Passengers desert Jat
Jat Airways’ outgoing management will crown its three year reign at the airline with catastrophic passenger numbers in April brought on by the ongoing fleet shortage at the carrier. Last month, the Serbian national airline handled only 90.844 passengers, down 16% compared to the same month last year. The number of operated flights plummeted by 10%. The airline’s average cabin load factor stood at 67%, which is also down by ten points compared to April of 2012. Hardest hit were operations to Montenegro with figures tumbling by 22%, though the number of operated flights was decreased by 26%. Passenger numbers on Euro Mediterranean services were down 16% with 7% less flights while charters were the only highlight for the Serbian airline with numbers surging 83%.
In the first four months of 2013 Jat Airways has welcomed 312.476 passengers onboard its aircraft, down 5%. The average cabin load factor stood at 65%, a decrease from 68% during the same period last year. Jat’s aircraft spent 8.178 hours in the air over the past four months, which is 9% down on last year.
Jat Airways’ former management, headed by Vladimir Ognjenović, will officially be relinquished of all duties on Monday when the new acting CEO Velibor Vukašinović and his team are to takeover. Jat’s fleet shortage has hit the airline hard. However, Mr. Ognjenović and his team were aware of the impending problems since they faced a similar crisis during the summer of 2012 but did little to plan ahead for the 2013 summer season. The Serbian carrier will hope that numbers will improve in May since a week long public holiday was observed at the start of the month. Recently, an Aviogenex Boeing 737-200 joined Jat’s fleet with a further two Airbus A319s to arrive next month.
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