Photo: Air Serbia

MIAMI — Air Serbia made history today as it launched its five-weekly non-stop service between Belgrade and New York, the first after a 24-year break.

In 1992 JAT Airways—the Yugoslav predecessor of Air Serbia—stopped its direct flights to the United States after international sanctions were imposed on the country over Belgrade’s role in the conflicts after the collapse of the former Yugoslavia.

The 11-hour flight, identified as JU500, arrived to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport at noon, local time. The 254-seat Airbus A330-200 (YU-ARA • MSN 885) was greeted by the customary water cannon salute, together with a delegation of the airline and representatives of the Government of Serbia.

Air Serbia flight JU500 is welcomed by a water cannon salute at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The flight marks the first non-stop service from Serbia to the United States since 1992. (Credits: Adam Hunger/AP Images for Air Serbia)
Air Serbia flight JU500 is welcomed by a water cannon salute at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The flight marks the first non-stop service from Serbia to the United States since 1992. (Credits: Adam Hunger/AP Images for Air Serbia)

Onboard the aircraft was a group of senior airline and government officials led by Zorana Mihajlović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure of Serbia. Passengers were presented with certificates and treats to commemorate the event.

“This is the first flight operated by a Serbian carrier to the United States since 1992, and it shows the huge steps we have taken to develop our economy and reposition our country and capital Belgrade on the world map” said Aleksandar Vučić, Prime Minister of Serbia. “Re-establishing this air bridge will give an enormous push to the flow of tourism and trade between Serbia, the wider Balkans region and the United States, and is, unequivocally, the start of a bright new chapter for our national airline and Serbia.”

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