Air Serbia Axes Marathon Airlines Cooperation

Belgrade Ancident: Air Serbia Axes Marathon Airlines Cooperation
Photo sourced from @FL360aero on X!
James Field - Editor in Chief 6 Min Read
6 Min Read

Air Serbia has this week revealed that it has axed it’s cooperation deal with Marathon Airlines following the accident in Belgrade last weekend.

The Serbian carrier has taken a hard-line stance, putting safety at their highest priority in the aftermath of this event.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

Air Serbia JU324 – Belgrade-Dusseldorf Accident…


Belgrade Ancident: Air Serbia Axes Marathon Airlines Cooperation
Data provided by RadarBox.com.

Air Serbia flight JU324 is a routine scheduled flight between Belgrade and Dusseldorf, with the affected rotation being operated by OY-GDC.

As per data from Planespotters.net, OY-GDC is a 15.7 year old Embraer E190 that was delivered to Marathon Airlines back in September 2023.

By October of that year, the aircraft was assigned to the Serbian carrier, with the Greek airline operating the aircraft on their behalf.

Air Serbia flight JU324 departed Belgrade at 1737 local time on February 18, having overran the runway during departure, as per reporting from The Aviation Herald.

It is understood that the aircraft had collided with the high precision approach lights of Runway 12R, which was around 500 meters after the end of the runway itself.

From there, the aircraft entered a series of loops whilst they got the aircraft under control and landed back into Belgrade at 1840 local time, over an hour after departure.

Damage, which you will see below, shows the extent of the overall collision with the approach lights after departure from the Serbian airport.

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Termination of the Deal with Marathon Airlines…


Photo sourced from @Fl360aero on X!

In a very detailed statement, Air Serbia said the following on the accident in Belgrade, which happened on February 18:

“In reference to flight JU 324 between Belgrade and Dusseldorf, operating on Sunday evening, 18 February 2024, when the Embraer E195 of partner Greek airline, Marathon Airlines, was damaged, Air Serbia immediately contacted the competent government authorities – the Civil Aviation Directorate (DCV) of the Republic of Serbia and the Center for Investigation of Accidents in Transport (CINS).”

“Passenger and crew safety is of the utmost priority for Air Serbia and the Serbian national airline is in full cooperation with the aforementioned authorities in the ongoing cooperation. Greek aviation authorities will conduct their own investigation.”

“Regardless of the results of the aforementioned investigation, Air Serbia informed Marathon Airlines today that it is terminating cooperation with that company and, as of tomorrow, 21 February 2024, no Air Serbia flight will be operated by the said Greek company’s aircraft.”

“Flights that should have been operated by Marathon Airlines will now be operated by other aircraft in the fleet to maintain traffic continuity.”

“Marathon Airlines is a carrier based in Greece, operating fully in compliance with European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards, and is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).”

“Air Serbia has been cooperating with Marathon Airlines since June 2023 based on the short-term wet-lease business model.”

“This business model has been applied by many large European and world companies for years and became particularly widespread during the period of recovery of air traffic following the coronavirus pandemic, which saw a significant increase in market demand.”

“In cooperation based on a short-term wet lease, the partner airlines bear full responsibility for the selection and training of all flight and cabin crew members of their aircraft.”

“Air Serbia would like to apologize again to all passengers of flight JU324 of 18 February 2024 for any inconvenience they experienced.”

“Even though the flight was operated by partner airline Marathon Airlines, the fact that the plane safely landed and that no passengers or crew members were injured, as a responsible company, Air Serbia would like to point out that it is fully aware of the passengers’ feelings during the flight and deeply regrets the discomfort they faced.”

“By regulations, all passengers onboard flight JU324 of 18 February 2024 are entitled to standard compensation and to any other compensation for costs incurred due to the flight being delayed one day.”

“Passengers can exercise their right by completing the special form provided on the Air Serbia website (https://www.airserbia.com/en/feedback) and their requests will have priority.”

“Furthermore, given the said circumstances, the airline has decided to grant all the passengers a full refund of the tickets purchased for that flight.”

“This decision also applies to the 91 passengers, out of the initial 106, who travelled to Dusseldorf from Belgrade on yesterday’s (19 February) postponed flight.”

“Air Serbia has not and will not make any announcements regarding the details of flight JU 324 of 18 February while the investigation is in progress.”

“However, the Serbian national airline would like to emphasise once again that it understands the inconvenience the passengers experienced on that occasion.”

“Accordingly, Air Serbia has decided to take all the measures within its control mentioned above immediately.”

“It will consider taking further steps in the coming period so that the recent event does not affect the trust of its passengers earned by the Serbian airline over several decades.”

All eyes will be on what the overall investigation holds moving forward.

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