Following a review of its five-year business plan, Air Serbia will strengthen its short-haul network over the coming months through selected measures.

The carrier will outfit its Airbus A319 and A320 narrow-body aircraft with slimmer seats to increase capacity and better utilize its aircraft by focusing on flying to European markets.

The Belgrade-based airline will also suspend its medium-haul service between Belgrade and Abu Dhabi, effective 29 October 2017. This will allow Air Serbia to redeploy the A319 currently serving the market on shorter routes to maximize returns.

Guests of Air Serbia will still be able to travel to the capital of the United Arab Emirates with the airline’s strategic and codeshare partner Etihad Airways, which will continue to operate daily flights.

Dane Kondić, Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia, said:

“After conducting an extensive review of our five-year business plan, we have taken the decision to consolidate our network by focusing on our European routes. As part of this, we will be increasing the seat density on our Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft with seats which are better-suited for our shorter flights.

“We will also be suspending our second longest route, Belgrade – Abu Dhabi, which will enable Air Serbia to increase the utilization of our narrow-body Airbus fleet and maximize returns.

“These steps will increase revenue and help to balance the seasonal fluctuations in our traffic, enabling Air Serbia to keep up a strong pace of growth and mitigate the escalating cost of fuel and other services in the aviation industry.

“Our close partner, Etihad Airways, will continue to operate daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade, allowing Air Serbia to provide convenient codeshare connections for our guests.”