Serbia and Turkey concluded an inflexible Air Service Agreement four years ago which has now officially come into force after it was finally adopted by Turkey’s parliamentary committee last week. The deal, which has been in use in principle over the past few years, designates Air Serbia as Serbia’s operating carrier, while Turkey has nominated Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines and Atlasglobal. These four airlines will be able to maintain flights between the two countries with limitations in the number of operated flights and capacity. Atlasglobal was only able to introduce services between Istanbul and Belgrade due to Air Serbia’s withdrawal from the route which freed up pre-determined frequencies. The new agreement does not regulate charter operations between the two countries, which has been a contentious issue on several occasions. Acting in line with the agreement, the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate turned down Turkish Airlines’ request last year to deploy wide-body Airbus A330-200s on flights between Istanbul and Belgrade on a regular basis and later refused to allow the Turkish carrier to add an additional three weekly frequencies, for a total of seventeen, between the two cities. Under the agreement, each airline must take into consideration how their operations will affect their competitors, while regulators will be able to determine if any increase in capacity or frequencies is justified and in line with market conditions. Serbia’s parliament adopted the Air Service Agreement in 2016.
Source; EX-YU Aviation