|Croatian newcomer eyes flights from Rijeka, Zadar and Brač to Belgrade|
Start-up airline AWEX Croatia, based in Rijeka, plans to launch operations this summer from the country's coast to Belgrade. The carrier intends to operate flights from Rijeka, Zadar and Brač to the Serbian capital during the summer. Furthermore, it also plans to link Portorož in Slovenia with Belgrade. AWEX will run the flights with a leased 34-seat Saab 340B turboprop aircraft and has signed on a major Serbian tour operator as its general sales agent (GSA). Naturally, the flights are aimed at Serbian tourists. "This is the first time in a long time that Rijeka and Belgrade will be connected with a direct air service. In addition to improving connectivity between Serbia and Croatia, flights to Portorož will improve access to Slovenia", the airline's Serbian sales representative says, adding that further details will be revealed soon.
AWEX Croatia, formed in 2012, is believed to be linked to businessman Marijan Tuškan, who managed Croatia's first privately owned airline Air Adriatic from 2006. With bases in Pula and Dubrovnik, the carrier launched charters from the Croatian coast to northern Europe in 2001, boasting a fleet of up to four MD-82 aircraft at one point. In 2007, the airline planned to launch scheduled services from Zagreb to Berlin, Dusseldorf, Malmo, Moscow, Pristina, Skopje and Zurich and renew its fleet with Boeing 737-700 and two B767 aircraft. However, Air Adriatic ceased operations and lost its Air Operator's Certificate that same year. Later on, it was announced the airline would resume operations under the name Adria Wings with flights from Rijeka to Belgrade, Niš and Pristina, and would lease four Donier 328 turboprop aircraft. These plans never materialised.
During this summer season, Air Serbia and Croatia Airlines will link the two countries with scheduled flights. The Serbian carrier will boost operations to Dubrovnik, Split and Pula and maintain services to Zagreb. It will run a total of thirty weekly flights between the two countries. On the other hand, Croatia Airlines will maintain its seasonal three weekly service from Split to the Serbian capital. The last scheduled commercial flight between Zadar and Belgrade was operated by JAT Yugoslav Airlines on August 3, 1991, while the final service from Rijeka ran on August 5. Brač Airport was opened for commercial use in 1993. There have never been scheduled flights from the airport to Serbia.