Hainan Airlines to launch Beijing - Belgrade service


Hainan Airlines has filed for approval with the Civil Aviation Administration of China to commence nonstop flights between Beijing and Belgrade. Based on the application, the service would start either in July or August, upon receiving necessary permits, although July 16 has been earmarked as the target launch date. The airline has also received its requested landing slots at Belgrade Airport. Chinese carriers are beginning to restore operations to Europe following several months of coronavirus-related restrictions. Most planned flights, including the Beijing - Belgrade service, will run just once per week due to continued covid caps and restrictions in China. Hainan Airlines’ Belgrade service will originate in Dalian in Northern China, head to Beijing, after which it will be bound for the Serbian capital.

The Chinese carrier plans to operate flights from Beijing to Belgrade early each Saturday morning, arriving in the Serbian capital at 08.00 on the same day, before beginning its return journey home at 15.00. If the flights go ahead as planned, it will mark Hainan Airlines’return to Serbia after four years. The carrier commenced services from Beijing to Belgrade via Prague in September 2017 with the 292-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The airline held fifth freedom rights on the Prague - Belgrade - Prague sectors, allowing it to also sell tickets between the two European cities. However, flights were suspended in late 2018.

Hainan Airlines has operated several charter services to Belgrade since then, primarily catering for Chinese workers based in Serbia. In the pre-pandemic 2019, Beijing was the second busiest unserved route from Belgrade with 52.123 passengers flying indirectly between the two capitals. Air Serbia recently said it would soon make a decision on whether to lease a second A330 aircraft in order to launch new operations to Asia and North America, with flights to Beijing or Shanghai under consideration. The majority of passengers flying between Serbia and China currently do so via Qatar Airways, KLM and Iran’s Mahan Air. In July 2021, Serbia and China finalised a mid-term cooperation agreement up until 2025, which foresees the establishment of nonstop flights between the two countries during the second half of this year.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    That was unexpected

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    Wonder which aircraft type they will use. A330 or B787?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      B787 most likely

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:25

      On their one off charters that operated over the last few months they usually sent B787.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:27

      Idk. They used a330 before and when came during spring, so most likely a330 but I'd like to see 787. But lots of their 787s are parked

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:43

      @9.25

      I think you mixed it up with Xiamen Air which sent B787 several times. Hainan was with A330.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:52

      Yes, true. My bad

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:14

      In this instance it would make more sense for them to use B787.

      Their B787-8 has 213 seats while A330-200 222

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:15

      They also have

      A330-300 with 292 seats and 303 seats

      As well as B787-9 with 289 seats, 292 and 294 seats.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:06

      What equipment are they using to Madrid and Rome?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous19:36

      Both are with 787-9 (or at least the first flight was, they just restarted them last weekend). Both flights originate from Chongqing.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous19:39

      Looking at Flightradar, their last flight to Rome was delayed by almost 3 hours!

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    I notice that they are restarting some European flights in the next few weeks. Rome and Madrid. Both once per week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      And they restarted both without even putting tickets on sale through their website.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:25

      This is typical for Chinese carriers. It's because they are doing pre sales through tour operators which are the main source of sale for Chinese citizens.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:28

      Interesting

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:42

      Yes, it's very common for Chinese airlines to put tickets on sales online a day or two before they start. I think they did the same for PEK-PRG-BEG too.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous19:37

      Thanks

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:03

    Too bad they just miss Air Serbia's European wave of flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vlad09:42

      This is mostly an O&D route, I don't think many would choose to fly Hainan to BEG and then connect onto JU to Europe when they have so many available connections on major carriers.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:37

      There are so many connections from Athens or Istanbul yet JU still carries transfers.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:03

    Fantastic news

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:04

    Won't happen, demand is limited and travel restrictions are still not removed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      Chinese citizens living in Serbia are still traveling to and from China regularly. There are also a lot of workers going back and forth.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:05

      It's just 1 flight per week.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:08

      Does the flight connect onto their domestic network?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:11

      @09.04 If it's not going to happen why did they apply for a permit?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:32

      Well they applied for it, don't think parasitic JU will be interested in giving them the permit.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:42

      I don't think JU or anyone will dare block them. This is a on a political level.

      Delete
    7. Vlad09:44

      So you think that the same Directorate that approved them for indirect flights will now refuse them, a major Chinese carrier, permit for direct flights?

      Delete
    8. @ Vlad
      Not saying it will happen with Hainan and the Directorate, believe Hainan will get the permit for nonstop flights, just reminding Croatian regulator some time ago refused to issue Malaysian permit for nonstop flights while allowing KUL-VIE-ZAG, so theoretically it is possible

      Delete
    9. Anonymous10:59

      What was their logic of not allowing the nonstop flight? :/

      Delete
    10. To funnel Far East /Australia passengers to LH, fed by OU, by making trip on MH longer and more complicated

      Delete
    11. Anonymous19:37

      Such sabotage is really crazy. Not uncommon for this region though.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:11

    I notice that BEG has already listed these flights in their schedule.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      Yes. I saw it few days ago

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:13

    Air Serbia has been dragging their feet with long haul expansion. By the time they decide routes will be taken over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      Actually I think this is a good development for them too. I think JU will launch flights to Shanghai and gives them the opportunity to start a North American route too.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:05

      I really hope so

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:13

    It will work much better than the stupidity they did via Prague.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:16

      Definitely. That routing was completely uncompetitive and required everyone to leave the plane in Prague.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:18

      But for us travelling between Prague and Belgrade it was a dream. A330 over the ATR72. Even Air Serbia reduced fares on the route.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:24

      Indeed. And Hainan's tickets between PRG and BEG were rather cheap.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:37

      Why did they require for everyone to leave the plane while in Prague?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous19:38

      Don't know. They would go into the gate and then re enter the plane after some time. The issue was that the stop in PRG was rather long as well. I believe it was an hour and a half.

      Delete
    6. JATBEGMEL19:51

      Some countries have requirements that pax disembark with cabin luggage during the transit stop. Some countries allow pax to remain on board and special security checks with pax on board is carried out prior to boarding pax for the next sector. It's alot easier and faster having everyone disembark.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:19

    Do Air Serbia and Hainan Airlines have a codeshare?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      Yes they have a useless codeshare on Vienna-Beijing route, which is currently not operating anyway.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:30

      It's useless among other things because it has a very long connection time from what I remember.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:33

      Most JU codeshares are useless, just go through their website. They are either too expensive or horrible times. People in that department are useless and generally don't care.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:44

      True

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:20

    Nice news. I think this is primarily being targeted at workers.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:20

    Fingers crossed.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:22

    Would be a nice addition.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:27

    Wonderful news! Well done Belgrade!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:45

    Will the flights be from PEK or PKX?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:52

      Beijing Capital. They don't fly from Daxing.

      Delete
    2. Vlad09:52

      Hainan's hub is at PEK.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:57

      These are their destinations from PEK. Keep in mind the European ones are mostly suspended.

      Almaty, Anqing, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Berlin, Boston, Brussels, Changchun, Changsha, Chengdu–Shuangliu, Chicago–O'Hare, Chongqing, Dalian, Dongying, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Haikou, Hailar, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hohhot, Irkutsk, Jiamusi, Kunming, Lanzhou, Manchester, Manzhouli, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Mudanjiang, Nanchang, Nanning, Ningbo, Osaka–Kansai, Oslo, Phuket, Qionghai, Saint Petersburg, Sanming, Sanya, Seattle/Tacoma, Shanghai–Hongqiao, Shanghai–Pudong, Shenzhen, Taipei–Taoyuan, Tel Aviv, Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto–Pearson, Urumqi, Vancouver, Weifang, Wenzhou, Wuhai, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xi'an, Xining, Yan'an, Yichang, Yulin (Guangxi), Yulin (Shaanxi)

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:52

    Iran's Mahan Air - WOW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:58

      Yes it's all Chinese passengers on those flights. Around a 100 per flight.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous10:07

    That's a long turnaround time. Do they plan to operate something in between from BEG?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:09

      It is not such a long turnaround for a long haul flight.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:38

      Probably to arrange maximum connectivity in Beijing

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:09

    I wonder how they will staff these flights? Will the crew return as passengers on the way back or will they stay in BEG for a week?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not cheap for an airline to keep the crew on layover for a week. Also, they are not available for other operations from home base if stuck somewhere. Because of the pLandemic, everything is possible, but in normal times, as they plan FCO, MAD and BEG once weekly each, it would probably be : the crew working to BEG staying in BEG one day, then flying as passengers to FCO, flying back the third day from FCO. The crew flying to FCO staying one day in FCO, the next day as passengers to MAD, the next day working MAD-PEK. And the crew flying to MAD staying in MAD day or two, passengers to BEG, working BEG to China the next day


      Delete
    2. If they send them as passengers on the same flight, who will work return flight the next week? 😃

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:50

      My assumption is that there is deadhead crew on flight from Beijing that then operates the flight back?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:57

      Is that even allowed?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:58

      Yes, many airlines did that during Covid (and many still do).

      Delete
    6. No way. Minimum rest period 12 hours plus diferrence in time zones. You can use DHC if return flight is scheduled after minimum rest period, which probably was the case during the pLandemic, which is not the case here. Dead head travel after the flight is possible and rest period extended for period of time spent on travel. Dead head travel before work is counted as regular duty time. I hope you are not serious thinking a crew can spend 11 hours on the flight from China to Europe, than have 6 hours off and then flying back. It is against all duty time regulations and direct danger to flight safety

      Delete
    7. Anonymous19:22

      So crew that were just resting from PEK as passengers can't do the return flight?

      Delete
    8. JATBEGMEL19:46

      @ 19,22

      Absolutely not. Flight time alone is around 19 hours + 7 hours ground time + 2-3 hours pre and post flight duties which doesn't include travel time to and from work. It's amazing that people think that a 30 hour shift can be considered ok. Try it and see if you would be ok with that. Just because crew were resting enroute doesn't mean that they managed to get sleep. They're humans, not robots that sleep on command.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous10:10

    Good news. They are a good airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. I think they are the best of all chinese airlines. Not the biggest but the best.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous10:23

    Good. Officials said the flights would start during the second half of the year.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous10:23

    Wow bravo... this is great news and it will definitely help Belgrade grow even more.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous10:23

    This is an extremely exciting opportunity. Let's hope it lasts longer than last time.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous11:04

    Is there any indication when China will reopen to foreginers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:31

      It depends on global situation. They originally planned September 2022 but since most of the world is in a new wave, I'm not so sure it will happen.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:21

      Covid is still a thing?

      Delete
  24. Anonymous11:06

    Why does the flight originate from Tianjin?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:07

      Don't know if its related but there have been two flights from Tianjin this summer season to BEG already. One of them was operated by Hainan Airlines in May.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:08

      And the other by Tianjin Airlines.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:08

      It would seem that is where most of the Chinese workers currently in Serbia originate from. So they combined Tianjin-Beijing-Belgrade. I think it will work.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous19:21

      +1

      Delete
  25. Anonymous11:24

    Finally! Air Serbia should strat Shanghai or even Shenzhen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:19

      Shenzhen would be the best option!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:30

      I remember ex-Yu posted the list of busiest Chinese cities from/to BEG last year. First was Shanghai, then Beijing and then Guangzhou.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:20

      So why would Shenzhen be the best option?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:48

      Because most of Serbs living in China live in Shenzhen.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:49

      The amount of Serbs living in China is miniature compared to the number of Chinese living in Serbia or visiting Serbia. And most of those are from provinces near Shanghai.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous13:01

    What is the visa policy for Serbs going to China? Someone told me that there are currently many Chinese shops in Belgrade and obviously the highspeed rail was also funded by them. Workers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:02

      Serbian citizens have visa free every to China.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:08

      No visa requirements for Serbian citizens for stays up to 30 days.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous15:30

    Exotic

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous17:38

    JU could be the feeder from the region for this flight as there are a lot of Chinese workers in the region?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous19:20

    Good news for BEG. Now if they could secure YYZ, and ORD. And go double, and triple daily to most Balkan destinations. That's when a true Balkan hub will become a reality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:27

      This will take a few more years.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:35

      They’re planning ORD or YYZ next summer

      Delete
  30. Anonymous20:10

    Not sure if it was ever written here, but JU silently cut ALL of its WiFi on all of its planes…? including A330 to JFK!!! I sadly stopped flying with them direct to JFK since last year when I flew and the stewardesses said the WiFi is cut due to covid, yet I need it for overseas travel ( business)... plus they charged a good amount for it..

    Isn’t this a very uncompetitive move? I’m not sure how much money this service brought / probably lost to the airline, but I think it’s very uncompetitive especially for business travel. I’m glad I hear business is selling well on JU500/501, but for expansion / other means, they should bring it back… my 2 cents. And they’ll maybe* regain me, for example, as a passenger, even though then through their shitty interline, I can only buy BEG - JFK then separately to my destinations in the US..

    It makes me sad but I switch to JU/AA combo where I have cheaper price, WiFi overseas and my bag checked from A to C…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:15

      How is this related to Hainan Aitlines starting flights to Belgrade?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:04

      ^ long haul competitive advantage @ BEG?.. he has a point. Also last I checked JU is part of the story planning LH to Asia/ USA

      Delete
    3. Anonymous22:14

      Air Serbia never made any money on wifi, it all went to Panasonic. Their equipment is getting old anyway.

      Only a tiniest sliver of passengers paid for the service. Air Serbia is doing great in business despite lack of wifi being a dealbreaker for that tiny minority. Majority will instead pick nonstop flight over wifi service. If you are going beyond JFK, choose B6 with their free wifi and choice of connections from JFK.

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL22:20

      @20,10

      Not having wifi isn't too dramatic. Alot of people don't use it due to the price of it. It's a huge investment, especially for a small airline such as JU. Installation alone is roughly USD$400-500K, plus the aircraft has to be grounded to install it, plus your paying a fee to the service provider. For the 1 (or10) aircraft it probably wasn't worth the trouble. Plus, you have airlines such as LOT that don't have onboard wifi.

      I think it'll be a better investment to improve the IFE content and installing power outlets in the seats.

      Delete
  31. Beijing keeps winning

    ReplyDelete

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