Chicago Department of Aviation and Air Serbia Launch First Flight Between Belgrade and Chicago in 31 Years at O’Hare International Airport

May 17, 2023


The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and Air Serbia today celebrated the carrier’s inaugural flight between O’Hare International Airport and Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, connecting Chicago with direct service to the Serbian capital for the first time since 1992. 

 “On behalf of Mayor Brandon Johnson, I welcome Air Serbia to Chicago, and we look forward to a long and continued partnership connecting Chicago residents to this new destination in one of Europe’s great cities,” said CDA Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee. “More than 350,000 Chicagoland residents are of Serbian origin, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer them a fast and easy connection to their roots in the Balkans.” 

“This day is of especial importance for our company, Serbia, Belgrade, and the entire Western Balkan region, as well as the large number of our compatriots who live and work in North America,” said Jiri Marek, CEO of Air Serbia. “We are pleased that we responded to passenger needs, and for enabling them to easily fly over 8,000 km, on Air Serbia’s comfortable wide-body aircraft. We believe that the flights between Belgrade and Chicago will be useful for all passengers, regardless of the reason for travel, and that it will help improve business, tourism, and all other links between Serbia and the U.S.” 

The twice-weekly service will increase to three-times-per-week on Monday, June 12, and travel will take place on board the 257-seat A330-200 aircraft. From Belgrade, customers that originate in Chicago will be able to easily connect to other cities in the Air Serbia network, such as Berlin, Bucharest, Prague and Sarajevo. An expanded partnership with American Airlines, announced by Air Serbia earlier this year, will also offer onward connections for customers originating in Belgrade. 

Each new wide-body international service for Chicago’s airports has a significant impact on the local economy, by creating jobs directly at the airport, as well as indirectly in connection with additional tourism. The Belgrade to Chicago route on Air Serbia is estimated to create $55 million in economic activity for the Chicago region over the next year. 

The inaugural flight between Chicago and Belgrade comes 31 years to the day that the last commercial flight between the two cities was conducted by Air Serbia’s predecessor, Jat Airways.


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