Lviv Regional State Administration in Ukraine has also said it is working on establishing flights to Belgrade. “Serbian tourists have shown great interest in travelling around Ukraine. There is particular interest in pilgrimage trips, as well as culinary tourism. The Lviv region has something to show, surprise and please Serbian tourists, so we are working on the introduction of flights to Belgrade", the Tourism and Resort Department of the Lviv Regional State Administration said. Located in western Ukraine, Lviv is served by a dozen carriers, comprised of both full fare and low cost airlines. Air Serbia will introduce flights to Kiev, which is some 540 kilometres east of Lviv, next week.




Comments

  1. People have been suggesting Belgrade-Lviv for quite some time here.

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    1. Who would fly this route?

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    2. JU could if they had enough ATRs. Otherwise Wizz could give it a try at leadl seasonally .

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    3. Wizz can only fly from EU to Serbia + Switzerland and Norway.

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    4. Those for who Wizzair or Ryaiar are two expensive and rather take a stop on their short journey to sava a few euros.

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    5. Lviv is a much more logical and less riskier option to operate than Kiev.

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    6. W6 is getting the UA AOC so they could operate the route if they wanted to.

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    7. Lots of transfer potential.

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    8. I remember reading last year in the newspapers that the Ukrainian ambassador in Serbia said there was a lot of demand to Lviv (of all places). So maybe there is something we don't know.

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    9. @9.14
      True forgot about that.

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    10. Odessa and Kiev have more Serbs and ex - yu people and Eastern Ukraine waa generally more developed before the war. Also, it has more potential for religious tourism than the west.

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    11. Pardon my ignorance but what religious tourism would there be from Serbia to Lviv?

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    12. A lot of tour operators are offering tours of Ukrainian churches and surprise surprise all of them include Lviv.

      http://www.bglucky.com/poklonicko_putovanje_ukrajina.php
      https://www.alexandria.rs/sr/ponuda/ukrajna-pocajevska-lavra/1722
      http://www.stalis.co.rs/poklonicko-putovanje-po-svetinjama-rumunije-i-ukrajine/
      https://putovanja.aladin.info/ukrajina/pocajevo/

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    13. Interestingly the Serbian Orthodox Church also organizes tours to Ukraine.

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    14. Interestingly enough, one of the more popular destinations for Serbian pilgrims is Iasi. From what I remember they take the bus to TSR and then fly to Iasi on RO.

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    15. Well I'm surprised to say the least. Had no idea.

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    16. LO has built their entire NA network based on transfers from Ukraine.

      It's a market JU has unfortunately ignored for too long.

      IEV would have been a much better option than KBP.

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    17. IT's much cheaper, closer to the city, closer flying time from BEG and with less competition than KBP.

      Also, with an aircraft such as CRJ it would be perfect.

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    18. Lviv would be a great choice. The city and the surrounding area has an incredible touristic potential and its developing very fast. By the way when I'm walking in Lviv I always meet at least few Serbs :)

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  2. The Moroccan Embassy has been talking about those flights for almost two years.

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    1. Until they abolish visas, they are not going to see a major increase in tourists from Serbia.

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    2. They are probably annoyed that Tunis and Egypt have managed to develop tourism ties with Serbia but they did not. Look at how crazy high demand is for Egypt and it's not only seasonal but year round.

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    3. Everybody seeks Croatia and Belgrade. Wonderful time. Posebno za pilgrimage trips u Lvov.

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    4. The process to get a Moroccan visa is very easy and takes a few hours.

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    5. Yes, but it takes time and money. After all there are many people who do not live in Belgrade and need to travel to their embassy to get that piece of paper.

      That is something Egypt and Tunis do not request from Serbian citizens.

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    6. Last anon is right. I think that even though visa is easy to get, it is still a process. And many will look to another destination. When the visa is abolished it will be another story, until then I doubt the success of this route.

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    7. Until 2009 Serbian people had to get a visa to enter Greece but they still went. But I agree with you, if they want larger volumes of tourists visas will have to be abolished.

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    8. Yes but people are not very keen on visas anymore (especially if you need to go an embassy)

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    9. no way we could get visa free regime, since a large number of the migrants are moroccans.
      also, morocco seems to be very popular with serbian tourist nowadays. each couple of months i hear that somebody is going to marakech, essaouira, casablanca, fes...

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    10. Petar do you know how they get there, I mean which airlines they use?

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    11. Most passengers going to Morocco use Alitalia or they self connect via BCN on Vueling and whatever cheaper option there is from there.
      Aegean's new flights to Morocco connect nicely from BEG.

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    12. A couple of my friends went with Vueling to Barcelona last year and the had another ticket to Morocco. Mind you they didn't have kind words for Vueling.

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    13. I heard horror stories about them as well. What happened to them? Was there a massive delay?

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    14. JU will easily win on BEG-BCN route especiallly as Vueling has terrible flying times

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    15. Are you saying people don't want to arrive to Barcelona at 02.00? :D

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    16. All non EU countries in this part of the world need visas for Morocco and doesn't seem like there is a chance they will be abolished soon. i.e. if someone from Trebinje wants to get a visa with a Bosnian passport, they need to travel to Zagreb, get the visa, go to Belgrade, take the flight to Casablanca... I guess there aren't many people that are that keen on Morocco to do that to themselves.

      Still a mystery why they keep visas for this part of the world.

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  3. Serbia seems to have great outbound demand which was recognised by these countries. Arrivals from Russia are up by 30% this year which is mostly thanks to WZ. They even sent the A321 the other day. Good news is that Serbia and Russia have an open skies Agreement so airlines can't be blocked like TK was. Let's see how KRR performs and if JU finds success there.

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    1. January 2019
      Total foreign arrivals: 82.939 (+1%)
      Russian arrivals: 3.525 (+24%)

      February 2019
      Total foreign arrivals: 80.503 (+4%)
      Russian arrivals: 3.154 (+25%)
      Russians so far: 6.679 (+25%)

      March 2019
      Total foreign arrivals: 112.034 (+7%)
      Russian arrivals: 4.026 (+38%)
      Russians so far: 10.705 (+30%)

      Last year there were 49.765 Russian tourists in Serbia, this year there will be for sure around 70.000.

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    2. Wow that's impressive growth! Were there some marketing activities in Russia? No surprise SU added third flight and WZ managed to survive unlike so many airlines before them!

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    3. Do you have number for Chinese tourists?

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    4. Chinese:

      January: 3.334 (+27%)
      February: 5.834 (+21%) - 9.168
      March: 5.734 (+25%) - 14.902

      In 2018: 102.351 (+98%).

      I guess this year there will be between 150.000 and 170.000 Chinese.

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    5. These are really good considering that at that time there were Hainan flights from Beijing.

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    6. I don't think many used Hainan due to the Prague stop. It was not competitive compared to other one stop flights.

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    7. WZ is also changing one weekly flight. From 07.07 they will have a morning departure from Moscow.

      DME-BEG 07.30-09.30
      BEG-DME 10.30-14.20

      Don't know if they did this because of connections or because of aircraft availability. WZ doesn't seem to be big on connecting pax.

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    8. Good to see tourism numbers performing well.

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    9. Where do you get the numbers?

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    10. http://www.stat.gov.rs/sr-Cyrl/oblasti/ugostiteljstvo-i-turizam/turizam

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  4. Can an ATR make it between Belgrade and Lviv?

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    1. Yes it can. It's actually closer than Belgrade-Venice or Belgrade-Prague, both of which are operated with ATRs.

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    2. Interesting. Who would have thought. Well they could use one of them for this route 2 or 3 times per week.

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    3. Lviv service would be great. It is one of hardest to reach cities from Belgrade.

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    4. Both Lvov, Krakow and Odessa make sense.

      Budapest should have been launched from BEG.

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    5. there was BUD and it failed

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    6. OMG there IS already a flight from BUD and it's successfully operated by Belavia!

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    7. Exactly there is twice weekly BEG-BUD.

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    8. I meant BEG-BUD on Air Serbia.

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    9. Instead of INI.

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  5. While it's good news I'm not sure there will be enough demand for any of these routes.

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    1. Me neither. Casablanca might work out on an LCC twice per week (perhaps seasonally).

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  6. Good to see more and more flights in the pipeline for BEG.

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    1. Let's just hope some become a reality and that it doesn't end up just being announcements.

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  7. Do Ukrainians need visas to enter Serbia?

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    1. They no longer need visas to enter anywhere in the EU, why would they need one for Serbia?

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    2. Ukrainians even don't need a passport just an id if they travel directly from Ukraine to Georgia and Turkey.

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    3. Cause Serbia is not in the EU.

      Visas for Ukrainians were abolished long ago before the EU liberalization.

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  8. These flights would be a nice addition to BEG .

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    1. Especially for transfer traffic.

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  9. The more airlines the better.

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  10. Interest from those three cities didn't come through Vinci efforts. What is Vinci doing to attract more routes?

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    1. Vinci secured Lyon flights. More are to come.

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    2. Probably CDG as well

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    3. That's not too much. Vinci seems passive, same as with terminal expansion. More than 5 months after taking over and they are still waiting for the master plan?

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    4. Reread what you wrote - 5 months! what did you expect? The space shuttle landing at a new terminal?

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    5. I'm sorry but your expectations are unrealistic if you thought Vinci would come and wave a magic wand and suddenly airlines would come. For airlines to come there has to be a market to sustain those flights. Vinci can't generate demand. They can present airlines with opportunities and a positive development is that they are attending a lot of route development talks with airlines.

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    6. The best is yet to come ;)

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  11. Yes you wrote before for Royal Air Marroco last year, also for iFly Sochi this year... Many combination, we have to wait and see which route will happen

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  12. Belgrade needs to connect one, but at least 3 Moroccan cities: RBA, CMN and AGA.
    JU can fly to RBA - closer, diplomatic ties with Morocco (political route)
    AT can fly to CMN (African hub) and W6 can fly to AGA.

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    1. Are you serious? Where do you think the demand would come from? It isn't a coincidence that RM gave up on plans to fly to BEG.

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    2. RAM would start flying to BEG only if visa regime was lifted

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  13. UIA said last year how they plan to start BEG flights from Kiev in 2022. Well I hope to see UIA in the region before than and perhaps they could try Lviv.

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    1. They offer very good prices.

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    2. lol their announcement is funny. I don't understand why a company would outline each route they will open in next 5 years. Isn't this giving the competition insight into exactly what you plan to do?

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    3. True. Who knows what's going to be with Ukraine in 3 years.

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    4. Serbia too :D

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    5. UIA's Embraers would be good equipment for this route.

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  14. I think IFly will start Sochi-Belgrade in July and August. They have just started scheduling new flights from Sochi for that period.

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    1. Do you know what flights they scheduled?

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    2. Sorry it is my mistake. I completely mixed up Iraero, which scheduled the flights and Ifly.

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  15. How many weekly flights did Gazpromavia have from Sochi to BEG?

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  16. opet marokovanje...

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    1. У чему је проблем? Камо среће да се наше амбасаде толико залажу за промоцију Србије као што они покушавају да промовишу Мароко код нас.

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    2. или као што Мађарска ради по целом свету.

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  17. Some of these are long overdue.

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  18. Hahah Sochi, like who the would fly on this route???

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    1. Russian tourists? Serbian tourists going there? Look at Russian arrivals to Serbia and many things will become clear my dear friend.

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    2. I realize that but I doubt the tourists are from the Sochi region. And as for Serbs, I can guarantee you that for the same price they would rather go to Madrid or Barcelona.

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    3. Same price of flights or same price of staying there?

      It costs a 100 Euros per day to stay in Barcelona vs. 40% of that in Sochi.

      For the same price of flight I'd rather go to Sochi.

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    4. I can confidently say that, based on inbound tourist numbers, majority of people don't agree with you.

      Similarly, there is a reason why accommodation in Sochi costs 40% of that in Barcelona.
      Same logic as why Fiat car costs only a fraction of BMW car.

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    5. Staying in a freezing English village also costs twice more than Sochi.

      Based on inbound tourist numbers Thailand is far ahead.

      It has nothing to do with prices.

      Your logic is very primitive and superficial.

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    6. Yeah, there must be some kind of 3ABEPA that keeps tourists out of Sochi lol
      Btw, Sochi in winter has very similar climate to those freezing English villages.

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    7. Sochi has ski-resorts around in winter, remember the winter Olympics?

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  19. Sochi and Lviv are secondary airports in their respective countires. I'm not sure there is enough demand from BEG to sustain these flights.

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    1. Secondary airports have huge transfer potential. Sochi has great tourist potential.

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    2. Sochi is Russias summer capital as big as Split and Lviv is as big and important as Zagreb.

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  20. Air Serbia could operate all the routes.

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    1. I highly doubt they would stay Sochi, especially now when they are starting Krasnodar.

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    2. *would start

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  21. Well JU does have a codeshare with SU to Sochi, so there must be some travel between the two cities. Also Sochi flights could have some cargo as well.

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  22. It is really great to see such a big interest for the flights to Belgrade. And as someone said more surprises from Vinci as well as from JU are on their way.

    Well done BEG!

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  23. Lviv is the perfect Atr destination for Air Serbia, definitely the one of the three with biggest potential.

    Sochi will be a success but only with a Russian airline .

    Casablance no way -
    Marrakech is the touristic hotspot of Morocco and it has ist own airport.

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    1. While Marrakech is indeed among the most popular for tourists, it's rare that visitors to Morocco stay only at one location, just the opposite!! They try to see as much as possible, and they may land in Rabat or Agadir, and take off from Fez or Casablanca. Have been very familiar with Morocco, and have recently returned from there, in spite of the rather long stretch of land this country occupies, I have seen the staggering mobility of tourists in all directions. Casablanca would be just fine as any other.

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