Thursday, April 23, 2009

No Easter = no passengers

Jat Airways cabin crew search for passengers
Passenger numbers have continued to slide for Serbia’s national carrier Jat Airways with the airline reporting a 23% drop in passengers in the month of March when compared to last year. Jat transported a total of 63.313 passengers, 179 tonnes of cargo and 57 tonnes of mail. The only sector improving this March compared to last is the amount of mail transported as it increased by 24% while cargo fell by 28%. A big disappointment for the airline is the cabin occupancy index which only reached 50%, 6% less than last March. Passengers travelling towards Jat’s most important market, Montenegro, declined by a large 53%. The number of charters operated fell by 43% but passengers on charter services increased by 24%. Jat can boast that it has significantly improved its on-time arrivals and departures to 83% (10% more than last March), although the majority of late departures were due to busy airports.

The main reason the carrier saw such large declines in most sectors is because of the absence of Easter. Last year Easter was in March which usually sees increased passenger activity. This year however the Easter holiday fell into the month of April. Jat will hope that with Easter and the launch of its popular Belgrade – Pula service it will see small declines in passenger numbers this April, if not even a modest rise in passengers.

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