Air Serbia to restore bulk of network in July


Air Serbia plans to operate flights to some forty destinations by the middle of next month, as it continues to rebuild its network. If circumstances permit, during July, the airline will resume operations to Italy, Spain, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Ukraine, Cyprus and Israel and launch services to Norway. Flights to the Russian market will be restored in August. Starting July 1, the carrier is expected to commence charter services to Greece (Skiathos, Rhodes, Corfu, Heraklion, Kefalonia and Atikon), to Turkey from July 5 (Antalya and Bodrum), and to Spain from July 15 (Mallorca). Due to changing market propositions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, Air Serbia has also secured more favourable slots in Frankfurt and Amsterdam for a select number of its weekly flights, which will allow for better connectivity for transfer passengers via Belgrade.

The airline is facing increased competition from Wizz Air, which will base its third jet in Belgrade next month and directly compete against the carrier on several routes, among which are Barcelona and Milan. As a result, the carrier has rescheduled its operating days to Spain’s second largest city and brought forward its resumption of flights to Italy to July 1. “We are pleased to recommence flights to Italy, which is traditionally one of the key markets for Serbia, due to numerous factors that connect the two countries, including strong economic cooperation, tourism, diaspora and trade”, Air Serbia’s CEO, Duncan Naysmith, said. He added, "We are delighted to recommence flights to such a large number of destinations, and in this way make an important contribution to the recovery of air transport in the region. We are glad that, after a very challenging period, we are able to lead the recovery of one of the economic sectors which were affected by the coronavirus pandemic the most. We are among the first in this part of the world to start flying again, we are gradually increasing the weekly number of flights, and we continue to adapt our flight schedule to the future development of the situation".


Air Serbia will increase frequencies on its Belgrade – New York service to three weekly next week, while a fourth weekly rotation is expected to be added in July due to very strong demand. The carrier said capacity is “almost completely full” on the route. This week, the airline marked the fourth anniversary since launching services to the United States. During the four-year period, Air Serbia handled almost 280.000 passengers on the route on 719 round trips. Mr Naysmith noted, “We are very proud to be the only ones in the region to offer nonstop flights to New York. Its launch represented a significant milestone at the time of its introduction, confirming the strength of our business strategy and contributing to the development of tourism and business cooperation between South Eastern Europe and the United States”. He added, “Many did not believe it, but we managed, in a relatively short period of time, to secure our first wide-body aircraft, necessary permits, and undertake all the necessary steps to commence flights”.

May 21 - July 20 operations (correct as of June 26)


Departing Belgrade

DestinationResumption date
Frankfurt, ZurichMay 21
Vienna, LondonMay 24
LjubljanaMay 29
Paris, AmsterdamMay 31
SarajevoJune 4
Banja LukaJune 5
New YorkJune 6
Podgorica, TivatJune 8
Sofia, Tirana, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart, Copenhagen, Athens, Prague, Bucharest, IstanbulJune 15
Zagreb, Brussels, BerlinJune 16
StockholmJune 17
SplitJune 28
Milan, Zagreb, Podgorica, TivatJuly 01
Thessaloniki, RomeJuly 02
Venice, Larnaca, Tel Aviv, DubrovnikJuly 03
PulaJuly 10
Madrid, Barcelona, ZadarJuly 11
NiceJuly 12
SkopjeJuly 14

Departing Niš

DestinationResumption date
Hahn, NurembergJune 16
SalzburgJuly 01
Tivat, HanoverJuly 02

Departing Kraljevo

DestinationResumption date
ViennaJune 30

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:05

    Good

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:06

    I wonder how their new Oslo route will work out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Would be nice if anyone knows how the advanced bookings are going.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:35

      I just hope the reactionary decision with OSL won't backfire.

      Delete
    3. Marko09:38

      Who would connect via BEG?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:40

      People for whom a non-stop flight is too expensive or days and times they operate don't suit. For example, a certain Greek tourist in Oslo would find JU's Sunday evening (20.45) flight more appealing than the non-stop option which departs much earlier that day.Like that they get a whole day in the charming Norwegian capital and at night it flies back home via BEG.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:58

      It's risky opening a new route to Norway these days, as there's an entry ban for foreigners. Only people with a residence permit can enter the country, everybody else are returned at their own expenses. Even if they have a residence permit in Norway, they will still need to stay in quarantine for a while.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:11

      It isn't really risky if the GoS covers all your losses.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:21

      Anon 11.11 are you aware it's not just JU launching Oslo flights but so is Wizz and DY is returning before the bannis lifted. Why are you singling JU out? Anyway Wizz rescheduled their Oslo flights, now they will fly on the same days as JU.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous12:01

      The battle for Belgrade has begun! This will be really fun to watch!

      Delete
    9. Nemjee12:09

      They also rescheduled BEG-LCA, now flights will operate on Thursdays and Sundays.

      BEG-LCA 11.50-15.25
      LCA-BEG 16.00-17.40

      JU has better daytime flights as they arrive in the morning (09.55) and evening (20.00) so you are not destroyed by a humid heatwave. My guess is that Wizz Air is after passengers from a wider region who need time to reach BEG.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous12:55

      Interesting that Wizz is reacting to JU. I fear DY will cut flights to BEG now.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous13:00

      DY is full on many days they have planned flights this summer because they reduced service from 3 to 1 flight per week, meaning many people are rebooked. DY may ultimately pull out but not this summer.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:06

    How come Rome FCO is missing? do they plan to resume it anytime son?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      It says 2nd of July.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:14

    I checked AMS flights and they are so much better now, flights arrive at 22.45 in stead of 23.30. Now all connections are possible especially KRR, BEY, LCA and SVO.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      Interesting although BEY is not coming back unfortunately.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:23

      BEY will come back once the situation in Lebanon improves.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:28

      I hope so but I don't think that will happen soon either.

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL12:46

      Its a shame they pulled back on launching AMM.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:16

    Good to see at least some charters can be salvaged. It's a great source of income for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      There will be very few. It's a shame especially since this would have been a record summer charter season. And for the first time there were charters planned for Morocco too.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:41

      Hotels in Serbia have an occupancy rate of 12% to 24% which most people being in spa resorts. I am sure many among them booked holidays abroad in June or during summer.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:14

      Will the charters be operated with the Airbus fleet or the Boeings? I think this situation with corona may finally mark the end of the Boeing fleet at Air Serbia.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:28

      Corona or not, it is time to retire those old birds.

      Delete
    5. JATBEGMEL12:53

      @ 10,14

      Last season, alot of charters went on the Airbus fleet. I would say at this point, with the reduced flying, that spending money for activating the B733's is pointless, especially while another 2 A319's wait in TLS to join the fleet. I wouldnt be surprised to see them not operate the B733's this season.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:16

    BEG is also slowly recovering, 30 departures today. I see there is an Aeroflot flight tonight, I thought those were only operating on Saturdays or has something changed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:17

      They operate between Friday - Sunday depending on demand. There will be a flight on Sunday too.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:24

      Interesting that they are on the A321 and not on something smaller like SSJ, A319 or A320. Would be cool to have their A333 back in BEG again.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:28

      They sent the A330 a few weeks ago.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:19

    I'm guessing they are bringing Nis-Salzburg back so quickly to compete with Wizz :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      Definitely.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:25

      They also rescheduled it so on Sunday it arrives at 17.30 which is great. SZG-BEG arrives at 21.45 and SZG-SKP at 22.55. I think many who don't live in BEG or SKP might find INI flights more convenient especially if they have to take a bus to their final destination.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:22

    Nice to see Kraljevo starting up again. It seems they still plan to launch those Kraljevo-Thessaloniki flights but from August.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:26

      It will probably depend on the situation whether those flights to SKG will start.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:23

    I wonder which route is performing best for them now with all these restrictions still in place

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:25

      Zurich most probably. It was quickest to get many frequencies back.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:41

      This week they had like 10 weekly flights to Zurich.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:42

      And there is also Swiss which seems to be sending A321s to BEG. It's amazing how busy this route is (in general not now).

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:43

      It's not surprising. It's 99% gastos who are not going to change their plans to come to Serbia in the summer.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:45

      Nonsense, for a long time LX was the only LH Group to fly to BEG. They got many rebooked passengers from other airlines as well. For example OS seems to be doing quite well these days in BEG, tomorrow they are sending the A319. Demand is growing and that's all that matters in the end.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:29

    I must say they have brought a lot of routes back quickly. I mean at the moment they are already operating 27 destinations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      Well with Italy being resumed in a few days that number will grown to 30. They are also missing Spain with two destinations, Cyprus, Russia with three and so on.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:45

      The State of Israel has extended the ban on foreigers until 01.08.2020 so I guess we won't be seeing JU in TLV before then.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:00

      Some markets will be out of reach for quite some time.

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL12:57

      Its a shame they cancelled launching their planned new routes for this year.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:36

    The demand for JFK is interesting. I assume most of it is from JFK to BEG at the moment, not the other way around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:30

      Flights are packed, which is visible from their pricing and lack of certain fares on some days.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:36

    Great. Keep on growing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:37

    For some strange reason you can no longer book flights from BEG to TRF or MXP with W6. Did JU block those routes? BCN is dirty cheap in August. Not sure if this is good or bad....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:40

      No, JU did not "block" routes and neither can it. At the moment you can't book 80% of Wizz routes from many airport - London, Budapest, Warsaw, Skopje etc because they are changing the flight times and days from the middle of July.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:02

      Seems like today they are slowly loading their revised schedules so please be patient, no need for hateful and unneccessary attacks.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:39

    I like their approach and quick reaction also in this case.

    In the situation when many airlines shyly announce return to the routes they were previously flying Air Serbia strongly builds its new market position.

    They even opened new destinations - Oslo. Of course they did it because of Wizz, but they did it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:55

      +1

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL13:22

      I think theyve been slower to react and feel Wizz has pushed them to be a bit more aggressive in relaunching flights.

      They cancelled the launch of their 6 new destinations (AMM, KIV, LWW, GVA, ROV, FLR), cancelled HEL, CAI and RJK, while only launching OSL.

      JU suspended HEL yet W6 launches TKU adding 60% more seats on that market. Had JU launched a 3rd weekly, they would still be down 6,5% the capacity W6 is bringing into the market.

      I think JU could of done alot better.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:26

      I don't think BEG-TKU will work out in the end, especially not in winter. The market between the two countries is minimal and if there was money to be made there JU would have stayed.

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL13:40

      Im sure route planning at Wizz didnt randomly point fingers at a map and decided that would be their next opportunity for a profitable route.

      In the end, JU also has the transfer market to boost the loads which Wizz doesnt. 60% is a large jump in capacity for a market with 'minimal' demand.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous17:41

      Surely they reacted better than LH, OS, OU etc.

      Delete
    6. JATBEGMEL00:02

      Neither of them have had their main competitor grow by 90% at their home base.

      Out of the list of 10 new routes from Wizz, 20% is from a former JU destination, another 20% became direct competition to JU while 30% indirect competition.

      The response so far has been a 2 weekly OSL.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous07:12

      OS did, both FR and W6 have been booming in Vienna my friend. They are in a much worse position than JU. From July 1st, Ryanair is resuming 64 destinations from VIE. Wow

      Delete
    8. JATBEGMEL15:19

      Sure, OS is in a worse position. But it was suddenly attacked hard by 2 major LCC's. This isnt what JU is experiencing in BEG.

      JU was expanding and had potential to further grow, before Corona. JU now has a unique opportunity to jump back into markets while competition is down and competitors are downsizing, without even needing to invest into more capacity.

      70% of W6's new routes is some form of attack on the JU network, while JU reacts with a 2 weekly OSL. Imagine what it would of been had Wizz added 2 or 3 additional aircraft. JU could of done alot better.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous08:40

      Proportionally it's about the same because the BEG market is much smaller than the one in VIE. However I do agree that JU should have done more to fight competition, they owe it to all of us.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous10:12

    JU needs governments help. Airport railway construction fee could be added by authorities to discourage Wizz from low fares. JU needs deeper discounts at the airport..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:48

      Rail link to the airport is out of scope of airport concession so Vinci might not have a say in that. Airports and governments around the world have routinely levied separate passenger ticket fees for construction and improvement purposes.

      Any new subsidy, fee or change that might distort the market could be subject to scrutiny or legal action from EC and competitors. CAD, JU, Vinci and government better examine potential play-by-play steps by actors involved before making decisions.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:13

    I'm interested to know what will be their future relationship with Etihad.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous10:17

    If BCN is not yet in the JU destination list means that they are unlikely to resume soon. As expected, VY postponed flights until October.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:21

      Barcelona will resume in the second half of July.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:01

      Check the Vueling website. First available flight is 3rd October. I think having JU, W6 and VY is a lot on the same days.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:31

      BCN is in the JU destination list. Looking at the table in the article it is listed as starting 11th of July, along with Madrid (it seems the table was updated during the day since it was displaying flights only up to the 10th of July earlier).

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:32

    When things get back to normal, JU should definitely start flying to Ankara and then Izmir! Perfect and close locations to Serbia for both O&D passangers and transfers from those cities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would still prefer AirSerbia not to venture into secondary cities in Turkey. That would require the revision of bilateral agreement with Turkey and allow Turkish Airlines more flights into Belgrade. I would not touch this at all. TK with two daily 321s is more than enough because there is no way JU can fight back in any normal way. Eventhough noone is mentioning thist, both TK and new IST are heavily supported by the State of Turkey and Serbia is just unable to match that. Keep the gates closed. When JU gets comfortable with two daily A320s to Istanbul, then they could discuss the extention of the bilaterals.

      TK is very affordable when connecting in IST for all internal destinations. I flew to Konya last autumn and the was 300EUR return for a short notice trip, not a huge price for a three day business trip.

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL12:32

      @ eight

      The JU A320's are leaving the fleet. One has already had its livery removed.

      Delete
  19. See ZAD screwed yet again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:46

      Zadar is coming back, just not before 10th of July.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:29

      It's in the table. 11th of July.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous11:05

    The other Nis destinations coming back in August I guess. But probably the load factor won't be that good this year I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:10

      Some could return in the second half of July. But to be honest, loads weren't great last year either. LJU airport said that Nis would come back in August.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:49

      Sure, but some routes need a little bit time to improve, especially as Air Serbia isn't that popular at some regional airports. A smaller plane would be useful, just 90-100 seats.

      Delete
    3. JATBEGMEL13:35

      The whole point of JU getting PSO in INI is because the load factor and profitability needed time to build up. Inadequate load factor/profitability should not be an issue to relaunch flights.

      The government, however should of better planned their fake tender for better routes if what JU has is not working.

      If Wizz and Ryan are pulling off flights with larger capacity, JU should be ok with the A319.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous15:41

    With EU reopening borders for Serbian citizens from 1st of July, hopefully demand will improve a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:46

      Croatia will not. Since yesterday borders are closed and will not be opened in near future. So I have doubts in routes to Split, Pula, Dubrovnik Zadar and Zagreb.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:22

      My thoughts as well. A few friends of mine living in Belgium but currently visiting Serbia want to book BEG-SPU in early July but now we got the news of the obligatory quarantine here in Croatia for everyone originating from the neighbouring countries, regardless of their passport. So what, you stay in the same room for 14 days instead of doing the islands? Completely insane. I guess we can always organize a get together in Greece if nothing changes with their border policy in the coming weeks... :/

      Delete
  22. Anonymous17:32

    I'm a bit surprised they aren't starting Skopje until the 14th of July even though the airport will open in a few days. I remember they originally planned to start it as soon as the airport opened.

    ReplyDelete
  23. With INI having more and more flights does it make sense at some point in the future to have BEG-INI twice daily?
    Not of course this year because of Covid, but perhaps at the start of summer season 2021.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:17

      JU doesn't have the aircraft for a BEG-INI run.

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL23:26

      This is something the government should have regulated earlier, when preparing the PSO for INI.

      The question is from which base to operate from and what would work best. A daily rotation in the midday wave would work fantastic for most connections:

      BEG INI 1400 1440
      INI BEG 1515 1555

      For a second daily, when and for what market? Something that crossed my mind is a 3 weekly (Mon-Wed) :

      INI BEG 0515 0555
      BEG INI 0640 0720

      However this requires retiming all flights for these days from INI, which shouldnt be a problem. The return BEG-INI sector would pretty much rely only on JFK transfers which I doubt would bring much pax ie leaving an empty aircraft, and in this case an A319.

      Also it comes into how they will handle the domestic flights since both airports havnt had domestic flights in over 15 years.

      Delete
    3. Good points JATBEGMEL. Perhaps one mid-day daily would be enough at first. I'm thinking that connecting flights can work in both directions.

      As for it being a domestic flight, perhaps it could be treated as an international flight. I assume that 95% of the passengers in either direction would be transfers. So once you clear passport control at INI you continue on to BEG, and then to your connecting flight not having to clear passport control at BEG, (and vice versa in the opposite direction).

      Delete
  24. Anonymous22:19

    ZAG concession has been keeping LCCs away from the start. Concessionaire at BEG allowed main LCC threat to freely expand by 70-80% of available seats in the second year of concession. What is the point of new terminal and many new gates if Air Serbia's ability to thrive is not the priority for concessionaire and airport owner? What were they thinking when they gave BEG airport up for a concession without making absolutely sure LCCs would not threaten Air Serbia?

    Or was it the case of let's get as much cash as we can get upfront from the French, and then... après moi le déluge!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous22:31

    What about Qatar?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:42

      Air Serbia does not fly to Qatar. Qatar Airways starts flying to Belgrade again from 1st of July.

      Delete
  26. Oc2dc21:31

    What is this I'm hearing about flights between BEG and TGD/TIV are not happening because of some political strife? Apparently, Air Serbia and Montenegro Airlines no longer allow each other to fly to each other's countries? I'm confused because the list above shows flights have resumed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:40

      The list doesn't show that. It shows when Air Serbia would like to fly to Montenegro but that's unlikely. Serbian citizens cannot enter Montenegro because of corona. So Serbian regulator banned Montenegro Airlines from flying to Belgrade because it would create unfair competition and is against the bilateral between the two countries.

      Delete

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