It looks like Air Serbia is swapping its A330 for another A330 …
The story of the current Airbus A330 from Air Serbia
The Serbian national airline Air Serbia has been operating a single Airbus A330-200 since 2016:
- The airline acquired this aircraft when it was 49% owned by Etihad Airways. Etihad has since reduced its stake in the airline
- The plane was leased at the time from Jet Airways, another airline that Etihad partially owned, although it has since been liquidated
- The airline flies between Belgrade and New York on the A330, a route that (surprisingly?) Has been going on for around five years
I’ve flown the Air Serbia A330 a couple of times and really enjoyed the product. While the hard product is okay, the service and catering have been exceptional in my experience.
I love Air Serbia’s business class catering
Air Serbia is replacing its Airbus A330
Air Serbia will replace its current Airbus A330-200 with another Airbus A330-200:
- An A330 with the registration code YU-ARB has joined the Air Serbia fleet. The aircraft is 12 years old and previously flew for Aeroflot
- For comparison: the original A330 with the registration code YU-ARA was 13 years old, so this aircraft is only slightly younger
- Unfortunately, this A330 appears to replace rather than complement the existing aircraft. At one point there was discussion about Air Serbia launching a flight from Belgrade to Toronto, but it looks like that isn’t happening
- Does anyone actually know the backstory here? I understand that leases are usually for a specific period of time, but you’d think any company would want to offer extended leases right now. So did Air Serbia just get a better deal on this ex-Aeroflot aircraft, or …?
This Airbus A330 has just been painted in a special paint scheme with Nikola Tesla on the rear. Belgrade Airport is also named after him. I’m not sure what to think of the paint job:
- On the one hand, it looks modern and stands out
- On the other hand, it literally looks like a cross between Lufthansa’s new and Norwegian livery, and I think those who don’t know who Tesla is will be pretty confused
– Dejan Cutkovic (@DejanCutkovic) March 12, 2021
What business class product will Air Serbia’s new A330 have?
An open question is which Hard Class Business Class Air Serbia product will be installed on this A330. Air Serbia’s first A330 had herringbone business class seats inherited from Jet Airways. While they’re not my favorite seats in the world, at least they’re completely flat with direct aisle access.
The current A330 Business Class from Air Serbia
Aeroflot’s A330-200s, on the other hand, have angled seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. Suffice it to say that this is a significant downgrade compared to what Air Serbia is currently offering.
Aeroflot’s A330 Business Class
I am excited to see which business class product Air Serbia will choose for this newly acquired A330. I can’t imagine the airline wanting to spend that much money. So will Air Serbia just keep Aeroflot’s seats or …?
If you look at the seating plans for the New York to Belgrade route months ago, it still seems to show the same configuration that Air Serbia currently has. I suspect these have not yet been updated to reflect a different configuration.
An A330 is currently being added to Air Serbia’s fleet, while the airline’s current A330 will be leaving the fleet. This means Air Serbia is not really going to expand its long haul network, although it does mean we can expect a new paint job and possibly a new business class product for better or for worse.
What do you think of Air Serbia’s new A330 livery and what do you expect from the new business class product?
(Hat tip for EX-YU Aviation)