LONDON – Today Air Serbia has taken delivery of its newly purchased Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Registered as YU-ARC, the jet that has undergone a special paint job to pay homage to Mihajlo Pupin, a scientist, inventor and US professor between 1854-1935.
About Mihajlo Pupin
Born in Idvor, (now in) Serbia, Pupin was a former professor of physics at Columbia University in New York, and is credited as being one of the founding members of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, that later went on to become what we know today as NASA.
In 1924 he was awarded with a Pulitzer Prize award, winning it ‘for the best American biography’ for his work ‘From Immigrant to Inventor’. He later went on to become the first chairman of the subcommittee on Aviation Communications in the United States.
The special paintwork that the jet bears is the of work of 20 people a day, split across 2 shifts, taking 18 days of constant work. It took approximately 400 litres of paint and makes use of 20 different colours. The unique livery was completed in Marana, Arizona.
Air Serbia statement
Jiri Marek, CEO of Air Serbia said this of the new delivery: “Enhancing our fleet is one of the strategically most important goals in our company’s development plan. In order to develop our network further, it is necessary to have an adequate fleet and the necessary capacity.”
“We are eagerly awaiting the moment when our new Airbus A330 will take flight. Having in mind the current needs of our network, it is very important for the new aircraft to start regular flights as soon as possible, and that is why it will be flying with the existing cabin and seat layout.”
“Our plan is for Pupin to get a cabin which will be similar to the one in current A330-200 “Tesla” in terms of quality. This will be done during the regular 12-year airplane maintenance at the start of next year. We continue to renew our fleet in order to offer even more network flexibility and comfort for our passengers.”
A330 s/n 1236
The A330 was manufactured under serial number 1236 and delivered to South African Airways in 2011. Serbia’s national flag carrier plan to configure the aircraft in 2 class configuration, with 18 seats in business class and 250 economy seats. This cabin reconfiguration will commence when it undergoes its twelve-year plane maintenance at the beginning of 2023.
The newly delivered jet will temporarily replace Air Serbia’s only other in service A330 whilst it goes into regular maintenance. Once this is complete they will operate side by side as the carrier doubles its long haul carrying abilities.
The routes these A330’s are likely to operate will be: New York, Tianjin and the new Belgrade to Chicago route that is set to begin in the early months of next year.
With the launch of new routes, and an increase in capacity as they increase the size of their fleet, Air Serbia plans to return to profitability this year, putting behind them the torrid times the Covid-19 pandemic had brought to airlines around the world.
AviationSource previously reported on Air Serbia’s route expansions with scheduled flights to China.