TRIP REPORT: Air Serbia, Larnaca - Belgrade

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Written by Nemanja Marinković

On Wednesday I flew on Air Serbia flight JU 509 from Larnaca (LCA) to Belgrade (BEG). I arrived to Larnaca Airport at 8:50am as the flight was scheduled to depart at 10:40am. Air Serbia has modified the flight schedule since the start of winter to fly to and from Larnaca during the day which is definitely easier than taking night flights, but soon they will be going back to their usual/night schedule. The airport check-in counters were open and there were three counters working to include two for economy class passengers and one for business/loyalty program members with Etihad status. I checked in at the business counter and it was very quick and efficient. I proceeded to the passport control which was not very crowded, and it took me 5min to pass through. At security I waited a bit, maybe 10-15min total. Larnaca Airport is undergoing renovation, so the Duty Free and restaurant area are a bit noisy but well organised.

Boarding started 45min before scheduled departure time which was caused by Air Serbia’s early arrival to Larnaca. Larnaca Airport decided to change the gate which caused some delay for passengers who were not aware of that. The airline crew, which included three flight attendants were very pleasant and professional. The total number of passengers on board is 116, 111 passengers in economy and 5 passengers in business class. Taking into account that business class has three rows and can fit 12 passengers, the load factor on this flight was 84% which seems great for off season (December 4th) destination such as Cyprus.

The flight was delayed due to very slow staff at Larnaca airport as boarding was completed at 10:27, 13min before scheduled departure. The purser announced that expected flight time of 2h and 40min. The aircraft doors closed at 10:50, we left the gate at 10:52 and departed from the runway at 11:05. It was a beautiful day in Cyprus with 20C temperature, sunny and clear skies so the scenery was wonderful during the initial 10-15min of the flight.



Flight attendants started their service about 20min into the flight. As usual, they provided the small 250ml water bottle Iva Junior and a small package of local biscuits. As a Serbian, I have a problem with water bottles they use to distribute as those packages are sold for kids and for that matter it called Iva Junior. Overall, the whole impression with water and biscuits seems to be like a “kids snack” which, in my personal opinion, needs to change. After that, flight attendants started selling what they offer through their Elevate Deli & Bar Menu.


The flight itself was peaceful with occasional turbulences towards the end of the flight. We landed at 12:36, and parked at 12:40 so the aircraft arrived 20min late due to strong head winds. Most of the passengers were in transit, and only about 15-20 were waiting to collect their luggage which took a while since bags were delivered 35min after we parked at the gate. Overall, it was a good flight, almost on time, good load factor for early December from Larnaca.


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Comments

  1. Nemjee, is that you?

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    Replies
    1. Xaxaxa no, it wasn't me but I did fly to LCA on 29.11 on JU. We were 36 passengers (31 in economy, 5 in business), return flight had 96 passengers.

      By the way, LCA was moved to daytime flights because of some work on the runway.

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    2. Interesting that LCA has so many business passengers.

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    3. I think it has more to do with Air Serbia's recent marketing tactic. I was flying BEG-TGD-BEG recently (all on A319) and I got 4 emails in the lead up to my flight to bid for a business upgrade.

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    4. Prices are also cheaper in business which makes sense as there is no point in paying that much for that product. JU is being realistic which is nice. It's also nice to see A319 being sent to TGD, much better than the ATRs, Embraers or Fokkers that fly on the market.

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  2. I was also flying on Wednesday from BEG but not on this flight, but I saw that this flight from Larnaca had about 40 passengers form Cyprus Olympic youth team, who were transferring through BEG. Also, my flight to Podgorica on A319 had full economy class, there were no business passengers. Also flights to ATH and SOF were full. My return evening Friday flight from TGD on ATR75 was full, and we were holding above Belgrade for about 20 minutes, because of fog.

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    1. You are lucky, our Aegean flight from Athens was circling for 45 minutes over Sremska Mitrovica as there was an emergency landing in BEG. It was a horrible feeling to fly in circles in complete clouds.

      As for JU in LCA, they seem to be doing really well this winter with Cobalt gone and some others like Tarom suspending winter flights. For example Cyprus no longer has non-stop flights to anywhere in France, Paris included. Great opportunity for JU.

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    2. So happy for JU! Seems they are finally doing well there even with Wizz Air.

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    3. The emergency landing was BEG-MXP, they turnaround in Banjaluka area, and came back to BEG. It was Avio Let’s Boeing 737, the entire Crvena Zvezda’s basketball team was on the flight.

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    4. What was the issue?

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    5. It is a 35 year old aircraft.

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    6. Age is NEVER a cause. Couple of 737 examples: Aloha 243 was only 19 years old, but it wasn't the age, it was the cycles. Lion Air 610 was only 2.5 months old, so it wasn't the age, it was the MCAS, etc.

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  3. Zar se na dužim letovima ne služi čips, a na kraćim ove noblice?

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    1. No, they are rotated based on the day, not flight duration (which is stupid).

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    2. Original plan was to do it depending of flight duration...

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  4. How is Larnaca airport? Is it small? old? I never been but airports in greek islands are not good.

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    Replies
    1. I'm curious as well. I was in RHO and it was bad.

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    2. I was in Larnaca 2 years ago. The terminal seems new, modern and large with jet bridges. Definitely can't be compared to Greece's summer airports. I think it's a French operator in Larnaca.

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    3. I think there were some reports on LCA here that have terminal pictures. Don't know how to find them.

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    4. You should go now to RHO, it's in renovation stage mostly inside. There is still working on but you can see the changes, from the lights to the toilets all modern and new. I think Fraport is doing a good job there.

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  5. Larnaca Airport is small, similar size as BEG. I would say their Duty Free is better than BEG though.

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    1. Small? It's average size starting with the fact that all airbridges can handle widebodies. Plus the check-in area is very spacious, way more than the one in BEG.

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    2. LCA handles about 10 million passengers per year.... guess this figure says enough about the size

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    3. Cyprus has a very small population, way less than 1 million people but LCA handles 10 million passengers?
      Seems like they travel a lot.

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    4. @Anon 21:15 - Are you joking? One of popular tourist destinations, people coming all year round...

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    5. And don't forget, it's an island.

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    6. So what if it's an island? Belgrade is not an island yet look at how many flights there are to Vienna, Zagreb, Ljubljana ... Cyprus is rich and unlike the Croatian coast the airport does not go to sleep in winter. Larnaca is even busier than Zagreb in winter time, I think around double from what I saw. Rich countries have rich people and rich people travel a lot. Look at Switzerland and how busy their airports are despite having a similar population to Serbia.I checked online and airlines like Qatar, Gulf Air and even Emirates fly there the whole year.

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  6. Wonder how Wizz is doing since JU does well.

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    Replies
    1. Well their profits in Serbia are going down so I guess they are not doing too well.

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