Air Serbia plans to continue developing its long-haul network with China its priority in the upcoming period. However, the carrier also has longer-term plans to cover numerous far-away markets, a number of which are in Asia. Speaking to the “Tanjug” newsagency, Air Serbia’s CEO, Jiri Marek, 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”.
Despite China being the priority market, Air Serbia also plans to add new destinations in North America as well. “Following China, we will continue to grow on the American market. We are considering Toronto and Miami, which we mentioned a number of times. After that we hope there will be enough destinations in North America in the years to come”, Mr Marek said. Air Serbia’s existing long-haul network includes New York, Chicago and Tianjin. “Flights from Chicago to Belgrade have sold out very quickly. As we move forward into the season, we also see that flights from Belgrade to Chicago are filling up. We are satisfied with this route”. The CEO added the carrier would further grow its operations to New York if it had spare capacity. During the height of the 2023 summer season, Air Serbia is maintaining a daily service to the Big Apple.
Further afield, Air Serbia plans to develop its network in Asia. “Tokyo and Seoul are being looked at as previously mentioned, as well as Delhi, which is an important market. However, these will not come in the near future, and we are still in the phase of analysing these destinations”, Mr Marek said. Last month, the Presidents of Serbia and India announced plans to initially provide subsidies to airlines for the introduction of nonstop flights between the two countries. Serbia’s President, Aleksandar Vučić, said, “Both privately-owned airlines in India, as well as our flag carrier, Air Serbia, will consider the support and subsidies that both countries will provide to interested companies in order to establish nonstop flights between Belgrade and Delhi. We are trying to start nonstop flights between India and Serbia as soon as possible. This will help a lot in terms of business and tourism in both countries”.