Belgrade Airport set for busy winter season


Belgrade Airport is preparing for a busy winter season, which will see it handle more flights than ever before, following on from what is set to be a record summer. A number of carriers have already committed to increasing both frequencies and capacity to the Serbian capital when compared to last year. Air Serbia will headline the airport's winter operations with the addition of seven routes, which were launched this summer. The carrier will maintain two weekly flights to Barcelona, Cairo, Helsinki, Kiev, Krasnodar, Madrid and Rijeka. Furthermore, it is soon expected to file additional frequencies on some five routes within its network for the upcoming winter.

Among foreign carriers, Air France will maintain daily operations between Paris and Belgrade, which were launched this summer season. Israeli carrier Israir Airlines will extend its seasonal operations between Tel Aviv and Belgrade past late October until January 5 of next year. It will run two weekly rotations. Flydubai will boost operations from five weekly last winter to daily starting October 27. Aegean Airlines will introduce an extra weekly service to the Serbian capital for a total of four flights per week from Athens. Wizz Air will upgrade its seasonal service to Larnaca to year-round operations, while low cost carrier easyJet plans to boost its flights between Geneva and Belgrade to three weekly in November and four weekly from mid-December for the rest of the winter season until late March. The route is currently served twice per week.

On the other hand, Norwegian Air Shuttle, which last winter upgraded its seasonal service between Stockholm and Belgrade to year-round operations, has downgraded the route to summer only. The flights were maintained once per week during the 2018/2019 winter. However, it will continue to run a two weekly service from Oslo. The airline faced competition on its Stockholm route from both Air Serbia, which serves Arlanda Airport, and Wizz Air, which flies to Skavsta. Belgrade Airport expects to handle over six million passengers in 2019, its first full year under French operator VINCI. During the first half of the year, the airport welcomed 2.612.981 travellers through its doors, up 6%.




Comments

  1. Great job BEG!

    Someone eilldo exact calculation, but that is about 30 weekly frequencies more than last year, not counting increase on those 5 JU's routes which were announced.

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  2. Nice to see. Winter should do well for BEG.

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  3. Let's see if Mahan extends flights from Tehran into winter. Currently they are seasonal.

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    1. Currently they are flying once per week on Sundays. I think they will extend it.

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    2. Mahan Air flights to and from BEG are almost void this summer, clf<20%.

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    3. Where you got that info?

      They're flying three weekly.

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    4. It was scheduled as two weekly but it's operating only once per week on Sundays. They flew two weekly only in the first week. Although they still sell tickets for two weekly flights.

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  4. Norwegian is a mess. They even rescheduled their ARN flights to depart Belgrade at 01.50! Who wants to fly out of Belgrade at that time when there is JU with a much better schedule?!

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    1. That's just nuts. That means the plane arrives past 3 in the morning in Stockholm. Unless it was scheduled to connect onto their long haul flights (although I doubt it).

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    2. Actually their plane arrives at 4.05AM in ARN.

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    3. Oh and it doesn't connect onto any long hauls. All their US flights from ARN are in the early afternoon so you would have to wait some 10 hours. It's just a terrible schedule.

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    4. They cancel all US and Canada flights as of Sep 14.

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    5. They are such a mess of an airline, I guess they are cutting to save themselves from complete collapse.

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    6. It is no good at all. I hope, once they cut all US and Canada flights, they will again concentrate on European traffic and start growing again.

      It would not be good all LCC's to become like FR or W6. Therefore Norwegian and easyJet should survive as they really provide the difference when it comes to LCC service.

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    7. Hot Lane - they cancel all US and Canada flightd but from IRELAND ONLY

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    8. Not true, some others have been also cut while many have become seasonal but they will most likely not come back. And anyway, EDI flights to North America are also being cut.

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    9. The point is - they did not cut all US and Canada flights as informed by Hot Lane. They do fly to N.America from Oslo

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    10. Stop the disinformation!
      They only canceled transatlantic flights scheduled to be operated by the 737MAX.
      Those were overwhelmingly from Ireland and Scotland.

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    11. I guess LGW-LAS was also operated by the MAX. :/

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  5. And AF will be using A320 on all flights.

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  6. I hope Wizz Air will diversify its offer from BEG soon.

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    1. Two weekly to Athens could work especially in summer.

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    2. Next time they expand they will probably add another German village -.-

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    3. That would be bad news for JU.

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    4. Well they adding Larnaca in winter and I wouldn't say that's a German village.

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    5. INI expansion by JU is bad news for Wizz Air, they missed their chance there and now someone else is eating their cake.

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    6. They are increasing MMX-INI next summer from 3 to 4 weekly.

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    7. There is no cake if subsidies are necessary to fly certain routes.

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    8. Are you seriously implying INI-GOT can't survive without subsidies but MMX can handle 4 flights? Sure.
      JU expansion was a blessing as it forced FR and W6 to become proactive, FR launched MLA while W6 reinforced their Malmo market.

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    9. Next summer Wizz Air should consider more holiday destinations from Belgrade like CFU instead of just adding excessive diaspora routes.

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    10. Wizz Air is focused on diaspora routes they can fly year round. Summer holiday destinations like CFU, HER, AYT are much more suited for Aviolet. It just needs to get its act together and lease second hand A320s to finally replace the 30 year old 737s.

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    11. With others expanding in BEG I don't see Wizz Air adding a third A320 anytime soon. Where would they expand? Wizz likes low risk routes with minimal competition.

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    12. Best options for would be CRL, BGY, BCN and HAM.

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    13. Is there really room for a third player to BCN?

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    14. Kada ima toliko letova za Antaliju zasto ne bi bilo i za Barselonu?

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  7. Will JU keep the extra Heathrow flights in winter?

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    1. No the slots will be taken by Etihad which will fly 4 daily to London this winter. I don't think JU will be using those extra slots next summer either.

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    2. JU is flying that second daily flight just to babysit the slots. They haven't even done any promotion that they are flying double daily to Heathrow, so filling the plane obviously wasn't a priority for them.

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    3. It's unfortunate because in my opinion it is a much more convenient time for anyone who works.

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  8. When will construction work finally start?

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    1. Soon. The construction camp and makeshift buildings have already been set up.

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    2. They built a big barrack right next to C7-10 so I suppose soon. I think construction will be big because of the size of the building. It has three stickers: Vinci, Terna, Vinci Grands Projects.

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    3. It would be nice if they finally presented their final plans regarding construction and expansion.

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    4. Couldn't they find any Serbian firms to participate in the construction project?

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    5. How will flights operate when they start overhauling the airside? They will possibly need to use a lot of bus gates, lease many buses and extensively use B-platforms which are now sparsely used.

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    6. Anonymous at 09:54
      I am sure Vinci and Terna will get Serbian subcontractors for various works but overall they were looking for firms with experience in large scale projects. So they went for the safe choice rather than take risks with a local firm.

      Just my2cents

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    7. I think first phase will be the expansion of C7-10 and to add airbridges to the remote stands. Planes can be moved to the B platform while works are taking place. Then once this is complete they can start with A6-10. Like that there will be minimal disruption.

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  9. There is also Belavia.

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    1. But they keep the same frequencies. They will just end the Budapest stop.

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    2. That's still an increase in the number of seats offered in BEG, no more sharing with BUD.

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  10. Good luck BEG. I think around 6.1 million pax this year us achievable.

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    1. Numbers at BEG are already well past 3 million now. 6 .1 million is doable.

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    2. It will probably be just over 6 million.

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    3. Air Serbia will add probably 2 routes next year from what I heard. It's gossip so I can't confirm.

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    4. Have they said when construction of the second runway will begin?

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    5. Hopefully there wont be any delays by Vinci and the new facilities will open on time.
      Also the second runway should also start soon.

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    6. I flew out of BEG a few weeks ago and believe me, a new terminal is needed much more than the second runway. The terminal was way overcrowded and there weren't enough coffee shops or restaurants. I am sure Vinci knows this and that they will start working on it right away.

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    7. I hope BEG increases KRR and other destinations next year, especially BCN and MAD which were a total success this year.

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    8. Extending and overhauling the concourses is not a problem. The problem will arise when they start to add aditional floor to tell arriving from departing pax.

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  11. Nice to see FlyDubai back to daily in winter. I wonder why they decreased it in the first place only to come back with daily flights the next year.

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    1. Might have been operational reasons with aircraft.

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    2. MAX groundings are the reason. Same as for DY.

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    3. MAX were not grounded last winter season. If MAX grounding was the reason they wouldn't have increased flights to BEG to daily this coming winter.

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  12. Shame Etihad won't keep the summer increase in flights over winter. Or at least increase capacity to A321. They are quite busy all year round on this route.

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    1. They will probably add flights around Christmas and New Year like every year.

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    2. Hope they at least increase capacity to A321 next summer.

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    3. I hope next year Etihad starts using widebodies on BEG route.

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  13. And here I was thinking Norwegian will start CPH-BEG.

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    1. They tried it a few years ago and it didn't work out.

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    2. They should do GOT-BEG seasonal like they started this year to SJJ. That could work.

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    3. JU used to fly to GOT until 2013 in some weird triangle with Copenhagen I think. I don't think it can work. It was also seasonal.

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    4. Many things didn't work with Jat until it was relaunched as Air Serbia.

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    5. With the right amount of subventions any route can work.

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    6. Yeah, because every route operated by JU is loss-making. Give me a break, so much hate.

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  14. And SU keeps 3 daily flights in winter.

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    1. I hope Red Wings adds another flight this winter.

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    2. Hahahaha yes every route from BEG is political hahaha. Who knew Serbia was such an important country for so many airline to fly politically motivated routes. Have you perhaps thought that their 3rd daily flight is mostly for transfers to Asia? No.

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    3. Aeroflot introduced their third daily flight last winter season. I don't see why they wouldn't maintain it this winter too. It has obviously been successful for them.

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    4. I think their flights to Vienna and Athens are also political to promote Putin's regime there. ;)

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    5. There is growing demand for Asia but still not enough to warrant direct flights. Also SU has a wide Asian network so it doesn't just service one city like Hainan did for example. On top of that SU also carries local traffic and those flying to the CIS.
      Same story with QR, sure Indians and Chinese help fill seats but at the same time so do those going to Australia, Africa...

      That's why both of these added flights before non-stop flights are launched. Also, I don't think BEG is really able to handle more widebody flights as the airport is in desperate need of expansion.

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  15. I quite interested to see which JU routes will get additional frequencies

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    1. Well it's good to see that all the new routes have been sustained and that we didn't have an Adria scenario.

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    2. Except Nice and Zadar.

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    3. Both of those were scheduled as seasonal from the moment they were announced in January.

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  16. So has Air Serbia officially given up on any long haul expansion? I was hopeful we will see a new long haul route in winter.

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    1. I hope they have.

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    2. They first want to consolidate short-haul and medium-haul. AUH might return.

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    3. Air Serbia to AUH? Is it with A330 during winter to improve utilization?

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    4. EY could definitely upgrade BEG to a widebody for a few weeks in summer, their LF these days is 96% from what I heard. Doesn't surprise me, I mean if QR can fill an A321 without any feed from JU then EY should have no problems filling an A320.

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  17. One question. Where can I book the Israir flights?

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    1. I don't think you can. They are basically operated for Israeli tour operators. Same like you can't book an Aviolet flight to Antalya. Although these Israir flights are not charters, they are actually listed in the system.

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    2. Pity, have been trying to book them long time already :(

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    3. you can't. they are all sold through Israeli tour operators

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    4. You can fly on Arkia, their Embraers look really nice though their on time performance in Belgrade is not great. Also those Israir flights are almost exclusively operated by Trade Air, they even use their own IATA code.

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  18. I believe the reason for Norwegian downgrade is the lack of fleet due to MAX groundings.

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    1. It was just once a week anyway. Not a major loss in the grand scheme of things.

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  19. With AF back it would be nice to see another major European legacy return to BEG. Perhaps SAS or BA.

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    1. Scandinavian routes are overwhelmingly used by diaspora travelers who are served by the low costs more cheaply than SAS.
      And BA wont be trying BEG before the Visa requirement for Serbian citizens is lifted by the UK or until the LHR third runway becomes operational.
      Both events are very far into the future.

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    2. BA... YUCK no thanks, they are the same as Ryanair but overly expensive. SK would be nice but maybe only in a few years when the Serbian market further recovers and grows.

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    3. ^^ It isn't BA's short haul product offering that we need them for.
      It is for their massive intercontinental network out of LHR and the connectivity it would provide to our country.

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    4. But it won't work until visas are in place.

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    5. What can offer BA from BEG that LH, AZ, LX, OS, SU, EY, FZ, TK, AF, QR or LO can't?

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    6. Direct competition on flight to LHR!

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    7. Well there is direct competition to CDG, VIE, FRA...yet prices are still high.

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    8. BA is welcome but surely not needed in BEG

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    9. Hope TAP comes back and gives it another try.

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    10. TAP is loss making again after becoming profitable in 2017 after years of losses.
      So they reduced their expansion by a lot and cut certain European destinations that were launched recently such us Basel, Cologne, London–City, Stuttgart. No new European routes are planned for the time being.
      A good opportunity for FR.

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  20. After a strong summer comes a strong winter ;)

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  21. Slowly but surely Belgrade is developing really nicely. I am sure next summer it will be even better.

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    1. It's good that we already have at least one new route scheduled to start next year to BEG. Daily no less :)

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  22. Great news indeed! I still however hope that they will optimize/ improve/ (re)organize inbound custom control, since it is terrible these days, especially during the peak hours at this airport.

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  23. Congratulations to Belgrade. Solid growth supported by a solid mix of low cost and legacy carriers.

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  24. On top of extending LCA, Wizz is also adding capacity on its London-Belgrade flights this winter, which will all be operated with A321s instead of A320 like last winter.

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  25. Winter season is just over two months away. There won't be any new long haul routes this winter, it is way too late to announce it.

    Success of MAD and BCN for Air Serbia could be extended to LIS next year at least seasonally, it they sort out fleet issues and scheduling.

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    1. +1 re LIS
      I know that MAD, BCN, KRR, HEL, NCE, ZAD have been a total success so far (I know it's early days and also not to say others didn't do well, just that these 6 exceeded all expectations) so I feel like ASL will be quite encouraged by that and perhaps add more destinations next summer. I just don't know with which fleet, they are completely stretched at the moment...

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    2. KBP exceeded all expectations.

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    3. Don't forget they were supposed to have an extra A319 in BEG but then INI base happened.

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    4. No market for LIS. No Serbian diaspora in PT and TP was a great failure.
      Maybe PMI or ZAZ? W6 already enjoys a huge ZAZ Romania traffic.

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    5. LOL, maybe PMI? Why don't you learn a thing or two before making comments? Air Serbia already serves PMI as a charter destination. TP was a failure not because of lack of diaspora but because they lacked aircraft at that time. BCN and MAD are not driven only by diaspora but tourism. LIS will work great as a summer service. Romania is a different case, they are in EU and have massive diaspora in Spain.

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