|Air Serbia gets all clear for US flights|
The United States Department of Transportation (DoT) has issued Air Serbia a permit to operate "scheduled foreign air transportation of persons, property and mail from points behind the Republic of Serbia, via the Republic of Serbia and intermediate points to a point or points in the United States and beyond", in an order served yesterday evening. Furthermore, the carrier has been granted rights to operate scheduled all-cargo services between the US and any points, as well as charter transportation of persons, property and mail. The permit approval comes just over seven months after a request was initially submitted by the airline, during which both the company and its hub airport underwent inspections and checks by US authorities.
The Acting Director of the Office of International Aviation at the DoT, Brian Hedberg, said in his final order, "We make final our findings and conclusions as stated in the order and award to Air Serbia a.d. Belgrade the foreign air carrier permit. Unless disapproved by the President of the United States under 49 USC §41307 [code title for transportation under US law], this order shall become effective on the 61st day after its submission". The order was submitted for review under 49 USC §41307 on January 12, 2016. The 61st day was March 14. Since the President did not disapprove this order before that date, it became effective this Monday. Furthermore, there were no objections by other parties, such as airlines, unions or other businesses either.
As a result, Air Serbia's flights to New York are no longer pending government approval and ticket sales will no longer be subject to this designation. The airline will become the first national carrier in the former Yugoslavia to operate transatlantic flights in 24 years. Furthermore, the route will become the first long haul service operated by a former Yugoslav carrier in sixteen years, the last one being Belgrade - Beijing, terminated in 2000. Services to New York will launch on June 23 and will run five times per week with an Airbus A330-200 jet. The aircraft, leased from Jet Airways, is expected to arrive in Belgrade during the first half of May.