Air Serbia will boost its operations to a number of destinations this winter season in contrast to last year when its network sustained significant cuts. The frequency upgrades are targeted at destinations which feed into the airline's flights to New York, as well as popular routes in western Europe which offer transfer options in cooperation with Etihad Airways Partner airlines. The Serbian carrier will boost services to Berlin, Milan, Tirana and Tel Aviv, and will offer flights to Hamburg, Larnaca and New York, which were not operated last winter season. Other destinations will be maintained in line with last year's timetable, with exception to Warsaw which will be terminated.
Flights from Tirana, Tel Aviv and Larnaca have proved popular with transfer passengers heading to and from the United States, which is why the carrier will be boosting operations to both Albania and Israel, while Larnaca will be maintained throughout the winter after it was downgraded to a seasonal summer route last year. In late July, Serbia's Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić, noted, "We have a significant number of Albanians using the service [to New York] and we will look to capitalise on this. Establishing direct Air Serbia flights between Belgrade and Pristina is also among our priorities". The Serbian carrier also plans to shift around a number of departure and arrival times on regional routes in order for them to better connect onto its transatlantic service.
Last winter season, Air Serbia made significant reductions to its network, which had a knock-on effect on its hub in Belgrade and saw the airline's passenger numbers decline over Air Serbia to up frequencies on a number of routes this winter season.6% during the first quarter of the year. The carrier's CEO, Dane Kondić, defended the decision, saying in an earlier interview, "Flying empty aircraft over the winter just to keep a schedule is crazy. So, last winter we had two years of experience behind us, meaning to say that we had two summers and two winters, and therefore we knew exactly where the pain points were in the network. As we have progressed on our journey, what has been critical has been focus on profitable operations. The prime goal was to take out capacity to therefore boost our load factors". The 2016/17 winter season begins on October 30 and lasts until March 25, 2017.