|Air Serbia anticipates improved financial results in 2014|
The CEO of Air Serbia, Dane Kondić, says the airline is on track to break even in 2014 after the Serbian carrier posted a 73 million euro loss in 2013. “Air Serbia has built a solid foundation in the six months since it was launched and is on track to break even in 2014. The improved passenger numbers and revenue reflects the growing appeal of the airline for leisure and business travel across the Balkan region and beyond”, Mr. Kondić said. The statement comes after the Serbian carrier reported its quarterly results which show a 66% increase in total passenger numbers and a 47% increase in revenue compared to the same period last year.
“In addition to strong growth in passenger revenue, we are also growing very important cargo revenue, which provides more stability to the revenue base of the business”, Air Serbia’s CEO added. Cargo tonnage increased to 175 tons, up 46% on 2013. “The improved performance of Air Serbia shows our strategy to grow the business based on strong governance, a modern fleet, a growing and connected network, and a commitment to our guests to be the best, is working”, Mr Kondić said. He added, “Our focus is on providing value, convenience and comfort. We are listening to our guests about what they want and in doing so, we are steadily growing demand”.
The airline’s CEO noted that the Serbian government and Etihad Airways were supportive shareholders and partners. “The Serbian government is monitoring our progress closely and providing assistance and advice where needed and where appropriate. I have no doubt that we will be the leading airline in the region and our success will have a very positive impact on Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport, as it aims to become the region’s key air transport hub”, Mr. Kondić concluded. In a press release the carrier noted it had established commercial ticketing agreements with Etihad Regional, Jet Airways, Bulgaria Air, Ukraine International Airlines and STA Travel, the world’s largest travel company for students and young adults, in the first quarter. Furthermore, Air Serbia expanded codeshare agreements with Etihad Airways, Air Berlin, TAROM, Adria Airways and B&H Airlines during the first three months.
In a related development, Air Serbia’s minority shareholder is on the verge of finalising a partial takeover of Italy’s Alitalia. In a statement made yesterday, Etihad Airways CEO, James Hogan, said, “We are delighted to be able to move forward with this process and look forward to the successful conclusion of the proposed transaction with Alitalia. An equity investment in Alitalia will be beneficial not only for both airlines, but, more importantly, it will give more choice and broader travel opportunities to business and leisure travellers into and out of Italy”.