ČSA farewells BelgradeAs was originally reported by EX-YU aviation news back in May, ČSA Czech Airlines has this week officially confirmed it will be suspending flights from Prague to Belgrade. The service will come to an end due to cost cutting measures and internal reorganisation but also due to poor economic performance on the route. The carrier operated 2 daily flights to Belgrade at the beginning of the year but signs of problems emerged when the airline cancelled 10 of its weekly flights and closed its representative office in Belgrade over the summer. ČSA has been the sole operator on the Prague to Belgrade service since 2008 when Jat Airways suspended its flights on the route due to its own cost cutting policy. As a result, Belgrade won’t have a direct air link to Prague for the first time in nearly 10 years. Flights between Prague and Belgrade have been operating since 1946 with the only interruption occurring during the 1990s when flights to Yugoslavia were banned under international sanctions.
ČSA becomes the latest airline to announce that it will pull out of Belgrade. LOT Polish Airlines will alter its flights from Warsaw to Belgrade into a seasonal summer service as will Cimber Sterling on its flights out of Copenhagen. Meanwhile, airBaltic will also suspend its flights from Riga this winter, but at this point the airline is unsure whether it will return to the Serbian capital next summer. On the other hand, Sky Work Airlines will commence flights from Bern to Belgrade this winter. Bulgaria Air is still hoping to strike a deal with Jat and commence flights from Sofia in the next few months while Flydubai has applied for a license to operate flights to Belgrade although there are still no guarantees that the airline will actually begin the flights from Dubai this winter.
Together with Belgrade, ČSA is also cancelling several other destinations including Tel Aviv, Venice and Zurich. Within the EX-YU region, the Czech national airline will reduce its flights to Skopje from 6 to 4 times per week. Currently, flights from Prague to Zagreb and Ljubljana remain unaffected.