Air Serbia adds second new route in Covid era


Air Serbia yesterday announced the launch of its second new route during the coronavirus pandemic, following the launch of its Oslo service in July 2020. Flights to Geneva, which are scheduled to commence as early as March 1, were initially to launch as part of the carrier’s 2020 summer expansion, which also included cities such as Amman, Rostov-on-Don, Florence, Lviv, and Chisinau, but was shelved due to the global health emergency. The announcement yesterday came just days after easyJet temporarily suspended its Geneva – Belgrade service until March 5, although the resumption date is subject to change. Similarly, Air Serbia’s decision to start services to Oslo also came after Norwegian Air Shuttle temporarily dropped its operations on the route. 

Air Serbia’s General Manager for Commercial and Strategy, Jiri Marek, said the new services are part of the carrier’s strategy to respond quickly to changing market conditions. “We are carefully monitoring all the changes in travel restrictions and demand, trying to act quickly and seize all the opportunities that open up on the market. In July, we already launched a new destination - Oslo, which proved to be an excellent business decision as the Norwegian capital is currently one of Air Serbia’s top five destinations. Additionally, establishing a codeshare partnership with Turkish Airlines resulted in the introduction of daily flights to Istanbul, which have an excellent passenger load factor, exceeding 80%”, Mr Marek said. 

Prior to the pandemic, Air Serbia planned to serve Geneva three times per week but has now opted for a two weekly split schedule, to allow for better connections via Belgrade. The route was the subject of intense competition in 2013 when Etihad Regional, easyJet and Swiss all launched the service, however, in the end, only the budget airline prevailed. Air Serbia’s predecessor, JAT, last served Geneva in 1985, from Ljubljana. Air Serbia planned to introduce Geneva to its network back in March 2018 but cancelled those less than a month later. Entry into Switzerland for the majority of Serbian citizens is currently not permitted.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    Good news from Air Serbia!

    Once again they showed how quickly they react on market changes.

    Hope more similiar news will follow.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:04

    "In July, we already launched a new destination - Oslo, which proved to be an excellent business decision as the Norwegian capital is currently one of Air Serbia’s top five destinations."

    Interesting. Did not expect that Oslo would perform so well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    Is there a chance some other routes from the ones they planned in 2020 will launch?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      This was a major hole in their network. I am sure it will do extremely well with transfers as well. JU seems to be doing really well in Tirana these days, ATR was upgraded to B733 today!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:13

      Except for maybe Rostov in Russia if Russia opens up, I don't see the rest launching this year.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:21

      There was one comment yesterday showing that Cairo is back in JU reservation system although we had here information it will be cancelled.

      And it is really true. In July Air Serbia will be flying 2x weekly BEG-CAI

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:24

      I'm talking about routes that were planned to launch last year.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:28

      I think that any new route not flown at this moment should be mentioned here as in these difficult times each one needs to be counted.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:03

      09:08
      Tirana će raditi još bolje. Od juče građani Albanije mogu u Srbiju samo sa ličnom kartom i obrnuto.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:05

      Can you write in English? I would like to be able to understand. It is an English language site after all.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous16:11

      Albania Serbia friends I love it!
      More connections between the two countries.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:07

    Good news considering almost everyone else is shrinking their network.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:07

    Why did they cancel GVA launch in 2018?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Back then they thought easyjet would suspend the flights because they hadn't put tickets on sale past a certain point. Then easy said it was a technical glitch on their website and a week later tickets were on sale and Air Serbia decided not to compete.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:14

      I think this time again they are hopeful Easyjet will end this route. They probably expect them not to launch flights in March and to push back the resumption date and eventually cancel it.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:18

      I think they are mistaken again if they think easy will give up that easily.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:23

      Yes but this time around easyJet is in a much worse situation, they almost went bankrupt a few months ago.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:12

    Good luck but it will be tough to compete against Easy jet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      What are the fares like? Are they competitive against easy?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:15

      JU's split schedule works in their favor. easyJet flies in the middle of the day.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:24

      easyJet is starts from €34 one way. Before covid they were not that cheap, rarely under €190.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous23:04

      Wow that's cheap. What about Air Serbia? What are their fares like?

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:17

    Would love to get night flights to Istanbul, they would be great for connections.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      Doesn't Turkish have an evening flight from BEG?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:24

      Yes, leaves at 20.20 and arrives to IST at 23.55.
      JU needs a BEG departure at 00.30.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous23:04

      When things get back to normal, JU should definitely open more routes to Turkey.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:21

    Good for P2P and Connecting potential, probably a way to tell DY not to come/stay...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      I think the only airline that count on connecting traffic is Air Serbia. And they seem to be counting on it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:25

      The only one?

      Really interesting.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:28

      Between them and easyjet I meant.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:32

      It is obvious LCC in the most cases do not offer connectionting flights

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:35

      Yes but DY offers connections. You can fly to Oslo with them via ARN as well.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous19:26

      But connections are not a key part of DYs business, so they price them very high. They just add the fares together for BEG-ARN and ARN-OSL. Same if you are continuing on one of their domestic flights beyond OSL; also fare+fare.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous07:15

      That's how all airlines do it, they link fares from various sectors and join them on a single ticket. DY is the same.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous08:49

      Not correct. By legacy airlines their connecting ticket is much cheaper than the sum of 2 single tickets.
      With LCC it is 1+1.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:07

      No one said tickets, he said fares.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:22

    Congrats on the proactive approach.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:23

    I think this is something like 4th attempt to launch GVA.

    As far as I remember first one was at the time when Swissair and Etihad Regional opened GVA-BEG, second one was the story with easyJet and the third one in 2020 stopped by pandemic.

    I hope this one will be finally successful.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:32

    With Wizz Air not bringing back LYS this is great news. Competition is always good and it will keep pressure on easyJet not to increase prices too much like they did in the past.

    It will also put less pressure on Basel and Zurich as people will have more options now.

    I am curious to see what easyJet does in Basel. They seem to be very aggressive compared to Wizz Air over there.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:42

    Well that was a quick reaction to easy.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:43

    Nice!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:43

    I think all these direct flights not just by JU but by others (like Luxair) will mostly impact LH Group airlines in Belgrade. I am curious to see what they do and how they respond.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:43

    I really don't see how this is going to be profitable for them. I realize they introduced this as a reaction to Easy but is it really wise to loose so much money over one route?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:45

      Well as you see, OSL was introduced under the same principle and it is now one of their most successful routes.

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:56

      Because markets are not static, they can grow once you add more seats to them. Air Serbia, unlike easyJet, can offer transfer via BEG like they do elsewhere.
      Do you think places like Tirana do so well because of O&D?

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:51

    Zurich has performed very well for them throughout this crisis. I assume Geneva will do well too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:17

      You are all much too optimistic .

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:11

      His argument is based on actual facts, yours on wishful thinking though last Anon

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:51

    Finally some positive news

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous09:51

    Good news for JU but particularly for people who need to travel.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:52

    Good luck. Hope there is more good news soon.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous09:54

    The positive thing in all this is that Air Serbia is reacting very quickly to these changing conditions on the market which is very important in circumstances like these.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:57

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:57

      it shows that JU is not sleeping despite all the challenges.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:02

      They have been very proactive in the last two years or so in responding to market conditions and competition.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:53

      True. This is something I noticed from them from around the time Adria went belly up.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous10:03

    Good to see slowly some positive developments.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous10:15

    Good to see some growth but it's a drop in the ocean.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:18

      It's a start :)

      Delete
  23. Anonymous10:16

    Nice

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous10:17

    Hopefully they get more transfers from these Geneva flights for their regional routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:30

      It's a gasto heavy route which is not served from most ex-Yu capitals. I'm sure they will.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous10:18

    AS was not profitable w/out Covid crisis ,now loss is huge for all airlines so opening flights does not mean profit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:21

      Just because an airline was not profitable does not mean every route it operated was loss making. Aviation 101.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous10:29

    Love this.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous10:51

    I think under the circumstances they are doing relatively well. They are serving almost 30 destinations from BEG with decent frequencies.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous10:52

    Where is this demand coming from since tourists are still not allowed into Switzerland? Could it be purely diaspora?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:52

      Purely diaspora. There is also pent up demand. Many couldn't visit last summer so they are going now since restrictions are less stringent.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous10:53

    They have been pretty proactive and flexible with adding flights and frequencies if there is demand which is good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:37

      With lots and lots of government money, it is no surprise they can be flexible.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:12

      You gotta spend money to make money. That was the case with LO and BT yet look at them today.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:27

      There are some companies who get the money and do nothing except using it for pure survival and salary payments to its employees.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous11:09

    Izgleda su bukvalno shvatili predsednika "Dobili ste 100 mil. od države i sad morate da budete najbolji u regionu"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:56

      Air Serbia je i do sada bila najbolja u regionu.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous11:36

    Now if they would only do something about their fleet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:55

      They retired two B733 and replaced them with A319. They are already doing something about it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:56

      ATR are a pressing issue in my oppinion

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:56

      *ATRs

      Delete
  32. Anonymous13:57

    If the EU lifted the entry ban and some countries reopened their borders, we would see a lot more flights and frequencies even in this situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:59

      No doubt. But the situation in the EU is so bad at the moment with the virus, maybe it's better that the borders stay closed for some time.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:18

      Well the vaccine can make Serbs immune. Today over 30.000 people were vaccinated against covid which is great.

      Delete
  33. Anonymous14:02

    Good to see they are taking some concrete action in their recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:59

      It will be a long way to recovery.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:02

      At least they started.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous14:02

    The show must go on.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous16:37

    easyJet seems pretty happy about BEG and they have been expanding over the years their presence here. I wonder if as a reaction to this they might introduce ORY or LGW flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:52

      They have been relatively successful. In 2019 they were even hinting of a base in BEG.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:02

      That would have been interesting. Two LCCs with base plus national carrier.

      Delete
  36. Anonymous18:50

    Wonder if we might see some other new routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:54

      Only if some competitor goes bankrupt or decides to suspend their route to Belgrade :D

      Delete
  37. Anonymous20:55

    Nice to read some positive news.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous22:58

    Maybe they should launch Budapest?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:00

      Why?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:10

      I think it would be better if they launched Munich.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous23:16

      I doubt they could compete against LH.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous08:47

      LH does not fly MUC-BEG at the moment

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:08

      They should launch NUE. MUC has FMM as an indirect competitor.

      Delete
  39. Anonymous22:59

    I am positively surprised Oslo is performing so well. Who would have thought.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous23:00

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:01

      According to Air Serbia, Zurich and New York
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2021/01/air-serbia-boosts-zurich-operations.html

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:01

      ZRH, JFK, IST.

      Delete
  41. Anonymous23:06

    What matters is that a total collapse of air traffic was avoided by Air Serbia and now we even see some modest growth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:07

      I agree it could be much worse but their traffic is still down more than 60% compared to last year.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:11

      2019.

      Delete
  42. Anonymous23:06

    This is good as it shows that JU is not sleeping despite all the challenges.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Anonymous14:54

    EasyJet will not allow Air Serbia to succeed on this route. Once they're back on it in March, they will reduce fares so low that JU will hemoredge cash to such an extent that they will likely exit.

    ReplyDelete

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