Air Serbia to Cease Cooperation with Marathon Airlines Following Accident in Surcin

Source: eKapija Tuesday, 20.02.2024. 15:21
(Photo: Shutterstock/Gansstock)
Air Serbia is to cease cooperation with Marathon Airlines. In reference to flight JU 324 between Belgrade and Dusseldorf, operating on Sunday evening, February 18, 2024, when the Embraer E195 of partner Greek airline, Marathon Airlines, was damaged, Air Serbia immediately contacted the competent government authorities – the Civil Aviation Directorate (DCV) of the Republic of Serbia and the Center for Investigation of Accidents in Transport (CINS), the Serbian national airline carrier announced.

– Passenger and crew safety is of the utmost priority for Air Serbia and the Serbian national airline is in full cooperation with the aforementioned authorities in the ongoing cooperation. Greek aviation authorities will conduct their own investigation – Air Serbia says.

As they add, regardless of the results of the aforementioned investigation, Air Serbia informed Marathon Airlines today that it is terminating cooperation with that company and, as of tomorrow, February 21, 2024, no Air Serbia flight will be operated by the said Greek company’s aircraft.

– Flights that should have been operated by Marathon Airlines will now be operated by other aircraft in the fleet to maintain traffic continuity.

The Serbian national airline carrier emphasizes in the press release that “Marathon Airlines is a carrier based in Greece, operating fully in compliance with European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards, and is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).”

– Air Serbia has been cooperating with Marathon Airlines since June 2023 based on the short-term wet-lease business model. This business model has been applied by many large European and world companies for years and became particularly widespread during the period of recovery of air traffic following the coronavirus pandemic, which saw a significant increase in market demand. In cooperation based on a short-term wet lease, the partner airlines bear full responsibility for the selection and training of all flight and cabin crew members of their aircraft – Air Serbia points out.

In the press release, Air Serbia apologizes to all passengers of flight JU324 of February 18, 2024 for any inconvenience they experienced.

– Even though the flight was operated by partner airline Marathon Airlines, the fact that the plane safely landed and that no passengers or crew members were injured, as a responsible company, Air Serbia would like to point out that it is fully aware of the passengers’ feelings during the flight and deeply regrets the discomfort they faced. By regulations, all passengers onboard flight JU324 of February 18, 2024, are entitled to standard compensation and to any other compensation for costs incurred due to the flight being delayed one day. Passengers can exercise their right by completing the special form provided on the Air Serbia website and their requests will have priority. Furthermore, given the said circumstances, the airline has decided to grant all the passengers a full refund of the tickets purchased for that flight. This decision also applies to the 91 passengers, out of the initial 106, who traveled to Dusseldorf from Belgrade on yesterday’s (February 19) postponed flight – Air Serbia says.

The national airline carrier says that they have not and will not make any announcements regarding the details of flight JU 324 of February 18 while the investigation is in progress.

– However, the Serbian national airline would like to emphasize once again that it understands the inconvenience the passengers experienced on that occasion. Accordingly, Air Serbia has decided to take all the measures within its control mentioned above immediately. It will consider taking further steps in the coming period so that the recent event does not affect the trust of its passengers earned by the Serbian airline over several decades – Air Serbia’s press release says.

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