|Air Serbia adds sixth ATR72 to its fleet|
Air Serbia will expand its fleet to twenty aircraft this week with the addition of a newly leased ATR 72-500 aircraft. The turboprop, registered YU-ALV, landed in Belgrade last week, featuring the Air Serbia livery and cabin, with a capacity to seat seventy passengers in an all-economy class layout. The nine-year-old aircraft is on lease from Air Corsica but has previously operated for ČSA Czech Airlines as well. The carrier recently said it was planning on modernising its ATR fleet within two to three years and gave a vote of confidence to the regional aircraft manufacturer, noting it would consider newer ATR planes as an option.
Commenting on the arrival of the latest addition to the carrier’s regional fleet, Air Serbia’s CEO, Dane Kondić, said, “The arrival of the ATR is part of our strategy of carefully matching our growing network, seasonal and frequency requirements with the right aircraft. Choosing an ATR was a logical step, as these aircraft are well known for their reliability in diverse flight conditions and are ideally suited for our regional routes. Our pilots and crew know this type of aircraft very well, so the latest addition to our fleet can be deployed immediately after the completion of required formalities and provide additional capacity during the peak of the summer season”. Air Serbia’s first ATR 72 (-200 model) was produced 25 years ago, landing in Belgrade on July 14, 1990 with another two of the same type following shortly after. All three are owned by the carrier. Furthermore, the airline has leased two more modern ATR -500 series aircraft.
Meanwhile, Air Serbia has begun with the installation of wireless Internet on board its Airbus aircraft. According to previous announcements, the airline expects make the new service available to passengers during the second quarter of the year. In a recent interview to “Travel Daily”, Mr. Kondić said the carrier will be focusing on improving its services and passenger experience this year. “This year our main focus are on all aspects of the travel experience we offer to our guests by innovating our product and service, providing even more convenience, comfort and enjoyment. With these advances, which will be rolled out progressively throughout the year, we will provide our guests with industry-leading innovations and world-class amenities, some of which are rarely seen on short haul European services”, Mr. Kondić said.
Air Serbia now has a fleet of twenty aircraft with eight Airbus A319s, six ATR72s, two A320s and four Boeing 737-300s which are operated by the airline’s dedicated charter brand Aviolet. The charter fleet has been heavily utilised on scheduled flights over the past few weeks. The arrival of the ATR is set to ease the use the Boeings on mainline services. The airline also has an order for ten Airbus A320neos, scheduled for delivery from 2018 onward.