Air Serbia evaluating winter long-haul leisure routes


Air Serbia has said it is looking into long-haul leisure routes it could operate during the winter months, however, the airline noted it is primarily targeting less served destinations. The carrier expects to take delivery of its third Airbus A330-200 jet before the start of the 2023/24 winter season, and a fourth will likely follow shortly after. Speaking to “ch-aviation”, Air Serbia’s CEO, Jiri Marek, said, “The issue of seasonality with the growth of the long-haul fleet is getting less and less problematic ... We have a list of destinations which have positive business cases. We are just waiting to get the aircraft to go on - before it was the opposite, you had the aircraft, and you were looking where you could utilise it. We are definitely looking into the leisure winter destinations but rather at some niche because everybody is putting capacity into Bangkok Suvarnabhumi”.

Air Serbia was close to adding Havana to its destination network during the previous winter season but ultimately didn’t follow through with its plans. In March, Cuba's Ambassador to Serbia, Leyde Rodriguez Hernandez, held talks with Air Serbia’s management over the potential introduction of flights between Belgrade and Havana. The two sides agreed to maintain communication and establish appropriate conditions for the eventual introduction of nonstop flights between the two capital cities that would be supported by local tour operators. Based on data from global travel provider OAG, cities that could be considered as leisure destinations with strong demand from Belgrade include Bangkok, Pattaya, Denpasar (Bali), Male (Maldives), Havana, Colombo, Seychelles, Zanzibar, Mauritius, Cancun and Varadero in Cuba.

Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News earlier this year, Mr Marek commented, “For us leisure destinations will be more opportunistic, and by that, I mean niche destinations, not the strategic ones. For example, there is high demand for Bangkok during winter, however due to overcapacity on that market, we might achieve full flights but not profitable ones due to low yield, as there is strong competition from Middle East carriers. However, we will be looking at winter leisure destinations. Obviously, we would work a lot with tour operators. In the past, we were looking at Mombasa or Zanzibar and some other options, but this will always be in synergy between us and the tour operators”.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    I'm placing my bets that it will be Havana after all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zanzibar is very popular. A lot of people go there. Might also introduce Pattaya. Top season there is Jan-Feb-March for both destinations. Also - weather in Cuba is OK from Nov to April. With good support from tour operators in region - all 3 of theese destination can work well. With some 2PW flights theese 3 destinalions can employ fleet of 3xa332-200 in winter time

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    "The carrier expects to take delivery of its third Airbus A330-200 jet before the start of the 2023/24 winter season, and a fourth will likely follow shortly after. "

    This is amazing, this is truly amazing!

    Well done Air Serbia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:49

      +1

      Delete
    2. Interesting, when I was saying OU should have done long-haul development long time ago, I was spit at and offended, destinations I never mentioned were invented, I was warned several times it couldn't be profitable in relatively small company and our poor region, and so on and so on... I just wonder where is the brainwashed individual/Party bot /uhljeb /chauven neighbour/ whoever now, to comment the same for JU, which has less favourable position for transfers, almost no tourism from distant markets, with exception of China, and approximately the same diaspora on other continents? Or maybe it was reserved just for me and was an attempt to justify handover of croatian market to the Cartel? And if @Michael reads this maybe it will help him understand why am I "agressive", and why I write the way I write

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:41

      JU is flying to US and China not Bangkok, Johannesburg and Cleveland mr. Pozdrav 🤣

      Delete
    4. Here we go, he is here once again, shameless liar who invents I ever mentioned Johanesburg and Cleveland as possible long-haul destinations from Croatia. Well, mister liar, the only thing I can say about you daring write to me is : FUJ! I am disgusted such persons walk the Earth!

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    Would these flights also be on regular sale? Or would it just be available through tour operators?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      I believe it would be on regular sale, but agencies might purchase some seats.

      The same like we have today HER, CFU, PMI...

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:08

    Why not Ljubljana to Havana? There is potential but they do not want to support the local carrier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:46

      Which local carrier?

      Delete
    2. Maybe Maribor to Havana will be next logical step after great sucess od LJubljana - Havana route :D

      Delete
    3. Rijeka - Papeete 😃😃😃

      Delete
    4. Anonymous20:52

      Better will be Zagreb to Miami with A321xlr :D There was one "exppert" who recomended this kind of joke recently :D

      Delete
    5. Anonymous00:04

      So much making fun of each other. This is precisely why this region is so underdeveloped. Always will be if it continues like this. Daring ideas in the Balkans are too often a source of laughter - that’s why all who had them had to leave in order to be successful. Still do. I pity this region and its narrow-minded people.

      And it’s spelled “recommended” and “expert”.

      Delete
    6. I believe there are many reasons for some country to be underdeveloped. Maybe you believe that sense for humor can be one of them. I doubt!
      What people of your kind shall understand is that there can be living humans who do not share your core values. Also, your shall learn not to underestimate those who do not agree with you. This can be fresh start in order to join prosperity. Have a nice day!

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:09

    Those flights will provide better utilization during winter and balance for very seasonal destinations like Toronto. Speaking of Toronto, that destination is going to be announced in the next two months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:01

      Source?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:49

      When Toronto is announced it will be year round.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:55

      As it should be, it has more indirect pax than ORD used to have.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:33

      Its true, it will be announced shortly after Lagos

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:09

    I really hope that these will be successful since we will then see them develop this concept further in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:10

    Serbia don't have enough demand for such flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      Based on what?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:21

      Based on his wishful thinking.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:58

      Jealous much

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:03

      He was claiming how BEG has no demand for flights to USA. I have a feeling it would be Varadero or Havana due to low airport fees.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:06

      They are propbably gonna fly 3 months 2 times a week. That are only 6000 passengers. Besides JU is gonna fill 20% of the planes from other ex ju countries and Romania. Ofcourse most people cannot afford to go to Zanzibar average salary is €730 but there are always rich people.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:41

      Ljudi su 90ih išli na Tajland preko Budimpešte a tek sad ima demand

      Delete
    7. Relatively small number of passengers are not an issue. Multiple destinations could be the solution, in cooperation and coordination with tour operators, with charter chains over limited specific periods. For example, and very much roughly speaking : one or two weekly to Havana or Varadero in November, than one or two weekly to Mombasa/Zanzibar in December, than one or two weekly Phuket or Bangkok in January, then one or two weekly Male/Colombo in February....

      Delete
    8. Plus passengers /tourist could be not only from Serbia, but from the entire ex-yu region and wider, thanks to JU 's relatively well developed regional network

      Delete
    9. Egypt this year in season is around 1000. Friend went to Cuba for that money last year, and another one for a bit more to Shi Lanka a couple of months ago.

      I really fail to see the money as a problem because regular destinations aren't that much cheaper.

      Plus you could do what Pozdrav said, and shuffle a few destinations during the season.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:11

    Would be cool.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous09:12

    Would be cool to see Air Serbia in Havana, Bangkok or Phuket

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      "We are definitely looking into the leisure winter destinations but rather at some niche because everybody is putting capacity into Bangkok Suvarnabhumi”.

      Delete
    2. Ok, so AS will fly to Don Mueang instead of Suvarnabhumi hehe

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:12

    Something like this requires some planning to give time for the tour operators to prepare the product and enable the people to purchase in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:14

    In these instances, what do you do with business class? Do you also sell it, just at a higher rate or only economy is used?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      You sell it at a higher rate. It makes sense for long haul charters. Of course, not for short haul and more price-sensitive holiday destinations.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:15

    LOT uses its B787 to operate winter charters to various places.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      Yes but the size of the Polish market is incomparable to the Serbian one.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:21

      And 787 is more economical than A330.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:50

      Serbia would need an A330 Neo to be even close to compete with the Dreamliner. so very different ability to operate.
      plus the size of polish market and size of their economy

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:22

    This would be smart

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:22

    One of several missed opportunities in terms of long haul expansion. Hope it happens this time around.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:23

    It's good to see there is a tradition of holidaying abroad and demand for outbound travel.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:23

    Would be a great option for tourists and avoid the hassle and need to transfer.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous09:25

    Not gonna happen, it's too adventurous for JU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:29

      JU has become quite adventurous in recent years.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:29

    Imagine seeing Havana on the departure screen at BEG. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      There was actually talk of Havana charters as long as 10 years ago.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:50

      Please, not Havana. Certain "analitičar" will do ritual seppuku.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:00

      +1000

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:31

    Amazing. Outstanding. Groundbreaking. ASL once again for the win! Marek is a true miracle worker.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:07

      LOL! 😆

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:39

      🤣

      Delete
    3. Ma kaki, nista taj pojma nema, Jasmina triba tamo stav't da svi vidu kako se poso' radi 😃😃😃

      Delete
    4. Anonymous00:11

      Pozdrav, ne diraj Jasmina, tuce ga Hakala...(top lista) sprema se sezona, treba puno kafa ispiti i praviti se pametan....

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:32

    Nice travel corridor for all the amigos from Russia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:34

      Idea to fly to Havana has existed for over 10 years. Here is an article from 2010!
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2010/02/belgrade-havana.html

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:00

      Moscow - Cuba flights exist no

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:10

      Yes they do

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:49

      Nordwind is already operating SVO-HAV and Aeroflot is starting regular service 2x per week form July 2023.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous09:33

    Air Serbia will do anything not to start Toronto :D haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:34

      lol true

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:35

      😂😂

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:03

      😂😂😂😂

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:41

      It will make more sense to start Miami, especially having in mind scheduled partnership with AA

      Delete
    5. Anonymous18:05

      Quote: Mr Marek noted, “The most important news that will come very soon is that at the beginning of June we will be signing, in person, a codeshare agreement with one of the American carriers"

      Can't wait for beginning of June! If it's AA Air Serbia has to start flying to all AA hubs:
      Charlotte
      Dallas/Fort Worth
      Los Angeles
      Miami
      Philadelphia
      Phoenix–Sky Harbor
      Washington–National

      Delete
  22. Anonymous09:36

    Bangkok would be great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:42

      The CEO clearly states they won't fly to Bangkok because it is oversaturated with Middle Eastern carriers offering low fares.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:19

      Not so low fares these days. They are more expensive.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous09:46

    Can't wait for long haul leisure destinations

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous09:46

    They mention Mombasa. What is the demand for there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:49

      Lot of people from Serbia in past couple of years got interested in Safari. Tour operators make good money out of it

      Delete
  25. Anonymous09:50

    Would be great to have this route to Havana for both local tourists and increasing number of Cuban citizens living in Serbia

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous09:50

    Wizz Air is already smarter than they are and have focused themselves on short-haul leisure destinations. The other day they increased winter flights to BCN and FCO to daily.

    Meanwhile JU is dreaming of Mombasa, Havana, Tokyo... without even finalizing their winter timetable. They should also work on preventing a mass exodus of crew. This should be their priority as Marek's dream can turn into a nightmare.They are already struggling with staffing planes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:07

      Hahh o yes Wizz is so smart. They can mot get 2 and 2 together. Consistency in network planning is their biggest issue . JU is doing amazing job.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:09

      Wizz in BEG has been on time and they have not had any delays. Meanwhile JU delayed BEG-AYT this morning because their ATR broke down so they sent the A319 to BLQ. Is this the amazing job you are talking about?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:26

      Should they have sent the broken ATR then?

      Delete
    4. Nemjee10:41

      I think he is referring to their chronic fleet problems. I suppose YU-ASB and YR-ACB are causing problems.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:46

      Nobody's perfect. JU has indeed much more complex business model than Wizz. In my opinion, Wizz is performing really well at BEG. The development of JU takes time and lot of hard work but they're on a right track.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:13

      That "perfect" Wizz Air had an almost 2 hour delay from BCN to BEG a couple of weeks ago, and they managed to lose my checked in luggage, so it was a real adventure to recover it. Of course, they blamed it on the airport strikes in BCN, but still, please spare us of these ideas about Wizz doing better than JU, it's simply not true. Deal with it

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:55

      Critisize Air serbia when it makes sense, but dont compare it to Wizz. Wizz is not a flag carrier and doesnt do long haul flights.
      ofcourse wizz focuses on short haul europe is the limit of its operation, with small addition of UAE.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous09:50

    They will do Zanzibar most likely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:01

      Zanzibar was very popular during the pandemic because they had no entry restrictions. Not sure if it is the case anymore.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:01

      It is also on the cheaper side for a far away holiday.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous10:01

    Will be interesting to see what they do. Will these be one off charters, regular charters, will seats be on free sale. Anyway, interesting concept.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous10:02

    This will be exciting. I expect we will get some big announcements for their 10th anniversary at the end of October.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous10:03

    After we had 6 years of just New York, it is good to see that long haul has become an important part of their development.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous10:16

    Caracas wοuld be a great additiοn. Μaybe eνen Damascus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee10:20

      With the reopening of Syria and the growing recognition of Assad, BEG-DAM could make a lot of sense. It would be similar to TK's flight to Mogadishu.
      Caracas on the other hand makes sense but only after Panama City and Bogota.

      ;)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:39

      Out of all destinations you're suggesting Syria and Venezuela? That's a big no go, flights to Russia are already enough.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:35

      Might as well start Tehran and Baghdad.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous15:59

      Good joke Nemjee :)

      Delete
  32. Nemjee10:33

    Marek is once more mixing his priorities. Yes, it's good to keep an eye on your long-haul leisure market but one has to be realistic. With their current fleet structure they simply can't be competitive when faced with their competition (FZ/EK, QR and TK).

    Their top priority should be to resolve their staffing issues, consolidate their existing long-haul flights and make sure they have a respectable winter network. I am sorry but they can't be a serious player with just 2 or 3 weekly flights to JFK in winter.
    Passengers might not be as many as in summer but they are still there. Their main problem is that they can't get them to fly with them either nonstop or via BEG.

    In order to do this they need a competitive commercial strategy, a convenient timetable and so on. Somehow I am not seeing much in this department. It's been months since I've seen their ad in Belgrade. In every normal and respectable company the commercial department is a key player. They are the generator of growth and are setting the course for future developments. Their current CCO is nowhere to be seen and is barely giving any interviews. Those PR fluff pieces don't count.

    I might be wrong but somehow we have not seen much in this regard over the past couple of year.

    Their growth has been phenomenal but now they are trying to play in the big league and for that they need a new paradigm. By the way, despite all this growth they are still not handling 50% of BEG's traffic. That means that their competition is extremely able in capturing this growing local demand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:17

      2 weekly with the help of tour operators would work, it is a no-brainer. Turkish or Qatar can not be a competition with a stopover when you fly directly. Time is money and people in Serbia finally realized it. I would rather fly directly to Tanzania than fly to Doha and then wait 5 hours at the airport and board a second flight

      Delete
    2. Nemjee11:36

      Well there is a reason why large airline hubs exist today. Even though many would rather fly nonstop a large number of people don't mind changing planes as long as the timetable and price is right.
      JU is no longer an exclusively domestic player. When launching flights they need to talk to regional tour operators. They should rely on Slovenian, Greek, Bulgarian... agencies to fill their seats. Same thing TK and others do in our region.

      Delete
    3. Slav.Man15:01

      @ nejmee i agree, their business operation is nowhere good enough , and if they fix their operating problems this would have the most benefitial improvement to the business and not starting new leisure routes.

      but if they really do wish to ignore their problems and focuses on new routes, i think South Africa would make more sense. South of the equator for winter travel, and south africa is big unserved market to ex-yu nations and balkan region. could maybe even turn it into all year route and not just winter season.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous15:58

      Serbians need visa for South Africa.

      Delete
    5. Slav.Man16:11

      Serbians need Visa for America and Canada. Tansania (zanzibar) and Mexico (cancun) also considered by Air Serbia, but serbians need visa for both countries.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous16:27

      Slav.Man (aka hamburger) is really trying to find destinations for Air Serbia. None of them so far make business sense but keep trying!

      Delete
    7. Anonymous18:41

      You did not get the point Slav.Man

      In Canada and USA there is a lot of diaspora + transfer passengers from the region. Therefore visa regime is not an issue.

      For Tansania one get the visa on the airport. Formality - so not comparable to RSA.

      Cancun is not considered by Air Serbia.

      Delete
    8. Slav.Man19:12

      Cancun is in the article, its at the end of the second paragraph.

      I did get it that's why i mentioned the whole balkan region for South africa. its a significant nation in africa with no connection to balkans/europe available for tourism and business. which is better than just tourism of tanzania. countries like Hungary dont need visa for South africa.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous19:15

      Cancun is in the article but nowhere does it say in the article that Air Serbia is considering it. It says that based on OAG data Cancun is one of the more in demand leisure destinations.

      Delete
  33. Anonymous11:24

    And Tenerife imposible?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous12:08

    Biggest stumbling block in JUs ambitious and bold expension plans will be manpower shortage followed by fleet constraints.

    The Balkan egotistical mentality combined with inability to plan too far ahead is going to hurt them.

    I hope I'm wrong...best of luck JU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:20

      AirSerbia is clearly growing, not evolving. A lot can be said about both strategies, but they have chosen theirs. This means that they make a huge jump, and then consolidate. They did the same when they switched from boutique to hybrid model, it took few years to start building the network. Their current expansion is impressive and great, but very soon they will slow down and focus on fleet and the most important staff. It takes time, they need to fly through the storms, but they will arrive to the point soon. Once they move from local to European league, they will start next cycle.
      And for the manpower, I hope they consider regional crew at least from Macedonia and Albania as the Open Balkan allows it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:56

      The only thing they dont have problem with is staff shortage. They have much more applications than open positions. Everything else is shaking.

      Delete
    3. Slav.Man15:20

      Regional Crew will only make sense if Air Serbia would base aircraft in another country, realistically this will be near impossible.
      Flag carriers majority employ people from outside their nation. Mainly is Middle east carriers, but that's because they don't want their own women working those jobs. and air Serbia hiring a Chinese speaker but that's to provide service to the Chinese market which is extremely important to them.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous17:19

      Anonymous12:56

      You keep talking about surplus of FA applications as if they're the only departman in this airline. Pilots and mechanics are chronically short, and the FA situation is only good for a limited time before a dozen quit, and then it's catching up game all over again.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:25

      Anonymous12:56
      What is the fluctuation of manpower in air Serbia?
      Since they regularly cancel or delay flights because of lack of crew. So, I assume people leave and they don't have enough time to train the crew to satisfy the demand.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous20:48

      Anonymous12:56
      That's exactly the problem.

      Delete
  35. Anonymous13:44

    I feel like Zanizibar and The Maldives are most popular in Serbia. Thailand and Bali also but less than those two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zanzibar was in focus just during Covid because you could go there without vaccine or tests, I doubt it would continue to be high demand destinations..Maldives is nothing, hotel with the beach, and only honeymooners go there..No the other hand, I remember the time when going to Zagreb Thai consulate to pick up thai visa..Mirko from Consulate was always telling me that there are around 4-5 times more from Serbia applying to Thai visa than Croats and other nationals that could apply in their consulate..Everywhere around Thailand I hear serbian , and I' in Thailand at least 2 months a year..Serbians also don't need visa for Indonesia, and it was also quite popular destination recently..

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:25

      Zanzibar was popular before Covid, these jumbo/mambo student travel agencies organize trips there for years.

      Delete
  36. Jasmineeeeeee!!! Dje si? Sa'ima? Jel' lijepo bilo na vikendu? Je l'se jedrilo s gazda Ivanom? A pusti aviona, djava i odnija, jos i s tizin se za.ebavat, ka da je malo ovi redovni kratki, jos bi oni sad i catere dugacke, e nema majci dok je Jasmina...
    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:21

      Hahaha ja bolan, kakva su to glupiranja sa tim dugim čarterima..., 😂😂😂

      Delete
  37. Anonymous18:03

    I know Miami wasn't mentioned in the article, but it makes a lot of sense. Air Serbia can run a SVO-BEG-MIA flight and fill it up with Russians alone. Turkish is killing it with the Balkans/Russia to U.S. transfers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      SVO-BEG-MIA would need approval from both Russian and US CAD, it would never ever happen. The connection in BEG is possible but the one-stop flight not. MIA is being evaluated as scheduled route, not charter and it should be launched after next China destination, according to JU CEO.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:49

      Yes, my suggestion was for a connection and not a direct flight. I apologize for the confusion. Aeroflot had nonstop flights to MIA before the war, and now Turkish has filled in the void (take a look at the daily flights between IST and SVO). I think the best utilization of an extra aircraft for Air Serbia would be to MIA in the winter and YYZ in the summer.

      Delete
  38. Anonymous22:45

    Would be nice to see Havana or Varadero as I'm sure it would be profitable due to a numerous Cuban people residing in Serbia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous03:21

      Any idea how many Cubanos in Serbia?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:22

      They are not going back so don't count on them for Belgrade-Havana leg.

      Delete

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