US market of “great importance” to Air Serbia


Air Serbia has said the United States remains one of the best performing and most important markets in its network as the airline approaches six years of operations between Belgrade and New York. The carrier’s General Manager for Commercial and Strategy, Jiri Marek, noted, “The United States is of great importance to us. The Belgrade to JFK route is the only nonstop year-round scheduled service to New York from this part of the world, connecting people from Serbia and the whole region with their families, friends and relatives, as well as connecting businesses and bringing tourists to Serbia and the USA. It is one of our strongest routes, which continues to produce positive results despite the pandemic”.

The remarks come as Air Serbia is believed to be considering expanding its long haul operations, with the US, Canada and China being of interest to the carrier. The airline handled 41.320 passengers between Belgrade and New York in 2020, and a further 8.048 during the first quarter of this year. It carried over 320.000 travellers between the two cities during its first five years of operations which was marked in June. Based on OAG data from the pre-pandemic 2019, Chicago is the top unserved route from Belgrade to the United States with some 32.115 indirect travellers. This is followed by Los Angeles, which saw over 14.000 passengers flying between the two cities on other airlines. In 2019, Lufthansa was still the main carrier of choice for indirect travel between the US and Serbia, followed by Air Serbia and Swiss International Air Lines.

Busiest unserved routes between Belgrade and the US in 2019


Busiest airlines between Belgrade and US for indirect travel in 2019


Commenting on its New York operations, the airline’s Vice President for Americas, George Petković, recently said, “We are very satisfied with the achieved results, which are a good indicator that, despite the coronavirus pandemic, the flight to New York is operating well and represents one of the strongest routes in Air Serbia’s network. The US is a very important market which is made available to Serbia and all of Southeast Europe thanks to us as the only airline in the region with a scheduled nonstop flight over the Atlantic. According to data from the New York airport, we are also at the top of the list in terms of on-time performance, i.e. take-offs up to fifteen minutes from the planned departure time”. During the upcoming 2021/2022 winter season, which begins on October 31, Air Serbia plans to run two weekly flights between the two cities, increasing to three per week between December 20 and December 30.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:04

    With this connecting passengers numbers they can easily add one more A330

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:04

    It is beyond comprehension that they will fly 2 times per week in winter to New Yoek and they don't use that opportunity to start Chicago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee09:11

      Not only that, even their interline agreements with AA and B6 offer limited connectivity to ORD via JFK. They could have stolen some passengers from LH and others who carry thousands every year between BEG and ORD.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:42

      After 5 years they made JFK profitable. They don't want to ruin that with a new wide body destination

      Delete
    3. Nemjee10:03

      If JFK became profitable then it means long-haul in general can be profitable for JU.
      Now that their only long-haul route started making money it's time to think of the next step.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:21

      Anonymou 09:42
      Who said that the JFK route is profitable?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:24

      Air Serbia numerous times over the past year. And I tend to believe them as they said in the past openly that it wasn't and did not keep it a secret.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:27

      ^^^
      Over the past year ASL carried 40% LESS passengers to the US. So I highly doubt that the route turned profitable when it wasn't during the previous years with 70.000 pax carried yearly.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:33

      It has more to do with yields than anything else. It also has to do with the fact that they slashed costs on the route. They leased a plane which costs significantly less than the previous one, they renegotiated handling prices at JFK and got a much better deal which is why they moved terminals too.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:47

      anon@10.24 - they have also said many other things which have NOT been true. So it makes it very hard from a credibility point of view to believe what is true and what is really really true ....

      Delete
    9. Anonymous12:10

      When they say something positive then they automatically lie.
      When they say or do something negative it gets never questionable.

      Try to be at least realistic.

      The fact is that they turned JFK profitable in last year and they keep doing it in this year.
      Simple as that no matter how much it might hurt some neighbours feelings.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous16:57

      I bet this number for Chicago doesn't even include the people from the Midwest region who fly from other Midwest airports (in Wisconsin and Indiana for example) but would gladly drive a few hours to have a direct flight and more affordable flight from Chicago to Belgrade. And many other people in Midwest who fly to other Balkan destinations (typically with three-leg journey) would gladly jump on AirSerbia for a two-leg journey to their final destination. I don't comprehend the slow rollout of the Chicago route.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:05

    At this point two a321lr and a a330 would work wonders for ASL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Can the LR's make it from Belgrade to the US nonstop?

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:13

      There was an article some years ago regarding A321XLR and flights from BUD to the US. It was written that it could reach as far as Boston from Budapest. I think its optimal range is somewhere close to 7 hours and BEG-JFK is well over 9.

      They could use the A321XLR to launch BEG-DEL. ;)

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:16

      Yep a321lr could be used for some of the russian destination as well as india (not just del), and khazakstan etc. If they get their shit together BEG could be (and should be) a hub for balkans.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:25

      321LR would not be able to optimally operate to the US East Coast, however, the 321XLR would, albeit with reduced belly capacity by design due to the additional central tanks - nevertheless, a powerful bird!

      Delete
    5. Nemjee09:25

      I think BOM is too far for it, Delhi should be the closest larger market in India. That said, I think their European network is still too weak for India flights. Look at how long it took LO to launch DEL. Also you need a strong sales team to break through the defenses of the MEB3.

      India requires a lot of strategic planning. :P

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:29

      A321XLR range is 4,700 nm. BEG-JFK stands at 3,920nm and BEG-BOM at 3,026. Agree that India is ultra competitive and not a priority for JU.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:29

      If India requires alot of strategic planning, then JU is in luck and VERY fortunate to have the best strategic planner in the business

      Delete
    8. Nemjee09:32

      Anon 09.29
      If I am not wrong, those numbers represent the plane's maximum range without taking into consideration a full load, winds and indirect routing.
      That is why US east coast could be problematic beyond BOS especially in winter.

      Bombay could work with that range, you are right. However like I said, there are other things that need to be sorted out before they even think of India flights.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous18:31

      When a manufacturer advertises the 'range' of an aircraft; is it on MTOW.Usually it's true(a generous configuration of) Pax+Bags and assuming max available fuel by weight or volume at that configuration.With standard west wind component back from days when I had an access, which would be at around P32, and cruise for XLR at around 440kts, I'd say most of days you can reach around 4200nm direct distance (down from 4700nm still air). On most days, you'd be able to take around 20t, be it's a pax/bags, or some cargo as well. Otherwise than that, you can trade every 100nm less for around 550kgs.So,BEG which is a 3920 nm distance(same distance if DBV-JFK-free "whisper-advice" for OU)...is "most-of-the-year" viable....but with some safety restrictions i.e.max pax cca 180.KRGDS from Tivat.

      Delete
    10. Dear @An.18.31, I fully agree with everything you wrote, especially free "whisper advice" for OU. Unfortunatelly, people supposed to hear your, and in many occasions my advice(s), don't care about what is the best for OU but what is the best for LH, and will highly likely continue doing so and feeding LH, no matter of any advice or any potential, and will remain missed opportunities World Champion

      Delete
    11. Anonymous19:16

      Let me answer(As An.18.31 ) immediately: unfortunately, you are absolutely right. The same story in the Balkans ... always (and in my Montenegro). In any case, XLR is a huge potential, which would make the American market closer, more accessible and cheaper. Personal opinion: Maybe someday, B6 start flights to DBV,SPU,TIV,for example(I love their Mint product).Greetings to Rijeka and Istria.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:06

    It's been over five years they've been flying to New York. Time to add a second destination.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:07

    What catastrophic utilisation of A330 during winter. At least use it for long haul charters.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:11

    It would really be useful for us living in California and I'm sure they would get more passengers from the States if they had a codeshare with a US airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee09:14

      I think California has decent connections with B6 mostly because they offer overnight flights in both directions. It's other parts of the country that are a problem. If they had more morning departures from BEG then they could offer more connections onto B6.

      Delete
    2. Would Boston work in any way? I see it is fifth unserved market, but JetBlue presence at Logan is massive and it may be a good point for connections. The flight would be shorter than to JFK and only the usual suspects fly there.

      On the other side of the sea, number of top universities in the area could provide substatial traffic to Europe, if marketed well, spring breaks and similar. Could does not mean would but who knows...

      Delete
    3. (And I would not have to wake up at ungodly hour and chase that LH1411/LH422 stampede through FRA, although B747-8 is nice plane to fly on)

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:13

    I guess it is cheaper to keep the A330 on the ground then fly it around

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:19

      That's like saying, its better for me to sit at home then go to work and earn some money at least.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:59

      @Anonymous 14:19 Bravo!

      Delete
    3. @anon 14:19 if they have PBH contract then it's better for it to just sit then to burn through money. REX pays 60.000$ a month for a 737-8, plus flying time. Not sure what kinda of contract YU has for the 330.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:16

    There is room for improvement on this route but it seems to be doing ok so far. With more Balkan connections and a codeshare in the US it could be doing extremely well. The focus should be on filling the plane during the winter since this route is extremely seasonal, which is demonstrated by their frequency changes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      There are ongoing comments about the need for a codeshare in the US. Yes, we get it. BUT, no one will codeshare with JU. After 6 years if it was going to happen, it would've happened by now. So get over it ... they seem to be managing ok with no codeshare ...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:23

      So many high level meetings with US administration past couple of years (aviation topic included) and noone brought to the table this simple issue?

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:18

    Air Serbia should join an alliance. I think it would make these flights but also then as airline much more competitive

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:21

    It is important that they are first in the region to operate this route, not because of prestige but in a few yaers I am sure more airlines in the region will go long haul. TAROM and Aegean come to mind so it helps to have their product out there for some time when the competition comes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      It helps that these airlines you mention are part of a Global airline alliance while JU is not ....

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:40

      That's true

      Delete
    3. I don't think Aegean as a private owned airline could bear a 5 years loss making route until it will be established as profitable. That's why Athens Airport has Emirates for the winter and possibly Delta.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:21

    Mr Marek perhaps missed Nth American routes in his strategic plan ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:14

      You are truly obsessed with that guy.

      Ok, we got it that you don't like him although he made a lot of great things in JU.

      You don't have to repeat your obssesion in each topic related to JU.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:22

    We want ORD!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:46

      Miami is almost always the second largest market from just about any city in Europe. It's the second largest U.S.-Europe market by far, much larger than Chicago-Europe and slightly larger than LA-Europe.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:23

    Never would have guessed Miami being right after Chicago in terms of demand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:47

      It's not right after Chicago. LA is after Chicago.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:00

      Oops correct sorry. Still surprised it's so high up. Didn't even realise there was a diaspore there.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:07

      There is a diaspora everywhere in the US :D i mean look at Tampa.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous19:46

      Miami is almost always the second largest market from just about any city in Europe. It's the second largest U.S.-Europe market by far, much larger than Chicago-Europe and slightly larger than LA-Europe.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:24

    I'm not a hater, in fact quite the opposite. But operating a single long haul route for 5+ years is a failure in my opinion. If in 5 years you were unable to add a single additional long haul route, then you have failed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee09:29

      JFK was launched for political reasons and personally I am happy the government pushed them to do it. On their own they probably would have never ventured into the long-haul market. Like this they were thrown into the pool and they were forced to learn how to swim.
      I think they didn't launch ORD in winter when they have free capacity because they wouldn't be able to operate it in summer unless they expand their A330 fleet.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:33

      Shame the government does not push them to start second long haul route. The funny thing is I think it could actually work or really well.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:38

      At this stage, the govt has enough on their plate funding their significant losses on the short haul network for the next few years until they get back to normal without having to cover additional huge losses on another long haul adventure.

      Delete
    4. Nemjee10:04

      As someone mentioned above, JFK became profitable meaning YYZ and ORD can be too. Long-haul routes help in the development of the short-haul ones. It's thanks to JFK that many regional routes are managing to survive in winter, especially now.

      Delete
    5. It is so silly how many people keep posting over and over how they suck for not adding more wide body AC and additional destinations. Most seem to forget that covid has been around for 2 years and non small airlines would plan an expensive project in such a times.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:26

    Any long-haul expansion should be followed with the strengthening of the regional network. Unless they plan to expand their regional fleet, I don't see how they will manage that

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:28

    The Balkan Diaspora is huge in Chicago and Toronto. If Air Serbia's prices are 10-20% less than AF, KLM, Lufthansa etc. then it can work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:30

      Why not combine ORD & YYZ?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:32

      Wouldn't that be problematic because of security? All passengers would have to get out of the plane, be screened again. And what happens if someone has a Canadian visa but not a US visa? Do you need a visa to transit through the US?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:34

      And you don't think that these behemoths would respond to any JU price initiative ??

      Delete
    4. Vlad17:05

      There is absolutely no reason why a direct flight should be less expensive than a connecting one. Diaspora should (and likely would) in fact pay a 10-20% premium to fly direct and with a Serbian-speaking crew.

      Delete
    5. In YYZ you actually clear US customs before flying and then land locally in ORD without needing to go through security a second time if boarding another flight. If there was a flight from ORD directly to BEG I would fly to there from any Canadian city, just to avoid the hassle of going through security in Europe (i.e. FRA, CDG or LHR).

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:31

    I'm looking forward to seeing what Air Serbia has in store for us next year. I hope there are some surprises coming :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:35

      Alot depends on the strategic plan

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:35

      Don't get too excited

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:36

      Reducing losses would be a nice surprise.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:37

    Hope for more growth in 2022.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:39

    If New York route is profitable and the numbers are good, the logical thing would be to add more flights

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:40

      They don't have the aircraft for that.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:43

      6 pw is the most they can have with one plane

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:41

    They should use the current lower leasing rates to get a second A330

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:44

    They said from the start that JFK is a long term investment and that it would take around 5 years to make it profitable. They also said they would start Toronto and Chicago between 3 to 5 years after launching New York.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:46

      They could not foresee a global pandemic

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:55

      I wonder if the pandemic didn't happen whether we would have a second widebody now.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous09:45

    I wonder how much JU profited from non-EU and non Shcengen passengers being unable to transfer via EU or Schengen countries to the US for the offset 18 months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:49

      It helped a lot. But that end in 2 weeks.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous09:49

    Perhaps they should take LAX into consideration

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:53

      That would be one long rotation for the plane.

      Delete
    2. It is a looong and an expensive flight. I wonder is there sufficient premium passengers from BEG to LAX, despite LA being LA.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous09:51

    With 2 flight p/w outside peak holiday period they can comfortably use the aircraft on some other route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:54

      I don't understand why the aircraft in off season isn't used on frequent routes by demand?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:55

      They have slowly started doing that. They have sent it many times to Moscow and now Podgorica.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:02

      In winter there is little need for A330 to be used on any route except Zurich around Christmas time.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous09:52

    The only thing that matters is profitability.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:13

      Sometimes seizing an opportunity to ensure long term profitability for short term loss is more important.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous09:56

    Second long haul destination was expected long time ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:01

      Still waiting....

      Delete
  27. Anonymous09:57

    Introduction of second long haul destination will allow them to improve utilization during winter months. What are they waiting for?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:00

      It would also increase losses significantly.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous10:01

    Does any airline codeshare on their JFK flights?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:03

      No.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:05

      Montenegro Airlines and Atlasglobal used to but both are history now.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous10:09

    Unpopular opinion around here but I actually appreciate the cautious approach JU management has had towards long haul expansion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:29

      Thank you for this comment

      Delete
  30. Anonymous10:10

    I think the JFK route was introduced too soon but nevertheless, they persisted and it became established and an option for more people in SE Europe who might have otherwise used TK, LH or OS.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous10:12

    How the mighty have fallen. OS used to be one of the top airlines for US transfers from Belgrade years ago. Look at it now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:14

      A lot more airlines fly to Belgrade now than when Austrian was an important player at BEG.

      Delete
  32. Anonymous10:15

    KLM will be high up on that table for US transfers this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:16

      And Alitalia will be gone.

      Delete
    2. Alitalia has more lives than all cats in Rome

      Delete
  33. Anonymous10:16

    What can they do to get more passengers in winter months?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:25

      Improve regional connectivity and frequencies.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous10:18

    I am amazed how JU management keeps saying that the route is doing well, how it is a strategic one and then as a result they have 2 flights per week in winter. That is not normal and far from great to say the least. Any AC is most expensive when it sits on the tarmac.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:18

      They pay their plane ARB per hour of flying.

      Delete
  35. Anonymous10:42

    The flights to America are beyond a reasonable doubt a financial desaster for Air Serbia. I wonder why they don't stop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:43

      You have no clue

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:45

      You made that conclusion based on this: "It is one of our strongest routes, which continues to produce positive results despite the pandemic”.

      Some people still can't get over that JU is flying long haul while others are flying to Rome with a stop.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:19

      Successfully flying long haul.
      Well done Air Serbia!

      Delete
  36. Anonymous11:16

    Funny how they brag about being in the top of the on-time performance in JFK, with less than one daily flight on average.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:22

      Funny how you would like your national airline to fly TATL but it does not happen.
      And it won't.

      Delete
  37. Priority for Air Serbia is to become member of Sky Team, so future expansion in the USA and China will be much easier

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:16

      Oneworld would be better.
      Belgrade lacks Oneworld carriers ...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:53

      Star Alliance links with Lufthansa and United, which has hub in Chicago. But that would probably defeat the ability for AirSerbia to offer lower cost flights from Chicago.

      Delete
    3. Vlad17:12

      OneWorld makes the most sense by far.

      Delete
    4. It's probably because of close ties to Aeroflot

      Delete
  38. Why is nobody mentioning that AS will be flying to China and Yekaterinburg next year? And they have already announced that other expansion is in the works. If there are no new planes coming this would not be possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:12

      Because it wont happen.
      Dont be so naive Miroslav.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:16

      Miro has his flights to JFK, so he doesn't care about ORD, or LAX, or MIA.

      Delete
  39. Anonymous16:28

    It's good to see US cities but what about Argentina? There is a huge Yogoslav diaspora over there especially in Buenos Aires and
    Chaco. Maybe an initial 2 weekly service can work well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vlad17:14

      Much larger airlines don't fly to Argentina. Besides diaspora is a good way to fill Economy, but new long-haul routes should be launched based on business and tourism demand, not diaspora.

      Delete
  40. Anonymous20:14

    Even though im from Croatia I love to see how AirSerbia is progressing, of course the progress isnt rapid but slowly they're getting there. I hope to see another A330 by the summer or at least end of 2022. I hope Croatia Airlines can eventually find a strategic partner and become profitable so they can maybe lease a widebody.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:20

      So nice of you to say, even though you're from Croatia. ;-)

      Delete
  41. Anonymous21:43

    Two JU managers repeat the same message: US market is of great importance to Air Serbia. I'd be a millionaire if I had a dollar every time Air Serbia said it. Yes we know US market is important and have been hearing that for 5 years. Tell us something we don't know.

    When they say US market they really mean only JFK. If any other US market was of great importance they would have started it already.

    ReplyDelete

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