Serbia - Canada service launch plans progressing


Work on establishing flights between Serbia and Canada is progressing according to the Canadian Embassy in Serbia, noting it is now up to airlines to announce when they will commence operations. Canada’s Ambassador to the country, Giles Norman, said, “In May 2018, the governments of Canada and Serbia signed an Air Transport Agreement that put in place the framework in the cases that the aviation sector begins direct flights. The decision on when to launch direct flights is now a business decision, in the hands of the airlines”, Mr Norman said. He added, “The introduction of a direct flight between Canada and Serbia would be highly welcomed by the large Serbian and regional diaspora in Canada and the midwestern United States, as well as by businesses from both countries”.

Earlier this year, Air Serbia’s CEO, Duncan Naysmith, said the carrier was looking into expanding its long haul network, with Canada being of interest. On the other hand, Air Canada said it is looking at introducing flights between Toronto and Belgrade. The Canadian carrier noted, “We are still reviewing our network schedule for certain destinations, including Belgrade. We are looking into it at this moment”. Toronto's Pearson Airport confirmed in 2018 that it too held talks with Air Serbia over the resumption of flights between Belgrade and Canada's largest city.

Canada is one of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport’s largest unserved markets, with 61.232 indirect passengers traveling between the two on a single ticket in the pre-pandemic 2019, based on OAG data. Flights between Belgrade and Toronto were the busiest citypair between the two countries. In 2019, Toronto was Belgrade Airport’s third busiest unserved route after Shanghai and Beijing, as well as the busiest in North America. The majority of travellers flew in combination with Air Canada and Air Serbia, with passengers shuttled by the latter to several European points such as London Heathrow, Amsterdam and Zurich and then continued their journey with Canada’s national carrier. They were followed by LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa and Air France.



Comments

  1. Anonymous06:16

    Interesting that the ambassador mentions airlines in plural. Maybe it means that Air Canada is seriously interested.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous06:24

      WestJet could too. They have B787s which would be perfect for a route like BEG.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous08:30

      Does westjet fly to eastern Europe?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:35

      They were flying before pandemic only to FCO and London.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:02

      I think that's because they only recently got the B789. They also had to do some crew familiarization flights before launching nonstop flights to Europe.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:45

      Air Transat is also an option.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:26

      JU will be operating this route whenever it happens.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:05

      The issue is, airport does not proactively work on bringing anyone that could be in direct competition with JU.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:18

      That's not really true. KLM came and they are direct competition to JU.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous08:10

      They also brought Air France, though they code-share they are still fierce competitors.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous06:18

    JU should have done it this summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:18

      The situation was completely unpredictable. Taking on another long haul plane would have been a burden.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous06:19

    Can't wait to see flights to Toronto.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous06:20

    Air Serbia should get it over and done with already. Get another A330 for Toronto and Shanghai.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous06:21

      If it is being timed with the China flights they won't start before next summer when China reopens.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous06:23

      In any case they should start ticket sales this year.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:19

      I think New York sales didn't begin till February even though the launch was in June.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous06:20

    Toronto has huge ex-yu and Balkan diaspora. I hope Air Serbia sees the potential in these flights.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous06:22

    What happened with that Bulgarian start up airline that was supposed to start long haul flights. Weren't they planning Toronto too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      They went dark. The 3 A330s were delivered, but no news yet.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:15

      The last I checked their network collapsed and they were operating one weekly flight to Sofia to Turkey, I think it was AYT.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:19

      @Anonymous 09:15
      How come something will collapse before starting. They postponed it until the Covid situation is more stable. Now everybody coming from Bulgaria to the US will need to go under quarantine and soon non-vaccinated passengers won't be allowed to the US. They still have the 3 A332 and 3 ATR-76 and they are doing charters.

      Once the situation is more clear with the Covid and upcoming 4th wave they will proceed with their plans.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:38

      Yeah right, only 1 A330 and 1 ATR is operating, the rest are on the ground doing nothing in the middle of August. They also announced TIA flights on 1 August but guess what? And we were getting lessons here how they are a perfect example that you can focus on long hauls only in our region and be sustainable. So predictable.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous13:28

      And when I remember people here writing comments how they will be a major threat to JU.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:47

      Is there any airline in Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary or Romania to fly directly to Canada?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:22

      Air Canada takes over Rouge's Toronto-Bucharest route next year and they also start Montreal. They also take Rouge's Toronto-Budapest and Toronto-Zagreb routes.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:26

      wow they are really increasing their presence in the region.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous14:46

      Actually TIA flights were to be subsidized by Albanian ministry of tourism.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous15:31

      Well i couldn't find any source about that but regardless, they never started... so there's that.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous09:16

      Actually they have just announced their first domestic route - to BOJ

      Delete
  7. Anonymous06:26

    I really hope flights materialize sooner rather than later.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous06:27

    Has Canada reopened?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous06:32

      Next month for vaccinated people.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:01

      So they are completely abolishing quarantine?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:04

      As long as people are fully vaccinated with a vaccine that's been approved by health Canada (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstroZeneca).

      Delete
    4. Anonymous07:49

      So Serbian citizens who got vaccinated with Sputnik or Sinovac (and they are the big majority) won't be able to travel without the need of quarantine.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous07:59

      No one in Serbia got vaccinated with Sinovac.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous08:36

      Since Chinese and Canadian relations are very strained at the moment I don't think they will recognize Sinopharm vaccine any time soon. Anyway vast majority of passengers on these flights are diaspora since the visa regime is in place.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous06:31

    Honestly would love to see AC in Belgrade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous08:39

      Hahahah...
      Would rather see AS in Toronto.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:19

      Has Air Canada ever flown to Belgrade?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:21

      No

      Delete
    4. Anonymous00:40

      Only to ZAG in ex-Yu times.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous06:32

    YYZ will start by end of March 2022.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous08:38

      That would be great timing for the upcoming summer season.
      When should they begin ticket sales?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:21

      If it really is like this, they should start selling tickets in November. But it would make more sense for them to launch the flights in May or June.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous07:24

    Regarding AC- the most likely scenario is that AS will feed AC's Zagreb flights. At least in the beginning. If AC fails in ZAG perhaps it will consider direct flights to BEG. Direct connection will only happen if AS starts the route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous08:34

      Your last two sentences are at odds with each other.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:11

      I do not think Alaska would launch BEG-ZAG only to feed Air Canada's flights. I don't think it would be legally possible. Though they have the E75 which would be perfect for this market.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:29

      @Anonymous09:11 LOL you're naughty boy

      Delete
    4. Anonymous22:42

      naah, he's just confused.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous08:38

      Only one who is confused is the guy who doesn't know his codes on an aviation website:

      JU is Air Serbia
      AS is Alaska

      Delete
  12. If they get the big airplane this winter they can start the flights to China in time for the Olympics.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:10

    I remember some time ago it was reported that AC was unhappy with the bilateral which would allow them to have 2 weekly flights. They want 3.

    Launching 2 would mean there would be room for JU to enter the market. With 3 it wouldn't be as easy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:20

      I think these were mostly rumours

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:11

    We've been hearing about those flights for years. Plus, Serbs still need visas to enter Canada. When ambassadors or politicians speak and not airport or airline representatives, I always have my doubts. But..... let's see. Also, similar to Croatia and Romania which now has a huge diaspora in Canada, will most likely be seasonal. There are around 100 thousand Romanians in Canada.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      I still think two weekly B788 on YYZ-BEG could work when you factor in all the transfers especially to ORD.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:39

      Air Canada has no interest in Ex-Yu market beyond Zagreb or perhaps Dubrovnik longer term. They might https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Canada return to Prague, Warsaw and go year round to Milan before they start any flights to Zagreb, Air Canada doesn't fly to many European Destinations, I think only to UK, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Might missed one or two others. Croats don't need visa for Canada, and US will soon remove visa for Croatian passport holders, either late this year or first half of 2022.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous07:51

      AC will also be flying to ATH from both Toronto and Montreal year round starting this winter.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:45

    I have been reading about "progress" on SRB to CAN route for 4 maybe 5 years.
    I bet next year I will be reading another article about that "progress"

    Just my2cents

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:28

      I'm also tired of hearing politicians/ambassadors talking about this.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:06

      Not sure what progress has been made between 2019 and 2021 if the next step is still the same, airlines to decide if they want to operate the route or not?

      What keeps me laughing in the past couple of days is news of Sarajevo airport working on Canada flights. I would say that 2019 indirect numbers for both way BEG-YYZ are at least 7-8 times greater than for SJJ-YZZ, and yet SJJ airport is publicly talking about the pursuit of that service unlike BEG airport! Ain't that funny? I mean, how many indirect passengers should BEG-YYZ have for Vinci to finally say - Air Serbia is not interested so we are negotiating with Air Canada or Transat to start the service?

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:29

    Good point above about the visa requirement. You're not going to get that much interest from Serbia if you need a visa to go to Canada. Maybe the Ambassador should send that memo to his bosses in the Foreign Ministry.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous11:28

    Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous11:29

    Long overdue in my opinion

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous11:30

    If Air Serbia were to eventually launch these flights, a codeshare with Air Canada would be very beneficial and would guarantee more passengers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:32

      Or viceversa.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:35

      Since recently Air Canada frequent flyer and Air Serbia frequent flyer cooperate and you can earn miles on each. So there is some form of cooperation.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:36

      I believe Air Canada and Air Serbia already have an interline or maybe even an SPA agreement.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous11:37

    This route would be good for cargo too.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous11:38

    I will believe it when I see it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous11:44

    What is Air Serbia waiting for?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous13:26

    Good signal from the embassy.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous13:26

    What combinations do passengers from Canada primarily use to reach BEG and vice verse?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:29

      A lot of people go with LOT.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:47

      OS is also heavily used.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:08

      Most people go via Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam or Paris. Just depends on price

      Delete
  25. Anonymous13:27

    They could have capitalized on the opportunity that most western airlines have reduced operations to Canada. Now it's too late.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous13:28

    If they launch flights to Toronto, watch the loads on their Skopje flights improve dramatically. Skopje will be for their Toronto flights what Podgorica is for their New York flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:46

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:48

      if they offer some competitive prices and good connections.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous13:45

    Air Serbia really needs to join one of the three major alliances if they want more North America flyers and destinations.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous13:46

    I hope Air Serbia first further boosts their regional flying before starting new long haul ventures.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous13:48

    Starting a new long haul route in the middle of a pandemic would make no sense

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:49

      Why? Many airlines have launched new routes during the crisis because the crisis itself opened a window for them.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:50

      Sometimes a crisis provides an opportunity. Plane leasing rates are down, airport slots are available, airport costs are down. Perhaps they could get a good deal. Look at how well New York is performing despite the virus.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:14

      It would have been impossible to start a new route to Canada during the Pandemic considering they have reduced the amount of airports in Canada allowing international flights to two. Toronto literally has no available slots until all of our international airports are allowed to receive international flights again.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous00:39

      Interesting, didn't know that.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous00:40

      Toronto Pearson transatlantic activity is still just a fraction of what it used to be. For example in 2018 it had Wow Air, Primera, Aer Lingus, dozens of Air Canada Rouge 767 leisure flights to Europe etc. Infield terminal had to be used to meet the gate demand.

      Right now lack of CYYZ international slots doesn't seem obvious.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous00:51

      Hard to believe YYZ doesn't have international slots at this time.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous13:48

    Chicago first please.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:10

      Toronto is a bigger city than Chicago and has more Ex-Yu people than Chicago does. Toronto makes more sense at this point.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:51

      Greater Chicago is bigger than greater Toronto by a ratio of 3 : 2.
      The ex-yugos + other Balkanians are huge in both cities.

      Both cities would easily go 3x weekly in summer, and 2x weekly in winter, no problem, I guarantee it.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous13:49

    With one JU A330 this would be suicide. You can not shrink JFK in summer to less than 5 pw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:50

      Obviously they would acquire a second plane. The government hinted at that too.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:01

      Wasn't the government hinting at flights to China rather than Canada?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:04

      Both

      Delete
    4. Anonymous15:50

      Both China and Canada... and Dubai with A330 as someone mentioned? All of that with just one more A330 is a joke. More likely China 2-3x weekly and Dubai to fill the gaps on other days. Or just China: combo of 2-3 weekly PEK and 2-3 PVG.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous00:39

      I doubt they will launch both PKG and PVG.

      Delete
  32. Anonymous14:05

    Yields to YYZ could probably be better than to JFK.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Air Canada and Air Transat are private owned companies. So they certainly don't want to lose money on this route for the next three to four years until it will go profitable. So I think Canadians will let Air Serbia do the job, since the taxpayers of Serbia could cover the loses!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:17

      Why do you think the route has to be loss making?

      Delete
    2. Always a transatlantic route is unprofitable the first three to four years. See Air Serbia BEG-JFK-BEG the management has admitted to that.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous08:40

      Yet AC expressed interest in launching Belgrade. I think for them employing a plane would cost less than to have it and the crew sit at home. They need new markets for future growth.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous14:25

    Total déjà vu. I can bet my last loonie this article is a copy/paste from 2018. Will somebody from Air Serbia C suite finally grow a pair and admit they are only expanding long haul to China in 2022?

    Air Canada usually announces Europe flights in late summer or early fall. Belgrade announcement for 2022 could be just behind the corner.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous15:20

    I am curious, does anyone know what would be the flight numbering range for long haul flights if they actually do start Toronto, Beijing, Shanghai and what not.

    Currently, only JU500/501 exist, but that remains illogical despite their reminiscence of JAT days.

    In the meantime, JU moved both Istanbul and Larnaca to JU8XX flight number range.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous08:41

      JU 8xx is for all Middle Eastern flights, TLV, CAI and AMM were all in the same range.

      Delete
  36. Anonymous19:53

    A second widebody would come handy for JU.
    They could do for example India charters.
    Indigo and Spicejet are operating flights for the Indian tour operators but with stops in Yerevan or Istanbul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yyz2yyz00:38

      We did not have the direct flights for these three decades, so why do we need them now?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous00:54

      You needed them then, during the past 30 years and need them now - read the explanation from ambassador in the article.

      Delete
  37. Honestly, I think Air Transat would be a better fit. They are cheaper to fly on than Air Canada, and plus, they have a fleet of brand new A321neoLR's which could allow a higher frequency of flights to Belgrade. As a Canadian, I strongly hope AC stays out of BEG for everyone's sake and wallets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:03

      Fully loaded A321LR can't make it from Toronto to Belgrade.

      Delete
    2. They could fly it out of Montreal, they've flown YUL-ATH before. Transat's biggest hub is in YUL and there's already many itineraries from YYZ that requires a stop over in YUL

      Delete
  38. Anonymous12:18

    More great news for Belgrade guys. TK has extended A333 operations to Belgrade until the end of summer (31.10) in stead of end of August as was the case until now.

    ReplyDelete

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