Air Serbia to restore Malta service


Air Serbia will launch a new service from Belgrade to Malta this winter, marking its return to the Mediterranean island following a three-year hiatus. Flights will be launched on October 31 and operate twice per week, each Monday and Friday, with the Airbus A319 aircraft. The airline faces direct competition on the route from Wizz Air, which will maintain three weekly flights to the island this winter with the A321 jet. Furthermore, Ryanair runs a two weekly service between Niš and Malta. The new flights are part of the airline’s plans to put a greater emphasis on popular holiday destinations, following the success of its new routes to Spain and Italy this summer. The Serbian national carrier has not operated winter flights to Malta since 2009, when its predecessor, Jat Airways, last maintained the route over the quieter months.

Commenting on the new service, Air Serbia’s Head of Network Planning and Scheduling, Bojan Arandjelović, said, "After carefully analysing market opportunities and listening to the needs of our passengers, we have decided to resume nonstop flights to Malta after a three-year break. We as an airline have long history of flying to Malta, as Air Serbia and its predecessors, JAT and Jat Airways, have been operating to this destination since the late sixties. We are happy to offer to our passengers another attractive holiday destination especially during the winter season and having Malta back on our continuously growing network confirms our commitment to creating more opportunities for travel".

Flight details for the new Malta service can be viewed here.


  1. Anonymous12:01

    Great news!

  2. Anonymous12:03

    JU becoming capable of fighting with Wizz is possibly the best thing about their changes.

  3. Anonymous12:07

    I am just hoping that all the taxpayer money that Air Serbia received through a questionable 'stock buyout' arrangement will not be wasted trying to beat Wizzair on all their routes instead of really trying to expand the network! Or actually invest the funds and increase the value of the company.

    As it seems, they are just using taxpayer money to artificially compete with Wizzair which is incredibly stupid and shortsighted!

    1. Anonymous12:18

      If anything, JU has shown it is extremely capable at fending off W6.

    2. Anonymous12:41

      Because W6 does serious analysis and knows how to do its job. JU just waits to see where they perform well and launch flights. For years JU struggled in Russia and they are doing well now only because of circumstances.

    3. Anonymous12:43

      W6 does serious analysis? Are you serious? Check how many routes they launch and suspend within a single season.

    4. Anonymous12:47

      I am talking about Belgrade. They are doing relatively ok here and have really positioned themselves nicely. They are also respecting INI by growing there without subsidies unlike JU.

    5. Anonymous13:06

      In November, before JU announced MLA, Wizz Air one way fare for BEG-MLA was 3.953 RSD which is €33. Good luck to Air Serbia, Marek will really have to be Wizzier than Wizz Air here.

    6. Anonymous13:08

      Just to add, Wizz Air has 4 weekly to MLA around Christmas.

    7. Anonymous13:23

      Wizz is losing money if selling €33 tickets to Malta

    8. JATBEGMEL13:23

      All airlines in INI are being subsidised. The fees the airport charges airlines doesn't cover its expenses. JU gets extra for the PSO routes. Wizz got extra cash in BUD to open Balkan routes so PSO isn't just a Serbian miracle created to pump cash into the local airline.

      Wizz was actually, from the moment they stepped into the Serbian market, opening routes similar to what Jat Airways/Air Serbia was operating, not the other way around. HAM, AUH, GOT and NCE are former JU routes Wizz now operate. BEG-HHN is in direct competition with JU and LH which have been operating BEG-FRA for decades. BEG-LCA is another route opened by JU first, where JU does much better. BEG-BCN, BEG-NYO, BEG-CIA, BEG-LTN, BEG-MMX all compete with JU. Wizz have also pulled out of CRL, which they also announced again in 2020 and never launched the route. TRF is now seasonal, they cancelled the planned launch of MXP, FDH, CGN, TKU and LIS in 2020 right after announcing them, SGZ lasted all of 2 weeks.

    9. Anonymous13:25

      that's only with 1 backpack. Unfortuanatly Wizz doesn't offer small luggage with the lowest fair. But even with checked in luggage a retrun cost €150 so it will be hard to compete for JU.

    10. Anonymous13:26

      They are not but they have lower CASM thanks to their 200+seats on the plane. If they sell all those seats cheaply they can at least be break even.

      You can't compare Wizz in BUD and JU in INI. Wizz got money for some political routes which are not sustainable with their planes. JU ignored INI until they got millions from the government. It took them years and years to bring back charters which were booming this year. Wizz Air is fully committed to BUD, JU is forced by the government to even consider KVO and INI.

    11. Anonymous13:28

      You get priority with Wizz for €10 and you can even give your luggage at checkin so that they cabin is now overcrowded. JU on the other hand doesn't even want to consider it, they immediately want to charge you a lot of money if you ask them. that is why very often their flights are late.

    12. Anonymous13:30

      Anon 13:06

      Return ticket with Wizz with Wizz Priority included is 116 Euros and with Air Serbia is 122 Euros. So its the same price, while JU has much better times.

    13. Anonymous14:22

      Oh I am sure JU will have one or two seats at that price. After that it will be over 200 euros.

    14. Anonymous15:01

      And W6 will be seeling all seats for 116 eur? Get real.

    15. Anonymous15:05

      My friend they will now when they are trying to beat JU. They have a more economical plane and more seats. They can afford to have a lot lower fares than JU.

    16. JATBEGMEL16:04

      Alot of these JU vs W6 comments forget that they don't share the same business models. JU being a hybrid carrier, with transfers, FF program, interline, higher frequencies, business class, flies to main European hubs. Wizz on the other hand is a ULCC flying to secondary airports in Europe, with 'low fares' and little frequencies, no connections offered, no business class and no FF program, no interline agreements, no codeshares. Wizz will get you from Belgrade to Paris, but not from Belgrade to Los Angeles. The more the merrier, both Wizz and JU.


      JU also got political motivated routes where their ac size wasn't exactly good for the market. INI-BUD on an A319 for example. INI-LJU also was previously an A319 route, now with the new tender on an ATR.

      JU is fully committed to BEG, but just like Wizz, jumped into an opportunity when offered. Wizz was given good incentives to launch routes and open new bases, TIA and SKP as examples. Wizz largely ignored TIA until those incentives came around. Wizz don't really expand in SKP unless given subsidies to do so.

    17. Anonymous16:10

      Yes they have a different model. JU survives on taxpayer money. Wizz has an investment fund that is bankrolling their expansion because it makes commercial sense.

    18. And how many tickets for 33€ you can find on market in this moment? For which dates?

    19. Anonymous16:23

    20. Anonymous17:16

      As always, some here are comparing frogs and grandmas, not understanding at all the financial construction behind. Yes, low cast airlines helped overall decrease of the prices, but also the quality went down. From being luxary service, flying is now bus with the wings. Personally, I have nothing against this. Nevertheless, there are more LCC that disappeared then legacy ones in past 30 years in Europe.

      And yes, me being a taxpayer in Serbia, I am satisfied how MY money is being wasted on AirSerbia, rather then on subsidising price of electricity, but I have to leave with both. So, get over it, guys.

    21. Anonymous17:17

      Did Wizz just lost over 450million in one quarter? Investors must be happy with their performance and 33 tickets.

    22. JATBEGMEL17:43


      So you believe Wizz has received 0€ of incentives, it's all down to their investors?

      Wizz in BEG for their first couple of years paid next to no fees with the CEO of the airport being arrested and Wizz having a fit because they had to finally pay for services they use.

    23. Anonymous06:50

      Wizz Air's survival does not depend on subsidies, JU's does. You can't compare the two. If W6 loses the subsidies you mentioned they will march on. If JU loses the ones they get they will collapse. Very simple.We will see what Marek will do now that the is the CEO who loves the spotlight.

    24. Anonymous08:10

      Are you sure about that?

    25. Anonymous10:19

      Anon @ 08.10 - what are you not sure of here ? Marek absolutely loves the spotlight and if I am not mistaken, in 9 or so short mths, has appeared in more media in this time than did his predecessor in the 4 years that he held the role. He has self-propelled himself into the spotlight - which certainly works to build his profile and next career move, but needs to keep it in check to ensure that he remembers why he is there in the first place.... things happen very quickly in this business and if your priorities are wrong, it can come back to bite you 0n the backside - hard

  4. Anonymous12:58

    Makes sense, they got some money from the government sale. I think this will end up like WAW, VAR, GVA, NCE and so on.

    1. JATBEGMEL13:42

      Canceled routes since 2014:
      - MLA (restarts at the end of October)
      - CAI (returns next summer)
      - OHD (returns next summer)
      - BUD (has been looking into relaunching the route)
      - KBP (cancelled with Covid - had intentions to expand in Ukraine with the launch of LWO in 2020)

      Launched routes since 2014:

    2. Anonymous15:01


      Say no more, say no more!

    3. Anonymous15:50

      So basically 50% of the routes they tried failed?

    4. JATBEGMEL16:26


      Your maths is a little off.

      28 launched, 13 canceled = 46%
      MLA is back, so 12 canceled routes makes 42%

      If we add ORD and TSN to the list, which are confirmed, makes 30 new routes and that percentage down to 40%.

      CAI and OHD returning next year will make that 33.3%.

      Plus a new wave of routes will be launched next year. There could possibly be a route or 2 more added this winter.

      Not to mention the capacity/frequency increases all over their network. SZG will move from the ATR to the A319 starting December. INI-ZRH is also restarting, without government subsidies.

      It might also be worth looking into the frequencies of each route launched and cancelled. Would you like the maths for that too?

    5. Anonymous17:05

      I think we should add BEG-TRS to the list of terminated destinations. Unlike Bari it wasn't planned as a summer seasonal. 42% is a very high percentage and shows that JU is launching routes extremely randomly. That's not ok.

    6. Anonymous17:46

      Without intention to defend anyone, but who ever told you that every route has to last forever? Every single business creates the product, try it and cancel if not satisfied, and still they exist and even grow. Or maybe they grow exactly because of constant tries, new developments, new products. Each route I see as a product oh the AirSerbia's shelf.
      Shouldn't they be supported for cutting low performing routes, like any other company does?!

    7. JATBEGMEL18:17


      TRS wasn't added to the canceled routes list as it isn't officially canceled. Just as CAI and OHD wasn't removed from the same list as it isn't officially back in the network.

      CAI, HEL and KBP were canceled with Covid. KBP wont return for known reasons, but was performing ok until Covid, even on the A319.

      JU in 2019 had a regional jet (CR9) where it was operating to HAM, HEL and KBP. JU do intend to introduce regional jets into their fleet in the next few years. SOF was another destination seeing the CR9.

      WAW was replaced with LOT who operate with regional jets. JU (did) codeshare with LOT on the route. Not sure if the codeshare is still there but they are still codeshare partners.

      BUD was tipped to make a return in 2020 but never made the final list. There is some interest in restarting the route.

      AUH was canceled as they had better use of the aircraft in the morning wave. Relations with EY have significantly reduced since, with EY even pulling out of BEG.

      BEY was canceled with the onset of the economic and political crisis in Lebanon. It was a strong performing route for them.

      The routes launched aren't that random. This year, only TRS seems to be the problem while roughly 10 were introduced (BRI, BLQ, VLC, PMI, LYS, SZG, HAJ, NUE) which is roughly a 90% success rate. BCN is also a newer route which also saw the A330 1 pw this summer.

      It isn't uncommon for airlines to launch and cancel routes in a short space of time. Wizz in BEG hasn't been any better. FR hasn't had an easy start in ZAG after stating their grandiose plans. A3's ex-YU expansion hasn't been all that great either.

    8. Anonymous18:20

      Because successful businesses know not to waste their resources on high risk adventures especially when the resources they have are not many.
      Air Serbia should have launched so many other routes with less pressure on their yields. Here they are attacking both FR and W6 without a good enough reason. Maybe they should first focus on increasing key European destinations to daily in winter before launching these winter adventures with pathetic number of frequencies.

    9. Anonymous18:21

      Aegean, LOT, Tarom are all flying to BEY right now and are doing really well there. A3 even stayed after their plane was shot at. So why is JU the only one that can't make it? Hmm

    10. JATBEGMEL18:38


      JU is the one with the weaker finances?

      Middle East was mentioned by Marek. Hopefully BEY will be back.


      Any suggestions on routes?

      JU hasn't gone after Wizz as much as Wizz has gone after JU. Half of Wizz's network is in some form competing with JU. OSL and SZG are the only exceptions and both have worked well for JU.

      - HEL (Wizz wanted to jump in with TKU and failed)
      - BCN (Wizz jumped in after JU)
      - HAM and NCE (JU operated first, Wizz took over after JU pulled out).
      - MXP (JU operates the route. Wizz tried to launch it and failed)
      - BRU (Wizz launched CRL and failed. Tried to relaunch it and canceled it again).
      - MLA (was operated by JU long before Wizz).
      - AUH (former JU route).
      - FRA (served for decades by JU and LH, Wizz operates to HHN - barely)
      - GOT (former JU route launched while Jat was still operating it)
      - FCO (Wizz is back attempting CIA now that AZ is no longer on the route).
      - CPH (Wizz is competing with MMX)
      - LCA (operated by LCA for decades before Wizz)
      - LHR (Wizz competes with LTN)
      - CDG (Wizz competes with BVA)
      - ARN (Wizz competes with NYO)

  5. Anonymous13:57

    Good luck JU, you will need it.

  6. Anonymous14:20

    It makes no sense to announce such a line just a month before launch. It would be better to leave it for the beginning of May or June, but announce the route in January. A better option would have been to launch Cluj (ATR) and send A319 to Bucharest on Mondays and Fridays. Bucharest is too far for the midday wave with ATR.

    1. Anonymous14:48


      If they already have a surplus of A319s for the midday wave, then it is better to launch one more departure for IST. On Mondays and Fridays, departure from Belgrade at 12:15 (to return to Belgrade by 16:20) and at 13:10 (to return by 17:15). In this way, it will include all transfers and local passengers. The price of tickets to Istanbul is high and JU needs to collect as many transfers as possible. In addition, Istanbul comes as a backup plan in case the European Union bans flights to Russia, so the transfer could be made via Istanbul. Let's not forget that soon the border between Turkey and Serbia will be crossed only with an ID card.

    2. Anonymous20:12

      JU can't launch new flights to IST just like that, they have to give something to TK.

    3. Anonymous20:26

      Yes, JU can.

  7. Anonymous14:35

    Поред толико градова које су могли да уведу или да појачају они се одлуче за Малту. После ће им бити ђаво крив када им осване 4. љубичасти авион!

    1. Anonymous14:42

      Pa nek osvane, to je dobro i za aerodrom i za putnike. A i ova tri ne prave neku posebnu štetu Er Srbiji, naprotiv, teraju ih da budu konkurentni na istim linijama. Wizz tera Air Srbiju da bude uspešna kompanija, to je super, konkurencija je super.

    2. Anonymous14:44

      Ајде видећемо каква ће им бити фин. перформанса у наредних 5 година и колико их конкуренција тера да буду бољи. За сада и даље жестоко живе од државне помоћи што је ок али у неком тренутку то се мора смањити.

      Сматрам да је лансирање ове дестинације чиста глупост. Има толико бољих опција које су могли да искористе но добро, живи били па видели.

    3. Anonymous14:52

      Lansirati letnju destinaciju 31.10. samo mesec dana pre pocetka prodaje, gde imas Wizz 3x nedeljno i Ryanair iz Nisa 2x nedeljno je preambiciozno. Mozda i nedovoljno promisljeno. Nadam se da gresim.

    4. Anonymous14:53

      Ја кажем да сачекамо још мало да па видимо продају у новембру. Марек себе представља као мага цивилног ваздухопловства тако да ћемо сада видети да ли он зна нешто шта ми не знам.

    5. Anonymous14:59

      Serbia-Malta market is on fire. W6 and JU from BEG, and FR from INI despite W6 also flying there from SOF and SKP.

    6. Anonymous15:00

      SKP-MLA will be suspended this winter.

    7. Anonymous17:21

      Iskreno mi je zao ljudi koji rade za Viz u Srbiji. Ne smem da pricam detalje ali neki nisu bas zadovoljni.

    8. Anonymous18:22

      A koliko je ljudi nezadovoljno kod JU? HQ im je desetkovan, niko skoro vise nije ostao.

    9. Anonymous20:03

      Online comments replaced the need for HQ. You can get any executive level advice for free!

    10. Anonymous06:47

      Well maybe if Marek listened more to us they would not be reducing JFK to 2 per week already this winter. I guess this is the first fail of their winter expansion.

  8. Anonymous15:09

    This is a right moment to compete with Wizz. Their reputation for the past few months is literally ruined. They don't have one punctual flight a day from BEG. Air Serbia managed to retain very decent punctuality during the summer season, even with a very stretched schedule. Let's go JU!

  9. Anonymous15:13

    People saying JU can not beat Wizz in Malta? Take a look at Cyprus. Anything is possible, let the games begin and we see who wins, it is a free market out there, no?

    1. Anonymous17:59

      Well, we should not take a look at Nice as it is very different destination. CY is the perfect match to compare and both are islands, not have good weather through the year and can be used as winter destination (weather is certainly better then in Serbia) and both have some diaspora and gastarbajteri working there (more on Malta, but on Cyprus as well).

    2. Anonymous18:23

      Gasterbajateri in Cyprus? lol
      Also JU did well in LCA because they were the only way to get from Russia.

    3. Anonymous20:16

      Maybe Russians love Malta too.

    4. Anonymous20:39

      Air Serbia is doing well in Cyprus not only because of the Russians but also because of the transfer. On every flight you have transfers to CDG, CPH... This year, a large number of tourists from Serbia vacationed in Cyprus.

  10. Anonymous16:52

    What about INI development ? Many routes could be launched like CDG or restored such as BER that was previously served by Ryanair

    1. Anonymous17:05

      Waiting for subsidies.

    2. Anonymous18:00

      Anon 17.05, you are such a smartass, bravo you!

  11. Anonymous11:13

    Gret news


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