Air Serbia tipped for Far East service


The state-owned Serbia Post company has said that Air Serbia is expected to soon launch flights to the Far East which will generate further mail cargo opportunities, fuelling further speculation the carrier will commence operations to China next year. It comes weeks after the Serbian Finance Minister, Siniša Mali, held talks with the Chinese Ambassador to Serbia regarding future flights between the two countries, noting both sides will work on service details from Belgrade to either Beijing or Shanghai. He added there was a strong desire on both ends for flights to be introduced during the second half of 2022.

Recently, the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vučić, held talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, during which he expressed the need for nonstop flights between Belgrade and China to be established. Mr Vučić said a service between the Serbian capital and either Shanghai, Beijing or Guangzhou is necessary due to strong demand and asked China’s leader to look into the matter. “President Xi said he is taking considerable notice of the request. When he says something like that, you can expect for his words to be put into action within a short period of time”, Mr Vućić said. He added the flights could be operated by either Air Serbia or a Chinese carrier.

China has emerged as one of the top unserved markets to and from Belgrade since visa restrictions between the two countries were mutually lifted in 2017, with travel reaching a record high in 2019, prior to the coronavirus pandemic. A total of 145.248 passengers travelled between the two countries in 2019 (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan). Of those, 62.518 flew to or from Shanghai, or around 43% of all China travellers. It was followed by Beijing with 52.123 passengers and Guangzhou with 14.087 travellers. Air Serbia’s CEO, Dunacan Naysmith, recently said the airline was continuing to look into options at expanding its long haul network, with the Chinese market being of interest. Air Serbia has a codeshare agreement in place with Air China between Vienna and Beijing. Last year, the Serbian carrier renewed its Special Prorate Agreement with Hainan Airlines enabling passengers to reach Beijing from Belgrade via Brussels, Berlin and Moscow.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    Hopefully they have a good partner there who can help them cover domestic market as well as regional destinations.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:04

    Ovo je istina. Moj drug je bio u nekom drustvu nedavno gde je bio i Marek. Pricao im je kako se vec radi na ovim letovima.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:07

    I suppose this will mean there will actually be two new long haul routes. The question is,  what's the second one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      Toronto.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:53

      JU should get second A330, launch two weekly to PVG and then add three weekly to Toronto. In winter operate both flights two times per week.

      Delete
    3. How feasible is BEG-YYZ two times a week and BEG-PEK three times a week with one plane?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous15:09

      It's doable.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:10

    If cargo is the main reason for the flights the first destination would be CAN. From there they can also codeshare on CZ flights to Australia, NZ, Japan, Korea, Indonesia etc, effectively replacing Etihad's previous role.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, for those of you who do not have all of the airport codes memorized.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:11

    Second A330 coming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      That would be nice, but I'm worried about the finances.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:15

      Well it would be funded with monopoly on charters, just like now...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:20

      What monopoly on charters? You have Aegean, Nouvelair, Ellinair (although they are grounded at the moment) all operating charters,

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:20

      Yeah but at some point it has to be economically viable.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:57

      There is also Air Cairo. They are a scheduled carrier but they carry tourists.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:13

      I know I can only dream but it would be so nice if they got the A330-900 or the A350.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:33

      Hopefully the next A330 won't have the stupid tail.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:36

      Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Most people really like it.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous10:48

      Haha so couple of days ago JU is losing the charter game, now they have a monopoly. Make up your mind.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:12

      Just leave the tail alone.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:14

    Will China reopen by H2 2022?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      Chinese citizens can enter China, which would probably be enough at first.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:02

      H2 2022 seems realistic. Both in terms of time it take to prepare these flights and the Covid situation.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:03

      Yes, China is expected to open to the world next summer, finally. At least according to their leadership.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:16

    I think this could mean we will also see some new short haul routes, like they did before they started New York.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:30

      That would be great feeds for this and JFK.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:58

      Those flights were for crew familiarization, there is no need for that now since they have experienced crew.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:01

      I'm not talking about regional routes operated by A330 once or twice. I'm talking about the 5 new routes they introduced at the same time they launched New York.

      Delete
    4. I guess they need more regional aircrafts for that. I doubt they will lease anything else besides the wide body one - if they get there.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:46

      They simply need at least 3 new A319s. The fleet this seasons is at max capacity and luckily there has not been a single break down.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:43

      It's tragic how they wanted to retire one ATR and then when they saw the crazy demand they brought it back. Honestly such things are crazy and someone needs to be fired over such bad strategic planning.

      Delete
    7. Who should get fired? Epidemiologists? Please. Noone can tell how tomorrow will look like.

      Delete
    8. Lol get fired. Because Tito and Stalin are in power and they fire people for breathing the wrong way. The whole world is in the same situation with aircraft parked everywhere which is not ready for the explosion in travel demand. Has they kept the ATR and the demand didn’t return you would be saying someone needs to get fired for not reporting the aircraft. I guess no one can win?

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:17

    This will be bad news for Aeroflot and Qatar Airways.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:24

      They will cut their prices when and if AS ever launches far east flights.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:26

      "If AS eve launches far east flights"

      I think its obvious they will.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:29

      How is it obvious?
      (And I've read the article).

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:45

      Obviously the carrier with the largest state subsidies will win.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:23

    I hope Air Serbia realizes a flight like this will require some special preparations for their inflight service

    1) There will have to be at least 1 Asian meal
    2) Most passengers won't speak English
    3) There will gave to be Chinee language available in IFE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:24

      If Serbia offers its Digital Covid Green Certificate in Chinese like they do, I'm sure they will be able to do those. Also, most Chinese from Serbia speak Serbian.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:27

      Man you're getting into specifics. Of course JU will do research and find out what they need to provide on board.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:29

      Two years ago I was on a QR flight from Doha to Belgrade. 70% of the passengers were Chinese. A Chinese guy was sitting next to me and when the cabin crew asked him for the breakfast order he could not understand. She had real trouble communicating with him so I translated into Serbian and he ordered straight away. When she realized they spoke Serbian she called the one Serbian crew member to take the orders :D

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:34

      Hey man I don't doubt you, just say'in that JU will be prepared.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:31

    I was hoping a Chinese carrier would operate this flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:35

      Why?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:36

      I'd rather see Air Serbia expand their network.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:41

      Well what would this be other than network expansion?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:47

      @anon 9:41 it was reply to anon @ 9:31.

      Read through the comments to understand the flow of the conversation.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:51

      And who's in competition here?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:09

      @9.35
      I would prefer Air Serbia focuses on USA/Canada

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:11

      They should focus on whatever market will bring them money.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:40

    What would be the potential departure time of a Beijing/Shanghai flight from Belgrade?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:53

      I mean, would these flight fit any of their waves?

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:43

    I'm guessing the president is after subsidies from China? Why would he ask for Xi to help Air Serbia establish the flights?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:46

      Or regulatory approval China is notorious for it and how long it takes.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:57

      What in the are you talking about? Why would China subsidize Air Serbia?

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:45

    The codeshares and SPAs with those Chinese airlines make no sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:55

      Especially the one with Air China which includes waiting in Vienna for hours.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:01

      +1

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:59

    What would be the makeup of passengers on these flights. Would it be mostly leisure transfers, business passengers, ethnic even?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:01

      You can have all three. The majority of Chinese people living in Serbia are near and around Shanghai

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:03

      Shanghai has potential. Once corona is over it can be used by business people, expats and tourists. I'm also sure there would cargo traffic on this route.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous10:02

    Would be nice to see Chinese flights back in Belgrade.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous10:02

    Shanghai is much more logical route to BEG than PEK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:04

      Agree. And Shanghai also offers excellent transfer opportunities to other important Chinese domestic destinations

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:05

      There is plenty of demand to sustain a direct flight to China once things go back to normal. A direct flight would also no doubt stimulate further demand plus additional transfer passengers

      Delete
  17. Anonymous10:03

    Nice!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous10:07

    Taxpayers, get ready.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:09

      Taxpayers pay for all sorts of things. This winter taxpayers will be giving a 180 euro bonus to each pensioner in the country. So I don't understand this taxpayer argument that is constantly brought up here.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:16

      Obicno kukaju tipovi koji zapravo ne placaju porez, ja i moja deca cemo recimo ove godine platiti oko 10k jura za promet stanova i stvarno ne zelim da se od toga placaju veciti gubitci zeleznica i AS i razne Jure i Geoksi dok nemam nista protiv penzionerima i za druge razvojne projekte gde ce se postovati prava radnika.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:58

      A taxpayer here happy to help Air Serbia grow.

      Delete
    4. Svaka čast ukoliko posedujete toliko novca.
      Samo je čudno što vam smetaju železnice i Er Srbija a 200 državnih agencija i činovnički aparat koji je skoro dva puta veći nego u SFRJ za sve republike vam ne smeta.
      Postoje grane industrije kojima su potrebna sredstva iz budžeta da bi bili rentabilni,s druge strane koliko je ta Er Srbija turista dovezla do Beograda,i koliko su ti isti turisti podržali uslužni sektor.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:52

      Ne postoje takve grane industrije. Uskoro odlazi OU, a ni novi Crnogorci nece dugo. AS ce potrajati malo duze ali ako ne pocnu zaista da prave novac adio. Moja pokojna majka je pre pedeset godina radila na toj zeleznici i onda su pravili gubitke dok direktori maznjavaju pare i kurvaju se i otvaraju privatne hotele i kafane.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous05:46

      Taxpayers, get ready. Taxpayers in Cro financing Croatia Airlines, those in Macedonia paying for Wizz tenders, taxpayers in Montenegro paying for Air Montenegro, those in Tuzla paying so Wizz can have a monopoly and fly for free, taxpayers in Slo paying for empty Maribor airport, list goes on and on, not to mention outside Ex Yu. And of all those you only had a problem with Air Serbia launching new route? Speaks volumes about you.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:01

      Maybe because it's mostly people from Serbia that comment around here, you never thought of that, have you?
      I don't care about Croatian or Montenegrin taxpayers' money for example, but I do for Serbian and will always raise my voice when this is the topic.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous10:10

    On paper it looks like a good opportunity for JU

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous10:12

    Could the China flights have more passengers than JFK?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:14

      No, because I doubt any flight to China will be offered 5-6 times per week like New York.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous10:12

    Replace ATRs with SSJs (if you get them attached with decent price, if not go with E90s and one or two E75s), replace 1 A319 with A320, addMAX 2 a321S, and add 2 330s by the end of 2023. Open Bosnian and Slovenian subsidery in 2022/2023, and then they basically become LOT, just for balkans.
    I would be happy for them tbh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:28

      That would all be very expensive.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:32

      Actuall it makes sense. Maybe use 1 A330 for a weekly LH rotations from SSJ, and LJU as well. If they do it right, market is huge.

      Delete
    3. Few week ago when I did propose something similar I was denounced for trolling even if I do not consider myself troll.
      For AirSerbia I would advise to establish new strategy similar to exJAT one:
      1.Change name to South East Airlines, SouthEastern or something similar.

      2.Offer shares to countries like Montenegro, North Macedonia, BiH and possibly others.

      3.Lease two additional A330 and put them on following routes:
      BEG-PEK-BEG 3x p/w
      BEG-PVG-BEG 2x p/w
      BEG-YYZ-BEG 2x p/w
      BEG-ORD-BEG 3x p/w
      BEG-MIA-BEG 2x p/w
      Sometimes you can put additional rotation to BEG-JFK-BEG in case you need it.

      I know it is expensive idea but situation is try or die.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:23

      SSJ is the perfect choice for ASL. The economics, the price and efficiency. Azimuth Airways for example are the only all SSJ fleet operator in the world.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous13:54

      SSJ and efficiency... It burns about 1700-1800kg/hr while carrying 100 pax. A320neo with 180 pax will be very close to 2000kg/hr figure, for nearly twice the amount of passengers. Now, let's talk about the engine reliability...

      Delete
    6. Acutally, A320 burns not less than 2430 kg/h more likely — 2885 kg/h

      Delete
    7. Anonymous15:55

      If you read carefully the comparison was against NEO, which is comparable design by age.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous20:50

      Again wet dreams about SSJ in BEG.
      It simply won't happen.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous10:14

    It will happen soon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:38

      I could see these happen next summer.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:56

      Let's hope sooner rather than later.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous10:15

    With second A330 could we maybe see them fly two times to Shanghai and maybe two weekly to Chicago/Toronto.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous10:43

    Once nonstop flights are established we will see a further increase in trade and investment.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous10:46

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous10:47

    Very good news

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:52

      Good news to have more opportunities from Belgrade.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous10:47

    I think 3 times per week BEG-PVG nonstop on Air Serbia with good connections to Sarajevo, Skopje, Podgorica could work. The longer they wait to introduce these flights, the more difficult it will be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:50

      Bingo. Air Serbia could actually do well here with good regional connections. Linking this route with Sarajevo and Montenegro would also be good since Chinese don't need visas for Bosnia and get expedited visas for Montenegro.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous10:55

    Both VIE and BUD have direct flights to China, not sure if this route will be 100% sustainable in spite of the visa abolishments. Lets wait and see.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous10:58

    Commercially, it makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous11:01

    How much does a flight from BEG to either Beijing or Shanghai last?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:23

      What do you mean last? It lasts until you arrive, then the flight ends.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. From Belgrade to Beijing/Shanghai, flight lasts 10 to 11 hours, give or take (the return flight is one approx hour longer)

      Delete
  31. Anonymous11:03

    Can't wait for the flights to start.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous12:24

    Očekuje se da covid sledeče godine oslabi i da se ukinu sva ograničenja kretanja. Sve ozbiljne avio kompanije će sledečeg leta krenuti agresivno u borbu za osvajanje tržišta. JU se mora uključiti u borbu i pokrenuto Toronto,Čikago,Peking , Šangaj kao i sve rute planirane za prošlu godinu koje će im obezbediti dodatne transfer putnike.Za sve to trebaće im još 2 A330, 1 A320,3 ATR-a i bilo bi lepo videti 2 A321.

    ReplyDelete
  33. All this speculation and discourse is good but in the end all we know right now is that at some point next year AS will be flying to China. I think that is good news in itself. One new A330 coming up!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous14:23

    Looks like they are not able to financially support the replacement of the regional fleet, how on earth will they be able to lease another A330 and to support the additional cost associated with long haul routes? Regional fleet requires some urgent action and planning, the existing ATRs are not going to last forever.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous16:43

    If new a330 comes, I think that the most beneficial wold be to have flight to NY every day. It would redirect majority of busines travelers to YU. Shanghai route would be addition for full utilisation of a330.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous19:47

    Looking today at PM departures, cdg, fra, svo, bru , zrh all late by an hour or so, looks like the strategic planning is towards charter service while dropping key destinations to competition. If this continues long haul development will be useless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:49

      Antalya left on time!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:47

      Storm in Belgrade

      Delete
  37. Anonymous22:44

    Air Serbia doesn't want to expand long haul where they have to compete against Star Alliance especially on transfers to other North America destinations.

    Air Serbia picked China over NA for long haul expansion. Competing against Qatar, Aeroflot and Emirates, some TK but not much against other EU Star Alliance companies.

    Belgrade will only get more direct routes to North America once big 3 US airlines and Air Canada start flying to Belgrade. That could be a while.

    ReplyDelete
  38. They will bring back the YU-ARA , and lease it per hour of flight, since Etihad doesn't need the aircraft now… just to pop the bubble on getting a “new” one

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they decide to go Etihad way, they can choose newer aircraft, 25 EY A330s are currently stored.

      https://www.airfleets.net/flottecie/Etihad%20Airways-stored-a330.htm

      It all comes to pricing.

      Delete
  39. Dumb idea but I'm gonna float it out here. Why not add a Hong Kong once a week so you could scoop up ex Cathay Pacific crew?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:43

      Once a week long haul flights give very little flexiblity to pax.

      Delete

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