Serbia to reopen airports


Serbia has outlined plans for the phased reopening of the country’s economy from next Tuesday until mid-May, including its commercial airports. The “controlled” opening of the airports is expected to occur between the week of May 4 and May 11. Some commercial flights are expected to resume, however, they will be severely limited due to travel restrictions elsewhere, as well as the grounding of most European carriers. The reopening of the airports will be coordinated with other supporting infrastructure such as intercity transport and hotels. However, the plans could be halted if the number of coronavirus Covid-19 cases increases.

Foreigners are currently banned from entering Serbia. Serbian nationals arriving on repatriation flights at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport are transported to government-run facilities where they are tested for the virus. If the results come back negative, they are then obligated to self-isolate for 28 days. It hasn’t been communicated whether these measures will continue to be enforced once the airports begin reopening next month. Air Serbia has scheduled flights from May and is selling tickets across its network, although it will be impossible for the carrier to maintain all of its operations. Wizz Air plans to resume flights from Basel, Dortmund and Memmingen to Niš Constantine the Great Airport from May 15. Services from Vienna and Malmo to the southeast Serbian city are due to restart on June 1. The budget airline will commence operations between London Luton and Belgrade in May, while all other services from its Belgrade base have been pushed back until June 1.

Outlining measures to reopen the economy, Serbia’s President, Aleksandar Vučić, again reiterated the country’s commitment to supporting Air Serbia. “Those employed at Air Serbia shouldn’t worry about their jobs. We will seriously strengthen the airline. Just recently, there were negotiations between the national carrier and JFK Airport in New York regarding the improvement of business terms and conditions. The airport said it sees a serious partner in the Serbian carrier because they know the state will never allow it to collapse. The European Union will now enable recapitalisation and state aid. Everything that wasn’t allowed in the past will be from now on”, the President noted.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:04

    Let's see which routes Air Serbia will be able to reopen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      My guess is Frankfurt and London

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:13

      Non EU carriers are not allowed to fly to EU countries until the end of April.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:15

      ^ that's not true at all. Qatar Airways is a non EU carrier and is flying normally to LHR and FRA.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:49

      Exactly plus US carriers have a limited network to the EU so Anon 09.13 is definitely not right in his statement.

      I expect AMS to be one of the destinations to be introduced and Wizz Air is selling LTN-BEG in May despite all of their other routes being pushed back to June.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:52

      LTN is selling because it is operated by a London-based plane and crew. That is why INI flights will resume first too BUT Wizz might bring forward their BEG operations with this latest announcement. Let's wait and see.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:55

      I don't think Wizz will move its BEG flights. It's not only about opening the airport, it's about giving enough time for people to buy their tickets. I expect JU to resume operations in the second half of May, maybe even early June.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:09

      There was a ban at the beginning for non EU citizens to enter EU, not sure if it's still on, so anon 09:13 might be right

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:10

      ^^ There is a ban in non EU citizens, not a ban on non EU airlines. Two very different things.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous10:10

      * on

      Delete
    10. Anonymous10:11

      Exactly the same way various EU airlines continue to fly to the US (Alitalia included!) even though there is a ban on nationals from Schengen member countries from entering the US.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous10:11

      *Obviously he's hot right, about non-EU carriers, my bad.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous10:44

      CDG, FRA, ZRH and VIE

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:07

    It's not a bad idea. Considering most airlines are not going to fly until the second half of May, this way you can gradually reintroduce flights, starting with JU.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:10

    Why bother though? The load factors will be abysmal until the virus is under control, which it still isn't. Makes more sense to wait until the market will at least be in a better position.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:50

      Because many Serbs are stranded around the world and bringing them back on scheduled flights is easier than chartering special flights.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:06

      How many Serbs, surely those that wanted to return will have done so by now? And with the virus now in full swing, will any Serbian national really be willing to uproot themselves from wherever they are, to enter 28 day quarantine just so they can return to Serbia? And even if there was significant repatriation demand, even this would eventually die out and the planes would be empty again. It just makes more sense to keep the airports and airlines in hibernation until there are concrete signs of recovery, which there are certainly none to speak of yet.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous04:08

      Well, all the charter flights the government organized were fully booked. I think around 900 people applied to return on that one special charter flight from DC.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:10

    wot 28 days?? better to stay in Germany, thats a whole month of self isolation!
    (i hope its not inspired by the British post-apocalyptic movie "28 days later")

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:48

      Current international standard is 14 days but in Slovenia they are special 7 days only.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:17

    So much for all the predictions from commentators here how New York will be cut.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:29

      i would not take this as granted just because "the President noted"

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:30

      I would, especially since the president noted.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:51

      No one expects JFK to be cut, it's a route that's making money in summer and which has considerably improved in winter. I think after all this government will invest even more into JU which is fantastic for the Serbian economy.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:56

      the talks mentioned were happening before the crisis. now its a different situation
      and lets not talk about what the president noted just one month ago about the crisis.

      i see it at fifty - fifty at the moment.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:00

      I'm sure they briefed you about when the talks took place.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous14:53

      Don't forget that many airlines are struggling now especially airlines like OS. I wouldn't be surprisd if they cancel JFK and focus on EWR.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:37

    Good

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:52

    I expect Qatar to return among the first because many Serbs are stranded around Asia and they could fill their plans with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:04

      They said yesterday there are 120 Serbian people stuck in Australia.

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    2. Anonymous13:31

      Any plans to get them out?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:54

      My guess is that they will have to wait or they will come back on FZ

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:57

      They will have to wait. They are not considered "high priority" because almost all of them were visiting family or friends and are able to stay there. FZ is not really an option since Emirates is not flying to Australia now (and won't start until middle of May for some cities and June for others).

      There are also 55 people still in Thailand.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:58

      In other words the only option for these people is for Qatar Airways to resume flights to BEG sooner rather than later. The majority of them have tickets on QR anyway. If you look on seat guru app (which shows how many seats are already occupied on flights) the first QR flight to BEG in June is more than half full already on the A321.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous10:31

    "The European Union will now enable recapitalisation and state aid. Everything that wasn’t allowed in the past will be from now on”, the President noted.

    I wasn't aware that the EU had a say in such matters of a non-EU country, and even if it did, if state aid 'was not allowed in the past' how come JU received it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:59

      It did. As a candidate state you have to follow certain rules and criteria so you can get EPA funds.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:05

      It's not because EU but because Serbia is signatory to the European open skies initiative.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous11:10

    What does the "controlled" opening of airports mean?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous12:51

    Good job! Excellent manner to spread the outbreak!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:54

      If you were Serbian then you would know the outbreak in Serbia is under control.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:50

      HAHAHAHAHAH if you think that outbreak in Serbia is under control I don't know what to say t you. Serbia has more than 300 new infections every day.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:04

      Yes it is because the number of people tested is increasing, the number of people on raspirators is decreasing and the number of people with mild symptoms is increasing while the rate of infection is decreasing because the number of people tested that are negative is increasing. Planly watching numbers over the internet without taking absolutely nothing else into consideration is childish to say the least.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous14:15

    IATA this week reported that the losses of Airlines up to date have toped 400billion euros, with millions of airport jobs losses in Europe alone.

    Airlines are still not flying, only at 10% of pre-corona flights, disaster!!

    Air Serbia can fly, LF will be in the single digits.

    Won’t be easy for Belgrade airport also, or any other airport for that matter.

    The aviation world and airports will take years to overcome this crippling crisis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:56

      Well JU plans on resuming flights that have the most O&D demand so LF shoudln't be too bad. Don't forget that JFK was FULL until the last flight.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous15:19

    How is the cargo doing in march and april compared with 2019?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous15:19

    Lufthansa and Qatar are first. JU will start first woth TGD, TIV and CDG from 14.05.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous15:51

    There will need to be some kind of screening of testing of all passengers before entering the airport terminal. Social distancing measures must be respected somehow until a vaccine is found and that's over a year away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:57

      And what has ZAG done considering its been open this entire time? They still haven't even purchased thermal cameras.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous19:13

    People forgot what was Air Serbia main issue with JFK from day 1: slots! With many carriers out of the picture or reducing JFK presence, it is hard to imagine JU not being able to negotiate better slots. On the other hand, getting superior slots is not going to get them to the next level when they are maxed out at 6 flights per week. Real deal would be great slots + going daily or more, and we all know what it means. There might be more good news. Air Serbia haters stock up on anti anxiety drugs, you will need them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous04:10

      Exactly, difficult times ahead for some I have to say. Good news is that JU will get better slots and less competition to New York. I think in the end Austrian Airlines will suffer the most from all this.

      Delete
    2. What would be the ideal slot times for JFK? Considering arrival waves and then departure time from BEG?

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:44

    Are people really going to travel commercially if, on arrival, they will have to undergo 28 days of quarantine in a crowded state institution?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:48

      You're funny if you think once flights begin, people will have to go into major centers and for 4 weeks.....

      Odds are it's going to be 2 weeks home isolation, if even that... also hotels are opening so? Where is your logic lol

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:17

      Hey guys, I am looking to return back to Serbia from Australia and have been in contact with the embassy in Australia as well as the ministry of health in Serbia. Whilst the embassy stated that it would be 28 days of self isolation at home, the ministry was adamant that all arrivals would have to go Government centres for 4 weeks. Therefore, there is contradicting information everywhere and it is very hard to know what the actual procedure is. I will probably book a Qatar flight to return to Belgrade but I will definitely have to make sure that we won't be herded into these Government centres.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:40

      The ministry gave you wrong info. Current rules are when you arrive you are escorted to government facility (now they are mostly using student dorms - obviously there are no students any more). There you get tested for the virus. You stay there for 3 days until you get your result. If negative you are sent home for 28 days. There is no space in Serbia to keep all arrivals for 28 days anywhere.

      My guess is that once the airport opens they will automatically send people home for 28 days and those coming from "critical countries" which Australia isn't might go to be tested.

      Also QR doesn't start BEG until June and I'm sure things will be more relaxed by then.

      Delete
  17. Lufthansa sold tickets from Frankfurt to Belgrade via Geneve for 05.05.2020...
    Maybe Lufthansa know better than Serbian president and government...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:45

      Know what? The government said the airport will open between 4.5 and 11.5.

      Delete
  18. The information that Serbs who enter the country are being transferred to government facilities is obsolete.
    That was changed on 1st April because people complained. Per new rules if you don't have fever you get 28 days of self isolation at home, and if you do have fever only then you'll be in government facility and get tested.
    I am in isolation until 5th May
    http://rs.n1info.com/Vesti/a584432/Kon-Promenjen-protokol-za-povratnike-30-zdravstvenih-radnika-testirano.html

    ReplyDelete
  19. David11:45

    Does anyone know if and when the airport opens, will incoming flights only be available for Serbs? I'm a UK citizen, I run my own business online and was in Serbia Jan to mid March, I went to Sweden for the weekend but couldn't get back when the borders closed. Currently waiting in Belarus. Any news on foreigners being allowed in mid-May?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous13:02

    We pray for Serbian nationals stranded around the world bring them back on scheduled flights soon to help our citizens who have been stranded worldwide because of coronavirus returned to the country.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous13:48

    Serbia seems to have coronavirus pandamedic under control now.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous14:25

    Im a danish looking to get back to Denmark from Egypt. Air Serbia flies from Cairo to Copenhagen via Belgrade on 2 May. Do you guys know if transfers are allowed in Belgrade airport for non-Serbian citizens?

    ReplyDelete

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