Air Serbia Eyes Summer Move To JFK’s Terminal 1

Air Serbia is switching terminals at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) from Terminal 4, where it has been continuously since 2016, to Terminal 1. The move will kick in on June 3rd this year. This will be Air Serbia’s first time at Terminal 1 in almost 50 years of on-and-off operations at New York JFK.

Air Serbia A330
Air Serbia has been flying to JFK on-and-off for almost 50 years. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

From Terminal 4 to Terminal 1

Starting June 3rd, Air Serbia’s single A330 aircraft, YU-ARA, will be landing and taking off from Terminal 1 at New York JFK. Up until that date, it will continue to use Terminal 4.

The move happens as JFK undergoes its major redevelopment project which will make Terminal 1 four times bigger than it currently is. With this move, Air Serbia will join the biggest international airlines serving New York, including Air France, Air China, Korean Air, Lufthansa, and Turkish Airlines.

However, at the same time, the move will make transfers more difficult for Air Serbia’s passengers continuing their journey into other North American destinations out of JFK. Air Serbia’s interline partner, JetBlue, uses Terminal 5. The transfer between Air Serbia’s new terminal, Terminal 1, and JetBlue’s Terminal 5, will be much more difficult than the transfer from Air Serbia’s current Terminal 4 is.

Air Serbia Airbus A330
New York JKF has been a great success for Air Serbia in 2020. Photo: Getty Images

The preparations begin

Air Serbia’s Vice President for the Americas, George Petković, commented on the news in a press release seen by Simple Flying by saying:

“We are proud to join the home of all main international airlines. Our passengers will be able to enjoy more space and smaller crowds, and in the near future, once the reconstruction is finished, Terminal 1 will be the most luxurious one in the whole of New York and the surrounding area.”

Meanwhile, Air Serbia has started informing its passengers about the move from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1 by text messages, via its website, and via all of its social media accounts. For example, it did so via its Twitter feed this morning:

Air Serbia is doing well at New York JFK

As Simple Flying reported at the time, Air Serbia was the airline with the highest load factor at New York JFK’s Terminal 4 in September 2020, with its average standing at 67%. This was the reason why the Serbian flag carrier increased capacity by almost 50% on its Belgrade-New York JFK flights in October 2020.

One reason for that was that Donald Trump’s ban on passenger entry from the European Union did not include Serbia, as Serbia is not an EU member state. Similarly, Serbia was maintaining a loose border policy itself, and, at the time, it used to allow arrivals from the USA into the country restriction-free.

Air Serbia’s Vice President for the Americas, George Petković, commented on the importance of the New York JFK-Belgrade route for the Serbian airline by stating:

“The U.S. is a very important market which is available to Serbia and the entire Southeast Europe thanks to us as the only airline in the region with a scheduled direct flight over the Atlantic.”

After all, for the time being, this is the airline’s sole long-haul passenger route, and it acts as a feeder to its regional network that is, as a result, more viable.

What do you think of Air Serbia’s move to Terminal 1 from Terminal 4? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.