Year in review

2010 was a year of thrills and spills for the aviation industry. While most airlines managed to see an increase in the number of passengers after the disastrous 2009, no one could predict that a volcano in Iceland would bring the aviation world to a standstill. At the end of the year, mother nature paralysed air links once again as snow storms swept across Europe and the United States. In the EX-YU region, most national airlines saw a recovery in terms of passengers served, however, financial losses have continued to haunt all carriers. There was the regular strike here and there, several unfulfilled promises and several management changes. Here is a short, light hearted, recount of the year national carriers from the EX-YU had.

Adria finished 2010 with a bang ... and not in a good way. The airline’s management revealed that the Slovenian carrier is on the brink of bankruptcy and in need of finding a strategic partner in 2011 in order to survive. However, it wasn’t all that bad for Adria. It managed to see its passenger numbers increase, it opened a new base in Priština in December and relaunched flights to Belgrade after almost 2 decades. Adria’s final Airbus A320 was retired while the airline brought in new A319s. Furthermore, Adria continued its regional expansion by launching subsidised flights from Ljubljana to Banja Luka.

B&H Airlines saw its passenger numbers explode as the airline introduced new flights. The airline launched flights to Belgrade, Banja Luka and Zagreb although it retained its tradition of opening and suspending flights after several weeks. Nevertheless, the airline replaced its Boeing B737-400 with an Airbus A319 and launched the much awaited Sarajevo – Amsterdam service. The carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina saw its CEO bid farewell to the airline as he took over business at the Bosnian Embassy in Qatar. The highlight news item of the year relating to B&H was when local media revealed that the airline was no longer serving pork and alcoholic beverages on its flights. The claims were refuted by the carrier and the story was quickly forgotten. On December 15, citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina were freed from visa restrictions to some 27 European countries, which is expected to benefit the national carrier.

“Losses” was the catchphrase at Croatia Airlines in 2010. The airline lost passengers and lots of money. It was only fitting that the airline’s CEO stood down after 13 years at the helm, while at the same time working for Lufthansa CityLine. Croatia Airlines also saw its cabin crew stage strikes, unhappy with pay cuts. Low cost airlines increased their presence in Croatia in 2010, especially in Zagreb, much to the dislike of the national carrier. The planed 4 weekly service from Zagreb to Belgrade, scheduled to begin on May 1, was dumped. However, it wasn’t all grim news. The airline welcomed new Dash aircraft to its fleet and retained the name of the EX-YU regional leader in terms of passengers carried.

There’s never a dull year at Jat Airways. 2010 started off with a strike by its catering supplier and set the tone for the rest of 2010. The airline did not receive new aircraft as planed but managed to increase passenger numbers as competition blasted off from its home turf. Loathing its company’s management, employees finally had their day in December when it was replaced. In 2010, Jat saw several marketing campaigns and several grounded aircraft returned to its fleet. The Serbian carrier continued with its traditional financial losses but managed to secure a multi million Euro loan.

Montenegro Airlines took its turn to become 2010’s failed privatisation. The airline didn’t sell 30% of its shares but sold more tickets and as a result saw it passenger numbers significantly increase. The Montenegrin carrier received a new Embraer jet and relaunched flights to Niš.

In the following few weeks 2010 results for EX-YU airlines and airports will be published including Macedonia, which spent another year without a national carrier. 2011 is expected to be another recovery year in the aviation industry.

What are your predictions for the abovementioned airlines in 2011? Leave a comment.


  1. Anonymous11:36

    And the year for review in Macedonia was?????

  2. Anonymous11:52

    And the year for review in Macedonia was?????
    Actually there is nothing to review in Macedonia, we didn’t have national airline so there is no point to review Air Lift, Sky Wings, and all others which was obvious that they will close down business due to “unknown reasons”. As you can see from the reviews all the airlines are national airlines, they are not charter or 3 months airlines, thy use to be on the market for many years and years….

  3. As stated in the first paragraph the review is only of national carriers in the EX-YU.


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