Air Serbia to restore Middle East flights


Air Serbia is expected to resume scheduled operations to the Middle East in late November or early December after over two and a half years. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, the airline is soon to announce the resumption of flights between Belgrade and Tel Aviv from late November. Flights are tipped to operate twice per week with the Airbus A320-familly fleet. The airline discontinued services to the Israeli city at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 and later concluded a codeshare partnership with Turkish Airlines on the route to shuttle passengers to Tel Aviv via Istanbul. Israeli carrier Arkia has operated services between the two cities on and off during the summer, however, there are currently no nonstop flights.

The resumption of Air Serbia’s Tel Aviv service effectively marks its return to the Middle East after over two and a half years. However, the airline operated charters to Dubai during EXPO 2020 in late 2021 and the first quarter of this year. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, it served Tel Aviv and Beirut in the region, although the latter was terminated just prior to the global health emergency as a result of Lebanon’s economic crisis, which has since deepened. As its replacement, the Serbian carrier planned to launch a new service to the Jordanian capital of Amman, however, those were also shelved due to Covid-19. Flights to Amman were again scheduled to launch this summer but were cancelled without explanation.

Air Serbia is still finalising its 2022/23 winter season network, which begins at the end of the week. Therefore, further changes are possible. Air Serbia’s CEO, Jiri Marek, recently said the Middle East was on Air Serbia’s radar. The carrier has so far announced plans to launch new flights from Belgrade to Malta, while limited operations between Niลก and Zurich will also be maintained this winter. The airline also plans to introduce its second long haul service, to Tianjin, in December. “We are convinced that this winter season will be dynamic and that we will achieve better results than those of autumn and winter 2021”, Mr Marek recently said.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    Finally

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    Good to see. Wonder if they will operate it in the midnight wave or morning wave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      It will be midnight wave.

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    2. Anonymous09:32

      Midnight isn't convenient for connecting from the US. Perhaps it will be split schedule?

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    3. Anonymous09:37

      What was the schedule before Covid?

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    4. Anonymous10:56

      BEG - TLV
      00:50 - 04.40

      TLV - BEG
      08.00 - 09.50

      Delete
    5. JATBEGMEL11:53

      @09,37

      JU810 BEG TLV 0805 1135
      JU811 TLV BEG 1400 1545

      JU812 BEG TLV 1350 1740
      JU813 TLV BEG 1920 2125

      Most frequencies were operated on the following schedule, as mentioned above:

      JU816 BEG TLV 0050 0440
      JU817 TLV BEG 0800 0950

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:56

      Thanks. Those are very long turn around times in Tel Aviv. Do the crew get a layover there or they sit on the plane in some cases over 3hrs?

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    7. Anonymous12:39

      What do you think?

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    8. Anonymous15:59

      They "rest" on board the aircraft... Lol

      Delete
    9. Anonymous18:51

      Well who knows. JU crew used to have a layover in Thessaloniki at one point a few years ago.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous23:56

      Why the long turnaround though? To connect better to the JFK flight?

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    Good. JU should also consider Belgrade-Kuwait City

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      Kuwait could be a good choice. There is a large Serbian expat community there, mainly doctors and medical staff who have the means to travel. Also Serbian citizens get visa on arrival in Kuwait. It is a very simple process.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:18

      JU should consider resuming BEY!

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    3. Anonymous09:29

      I also think they should give Beirut another try, especially now that they serve numerous secondary cities in Germany from which they could get good feed.

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    4. Anonymous10:56

      The situation in Lebanon is worse than it was 2 years ago.

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    5. JATBEGMEL12:25

      @10,56

      Other airline companies are somehow managing to make BEY work despite the economic crisis. RO for example is still operating into BEY.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:04

    JU should consider flights from BEG to at least 4-5 routes in the Middle East that can fill up their European network.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:57

      In the future they could add: Baghdad, Teheran, Baku and Tbilisi.

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    2. Anonymous10:08

      ^ Are you serious?

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    3. Anonymous10:26

      Maybe not Baghdad but Erbil, and Yerevan as well

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    4. Anonymous10:57

      Where would the demand for Erbil come from?

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    5. Anonymous11:37

      Actually Erbil has huge diaspora within EU so it could work very well for transfers, same as BEY did

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    6. JATBEGMEL13:01

      Erbil would be an interesting addition to their network. Fares are fairly high on routes to/from Erbil, which means that JU could make some decent profits on the route. The distance allows for the crew to immediately return to BEG and not layover at the destination, which is not possible for alot of the EU carriers, especially once you factor in the night curfews which further limit transfer possibilities. It's a fairly long rotation, but JU has been slowly venturing out of the usual shorter Euro-Med routes of up to 3 hours flight time from BEG. Cargo could be another interesting addition to the route seeing as the EU is one of Iraq's largest trading partners. Tourism to Iraqi Kurdistan is recovering as well, which has typically had a more relaxed visa policy compared to the rest of Iraq.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous23:57

      Interesting, thanks for the explanation.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:05

    Is there an official reason as to why Air Serbia didn't start Amman this summer as scheduled?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      Considering how streched their fleet was this summer, Amman would just add fuel to the fire.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:08

    Excellent. Now restart Cairo and Amman.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:16

      Hopefully JU brings back AMM

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    2. Anonymous09:45

      CAI will be restored in March.

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    3. Anonymous09:54

      They should have brought Cairo back earlier.

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    4. Anonymous09:56

      Agree. Should have done it last year. Very few restrictions, Egypt has also become very popular with Russians who are very limited in where they can travel, they could have benefited from fewer transfer options.

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    5. Anonymous10:58

      It's not so easy. No one knew how long Covid and travel restrictions would last. The priority was to restore European network and offer new flights to holiday destinations where there was strong demand.

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    6. Anonymous11:44

      JU knew very well about Egypt Covid policies, they had hundreds of charters over there.

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    7. Anonymous11:55

      Yes they did but the route to Cairo was heavily used by transfer passengers. Most of Europe was closed to third countries up until late March, many even up until June. There was little point in starting the route.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:09

    Will there be charters to Doha during the World Cup, by Air Serbia? Numerous companies are organizing the trip, both turoperators and some who organize reward contests. I dont know if they will all fit into QR's a330 and a320 that are currently in the system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      There is also A350 in the system :)
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2022/10/qatar-airways-boosts-belgrade-deploys.html

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:30

      Must say I'm excited about this one. I have a flight booked with them from Belgrade on the 2nd of December (not World Cup related, I'm transferring through Doha) and now see that my flight is upgraded to A350 from BEG! Can't wait. Hope they don't change it.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:13

    There used to be quite a few transfers from TLV onto the New York flights.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      Yes, and they had great fares to/from New York to/from Tel Aviv.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:37

      In 2019 the top connecting destination by passenger numbers to JU's New York flights:

      1. Podgorica
      2. Tirana
      3. Skopje
      4. Athens
      5. Tel Aviv
      6. Thessaloniki
      7. Zagreb
      8. Ljubljana
      9. Vienna
      10. Bucharest.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:45

      Interesting. Surprised about VIE!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:06

      Would be interesting to know the absolute numbers of transfer passengers per destination. Maybe it were in total only 10 transfer pax to/from VIE in 2019?

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    5. Anonymous10:12

      @anonymous 09:37 can you please tell us the source of this information ?

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    6. Anonymous10:26

      US Department of Transportation data.

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    7. Anonymous12:01

      The US gov keeps amazing stats.

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    8. Anonymous12:46

      Surprised there is no Larnaca, Tivat and Sofia on the list.

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  9. Anonymous09:13

    About time.

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  10. Anonymous09:16

    exYu - Middle East connections are booming and it's particularly important for the winter season.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      Why is it important for winter? Just curious.

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    2. Anonymous10:26

      Because Middle East reduces seasonality. Something JU didn't do last winter and made mistake.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:19

    TK is killing it with transfers to the Middle East from BEG. Hopefully these new flights will reduce demand a bit on the TK flights. It's impossible to find tickets to Istanbul at the moment and they are very expensive because all flights are full.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vlad09:26

      TK flights are indeed packed solid, but it's not because of transfers to the Middle East...

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    2. Anonymous09:41

      I didn't mean that Middle East transfers are filling up their flights but they do contribute.

      Delete
  12. Veoma dobra vest. Obzirom da je Tel Aviv jedan od tri najznacajnija centra Bliskog Istoka. Dugo se cekalo na ponovno letenje za Israel. Bravo Er Srbija! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ›ซ๐ŸŒ✈

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:22

    They are really scheduling these flights late. Malta was put on sale just a month before the flights start and it seems the same will be true for TLV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:29

      Have you heard about Internet? https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/internetbasics/what-is-the-internet/1/

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:31

      ^ I don't see the point of your comment.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:24

    Is there much demand between Tel Aviv and Chicago? Just wondering considering Air Serbia will launch ORD next spring.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:26

      Are there flights between TLV and ORD?

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    2. Anonymous09:27

      Yes, United flies from Chicago to Tel Aviv.

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    3. Anonymous09:29

      There is demand from almost all US cities to Tel Aviv.

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    4. Anonymous10:59

      And TLV bound passengers seek out the lowest fares. A lot of European airlines flying to the States (particularly New York) count on transfers from/to Israel.

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    5. Anonymous11:33

      ITA Airways flies with 332, sometimes 359, on a daily basis to TLV because of the cheap connections to the US.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:24

    With this, Air Serbia will have around 60 destinations this winter

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:01

      40 to go, before we hit our 100th birthday in 2027! Lol

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    2. Anonymous16:03

      In summer they already have close to 100 with charter destinations. You keep laughing.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:29

    Nice to see Air Serbia continuing to expand

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  17. Anonymous09:44

    They have ignored it for long enough. Good to seem them back.

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  18. Anonymous09:45

    Makes sense

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:46

    Great to see Air Serbia continuing to expand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:47

      Good news for Belgrade too.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:52

    If Air Serbia was smarter and worked on the transfer model they could have had a more active role in the Middle East and Central Asia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:12

      They are doing that now. There will be new routes in the Middle East and Central Asia soon.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous09:52

    This route is important for hub operations.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:59

      Back in 2019 I wonder what portion of passengers on this route were transfers and what were P2P.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous09:54

    Great move for JU!

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  23. Anonymous09:57

    Good luck. Hope there is more good news soon.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous09:57

    I'm surprised they generally don't have a more extensive route network in the Middle East.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:56

      They barely have enough aircraft to serve the network they have. Adding destinations to the Middle East which will involve the aircraft being out of base for around 8 hours is not viable at the moment.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:37

      Why Air Serbia always have an absolute minimum of aircraft?

      Delete
  25. Anonymous10:09

    Can't wait to see all of JU's new routes.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:11

      I believe that's it for this winter. But more to come in summer :)

      Delete
  26. Anonymous10:09

    Let's hope these materialize.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:11

      It will

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:49

      They will put tickets on sale by the end of the month.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous10:10

    Proves a lot of people wrong who always have something negative to say about this airline.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous10:23

    Bravo JU!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous10:50

    There are no restrictions to visit Israel. Hope locals in Serbia will use the opportunity to visit Tel Aviv.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:52

      Interestingly, these flights always used to have religious tour groups.

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    2. Anonymous12:09

      I know of people / groups from Serbia who take buses to Sofia to fly to Tel Aviv because the fares are so ridiculous out of BG…. So I think these flights are really needed, and surprised how for so long they haven’t operated.. demand is beyond there, 2 weekly with higher fares should be full, let alone if they increase frequencies & maybe reduce prices..(lol cus it’s JU) but who knows, could be like BCN.. however here they face no competition.

      Also smh that they are starting with only 2 weekly.. so many possible transfers, I know when I flew BEG-JFK a few years ago I sat next to ppl connecting from TLV

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:12

      Sorry, forgot to mention ^ many of the people I know go in groups… that JU could definitely partner up on if it was smart.

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    4. Anonymous13:51

      Consider Belgrade- Muscat

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    5. Anonymous23:54

      ^ Agree. Should be on their radar.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous18:49

    Excellent news. Looking forward to the resumption of these flights.

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  31. Anonymous18:50

    Anyone remember the average RT fares on this route?

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  32. Anonymous21:20

    I recently flew to / from Beirut and flights were full to the last seat. Turkish, Aegean & MEA are always full on the route.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous23:54

    I hope that in addition to rebuilding their Middle East network they will also add new destinations.

    ReplyDelete

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