Qatar Airways granted license for Belgrade flightsQatar Airways has been granted a license to launch flights from Doha to Belgrade after the two countries signed a bilateral air traffic pact. In an e-mail sent yesterday, the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate informed that the pact is similar to Europe’s Open Skies Agreement, allowing carriers from Qatar to operate as many flights as they wish to Serbia. Similarly, this also applies to Serbian based airlines wishing to launch flights to Qatar. “This is a very modern act that will lead to traffic liberalisation between Serbia and Qatar”, the Serbian Directorate says.
Qatar Airways is to inaugurate four weekly flights from Doha to Belgrade this September. The service is set to operate via the Turkish capital Ankara. The airline is now intent on receiving rights to carry passengers between Ankara and Belgrade and vice versa. However, Turkey is unlikely to grant such rights. Despite the trend towards liberalisation, there remain considerable government restrictions on airline operations to and from Turkey, according to a recent IATA report. Both Croatia and Serbia have had problems with Turkey prior to this year’s summer season when it came to agreeing on frequencies and granting licenses to charter airlines.
Last month, the Qatari national carrier launched daily flights from Doha to Zagreb via Budapest. The airline has been granted rights to sell tickets on flights between Hungary and Croatia. So far, Qatar Airways has had respectable loads on the route.