Air Serbia planning Havana service


Air Serbia is planning the introduction of flights between Belgrade and Havana this coming winter season, the carrier’s CEO, Jiri Marek, said. It comes following Mr Marek’s remarks that the airline would launch up to a dozen new routes, some of which will commence as early as the 2022/2023 winter season. “We are starting to consider long haul flights to some exotic destinations. In that respect, we are looking towards the East and the West. One  such destination, that is looking more and more certain this winter, is Havana”, Mr Marek said. If the service goes ahead as planned, it will mark the first time the Serbian and Cuban capitals have been linked with a scheduled air service.

In 2016, Air Serbia considered introducing long haul leisure flights in order to better utilise its sole Airbus A330-200 aircraft over the winter months when it maintains fewer frequencies on its scheduled New York service, which will be complemented by Tianjin this winter. The National Association of Travel Agencies of Serbia (YUTA) told EX-YU Aviation News that the Serbian carrier was exploring long haul charters, in partnership with YUTA, several years ago. “Keeping in mind that YUTA is one of Air Serbia's biggest partners in charter travel through our members, Air Serbia suggested a meeting with tour operators where we would discuss possible charters to far-off destinations. At the time, tour operators were interested in long haul charter flights to Thailand and Cuba during the winter months, as there is sufficient demand for those markets. The realisation of these charters was to be carried out during the winter season”, YUTA said. Ultimately, the idea never came to fruition.

During the pre-pandemic 2019, just over 4.500 passengers flew indirectly between Belgrade and Havana. Serbian citizens do not require a visa to visit the island and Cuba has no Covid-19 entry requirements, with neither a PCR test or vaccination certificate required. There were earlier attempts to establish flights between the two countries. In 2010, several tour operators joined forces in an attempt to organise charter flights between Belgrade and Havana once every fifteen days, or twice per month. However, chartering a foreign carrier was too expensive, while Jat Airways did not have the necessary aircraft to perform the route.



Comments

  1. Anonymous12:12

    WOW

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous12:12

    Smart

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous12:12

    Some people guessed it a few days ago :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous12:13

    Would these operate as charters or will tickets be on sale through normal channels too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:19

      I'm assuming tickets will be available in free sale too. Sure, part of the plane will be booked by tour operators but I'm also assuming they will want to get transfer passengers as well.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:23

      I'm wondering if it will operate only seasonally in winter.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:47

      Well the season to travel to Cuba is during the winter.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:17

      It won't be charters. Scheduled flights.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous20:12

      It will be charters. 6-8 flghts over the winter.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous20:23

      6-8 flights? Who sad that?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous20:33

      In the article it says scheduled.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous12:13

    Well I didn't see this coming.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous12:15

    Well done Air Serbia. The only airline doing something in the region.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How dare you saying so? Croatia Airlines, for example, is doing much much much more. To make Lufthansa even more profitable, on expense of poor croatian people

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:04

      Hahaha good comment

      Delete
    3. Anonymous05:43

      Croatia Airlines isn't able to receive unlimited amounts of taxpayers money like Air Serbia is able to!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous06:36

      You think JU gets more money from government than OU?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:03

      That is a fact.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:02

      Maybe in absolute value, although even that's debatable when you include all the PSO routes etc. But on a per-plane basis OU is the clear winner.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:11

      And comments like AirSerbia has unlimited subsidies and Croatia cannot have then because it's in EU is total bullshit and show complete lack of basic knowledge how air traffic market functions in Europe. Or the comment is made just to trash on AirSerbia.

      Delete
    8. Not to mention JU is getting money for less than 10 years, for which time they did miracles, in ex-yu environment, while OU has been getting money for over 30 years, during which time they did one big ZERO

      Delete
  7. Anonymous12:15

    That was unexpected

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:48

      Did not see this coming even in my wildest dreams :D

      Delete
  8. Anonymous12:15

    Nice!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous12:16

    I didn't know they had no restrictions anymore. That's great news. I could see this working.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous12:17

    Ultimately they will have 2 A330s this winter. Ok one will be out of action while on maintenance but that's not going to take 6 months.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This came out of nowhere but I'm absolutely loving it...expect trip report from me when it launches :D

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous12:17

    So they will have 3 weekly New York, 1 weekly Tianjin and probably 1 weekly Havana?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:18

      HAV won't be 1 weekly :)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous06:35

      I think it will be.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous12:18

    For their exotic destination in the East I'm guessing Bangkok is coming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:20

      Or Phuket.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:09

      Colombo maybe ?!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous21:37

      Sri Lanka is a mess right now

      Delete
  14. Anonymous12:19

    I'm loving this. There are only a couple of European airlines flying to Havana.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:13

      Which European airlines fly to HAV?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:17

      Air Europa, Air France, Edelweiss, Iberia, KLM, Turkish, TUI Belgium, Iberojet, Neos and World2fly.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:17

      And Aeroflot used to until the war.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:27

      That's a lot.

      Delete
    5. Vlad14:41

      Not really. From major hub airlines, only AF, IB and TK are present. The rest are exclusively or mostly P2P traffic.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous14:46

      So we're going to see a lot of Russian transfers?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous17:30

      Yes, considering Aeroflot’s service ended.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous12:20

    Great job. They should also work with tour operators from the region. There are many that would be interested in these flights.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous12:20

    My guess is December launch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:54

      Why not earlier?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:13

      Because it makes sense to launch flights in peak season during holidays.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous12:21

    But what about Toronto? :D :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee18:05

      Hahahahahahaha

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:47

      Toronto Varadero with Sunwing, Westjet or Transat, bus transfer from Varadero to Havana, Ar Serbia Havana Belgrade

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:13

      good one!

      Delete
  18. Anonymous12:22

    wtf?!?!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous12:23

    Ok, they are becoming a serious player now. Good job.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous12:23

    Can it work?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous12:26

    Time to crack open the cigars

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous12:32

    Very interested to see what the fares will be like.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous12:46

    Well they certainly weren't kidding about choosing an exotic destination.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous12:46

    What could be the schedule for this flight?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:31

      Something that fits into flights coming from Moscow, as there are lots of Russians that go to Cuba, and Aeroflot’s service ended.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:52

      Ujutru. Izmedju 4:00 i 6:00 stignu LED, AER i SVO. Plus potencijalni transferi iz ATH, IST, LCA, SKG, SKP, SOF, OTP i TIA. Prepakuj i salji za HAV oko 7:30.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:13

      upravo tako

      Delete
  25. Anonymous12:49

    Yay!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous12:50

    First destination in the Caribbean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:07

      I think this is the first time there are going to be scheduled flights from the Balkans (except Turkey) to the Caribbean. Maybe even all of Latin America.

      Delete
    2. Nemjee18:07

      Ugh forgot to sign my name.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:14

      Didn't JAT fly to South America?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous20:15

      No it did not. It was to start flights to Caracas in 1992 (they even opened a representative office there) but it obviously never happened.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous20:35

      Wasn’t it Recife?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous20:35

      No, Caracas, Venezuela.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous12:51

    I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few people from Russia use these flights too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:56

      Yes. Aeroflot had SVO-HAV flights on B777 and it was very popular. They had to suspend it since they can no longer reach it with the airspace closures.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:01

      Indeed this could attract a lot of Russian transfers.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:21

      +100

      Delete
    4. I am just guessing but I would say that was the logic behind. The whole reasoning for this route to be launched can only be based on russian transfers. If I am right then AirSerbia does not only have a vision, but also a lot of strategy. I am impressed.

      However, it is gonna be quite hard to get a lot of transfer with only 1x or maybe 2x weekly flights.

      Cuba is a great winter destination, however with only 2000 indirect pax doesnt sound very promissing. Regardless of general thinking, Cuba is not a very cheap destination for foreigners and that is probably the reason for low indirect pax numbers.

      Would love to know what are the numbers for LJU and then I remember those numbers are totally irelevant due to the lack of airconnectivity and the dispersion of slovenian pax among VCE, ZAG, VIE and even BUD and Milano airports.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous15:56

      SU used to fly this route mostly on A333; occasionally was the 777 used on this sector. SVO-HAV was around 11hrs and flights were full most of the time. I was surprised by the number of Cubans flying this route but I guess there is a large CU community living in Russia.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous12:52

    I'm in shock

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous12:54

    When I remember the countless comments just a month ago how they are not taking long haul seriously 😀

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:12

      Sometimes patience is a virtue :)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:02

      Don't forget that TK is using a 787 which is way faster than the A330. So flight time will essentially be the same at around 12h

      Delete
  30. Anonymous12:55

    How many hours is BEG-HAV?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:04

      It's a very long flight. Over 12 hours.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:05

      Can the A330 make it nonstop?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:07

      Didn't they do BEG-LAX nonstop during the pandemic with the A330? I think they can.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:48

      Probably around 10 hours. From Istanbul to Miami is 12 hours. Rome Miami 10h

      Delete
    5. JATBEGMEL17:25

      IST-HAV flight time is just shy of 12 hours.

      BEG-HAV should be roughly 30 mins shorter. Distance is roughly 5.700 miles. For comparison, AR was using the A332 for EZE-FCO with a distance of 6.919 miles, which was the longest scheduled A332 route.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous17:59

      @JATBEGMEL You are right only iF IST is 30 mins away from BEG. I flew BEG MIA and plane flew over Belgrade. And took it like hour and 20 mins. Sorry.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous20:16

      So BEG-HAV might be about 11 hours.

      Delete
    8. JATBEGMEL20:24

      Gate to gate Belgrade to Istanbul can be as quick as 1h 10 mins on a slower A319/A320 if there isn't any holding prior to the arrival into IST. Sorry.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous12:55

    They are certainly thinking outside of the box.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:02

      I would say they are finally actually thinking.

      Delete
  32. Anonymous12:57

    Do Cubans need visa to enter Serbia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:00

      No they do not. They don't need it for Macedonia or Montenegro either.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:32

      No, but they need one to leave Cuba.

      Delete
    3. anon@13:32 hahahaahha

      Delete
  33. Anonymous13:01

    Really exciting developments!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous13:01

    Good luck. Hope it works.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous13:04

    I believe this would be their longest flight ever.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous13:08

    Impressive

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous13:11

    This keeps getting better and better :D

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous13:19

    Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous13:28

    Twice per week would make sense, the crew would have 3 days layover

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would make me think becoming a crew :P

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:20

      hahahahahaa

      Delete
  40. Anonymous13:33

    I am shocked, in a good way. This could actually work for transfers as well

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anonymous13:34

    Hola Cuba!!! :))

    ReplyDelete
  42. Anonymous13:45

    Let’s see how many of these bombastic announcements will actually become the regular routes. Nobody from Cuba flies anywhere, especially not to Serbia. Flying the half empty plane on such a long route is a slaughter for company’s budget. They needed five years to become brake even on JFK route - this is just too optimistic. I hope they were not given an open Serbian taxpayer’s wallet for this exercise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:52

      Lol, AS is not Croatia... Five tears ago salaries were much smaller, tourism was much less developed, and last year 100k people back from world in Serbia. Keep crying

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:54

      You do realize that there are so many people from Cuba working in Serbia? They moved in masses from Russia to Serbia at the start of the war and those people have to fly as well.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:56

      Yes, start bragging right away, who cares about your negative comments anymore. I am happy just to read they think about this, if they fail so what?! They can always say they tried. You should try to be a bit more positive, your life will be much better.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:31

      I was in Havana this April and you would not believe the amount of Serbian tourists wandering around the city. Their currency is rather bad at the moment which is great for tourists (everything cheaper than usual) and I have no doubts they will score a lot of transfers as well!

      Delete
  43. Well done. Keep up the good work Miri.

    ReplyDelete
  44. JATBEGMEL14:03

    Wow! JU has really surprised us the past month! Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Anonymous14:23

    Turkish does not have direct fight HAV > IST...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:26

      It has IST-HAV every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Return flight is via Caracas I believe

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:41

      Turkish Airlines could easily go daily to Havanna when they establish themself as transfer airline for Russian tourists ..

      Delete
  46. Anonymous14:29

    Wow! Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Milorad14:31

    This is great addition to the current network. Cannot imagine impact of the transfer pax to the regional routes like Podgorica, Banja Luka and Sarajevo specially during the winter! They will need bigger plains, Embraers most likely. Also, on the other side, pax from Haiti will finally have better connection to Belgrade

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dragorad14:48

      Finally someone sees opportunity for transfer pax. Don't forget that people from Sarajevo, Podgorica and Banja Luka don't need visa to enter to Cuba.I don't see Embraers on this route, most likely it will be Suhoj Super Jet 100.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:53

      ^ stop talking nonsense

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:54

      They said just a month ago that they plan to get more ATRs and they have no plans for regional jets any time soon

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:55

      Pax from Haiti on the other side? Which other side?

      Delete
  48. Anonymous15:19

    If it was a scheduled route and russian connections easily available, then this route could work out very well !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:11

      ^ Nearly every JU flight to Moscow or Saint Petersburg is delayed for hours .
      Connections under such circumstances are impossible .

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:27

      Da, da. I nesto ne vidim da ih sprecava da lete preko BEG i da pune JU letove ka drugim gradovima.

      Delete
    3. JATBEGMEL16:54

      @16,11

      SVO and LED were mostly retimed to minimise the disruptions from the bomb threats.

      For example, today's JU659 rotation (SVO-BEG) landed 62 minutes late at 04:37 (rather than at 03:35). First flight out in the morning for transfer pax was at 06:30 to CPH.

      JU651 arrived 34 minutes late from SVO at 13:34, while the first flight for transfer pax was at 14:45 to TIV (minimum connecting time is 40 mins), however transfer pax would most likely be going for the 5pm Western European wave.

      The delays had 0 effect on transfer pax.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous17:07

      Considering their options, russian connections are easily available

      Delete
  49. Anonymous16:18

    What a dream layover for crew :D

    ReplyDelete
  50. Anonymous16:50

    This guy Jiri will either lunch Air Serbia into stratosphere or burry it completely. There's no other way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:58

      Fully agree, but being realistic… 😬

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:59

      Anon 16:50, the best comment that sums up what many of us feel...and I hope we all root for the former.

      Delete
  51. Anonymous17:24

    I expect tour operators making a brand new deals with JU this winter.
    Maldives, Seychelles, Tenerife and Bangkok could be the new character destinations. YU ARB and YU ARC better prepare for the upcoming winter season!!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Anonymous17:40

    Woow, I'm really surprised. I hope I would be able to take this flight to Cuba :) And I hope this flight will turn successful for Air Serbia.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Anonymous17:56

    This will be the most successful flight of the Balkana especially if not even Bucharest and Warsaw are connected being much much bigger markets :D
    The Czech guy is optimistic and let us wish him good luck :)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Anonymous19:12

    ^ Bravo Air Serbia!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Anonymous20:06

    Thats awesome !
    I have Bosnian passport and dont even need visum for Cuba-how cool is that .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:36

      Bosnian,Serbian,Macedonian and Montenegrin passport holders don`t need visa for entry into Cuba.
      Croatians and Slovenians have to buy a so called travel card for 40-60 Eur.
      I think thats not much of a money.

      Delete
  56. Anonymous22:59

    Šut bolan, egzotika:) Šta li je sldeće?Idemo dalje...

    ReplyDelete
  57. Anonymous02:13

    Wow it's crazy how hard Air Serbia has been going. I will be utilizing ORD-BEG very often for sure. Nice to see at least one ex-Yu carrier trying new things, I wish them the best in their endeavors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous03:13

      How often and in which seasons are you most likely to fly?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous05:52

      Probably around 4 round trip flights per year :) I am planning to buy property in Belgrade so I will be going back and forth way more often. Generally I would visit every year or two via ORD-JFK-BEG with Delta+JU or ORD-FRA/MUN-BEG with LH+JU. So a direct flight will make things much easier for me, especially now that I am a remote worker. I just hope the fares will be reasonable!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous06:32

      Nice. If yous remote worker do it in Beograd. Great food and easy to make amigos.

      Delete
  58. Anonymous09:05

    If they plan on getting transfers from Russia then they will have to increase the number of seats they offer to Russia. I guess ARC will be back on the Moscow route. As Russia advances deeper into Ukraine and moves the front to the west, hopefully it will mean the opening of KRR for domestic and international flights. JU desperately needs more flights to Russia guys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:11

      "hopefully" Jesus

      Delete
  59. Anonymous09:27

    Finally, I am so happy to go back to Cuba with my national carrier. Back in the time it was Air Berlin, my first Business flight. Chapeau Air Serbia, see you soon.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Anonymous09:28

    Predrag

    ReplyDelete
  61. Anonymous09:29

    And now I can imagine some Russian version of "J*ngle tribe" agency having brochure for Cuba "Day 1-meeting at SVO for Air Serbia flight to Belgrade and then Air Serbia flight to Havana". The same way as our agencies organize Zanzibar/Seychelles tours (meeting in BEG for Turkish flight to IST and then to Zanzibar). Aaah...how tables turned.
    In general, great job JU, taking all opportunities for growth. With both A330 in service, Havana 2 PW and Zanzibar+Seychelles+Maldives 1 PW seems feasible during winter season. P2P+transfers will do miracles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:17

      The phrase 'how the tables have turned' in this case is not valid to say because that refers to 'revenge' or getting back at/against something Russians or Aeroflot did to Serbia, which is not the case here.
      So, be content to say good for Air Serbia, that they capitalized on this opportunity, which you have said and i do indeed agree.
      Bravo Air Serbia, bravo.

      Delete
  62. Anonymous16:49

    This route has little chance of success and becoming permanent. Many comments support the route but here is one dissenting voice. Give it two seasons and it will be gone, at least as a regular scheduled route. Mark my words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Balkan Boyzi17:10

      How are we to mark your words when you are just a random anonymous?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:11

      -1

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:37

      If this route lasts two seasons it will become permanent. Mark my words.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous20:16

      +1

      Delete
    5. I believe the route will succeed, at least as winter seasonal scheduled. Plenty of people from Croatia and Slovenia visit Cuba.I flew to HAV from VCE few years ago on IB. I would have flown JU if it were the option. Not many airlines form Europe operating, potentiall transfers from entire ex-yu, Balkans and wider ,high season in European low season - winter, affordable prices in Cuba, plenty of reasons why it can go twice weekly even if and when Russians stop transferring via BEG

      Delete
    6. Anonymous21:50

      During 2019, 2.000 passengers flew indirectly between Belgrade and Cuba (not just HAV but all of Cuba!) says in the article. Do you people know in that same 2019, 3.500 passengers flew indirectly between Belgrade and freaking Tampa? Can you even find Tampa on the map? Are you aware how many more unserved long haul destinations from BEG exist with more indirect passengers in 2019 than Havana? Havana is way down on the list.

      Hoping to take away Russian passengers from expensive Turkish MOW-IST-HAV route does not sound like a reasonable plan for a scheduled route. Bookmark this page and revisit in 2024 if not sooner.

      Delete
    7. The figure stands at 4.503 between Belgrade and Havana in 2019. Apologies for the typo. Corrected in the article.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous22:17

      I'm wondering when they would fly, October to March? And how many times per week, two would be great.
      In that case why not one weekly during summer months?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous23:17

      Thank you for corrected numbers. Miami still had more than twice passengers compared to Havana. Same seasonality as Havana, almost the same distance from Belgrade and no one serves it between IST and WAW, not even from VIE. Plenty of demand from the region, even further afield from Russia if that's the transfer market Air Serbia is after. They could even interline with American Airlines for many Latin America onward connections. Havana seems like an inferior choice. Place your bets now and wait.

      Delete
  63. Anonymous23:48

    Miami might also work, as well as other cities in N. America.
    But Havana is so much more interesting than Miami, and much cheaper.
    So let's give HAV a go.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Anonymous10:50

    Mogli bi da ubace i Saint Martin...da sleće AirSerbia na čuveni Maho Beach.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Anonymous10:56

    The character of Mileva Marić-Einstein is on the third a330.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:17

      Probably a good choice if AS is staying with the nauka theme.

      Delete
  66. Anonymous10:11

    I visited over 50 countries. Cuba was the only one I regretted being to. Terrible exoerience. East Germany under palm trees experience!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:50

      Nice! Exactly what I'm looking for

      Delete

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