Belgrade secures new flights amid recovery hopes


Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has secured additional flights to markets outside of the European Union, which are beginning to recover at a quicker pace due to fewer entry restrictions and travel requirements for Serbian nationals. A total of 1.981 commercial aircraft movements are currently scheduled from the Serbian capital this April, the highest since the New Year. As of tomorrow, Ukraine’s SkyUp Airlines will commence operations from Kiev to Belgrade, becoming the second Ukrainian carrier to maintain the service. As a result, capacity on the route will outstrip pre-pandemic levels. The two countries signed an intergovernmental agreement this month liberalising air traffic between the two countries.

Israeli carriers are also set to significantly expand their operations with El Al Israel Airlines expected to make a comeback on the Serbian market after filing for slots to operate flights between Tel Aviv and Belgrade from April 12, although tickets are yet to be put up for sale, meaning the service may not materialise from the indicated launch date. At this point, the airline has filed for three weekly rotations on the route. El Al briefly maintained flights between the two cities last November but was forced to end operations after a one-way travel bubble between the two countries ended abruptly. On the other hand, Israir, which was to initially operate a handful of charter flights between Tel Aviv and Belgrade this summer, has now scheduled up to six weekly services from May.

Top ten Belgrade routes by frequency and capacity in April


During April, Air Serbia will restore several of its routes from the Serbian capital and increase frequencies on a handful of other services, while Wizz Air will launch its second new destination for the summer, to Sandefjord in Norway. In a positive development for the aviation sector, Serbia and Greece will today sign a protocol enabling vaccinated Serbian citizens entry into the country from May, while those that have not had their Covid-19 shots will be able to enter with a negative PCR test. The agreement will aid flights between the two countries and ensure summer charters to Greek holiday destinations, which, under normal circumstances, usually count hundreds of operations.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    Interesting that 6 of the top 10 routes are outside of EU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:03

      Not surprising considering the travel restrictions. I mean Slovenia is no longer accepting PCR tests from any non EU country...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:05

      Crazy

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    3. Anonymous09:06

      Probably because EU is closed for Serbian citizens

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:06

      Isn't Slovenia going into a full lockdown from April 1st?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:07

      because they found many fake test results from EX-YU countries (they said that last night)

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:07

      Yes and this new rule applies.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:09

      Number of new cases has been on the rise as well so it's not only about PCR tests.

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    8. Anonymous09:10

      Considering you could barely enter the country anyway, I'm sure they could have done checks for each test if they wanted to.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:20

      These new measures will definitely kill Slovenian civil aviation, well the little that's left.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:29

      why? even until now u needed PCR for most of EU countries ... I got tested 14 times already lol

      Delete
    11. Anonymous09:56

      Because each time there is a lockdown the economy suffers and people can't fly if they have no money.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous10:22

      well believe me people flying at the moment have more than enough money

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    Good, I expected El Al would come back sooner or later.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      I remember last year they introduced a few flights and then immediately increased to 6. Since Israir is adding flights rapidly it can only mean flights are selling really well.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    Was the bilateral air agreement the reason there were no Ukranian airlines operating to BEG in the past?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:45

      Yes only 1 airline from each country could have flown the route.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:05

    Thanks to TK-JU codeshare, Istanbul has become the number one route. How many flights does TK have now?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      They have 10 at the moment and JU just increased theirs from 5 to 7 weekly. IST is good because the flight is short so costs are not that big of a problem.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:09

      Interesting. I guess TK could be back to pre pandemic frequencies in July/August.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:10

      I noticed that there are more and more Turkish tourists in Belgrade now. This is good news. Also they mostly send the A321 which is great. In covid times the A320 was the standard equipment.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:20

      I wish Pegasus could add more flights, they are great.

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    5. Anonymous09:45

      If the bilateral agreement was less restrictive they probably would.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:19

      It's a shame they do operate more charters from the coast to Belgrade.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:06

    Nice to Israir increase flights. They have already put them on sale.

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  6. Anonymous09:06

    Seems like Greece will recognize Chinese and Russian vaccines, distancing itself from the official EU policy. I guess they realized they would lose to Turkey, Egypt and Tunis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      It has a lot to do with tourists from Gulf countries. Greece is very popular there.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:08

      I think Greece is more worried about Serbs than people from the Gulf, over a million Serbs go for holidays to Greece every years.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:11

      INI-AYT was very bad for Greece because south Serbia is a huge market for them. If they move to Turkey then hundreds of thousands of tourists would be lost. Greece was smart. This will make Serbia the 5th country they allowed in.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:00

      @Anon 09:11
      They could loose a couple of thousands tourists at most, not hundreds of thousands.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:12

      Far from just a couple of thousand. Tens of thousands, actually.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:21

      Can't you read? Over a million Serbs visit Greece each year making Serbs the 7th most popular tourist group in Greece. There is a reason why Serbia became the 5th country to be allowed access to the Greek market and why their minister personally came to Belgrade.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:26

      I apologize, in 2019 Serbs were 9th in terms of tourist arrivals to Greece:

      1. German 4.026.000
      2. Bulgaria 3.882.000
      3. UK 3.449.000
      4. Italy 1.553.000
      5. France 1.541.000
      6. Romania 1.378.000
      7. USA 1.178.000
      8. Turkey 1.093.000
      9. Serbia 1.027.000

      So as you can see, Serbs are a pretty important, if not key, tourist group for Greece.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:28

      The agreement has just been signed. All vaccines will be accepted. Effective as of 14th of May.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:37

      Bulgaria second? WTF? :o

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:45

      Bulgaria shares a border with Greece so it's very popular for short breaks to the north of the country, especially Thessaloniki.
      Many from Thessaloniki go skiing to Greece for a day or two.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous15:03

      The data you cite are from wikipedia and are not really trustworthy. Best to look at the offical data from the Greek statistical office at statistics.gr:

      Top touristic arrivals to Greece in 2019 (with at least one night spent at a hotel, similar establishment or campsite):

      1. Germany 2,7 mln (13,9% of all arrivals)
      2. UK 2,7 mln (13,8%)
      3. France 1,5 mln (7,7%)
      4. US 1,4 mln (7%)
      5. Italy 0,94 mln (4,7%)
      6. Russia 0,85 mln (4,3%)
      7. Poland 0,75 mln (3,8%)
      8. Netherlands 0,74 mln (3,7%)
      9. Sweden 0,6 mln (3%)
      10. Romania 0,46 mln (2,3%)

      Serbia is not expressly mentioned, but is under a heading "Other non-EU countries", which as a category has in total 0,58 mln arrivals (2,9%). Expressly mentioned non-EU countries are Russia, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Iceland.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous15:19

      Sorry, one correction: I meant that Serbia is under "other non-EU European countries" as the list covers also other continents. Interesting bit is Japan (0,5% of arrivals), Australia (1,6%), Canada (1,2%) or South America (1,3%) as well as other Asian countries (5,7%). Greece is a touristic superpower.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous15:33

      Somehow I have a hard time believing that that few Serbs go to Greece especially looking at general local statistics.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous15:34

      https://rs.n1info.com/biznis/a571419-vise-od-milion-srpskih-turista-u-grckoj-u-2019.-godini/

      Delete
    15. Anonymous17:30

      Counting only on INI-AYT capacity, it would hardly be more than a couple of thousands, well, let'say 10k. Don't forget that "južnjaci" usually travel by car and Greece is not far away on a good highway.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous17:48

      Nobody says that no Serbs go to Greece for vacations. The whole "other non-EU European countries" includes 580 thousend arrivals in 2019. This is primarily Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania.

      If you think some tv or paper has better knowledge, go and complain to the Greek statistical office.

      Delete
    17. Anonymous17:52

      It's not TV or paper that gave the information it was the Greek Minister for the interor if you bothered to read it!

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:06

    Reopening of Greece will be a relief for Air Serbia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      One of the most important summer markets.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:57

      +1

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:12

    Should be noted there are now more flights to Dubai then there were in April 2019.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:17

      I just wish Flydubai had a nighttime departure from BEG. It would be more beneficial for tourists heading to Dubai.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:33

      Air Serbia should have tries Dubai.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:39

      They can't compete with Flydubai and the rotation is very long.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:27

      Extra departures on FZ from BEG depart at 00.50 with an early morning arrival to DXB.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:44

      It would be ideal if that schedule was for the daily flight.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:18

    Nice to see two legacies return to BEG this year: KLM and EL AL.
    Good thing is that BEG is looking east since in the west the real corona chaos is only beginning. Germany expects close to 100.000 new cases per day after Easter and is considering a new two week lockdown.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      3 new legacy airlines in total. Luxair starts flights in June.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:21

      My bad, forgot about them. Hopefully they do well in BEG.How are the travel restrictions in LUX right now?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:25

      It's better than in the rest of the EU because if you are coming from a third country (non EU) in addition to a negative PCR test you have to do one upon arrival. If it's negative there is no quarantine. Other than that everyone has to have a negative test to enter Luxembourg (both EU and others)

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:29

      So Serbs can enter Luxembourg? I thought we were banned from the EU.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:31

      No, you can't that's a given. But people with EU residency coming from Serbia in most countries have to quarantine for 10-14 days regardless of the test result. At least in Luxembourg that's not the case and these flights are mainly for the diaspora. Podgorica launch is going ahead in a few days as planned.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:24

    Well done Belgrade!

    They have one of the best managements in ex-Yu

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:40

    Russian market would also perform excellently if more flights were allowed. We now have 2 A330 flights per week between Moscow and Belgrade and Air Serbia is sending its A330 to Moscow more often than not.. I'm sure secondary Russian cities would perform well too if people were allowed to travel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      Thanks to those A330 operations its the reason Moscow is in top 10 for capacity.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:28

      Interestingly SU is sending more and more often their A333, the A332 is not so common any more. Smells like they could get a 4th flight.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:34

      Nordwind also changed their flights to Tuesday.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:43

    The more the merrier.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:47

    I really hope Sky Up will succeed with the new route to BEG. The fares are great and for just a couple of euros more you get 22kg of luggage too. I plan to use these flights to visit Kiev in May. Just hoping they survive by then. Operating B737-800 twice per week might be a bit much on top of Windrose competition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      Serbian citizens can enter Ukraine?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:50

      Yes, with negative test. Which is a requirement everywhere nowadays.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:51

    Fingers crossed

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:51

    Considering the situation having all these new routes is quite an achievement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:52

      Yes! It is good to see that some new routes launching.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:51

    Hope things turn for the better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:53

      If you consider there is travel ban into the EU this isn't all that bad.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:52

    Anyone know BEG pax numbers? How have they been performing?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous09:54

    38 scheduled departures today. Things are slowly improving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:55

      Yes, even tomorrow which used to be by far the worst day with barely 5 flights now has 16.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:57

    So new routes from BEG this year:

    Air Serbia (Geneva), Wizz Air (Hamburg, Oslo), SkyUp (Kyiv), KLM (Amsterdam), El Al (Tel Aviv), Luxair (Luxembourg), Eurowings (Stuttgart), AnadoluJet (Antalya).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:05

      Nice, let's hope they all launch.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:08

      Geneva and Hamburg have already launched and Sky Up is coming tomorrow.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:08

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

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:14

      Taking in consideration all the circumstanes, I think it is great!

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:57

      We will also have ToMontenegro start flights from Podgorica and Tivat :)

      Delete
    6. Anonymous21:58

      You forgot Ellinair. They start Heraklion flights :)

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:58

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:58

      Don't expect that before mid June.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous10:05

    Recovery will be long and hard everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous10:11

    Bravo Srbija!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Aэrologic11:19

    On a side note, while digging through some folders i've found these pictures of BEG airport that few of you have seen.

    It goes back to the very beginning of Jat Airways-Etihad partnerhsip and only few months after Air Serbia was officially created.

    One day we will be remebering those events as history, in the same way we remember the JAT egg livery.

    Enjoy.

    https://vk.com/album11057496_205096413

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous11:24

    At least some optimistic signs. Wish them and the VINCI team all the best.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous11:24

    Seems that the Swiss quarantine orders have taken their toll. Zurich is no longer the busiest route but Istanbul. Interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous11:47

    I have a feeling LY will be sending their widebody to BEG this summer. Europe will be off limits because of covid and Serbia will be one of the few destinations they could visit. Israir flights are a good indication of that.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous11:51

    With Greece officially accepting all vaccinated Serbs from 14.05 I wonder if Aegean will also move their flights to resume earlier than expected. I think many who went to Italy or Spain in the past will go to Greece. I expect BEG-Greece market to explode now.

    God, this is an exciting time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:00

      Their June flights are pretty bad now, you land at 10/11 pm. I hope they load more day flights - this will enable connections to islands.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous11:53

    Greek borders will open from mid-April, tourist season can begin from mid-May. Great news guys!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Nemjee12:17

    Starting from April 1st Cyprus will also open its borders for Serbian citizens. We are placed in the red category meaning we will have to enter with PCR and get tested three days after.
    No more quarantine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee12:19

      Sorry, my bad, PCR is done upon arrival, not 72 hours later.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:58

      Good news. I just think people no longer know where they can travel at all with these rules constantly changing. So hopefully tour operators will be aware and offer it to customers :)

      Delete
    3. Nemjee07:29

      The EU launched an app through which you can track changes in the Union, it's called Re-Open EU and you can find it on Play Store.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous12:46

    Aegean changed their timetable for BEG. Looks like they are focusing on O&D.

    Wednesday
    ATH-BEG 17.55-18.30
    BEG-ATH 19.15-21.50

    Friday
    ATH-BEG 19.05-19.40
    BEG-ATH 20.25-23.00

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:08

      Aegean has (had) many night departures to places in the Middle East, Egypt etc.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:42

      These flights arrive too late, their night flights depart around 22

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:01

      This change was carried out three weeks ago, I hope they revert it or add more flights which will depart during the day.

      Delete
    4. Nemjee07:32

      I also think they will change their schedule because like this they offer connections only in one direction. Then again, the schedule is not bad if you are focusing on locals. A flight on Friday at 20.25 allows many to finish work, go home, get ready and go to the airport. Somehow I think they won't wait for June 2nd to resume flights, I have a feeling they'll move them up to May.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous23:31

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

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