Skopje, Belgrade and Zagreb anticipating transatlantic flights
The airports in Skopje, Belgrade and Zagreb are all hoping to see transatlantic flights in the near future. The Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency says flights from the United States and Canada are likely to be launched in the summer of 2014. “The Macedonian diaspora will soon have the possibility to fly to their homeland with the launch of transatlantic flights from Canada via the United States to Macedonia”, the agency said in a statement, adding it has been working on these long haul flights since early this year. According to Dejan Mojsoski, the head of the Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency, flights will operate on a seasonal basis, during peak summer and winter months. “The response from airlines in Canada has been favourable, but I won’t mention their names at the moment, until the process is finalised”, Mr. Mojskoski says.
Air Serbia plans to launch long haul flights to the United States and Canada by 2016 at the latest. Speaking on national television recently, Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić said Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan has confirmed plans for the Serbian carrier to operate flights to Chicago and Toronto in 2016 with an Airbus A330 aircraft. However, Mr. Vučić added he is pushing for transatlantic flights to be launched late next year, in particular to New York. Belgrade was last connected to the Big Apple in 2004 when the route was operated by Uzbekistan Airways while flights to Toronto were operated on a seasonal summer basis until 2007 by the now defunct Skyservice Airlines.
Zagreb Airport’s new operator has announced that one of its main aims will be connecting the Croatian capital to the United States. Airlines from the United States have not operated flights to Croatia since its independence, however, the airport sees more long haul action than others in the region. Korean Air and Japan’s JAL have been operating summer charters to Zagreb for years. In addition, until 2001, Malaysia Airlines operated scheduled flights from Kuala Lumpur to Zagreb via Vienna. The last time the Croatian capital and Canada were connected was back in 2008 when Skyservice Airlines operated flights between the two cities.