Mahan Air to resume Tehran - Belgrade service


Iranian carrier Mahan Air plans to resume operations between Tehran and Belgrade as of this Sunday, with the airline recently putting tickets for the route on sale via its website. Mahan Air has scheduled two weekly services between the two capitals, each Friday and Sunday. The flights are aimed at Chinese tour groups, but seats are available for booking to the general public as well. "In addition to carrying Iranian and Chinese passengers between our two countries, Mahan Air is also connecting Chinese travellers to Europe in order to attract more transit passengers on our current European destinations", the Iranian carrier said. It added, "It is worth noting that we recently launched flights to Shenzhen, our fourth destination in China, in addition to our scheduled flights to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The number of Mahan Air flights to China amount to fifteen per week".

Mahan Air initially planned to shuttle Chinese tourists to Banja Luka. Despite being issued a permit by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Directorate for Civil Aviation, as well as selling tickets between Tehran and Banja Luka for almost two months, the airline now seems to have substituted the service with Belgrade instead. Serbia is one of only four European countries, along with neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, which does not require entry visas for Chinese passport holders. Iran itself is also waiving visa requirements for Chinese nationals at the end of this month. The Tehran - Belgrade service will be operated by the 202-seat Airbus A310-300 aircraft. The airline maintains scheduled flights to some fifty destinations.

The new service will mark Mahan Air's return to Belgrade after almost a year. It previously maintained several weekly flights from Tehran to the Serbian capital with its Airbus A340-300 jet. During the 2018 summer season, several Iranian carriers, including Iran Air and Qeshm Air, launched services to Belgrade after Serbia became the only European country to allow visa-free entry for Iranian passport holders. However, by October, visa requirements were reintroduced after an increased number of asylum seekers abused the visa free policy. Serbian immigration officers have since introduced an additional passport check at Belgrade Airport for all passengers arriving on flights from Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. Travellers flying to Belgrade on Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Atlasglobal, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Flydubai and Tunis Air are required to immediately present their passports for inspection upon landing at the gate, after which their travel documents are checked again at passport control.

Flight details for Mahan Air's Tehran - Belgrade service can be found here.




Comments

  1. I know the kind of comments that this news will produce but when your country is under severe sanctions and you are trying to maintain a business you have to be creative. If they think they can get transfers from Chinese then so be it. I remember JAT was very creative in the 90s so it could keep flying. They set up Air Srpska, MAT, even flew at one point to Tivat via Uzice so they could increase duty time for their pilots so they don't lose their licenses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +1
      You do what you can with what you have.

      Delete
    2. The other day they increased IKA-IST from 21 to 26 weekly flights.

      Delete
  2. The more airlines the better.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The prices for the flights are outrageous. The first flight on Sunday is well over 1000 EUR and the rest are around 980 EUR return in economy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because the flights obviously aren't targeted at P2P passengers if they are filled with tour groups but they still put some seats on sale anyway.

      Delete
    2. Well those who are price sensitive can fly on QR for 400 Euros. Or for even less on Pegasus.

      Delete
    3. I looked up if transfer flights to China would be any cheaper but its like 2000 euros+

      Delete
    4. Flights were just loaded, usually at first fares are extremely high. I think within a week or so they will come down.

      Delete
  4. Why did they dump Banja Luka? These flights are actually an exact substitute for that, even the schedule is mostly the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The way officials from Banja Luka were talking about this service, I would dump them as well.

      Delete
    2. +1 last anon

      Delete
    3. The way the minister and other officials talked about this, trying to hide the fact the airline was from Iran, denying that tickets for flights were on sale even though you could just check the net and book tickets, I am very happy that they decided not to fly to Banja Luka. It doesn't deserve these flights with those sort of idiots running the place.

      Delete
    4. These are the same people who took 10 years to realize that letting an LCC fly to Banja Luka is a good thing, so I don't see why you are surprised.

      Delete
  5. Let's see how and if this works out.

    ReplyDelete
  6. But isn't Mahan Air blacklisted from flying to Europe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. They fly to Barcelona, Milan, Moscow, St Petersburg and Rome.

      Delete
    2. Athens aswell

      Delete
    3. But they have been banned from flying to Germany.

      Delete
    4. Because of US pressure not because of safety.

      Delete
    5. The EU! not EUROPE!

      Delete
    6. It isn't blacklisted from flying to the EU either. The fly to Italy and Spain without any issue.

      Delete
    7. Greece too.

      Delete
    8. According to Wikipedia Mahan Air flights to Gall EU destinations have stopped.

      Delete
    9. Well wikipedia is not correct. Go to their website.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous 11:24
      Actually Wiki is correct on this matter. I checked all the EU's airports websites that Mahan's destination map shows as destinations and NONE has flights by them.
      Then I tried to book a flight though Mahan's own website and it showed zero flights on any date selected.
      Anon 11:23 is correct, they stopped flying to all EU airports/

      Delete
    11. You are not correct, check FR24 and you will see that yesterday Mahan operated the following:

      07.09 W5 136 IKA-BCN A346
      07.46 W5 110 IKA-MXP A346

      Delete
    12. It's blacklisted because of sanctions...

      Delete
    13. Can't you read the post above? It's flying to Milan and Barcelona normally.

      Delete
    14. Hahaha we have reached a new level of delusion when even facts written right in front of their eyes get ignored.

      Delete
    15. I stayed in a hotel full of Iranians in Barcelona some weeks ago !
      Barcelona is in Spain, no problems at all.
      Do not forget Spain is in EU and Nato.
      Even with visa there were many of them and by their looks and behaviour they were probably upper middle class and very nice people.

      Delete
    16. No, they are not on the black list. They are in possession of TCO (Third Country Operator) issued by EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency).

      Delete
  7. Maybe they end up sending their A340s like last time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a nice sight. Especially when they parked the A340 next to Air Serbia's A330.

      Delete
    2. Yes! There are pictures of that online,. Such a majestic sight. I think the A310 was usually parked at A1.

      Delete
  8. So that's why I saw those flights listed on BEG's seasonal timetable.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really wonder if these flights will be used for Chinese tourists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It only took 15 minutes for conspiracy theories to appear.

      Delete
  10. When was the last time a passenger A310 landed somewhere in ex-Yu?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last year in Belgrade but it was shortly after upgraded to Airbus 340-300.

      Delete
    2. Last year, both IR and Mahan sent them to Belgrade. It didn't take long as both increased capacity real fast.
      Mahan introduced flights to BEG with the A310.

      Delete
    3. Number of Chinese arrivals keeps on increasing more and more so airlines see a market potential (so there is a market) so they are responding. Qatar added additional 3 flights, Aeroflot added a third daily and TK waned to send widebodies.

      Nice to see this market maturing.

      Delete
    4. @9,22

      True forgot about that. Thanks.

      Delete
  11. Welcome back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +2 , Welcome back Mahan !!!

      Delete
  12. What are the other two European countries that don't require visas for Chinese?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One is San Marino, that I know.

      Delete
    2. Belarus is the other. San Marino is just for show seeing as you can't enter the country without going through Italy.

      Delete
    3. But with a San Marino passport you can stay visa free in China for 90 days :) Relations between S.Marino and PR China have a long history, they are trading and cultural agreement in place it's not that bad.

      Delete
  13. Man... BEG just can't stop winning!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Any pics of the interior of this old bird?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://cdn.jetphotos.com/full/2/11666_1214559337.jpg

      https://cdn.airplane-pictures.net/images/uploaded-images/2012/5/24/213160.jpg

      https://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/airliners/4/1/2/1848214.jpg?v=v40

      Delete
    2. Here's a trip report, cabin looks normal, modern.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwmqx-t4gj0

      Delete
    3. Thank you. Looks decent.

      Delete
  15. Good news for spotters.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Very interesting development. So Belgrade gets Chinese tourists AND flights to Tehran.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's really great, what's also super is that Mahan is posititoning itself on the Serbian/regional market when sanctions against Iran get suspended. Like that they can compete with others from their region. Iranians are really smart and unlike their Arab neighbors, they make long-term plans and strategies.

      Delete
  17. This is so fishy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you. Sounds quite amateur...

      Delete
    2. Why? Because they have chosen BEG instead of some other airport in the neighbourhood?
      Sorry, you will have to deal with it...

      Delete
  18. Interesting, there is a lot of potential, even for Indian tourists who no longer need visas.

    PEK-IKA-BEG A310/A310
    00.15-04.45
    06.30-08.20

    CAN-IKA-BEG A346/A310
    00.01-04.50
    06.30-08.20

    PVG-IKA-BEG A346/A310
    23.00-05.00
    06.30-08.20

    DEL-IKA-BEG A343/A310
    02.40-05.20
    06.30-08.20


    ReplyDelete
  19. Ex-yu, slight mistake, Armenia and Georgia also don't require visas for Iranians.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Geographically neither of those are in Europe.

      Delete
    2. Are you sure?

      https://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/eu.htm

      Delete
  20. Yes these are essentially those Banja Luka flights. The flight times are the same, except it was 30 minutes longer to Banja Luka. The operating days are the same too.

    ReplyDelete
  21. They recently launched CAN flights too but shame they don't connect to these. It's a decent alternative to highly overpriced HKG.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Let's see if these flights happen. When Iran Air was launching flights to BEG they were delaying it each week for 2 months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luckily those flights turned out to be extremely successful. Also Mahan isn't relying on Iranian tourists but Chinese ones who are arriving in massive numbers to Србија. Why shouldn't they fly via IKA like they do via IST, DOH, SVO...

      Delete
  23. These flights will help open up Serbia to Chinese tourists. I think by end of 2020 we can expect 500.000 to 600.000 Chinese in Serbia!

    ReplyDelete
  24. How many additional passengers could this generate?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Couple of thousand until the end of the year.

      Delete
  25. So with these flights, this winter we have:

    +7 to CDG
    +7 to BUD
    +2 to KBP
    +2 to HEL
    +3 to KRR
    +1 to GVA
    +2 to IKA
    +2 to LCA on Wizz

    So that's an additional 27 weekly flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Madrid, Barcelona and Rijeka are also year round routes.

      Delete
    2. 33 with MAD, BCN, RJK.

      Delete
    3. That's almost extra five daily flights. I know it's not a new flight but I wouldn't skip on Belavia going non-stop, more seats to MSQ this winter.

      Delete
    4. More seats to MSQ this winter are surely needed!

      Delete
    5. I have a feeling Riga with Air Baltic will be back in time for winter!

      Delete
    6. Shame LYS is seasonal.

      Delete
    7. It is not.

      Delete
    8. It is check www.wizzair.com

      Delete
  26. Congratulations to Mahan Air for thinking outside the box. I am curious what kind of route these tourists will take?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro.

      Delete
  27. Well this was unexpected

    ReplyDelete
  28. Air Serbia should codeshare with Mahan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That could affect flights to JFK.

      Delete
  29. On Beg Airport timetable is 3pw saobraća 26.06. do 25.10. (izuzev od 26.06. do 17.07.)

    ReplyDelete
  30. It just seems as though Belgrade keeps winning like this on a weekly basis. Surely the Q3 growth will now firmly be more like 12-13%...

    ReplyDelete
  31. Do Serbian passports need visas to enter Iran?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Iranian visa on arrival is in 99% of cases a pure formality. Although it does take up to an hour to get it done at IKA.

      Delete
  32. I am sure the Chinese initiated this as they are quite cozy with the Iranians. Plus it's also helping Iran get some additional business to overcome the sanctions. It's a win win situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Had the Chinese initiated it they would get a Chinese airline to operate the flights. One thing Chinese do is never give jobs they can do to others. Even roads and bridges that are being built around the world through Chinese loans are built by Chinese construction companies and construction workers.

      Delete
    2. It was obviously Mahan's idea to drive up passenger numbers. They say so themselves.

      Delete
    3. Chinese infrastructure projects in Serbia use local workforce.

      Delete
  33. Nice. Let's see if they upgrade the equipment.

    ReplyDelete
  34. This is nice but I think we need a Chinese airline to launch flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well Hainan Airlines tried but didn't succeed.

      Delete
    2. They didn't really even try

      Delete
  35. Mark my words, this will become A346 in no time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For 2019 summer timetable Mahan actually planned daily flights with the A340-600 .
      Unfortunately politics came in between ...

      Delete
  36. I love Belgrade but this is weird. Don't you know what is happening in the Gulf?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So? Chinese tourists will keep on coming to Belgrade so why shouldn't Mahan profit from if they can?

      As for the Gulf, China already said that any attack on Iran is a direct attack on its interests. It was a clear message. There won't be war and Iran knows this so why shouldn't Mahan earn some more money if they can?

      Also a month ago IKA opened a great new terminal, it's really modern and nice.

      Delete
    2. Beggars can't be choosers.

      Delete
    3. Huh? Who exactly is the beggar here?

      Delete
    4. Obviously both BEG and Mahan Air.
      BEG is trying to get any airline willing to give our market a try and Mahan because BEG is one of the few European destinations they are still allowed to fly.

      Delete
    5. I'm sure it's "your" market ;)

      Delete
    6. Anonymous at 12:23
      Thank you for proving my points!

      Delete
    7. Your "points" are completely wrong. First of all Mahan Air is not banned from flying to the EU. If it was it wouldn't have flown to both Barcelona and Rome yesterday.

      Delete
    8. Haha yes BEG and Mahan are beggars here just because they are trying to open yet another route for the Chinese tourists to take.

      Delete
  37. Fully expecting that TAP and Lisbon will be back any day now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TAP had over 100 million Euros of loses last year.
      I believe they are scaling back expansion to new markets for the time being.

      Delete
  38. The route network from Belgrade is really starting to look impressive I must admit.

    ReplyDelete
  39. If this service succeeds in bringing tour groups to Serbia from China as outlined, does it mean there will be no Air Serbia service to China?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Just checked prices for return trip Belgrade - Tehran for 8-15 September. It is 1587 eur. Ridiculous!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Prices will get adjusted in some time

    ReplyDelete
  42. With Mahan back, LOT starting Budapest daily and all the other recent additions, I'm sure this is exceeding even the rosiest projections for BEG!

    ReplyDelete
  43. A rosy projection for Belgrade i would call one million additional pax if Ryanair finally opens a base there.

    ReplyDelete
  44. A couple of comments coming from a Chinese:
    (1) It's reasonable for Mahan to switch from Banja Luca to Belgrade if the primary purpose is to attract Chinese tourists - virtually no one has heard about Banja Luca here, whereas Belgrade is much more well known amongst Chinese (for good reasons).
    (2) Mahan had a separate online booking site in Chinese language and they are advertising CNY 4378 (~EUR 568, all taxes and fees included) for a China-Tehran-Belgrade Round Trip in Economy and CNY 8877 (~EUR 1153) in Business. While not exactly cheap, these fares are reasonable - especially in Business class where you can get a ex-Virgin Atlantic business class seat on the A340s that Mahan uses on China-Tehran flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really smart to have a Chinese booking system since like that they can get around the sanctions and limits on credit card payments. I am sure this route will do well and it will open another path to Belgrade.

      China-Belgrade via Tehran is the perfect Silk Route path. :D

      Delete
  45. Ex-yu, apparently these flights will be three weekly

    ReplyDelete
  46. Ex-yu, which of your guidelines were broken by saying a gate passport control was disgusting?

    ReplyDelete

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