Air Serbia to launch Beijing service “in January 2022”


Air Serbia will launch operations between Belgrade and Beijing in January 2022, according to the state-run Serbia Post. The postal service made the announcement yesterday, touting the quicker delivery of parcels between the two countries as a result of of the new flights. Air Serbia itself has not commented on the matter. Earlier this year it noted it was considering operations to China along with several other long haul markets including Canada and destinations in the United States. The postal company’s announcement comes just weeks after it noted the carrier would soon introduce flights to the Far East, which would generate new mail and cargo opportunities.

Air Serbia currently has one Airbus A330-200 aircraft able to perform flights to Beijing. During the upcoming winter season, it will be deployed to New York twice per week, up until December 20 when a third weekly rotation will be introduced, which will run just until December 30. The existing schedule indicates that Air Serbia is indeed preparing to introduce services to Beijing early next year, as it operated up to four weekly rotations to New York during the busy Christmas and New Year holiday period over the 2020/2021 winter season, from mid-December until mid-January. Changes to frequency and scheduling for the coming winter remains possible.

Beijing was Belgrade Airport’s second busiest unserved route in the pre-pandemic 2019, behind only Shanghai. A total of 52.289 passengers flew indirectly between the two cities based on OAG data, while a further 62.526 travelled indirectly between Belgrade and Shanghai on a single itinerary. Last year, traffic flow was significantly reduced as China shut its borders for both inbound and outbound non-essential travel and continues to enforce rigorous quarantine requirements for international arrivals. Despite the situation, Shanghai was still Belgrade Airport’s busiest unserved destination in 2020, while Beijing came fourth, falling behind Toronto and Chicago. There is believed to be notable cargo demand between the two countries as well.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    Nice. Seems like they will be able to perform it with a single A330-200 during winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      Yes, especially since they won't fly JFK as much during the holidays. Obviously to make way for Beijing.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:27

      And it indicates then a second A330 would arrive in March.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:37

      If they also add Toronto for the next summer season they have to add two widebodies until March. Perhaps they start Toronto in June, so the third arrives late May

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:46

      They don't need 1 widebody per 1 destination. They could fly New York, Beijing and Toronto with two A330s.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:54

      I can only imagine how beautiful two JU A330 at BEG next to each other would look :)

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:07

      ...parked at the new terminal extension!

      Great to see BEG get China flights but also to see JU grow its widebody fleet.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous12:27

      @09:54 you are probably to young to remember 3-4 DC-10 parked next to each other in BEG (JU had up to 5 of them) once upon time...so now 30 years later having 2 A330 next to each other is really not a major accomplishment! !)))

      Delete
    8. Anonymous12:50

      12:27 Anonymous
      For Airline that was a joke 10 years ago, it is a huge accomplishment!


      Bravo Srbija!!!

      Delete
    9. Anonymous14:48

      JU didn't go from 5 DC-10 to 0 without a reason. Germany was the first country to block JU from flying there. Losing widebody fleet was just one of the consequences.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous15:53

      Wasn't it a short period of time during which JU had 5 DC-10s? Most of the times it was 3 if I am not wrong.

      JAT was maybe a great airline for its time but for Serbia, Air Serbia provides so much more in terms of connectivity and benefits for local industry than JAT did. For starters the world is much closer today since flights no longer have to make a mandatory stop in either LJU or ZAG.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous15:53

      And just to add, I think JAT had one weekly non-stop to JFK from BEG while Air Serbia has 6 in summer.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous15:55

      World was a completely different place back then and intermediary stops were common for all airlines. Nevertheless the airline had a significantly larger network, not only globally but in Europe too with almost every single European market covered.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous16:36

      But JU today has a wider European network than JAT did, no?

      Delete
    14. Anonymous16:55

      Four a330's at BEG during summer of 2022!

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    I still think it would make more sense for them to start Shanghai.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:07

    wow nice!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:07

    I would prefer if they focused more on building up their European network first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vlad10:49

      No one knows what Serbia's connectivity with Europe will look like this winter after all the restrictions are re-imposed. On the other hand, JU is positioning themselves in time to capture the pent-up demand when China reopens next spring/summer.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:55

      There will be no restricitions for vaccinated people, so JU can very well plan its network.

      Delete
    3. Vlad18:24

      That is far from guaranteed. For instance, Italy doesn't care if you're vaccinated when you come from Serbia - you need a rapid antigen test and are subject to a 5-day quarantine anyway. Similar restrictions could be put in place by other EU countries too.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous18:52

      Italy is a special case, they are restrictive towards other EU member states.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous23:01

      Restricting travel for vaccinated people wouldve been a slap in the face for vaccination programs in the EU. So yes, vaccinate people will be allowed to travel.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:11

    Wonder which airport they will use in Beijing. Daxing or Capital

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:40

      Daxing definitely. Only if in meantime JU becomes a Star Alliance member which of course wont happen it will be the old airport.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:12

    With good pricing, they could get all sort of transfers across Europe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      Makes sense. If you can get passengers to one destination and then quickly transfer them to neighbouring capitals, which Air Serbia is the only airline in ex-Yu in a position to do, then this could work. All exYU capitals, as well as places like Tirana, Bucharest and Sofia could generate the demand required to fill a widebody 3-4x times per week.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:12

    Those numbers are really good, especially since it's just P2P demand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:29

      Could PEK have more passengers than JFK?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:07

      Yes once you factor in tourists.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:20

      Why only passangers? First official news comes from postal service ;-)

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:13

    Is there any indication when China may open up to foreign arrivals?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      When asked about a potential reopening date, a senior official from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that “though there’s no timeline when China will lift border restrictions, the country will do so in the future after meeting a number of requirements.”

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:16

    They should work towards having a codeshare with one of the Chinese carriers on this route.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:16

    If they plan to start in January they should start ticket sales soon.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:19

    China has a 28 day quarantine obligation for Chinese citizens (and foreigners). With Delta spreading around the world, I do not see this restriction being lifted anytime soon. I fail to see who will fly to China with such requrements.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:24

      It is possible that by January restrictions will be eased.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:32

      Interesting that Serbia's Green certificate can be issued in Chinese.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:38

      I think it was Bloomberg that reported some months ago that China is considering giving preferential treatment to countries that are approving and using the Sinopharm vaccine.
      Just like Russians and Turks are rushing to visit Serbia now, we could see the same scenario with the Chinese.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:22

      Parcels don't need quarantine. This is not only passanger line.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:25

    Should have focused on markets that are actually open or reopening like US and Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:26

    Why the insistence on Beijing and not Shanghai?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:44

      Maybe because Beijing is closer, allowing better plane utilization?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:15

      Might be, I didn't think of that.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:53

      There is also geography that we need to take into consideration. From Beijing its much easier to cover all of China than from Shanghai.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:28

    I think the plan is to get another A330 by the start of next summer season.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:44

    Would be nice to hear from Air Serbia themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:46

    Always "confidence filling" when someone other than the airline makes such announcements, isn't it ? Reminds me of the former Chairman or the previous Transport Minister who always used to mouth off about JU flying here or there .... Mexico is still the one which sticks out as a classic !

    In any event, I am sure it will happen at some point in time into the future - as it should - but now is not the time, especially when China is still shut and will remain shut. Earliest indications are that it will not open up until after the 2022 Winter Olympics, which it will not put at risk due to covid. Empty stadiums is not the propaganda picture that the Chinese will want to send to the world.

    JU is much better off starting flights to Chicago or Toronto and building it up to summer, where markets are open and JU will have an advantage over other airlines and non-Schengen countries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:59

      What is obvious is that there is political desire within the Serbian government to start flights to China.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:16

      Just like JFK which was purely a political project, but is now viable.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:37

      Amazing how many experts for aviation, politics, Corona end anything else we hall. I wander why we are not the reachest region in the world.

      Political or not, this rout would not be opened if there is no some economic base, same as for New York which prooved to be good move.
      Have you maybe thought that AirSerbia made some good cargo contacts so combining it with increasing Chinese presence in Serbia and region and offering seats as well may actually be great decision. I don't say it will be, but it is probable the same as you who are against it.
      Be positive guys, it will make you happier!

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:49

    Good thing is that BEG is expanded so there is room for more long-haul flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:53

      yeah, because in this story, the issue is available space at the airport

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:09

      Actually it is because there is no room right now for a second widebody to operate in JU wave. Don't be malicious.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:50

    Finally, this is really good news. I hope a Chinese airline codeshares so that we can get access to their domestic and international networks

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:52

    it was about time

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous09:55

    If this goes ahead there is no chance for Air Serbia service to Chicago and Toronto for a very long time, if ever. New York and China, that's it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:57

      What are you basing your assumption on exactly?

      Delete
    2. Vlad11:00

      Source: trust me bro

      Delete
  21. Anonymous09:56

    Rumors are YU-ARA which is sitting in Abu Dhabi will return to the fleet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:14

      That makes no sense though. Why did they get rid of it?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:02

      Apparently they renegotiated the leasing rate.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:30

      Better take something newer and refresh the fleet. ARA was not that young of a bird.

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL17:02

      @10,14

      Lease price was overinflated the 5 years it was in JU. When time for contract renewal came, EY apparently refused to lower the lease rate. Looks like its been sitting in AUH since returning from BEG and now they're willing to renegotiate.

      @12,30

      ARA did a good job in JU. Another 5 years in JU wouldn't be too bad. BA for example was using the B744 on their JFK rotations until the pandemic. Problem with newer aircraft is that they get expensive. Plus, JU has experience with the A330 so its better to stick with that for the time being.

      The other ex SU A330 that was tipped to join JU is apparently stored in AMS all white as well.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous18:00

      JU should continue taking A330s because young and good models will become available as airlines switch to A350 and B787.
      I think American Airlines is completely retiring the model in favor of B787

      Delete
    6. Anonymous18:51

      Wouldn't it be a problem for JU as ARA and ARB have different engines?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous19:08

      It would be a problem as far as costs go. Airlines usually like to streamline these things. I don't think ARA will be making a return. JU might have managed to operate it efficiently but it wasn't such a reliable plane. Kudos to ASL Maintenance for a great job really.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous20:21

      ARA has different business class seats, different engines and livery. It older as well. ARA will not be returning to Air Serbia.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous09:57

    Fingers crossed.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous09:58

    Which European airlines have restored flights to China?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:25

      Air France, Lufthansa, SAS, Austrian, Finnair, Swiss, Aeroflot and Turkish Airlines. Very low frequencies though except for AF and LH.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:36

      Thanks. Not bad actually.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:36

      Much more than I thought.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous09:59

    I think 3 times per week BEG-PEK could work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:38

      Especially when you factor in all the transfers JU will carry.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous10:21

    Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous10:27

    Once these flights start it will be interesting to see if Aeroflot will be affected.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous10:28

    Great news about these flights. I can't wait until they are finally loaded into the system.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Replies
    1. Anonymous10:52

      I don't think those heading to Shanghai would want to have an intermediary stop.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:53

      ^ It's not like they would have a choice. Even if they went with another airline they would have to stop in Moscow or Doha or Dubai to reach Belgrade. This way at least they are in the same country.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:27

      having flights to both Beijing and Shanghai be a bit too much

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:07

      PEK and PVG will both happen. Just give it time.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous10:31

    The f is state-run Serbia Post?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:34

      If you bothered to read past the first sentence, you would realize what they are (if you can't understand from the name itself).

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:51

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Po%C5%A1ta_Srbije

      Delete
  30. Anonymous10:53

    Nice

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous10:54

    What sort of scheduling we could see for these flights? When could the plane depart BEG? Would it fit in the waves?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:39

      I guess departure from Belgrade between 17.00 and 18.00.

      Delete
  32. Anonymous11:05

    So, it is 65 comments in 2 hrs over Serbian Post not-even-announcement regarding JU network development...

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous11:21

    I do not think that any serious company will allow that Post service announce new route for them. I can only imagine this route that JU will use A330 for cargo purposes, mail, since there are mayor delays between China and Serbia in mail shipppment. And possible charter operations to fill rest of available cabin capacity. Otherwise this will really unbelievable

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:30

      And what do you think they should do? Throw a bomb on the post building? Check their press releases? How can Air Serbia control what the post office says?

      Also not sure if you saw the figures on actual demand between Serbia and China. Why would they just fly charters in that case or cargo only.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:48

      Can you imagine the following JU press release:
      "Serbian Post is opening new branch office in Kikinda" ???

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:01

      The press release wasn't about Air Serbia's route. it was about postal operations to/from China. They mentioned Air Serbia's new route in one sentence in context that it will reduce the time it takes to deliver packages between the countries.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:35

      Who cares, at least they are doing something, launching new routes. You have another airline in the region that is facing unprecedented competition and hasn't lifted a finger yet.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous15:23

      "U cilju uspostavljanja dugoročne stabilne isporuke pošiljaka iz Kine, Pošta Srbije inicirala je, navodi se, direktne pregovore sa kineskim nacionalnim operatorom, a dodatno ubrzanje tokova internet trgovine očekuje se od januara 2022. godine, najavljenim uvođenjem direktne avio linije Air Serbia za Peking." This seems to me that Post is pretty sure that route starts in January 22

      Delete
    6. Anonymous18:01

      Only difference is that Post opening a branch in Kikinda doesn't affect JU.
      JU launching PEK flights impacts the Post in an extremely favorable manner. They are using it to score extra deals. I am sure North Macedonian Post used TK in the past ... or OS.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous11:28

    What about Hong Kong? I think it has big potential for flights from BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:50

      There is much more demand to mainalnad China.

      Delete
  35. Anonymous13:50

    Beijing makes perfect sense as their destination in China in order to get transfer passenger. A simple codeshare with Air China or China Southern would allow transfers to SHA, CAN, and other Chinese cities.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous13:53

    It is going to be hard to compete with Turkish Airlines for this traffic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:56

      Why? People would prefer a nonstop route rather than transferring through Istanbul. Especially with the language barrier Chinese people just want to get from A to B as quickly as possible.

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

    ReplyDelete
  38. If cargo works well and planes remain full, passengers can be even considered an optional accessory :-). That is why China woud be a better option than Chicago or Toronto.

    Betting is a losers game but I would bet that Beijing, Shanghai or even Guangzhou could be more profitable than Chicago, and especially Toronto (both being seriously affected by seasonality and low yields with VFR traffic).

    ReplyDelete
  39. Rumor has it that the Serbian Postal Service is leasing a leftover cargo jet from the Taliban once NATO departs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:41

      :D
      An IL-76!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:35

      you are so hilarious.

      Delete
  40. Anonymous16:33

    Koliko vremenski traje let do Pekinga? Da li bi mogli da lete petkom između 2 JFK leta? Mislim da bi naj bolji red letenja bio Ponedeljkom i Petkom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:02

      Мислим да би лет био нешто краћи него Њујорк, дакле око 08.30 до 09.00 сати. Шангај би био скоро 11 и правио би проблем што се повезаности тиче јер би се преседања тешко уклопила.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:37

      Odlično se uklapa,da krene iz BEG oko 14h u PEK je oko 5 sati ujutru. Mogu da prime transferne putnike iz regiona i zapadne Evrope a u PEK stižu za jutarnji talas ako potpišu kod Šer sa nekom od kineskih kompanija.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:10

      Како да вози из региона са поласком у 14.00? Регион мање више тада креће и враћа се око 16.00. Ако би кретао у 14.00 онда би возио Европу а то не верујем да им се много исплати.
      Летови ће вероватно кретати око 18.00 јер углавном поподне креће Азија из Европе.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous20:15

      Zagreb,Ljubljana,Podgorica,Tivat,Bukurešt(ako Tarom vrati jutarnji let)

      Delete
  41. Anonymous17:32

    A wasted opportunity for JU.
    Instead of flying to Shanghai which would make sense economically they now must fly to the capital which is purely a political decision.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vlad18:27

      PVG would require its own plane basically. PEK can be mixed and matched with JFK.

      Delete
    2. Agree. PEK is 2 hours shorter/closer and fits, PVG doesn't. And bravo JU, that"s the way to go. And shame on you OU for all missed opportunities, including China.

      Delete
  42. Anonymous19:41

    My guess is when second A330 arrives Air Serbia will fly to New York, Beijing and Shanghai.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vlad23:56

      No way the second Chinese destination comes before YYZ.

      Delete
    2. Toronto before Shanghai!!!

      Delete
    3. Dimitrije00:48

      Čikago next pliz.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous03:17

      Air Serbia didn't launch second long haul destination in 6 years and you now expect both China and North America at the same time? No way.

      Air Serbia management has been pussyfooting around Toronto for way too long to be taken seriously. Shanghai-Belgrade has double the passengers of Belgrade-Chicago and at least 50% more than Belgrade-Toronto. Flying 2 times per week to Beijing and 2-3 per week to Shanghai could also mean more cargo. Air Serbia management also thinks it would be easier to grow number of tourist passengers from China then mostly diaspora passengers from Canada/USA.

      Air Serbia knows airlines from China will not compete against them, but if they start Toronto or Chicago, Air Canada or United/AA would crush them. Sorry guys you have to wait until AC, UA or AA starts Belgrade.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous07:23

      AC already said that they are looking at BEG but two weekly is not enough for them.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous17:58

      I can't find source for that AC statement. Can you please provide link?

      Two weekly was not an issue when Air Transat started Toronto-Zagreb with two weekly flights.

      Delete
  43. Anonymous21:35

    And when is your guess for the second A330 to arrive?

    ReplyDelete
  44. Anonymous00:49

    120 comments and zero about free visa entry for Chinese to Serbia. The only european country allowing this...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous00:52

      It is not the only European country to allow visa free travel. It is also visa free to Bosnia, Albania, San Marino, Ukraine and Belarus.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous07:25

      Serbs also don't need visa for China, that's a huge selling point.

      Delete
    3. Vlad15:31

      While it's definitely more convenient, getting a Chinese visa before it was abolished for Serbs involved filling out a form and presenting yourself at the consulate with 300 RSD. So not exactly a dealbreaker before either.

      Delete
  45. Anonymous01:14

    In order to sustain organic growth JU needs to get additional aircrafts and introduce - Beijing, Shanghai/Guangzhou, Toronto/Chicago and more east presence (Tbilisi, Yerevan, Baku and Tehran). Also Mumbai/Delhi.
    4 new long haul gates on C extension means that they should be able to handle 4 A330 at the same time. Morning arrivals from Balkan+Caucasus+Far East could fill 08:00 departures to JKF/Toronto/Chicago/Miami and afternoon arrivals from West Europe+Balkan+Far West could fill 17:00 departures to Caucasus+Beijing/Shanghai/Guangzhou/India.
    In theory. In practice they have to see flight times+rotations+crew rest times but u get my point.
    In general, organic growth is needed. New transfer markets! Transfers! And of course monster attacks on Montenegro with 50 PW to Tivat.
    Good news. Keep growing and keep connecting.
    They realized that money is not in P2P but in transfers so I think they will try to sustain russia and introduce Caucasus soon

    ReplyDelete
  46. Anonymous07:26

    These recent announcements for BEG only show how underserved the market was. Now it's our time to shine, to thrive like never before!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Anonymous09:00

    Upravo je neka direktorka iz Pošta Srbije izjavila na TV-u da direktni letovi za Kinu kreću od 1. Januara.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Anonymous09:25

    I'm looking forward to flying BEG-PEK (with an overnight stopover) and then PEK-YVR!

    ReplyDelete

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