Air Serbia Increases Connections To Turkey

Air Serbia has boosted its capacity between Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport and Turkey, just months after it signed an extensive codeshare agreement with Turkish Airlines. At the same time, Turkish Airlines has been sending widebody aircraft to Serbia, so it too is boosting its presence in the country.

Air Serbia
Air Serbia has greatly benefited from the codeshare agreement with Turkish Airlines. Photo: Getty Images

Frequencies are going up

In an announcement this morning, Air Serbia outlined the scale of its planned expansion of operations to Turkey. Starting in just over two weeks, on Saturday, September 19th, the flag carrier of Serbia will run seven weekly flights between Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport and Istanbul Airport, which recently opened its third runway.

All flights on the route will be operated with Air Serbia’s Airbus A319 aircraft and will last 100 minutes. After this increase in frequency takes place, Air Serbia will be offering a total of 2,016 seats between Istanbul and Belgrade on a weekly basis.

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Currently, Air Serbia operates flights on this route on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The airline has been flying to Istanbul since December 2019, though the route had previously been operational before it was suspended as part of Air Serbia’s network reduction process in 2017.

Air Serbia A320 Belgrade Airport
The increase in frequencies comes at a great time for Air Serbia, as there is presently much less demand for flights to Europe than usual. Photo: Getty

Excellent news for Air Serbia

Jiri Marek, the General Manager Commercial and Strategy at Air Serbia, marked the occasion stating,

“Adding two weekly flight to Istanbul is a clear indicator of the increasing demand by our passengers for flights to the city on the Bosphorus, as well as the good connections that Air Serbia offers via Belgrade to Vienna, Berlin, Zurich, Paris, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Ljubljana, Podgorica, Prague, Tivat, Zagreb, Stuttgart and other European cities.”

The range of destinations mentioned by Mr. Marek indicates that Air Serbia was motivated to increase the number of frequencies on its Istanbul-Belgrade flights in part due to their transfer potential.

This is exactly the kind of news that Air Serbia needs at present because it has been hit hard by the ongoing travel restrictions. Serbia is not in the European Union, and, as such, Serbian citizens still face severe restrictions on travel across the continent. Just last month, news emerged that Air Serbia is not able to repay its $115 million debt to Etihad Airways Partners. However, this is an issue that precedes the pandemic.

Turkish Airlines tail
Turkish Airlines and Air Serbia signed a codeshare agreement last month. Photo: Getty Images

Turkish Airlines and Air Serbia are now partners

The news of increased capacity between Istanbul and Belgrade comes just a month after Air Serbia and Turkish Airlines signed an extensive codeshare agreement. The agreement led to an immediate partnership on the Belgrade-Istanbul route, from 15th August.

The agreement also included an intent to expand the partnership to a further 14 routes in Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Do you think Air Serbia is likely to fill seven aircraft weekly on its route from Istanbul Airport to Belgrade Nikola Tesla? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.