|Air Serbia postpones Kiev service until further notice|
Air Serbia has cancelled plans to launch daily flights to the Ukrainian capital Kiev from May 29 due to security reasons. The airline’s CEO, Dane Kondić, said, "The safety of our guests and crew is paramount to the airline. We are notifying any guests affected by the postponement and offering a refund for unused tickets or assistance for travel on alternative services". As EX-YU Aviation News learns, the cancellation comes as a result of poor ticket sales, affected in part due to the political instability in the country. However, Air Serbia is not the only EX-YU airline to cancel plans to launch services to Ukraine. Earlier this year, Adria Airways applied and received permits to operate flights to Kiev but omitted the city in its 2014 summer season schedule.
Kiev is Air Serbia's second destination to be cancelled this summer, with the other being Cairo. However, the latter was actually dropped due to instability in the country. Other airlines have not cancelled or reduced services to the Ukranian capital but operations to the region of Crimea, which was recently annexed by Russia, have been disrupted, with Eurocontrol closing its airspace several days ago. Last week the Serbian carrier launched flights to Sofia and Budapest. On May 29 it will inaugurate services to Warsaw, which will be followed by the launch of Beirut and Varna on June 1. The flights are set to go ahead as planned.
There are currently no links between Serbia and Ukraine. Air Serbia and Ukraine International Airlines signed a special prorate agreement, which came into force on April 1, in hope of strengthening travel links between the two countries. Despite the cancellation of its flights to Kiev until further notice, CEO Dane Kondić remains upbeat, “Within just a few months we have managed to connect the entire Balkan region, introduce new aircraft with the familiar Air Serbia logo, lift on board service standards and offer job opportunities in Serbia”. Mr. Kondić also added, “These changes, together with a strong emphasis on services offered to our clients, have transformed the way the company does business from its core. All of our efforts have been directed at offering first class service to our guests who have always been our top priority”.