|Start-up to launch two weekly flights from Zadar to Belgrade and Vienna|
Start-up airline AWEX Croatia, based in Rijeka, will launch operations from Zadar next month with two weekly services to Belgrade and Vienna. As previously reported, the new carrier intends to run 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 its services with a leased 34-seat Saab 340B aircraft. The turboprop, registered UR-ALC (pictured), has already arrived in Rijeka. It is 27 years old. AWEX has signed on a major Serbian tour operator, Fly Fly Travel, as its general sales agent (GSA) in the country.
The General Manager of Zadar Airport, Irena Ćosić, says, "Flights from Zadar to Belgrade and Vienna will launch in May and will operate twice per week. In regards to Air Serbia, they have postponed their planned service from Belgrade to Zadar until next year. This new service will give us a good indication of whether there is demand for Belgrade flights. For now, we still don't know whether there is interest for this route. We will see in May". The resumption of flights between Zadar and Belgrade will mark the first commercial service between the two cities in 25 years. JAT Yugoslav Airlines operated its last flight from Zadar to Belgrade on August 3, 1991. In its last year of normal operations, Yugoslav Airlines was already recording a significant drop in passenger numbers across its domestic network. However, in 1990 JAT carried 340.000 passengers between Serbia and Croatia alone. Travel between the two republics accounted for 34% of all domestic air travel. The final service from Rijeka to Belgrade ran on August 5, 1991. On the other hand, Brač Airport was opened for commercial use in 1993. There have never been scheduled flights from the airport to Serbia.
AWEX Croatia, established in 2012, is 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. However, these plans never materialised.