The COVID-19 situation in the Balkan aviation industry

The coronavirus global pandemic is now a topic which has strongly impacted the travel and aviation industry. This hit has also been felt by the carriers in Southeastern Europe. Europe has been declared as the epicentre of this pandemic.

Croatia Airlines Dash 8 Q400. Photo by Ernest Leung | AeroNewsX

Montenegro, Serbia, North Macedonia and Kosovo have all closed their commercial airports for travel. Air Serbia and Montenegro Airlines have performed repatriation flights to rescue stranded passengers in Europe, in cities such as Istanbul, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Rome, Moscow, Budapest, Paris, Thessaloniki, Barcelona, Belgrade, London, Larnaca and Vienna, as well as intercontinental rescue flights to Doha and Los Angeles. WizzAir operated rescue flights around Europe on North Macedonia’s behalf.

In addition, Slovenia has closed its main Ljubljana Airport for all flights until further notice. Intra-EU flights were scheduled to restart tomorrow, but this deadline is likely to be extended. Bosnia and Herzegovina has decided to shut down it’s airports starting tomorrow.

This leaves Croatia as the only country which still performs commercial flights as of the 29th of March, 2020. Nonetheless, the country has shut down its coastal airports for international flights, and its national carrier, Croatia Airlines, postponed the launch of its new routes to Sofia and Podgorica to June. Furthermore, it saw demand and sales sink because of the global health situation.

No one is sure when the flights will restart and the situation will go back to normality, but this pandemic is causing problems for aviation all over the globe.

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