Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jat continues summer growth

More seats being sold on Jat
Serbia’s national carrier, Jat Airways, has recorded good results in the traditionally busy August. The airline carried 155.163 passengers, an increase of 6% compared to the same month last year. If only scheduled traffic were to be counted, numbers increased by 10%. The national carrier is making a noteworthy comeback on its flights to Podgorica and Tivat in Montenegro. Passenger numbers increased by over 15% on these flights. In Euro-Mediterranean services, numbers were up 9%. Overall, the average cabin load factor totalled 78%, an increase of 5% compared to August 2010.

In the first 8 months of the year, Jat Airways has carried 830.670 passengers, an impressive increase of 14%. If only scheduled traffic were to be counted the increase bumps up to 18%. By the end of August, the average load factor amounted to 69%, which is also more than the same period last year when it totalled 62%. Jat is operating a fleet of 12 aircraft on a daily basis after 2 grounded Boeing 737s returned to the fleet this August. Currently, another 2 aircraft are grounded, 1 ATR72 and 1 B737-300. After their return to the fleet, which is expected soon, the airline will finally have its entire fleet in the sky after many years.

Meanwhile, with 3 weeks to go, no airline has purchased the tender documentation to create a successor to Jat. Furthermore, the auction of the airline’s catering division, originally planned for this Friday, has been delayed until September 23.

You can review all the results from this year in the table below.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN70.788 2.9
FEB67.635 24
MAR79.408 20
APR88.597 33
MAY96.466 17
JUN116.105 18
JUL156.508 8
AUG155.163 6


  1. do they have such leather seats in the 733?

    sorry my last flight on a JU 733 must have been in 1989

  2. Yes, Jat's fleet has been upgraded recently with new leather seats, new lights and sound system.

  3. Those numbers look promising. It's really just laziness from the government that they want to offload the airline. If they actually hired people who knew the airline industry, I'm sure you'd be able to make JAT a profitable little airline.

  4. Good news, Austrian Airlines adds another daily rotation from Vienna to Belgrade.

    VIE-BEG 12345-7

    BEG-VIE 12345-7

    Currently flights are to be operated by Dash-8.

    This winter these are going to be the flights between the two cities (except on Saturdays)

    OS 05:15-06:30
    JU 08:00-09:35
    OS 08:05-09:30
    HG 11:30-12:45
    OS 15:15-16:35
    JU 16:50-18:25
    OS 18:30-19:50
    HG 19:15-20:30

  5. Slightly related to the topic:

    August average loadfactor between Belgrade and Dubrovnik:

    Croatia Airlines: 59,3%
    Jat Airways: 92,6%

    Jat even carried more passengers from Dubrovnik to Belgrade.

  6. That's a good news for JAT. There obviously is potential. If they had newer aircraft and more competent management, this airline would be rocking. I am also happy to see the BRG-DBV route prospering. I hope that soon we see BEG connected to other coastal cities as well.

  7. Is the high LF for JAT going into and out od DBV justs the Serbs holiday? I wouldn't think there would be much demand for Croatians heading to Belgrade.

  8. Croats love to party in Belgrade, almost as much as Serbs love to party on the Adriatic.

  9. Jat is about to cancel flights to Stuttgart in winter timetable, according to their site's timetable.


    ^ might this meeting lead to AZAL flying to BEG?

    I heard rumors Albanian Airlines is in too much trouble to start Beograd flights, and JAT may start them when they get new aircraft.

    FlyDubai to Beograd? Maybe, I heard Qatar will launch Beograd next on their Europe agenda and FlyDubai will compete with JAT on flights to Dubai, or replace them.

  11. @Nemjee

    Thanks for the numbers Belgrade <> Dubrovnik.

    Right after I started reading today's news, I was wondering what the load factor for BEG<>DBV in August would be.

    You must be a fortune teller ;-)

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. @ Yugovich,

    No problem, my fortune telling hours are from 09:00 to 17:00 ...

    It's not a problem, here are some other numbers for Jat...

    VIE- 79.8%
    DXB- 65.8%
    STR- 85.2%
    SJJ- 71.9%
    SKG- 91.3%
    MXP- 71%

    These numbers are for August. If anyone is interested in a specific route/airlines just ask.

  14. nemjee what about IST,CDG,ROME.

  15. No problem, here they are:

    Jat Airways

    1. IST:
    53.8%, however Jat's pax numbers rose by 49% when compared to last year.

    2. CDG
    76,2%, however in August Jat carried 2,800 passengers more than Air France whose numbers went slightly down.

    3. FCO
    65,3% with Jat, Alitalia's numbers went down from 7.407 to 6.365. Wizz Air's lf was 82,7%.


  16. What about Scandinavian routes, Amsterdam/Brussels and Berlin?

  17. AMS&BRU




    Oslo on DY

  18. I saw that in December Lufthansa is operating Belgrade from Frankfurt with CRJ. Too bad. What are their current LF?

  19. That's probably just a mistake in the system. Lufthansa has a very high lf to Belgrade. Average lf in August was 92% to Frankfurt.

  20. Well, I know they have a very high LF. I fly often and only once some time in spring it was kinda not full.

  21. Nemjee do you ahve any numbers for WZZ routes from/to BEG?


  22. Regarding Wizz Air and August:

    1. Charleroi: 86,4%
    2. Dortmund: 91,3%
    3. Eindhoven:89,3%
    4. Gothenburg: 85,7%
    5. Luton: 89,3%
    6. Malmo: 90.8%
    7. Memmingen: 90,1%
    8. Stockholm: 82,5%
    9. Rome: 82,7%

    Average lf for August: 87,9%
    Average pax number per flight: 153
    Roughly 459 passengers flew on them per day out of Belgrade.

  23. @ Anonymous September 7, 2011 5:10 PM

    STR flights will operate only between 12DEC and 14JAN.

  24. @Nemejee


    These results are amazing, cannot believe that the lowest one is 82.5% :-) Absolutely great!

    Does anyone know if Wizzair will be adding any new routes from/to BEG?

    Alex, London

  25. LF doesn't say much when we talk about JAT. Has this trickled down to the bottom line?


    Thanks a lot for these stats!

  26. Was told by JAT office in Dubai that theyre selling air tickets until the end of October and will not be selling tickets from November as flydubai will most likely start. There is no confirmation whether JAT will continue DXB in the winter season.

    Have heard that QR will open BEG. EK will probably open BEG once the A350's start coming. EK is expanding in Eastern Europe, with PRG going from A330 to B777, and a new destination will open next year :)

  27. No one so far signed for Jat tender. One more airline to be grounded.

  28. Flew Belgrade-Larnaca-Dubai last night. 123/126 passengers on board with all 8 seats in Business sold out. Only 8 people disembarked in Larnaca with the rest going to Dubai.

  29. Yeah DXB is going very well. Problem is corrupt JU CEO who wants to suspend the flights as he is getting money from fly dubai.

  30. Vladimir Ognjenovic will soon pay the price for the mess he has made in Jat. I just hope this blog or any newspaper in Serbia reports on what he is doing which is illegal. Also, these good results mean nothing. He (Ognjenovic) has ordered the price to be so heavily reduced that Jat is not making any profit on most of its lines. A year ago this wasn’t the case.

  31. I do not have any inside information on this matter, the prices that is, but with the reduction of prices to Dubai Jat has managed to increase it's loads.

    Last year, the lf to DXB was not over 50%. This year it's close to 70%.
    They had no other choice in attracting the passengers since their only aircraft that can do the route is the 733. That means that they can't offer any additional comfort especially when taking into consideration that their main competitor is Turkish Airlines.

    Regardless of Dubia, Jat IS making a profit especially if you see the loads and their average ticket prices.

    By rough calculations, in August Jat has made €3,700,000 on it's London Heathrow route. Unfortunately doubt that any of that profit has gone to the airline.

  32. I cannot understand why people attack Mr. Ognjanovic, (@last Anonymous)what makes you believe he took the money from flyDubai?

    In my opinion 100/115EUR prices for regional flights - flown mostly with unpopular turboprop planes, are something that finally makes sense, and is the only mean by wich JU can attract transit pax for e.g. LHR, CDG, SVO, DXB, etc. and behave like a true network carrier.

  33. Everyone in the airline knows he did. He orders the shutdown of the BEG-DXB route even though there are already huge booking numbers for November and December on Jat. When he was challenged about it he just said it doesn’t matter and that JU will hand over its passengers to fly dubai and that JU must stop flying to Dubai because of fly dubai (why?!?! we already have good bookings for winter). He has also filled all of Jats representative offices (the one he didn’t close) with his cronies that don't know the first thing about aviation. He has demoted everyone that has challenged any of his actions surrounding himself with airport station managers and he is killing the airline bit by bit just like his predecessor and his mentor Sasa Vlaisavljevic. In a normal country he would be behind bars. In a country like Serbia he will probably be promoted to the president’s cabinet. On a sidenote, Jat is currently losing a lot of money thanks to his “amazing” promotional sales. Mr. Ognjenovic has recently gone a little more crazy than usual after hearing that he might lose his job soon so he is working overtime to destroy Jat before his exit. Oh and might I add that he is at Jat only thanks to his aunt who is one of the founders of Demokratska Stranka.

  34. Yeah I'm aware of his DS connections, Serbia is definitively totally screwed.

    On the other hand it seems to me that Mr. Ognjenovic is a better choice than his predecessors - finally someone capable of finding a way with ancillary companies (e.g. renegotiated a less unfavorable arrangement with Jat Tehnika).

    Concerning ticket pricing, I don't have the exact figures on Jat's revenues, but having in mind regional purchasing power & price sensitivity and low operating costs of ATRs - it seems reasonable, especially since that it is mostly feeder traffic attributing to other European routes.

    As for Dubai, if flyDubai were to start operations, it is clear that it can offer a more competitive product in terms of price and the fact that it is a direct flight with no stopovers, and that it would most likely prevail somewhere during the winter season. For me it was obvious that once (direct) competition was introduced on this route, Jat would be on the loosing edge until it gets a plane that has a sufficient range to fly directly without stopovers.

    It is more a question for the Government why they signed that liberal agreement with UAE benefiting solely UAE carriers...

  35. Last anonymous,

    Thank you for the comment. Unfortunately the situation in Jat is beyond bad. No manager has managed to keep the airline normally operational because they lack the adequate skills.
    It's a typical thing in Serbia to see competent people suffer because of some idiots who know nothing about the indistry in which they are working.

    As for Ognjenovic, if I remember correctly he advanced from a check in desk officer to the representative of Jat in Denmark. Now, how on earth does someone do that? Support which takes care of the check in desks is a completely different unit from Jat. It doesn't even make sense for someone who works on the check in to move into Jat as in normal countries working in the airline will require you far more knowledge than a check in desk personel would have.

    The problem in my opinion when it comes to the promotional prices is that Jat is unable to make a profit because of its heavy cost structure. First step should be in abolishing and closing down all the representative offices in Europe, or at least those that are not making any money.
    In stead introduce a universal toll free telephone number where bookings can be made as well as changes and information given. Something that Emirates have...

  36. @Nemje & Anonymous September 10, 2011 1:08 PM

    May I remind you of the fact that Mr. Ognjenovic "graduated from the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering in Belgrade, Department of Air Transport and Traffic".[Source:]. Now, why should it be a miracle that someone with such educational background is managing an airline? FYI, airlines DO recruite personel from H/A. Nothing uncommon. Start from the scratch and work your way upwards. Many Airline and H/A Station Managers started as loaders or check-in agents. So what?

    As far as DBX is concerned, I'm afraid that we will see a similar scenario as we have seen in STR. What happened there is 4U practically overtaking the route. At some point, some time ago, they started started selling TKTs at hillarious prices (6 EUR OW incl. TAX !!) And what did JU do? They lowered the FARE level on the STR-BEG route to match 4U. BUT, 4U can allow themselves to operate half-way profitably with such fare structure. JU cannot, since it's cost base is WAY higher then that of 4U (presumably). JU increased FBA to 30kg, 4U followed. Let's face it, 4U has a way better product than JU. Now try to book a flight on the STR-BEG vv. route in OCT & NOV. You cannot? Of course not, since there are NO flights to book during this period. Absolutely the same would happen to BEG-DBX. And JU CLF BEG-DBX vv. is not 99%, is more like 65%. And who would choose to fly w/ stopover, when u can fly dct?? Patriots? C'mon...

    Anonymous mentions closure of JU stations. Which station do you have in mind? Those offline in the USA or all of them??? The station I'm working at contributes to up to 50% of locally sold TKTs per flight!!! Would you close that station? TSC alone covers for the costs of the Pls do read any of the Airline Mngmt books (again). It is clear to everyone that convenience to the PAX is at its highest, when an airline represents itself w/ own staff and not through a H/A.

    Oh, BTW, I guess I'm not one of the cronies since I don't have any private/personal connection whatsoever to V.Ognjenovic. I'm just a guy who loves his work and does his best for the JU to prosper. And: not knowing first thing about aviation is not the way I would characterise my professional skills. Sure, you can never know it all and learning is a continuous process...


  37. CORR:

    4U OW price STR BEG 6 EUR + TAX. Sry.

  38. Nemjee you are absolutely right. Stanko, there is no justification to suspending flights to Dubai. Jat has a completely different target group to fly dubai. Further, EK is keeping the interline agreement with Jat through all of next year. Jat gets really big money on BEG-DXB-BEG thanks to Australia passengers. It would take a lot of pages for me to explain why fly dubai can’t take these passengers over so I won’t even try. Fly dubai will take lot of passengers from Turkish Airlines and point to point passengers. It would be as if Jat was to suspend flights to every country it has competition on – Paris, London, Moscow – all these cities have airlines with a better product and usually same price as Jat. You at least stay one season before closing the flights. Ognjenovic doesn’t take into account the number of people that have already booked flights to DXB in NOV/DEC and happily told the employees that these passengers will be handed over to fly dubai.
    During last CEO Jat was about to suspend flights to Sarajevo because B&H started flying to BEG. Everyone tried to explain to the moron CEO that the route should stay. As he ordered the suspension of the route B&H informed JU that they would be suspending flights so in the end Jat stayed…just.
    It’s really painful to see what is happening to the airline and all because of bad management. The CEO at Jat has so much power that he personally decides which routes to suspend, plans the ticket pricing structure…all the time collaborating with other airlines. Not to tell you that there is a Lufthansa lobby in the airline which seem to have been given the task to shut Jat down. Normally, I wouldn’t write things like this but people feel so desperate at the airline that they are trying to contact the media and show the mismanagement. But it seems no one cares.

  39. Anonymous 01:08,

    So what if Ognjenovic graduated from the faculty of transport?
    Does that mean that just because he has that diploma he has to be qualified for the job? If judging by his success as Jat's CEO, then the faculty of transport should not be allowed to issue any diplomas! You know, for the sake of Serbia's future.

    It wasn't the anonymous that mentioned the offices but me. Like I said, a lot of offices are not generating any kind of profit and need to be shut down so that Jat's expenses could be brought to a minimum. Naturally offices that do manage to produce a profit and ensure that they are not a burden should remain open.

    Several years ago, one of the station managers in Nicosia openly said that he is not contacting tourist agencies in Cyprus in order to offer them deals to bring tourists into Serbia just because he couldn't be bothered to do that.
    That is the usual attitude of Jat employees, at least the high ranking ones.

    And for the advancement comments, yes, someone can advance from a check in desk agent but NOT TO A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE AIRLINE IN COPENHAGEN! The normal thing would be for him to go up the corporate ladder step by step and not jump over it to the top.

    In any way, Ognjenovic's action speak louder than any words. Unfortuntately for him, they are everything but good words. Unfrotunately for us, we live in a country like Serbia where he will never get what he deserves.

  40. I agree with Nemjee on representation offices. The argument that only TSC covers the cost of the office speaks volumes. Before online sales took off, all airlines sold 80% through travel agents and only 20% through their offices. At the time every airline was eager to sell more through its offices as travel agent sales were "burdened" with commission, which dented an airline's profits. However in a zero commission environment, airlines get 100% profit from travel agent sales. On the other hand airlines have the cost of BSP participation, but that cost can be overcome. The problem with BSP participation, especially in JAT-s case, is that all fares are published through ATPCo and available to IATA approved travel agents. No travel agent will flicker through some poorly written instructions and manually do faring and ticketing, when there are a lot of easily accessible, not to mention cheaper fares to the same destinations JAT offers. Basically it doesn't matter whether the current CEO started as a baggage handler, the problem is that it seems that no one in JAT understands how air travel is sold these days and what technical innovations and applications can be used to promote sales and reduce costs. Counting filled seats in a plane is not enough to make a profit. I don't doubt that there are still some capable people left at JAT, but there are much more who haven't got a clue what they are doing and lack basic skills for the job. Unfortunately those are the ones who oppose any change and introduction of new, modern ways of doing the business.

  41. @Nemjee: generally I agree with you man. I'm just being desperate and looking for excuses/arguments...

    I'm sorry I really don't know this Ognjenovic guy well enough (or: not at all) to judge him or his work, and I'm not the guy who uses rumours as facts, so I will not go into further discussion there... But you have to agree that someone who graduated from the university is definitely overqualified for a CKI agent position. :-)

    And it seems to me that everyone here is forgetting to mention the environment the company is working in, specially the fact that JU is under strong political influence and some decisions are simply not up to JU management...

    @Lento: next time you board a JU flight, look around a bit. How many PAX do you think bought their TKT for that JU flight online? I'll tell you: a miserable number. It seems to me that JU still focuses on "ethnic travel / visiting family and friends" market segment on most of the routes. These PAX mostly don't know what is Internet or how to book online or even have a credit card. So how would you go about having them accept "new ways"? Please give us a hint.


  42. @ Anonymous (JU)
    You missed my point altogether. I was not talking about shifting to online sales at all. I was talking about JAT having offices in various countries and yet at the same time paying for BSP participation tens of thousands of euros annually. In most countries where VFR travellers make most of JAT customers, there are agencies owned by expatriates and they cater almost exclusively for the ethnic market. Therefore most JAT offices abroad are superfluous and closing them would not affect JAT sales provided agents can book and sell JAT space the same way as they book and sell other airlines. Dealing with "paper fare", "SPA fares" or whatever you call them can hardly be called a modern way of doing the business.

  43. I can’t believe JAT will suspend flights from Dubai. I’m a Serb from Australia and have been flying with Emirates/Jat for the past five years every year. All five flights were excellent. It was the quickest way to get to Beograd and I was proud that I could fly with our national airline. Jat is extremely active in Australia in the Serbian community. They sponsor all the Serbian cultural events and have helped the community a lot. Whoever made the decision to suspend these flights, which are always full, obviously doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  44. @ AussieSerb
    Unfortunately the JAT representative in Sydney is one of those very few people left at JAT who is exceptionally competent and does a wonderful job. If only JAT had more people like that!

  45. Well you know what we say in Serbia, you clean the fish from the head. That means that until the top managment is replaced nothing is going to be improved.

    For fun I am going to calculate the loadfactor of Jat to both Dubai and Stuttgart and to see what's happening there.

  46. I used to be a cabin crew for JAT. it is simple case of political toy with no plans or organisation whatsoever. Political/family company. We need something else.

    Best regards.


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