Air Serbia is considering introducing flights between Belgrade and the Iranian capital Tehran next summer season. The news comes after company officials visited the country and discussed the potential service with local regulators. Air Serbia's CEO, Dane Kondić, said, "Today's talks went well. Introducing these flights during the upcoming winter season is not possible, but they are likely next summer. Following the lifting of international sanctions, carriers from across the world have started operating from Tehran. If we do introduce Belgrade - Tehran flights, Air Serbia will have to fly in partnership with Iran Air". Mr Kondić added there will be surprises in the upcoming winter schedule, which comes into effect on October 30, and will feature "one or two new routes". The carrier previously confirmed it will extend its seasonal summer services to Hamburg and Larnaca into the winter months.
The Chairman of the Air Serbia Supervisory Board, Siniša Mali, noted, "We will undertake a feasibility study and hold talks with Iran Air over potential expenses on the route. I firmly believe that it is very important for direct flights to be introduced in order to fuel cooperation between Serbia and Iran. With the introduction of our flights to New York, we have observed a considerable number of people from the United States travelling to this region and Belgrade, and from there on to other countries". Mr Mali added that a direct air link to Tehran will make sense if Air Serbia launches flights to Beijing in the coming period. Last week, the company said both Asia and China will feature prominently in its future growth plans.
JAT Yugoslav Airlines previously operated flights between Belgrade and Tehran. The service was introduced on April 19, 1991 and the airline also opened its representative office in the city. The route was popular with a considerable number of transfer passengers to the United States at the time. However, the service was short-lived with the collapse of Yugoslavia halting all international operations. Earlier this year, Iran's largest tour operator announced plans to charter fourteen flights between Tehran and Belgrade, which were to carry some 3.000 Iranian tourists to the Serbian capital during a three-month period. However, the flights never took off due to administrative reasons. The tour operator previously said it plans to set up its south-east European base in Belgrade and estimates bringing some 10.000 Iranian holiday makers to Serbia next year.