Air Serbia and Adria see double digit growth in January
Air Serbia and Adria Airways have recorded a strong start to 2014 with both national carriers seeing their passenger numbers surge in the first month of the year. In January, Air Serbia welcomed 127.432 passengers on board its aircraft, an impressive increase of 63.5% compared to the same month last year. January 2013 marked Jat Airways’ final month of passenger growth on the year before prior to a five month losing streak, before its numbers recovered from July onwards. The first seven days of 2014 set up the rest of the month for Air Serbia as it saw growth of almost 65% during the New Year and Christmas holiday season.
In January, Air Serbia took delivery of its fifth Airbus A319, thus boasting a fleet of sixteen operational aircraft - seven Boeing 737-300s, five Airbus A319s and four ATR72s. This is compared to the five B737s and three ATRs which were in service last January. During the month, the highest average load factors were recorded on flights from London Heathrow to Belgrade, Sarajevo to Belgrade and Belgrade to Prague. However, the airline will have to work towards improving its average cabin load factor. The introduction of additional capacity has seen its average cabin occupancy index amount to 54.3% during the month.
Meanwhile, the Slovenian national carrier handled 61.316 passengers in January, up 13% on the same month last year. This is despite a 10% decrease in the number of operated flights. The average cabin load factor stood at 64.5%, up from 59% last January. This Feburary, flight operationns are again expected to decrease with Adria suspending its services to Belgrade earlier this month. However, during the summer operations are expected to soar with the airline launching many new services. This year, Adria is looking to improve on its 2013 passenger numbers which grew by 4.8% on the year before while the number of operated flights decreased by 5.1%