Serbia is one of the very few European countries that has not imposed a ban on flights to and from Russia. The British daily The Guardian writes that Air Serbia, the Serbian national air carrier, has double the number of its flights to Russia and that Russians are now using Air Serbia to escape Russia.
“Air Serbia, which is mostly state-owned, has doubled the number of direct flights from Moscow to Belgrade to 15 a week to meet rapidly rising demand after the EU banned Russian planes and airlines from its airspace, after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia responded by closing its airspace to EU and UK planes.
Serbia is not a member of the EU and has refused to impose sanctions against Russia, but its planes are free to cross EU airspace. This has made the Balkan country “the only European air corridor left open to Russia”, according to travel analytics company ForwardKeys.
The Guardian goes on to say that “Serbia has become the gateway for travel between Russia and Europe,” said Olivier Ponti, ForwardKeys’ vice-president of insights.
“Russian arriving in Serbia are travelling on to Europe, with the top onward destinations being Cyprus, France, Switzerland and Italy. Russians are also travelling to the UK, Slovenia, Austria, Germany and Spain. At the time of writing, there was just one business class seat left on a flight leaving on Saturday from Moscow to Belgrade, costing £583, and no economy class seats.”
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