Air Serbia took the next step in evolution with the arrival of its first wide-body aircraft for a New York launch.
Air Serbia, the national airline of the Republic of Serbia, celebrated the next step in its history with the arrival of its first wide-body aircraft at Nikola Tesla Airport yesterday.
The Airbus A330 will be used on Air Serbia’s Belgrade-New York route, which launches on 23 June 2016, reconnecting Serbia and the United States with a direct air service for the first time in 24 years.
After landing in Belgrade, the aircraft was greeted by a traditional water cannon salute and a delegation of airline representatives. Onboard the historic flight was group of VIP stakeholders led by Siniša Mali, Chairman of Air Serbia and the Mayor of Belgrade, and Dane Kondić, Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia.
The aircraft was captained by Davor Mišeljić, Chief Operations Officer of Air Serbia, and will now be registered with the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate before returning to Abu Dhabi for the final outfitting of its interior cabins.
Mr Mali said: “This is a massive milestone for Air Serbia and for our nation. Watching our newly-painted Airbus A330 land at its new home in Belgrade for the very first time was a proud moment for us all, showing that Air Serbia is continuing to invest in the future of the airline and Serbia itself.
“Our first wide-body aircraft and the bigger cousin of our A319 and A320 jets, the A330 is a sound investment choice that will reconnect Serbia and the United States in a few short weeks, opening new channels of tourism and trade for the economy.”
Configured with 18 seats in Business Class and 236 in Economy Class, the Airbus A330 will be operated on Air Serbia’s new five-per-week service between Belgrade and New York.
The arrival of the A330 is the latest step in a major re-fleeting programme that began in 2013 and has seen the carrier introduce ten modern narrow-body Airbus aircraft in just over two years, reducing the average age of its jet fleet from 25 to 10 years.
Mr Kondic said: “The arrival of our Airbus A330 this afternoon was an historic occasion for Air Serbia and a sign of the bright future that lies ahead of us.
“The A330 is modern and fuel-efficient aircraft that opens up many growth opportunities for the airline and will allow us to launch long-haul service to New York, greatly simplifying travel and offering the fastest connection between the Balkans and the United States.
“In the coming weeks the aircraft will be completely refurbished with new Business and Economy cabins which, coupled with our fantastic service offering, will provide guests with an unparalleled travel experience over the Atlantic.“
Product and service highlights of the A330 aircraft include inflight entertainment systems at every seat featuring a selection of films, movies and other entertainment in Serbian and English, lie-flat seats in Business Class and redesigned menus, including a dine-on-demand service for Business Class guests.