Air Serbia with further potential for short-haul network growth


Air Serbia has begun the process of introducing twelve new routes this month with services to Trieste, Lyon, Hanover and Bari inaugurated over the past seven days, while Bologna, Nuremberg, Salzburg, Palma and Sochi are all set to follow this week. “Thanks to this important network expansion, we will be operating flights to more than seventy scheduled and charter destinations during the summer season”, the carrier’s CEO, Jiri Marek, said. The airline has put a greater focus on leisure destinations in Italy and Spain this summer with the leisure travel market recovering the quickest from the coronavirus pandemic. The likes of Bologna, Trieste and Valencia were all within the top twenty busiest unserved destinations from Belgrade until the Serbian carrier launched them this summer. Several points in these two markets, including Catania, Florence and Malaga, remain popular from the Serbian capital and potential future destinations.


Air Serbia has staved off introducing longer European sectors to its network which remain the most popular destinations from its hub in Belgrade. Lisbon is one of Belgrade’s busiest unserved routes, with Porto also fairing well. Wizz Air was to introduce services to the Portuguese capital in the summer of 2020 but cancelled its plans due to travel restrictions resulting from Covid-19 at the time. Previously, the route was operated by TAP Air Portugal for just six months, from July 2014 until January 2015. At the time, an airline spokesperson said, “The route performed well during the summer, but bookings for the winter months were not encouraging”. During the winter season, triangle flights via Budapest were maintained. The Portuguese carrier was also experiencing a chronic fleet shortage at the time and discontinued several other destinations in its European network. Another popular route which could be of potential interest to Air Serbia is Manchester, with the bulk of Belgrade traffic to and from the city currently being handled by KLM which launched services to the Serbian capital only last year.


Belgrade Airport has seen growing demand for flights from the main gateways in the Caucuses, which combined with transfer traffic to and from Western Europe and North America, could provide healthy loads on nonstop flights. The Georgian capital of Tbilisi was within the top twenty busiest unserved European cities from Belgrade. It was followed by Baku, Sochi and Yerevan. On the other hand, Krakow remains a potential destination for the Serbian carrier and the eleventh busiest unserved city in Europe. Last year, Mr Marek noted, “When it comes to Poland, we would most likely be interested in opening our own flights from Belgrade to one of the airports in the south of the country, perhaps to Krakow”. Air Serbia considered introducing flights to Poland’s second largest city as early back as 2014”.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    A lack of aircraft will continue to be their main issue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:02

      In saying that I meant it's their main obstacle to launching new routes.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:07

      Which only goes to show how bad at planning they have become. I mean it's not like they don't have the whole winter to freaking arrange to have enough planes delivered on time.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:27

      Word planning is not in Serbian vocabulary :))

      Delete
    4. Well, obviously we speak the same language. In Croatian neither ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:04

    Is there any chance of Geneva being reinstated?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      I don't think they can compete against easyjet. I don't know what possessed them to do so in the first place.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:22

      I don't think they were possessed but instead saw the demand and gave it a go.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    I'm surprised about Manchester being near the top of unserved routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      Admin do you have the numbers for BEG-MAN? BEG has many destinations already covered so these unserved markets probably have a more modest demand.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:37

      I fly from Paris to Sochi 15th July ,via Belgrad and I pay 2500€ for 3 persons ๐Ÿ˜•! It’s more expensive that I think ! I hope that I have a good flight with Air Serbia

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:52

      Well, taking a ship to Sochi is the other option.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:13

      Don't know if people know that in summer 2019 Air Serbia applied for 3 weekly slots to Manchester. They never followed through though.

      Delete
    5. "They never follow through.". Not sure if you heard of Covid that started in 2019.

      Delete
    6. JATBEGMEL16:56

      @LaneHotLane

      Covid started after the summer 2019 season, and only became a problem in 2020.

      @10,13

      I'm curious as to the slots they requested. It would be interesting to see how it would of been timed.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:06

    First flight from Sochi to Belgrade is sold out, second is selling for over 80.000 Dinars.

    Though I have to say that JU is behaving like a bandit on this route. Cheapest one way fare is 54.000 Dinars!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      They must be making a lot of money on this route.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:10

      They probably are but ripping off your customers and irritating them is not the right way to build a long-term relationship with your clients.

      Delete
    3. Vlad09:25

      Tell that to LH and the other big European airlines who are currently selling €1k+ fares for one-way travel at D-1.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:27

      Whenever JU expanded to the east as in Russia, it turned out as a great investment so I think they should consider Yerevan. Armenia has a huge diaspora in Europe so JU could offer transfers

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:39

      I fly from Paris to Sochi 15th July ,via Belgrad and I pay 2500€ for 3 persons ๐Ÿ˜•! It’s more expensive that I think ! I hope that I have a good flight with Air Serbia

      Delete
    6. Nemjee09:44

      Long-term JU needs to have an additional wave at around 10.20, similar to their LCA and LHR flights. Like that they could offer midnight departures to places like Yerevan, Baku, Tbilisi... which can't return to Belgrade by 05.30 the next day.

      Until then it will be extremely difficult to schedule these flights. Just look at how challenging Rostov was with a split schedule. Cairo and Amman too.

      Delete
    7. JATBEGMEL17:09

      @nemjee

      I agree.

      Extending the midday wave would do the trick. Start it at around 10am with some flights heading west (as you mentioned, LCA is there, as well as LHR and LCA, ZRH perhaps could depart earlier, plus perhaps CDG and those longer rotations such as MAD, MAN) finishing with regional flights by 2pm. Having a few regional flights operate between 6-7am and around 6pm would add extra options for transfers (morning TIA and SJJ which would also connect with JFK as well as Balkan routes). Quite a few possibilities for them to explore.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous19:19

      JU would be charging smaller fares if it were able to offer more supply, which it wanted to do (or if there was competition, which JU is not stopping). Short supply for Russian routes is 100% due to EU pressure. Short supply + fixed demand equals either high fares or no supply left at all. The blame for high fares is not on JU

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:07

    All this is good, but just checked today's departures and very few flights left on time. Like I previously mentioned. ASL must avoid a 2016 Vueling scenario with immense expansions and then chaotic operations due to fleet shortage. If only 1 plane stops, it'll be catastrophic.
    Also, the newly leased planes are not young at all. Anything can happen.
    Trustpilot reviews already indicating they are having delays...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Don't forget that YU-APK also broke down and is currently undergoing maintenance. Someone really failed at his job when it came to fleet planning.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:09

      +1

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:14

      I didn't know about APK. Thanks. Makes sense.
      They should really be careful at the start of the summer season as there is an expected boom of travel in Europe this summer.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:16

      And someone is clearly failing with operations and in keeping aircraft on time and flying....

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:17

      What they need is those 10 A320neos Dane cancelled.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:22

      Wet leasing more and more planes in summer cannot be a long term solution.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:29

      @9.17 - it is important to factually present your arguments. That order was cancelled by Naysmith, long after Dane had left. And in hindsight, it was the right move as that order would almost certainly have bankrupted the company knowing wht we know today and what has happened over the past 2 years. They definately need more aircraft, but mid-age second hand aircraft will more than adequately suit their purposes - both operationally but more importantly, financially

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:08

    I really hope Wizz Air will bring back plans to start Lisbon. Don't see Air Serbia doing it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:10

    Lot's of missed opportunities for JU

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      Ok I'm not defending JU here but they are launching total of 13 routes this summer - 11 from Belgrade. In 2019 they launched another 10 from BEG. They are far from perfect but with a number of limitations they have I think they are using many opportunities. Hell they even launched routes during the peak of Covid.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:16

      Agree with last anon. Some people here have lost the plot a bit. How many new routes per year would satisfy you from a small airline like JU? I think an average of 10 per year is significant.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:33

      We are getting greedy :D

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:14

    In my opinion their current network is more than OK. What they should work on now is increasing frequencies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      JU frequencies are quite decent on most routes in general

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:32

      JUs network is great. A big mix of main European hubs, gasto routes and a big offer of leasure destinations.

      Delete
    3. Nemjee10:46

      Number of destinations is great but what they need to work on are the frequencies. They need to fly at least double daily to all major European airports.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:51

      And triple daily to regional destinations.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:24

      Indeed, they especially need morning departures from BEG to the region on days when they have the early morning arrival from JFK.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:18

    I still think a lot of the current routes they launched this summer won't make it past this summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      Especially the Italian ones.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:20

      I think most of the Italian routes are seasonal no?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:21

      Only Bari as far as I'm aware but I'm guessing some others will also become seasonal.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:24

      there is a lot of demand for Italy.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:25

      JU has used the opportunity that Alitalia is no longer on the market and ITA is not in Belgrade

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:24

    Introducing some of these routes by say JU could have a negative impact on their existing flights. For example, I'm sure starting Manchester would decrease their passenger numbers on the London Heathrow route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      Actually most people connecting to the UK from Belgrade do so via AMS.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:31

      Not correct! My son lives in Manchester and he flies usually with Lufthansa, because it is not easy to transfer in London using trains and underground

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:14

      They applied for 3 weekly slots at MAN airport in 2019 but never started it.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:28

    Some of these routes could be easily covered. But the airport also has to do some homework as well and try more to attract airlines. Not everything can be launched and operated by JU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:54

      The issue is all these routes are potential JU routes and the airport was probably told not to cast the net too far wide in pursuit of new customers.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:01

      Sure sure, the govt is telling a private company which paid over half a billion euros for the concession (plus 750 million in investments) what they can and cannot do. And that company that has a yearly revenue larger than Serbian govt’s budget is totally bowing down to them. People really need to drop that story, this is not 2008, the airport is not bring bossed around by Air Serbia.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:28

    Any rumours regarding the flights to Dublin?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:31

    Malaga should be on their radar. Many travel with Ryan out of Budapest

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:31

    Potencial destinations for JU Dublin,Lisbon, Malaga,Greece/Turkey (from charters to regular),Krakow, Tbilisi,Yerevan,Baku,Almaty,Nursultan,Russia,Manchester,Birmingham,Helsinki,Beirut, Ohrid,Kukes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:12

      Lisbon is ok, but way too far. JU would spend a lot of time on one rotation and we all see they do not have enough planes.

      Dublin is really not necessary. Serbian diaspora in this country is not that big at all and Serbians still need visa to go there. Also there is no touristic potential.

      Malaga is fine destination, but we need first to see how Valencia will be developed. Too many destinations to distant European destinations might be problematic.

      Flights to Turkey are limited due to bilateral agreement and can't be open that easy unlike Greece which is already connected with BEG with flights from SKG and ATH. Except charters in the summer (which are being organizes) I do not see potential for any other schedule route to Greece.

      Krakow is obviously on JU radar, but they still do not open that route from some reason probably known to them.

      Tbilisi/Yerevan/Baku/Almaty/Nursultan are way too far with almost non existing P2P traffic and are not realistic at all.

      New flights to Russia might be problematic due to EU sanctions.

      Flights to other cities in UK should be on JU list but only after UK removes insane visa regime for Serbian citizens. The costs of that visa are huge and surely demotivate many people from visiting UK. London is huge city where quite a lot of Serbian citizens live and therefore direct flight is justified, but for other cities in UK it is still very far away.

      Helsinki failed before pandemic and had one of the worst LF while economic situation in Beirut is still so bad that most of local population can't afford to fly to western countries (also in this case there was almost no P2P passengers but transfers via BEG).

      OHD is close but probably JU believes that they can use their ATR72 on some other more transfer destination.

      Kukes makes no sense at all.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:57

      Real expert discussion here ... Just statements, 0 arguments.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:15

      Have you tried to put glasses on?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:01

      Idk how Krakow has became so popular in this forum. I mean, yes the region is big but it has a very specific market.
      As for the UK, yep it is indeed a pain in the arse with those expensive visas. It is, however, a very important market in general. Only London has at least 5 airports to begin with...
      JU failed miserably in OHD:

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/02/air-serbia-to-end-ohrid-operations.html

      I think OHD is more of a destination included within the region eg. Asians would fly to BEG and then combine the rest of the neighbouring countries and then fly back from BEG. It is also a destination usually reached via ground transport. The only way is to attract Romanians or more Poles to visit it. It is not popular in those countries at all and they should start advertising it on TV, ads, etc. Look how Tirana and the Albanian coast became during the last 5 years.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous16:05

      Opening KRK may be difficult because of lack of slots at required times. And the situation will not get better.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:34

    Come back to the Middle East!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:44

    Moreover regional network (WB) could be better valorized as well with appropriate planning (morning flights) especially during this summer. But again...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous09:46

    Good to see they finally mentioned 2 very potential destinations: Mรกlaga and Catania as future ones. They will be quite successful similar to Barcelona and Madrid.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous09:54

    Great info

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:54

    When will the second A330 arrive?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:38

      When they order .

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:55

    Interesting. Lisbon, Porto, Manchester, Malaga and Catania are all Easyjet bases

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:57

      This will be interesting.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous09:56

    Who has more destinations right now? Sofia or Belgrade?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:16

      I think both are quite similar but SOF has more LCC and leisure destinations while BEG has more Balkan connections and Scandinavian ones.
      2 very different airports on my opinion.
      Also SOF is quite busy in winter as a ski destination but lacks connections to USA for instance.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous10:00

    What do you think about Varna or Burgas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:13

      Burgas is too seasonal even though it has prettier beaches and more things to do around it in summer. Varna is bigger, now has a small growing diaspora, universities and more year-round potential for JU. They still have a chance to compete with OS and TK though TK have very good fares because the flight is barely 35min.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:13

      I think they flew to Varna a while ago but it didn't work out.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:18

      I remember quite well The timing was bad and so was the schedule. I think afternoon flights might work pretty well for them.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous10:14

    Next summer JU will have to expand their fleet by two or three planes just to serve existing network.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:31

      And wet lease another two if they want to launch new routes.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:33

    Morning flight from Sarajevo would be good. Afternoon flight for years and with it bad or no connections at all

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:31

      I don't think they can do a morning flight from SJJ because of the airport's work hours.

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL19:21

      You can with a 6-7am departure from BEG. For example:

      JU110 BEG SJJ 0640 0730
      JU111 SJJ BEG 0800 0850

      First flights from SJJ leave around 6am.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous14:11

    They planned all these expansions but they didn't plan the fleet accordingly. Almost every day AMS. LHR are delayed significantly and now JFK on the return flight is more or less 1+ hr delayed as well for whatever reason. It is fine to fly to multiple destinations but an airline like JU needs to focus on quality of service for key destinations in order to justify the price of their not so cheap tickets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:30

      You should type in AMS and LHR in Google News to find out what is happening at these airports during the past 2 months to find out why so many flights are delayed.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:48

      @14:30 Seems that whatever is happening is migrating to other places as well, today LCA, TIV, ARL SPU to name a few that are quite late. You are trying to justify poor planning and poor AC maintenance. Just to remind A322 was undergoing a major maintenance check this spring and it recently broke down effectively (out of service for several days) twice since back in service. That tells you how good they are at doing things and planning.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous14:30

    One of the cities mentioned in this article will be launched later this year :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JATBEGMEL19:35

      Interesting.

      I want to say LIS or OPO due to them being Vinci airports as well and the possibility that JU would get favourable discounts. Downside is that the market is seasonal while the flight time might not make regional connections possible.

      AGP and CTA I see more starting around the summer months. FLR was supposed to start in the summer of 2020 2 pw with the A319, however as a seasonal route.

      TBS and EVN quite possible, but I got a feeling it'll be KRK.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous14:35

    i still think that beg-mbx 3 weekly flights with ATR could do pretty well

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous15:08

    Air Serbia is scrapping the bottom of the Top 20 unserved Euro destinations barrel in search of potential new destinations. Demand for Top 5 unserved long haul destinations dwarfs demand for the those Euro destinations.

    Common response is "Air Serbia doesn't have another plane for long haul and can't afford it". Truth to be told, Air Serbia doesn't have planes for short haul expansion either, they had to lease more planes for it. Summary cost of wet leasing Lumiwings, Dan Air, Trade air and Montenegro planes is higher than dry lease rates for another A330. Air Serbia could get another long haul plane and can afford it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous15:16

    In other ASL news, YU-ALO is now listed as parked, meaning ASL now has only 4 active ATR's.
    I guess this means that the third new AT76, (rumored to be ALX if i remember well) announced along with ALW, should be arriving any day now.
    What this temporary hole in their ATR fleet means for their regional network though, with all of their new routes and summer demand, is better not to think about...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:49

      I sure hope it arrives sooner rather than later. I am looking at their network today and it fell apart in regional wave. I think it is time for Grozdanic to be sacked with no questions asked. That man is a walking disaster.

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL19:14

      @16,49

      Do you know why it fell apart today? Did no other airline have a delay in BEG?

      @15,16

      Poor aircraft turn times in BEG seem to be having an effect on JU as well. ALU came in early from ZAG but took off late for VIE, causing SKP and BNX to depart late. It took almost an hour and a half to turn ALU between the ZAG and VIE rotations, enough time to turn a widebody. For comparison, ARB last week had a turn time of 1h 20 min in ZRH. Foreign carriers are coming in early or on time to BEG but departing late.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:50

      If Grozdanic is the best that they can do, then I guess it says everything about the current state of things inside of JU. It is little wonder that operationally, they are having the issues they are

      Delete
    4. Anonymous23:43

      Time to bring back Dane Kondic to get them back in shape (this time with frugal CFO)

      Delete
    5. Anonymous00:19

      No thanks

      Delete
    6. Anonymous05:12

      Then you have to get your s*** together ASAP.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:30

      Ok.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:45

      @JATBEGMEL That is true for foreign airlines.Especially Lufthansa & Swiss almost every single time,and even Air France.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous16:09

    On the comments about Manchester being an underserved viable route, I agree.
    I travel the route regularly, usually nowadays morning flight out to Frankfurt and onto Belgrade, return morning flight via Vienna to Manchester.
    You always recognise lots of faces from the Manchester flights on the Belgrade service and vice versa.
    Does anybody know if there's a large Serbian diaspora in NW England?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:14

      Is there a plan to introduce again Portoroz service?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous00:19

      I don't think so. Those flights would be weight restricted as well

      Delete
    3. Anonymous08:14

      Based on all MK Group investments It will be visible. Runway extension in POW probably after Y 2050 due to heavy slo bureaucracy.

      Delete
  31. My wishlost
    Tbilisi, yerevan, glasgow, porto, beirut, krakow and lvov (after war). Also budapest from nis would be bingo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:29

      This would be flower.

      Delete
  32. Anonymous23:57

    As someone who lives in Portugal, I would love to Belgrade and Novi Sad. I hope we get a Wizz air flight soon.

    ReplyDelete

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