Air Serbia is considering future options for its dedicated charter brand Aviolet, which was launched in the summer of 2014. Utilising four Boeing 737-300 aircraft, Aviolet is fully operated by Air Serbia but offers a different on board product with an all-economy cabin and a buy-on-board service. Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News, Air Serbia's CEO, Dane Kondić, said, “Aviolet was created as a brand to take advantage of the old aircraft in terms of how we gave them separation to the mainline fleet. We will always be in the charter market, because that is the nature of the outbound Serbian market. While we have those aircraft, they will be branded as Aviolet”.
However the Serbian national carrier is considering evolving the dedicated charter brand and looking at a number of options. Mr Kondić said, “We are looking at Aviolet, as part of our five year review, and what the potential is to broaden our charter offering. Aviolet remains a good option for us but the interesting thing is to see if it has legs to do something more than just what it is currently doing”.
Last winter season, for instance, Air Serbia explored the possibility of introducing long haul charters with its Airbus A330-200 aircraft. However, following talks with tour operators, it was decided against such a move due to a lack of interest for long haul widebody charters. “There are very few destinations where you can fly the A330 that are going to be appealing to tour operators. Serbia is a price sensitive market and when we gauged interest for charters to Thailand – which is further to fly to than New York – the economics required to make it breakeven were too large. Another option we considered was the Caribbean, but that also can't be sustained from a market such as Serbia”, Mr Kondić explained.