|Belgrade - Ohrid flights to launch this summer|
The Mayor of Ohrid, Nikola Bakračeski, has confirmed that Air Serbia will launch flights from Belgrade to Ohrid in June, following talks between the two sides earlier this week. Services are expected to run on a seasonal summer basis until late October. Mr Bakračeski said he was confident both local authorities and the Macedonian Ministry of Transport and Communication will jointly support the new flights through subsidies and deemed it an "important project". "During our meeting we reviewed all possible models of cooperation, which would benefit both sides. We concluded that the Belgrade - Ohrid service is significant for us in two respects. Firstly, the flights will cater for Serbian tourists but also travellers across Europe and the United States, keeping in mind that services from New York to Belgrade will launch in June. On the other hand, these flights will benefit locals who will be able to travel to various destinations and back home via Belgrade", the Mayor said.
EX-YU Aviation News inquired Air Serbia about the planned new service back in December last year but received no response to date. Flights between Belgrade and Ohrid last operated by Jat Airways in the summer of 2013, on a seasonal basis, when Air Serbia's predecessor maintained six weekly services (launched on June 23). Last week, Air Serbia's Chairman, Siniša Mali, said the carrier is also considering introducing flights to Kiev and St. Petersburg, as well as acquiring a second long haul aircraft. The airline last expanded its network in December 2014 when it introduced flights to Zagreb.
Ohrid Airport handled 107.916 passengers last year, overtaking its 1996 record. The airport's 54% growth in 2015 was fuelled by Wizz Air, which introduced year-round flights from Basel and seasonal services to London Luton Airport, carrying some 60.000 passengers to and from Ohrid. This summer, Arkia Israeli Airlines will launch seasonal flights from Tel Aviv on June 9, which will operate up to three times per week, each Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, with an Embraer E190 jet. In addition, one of Europe's largest tour operators, Thomas Cook, will introduce summer charters from Brussels to Ohrid on June 20, while Corendon Dutch Airlines will resume its seasonal services from Amsterdam.