The Civil Aviation Administration of China has granted approval for Air Serbia to launch nonstop flights between Belgrade and Guangzhou. The Serbian carrier has been issued rights for three weekly services on the route. It comes months after the airline was given approval to launch operations to Shanghai. The permits will now enable Air Serbia to launch flights to both cities, which it has earmarked for its China expansion, to complement existing services to Tianjin, which will be increased from one to two per week starting October 31. Located in Southern China, Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is some 120 kilometres from Hong Kong and is a major port and transportation hub. It is also one of China’s largest cities with 18.7 million residents.
Commenting on its long-haul development, Air Serbia’s CEO, Jiri Marek, recently said, “It is no secret that as soon as we get more aircraft we will start to grow in China, where we see a lot of opportunities. It all depends on the market. Currently we see problems in the supply chain, but we anticipated that this summer. Our short-term plan is to grow in China. We currently fly to Tianjin. We have secured permits for flights to Shanghai, and we are close to securing Guangzhou as well. We have enough destinations in China and a soon we get more aircraft, we will continue to grow there”.
Air Serbia’s first new destination in China will depend on where it first manages to secure better slots. “Wherever we manage to secure slots first will be the one we will expand to next. Once we expand to these cities in China, we will most likely add another destination in North America and, in the near future, we will also look beyond China in the Far East, most likely South Korea and Japan”, Mr Marek said recently.