African carriers seek access to former Yugoslav markets


Airlines from Africa are increasingly seeking connectivity to former Yugoslav markets. Uganda Airlines, RwandAir and Ethiopian Airlines are all pursuing greater access to the region which once had strong ties to the African continent. Uganda Airlines has said it will look to “make the most” out of its future cooperation with Air Serbia after the country’s President, Yoweri Museveni, announced he had requested for the state-owned flag carrier to conclude a partnership agreement with Air Serbia in order for the two states to fast-track business, tourism, and personal exchanges. Uganda has selected Serbia as its strategic partner in Southeastern Europe. According to African press, Air Serbia could potentially play a crucial role in facilitating Uganda Airlines’ plans to enter the European market and launch its much-anticipated flights to London. The Ugandan carrier boasts a fleet of two Airbus A330-800s and four CRJ900s.

The national carrier of Rwanda, RwandAir, has, as of this month, begun codesharing on Qatar Airways’ flights from Doha to both Belgrade and Zagreb. The African airline has a wideranging codeshare parentship in place with Qatar Airways and flies to Doha itself. The development will enable passengers to and from Belgrade and Zagreb to connect onto RwandAir’s two weekly service from Doha to Kigali. The African airline’s outbound service to Doha also provides quick connections onto Qatar Airways’ flights to both the Serbian and Croatian capitals. A total of six airlines now codeshare on Qatar Airways’ daily Belgrade service, including Air Serbia, Cathay Pacific, Oman Air, Malaysia Airlines and Virgin Australia. Similarly, four carriers now codeshare on Qatar’s ten weekly Zagreb flights, including Cathay Pacific, Oman Air and Virgin Australia.

Slovenia and Rwanda are looking to establish a bilateral Air Service Agreement, which would allow for the establishment of scheduled air services between the two countries. “The establishment of a scheduled air service between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Rwanda is in the economic interest of both countries. Representatives from the Slovenian aviation industry have expressed their interest in concluding a bilateral Air Service Agreement between the two countries, namely due to the possibility of operating cargo flights”, the Slovenian government said recently. It added it would consult the European Commission during the ongoing negotiations but said it does not believe there would be any obstacles in concluding the deal with its Rwandan counterparts.


Ethiopian Airlines is planning to expand its operations in Southeast Europe with Balkan markets on its radar. The airline recently said, “Currently we are using Vienna, Athens, Istanbul and Zurich to cover these markets. We have a big vision, especially for our expansion in Europe and Southeastern Europe. Destination wise, we will have to see but we have a list of countries that we are planning to study and open within the region. We want to connect Africa to the world, and we want to expand outside of Africa. Currently, our expansion is focused on Europe and America and also, of course, within Africa, especially bigger countries. Our strategy is to expand across the world”. In its Vision 2035 plan, Ethiopian Airlines aims to nearly double its number of destinations to 207; as well as double its fleet to 271. The Star Alliance member does not operate to the former Yugoslav markets but has a General Sales Agent for the region. Air Serbia’s CEO, Jiri Marek, recently said, “Ethiopian Airlines is quite known that they utilise some European cities as a stopover for fifth freedom rights towards the US because of the distance. So, if they would consider Belgrade, we would be very open for cooperation”.

Demand from former Yugoslav markets to Africa is mainly limited to the Maghreb region and Egypt. Outside of this area, based on point-to-point demand, Belgrade Airport sees the most traffic to Johannesburg, the Seychelles and Zanzibar. From Zagreb, most indirect traffic to Africa outside of the North is headed to Johannesburg, Cape Town and the Seychelles. Similarly, passengers departing Ljubljana for the African continent are mostly headed to Mauritius, Cape Town and the Seychelles. In the case of all three, Turkish Airlines is the main transfer airline to Africa. In Slovenia it holds a 60% share of the Africa bound market, followed by Air France. In Zagreb it handles 29% of all passengers to and from Africa, followed by Qatar Airways, while in Belgrade it holds a 25% share, followed by Lufthansa.



Comments

  1. Anonymous08:00

    Very interesting. I'm hoping eventually some ex-Yu market gets flights to Africa outside of the North.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous08:39

      Speaking of, I'm really surprised mainline Egypt Air does not fly anywhere into ex-Yu

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:58

      They codeshare on Aegean to BEG. They just started Budapest so maybe they do consider the region in the near future.

      Delete
    3. Slav.Man11:54

      There is definitely need for south africa, for the entire region. and something Air Serbia should look to serve. I hope it would be something they look to start with the next A330, after the next China route.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous08:00

    I wouldn't be surprised if Ugandan President announces flights to BEG πŸ˜‚

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous08:04

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous08:21

      Uganda Airways does not fly in Europe.
      It would be a huge win for BEG if it chooses it as its first destination in the continent!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:05

      Very prestigious achievement!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:23

      To even talk about 'prestige' in the aviation industry is pretty childish. But on top of that to shrug off the service cause it's by an African carrier lacking of said 'prestige' really sums up the Ex-Yu mentality.
      A new route and carrier should always be welcomed especially if they open up a whole new market

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:48

      Getting access to the Ugandan market would be a huge win.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:05

      When is the Ugandan president visiting Serbia?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous21:22

      Uganda airlines flights to the United Kingdom And Paris which is in France which they're both in Europe

      Delete
  3. Anonymous08:03

    Would be nice. Any of these could offer some great connections and fares to diaspora in South Africa.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous08:04

    Ethiopian would be extremely useful for connectivity anywhere in Africa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous08:08

      Their 737 MAX can make it from Addis to BEG.

      Delete
    2. Vlad08:19

      Not only to Africa. ET also offers great connections to places such as EZE and SIN.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous08:23

      @8.08
      Perfect plane for this kind of route.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous08:27

      How many hours would a flight like that take?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous08:38

      That's not that bad at all actually. A bit longer than Belgrade-Dubai.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous08:51

      Anyone here ever flown with ET?

      Delete
    7. Yes. Rome to Lusaka via Addis, return. B757/767. Excellent company. Punctual. Aircraft (which btw were at that time pretty old) in perfect condition and with very comfortable seats. Amazingly friendly cabin crew.

      Delete
    8. I agree with all that. I first flew with them on a DC3 ! And many times since, excellent service and well maintained aircraft.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous20:38

      @8.51 There are a couple of trip reports with Ethiopian in the trip reports section. Quite a good read.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous00:40

      Flew London Athens Addis, Addis Asmara London... great service in business class, number of destinations within Ethiopia, quite reliable.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous08:07

    I find it interesting that JU would be happy for Ethiopian to fly fifth freedom to the US

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous08:30

      Would be nice if they considered Canada via Belgrade.

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL20:54

      If ET were to ever have a 5th freedom US flight from BEG, my guess would be LAX.

      JU have dismissed West Coast US flights for now, preferring to focus on the East Coast. ET can't operate LAX non stop from ADD, while a stop in BEG adds 10km of extra distance compared to a direct flight. LAX is in the top 10 underserved long haul routes from BEG, while the most popular African routes are all served from ADD.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous08:17

    "Uganda has selected Serbia as its strategic partner in Southeastern Europe"
    Bravo Serbia πŸ‡·πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡·πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡·πŸ‡Έ

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous08:21

    Maybe that Belgrade-Lagos flight some commentators keep dreaming about happens. Haha

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous08:28

    I find Africa to be really underserved from the region and I think there is some untapped potential.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous08:48

      When you look at all ex-Yu countries are poorly connected to Africa.

      Delete
    2. When you look at ex-yu countries and Africa, the only that makes any kind of connection between the two is adjective "poor"

      Delete
  9. Anonymous08:29

    No surprise that Turkish Airlines was the number one transfer to Africa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:39

      Agree. They have a massive African network, helped by having the perfect fleet for them. Many flights operated with B737s.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous08:41

    Is there any Serbian diaspora in Uganda?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous08:44

      No. But there are a lot of Serbian companies doing projects and construction in Uganda

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:23

      Keeping in mind there are many working opportunities for Serbian construction workers Uganda might develop into a similar country like some ones in Europe.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous08:42

    Doubt it will happen.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous08:48

    In the end none of these links will happen. If any of these markets are connected with the region it will be because JU launched flights.
    Maybe just maybe we could see ET launch ADD-BEG with the MAX.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:01

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:58

      Fully agree. Why on Earth would Uganda seriously consider Serbia (or any other ex-yu) such a top destination?
      Ethiopian - yes. If they run out of other, more profitable destinations.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous08:59

    Good luck with getting any of these.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:40

      You will be surprised.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:00

    Does ET codeshare with anyone to the region?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      Don't think so

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:12

      If you mean the ExYu no. But they have code shares with their *A partners A3 and TK.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:05

    Nice to see RwandAir codesharing to BEG and ZAG

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:06

    During Yugo times there used to be quite a lot of African airlines flying to BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:35

      If I'm not mistaken, YU was doing a lot of construction work down there and thus needed connections. I remember SCT was part of all bigger co construction projects there

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:39

      If anyone has any links to the projects that SCT was working on i would be extremely happy

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:09

    Ah yes can’t wait to have direct Ljubljana-Kigali flights instead of connections to Copenhagen, Berlin, Stockholm, Vienna and so on….

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      +1000

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:56

      maybe they are discussing cargo flights ...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:41

      It says in the article that it is about cargo flights not passenger ones.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:25

    Could any of them really make a profit in this region?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      Ethiopian maybe

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:33

      No

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:52

      Ethiopian seems to be doing fine in Athens.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:56

      ATH is a very big market plus ET codeshares with Aegean and they are both Star Alliance members.
      It is difficult to duplicate that in any other city in our region or the rest of the Balkans.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:13

      Also ATH has huge African diaspora that use those flights too plus it’s more touristy than Serbia for example. I don’t think ET can make profit in BEG tbh.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous20:41

      Didn't know there was a large African diaspora in Athens. Interesting.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous00:46

      Athens has one of the biggest Nigerian diasporas in Europe.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:31

    That Slovenia - Rwanda deal doesn't make any sense to me. Maybe for cargo? But even that is a hard stretch


    What?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      Well they specifically talk about cargo.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:38

    Let us be realisitic. All above looks very nice and promising but it will not happen soon especially with ET or WB which are more serious airlines ( especially ET who is global player ) ...Uganda can maybe do it but its politics ....

    ET do have potential to fly to BEG with MAXs but we will see it after we see BUD / PRG / WAW etc as there is much stronger potential with pax numbers.

    WB - who can think delusionaly that they will fly LJU/ZAG/BEG when they are not flying big points in EUrope...FRA/FCO/MXP/AMS etc where there is HUGE ethnic and corporate potential.

    Number of pax from FY is very limited where 90% is to SA which is already well covered with ME and European carriers.

    Sorry guys but these are just dreams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:09

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:47

      This person speaks the truth

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:01

      Some logic in this discussion, finally. 1000% true.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:24

      Nope. Totally underestimated current Arfican overall development. Africa is going up rapidly.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous22:42

      Just to add... they see Serba as a inheritor of the non align movement. Hence, all they hope is focused to the Vucic.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous09:53

    This would be cool.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous09:55

    Any of these would be a fantastic addition to any ex-Yu airport.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous09:56

    Why is the Slovenian government talking about cargo flights to Rwanda. Is there a lot of trade between the two?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:42

      I'm interested in an answer to this too.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:06

    Hope it happens sooner rather than later.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous10:08

    ex-Yu airports should do more to improve connectivity with Africa. Number of flights are woeful to say the least.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous10:09

    I assume the largest diaspora of ex-yugo people in Africa is in South African Republic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:18

      Yes, by far.

      Delete
    2. Do you know that in times of break up of Yugoslavia, approximately 1991-1992, JAT operated for a brief period of time weekly DC-10 BEG to Johannesburg?

      Delete
  27. Potcenjivanje afrike u komentarima. Jadno, ali ocekivano za ovdasnje pametnjakovice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pa ja ne bi rekao da se radi o potcjenjivanju Afrike. Po meni, prije se radi o realnom pristupu ex-yu trzistu. Afrika je objektivno bogata, i raste, i aviopromet iz nje i sa njom ce rasti, ali nije bas realno ocekivati letove iz Afrike za ex-yu prije nego za centre bivsih kolonijalnih gospodara ili za najvece i najprometnije europske aerodrome. BEG, ZAG, DBV imaju long-haul potencijal, ali taj se treba fokusirati na Sjevernu Ameriku i djelomice Aziju. Mislim da se letovi za Afriku, uz mozda iznimku ET-a, brzo nece desiti

      Delete
    2. Slav.Man13:18

      I hope the politicians in Uganda and Ethiopia and Rwanda manage to achieve this with Belgrade and Zagreb.

      Delete
  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous10:21

    Oh come on, we are never going to see any of these

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous10:23

    Be nice to see those Dreamliners and A350’s in Ethiopians fleet at Belgrade airport. Of the 3 they would be the best airline and give great connectivity across Africa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:39

      If they ever do start flights it will be with 737 MAX.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous10:49

    Well, networking in JU is already scheduling Johanesburg and Addis Ababa for the 5th A330 once when it comes.
    3rd and 4th are for Asia and USA/Canada expansion (double daily JFK, Toronto, Miami, Shanghai and Guangzhou) while the 5th will be used for Africa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:46

      Sure buddy

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:50

      And the 6th one to Antarctica

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:29

      OK then. Don't be surprised when it becomes obvious.

      Delete
    4. @10.49
      No way four units can make double daily JFK plus Chicago, Toronto, Miami, Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou. For what you wish (and btw I think it's possible to happen), at least 6 units are needed, and if flying mimimum frequencies, 2-3 per week. So J'burg will have to wait the 7th one. For Addis, I doubt JU will ever fly it, similar to Lagos

      Delete
    5. Anonymous19:18

      JFK is rumoured to be going 8-9 pw next summer not double daily.

      My guess is that ORD will likely be bumped up to 4 or 5 pw next summer.

      Now add 3 Chinese routes at 2 pw each, as well as YYZ and MIA at 2 pw each. 27 pw with 4 widebodies is not enough.

      Delete
  32. I wonder about those fifth freedom rights out of Serbia. Widebodies can carry cargo which is beneficial if the passengers numbers are volatile. Where can (for example) Ethiopian flight continue to, after arriving from Addis to Belgrade? Assuming there is a cooperation with AirSerbia in place. Ethiopian Airlines ended Los Angeles service in 2019. Perhaps with connection in Belgrade, this might work again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:50

      They can fly anywhere in the US because both Serbia and Ethiopia have a free sky agreement with the US. Also they have a lot of flights which stop in one European city to continue to the other, and from what I can see they have fifth freedom rights almost everywhere. Just recently I was looking at some tickets from Vienna to Copenhagen and it offered me Ethiopian as the cheapest option. And not only that it is on the 787-9!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:38

      ^ wow didn't know that. Do you know which other intra European flights they have?

      Delete
  33. Anonymous19:50

    This would be amazing but highly unlikely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:52

      Strangers things have happened. Malaysia Airlines used to fly to Zagreb via Vienna.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:42

      *stranger

      Delete
    3. Malaysian in Zagreb was not strange at all. At that time Qatar and Emirates were not that strong. Croatian diaspora in Australia is huge. Malaysian wanted to fly nonstop KUL-ZAG but was rejected by croatian "authorities" in order to protect Cartel and continue funneling Far East and Australia passengers via much beloved FRA. Later MH got in trouble and drastically reduced network, especially Europe.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous19:51

    Don't know why people are dismissing the possibility or likelihood of these airlines launching flights. Definitely Ethiopian is the main candidate and I see them starting flights to this region within the next decade or even less.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:37

      Agree. People too quick to dismiss things around here. 5 years ago nobody would have thought Hainan would fly to BEG.

      Delete
  35. Ugandan president has requested for the state-owned flag carrier to conclude a partnership agreement with Air Serbia in order for the two countries to fast-track their cooperation.
    Uganda has selected Serbia as its strategic partner in Southeastern Europe.
    This is so funny because I can totally imagine it being true, lol!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's funny, almost as funny as croatian flag carrier kissing German ass for 30 years

      Delete
    2. Anonymous01:50

      Well it is true

      Delete
    3. Almost as funny as OU living rent free in your head Pozdrav. It doesn't matter no one sane wants to take over OU even for free, but you can always dream of Croatia Airlines A380s flying Sydney - Singapore - Zagreb. πŸ˜‚

      Delete
    4. OU is not living rent free in my head, it is living rent free on the spine of croatian people (from Croatia, not from Australia). I don't have to dream of Croatia Airlines, I was one of the people founding it back in 1991, when plans, official and documented, exist about long haul traffic, initially planned on B767, and switched to DC-10. Until criminals and crooks took over and ruined everything. And what I was proposing was A330 and A321XLR for long-haul, for services to North America, And India and the Far East. Only very mean person can lie I ever mentioned A380 and flights to Australia. Also take over of OU is something I rarely or never discuss, but if all these lies make you happy, go on and add more. It just shows what kind of person you are. Cheers mate!

      Delete
  36. Anonymous00:05

    Please no more adventures like flights from Iran full of asylum seekers. Heavily damaged Serbias image. Keep that in mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous01:09

      Heavily damaged image??? Are you having another episode?

      Delete
  37. Boris03:04

    There are huge political changes in Africa that are not in front news. Political change will be followed by economic changes. It is already happening just it is not reported.
    Considering that Macron the other day asked to join BRICS, Africa knows in what direction the wind is blowing.

    ReplyDelete

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.