Serbia - Canada in “advanced discussions” over flights


The Canadian Ambassador to Serbia Kati Csaba has said the two countries are in advanced talks over the introduction of flights between Belgrade and Toronto, despite the coronavirus pandemic. Ms Csaba met with Serbia’s Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, last week where the two discussed the potential service as well as improving relations. “Enterprises from Canada have recognised Serbia as a good destination for investment in the energy and mining sectors. Economic ties would be further advanced with the introduction of nonstop flights between Belgrade and Toronto, which both sides are rigorously working on”, Ms Csaba said. She added, “These nonstop flights are of vital importance both for relations between Canada and Serbia to continue improving. as well as for the Serbian diaspora in Canada, which represents a significant link between our two countries”.

Serbia and Canada signed a new Air Service Agreement in late 2018, paving the way for flights. At the time, Ms Csaba said services would begin in either 2019 or 2020. “The Embassy is in talks with Air Serbia so we can gauge their interest and we believe the route has great potential. There is a large Serbian diaspora in Canada, but these flights would also be very useful for the business community”, the Ambassador said two years ago. This February she noted services could begin “one of these days”. Toronto's Pearson Airport confirmed in 2018 that it too held talks with Air Serbia over the resumption of flights between Belgrade and Canada's largest city. "We will continue to work with Air Serbia to find an opportunity to add Toronto Pearson as one of their newest travel destinations", the airport said.

Flights between Serbia and Canada were last operated eleven years ago by leisure carrier Skyservice, which has since gone bankrupt. During the 1970s and 1980s, JAT Yugoslav Airlines maintained services from Belgrade to Toronto and Montreal. Air Serbia’s predecessor, Jat Airways, conducted a study in late 2005 based on which it estimated it could carry up to 83.000 passengers to Toronto annually. The airline anticipated an average cabin load factor of 74% on a Boeing 767 and believed the flights would appeal primarily to diaspora travellers, as well as transfer passengers from the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, western Romania, southern Hungary and the Middle East. The Serbian government recently said Air Serbia may use lower aircraft leasing rates to acquire an additional jet, although it did not specify the type.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    Paging YU-ARB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      I truly wish:) But if ARB won't come, ARA will do for now too:)

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:04

    Toronto has huge ex-yu and Albanian and Bulgarian diaspora. I hope Air Serbia sees the potential in these flights.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    There are rumors Air Serbia will return YU-ARA and lease out two A330-200s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      If they were to take a second A330, it would make sense to perhaps launch another US city and Toronto.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:11

      Not true, the lease was renewed with a 50% discount.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:05

    This would be really good news for BEG.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:06

    The major issue with YYZ from BEG is seasonality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:11

      And JFK isn't?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:15

      Not to the same degree.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:17

      I actually think Toronto could perform better than NY.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:06

    Good signal from the embassy. I really hope flights meaterialise sooner rather than later.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:07

    What combinations to passengers from Canada primarily use to reach BEG and vice verse?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      I guess LH Group and AC

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:46

      A lot of people go via Amsterdam and Stockholm.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:48

      LH is way too expensive. The best deals (in normal times) are available via tourist agencies selling AC/JU via carious European cities.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous21:18

      Most people (including myself) that I know (friends, family) book via Air Canada / Star Alliance as those tend to be the best rates. Normally it's via Frankfurt, but Zurich sometimes too.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:07

    I hope this materializes. It would be fantastic to be linked with Canada in addition to USA.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous09:09

    They should really capitalize on the opportunity that most western airlines have reduced operations to Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:11

    Air Serbia really needs to join one of the three major alliances if they want more North America flyers and destinations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      Agree!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:16

      Any alliance would be more than welcome. In that way JU would widen network and more important get access to more business class travellers willing to pay premium prices.

      Delete
    3. Nemjee10:07

      I think JU needs a codeshare with B6 more than it needs to become part of an alliance.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:12

      They tried but they couldn't get it.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:13

      Not only business travel- in normal times, JU has/had a lot of competition and all other factors for private travel (comparable price, connecting times, etc) aside, collecting miles would be an additional bonus to decide to fly with JU.
      So yeah, why hasn't JU joined any alliance yet?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:09

      @ Nemjee - any improvement would be more than welcome but alliances & FF are quite important in US/Canada market. Whole miles/hotels/credit card combo is on another level comparing to Europe.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:11

    US, then Cañada, then China. GoS is doing the right thing

    ReplyDelete
  12. Aftakana09:13

    I would claim that Serbian diaspora in Toronto naturally shrank. The millenians population is starting to marry outside of Serbian community. The truth is the ties dieing off.

    Besides stated above, Canada simply discriminates Serbs and Macedonias with its visa policies. I live in Toronto and travel to Belgrade often times, Turkish gets everything done without transiting through Europe as a bonus part.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:24

      So horrible to hear! Why would they do such a thing? Isn't Trudeau pro-international? How many Serbs are there approximately in YYZ?

      Delete
    2. Aftakana09:33


      There are tops 15 000 - 20 000 around 100kms of radius. I would estimate that only 1/3 comes to church or truly practices Serbian traditions. If you look at the stats, an average Serbian from Ontario travels to Serbia every 5-7 years. Than, there is a corona effect. We did not have the flights in the last 30 years, why do we need them now?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:33

      I'm sorry Aftakana but you are full of crap.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:34

      People would travel more if there was a nonstop flight.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:29

      Thanks, Aftakana. 15,000 for YYZ only is not bad. I think after nearly 3 decades, people change and those traditions just fade away. Is there any Serbian school in Toronto?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:13

      .. because going to church and "practicing serbian traditions" is a metric for being Serbian, in Canada or anywhere else.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous22:02

      Well for those who do not practice it are the same ones who barely speak Serbian and who would rather go to Punta Cana than to their grandparents' village.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous01:36

      Trudeau is pro-international. These are visa laws from prior to him being in power.

      Aftakana - everything you said is WAY off. Why does going to church make someone a Serb? I have been into all of the Serbian churches in Toronto as well as most in the Toronto area. It's no wonder people do not go to them. I always leave with a bad taste in my mouth. The priests are corrupt and have an attitude and on top of that people are disrespectful to each other.

      These flights would do VERY well, especially with Macedonians. They have such a hard time finding decent connections to Skopje from here.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous03:41

      saying that there are just 15-20 K serbs in and around toronto is complete bs. if you do not need direct YYZ-BEG there are THOUSANDS of people that NEED that flight. that comunity shrank and losing ties is another bs. that people travel once in 5-7 yrs is HUGE BS. unbeliveable amount of crap said.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:16

    Good news. I hope some serious discussions with JU have started. It will benefit the Serbian diaspora.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:19

    A market they could get quite a lot of feed from for YYZ is Macedonia. That is if they offer some competitive prices and good connections.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:37

      its hard to compete with TK

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:37

      At the moment, not really.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:20

    A codeshare with Air Canada would be very beneficial and would guarantee more passengers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:24

      Air Canada codeshares with Lufthansa to Belgrade.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:31

      True they are Star Alliance.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:48

      But JU and AC have an interline agreement to my knowledge.

      Delete
    4. AC codeshare with JU in FRA, ZRH, LHR , and often in other seasonal destinations in EU. Lots od people use LOT as they offer chepest airfare that includes 2 bags to BEG. I am a travel agent and even during corona we had large amount of people traveling between 2 countries . Market is definitely there, AC or WJ codeshare/ interline agreement would increase load factor .

      Delete
    5. WJ codeshare is a great idea. They can offer great routes to connect to in North America and Cuba/Mexico.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:24

    Would starting a new long haul route in the middle of a pandemic make sense?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      Sometimes a crisis provides an opportunity. Plane leasing rates are down, airport slots are available, airport costs are down. Perhaps they could get a good deal. Look at how well New York is performing despite the virus.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:25

    This route would be good for cargo too.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous09:28

    what about Chicago (ORD)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:30

      I wonder if there would be any chance of securing rights to do BEG-YYZ-ORD-BEG (obviously without the rights to sell tickets on YYZ-ORD). If they combined the two destinations they could have outstanding loads and good yields.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:40

      Linking the two defeats the purpose as there still would not be nonstop flights to either.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:28

      Triangle route?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:58

      Triangle routes are thing of the past. Two sets of airport fees on one side with heavy pressure on the ticket prices on the other.

      Regards,
      Eight

      Delete
    5. JATBEGMEL12:00

      you dont typicaly get good yields out of triangle, one stop routes. You begin to lose your competitive advantage to other non stop carriers. For those connecting in BEG, the flight becomes a 2 stop itinery. Besides that, scheduling could mean the arrival back to BEG misses a departure wave increasing transit time, while crew would probably need to be layovered twice rather than once, increasing their time away from base.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:30

    It's actually quite interesting how the region is moving once again with the long hauls. Serbia now advocating for a second North American route. The new Bulgarian carrier Gullivair just formally requested 3 weekly SOF-JFK slots last week and there are rumours that DL is returning to OTP. Finally more connections to the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JATBEGMEL12:03

      Will be interesting to see if Gullivair goes ahead with it. BH Air also had an A330, intentions to fly to JFK and never went ahead with the flights.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:38

    At the moment it's not possible to enter Canada without 14 day quarantine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:39

      The route obviously would not launch tomorrow.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous09:40

    JU should launch 3 weekly in summer season, and 2 weekly in winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:53

      YYZ would do well even up to 4 flights a week summer time

      Delete
  22. Anonymous09:40

    Can Air Serbia make NYC and Toronto work with 1 plane?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:41

      No

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:42

      In winter yes, but in the summer they can't.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:57

      well technically they can, but that means that aircraft would be flying consecutive seven days weekly with the extremely tight schedules and layovers.
      JU can perform during summer JFK 4/5 and YYZ 3/2 times weekly. But if one huge delay happens then there’s a real trouble. Two A330s would automatically be a relief, but acquiring an additional aircraft during pandemic is highly questionable. Let’s just see what happens next :)

      Delete
  23. Anonymous09:41

    Lift visas please. The Canadian visa processing in Vienna for Serbian citizens complicates everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:44

      Serbs need visas to the US too but flights to New York are operating a 5 per week and loads are good.

      Delete
    2. Aftakana09:53

      Different economies, countries you name it. You are not realistic.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:58

      Getting US visa is not that difficult anymore. One just needs a proper set of papers to support the return (regular employment, decent salary, etc) and it is stamped. I got 10 year visa and at the time, didn't even have the finalized idea when I would be travelling to US or for how long. Told the lady that I don't want to make a fuss if I decide to travel on short notice. Most of my friends also have it, renew it, and travel to US only occasionally, when the plane ticket is discounted.

      Rgds, Eight.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:25

      I had the same experience. US visa is granted easily. But for Canadian visa they take your passport and send it to Vienna and they even ask for documents like proof you served military service and stupid things like that.

      Delete
    5. JATBEGMEL21:10

      JU has been fairly ok on JFK, problem is the one aircraft one route doesnt work for them in the winter. Another issue was the high lease rate, which has now halfed, saving them a couple of million (roughly equivelent to 1/4 of JU's overall loss for 2019). I think with a couple of widebodies, the issue of needing subsidies to sustain their long haul ops will no longer be needed.

      As for the demand, I dont believe that the Canadian carriers were taking on many Serbian pax from ZAG. On top of that, these routes are only seasonal, operating for only 3-4 months. Problem would be more of the other carriers, with several options for transfer. However, with the current situation, JU could work it to their advantage and jump in. One competitor in particular, OS is dropping long haul capacity, while LO hasnt had a good start in BUD.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous07:29

      Again people here are hating ZAG because of their jeallousy. Routes from Toronto to Zagreb operate more then 3-4 months.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous09:49

    Ključ uspeha ove linije biće povezanost sa regionalnim letovima ZAG,TIA,POD,SKP...

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous10:01

    This is what Nemjee wrote as a comment this morning in yesterday's trip report

    "BEG-JFK this morning has 10 in business and 225 in economy. There are 66 transfers from Tirana, 17 from Skopje, 4 from Zagreb, 5 from Tivat and so on. Hopefully this good performance continues into the winter season. Most passengers in JFK continue to Tampa, 13 of them."

    I think for these Toronto flights Air Serbia could also benefit a lot from regional traffic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:18

      Those are really good loads, and nice regional feed.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:19

      So much for people who claimed how passengers won't sit in an Air Serbia plane from certain countries because of the company's name.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous10:18

    Great news :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous10:26

    My guess is Air Serbia may consider launching Toronto around Christmas and try to get a second long haul plane by the summer of 2021.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:28

      That would be the best case scenario. Let's wait and see.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:42

      They would need to put tickets on sale soon if they want to do that.

      Delete
    3. JATBEGMEL12:22

      I think itll be a good idea to test out sales during the winter period while they still have the 1 ac, before taking on a second aircraft. In the mean time, use the period to build up awareness of the route in preparation for the busier summer period.

      I guess alot are booking closer towards the departure date rather than in advance due to the situation, as noticed with the JFK increase being announced a month in advance.

      Delete
    4. I would aim for summer 2021 to launch BEG-YYZ. Perhaps a few flights around the New Year's holidays for promotion. If that goes well, they can get a second aircraft for the summer season. ORD could also be tested in a similar way late next year. This is assuming that Covid will be under control by then.

      Covid could be good for JU in the sense that they could capitalize quickly on new and undeserved markets before other airlines do. But who knows, everything is so unpredictable nowadays.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous10:28

    About time.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous10:34

    Why not? This would make absolute sense.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous10:37

    With one A330 this would be suicide. You can not shrink JFK in summer to less than 5 pw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:39

      Obvious they would acquire a second plane. The government hinted at that too.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:43

      Wasn't the government hinting at flights to China rather than Canada?

      Delete
    3. JATBEGMEL12:34

      You could launch both YYZ and PVG at 3 pw each with the additional aircraft.

      PVG departing around 1330 should be back in BEG by 1500, in time for the western European bank, while YYZ departing between 1700 and 1800 should have the ac back in BEG by 1130-1200, fitting well with the regional network.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous10:39

    I will believe it when I see it.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous10:43

    I doubt these flights will start before summer 2021, best case scenario.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous10:46

    BEG's catchment area will greatly help fill these seats.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous10:47

    Can an A321LR fly from YYZ to BEG?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:51

      No, they can't. Too long

      Delete
  35. Anonymous10:52

    They need to get second longhaul plane.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous11:03

    What about landing and handling fees in Toronto? I read somewhere that it is a rather expensive airport to fly into.

    Regards,
    Eight

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:26

      They are high to deter foreign airlines because of Canadian government's protectionist attitude towards Air Canada. But in times of covid, I think those charges will be going down.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:29

      YYZ had just increased airport fees because of Covid... the airport is empty since pandemic started.

      Delete
    3. Airport fees are much cheaper in YWG, maybe its a better option for those linking to YVR and YYC.

      Delete
  37. Anonymous11:26

    Pecalba ekspres

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous11:36

    Still hoping JU considers the 767. The perfect aircraft for North America. The 767-400 series would be ideal because it is still cheap and easy to maintain. Ukraine International still use them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is there any factual/logical reason for 767 over A330 besides your personal affinities? Did you ever fly on either?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:10

      Two widebody types in a small carrier as Air Serbia? Really.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:32

      Yes, I flew from Europe to LIM with LAN 763 and I can tell you right now that this was one of the most enjoyable flights ever. The seats are comfortable and the aircraft is very quiet.
      I have mixed feelings about the A330. Maybe the best experience was with Srilankan Airlines.
      The 764 has the following characteristics:

      243 (16F, 38J, 189Y) or ideally for JU: 296 (24J, 272Y)
      Long range-Maximum: 459–486 kn (850–900 km/h) at altitude of 39,000 ft (12,000 m)
      Range: 5,625 nmi 10,415 km

      And also the cargo capacity is quite decent:
      4,905 ft³ / 138.9 m³

      Here you can see all the details on the official Boeing website:

      https://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/aero_03/textonly/ps01txt.html

      Not to mention that that both DL and UA are currently using it and it will look amazing on the JU livery: https://www.delta.com/us/en/aircraft/boeing/767-400er

      It is also cheaper than the Dreamliner!

      Delete
    4. Without even going to the fact that you want to introduce the 2nd widebody type to JU which doesn't have any pilot licensed for it, and that the one which is about to be sunset by most carriers because it's in a technological sense 10 years behind the A330 family. What about B767 having smaller cargo bay which requires special containers, compared to A330 which can accept standard widebody container. Also, I highly doubt that B767 has quieter cabin to A330. Seats and comfort can be discussed because it's up to carrier to choose the seat type and the layout.

      Delete
    5. And yeah, forgot to add. A330 is cheaper than A350 too :)

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:54

      A350 is quite expensive, but how about the A339? I saw on YouTube that people are quite happy with the experience on TP for instance. Why not look into this type of aircraft for JU?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:21

      Currently everything is expensive for JU. Their current and past operations cannot make money for widebodies. Same as this one A330 which is sustained in JUs fleet thanks to goverment.

      Delete
  39. Introducing direct to YYZ would be amazing and very lucrative as JU would catch transit pax from whole region.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous19:36

    Why Air Serbia didn't start or announce flights for 2019 or 2020 (before covid)? Is the lease rate drop the ONLY reason YYZ is mentioned again? Why is no one mentioning the possibility of Canadian operator starting BEG service one day?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bcs Canadian airlines are hardly able to operate any international flights . Canada is the only country to control their own people and let only listed under essential travel to fly to other countries. They got about 3 airlines operating schedule flights, that shows how airline business there is gouvermant controlled and manipulated .

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:56

      Really, is that so? Are you sure?

      Question about Canadian service to BEG is meant to address post-covid era. Once pandemic is over, what are the chances of one/more airlines from Canada starting flights to BEG.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous23:07

      All three Canadian international airlines are able to operate long haul intl flights.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous01:40

      LaneHotLane doesn't know what they are talking about. All of our international airlines operate long haul flights.

      Canada is *not* the only country restricting travel. And do you blame them? We are in a pandemic. This is not the time to travel if you don't need to.

      Delete
  41. Air Serbia should really get the A321XLR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:12

      A321XLR will have significantly less trip costs but it's not complete replacement for A332. A321XLR is expected to do 4700nm but unlikely under full load, in every weather (like winter westbound against raging jetstream over Atlantic) with alternate and reserve. If Air Serbia expands long haul it might one day want to go to Chicago and Shanghai. BEG-ORD is about 4400nm and BEG-PVG is about 4600nm, both cutting too close for XLR.

      But XLR is AŠP's latest "great white hope" for OU's wet dream of ZAG-JFK, being only 3800nm.

      Delete
  42. With good price i.e 500€ that flight will be full in high season
    A lots of Serbians in Ontario (30-40k) and they tend to travel once a year to serbia.
    However that is not enough Serbia would need to attract Canadians (whoever they are) to come to serbia for something

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.