Etihad Airways will start daily non-stop flights between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade from June 15.
Etihad will operate a two-cabin Airbus A319 aircraft on the route, offering 16 Pearl Business class seats and 90 Coral Economy class seats.
JatAirways, Serbia’s national carrier, will place its JU code on the new service, as well as to 21 destinations on the Etihad Airways network – predominantly across Asia – and in return, Etihad will place its EY code on 23 of JatAirways’ European flights (subject to government and regulatory approval).
Etihad Airways said the route will provide better access to Belgrade for several hundred thousand Serbian nationals living around the world.
In particular, it is eyeing traffic flows to and from Melbourne and Sydney, where there are more than 100,000 Australian citizens of Serbian ancestry, and Chicago, which boasts another large Serbian population, in conjunction with partner airberlin.
Etihad, for its part, will gain stronger access to central and south-east European markets as well as to some cities which it already serves (the 23 Jat destinations cover Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Rome, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Istanbul, Heathrow, Larnaca, Milan, Moscow, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Thessaloniki, Tivat, Vienna and Zurich).
The codeshare agreement was signed at a conference in Belgrade this lunchtime. Contrary to some reports, Etihad is not providing any equity investment.