Air Serbia readying for October launch
Preparations for the launch of Air Serbia are in full swing as Etihad and Jat work together for the new look carrier to take to the skies this October. Last Friday, the Serbian government approved finances for the lease of ten Airbus A319 aircraft, aged between two and five years. As a majority share holder, the Serbian government will provide part of the finances for the aircraft, while Etihad will secure the rest. The outgoing Minister for Transport, Milutin Mrkonjić, who recently resigned from his post, said the government will provide a 560.000 euro deposit for the first five aircraft. “A total of ten Airbus A319s will be introduced while talks with Airbus and Boeing are being held for these aircraft to be replaced with new Airbus A320 neos or Boeing 737 MAX aircraft within the next 24 to 36 months”, Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan says.
Acting Jat Airways CEO, Velibor Vukašinović, says the first two Airbuses, featuring the Air Serbia livery and on board product, will arrive within a month and will be in service in October. “This is the beginning of our new fleet concept and network planning with our new aircraft. Air Serbia will continue the tradition of Aeroput, JAT Yugoslav Airlines and Jat Airways as the Serbian carrier celebrates its 87th birthday next year”, Mr. Vukašinović says. Air Serbia will introduce its long list of new destinations this winter progressively as new aircraft arrive.
As EX-YU Aviation News learns, the new look Air Serbia website will be launched hours after Air Serbia is legally registered as the successor to Jat Airways. Within two hours the Air Serbia name will appear on global reservation systems and a new website will be simultaneously launched. This massive operation will be coordinated between Jat and experts from Etihad. As a result, the Emirati carrier has been sending large teams to Belgrade over the past week to help with the transition process.