Belgrade - Pristina flights to launch in “record time”


Flights between Belgrade and Pristina are expected to launch in the coming months following a deal signed in Washington last week by the two sides. Kosovo’s Minister for Infrastructure, Arban Abrashi, noted yesterday that services would commence in “record time” and would be operated by the Lufthansa Group. Meanwhile, the US special envoy for the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, Richard Grenell, said, "We have an air agreement for the first flight in 21 years between Pristina and Belgrade". Authorities from Serbia and Kosovo signed a US brokered “Belgrade - Pristina Special Air Route” (BPSAR) Letter of Intent in February, which foresees Eurowings starting operations between the two cities. The main sticking points for the resumption of flights in the past, such as air traffic oversight and taxes, have been addressed in the document.

Under the agreement between the two sides, passengers flying point to point from Belgrade to Pristina and vice versa will not use their passports for travel. Instead, they will use their National Identity Cards. Furthermore, Kosovo passport holders will be able to transfer through Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport to onward destinations using their passports. The Kosovo Civil Aviation Authority has previously confirmed that flightpaths used prior to the 1999 conflict will be utilised again, meaning there will be no need to fly over Macedonian airspace before entering either territory. Eurowings has been given the freedom to determine fares, select codeshare partners and the equipment it will use for the flights. “The filing of codeshares with a carrier with the Lufthansa Group on the respective service shall be granted at any time, provided that all regulatory conditions have been met. Eurowings, or a carrier of the Lufthansa Group, have the right to use services from wetlease partners for the operation of the respective services, with prior consent of the said authorities”, the BPSAR document states.

Eurowings’ Chief Commercial Officer, Michael Knitter, previously noted, “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 agreement signed between Serbia and Kosovo last week also notes that, “Both sides will increase airline passenger screening, information-sharing between each other, and within the framework of border US cooperation in the Balkans, and commit to technology upgrades to combat illicit activities by implementing and operationalising US-provided screening and information systems including PISCES, APIS, ATS-G and SRTP”. JAT Yugoslav Airlines was the last to operate scheduled flights between the two cities back in 1999.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    Any idea what the frequency may be?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:03

      My guess is 2-3 weekly

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  2. Anonymous09:03

    I wonder if these flights will be subsidised

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Of course.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:14

      Source?

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    3. Anonymous12:38

      Source? What source. It's just my opinion.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:07

      Yes, source for that "of course".

      Otherwise it is nothing but speculation.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    Nice!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:04

    But why Eurowings/Lufthansa Group???

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      At the time Grenell was also the US ambassador to Germany and based in Berlin. So I guess that's how LH fits into the picture.

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    2. Anonymous09:14

      Who else?

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    3. Anonymous09:15

      JU would make more sense. Or Aviolet to make it more neutral.

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    4. Anonymous09:17

      JU can't do it because they would have to apply for permission to Kosovo authorities and on that way they would recognize Kosovo as a state.

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    5. Anonymous09:26

      Serbian president also said he wanted the Germans to operate this route.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:05

    JU should codeshare.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      If the flight times are good they could provide lots of connections.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:09

      Especially to JFK.

      New York became very successful destination in last few months and with this move it can be only better!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:10

      Connecting to/ from the JFK flight would be most important.

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    4. Anonymous09:12

      But would LH group want to code share with JU?

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    5. Anonymous09:12

      In this case I would say it is in their interest to do it.

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    6. Anonymous09:17

      Since Air Serbia does not cooperate with the Lufthansa group, I don't know if it is possible but it would be good for them to have their codes on this flight. Would benefit them.

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    7. Anonymous09:22

      If there is no JU code on this I can't see this working or making sense.

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    8. Anonymous09:29

      This is special case. In normal circumstances eurowings would not be allowed to fly this route, but here everything is different.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:31

      That's because Germany has a special status in the Balkans, it has to do with economic imperialism. Just look at how their companies behave over here. Using EW for this fits perfectly the reality we live in.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:38

      These flights will offer more connections to the LH group. So it will probably be times to connect onto LH or OS flights from/to BEG.

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    11. Anonymous09:54

      And it could in mid term increase the number of flights LH or OS operate to/from BEG.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous12:16

      Why would Eurowings codeshare Air Serbia in Prishitina? There is zero logic in these plans.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous12:39

      It would help get more passengers on the flight.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:08

    I have doubts who will use these flights, I mean the number of Serbian people in Kosovo is really low nowadays and Albanians from Kosovo have already options to connect through other airlines.
    I'm seeing this more as political decision, not something economically viable.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:11

      I would say it is win-win situation.

      Albanians from Kosovo get the possibility to use wide Air Serbia network (the options from PRN are not so big as from BEG) and JU gets transfer passengers.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:12

      +1

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    3. Anonymous09:15

      Many options to connect from PRN? Really because only Austrian Airlines comes to mind and they are ripping people off with high fares.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:32

      If this happens OS will be on suicide alert especially if PRN-JFK traffic is moved to BEG.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:32

      There's also TK and either Swiss or Edelweis, so It's not that bad.. but another legacy carrier such as JU is a good addition

      Delete
    6. Jatovac10:10

      I just think that Albanians would do anything just not to fly via Belgrade or with JU. That is a problem now

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    7. Anonymous10:12

      Don't think so. Check the passenger composition on JU flights to JFK. People decide with their wallets at the end of the day.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:12

      @9.32 agree! If JU gets the codeshare that will be horrible news for OS which already lost P2P to Wizz

      Delete
    9. Anonymous12:17

      Suicide alert because of what? One more airline at Prishtina?

      Delete
    10. Anonymous13:05

      If Albanians had so negative attitude towards JU (that btw would not be flying in this case BEG-PRN) TIA would never work.

      And it got actually increased. So, I think you are very wrong.

      Delete
    11. Jatovac19:03

      I think you are partly right. I think you are right because of JFK flights on wich Albanians fly. But with TIA it does not matter, in all capital cities in the region people are more educated and they do not behave nationalistic, like in BEG or ZAG, in PRN is different situation because the are not as educates as in TIA and BEG are. Just my mind

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:09

    These are very good news.

    Congratulations!

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  8. Anonymous09:11

    is this link really sustainable?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous09:12

    ErSrbijina linija za JFK će imati naj više koristi od ove linije.P2P putnika gotovo da neće ni biti.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      +1

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    2. JFK is already too full , they can not handle PRN connection passengers, especially during busy holiday season .

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:17

      And who will operate this route?

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  10. Anonymous09:14

    Considering the US elections are coming and they are using this as a foreign policy win, I'm guessing flights will start before November.

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  11. Anonymous09:16

    Not gonna happen, don't get your hopes high. In the document (non-biding btw) they signed there is no mention of air links being established. There is of highway and rail network but nothing regarding air links. Vucic also said the last time that flights won't happen before the name of the airport is changed.

    This is all PR, wouldn't pay too much attention to that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      Many people thought many things wouldn't happen or were impossible just a few years ago yet here we are.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:22

      He said Air Serbia particularly won't be flying there if airport name stay the same.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:23

      It is related to this

      http://rs.n1info.com/Biznis/a562180/Potpisan-sporazum-sa-Lufthansom-o-obnovi-linije-Beograd-Pristina.html

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:24

      Yes but I guess you have not been following what happened after all this situation in DC. Also this has been mentioned a few times now and nothing happened, same will happen now. US is pushing for infrastructure projects because that's what suits them.
      For example the highway that is supposed to be built will be financed by US loans. Flights do not interest them because there is no money to be made from them.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:26

      Not true that Vucic said there will be no fights if the airport name is not changed. He said there would be no Air Serbia flights if the name is not changed. The president said he fought tooth and nail for the flights not to be operated by Air Serbia and that he wanted the Germans to fly it.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:29

      @9.24

      Flights are easy and quick PR which can happen straight away. And of course nothing happened when the flight agreement was signed in February and coronavirus closed the world in March. I mean PRN only opened in July.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:31

      And what happened since? Nothing. For years they were talking about this route and nothing happened in the end, same will happen now. Like I said, this is all PR and we've all been down this road before. From a Serbian perspective this route is of no great importance as it brings no massive economic benefit. All economic exchange happens by road and most Albanians that cooperate with Serbs use the road as many have properties in the rest of the country.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:34

      Ok we realize you don't want it to happen but it doesen't actually mean it won't. And "since then" coronavirus happened, as you were told.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:37

      I don't care for this route though I think it's useless as it will rely on subsidies, most likely from the Serbian side. If we have to subsidize a route then we might as well get a destination most Serbs can profit from. This is purely for political circus we have been living in the past 30 years, if not more.

      As they would say: форма без суштине.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:55

      Do you have any proof that Serbia will subsidize it?

      Or not?

      Delete
    11. Anonymous16:10

      Subsidize what? Something that's not even launched yet? This route can't last on its own so someone will have to pay up.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:20

    A319/A320 will be too big for this route.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      Doesn't Eurowings have the Q400?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:27

      Not anymore

      https://www.planespotters.net/airline/Eurowings
      https://www.eurowings.com/de/informieren/ueber-uns/technik-flotte.html

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:57

      They can choose and wet lease any type of airplane.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:21

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:43

    They probably wanna check how it will go first. EW will most likely place an A319 on some days to try it. I do think there is room for more potential.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:45

    It seems most logical to me that Eurowings feeds LH group's flights out of Belgrade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:47

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:48

      I think it will be symbolic for JU to get code share.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:52

      Eurowings have a base in PRN if u forgot. If they feed something it will be LH from FRA and MUC

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:53

      Kozmetika. or as the germans say "Für die Galerie" (za izlog)

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:51

    does EW's PRN-FRA or PRN-MUC connect on to LH?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:19

      Yes. All flights with Eurowings can be booked via LHs webpage.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:53

    That means that the flight will operate direct from kosovo and metohija to serbia.What about traffic from western europe towards BKPR are they still need to fly via MNE,ALB and MKD?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:59

      Good question.

      I suppose they won't have to do it anymore as we have here the information that EW will be flying this route on the same way JAT did it 21 years ago.

      "The Kosovo Civil Aviation Authority has previously confirmed that flightpaths used prior to the 1999 conflict will be utilised again, meaning there will be no need to fly over Macedonian airspace before entering either territory."

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:01

    This will be great also for Serbian population that want to go to BEG and visit friends and family. Gracanica is 25 minutes from the airport, Mitrovica sounds 50. Beats going by bus to Belgrade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:02

      If the price is right.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:03

      I doubt it will be an expensive flight.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:04

      Eurowings is an LCC.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:05

      Much better than bus! It takes 7 hours by bus from Belgrade.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:06

      It will probably be like the BEG-BNX-BEG flights. You can literally buy tickets for 40 euros on JU on this route

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:09

      Anything over 50 euros will be too expensive since you have the buss for less than that.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:48

      Agree. They will have to be careful with the pricing

      Delete
  19. Anonymous10:26

    So many artificial problems, just because we can't learn to live together with one another.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous10:47

    Great news!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:10

      Agree. Business is business.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous10:49

    Exciting times

    ReplyDelete
  22. It makes sense to let a 'neutral' airline operate the flights. If AS were doing them, you'd end up with reports appearing in Kosovan media (false or otherwise) that cabin crew were rude/made racist remarks/treated Albanians worse bla bla bla... doing it this way removes a lot of the parts where AS or Serbia itself would end up with bad publicity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:03

      Better have a neutral EURO airline fly that route

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:10

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

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:10

      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.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous07:07

      So you see, they have been speaking about this for years now and nothing has become of it.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous11:03

    The first inter ex-Yu low cost flights :D

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:08

      Who would have thought it would be this one of all haha

      Delete
  24. Anonymous11:04

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

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:11

      Or Germany, so to speak.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous11:04

    How long would this flight take?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:07

      About 35 minutes I believe.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:11

      Thank you

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:12

      What kind of planes did JU used to use from BEG to PRN back in the day?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:13

      And also 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.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:15

      For the aircraft I know it was almost always DC9. They did send B727 once or twice per week because it would then be used to fly to Zurich I believe. I don't know exact frequencies for the BEG-PRN flights though.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous11:09

    It was a matter of time before it happened.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:11

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

      Delete
  27. Anonymous11:12

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:06

      Makes sense.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:14

      Just that for BEG, Pristina is not a capital city but the administrative seat of an autonomous province.

      Delete
  28. Belgrade is 3 hours car drive away from Kosovo border (4hrs by Bus).

    -Fuel cost by car 40E (+ road tax).

    - plane ticket expected 50EUR (plus return trip to Airport. 8EUR +/-). Travel time from A to B min. 4 hours!

    Bus ticket return is what...20EUR?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What if your journey does not end at the Kosovo border/line?
      Beograd Priština is about 4.5-5 hour drive, plus border procedures.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:47

      This route is for transfers for Albanians passengers.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:52

      Nobody will travel by flight. This makes sense only for transfer passengers.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:06

      It will be subsidized, so no need for it to make sense

      Delete
    5. Anonymous13:52

      Who will subsidize it?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous15:57

      But who will carry transfers from where and to where?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous16:14

      It's not a border, it's an administrative crossing.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous12:07

    Didn't see this coming :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous12:07

    Congrats. Keep going forward

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous12:08

    I do wonder what the frequency and schedule will be.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Many Albanians in the NYC area have used Air Serbia to travel back home in the Balkans including several of my relatives as its cheaper than other air lines.

    ReplyDelete
  33. My guess is that Eurowings will operate flights in hours that are not suitable for conections towards west. I dont see why they would they feed AirSerbia and take some passengers from Austrian, Swiss (Edelweis).

    I think the best for AirSerbia is to fly its own planes to PRN if possible even though the airport name is Adem Jashari. They are also flying to Franjo Tudjman airport.
    Serbia recognised Kosovo institutions in so many cases: diplomas, sanitary inspections etc.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous19:19

    I think EW won't decide whether to cooperate with JU or not. I suppose it will be a requirement

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous20:01

    Don't bother, thank you.

    ReplyDelete