It seems that Air Serbia is making use of its Airbus A330 fleet, with plans to launch a route to Chicago O’Hare next summer.
Air Serbia Airbus A330-200 featuring Nikola Tesla – Image, Air Serbia.
The new route will commence operating between Belgrade and Chicago O’Hare on 17th May 2023. It will mark the first time in 30 years a Serbian airline has served Chicago. The launch follows the New York route the airline has operated since 2016 and the recent announcement of an expansion of its services to China.
Flights will operate twice a week between 17th May 2023 to 11th June on Wednesdays and Saturdays. From 12th June 2023, this will scale to three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The planned operation as provided by Air Serbia is below:
|Flight Number||Effective||Frequency||Depart||Departure Time||Arrival||Arrival Time||Block Time|
|JU0506||17-May-23||Wednesday||Belgrade (BEG)||06:50||Chicago (ORD)||10:50||11:00|
|JU0506||20-May-23||Saturday||Belgrade (BEG)||17:20||Chicago (ORD)||21:20||11:00|
|JU0506||12-Jun-23||Monday||Belgrade (BEG)||12:50||Chicago (ORD)||16:50||11:00|
|JU0507||17-May-23||Wednesday||Chicago (ORD)||12:40||Belgrade (BEG)||05:30||09:50|
|JU0507||20-May-23||Saturday||Chicago (ORD)||23:10||Belgrade (BEG)||16:00||09:50|
|JU0507||12-Jun-23||Monday||Chicago (ORD)||18:40||Belgrade (BEG)||11:30||09:50|
The routes will be operated by Air Serbia with their Airbus A330-200 fleet – of which, they have two currently. These are configured with Business and Economy Class seating aboard the aircraft.
However, you might want as much comfort as possible, as the flight is booked for an 11-hour block on the way to Chicago and nearly 10 hours on the return leg.
For those seeking to connect, Air Serbia will be in a position to offer connections from its Belgrade hub, offering connections to other cities in its network, such as Athens, Vienna, Berlin, Bologna, Bucharest, Dubrovnik, Istanbul, Larnaca, Ljubljana, Prague, Pula, Podgorica, Rome, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia, Tivat, Venice and Zagreb.
For those connecting, there are interline partnerships with both American Airlines and Jetblue, which should allow for easier connections.
The airline is offering lead-in pricing of €640 for a round trip, with tickets on sale now.
George Petković, Vice President, Americas, Air Serbia said:
“After more than three decades, the JU 506/507 flight will mark the return of the national airline to Chicago. This is an extremely important city and we are certain that direct flights between Belgrade and Chicago will mean a lot not just to the Serbian diaspora, but also to the wider Balkans region. By introducing flights between those two cities, the region will be better connected to Chicago, and passengers will have more choices. With the good connections that Air Serbia offers we expect great interest for these direct flights, for those who want to continue their travel to other destinations,”
Looking to long haul
Air Serbia has been expanding its view of the world recently, with it adding a service to Tianjin in China, as well as strengthening its European network recently as it continues to operate and set out its own path in the world (especially with the airline in majority-government hands, with only a part of it owned by Etihad now).
However, long-haul ambitions have to be tempered with costs – and flying long-haul is an expensive matter. In the past, routes could be set up for prestige (as well as connectivity). However, we are very much in spreadsheet land these days, with a route needing to add up commercially to deliver.
Air Serbia is also going to have to be creative with its grand fleet of two Airbus A330s. Flying an intense network with a grand total of two wide-body aircraft is… a challenge.
Ask those who remember British Midland long-haul services how that went.
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