Air Serbia has recently resumed flight operations to a number of destinations, including Italy, Spain and France. Now, the airline plans to recommence flights to Israel and Russia from the start of August. The news comes as Russia announced it will no longer require foreigners to self-isolate for 14 days from tomorrow.
Air Serbia Airbus A319 leased from Avalon. Photo by Ervin Eslami | AeroNewsX
The Serbian flag carrier began to resume flights from the end of June and has recently recommenced services to the Greek and Spanish market in addition to re-establishing air traffic on its seasonal Belgrade-Nice route. Jiří Marek, Air Serbia's General Commercial Manager and Strategy, said they were “glad to rebuild the aerial bridges to Madrid and Barcelona, two destinations which garnered extremely great interest among our passengers as soon as we had introduced them last year.” He added that Nice has become “a destination that has been very popular among our passengers from the very beginning.” This week will also see Air Serbia introduce a new service to Oslo from July 16th.
Air Serbia recently announced that the airline plans on resuming services to Russia and Israel from the beginning of August. Israel plans to lift their ban on international arrivals from August 1st with Air Serbia planning on resuming services to Tel Aviv from the 3rd of August. Air Serbia also plans to resume services to Russia from the start of August, with “flights to Moscow, St. Petersburg and Krasnodar”.
However, Russian health officials have recommended that international services should resume earlier. With the new health advice, Russia has announced that from Wednesday (15th July), there will be no mandatory quarantine period for foreigners on arrival. Instead, Russian citizens and foreign visitors will need to test negative for COVID-19 within the past 72 hours to be allowed entry.
In a decree from the Russian consumer protection watchdog, Rospotrebnadoz, those arriving into Russia will need to present proof in English or Russian that they have tested negative for coronavirus. According to the Rospotrebnadoz decree signed by its chief, Anna Popova, employers in Russia will also need to check medical documents of arriving employees.
The European Union reopened its borders on July 1st to international travellers from 15 countries outside of the EU, however, Member State border’s remain officially closed to Russian citizens. One of the countries that was on the European Union’s safe travel list was Serbia, which has allowed Air Serbia to recommence flights to a number of existing and new European destinations.
Air Serbia’s CEO, Duncan Naysmith, said: "We are delighted to recommence flights to such a large number of destinations, and in this way make an important contribution to the recovery of air transport in the region. We are glad that, after a very challenging period, we are able to lead the recovery of one of the economic sectors which were affected by the coronavirus pandemic the most."
Negotiations are still ongoing regarding Serbia’s membership with the European Union, but as they are currently not a member of the European Union they are allowed to open their borders to countries which they deem low risk, regardless of the European Union’s stance.