Air Serbia will tap the long-haul leisure market

Air Serbia has previously explored the possibilities of launching long-haul flights to distant leisure destinations, but concluded that there was insufficient demand. In 2016, the airline said: “There are very few destinations where you can fly the A330 that will be attractive to tour operators. Serbia is a price-sensitive market and when we gauged interest in charters to Thailand – which is further afield than New York – the savings needed to break even were too great. Another option we considered was the Caribbean, but that also cannot be supported by a market like Serbia,” former national airline CEO Dane Kondić said six years ago.

Several years later, market conditions have changed and figures indicate that there are sufficient numbers of passengers from Belgrade to potential leisure hotspots. Over the past five years, Serbian tour operators have significantly diversified their travel packages, with many offering vacations to Cuba, Bali, Seychelles, Maldives, Mexico, Zanzibar and Sri Lanka. In addition, the Serbian government has signed a number of air service agreements and memoranda over the past few years with countries that may be of interest for possible long-haul leisure operations, including the Dominican Republic and the Sri Lanka. Based on data from global travel provider OAG, the table below displays passengers who flew indirectly between Belgrade and some distant destinations on a single route during the pre-pandemic period 2019. It does not include travelers who may have chosen to fly from different airports. or more than one route.

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