Air Serbia has expressed interest in adding Porto as its second destination in Portugal based on slot request reports with coordinator NAV Portugal. It comes following the success of its new Lisbon service launched this April, which has proven extremely popular with both point-to-point and transfer passengers alike. Based on the requests, the airline plans to serve Lisbon on a year-round basis and could potentially opt to launch services to Portugal’s second largest city as early as this winter. Belgrade and Porto have never been linked with a nonstop air service. Porto Airport, which is operated by VINCI, is considered the country’s leisure gateway. As the Spanish region of Galicia is nearby, just 120 kilometres by car, 10% of passengers travelling through Porto Airport are estimated to be of Galician origin.
Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News earlier this year, Air Serbia’s CEO, Jiri Marek, said, “There are still a couple of routes we are looking at in Europe, but I would not disclose them just yet. As a hint, the new routes might be outside of our current bank structures so we might start to create additional banks, for example like our flight to London, within this wave of departures. The routes we are looking into involve longer flying time. Maybe some of them will come as early as next year. However, I would not rule out an even earlier introduction”.
Speaking to the “Tanjug” newsagency last week, Mr Marek said Air Serbia plans to continue growing when it secures the necessary capacity. The Serbian carrier has added 22 new routes since the start of the year. “We are very satisfied with all the steps taken so far and the newly launched routes. All are performing well. Of course, some better than others. When you plan for a new destination, it takes some time for it to develop. However, we are noticing a new trend, especially in the post-Covid period, where every new route starts working from day one. We have many examples of new routes being completely sold out within a few weeks of going on sale”.