Airlines further defer, cancel new EX-YU routes

Airlines are further delaying the launch or completely cancelling new routes to cities across the former Yugoslavia, which were to commence between March and the first half of June as a result of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. At this point, only ten services scheduled within that timeframe are set go ahead according to plan. SunExpress’ new seasonal flights between Izmir and Skopje, which were due to launch on May 23, have become the latest causality of the virus, with the route suspended for this year. So far, seventeen new routes that were planned to launch this summer season have been completely shelved.

RouteOriginal dateNew date
Vienna - Zadar (Austrian)MAR 29 MAY 18
Vienna - DubrovnikMAR 29MAY 10
Vienna - Zadar (Lauda)MAR 30MAY 08
Paris - DubrovnikMAR 30JUN 01
London Luton - LjubljanaMAR 30APR 30
Poznan - PodgoricaMAR 30MAY 11
Gdansk - ZadarMAR 31CANCELLED
Kraljevo - ThessalonikiMAR 31MAY 02
Stockholm - TivatAPR 01JUN 03
Dublin - PodgoricaAPR 02MAY 10
Vienna - Banja LukaAPR 03MAY 08
Hahn - RijekaAPR 04MAY 09
Paris Orly - PulaAPR 04JUN 06
Nantes - DubrovnikAPR 11JUN 06
Athens - SplitAPR 19MAY 10
Brussels - PulaAPR 25MAY 13
Kiev - LjubljanaAPR 30JUN 04

While the vast majority of flights in April and May have been cancelled, excluding repatriation flights, airlines are hoping to resume operations ahead of the peak July and August season, despite more sombre industry predictions. Some airlines such as Wizz Air and Jet2 expect to resume operations in June, while easyJet has launched holidays for late 2020 and is trying to convince travellers to book summer flights by cutting its fees for hold luggage. Despite those moves, experts agree that travel restrictions likely will remain in place for many more weeks. Extending France's state of lockdown, President Emmanuel Macron has called for the external borders of the Schengen passport-free travel zone to stay closed until September, which has been interpreted by experts as a further indication that the European Union restrictions on travel are set to remain in force for months. The British government, for its part, has advised people not to book summer holidays and to avoid all non-essential travel indefinitely. However, each country will make its decisions, with destinations across Europe facing many different levels of lockdowns making predictions practically impossible.

RouteOriginal dateNew date
Zagreb - SofiaMAY 01 JUN 01
Wroclaw - ZadarMAY 01CANCELLED
Frankfurt - TivatMAY 01MAY 22
Paris - PodgoricaMAY 01JUN 05
Vilnius - DubrovnikMAY 02CANCELLED
Zagreb - PodgoricaMAY 03JUN 02
Beuvais - ZadarMAY 06CANCELLED
Zadar - KaunasMAY 06CANCELLED
Zadar - BremenMAY 07CANCELLED
Vilnius - RijekaMAY 07CANCELLED
Zadar - LiverpoolMAY 10CANCELLED
Zadar - MaastrichtMAY 11CANCELLED
Zadar - AarhusMAY 15CANCELLED
Zadar - HamburgMAY 15CANCELLED
Zadar - ToulouseMAY 16CANCELLED
Doha - DubrovnikMAY 18CANCELLED
Manchester - TivatMAY 21JUN 18
London Stansted - TivatMAY 21JUN 18
Izmir - SkopjeMAY 23CANCELLED
Tel Aviv - LjubljanaMAY 23JUN 02
London Stansted - ZadarMAY 24JUN 17
Manchester - ZadarMAY 24JUN 17
Qassim - SarajevoMAY 25MAY 27
Monastir - ZagrebMAY 27JUN 24
Malmo - SplitMAY 30CANCELLED

However, there are some hopeful predictions coming from the industry. Ryanair says it is bracing for an airline price war that it expects to win once coronavirus restrictions are lifted and passengers flock back to tourist destinations. Brushing off forecasts of a sluggish recovery, Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O'Leary, has predicted a swift traffic rebound. He said the pain would come instead from "massive price-dumping" that traditional airlines now seeking bailouts would struggle to keep up with. Ryanair assumes European flights will stay grounded until a "limited" resumption in June, Mr O'Leary said. After that, a resurgence of intra-European travel will be driven by steep discounts on last-minute holidays in July and August. "Lots of people across northern Europe have been locked up in apartments. They will all want to go on holiday before the kids go back to school as long as they can do so in reasonable safety. Before too long, volumes will be back on a normal footing but on lower pricing. The minute we're about to start flying again we'll start doing seat sales, and so will every other airline", Mr O’Leary said. Sounding another discordant note amid the coronavirus gloom, he said the summer of 2021 had huge potential as holidaymakers make up for the previous year's thwarted plans.

RouteOriginal dateNew date
Kiev - ZagrebJUN 02 JUL 21
Belgrade - Amman JUN 01JUN 04
Belgrade - ChisinauJUN 01JUN 07
Belgrade - LvivJUN 01JUN 08
Belgrade - Rostov-on-DonJUN 02JUN 05
Podgorica - LisbonJUN 22JUL 06


  1. Anonymous09:03

    I really hope O'Leary is right.

    1. Anonymous09:14

      Easyjet seems optimistic as well.

    2. You think they will be out and about telling people not to book flights? Cash is king and companies need liquidity to survive so of course they will be happy for you to book flights with them just so they could in turn offer you a credit (which many wont use) if they continue to cancel/postpone flights.

      Sucks what is happening and I in a way don't agree with how far the lock downs and disruption has gone but there is no turning back now so I wouldn't be booking anything until this is clearly behind us.

    3. Q400 +1000
      US just like FR are companies listed in the stock market so they can use all the good news they can get since their share price has collapsed. Same thing is true for all airlines.

    4. Anonymous12:51


      Totally right, resumption of any chimerical service before Christmas is highly doubtful, the fact is, in Croatia they're talking about resumption of Tourist season, I am like are these government officials mad ? I can see there's little chance of any tourism, any flights anywhere before year is out. 2.5 million infected so far, 171 000 dead from Covid-19, so far this is biggest calamity worldwide, since WW2. This thing won't go away over night, till we have a working vaccine, things won't go back to normal.

    5. Anonymous14:41

      Well Greece will open itself for Serbs, Bulgarians, Israelis...this summer but not for western Europeans. I guess that's how they will try to fight the crisis

  2. Anonymous09:03

    Eventually all will be cancelled.

  3. Anonymous09:03

    Is it me or has BEG been more or less spared until now? Airlines have not cut some routes, not even EW from STR or LO from BUD. I guess that says a lot about the potential of the market.

    1. Anonymous09:06

      I don't think STR will get cancelled. It will mostly be used by gastos, even if the boarders remain shut for non-EU citizens and non-residents. So these people will be able to enter and renter the country.

    2. Anonymous09:07

      More flights from STR is really bad news for BEG-FKB though I am sure that route will be among the first to be cut once BEG loses one A320.

    3. Anonymous09:39

      (in normal circumstances) EW is no threat to W6 (especially not in ex-yu). the one that is under pressure here is JU*s flight to STR. Not sure what EW wants to achieve here at all when there's already flights to Memmingen and Karlsruhe and the mentioned Air Serbias's flight to Stuttgart

      in January accordig german statstic site there was 52,3% LF on STR-BEG (one way D->RS)
      the LF in opposite direction should be a few percent higher due to emmigration, situation for all ex-yu btw)

    4. Anonymous09:43

      We make money on BEG-STR even with a LF that's not as high because most passengers are local so yields are higher ;)

    5. Anonymous10:54

      sure ^^

    6. Anonymous14:42

      Why wouldn't they? Flight is not long and tickets are rarely under €200.

  4. Anonymous09:05

    The lists are getting longer and longer.

  5. Anonymous09:05

    Admin, how about Belgrade -Geneva and Belgrade - Florence?

    1. Anonymous09:07

      It's not on the list because the dates have not been changed. They are still on schedule.

  6. Anonymous09:06

    With upcoming cuts by Wizz Air in the region things won't be pretty. SKP will be especially affected once the new timetable comes out. BEG will lose one A320 but most routes will be transferred to other bases so cuts should be around 15%.

    1. Anonymous09:09

      And Tuzla?

    2. Anonymous09:15

      Nothing about Tuzla yet but the finances of the hub are not the best, they were among teh worst performer even before corona. What's worrying is that FR is getting ready for a fight after corona and who knows what will happen in BNX. Don't forget that FR is getting ready for a war to push airlines into bankruptcy.

    3. Anonymous09:16

      Ok thanks. I believe Norwegian might be the first of the major European airlines to go bankrupt.

    4. Anonymous09:19

      I think DY is dead, they struggled even before corona. This will finish them off. Yesterday they bankrupted four companies through which they were hiring their employees, so around 4700 of them. Most of them were in Denmark and Sweden putting additional strain on those governments. Then there is Lauda which will try to block government aid for OS. If they do that then OS will not manage to restructure and come out of all this as a lean business.

      I think Lauda will push this to the very end. They are asking for 2/3 of what OS will get. Austrian government might be forced to give less to OS than what they need.

      All in all, expect many victims in the future. This can be good for OU as OS has been ripping them off. By having one less hub revenue won't be as diluted.

    5. Anonymous09:22

      Agree. But didn't DY get a loan recently? What have they done with it?

    6. Anonymous09:25

      Only a part of a loan, let's say 1/3 of what they need. 2/3 need to be issued from creditors and they need to agree on terms and conditions. Given DY's state I doubt they will get it. Mind you, DY yesterday fired their US crew, the same day they signed a new collective agreement. Things are going from bad to worse over there.

      I think their collapse is imminent. Don't see who will step in to save them. Norwegian government isn't too interested given the amount of money they need.

    7. Anonymous09:29

      Yes this seems to be an end of DY which is a real pity considering they were a really good airline (at least on short haul flights). They were on the verge of bankruptcy before this corona mess, when aviation was literally at its peak so I don't see them surviving for much longer. At the moment they fly a few domestic routes in Norway (ironically Norwegian domestic airline Wideroe has done the best during this crisis. Almost no cancelled flights and is close to having the most flights in Europe at the moment).

      It also seems Virgin Atlantic is close to the abyss.

    8. Anonymous09:56

      I'm sure there will be more that will go belly up unfortunately.

    9. Anonymous15:14

      DY informed their UK staff they will not receive salaries for April since they don't have money.

  7. Anonymous09:07

    Shame about Izmir-Skopje but at least Sun Express will keep Antalya-Skopje this summer.

    1. Anonymous09:09

      For now though nothing is certain at this point, corona is going wild in turkey which might mean that their summer season might be cancelled.

    2. Anonymous09:15

      I think the summer season will still exist, but it will be disastrous. You can't cancel a season.

  8. Anonymous09:14

    Looking at the list, the Croatian coast will really be hit hard this summer.

  9. Anonymous09:18

    Will be interesting to see if Iberia goes ahead with Madrid-Ljubljana. Flights are supposed to start on 28th July. So far they are still selling tickets.

    1. Anonymous09:21

      If the situation calms down by then it is possible. Spaniards will still want to go somewhere. At least for the weekend. Since the situation has been good in Slovenia, it might be an appealing choice.

    2. Anonymous09:22

      If anyone let's Spanish people in (even in July). Plus the route needs to work both ways. I'm not so sure how many Slovenians will be interested in flying there this year.

    3. Anonymous11:00

      Spain is about to announce a ban on all incoming tourism, whether it is recreational or cultural until December 31st at the earliest!
      So I do't see how any route from exyu region to Spain can work with just Spanish visitors. Or even if we want Spanish coming here with the massive presence of Covid-13 among them.

      Just my2cents

    4. Anonymous11:06

      Source is Spain's largest newspaper Marca:
      "Spain will not allow tourism, culture or leisure until Christmas"

      Just my2cents

    5. Anonymous11:38

      Do not count on Spain this year. The country has decided to first handle the situation properly and then allow tourism. It is one of the most visited countries in the world and bringing more tourists will be a disaster. Just think of the amount of tourists going to Mallorca, Malaga, Sevilla and all them Russians in the eastern Mediterranean cost in Alicante and Valencia.
      Not to mention Galicia and Asturias, where both autonomous communities saw a huge influx of tourists too.
      Spaniards are taking the situation very seriously and giving priority to its people first before planes and tourism.

    6. Anonymous11:50

      The Spanish government really messed things up by allowing massive demonstrations about woman's day on March 9 to take place in cities all around the country.
      And now their situation is worse than Italy's.

    7. Anonymous13:32

      Yeah, it's not like other countries are as bad as Spain, so they first have to "fix" the mess they made and then allow tourism.

  10. Anonymous09:25

    Let's see how things pan out. Interestingly Air China is resuming many international flights from next week.

  11. Anonymous09:33

    Some good news at least. From middle of June Greece will open boarder for passengers from Serbia (only through airports). So those Kraljevo flights will probably start then.

    1. Anonymous09:34

      It is still being negotiated. It's not 100%.

    2. Anonymous09:35

      Haha and you think Greece will not push for this to happen? without the summer season they are as good as dead especially now when EU aid remains uncertain. Greece probably wants to profit from the situation in Spain and Turkey.

    3. Anonymous09:38

      I didn't say it won't happen, I just said that the details and exact date are still being negotiated.

    4. Anonymous10:05

      Fingers crossed. Let's hope for the best.

    5. Anonymous14:43

      Seems like negotiations have finished

  12. Anonymous10:05

    Will LOT cancel plans to expand its base in Budapest?

    1. Anonymous10:07

      For now flights are still on sale. This includes BUD-BEG and BUD-DBV routes.

    2. Anonymous10:08

      Nothing reported on them giving up so I suppose it will go ahead.

    3. Anonymous10:38

      I'm not so optimistic about those BUD flights. It's just that they start in late May so they haven't been moved yet.

    4. Anonymous10:40

      If you look at the table, many flights in late May have already been postponed. I'm not saying the BUD flights will go ahead but obviously a decision to cancel them or move them has not been made.

  13. Anonymous10:09

    The European Union could close the Schengen area to foreigners for at least another five months since the virus is spreading at different rates around the world with the US still not at its peak. Opening airports to allow non-essential travel outside the Schengen area over the summer could result in travellers bringing a second wave of the virus to Europe. The European commission already discuss that option. France stopping all non-Schengen flights from today is the first indication of this direction.

    1. Anonymous10:43

      That won't happen, they are just saying that to scare people into staying home.

    2. Anonymous10:44

      The French government has approved for Tour de France to take place in August (they allowed this just last week). Don't know how they are going to do that with only Schengen arrivals.

    3. Anonymous10:53

      You can wish not to happen, however sources close to The European commission already last week confirmed that this is an option now discussed. The initial idea of both France and Germany is now supported by many others.

    4. Anonymous12:44

      And is that means that Serbian nationals cannot enter into the Schengen area till at least December?

    5. Anonymous13:12

      If I count correctly, it is late September. Avoiding all the fuss with summer tourism will definitely be in the focus of decision-making.

    6. Anonymous13:14

      This is not true. Hungary and Serbia are in talks to open their boarders. As far as I'm aware Hungary is in the Shengen Zone yet it plans to open its boarder.

    7. Anonymous13:15

      This is also in line with Swiss Airlines projection to run only 20% of its flight schedule this summer.

    8. Anonymous14:55

      Greece is also opening its doors for Serbs and they are also part of Schengen.

    9. Anonymous17:23

      Oh I see. It is safe to fly from FRA to infected MXP and MAD but not to PEK or AKL where there are only a few new cases per day? How smart!

    10. Anonymous23:25

      Till mid May for sure not.
      Till mid-late June nearly sure not too.
      Later there is a small chance.

  14. Anonymous11:55

    U2 are quietly aggressively expanding next winter.
    BEG-GVA will become 6 weekly which means GVA is again a battlefield destination with JU.
    LJU-LON will remain the same but it seems STN is still very popular as an airport.
    Brandenburg might open in November 2020 after all.

    1. Anonymous14:55

      God, finally some positive news. It's great to see that BEG will keep on booming once this idiotic virus is gone. So BEG-GVA will be 9 weekly?

    2. Anonymous15:06

      I just noticed that they are going to change their days from Berlin to Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Nice.

    3. Anonymous15:44

      Positive news for BEG yes but we all know what happened with GVA a couple of years ago. The route was a bloodbath....

      Also LX faced competition. Maybe we see W6 stepping in and launching GVA too...

    4. Anonymous16:22

      Wizz can't launch it because of the bilateral I think.

      JU should do ok with connections via Belgrade where they have a growing list of destination ls they serve.

    5. JATBEGMEL18:54

      W6 do serve BSL from BEG so I assume its allowed. Question is whether they would want to be the third airline to compete.

      I think there is room for the both of them. Even with the additional frequencies, the capacity is still lower than what it once was, if I'm not mistaken. Easy might have a harder time achieving their desired CLF due to being O&D focused, however JU might be ok settling for a lower CLF. JU also has transit pax to boost figures and offers via BEG a few destinations not direct served from GVA.

    6. Anonymous21:12

      Technically Wizz advertizes that destination and Mulhouse which is in France so they can operate it without restrictions.

    7. Anonymous00:04

      Nope anon 21:12. They do fly to both Mulhouse and Geneva for e.g. from Sofia and Bucharest although I don't understand why as Switzerland is a more Yugoslavian gasto destination. Get the point?

    8. Anonymous06:42

      Maybe because Bucharest and Sofia are in the EU but Belgrade isn't?

  15. This might have a detrimental impact on ZAG and DUB this season. Serbian tourists might end up coming in large numbers by car or direct from BEG. At this point no one will book tickets more than a couple of weeks in advance, given the bad experience people have had worldwide with no getting refunds or flight cancellations.

    1. Anonymous14:50

      Serbian tourists going where in large numbers? Croatia? Highly doubt it. It was reported today that Serbia will allow holidaymakers to go to Greece and they also mentioned Egypt and Montenegro. No mention of Turkey or Croatia. Though Croatia is not a popular destination among Serbs in general. I doubt it's even in top five in terms of total numbers.

    2. Anonymous18:06

      Croatia not popular for Serbs? Why? JU flies to a huge number of Croatian airports and is not entirely transfer.

    3. Anonymous18:14

      Because he personally dislikes Croatia so he is projecting it on the rest of the country. Last year there were around 150.000 Serbian tourists in Croatia .

    4. Anonymous18:55

      And how many of those are going to Croatia because of family ties? Let me remind you that over 550.000 Serbs go to Greece every year so no, Croatia is not a top destnation for Serbs.

    5. Anonymous19:01

      Top five destinations for Serbia, stats are from 2018.

      Serbian spending abroad increased by 14.5% to reach 1.063 million and here are the top performing markets:

      1. Greece with €392 million.
      2. Turkey €125 million.
      3. Germany €65 million.
      4. Italy €62 million.
      5. Montenegro €50 million.

      It is estimated that over one million Serbs travels abroad every year. In the article you can see that Serbs went to Germany mostly for festivals and as city break. Most money in Germany was spent in January and May.

      So maybe I am also projecting my negativity through the Belgrade Fair articles? Please leave your emotions and wishful thinking for other forums.

    6. Anonymous20:59

      I think I read somewhere that in 2018 (or 2019?) Serbs spend €1.5 billion abroad. That's really not a bad amount. No wonder Greeks are rushing to allow Serbs to go for holidays there.

    7. Anonymous00:10

      Chalkidiki is affordable for everyone. Those figures are mainly from there. The rest of Greece is only affordable for westerners and places like Myknos, Rhodes, Crete...etc.
      Croatia is also not very cheap compared to other places in Europe. If Dubrovnik is visited by Americans....imagine...

    8. Anonymous06:47

      And what are we going to do about 5 daily charter flights in summer from Belgrade to places like Rhodes, Corfu, Heraklion, Chania and so on. Your comment is racist because it implies Serbs are too poor to afford Croatia and they only holiday in Chalkidiki. In reality, tourism in Greece is miles ahead of the Croatian one and the two can't be compared. Also don't forget that for two years now we had charter flights to Athens, both from BEG and BNX.

      Reality is that Serbs, for obvious reasons just don't go to Croatia. Zagreb has been advertizing their advent in Belgrade every year for the past five years yet if a Serb travels abroad he doesn't chose Zagreb but would rather go to a real Christmas market somewhere in Germany. City break? Again no Zagreb, that's where Italy comes into play with its 4th position.

      So stop trying to push through your relatively stupid argument of Croatia being unaffordable, it's just not a destination Serbs want to visit.

      Same thing with MNE, most who go there have someone living there or have some property. Like it or not, politics plays a big role and that is why Greece is so popular.

    9. Anonymous06:49

      p.s. I think this summer season everyone will be finally able to visit expensive (overpriced?) Croatia... if you know what I mean :D

    10. Anon@06:47

      "...if a Serb travels abroad he doesn't chose Zagreb but would rather go to a real Christmas market somewhere in Germany."

      Now you've said everything about your unbiased opinion on Croatia.

    11. Anonymous11:31

      Greece is cheaper than Croatia and this is a fact. You see lots of Serbs, Romanians and Bulgarians choosing to go there. Croatia today has become a more sophisticated destination and you can clearly see South Korean, American, Canadian and Japanese tourists. All those countries are richer with tourists having deeper pockets.
      This is why Serbs travel more to Greece. A package is much cheaper and it has got nothing to with "Greece being ahead of Croatia" in tourism. Croatia has a different public, that's it.

    12. Anonymous11:44

      Hahaha and Koreans, Americans, Japanese and so on don't go to Greece? Is Spain also a destination for poor people since hordes of Serbs go there? The things you will read in here...

  16. Maybe from sempember we will see some airplanes on exYU airports. Until then, there will certainly be no flights.

    1. Anonymous21:11

      Huh? You will definitetly have planes taking off from BEG to certain seaside destinations in Greece and Egypt.

    2. Anonymous23:32

      Belgrade -Lviv in early June is 100% mission impossible.

      Official information from Ukraine, future plans (best scenario):

      Domestic air travel in Ukraine will start in September or late summer (read August) not before.

      Domestic train (yes train) network in Ukraine will be back in June or July.

  17. Anonymous23:24

    Does anyone know what the source is of talks between Hungary and Serbia along with Egypy/Greece/Montenegro to open borders? Anyone heard anything about Serbia-Bulgaria border?

    1. Anonymous06:47

      Политика reported on it in one of their articles yesterday.