Air Serbia To Take Delivery Of Nikola Tesla Airbus A330 Tomorrow

Air Serbia’s new Airbus A330 aircraft bearing the livery celebrating Nikola Tesla will arrive in Belgrade tomorrow. It will replace Air Serbia’s current A330 under more favorable financial terms for the Serbian flag carrier.

YU-ARB is arriving tomorrow

Air Serbia’s new Airbus A330 aircraft is arriving in Belgrade tomorrow, Saturday 24th April. The aircraft has a different livery than the rest of Air Serbia’s fleet: its tail carries an illustration of Nikola Tesla.

The aircraft is registered YU-ARB and it is coming to replace YU-ARA, currently the only wide-body aircraft in Air Serbia’s fleet. The new A330 was delivered to Aeroflot in 2008 and it is a year younger than the current A330.

Celebrating the beautiful livery of its new A330, Air Serbia shared a timelapse video of the painting process yesterday:

Soon to fly from Belgrade to New York JFK

After Air Serbia’s new A330 arrives in Belgrade, the Serbian flag carrier will begin deploying it for scheduled commercial services to New York JFK. It is still unclear whether the new A330 will immediately replace the current one or if the two will operate simultaneously.

It is likely that YU-ARA, Air Serbia’s current A330, will be returned as soon as YU-ARB is ready to enter into service. Air Serbia has reportedly secured much better terms of lease for the new A330 than it has had for the current one. This is unsurprising given the surplus of aircraft capacity at the moment.

The new A330 will be busy: Air Serbia is currently operating three weekly rotations between Belgrade and New York JFK, but in the peak summer months it will operate as many as six weekly rotations. The airline has carried over 40,000 passengers to New York in the last 12 months.

At the same time, Air Serbia uses its A330 for cargo flights and charters very frequently. The current A330 has delivered vaccines, flown medical equipment, and operated repatriation flights in the last year.

The aircraft will soon begin flying scheduled flights from Belgrade to New York JFK. Photo: IAC

YU-ARB was formerly with Aeroflot

Air Serbia’s new Airbus A330 used to operate flights for Russia’s Aeroflot under the registration VP-BLY. The first sign that the aircraft would be heading for Air Serbia was when it operated a flight to Shannon, Ireland, on 3rd March this year.

The aircraft arrived in Shannon from Hong Kong where it had been stored since August 2020. That month was the last time that Aeroflot used this A330 for its own commercial flights.

Its last commercial service was on 16th August 2020 as flight SU2417 flying from Antalya (AYT) to Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO). The next day, on 17th August 2020, it was transferred to Hong Kong, where it was stored up until 3rd March when it flew to Shannon.

Now, almost two months later, it will finally join Air Serbia’s fleet. It will make its first appearance in New York JFK shortly afterward.

What do you think of Air Serbia’s new fleet addition? Do you like the special livery? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.