Jat vs. Competition

Competition mounts
With the low cost Niki launching flights from Vienna to Belgrade yesterday, February 1, a total of 21 scheduled airlines now use Belgrade Airport. Three new airlines have confirmed their arrival in the coming months and several are awaiting approval. The result of this competition has seen Jat’s share of flights from its hub airport decline from 46.2% to 40.2%. A total of 78% of the airline’s flights are in direct competition with other carriers. Despite being faced with greater competition Jat is still managing to beat some big rivals, including a low cost airlines, while on some markets it has become a distant memory.

In 2009, Jat had success on the Belgrade - Stuttgart line. Despite being exposed to direct competition from the low cost Germanwings, according to data processed on behalf of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, Jat regularly has more passengers than its rival. Although the route is far from popular, it has given the carrier some confidence in managing to overcome the onslaught of low cost airlines expected to arrive soon. Jat has also claimed victory over British Airways on flights to London Heathrow Airport. In 2009, Jat transported 72.310 passengers on this route, which is 1.9% less then last year. On the other hand, British Airways carried 52.244 passengers in 2009 and recorded a decline of 7.3%. Thus, Jat’s share on the route increased from 57 to 58%. Whether this share will be destabilised by the announced Wizz Air flights from London Luton Airport remains to be seen.

However, Jat is trailing on routes to Istanbul, Vienna, Frankfurt, Athens and more notably Montenegro. Jat only holds a share of 29% of all transported passengers to Istanbul, the other 71% going to Turkish Airlines. According to Belgrade Airport data, Jat transported 57.121 passengers to Podgorica in 2009 compared to 143.076 by Montenegro Airlines. To Tivat Jat carried 57.121 passengers (47.5% less than in 2008). This is in comparison to 133.063 passengers carried by Montenegro Airlines. Jat has begun reviewing its flights to Montenegro for the 2010 summer season in hope of attracting more passengers.


  1. Anonymous09:42

    All Jat's "victories" have roots in Serbian budget deficit.

  2. Anonymous10:01

    JAT can easily lower the prices in the nearby region and offer 50 euro incl taxes onewaytickets to lju,tgd,tiv,sjj,puy,skp,vie etc.
    Just start and there will not be any more minus to the Serbian budget.

  3. Anonymous10:08

    JAT still has so big room to be regional market leader, feeding it`s off-region position, including current fleet characteristics. JAT just need THE manager.

  4. Anonymous10:27

    JAT need no more than 700 employees, competent management and new fleet for regional lines. No more dreams from eighties.

  5. @ anonymous

    the problem is having the extra workers leave the airline. the goal of brining the amount of employees to 1.000 isnt going all too well.

    definately JAT needs to strengthen its possition on the Balkans especially in the Yugoslav region.

  6. Anonymous12:44

    There is a reason why Jat is beating BA, and perhaps other airlines in terms of passengers - Jat's flights to London are at an earlier time. A lot of people flying to N. America might use London as a jump-off point, and usually the earlier the flight is, the better the chances of getting on a flight to, say N. America.

    I highly doubt that BA can lose to Jat in any domain under normal circumstances

  7. Anonymous14:31

    Jat promote fake campaign in media about their quality and cheap flights. They hope that someone believe in their competitiveness. That is impossible to reach with old fleet and over employment.

  8. Zrak14:55

    It doesn't really say that much that you have more passengers than say German Wings as we don't know what kind of capacity German Wings and JAT have on these route. It would be much more useful to get to know load factors on these routes.

    Also just because JAT has more passangers than say BA on BEG-LHR route doesn't mean that JAT is in better situation than BA as we again do not know anything about structure of the passengers (First/Business/Economy)

    And finally costs at different companies will differ due to organizational structure. SAS comes to my mind as an example here. They always have high load factors, lots of business passengers, wealthy customer base and yet they keep posting losses due to enormous cost of their staff. Somehow I think that JAT will more remind of SAS than of Ryanair or German Wings when it comes to these kind of costs.

    Not to be overly negative but JAT can probably best be compared (in forms of effectiveness, passenger structure and organizational abilities) to other airlines from former Yugoslav states and if you look at passenger numbers comparison to Montenegro Airlines it doesn't look that good.

    I mostly blame such articles on un-educated journalists who are not able to ask follow-up questions and generally act as fan boys while interviewing their subjects.

  9. Anonymous15:24

    don't forget JAT flies every to LHR, while BA (winter timetable) 5X a week. this has to be considered as well!

  10. JU520 BEGLAX16:23

    More important that figures and load ficutres are yields and profits. We were AA ZRH-JFK with loadfactors over 80% and had to close down operations to JFK.

    JU will never be a leader in Ex YU, before they do not change service, fleet, improve BEG airport and the economical situation will allow them daily 1-3 flights per main destinations so waiting times in BEG are cut down to max 90-120 minutes. Right now the leaders for Ex YU are clearly LH,OS,TK and JP/OU

  11. Anonymous19:27

    For last eleven years of regular flying LHR/LGW-BEG-LHR/LGW I managed to avoid JU as much as possible.

    Preffered option is "the other one" which used to be superb. I remember days even getting proper cuttlery! With the price differencw of £10 and much better service, fleet that is not reaching the age of consent (or more), I always opted for BA.

    Talking about early morning flights, BA leaves LHR at 08.25 which is perfect time for passengers from Transatlantic Routes which mainly arrive very much first thing in the morning.

    Last time on JAT was unforgetable with being charged in Serbian airline in Euros (Dinars NOT in use) and not being given change nor apppology.

    It will take some time for me to swap to JAT on this route.
    Wizz Air...well, lets hope so!

  12. Anonymous21:46

    Load =/= Yield. Case closed

  13. From everyone of my family members who have flown with BA havnt been impressed with them. Flying via CDG or MUC with AF or LH from N. America apparently is much better than via LHR with BA.

    JAT is pathetic in many ways, from not accepting its national currency on its flights to the level of service on some of their flights, ie to the ME. Fingers crossed things drastically change when JAT becomes Air Serbia.

    Does anyone know of how many aircraft have been fitted with the new interior?

  14. ANONYMOUS13:08

    4 B737s have the new interiors.

    Air Serbia = no chance anytime soon.

    As for this ridiculous debate - absolute passenger numbers are irrelevant, it's PROFITABILITY that matters.

    Stuttgart??? If anyone on here knew how much money they're losing on that route you'd be horrified. Jat can't compete with low cost carriers, even half-baked ones like Germanwings (which are part owned by Lufthans for god's sake!) and whose costs aren't really that low.


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