Air Serbia plans major summer expansion
Air Serbia is set to unveil its 2014 summer season network by the end of the week in line with announcements made during yesterday’s flight from Belgrade to Tel Aviv during which the airline promoted its Airbus A319 on the route. The Serbian national carrier plans to operate flights to 39 destinations in thirty countries, offering 73.000 seats on more than 670 flights per week by June 2014. The airline has confirmed it will launch services to Budapest, Kiev, Sofia, Varna and Warsaw next summer. In addition, the carrier will boost frequencies on its signature route to Abu Dhabi to daily and introduce flights to the Lebanese capital Beirut. Services to Cairo are also expected to be launched. Due to the political turmoil in Egypt, the flights to Cairo might be replaced with another destination in North Africa.
The airline has confirmed it will resume seasonal summer flights to Dubrovnik and Split but will not be returning to Pula next summer. Furthermore, Air Serbia has said it will retire all of its Boeing 737-300 aircraft from scheduled service by May 2014. A select number of Boeings will remain in the fleet and will be used exclusively for summer charters.
Air Serbia will face direct competition on several of its new routes. LOT Polish Airlines has announced it will boost its flights from Warsaw to Belgrade from last year’s five weekly to daily next summer. The Serbian carrier also plans to operate daily flights between the two capitals. On services to Budapest, Air Serbia will face Belavia which recently launched flights from Minsk via the Hungarian capital. On all other of its new destinations, the airline faces no direct competition. Services between Belgrade and Kiev will resume for the first time since Aerosvit suspended its four weekly flights in 2011 citing technical reasons. For the first time Belgrade and Varna will be connected with the Serbian carrier hoping to attract transit passengers from the Bulgarian seaside city which has few year long flights. Flights between Belgrade, Cairo and Beirut will resume for the first time in years. Previously, Beirut has proved popular with transit passengers travelling to Paris and London via the Serbian capital.