News ID: 211484
Published: 1016 GMT March 11, 2018

Iran, Serbia resume direct flights after 27-year gap

Iran, Serbia resume direct flights after 27-year gap
An IranAir plane parked on the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

After a gap of 27 years, direct flights between Iran and Serbia resumed on Saturday, when an IranAir jet touched down at Belgrade's Nikola Tesla airport, Serbian media reported.

IranAir is offering a direct service between Tehran and Belgrade twice weekly, with all flights fully booked until the end of the summer, the reports said, AFP reported.

A second Iranian carrier, Qeshm Air, is also planning to launch a service between the two capitals starting from March 19.

In August 2017, Iran and Serbia agreed to liberalize visas for travel between the two countries, sparking a surge in interest on the part of Iranians.

This past December, Iran and Serbia agreed to revive the direct air flight route between the two countries. This came in light of several key trade deals the two countries signed during a visit to Belgrade by Mojtaba Khosrotaj, the head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Press TV reported.      

Khosrotaj was quoted by media as saying during the visit that the recent measures taken by the Serbian government – particularly the removal of visa restrictions for Iranian nationals travelling to the country – would help boost mutual trade.

In 2017, the government of Serbia announced that in order to improve bilateral relations as well as to attract tourists and investors to Serbia, it had passed a legislation to abolish visa requirements for citizens of Iran and India intending to travel to the country. 

The level of trade between Iran and Serbia stands at $20 million.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in February visited Belgrade to explore the avenues for expanding economic relations between the two countries.

In a meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic, Zarif named oil, gas, petrochemicals, mines, agriculture and IT as some areas appropriate for expansion of ties between the two countries.

Serbian Trade Minister Rasim Ljajic has said authorities in the two countries would investigate possible abuses of the visa liberalization agreement.

Since the visa requirements were lifted, around 7,000 Iranians have travelled to Serbia, AFP quoted Serbian Trade Ministry as saying.


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