|Air Serbia increases revenue, passenger numbers and cargo|
Air Serbia yesterday posted its results for the first half of the year, recording an increase in revenue, passenger numbers and cargo. The Serbian carrier saw its operating revenues total 95.5 million euros, an increase of 29% over the same period last year. It handled 1.1 million passengers, up 19%. The airline’s passenger carrying capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs), increased by 10% to 1.74 billion, while its on-time performance averaged 84.2%, an improvement 13.3% on 2014. Air Serbia Cargo also performed significantly better in H1 2015, carrying 1.763 tonnes of freight, a 42% increase on H1 2014. As a result, cargo revenue grew by 28%. The airline omitted to post both its profit margins and average cabin load factor.
Commenting on the results, Air Serbia’s CEO, Dane Kondić, said, “During the first half of this year we have continued to deliver against the clear commercial mandate set out by our two shareholders. These results are strong even when compared to the encouraging numbers we saw in the first half of 2014, the first full calendar year of Air Serbia’s operation”. He added, “Importantly, we have continued to grow not just in revenues and passenger numbers, but also in reputation, performance and maturity, emerging as a regional industry leader in a relatively short period of time. As we approach our second anniversary later this year, we continue to focus on the enhancement of our offer and the development of our people. These are areas that are most directly related to our ability to deliver on superior standards of service, the key factor for our long-term success”. The airline created an additional 269 jobs during the first half of the year.
Last week, Serbia’s Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić, said the airline will lease an Airbus A330 aircraft in order to commence transatlantic flights during the first quarter of 2016. Reiterating that the carrier will launch services to New York, the PM said that both the airport and Air Serbia will work together to meet all technical requirements needed for these flights, especially baggage transfer which has proved problematic in the past. Mr Vučić added that Air Serbia is expected to be profitable for a second consecutive year, expressing his gratitude to the airline’s part-owner, Etihad Airways, for providing Air Serbia with a good network, transfer opportunities and know-how.