Jat hopes for 2009 passenger boost

Passenger growth recorded in 2008

In 2008 Serbia’s national carrier Jat Airways transported 1.360.940 passengers, 2.829 tonnes of cargo and 582 tonnes of mail on 21.603 flights. Compared to 2007, the number of passengers increased by 4%, the quantity of cargo dropped 13% continuing the downward trend present since 2006, while the amount of mail increased by 7%. The Cabin Load Factor (CLF) stood at 64%, or two percentage points up on the 2007 level, while the Weight Load Factor (WLF) rose by 2%. In 2008, Jat Airways fleet logged 38.304 block hours. The average daily number of block hours for the entire fleet was 9:23 block hours, 3% higher than in 2007. The B737-300 fleet recorded the highest number of flight hours - 10:23 block hours, the B737-400 aircraft logged an average 8:29 block hours, while the ATR72 aircraft average stood at 7:39 block hours.

However Jat has seen sliding passenger numbers in the last few months of 2008. It hopes that events which are scheduled to be held across Serbia in 2009 will boost passenger numbers. These include the first Belgrade ATP tennis tournament, FEST International film festival, The Universiade Olympic Games (sponsored by Jat), EXIT music festival and the Guča trumpet festival, also sponsored by Jat.

Meanwhile there has been some bad news as another aircraft in the Jat Airways fleet has been grounded – an ATR72. Jat has leased an Aviogenex B737-200 in order to fend off any disruption to its schedule. Serbia’s Minister for Infrastructure has again repeated yesterday that major change is coming for the airline and that Jat will always be Serbia’s national carrier.