Air One says arrivederci to Belgrade
Alitalia’s low cost subsidiary, Air One, will discontinue its service from Milan Malpensa Airport to Belgrade from January 10. The three weekly Airbus A320 service, which has been operating for just over three months, failed to generate much interest. The Serbian capital is just one of several destinations the no frills airline will cancel in the coming month. Services from Milan to Munich, Warsaw, Kiev and Cagliari, all of which were launched this summer season, will also be terminated in January. The news will be warmly welcomed by Jat Airways which is in direct competition with Air One on the route. From January, Jat will once again be the sole operator on the Belgrade - Milan service. Alitalia continues to code share on Jat’s flights to Milan.
Passengers who have purchased Air One tickets for travel after January 10 will be refunded. Those that booked their flights via Alitalia will be transferred onto Jat’s flights. Air One struggled with its Belgrade service from the outset. Despite an ad campaign across the Serbian capital, the airline regularly cancelled some of its weekly flights. Jat Airways records solid loads on its Milan service as it also carries a large amount of transiting passengers from the United States and Canada.
Belgrade is Air One’s second failure in the EX-YU region. Last September the airline scheduled services to Zagreb, however, due to poor ticket sales, the planned flights were cancelled. Air One merged with the Italian national carrier Alitalia in January 2009. Although it continues to operate as a separate brand, the two use an integrated booking system. Air One operates a fleet of ten Airbus A320s. All of its aircraft feature a high density cabin layout of up to 180 seats.