Restrictions lead to boom in Israel - Serbia air travel


El Al will inaugurate scheduled operations between Tel Aviv and Belgrade later today, becoming the third Israeli carrier to maintain services between the two cities. As a result, a record number of flights will be maintained amongst the two countries in the coming period. Just today, a total of four flights will run from Israel’s largest city to the Serbian capital. Throughout November, El Al, Israir and Arkia will bring Israeli tourists to Belgrade, whose choice of holiday destinations has dwindled to a handful of countries. Israeli visitors do not require a PCR test to enter Serbia, nor do they have to quarantine upon arrival back in their home country, which has proven a drawcard for travellers who recently went through a second state-wide lockdown. 

El Al, which will maintain six weekly services to Belgrade with its 175-seat Boeing 737-900ER aircraft, has been selling out seats on the new route. The first two flights to the Serbian capital have been sold out in both business and economy class, while few seats are available for the rest of the week. El Al will run services from Tel Aviv to Belgrade from Sunday through to Friday, while return flights will be maintained from Saturday through to Thursday. El Al does not operate any flights on Shabbat, between sundown on Friday and sundown on Saturday, meaning its aircraft will spend over 24 hours in Belgrade between Friday afternoon and Saturday evening. The airline previously ran just a handful of flights to Belgrade, between August and September 1990 with a Boeing 767, as well as between March and June 1992 with a Boeing 757. 

El Al B737-900ER

Over the past month, Israeli nationals have topped the number of arrivals and overnight stays in Belgrade, with the trend expected to continue. Today sees Israir also operate two flights to the Serbian capital, as well as one rotation by Arkia. Last year, a total of 89.540 passengers flew between the two countries, up from 88.324 in 2018. Despite a significant surge in the number of Israeli tourists visiting Serbia over the past month, Air Serbia has not resumed its operations to Tel Aviv or put tickets on sale, however, Belgrade Airport has indicated the service could be restored during the month. Serbian citizens, like all other foreigners, are not permitted to enter Israel at the moment.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    Probably the only city in Europe with 3-4 flights from Tel Aviv per day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      +1
      Tomorrow three flights - Arkia, Israir and El Al.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:46

      Impressive considering the circumstances.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:52

      All this is because of the pandemic. Let's see if this trend will continue afterwards. OTP definitely holds the reign.

      Delete
    4. Nemjee10:00

      I wouldn't say it's just because of the pandemic. Tickets between BEG and TLV have been rather high for a long time. Did you know Serbian pilgrims as well as the officials of the Serbian Orthodox Church fly to the Holy Land from either TSR or SOF? I guess even more will shift to SOF now that TSR lost their Wizz Air link with TLV.

      OTP on the other hand doesn't have a serious competitor anywhere nearby so people are more or less forced to fly from there. Craiova is a small airport and so is Constanta. Sofia is not close and neither is KIV.

      BEG-TLV market needs someone to disrupts it. Unfortunately I don't think LY is the airline to do it. They are more likely to form a duopoly with JU the same way OS did on BEG-VIE.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:40

      Just checked that OTP has VAR nearby. There are year round flights with Wizz and many charters in summer.
      If there is so much demand then why not consider INI-TLV?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:41

      There are year round flights from Belgrade to Tel Aviv too.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:59

      No one said there are no flights from BEG to TLV.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:07

      There is huge potential between BEG and TLV

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:36

      We need FR for that.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:51

      Are you implying JU with 35.000 RSD can't stimulate the market?

      :D

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    This is great to see in these difficult times. The city center is really packed with Israeli tourists. And you can finally see hotels filling up thanks to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:00

      I just walked through Kalemegdan. It's full of Israeli tourists.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:08

      True that. I went to the downtown yesterday, not knowing any of these news and was like wtf, what's with all the Israelis :))
      Now, this explains it all.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous18:20

      True dat.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:02

    Who would have thought

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:07

    Nice!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:08

    Flights to Israel, Turkey, US and Switzerland currently performing the best from BEG.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:12

    Good luck with the new flights.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:16

    Wonder if they will park the plane at a remote stand after its arrival on Friday until departure on Saturday night or will they keep it at the gate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:17

      My guess is they will park at the gate and then after passengers disembark they will tow it to the stand.

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:38

      I saw Arkia's A321neo parked at either B1 or B2 so I suppose LY will do the same. It's also a convenient location because of extra security measures. For example in FRA and at US airports, a military vehicle has to escort LY planes. I know JU's TLV flights have airport security at the airbridge checking everyone that goes in and out of the plane.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:47

      There are also special checks at check in.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:16

    Nice development. But I got to ask how can El Al be profitable if they don;t fly for 24 hours anywhere each week?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:24

      It isn't profitable. Their CEO cited exactly that as the reason they can't be profitable.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:25

    What is Air Serbia waiting for? Why don't they launch flights?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:33

      I'm assuming all the tour operators in Israel are working with Israeli airlines. So there is not too many passengers they can get.

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:39

      For the same reason Turkish Airlines isn't operating AYT-BEG in summer. Sales are made by local tour operators and they have better ties with Israeli airlines.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:59

      And that's why most major global cattiers still have representative offices across the world, so they can develop their sales network. Can't do that through a website. But many modern and hip CEOs think rep offices are used purely for ticket sales and nothing more which is a big misconception.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:46

    Gate A5 for LY today, I guess A4 will be left unoccupied for security reasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:47

      Wonder if they get a water cannon salute.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:39

      Hope so :)

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:06

      For sure!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous15:04

      They got water salute :)

      Delete
    5. Anonymous16:56

      Any pics?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous19:03

      https://youtu.be/7FhBFXUtwFI

      Delete
    7. Anonymous19:04

      https://www.instagram.com/tv/CHDN6jFJ3fg/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

      Delete
    8. Anonymous19:19

      Nice :)

      Delete
  11. Anonymous10:32

    Today 4 flights only from Tel Aviv to Belgrade. Ljubljana has the same number of flights yesterday and today.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous11:03

    Excellent result for BEG in these difficult times!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous11:10

    Ouch...not!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous11:25

    Apart from 1990 and 1992 flights, there was an airlift for thousands of Maccabi fans for the 1977 basketball Euroleague final in Belgrade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:37

      What equipment was used?

      Delete
  15. Anonymous13:14

    El al touching down in BEG in around 30 minutes :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee13:17

      I think it's the same B739 that operated the historic TLV-DXB flight.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:30

      Yep, that's the one

      Delete
  16. Anonymous13:56

    Landed! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous13:58

    Three flights tomorrow

    11.10 6H A320
    12.25 IZ A321
    14.15 LY B739

    By the way right now there are two Israeli planes on ground, IZ A321neo and LY B739. Gates A3 and A5.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Unfortunately, seems this will be short-lived. Israel has moved Serbia (as well as Italy, Germany, Latvia, and Lithuania) to it's red list, meaning that Israelis need to go into quarantine on return.

    https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/uae-canada-greece-and-more-countries-added-to-list-of-green-countries-647465

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:58

      Serbia
      Status Update
      The status of this location will change to Red on 8.11.2020 00:00

      https://www.gov.il/en/Departments/DynamicCollectors/green-red-countries?skip=0&destination=serbia

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:36

      List will be revised on 09.11.2020 so let's hope they reconsider. It's been a few days since that announcement came out and LY has since extended their flights to March.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:49

      Its not about considering, its about number of cases.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous16:55

    Anyone have El Al's schedule?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:02

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/p/el-al-tel-aviv-belgrade.html

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:15

      Thanks!

      Delete
  20. Anonymous22:39

    Arkias loadfactor on ALL of their Belgrade flights is 100 percent, still they now have a big fat problem if flights have to cease because of new guidelines .

    Flights on them are bookable only till thursday, hope they can turn things around !
    Otherwise it could wreck the company, the same with El Al and Israir ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee06:49

      Exactly, they put Greece on the green list but cases have been rapidly growing there right now. On top of that, major restrictions are being put into place so I don't see why Greece as a holiday destination would appeal to Israelis under these conditions.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous00:14

    Welcome El Al :)

    ReplyDelete

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