FlyBosnia outlines Europe service launch


FlyBosnia will commence three weekly services, each Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, between Sarajevo and London's Luton Airport starting September 19. The service will mark the resumption of operations between the two cities following an eleven-year hiatus. The carrier has said tickets for the new route will be on sale "within the next few days". London will mark FlyBosnia's first scheduled European service from Sarajevo. It is expected to be followed up with the introduction of flights to Paris and Rome. "I held a productive meeting with FlyBosnia's CEO Tarik Bilalbegović. We discussed the resumption of flights between Sarajevo and the United Kingdom. It will be good for tourism, business and the strengthening of ties between our two people", the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Matt Field, said.

FlyBosnia is scheduled to end its seasonal flights to Gassim and Manama on August 28 and September 13 respectively, enabling it to launch the London service. However, it will continue to serve Kuwait City, Jeddah and Riyadh in the Gulf. The airline has noted that in addition to point to point travellers between Sarajevo and London, it is also targeting transfer passengers from the Middle East for its new UK service. "The connection with London is primarily our effort to help business people realise their business plans. Our three time per week line will give businessmen and believers the opportunity to quickly connect via Sarajevo to the Middle East and tour Umrah", the company noted.

Flights between Sarajevo and London were last maintained by British Airways. The service was operated three times per week with a Booing 737-400 aircraft. The route was discontinued during the 2008/2009 winter season as the global financial crisis hit the aviation industry. At the time, the British carrier noted that although its decision was difficult, it had suspended Sarajevo in order to focus on more profitable markets in Europe. Wizz Air introduced two weekly flights between Bosnia and Herzegovina's second busiest airport in Tuzla and London Luton in 2016. However, the route was discontinued a year later.

Photo courtesy lwm_photography



Comments

  1. From what I hear it will be Gatwick.

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  2. Which London airport will they fly to?

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  3. Finally a flight to Europe. We will see how it works out.

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  4. Out of all the main unserved routes from SJJ, I think London will be most difficult to fill because of visas.

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    Replies
    1. London-Middle East is one of the most lucrative markets out there. I think those are the passengers they are targeting.

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    2. by a no-name airline? competing with Emirates, Qatar and Etihad. Eh Mujo!

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    3. With so many nonstop flights from the Gulf to London, why would anyone fly via Sarajevo. Even Jazeera Airways is starting Kuwait City - Gatwick.

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    4. Well Shiddi Tourism which is filling up seats from Saudi Arabia to SJJ seems to be quite well known over there.

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    5. If the price is right, who knows.

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    6. Jesus I hope they are not serious about developing transfer business as SJJ can't handle it.

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    7. Anon09:05...cemu ta glupost sa Eh Mujo?

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    8. Anon 09:04 there are probably 100 direct flights from ME to London, all of them to more suitable airports than Luton. I doubt anyone would choose to waste his time in SJJ.

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  5. I;m wondering what the price will be like.

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    1. I have a feeling it will be cheaper to fly Riyadh-Sarajevo-London, then Sarajevo-London.

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    2. That's how many airline targeting transfer passengers work.

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    3. That was JU's strategy in 2015-2016. Essentially the local passengers subsidize the transfer passengers.
      Clearly the Bosnian passengers and their needs are not a priority for this airline.

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    4. Anon 09.55 why are you singling out JU when that's a model that's used throughout the world? Furthermore transfer business at this point is lucrative for JU and luckily JU flies to places where Serbs want to go unlike Air Bosnia which flies to random airports in the Middle East like Gassim or Manama.

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    5. @9,55am

      It still is JU stratergy.

      Transfer pax help fill flights where there is some form of demand however not enough for the O&D demand to sustain the route.

      Tax payers are funding the increasing connectivity of their local airport as well as the reduced ticket prices of the increased competition the local airline creates.

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    6. Please show the proof for "Tax payers are funding the increasing connectivity of their local airport"

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    7. I guess you must of missed the news of 21 new routes JU has launched this season?

      In case you missed it, JU has this season launched and relaunched from BEG 9 routes and opened a base in INI flying to 12 destinations.

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    8. Air Serbia does not offer or have any transfer passengers at INI. New routes launched from Belgrade are not any proof for claim that tax payers are funding the increasing connectivity of BEG.

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    9. The subsidies that the state gives to JU and are reported to their financial results prove that tax payers are funding the increasing connectivity of BEG.

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  6. I'm surprised Wizz's flights didn't work out.

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    1. Very small Bosnian diaspora in the UK and almost non existent interest from British tourists to visit B&H.
      And most importantly the visa issue which I don't see being resolved any time soon.

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    2. That route performed ok but it didn't have 90%+ load factor required by Wizz Air for any route to survive.

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    3. We can not possibly now if those flights by W6 were making money. If the tickets were very cheap no amount of load factor would save it.

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  7. So they are starting flights in less than a month and tickets aren't on sale yet. Great work.

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    1. I really do wonder how they are performing financially. They do have owners with deep pockets but there is a limit to everything.

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    2. With Arab money anything can work.

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  8. Oh good the flights are for Umrah. Here I was hoping it was for the local population.

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    1. It's operating nonstop from Sarajevo to London so it is serving the local population.

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    2. Well it is if you are a very religious Bosniak! ;)

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  9. If they do start Paris, Rome and perhaps Frankfurt, in addition to London, then SJJ will have quite good coverage in Europe.

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    1. Still one of the only European capital cities without flights to Brussels.

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    2. B&H is not an EU member so I don't see that as such an issue.

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    3. Doesn't matter, BNX has flights to CRL so there is some demand.

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    4. Sarajevo had flights to Brussels that were suspended after a brief run in H1 of 2018. I guess it didn't work out even though it costed 80 euros on average for a roundtrip.

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    5. I was utilizing those flights from CRL frequently (at least 5 round trips), and flights were usually packed (to the last percentile, no jokes!) - both on a friday evening inbound flight to SJJ and monday evening outbound flight from SJJ. Flights were super cheap - but it was really hard to purchase tickets online. For example, TUI website requires you to provide a (local, BEL) phone number, and at the time I had a NL number. It didnt let me complete the reservation, since it was popping 'invalid number' error. I had to call the TUI customer service - and yes, in the TUI CS, they were aware of this problem. Their solution? Put TUIs (Belgian) phone number when you purchase the ticket. My friends have also had this problem. That was super annoying.

      I actually like TUI, it sucks they backed off :(

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  10. Visas are a big issue for this route.

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    1. I don't think visas are such a massive issue. I mean there are flights from Belgrade, Pristina, Skopje, Ohrid, Podgorica, Tivat, Tirana to London and the local population in all those cities needs a visa for the UK.

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    2. Larger markets and larger gastarbeiter traffic too.

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    3. Sarajevo is a huge market, there is certainly demand

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    4. I would not go as far as say that Sarajevo is a huge market but it'd of a decent size.

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  11. wait til somebody starts examing who is the majority owner of this airline. Bosna or some Gulf country. not sure if they will keep the rights to fly ...

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    1. FlyBosnia is a private company so it can be in 100% ownership by any foreign entity.

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    2. Anonymous at 09:17 what are you talking about?
      If it is an airline with a European AOC it most definitely has to abide by the 50% plus one share ownership and effective control by Europeans rules!

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    3. for flights into EU ...

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    4. With all due respect to FlyBosnia, I think the company is so insignificant to any other European airline that they would care about who has effective control.

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    5. Anonymous at 09:27 it is completely irrelevant WHERE it flies to. It has a European AOC, end of story.
      If you have no idea what you are writing about refrain from posting misinformation.

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    6. @9.29 except JP and OS :D

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    7. it has a European AOC for now ....

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    8. Anonymous at 09:47
      When in a hole stop digging!
      If they do not have a European AOC they can not fly anywhere in Europe from SJJ. Also if they don't have one they cant be part of B&H bilaterals.
      Simple?

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    9. it can be revoked ....

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    10. It is my mistake trying to argue with an idiot!

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  12. Which London airport did BA used to fly to Sarajevo?

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  13. Flybosnia just opened an office on Regent Street in London.

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  14. Wouldn't it have made sense to first launch FRA where there is a big Bosnian diaspora?

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    1. I read maybe last year on here that London is the busiest unserved route from Sarajevo.

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    2. The airline is not about serving Bosnians, it is about facilitating Middle Easterners travel and investments. So it is London for now.

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    3. @Anon 9:28 You are absolutely right, it was discussed so many times here. This airline doesn't thing about locals need in SJJ, they have different agenda.

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  15. If they are successful in carrying transfer passengers to the UK from the Middle East, Sarajevo Airport's number will rise significantly and it will probably overtake Podgorica, because transfers are counted twice :)

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  16. Could these flights have some sort of an impact on any ex-Yu airline? Did OU or JU carry transfer passengers from Sarajevo to London?

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    1. Definitely not JU since London departs at 10.25 while SJJ operates at noon. I think OS stands to lose the most. Not a good period for their ex YU operations these days.

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    2. Most locals that fly to London use Zagreb.

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    3. It's not easy to connect from London via Zagreb to Sarajevo since OU sold their landing slots at Heathrow.It is only possible on a Wednesday, due to the timings

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  17. Limited diaspora, visas, limited tourist numbers, no possibility for connections since Flybosnia doesn't have any codeshares or interlines, few business links... Not sure this route will turn out well.

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    Replies
    1. Serbia has the same limited diaspora and visas are needed, so what?

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    2. Serbia is a much bigger market, and also JU offers transfers from TGD, TIV, TLV... that all help.

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  18. FlyBosina business plan outlined:

    - We will place planes in the Balkans. This way we connect Middle East and the UK/Scandinavia with convenient narrowbodies, with a stopover which is for many much easier than flying 5+ hours on a narrowbody direct flights (QR service to Helsinki, EY to Dusseldorf...).
    - We will also help easier bringing Arabian people to Bosnia to spend their holidays. We do not really care about locals and their needs.For us It is just a bunch of poor people who rarely can afford to fly. We did not even bother translating the website to the local language.
    - We will target Umrah travelers, but our Jeddah service will remain seasonal (!)
    - We will use aeroplanes from the antiquity. (Their two Airbuses are made in 2003 and 2003, and the 737-400 as addition is at least 5 years older)
    - If we have frequent issues with fog and have to cancel flights, we will require Bosnian government to cover it for us along with passenger compensation claims.
    - We are not, and have no aspirations of becoming a "national airline", "flag carrier" or whatever like that.

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    1. What B737-400 do they have? And also Jeddah is not seasonal.It's scheduled once per week for the whole of winter.

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    2. I do agree that it's unacceptable that they don't have their website in the local language.

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    3. "We did not even bother translating the website to the local language." :D :D

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    4. Anonymous at 09:36
      +1000
      That pretty much sums up the situation.

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    5. It's really sad to see the ratio of flights to Middle East / Turkey vs flights to rest of Europe from Sarajevo. Even within the region it's only connected to 3 airports (BEG, ZAG and LJU) whereas FlyBosnia alone has 3 Saudi Arabian destinations. I just don't want to see Bosnia become an Arabian island in the heart of Europe, more reliant and in tune with a region it doesn't geographically and culturally belong to.

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    6. TK must be trembling at the thought of Fly Bosnia's one weekly flight into Jeddah. :D

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    7. FlyBosnia does not have a B737--400.

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    8. +1000
      These people shouldn't be allowed to have that name, alluding that it's the national carrier when they're blatantly disregarding the Bosnian people, their travel needs and not even bothering to have Bosnian as a language option on their site. Our national carrier, Air Serbia, are certainly not saints by any means, but I know quite a few Bosnians in Sarajevo who are appalled at how it's all been playing out at FlyBosnia. Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Italy, remainder of the region etc etc would all have been better choices for Bosnian passengers than London. The company has no shame in announcing it is clearly being introduced for Arabian connecting passengers.

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    9. It doesnt matter who is the owner, and hence they can have that name without issues. Who cares who is the owner, wtf?

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    10. People care when it's JU's or JP's owners that need trashing so why should Fly Bosnia be any different, wtf?

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  19. When will tickets go on sale?

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    1. It says in the text
      "The carrier has said tickets for the new route will be on sale "within the next few days" "

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    2. They will go on sale today. They are already on the site but when you select it it says "no tariffs available".

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  20. Dubioza Kolektiv!

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  21. aaaaa :)
    https://www.b92.net/biz/vesti/region.php?yyyy=2019&mm=08&dd=23&nav_id=1581274

    Sarajevo -- Australijski biznismen Kristofer Gabriel, bivši direktor aviokompanije FlyBosnia, postao je državljanin BiH.
    Gabriel je godinama u braku sa bivšom počasnom konzulkom BiH u Australiji Đemilom Talić-Gabriel.

    Đemila je i uspešna poslovna žena, poreklom iz Bosanske Dubice.
    On važi za jednog od 100 najuticajnijih ljudi na svetu u svetu telekomunikacija, a zahvaljujući braku sa Đemilom počeo je da se interesuje za investiranje u BiH.

    Zbog iskustva i poslovnih veza osnivač i investitor FlyBosnije Al Shiddi grupacija za direktora je imenovala upravo Gabriela.

    Ovaj bračni par ima i fondaciju koja pomaže ženama i deci bez roditelja. Pored toga imaju kuću u Neumu gde često odmaraju.

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    1. Except they forgot to check he is no longer the CEO of Fly Bosnia
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/06/flybosnia-ceo-resigns.html

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    2. They didn't, they say he is "bivsi direktor"...

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  22. TZL=LTN didn't work for Wizz so I don't think SJJ-LTN will work for FlyBosnia.

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    1. They had 80% LF which is not enough for LCC

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  23. Who does the maintenance on the Flybosnia aircrafts?

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    1. They do it in Sofia. Not sure which company.

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    2. Lufthansa technik

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    3. And who does it in SJJ?

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    4. They do it in Zagreb. Both aircrafts were on C-check in Zagreb.

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    5. Fly Bosnia does their maintenance in ZAG while Trade Air does it in BEG. lol

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  24. Say what you will but at least they are following through with their plans.

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  25. So much negativism in comments. It is great that Sarajevo will have additional routes to Europe, regardless who travels on these flights and if there is Saudi money behind this airline

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  26. Luton is a bad choice of airport but overall I'm glad SJJ is getting a new European route.

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  27. A: Let's start an airline to connect ME to EU via an airport in CEE. What airport would make a good transfer hub choice?
    B: One with almost no fees like Tuzla.
    A: Let's show them our out of the box thinking and do something completely opposite. What is the most expensive airport in that region?
    B: Sarajevo is very expensive.
    A: Great! Sarajevo it is!

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    Replies
    1. Such a mistake to fly to Luton. Many like me would prefer an indirect flight.

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  28. Sorry for not being on topic, but does anyone by any chance know what is the fastest, easiest way to get to Shenzen, China? We have Chinese visas secured and hypothetically the fastest way would be to fly to Hong Kong, but I have heard different information on how complicated it is to get from Hong Kong into mainland China...from no problem at all for foreign nationals to significant problems regardless. Otherwise most flights go via Beijing with a long layover there and these are all at least two stops.

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    1. Hong Kong, definitely. I don't know if something changed because of current events but most convenient way was to take a ferry from Honk Kong airport directly. So you land there, you don't pickup baggage, go directly to ferry counter. Buy ticket, they will take luggage for you and put in the ferry. When you take off from ferry in Shenzhen, luggage will wait you there.

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    2. I forgot, name of the Shenzhen port is Shekou, it is in Nanshan district.

      https://www.hongkongairport.com/en/transport/mainland-connection/ferry-transfer.page#2
      http://indiansinshenzhen.com/ferry-service/ferry-between-shekou-and-hong-kong-international-airport/

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    3. Not sure where you want to fly from but KLM and China Southern both offer connections via AMS but of course we only fly from SPU,ZAG,BEG or DBV(HV) in this region.

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