Turkish carrier AtlasGlobal has suspended all operations, including its flights between Istanbul and Belgrade, amid financial problems. The carrier plans to resume services on December 21, although it is unlikely to deliver on its promise, EX-YU Aviation News
AtlasGlobal maintained four weekly flights between Turkey's largest city and the Serbian capital this winter season. Its operations were made possible after Air Serbia discontinued scheduled flights to Turkey.
Under the restrictive bilateral Air Service Agreement between the two countries, only a select number of carriers and scheduled flights can be maintained between the two states.
In response to AtlasGlobal's simmering financial issues over the past few months, Air Serbia recently concluded a Special Prorate Agreement with Turkish Airlines, signaling the first form of commercial cooperation between the two carriers.
Based on the agreement, passengers can purchase Air Serbia tickets from one of its European destinations and fly to Belgrade, from which they can continue with Turkish Airlines to Istanbul and onwards to Antalya, Ankara, Adana, Bodrum, Dalaman, Gaziantep, Gazipasa, Izmir, Kayseri, Trabzon and Konya.
The Serbian Ambassador to Turkey, Zoran Marković, recently said the new deal between Air Serbia and Turkish Airlines would lead to a codeshare agreement in the foreseeable future.
– I expect a draft codeshare agreement from Belgrade to be delivered to their Turkish counterparts and for authorities to push for the deal to be expedited. The new agreement envisages an additional flight from Turkey to Serbia. If Turkish Airlines is not interested, Air Serbia is eager to launch an additional flight between the two countries – Marković said.
The elimination of AtlasGlobal on services between Turkey and Serbia allows for frequencies and capacity to be increased by others.
Air Serbia, AtlasGlobal, Pegasus Airlines and Turkish Airlines are the only four carriers nominated to perform scheduled flights between the two countries under the Air Service Agreement.