Air Serbia To Respond To Wizz Expansion

Air Serbia is set to respond to Wizz Air’s expansion in Belgrade in the coming days as the airline’s future continues to be discussed by its shareholders.

The Serbian carrier is drafting its own plans to better compete against its low cost competitor, which announced ten new routes from the Serbian capital on Tuesday.

Air Serbia will now see new direct competition on flights to Barcelona and Milan and indirect competition on services to Brussels and Zurich from the budget carrier.

Furthermore, Wizz Air will have a 1.3 million annual seat capacity in Belgrade alone due to the stationing of three Airbus A321s in the city. The low cost airline estimates it will have a market share of 15% in 2020 and handle over one million passengers to and from the Serbian capital in 2021.

Air Serbia is continuing to rebuild its network this week and plans to maintain flights to some forty destinations in July.
Services that will be resumed next month include Barcelona, Dubrovnik, Kiev, Larnaca, Madrid, Milan, Nice, Pula, Rome, Skopje, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki, Venice, Zadar and Zagreb.
In August, the Serbian carrier plans to restore services to Russia, by reinstating flights to Moscow, St. Petersburg and Krasnodar.
The carrier’s CEO, Duncan Naysmith, said, “We are delighted to recommence flights to such a large number of destinations, and in this way make an important contribution to the recovery of air transport in the region. We are glad that, after a very challenging period, we are able to lead the recovery of one of the economic sectors which has been affected the most by the coronavirus pandemic. We are among the first in this part of the world to start flying again, we are gradually increasing the weekly number of flights, and we continue to adapt our flight schedule to the future development of the situation”.

Meanwhile, the Serbian government held talks with the representative of Etihad Airways and the government of the United Arab Emirates on Monday in Belgrade concerning the EmiratE carrier’s future involvement in Air Serbia. The UAE official left on Tuesday and will relay information to the company and government before a final decision is made. Serbia is requesting for Etihad to cover part of the Serbian carrier’s losses incurred during the height of the coronavirus crisis. If Etihad, which registered a multibillion dollar loss last year, refuses to do so, the Serbian government said it would fully or partially renationalise the airline.


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