Soon in BelgradeQatar Airways will launch services to Belgrade in September this year, connecting the capitals of Qatar and Serbia with an air link for the first time in history. The Qatari national carrier will operate four weekly flights to Belgrade, the airline’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker, said at the ITB Convention in Berlin yesterday. Flights will operate via the Turkish capital Ankara, four times per week with an Airbus A320. It is highly unlikely that the airline will receive commercial rights on the Ankara - Belgrade - Ankara sector. Passengers most likely to use the service are those transiting to far east Asia and Australia.
The news comes as the Qatari national carrier plans to launch services to the Croatian capital Zagreb on May 9. The flights to Zagreb will operate on a daily basis via Budapest. The airline does not have local traffic rights on the Budapest - Zagreb - Budapest sector.
From September, Qatar Airways will go into indirect competition with the no frills Fly Dubai which will be operating five weekly nonstop flights from Dubai to Belgrade this coming summer season. Jat Airways, which planned to resume services to Dubai this summer has decided against the move for reasons unknown. However, Jat will have the most competition on its hands. Fly Dubai has failed to attract transit passengers and is being used primarily by point to point travellers. On the other hand, Jat, which continues to enjoy strong cooperation with Emirates, has simply rerouted its passengers transiting to Australia via European cities served by Emirates rather than directly via Dubai since it suspended flights to the city in November 2011.