Air Serbia outlines fleet, network and passenger plans for 2023

Air Serbia plans to grow its passenger numbers between 10% and 20% on an annual basis, handle over three million travellers in 2023 and further expand its fleet and route network with new long haul destinations. The carrier’s CEO, Jiri Marek, noted, the plan for 2023 would be to welcome over three million passengers, up from the 2.76 million handled in 2022. Of those, the airline anticipates having 30% of travellers transferring through Belgrade to onward destinations. According to Mr Marek, the carrier’s goal is to overtake JAT Yugoslav Airlines’ results within the next two to three years, without specifying in which metric. JAT registered its busiest year in 1987 when it welcomed 4.531.000 passengers on board its aircraft.

Network plans

Air Serbia has so far announced it will launch nineteen new routes during the course of 2023, however, more are to follow. Mr Marek noted the carrier would restore flights to Cairo following a hiatus of over three years this spring, with the service expected to resume “around Easter”, which takes place in April. Flights are yet to be scheduled. “In our strategy, we are also looking at Slovakia, southern Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria. We believe that Belgrade is geographically very favourably located and will therefore attract traffic”, Mr Marek recently said.

The airline also plans to grow its long haul network with the addition of a third Airbus A330-200 jet. Beijing and Shanghai are earmarked as new destinations in China, although Mr Marek noted the introduction of these two is “a very complex but very important process”. A new destination is also planned in North America, however, the CEO said it was still too early to comment which one. Mr Marek previously said the airline was looking at Toronto and Miami for its potential third destination across the Atlantic. Among the line-up of new routes slated to launch this year, Air Serbia’s CEO singled out Izmir as being an early success based on booking data.

Fleet plans

Commenting on plans to grow the fleet, Mr Marek said, “Renewing the fleet is one of Air Serbia’s strategic goals. During 2022 alone we took delivery of four ATR72-600 aircraft, as well as one A330 and one A320. We are especially proud to have put into operation the second wide-body A330-200 which carries the name of the famous Mihajlo Pupin”. According to the CEO, the airline plans to add “at least” two more ATRs and one A320 to the fleet and is looking into its third A330-200. Earlier this month, Air Serbia took delivery of its fifth ATR72-600 turboprop and wet-leased a sixth unit. “We should be proud of the country in which we operate and that is why we plan for the ATRs to receive geographical names and for the aircraft to feature the symbols of Serbia", he added.

Hub growth ambitions

Mr Marek said that Belgrade Airport’s ongoing multi million euro transformation will enable the carrier to further grow its operations and added his hope the airport would be able to keep up with the carrier’s ambitious plans. In an earlier interview, the CEO said, “The airport is undergoing major expansion and once it is completed, we believe that Belgrade Airport will be able to offer convenient, easy transfers with short connecting times without the congestion we usually see in Europe”. He added, “The expanded airport will have a capacity to handle up to fifteen million passengers. This year, we expect the airport to handle seven million, of which three million will be carried by Air Serbia. That leaves us with plenty of room to grow. The airport will enable smooth connections, which will bring competitive advantages and will bring passengers from other hubs to Belgrade. Since Budapest is no longer a real hub, the competition will mainly be with hubs such as Vienna, Rome, Milan and Athens. I think we have to see where the niche is for us”.


Air Serbia ended 2022 with a record profit of 21 million euros and hopes to replicate that success this year. “We will never be able to match the cost advantages of low cost airlines, but we will try to achieve as much growth as possible in terms of efficiency and cost structure. That way, we will be able to operate at lower costs, which will be reflected in our profitability at the end of the day. When low cost carriers open new routes and stimulate new demand, it is good for everybody, because it is a new market for Belgrade Airport, it means additional tourists for Serbia and we get additional passengers into our regional network. We welcome competition”, Mr Marek recently told the “AIRzaehlungen” podcast.


  1. Anonymous09:03

    Exciting year ahead.

    1. Anonymous17:49

      I think better to focus on China and Far East than America. China in NO1 import and export partner for Serbia and Baklans. Chinese people come to Serbia and neighbouring countries as tourist as well as for business as suppliers and customers. Also, more and more Serbs and business people from region travel to China and from China. Tourists, people who work in China, people who have relatives who live and work in China... Conections with China have trend of rising. I see that first destination JU opened to China is overbooked. Much more pasengers will be to Shanghai and Beijing. Much, much more potential than Chicago or Miami!

    2. Anonymous18:00

      Also I believe in years to come we will have much more Chinese people coming to Serbia as tourists or for busines than Americans. Also, important to notice that this kind of people travel whole year! Not to be suprised that LF on YU flights to China is over 90% in first months! Remember that LF on flights from BEG to JFK was low in forst 2 years.

    3. Nemjee08:23

      Generally, there has been a global shift to the east. This trend started in the early 2000s and it has become even more obvious with the rise of China.
      (Air) Serbia is smart to have made the necessary arrangements to make the most of it all. I think I read somewhere that a new trade deal with ASEAN should be signed soon. This might boost travel demand by a little bit to that part of the world.

  2. Anonymous09:04

    Happy to see Cairo returning to the network. Any idea how many weekly flights?

    1. Anonymous09:05

      It will probably be two or three weekly.

    2. Anonymous09:06

      How many weekly flights were there before Covid?

    3. Anonymous09:08

      Two weekly.

    4. Anonymous09:09

      This was the timetable

      Flight number: JU876
      Departure city: BEG
      Departure time: 23.10
      Arrival time: 02.05
      Arrival city: CAI
      Aircraft type: A319
      Day operating: -2--5--

      Flight number: JU877
      Departure city: CAI
      Departure time: 02.50
      Arrival time: 05.55
      Arrival city: BEG
      Aircraft type: A319
      Day operating: --3--6-

  3. Anonymous09:05

    I like the ATR naming concept announced.

  4. Anonymous09:06

    So I'm guessing the third A330 will arrive in time for 23/24 winter season?

    1. Anonymous09:10

      Most likely

    2. Anonymous15:15

      Second A330 arrived in shorter period. Air Serbia not eager to get the third plane ready for this summer?

    3. Anonymous15:20

      And you think it is all down to just getting a plane? Pilots and crew grow on trees? Flight pernits can be secured overnight?

  5. Anonymous09:07

    Imagine they choose Miami over Toronto for third destination in North America :D there will an uproar.

    1. Anonymous09:11

      Kad ustane kuka i motika..

    2. Anonymous09:13

      I think Miami would work better.

    3. Anonymous09:15

      There are no reasons to support Miami over Toronto. Wait for the decision to become public.

    4. Anonymous09:20

      Hub for AA, tourism, connections to Latin America, cheaper airport fees. Need any more?

    5. Nemjee09:28

      Miami has a sizeable Serbian community, mostly made up of people who emigrated there in the last 20 to 30 years. In other words they have strong ties to their homeland and tend to travel more regularly.
      I remember back in the day when AB was around, JU's TXL flight used to have at least 15 transfers to MIA on each flight.

      Toronto is problematic because it's a very expensive airport, it's a Star Alliance fortress hub and most passengers heading to the Balkans are price sensitive. It makes sense to chose MIA over YYZ.

    6. Anonymous09:38

      My vote goes for Miami too. It also offers great transfer opportunities to South America.

    7. Anonymous09:38

      If Air Serbia makes a wrong decision, numbers will be impossible to hide and someone will be pointed at as a scrapegoat. No need to worry if they pick the obvious choice.

    8. Anonymous09:44

      Demand for onward connections for JU passengers at JFK is less than 20%. Demand for onward connections to Latin America at MIA would be a lot less than that, even with AA codeshares.

    9. Anonymous09:46

      And you expect it would be more from Toronto?

    10. Anonymous09:50

      Most transfer opportunities for JU flights to JFK exist on the BEG side. Same would be true for Toronto and Miami, but the demand for Toronto from typical feed cities like SKP, TGD, SJJ and SKG is much higher than for Miami. If transfer passengers are the key, YYZ is way ahead of MIA

    11. Anonymous09:51

      Toronto would have more P2P passengers.

    12. Nemjee09:54

      Well there is a reason why for JU YYZ is not a clear winner over MIA. I am sure they have access to various data which they are using to plan ahead.
      Mind you, YYZ might be a larger market during the holidays but MIA might have more year-round potential.

      Also in MIA they could cooperate with AA and not only for Latina America but for southern USA as well. In YYZ they would have absolutely no one.
      Worth noting that VIE-YYZ isn't doing that wonderfully either which is surprising since both are Star Alliance hubs and OS has an impressive Balkan network.

      YYZ-Balkans might have become a saturated market by now.

    13. Toronto and Miami please. But Toronto 1st..

    14. Anonymous10:13

      Nemjee diaspora in Miami does not want to go back home when it snows, there is not much potential during winter. If you meant passenger numbers for the whole year and not just the summer season, in 2019 BEG had over 40,000 passengers to Toronto and back while Miami had only about 10,000.

    15. Nemjee10:23

      Yes 80% of those 40.000 from YYZ might have traveled between June and September. All I am saying is that when we factor in regional destinations, MIA comes out as a competitive, year-round choice. They might also have less competition to MIA so there is less pressure on the yields.

      There has to be a reason why ORD won over YYZ and why MIA is as good of a choice as YYZ.

    16. Anonymous10:34

      ORD still has to prove as a destination, esp in winter. Don't bet on it.

      MIA is being served year-round by airlines having great Balkans connectivity such as TK, LO and LH.

      Toronto could only works as summer seasonal for Air Serbia. Two weekly flights would have potential for great yield for those willing to pay for nonstop service.

    17. Saša10:39

      MIA is the largest cruise ship port in the world. I'm sure every Sat BEG MIA flight could have 30 - 40 crew members from RS, HR, MK MN, BH, BG, RO joining their ships.

    18. Charlie10:58

      When the time comes it will be YYZ over MIA, hands down 100% certified, guaranteed, done deal.
      Mark my post.

    19. Prepelica12:40

      I doubt they are considering Toronto or Miami before Lagos :)

    20. Anonymous13:28

      You are right, man.

    21. But Lagos airport is getting to crowded, there was a article a few days ago on a certain aviation blog.

      So Nigeria would be risky.

    22. MIA is much bigger potential for year round destination..All crew members from this region join ships mostly in MIA, that's 70-90 people per flight, if twice a week...MIA is biggest hub for entire Caribbeans, Central and South America..Our diaspora during summer, Florida as winter tourist destination name it...toronto only summer diaspora, no transit, no diaspora cousins visiting them, because its hard to get canadian visa..with toronto AS will be stuck there with only 2 summer months with good pax numbers

    23. one more thing: counting number from BEG to MIA or viceversa doesn't really give correct number, because lot of MIA pax fly from other cities un Europe as first flight, due too much cheaper fares than if taking connection from BEG..I myself have flown 4-5 times to MIA during last few years from AMS, LIS, MAD as the first embarkation port, since tickets were really affordable..and always met people from this region on the same flight, taking same opportunity

    24. Anonymous19:19

      Saša 10:39: I'm sure every Sat BEG MIA flight could have 30 - 40 crew members
      Treshnja 18:28: All crew MIA, that's 70-90 people per flight, if twice a week

      Stop inflating numbers. In 2019 Miami had 10k passengers, Toronto 40k to BEG.

      Other claims are also a joke. Dubai winter vacations are unable to sustain BEG widebody service, MIA winter vacation demand would be only a fraction of that to Dubai.

      Toronto has a lot more transit demand but from the Balkans. Miami onward transit to Latin America is much smaller, just like already seen in the case of JFK service.

      Onward transfers within the US are/will be already available from AA hubs at JFK and ORD, no need for MIA.

    25. Anonymous19:25

      Treshnja 18:39 I myself have flown 4-5 times to MIA during last few years from AMS, LIS, MAD.

      And how did you get to LIS or MAD in the first place? Drove from Belgrade?

      However there are significant numbers of passengers flying from Belgrade to Toronto by driving from Belgrade to Zagreb to catch a nonstop flights. Overall those 10k vs 40k numbers are telling.

    26. Nemjee08:27

      Maybe BEG-DXB can't sustain (yet) a widebody but it is operated twice per day the whole year which is impressive.
      All I am saying is that there must be a reason why JU isn't rushing to launch YYZ and why they are considering launching PVG and MIA before it. We can debate all we want but I am sure Air Serbia has their reasons. Don't forget that Toronto was overlooked in the past when JU decided to launch Tianjin, New York or Chicago.

      Demand might be there but costs associated with it might make it rather unattractive as a top priority.

    27. Anonymous15:20

      Nemjee I agree with you that Air Serbia has their reasons. Where we differ is what's behind those reasons. You may think it's the numbers but I don't think so.

      We both know know JFK is not much cheaper, we know YYZ didn't become expensive or seasonal overnight, we know passenger numbers support Torornto way more than some other destinations.

      Common sense says: there might be other reasons for Air Serbia refusal to start Toronto.

    28. @19:25 how do you calculate 40k vs. 10k? I'm telling you, people buy low cost flight, for instance, to CDG or AMS, and then take direct flight from there to think those people are counted as transfer pax from BEG to MIA? I don't think so, since the first embarkation point for MIA is AMS...Besides that, many people was taking low cost from BUD in order to reach LIS or BCN, and then fly to MIA from there...That was much more affordable then buying connection directly from BEG..I know about this route, because I used it a lot.. I'm talking about price difference which was almost doubled if flying to MIA from BEG on connection flight

    29. @19:19 Who is flying to Dubai itself for winter? Only as hub for South- East Asia/ Australia, but tickets are much cheaper if booking from BEG to those destinations, than booking separate tickets from BEG to DXB, and then another oneard flight...MIA airport would be much more popular hub during winter, then DXB is now...Prices of tickets to Central/South America from MIA airport are much lower then from anywhere in the world, anp people would use it as big hub..

    30. Anonymous19:14

      I can't believe how many YYZ and MIA Airport experts are here, I actually work at YYZ for 19 years for the airport authority, so I just may have a little more information on the topic:
      First of all, all Star Alliance carriers are located in Terminal 1. All other carriers with the biggest one being SkyTeam (DAL, KLM and AF) are in Terminal 3 including OneWorld carriers. Therefore, JU would 100% be located in Terminal 3 and most likely would reach out to WJA (WestJet) for interline agreements, same like all other carriers in T3 that have agreements as WJA as their feeder. On the other hand, Porter Airlines is starting an aggressive operation with up to 54 planned flights a day by the end of the year to compete with WJA, as they already have interline agreements with many T3 carriers, this will further give JU options to sign up for additional feeder flights, so no issues with Star Alliance hub thing.
      Second, regardless of YYZ being on the expensive side, most of new carriers now are piggy backing on ground handler infrastructure without renting offices etc. which can significantly cut operating costs. This is evident by 3 new low cost carriers that recently launched and are operating successfully beating fares of AC and WJA.
      Regarding seasonality, this is case no longer. After COVID, the entire seasonality has significantly changed, we had record full flights in Oct and Nov which are usually shoulder periods, namely LOT and LH who are Balkan diaspora carriers are full even in Oct and Nov and now after Jan 1 which is usually down season, therefore as JU has now extensive regional network with short CNX times and way easier transit via BEG, they have an advantage and great possibility to have favourable LF throughout the year. This doesn't even include business travel that has not restarted fully yet.
      I agree that MIA is equally good destination, therefore it makes sense the CEO announced both destination which will be a tough decision for the airline, however even if MIA is chosen as the next destination, YYZ will most definitely follow with the next expansion, however as YYZ is the next most underserved destination for BEG after China, and MIA is not even in the top 10, I really hope they make the right decision based on extensive market research and not EX YU aviation comment section ;-)


    31. Anonymous20:38

      Great info, thank you YYZ guy for the comment! Much appreciated!

    32. @19:14 I also hope AS management will conduct real and quality market research, and make the right choice, because these counts for BEG- MIA feed are not real....However, you have to admit that YYZ would be completelly diaspora orientated, and only diaspora that actually lives in Canada, not their family/friends/cousins, because they don't go to Canada, due to strict visa rules. Canada is small country as well, by population. On the other hand, MIA would have much broader type of pax, and much larger populated area that this airport covers.

  6. Anonymous09:11

    10-20% passenger growth per year is a lot.

  7. Anonymous09:12

    What does Jiri mean when he says Budapest is not a hub anymore?

    1. Anonymous09:16

      It now longer has an airline operating BUD as a hub (like Malev).

    2. Vlad09:44

      What confuses me is that he goes on to mention Milan in the next sentence, which is in the exact same situation as Budapest.

    3. Anonymous09:52

      Doesn't Neos offer connecting flights via Milan?

    4. Anonymous10:14

      New Lufthansa's Alitalia plans to move focus to Milan. Also ITA has a hub at Lunate.

    5. Anonymous10:14

      Linate :)

    6. Anonymous11:07

      Last three comments me be like.... whhhat...

    7. What is actually really sad is some airport CEOs speaking about their airport as of "charter hub"

    8. Anonymous13:10

      Milan is a massive transfer hub whichever way you look at it.
      Linate - ITA hub, excelent connections both with them and the mass of other legacies.
      Malpensa -massive intercontinental transfer hub. Neos has a minor presence, doing a lot of charters as well, plus massive presence of all global legacies, especially Star Alliance.
      Bergamo - by nature of being a FR mega-hub, even it is a slight transfer point.
      Not to mention other LCC's that are omnipresent in al three airports

    9. Anonymous13:33

      I transfered at Malpensa in 2000s but not anymore. Previous decade we used Rome. Alitalia is in clinical death more than 15 years.

    10. Vlad13:34

      Milan is not a massive "transfer hub". It may have a massive catchment area and a lot of traffic, but it's very much an O&D destination. Virtually no airline offers connecting flights at any of the three airports. The connecting traffic ITA has through LIN is insignificant compared to FCO.

    11. Anonymous17:44

      Id still say it is.
      We both agree on the obvious, that no airline uses it as a hub in the most direct sense of the word, but MXP especially is an intrestimg case of a "mini hub" for many airlines offering 2 or 3 stop services, best example being EK's DXB-MXP-JFK, ET's ADD-MXP-FCO, and a few others. Along with the above mentioned Neos, and ITA's JFK route, and rumors of old AZA ones returning, like HND,id say we can at least conlude MXP is a weird, half way hub.
      -Extra note - since its now impending that LH takes over ITA, their is no doubt that LH will make ITA expand from MXP, as it creates great LH synergy, as LH Grouping has a very notable presence at MXP in all areas.
      As for Linate, its an airport that handled i think 12 million pax pre covid, with a majority of market share controlled by ITY/AZA, its transfer numbrrs are definitely notable,even better than FCO for some specific markets like Germany and the UK

  8. Anonymous09:12

    It is time for passenger growth. Air Serbia had 1.4M passengers in 2013 and that number grew to 2.6M during Kondic years, about 85% growth. Two CEO after grew passenger numbers to 2.8M, or about only 8%. Now is the right time for major growth again, to 3M and beyond. All the best Air Serbia!

    1. Anonymous09:13

      There was just this little problem called coronavirus pandemic and shut down and collapse of aviation for over a year.

    2. Anonymous09:17

      We know, that's why the time to grow is now

    3. Anonymous09:18

      I think growth is on their radar with 19 new routes (at least) this year.

    4. Anonymous09:29

      New destinations are a great sign of growth potential. It comes down to execution now: marketing to keep those 19 destinations sold out, fleet ready to keep schedule as planned, crew ready for increase in operations etc.

  9. Anonymous09:12

    One advantage that Belgrade has in the recent years is that many young people work for foreign companies remotely. They get to earn higher wages and want to travel more and more. This is a "new" market that is only growing.

    1. Nemjee09:25

      It's not just Belgrade that is fueling this growth, the whole catchment area is doing well, just look at New Now. It's currently booming and almost all of them are using BEG to fly. Add to that the fact that OSI is dead (RIP) and that TSR is struggling you start to see why BEG is starting to do so well overall.

    2. Anonymous09:58

      You were joking when You typed "New Now", right?

    3. Nemjee10:04

      Haha of course, I was making fun of that reporter from a few years back.

  10. Nemjee09:23

    It's a shame that China's reopening took them by surprise. If they didn't announce Chicago they could have switched to Beijing and added more frequencies.
    Like this, without a third A330 this year, they will have to sit this one out. Airlines keep on adding capacity to China every day. The latest is TK which is resuming two weekly IST-PEK and boosting PVG from 1 to 2 weekly.
    We will see if Hainan adds more flights to BEG, I could see them increase BEG to 2 weekly during summer.

    I am still surprised as to why they are not expanding into Romania. It's a massive source of transfer passengers especially to places like Italy and Spain where they are growing right now.

    It's a shame that no one is asking Marek if the airport is ready to handle all this growth. Last year it was a disaster as Vinci did not have enough staff to handle all the flights at the same time. Hopefully they will prepare for the summer 2023 which will be crazy.

    Mornings are going to be especially challenging with all the JU growth, 3 to 4 W6 planes, 2 LH, OS, KL and Air Cairo all departing within 90 minutes or so.

    1. Anonymous09:27

      Airlines are able to add capacity to China at the moment because the permits that existed before Covid started have now been reinstated. So airlines can return to those frequnecy levels. Air Serbia didn't have flights to China before Covid so all it can do now is have the same number of flights. They can apply for more frequencies for summer but, like you said, they probably won't have the aircraft.

      I'm not trying to defend anyone but China's over night reopening after 2.5 years of zero covid policies did take everyone by surprise.

    2. Nemjee09:31

      Indeed and that is why they had a simple choice in front of them. Either lease out extra capacity to resume Beijing from the summer season or wait until next year when you can organically expand there.
      Most important question is what will the Europe-Beijing market look like next year. One thing is certain, there is going to be a lot more competition around. Don't forget that when it comes to this market, JU is also competing against EK, QR as well as other airlines such as TK, LH, OS and so on. EK has already announced the return of the A380 to China.

    3. Anonymous11:20

      Would Temišvar make sense for all those transfer pax? Or is it to close being only 140km from BEG?

    4. Nemjee16:52

      Well, it could make sense since the road network in that area is pretty poor. Flight would be around 25 to 35 minutes so slightly shorter than BEG-SJJ.
      However before looking at TSR there are other airports in Romania that could be served like Cluj or Iasi.

  11. Anonymous09:34

    Interesting that Izmir is the most popular new destination.

    1. Anonymous09:43

      Crazy demand between Serbia and Turkey at the moment. Anadolujet will do really well too on these flights.

    2. Anonymous09:43

      Is it? I am not surprised, it's an old charter route that was popular before.

    3. Anonymous09:45

      Well that's what the CEO said.

      "Air Serbia’s CEO singled out Izmir as being an early success based on booking data".

    4. Nemjee10:05

      I am also not surprised by Izmir. It would be a true success if they saw transfer passengers on this route since O&D existed before.

  12. Anonymous09:41

    Well done Air Serbia. Really looking forward to their development this year.

  13. Anonymous09:42

    I think they will need more planes than what they have announced.

  14. Anonymous09:42

    Good luck Air Serbia!

  15. Anonymous10:05

    I like the Slovakia one. I know Vienna is close but just so much more convenient. This is great first Budapest and hopefully now Bratislava, another option for our close European neighbours and us.

    1. Anonymous10:13

      It's gonna be Kosice and not Bratislava in my opinion

    2. Anonymous11:00

      Kosice would be an excellent option to cater for Ukraine.

      Same as Suceava and Lublin.

  16. Quite impressive if you look where we were standing 10 years ago! Furthre more i know it's not quite importante but if a 3rd Airbus 330 joint the fleet, we still have numerous scientists to honour. I suppose most people would first think of Milutin Milankovic. In my case my proposal would be, to finally get some parity here! We have names such as Draga Ljocic or Mileva Maric. Beyond their scientific work, they brought a mentality change in our society that is even more important.

    1. Anonymous10:26

      There is no room for wokeness in aviation. Third A330 should be Milutin Milankovic.

    2. Anonymous10:28

      Lol mate...go woke go broke

  17. Anonymous10:09

    Air Serbia has certainly made good progress with regards to destinations served so far but there are a few points that need to be improved. I flew recently SVO-BEG-SVO (Dec 24.22./ 08.01.23 JU657/650 (YU-APN and YU-APH). Both flights were sold out to the last seat despite the cost of 1150e for a return ticket where the ticket was purchased 4 months ahead. Both flights were on time which is a definitive + Now what needs to be better is the attitude of cabin staff; on both flights they were present but their job motivation was = 0 i.e. no greetings, no smiles, no assistance to passengers with carry on luggage storage on a full flight and absolutely no motivation to sell anything from the Elevate on board buffet. I was amazed that on the return flight after I greeted first the purser standing at the front door during boarding and told her that at least she could smile a bit (ako nista onda fore radi) she responded that she has a lot to do...
    The other thing is that cabin look needs some refresh; they look tired and a bit used already; the armrest top on Yu-APH where I was sitting was scotched with tape.
    So basically all ok but some fine touches that cost nothing are needed to enhance the overall flying experience and impression of the airline. Sorry, apologies if I was too long ...

    1. Meyraf10:25

      While I wouldn’t question your experience and would always strive for improvements, I’d like to mention that the cabin crew shouldn’t be expected to help people with their carry on luggage, except for vulnerable groups (very old, pregnant, single parents with very small kids). That’s the practice I could observe in many airlines. Cabin crew are not porters, they have a substantial safety role on board.

    2. Anonymous10:30

      Fully agree with you but in case of a full flight it speeds up the boarding process if they help arrange the overhead bins a little; indeed no need for them to be porters but it would be a nice touch to be available and help.

    3. Long time ago, cabin crew were ambasadors of their respective countries and airlines. They were honoured, respected, and it was reflected in their life style, salaries, and overall income. And they had sufficient enough reasons to smile all the time. Today, it's completely diferrent story, and we could paraphrase "koliko para toliko muzike" to "as much money that many smiles".

    4. Anonymous12:58

      Verujem da im date i duplo vise para opet bi se oni ponasali nezainteresovano; para nikad dosta ili je to samo kratka motivacija a tragicnije je to sto mladji ljudi u danasnje vreme vise nemaju motivaciju za posao koji rade. Sve vise interesuje telefon nego posao.

    5. Anonymous13:03

      Btw is it official that Air Serbia is forced to scale down Moscow ops to 9 weekly due to Russian permits?

    6. JATBEGMEL16:00


      I think your comment about the smiles was really disrespectful. I agree that smiling is something understood as part of hospitality, I just think you could of gone a different way about it rather than telling them to smile. If you have followed the comments the past couple of weeks, some positive words would of made more of an impression to get that smile you were looking for. JU really need to work on improving work morale. Understaffing, under paying, removing of benefits and overworking staff sadly seems to be approach they have gone with, which has understandably lead to a drop in motivation. Let's hope this changes soon. JU crew are some fantastic people, I've flown with them for almost 2 decades. It's great to see them grow and modernise, but crew morale has taken a big hit, with a good picture being the amount of wet leases this winter (struggling to retain and source adequate crew being a factor) and judging the article today, it seems that'll be a key element to their growth this upcoming summer considering they mentioned ~1 A320.

      As for hand luggage, if passengers are struggling to stow it maybe they shouldn't be bringing it on board. 140-180 seats with 1 bag per person, 2-4 sectors per day, 14-18 sectors a week (or 2.500-3.000 on average cabin baggage per week as a minimum) has got to be fantastic for the back. Back injuries are permanent and leaves them without a job as they can no longer fulfill the legal requirements of the job, and back injuries are common injuries with cabin crew so I understand the reluctance to assist. Passenger safety and security is the most important part of their duty, not hauling cabin baggage. Not to mention that people have become extra sensitive with who is touching their luggage, reasons for crew touching it, "why does my bag have to move 1 row forward and not the person next to me" and that list can go on. Of course they'll help a mother with children, elderly, unaccompanied minors, but I think a full grown adult should be able to establish how a shared overhead locker works and to be able to stow their own luggage. What actually speeds up the boarding process is passengers having the courtesy to others around them, moving to the side if they're blocking the aisle, boarding during designated times (boarding call by zones/rows speeds up the boarding process if passengers follow instructions rather than hoard the gate), sitting in designated seats and not going in as first come first served (you'd be surprised how common this is). Gate agents also play an important role here as correctly identifying the space limits of the overhead lockers allows adequate time to offload extra baggage into the cargo compartment. Large bags also slow down the boarding process as it takes up a lot more space and makes it difficult to adequately arrange into the overhead lockers for other passengers to use, crew really can't do anything more there than what the average person can do.

      Definitely JU needs to work on the finer details. As you said, cabin really needs better care. Hopefully the cabin refresh comes soon. Industrial tape was everywhere in the Jat B733's as well.

    7. Charlie16:55

      Well said.

    8. Nemjee16:58

      Personally I don't think it's disrespectful to expect the crew to smile. They are there to ensure our safety and to make sure there is a pleasant enough atmosphere.
      Furthermore, in recent years their job description was expanded to include sales. Whether they like it or not, they are also salesmen now. They have a buy on board system which is supposed to generate additional revenue which their employer needs.

      If they are rude and unpleasant, then logic dictates that people are going to be less willing to interact with them which also includes onboard purchases. There is a good reason why companies always look for a certain profile when staffing their sales department.

    9. Anonymous17:22

      Let's not forget that passengers bring a lot of cabin luggage ever since Air Serbia introduced check in lugagge to be charged.

      I know that almost all the other airlines do the same, but they can't expect to get more money by selling check in luggage and that the quantity of cabin luggage remains the same as before (at the time all airlines offered 20 kg of check in luggage included in the price there was no problem with cabin lugagge at all). And in that case crew should not complain to the passengers bringing their cabin luggage with them on board as they have the right to do it.

      From the other side passengers should take care of their luggage including lifting it. Not the crew.

      Especially rude is to convince passengers on gate to check in cabin luggage free of charge only because they can't fit all the cabin luggage in overhead compartments. It should not be passenger's concern how cabin luggage will fit in as long as his cabin luggage has company approved measures. After all buying the ticket with airline is some kind of contract passengers makes with an airline and it is there clearly indicated what kind of luggage (size and weight) is allowed to bring into the cabine. If the passenger follows these rules airline would have no right to complain about anything.

    10. Anonymous17:27

      The point is to say at least dobar dan ili dobro jutro when passengers are boarding, that is called courtesy towards passengers that gave you their business. Or is thay disrespectfull to expect as well Mr.jatbegmel?

    11. JATBEGMEL20:45


      I didn't imply that the expectation to smile is rude. I'm implying that telling someone to smile is impolite.


      Airlines charging cabin baggage is part of the problem but not the complete problem. You still have many airlines that offer 20-30 kgs of 'complimentary' checked luggage but you still can have problems with stowing cabin baggage. Saying crew should put up and shut up is not the way to go about things. They don't make the rules. The trend seems to be paying as little as possible while expecting heaven and earth. Not happy with the baggage allowance, travel with another airline that offers better. However, passenger trends is that people want to pay less and that means lowering the amenities that the passenger gets, especially in Europe as legacy carriers compete with ULCC's. There is a good reason why JU degraded their boutique model.

      You also have connecting pax which could also be a problem as the overhead stowage capacity is not the same on all aircraft. In JU's example, the ATR cannot fit the same capacity of cabin baggage as the A320 for the same amount of passengers as the ATR bins are smaller. I know SVO-BEG is not on an ATR but used this just as an example. I had a situation with LH on MUC-BEG where a change of aircraft made the boarding process a mess, as the aircraft type was changed last minute and the gate staff did nothing to accommodate that, rather leaving it down to cabin crew to work with ground staff to see what can fit and what won't, resulting in further delays.

      You also have duty free shops that offer promotional bags or hard shell suitcases, it's nice to have that convenience to have it checked in for free. Some overfill their cabin bags to circumnavigate the luggage allowances and are more than happy to offload them into the cargo. Pax are always asked if they want to voluntarily offload their bag and it's always their right to say no, just as is the case with overbooking.


      Absolutely, it's the basics in customer service. Telling someone that they should smile is not ok.

    12. Anonymous08:23


      In Europe there are no more airlines that offer complimenary check in luggage. Turkish was the last one that gave up that possibility, so therefore all European airlines have cabin luggage problem which they created running after the rules of LCC's.

      I have never said the crew should put up and shut up - you missunderstood it. I said it is NOT crew's job to do it and the passengers should lift their luggage up.

      I will remind you that at the time when airlines introduced that check in luggage needs to be paid the prices remain on the same level altough passengers did not enjoy the service of having 20 kg free check in luggage. It gives us pretty clear conclusion that airlines including Air Serbia significantly increased their revenue making the flight less relaxed for crew and for the passengers and not other way around. Therefore talking about passengers who expect to have Emirates service on European JU or LH flight is not realistic. It was natural and normal to expect many passengers will use the possibility of having cabin luggage taking in consideration the airline somehow "forced" them to do it by charging enormous amount of money for a baggage that was earlier part of the ticket's price.

      There is no problem with connecting passengers due to the fact that not all cabin luggage in ATR72 needs to be put in overhead compartments. The cabin luggage that can't fit in the cabin of ATR72 is handed over before the plane and stored in small compartment not far from the cockpit. As soon as the passengers disembark this luggage is handed over to them so there is no problem at all to transfer cabin luggage from bigger to smaller planes and vice versa.

      The example you provided was an exeption where obviously nobody was prepared that the plane would be changed and therefore the problem happenned. As you said the gate staff did nothing to prepare the passengers for new situation and therefore we know who needs to be blamed in this case. Cabin luggage and passengers certainly not.

      What kind of convenience is suitable for passengers must be passenger's voluntarilly decision and he/she surely should not be pushed by the company to do it.

      I have witnessed many times that the passengers did not have any choice to reject rude gate agents telling them that they MUST hand over their hand luggage. Quite often on the gates it looked like a hunt on the passengers who wanted nothing but to protect their rights. That was shame.

    13. JATBEGMEL12:59


      Air travel is actually 1 of 2 categories experiencing deflation currently in Serbia. Air travel in general has become a lot cheaper. You can also have a look at the vintage photos on this very site and Google inflation calculators to compare what that price would look like today. One picture in particular shows that in 1989, JAT was advertising German flights, FRA-BEG/SJJ at 270 DM one way, adjusted for inflation would have that fare at 520 DM (276€) in today's value. In the next several days you have fares at 125€ (152€ with luggage), while FRA is currently part of the list of destinations on sale for 59€ one way. It's a reduction of 45% and that isn't with the current base fare. We travel more as air travel has become more accessible and affordable, while debundling fares allows us to make travel more flexible and not fixed with the amenities and services associated with the ticket, whether we use it or not. It is exactly why ULCC's became so popular and why legacies needed to change their approach to air travel.

      As for ground staff pushing people to do something that isn't voluntarily done, I absolutely agree that that isn't right, however this isn't always the case. It shouldn't be the case but knowing your rights helps, which many people unfortunately do not. Baggage cannot just be offloaded, there is a whole process behind it. Sometimes hunting has to happen and they'll typically target the larger bags but as long as it hasn't exceeded limits that check in staff have "overlooked" you've got a good argument to tell them no.

    14. Anonymous13:24


      Yes, I do agree that the prices of air tickets have become cheaper comparing with prices in JAT era, but they also got more expensive comparing to the situation from 7-8 years ago.

      At that time the cheapest LH/JU price for FRA-BEG-FRA was 99 EUR (inlcuding check in luggage of 20kg, sandwich/meal and free drinks) and today it is 150 EUR for a return ticket. That price of 150 EUR does not include meal, drinks or any check in luggage as it was the case few years ago. Of course we are talking here about the regular prices and not those discounted which would not give us real picture (there is currently JU campaign with reduced prices but it is valid only until 5.2.2023 and therefore does not represent real market situation).

      At the same time let's not forget that companies have more modern planes that have fuel consuption much much lower than it was the case back in 1989. Of course the fuel price is higher today than in 1989 but obviously airlines have their methods how to decrease it (so called hedging).

      I am glad we agree about rude gate agents hunting for passengers on a gate and that it is not something average passenger should agree with. Unfortunately many people do not know ther rights and accept every little thing coming from airline/airport employee even if it is directly again their own interest.

    15. JATBEGMEL17:55


      2013/2014 and I remember right 2015 as well was a period when JU was dumping fares with the launch of Air Serbia and together with its massive expansion. It was also a period of heavy losses for the airline that only managed to show positive results through subsidies, which brought on a couple of investigations by the EU.

      FRA is a route where JU has been having a hard time getting extra slots, morning slots in particular. Increased demand isn't following with an increase in flights resulting in higher fares, but fares still can be found for a reasonable price. BCN and FCO were great examples last summer where prices really reduced. I managed to catch an amazing fare last year to SPU, which in previous years was non existent (~300€ with luggage return in 2021 vs 60€ one way with luggage last summer). I've been really critical about their fares in the past but have to admit they've been ok lately.

      As with modern planes, sure, fair argument about fuel efficiency, but unlike then, we also have now IFE screens both overhead and in seat, with on demand entertainment, inflight wifi, enhanced business class seats and first class suites etc which wasn't the case back 30-40 years ago. That's an expensive investment as well.

    16. Anonymous20:08


      Air Serbia had dumping prices at the time new company started and it did not last long, but in this case I was talking about European airlines in general where LH had the prices of 99 EUR for returned flight from FRA to BEG as well as for the most of other European destinations. And they all included 20 kg check in luggage, sandwich and all types of drinks (you could order even sparkling wine for free in LH European economy).

      Now the ticket that includes all of these services would cost min 220 EUR. It is very significant price increasing in relatively short period of time.

      Again I was talking mostly about European flights where no plane is equipped with IFE, wifi is extra paid and business class seats are no different than economy class seats (as it was the case earlier) but only have middle seat blocked.

  18. Anonymous10:18

    Does anyone know how are the sales on the new BUD route doing?

    1. Anonymous10:36

      Judging by the pricing:

      From 13th of March to April 1st one ways ticket is set to: 39€ (not a single day with bump of price)
      From April the 2nd onwards, the price is set to 69€, without any increase on any of the days in the summer schedule.

      Which could mean that the flight's aren't getting sold as expected, I also think they reduced the flight numbers by a bit, as there is only one available flight on some selected days

    2. Anonymous10:38

      They didn't reduce the number of flights. It gradually grows to 17 weekly. They just launched (this morning) a promotional sale for 40 destinations with tickets starting at 39 euros from March until April.

    3. Anonymous10:44

      My point still stands, that not a single day has increased prices, which means that there is no demand -- you would expect price increase once the flight is being booked

    4. Anonymous10:50

      They just this morning decreased prices on 40 routes. And it is decreased every day while the promo lasts.

    5. Anonymous10:57

      The prices on the routes are stagnant = the flights aren't selling. That's it

    6. Anonymous10:59

      I'm sure you know.

    7. Anonymous11:26

      Where's the source of this promo please?

    8. Anonymous11:27

    9. Anonymous17:53

      First BUD-BEG has just 2 passengers booked.

  19. Anonymous10:41

    It's a big gambit, but just JFK it may pay off in time.

    1. Anonymous11:10

      What you talking about?

    2. Anonymous11:41


    3. Anonymous12:19


  20. Anonymous12:06

    Just saw on Ljubljana website that Air Serbia will offer 17x weekly flights to Belgrade, but the flights seemingly aren't in AirSerbia system yet....Should I wait with the booking or was the 17x weekly mistake from Lju airport?

    1. Anonymous12:45

      Many routes do not have all the flights on sale currently. They will put them soon.

  21. Jasmineeeeeee!!!!! Dje si? S'a ima u tebe? Kako je gazda Ivan? Ocete l i vi brzo ka braca Mamic u izbjeglistvo?

  22. Anonymous13:47

    Air Serbia is on a roll. Their biggest risk now is loosing this CEO who might either get head hunted soon based on his recent performance or could move on to greener (more money) pastures.

    1. Anonymous14:07

      There are other people with brains in JU.

    2. JATBEGMEL16:09

      Biggest risk is not having adequate staff at both JU and BEG to match the growth. BEG might also need to bring forward their expansion plans, especially if JU want to increase long haul activity to 5 aircraft.

    3. Anonymous18:33

      Didn't Air Serbia have more than enough time to prepare for long haul expansion? That is, if they really had serious intention about expansion to destinations like Toronto? From May 2021:

    4. JATBEGMEL00:01


      5 aircraft was mentioned only a few months back, not in 2021 when that article was written. The article also quotes the Canadian ambassador saying that conditions were set for JU to launch YYZ, while JU's now former CEO mentioned that they were exploring the possibility to grow long haul operations. The comment from JU is practically what every carrier comments when talking of network growth, it doesn't mean that launch is immenent. In the mean time they went for TSN and ORD.

      Other preparations include having adequate staff, which JU has been having issues with for the past several months, with no real improvement despite several assessment days the past 8 months. 4 wet lease narrowbodies in the slower period of travel is not a good sign, nor is the comment that roughly 1 A320 will join the fleet this year. 4 narrowbodies were short last summer, 1 A320 joined in the meantime, 1 additional A320 leaves them short of 2 compared to last summer, which indicates wet leases will be in full swing come summer to fuel the growth yet to come. This gives the impression that they simply won't have adequate crew to dry lease adequate amount of aircraft. Let's see how things pan out.

  23. Anonymous14:54

    JU needs Cairo, Amman, Beirut this year, Baghdad next. Also, Tunis all year round. I think there is no need for somewhere in Poland, besides Warsaw and Krakow, they are not LCC. JU needs Shanghai fast.

    1. Anonymous16:41

      Rumour has it that Cairo, Tel Aviv, Beirut, will be added next week.

    2. Anonymous16:58

      Tunisain touristic offer has recently been drastically degraded in terms of service quality.

      Also, Serbia has introduced visa regime with Tunisia so I do not expect it would be profitable to start flying there on regular basis. Few charters during the summer and no more than that.

    3. Anonymous18:48

      I disagree, there are tourist agencies in Belgrade selling packages to Tunisia this winter and spring. So, there is a interest for direct flight. Tourist quality is not an issue when charter season is on, but is all year round? Tunis could be the gate for Air Serbia in Maghreb, Tripoli and Beghazi, Lagos as well. Of course, policy plays its role, Nouvelair vs Tunisair.

  24. Anonymous15:59

    What about BEG-POW?

  25. Does anyone know why they reduced PRG to 3 times a week from 5?

    1. Anonymous19:10

      PRG is currently 6pw. If you were looking for the date after March 27th, then you should be aware that summer schedule still hasn't been put on sale. If they managed to fill the plane 6pw during winter, then they will have at least 7pw during summer. Just wait some time, summer schedule should be defined in no more than 2-3 weeks.

    2. Thanks, yeah it was for May and I only saw 3pw, will wait a few weeks before booking then !

  26. Anonymous18:59

    WRO is in the middle of 4h driving to nearest served airport: WAW, BER, PRG… That could be good move…

  27. If they venture into 3+ hours flights, they also need to develop the network on the other side to enable connectivity. Beirut flights without connections to Paris and Lyon are less likely to succeed, etc. JU needs to reshuffle the entire network. We see that with flight numbers, they went crazy, meaning this development has not been planned several years in advance. This development is a work in progress based on the latest data. I have no complaints, and we need to wait and see how everything will turn out this year.

    1. Anonymous20:26

      Not only French connection, Belgrade could connect Lebanon and Jordan to the Adriatic and Russia. Beirut and Amman are also leisure destinations from Belgrade.

    2. JATBEGMEL23:27


      BEY was previously operated in the midnight wave and was well connected with JU's network. It was said to be one of the better performing routes until their financial crisis hit.

      JU826 BEGBEY 2340 0315+1
      JU827 BEYBEG 0400 0550

      OSL, CPH and VLC are the only destinations that don't fit with the BEY schedule, with OSL and VLC introduced after the suspension of BEY.

      As for schedules, they were reshuffled back in 2013, while flight numbers were changed. It worked really well and now they're expanding on it. LCA, MAD, ZAG, PUY, BNX, IST, VIE, BUD, LJU, FCO are some examples of destinations where flights are/will operate outside of the standard wave structure. CDG in 2020 was set to get a 3rd daily departure at around 4pm as well.

      As for flight numbers, you'll never get perfection even with the best of carriers. Just looking at TK BEG-IST departures:

      TK1082 (morning)
      TK1080 (afternoon)
      TK1084 (evening)

      You have EK, for example, with their UK departures:

      LHR: EK1, 3, 5, 7, 29, 31
      LGW: EK9, 11, 15
      MAN: EK17 etc with tonnes of these examples worldwide. One thing JU could of done was leave the 500-599 numbers for long haul seeing that they have been using the former JAT flight numbers for long haul.

      Definitely some interesting times ahead for JU.

  28. Boris19:59

    Between Toronto or Miami, Toronto wins hand down. Basicly since post -Covid Canada airline industry si reorganizing and what changed is that number of bigger cities lost significant number of direct (non-stop) trans-atlantic connections: Calgary lost few, Vancouver lost a few (more focus on Asia-Pacific), Montreal - more focus on french speaking countries. So Toronto as airport gained a lot of potential passengers from the rest of Canada.
    So it could be waiting game to see how China starts and maybe that is the real debate for the potential 3rd wide body.

    1. Toronto is soo seasonal, that's the biggest disadvantage..MIA is not, and transfer potential of MIA is 5x higher than cheaper airport- cheaper ticket

    2. Anonymous18:12

      Jao koliko zabluda! Objasnicu ti kad se vidimo na brodu.

  29. Anonymous03:54

    I wish I can see direct long haul to Mexico Benito Juarez airport

    1. Anonymous08:27

      Maybe some day my friend..

    2. Mexico requires visas for Serbian citizens, that are not easy to get...People tell that's easier to get US visa, and then travel to Mexico with it..So, probably not in close future


Post a Comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.