Air Cairo to launch new Belgrade routes and expand Serbia operations


Egypt Air’s subsidiary Air Cairo has announced plans to introduce two new routes to Belgrade and expand its operations in Serbia. It came following talks between the airline’s CEO, Hussein Sherif, with the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate, Air Serbia and representatives of the Serbian government. The airline, which currently maintains scheduled year-round operations between Hurghada and Belgrade, plans to introduce regular flights between Sharm-el-Sheikh and the Serbian capital, as well as services from Cairo next April. “Increasing the number of flights and expanding our destination network will result in better connectivity between Serbia and Egypt, which is a positive step in bilateral relations”, Mr Sherif said.

Air Cairo’s CEO noted the airline plans to cater for holidaymakers but also connecting traffic from Africa as well. “Serbian citizens who live and work in Africa will be able to fly directly via Cairo to Belgrade, rather than Istanbul or another European city, as has been the case up until now. Many people from Serbia live in South Africa and will soon have the opportunity to travel back to their homeland via Cairo in cooperation with Egypt Air”, Mr Sherif said. He added, “Furthermore, people from Africa will have the chance to travel to the Balkans and Europe. We will work on developing tourism ties and enabling easier access for businessmen and investors”.

Air Cairo is looking to expand its cooperation with Air Serbia with Mr Sherif holding talks with the airline’s General Manager for Commercial and Strategy Jiri Marek. Traffic rights have been a major sticking point between Serbia and Egypt due to a stringent bilateral air service agreement in place between the two countries. However, following talks between the airlines and government officials from both Serbia and Egypt, the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate said yesterday, “At the meeting it was concluded for the representatives of each airline to define the potential expansion of capacity between the two countries”. Next summer, Air Cairo also plans to introduce services between Sharm-el-Sheikh and Niš, which it initially intended on launching in the summer of 2019 but was blocked by the Serbian regulator.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    Nice.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    I’m interested to see if this means Air Cairo will take over the Cairo-Belgrade route from Air Serbia or if Air Serbia will bring back these flights which will be codeshare by Air Cairo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      I think Air Serbia will give up the route to Air Cairo and use its capacity elsewhere. They will probably codeshare and Air Cairo will schedule the flights similar to its Hurghada ones so it can get connecting traffic in both directions.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:12

      I'm surprised Egypt Air didn't consider introducing scheduled flights from CAI to BEG.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:18

      I do hope Air Cairo is taking over this route, which is my understanding. At least that way we will be certain the route will last while Air Serbia often starts something, then cancels it or turns it seasonal.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:22

      @9.10
      I think Air Cairo lands at 04.30 and returns at 05.30 so they 'open' the business day at BEG. :D

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:30

      Air Cairo operating Cairo would be a win win for them and Air Serbia.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:15

      How can Air Cairo replacing JU be a win for Air Serbia? Not only will their brand disappear in CAI but Air Cairo openly said that their goal is to carry tourists and to feed their mother airline: MS.

      For JU, the problem is that CAI is close to 3 hours so the route can't fit into their nigh wave.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:28

      I really don't think they had much of an opportunity in establishing their brand in Cairo for the 9 months they flew there.

      Delete
    8. JATBEGMEL17:08

      JU seems to be adjusting their departures from their 'usual' waves.

      For example, LCA has departures at 10:20, ROV at 20:30, there were plans for CDG and ZRH with 4pm departures.

      CAI isn't the only destination where the length of flight is an issue. MAD, ROV and their planned AMM flights all had issues with adequately fitting into their waves.

      I think more departures in these 2 smaller waves will follow, making these longer destinations more viable.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous23:45

      I think there is too much competition for JU in CAI, something that they don't have as much in LCA, ROV or KRR where they seem to do ok.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:02

    Good news. Air Cairo has been flying year round to Belgrade for years. It’s unfortunate they haven’t been allowed to add more flights from Hurghada even after Air Serbia had to refuse adding more charters this summer because of insufficient capacity

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:53

      Hurghada was one of the busiest routes from BEG last year.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:16

      Which is why they brought JU to the meeting to let them know that their era of supreme domination in Egypt is officially over.
      Egypt is supposed to buy weapons from Serbia so the government wants to make them very happy regarding Air Cairo.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:03

    the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate said yesterday, “At the meeting it was concluded for the representatives of each airline to define the potential expansion of capacity between the two countries”.

    Shows the directorate couldn't care less and that Air Serbia is the one that decides which airline can and can't fly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:04

      Exactly. And they here join forces with Air Cairo to push against Turkish on African market.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:18

      JU won't profit much from this and that. Look at how expensive code-share agreements are on their website. Egyptair and Air Cairo will profit the most from this. However this is good competition and it should bring down the ticket price. Btw there is also FZ-EK which covers the African market from BEG.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:04

    Great news

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:04

    Well that was unexpected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      I don't think its surprising considering the current crazy demand between Serbia and Egypt. There are several flights per day to Hurghada. Up to 9 on some days.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:28

      Is it fair to say that the demand is mostly one way, for Serbians holidaying in Egypt?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:29

      Yes, almost completely.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:11

      So what happens to these flights in low season?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous16:13

      They are full. Obviously there are not 9 flights per day but there are 5 weekly flights. Hurghada is a year round destination and even cheaper in winter.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous16:27

      Gotcha, thanks.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:05

    Any new connection is good

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:05

    I always found it interesting how Air Cairo flies to BEG year round on what are summer holiday routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      A lot of people during winter months is seeking to go somewhere where climate is nicer and Northern Africa have perfect climate and also is close and cheap.

      That is the reason why Egypt have year round flights to Belgrade.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:14

      It's cheaper to spend 2 weeks in Hurghada in winter then stay at home in Belgrade. I'm serious, whole hotel package and air fare included.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:30

      True. It is value for money.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:06

    This is also a great development for Nis. It would also be nice if we see Turkish or Pegasus launch flights from Istanbul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:51

      With the current bilateral, I'm not sure it's possible for them to launch another route in Serbia.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:11

    They wanted to introduce Sharm-Belgrade flights in 2019 too but were blocked by the directorate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous01:16

      So senseless. The block I mean.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:12

    Not bad about the potential codeshare with Air Serbia. Air Cairo flies some domestic routes from CAI like Aswan, Luxor, Sharm, Hurghada. Could be really beneficial for JU.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:14

    Nice good luck to them. So that will be three destinations from Egypt in total with scheduled flights to BEG.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:16

    Great news. Good to see more and more flights in the pipeline for BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      Good thing about BEG is that it's a source of outbound tourism so in the future we will see more and more airlines add flights.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:21

      +1

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:17

    Do Egyptians need visa to enter Serbia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      Yes

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:19

      I read yesterday that government is in discussions with Egypt to mutually lift visas.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:30

      The only reason Egypt keeps visa for Serbian citizens is that they want the visa money.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:31

      It's more symbolic. You get it through the tour operator. At the moment I think visa fees are waived because of covid.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:17

    Good to see Cairo coming back.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:19

    Awesome news! Always good to see some more exotic airlines at BEG.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous09:19

    I really like their livery :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:40

      Much better than what they used to have ;)

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:20

    Is Air Cairo an LCC?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      Nope, they serve a full hot meal and luggage is included.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:25

      They are low fare but not low cost.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:35

      They are not low cost. But they are from Egypt so costs are low by default

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:29

    It's normal, Egypt is a budget destination and visited mostly by Russians and Ukranians because they can afford it compared to Mykonos or Italy.
    Reminds me of en masse tourism to Chalkidiki.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:35

      Actually it's not that similar. Egypt/Hurghada unlike Chalkidiki is a plane destination and people stay in 5 star all inclusive resorts. It's Egypt so it's cheap.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:37

      Egypt is popular with tourists from everywhere in Europe, not just Russians and Ukrainians. Or you want us to believe everyone in western Europe holidays in Mykonos and Italy. Spare me. Also, what's it like spending time in Mykonos or the Italian coast in December?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:00

      Oh boy how many UK and German citizens I have seen in Egypt.

      What a nonsense!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:00

      Yes, my point. Egypt is cheap and affordable destination even for their neighbours. Mykonos, Santorini, Italy, Ibiza remain for the richer tourists.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:32

      Oh, my favorite type of commentator - blabbing on about how Serbian (and this time Russian/Ukrainian) tourists are broke while the grandiose "Westerners" are rich. In my quite numerous and long travels I haven't encountered worse cheapskates than "western" tourists.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:19

      He loves repeating that yet this year Belgrade got nonstop flights to Santorini.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:32

      Santorini - hmm is it that cheap destination in poor Greece?

      Delete
    8. Anonymous12:21

      It depends on how you look at it. Some destinations are just more prestigious such as French Riviera, Santorini, Myknos, Italian coast, Dubrovnik, etc.
      But, good to have a budget destination such as Egypt.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous12:24

      Oh boy it's the "prestigious guy". Well good to know BEG has flights to Nice, Santorini, Mykonos, charters to the Italian coast and Dubrovnik. So all areas are covered.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous12:33

      Dubrovnik in the same league as French Riviera? Sure, ok.

      Luckily for us here in poor Serbia we had/have flights to both Dubrovnik and Nice.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous17:13

      I really wonder how it is possible that all these poor Serbs could afford to fly to all these prestigious destinations.
      There must be some political influence there.
      :)

      Delete
    12. Anonymous17:17

      Must be... or if all else fails call it a "refugee route" as some here have done in the pasr.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:30

    This is good because Air Cairo will also work on bringing Egyptians to Serbia.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:47

    Fingers crossed

    ReplyDelete
  22. More destination to Asia and Africa give extra important position to new redevelopment of Belgrade's Air Hub. Increasing destinations to Canada and USA are crucial. 🛫

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:25

      Why are these so crucial ?

      I would've thought what is crucial, is to conserve cash burn, especially on long haul adventures which take at least 4 - 5 yrs to mature. Meanwhile, they have more pressing issues like narrowbody and regional fleet issues to consider in order to strengthen their regional and europe routes, which are far more crucial to longer term survival ..

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:03

      If someone is planning on leaving Air Serbia before 4-5 years are up, they obviously won't be able to document positive effects of a new long haul route on their CVs. Therefore it's easier to focus on immediate, low hanging fruit goals such as: championed successful retirement of 737 fleet.

      From Air Serbia long term goals point of view, starting new long haul services is FAR more important than so called pressing issues. All those issues can be done while new long haul services are operating and maturing.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous03:52

      Not when you are EUR80M + in the hole.....

      Add to that a regional fleet which has an av. fleet age of 25 + years and you have some serious issues which need to be addressed. Air Serbia is nearing 10 yrs since its inception and fleet issues have been the forgotten story

      Delete
  23. Anonymous09:47

    Hopefully Egypt Air also puts its codes on Air Cairo flights to BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      They announced at the end of last year that they would. It was published here. I remember reading it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:23

      Would be a good move for both airlines.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:52

      Egypt Air codeshares on Aegean's flights to Belgrade.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:59

      MS 9232/9233

      Delete
  24. Anonymous09:51

    Coming up next Kraljevo Morava - Sharm el Sheik :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:42

      Not until they extend the runway :)

      Delete
  25. Anonymous09:57

    It's impressive how much demand there is between Egypt and Serbia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:58

      Cheap destination but different compared to Greece and even Turkey. Not surprised.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous09:58

    JU should sign a codeshare with them on domestic routes. They they could get transfers via Cairo to resort towns.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:00

      Air Cairo seems to have that idea.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous11:21

    What is interesting is that for years now the charter business was JU's exclusive domain. They were supreme on it and faced next to no competition. It was expected that other airlines will try to steal a piece of the cake from JU. Already happened in Spain (Vueling from BCN), happened in Crete this year with Aegean and Wizz Air and it almost happened with Turkey.

    Air Serbia needs to fix its relationship with tour operators because they are not happy. They will keep on supporting JU's competition. There is a reason why Air Cairo wants to operate these routes, they were most likely requested by local tour operators.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:26

      I don't know why you think Air Serbia has a bad relationship with tour operators.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:31

      I heard some information that tour operators actually go to Air Cairo only if they have no other option with JU.

      Air Serbia is surely first choice for them.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:35

      Nope, it really isn't. JU angered many tour operators when it changed their commercial policy and payment terms this year. Air Cairo has boosted BEG this year and they have done really well over the years in BEG.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:40

      How many weekly flights does Air Cairo have? They are not operating any charters.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous17:53

      "other airlines will try to steal a piece of the cake from JU. Already happened in Spain (Vueling from BCN)"

      Other way around. Vueling was flying BCN-BEG for years when Air Serbia introduced regular service and took a portion of the market.

      "Air Cairo has boosted BEG this year"

      If anyone boosted Egypt this year, it's Air Serbia with sometimes 8-9 daily flights.

      "it changed their commercial policy and payment terms this year"

      What airline didn't make changes since the start of pandemic?

      "tour operators because they are not happy"

      Most are, except for a tiny number of politically motivated ones.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous23:50

      This last comment looks like something Marek would write. lol

      Air Serbia boosted Egypt because other airlines were banned. Several applied but then ... shock... they were blocked. Remember how many difficulties Al Masria had and eventually they gave up? Air Egypt or whatever is called was also blocked this year. Naturally JU ends up being dominant on the market when others are forced out.
      Air Cairo can't be completely banned since they are owned by MS.

      As for tour operators, no one is happy to be getting worse conditions. That is why they are shifting to JU's competition. Who do you think invited Anadoloujet to consider BEG? It surely didn't happen on their own.

      JU still doesn't get how to fight competition. When they blocked Air Cairo from flying from INI that was when they were supposed to introduce flights themselves. In stead they added fuel to the fire and created a mess.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous03:56

      Who is this Marek guy ? He doesn't have a particular good track record behind him ... just look at Alitalia and LOT .... not a great track record and the same will happen once he leaves Air Serbia

      Delete
  28. Hopefully they introduce more convenient day time flights

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:26

      As a tourist these are the best times you can have because when flying to there you arrive in the morning so have the entire day in Hurghada and on the way back you depart late at night, meaning again you have the entire day in Hurghada.

      Delete
    2. The only problem - you have to pay extra for early check in and late check out.

      Delete
    3. Whaaaaaattt !?!?! you serious?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous20:57

      That's not how it works. Tour operators always agree with hotel early or late arrival/departure.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous14:29

    Let's see. I wouldn't be surprised if Air Cairo gets to fly Sharm as a scheduled year round route while Air Serbia takes Cairo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous01:08

      Doubt it. It seems Air Serbia is quite willing to give up this route and get a codeshare in return.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous14:29

    Considering Air Serbia has been dragging its feet in restoring Cairo I'm quite glad Air Cairo will step in.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous01:07

    Looking forwards to seeing more of them in Belgrade.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous01:07

    Has anyone actually flown with them? What are they like?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous01:08

    Why no Egypt Air though :(

    ReplyDelete

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