|Air Serbia to discontinue Budapest and Larnaca flights from October 25|
Air Serbia will suspend flights from Belgrade to Budapest and Larnaca this coming winter season due to poor loads. In a statement issued yesterday afternoon, the airline said that following “a thorough review”, services to the Cypriot city of Larnaca will become seasonal and will be resumed at the start of the 2016 summer season in late March. On the other hand, flights to Budapest will be suspended indefinitely. “Air Serbia will continue to offer its guests flights to Larnaca, via Athens, through its codeshare partner Aegean Airlines”, the carrier said. Services to both Larnaca and Budapest have been operating on a daily basis throughout this summer season. The suspensions come into effect on October 25.
In a statement, the CEO of Air Serbia, Dane Kondić, said, “Air Serbia continuously evaluates its network to ensure it is in line with passenger demand and is commercially sustainable. These decisions will enable us to place greater focus on key areas of the business that demonstrate the strongest potential for sustained long-term growth”. He added, “We will continue to adapt our product and service offering to meet and exceed our guests’ expectations. We remain committed to all markets in which we currently operate and will continue to maintain a presence through our partner airlines”. Air Serbia launched flights to Budapest in March 2014, while services to Larnaca have been operating for more than a decade and were inherited from Jat Airways’ network.
The Serbian carrier says it will offer alternative transport for all passengers who have purchased tickets to Budapest and Larnaca after October 25. Despite the suspensions, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport will remain connected to both markets, with Belrus’ Belavia operating services between the Serbian capital and Budapest, while Wizz Air maintains services between Belgrade and Larnaca. Air Serbia noted that it will also boost frequencies on several popular routes this winter including Beirut, which will operate four times per week, instead of last winter’s three, and Tirana, which will run five times per week, instead of three. According to the carrier, its average cabin load factor stood at 67% last year across its network.