Serbian government has adopted a regulation enabling certain air routes to be declared “flights of public interest”, which a possibility of airlines operating along those routes getting financial assistance from the government to maintain them.
According to the regulation adopted on January 31st, an air route can be declared “of public interest” if it is a route to an airport that services one or more lesser developed regions in Serbia, or if it is a route that services 100,000 passengers annually, regardless of the airport.
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In order for a route to be declared of “public interest”, it is also required that no other transport lines exist in the particular region that would fully satisfy the region’s commuting needs, that there is no commercial interest in establishing regular flights and that the route is important for social development of Serbia.
The regulation also allows for an air route of public interest to be established on the basis of bilateral and multilateral agreements. The volume, flight frequency, prices, transport conditions and plane characteristics will be previously determined for each air route of public interest.
Airlines that operate a flight route of public interest can receive compensation from the government under the new regulation which must not exceed the amount sufficient to cover the airline’s net expenses incurred on that route, relevant revenue and reasonable profit.
Assistant Minister in charge of Air Transport, Zoran Ilic announced during his visit to Nis Airport last which, which took place several days before the regulation was adopted, that the first routes to be declared routes of public importance will be those from Nis Airport.
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