Indian SpiceJet launches charters in Belgrade
Indian low-cost airline SpiceJet will launch a series of charter flights from New Delhi to Belgrade, which are expected to operate throughout July. Services are maintained with the Boeing 737-800 aircraft with alternating flights via Yerevan in Armenia or Tbilisi in Georgia, for Indian travelers heading to the Serbian capital to undergo quarantine before they can continue their journey. Indian expats residing in the United Arab Emirates, United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and several others have been stranded in India for months as countries around the world have banned flights or arrivals from of the subcontinent in response to Covid-19. pandemic. As a result, Serbia, which is the only country in Europe that does not require visas for Indian nationals, has become a popular quarantine location.
According to Indian tour operators who sell three, fourteen and 22 day quarantine packages to Serbia, more than 1,000 Indian nationals have already visited the country. Carriers operating to Belgrade have also benefited from the influx of arrivals from the subcontinent, mainly Qatar Airways, Lufthansa, Flydubai and Turkish Airlines, which has caused them all to increase their frequencies or capacity in response. to the sudden increase in demand. On some flights from Belgrade, airlines record over 60% occupancy by Indian passport holders. SpiceJet flights will be primarily used by Indian expatriates in the United Arab Emirates. The United Arab Emirates has suspended inbound travelers from India and other South Asian countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka since April 24. Thousands of desperate travelers have chosen to return to the United Arab Emirates by quarantining themselves for fourteen days in Serbia.
Outside of the Covid era, India and Serbia have seen increasing demand for air travel. The subcontinent was Serbia’s sixth busiest long-haul market in 2019. New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad were the main sources of traffic between the two countries, with Delhi and Mumbai themselves accounting for 67% of all traffic. passengers between the two countries. Qatar Airways was the most popular transfer airline, handling 30% of the traffic. It was followed by Etihad Airways and Aeroflot. Serbia and India revised their air service agreement in March 2017. Under the agreement, Indian carriers can operate flights from any city in the country to any point in Serbia, while that Serbian carriers can fly from any city in Serbia to four metropolitan cities in India including New Delhi, Mumbai and two other points to be specified later. The last time Belgrade was linked with flights to India was just before the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, when JAT Yugoslav Airlines maintained services to Calcutta.