|Air Serbia resolves bureaucratic issues in Croatia|
As EX-YU Aviation News learns, Air Serbia has today been issued with all necessary permits for flights and sales in Croatia. The permit has been issued in accordance with the European Common Aviation Area Agreement.
On the other hand, the Serbian carrier did not face similar problems during the summer when it operated seasonal flights to Dubrovnik, Split and Pula, offering similar connections and special fares from Croatia via Belgrade. Furthermore, it has been able to sell tickets from other European Union member states to third countries via its Belgrade hub, raising questions whether the state has moved in to protect its own national carrier, Croatia Airlines, as well as its interest. Air Serbia has been hinging its success in Zagreb on transit passengers. Recently, the airline’s CEO, Dane Kondić, said, “The new service will offer business travellers excellent connections through Air Serbia’s Belgrade hub at Nikola Tesla International Airport to popular destinations across the airline’s network. It will also provide two-way connections over Belgrade between Croatia, mainland Europe and key global destinations”.
Flights between Belgrade and Zagreb are to resume this December after a 23-year hiatus. Following yesterday’s developments, passengers turned to Facebook and Twitter to ask Air Serbia weather their flights and onward connections out of Belgrade were still valid. The airline is yet to comment on the issue. According to sources at the Ministry for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, passengers who purchase tickets with Air Serbia to and from Zagreb to countries other than Serbia will have to disembark their flights in Belgrade, pass through passport control and collect their baggage, after which they will have to check-in for their next segment. As a result, passengers cannot stay in the airport’s transit area and the minimum connecting time would have to be extended in order for passengers to collect their luggage. Furthermore, passport holders from countries needing visas to enter Serbia would find the connection impractical. However, the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency has told the “Jutarnji list” it is reviewing the issue.