The resumption of flights between Belgrade and Zadar after more than two decades is unlikely to occur this year due to an ongoing regulatory dispute between Air Serbia and the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency (CCAA). Zadar Airport's General Manager, Irena Ćosić, told the "Zadarski list" daily, "There is a lot of talk of Air Serbia's arrival in Zadar. The Serbian carrier flies to all major airports in Croatia. However, the planned service to Zadar was halted by the airline's CEO Dane Kondić. The reason is an ongoing issue the airline has with the CCAA. Air Serbia is a company from outside the European Union but sells so-called connecting tickets from several cities in Croatia which is against EU regulation. The matter is now in the courts and we were just collateral damage".
In 2014, the CCAA accused Air Serbia of breaching the European Common Aviation Area agreement by operating flights to and from Zagreb to other cities using Belgrade as a transit point. It alleged that under the terms of the European Common Aviation Area Agreement, Serbian companies cannot sell composite tickets from Zagreb to other destinations via Belgrade or vice versa because Serbia is not an EU member. It argued that tickets for various legs of the journey must be sold separately. “Air Serbia can’t, for example, sell a ticket from Zagreb to Moscow, Doha or Brussels via Belgrade as a single ticket. It must be two individual tickets", it said. The accusations came weeks after the airline announced it would launch double daily flights between Belgrade and Zagreb. The CCAA has said Air Serbia is acting as “an unfair competitor” by selling transfer tickets via Belgrade at lower prices, allegedly breaching its agreement with the Croatian aviation regulator. The CCAA has filed “multiple indictment proposals against a foreign airline company for failing to comply with the provisions of the [Croatian] Aviation Act”, the Agency has said. Despite the ongoing dispute, Air Serbia continues to sell tickets to various destinations out of the Croatian capital via Belgrade. The carrier has previously denied any wrongdoing and said it is operating in accordance with European civil aviation regulations.
Talks between Zadar Airport and Air Serbia were launched in 2015 over potential flights. Despite the negotiations, the service was never launched. Last year, Zadar Airport told EX-YU Aviation News that the route failed to materialise "partly because of the cancellation of financial support on behalf of the Croatian Tourist Board". It added, "This service would have been a great opportunity for Zadar because we know the route would have excellent loads. Zadar Airport will continue to negotiate and persist in having a Zadar - Belgrade connection just like other Croatian airports, such as Pula, Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik". The last scheduled commercial flight between Zadar and Belgrade was operated by JAT Yugoslav Airlines on August 3, 1991. Brač Airport has also been negotiating with Air Serbia for seasonal service from Belgrade over the past year.