|Belgrade Airport to offer flights to five destinations in Croatia|
Flights between the Croatian island of Brač and Belgrade are set to launch in May, the island’s Tourism Organisation announced at the Belgrade International Tourism Fair this weekend. The announcement echoes similar statements made recently by the CEO of Brač Airport, Tonči Peović. The name of the operating carrier has not been revealed, although flights will operate with an aircraft that can seat up to eighty passengers. In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News in January, Air Serbia’s CEO, Dane Kondić, said the carrier has no intention of flying to the island in the near future. Croatia Airlines has said it will be resuming seasonal flights from Split to Belgrade this summer but has made no mention of the introduction of additional services to the Serbian capital. The airline operates flights between Zagreb and Brač each Saturday afternoon during the summer months.
Flights from Belgrade to the Croatian island are set to launch in mid-May and operate once per week, each Friday. Services will be chartered by Serbia’s Kon Tiki tour operator. Last year, some 2.100 people from Serbia holidayed on the island, with more expected to come this year as a result of the new seasonal flights. Therefore, this summer, in addition to Brač, Belgrade Airport will offer flights to Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik and Pula in Croatia. Tonči Peović, who ran Dubrovnik Airport for sixteen years from 1993 to 2009, and Zagreb Airport from 2009 until its takeover by the French in 2013, said in September last year, “We are interested in flights to Belgrade, not just because of Serbian tourists but also because Jat was purchased by Etihad Airways from the Middle East. Jat has ATR 72 aircraft in its fleet, which can land on our runway. In partnership with Etihad, a considerable number of transit passengers could use this route from faraway places such as Dubai, India, South Korea, Australia and Singapore”.
Brač is eyeing a busy summer, with the airport’s CEO confirming that Austrian Airlines and Croatia Airlines will boost frequencies on their flights from Vienna and Zagreb respectively. Furthermore, the recently established European Coastal Airlines will also introduce services to the island. The German-based Express Airways, which has been operating on and off since 1998, plans to base a BAe 146 aircraft in Brač this summer and operate flights to “Dortmund, Leipzig, probably Malmo and maybe Zurich”, the airport’s CEO says. Express Airways last attempted to establish a base in Maribor in 2013, without success.