Air Serbia’s CEO, Jiri Marek, has said the airline is considering introducing flights to Wroclaw, in Western Poland following the success of its newly launched service to Krakow this summer, and will review the possibility of restoring flights to Warsaw it discontinued in 2016, but will first seek cooperation with LOT Polish Airlines on the route. Speaking to “Rynek Lotniczy”, Mr Marek said, “We are very pleased with how Belgrade – Krakow – Belgrade flights are performing. We have had a very high load factor on the route from the beginning. Half of the passengers are transit travellers who fly via Belgrade to Croatia, Greece and the United States. The route has a very high potential to be operated daily from the new year”.
Commenting on its potential next destination on the Polish market, Mr Marek said, “In the near future, we may come to Wroclaw”. The CEO is confident the carrier will eventually restore operations to Warsaw but will first seek out cooperation with LOT Polish Airlines, which maintains flights between the two cities. “At this moment, LOT Polish Airlines connects Warsaw with Belgrade. We are talking about entering into a codeshare agreement. We believe that such cooperation makes more sense. Warsaw is a destination tailored to jet operations, and our jet planes fly to places where we can make a profit. Sooner or later Warsaw will join our network. We are at the beginning of talks. Air Serbia has already had a codeshare agreement with LOT in the past. Interestingly, when I worked for LOT, I signed them”.
The airline’s priority in developing its network is to first target destinations with high volumes of point-to-point traffic. “Our strategy is to offer point-to-point services, we don’t want our traffic to be dominated by transfers. Currently, transit traffic oscillates around 30%. Some of our routes are “pure” transfer, such as Tirana, but on routes to leisure destinations such as Palma de Mallorca or Valencia, point-to-point traffic dominates. Usually, it is above 90%. The first choice will be routes where we can offer point-to-point services”, the CEO said. The airline plans to introduce flights to China as soon as it secures a third wide-body aircraft but will also work on stabilising its services this winter following an operationally challenging summer. “Of course, there are always new network development options, but we want the current network to become more mature. We will increase frequencies and improve international connectivity”, Mr Marek said. He added. “I would say that at the moment, our main goal is to make sure that development in Belgrade is possible. We are struggling with issues faced by the airport operator. We need a buffer, so we want to stabilise the execution of our operations”.
Photo curtsey of Aleksa Vladisavljević