|Prime Minister anticipates second wide-body jet and Pristina flights in 2016|
The Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić, has said that Air Serbia will most likely take delivery of a second wide-body aircraft by the end of next year, adding that, "flights to New York are just the beginning". The comments come a week after the Chairman of the company's Supervisory Board noted that a second jet for long haul flights is being considered. "I can't reveal much, but I expect that we will get a second wide-body aircraft by the end of next year. Therefore, we will have two. So we have one for backup", Mr Vučić said yesterday. The Serbian PM previously noted that the airline will most likely launch Beijing as its second long haul destination after New York, although the carrier's Supervisory Board Chairman believes a second aircraft would be best suited for additional flights to the United States and Canada. Air Serbia itself has not commented on the matter.
The Serbian Prime Minister confirmed that the airline's first leased Airbus A330-200 jet will come from India (Jet Airways). "It will have a top-notch business class and a good economy class cabin", Mr Vučić said. Jet Airways operates eight 254-seat A330-200s (eighteen in business and 236 seats in economy class), one of which is on lease to Etihad. Air Serbia's CEO, Dane Kondić, previously said the aircraft will feature a new on board product. "I can reveal some of the planning that has already gone into this and, dare I say, we will probably have the best product flying transatlantic from Europe. We are fortunate that we have a one aircraft operation as opposed to a forty or fifty fleet aircraft operation. Our positioning is very much such that we are a boutique offering in Europe and as a boutique offering we can bespoke what we have and that will give us an enormous competitive advantage", Mr Kondić said last month. He added, "However, people have been pleasantly surprised with our offering today, which by and large is the very best business class offering in Europe. That is exactly what people can expect with our long haul offering".
Apart from a second wide-body aircraft, the Serbian PM anticipates that the national carrier will launch services to Pristina next year. "We really want to fly to Pristina in 2016. We want to attract as many passengers as possible for our New York flights, as well as Belgrade Airport. We want as many Albanian passengers as possible and we want them to fly with Air Serbia", Mr Vučić said. Last October, the Serbian government reached an agreement with its Kosovan counterpart to extend a free movement agreement, allowing Kosovan passport holders to transit through Belgrade Airport.