Air Serbia plans to further develop its hub-and-spoke model, connecting the region with the rest of Europe, and will place a greater emphasis on Central Europe as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Jiri Marek, General Manager of Commercial and Strategy at Air Serbia, told Business Traveler: “We would like to return to the level of 2019 and are on the right track in this regard. We will then continue to pursue the multilateral development strategy we planned before the pandemic and add proven elements of our crisis management. We are definitely thinking about a stronger presence in Central Europe, so we have already re-established the flights to Prague. Before the pandemic, we announced Lviv as a new destination in our network. We carefully examine possible routes in Bulgaria and Romania. Before Covid-19, Chisinau was also considered, so we will continue this regional development, ”said Marek. He added: “As for Poland, we would most likely be interested in starting our own service from Belgrade to one of the airports in the south of the country, perhaps Krakow”.
Mr Marek noted that Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be important regional markets for the Serbian airline. “These are markets in which we were strongly positioned before the pandemic. We were already present in Slovenia before the collapse of Adria Airways and were able to react quickly to the decline and expand our operations from Ljubljana. North Macedonia and Montenegro are also important to us. There’s a nice combination of heavy demand for travel to Belgrade as well as transit traffic in these markets. It’s the perfect combination for any airline. All you have to do is meet this demand with the right number of frequencies – and we are doing that by increasing our number of flights to Skopje and Podgorica. ”Mr Marek added:“ Slovenia is something in that regard otherwise, point-to-point traffic is more important here. Also worth mentioning is Tirana. We currently fly there eleven times a week and plan to develop this route further. We always wanted to be a regional leader and expand consistently. Therefore, we already announced the opening of six new routes before the pandemic and will continue to focus on further growing in Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine and opening up the region’s markets by offering convenient connections with the rest of Europe via Belgrade “.
Air Serbia believes that the ongoing expansion of Belgrade Airport will allow it to expand its operations further and develop its hub-and-spoke model. “We want to position ourselves as the leading regional airline in this part of Europe and believe that we have succeeded so far. We would like to continue this in the future. Belgrade Airport is currently undergoing a massive infrastructure upgrade and we will most likely see the first results of this process in October, so it is not an easy time. On the one hand, the market continues to react very quickly to the increased and growing demand; on the other hand, the airport is modernizing its infrastructure, which can cause some difficulties for passengers. However, we believe that after the renovation of the terminal and the redesign of the airport we will have every opportunity to implement our strategy without restricting the infrastructure, ”said Marek.