Six new destinations and more planned for 2014
Air Serbia has announced plans to further grow its network this year after it launched sales for six new destinations, to be inaugurated this summer season. The CEO of the Serbian national carrier, Dane Kondić says, “We are exploring opportunities for further network growth in 2014, details of which will be announced in due course”. Yesterday, the airline began selling tickets to six destinations which were exclusively revealed by EX-YU Aviation News on July 23, 2013 with a corresponding timetable. Air Serbia will launch flights to Beirut, Budapest, Sofia and Varna on March 30 with Kiev and Warsaw starting on May 29. Beirut and Varna will initially operate three times per week before increasing to daily on June 1. All other services will operate daily from the start. Flight details for each of the new services can be found on the right hand side in the new route launches section.
The new routes will increase the total number of destinations on Air Serbia’s international network to 35, a growth rate of 20% in comparison to the present number. “These new services are part of our strategy to expand into key international markets, offer more travel options to passengers, and help to increase Serbia’s tourism, trade and investment links with other countries”, Mr. Kondić says. He adds, “Passengers from Belgrade can enjoy special promotional launch return fares as low as 99 euros to Budapest, 129 euros to Warsaw and Kiev, 149 euros to Sofia and Varna and 219 euros to Beirut. Launch fares are also available to and from Air Serbia’s network in the Balkan region”. Flights to Beirut, Warsaw and Kiev will operate with the airline’s Airbus A319, while Sofia, Budapest and Varna will be flown with the ATR72.
Speaking at a joint Etihad - Air Berlin press conference yesterday, Etihad Airways CEO, James Hogan said, “Air Serbia gives us an opportunity to open up the Balkans region. The largest expatriate Serbian markets are Australia, Germany, and the USA and with codeshares we have already linked Air Serbia, Etihad and Air Berlin”. In addition, Mr. Hogan said, “We continue to build network relationships. In restructuring Air Serbia we in fact used Air Berlin, part as a management team, to be able to re-fleet Air Serbia from Boeing 737s to Airbus aircraft. We have brought our skills together and upgraded various areas”. Mr. Hogan also added Etihad was not looking at investing in Poland's LOT or Latvia's Air Baltic nor is it planning to take a stake in Rome's Fiumicino Airport. He did say the airline is in talks with Alitalia while the rebranded Darwin Airline will be launched as Etihad Regional at the end of this week.