Air Serbia sees potential in new markets such as North Africa and Asia, which could be of interest as the airline begins taking up its newly ordered A320neo aircraft from 2018 onwards. Speaking to the German "Aero International" magazine, the carrier's CEO, Dane Kondić, gave examples of Central and Far East Asia, as well as North Africa as possible markets in the future. "As one aircraft enters the fleet another will exit it. However, these aeroplanes give us the possibility to access new markets, for example Iran or Central Asia or North Africa. These are destinations that are within a two and a half-hour radius. The Far East is also a potential market for us if you consider relations between Serbia and the People's Republic of China", Mr Kondić said. He added, "We believe that Serbia has enormous potential. When we grow we aim to do it responsibly".
Officials from Air Serbia have previously floated ideas of possible services to Iran, Kazakhstan and China. On the other hand, the carrier was to introduce flights to Cairo in 2014 but cancelled such plans due to deteriorating security in the country. Upon its relaunch in late 2013, Air Serbia discontinued what was Jat Airways' only scheduled route in Northern Africa at the time - Monastir in Tunisia. Flights to the city have since operated only as charters during the summer. Air Serbia will begin taking delivery of ten A320neos from the second half of 2018. The new jets, which the airline believes will give it "more flexibility", are all expected to arrive by 2020. "Within a period of five to ten years I can see us with a fleet of perhaps 25 or 26 aircraft. It's a process we will be continually evaluating", Mr Kondić said. In a previous interview, the CEO noted, "Based on where we’re located, there are good opportunities for us, and having a new aircraft is a big part of that".
Commenting on the upcoming winter season which begins this Sunday and runs through to March 25, 2017, Mr Kondić said, "This is the third winter since Etihad entered the picture, and it will surely be different than any of the previous ones. The challenge lies in optimising the existing network and looking for incremental opportunities under changing circumstances". Touching upon the carrier's transatlantic service, the CEO noted, "We've just opened a long-distance route to New York. There are approximately 200.000 people living in the USA who identify as being Serbian. That isn't everything though – think of the entire Balkan region. People from Bosnia, Croatia or Albania. We have a high percentage of Albanian passengers flying with us to New York".