Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will commence daily nonstop flights between its home base of Abu Dhabi and Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, from June 15, 2013.
JatAirways, Serbia’s national carrier, will place its JU code on the new service, as well as to 21 destinations on the Etihad Airways network. In return Etihad Airways will place its EY code on 23 of JatAirways’ European flights. All subject to government and regulatory approval.
These new Etihad Airways flights will help provide better access to Belgrade for several hundred thousand Serbian nationals living around the world.
Etihad Airways will operate a two cabin Airbus A319 aircraft on the service between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade, configured to carry 106 passengers, with 16 seats in Pearl Business Class and 90 seats in Coral Economy Class.
The announcement was made today, Monday April 15, at a media conference in Belgrade hosted by James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr Hogan was joined at the media conference by Vladimir Ognjenović, JatAirways’ Chief Executive Officer.
Mr Hogan said: “The launch of Etihad Airways’ flights between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade, and the partnership development with JatAirways, will cater for the significant and growing demand for air travel between the UAE and Serbia, as well as cities with large Serbian populations around the world, particularly in Australia and the US.
“Etihad Airways’ strategy of working closely with a local partner in new markets has brought impressive results and we are confident that the cooperation with JatAirways will benefit both airlines and, most of all, air travellers who will now have better connections and services to and from Serbia.”
Among the many benefits that the Etihad Airways’ Belgrade service will bring is seamless connectivity with the airline’s flights between Abu Dhabi and Melbourne and Sydney, supporting the strong historical and cultural links between Serbia and Australia.
Currently there are more than 100,000 Australian citizens of Serbian ancestry, mostly residing in Melbourne and Sydney.
Vladimir Ognjenović, JatAirways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “It is our great pleasure to welcome Etihad Airways to Belgrade and codeshare with the UAE’s national airline and the world’s leading airline. We look forward to increasing the number of passengers travelling between Belgrade and Abu Dhabi and enhancing the relationship between Serbia and the UAE.
“The expanded codeshare will also provide Serbian nationals with great opportunities to travel beyond Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways and to destinations in the Middle East, Far East, Africa and Australia. We are also excited to place the EY code on JatAirways’ flights across the Balkan Region and Europe and build upon Belgrade’s great role as a hub.”
As part of the codeshare agreement, subject to government and regulatory approval, JatAirways will place its JU code on Etihad Airways flights to Abu Dhabi and beyond to Bangkok, Beijing, Brisbane, Chengdu, Chicago, Colombo, Ho Chi Minh City, Islamabad, Johannesburg, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Lahore, New York, Melbourne, Seychelles, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.
In return, subject to government and regulatory approval, Etihad Airways will place its EY code on JatAirways flights between Belgrade and Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Rome, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Istanbul, Heathrow, Larnaca, Milan, Moscow, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Thessaloniki, Tivat, Vienna and Zurich.
JatAirways will also place its code on a number of the flights operated by Etihad Airways’ equity partner, airberlin. A major highlight of this would be the provision of a direct link for passengers travelling from Belgrade, via Berlin, to Chicago in the US.
The capital of Illinois has the second largest Serbian population of any city in the world, with an estimated 200,000 Serb nationals living in Chicago, and up to 500,000 residents of Serb origin.
Belgrade will become the third of six new destinations to be served by Etihad Airways in 2013, following the launch in March of flights to Washington, D.C., and in May to Amsterdam.
Services will commence later this year to Sao Paulo, Brazil; Sana’a, Yemen; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.