In contrast to a large number of European countries that have banned Russian airlines from entering their airspace, Air Serbia has doubled its flights between the Russian capital and Belgrade, offering 15 flights a week compared to seven.
Despite the fact that Serbia is not a member of the European Union, whose authorities unanimously imposed sanctions and banned Russian flights from its airspace, Serbia is trying to become part of the bloc, although it did not condemn the Russian invasion and did not ban flights to and from the country. Russia, TheSchengen.com report.
Serbia is among the few European countries that have not followed suit, leaving the air corridor open to Russia despite the latter’s massive invasion of Ukraine.
Serbia’s decision allows Russia to use this country as a haven to reach other European countries. Russians arrive in Serbia and then travel to other European countries, such as Cyprus, Switzerland, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Germany and Austria as the main destinations.
Air Serbia, a subsidiary of Air Serbia in Belgrade, has doubled the number of flights from Moscow to Belgrade in an attempt to increase demand due to the decision of European Union countries to ban Russian airlines from their airspace.
In this regard, ForwardKeys stressed that the absorptive capacity between Russia and Serbia increased by 50 percent in the first week of March, compared to the week before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while capacity is expected to increase in the coming weeks.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine prompted the authorities in European countries to tighten sanctions against Russia, which were considered among the harshest sanctions that the European Union had applied to another third country.
In addition, the authorities in European Union countries banned entry to a large number of Russians, and state-owned media banned Russia Today and Sputnik and targeted the regime of the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, asserting that he was complicit in the attack on Ukraine.
Besides, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the European Union has banned Russian aircraft from providing their services in its airspace.
The latest report published by Eurocontrol revealed that such a decision has significantly affected the flight time between different destinations.
Although authorities in Serbia have not taken similar measures against Russia, Air Serbia warned passengers that they may be subject to longer flight times while announcing that the airline would double the number of flights.
“Due to the current situation, we are informing our passengers that changes in flight paths are affecting our flights, causing the flight time to be prolonged,” the airline revealed.
Although Serbia is trying to become a member of the European Union, its government for not imposing sanctions on Russia has been criticized by many European politicians.