The renewal of Air Serbia’s Airbus fleet is approaching
The Serbian government’s plan to renew its national carrier’s Airbus fleet after the cancellation of an order for ten A320neo jets in 2018 is approaching next year, with clear signs that the airline is looking to replace its old jets. floats by more recent ones. Serbian Finance Minister Siniša Mali, who served as chairman of Air Serbia’s supervisory board between 2013 and 2018, previously said the carrier would replace its A319 and A320 planes between 2022 and 2025. moved for the period between 2022 and 2025, because the planes we have hired so far have proven to be very efficient, ”Mali said at the time. However, over the years, the finance minister has not had the best record in publicizing Air Serbia’s fleet plans, previously announcing that the airline’s ATR turboprop engines would be completely replaced and that a second wide-body jet would join in 2016, none of which materialized.
The coronavirus pandemic has seen Air Serbia downsize its fleet and renegotiate rental contracts. However, the need for additional aircraft was illustrated during the summer when the airline was forced to hire a Boeing 737-700 with crew to meet the demand for leisure flights. Last month it returned its oldest A319 to the lessor, with its second oldest also grounded last month. In total, the airline now has ten A319s, one A320, one A330-200 and five ATR72s in its fleet. During the past year, it has also returned an A320 and an ATR72 to its owners and withdrawn three Boeing 737-300s. At the same time, it added two old Adria Airways A319s for which it had signed leases before the coronavirus pandemic and replaced its widebody A330-200 with an aircraft of the same type.
The average age of Air Serbia’s fleet is nineteen years, with ATRs being by far the oldest, with an average of almost 28 years. In 2018, Etihad Airways canceled its order for ten A320neo aircraft manufactured exactly eight years ago, which were to be delivered to its capital partner Air Serbia. Deliveries were initially scheduled to begin in November 2018 and were to completely replace the airline’s current A319 and A320 fleet by 2020. The aircraft was also to be used to open up new markets in North Africa and Asia. central. Last year, Air Serbia put aside its plan to rent additional ATR72s due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.