Kiev – Belgrade flights to endAerosvit Airlines, one of Ukraine's two flag carriers, will suspend services from Kiev to Belgrade from June 9. The “Aviokarta” portal reports that Aerosvit will end its 4 weekly flights citing “technical reasons”. Aerosvit introduced flights to Belgrade several years ago, hoping to profit from transit passengers heading to the former Soviet republics and the United States. However, the service never managed to attract large amounts of passengers. An aggressive marketing campaign in Belgrade last year led the airline to increase its 3 weekly flights to 4 this summer, only to be cancelled. The cancellation will be in force until the end of the 2011 summer season. Whether the service will resume during the 2011/2012 winter season remains to be seen. Aerosvit will introduce several long haul flights to Asia this summer.
Since the implementation of the Open Sky Agreement in Serbia in 2009 another high profile national carrier, British Airways, cancelled its services. Due to company restructuring Greece’s Olympic Air also terminated flights to Belgrade only to resume its Athens service this summer. Furthermore, the Czech national carrier, ČSA, is also considering dumping Belgrade as it struggles with its own financial problems. Nevertheless, excluding Aerosvit, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is currently served by 17 national carriers, increasing to 18 on June 20 when Croatia Airlines commences 2 weekly flights to the city. The three airlines with the largest share of passengers operating out of the Serbian capital are all national flag carriers – Jat Airways, Montenegro Airlines and Lufthansa.