Eurowings to launch Belgrade - Pristina service


Serbia, Kosovo and the Lufthansa Group have signed a letter of intent for the company to commence scheduled flights between Belgrade and Pristina at a ceremony held yesterday at the Embassy of the United States in Germany. The future service, which will mark the resumption of flights between the two cities after 21 years, will be operated by Lufthansa’s low cost subsidiary Eurowings, which boasts a base in Pristina. Although it was noted that services would resume during 2020, no firm date has been given. Eurowings said that technical details would be clarified “in the coming weeks” as soon as further regulatory hurdles have been removed by both sides. The airline’s Chief Commercial Officer, Michael Knitter, said, “Air transport stands for bringing people of different origins together peacefully. By establishing an airlink, Kosovo and Serbia are taking a step towards rapprochement on the initiative of the US. We are pleased to accompany this process".

The President of Kosovo, Hashim Tachi, the Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlović, as well as the Kosovo Civil Aviation Authority welcomed the development. Mr Tachi said, “I welcome the letter of intent between Kosovo and Lufthansa to open an air route between Pristina and Belgrade. This is an important step for the movement of citizens and the normalisation process”. Ms Mihajlović noted, “Just as we have bus services between Belgrade and Pristina, we believe that this air service can only bring good, and we are prepared to work on all the administrative and technical details to create the necessary conditions for this route to be launched”. The Kosovo Civil Aviation Authority said Eurowings has submitted a request with the regulator to be issued a permit for the service. US National Security Adviser, Robert C. O'Brien, said the letter of intent signed in Berlin marked a “historic deal", calling commercial air links the “lifeblood of a modern economy”.

The Serbian Ministry for Economy said, “Serbia has shown clear determination to boost free movement of goods, people and capital contrary to the artificially imposed barriers and limitations”. It has called for Pristina to drop a 100% tax on Serbian goods in order for the flights to resume. Furthermore, the Serbian Ministry for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure said it would work with the Kosovo Force (KFOR) in order to regulate airspace rights. Serbia and Kosovo have not regulated portions of their airspace which border each other, however, even without a deal, the issue could be overcome by flying over Macedonian airspace before entering either Kosovo or Serbia.

The Serbian government formed a task force for the "normalisation of air travel in the Balkans" back in 2017 with its main objective being the resumption of services between the two cities. In addition, it previously reached a free movement agreement with its Kosovan counterpart, allowing Kosovan passport holders to transit through Belgrade and Niš airports. Currently, the fastest way to fly between Belgrade and Pristina is via Vienna, with a journey time of over three and a half hours. JAT Yugoslav Airlines was the last to operate scheduled flights between the two cities back in 1999.




Comments

  1. Am I seeing right?

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    Replies
    1. Better have a neutral EURO airline fly that route ;) Safe is safe.

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    2. Gde se dvoje svadjaju, treci koristi

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    3. Koristi sta? U ovoj varijanti mogu da voze samo P2P putnike, a njih je jako malo. Linija ce praviti gubitke osim ako americka i/ili nemacka vlada ne bude subvencionisala te letove.

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  2. The best reply to those who said that Belgrade will wait for a long time to have direct air link with Pristina.

    It would be perfect if anyhow JU could code share with Eurowings in order to get transfer passengers from PRN

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    Replies
    1. It was just a memorandum of understanding, nothing more firm or concrete. It was all for PR purposes.

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    2. I wouldn't say "just MOU".

      Even Trump posted on his twitter account these news. It is realistic to get BEG-PRN until the end of 2020

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    3. Why would Lufthansa allow one of its subsidiaries to be a feeder airline for JU's network in BEG?

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    4. I wouldn't say it's for PR purposes because that's a very negative PR for Belgrade government.

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    5. Why would Lufthansa open BEG-PRN knowing there are almost no P2P passengers on this route?

      Terrible political relations, no economic ties, no tourims, no diaspora, no nothing...

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    6. Which is why they will get subsidies to operate the route.

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    7. We don't know it and you are just guessing here.

      But, if anyhow subsidized by GoS then it must be with JU code-share in order to get PRN passengers.

      I see no third option here

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    8. This is political project, tied to some other things like import taxes and overall relationship between Kosovo & Serbia.
      Therefore there is no much sense in questions like why LH, what will be LF, are they codeshare etc. Some of those don't have answer at the moment, for some answer is in political and not aviation area etc.

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    9. LH is not a charity, far from it. They are in to make money and EW is losing money left and right and the market between PRN and BEG in these conditions is zero ... so who will cover the losses?

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    10. EW does these flights because it is the airline with a base in PRN.

      Lufthansa owes a LOT to its federal government, so if the government on the US request were to ask LH for a small favour like flying three weekly for a couple of years on a very short route irrespective of the financial result, that would be no problem whatsover.

      LH group is dependent on its government in things like blocking Emirates and other ME carriers from entering the German market, bilaterals, air taxes etc.

      And if on top of all this some German fund steered by their Foreign Affairs Office created to support international cooperation or whatever (those exist in every single country) would give to EW a couple of milions EUR for all this that would also be nice for them. And a good use as the money would, as always, stay mostly in Germany even though used to support "international cooperation".

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    11. @ anon 09:13

      You would be suprised how many economic ties are between two + trange-frange i šverc-komerc.

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    12. Yes, but through the forest and goat paths and not through official ways (airlines)

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    13. There are 12 bus lines daily between two cities. That is aprox. 600 seats daily in one direction. Minobus transport and car trafic is not counted.
      I see a huge potential for this route to start as daily even.

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  3. Well y'all wanted the first inter ex-Yu low cost flights. Here you go :D

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    Replies
    1. Who would have thought it would be this one of all haha

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  4. Lufthansa always finds a way to win in EX-YU.

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  5. I wonder whether they will use A319/A320 or if they will use the Dashes.

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    Replies
    1. I think they are removing the Dashes from the fleet.

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    2. Contract with LGW and its Dash 8-400s will be wound down by the beginning of 2021. So they will still be in the fleet this year.

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  6. Why do I have a feeling Serbia will be subsidizing this lunacy.

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    Replies
    1. First, article is about EW and not JU as it does not have enough planes.
      Second, why would establishing an important route as lunatic? This will just bring peace and prosperity to the region.
      The term you used is just childish.

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    2. BEG-PRN is important? Really? BEG-TGD, BEG-BNX, BEG-MOW, BEG-ATH... are far more important.

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  7. Eurowings what about LJU-PRN?

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  8. If there is no code sharing agreement between Eurowings and Air Serbia, what is the purpose of this line? Direct flights from Belgrade to Air Serbias signature destinations are expensive. Also, Priština already has similar low cost network, and there is also Niš.

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    Replies
    1. I think this is a compromise and eventually in 2 or 3 years Eurowings will probably be replaced by Air Serbia.

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    2. You don't get it, it's all PR so that world elites can feel better about themselves and to give Davos a purpose.

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    3. Ok we get it, you don't like the fact that this is happening. You already wrote several comments that it's PR. We read the first one.

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    4. Forget Air Serbia, Eurowings is the right one for both Serbia and Kosovo, God bless Lufthansa 🙏

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    5. Lufthansa doesn't even fly to PRN. lol

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    6. Anonymous 09:27

      Lufthansa doesn’t fly to PRN but operate code shares with its group to/from PRN. Lufthansa is the First Captain of Lufthansa Group who decides and signs for whole group.

      Good luck to Lufthansa Eurowings based in PRN keep the keys don’t let anyone take your money of/from Kosovo.

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  9. Well this makes sense now :D

    "A political and public opinion polling agency, which is said to be close to Serbia’s ruling party, recently started conducting a survey to gage public opinion on the resumption of flights between Belgrade and Pristina. "

    https://www.exyuaviation.com/2020/01/air-serbia-strengthens-ex-yu-network.html

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  10. Well, I guess nobody saw this coming around the corner.

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  11. Eurowings is currently such a mess and this pointless route just proves that. They are failing miserably in their own backyards so they are looking for easy money and subsidies for this purely political flight. Brotherhood and unity v2.0 powered by Eurowings <3

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  12. The logical airline was W6. Thanks to them, the Balkans are connected more than ever to the rest of the world and within the region. They are much more stable compared to EW, which are quite unpredictable.

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  13. this ain't gonna happen. P2P is virtually nonexistent, and EW can't and won't feed JU's flights.

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    Replies
    1. Well JU can and will live on without EW and PRN passengers.

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    2. Are you PR guy from above?

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    3. @anon
      Have you called Lufthansa to share with them your experts' opinion?

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    4. Anon 09.18 so now everyone who dares disgree with you has to be one same person?

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    5. No, just the signature is the same.

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    6. Why people thinkt there is no P2P?! I personally know people from Pristina come to Belgrade for weekend and parting. That is a bit of P2P potential.
      Then there are dozens of thousands Serbs who lived in Priština till 1999. and I am sure some would travel this way gladly. That is also a bit of P2P.
      On top of this, rout creates new market as well and that would be a bit of P2P as well.

      Whether this is enough or not we will see, but I am sure the rute has potential for daily for at least average 100 pax per direction on yearly basis.

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  14. Sadly, this is just PR. Otherwise it would not be in certain person's twitter post.

    However, I am sure that both Air Serbia and Government of Serbia is looking into finding the way to tap into PRN market. We will see how that would turn out.

    Eurowings can't sell connections for LH Group flights leaving Belgrade, and that should be a limiting factor.

    Air Serbia is not using JU200-JU209 range for any flight yet :-) It would make sense, JU100 to Banja Luka and JU200 to Pristina.

    Regards,
    Eight.

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    Replies
    1. You already got reply from anon @ 09:09 above

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  15. Good luck. I hope this new route works out. Good step forward.

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  16. How long would this flight take If the flights would operate without any detours to Macedonia?

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    Replies
    1. About 35 minutes I believe.

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    2. Yes 35 minutes seems about right. Slightly shorter than BEG-BNX.

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    3. Would it be the shortest route out of BEG?

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    4. I think Belgrade-Sarajevo is shorter.

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    5. Will take at least 50min through MKD if landing on 35 with no traffic ahead and good weather. Direct entrance from Northern Kosovo would be 25-30mins cruising at even no more than 16-20k feet.

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  17. It was a matter of time before it happened.

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  18. Seriously, this is like an April 1st joke. I can't even.

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  19. A foreign airline operating these flights is a reasonable idea for the beginning.

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    Replies
    1. True. A couple of years ago the idea was to get Air Berlin to fly the route. They were supposed to start BEG flights, even the slots matched another sector being performed between arrival in BEG and departure flights from BEG to Germany.

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  20. Good. Move on and leave the past behind. Business is business.

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    Replies
    1. I do hope the flights resume. If flights could resume to Zagreb, Sarajevo I don't see why not to PRN.

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    2. I'm glad both sides seem to be willing for these flights to happen.

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  21. If these flights start BEG will be the only one linked to all ex-Yu capitals.

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    Replies
    1. Makes sense.

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    2. Technically from JU's perspective that's already achieved. Not only that but JU will have at least daily flights to all major markets in the Balkans.

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  22. Does anyone remember how long was the flight when it operated before in the late 90's? And with what kind of planes, if JU was using ATR's back than or DC9/733?

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    1. DC9s were primarily used.

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    2. Correct. DC-9 was about 90% of traffic. ATR very rarely, and B727 on Fridays BEG-ZRH - PRN-BEG, and on Sundays BEG-PRN-ZRH-BEG.

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  23. Does anyone know what the frequency of flights was between BEG and PRN back in the 80s and 90s? I understand that the demand is completely different nowadays, but I'm just curious.

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    1. In 1989 summer (last completely normal summer for JAT)

      Belgrade-Pristina 5 weekly
      Zagreb-Pristina 1 weekly

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  24. Why not Air Serbia instead Eurowings or Lufthansa?

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    Replies
    1. According to Vucic's statement this morning 'Неће Ер Србија на аеродром Адем Јашари.'

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    2. In that case they would have officially to apply to Kosovo's aviation authorities to start flying BEG-PRN with JU.

      And it would mean they do recognize Kosovo's authorities and Kosovo as independent state.

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    3. Same reason "Republic of Kosovo Airlines" would not be welcome in Serbia - is such a company existed.

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    4. Sorry, it's not the same reason at all. Nobody is (directly) questioning Serbia's sovereignty.

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    5. Ako nece na Adem Jasari sto ide na Franjo Tudjman? LOL!

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    6. Here, this is what Vucic said:

      "Morala bi Air Serbia da potpiše sva dokumenta sa državom Kosovo. Mora da potpiše ugovor sa aerodromom Adem Jašari, pa i Kosovom kao državom, da priznamo da nije pod našom kontrolom donji vazdušni sloj. Zato smo tražili i borili se da umešamo Kfor, da imamo posrednika, nekog koji je Rezolucijom UN predviđen za taj prostor. Uspeli smo da pronađemo kompromisno rešenje u kojem niko ne može da kaže priznali ste Kosovo", objasnio je on.



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  25. Maybe this route could work for P2P? Maybe Albanians and Macedonians would also use it, not just Kosovars?

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    Replies
    1. Both SKP and TIA have already direct connection with BEG

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    2. But not for 50 EUR ... instead JU is charging 150 :)

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    3. you forget that you wont be allowed into Serbia if you want it to enter through Kosovo.

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    4. Dude, they will allow everything, as long as Donald Trump says it is OK.

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    5. LOL so you think these passengers are flying to hang out in the airport and fly back?

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  26. Who is interested in flights between BEG and PRN? I would understand if they start a codeshare with JU to fly passengers to other destinations between BEG, but that doesn't help Eurowings to profit from this route. The more interesting route would have been to start PRN-TIA.

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  27. There are a LOT of people still working for international organizations that would utilize flights from Slatina to Nikola Tesla for weekends. A large number of them keep their families in Belgrade and travel by car every weekend for the 4-5 hour ride (not including 30 minute to 5-hour waits at the boundary crossing points during peak periods). The fuel/toll costs between BG/PR total more than a well-priced LCC flight. Also, there are frequent official trips from international organizations based in PR to BG.

    There is also an enormous opportunity here for JU connections (through separate bookings) to NY.

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  28. For people who are saying how this is stupid because people won't be able to connect onto JU, the ticket for this flight will likely cost 40 euros. Most will be able to afford two separate tickets.

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    Replies
    1. It is always a risky job (possibly losing connecting flight with no obligation from other carrier to find alternative transport to you).

      You also need to pick up your luggage and to check-in once again.

      The same procedure on the way back.

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  29. Wow! Didn't saw this coming :)

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  30. Congrats to Kosovo and Serbia for the future :) Keep going forward --> forge the politics dream, Economy BUSINESS is life development.

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  31. Нема бољег весника пролећа од обнављања летова!
    Поготово на релацији између Београда и Косова и Метохије.
    Јест да је вероватно Немачка "птица" из јата Луфтхансе, али је цивилна. Једна ласта не чини пролеће. Али без ласта ни пролећа нема. Једном када дође пролеће наставиће и Ер Србија. Превозити путнике и карго јесте мир. А мир је основ живота и комерцијалне авијације. Мир, аеродроми и цивилни летови су љубав и императив и нас који смо и на овом блогу.
    Званом ЕХ-YU Aviation.
    Волимо Мир и љубимо комерцијалну авијацију.
    Поред Краљевачког аеродрома у миру. Rodney & Assoc.
    ✈🔆✈🔅✈☺✈✨✈😇💒👑✈🌐✈🌍✈🌎✈🌏✈✈✈

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  32. BEG now certain to hit 7.1 million passengers this year!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks to ROV, KIV, LWO... not so much PRN. I doubt this route would have more than 10 passengers.

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    2. Anon 12:01...will you guarantee a 15% growth throughout 2020 to achieve 7 million ?

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    3. If they have 3 flights a day with an Airbus 319 it will have a significant impact. Bear in mind that it is only a 35 minute flight or a 5 hour drive.

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  33. I do wonder what the frequency and schedule will be.

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    Replies
    1. They can't be too expensive. I still wonder how they will fill an A319 or A320.

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    2. There is a chance it will be a Dash 8. We will see.

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  34. What was the number of (weekly) flights in 1999? Were there commercial flights in the 1990ies between Belgrade and Pristina?
    A comment mentioned data from 1989 but I wonder what was the situation in the 1990ies.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know the frequencies but JAT flew to several German cities and Zurich during the 1990s nonstop from Pristina. Zurich flights were packed.

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  35. When (if) this flight starts, it seems that, finally, Serbia's airspace will be frre to be used for all flights to and from PRN.

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  36. OMG the Donald tweeted about it :D

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    1. we are on the front page of Twitter :-)

      funny

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  37. so Eurowings is opening 2 lines now

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  38. I will bet my life savings that Trump can't find Kosovo or Serbia on a map.

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    Replies
    1. And you are likely unable to pinpoint Idaho or Oregon on a map either. So?

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  39. So there are four parties involved in deal.

    I wonder was it EW's original idea:
    "Hi, BEG/PRN, we have a/c sitting on tarmac in BEG / PRN for couple of hours, how about one extra rotation?"

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  40. Can they actually feed Lufthansa out of BEG? It would be a win-win.

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  41. It seems uncertain and improbable that this decision was based on a business case... I totally agree that some demand exits, mainly international organizations' representatives and international corporations doing business in the wider region, but this somehow does not feel sufficient (not even for a weekly route).

    It seems even less so when one take into consideration available options to further develop the route and open it to other passenger segments. They seem to be super limited to say the least. Counting on tourism, sport, religious, ethnic or any other segmented kind of travel does not seem plausible at the moment. Connecting traffic on the other hand might be an option, especially in cooperation with JU, but there are significant administrative obstacles that make transiting of KS passport holders via BEG not so reliable, efficient and easy (and there are no hints that this would be resolved on a political level any time soon).

    Therefore, I do believe that this was mainly a political decision, that has nothing to do with airline commercial reasoning. If the situation between RS and KS was any different, this might be a whole different story. But for now, I find this a typical political stunt that throws in questions to wider public like why was the deal made, who benefits from it, what is the actual deal behind this etc.

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  42. Why do everyone only think that EW should have agreement for codeshare for transit connection on BEG? EW is based in PRN and PRN-BEG-PRN will give connection to all Serbian people to all EW network via PRN.

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    Replies
    1. Because EW until now only operates DACH routes from, which don't really make sense from BEG, as most of these destinations have a direct flight from BEG plus, flying BEG-PRN-DACH increases travel time significantly

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  43. Pristina portal gazetaexpress.com has published yesterday what appears to be the text of the letter of intent signed by Kosovo. See link:
    https://www.gazetaexpress.com/ekskluzive-marreveshja-per-linjen-ajrore-prishtine-beograd-eliminon-taksen-ndaj-serbise/

    ReplyDelete

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