TRIP REPORT: Air Serbia, Belgrade - Athens


Written by Ivan Pusineri

Hello everyone, and welcome my first trip report, flown on July 18,2021.

*Covid travel info included!

I got booked on Air Serbia’s flight JU512 to Athens through Kontiki. Scheduled departure time was 12:20, with a flight time of 90 minutes. Since only 12 people were due to fly today, we got booked on a regular service, not a full charter flight. I was very excited to fly, and finally get a live glimpse at the continuously expanding Belgrade Airport, since I hadn’t flown in almost two years.

Being a Sunday morning, traffic was light, and we were at the airport in only 20 minutes. The first sight of the airport was a breath of fresh air – the new ATC Tower is so tall that its visible from above the highway tree line! Also notable: the work near the airport parking exit ramps, and near the buildings “corner” and along the inner side of the old C Pier!

Upon entering the terminal, I was greeted by familiar scenes - T1 was full of people checking in for charters to Turkey and Egypt, as well as T2 which hasn’t changed a single bit from two years ago. The only interesting thing to see was the new Air Montenegro counter, getting swarmed by confused travelers.

Check-in was quick, though note that we were asked to show a vaccination certificate and a PLF form for entry into Greece.

After passing through passport control, it was like walking into a new airport. You are immediately greeted by an improvised wall, which guides you to the right, towards the new duty free shop. After walking through, there is the new “main area”, from which you then move towards the C and A gates, where not much has changed. (Note that gates A1 – A4 were closed and cordoned off).

Walking through the C Pier, I realized that the airport was pretty empty since we were “between” the morning and early afternoon wave of flights, and went to get a coffee at the “Kafeterija” stand near gates C1 and C2. After walking around a bit and seeing ASLs leased Smartwings 737, along with an ASL A319 I spotted that YU-ARB was just arriving from JFK, and snapped some pics of it pulling into Gate C5. (Excuse the airports dirty windows).

And for those interested - the C Pier extension looks like it still isn’t connected to the original C Pier, and it looks like the C6 waiting room will have to be moved in order to accommodate the passage. Another great addition just next to the C4 and C5 gates, is a “relaxation area” with some comfortable seating and lots of charging ports. Other notable things I saw were a derelict aircraft sitting in the grass in front of the B Stands, looks like a DC4 maybe, or an old Convair pax airliner maybe, along with some new construction work on the B Stands.

As we drew closer to 11:30 AM, lots of planes started coming in and the terminals rapidly filled up, in preparation for the noon departure wave. Our plane for the flight (YU-APK) arrived from Antalya (predictably). Security checks were started at our gate (C3), and they went by quickly. The waiting room was a bit crowded, boarding started a bit late, and it went slow as is usual in my experience on ASL flights. I unfortunately got a middle seat, so I don’t have many other pictures to show. While taxiing to the runway, I noticed the new E Apron was in full use. One KLM, and one LOT E90 were parked there, while it appeared an LH A320 was also about to join in. I also checked out progress on the new inserted runway. I saw the outlines of a rapid exit taxiway being dug out between the current taxiway Delta and Echo. Paving work has started to the east of taxiway Echo, on the “extended” part of the new runway (what will eventually become runway 30L), and a mock centerline appears to have been spray painted onto the foundation section between taxiways D and E. We departed runway 30 at 12:45, 25mins behind schedule.

The flight that followed was incredibly uneventful. Immediately after climb the crew handed out a small bottle of water and chips, and soon enough we were already descending into Athens. Even our flight plan wasn’t interesting! Basically, a straight line from BEG to ATH, overflying Thessaloniki. Soon enough we had landed on runway 3R at Athens, after an exactly 90-minute-long flight. We were welcomed by some interesting planes: A Volga-Dnepr AN124, an Emirates and an Aeroflot B77W and a United B772.

Upon landing, there was a checkpoint where officers asked to see your vaccination papers, and some QR code that came with the PLF form. When we got to passport control, we found a queue which took us 40 minutes to pass through. We departed from the airport exactly an hour after landing, just in time to, believe it or not, exactly catch YU-APK departing back for Belgrade!

I'll be flying back to Belgrade in a few days, so you might also see a return trip report! I hope you enjoyed, and thanks for reading!

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  1. Congratulations to Mr. Ivann Pusineri. This is one best shortstory on trips from Belgrade Airport.

  2. Anonymous11:15

    Yes, what plane's are the the four engined remains down there? Convairs only had two engines, while it doesn't look like a DC 6.

    1. Anonymous11:24

      The Convair story:

    2. The plane you see was a JAT convair cv-440 , which was „upgraded „ with two extra engines. It was used for exercises of the AP fire brigade

  3. Nice report Ivan. Great fotos!

  4. Thank you for the report. If time allows you, please take more pictures from inside of the airport.

  5. Thanks for the short essay. Upon your return I would love to see some pics of the exterior at BEG.


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