Air Serbia becomes largest airline in EX-YU this June


Air Serbia will maintain the most flights this June out of all the airlines operating across all former Yugoslav markets. The carrier has scheduled a total of 1.652 flights (return service included) ahead of Croatia Airlines with 1.444 and Wizz Air with 1.220 operations (this includes Wizz Air Hungary, Wizz Air UK and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi). In addition, the Serbian carrier plans to operate a number of charter flights to Egypt, Greece and Turkey during the month. The carrier recently noted the gradual relaxation of travel restrictions has resulted in increased demand, with the airline to restore service to three destinations this week, as well as launch new flights to Rostov. Gradually, Air Serbia plans to reintroduce more routes during the month.

At this point, the airline has 196.304 seats on sale on scheduled flights for this June. Tivat will become the busiest route for the Serbian carrier next month, with 103 flights planned each way between Belgrade and the coastal city and a total of 23.628 seats on sale. In terms of capacity, it will be followed by Zurich, with Switzerland recently relaxing entry requirements for its residents and citizens arriving from Serbia, then Podgorica, Paris, New York, Moscow, Tirana, Istanbul, Athens and Larnaca. Overall, during the month, the Airbus A319 will be the most utilised aircraft type in its fleet with 970 flights, followed by the ATR72 with 550, the A320 with 92 and the Airbus A330-200, which will run a total of forty operations.

The coming month of June will also see Air Serbia restore an additional two routes to Russia and launch operations to Rostov, its fourth destination in the country. Commenting on these developments, Air Serbia’s General Manager for Commercial and Strategy, Jiri Marek, said, “If you want to be a successful regional carrier you cannot concentrate just on the region because if you develop proper frequencies in the region you need to also look at what you will fly beyond the region to offer connections. We serve the majority of the European markets and we were also looking for some niche outside of our natural catchment area. Russia for us is an interesting example of that”. He added, “Not only can citizens between our two countries travel without visas but also, for example, Krasnodar, which was a success story for us in 2019, did not have a lot of connectivity to the region and Europe. At the time, you either had the option to fly via Istanbul or Moscow, where Moscow is in a way a bit of a backtrack. So, Krasnodar turned out as being very successful. That’s why we were planning to launch Rostov in 2020 before Covid, however, we had to cancel that. But now we have been able to announce it, not just because it was in our plans but also because we see immediate opportunities there because operations to Russia are now very restrictive and it is not easy to get permission to fly there. Turkish Airlines, which served Rostov and Krasnodar, with the latest developments had to suspend flights. Recently, Montenegro announced there would be no PCR test required for Russian citizens and Montenegro and Greece have also been popular with Russian tourists. They still can’t enter Italy, France and Spain which were their main markets. So, we saw an opportunity there, designed the schedule so we could connect these flights to Montenegro, Greece and Cyprus and we strongly believe it will work”.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    Good to see they are starting to recover

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Air Serbia always seem to look to the east for some obvious reason. No presence in western Europe. Very much a regional airline and will remain that way unless they can see beyond their traditional roots.

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    2. Anonymous11:45

      Wow what a comment and oh so wrong. The majority of their network is in western Europe. You might want to actually read the article before writing absolute rubbish.

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    3. Anonymous11:50

      Out of the three newest routes they launched in the last year, two are in Western Europe, even though there are entry restrictions in both.

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    4. Anonymous11:58

      JU seems to be balancing between the two sides which makes sense since they are after transfers going between the two sides

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    5. Anonymous18:49

      Why would an airline have to operate exclusively routes in Western Europe or exclusively in Eastern Europe? There is no iron curtain anymore. Certain airlines in the region who do not see anything east beyond their country are on their death bed.

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  2. Anonymous09:01

    Unexpected

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  3. Anonymous09:03

    Croatia Airlines should read the last paragraph.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:46

      +1
      but too busy launching 1 weekly seasonal split-prague.

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    2. Anonymous18:51

      That operates for a grand total of 12 weeks.

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  4. Anonymous09:04

    I think there are several opportunities they should still chase up.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      Such as?

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    2. Anonymous09:06

      I think they could look into Ukraine, potentially expanding operations in the region, long haul and the Middle East where I think there are a lot of opportunities but is a region they have kind of neglected completely.

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    3. Anonymous09:07

      They should have launched ESB years ago.

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    4. Anonymous09:07

      Like where?

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    5. Anonymous09:11

      Amman is a potential destination. Jordan has reopened to everyone, you just do a test on arrival at the airport, get the result in 10-20 minutes and are free. They could benefit from lower European connectivity from/to Jordan at the moment at launch flights. Dubai is another example. It is wide open, Flydubai is doing extremely well on DXB-BEG route but Air Serbia could benefit from connecting traffic in the region and maybe offer even better prices to tour operators.

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    6. Anonymous09:17

      I think they are currently oberving the situation with Minsk and could possibly start flying there.

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    7. Anonymous09:19

      DXB is too far away - one plane would be in rotation for bit less than 12 hours and W6 started flying to AUH with lower prices and A321

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    8. Anonymous09:21

      Plus Wizz is having around 100 passengers from AUH so it's not like they are making a killing. There is no more room with W5 and FZ.

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    9. Anonymous09:22

      100 passengers is a great result considering quarantine requirments in Abu Dhabi which last until July.

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    10. Anonymous09:26

      Isn't there an exception if you are going to Dubai

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    11. Anonymous09:29

      Yes, if you are flying with Etihad, but not with other airlines.

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    12. Anonymous09:30

      Lol that's crazy especially since Wizz has a base there.

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    13. Anonymous09:32

      Entry without quarantine is allowed for country's on Abu Dhabi's green list and there are barely a couple of countries on that list, many of which don't even have flights to Abu Dhabi. But from July they will open to everyone like Dubai.

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    14. Anonymous09:36

      And just to note quarantine applies for Abu Dhabi residents too, so it's not just for foreign citizens. That's why an average of a 100 passengers is great actually.

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    15. Anonymous10:05

      I hope they revisit their plans to launch Amman like they planned in 2020.

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    16. Anonymous10:43

      Does Air Serbia have the aircraft available to launch more new routes? Remember they are also flying charters and there are no Boeing aircraft.

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    17. Anonymous18:52

      They can always lease one. There are many available on the market at affordable rates.

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    18. JATBEGMEL23:24

      Number of destinations are down, so are frequencies and numbers of charters. Looking at the way they are shuffling the departure times of a couple of destinations suggests they have some room for growth.

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  5. Anonymous09:05

    Great news.

    I fully agree with Mr. Marek and wish him to find many more markets like KRR.

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    Replies
    1. Insajder09:22

      Hmm just a small correction, KRR was not Mr Marek's idea ;)

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    2. Anonymous10:56

      I could not know it. Whose idea was it?

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    3. Anonymous11:01

      Why would you need a name and surname... who cares

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    4. Anonymous11:17

      There is a whole department that evaluates possibilities and he just approves them.

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    5. Anonymous11:18

      Which is the case at all airlines across the world...

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    6. Anonymous13:08

      And Mr. Marek is on the top of that team?

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    7. Anonymous19:16

      He is but KRR was proposed before he joined Air Serbia. Just because he has a team under him doesn't mean he should take the credit for everything.

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    8. Anonymous19:19

      Most pointless discussion I have ever read on here.

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    9. Anonymous19:43

      Then don't read it. Personally I don't mind it as it sheds light on the decision making process at JU. It's good to know that it's not a one man show but that there is a system behind it all. Mr Marek has changed many, many airlines in the past. It's likely he will leave JU the moment something better comes along. Good to know JU will remain proactive when taht happens.

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    10. Anonymous19:44

      FYI Mrs Djurdja was responsible for the KRR launch. Unfortunately that nice lady is retired now. Hopefully someone as competent as she replace her. :)

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    11. Anonymous01:12

      Anon@19.44 - I need to correct you. Mrs Djurdja had sales responsibility for KRR. But the person who first suggested it was Mr Nikitovic back in 2017. It was part of the then 5 year network development plan discussions with the network people in EY. It required changes to be made to the Serbia-Russia ASA and only then was it able to be subsequently launched.

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    12. Anonymous01:32

      Should also be noted that all of these people are from the old JAT. Unfortunately Air Serbia used Covid-19 to force everyone from that era to go into retirement.

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    13. Anonymous07:36

      Anon 01.12
      Bottom line it was not Mr Marek who came up with the idea but rather Mr Nikitovic who is his superior. Credit should be given where credit is due. Congratulations to Mr Nikitovic on this phenomenal business idea. Like I said, Mr Marek changed five or six airlines until now, I don't see him staying in JU for much longer. I think he's using this as an opportunity for some better job offer.

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    14. Anonymous08:12

      Anon 01.32. Yes, Mrs Djurdja and Mr Nikitovic were indeed the best ones from old JAT times - especially "Nikita" ... what a gentleman, decent man and a talent he is/was .... his presence will be sorely missed. And if Mr Marek has any ounce of smarts, he will do well to learn from an old fox such as Nikitovic.

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    15. Anonymous08:29

      Did Mr Nikitovic go into retirement? I really hope not, he was such a fantastic person. Very down to earth and with so much experience. I really hope he was valued in Air Serbia because they lacked such talent.

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  6. Anonymous09:06

    Good for them and good for BEG. I think their good relationship with SU is also helping them boost many regional routes. Wish them best of luck.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:53

      More like Russian flight restrictions than Aeroflot.

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  7. Anonymous09:14

    How many seats did they have last June? Seems like they are profiting from Wizz struggling to rebuild their network in Belgrade.
    Germany removing quarantine helped a bit but since then they only increased Dortmund by one to five weekly.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      Comparing to last June is pointless, they had just resumed flying after the lockdowns to a couple of destinations.

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    2. Anonymous09:20

      Germany removed quarantine but only for EU citizens and those having EU residence permit. It is still not allowed to ordinary Serbian passport holders to fly to Germany.

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    3. Anonymous09:22

      I think he meant in 2019.

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    4. Anonymous09:23

      Yes but gastos can travel now and those made the vast majority of passengers on this market.

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    5. Anonymous09:28

      Gastos could have flown all the time.

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    6. Anonymous09:29

      Yes they could and then they had to quarantine on arrival back to Germany for 10 days.

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    7. Anonymous09:31

      From what I read they were removed quarantine for all ex YU except Slovenia and Croatia. Don't know if something changed since then

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    8. Anonymous09:33

      Not all the time.

      Until November 2020 gastos could have flown to Germany where they should make PCR. If it is negative after 24 hours they were free - no quarantine.

      Starting from November last year until May this year they had to go 5 days in quarantine and after this period of time they could make PCR. If it was negative after 5 days they were free to leave the quarantine.

      They had to be 10 days in quarantine only if they did not want to make PCR.

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    9. Anonymous09:34

      Well then you can obviously see how that would impact demand.

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  8. Anonymous09:18

    I'm very surprised at Wizz Air. I mean they fly to every single ex-Yu market yet they have less flights than JU and OU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      Lower frequency

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    2. Anonymous09:22

      Because almost all their routes are just 2 weekly.

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    3. Anonymous09:56

      I think only DTM from BEG has 5 weekly, all others are 1 or 2 weekly. DUS CEO said the other day that bookings are exploding right now so demand is recovering. DTM is not far from there so no surprise why they boosted BEG flights. Strange that the operate this route with A320neo from SKP and not with a plane from BEG.

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    4. Anonymous18:54

      It's the same situation from all ex-Yu markets they serve. 98% of flights are 2 weekly hence the lower number of flights compared to JU and OU.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:24

    Belgrade is holding on really well when you take into consideration that there are 49 departures today compared to 27 at BUD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      I think vast majority of flights to Budapest were for tourists. Did they get JFK back? DL resumed ATH a few days ago.

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    2. Anonymous09:29

      Does Hungary still have strict measures for entering the country?

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    3. Anonymous10:00

      BEG is definitely waking up. Last week they reopened terminal 1 and check in has also started in the middle area between T1 and T2. Until last week, all of it was closed and all check in was done at T2.

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    4. Anonymous10:07

      Please stop comparing Belgrade with Budapest.
      Budapest is a 787 Qatari and B777 Emirates airport to begin with....

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    5. Anonymous10:09

      And has less passengers than Belgrade....

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    6. Anonymous10:14

      Maybe JU could try Budapest again?

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    7. Anonymous10:26

      Anon 10.07

      So what if they have those? We can say that BEG has the SU and TK A333 that come on regular basis on top of the JU JFK flight. BEG should always compare itself with airports that are ahead of it otherwise it will not move forward.

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  10. Anonymous09:26

    Nadam se da će se vratiti i na Špansko tržište uskoro.Barselona bi mogla da uspe uz pomoć turističkih agencija.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:32

      Вуелинг планира три лета, могуће да су они покупили сав кајмак. Ако се не варам летови крећу сада у јуну.

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    2. Anonymous18:56

      No excuse. They should try harder and work with tour operators for any market that has been reopened.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:35

    Government backed airlines are obviously doing better. GoS poured a lot since the Etihad divorce so it's quite normal.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:37

      And which Government didn't?

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    2. Anonymous09:38

      I wouldn't call it a divorce since they still own 18% of shares, have expanded their codeshare cooperation with Air Serbia and the top two positions in the airline are from Etihad.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:57

      SAS just yesterday received another round of millions from the three Scandinavian governments.

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    4. Anonymous12:03

      It doesnt make them a government airline. They just received subsidies, something Wizz and Ryanair are enjoying since their foundation.

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    5. Anonymous12:37

      Biggest shareholders of SAS are Danish and Swedish governments who combined have nearly 45% share in the company, so it's a bit unfair to compare them to Wizz Air or Ryanair, who have to compete on a completely free market and can't rely on government subsidies to survive.

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    6. Anonymous19:24

      No but Wizz could rely on Indigo investment fund which has billions, it's not like the lacked funds.

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    7. Anonymous23:58

      But those are private funds.

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    8. Anonymous07:37

      Yes and national carriers pay taxes locally so it makes sense for governments to protect their national assets hence the subsidies.

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  12. Anonymous09:54

    Nice

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:54

    Could we see more new routes from JU this summer by any chance?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:06

      Someone mentioned in the comments the other week that they are considering new regional, non ex-Yu routes. But I don't know if it is true or not.

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    2. Anonymous18:56

      I don't see which that could be. Budapest? Varna? They tried both in the past.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous10:15

    Good work Air Serbia. Let's hope the recovery will be quicker than expected.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous10:43

    Aircraft utilization seems good.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous11:09

    Would like to see what their plans are.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous11:10

    Fingers crossed that this is demand returning and won't go the other way in a few months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:58

      Hope so especially with fears of a new wave in the UK and we all know how they have exported the virus to the rest of the continent.

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  18. Anonymous13:02

    They could take BEG-NUE (previously WA had it) and renew INI-NUE again.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:12

      On an ATR, NUE could work.

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    2. Anonymous13:16

      Didn't Wizz try BEG-NUE and left it soon after?

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    3. Anonymous14:20

      Yes, it did. But with an aicraft 3 times the capacity of an ATR.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous13:39

    JU needs to capitalize on the opportunity that just opened up in Minsk. A lot of passengers from there need to fly to Europe, and JU via BEG is just the solution. Since the EU has no made an official position on it, JU should take advantage and start scheduling flights. Potentially huge opportunity for P2P and connections to TIV and Western Europe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:40

      EU would not look kindly to JU operating BEG-MSQ flights.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous14:17

    Good to see slowly some positive developments.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous14:18

    How many destinations are they serving from BEG at the moment?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous14:18

    What are the routes that still haven't resumed? And I'm not talking about the ones that they said the won't restart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:20

      Venice, Barcelona, Madrid, Nice, Zadar and Kiev I believe. The others are starting this week and Milan on 19th of June.

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    2. Anonymous14:34

      Also still not flying to HEL, CAI, RJK, MLA, BEY

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    3. Anonymous14:36

      Except for Malta, I believe the rest have been terminated permanently and not temporary suspensions.

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    4. Anonymous15:48

      I think CAI also do not belong to the group of permanently terminated routes.

      There was an article 4 months ago saying CAI should have started again on 04.06. That is obvously not the case, but I believe that CAI will be brought back to JU destinations map.
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2021/01/air-serbia-to-restore-mena-operations.html

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    5. Anonymous21:18

      Cairo is available for booking from 31st October, but I'm not sure if that is just an unrevised schedule.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous14:20

    Let's hope the EU borders are reopened in July and they can spread their wings further.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous14:20

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

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous14:46

    I hope that more routes can be reestablished soon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:59

      I believe they will announce resumption of Nice soon.

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  26. Anonymous19:00

    Very interested to see how Kraljevo- Thessaloniki will perform.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:20

      I assume well. Tour operators will be selling a lot of the tickets. Plus it's just 70 seats per flight.

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    2. Anonymous19:25

      Nice, who do you think will be the tour operators able to sell these tickets ?

      Delete
  27. Anonymous07:39

    I know this is unrelated to JU but I just read that Aeroflot will be making their uniforms in Serbia. They were already making their shoes here but this is pretty cool.

    ReplyDelete

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