|Etihad Regional terminating Geneva - Belgrade flights|
Etihad Regional will suspend its flights from Geneva to Belgrade at the end of the 2014 summer season, just five months after the service was launched. Regional’s last flight to the Serbian capital will operate on October 23. The airline, which ran the service with the fifty seat Saab 2000 aircraft, faced stiff competition on the route from both Swiss International Air Lines and easyJet . The two will continue flying between Geneva and Belgrade this winter. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, the route is likely to be turned into a seasonal summer service only, with flights to resume next year. No official reason has been given for the termination, with ticket sales suspended last week.
Etihad Regional, previously known as Darwin Airline, launched three weekly flights to Belgrade on May 1, several months after Etihad Airways acquired a 33% stake in the airline. Swiss authorities are yet to approve Etihad’s minority takeover of Darwin. Back in May, the President and CEO of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said in a statement, “We are linking the new Etihad Regional network into the key hubs of our equity alliance partners, bringing benefits to the customers of Air Berlin and Air Serbia. This is not just a great new offer for European travellers, it is also great news for Darwin Airline, which will see increased investment, greater sales and marketing opportunities, as well as the chance to benefit from Etihad Airways’ global network”.
The Swiss airline has expanded its network significantly over the past few months but has also been quick to cut underperforming routes. Etihad Regional planned to launch four weekly flights from Rome to Zagreb in March but suspend ticket sales a month prior to the service launch. This summer, the airline inaugurated five weekly flights from Zurich to Pristina with an ATR72 aircraft. During the peak summer months, the Etihad Regional Saab 2000 operated three weekly flights from Belgrade to Banja Luka on behalf of Air Serbia. Regional will continue codesharing on Air Serbia's flights to Zurich.