|Air Serbia looking into new routes and second wide-body jet|
The Chairman of the Air Serbia Supervisory Board, Siniša Mali, has said the Serbian carrier is considering launching new services, among which are Kiev and St. Petersburg. According to Mr Mali, the airline is also eyeing a second wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft and hopes to conclude a deal on the lease of the jet as early as this month. "With it [A330] we will be able to fly to other cities in the United States and Canada", Mr Mali said yesterday. Recently, Jet Airways' Chief Financial Officer, Amit Agarwal, told analysts in a post-earnings conference call that the Indian carrier is likely to lease A330 jets to its Serbian counterpart.
In contrast to Mr Mali's statement, the Vice Chairman of Air Serbia and President and CEO of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, recently said that Air Serbia could offer flights to Chicago and Toronto in two to three years after it establishes itself on the market with its five weekly service to New York, scheduled to commence on June 23. "We have already considered flights to Chicago and Toronto and these services could be introduced in two to three years. First off, the New York route must become functional. We don't want to make a decision that would set Air Serbia back", Mr Hogan said.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia, Oleksandr Aleksandrovych, noted that flights between Kiev and Belgrade were likely to begin this summer season. The Ambassador added that services from Lviv are also possible sometime in the future. Ukraine's Aerosvit Airlines suspended flights from Kiev to the Serbian capital in June 2011 citing "technical reasons". The carrier has since filed for bankruptcy. On the other hand, Air Serbia cancelled plans to launch daily flights to the Ukrainian capital last year due to security reasons. Russia and Ukraine closed their airspace to each other's airlines last October, ending direct flights between the two countries. Foreign carriers are now benefiting, with some 680.000 passengers travelling between the two countries by plane each year.