|Swiss to terminate Geneva - Belgrade route at the end of summer|
Swiss International Air Lines has confirmed it will suspend flights between Geneva and Belgrade, with the last service scheduled to operate on Saturday, October 24. The two weekly flights were launched in December 2013, but faced significant competition later on with both Etihad Regional and easyJet introducing the service in 2014. Etihad Regional was the first to give up on the route in October that same year. easyJet will continue to maintain flights between the two cities. Swiss has discontinued sales for the route but will maintain its presence in Belgrade with a total of nine weekly flights from Zurich currently scheduled to operate during the 2015/16 winter season.
The decision to suspend flights to Belgrade comes at a time when the carrier is significantly expanding its presence in the former Yugoslavia. Swiss is the latest in a string of foreign airlines which have announced service suspensions to the Serbian capital, with most of them facing direct competition from other carriers. On Friday, easyJet suspended its flights from Milan, following on from its Rome suspension at the start of the 2014/15 winter season. It competed directly against Alitalia and Air Serbia on both routes. Commenting on the suspension on Friday, easyJet said, “As we have a limited number of aircraft, we have to make decisions about the airports to which we fly”. In an earlier statement to EX-YU Aviation News, the airline said it has no plans to resume these services in the near future. Other carriers, such as Etihad Regional and TAP Portugal, discontinued their flights to the Serbian capital following brief stints, as a result of poor interest. Germanwings terminated services from Stuttgart to Belgrade in October, in face of increased competition from Air Serbia on the route. The airline had previously discontinued flights from Cologne to the Serbian capital in 2012. Germanwings will resume services between Stuttgart and Belgrade on July 30, albeit on a seasonal basis for just over a month - until September 10.
|Airline||Origin||Launch date||Suspension date||Competition|
|Adria Airways||Ljubljana||MAR 2 2010||FEB 16 2014||Air Serbia|
|APR 19 2013|
MAR 31 2014
|MAR 27 2015|
OCT 25 2014
|Etihad Regional||Geneva||MAY 1 2014||OCT 23 2014||Swiss / easyJet|
|Germanwings||Stuttgart||MAY 24 2007||OCT 25 2014||Air Serbia|
|TAP Portugal||Lisbon||JUL 2 2014||JAN 14 2015||-|
|Wizz Air||Charleroi||MAR 29 2011||MAY 6 2014||-|
On the other hand, Belgrade Airport has also seen the launch of a handful of new routes over the past year by Air Serbia, as well as the introduction of seasonal flights from Barcelona, operated by Vueling Airlines, and the start of scheduled, year-long, services from Hurghada by Air Cairo. Recently, Air Berlin applied for a permit to launch six weekly flights from Dusseldorf starting this May. However, in a statement to EX-YU Aviation News, the airline says it still considering whether to introduce the flights. “The decision for opening the new route is not final but we are in discussions about possible flights between Belgrade and Dusseldorf. We are currently reviewing all economic factors. As soon as we come to a conclusion, we will of course inform the public timely”, Air Berlin says. The airline currently codeshares on a total of fifteen routes operated by Air Serbia and is awaiting government approval for a further two.