Turkish Airlines eyes new year-round Belgrade route


The Turkish Ambassador to Serbia, Hami Aksoy, has said his diplomatic mission is assisting Turkish Airlines in the introduction of a new year-round service between Antalya and Belgrade. However, due to the rigid bilateral air service agreement between the two countries, which outlines the need for the national carrier of each not to object to the launch of any new service, the Embassy is in discussions with Air Serbia in order to enable the route. “Our goal is to connect Serbia with Antalya through nonstop year-round flights with Turkish Airlines. We are currently talking about this with Air Serbia. I hope we will succeed as Southern Turkey has lovely weather all year round, perfect for tourist visits”, Mr Aksoy said.

Air Serbia does not operate scheduled flights to Antalya, however, the coastal city is one of the centrepieces of its leisure charter operations. Growing relations between Air Serbia and Turkish Airlines, as well as the recent revision of the bilateral air agreement, have enabled Turkish Airlines to boost frequencies between Istanbul and Belgrade with the introduction of a third daily service, and for it to launch operations between Ankara and the Serbian capital under its lower cost unit brand AnadoluJet. In return, Air Serbia has established flights from both Niš and Kraljevo to Istanbul and holds a monopoly on lucrative charter services between the two countries. While Turkish Airlines runs seasonal flights from Antalya to numerous cities, it only maintains year-round operations to Istanbul and Moscow.

Commenting on the potential of the new service, the Ambassador noted, “We are not only working on bringing more Serbian tourists to Turkey but also encouraging Turkish tourists to come to Serbia in greater numbers. Our two countries have a visa-free regime and soon enough, passports will not be needed as only a chipped ID card will suffice for entering either country. Our goal is to get to know each other more and better by launching additional flights and exchanging more tourists”. He added, “In 2021, the number of Serbian tourists visiting Turkey outstripped the pre-pandemic period by 85%. Statistical data shows that over 230.000 Serbian tourists visited Turkey last year. The number of tourists from Turkey who visited Serbia increased by 95% and stood at about 48.000. Our goal this year is to increase the number of visits from Serbia to Turkey in the 2022 season to at least 300.000. If everything goes well, we will soon reach a figure of half a million Serbian tourists”.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    I'm not so sure Air Serbia will be willing to cooperate on this route but let's see. Maybe they would get something in return.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:05

      I don't think it will hurt JU's 5 daily (sometimes more) on this route. This will give people an option to book independently because JU only has charters.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:07

      JU is afraid that some agencies will switch to TK because they don't have the best relationship.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:19

      JU is generally not very popular in Serbia, either with agencies or passengers. That is why so many chose their competition. JU treats their customers badly in general.

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL11:53

      @10,05

      TK started BEG as 3 pw. Today it is 3 daily. JU in the mean time hasn't done anything drastic other than changing the B733 for an A319 on the route. At least the ATR isn't operating on the route as much as it used to.

      @10,19

      Absolutely. JU struggles with the fundamentals. For alot of people in Serbia, JU isn't their first option when traveling as they are not viewed as being well priced. Customer service is terrible. Such a shame.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:23

      Anon 10.19, that is so not true. Whether someone likes or not one company is irrelevant, but saying that AirSerbia treats their passengers badly without any proof is simply malicious.
      I can understand you had some bad experience, but i haven't so what?! Have you see how other legacies treat customers and is is any better? Have you seen how Ryan treats own passengers? Well, I have and that is horrible, so i always choose their "competition".

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:38

      Well, JU's marketshare in BEG was 37% and 38% in January and February. Why are people not flying with JU but are doing that with their competition if JU treats their passengers right? Funny how JU stopped publishing their passenger numbers from March. I wonder why that is.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:17

      It's not just that. Imagine having a Czech CEO and not being able to fly more than 2 times per week to Prague on a turboprop with 66 seats. There should be enough O&D demand and transfers to fill at least 4 to 5 weekly flights.
      This is no joke of an airport. In 2021 it handled 4,388,826 passengers. Even RO has 4 weekly on B737-700 from OTP.
      Maybe it's time for Wizz Air to launch BEG-PRG?

      Delete
    8. JATBEGMEL15:13

      Sending an ATR on a route like BEG-PRG is terrible. Even JAT 20 years ago was at least sending a mix of B727, DC9 and B733. Waste of an ATR that is needed on the regional flights.

      @12,33

      The comment isn't malicious, rather constructive criticism. Malicious is pretending everything is perfect when it isn't. Take a look at their comments on their social media pages, as well as other review sites.

      Delete
    9. Even RO? Bucuresti is bigger city, Romania has almost triple more citizens and higher GDP per capita

      Delete
    10. Anonymous17:16

      Because RO was a joke until new ATRs arrived. They started growing and expanding.

      Delete
    11. Maybe, but RO had more than 3 milion travelers in 2019. without new ATR's.

      Delete
    12. Lol. Bucharest airport without LC carriers would be on Sarajevo airport level. Maybe is bigger city than Belgrade, but has much less money in total. GDP stats are also very questonable.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous19:18

      Plus it helps that there are millions of Romanians in Italy and Spain.

      Delete
    14. LCC carriers have bigger market share than legacy in OTP. Bucharest airport without LCC is similar to BEG.
      I'm Serbian and I wish you were right about Bucharest/Belgrade money, but...

      Delete
    15. Anonymous21:01

      What a ridiculous argument. Should we start deducting LCC passengers when we compare any airport to BEG?

      Delete
    16. I agree, I just answered

      Delete
    17. Anonymous21:44

      Romania is a large country with three times the population of Serbia. Proportionally OTP serves about the same number of passengers as Belgrade.

      Delete
    18. Anonymous21:49

      And?

      Delete
    19. Anonymous22:25

      @Miami
      Have you been to Bucharest? The city looks like New York compared to Belgrade. Ridiculous comment about what will be OTP without the LCC. GDP is over the average of EU in the city of Bucharest and Ilfov region.

      Delete
    20. Anonymous22:50

      I bet you haven't been to Belgrade. That's for sure.

      Delete
    21. Hah Bucharest looks like NYC? I honestly can not with how ridiculous some people on here are . Passengers definitely love AirSerbia and I personally have to say they got one of the friendlier crews I have ever experienced. Also have you seen or heard about their load factor to those destinations? Definitely not empty bcs people hate AirSerbia. You might hare JU bcs they are doing very well and they keep better and better.

      Delete
    22. Anonymous08:40

      Hahahahah Bucharest like New York? Bucharest has a nice downtown with some nice buildings but it's far from being a nice city or anything close to NYC.
      If you look at departures from OTP, 70% of those are to gasto areas. Don't forget that when QR was linking OTP and SOF, they were flying non-stop to BEG.

      Delete
    23. Anonymous11:13

      80% of BEG flights are Montenegro & gasto

      Delete
    24. Anonymous12:22

      No, they are not, stop making things up because you are frustrated. Are gastos flying to IST, ESB, DXB, DOH, VCE, SVO, KRR, LED, ROV...? Meanwhile OTP has a gazzilion flights to every village in Spain and Italy.

      Delete
    25. Anonymous12:49

      You're making things up, and you and the BEG fanboys started comparing and bringing out nonsensical arguments. Superiority complex at its best.

      Delete
    26. Anonymous13:15

      No, you just can't deal with the fact that BEG is starting to thrive especially this summer when JU introduces so many new, non gasto routes.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:01

    Great news. Scheduled flights are needed on this route.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:02

    Nice to hear however, I belive routes to tourist destioations are needed because charters are not enough

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:02

    Can it really work in winter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee09:07

      Antalya region is home to 2.6 million people. Most of these live off of tourism in summer so they have disposable income to spend on traveling outside the summer season. Belgrade is just two hours away and there is no visa regime which I think many will appreciate.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:08

      Why Not?

      "I hope we will succeed as Southern Turkey has lovely weather all year round, perfect for tourist visits", Mr Aksoy said.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:21

      Why not what?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:23

      Why would it not be able to work in winter.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:49

      Yes it can

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:03

    That is a significant number of tourists from Serbia to Turkey. No wonder they want to launch this route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:04

      Yes interesting. I also think there will be a huge increase in Turkish tourists this year. Many Turks visit Ukraine each year and due to current circumstances these people will likely look for a similarly priced alternative

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:16

      The number of Serbian tourists to Turkey will keep growing because it is very cheap because of the collapse of the lira. I was in Istanbul last month and everything was notably cheaper than in Belgrade.

      Delete
  6. Nemjee09:05

    JU should agree to this and in return launch scheduled year-round flights to Izmir. It's a rich part of the country with a lot of demand.

    Turkey will eventually get these rights just like they got ESB flights and the third daily from IST.
    JU should stop hiding behind the bilateral and work on boosting their overall competitiveness on the Serbia-Turkey market.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Considering the embassy is involved and is give this a lot of backing, I think JU will agree in the end. But will probably wait for summer to pass.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:07

      * is giving I meant to say

      Delete
    3. Nemjee09:11

      Which is why JU should work on a Turkish strategy rather than just fight this through politics. Personally I think that handing over ESB to TK was a strategic mistake. This could have been a fantastic market for them with a healthy combination of transfers and locals. After Istanbul, Ankara and now Antalya, Izmir is most definitely next on TK's list.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:11

      Izmir would be a good trade off. Or maybe they give Air Serbia to fly 2 weekly to Ankara as well?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:27

      Would it make any sense for Air Serbia to ask for more frequencies to Istanbul? Or are there more than enough flights on this route?

      Delete
    6. Nemjee09:29

      Well, Air Serbia should face reality. Era of protectionism on the Serbian-Turkish market is slowly coming to its end. Turkish carriers are becoming increasingly aggressive and they are less tolerant of Air Serbia's games from the 1960s. Soon enough total market liberalization between the two countries will be on the table as a result of TK's lobbying.

      Also, don't forget that Pegasus keeps on requesting more flights only to be turned down by the Directorate.

      Unless Air Serbia forms a new strategy for Turkey, it risks losing almost everything in the end. Political ties between Serbia and Turkey are constantly improving and Serbia is increasingly profiting from this due to Turkish tourists coming to Belgrade.

      In Q1, there were 15.612 Turkish tourists in Serbia which is an increase of 264%. In March alone there were 6.808 of them (+283%).
      As mentioned earlier, TK got their third daily from IST, they launched year-round flights to ESB and their earlier request for AYT flights was turned down by Serbia. What did TK do? They didn't sit quietly but they ran to the ministry of foreign affairs to complain (and rightly so).

      That is why I think JU needs to think really well about all this. Personally if I were them, I would have boosted IST to at least 12 weekly flights and have launched Izmir flights. The market is there, no doubt about that. Only question is how competent JU is at securing a piece of it for themselves. These KVO and INI flights are peanuts compared to the much larger and more lucrative market from BEG.

      Delete
    7. Nemjee09:31

      Anon 09.27

      From what I remember, the bilateral is based on reciprocity so JU could easily add more flights to IST. They need additional frequencies so as to be more appealing to the O&D travelers. They should focus on adding Monday morning flights as well as Friday and Sunday flights in the afternoon. These should be popular with Turkish and Serbian tourists as well as businessmen.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:32

      "Only question is how competent JU is at securing a piece of it for themselves. "

      Unfortunately I don't think very. I believe it is extremely difficult to compete against Turkish. TK has a surprisingly good reputation in Serbia and presented with a choice, many would choose them over JU.

      But if we remember that 3 years ago JU wasn't even flying to Istanbul, this is a great situation today.

      Delete
    9. Nemjee09:36

      Anon 09.32

      JU doesn't have to be more competitive than TK, after all, it can't. What it can do is be convenient and relevant at least on BEG-IST.
      Adding flights that would be convenient for the O&D traffic should be a good first step. See from there where things go.
      However if they don't follow their competition on this market then they risk losing not just the battle but the war.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:49

      Izmir is a lost JU opportunity, dunno what they're waiting for...

      Delete
    11. Anonymous09:51

      Odd there are not too many Izmir charters in summer.

      Delete
    12. Nemjee09:55

      They don't need charters, Turkish gasto transfers are enough to make this route viable.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous10:01

      @9.51 likely because Izmir city does not have beaches itself but rather surrounding areas so I guess Antalya is more popular.

      Delete
    14. JATBEGMEL11:39

      @nemjee

      Couldn't agree more with your comments.

      At least boosting their flights to an A320 would make them more competitive, especially price wise.

      Delete
    15. Anonymous13:43

      Guys come on, you think JU can make ADB work while completely failing in TLV. Someone wrote the other day that Arkia doubled their BEG flights in May and even today they increased capacity from E95 to B738.

      Meanwhile JU completely withdrew from the Middle East after Lord knows how many decades.

      Delete
    16. Nemjee14:25

      Well, as of tonight at midnight, Serbia is removing all entry restrictions including proof of vaccination for both Serbs and foreigners. Hopefully this boosts bookings in and out of BEG. JU might have its flaws but I do hope they pull their act together as BEG needs them in order to grow beyond the O&D market.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:05

    Wow, Turkish is really flexing its muscle in BEG. First they introduce Ankara flights, then third daily Belgrade and now they want scheduled year round Antalya flights.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:06

    Not surprised. They want a piece of the cake that JU has been enjoying competition free for years. The only way they can do it is through scheduled flights.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous09:10

    Excellent. Bring it on.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:12

    In summer they could use A330 from Antalya to Belgrade without a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:14

    Poor Pegasus :D Stuck between these two national airlines it can't do anything in BEG as no side will allow them to grow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:17

      Stuck between a rock and a hard place.

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:31

      They did the only thing they could, start sending the A321neo to BEG. :)

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:33

      As they get more A321s, I'm sure they will start sending it although I think that even capacity increase has to be approved by the directorate so I'm not sure about their chances.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:17

    Fingers crossed they succeed.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:21

    Oh I don't see Air Serbia giving up this up so easily. Then again they could have lobbied for the launch of this route themselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      I'm glad they haven't. Knowing Air Serbia, they would fly to one season and then cancel it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:22

      Well JU has been putting a greater emphasis on turning leisure charters into scheduled flights. Look at Spain and the new route to Valencia and bookings for Palma are fantastic.

      Delete
    3. Nemjee09:38

      BCN should be an interesting market this summer with literally everyone boosting capacity this summer, even Vueling.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous08:41

      Vueling resumes BEG tonight.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:26

    Let Turkish launch Antalya while Air Serbia should get another route in Turkey. Like someone mentioned, Izmir would be a good option. it is Turkey's third largest city after Istnabul and Ankara.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:28

    Allow them to fly 2 times per week. It won't hurt JU's charter flights. There is more than enough demand.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:39

    The Turkish Ambassador has been very proactive in securing new flights between Serbia and Turkey. After all he assisted in negotiations that resulted in Anadolujet starting Ankara and Air Serbia flights from Nis and Kraljevo to Istanbul. If there is anyone that can help pull these flights off it is him so I am sure they will become a reality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:13

      Shame that we don;t have such bullish Ambassadors doing the same heavy lifting that the Turkish Ambassadors do. Their Ambassadors are so hands on to make things move not just for their airline, but for all Turkish companies.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:42

    Much needed!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous09:43

    I wonder how many people travel to Antalya outside of the charter flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to pre-pandemic data, it was Belgrade Airport’s fourteenth busiest unserved route based on indirect traffic and Turkish Airlines’ top transfer destination from/to Belgrade.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:58

      Thanks! Makes sense than that they want to start this route.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:48

    Congratulations to TK for being so proactive.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous09:48

    Yes please

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:49

    Don't forget Anadolujet was supposed to fly Antalya scheduled last year but the directorate did not let them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:51

      True. They even started selling tickets before the directorate struck them down.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:58

      Directorate = Air Serbia

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:15

      And the Turkish Directorate doesn't equal to TK ?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:20

      Have the Turks ever blocked JU from expanding?

      Delete
    5. JATBEGMEL11:27

      @10,20

      They have. There used to be disagreements every summer over these charters. JU had its slots revoked at the old IST when they rebranded as Air Serbia. In 1992 a JAT B733 (YU-ANJ) was impounded for 8 years.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:35

      Wrong. JU got middle of the night slots at the old IST which would have been fantastic for transfer passengers. In the JU got the slots it wanted and failed miserably in IST.

      Meanwhile TK gets blocked but unlike JU it doesn't get its way in the end

      Delete
    7. JATBEGMEL15:00

      JU got middle of the night slots because their original slots were revoked when they rebranded as Air Serbia. So the comment is not wrong. Seeing as JU never operated a single flight with those slots shows that JU didn't decide to change their schedule, it was being forced on them. JU was given the same midday slots they had, but at SAW, which they operated until Serbia threatened to revoke slots to Turkish carriers in Belgrade.

      Midnight flights would be great, but only to compliment the midday flights, not to replace them.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous17:18

      Air Serbia could keep Jat's slots but they didn't want to because they were random. They asked to get slots during TK's busiest period and there were no free slots. Everyone struggled to get slots at the old airport, not just JU.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous10:04

    I was expecting this. I can imagine many at JU won't be happy. There are close to 100.000 passengers flying on this route each year.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous10:05

    How many frequencies could we expect?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:06

      Last year they wanted to fly 4 weekly.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:08

      In summer that is

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:15

      And they had a perfect timetable planned

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/p/anadolujet-antalya-belgrade.html

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:06

    I fear JU will use its sway and block this.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous10:07

    Serbian tour operators would love this! Many don't like working with JU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:18

      That's exactly why TK is pushing this. By getting scheduled flights, they get around the fact that they can't operate charter flights on this route and will simply upgauge the capacity in the peak period and slowly siphon away what for JU is one of the few wins they have over TK on the Turkish routes. They should fight this tooth and nail if they want to stay relevant on Turkey.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous10:09

    Great news for BEG!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous10:13

    Bad news for JU.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous10:14

    Hopefully TK is allowed to increase BEG. Much nicer to fly with modern planes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:15

      Said someone who never stepped in any plane ... ;-)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:35

      Well their plane between Istanbul and Belgrade have a proper business class, PTVs in each seat, complimentary catering, are on average their aircraft are much younger.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:46

      Right now in the air:

      BEG-IST
      JU A319 YU-APB 16 years old
      No IFE, no dedicated business class, barely any service in economy, buy on board.

      IST BEG
      TK A321 TC-JTI 6 years old
      IFE, dedicated business class, full service in both classes, fancy experience.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous10:17

    Instead to launch as many as they can scheduled summer service to Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria... costal towns, JU is sleeping and waiting only for charters, as their milking cow, to get passangers on the plate. Probably part of a strategic planning

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:20

      Strategic planning to be Wizzier than Wizz

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:39

      Air Serbia's approach to Antalya is the same as Hurghada. Do a lot of summer charters. Meanwhile Air Cairo manages to fly scheduled year round flights on this route for years. TK would be successful here too.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:47

      Don't forget that JU blocked Air Cairo from flying to BEG from Cairo and Sharm. How unfortunate.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous13:11

    How is TK's Ankara-Belgrade route performing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:49

      After New Year loads were very weak and they even cancelled some flights.
      Since March numbers were going up and fares are quite high right now. In an interview, Anadoloujet CEO said that the route is improving mostly because of Turks coming to Serbia and that they will consider adding a third flight if this trend continues. That's paraphrasing it, of course.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous17:15

    It would be so good if Serbia again would abolish visa for Iranians .
    The world needs iranian oil and will loosen sanctions on Iran because of its war against Russia in Ukraine .
    Iran Air wanted to fly from Tehran,Isfahan and Mashhad to Belgrade and codeshare with JU !
    Imagine that potential ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JATBEGMEL18:49

      Great idea. We can have more migrants on our streets and in camps by the border. EU countries were really impressed and jealous of Serbia granting visa free access to Iranian nationals that it wanted to suspend our citizens visa free access to the EU. The route had soo much potential that once visas were returned flights not even a fraction of the flights came back.

      https://www.rferl.org/a/serbia-abolishes-visa-free-travel-iranians-citing-abuses-by-some-migrants-to-eu-/29539329.html

      Delete
  32. Anonymous17:54

    I am
    always treated well
    on JU flights and I fly some 150000 miles per year on
    many airlines…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:19

      Says an anonymous poster.

      Delete