Serbia Sees Its First Domestic Flight In 16 Years

Air Serbia inaugurated its new route from Belgrade to Niš yesterday, marking the start of the first scheduled domestic service in the country since Montenegro split from Serbia over fifteen years ago. The route launch is one of many that Air Serbia is doing as a result of winning a whopping $27 million tender awarded by the Serbian Government last month.

Air Serbia launched is now flying from Belgrade to Niš. Photo: Air Serbia

Air Serbia inaugurates Belgrade-Niš flights

As of yesterday, Thursday 6th January 2022, Serbia once again has an airline operating a scheduled domestic service in the country. This has not been the case since 2006, when Serbia was a different country known as Serbia and Montenegro. Until then, flights between Serbia’s Belgrade Airport (BEG) and Montenegro’s Podgorica (TGD) and Tivat (TIV) airports were domestic services, but in 2006 they became international flights.

The new route details for the 40-minute BEG-INI flight are as follows (outbound only):

  • Flight JU1102 (A319) departs Belgrade (BEG) on Thursdays at 13:20 and arrives in Niš (INI) at 14:00
  • Flight JU1102 (ATR72) departs Belgrade (BEG) on Saturdays at 14:50 and arrives in Niš (INI) at 15:45
  • Flight JU1104 (ATR72) departs Belgrade (BEG) on Thursdays at 17:10 and arrives in Niš (INI) at 18:05
  • Flight JU1106 (A319) departs Belgrade (BEG) on Saturdays at 00:15 and arrives in Niš (INI) at 00:55
  • Starting 29th March 2022, there is also flight JU1106 (A319) on Tuesdays, leaving Belgrade (BEG) at 00:15 and arriving in Niš (INI) at 00:55

An unusual schedule

The schedule is complicated because the chief purpose of this route is for Air Serbia to make revenue on the ferry flight between Belgrade and Niš because the airline has a growing network out of Niš but no aircraft based there. It also does not operate any w-rotations to link Niš with international destinations using a Belgrade-based aircraft.

This also explains the unusual schedule of a four-weekly service where flights operate only twice a week but twice daily. In the summer schedule there will also be a fifth rotation on a Tuesday.

On the way back, arriving in Belgrade, the schedule is as follows:

  • Flight JU1107 (ATR72) departs Niš (INI) on Fridays at 05:05 and arrives in Belgrade (BEG) at 06:00
  • Flight JU1101 (A319) departs Niš (INI) on Fridays at 11:00 and arrives in Belgrade (BEG) at 11:40
  • Flight JU1107 (ATR72) departs Niš (INI) on Sundays at 04:50 and arrives in Belgrade (BEG) at 05:45
  • Flight JU1101 (A319) departs Niš (INI) on Sundays at 08:50 and arrives in Belgrade (BEG) at 09:30
  • Starting 30th March 2022, flight JU1103 (A319) departs Niš (INI) on Wednesdays at 15:20 and arrives in Belgrade (BEG) at 16:00

More route launches are coming

As a result of winning the aforementioned $27 million government tender, Air Serbia is inaugurating six brand new routes, resuming three, and continuing to operate one existing route (INI-HHN).

The routes that the airline already launched as part of this tender are:

  • 4th January 2022: Niš (INI) – Istanbul (IST)
  • 5th January 2022: Kraljevo (KVO) – Istanbul (IST)
  • 6th January 2022: Belgrade (BEG) – Niš (INI)
  • 6th January 2022: Niš (INI) – Ljubljana (LJU) (route resumption)
  • 7th January 2022: Niš (INI) – Cologne (CGN)

And the following route launches are coming soon:

  • Summer 2022: Niš (INI) – Tivat (TIV)
  • Summer 2022: Niš (INI) – Athens (ATH)
  • Summer 2022: Kraljevo (KVO) – Tivat (TIV)
  • Summer 2022: Kraljevo (KVO) – Thessaloniki (SKG)

What do you think of Air Serbia operating domestic flights out of Belgrade for the first time since 2006? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.

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