Serbia - Russia air market set for strong growth


Flights between Serbia and Russia will run up to 34 times per week this winter season, with three airlines to maintain operations from four Russian airports. Aeroflot will continue to run three daily flights, for a total of 21 weekly, between Moscow and the Serbian capital, while Red Wings Airlines has scheduled three weekly services between the two cities throughout the winter. On the other hand, Air Serbia will run daily flights to Moscow, three weekly to Krasnodar and two weekly services to St Petersburg, although the latter will operate only between December 28 and January 11. Aeroflot and Air Serbia have recently expanded their codeshare partnership to offer more destinations from Moscow, including Omsk and Volgograd. The Serbian carrier also codeshares on its partner’s flights from the Russian capital to Sochi, Kazan, Samara, Yekaterinburg, Rostov and Novosibirsk. It comes as the Serbian carrier considers potentially ordering Russian-made aircraft for its fleet renewal.

Commenting on its Russia operations, Air Serbia previously said, “These services enhance the flow of trade and strengthen the long-held and friendly bilateral relations between Serbia and Russia. Our flights have also been carefully scheduled to offer business and leisure guests from Russia seamless connectivity over our Belgrade hub to key destinations in the Balkans and Southern Europe, where we have an extensive network of flights”. The airline saw its passenger numbers decrease 3.4% on the Russian market in 2018 when compared to the year before at the hands of decreased capacity and increased competition. However, the carrier is expected to improve its results this year with the addition of new flights.

Russia continues to be one of Belgrade Airport's biggest markets. The two countries maintain visa free travel for each other’s nationals. A total of 42.888 Russian tourists visited Serbia during the January – August period, which is up 24.9% on last year. Recently, the Mayor of the Black Sea resort city of Sochi 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.




Comments

  1. KRR was such a brilliant move.

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    1. How are their loads on this route?

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    2. About 115 passengers per flight in the second half of October.

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    3. Not bad at all. I assume it's mostly transfer passengers.

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    4. At first yes but recently there are more and more people going out in BEG, around 20 to 30 passengers per flight. With some marketing this could go up to 50.

      Belgrade is a fantastic tourist destination and Russians seem to be falling in love with it.

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    5. Russians have actually taken over Slovenes in terms of arrivals, quite an achievement. I think we are looking at close to 80.000 arrivals this year from Russia.

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    6. Because there is a subsidy scheme in place at the moment for tour operators to bring tourist groups from Russia.

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    7. 1-8 46k
      1-12 80k? ma hajde. bice 55-65k

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    8. Who cares if there are subsidies as long as they are effective. Those €20 the government gives is compensated the first night in Skadarlija :D

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    9. I didn't say it's a problem. I just said it's a good stimulus.

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    10. Hopefully the one for Indians becomes as successful!

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  2. With Serbian outbound tourism booming I think Sochi could become extremely popular among Serbian holidaymakers. It's probably cheaper than Spain or Italy.

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    1. It's not in people's habits to go holiday in Russia. They actually want to go to Spain and Italy.

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    2. Russia is a popular destination for Serbs.

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    3. Habits change all the time. If Sochi is promoted adequately there will be demand.

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    4. Anon at 09:12 is correct.
      It is lack of proper marketing that makes people wanting to spent their summer holidays in Greece. Spain, Italy, Cyprus instead of Sochi Russia.

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    5. That's an issue for Russian tourist office. Besides there is a reason why countries like Spain, Italy and Greece have the most tourists in the world and not Russia. And people can spend their holidays and hard earned money where they want. Most seem to want to do it it Girona, Sicily or Greek coast and not Krasnodar.

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    6. No one is speaking about tourists going to Krasnodar, we are talking about Sochi, a seaside resort. Also by that logic people should not want to visit Belgrade simply because there are other more popular destinations out there.

      If everyone followed your logic we would never get thousands of Turks, Chinese or Russians visiting Serbia. Tourism industry is fluid and trends change every year. All boils down to who promotes itself the most. No Chinese visited Serbia a few years ago while 200.000 will visit this year.

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    7. Like I said, the Russian tourism office should do a better job at promoting itself, offering deals to tour operators, organising FAM trips, which, as someone who works in tourism, I can tell you they don't do because we are not an important market for them.

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  3. Still nothing on INI-Russia market, could it work with 2pw?

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    1. Red Wings used to operate some Nis charters in 2017.

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    2. I think Pobeda would be best suited for Nis.

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  4. As expected, Air Serbia was most affected last year by Red Wings entry and Aeroflot increasing flights.

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    1. The only down side to Red Wings is that they fly from Domodedovo which is in the middle of nowhere.

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    2. Most legacy foreign carriers fly to DME and their passengers do just fine.

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    3. Those legacies fly there because Aeroflot/Russian state to fly to SVO. Air Serbia was an exception.

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    4. Huh? What exception? Check how many foreign airlines serve SVO, even some Star Alliance airlines like SAS still fly there.

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  5. JU should have perhaps made LED year round.

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  6. Аерофлот has come a long way in BEG. Some years ago they had five weekly on Tu-154 and now we have three daily flights!

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    1. BEG is one of their stronger market in the region:

      IST 35x
      BEG 21x
      BUD 21x
      ATH 14x
      OTP 14x
      SOF 10x
      LJU 7x
      ZAG 7x
      TIV 7x
      SKG 4x

      Mind you some destinations like BUD, ZAG or OTP are served by the SSJ on some flights.

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    2. TIV 14X for SU group(SU 7X,DP 7X)

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  7. Ocekujem sledece godine KRR bar 4X

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  8. Nice to see Red Wings flying over winter. Although they really should have put winter season flights on sale earlier. They just did it a few weeks ago.

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    1. Has anyone flown Red Wings? What kind of service do they offer?

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    2. I was certain they were going to cut flights since most airlines before them failed. I think they have a good sales network in Russia so they sell tickets to tour operators. Since they launched flights arrivals of Russian tourists started growing in double digits.

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    3. The closure of the flights to Georgia also helped.

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  9. This is quite impressive if you ask me. Over 3,200 seats just between Moscow and Belgrade in winter.

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  10. Are the fares between BEG and MOW expensive?

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    1. I would say they are not cheap. I never saw a ticket under €180. Kinda makes sense since it's a three hour flight.

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    2. They were until Red Wings came which offers very affordable prices. Aeroflot and JU keep prices at around 300 euros.

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  11. Aeroflot also does well because TK is blocked from expanding in BEG.

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    1. They are blocked because they wanted an air service agreement where each side can control the other.

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    2. TK is not blocked - please stop spreading fake news and propaganda. TK is fully, without any obstacles, utilizing what the current agreement enables them to do. Turkey can initiate discussions about a new bilateral air traffic agreement if they are dissatisfied with th onee current one. They won't do that, since Serbia would request much more for JU considering how Turkey was acting towards JU when it was flying to IST.

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    3. How exactly did Turkey act? They gave them first the slots in the middle of the night and then they gave them normal one, that is the ones they asked for. Funnily enough, the night time slots were better than the ones JU eventually requested as those daytime flights did not connect to CDG, AMS, ARN ...

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  12. Another market that's overlooked in the Belorussian one. Since Belavia introduced flight number of Belorussian tourists started growing. I am sure that's why they are upgrading BEG this winter. Even today they increased flight to E75 without the BUD stop.

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  13. Still disappointed there are few flights to Ukraine.
    ODS is definitely missing.
    The same applies for LWO and OZH...

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  14. Great news for Belgrade

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  15. Big surprise about Red Wings. I really thought they didn't stand a chance.

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  16. Good. The more foreign visitors the merrier.

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  17. So on some days there will be 5 daily flights between Belgrade and Moscow :O

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  18. Not surprised. There are many types of passengers using these flights.

    - Russians living in Serbia (sizable number considering number of Russian companies operating in Serbia)
    - Serbs living in Russia (sizable number)
    - Russian tourists (not a huge number all things considering - expensive tickets have something to do with it)
    - Russian transfer passengers heading to Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia (handled by Air Serbia)
    - Asian transfer passengers (handled by Aeroflot)
    - Serbian construction workers in Russia (considerable number)

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    1. I read somewhere that there are 5.000 Russians living in Serbia.

      Also don't forget that SU also brings Balkan passengers to JU since they have a code-share.

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    2. Russians need visas to visit Croatia ,that's the problem from them to reach Croatia via Beg

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    3. Huh? First they would still need a visa if they fly via Vienna, Warsaw or Frankfurt.
      Second JU has more destinations in the Balkans than just Croatia.

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  19. SU provides definitively the best service on this route (with regards to regular daily timing, onboard service quality, meaningful Sky Team alliance perks and flight punctuality). Interesting enough they are handling most of the passengers despite being the most expensive carrier. This demonstrates that not everyone is only looking at the bottom price to be paid. For those that treat DME as in middle of nowhere a small learning tip ... DME is S.East of Moscow; S7 and Ural Airlines main MSK hubs and also served with a number of other airlines (LH, OS, JL, TG, SQ, EY, EK,...etc) flying there. It is accessible by Aeroexpress train the same way as Sheremetievo only the train ride is 10 minutes longer.

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  20. How about Moscow-Nis?

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  21. What a shame that this is not possible with Turkey .
    Turks love to travel to Belgrade and they dont need visa .
    TK could easily go triple daily and Pegasus and KK both double daily .
    And that is Istanbul only, Ankara,Izmir and Trabzon would also be attractive for Turkish visitors .
    People there are middle class and modern too .

    The air travel restriction arrangement is an absolute disaster and will set back Belgrade airport in relation to their competitors .

    The only reason the Turkish parliament ratified it seems to be that they dont care about the needs of their population .


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    1. AS should be 'encouraged' to return to Istanbul. That way there would be one more additional daily flight. As already mentioned Turkey is a huge market and interest in Serbia and the Balkans seems to be high.

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    2. AS problem in Istanbul is feed -
      No need for transfer in Belgrade when from every village in Europe and the Balkans you can fly directly to Istanbul.

      On the other hand Turkish tourists from secondary cities all over Turkey have no other option than to transfer in Istanbul to get to Serbia.

      This is why all these Turkish airlines dominate the Istanbul-Serbia market. It is just logical.

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    3. Good points.

      But I have read many times on this blog that it is often cheaper to fly via transfer hub than direct flight. i.e. BEY-BEG-CDG, or XXX-BEG-JFK, or many others not just via BEG.
      I think Turkey, Poland, WAW, and maybe KRK, and MUC are worth fighting for for AS, as well as more destinations in Russia and Ukraine.

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    4. TK is not cheap for point to point trips. Very often Europe is €300 from Istanbul.

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  22. I wonder how much feed each airline SU/JU get off each others flights.

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    1. Don't know about other destinations but TIV has anywhere between 5 and 40 passengers on JU that came on SU to BEG. That's in summer.

      I work for TIV.

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  23. Does Air Serbia's hybrid fares/model apply to SVO route or is it like their New York route?

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