|Air Serbia's Q3 revenue, cargo and passenger volumes rise|
Air Serbia is set to handle its two-millionth passenger tomorrow after posting strong results in the third quarter. The Serbian carrier handled 730.000 passengers between July and September this year, up 74% on the 419.000 travellers welcomed during the same period in 2013. Air Serbia Cargo also achieved growth of 64% by carrying 669 tonnes of freight during Q3. August was the carrier’s busiest month in history with a total of 239.000 passengers using the airline’s services, up 71%. The first half of the month was particularly busy with 180.000 passengers travelling with the airline. Aviolet, Air Serbia’s charter brand launched in May this year, operated over 520 flights during the summer season and transported 90.000 passengers.
Air Serbia’s CEO, Dane Kondić, says, “Between January and September, Air Serbia carried a total of 1.8 million passengers and 2.000 tonnes of cargo, in each case reflecting an increase of 66% over the same period in 2013. These are impressive numbers and, importantly, revenue is following this trend closely”. Revenue in the third quarter amounted to 57 million euros, up 54% on last year. Air Serbia, like its partner Etihad Airways, does not report profit figures, however, the airline has again said it is "on track for profitability by end 2014". Mr. Kondić adds, “Our success would not be possible without the commitment and loyalty of our people and I would like to recognise their hard work, they are the engine of our growth. However, at the centre of our business are our customers and I also extend our appreciation for their loyal support. We are taking onboard all feedback and continuously improving the way in which we serve our customers, every day”. Air Serbia’s passenger carrying capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK), was 967 million by the end of Q3, an increase of 62% over the same period last year.
The Serbian carrier says it now counts 1.795 employees, including its subsidiaries Air Serbia Catering and Air Serbia Ground Services. More staff are being hired with a further forty pilots to take up their positions at the airline by year’s end. In addition, the carrier says its special prorate agreement with India’s Jet Airways has been further expanded to include destinations such as Ahmedabad and Goa. Air Serbia also agreed to expand its codeshare cooperation with Aeroflot this winter, with the Serbian carrier adding its code onto Aerflot flights from Moscow to Sochi. In return, Aeroflot has begun codesharing on Air Serbia’s services from Belgrade to Tirana and Sarajevo. The Serbian carrier is now set to become the first airline in the former Yugoslavia to handle over two million passengers in a single year since JAT Yugoslav Airlines last recorded such results in 1991.