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Air Serbia announces ten airbus A320NEO aircraft for its fleet
2013-11-19 16:44:07
WAM ABU DHABI, 19th November, 2013 (WAM) -- Air Serbia, the national airline of the Republic of Serbia, today announced that ten next generation A320neo aircraft have been confirmed for its fleet.

The deal for Air Serbia, unveiled at the Dubai Air Show, is valued at over US$ 1 billion, and forms part of the major fleet order by its equity partner Etihad Airways, for up to 117 Airbus aircraft.

The A320neo will replace the eight A319 and two A320 aircraft, which are currently being leased in order to progressively retire the aging fleet of 10 Boeing 737-300 aircraft.

The new A320neo aircraft are expected to be delivered between 2018 and 2020.

The Airbus A320neo announcement follows the inaugural flight of the first Air Serbia-liveried A319 from Belgrade to Abu Dhabi on 26th October. The deal for Etihad Airways to acquire 49 per cent of Air Serbia and manage the airline under a five year management contract was announced on 1st August.

Dane Kondic, Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia, said the airline had a goal of being a world class airline and had moved rapidly to introduce the more modern Airbus A319s and A320s in order to immediately improve the travelling experience of its guests.

"The new fleet of Airbus A320neo aircraft is a key part of the strategy to re-position the airline as "best in class" with the most modern and comfortable single aisle aircraft. These aircraft will offer our guests the best cabin in the sky.

"With these A320neo aircraft we will set the benchmark in both product and service excellence as we extend our network to more destinations across Europe," Mr Kondic said.

Sinisa Mali, Adviser for Economy and Finance, Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Serbia, the majority shareholder of Air Serbia, said the Government had agreed with Etihad Airways to take the aircraft for Air Serbia.

"This is good for Air Serbia and the people of Serbia, because both have benefited from economies of scale resulting from Etihad Airways' very significant order with Airbus.

"Furthermore, through our partnership with Etihad Airways, a previous deposit payment made by Jat Airways has been credited against the pre-delivery payment for these aircraft.

"This is a very good result for the people of Serbia," said Mr. Mali.

Since Air Serbia has been operating, it has launched a new route from its hub at Belgrade's Nikola Tesla International Airport to Abu Dhabi. It is soon to launch flights to Banja Luka (Bosnia), Bucharest (Romania), Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Prague (Czech Republic). These new flights add to the 25 destinations already served by Air Serbia.

WAM/AM/CM
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