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Air Serbia has announced its second set of new routes for the 2023 summer season

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Air Serbia has announced its second set of new routes for the 2023 summer season with the addition of four cities in Europe. The carrier will add Cologne, Gothenburg, Hamburg and Marseille. The four new routes will all be served three times per week with the exception to Marseille, its third destination in France, which will run two times per week. It will mark the first time Belgrade has been linked to the French city with a scheduled air service. The new additions to the network are in line with the carrier’s strategy to expand its operations with a focus on connectivity and leisure.

Air Serbia will resume operations to Hamburg for the first time since 2019. It initially launched flights to the German city on a year-round basis in 2016 but later downgraded the service to summer seasonal operations. It will compete directly against Wizz Air, which has since launched operations between the two city. Air Serbia will resume services between Belgrade and Gothenburg for the first time since it was rebranded in 2013. Up until then, Jat Airways maintained flights between the two. It will compete against Wizz Air on the route. The Serbian carrier briefly served the Swedish city from Niš in 2019. On the other hand, Cologne is one of Belgrade Airport’s busiest unserved destinations and is operated from Niš. In addition to the abovementioned new routes, Air Serbia has previously announced the addition of Chicago, Catania, Palermo, Naples and Florence to its network in the summer of 2023. More new routes are set to be announced in the coming days.

Air Serbia has registered a strong performance during the penultimate month of the year, with the carrier handling over 200.000 passengers in November, while the average cabin load factor exceeded 80% for the most part. Considered one of the slowest months in the aviation industry, the Serbian carrier operated 2.536 flights, up 10% on the pre-pandemic 2019, while passenger numbers grew 15% on the same year. Its busiest routes during the month were Paris, New York, Zurich, London, Istanbul, Podgorica and Amsterdam. During the January – November period, Air Serbia handled over 2.5 million travellers, reaching 96% of its 2019 passenger levels.
Speaking at the CAPA Aviation Summit in Gibraltar, Air Serbia’s CEO, Jiri Marek, said, “This year we really capitalised on the things we prepared during Covid such as cost optimalisation. We managed to bring our costs down by 25% and we completely changed our focus for the summer season where we put an emphasis on leisure and diaspora routes. We opened almost twenty new routes this year, which, for an airline of our size, is pretty aggressive growth and it performed well. Today we are in profit, both operational and net profit. In September we were a bit worried about the rest of the year, but we saw that the season was extended quite nicely, and we didn’t see the typical drop in demand, like the one we had in 2019. October was as good as September and during the first two weeks in November the load factor was over 80% which never happened to us before. At the moment, we will end the year with operational and net profit”, EX-YU aviation writes.
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