Air France farewelling Belgrade next summer seasonEX-YU aviation news can exclusively reveal that Air France will suspend its daily flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Belgrade in April 2013, as part of the carrier’s cost cutting measures. Despite strong loads on the route, the airline has decided to throw in the towel. It is currently facing strong competition from Jat Airways which is offering competitive prices. In the past twelve years, Air France has already suspended services to the Serbian capital once before it returned several years ago. Until recently, the airline code shared on Jat’s services to Paris as well.
Air France’s departure is a major triumph for Jat which will now, after many years, have a complete monopoly over one of its most profitable routes. EX-YU aviation news understands that the Serbian carrier is planning to operate a second daily flight to Paris next summer season. Air France recently announced it was suspending its second daily flight to both Zagreb and Ljubljana next summer. It will operate a daily flight to the two cities with a Bombardier CRJ700 and Embraer ERJ145, respectively.
Air France's withdrawal also opens the opportunity for the low cost Wizz Air to launch flights from Belgrade to France. It has already indicated it was considering introducing services between the two countries within the next year. However, Air France, as a major global carrier and Europe’s third largest airline, will prove as a valuable loss to Belgrade. Air France will officially announce its Belgrade suspension in a press release next week.