Air Serbia plans to resume flights between Belgrade and the United Arab Emirates about four years after cutting regular services to the country. The carrier has been on the lookout for new emerging opportunities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, launching three new routes since the start of the global health emergency. Due to its relaxed entry measures, Dubai has been one of the most popular destinations for Serbian leisure travelers since last June, when Flydubai resumed regular services between the two cities. It now maintains daily operations, which are comparable to pre-pandemic levels. There is also a growing demand for freight. In addition, Air Serbia itself is the founding member of UAE – Serbia Business Club, formed in 2019 with the aim of promoting economic cooperation and other forms of cooperation between the two countries.
Air Serbia maintained flights between Belgrade and Abu Dhabi from 2013 until the end of the 2017 summer season as part of its partnership with Etihad Airways. Prior to that, its predecessor, Jat Airways, operated service between Belgrade and Dubai from 2002 to 2012, with a brief move to Abu Dhabi in 2010. At the time, flights were primarily aimed at passengers transferring between Australia. , Serbia and Macedonia due to a partnership with Emirates, which ended once Flydubai launched its own operations. Although Air Serbia maintained non-stop flights to Abu Dhabi with its Airbus A319 aircraft, Jat was, for the most part, unable to provide service to Dubai on its non-stop Boeing 737-300. Over the years, the stop has moved between Larnaca, Beirut and Kuwait City, with the airline holding fifth freedom rights to carry passengers from the latter two to Dubai.
The Serbian carrier plans to launch operations to the United Arab Emirates towards the end of the summer season, which is seen as the start of peak travel season in the Gulf country. Currently, in addition to Flydubai’s daily service on the Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which will be replaced by the B737 MAX jet from July 1, Wizz Air maintains two weekly rotations between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade with its Airbus A321. Serbia and the United Arab Emirates have established a travel corridor, allowing fully vaccinated UAE citizens and residents to enter Serbia without any additional requirements, while Serbian citizens only need a PCR test to enter the United Arab Emirates.