Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Passenger decline continues

Nothing to smile about
Serbia’s Jat Airways saw passenger numbers diminish by 22% in the first 7 months of the year when compared to last. There has also been a decline in the number of operated flights compared to the same period last year, by 16.7%. The most drastic decrease in passenger figures was seen on flights to Montenegro where passenger numbers halved compared to last year, although there were 40% fewer flights operated to Podgorica and Tivat. On Euro-Mediterranean services there was a passenger decline of 13.6% compared to 2008. After last year’s record charter operations, this year there was a passenger decrease by 32%, although this is mostly due to the inability of Serbian tour operators to fill Jat’s aircraft this summer, compliments of the global financial crisis.

However, Jat has managed to drastically improve its cabin occupancy index which now stands at 75%. The airline’s most popular services are currently to Moscow, London, Stockholm and Gothenburg. The airline is continuing with the upgrade of its cabins and a total of 3 aircraft now have the new leather seats in Economy Class. A further 3 aircraft will receive the new look by the end of August. Serbian media have reported that the airline’s workers are unhappy with the management’s decision to shelve plans to lease 2 Boeing B737-700 aircraft and thus the management is now reviewing the decision.

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