|Government announces “with all certainty” transatlantic flights in near future|
The Serbian government has announced that Air Serbia will launch flights to the United Stated towards the end of the year or during the first quarter of 2016. Speaking in the Serbian Parliament yesterday, the Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlović, said both Air Serbia and Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport are ready for transatlantic services. “The launch date depends both on the airline and airport, not their technical capabilities, as they are already prepared, but rather on market conditions. With all certainty we can expect these flights to commence either at the end of the year or in the first quarter of 2016”, Ms Mihajlović said, echoing earlier statements made by the country’s Prime Minister. She added that Serbia would be the only country in the region to offer nonstop flights to the United States. “This is good for us as passengers from neighbouring countries would gravitate towards Belgrade”, she noted.
Air Serbia has not officially announced any services to the States. Recently, its CEO, Dane Kondić, said, “No decision has been made. There has been a lot of talk about it. We haven’t actually said anything about it”. Questioned by followers on social media to comment on the issue, Air Serbia said in a tweet recently, “We cannot confirm or deny at this moment. Besides, 2015 is not finished yet”, the airline said, responding to claims that the carrier would launch flights to New York by year’s end. On Tuesday, during the sitting of the Serbian Committee on Spatial Planning, Transport, Infrastructure and Telecommunications, members of parliament adopted the recently signed Bilateral Air Transport Agreement between Serbia and the United States, which paves the way for future services between the two countries.
@markoradisic111 We cannot confirm or deny at this moment. Besides, 2015 is not finished yet.— Air Serbia (@airserbia) June 29, 2015
In late May, the Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić, said, “The first destination will be New York and not Chicago as previously announced, but ultimately it is up to Air Serbia to decide. During the first two years we won’t lose too much money, but afterwards these flights will be extremely profitable for our airline”. Before launching services to the United States, Air Serbia must first apply for a permit with the United States Department of Transport. Furthermore, the carrier does not have the necessary equipment to operate such flights. Mr Kondić previously noted that Air Serbia’s analysis of future transatlantic flights has been based around Airbus A330-200 aircraft. He said the airline would follow a similar process in leasing the jets as it did with other members of its fleet.