After a year of operations, the Chinese airliner Hainan Airlines is canceling the Beijing-Belgrade air service, the Aviatica portal reports.
Hainan Airlines will cancel the route in late November, as reported by Routesonline, a specialized air route website.
As said, the company has stopped selling tickets for its flights to Belgrade from November 26. The last flight planned will be realized on Friday, November 23.
The Belgrade air service was launched at the insistence of the Serbian government, whose representatives had visited China on several occasions in order to agree the establishment of direct air transport between the two cities. One of the ideas was for the transport to be carried out in cooperation with Air Serbia, but the two companies haven't managed to establish serious cooperation.
The vice president of Hainan Airlines, Hou Wei, confirmed for Aviatica at the annual IATA meeting, held in June 2017 in Mexico, that the air service had been launched at the insistence of the Serbian side.
– In a way, the decision was made very late, after we had met with the Serbian prime minister, who mentioned this idea to us. We were asked by the Serbian government to launch this air service – Wei said last June.
Hainan Airlines then decided to extend its Beijing-Prague service to Belgrade. It was launched on September 15, 2017, with two flights a week, but hasn't proven successful. Aviatica has learned that there were only around 30 passengers on each of these flights initially, while the average number later grew to 100, except that only half of them flew to Beijing, whereas others used the direct connection with Prague. The plane capacity is 292 seats.
After this cancellation, Hainan will keep the direct air service between Beijing and Prague with three flights a week.