Air Serbia terminal at JFK airport: A tour guide

Out of all Yugoslav states, Serbia is the one having direct connections to the United States of America. It is impressive that how small airline like Air Serbia provides comprehensive service to the US. Passengers experience lovely flying in Air Serbia business class to John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York.

Air Serbia uses terminal 1 for its arrival and departure flights at JFK airport. Air Serbia JFK Terminal 1 accommodates Air Serbia’s single Airbus A330-200 aircraft YU-ARA for takeoff and landing from/to Belgrade Airport. Air Serbia used to operate its flights from terminal 4 since 2016 before it switched to terminal 1 for the first time in almost 50 years of on-and-off operations in June this year.

Move from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1

Air Serbia’s move towards terminal 1 comes from a major redevelopment project to make terminal 1 of JFK airport four times bigger than its current state and offer numerous benefits to passengers. The most modern terminal on JFK airport, new terminal 1, includes the area of current terminal 1 and 2 and previous terminal 3 after the planned reconstruction, making it the most spacious terminal. Air Serbia has joined the home of main international airlines such as Air France, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Korean Air, etc., on terminal 1 to provide more space and small crowds for passengers arriving at JFK airport. In the whole of New York and the surrounding area, terminal 1 will represent the utmost luxury as it is the greatest capital project in JFK’s history.

Photo from Ontheworldmap.com

On 23 June 2016, direct Belgrade-New York flights resumed after a pause of almost a quarter of a century. Air Serbia is an important airline recording the highest passenger load factor on flights to Big Apples in September 2020.

Although terminal 1 is a consortium of big carriers, a small carrier like Air Serbia also serves this terminal to carry out international arrival and departure formalities.

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Facilities and amenities at Air Serbia JFK terminal 1

The facilities and amenities at this terminal include:

  • ATM, Banks and Currency Exchange

Passengers requiring performing monetary transactions can access ATMs on pre-security areas as well as post-security areas. There is also a currency exchange facility at both pre-security and post-security areas.

  • Lounges

Lufthansa Business Lounge, Primeclass Lounge, Korean Air KAL First Class Lounge, Lufthansa Senator Lounge, Casa Alitalia New York, Air France/ KLM Lounge are located in terminal 1.

  • Shops and Stores

Terminal 1 boasts a wide range of retail stores, international shops with duty-free products, and newsstands. Luxury brand concessions such as Bvlgari, Hermes, Cartier are located post-security of terminal 1, and newsstands are available pre and post-security.

  • Restaurants, food, and cafes

Air Serbia JFK terminal has the best selection of eateries living up to New York’s foodie reputation before security. Starbucks, Dunkin, McDonald’s, Taco John’s, Jikji Café, Pza, Work & Roll, etc., are some famous brands present on this terminal that offer several fast-food and casual dining for on-the-go passengers.

  • Pet relief area

JFK airport is one of the most pet-friendly airports having seven pet relief areas for fast and easy access. Terminal 1 has a pet relief area pre-security and outside the Arrivals area.

  • Nursing station

The private nursing station accommodates parents with babies to make travel easy for them and allow little space for themselves.

  • Baggage storage

Baggage storage service is limited at JFK airport due to security reasons. However, for those who have a long layover arriving and departing from JFK airport, there’s a baggage storage service located near Alitalia and Olympic Airlines in the Arrivals area of terminal 1.

Charging stations

In gates 5, 7, 8, Welcome Center outside Arrival Area of JFK terminal 1, charging stations are available.

Terminal 1 on departure level holds COVID-19 tests for both airport employees and passengers. Air Train System connects all terminals of JFK airport to its network that operates with a frequency of every 2 to 5 minutes. Air Serbia passengers can connect to hotel shuttles, parking lots, and car hire facilities with the help of Air Train, which is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Terminal 1 of JFK is equipped to handle wide-body aircraft such as Airbus A380 and superjumbo planes.

Check-in service at Air Serbia JFK terminal

 It’s not new news that Air Serbia offers passengers world-class flight services to make their flying hassle-free. Air Serbia opens check-in counters 4 hours prior to departure for seamless passenger check-in. It used to share check-in counters with Etihad first class at terminal 4 as the airline is now a part of Etihad Airways. Web check-in is available to speed up the check-in process, select the seat, print boarding pass for Air Serbia flights to/from JFK.

Air Serbia JFK Customer Service encompasses a high level of professionalism, competence, and convenience to passengers courteously and promptly. Some of the customer service plans applicable to the flight to and out from the US include the lowest fare, baggage delivery, refunds, overbooking, booking holding, changes to the travel itinerary, handling of passenger complaints, special passenger handling, etc.

Air Serbia JFK Lounge

In Belgrade, business passengers of Air Serbia have access to Air Serbia Premium Lounge whereas, in JFK airport, they use Priority Pass Lounge, the Primeclass Lounge, which is located right at the tarmac level near the gate. Eligible passengers can unwind themselves in brightly lit and lively space before the flight. The dining area is set up with a number of tables along with lavish food to spread out in. A large selection of coffees, juices, and other soft drinks, bread, croissants, rolls, etc., are available to provide culinary pleasure and a pleasant time to every guest.

New terminal 1 at John F. Kennedy International Airport

The new terminal 1, to be located on the south of JFK airport, opens in stage throughout 2025 and is set up to transform legacy assets into modern gateways. The new 2.9 million-square-foot, $7 billion terminal 1 will have 23 international gates, of which 22 can handle wide-body jets, and 1 is a narrowbody gate.  It will feature cutting-edge digital technology, modernized check-in, security, and baggage claim area with the capacity to accommodate more than 15 million passengers.

Currently, terminal 1 Arrival level comprises of baggage claim area, immigration counters, access to ground transportation, and other facilities. The departure level consists of check-in counters, security checkpoints, business class lounges, duty-free shops, cafes, and departure gates.

Air Serbia JFK during the pandemic period

Air Serbia did exceptionally well on the Belgrade Nikola Tesla-New York JFK route during the pandemic period. The flights had such a successful load in October last year that the Serbian flag carrier boosted its capacity on its flagship route with a total of 34 flights. In October 2019, the Serbian national airline had operated ten fewer flights, i.e., 24 flights on the same route.

Air Serbia JFK terminal saw a major increase in frequencies despite long-lasting travel restrictions because neither Serbia nor the United States of America maintained a highly restrictive border policy to each other. The evident popularity of its only long-haul route has resulted in major flight operations and handling of complex aviation activities. Air Serbia JFK terminal caters to the airline’s sole long-haul passenger route acting as a feeder to its regional network providing scheduled direct flight over the Atlantic.

For Serbia and the entire Southeast Europe, the USA represents an important market for air travel due to large demand.  The long-haul route and wide-body operation for Air Serbia gives an enormous push to the flow of travel, trade, and tourism between the two countries, with Serbia becoming a popular holiday destination for American leisure travelers. There are upwards of 200000 people of Serbian descent in the United States who benefit from network reach over Belgrade to New York. Air Serbia is an important airline for JFK airport in terms of load factor. Meanwhile, the flight to New York JFK represents on-time performance, the viability of the regional network, and a strong Air Serbia route.

Airbus A330 aircraft having the airline’s bold colors and double-headed eagle printed on its tailfin connects Serbia and US with non-stop Serbian-operated air service. A330-200 aircraft has a total seating capacity of 254, featuring an endless inflight entertainment system and fully lie-flat seats, etc.

Air Serbia offers various popular flight routes from JFK airport. They include Zurich (ZRH), Sheremetyevo airport (SVO), Podgorica Airport (TGD), Sofia (SOF), Malpensa Airport (MXP), London Heathrow (LHR), Amsterdam (AMS), Bucharest (OTP), and Barcelona (BCN), etc.

About Air Serbia

The flag carrier of Serbia, Air Serbia, is headquartered in Belgrade and was founded on 17 June 1927. Operating the fleet of 17 aircraft of Airbus and ATR, the airline flies to the extensive network of more than 60 destinations and has access to over 400 destinations through the Etihad Airways Partners alliance. Owned by the Government of Serbia, this airline currently offers only long-haul flights between Belgrade and New York with planned direct Air Serbia flights to Beijing, China.

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