Belgrade Airport readies for new long haul routes


Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport will have two new long haul routes established this year, with Beijing having launched in July and Tianjin to come in a month’s time. Services to Chicago have been confirmed for April of 2023 and more far-away destinations are expected to come next year. The development of the airport’s long haul network is in line with its strategy to offer more far-away destinations as its infrastructure expansion nears completion. “We are convinced that the significant development of the airport will support the growth of passenger traffic, especially transfer traffic. The expansion will allow us to transform the airport into a new regional hub and will provide new opportunities for launching long haul routes”, the airport recently said.

Belgrade Airport’s General Manager, Francois Berisot, said, “Development of long haul traffic is of course beneficial to the airport, passengers, the market as a whole and the region. Demand to North America is almost at pre-pandemic levels. It exists for the Far East as well, but it’s necessary for the markets to open up for easier travel. China’s Hainan Airlines has already launched weekly Belgrade - Beijing nonstop flights in July”. He added, “Air Serbia’s hub strategy is aligned with Belgrade Airport’s efforts to support long haul traffic. The national carrier already announced plans for the introduction of flights to Chicago, in April of next year, and for additional services to New York. Of course, we are in constant talks with all the companies that could potentially serve the existing demand for intercontinental flights. Major infrastructure works at the airport are aimed at supporting traffic growth and our expansion program is adding both landside and airside capacity. VINCI Airports is pursuing its proactive policy to boost traffic and to meet passengers’ expectations by accelerating further improvements at Nikola Tesla Airport”.

Air Serbia, which will play a key role in developing Belgrade’s long haul network, has said it sees more opportunities in China. “Our ambitions in regard to flights to China do not end here. We hope that we will expand our network to other strategically important cities in the near future, such as Beijing and Shanghai”, the carrier’s CEO, Jiri Marek noted. He added, “We are planning at least two weekly flights to Beijing and two to Shanghai with the possibility of increasing the frequency to three weekly and also serving Tianjin depending on the results. The geographical position of Belgrade opens new opportunities and route alternatives to Asia. Air Serbia is ready to explore them”.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    Who would have thought just a few months ago that we would have two new long haul routes by the end of the year. With Chicago confirmed for 2023, looking forward to see what else might be launched.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Next year besides Chicago I see Shanghai and Toronto launching.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:13

      We shouldn't forget that New York is going daily next summer.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:19

      True. That's a significant development too.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:19

      Do the daily flights to JFK start from the end of March or later?

      Delete
    5. JATBEGMEL11:09

      @10,19

      Most likely from mid June.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:35

      I had my bags packed for Havana already! Where is the announcement for the direct flight??

      Delete
    7. Anonymous17:08

      @Anon 12:35, They are very likely not launching Havana.

      Delete
    8. Yes Havana was also my dream destination. Who wants to go to China?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous23:11

      Speaking of New York, what is happening with JU's planned codeshare with US airline?

      Delete
    10. JATBEGMEL00:00

      @23,11

      It's expected to be announced by the end of the year.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous01:17

      I would fly with JAT to Cuba over BEG there isnt so much offer and their business class is soldid and prices are fair

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    Exciting times for BEG. Can't wait.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    Waiting for the Toronto comments :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      I actually hope someone like Air Transat will launch it. Air Serbia has been dragging its feet for far too long.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:19

      No one mentioned recent Vucic statement about Air Serbia going to Toronto. Interesting.

      Delete
    3. Hope not to see AirTransat or AirCanada on that route as they are both offering terrible service. TS has no legroom and the entertainment system is aweful. AurCana has the oldest and extremely lazy flight attendants I have ever experienced flying . Service on AC is soo cheap that is embarrassing to be served to passengers.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:27

      Having a direct service always beats not having direct service. Since Air Serbia handed over Toronto service decision making to China then Air Canada or Transat should be welcome. You can always pick one (or more) stop competition if you prefer it.

      Delete
    5. Boris18:38

      LaneHotLane14:19
      Yup. AC is circling down the drain. Their FA pour water down the passengers neck and they reply "Dont get upset it is not coffee" LOL Seriously!!!

      Delete
    6. Anonymous18:42

      BEG: we are in constant talks with all the companies that could potentially serve the existing demand for intercontinental flights

      Other than Hainan coming back to Belgrade, what intercontinental flight came ouf of those constant talks with airlines other than Air Serbia?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous21:18

      Air France, Air Baltic, Hainan, KLM are all companies which started flying again to Belgrade after Vinci took over the airport.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous21:44

      Luxair too.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous23:09

      They actually brought a lot of airlines.

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    10. Anonymous00:00

      INTERCONTINENTAL

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:05

    VINCI will definitely want its investment to pay off. So I see a lot of development in new routes and airlines in the next few years.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:05

    I hope they try to attract others as well. There is only so much JU can do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:20

      Doubt they will do anything to negatively impact Air Serbia.

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL11:37

      Theres only so much BEG can do to attract them. Problem is that our market isn't that attractive for long haul carriers. Take WAW as an example, 3-4 the size of BEG in pax numbers, LOT has a decent long haul fleet and is a Star Alliance member, yet practically 0 foreign long haul carriers in WAW. JU will be the main driver of long haul flights from BEG.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:06

    Finally Belgrade is restoring the routes it already had decades ago. Looking forward to more resumptions! Good work.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:06

    Shame Havana didn't materialize but I still think JU should look into these long haul leisure routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:30

      I can't understand why Serbian tour operators don't start long-distance charters!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous01:22

      Exactly with 2 flights a week to Havana i am sure they could fill the plane up aspecially with transfers too..,and not everybody has been there yet.. i am sure a lot of people would be interested to concider for a holliday and its not expensive there

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:07

    Any news on when the second a330 is coming home?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      Probably next week.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:12

    What other markets besides Canada and China could be of interest?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      More routes in the US make most sense.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:14

      Miami.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:18

      I also think Miami would be an excellent choice. Big ex-Yugo and Balkan diaspora in Miami alone let alone Florida. It is a good destination even for people that want to go for vacation and those that want to transfer to Caribbean and South America.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:21

      Any potential for nonstop flights to South America?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous01:25

      I agree with MIAMI problem for tourist from the region to expensive at the moment but I have friends from Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro which live there and they told me that there is a huge exyu community of younger people they to a couple of times a year back and forward

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:13

    BEG has good predispositions for more long hauls with a lot of regional links.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:33

      And JU said they will further strengthen long regional network next summer.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:36

      They already added a lot of frequencies in the region this winter.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:13

    This is great news and it will definitely help Belgrade grow even more. I'm glad they are oriented towards this kind of growth.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:14

    Time to spread to North America and Asia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      That is what JU is doing.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:15

    Shanghai will start as soon as Covid restrictions permit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:35

      But home come that some other European airlines can fly to Shanghai and JU must wait restictions to be lifted?

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:16

    BEG needs more African destinations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:16

      and in Central Asia too.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:18

      They will be launching flights to Caucuses next summer.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:19

      I wouldn't call that Central Asia.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:22

      Is there really demand for cities in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan? Don't think so.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:32

      Not really

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:37

      Ethiopian Airlines could try BEG, they have a huge network across Africa.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:35

      I don’t see Ethiopian in BEG they already serve ATH in balkans.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:01

      Lagos :-)

      Delete
    9. Anonymous19:07

      There was an African carrier that recently wanted to start flights to BEG.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:16

    I hope Air Serbia has a good GSA in China. It will be key to their success on this route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:09

      Considering they already sold out the flight on 6th January to Tuanjin, seems it is working well for them.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:11

      I don't think they sold it out. I think they just blocked sales for 6th because it's Christmas eve and crew would spend Christmas in Tianjin. They probably wanted to avoid that.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:13

      Nope, it's sold out because you can buy ticket from Tianjin to Belgrade for the 8th. So flight is definitely operating on the 6th.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:14

      You are right! Then that is impressive, in less than a week they sold out a flight.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:03

      They sold BEG-TSN leg in a couple of hours I think.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:19

    How many wide bodies can BEG handle now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      I mean at the same time.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:21

      Like 10.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:22

      Impressive. Thanks

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:20

    There is a lot of potential for growth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:29

      Flights from all over Europe to Bangkok are full all year round except during the summer season. Air Serbia could certainly fill up their plane from European connecting flights with competitive prices

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL01:08

      @23,29

      Thailand is not that expensive to get to from Europe. Practically every route JU flies to has a competitor on the Europe - BKK route. EK, QR, EY, GF, TK, WY, LX, LH, OS and the list continues with tens of daily flights out to BKK alone. Yield is not great, so no point in trashing it further when better money can be made elsewhere. LH group have TG as their Star Alliance partner in BKK and multiple daily flights to various cities across Europe, EK, QR and especially TK fly to more destinations across Europe with alot more frequencies allowing for better connection options. It's not just about filling the cheaper economy class seats, but business class as well.

      What would make sense is having a code share partner, especially for transfers to Australia, but I doubt that would happen. The best I see is an interline with TG and perhaps a codeshare agreement with Bangkok Airways. Question is whether they could turn a profit on it and JU has previously said it wouldn't.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:21

    Becoming some sort of a transfer hub depends a lot on your home airline ie Air Serbia in this case. Any future ambition by the airport will be linked to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      Based on what the airport said, I think they realize that fully.

      Delete
  19. notLufthansa09:23

    Route to South America would be a total win

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      Not sure if you are being sarcastic or serious 😀

      Delete
    2. notLufthansa13:52

      serious. Belgrade is becoming a proper Balkan hub, connection to South America is missing.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:31

    Hoping to see Tokyo in the next few years

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:47

      Seoul too

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:49

      Jin Air a few years ago announced they would launch flights straight away if Seoul Airport won the BEG concession

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:50

      ANA was interested a few years ago
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/10/ana-considers-belgrade-flights.html

      Delete
  21. Anonymous09:32

    Hong Kong should be considered

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:47

      Considering Shenzhen and Guangzhou are in the same catchment area, definitely.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:10

      Would be nice to see Cathay Pacific in BEG :D

      Delete
    3. Anonymous23:12

      They code share on Qatar Airways' flights from Doha to Belgrade.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous23:12

      CX9217/18

      Delete
  22. Anonymous09:59

    Nice to see all stakeholders in Serbia's aviation sector. Lacking in many other countries in the region.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:08

      When you are all part of the same cartel it's easy

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:14

      ^ huh?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:23

      There is no demand for such flights.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous10:15

    Nice. Hope for some surprises in '23 like this year.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous10:22

    Bravo

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous10:56

    Great reason to rethink airport Taxi service and the third-world image it creates at city visitors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JATBEGMEL12:27

      The airport really doesn't have that much authority here, especially when police have some sort of deal with those illegal taxi drivers. Even registered, legal taxi drivers can be a problem for the locals, especially during the weekends.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:11

      It worked OK just couple of years ago so it can (and absolutely should) be done quickly. If it's true about police and illegal drivers then that's huge problem.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous11:26

    In coming years, having New York, Chicago, Toronto, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapour, Buenos Aires (huge diaspora) and either Tokyo or Seoul would be great !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:52

      Huge diaspora of 7th generation Crats will sure fill all of those Buenos Aires flights :D

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:14

      I don't really see a problem filling 2pw flights with a good feeding network and good connections. At the end its JU, these guys know how to create demand even when there is none

      Delete
  27. Anonymous12:38

    Flights to India to/from India would catch that huge market going to YYZ and JFK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boris18:35

      India is for sure. AirSerbia could take huge chunk from London's India passengers transfers.
      Lagos and few others in Africa.
      Africa is the next El Dorado in development. Part of future BRI.
      Marek knows, Macron knows and that is why Vinci is in BG.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous14:34

    Bravo Serbia !

    ReplyDelete
  29. I was soooo hyped for Havana. All other destinations are useless for me.😥

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous23:22

    Encouraging to hear.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous23:23

    I believe that medium haul is much more important.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous23:24

    And when I remember the hysteria by some commentators earlier this year how another year will go by and Air Serbia won't expand its long haul network.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous23:28

    BEG definitely needs a lot more long haul flying

    ReplyDelete
  34. If they learnt anything is the cargo business in China. I feel Air Serbia will focus much more on Chinese destinations (huge cities on ther own) that can fill belly cargo space to offset the seasonality issues and are simultaneously underserved by other European airlines. It is the only "safe" way forward. However, they would need Chinese speaking crew. It's a must.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous01:43

      I am sure they know that and will have at least 1 crew member speaking chinese plus ad chines in the entertaiment system with a view chines movies too

      Delete

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