|Sales for Belgrade - New York service start strong|
Sales for Air Serbia's new service from Belgrade to New York, scheduled to launch on June 23, have started off strongly, with the airline saying they have exceeded their expectations. The route was formally presented during last week's Belgrade International Tourism Fair. In a statement, the carrier noted, "The announcement generated strong interest in Serbia and the United States, with travel agents in both markets reporting positive feedback, and resulted in a large volume of calls to the Air Serbia contact centre". The airline's CEO, Dane Kondić added, "The International Tourism Fair was once again a very successful event, providing a great platform to present our highly-regarded and Serbian-inspired travel offering. The response from industry professionals and the travelling public to our stand was overwhelmingly positive and the number of tickets we sold to and from New York over the four day period surpassed our expectations by more than 30%". He continued, “It was a great start to our sales campaign and a clear sign of the high travel demand from Serbia for non-stop services to the United States".
The head of the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate, Mirjana Čizmarov, confirmed that Air Serbia's first wide-body aircraft, the Airbus A330-200, will touch down in Belgrade during the first week of May. She noted that pilots are currently undergoing type training in Rome at the Alitalia Training Centre, with the first batch already successfully completing their training. On the other hand, cabin crew members will be trained at the Etihad Airways Academy in Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, a number of Serbian crew working on long haul services at Etihad Airways will be brought in for the flights, in order for the airline to boast experience within its cabin crew ratio.
Commenting on the new service, the Chairman of Air Serbia and the Mayor of Belgrade, Siniša Mali, said, “The Air Serbia New York service will have a huge impact upon Serbia and the city of Belgrade, bringing many thousands of business and leisure travellers from the United States. Tickets going on sale mark a great moment and we look forward to the build-up over the coming months when the A330 aircraft arrives in Belgrade and the moment the inaugural flight takes off in June". On the other hand, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport says it is ready to handle wide-body jets and is in the process of installing metal detectors at each gate in line with United States Transportation Security Administration recommendations.