Air Serbia is expected to take delivery of its first wide-body aircraft, the Airbus A330-200 on May 11, according to the airline's Chairman Siniša Mali. The jet will arrive from Abu Dhabi in order for it to be added to the Serbian registry before flying back to the Emirati capital a few days later for cabin configuration. It will then undergo a supplemental type certificate approval process by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is a type of certificate issued when an applicant has received FAA approval to modify an aeronautical product from its original design. The 254-seat jet will then be ferried back to Belgrade in early June in order to prepare for its first commercial service to New York on June 23. It sports the registration YU-ARA.
The aircraft is being leased from Jet Airways for a five-year term. Over the weekend, the A330 performed a two-hour test flight over the United Arab Emirates following an engine change. Air Serbia's Chairman has refuted recent media claims that the airline has not secured necessary permits for its flights to the United States and that the aircraft is unlikely to arrive in Belgrade on time. Mr Mali noted that "there are no problems" and insisted that the inaugural service to New York will take off as scheduled on June 23. The carrier plans to operate five weekly flights on the route. The jet has already been painted in Air Serbia's livery.
Air Serbia A330 test flight operated on Sunday
In March, the United States Department of Transportation (DoT) issued an order granting Air Serbia rights to operate scheduled passenger, cargo and charter flights to the US. The DoT gave interested persons 21 days to file objections to the order, however, none were received within the time period provided. It then concluded, "We tentatively find that grant of this authority is in the public interest; that the applicant demonstrated, based on the record, that it is financially and operationally qualified to perform the services authorised; and that the applicant is effectively controlled by citizens of its claimed homeland".