Air Serbia and Qatar Airways to forge closer ties


Air Serbia and Qatar Airways will establish closer cooperation with the two airlines to soon unveil a wide-ranging codeshare agreement. The Serbian carrier recently said it was in the final stages of concluding a codeshare partnership with a major carrier from the Middle East. Qatar Airways is set to add its designator code and flight numbers on the majority of its Serbian counterpart’s operations from Belgrade, unlocking a number of new routes. Likewise, Air Serbia will add its codes on Qatar Airways’ Belgrade - Doha service, as well as destinations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The Qatari carrier, a member of the Oneworld alliance, currently flies to more than 150 destinations worldwide.

The development marks a major shift for Air Serbia which is formally still affiliated with Etihad Airways, with the latter owning a 16.4% stake in the company. However, relations between the two have been almost non-existent for the past three years, with the Emirati airline decreasing its ownership stake from 49%. Last month, Air Serbia’s CEO, Jiri Marek, noted, “We no longer have any touchpoints with Etihad. We don’t even have a codeshare”. The Serbian carrier is also set to leave Etihad’s loyalty frequent flyer program. “We want to do a proper job with it, so we are taking our time. We don’t want to quickly jump into something and be unable to deliver. There are 692 airlines, so the library of knowledge and experience is big. Therefore, we can innovate and cherry-pick the best idea and once we decide to go our own way, we want to have something that can be trusted and that can be delivered to passengers”, Mr Marek said.

The new codeshare agreement will provide significant feed for Air Serbia on a number of routes including the likes of Ljubljana, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Tivat, Niš, destinations in Italy, Germany and Russia. On the other hand, the agreement will also strengthen Qatar Airways’ operations to and from Belgrade. The route, currently maintained five times per week with the Airbus A320 aircraft, increasing to daily from March 26, is codeshared by Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Cathay Pacific, Sri Lankan Airlines and Virgin Australia. Qatar Airways handled 24.799 passengers on its Belgrade flights over the first half of 2022. During the pre-pandemic 2019, Shanghai was the top destination Belgrade passengers transferred to or from within Qatar Airways’ network. It was followed by the likes of Sydney, Melbourne, Bangkok, Hangzhou, Denpasar (Bali), Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Perth in Australia.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    Good choice!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    This is excellent in feeding many JU routes. I especially think they will benefit on many of those holiday like destinations in Italy and Greece this summer thanks to this agreemeent. .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:19

      Why does someone fly to the main Greek islands from Doha via Belgrade when Qatar airways have direct flights to Mykonos , Santorini and they propably add Rhodes this summer ?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:30

      Because Air Serbia has flights to Heraklion, Chania and Corfu.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:31

      And not to forget Thessaloniki.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:18

      Anonymous11:19

      Santorini and Mykonos are not the only Greek Islands out there.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous13:29

      Believe me the wealthy arabs know only those two islands ! The last five years their super yachts goes to those two islands and sometimes to the Ionian sea islands . To Crete they usualy go by their private jets to Elounda beach resorts.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous15:21

      Qatar also serves ATH with widebodies and they have agreement with Sky Express so they can reach every Greek island. Nobody is gonna go through BEG.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous15:35

      You are right. Qatar is nuts to have made an agreement with Air Serbia because no one is going to fly with Air Serbia. Thy did it for fun.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous16:07

      Thats about Greece nobody said that they’re not gonna fly with JU.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    Fantastic

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:03

    Well there goes LJU's chance of getting QR flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee09:12

      Indeed, yesterday I looked at some QR fares from LJU via BEG and they are very competitive.It also helps that connectivity is good since JU has double daily flights. If they add midday flights then it's going to be even better.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:16

      I wonder on which JU's routes we could see the QR codeshare?

      Delete
    3. Nemjee09:16

      You can see some of them listed already today. From the top of my head they are on BLQ, LJU, TGD, NUE and so on.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:19

      It is interesting that QR does not fly to LED and therefore they introduced now code share with JU, but still not possible to purchase the tickets on QR website.

      I hope it would be fixed soon.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:21

      Ooh, I can see it now, thanks Nemjee!

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:25

      @ Anonymous 09:19
      This is because the codeshare will be officially implemented in the next few weeks in terms of sales.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:11

      It really will, won't it?

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:03

    Well played JU.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:04

    I'm pretty sure this will lead to one of these three:
    1) QR increases flights to BEG to 10 weekly in 2023 (or even 14 weekly)
    2) Air Serbia introduces flights to Doha
    3) QR introduces widebodies to BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      I am just not sure about JU flying to DOH.

      The rotation would be way too long - that is also the reason why they stopped AUH at the time they still had code share wth EY.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:11

      It would make little sense flying practically an LCC airline with legacy prices on this route. JU failed on AUH route, same would happen in DOH. Who in their right mind would choose to fly Air Serbia over Qatar Airways for the same price.

      Delete
    3. Nemjee09:15

      Well, people will fly with JU to Doha if the price and connections suit them the most. That said, I don't think this will happen.

      QR does well in BEG as is. If this code-share becomes successful then we will have to see QR move beyond their daily A320. If they don't change anything then it can only mean that the codeshare isn't doing what it was suppose to.

      I think this is a good opportunity for JU to further position itself as a reliable carrier and a business partner. That is why it's key they keep on increasing frequencies throughout their network.

      QR codes are already in the system and can be seen on beg.aero

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:28

      I wouldn't completely write off the possibility of JU starting flights to Doha. Qatar Airways has a fleet shortage issue at the moment and they have allowed many partner airlines to launch flights so that they can operate routes together. For example Finnair is now flying from several Nordic cities to Doha, American Airlines was given one of QR's slots to operate New York-Doha, Air Canada the same to start flights Toronto-Doha.

      Delete
    5. Nemjee09:33

      Actually Air Canada is terminating their Doha flights at the end of the month.
      Unfortunately JU will also experience a fleet shortage and their fleet will be stretched to its limits. I think if we see any changes then it iwll be QR which will either bring back the night flight or upgrade their current flight to a widebody.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:05

    Qatar Airways has become really expensive on flights from/to Belgrade primarily because there are never any seats available on the Belgrade flights. I hope they add more flights or add capacity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:11

      They are full on many routes, which is one of the reasons they are becoming so expensive.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:22

      They are an excellent airline. Flew with them finally for the first time last year. I can't compare them to other airlines. Excellent service, seats, entertainment. And Doha Airport is a great airport too. I had a good transfer experience with them. And I really appreciate the SMS service where you get message that your bag is loaded on the flights and a message which baggage carousel your bag is when you land!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:41

      The SMS is a great feature that Doha Airport uses. Sounds like QR is really good. But why can't you compare them to other airlines? Would love to hear your opinion.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:05

    Wooow, congrats JU!
    Etihad definitely made the catastrophic mistake since they left from BEG, now it's officially to late for their comeback...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      I fully agree with you.

      They were jumping from one mistake to the other...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:08

      Agree. They made a mistake of not resuming flights. Well they did in September 2020 for about a month. But they have handed the market over to QR.

      Delete
    3. Nemjee09:18

      Worst thing for EY is that they allowed Wizz Air to launch AUH-BEG and to become successful. Etihad has only themselves to blame, they were extremely passive in BEG. It took them years to upgrade BEG from A319 to A320. They could have easily operated a widebody.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:19

      And even being so passive they did really well. Over 90% LF in 2019!

      Delete
    5. Nemjee09:34

      They took the market for granted, that's for sure. They ended up being especially stupid because they gave up on one market which has considerable O&D demand ...

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:40

      Remember flying with Etihad back in the day. Each flight full with a lot of foreigners just transferring onto Air Serbia. They also had huge numbers of Chinese passengers.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:47

      My last flight before Covid in February 2020 with Etihad from Abu Dhabi where I was attending a conference to Belgrade. You would be forgiven to think it was a flight to China. 90% of passengers were Chinese.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:44

      EY doesn't really care about BEG and JU obviously doesn't care about their loyal passengers so they're destroy the Guest programme for themselves on purpose.
      EY is going fine without JU. They started making money in the middle of a pandemic.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous10:50

      Seems like JU is doing much better without EY as well.

      Delete
    10. Nemjee11:59

      EY improved their finances because they gave up on turbo expansion which was encouraged by Hogan, not to mention going on a shopping spree and mostly getting dysfunctional carriers. Out of all those they bought, only JU seems to have made it out alive.

      BEG-UAE has 19 weekly flights. That's almost triple daily. The market is obviously there. If Etihad gave up on it then it's only because of them and their incompetence. Like I wrote earlier, their main problem is that they stopped growing. Back then they could have easily sent the A330 but they chose not to as they were busy focusing on expanding in new markets instead of consolidating in those that performed well, like BEG.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:06

    Amazing news!

    This actually means that there are good chances QR will keep sending wide body to BEG on regular basis.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:08

    Hmm maybe down the road Qatar takes that Etihad share as well.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:12

    Does this mean that American Airlines might be the new codeshare partner in the US? Another Oneworld partner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      I truly hope so.

      JU already has interline with AA, so signing a code share with them would be great especially as Marek confirmed that they negotiate with big US carrier about it.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:12

    To be honest this is fantastic for Air Serbia. They have a lot to gain from this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      Really a lot.

      The flights to the region but also to NUE, BLQ, LED will have much more passengers.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:18

      That's just the beginning. Many more routes will be included in this codeshare.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:31

      Thank you.

      I expect also SPU, DBV, ZAD, RJK, PUY, SKP to be added.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:13

    I just checked Qatar Airways' website and they are already selling many flights in cooperation with Air Serbia.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:13

    Belgrade Airport is now displaying QR flight numbers on many Air Serbia routes!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:20

    One thing I noticed with Qatar is that they are not offering connections anymore from the Balkans to the USA, closest point to get an offer for connecting flights is Istanbul...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:24

      Noticed this too. I flew with them last summer to the US (I wanted to avoid transferring through Europe at all cost and they offered a competitive price). This winter I was looking at their website for the same route and they were not offering me an option to buy a ticket at all.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:42

      Could be that the flights are packed with pax flying to the east and they don’t want west-bound pax. I have tried flying to the north with Aegean, but similarly they don’t let you book a connecting flight to the north.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:45

      You are right, it might be a reason. I will check if they offer the option for next summer.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:22

    Bravo Air Serbia 🇷🇸🇷🇸🇷🇸

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous09:33

    The question is will EK/FZ respond to this in any way

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:44

      I don't see what more they could do. Other than Emirates to start flights itself.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:02

      That would be the proffered development.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:05

      FZ can increase BEG to 15 or 16 per week.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:17

      There are rumours we in Belgrade might hear some good news from Emirates soon...

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:35

      That would be amazing. Fingers crossed.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:38

    This is a very good choice (for both airlines).

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:39

    I'm very interested to see which routes Air Serbia will codeshare on. I hope we see Australian and New Zealand destinations - Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Auckland down the line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:43

      Highly likely. They used to codeshare on Australian routes with Etihad.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:41

      Codeshares listed in the news article doesn't include Australia. Destinations in Australia are listed at the top transfer destinations with Qatar from Belgrade. Air Serbia doesn't have codeshare with Etihad. Turkish does not fly to Australia.

      It makes you wonder what was Air Serbia thinking when signing QR codeshare deal without insisting on Australia destinations? If there was one job they had to do, it would be Australia codeshares. One job.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:51

      Calm down and be patient. Australia requires regulatory approval for all codeshares.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:43

    Perfect

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:47

    Wow this an interesting development.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous09:53

    This is a seriously good and unexpected development, and they kept the identity of the partner under wraps to the very last moment..

    And now, let's wait to hear from Pozdrav.... :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:54

      "Jasminneeee dje si" :D

      Delete
    2. Thanks guys for doing the first half instead of me 😃!
      Aj pitaj gazda Ivana jel smijes nazvat profesore u Beograd da ti dadnu repeticije. Nego, nemoj, nemoj, bolje, mogla b' pocet stol'ca da se ljulja

      Delete
  23. Sjajna vest na Badnji Dan. Air Serbia u usponu. Belgrade Airport u gradnji. Airports Serbia u razvoju.
    Comercial Aviation of Serbia on way Up! 🇷🇸✈🌐🛫😀✈
    Srecan Bozic.♥️☦😀✈
    Rodney Marinkovic and Aviation Enthusiast Associate Group ✈😀🛫

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous09:58

    And now the question is: who will be the groom? TK or QR?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:59

      I would personally prefer QR. TK is too close geographically and could impede on JU growth.

      Delete
    2. Just partners. This days partnerships is all over. Better player get more partners, contractors and subcontractors. And more people talk about.
      Merry Christmas! 🛫🌐✈🇷🇸✈

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:07

      My guess is... Neither, at least not in the short term.
      The choice of the FFP will however give at least an indication of the direction.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous09:58

    Admin how do you always manage to find the most appropriate pic for the articles. Like who has a JU QR plane side by side in their library :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:41

      One must always be prepared

      Delete
  26. Anonymous09:59

    Fantastic but please QR either increase flights or start sending some bigger birds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:06

      I agree, the A320 is a joke.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:54

      Because of wide body shortage (due to A350s), they would rather go double daily a320, than 1 787

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:38

      Love to see some newer wide body metal in Belgrade. I think the sight of 787 or 350 and the luxury of Qatar on board experience would do so well

      Delete
  27. Anonymous10:02

    These latest codeshares and partnership show that Air Serbia is becoming an important and serious partner for many in the region. They are using the vacuum of there being no serious national airlines in neighboring countries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:05

      I particularly like the fact that they are growing relatively slowly and organically
      On one side they are growing as Serbia's economy is if not growing, at least consolidating and in the other, they are positively opportunistic and not afraid to "try things".

      Delete
  28. Anonymous10:39

    JU flights to Banja Luka, Hanover and Stuttgart also got QR code!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:41

      Venice as well!

      Delete
  29. Anonymous11:32

    JU shall join Oneworld.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:35

      Marek said that JU did not intend to join any alliance soon.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous13:21

    They should do really well once China demand starts rebounding.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous15:45

    This is not much of a surprise if you take into account who has a large part in running Qatar Airways these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:47

      What do you mean? Who?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:49

      Is this in referral to Duncan Naysmith. former Air Serbia CEO, now Qatar Airways CFO?

      Delete
  32. QR023216:40

    Nice one! Hmmm think i smell WB flights back in BEG. That will also be really good for Serbian cargo market !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:50

      WB flights? As in Rwanda Air?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:45

      WB as wide-body. And if codeshare goes right, then B788 is highly possible in BEG.

      Delete
  33. Anonymous18:31

    What's the point of these JU code shares when the price of each code share is insane?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous02:09

      What do you mean 'the price of the codeshare'?

      Delete
  34. Anonymous19:31

    Air Serbia talked about Joint Venture with Turkish. Is this codeshare deal with Qatar going to upset Turkish and potential JV?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous19:36

    With closer ties with Turkish and Qatar, both hugely popular airlines with big loyalty schemes, if Air Serbia could settle on a loyalty scheme rewarding both frequent flyers it could be a real winner for Air Serbia and shows the benefit of not joining an alliance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous02:08

      One airline is a member of star alliance the other of oneworld. TK and QR are very fierce competitors.

      Delete
  36. Miroslav iz Kolara19:57

    This sounds like good news but in real time it will take years for any success. Still, kudos to Air Serbia for continuing to be pro-active.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous20:24

    With this agreement with Qatar Airways will it be possible or easier/cheaper for Air Serbia to lease(wet or dry lease)in the future their A320 for example if underutilized or this arrangement between the two airlines have no bearing whatsoever on that aspect of this cooperation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous01:55

      Code-share agreements do not affect lease or obtaining airplanes in any way….JU and QR might sign different one that make their cooperation in that area that you are talking about..

      Delete
    2. Anonymous02:05

      But could closer cooperation make loaning planes to each other easier?

      Delete

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