|Etihad Regional's Saab 2000 now operating to Banja Luka|
Air Serbia has introduced Etihad Regional’s Saab 2000 aircraft and cabin crew on its route from Belgrade to Banja Luka. The all economy fifty-seat Saab 2000 aircraft will operate the service three times per week, each Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. In a statement the airline says, “Air Serbia guests travelling on this route will experience an equally high standard of service from the Etihad Regional cabin crew, who will add a Swiss touch to the onboard experience”. The use of the Saab 2000 aircraft is a result of a commercial lease agreement, which has been officially approved by the regulatory authorities of both Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The CEO of Air Serbia, Dane Kondić says, “The introduction by Air Serbia of an Etihad Regional aircraft between Belgrade and Banja Luka enables us to use our fleet efficiently. For Air Serbia guests it means that across our network, we have the right aircraft on the right routes providing the best possible service”. The Swiss based airline, Darwin, has been operating under the name Etihad Regional since this January. It introduced flights from Geneva to Belgrade in May.
Air Serbia’s daily service to Banja Luka, launched in December last year, got off to a slow start. However, passenger numbers have picked up in recent months. Last week, Banja Luka Airport announced it was abolishing airport tax surcharges on the route, resulting in lower ticket prices. “This proposal is a result of joint efforts to create conditions for this service to remain sustainable. Banja Luka Airport has given its support to this proposal and has abolished airport taxes for all passengers flying on the route, and thus participated in reducing ticket prices”, the airport said in a statement. Fares from Belgrade to Banja Luka now start from 54 euros, inclusive of all fees and taxes. “Ticket prices for this route are just a little above bus tickets between the two cities”, the airport concludes. Air Serbia’s flights to Banja Luka, both those operated by its own equipment and staff and those operated with the Etihad Regional Saab 2000, are codeshared by Etihad Airways itself.