British Airways gears up for EX-YU expansion

British Airways is preparing for its biggest expansion in the former Yugoslavia in years with the airline introducing two new seasonal routes and adding frequencies across its existing destinations. In Croatia, the airline’s flights from London Heathrow to Zagreb will increase from daily to eleven weekly during the height of the 2020 summer season, while operations from Heathrow to Split will also grow, from seven to ten weekly, complementing its three weekly service from London City which remains unchanged compared to last year. It plans to maintain the same number of flights from the UK’s capital to Dubrovnik (eleven weekly) and Pula (twice weekly) as last year.

British Airways will launch a seasonal one weekly service from London Heathrow Airport to both Pristina and Podgorica during the summer of 2020. Flights to both Kosovo and Montenegro will commence on July 4 and run until August 29, with a total of nine return services planned. The development will mark British Airways’ return to Pristina following an eight-year hiatus and the carrier’s entry into the Montenegrin market. Previously, British Airways maintained three weekly flights between London’s Gatwick Airport and Pristina on a year-round basis. Services were suspended in 2012. “We are gearing up for an exciting summer as we add more routes to our extensive global network. We’re always developing our offering and are pleased to be adding completely new destinations to British Airways’ Heathrow map”, British Airways’ Director of Networks and Alliances, Neil Chernoff, said.

British Airways will increase its seasonal services from London Heathrow to Ljubljana, which were launched in 2019, from two to four weekly. The flying season will also be extended and will start almost two months in advance, on May 22, and last until September 26. "Ljubljana is very much a hidden gem amongst former Eastern European cities. As a result, tourism in the city is growing rapidly, making it a destination on the radar for many airlines. We’re always developing our leisure offering and are committed to giving our customers even more choice by adding frequencies”, the carrier said.


  1. Anonymous09:01

    That's a very nice increase for Zagreb from 7 to 11 weekly!

    1. Anonymous09:03

      Will put more pressure on OU's Heathrow flights.

    2. Anonymous09:05

      It won´t since BA carries a huge chung of transfer pax and judging by the prices demand is there for both.

    3. Anonymous09:26

      It is only in the top season

    4. Anonymous10:16

      Still, nice increase for both LJU and ZAG! Luckily, no visas needed to enter the UK!

    5. Anonymous17:47

      This winter BA to ZAG 10 pw.

    6. Anonymous07:14

      Bad news for OU, really bad.

  2. Anonymous09:02

    Interesting they keep expanding in Split. Last year they increased flights to daily now to 10 weekly.

    1. Anonymous09:03

      Overall their Croatian ops. are impressive. Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik and Pula. Perhaps Zadar next year?

    2. Anonymous09:06

      Interestingly the only destination in Croatia where they don't offer flights from Heathrow is Dubrovnik. Any chance of that changing?

    3. Anonymous09:27

      Do they still fly to DBV during winter?

    4. Anonymous09:29

      Yes they do. They even increased frequencies this winter.

    5. Anonymous09:44

      Thank you, DBV is doing a really great job!

    6. Anonymous10:15

      Do they use A321 in DBV during summer?

    7. Anonymous12:55

      BA does not have any A321 stationed at LGW.

    8. Anonymous13:47

      @Anon 0906 - they're unlikely to introduce LHR-DBV now that AA flies PHL-DBV in the summer. LGW covers the p2p demand and the AA flight covers most of the TATL traffic without subjecting travellers to the traffic between LHR and LGW. Destinations without a direct TATL connection are a better use of the scarce LHR slots.

  3. Anonymous09:04

    LHR-SPU on Mondays is 3 times a day :D

    1. Anonymous09:19

      Crazy! :)

    2. Anonymous09:35

      If I'm not mistaken SPU is now connected to 5 out of 6 London airports.

    3. Anonymous09:43

      Maybe Split could be extended into winter this year?

    4. Anonymous09:51

      It's possible. If they can maintain Dubrovnik, why not Split.

  4. Anonymous09:06

    I simply don't get the point of these one weekly flights to Podgorica and Pristina.

    1. Anonymous09:08

      And for just a few weeks.

    2. Anonymous10:06

      Lots of Brits going for holiday in Montenegro now.

    3. Anonymous11:15

      Connection flights to USA.

  5. Anonymous09:06

    Bravo Hrvatska!

  6. Anonymous09:08

    Any chance of Ljubljana becoming year round?

    1. Anonymous09:09

      First they need to extend it for the whole of summer!

  7. Anonymous09:09

    I never seen an airline be more cautious in this region than BA. Seriously one weekly flights to "leisure destinations" of Podgorica and Pristina??

    1. Anonymous09:11

      TGD is primarily relying on British tourists and PRN is primarily relying on Kosovo diaspora.

    2. Anonymous09:11

      And when I say Kosovo diaspora I also mean the on from the US too.

    3. Anonymous09:12

      The slots at LHR are so valuable and they have such a huge choice of potential destinations where they can use them that we should consider ourselves lucky for getting even those flights.
      Hopefully they will do great and next year they will increase frequencies.

  8. Dejan09:10

    Unbelievable that they see more potential in PRN and TGD than in BEG. They could have had great loads and get a lot of feed to their American and Canadian destinations.

    1. Anonymous09:10

      They have no competition in PRN or TGD.

    2. Anonymous09:16

      I think these are not comparable as both destinations will be served once weekly on weekends, when at least part of the fleet (and slots are free) from weekly business oriented services.

      BEG should be served with at least a daily service to be competitive (like BA888 ages ago) and BA would need equipment and slots which are probably used elsewhere for more profitable operations.


    3. Dejan09:21

      Their competition in BEG is O&D focused while they can transfer passenger from LHR to dozens of destinations in the Americas.
      And they also face "competition" in their Dalmatian routes as well as ZAG and TIA but they fly to these destinations.
      I believe both BEG management and the tourism Turisticka Organizacija should do a much better job.

    4. Anonymous09:25

      In BEG they would have to compete against JU and W6 for P2P passengers travelling to London and their service is surely not better than on JU flights.

      For connecting passengers from / to BEG there is already huge number of connecting flights through FRA, MUC, CDG, FCO, ZRH, VIE, WAW, IST, AMS, SVO, DOH, DXB, AUH etc where Serbian citizens could transfer without visa.

      In case of Great Britain Serbian passport holders need to obtain expensive a visa even for transfer.

      Thanks, but no thanks.

    5. Anonymous09:47

      Exactly, locals can use JU and W6 especially the latter which now exclusively sends the A321 from Luton. JU has their summer seasonal increases which are also very popular.

      As for transfers, the moment AF returned to BEG, BA lost. There is simply no reason for them to come now and fight with HV, AF, LH... don't forget that LH from MUC got increased to triple daily and LX from ZRH is going triple daily this summer while OS is increasing BEG from 20 to 23. All these airlines are offering competitive connections to the biggest markets in the US.

      As for service, actually JU offers a better one as at least water and a snack are free, on BA it's the same as on Wizz Air.

    6. Anonymous09:54

      You don't need visa for transfer to US and it is done with Virgin Atlantic not with BA. In London you are going for business.

    7. Anonymous09:55

      You don't need a transfer visa if you have Australian, US or NZ visa in your passport.

    8. Anonymous10:01

      With Serbian passport you surely need transit UK visa travelling from BEG to any destination out of USA / Canada / New Zealand / Australia.

    9. Anonymous10:02

      For all other worldwide destinations Serbian citizens do need transfer visa for travelling through LHR

    10. Anonymous10:05

      @10.01 no you don't. Read what is linked:
      You don’t need a visa if you have one of the following:

      a visa for Canada, New Zealand, Australia or the USA (this can be used for travel to any country)

    11. Anonymous10:06

      There is very little demand by British to visit Serbia. Serbs nee a visa to visit the UK.
      The transatlantic transfers are covered by SkyTeam and *A airlines and BA would have to compete with those already established in our market carriers.
      Yes, their network to North America is better than anyone else's but our market is not that large for it and JU501 offers very competitive fares.

    12. Anonymous10:37

      anon @ 10:05

      Why should I have visa for Canada, New Zealand, Australia or the USA if I travel to any other country except these?

      It practically means that if I want to fly from BEG to Japan or S.Korea or Mexico or any other country except mentioned 4 I can't transfer through LHR without UK transit visa.

      And why should I even bother paying for UK visa if I can transit through many other Serbian passengers visa free airports? And all of these airports are not only transit visa free but also entrance visa free.

    13. Anonymous10:47

      Anon at 10:37
      Why would you travel to Japan or anywhere in Asia from Serbia via LHR?
      LHR is extremely useful for travel to US and Canada.
      Besides those two countries it is almost out of the way for any destination in Europe, Asia and central and south America.

    14. Anonymous10:51

      Because of more attractive prices or possibly better connecting possibilities.

      But UK visa stops me

    15. Anonymous12:19

      Why a 7+ hour extra journey time in order to travel to the far corner of Europe have a lower price?
      Not on BA it won't.
      So LHR is great for flights to USA and Canada. Better than any other EU hub.
      And if you are allowed to travel to those countries then you can transit LHR without getting a UK visa.

    16. Anonymous13:24

      Why is it better to fly BEG-LHR-JFK (JFK was taken just as an example of the airport in N.America) than


    17. Anonymous14:19

      We are talking about the option of IST as a connecting point to JFK.
      Now LHR is a very competitive point for travel to JFK because it offers up to 12 daily flights on the BA-AA joint venture and another 6-7 daily flights on the Virgin-Delta joint venture!
      No other hub in Europe even come close to this abundance of choice.
      Unfortunately we do not have that option.

    18. Anonymous14:47

      I was reacting on your statement that "LHR is better than any other EU hub".
      Last time I checked IST was not in EU.

      Additionally, the number of flights from LHR to N.America have no big meaning if you have for example only 1 daily flight from your city to LHR.

      Mind you, LH during the summer has 2 daily flights from BEG to FRA and 3 daily to MUC. In that case smaller number of daily flights from these hubs to N.America get compensated with high frequency of flights to MUC/FRA.

      Huge CDG has 3 daily flights from BEG with possibilities for connecting flights (1xAF + 2x code-share JU).

      After all I really do not see the benefits of using LHR as transfer airport from BEG

  9. Anonymous09:14

    At least they have recognized the region's existence after 10 years.

    1. Anonymous09:14

      They found us on the map :D

    2. Anonymous09:23

      I'm surprised by their sudden interest in ex-Yu.

    3. Anonymous09:24

      They are getting a lot of new planes which allows them to focus on other markets.

    4. Anonymous09:56

      Sorry, but what do you mean by "sudden interest"? In Croatia, they have been present for how long?

    5. Anonymous09:57

      Other than Croatia, they have not been very interested in the region. And even to ZAG they launched flights just a few years ago.

  10. Anonymous09:15

    Great and much needed boost for Zagreb considering there are still no new routes announced for next year.

    1. Anonymous09:16

      True although these additional frequencies don't operate for the whole of summer.

    2. Anonymous09:21

      They do. The gradually increase. But from the start End March there are 9 weekly- increasing to 11 in May. So from the start there are 2 more.

    3. Anonymous09:23

      Oh I see. Good for ZAG.

    4. Anonymous09:45

      Which planes do they use in Croatia? ZAG in particular?

    5. Anonymous12:42

      Mostly A320.

    6. Anonymous12:58

      I´d say its also about the cpmpetition. Together with Easy, Norwegian, Wizz, TUI, etc. there are more than 10 daily flights.

  11. Anonymous09:19

    They should resume two cities they formerly operated to - Sarajevo and Belgrade.

    1. Anonymous09:20

      Would be nice to see them back in Skopje too.

    2. Anonymous09:21

      Interesting. Didn't even know they flew to Skopje.

    3. Anonymous09:22

      Yep from 1999 till 2001.

    4. Anonymous09:28

      Skopje really needs a link with LHR, especially after the demise of Malev.

    5. Anonymous09:32

      In 2010 they were interested in Skopje. They even held talks with the government. But it didn't work out.

    6. Anonymous09:41

      And then by 'coincidence' Wizz Air came along and launched the London route...

    7. Anonymous09:48

      Well judging from the interview the other day, seems like airlines are avoiding SKP because of yields. Same with BA I guess.

    8. SJJ still has the shitty FlyBosnia service

  12. Anonymous09:31

    Bad news for TK for North America transfer passangers.

    1. Anonymous09:32

      Peopl will fly with whoever is cheaper and something tells me TK is cheaper.

    2. Anonymous09:41

      * people

    3. Anonymous10:08

      TK will get those looking for the absolute cheaper option despite including a lot of backtracking on your route to north America via IST. But the rest which are much more valuable customers for an airline could choose BA instead.

    4. Anonymous10:13

      What do you mean? British Airways is like a low cost airline when you compare it to Turkish Airlines. Especially in economy class.

    5. Anonymous10:20

      We often hear that BA's service levels have dropped. Has anyone actually flown with them recently? Would be nice to to hear about their overall service first hand. Thanks.

    6. Anonymous10:38

      Their service in Economy and their seat pitch is like Eazyjet's.

    7. Anonymous10:41

      Anon at 10:13
      Flying from western Balkans to North America via IST is a lot of backtracking and added journey time.
      Flying through LHR is quicker.
      Also BA's transatlantic service is very different than their intraEuropean.

    8. Anonymous10:48

      If you want to save couple of hundred dollars or you want to avoid paying UK transfer visa travelling through IST could be very attractive alternative especially as travelling through IST costs you only few hours more.

      Flight BEG-IST is 1,5 hour only

    9. Anonymous11:03

      You do not have to pay a UK visa if you are traveling to the US and Canada.
      So many people have told you already but you refuse to acknowledge it.
      IST is 1.5 hours to the east of BEG and you are traveling west to north America.
      So it is a total of three hours added to your journey for the back tracking alone.
      Plus another three on your return flight from the US or Canada.
      By connecting instead in LHR or any other western European hub you shave your self a lot of journey time.

    10. Anonymous11:07

      Same goes to FRA, MUC, CDG, AMS, FCO, MXP, ZRH...

    11. Anonymous11:10

      Why are you so sure that connecting time in LHR for particular flight would be shorter than in IST?

      What if I need to wait in LHR 4+ hours for connection and in IST I have only 1 hour connecting time + better price?

      Not to mention the level of service provided by TK and BA that surely can't be compared.

    12. Anonymous11:17

      @Anon 10:20. True they don't serve anything in short-haul economy, but they are mostly reliable, the cabin crew and pilots are nice and polite, and they have actually improved their long-haul in-flight services since many business travellers started giving up on them in favour of other carriers. It is not your best airline and I think they are saving way too much to boost their profits, but they are profitable and they fly to loads of destinations, plus daily Zagreb - London (imagine how Zg would be "connected" to London without them).

    13. Petar11:24

      @Anon 11:10
      You can also have a one hour connecting time in LHR's terminal 5.
      Or in any other European hub. In IST you are guaranteed a three hour extra flight time because of its geographical position.
      So ticket price is your only reason to choose TK instead of all the other European options.

    14. Anonymous11:29

      You could have one hour connecting time but it is not sure.

      It is also not sure for IST but this possibility surely exists. I have given this only as an example why IST could be the alternative to LHR for N.America flights.

      And of course the level of service. Do you really think BA can be compared to TK for TATL flights?

    15. Petar11:37

      The chances of having a shorter connection time in LHR are far higher than in IST.
      Because they have so many daily frequencies to the US and to Canada.
      And yes, BA service from LHR to the US and Canada can be compared with TK's.
      It is nothing like the European offerings.
      PLUS you are flying with much more professional crews and an airline who's safety culture is way above TK's.
      That should be the most important factor when we are choosing a flight. More than schedule, price and definitely more that who is giving us the bigger baklava for desert with our meal.

    16. Anonymous12:11

      Could you please provide any link showing that BA is better than TK on short or long haul flights?

    17. Anonymous12:15

      Could you please provide any link showing that TK is better than BA on short or long haul flights?

    18. Anonymous12:17

      BA is still using 25-30 years old 747-400's and 777-200's in transatlantic flights. I don't know if that effects the ''safety culture'' of the airline. :)

    19. Petar12:22

      The safety culture of BA and TK can easily be seen by the number of incidents each of them have.
      TK makes most sub saharan African airlines look good by comparison...

    20. Anonymous12:25

      For example I found this comparison for short haul flights

    21. Petar12:31

      The most useful source on deciding which airline to chose is this:

      Way more important that meals, price and schedules.
      You are welcome!

    22. Petar12:40

      * And those are just the TKY incidents since 2017!

    23. Anonymous12:44

      @Anon 12:17. BA are actually retiring their old fleet upon the arrival of new aircraft, such as A 350.

    24. Petar +1
      There are pages and pages with TK accidents and serious incidents on AVHerald.
      Their safety standards are the joke of every person with even the most basic knowledge of aviation.

      And looking at them we should appreciate our region's airlines much more who despite constant financial troubles have got the most important part of their job right. Flight safety!

    25. Anonymous12:54

      Wow, thank you for sharing it.

      Now I am more than sure I would be flying with Turkish

      You are more than welcome!

    26. Anonymous12:57

      Top 20 Airlines by number of available incidents

      Air Canada

    27. Anonymous12:58


      Case closed.

    28. Anonymous14:21

      Flight safety is determined by number of incidents over flights flown!
      And yes, TK is by far the most dangerous airline in Europe!

    29. Anonymous15:07

      British airways fleet: 277 planes
      British airways destinations: 200 destinations

      Turkish airlines fleet: 327 planes
      Turkish airlines destinations: 242 destinations

      So TK has more flights and less accidents, but still worse than BA.
      Interesting. Very interesting.


    30. Anonymous15:15

      LOL, the stupid is strong with this one!
      TK has exceeded the 10 million annual passengers in 2003. BA has been flying more pax per year since the 60's!!!
      Keep them coming dude, you are hilarious!

    31. Anonymous15:20

      We are talking about the flights from 2017 to 2019...

      You still live in 1960's. I am sorry, I can't help you with that.

      You need to ask for professional help.

    32. Anonymous15:24

      @Anon 15:07

      Turkish Airlines flights to 315 destinations from IST airport, not 242.

      Apart from that, you're just totally right.

      In European flights, BA should be compared to Easyjet or Wizzair in my opinion.

    33. Anonymous15:25


      This guy simply doesn't get it although statistics clearly show how "reliable" is BA.

    34. Anonymous15:27

      @Anon 15:24

      Thank you for correction, I found the info about 242.

      Fully agree with you about BA

    35. Anonymous16:05

      You are all forgetting a very important point. LHR is operating at nearly full capacity. Given that it had a third runway, IST will be lacking way behind.
      LHR is an airport connected to literally all worldwide continents>> PER, EZE, SEA, JNB, SEL.
      LHR is more compact for transfers and flight times to the Americas is much shorter.

      BA has a rich and extensive history in every sense and have one of the best crew in the world. If you are interested, I invite you to check the BA flight 9 crash and how is it to fly blind but to land safely in a volcanic area.
      Also BA flight 38 crash. Both involved heavybodies with 0 fatalities.

    36. Anonymous07:21

      In Istanbul if you are flying to let's say Chicago you don't need a visa, in London you do and it costs really a lot of money to get it. You might use that money for a upgrade to premium economy.

    37. Anonymous20:28

      You don't need visa in London if you traveling to USA and have USA visa. Your USA visa will act as transit visa for UK airport. Inform yourself before posting.

  13. Anonymous09:33

    BA does really well in Zagreb. Loads are fantastic from what I heard.

    1. Anonymous09:40

      Not surprising they are increasing frequencies.

    2. Anonymous09:42

      Zagreb really needs a flight to another London airport. Come to think of it, I don't think there is a single EU capital without flights to at least 2 London airports.

  14. Anonymous09:34

    BA really focusing on Croatia.

    1. Anonymous09:40

      Croatia is really popular with holidayers in the UK.

    2. Anonymous09:47

      True dat, especially Dalmatia! Surprised they didn't increase DBV during summer!

    3. Anonymous10:00

      Possibly slot constraints at Gatwick?

  15. Anonymous10:00

    Great news. Hope BA will expand even more in the region.

  16. Anonymous10:01

    How many weekly flights are there from Split to London in summer? There are like 10 airlines flying between the two cities.

    1. Anonymous10:06

      Around 60 flights per week in high season.

  17. Anonymous10:08

    BA wanted to fly to Tivat instead of Podgorica. I remember they even publicly said in 2018 how they plan to fly to Tivat. But probably Airports of Montenegro which has some silly policy of forcing legacy airlines to use TGD instead of TIV directed them there. That's why the odd one weekly "summer holiday" destination of Podgorica found itself in BA's schedule instead of Tivat.

    1. Anonymous10:15

      Luckily, DBV is close!

    2. Brits flying to Dubrovnik anyway.

  18. Anonymous10:10

    Most happy for LJU and ZAG. My guess that LJU will become year-round. They can try LGW-BEG or LGW-SKP instead.

    1. Anonymous10:17

      LGW-BEG would miss all connecting traffic to USA and Canada.

  19. Nije objektivno ocekivati letove British Airways-a u ovoj deceniji na Beogradski aerodrom. Trgovinski, ekonomski, i turisticki odnosi su mali. Prvenstveno zbog Britanskih interesa prema Srbiji u zadnjih 30 godina. Za sada Er Srbija i VizAir odrzavaju komunikaciju. Verovatno u iducih 20 godina mozda se moze pojaviti BA na nekom Srpskom aerodromu? Prvenstveno Beogradskom.
    Pod uslovom da bude profitabilno. Potencijalno odsustvo
    British Airways-a od pola veka u Srbiji ce biti verujem dovoljno da bude profitabilno. Pod uslovom da i drugi interesi budu namireni...budu prihvatljivi.
    Ipak svet se menja. Usporava i ubrzava. Za sada BA prelece bez sletanja. Bon vuajaz... ✈
    Rodney Marinkovic and Aviation Enthusiast. 😀✈🌐✈
    Kraljevo ✈ Sydney.

    1. Anonymous11:00

      A sa Podgoricom i Prištinom imaju ludilo od ekomije..

  20. Anonymous10:29

    Excellent news!

  21. Anonymous11:05

    There is only one way of getting BA to BEG: getting JU into Ow.

    1. Anonymous11:10

      BA lost the battle against LH, AF and JU in BEG

    2. Anonymous11:31

      When did BA fought for the BEG market?

    3. Anonymous12:12

      Never. That's why they lost it

    4. Anonymous12:24

      How can BA "lose" something that is has never fought for and continues to show no interest in having?

    5. Anonymous12:25

      Can't believe it was 10 years ago!

      Given that Jat was enjoying a LF of 82%, BA probably did not return to evaluate the route.

    6. Anonymous13:12

      @anon 12:24

      You were interested in some girl but the guy who had better performance (mighty Jat Airways) took it over from you.

      You lost her because you did not fight for her.

    7. Anonymous14:39

      Anon at 13:12
      When was BA interested in that girl?
      Sounds a lot more like that the girl is pretty upset that the boy (BA) does not care for her at all and seems to be more interested in other "girls" in the neighborhood like PRN and TGD that the aforementioned girl (BEG) thinks they are uglier than her!

    8. Anonymous15:16

      BA was interested in that girl for a long time until 2009 visiting her every single day by bringing three nice flowers (888). Suddenly he left her.

      The girl saw that guy was not serious and found much more reliable partner (JU).

      One weekly visit is for mistresses only (TGD, PRN). Nothing serious, only fun on temporary basis.

    9. Anonymous15:53

      There is no room for aviation romance here. Jat were dominating the route at a very high percentage and the BA performance was therefore weak.

      "Jat operates daily flights to Heathrow and has managed to lure away British Airways’ main customer base on the route – transit passengers. Thanks to a new agreement with the Dutch KLM, Jat has managed to pinch away transit passengers to the United States and Canada from other airlines (primarily British Airways) and re-route them via Amsterdam."

      If you continue reading the article it seems that W6 were also heavily affecting BA.

      We have discussed that London is 95% transfer. Currently dominated by ASL thus having high fares due to lack of competition.

    10. Anonymous16:31

      JU had 6 974 pax to LHR in Nov. If you know the nr of flights and aircraft type you can easily calculate the LF

    11. Anonymous07:24

      That's around 116 passengers per flight in November which is actually great. November is the slowest month of the year and there are almost no transfer passengers so yields are really healthy.
      LHR sees a lot of business demand so when there is one business class passenger the configuration of the A319 become 12/132.

  22. Anonymous19:55

    Wow amazing for Zagreb !
    When it comes to Montenegro they entered on TIVAT in 2018


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