Air Serbia will be making a series of changes to its operations during 2017, which will include one of the airline's "biggest technology upgrades", which will "revolutionise" its services, as well as adjustments to its flagship New York service. Furthermore, Banja Luka Airport has suggested modifications to the carrier's flights from Belgrade.
This April, Air Serbia will be migrating to the high-tech IT Sabre system, which the airline has said will provide a "step change" in its business. "The project is one of our biggest technology upgrades in years and will revolutionise the services we offer, at every touch point in your journey", Air Serbia's CEO, Dane Kondić, told the "Elevate" magazine publication. He added, "For example, if you are connecting to one of our codeshare flights at Nikola Tesla Airport, our switch to Sabre will allow us to more efficiently manage your transit, ensuring the experience is seamless. Many of the Etihad Airways Partner airlines also use Sabre and our systems will now better communicate and share messages about your journey". The airline has previously said that it is looking to become more "customer centric" in order to better engage and communicate with passengers throughout the whole journey.
On the other hand, Air Serbia will make modifications to its Belgrade - New York service next summer season. According to a preliminary schedule, the Serbian carrier will maintain five weekly flights on the route only during the peak summer months, from June 15 until October 2. Between May 27 and June 12, as well as between October 5 and October 28 (end of the summer season), the airline will operate four weekly flights. Three weekly operations will be run between March 27 (start of the summer season) and May 20, as was the case during most of the 2016/17 winter season. Initially, Air Serbia planned to serve the route five times per week. Last month, Mr Kondić noted that the airline will be "smarter" in planning its flights to New York after having one summer and one winter season of operations behind them. During the first six months, Air Serbia carried over 40.000 passengers between Belgrade and New York, which the carrier says has exceeded its initial expectations. However, the adjustments to the schedule indicate that the route continues to be highly seasonal. At this point it is unclear whether the airline's Airbus A330-200 aircraft will be deployed onto other services during the days it is not operated to and from New York.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Transport in the government of the entity of Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nedjo Trninić, has said that changes need to be made to Air Serbia's operations between Belgrade and Banja Luka. The Serbian airline is the only scheduled carrier flying into Bosnia and Herzegovina's second largest city. "We had some informal discussions with Air Serbia's CEO concerning the Banja Luka - Belgrade service and clearly stated that the current situation is unsustainable and that something needs to change. He took note of this and made some suggestions but it is too early to go out in public with these plans", Mr Trninić said. Air Serbia initially launched daily flights to Banja Luka in December 2013. They have since been reduced to three times per week during the winter. In November 2016, the Republika Srpska government ordered the public operator of Banja Luka Airport, Aerodromi Republike Srpske, to extend a ground handling agreement with the Serbian national carrier. As a result, the operator covers Air Serbia's airport costs and fees from December 1, 2016 until November 30, 2017, the government said in a statement. The same terms and conditions have been applied as in previous years. The subsidies are being provided from the entity budget, although the exact figure has not been made public.