Monday, October 26, 2015

Air Serbia marks second anniversary

Air Serbia plans further product innovations and promises "exciting announcements"

Serbia's national carrier is today marking its second anniversary since relaunching as Air Serbia on October 26, 2013. As it enters its third year, the airline promises new innovations and announcements in the weeks and months to come. Since 2013, the Serbian carrier has doubled in size compared to its predecessor, introduced a handful of new routes, upgraded its fleet with eight Airbus A319s, two A320s and one ATR72 aircraft, with ten A320neos on order, and introduced a wide array of new services including a new frequent flyer program, a dedicated Premium Lounge in Belgrade, web check-in and on board Internet connectivity. Air Serbia's CEO, Dane Kondić, told the airline's magazine publication, "We embarked on a new journey two years ago and since then we have seen continuous improvements across the board, while the products and services that Air Serbia provides to its guests are incomparable to those of its predecessor - the in-flight experience has become world class with upgraded interiors for an upgraded fleet, improved catering services and increased options for our guests". He added, "The rebirth of Serbia's national airline is continuing unabated and we are now focusing on delivering the best possible guest experience".

Over the past year, the airline's area of focus has been improving its load factor, with the carrier anticipating handling 2.5 million passengers this year. However, Air Serbia slashed its frequencies to a number of destinations this winter and suspended two routes altogether. “It was always envisaged that we would go hard at trying to drive our load factor. Last year we closed at 70% load factor. It shows there is plenty of room to grow in the existing network”, Mr Kondić said recently. He added, “Unless there are specific opportunities that present themselves, we really need to go fitter and faster with what we have. Once we get to that 80% plus average load factor, then we can look at expansion”. The Serbian carrier reported a net profit of 2.7 million euros and 262 million euros worth of revenue in 2014. The airline's CEO expects even better results in 2015. “We will improve our profit and are on target to improve our passenger numbers”, he said.


However, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the airline. Critics have accused the Serbian government of signing a costly partnership agreement with Etihad, where the government has to fork out much more than its counterpart and take on significant commitments. Meanwhile, low cost airline Wizz Air has labelled Air Serbia and Etihad Airways as “wannabe monopolists”. Furthermore, the European Commission is investigating Air Serbia's ownership structure as part of a wider examination into whether foreign ownership of European carriers complies with EU airline licensing rules. Despite this, Air Serbia's majority shareholder, the government, has urged the carrier to launch transatlantic flights by the end of the first quarter in 2016, as originally outlined two years ago. The airline has stayed quiet on the issue. However, Mr Kondić concludes, "Other product innovations and exciting announcements are set to follow".

70 comments:

  1. Does anyone know roughly where their load factor is at?

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    1. Not true. In 2015 until 11thOctober JU transported 2,123 million PAX, LF was 70,3%. In 2014 LF was 67%, not 70%, according to the JU official annual report.

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    2. That's great news. So we 3% up, year on year!

      Good work, Air Serbia! Still a bit of growth to achieve, but a nice growth so far.

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  2. When you look at it, a huge lot has been done in just 2 years. Yes there is a lot of room to improve but when I remember what Jat looked like in its last year and the 5 planes they had functioning in the summer of 2013, Air Serbia is a world apart. You couldn't imagine even a proper meal on Jat two years ago let alone a menu, wi-fi, pillows, blankets and a pleasant crew you get today. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Jat hater. I liked the airline even with all its shortcomings but it's incomparable with what we have today. Jat in the state it was in 2013 probably wouldn't have survived the winter. I know there are a lot of people who either hate or adore Air Serbia and both have a special set of sunglasses on when they view Air Serbia. I think the airline is a massive improvement on what we had and is actually competitive in today's market unlike what we had two years ago. But there is still a long way to go and they have to face some new challenges today. Now they need to up their game for that next phase. Good luck to them in the future.

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    1. Great post and best of luck to Air Serbia!

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    2. congratulations ASL!! Hope the future is bright for you and Serbia!

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  3. "Critics have accused the Serbian government of signing a costly partnership agreement with Etihad, where the government has to fork out much more than its counterpart and take on significant commitments. Meanwhile, low cost airline Wizz Air has labelled Air Serbia and Etihad Airways as “wannabe monopolists”. Furthermore, the European Commission is investigating Air Serbia's ownership structure as part of a wider examination into whether foreign ownership of European carriers complies with EU airline licensing rules"

    Not good at all for ASL or the taxpayers.

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    1. Perfect for the taxpayers. Better put money in a profitable company with potential, than one that was bleeding money and was on a one way road to bankruptcy. Every cent that the government overpays now, will return to it twice-fold in the future.

      The "investigation" was fueled by Lufthansa and it cronies. It will lead to nowhere, since it's unfounded.

      So stop stressing about us, the taxpayers. We will be just fine. Worry about your own airline.

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    2. What profitable company?
      Do you even know what the term "profitable" means?
      It is something that you put in your pocket, not take out of your pocket.
      What you describing is called "loss making".

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    3. No. It's called profitable. It had the biggest profit in the whole ex-YU region (all available in the audit reports of a repeatable global audit firm). And it will have an even bigger this year. Far ahead of its nearest rival, OU that buys and sells aircraft and engines to make it appear like it's making a profit.

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    4. You fail to understand that if you have a large part of your expenses being paid by the state through subsidies what you end up having is a "profit" in a fake technical sense.
      Not a real, actual profit.

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    5. You fail to understand that it's not subsidies. It's discounts granted by one state company to another. Therefore, it's deemed as direct investment. So its a real profit, however much you like it or not.

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    6. ljudi, bacamo pare i na veće gluposti u ovoj zemlji, od ovoga i može da bude neka korist

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    7. Not true again. In SAME TIME you have two extra incomes to Air Serbia

      1. Subsidies of 70.000.000,00 EUR from Republic of Serbia

      2. Discount in Belgrade Airport as "investment" of Republic of Serbia in Air Serbia

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    8. Stop embarrassing yourself Anon 1:25.
      The State gives money to ASL and ASL after this money are added can only report a very small profit.
      Much, much smaller than the subversions it receives from the state.
      So the ASL is not a profitable company for its owner, the Serbian state but one that it costs money to run.
      It is loss making to the State.

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    9. @1:56 Jel znate koliko ljudi jede hleb od ASL? Za ove dve godine ASL je isplatio 66 milona eur plata i doprinosa drzavi. A jel znate preduzeca i ljudi posredno radi za ASL? Jel vam i dalje malo? Znate... ekonomija nije crno bela brica..

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    10. To your point anon @ 2.27pm .... Air Serbia has had a huge catalytic impact on the broader economy, not to mention the value of its supply chain and how much money it has contributed to numerous local suppliers....The recent Oxford Economics impact study said its contribution was USD211M, as well as 8,700 jobs which rely on Air Serbia. These are not small figures, which only reinforces the importance of a national carrier to the national economy.

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    11. "Not good at all for ASL"

      Ha ha ha evo ga opet ovaj! Ako pada kiša njegov komentar je "bad news for Air Serbia". Ako je proslava drugog rodjendana: "not good for Air Serbia", LOL!

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  4. Bravo JU, we re all proud of you, years to come u will be improving even further. All the best from ZRH and looking fwd to fly with u one day

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  5. Nevjerojatno mi zvuci da ste od kompletne JAT-ove infrastrukture bili spali na pet aviona, a da neke od njih jos i danas koristite. U malo vise od 20 godina unistili ste JAT kao brand. S druge strane, Croatia je izgradila infrastrukturu, kakvu takvu, i nadmasila JAT.

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    1. A sad smo mi dogradili jos malo, pa sa nasom Air Serbiom, nadmasili vasu Kroejsu.

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    2. Nadmašili? Više ostavili u prašini.

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    3. Da je Croatia jedno 8 godina mogla da leti samo za Peking, Pjongjang, i Tivat, ne verujem da bi mnogo bolje prosla...

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    4. A koji ste to "Vi"a koji smo to "Mi"?!

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    5. stop with the inter-regional jabbing of each other....its pathetic. Lets try to be in the top tier of European airlines with competitive fares, services, airplanes and options for the customers.
      Happy Birthday ASL!!:)

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  6. Bravo Serbia! Bravo Air Serbia!

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    1. I tend to disagree. Today's update is very bad news for Air Serbia.

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    2. Da, da, ma kako da ne....:)

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    3. I tend to agree. Bravo Serbia!

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    4. Go Air Serbia!!!

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  7. Put it this way, I flew with JAT once in 2008 and never wanted to again. I've used Air Serbia 7x in the past 15 months. Incomparable the difference!

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  8. Almost 900 flights less than last year this time. Good they realized they need a cut but still this Wil reflect to transfer pax as well. I mean 7 pw to Moscow..

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    Replies
    1. Last winter season Air Serbia had planned and scheduled nearly 6200 flights, but eventually carried out only 5870 flights. So the reduction is fewer than 500 flights, not 900 flights as couple of bloggers suggested.

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  9. OT:

    airlineroute.net pise:

    Air Canada and Croatia Airlines at the launch of winter 2015/16 schedule expanded their codeshare cooperation, which now sees Croatia Airlines displaying OU code on Air Canada’s selected Trans-Atlantic flights. Planned new codeshare routes from 26OCT15 as follow.

    Croatia Airlines operated by Air Canada
    Calgary – London Heathrow
    Halifax – London Heathrow
    Montreal – Brussels
    Montreal – London Heathrow
    Montreal – Paris CDG
    Ottawa – London Heathrow
    St. John’s Nfld – London Heathrow
    Toronto – Amsterdam
    Toronto – Copenhagen
    Toronto – London Heathrow
    Toronto – Paris CDG
    Toronto – Zurich
    Vancouver – London Heathrow


    Congrats to Air Serbia on your second anniversary!

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    Replies
    1. Congrats to OU and AC too for their cooperation!

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  10. Vidi se napredak ogroman otkad je EY preuzeo ASL u kvalitetu usluge i ostalij stvari .
    Ali od svega toga sto je donro uradjeno mi se jos jedino ne dopada mapa destinacija.
    INN-NS

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    1. Hello Air Serbia.
      Happy second anniversary! ✈✈✈.

      ✈R✈.

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  11. The new wings of Europe without flights to Spain.

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    1. Who cares for Spain? Where they will transfer?

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    2. Spain, similar to Portugal is destination with no O&D potential and even less transfer potential (South America as signature lines). Some routes just cannot succeed because of many practical reasons.

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    3. Seasonal summer flight to Barcelona is as far as I will go with Spain at the moment.

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    4. I agree with anon 12:05pm.

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  12. The transformation of what was Jat into today's Air Serbia is nothing short of impressive.
    The only issue is sustainability and if they want to be really self-reliant and profitable than they really need to grow much larger than they are now to justify the large investments they have made so far.

    If they can get away with this capital expenditure, then go for it!

    P.S. Can't believe how fast these last two years have gone!

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  13. Svi primecuju i pozitivno komentarisu izvanredan napredak cabin servce. I jeste napravljen neverovatan napredak i u roku od godinu i po dana smo dovedeni sa servisom medju pet najboljih kompanija Evrope. Na SKYTRAKSU za to vreme dobijamo ISKLJUCIVO najveci broj poena i samo superlative.Znam kako je bilo ikako je sada i drago mije sto je tako. Ali covek koji je stajao iza svega toga i koga je iz Dubaia doveo EY, je upravo napustio kompaniju, kazu Sindikat i HR su to trazili. Neka nam je Bog u pomoci, izgleda da ponovo uvodimo Samoupravljanje.

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    1. Ne mogu da uzmem za ozbiljno informacije od nekoga ko napiše da je EY iz Dubaija.

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    2. Botovi su pronasli blog. Spasavaj se ko moze.

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    3. haha epic fail

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  14. Air Seychelles also congratulated Air Serbia :D
    https://scontent-vie1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/t31.0-8/12189376_918778354837091_8526951718138468966_o.jpg

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    1. Could have chosen some nice tropical gals.

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  15. I fly to Dubrovnik several times a year from Paris -- every 6 weeks or so (for over 20 years). I usually travel with Croatia Airlines, Lufthansa or Austrian. I flew via Belgrade on Sunday for the first time with Air Serbia and I was VERY impressed. The flight attendants are very attractive, perfect make-up, friendly, professional, very polished, a choice of meal in economy, etc. -- and their prices are much lower!! Too bad they don't fly to DBV in winter. Next time I have a choice I will fly with them. Croatia Airlines was great in the early 90s...now, you just get some olives and some cheese as your main meal on a 2.5-hour flight!! The flight attendants are no longer attractive and they are also not as professional as they used to be until a few years ago (no greeting when you enter the cabin, private conversations while passengers are boarding, etc.)

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    1. Awesome!! Hope you fly with our Serbian airline again, so we can share our hospitality with you! :)

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  16. Čestitke! Air Serbia zaslužuje sve phvale na osnovu mog iskustva. Uostalom to i zaslužuje kompania koja nastavlja dugu tradiciju i koja je pionir civilne avijacije ovih prostora (Aeroput, 1927g., JAT).
    Srećno!
    Pozdrav iz Crne Gore.

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  17. Air Serbia's arrival should be welcomed by the entire travelling population of ex-yu. Why ? because they put pressure on all other regional carriers to lift their game. Who would ever have imagined 2 years ago, that we would have wifi on board aircraft flying through the skies of ex-yu; such high levels of onboard service or a Business lounge such as the one they now have in Belgrade. All world class and all from one of the carriers in this region. Hopefully the others will follow suite, meaning that we - the traveling public - can benefit from better and greater levels of service, than we have ever had.

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  18. How are JU's loads to AUH as of lately, any idea?

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  19. OT: Open the link and enjoy!

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/ivandupont/sets/72157657824372714

    Congrats, Air Serbia, happy birthday!

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    Replies
    1. Woow! Nemam reci, extra!! Svetski a nase. :love:

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    2. Go go, Zagreb!

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  20. All 2015 year round 78 PAX per flight, clf around 61%. In September alone clf on Abu Dhabi route was 68,7%.

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  21. Why no Serbian newspapers didn't report about the 2nd anniversary?

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    Replies
    1. Dobro pitanje.

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    2. Pa nije bas da nisu...

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  22. Happy second birthday! Wishlist for Air Serbia:

    - nice widebody or two
    - Air Serbia branded credit card and local loyalty partners
    - smartphone and tablet app
    - 737 not in scheduled service
    - electronic boarding pass
    - ATR -200 replacement
    - free inflight games, map, music and video streaming
    - new codeshares
    - real time baggage tracker within app
    - no checked baggage fare option
    - ASL self serve check-in kiosks/bag drop at BEG airport
    - more slots at LHR for double daily
    - online checkin for all routes and departure airports
    - new destinations, both regional and USA/Canada
    - exit row/aisle/window seat selection for a fee
    - acquisition of another airline

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