Air Serbia is set to take delivery of its tenth and last ATR72-600 aircraft, which was recently painted in the carrier’s livery in Toulouse. The eight-year-old frame previously operated for Azul and TAP Air Portugal. It has been registered YU-ASC. It marks the completion of Air Serbia’s drive to refleet and expand its turboprop fleet, a process it began in 2022. It previously operated three ATR72-200s and three ATR72-500s, most of which were almost thirty years old and delivered new to the carrier’s predecessor JAT Yugoslav Airlines. The average age of Air Serbia’s ATR72-600 fleet is now eight years. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, the airline will utilise two ATRs during the peak summer months as back-up to avoid operational disruptions, and, as a result will not immediately use the extra capacity to grow its network.

YU-ASC

Air Serbia’s CEO, Jiri Marek, previously said that a ten-member ATR fleet would suit the carrier’s needs. “The optimal size of the [ATR72 fleet] I would say is ten because then you can start benefiting from some economies of scale”, Mr Marek said. The airline is looking into potentially introducing business class on its ATR aircraft. The plane manufacturer presented its X-Space Table seating concept in 2022. ATR describes X-Space as a “plug and play” solution that allows airlines to convert double seats into premium seats, with the seatback and armrest on one side removed and replaced with a side table. Similar to Eurobusiness-style seats, where the central seat in a row of three aboard a narrow-body is not sold to provide more space, X-Space will allow ATR operators to offer a 1-1 layout in support of a premium class configuration. Air Serbia is considering becoming the launch customer for the seat. “This is an idea we strongly believe we have the business segment for. We are looking into it, but much depends on the progress of the project. A lot of these projects are presented now but will take time to develop”, Mr Marek said.
Since the Serbian carrier owns some of the ATR aircraft it has retired, the company studied the possibility of entering the freighter market and using the planes for cargo flights. However, those plans have been put on hold with passenger to freighter conversion slots being sparse. The carrier has also previously floated the idea of a naming concept for the ATR fleet, which would be related to the country’s geography rather than personalities, as featured on some of its Airbus jets. The carrier now moves its focus onto taking delivery of its first two Embraer E195 aircraft, as well as an additional two Airbus A330-200 jets.

Article source: http://www.exyuaviation.com/2024/06/air-serbia-completes-turboprop-fleet.html

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