The news of the signing of a letter of intent stipulating re-establishment of the flight between Belgrade and Pristina caused reactions on both sides.
While in Belgrade, part of the opposition accuses the authorities of recognizing Kosovo’s independence by approving this move, the media in Pristina are concerned that the document will reduce Kosovo’s “sovereignty”.
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In Belgrade, for example, the question was also raised as to why Air Serbia will not fly on this route, but the low-cost carrier Eurowings, owned by Germany’s Lufthansa, will. The explanation for is simple: they do not want the planes of the national airline to land on the airport named after the terrorist Adem Jashari, one of the founders of the KLA.
Also, by seeking permits to fly over the southern Serbian province, the Serbian airline would in fact recognize the institutions of Kosovo.
Although there will, therefore, be no reference to the Pristina institutions on the future air route, this is not enough; they claim that the Berlin document conceals stipulations about Kosovo’s “sovereignty”.
When it comes to Air Serbia, there is no room for fear that it will not profit from this route, since passengers arriving from Pristina to Belgrade are expected to use Air Serbia’s flights to reach Western Europe faster. For example, the direct flight between the Serbian capital and Tirana has already proved to be a profitable venture, as a large percentage of seats on the plane that then flies to New York via Tirana is occupied.
Businesses are the first to look for a way to normalize relations, which the two sides, at least unofficially, want. And clearly, there is no better normalization of relations than the possibility for people, mail and cargo to move quickly from one point to another.
(Vecernje Novosti, 23.01.2020)
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