Air Serbia has been forced to cancel a number of flights, with the airline blaming the development on the late arrival of leased aircraft, the prolonged maintenance of its jets and supply chain issues. The carrier cancelled twelve flights from Belgrade yesterday including Athens, Bucharest, Prague, Larnaca, Ljubljana, Thessaloniki, Tel Aviv, Tirana, Salzburg, Stuttgart, Sofia and Vienna. It will now “optimise” and “reorganise” its schedule for the coming period, warning of last-minute equipment changes, as well as delays and flight cancellations. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, the carrier is working on securing additional aircraft to restore its full schedule. Air Serbia has 77 departures planned from Belgrade today.
Commenting on the matter, Air Serbia said, “Due to the combined effects of a number of unfavourable factors, above all the later entry into service of certain planned aircraft, as well as the later entry in operation of several aircraft from maintenance due to supply chain issues of spare parts globally, as well as major problems at certain airports with a lack of manpower, unfavourable weather conditions and the consequential loss of slots, Air Serbia is forced to reorganise and optimise operations of its destination network in the coming period”. It added, “Bearing in mind the aforementioned factors, in the coming days there may be a changes in the type of aircraft planned on select flights, as well as delays and even cancellations of certain flights. Nevertheless, the competent services of the Serbian national airline will continuously adjust operations based on existing resources so that there are as few disruptions as possible and that operations are carried out in accordance with the planned flight schedule”.
Air Serbia has been late in taking delivery of ATR72-600 aircraft, the first of two which were supposed to arrive last month but has still not been delivered. The airline is currently wet-leasing two Boeing 737-800s, one Airbus A319 and A320 each, as well as two Dash 8 turboprops. The carrier is also in discussions with another lessor for options of up to another four turboprops, although initially, it will likely settle for just two of them. Furthermore, the national airline is negotiating the dry-lease of two A321s and one A330-200 aircraft. The addition of more jets is also being negotiated.