Five carriers restore Belgrade operations


Five foreign carriers are in the process of restoring services to Belgrade, as the airport’s number of flights declined 52% over the weekend when compared to last year’s values, making it one of its better results since the pandemic began. As previously reported, over the past two weeks, LOT Polish Airlines, Aeroflot and Israir have resumed flights, with Tunisair to recommence operations today after seven months, followed by Arkia Israeli Airlines over the coming weekend. The Polish carrier is currently maintaining four weekly services from Warsaw, while Aeroflot runs two weekly rotations. The latter is expected to begin ticket sales for the route for the upcoming winter season during next week, once it receives approval from the Russian government.

Israir has ramped up its operations from Tel Aviv to the Serbian capital to daily after Israel dropped the country from its travel restrictions list in mid-September. It will be joined by Arkia Israeli Airlines on October 17, which will maintain three weekly services. As of today, Tunisair will restore operations between Tunis and Belgrade with its Boeing 737-600 aircraft, making it its first flight on the route since March 17. Services will run once per week, as has been the case in previous years over the winter months. In addition to the five aforementioned carriers, other airlines currently serving Belgrade include Air Serbia, Air France, Air Cairo, Austrian Airlines, Belavia, easyJet, Etihad Airways, Flydubai, Lufthansa, Montenegro Airlines, Pegasus, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Qatar Airways, Swiss and Wizz Air. 

In a statement, operator VINCI said, "The decision to open the borders at the end of May helped traffic to recover. Further encouraging signs include the continued improvement, month after month, in passenger numbers (down 84.1% in July compared to 69.7% in September). Across the full third quarter, passenger numbers at Belgrade airport fell 77.7%".

Percentage of cancelled Belgrade Airport flights on weekly basis

However, the airport will see several airlines temporarily suspend their services in the coming weeks. Air France will not serve Belgrade over the winter, while Etihad will operate its last flight between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade tomorrow before a six-week hiatus. Furthermore, easyJet will not run any services to the Serbian capital in November and will resume its operations from Basel, Berlin and Geneva in December. Meanwhile, both Aegean Airlines and Alitalia have announced they will not be restoring their respective flights to Belgrade from Athens and Rome before the start of the 2021 summer season. Dutch low cost carrier Transavia plans to return to the Serbian capital in mid-December. Changes remain possible. In addition, frequencies have been significantly reduced on almost all operational routes when compared to last year.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    Decline of 69% in September is not that bad at all considering the results other airports in Europe had that month.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:04

    After all Belgrade is weatering this storm quite well.

    Is any of ex-yu airports on approx. 50% of last year's traffic?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:05

    Anyone know what aircraft Arkia will send? I suppose they will start with E95 but I remember in the psat they used to send B753. Israir is selling flights for $170 without luggage which is a really good price.

    Nice to see non-Western demand in BEG recover first. Definitely an interesting development.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:17

      The thing with Israeli flights turned out quite good. I wrote yesterday the reason there are so many flights. These are tour groups many of them originally destined to other countries. Israel is in lockdown but everyone who purchased flights/packages before the lockdown started can travel. Since Israelis can't enter most countries, as soon as Serbia was deemed safe by Israel tour operators rebooked everyone to BEG. They stay at Metropol. Last night I passed by the hotel and for the first time since March there were actually many lights on in the rooms.

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:20

      Same here, I noticed Metropol was open once again which is great! It was horrible seeing such a big hotel all dark. So how does that work? Who do these agencies in Israel contact in order to re-book their passengers for holidays in Serbia? Do they contact airlines directly as well as hotels here or do they need some special permit first?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:47

      I'm not really sure how the process works. What I know is that Israeli tour operators originally planned to resume tours to Belgrade in November. For example there were a lot of groups planned in this period to Croatia but then Israel dropped it off its safe list. I'm guessing anyone who had packages booked and were offered an alternative wanted to go. The other option is sitting locked up in your house in Israel

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:45

      I'm guessing it will be an Embraer. Before Israir stopped flights to Croatia in mid September they operated one flight to Dobrovnik with an ATR!

      Delete
    5. Anonymous00:39

      They no longer have the 757, so most likely the E195 will be assigned. They are left with only 2 A321neoLR and 3 E195's.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous06:36

      Such a shame, it was so cool having their B753 in BEG!

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:07

    Nice to see Tunisair back. Are Serbs allowed to enter Tunisia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      I suppose so since they started selling package tours.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:45

      Nice I didn't see that

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:57

      Yikes! How long did that flight last?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:22

      Four and a half hours!

      Delete
    5. Anonymous13:30

      Must have been lovely in a noisy ATR.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous16:14

      Once I flew on JA to RHO from SJJ and that was hell.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:11

    Encouraging news!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:15

    It's far from good but some improvement is obvious if numbers in September declined below 70%. And all this despite ban on entry into EU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:17

      I think charters helped a lot plus some tourists like Turks.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:21

      +1

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:47

      Don't forget flights to Montenegro restarting which had a huge impact.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:41

      Switzetland easing restrictions also had a big role.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous16:12

      If there was no ban, not only would there be more passengers but Wizz Air would have went ahead and carried out their expansion from BEG. Imagine what a difference to the numbers that would have made.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:17

    Seems like SU has good advance bookings:

    15.10 A321
    17.10 B738
    22.10 A321
    24.10 B738

    I pray that with such increase in capacity they might add more flights and that traffic will resume especially since we need Russian tourists more than EU aid right now! They were big spenders and filled a lot of hotels in Belgrade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:32

      I was surprised to read that Air Serbia does not plan to restore flights to Russia before 2021.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:34

      what matters is that market doesn't suffer. If JU doesn't want to operate then there are others who want.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:50

      Because Serbians who mostly fly with Air Serbia can not enter Russia at all.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:48

      Loads must be better than expected since there were flights scheduled with Sukhoi planes.

      Delete
    5. "Seems like SU has good advance bookings:
      15.10 A321
      17.10 B738
      22.10 A321
      24.10 B738"

      These are flights from Moscow or Belgrade? It is not possible to buy a ticket from Moscow on the aeroflot.ru website, but vice versa!?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous06:39

      You can buy tickets on their website but only for October since they still didn't start selling their winter timetable.

      Delete
    7. The winter flight schedule is pointless at the moment, because I wrote about a specific 4 flight in October.
      The meaning of my post is that tickets for the stated dates, for these four flights, Moscow - Belgrade, can NOT be bought on their website!
      It is possible to buy tickets only for the flights Belgrade - Moscow, for the specified 4 dates.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:06

      It is not "specified 4 dates". They have been selling all throughout October. They started at the start of October and will continue. You can't buy tickets from Moscow because Russia does not allow travel to Serbia BUT the government is discussing adding Serbia to the approved list from late October i.e winter season.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous14:51

      Aeroflot will continue with 2 weekly flights for Belgrade, because Russia officially opened borders with Serbia. Now you can find flights for winter schedule too

      Delete
    10. OK, maybe You're right! But, on the official www.aeroflot.ru still can't buy tickets from SVO to BEG!

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:24

    I expect real boom around New Year because Serbian hotels will be ready and in better shape than in some other countries. They started their recovery much faster and will be more competitive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:48

      It depends what the virus situation will be like around New Year.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:24

    LOT seems to be sticking with the 4 weekly flights which is good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:56

      But they suspended the planned Budapest flights.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:58

      They suspended their entire Budapest expansion, not just Belgrade.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:03

      Not true, they started seasonal Dubrovnik flights and flights to Seoul.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:07

      That was during the summer. Now it's a different story. All planned year long routes have been cancelled - Brussels, Bucharest, Belgrade, Prague, Stuttgart and Sofia. New York also cancelled.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous19:53

      Now and during winter season they fly from BUD to WAW (two daily), WRO (one weekly) and ICN (one weekly). All other flights are suspended. For now they are supposed to resume in spring, but that obviously depends on covid situation.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous21:32

      This is a big chance for JU to take over some JFK market from BUD.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:24

    Small steps but good to see some positive news for a change.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:27

    Had EU opened it borders decline would probably have been 60% instead of 69% in September.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:11

      Considering the situation in the EU at the moment, better that they don't reopen them.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:05

      Anyone with a valid residence permit in the EU can enter as they wish. I doubt Serbs living in Serbia make the majority of pax flying to the EU. Same with Australia. Their borders are closed for foreig nationals, but Serbs with an Australian citizenship can fly as they wish, which is then also the biggest group flying there.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:14

      ^ complete nonsense. Anyone with Australian citizenship in Australia CAN NOT leave Australia. Only way you can leave is if you send in an application on compassionate grounds and government approves it. So far since March only 3000 of these have been approved. So before you publish rubbish as fact, check your information. As for Australians returning to Australia, they are allowed to but arrivals to Australia by planr are limited at 6.000 per week! You also have to go into strict 2 week hotel quarantine (unable to leave the room) and you have to pay for it.

      Regarding EU many EU citizens or residents are required to quarantine after visiting Serbia which is not viable for people that work. Again, check your facts. You are very poorly informed.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:46

      What in the actual... Most pax on EU bound flights have EU passports or resident permits? Where do you get this from? Ever heard of tourism, visiting relatives? Some people here... Not everyone has a passport to spare (or several).

      Delete
    5. Anonymous16:43

      Yeah like, the BS some commentators spew out here is mind boggling.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:28

    You can't save all markets at once but some things you definitely can shown by BEG! I also noticed that LH upgraded many flights from A319 to A320.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:28

    Israir has more flights to BEG then it had before the pandemic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jatovac10:05

      I have also seen that, 1 or 2 per day

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:47

      Hopefully LY comes soon

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:58

      Don't they codeshare on JU's flights?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:23

      They do or they did. Not sure if it is still valid.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous13:24

      http://telaviv.mfa.gov.rs/newstext.php?subaction=showfull&id=1459331736&ucat=19&template=Headlines&

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:28

    Why doesn't Air Serbia resume Tel Aviv?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      Because there would be no one to carry. The Israeli airlines do well because all the tour operators have passengers booked with them. There is pretty much no one else flying between the two countries at the moment. Serbs can enter Israel without restrictions but there is a lockdown there at the moment.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:35

      SAme reason why Turkish carriers don't fly from Antalya to BEG

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:01

      Air Serbia plans to start Tel Aviv on Nov. 1.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:29

      A few weeks ago it was 16th of October :(

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:03

      I doubt they'll be back before June 21.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:05

      Don't be so sure. Who would have thought Israir would be flying more frequencies to Belgrade then ever before.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:39

    Looking at the graph, seems like in late September flights were down below 50%.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:40

    It is of paramount importance for BEG to increase its connections with the rest of the world while EU remains closed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:44

      But that's what's happening now. Hopefully they bring back KRR once Russia opens up.

      Delete
  17. If i am not wrong with my math it means that Airport Belgrade for first 9 months is down 68,74%.
    Jan-403145
    Feb-356729
    Mar-163568
    Apr-5894
    Maj-9666
    Jun-69086
    Jul-116937
    Avg-164010
    Sep-196042
    Tot 1485077 vs 4751916 (2019 01-09)
    Not bad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:55

      If you consider there is travel ban into the EU, handling over 100,000 passenger in July and August isn't all that bad, especially since the second wave of corona was at its peak during that month in Serbia.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:04

      The numbers in JAN and FEB were impressive. Shame the year turned out like this.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:04

      So BEG had some 110.000 more passengers in September than Budapest. Nice!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:26

      Not that difficult since Hungary's borders are closed. Can't compare apples and oranges.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous13:57

      Exactly!

      Delete
    6. Anonymous16:16

      Doesn't matter, they still had some 80.000 passengers. Now it's Belgrade's turn to thrive.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous20:05

      Thrive with FKB and HRG?

      Delete
    8. Anonymous20:19

      You obviously didn't read today's article

      Delete
    9. Anonymous20:55

      I was referring to the comment about BEG having more passengers than BUD and was asking is that because of FKB and HRG?

      Delete
    10. Anonymous20:59

      Belittle all you like... Might be bacuse of the 6 daily flights to Zurich as well

      Delete
    11. Anonymous21:06

      Thanks for the clarification about ZRH. Hopefully PKX next year.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous06:41

      It's because of charters but also because several airlines had to return to BEG in order not to hand over the market to their competition. Turkey started booming quite early, so did Israel later on and we've all seen the strong demand for Egypt and Turkey... even now in October. LCA is also a great boost so it's a combination of many things.

      Oh and let's not forget JFK as well.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:54

    Hope things keep improving

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:55

    It is good to see that airlines are returning.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous09:56

    Fingers crossed.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:56

    Things would improve much quicker if the EU travel ban was lifted.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous09:56

    I see that Air Serbia is still operating charters to Antalya and Hurghada. Some on an almost daily basis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:58

      Yes

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2020/09/air-serbia-extends-charter-operations.html

      Delete
  23. Anonymous09:58

    The number of airlines flying to BEG isn't that bad actually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:59

      Taking in consideration the circumstances and that Serbians can't enter most of the EU, it is very good

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:02

    To be honest, I was expecting much worse numbers.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous10:05

    Any idea how many passengers could be handled by the end of the year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:08

      My guess is around 1.8 million.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous10:12

    Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous10:17

    what was the decline in August?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous11:10

    This is good news!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous11:30

    Let's see what November brings. I'm not so optimistic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:33

      Winter is coming as some say here haha

      Delete
  30. Anonymous11:31

    I'm surprised Norwegian still flies to BEG. They haven't resumed numerous markets in western Europe even.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:33

      It was one of the first post lockdown routes they resumed.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:24

      How many weekly flights will they have in winter?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:07

      Once per week.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:07

      And JU has 2x weekly.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous16:10

      I wonder if Wizz will shift Sandefjord - Belgrade, to Gardermoen now that they are opening a base there.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous16:17

      DY has two weekly flights.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous16:23

      He asked how many flights will there be in winter season, which is 1 weekly.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous11:58

    Good to see things turning for the better a little bit.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous12:07

    The task is now for these airlines to increase frequencies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:27

      Demand is soo limited (with few exceptions). Doubt we will see any frequency growth till April.

      Delete
  33. Anonymous13:29

    "The decision to open the borders at the end of May helped traffic to recover"

    The decision to close airports across the world was complete nonsense in the first place. As we see, infection rate is much higher during second wave but no one is closing their airports for commercial traffic now.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous13:41

    Let's just hope this can continue. I have my doubts.

    ReplyDelete
  35. JU520 BEGLAX14:28

    Grretings fm ZRH. Ex YU mainly BEG SKP PRN are currently belonging to the number 1 destinations in terms of passenger loads fm ZRH, 130-202 pax per flight to ex YU
    To the US there is 15-70 pax ex ZRH. To Middle East 10-70, Passengers, to SIN max 20
    But ex YU leads the numbers together with Greece and Turkey

    Thank you guys for flying so much, at least you bring some life to the empty airports. Its impressing to see how much you are connected to your hometowns, relatives and nations. Keep on flying :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:40

      Wow that's interesting :)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:34

      Who would have thought :)

      Delete
  36. Anonymous18:51

    The Israel - Serbia market, with the biggest potential was also the most neglected one .
    Istanbul had the most direct flights to Tel Aviv i guess 20 daily, btw Turkeys government HATES Israel .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:29

      Let's not forget Ukraine and Turkey (other cities), Southern Italy and Spain, provincial cities such as Valencia, Malaga etc.

      Delete
  37. Anonymous20:47

    Danas je Wizz leteo BEG-SVO-BEG?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ko ће га знати зашто ??

      Delete
  38. Anonymous06:43

    Finally after six, seven months we are getting a first glimpse of a rush hour at BEG. This is tomorrow:

    13.00 JU LCA
    13.00 W6 GOT
    13.10 SU SVO
    13.15 JU JFK
    13.20 JU TIA
    13.30 JU TIV

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous15:44

    Still Serbians are not allowed to enter Russia, Russians are allowed to enter Serbi! Jbg

    ReplyDelete

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