AnadoluJet, the lower-cost unit of Turkish Airlines, will launch regular flights between Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport and Belgrade from December 1. The service will be maintained four times a week, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, with a mix of 186-seat Airbus A320neos. , A321neos with 211 seats and Boeing 737-800 with 189 seats. It will directly compete with Pegasus Airlines’ four weekly flights between the two cities and will build on the frequencies between the two cities, which will peak at fifty weekly flights this winter if the Istanbul Main Gateway (IST) and the Sabiha Gocken Airport are taken into account. account. The new route complements AnadoluJet’s existing flights from Ankara and Izmir to the Serbian capital.
Air Serbia, Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines welcomed almost half a million passengers on flights between Belgrade and Istanbul last year, with the route continuing to grow until 2023 as well. The sharp increase in passenger numbers, up almost 90% compared to 2019 before the pandemic, results from a revised air service agreement between Serbia and Turkey, favoring national airlines and allowing more frequencies, as well as close cooperation between Air Serbia and Turkish Airlines, resulting in an extensive codeshare agreement and possible joint venture. In addition, tourism exchanges between the two countries have increased significantly, there is a notable increase in the number of Turkish workers in Serbia, while a greater number of Russian travelers transferred over the route have also generated more traffic. Air Serbia and Turkish Airlines welcomed a total of 380,004 passengers between Belgrade and Istanbul’s main gateway last year. Additionally, Pegasus carried an additional 81,730 travelers between its Sabiha Gokcen hub and the Serbian capital, for a total of 461,734 passengers between the two cities.
Turkish Airlines aims to complete the certification of AnadoluJet by the 2024 summer season, when the carrier will begin operating as a separate entity. It currently uses its parent company’s designation code “TK”. The Turkish flag carrier incorporated AnadoluJet as a new wholly-owned subsidiary on August 7, 2023. Until now, AnadoluJet was a division of Turkish Airlines. The group will announce a rebrand for the carrier as a standalone company in the coming months. AnadoluJet will soon apply for its own air carrier certificate and operating license, even though the division already operates more than seventy aircraft and has its own staff. Turkish Airlines is banking heavily on AnadoluJet, a carrier targeting budget-conscious passengers and ethnic traffic, as a driver of regional growth. It plans to increase the division’s fleet to more than eighty aircraft by the end of this year, even before its complete split.