Thailand

Air Serbia evaluates winter long-haul leisure routes

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Air Serbia said it was researching long-haul leisure routes that could operate in the winter, however, the airline noted that it was targeting less-served destinations. The airline expects to take delivery of its third Airbus A330-200 jet before the start of the 2023/24 winter season, with a fourth likely to be delivered shortly thereafter. Air Serbia CEO Jiri Marek said in an interview with “ch-aviation” that “as the long-haul fleet grows, seasonality is less and less of an issue…We have an active business purpose Land list case. We’re just waiting to get the plane going – until it’s the other way around, you’ve got the plane and you’re looking at where you can use it. We’re definitely looking at recreational winter destinations, but more like some niche market because everyone is putting capacity into Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.”

Air Serbia came close to adding Havana to its network of destinations during the last winter season, but ultimately did not go as planned. In March, Leyde Rodriguez Hernandez, the Cuban ambassador to Serbia, held talks with Air Serbia management about a possible flight between Belgrade and Havana. The two sides agreed to maintain communication and create appropriate conditions for the eventual launch of direct flights between the capital cities of the two countries supported by local travel agencies. According to global travel provider OAG, cities that can be considered as high-demand leisure destinations for Belgrade include Bangkok, Pattaya, Denpasar (Bali), Male (Maldives), Havana, Colombo, Seychelles, Zanzibar, Mauritius, Cancun and Varadero are in Cuba.

Earlier this year, Mr Marek commented in an interview with EX-YU Aviation News: “For us, leisure destinations will be more opportunistic, I mean niche destinations, not strategic. Destinations. For example, Bangkok has high demand in winter, but due to overcapacity in that market, we may be able to achieve full capacity, but due to strong competition from Middle Eastern airlines, yields are lower, we may achieve full capacity and not be profitable. However , we’ll be looking at winter leisure destinations. Obviously, we’ll be working a lot with tour operators. In the past, we’ve been looking at Mombasa or Zanzibar and a few other options, but it will always be a synergy between us and tour operators.”

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