|easyJet bids addio to Italy – Belgrade flights|
Low cost airline easyJet has announced the suspension of a second route from Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport in only two weeks. The budget airline will discontinue services from Milan Malpensa Airport to the Serbian capital next summer season, but will maintain flights between the two cities over the coming winter. It comes only days after the airline said it was discontinuing its Rome Fiumicino - Belgrade flights starting next month due to poor ticket sales. In a comment to EX-YU Aviation News, easyJet spokesperson, Matteo Tadei, said, “We can confirm that we are continuing to offer flights at affordable prices between Milan Malpensa and Belgrade across the winter season until March 27, 2015”. Ticket sales on the route have been suspended for travel beyond that date .
easyJet gave no further comment on why it was discontinuing the three weekly flights launched last summer. The airline will maintain its presence in Belgrade as it will continue operating two weekly services from Geneva. It faces stiff competition on the route from both Swiss International Air Lines and Etihad Regional. The low cost airline’s Milan suspension will be welcomed by Air Serbia as it will regain a monopoly over the route. easyJet has a respectable presence in the EX-YU region with flights to Belgrade, Ljubljana, Pristina and Zagreb. Services to the Croatian capital will be suspended this winter, however, the airline continues to operate flights to the country’s coast during the summer season.
This year has seen a shake-up of low cost operations at Belgrade Airport as they face stronger competition. Wizz Air suspended flights to Charleroi earlier this year and cut down on frequencies from its Belgrade base, blaming increased fees and charges at the airport for its decision. However, at the same time, the airline has also launched flights to Larnaca, which will be maintained throughout the winter, and on Monday said, “We are interested in growing in Serbia, but this does not mean we are growing without Belgrade - we are not interested in moving”. Germanwings will pull out of Belgrade this winter with the suspension of its Stuttgart flights as it faces strong competition and fare dumping from Air Serbia. The German low cost airline has been steadily reducing its destinations and flights to Belgrade over the past few years. On the other hand, Spanish low cost airline, Vueling, launched flights to the Serbian capital this summer from Barcelona, albeit on a seasonal basis