Air Serbia has seen its passenger numbers grow during the first three quarters of the year. According to a report by Belgrade Airport, the national carrier welcomed 2.112.735 passengers during the nine-month period, an increase of 1.8% on last year. The airline accounted for 55% of all traffic at Belgrade Airport. It operated 25.816 flights, an improvement of 1.7%. Air Serbia's busiest route was Zurich where it handled 138.441 passengers, an increase of 16.6% on 2015. It was followed by Paris with 121.785 travellers, down 3.5%, then Podgorica with 109.949 passengers, up 4.5%, Tivat with 97.767 travellers, up 4.3% and Moscow, where it registered 89.571 passengers or a decrease of 12.9%. On all other destinations, the Serbian carrier welcomed 1.561.222 travellers on board its aircraft, up 1.7%. The airline had previously published its own regular quarterly updates but has stopped with the practice since this year.
Commenting on the airline's main goals for the future, Air Serbia's CEO, Dane Kondić, said in a recent interview with "Paste Magazine", "Our primary goal at Air Serbia is to be the leading airline in Southeast Europe, and that means offering best-in-class products and services, with modern aircraft and a network that takes people where they want to go. As the national airline we care about preserving our national heritage, but at the same time we want to showcase the modern Serbia many travellers are simply unaware of". He added, "The launch of flights to New York was significant in this regard as not only has it reconnected Serbia and the US with a Serbian-operated flight after a break of 24 years, but it has provided a new air link for American travellers and businesses to discover what we have to offer".
According to Mr Kondić, Air Serbia's main strong point compared to its competitors in the region is its focus on service. "We have a strong network, flying to 44 destinations, so people can fly from New York to Belgrade, spend a week or two in Serbia, and travel on to Montenegro or Croatia for example. At the same time as building up our Belgrade hub, we are also quickly gaining a reputation for our service, both long and short haul. Our business class service is particularly recognised for being arguably the best short haul product in Europe - a ninety minute flight between Belgrade and Berlin offers a level of service comparable to many longer flights on other airlines. With the rise of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) travel to Serbia, this is another segment we are keen to focus on", Mr Kondić said.