An Air Serbia Airbus A310 on the taxiway.
Bene Riobó, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Air Serbia Begins Direct Flights to China

LONDON – Belgrade based, Air Serbia has today announced that it will begin direct flight operations between its home airport at Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade and Tianjin, one of the largest cities in China. Due to commence the route from December 9th 2022, the outbound flight will be on Fridays and the inbound flight from China to Serbia will be on Sundays. 

First flight in 22 years


The last time a similar flight operated between the two countries was 22 years ago, when Air Serbia was operating as JAT airways and flew between Belgrade and Beijing. Due to the restrictions implemented as a result of the Covid -19 pandemic, this operation sets Air Serbia to be one of the only European carriers to be flying directly to China.

“The ground time that Air Serbia aircraft will be spending in Tianjin is not optimal and comes as the results of a combination of various COVID-19 restrictions still in place. We will continue to work to improve that in the future, whenever such an option becomes available,” said Jiri Marek, CEO for Air Serbia.

“In spite of the still limited international air traffic with China and strict rules imposed since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, our airline has succeeded in obtaining all the necessary permits and completed all preparatory activities, so that we can launch flights to Tianjin in December.”

“Air Serbia is not a stranger to China. In 2020, we operated dozens of special cargo flights, transporting hundreds of tonnes of medical devices and equipment to Serbia. I am convinced that our direct service will help boost the already strong economic and cultural relations between the two friendly countries.”

“Our ambitions in regard to flights to China do not end here. We hope that we will expand our network to other strategically important cities in the near future, such as Beijing and Shanghai. We will continue to closely monitor the status of COVID-19 related restrictions and promptly react on new opportunities, once the market access limitations have ended,” continued Marek.

Tianjin


Tianjin is an industrial city of 14 million people, and is considered the main port in the north of China. It has both financial and industrial centres and acts as an important conduit that connects supplies to Beijing. There is also a 117km long high speed rail link that takes only 30 minutes to get between the two cities. 

Air Serbia operates a fleet of 19 aircraft, majority short haul and small jets but the jet assigned to the route is the sole Airbus A330 within its fleet. The trip is likely to take 10 hours between Belgrade and Tianjin, and 12 hours in the reverse.

Flight numberDeparting fromTime of departureDestinationTime of arrivalFrequencyDate of first flight
JU702Belgrade (BEG)14:10Tianjin (TSN)07:00FriDecember 9, 2022
JU703Tianjin (TSN)10:30Belgrade (BEG)15:20SunDecember 11, 2022

With the opening of this new route, Air Serbia hopes to offer greater connections between China and the numerous European destinations on its network. Places such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Stockholm,Oslo, Paris, Frankfurt, Valencia,Prague, Venice and Zagreb.

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