The big three

EX-YU’s busiest airlines count their numbers
With 2011 coming to an end, the three busiest airlines of the former Yugoslavia - Croatia Airlines, Jat Airways and Adria Airways have carried a combined total of almost 3.770.000 passengers so far this year.

With the exception of a few industrial spats with its employees, Croatia Airlines has had a good year by decreasing losses and increasing passenger numbers. By the end of October, the Croatian carrier welcomed 1.596.235 passengers onboard, an increase of 15% compared to the same period last year. Its average cabin load factor has so far this year amounted to 66%, slightly up on last year when it stood at 62%.

On the other hand, Serbia’s national carrier, Jat Airways, handled 1.141.476 passengers by the end of November, an increase of 15% compared to the same period in 2010. Its average cabin load factor currently stands at 70%, significantly up on last year when it was 60%. The airline recently revealed its latest results for November to EX-YU aviation news, as it recorded its seventeenth consecutive month of rising passenger numbers. In November, the Serbian carrier welcomed 77.751 passengers onboard, an increase of 10% despite a 14% reduction in the number of operated flights. The average cabin load factor stood at 68%, 14 points up on November 2010. Passengers using Jat’s Montenegro services increased 22%, figures for Euro-Mediterranean flights were up 7% while passengers using Jat’s charter flights doubled compared to last November.

Finally, Slovenia’s Adria Airways, which has had to deal with plenty of negative publicity in the past few months in regards to its future, has managed to serve 1.032.238 passengers by the end of October, an increase of 1% compared to last year. However, since news of Adria’s delicate financial situation began to spread a few months ago numbers took a tumble. In October alone passenger figures were down 4% compared to last year. However, with its network reductions coming into force during November, it will be a few more days before its affect on passenger numbers is revealed. So far this year, Adria’s average cabin load occupancy stands at 64%, down on 2010 when it amounted to 69%.


  1. Anonymous09:03


  2. Anonymous09:16

    There is still room for aprovement where all 3 big ex yu players could give 1 plane to new low cost company that would use only secondary aiports on Balkan and Europe.
    Adria Express one way ticket from 29 to 59 EUR! here we go: Maribor, Osijek, Rijeka, Zadar, Pula, Banja Luka, Tuzla/Mostar, Nis, Kraljevo, Ohrid, Tivat connecting to Europe: London, Luxemburg, Koln, Berlin, Marseille and maybe some touristic destination in seasons! New money in the region!

  3. Anonymous09:17

    Wow congratulations to Jat Airways. Finally some really good results.

    I am sure that in 2012 their numbers will keep on rising even more with increased frequencies and new routes.

    From London Gatwick flights I am sure that they will be able to transport 80,000 passengers. Not to mention Jat's wise decision to increase flights to Moscow from 7 to 10.

    I am sure that if things go according to plan Jat Airways will be having 1.300.000 passengers in 2012.

    Next thing they should do is re-launch their flights to Ljubljana. Before the crisis they used to carry roughly 20 to 30.000 passengers per year.

  4. Anonymous09:20

    Additionally, Jat Airways will serve two good airports in London while Wizz Air will be stuck with the crappy Luton.
    Naturally W6 is not going to cancell their route but I am sure that they are going to experience less passengers.

    With three daily flights to London from Belgrade now, I wonder what it might look like when Serbs get their visas removed for the UK.

    Also the new flight to LGW is wonderful because it will allow regional passengers on the afternoon flights from MNE and SKP to connect to London. Something that was mostly possible on the morning flights.

  5. Anonymous09:37

    Really positively surprised with JATs results.

  6. Peter from Sydney09:52

    Agree with the results for Jat! Compared to Croatian which has many more options for tourism along the coast, Jat is doing fantastic figures!

  7. Anonymous10:11

    Not to mention that Jat faces far more competition at its home airport.

    A good thing for Jat was that Wizz Air opened its base in Belgrade. Besides forcing them to lower the fares it has also forced to wake up and realize that what they have done so far does not work.
    This is best portrayed by the smart moves implemented from the summer season.

    Above all, I am more than happy that Jat wasn't privatized. Here we have the best proof that you do not need to sell your airline only for it to become well run.

  8. Anonymous11:09

    Really good results for JU pax number wise, however substantially healthier financial results cannot be achieved with 1300 employees + Su-Port + Catering + Jat Tehnika's 1000+ still being dependent on Jat (that one should hopefully change in the near future though).

    Far better optimized employee structure and massive downsizing (including aircrew) are a must if positive changes are to happen...

  9. Anonymous11:17

    Well let's hope that with the new aircraft joining the fleet to support the summer expansion the number of employees will be less of a burden.

    It does interest me, in which branch of the airline there is the most employees? As in more than needed?

  10. SuisseOuest11:24

    I join everyone in congratulating JAT on good pax numbers :) Imagine how much they could do with more balanced fleet (733 is just too big for many destinations and too short-ranged for middle east) and newer economical planes...
    Is it possible to get some info about JAT's financial results?

  11. Anonymous11:36


    Well with the new schedule connections from the region are goingt to be facilitated which will hopefully result in even more passengers from the region.

    I wonder if Jat will allow for passengers from the region to fly SKP-BEG-LGW-LHR-BEG-SKP. That could surely add more options and flexibility to the passengers.

  12. Anonymous12:45

    Congratulations for Croatia Airlines! They did great job in this year with improved financial results :) They carried 15% more pax without lowering the ticket prices - that is really success!

  13. Anonymous13:19

    They carried 15% more pax without lowering the ticket prices

    They did lower their tickets to key European destinations due to growing competition.

  14. Anonymous14:05

    Concerning Jat's redundancies compared to OU/Croatia Airlines - itself not being airline with optimal workforce (according to a slightly outdated public data - not 100% precise):

    +50 pilots compared to OU (Croatia Airlines)

    +70 cabin crew compared to OU.

    Comparing ASK flown (again rought estimate) OU flew 10% more than JU, so these redundancies comparing to OU are even higher. Aircrew are outlined because their salaries are considerably above airline's average, so just leveling redundancies in that section to the level of OU would generate multi-million annual savings (let's say roughly 3-5 million EUR, I'm not sure of exact current aircrew benefits, some JU insider may correct me).

    Of course there are redundancies all across the company, for example 100 people in ground operations, although there is Jat SU-PORT doing ground handling.

    Of course, it is not only a matter of number but also the quality of the remaining employees. The good ones should be kept and further attracted, while numerous nepotistic residues should be discouraged to stay, which is the most challenging task in any downsizing. Also, salaries for the remaining ones should in many cases be increased (of course not including aircrew), as the current ones can hardly support attracting quality people...

  15. Anonymous14:06

    JAT numbers include November, but CTN & AA don't.

    So, JAT please "bre", try to do better.

  16. Anonymous14:27

    Last anonymous,

    Why would the numbers of American Airlines be inlcude in this report?

  17. Anonymous14:29

    God bless America!

  18. Anonymous14:30

    Last Ano.

    It has been IQ test for you.

  19. Anonymous15:02

    Riiiight... no need to hide your ignorance, we understand. Being slow is not that bad.

  20. Anonymous22:02

    The top two airlines from the region are Croatia Airlines and Adria Airways. They both have modern fleets and are part of the Star Alliance which proves their quality. I believe now that Croatia is joining the EU, relations between Croatia and Slovenia will only get better as they have been since the bilateral disputes have been resolved. The two airlines seem to be moving closer to merging. Croatia Airlines and Adria Airways would be a perfect match. Both airlines should continue to operate as separate entities under the same umbrella, similar to British Airways and Iberia. Adria Airways can help out in Croatia during the summer tourist season, etc, etc.

    Even though JAT Airways has better numbers than Adria, they are the third best airlines in the region. JAT is not part of any alliance, which shows that the airline needs a complete overhaul. The name needs to be changed as Yugoslavia is and always will be DEAD. They need to come to terms with that and change the name to Air Serbia or something to that nature. They also need a complete fleet overhaul as their planes are nearly 20 years old. Once they achieve this, they will have a far better chance to join an alliance. Strategically, they would try to join the Star Alliance. As Adria and Croatia Airlines are members. Personally i would have nothing against all the airlines of the region uniting as i proposed with Croatia and Adria. But JAT has alot of work to do before this happens. Also Serbia needs to resolve issues with Croatia and move closer to joing the EU. Only then will the climate be right for " Air Serbia" to join the upcoming merger of Croatia Airlines and Adria. I must say we are at least 8-10 years away from seeing that happen.

  21. BSL-BEG22:35

    untioplCzechoslovakia is DEAD and we still have CSA!

  22. Anonymous23:42

    Last anonymous,

    Your statement lacks a lot of logical details.
    Jat has never expressed interest in joining Star Alliance if anything then Jat has aimed at joining SkyTeam. They have far closer ties with airlines such as KLM or Aeroflot.

    Note from the administrator: Part of this comment has been edited due to irrelevance in relation to the topic

  23. Anonymous00:09

    Apart from LCY, LGW is closest to my home but if JAT prices return trip to BEG at 250+ euros, as they are doing right now, I will still fly with Wizzair.(just bought 2 adults +infant On W6 for the same price as 1 adult on JAT) Don't forget that the difference between Flying from LGW and LTN is around 35min and 3-4 pounds one way. I doubt that many people will rush to fly with JAT from LGW unless they offer better price. Perhaps they can capture some transatlantic passengers.


  24. Crew00:48

    Too late JAT, too late. Rest in peace.

    P.S. LGW really doesn't really mean a better choice than LTN. London is not a small city and there is very good connection to LTN too (Greenline from Victoria Coach Station for example and you can pay for it while booking a flight on wizzair) so it will not be a reason for people to choose JAT over cheap and effective Wizzair with safe and newer planes (one more plus compared to JAT's neglected dangerous fleet).

  25. Anonymous01:15

    It would be nice to see financials for JU, though. Somehow their whole business model, combined with sheer age of the fleet, seems troublesome. If you can't go into black with 70% LF, then you need to change something big and change it fast. They still have gov't support and they should use it while possible.

    Also, I don't see why they wouldn't allow *-BEG-LHR-LGW-BEG-*, it's the same city, many airlines which fly to cities with multiple airports do that all the time, such as EWR/JFK...

  26. Anonymous07:18

    To anonymous @1.15...
    JU is old machine with lot of bad things that has to be changed, but, please take into consideration that airlines with different bussines model like JP and OU also got generosly helped by their governments, too. ou can find articles on Ex yu aviation site...
    I also think that even harder times are coming for aviation.

  27. Anonymous09:31

    If someone want to know how things are bad in JAT and can read Serbian cirilic should read findings of State Audit Agency REPORT ON FINANCIAL STATEMENT AUDIT AND COMPLIANCE AUDIT OF THE JOINT STOCK COMPANY "JAT AIRWAYS", FOR 2010

  28. Concerning OU and JP being Star Alliance members, you should realise that that alliance arrangement suits best Lufthansa's interest and not OU or JP's. In reality translates to "connect your domestic airports with most important points in Europe where you'll compete with LCCs and be forced to constantly lower airfares, and concerning long haul flights where the real bounty is - keep feeding FRA and MUC as much as you can and Lufthansa will do that for you". It is an unfavorable arrangement only allowing OU and JP to survive thanks to more extensive code sharing, FF programes, etc.

    Lufthansa would basically wish all regional airlines to join Star Alliance in that way, it even succeeded forging arrangement with JU effectively putting it in a similar position (ended only recently).

    Real profits are in long haul flights, and why would not for example regional airlines do it on their own in cooperation and make some real money (if they cannot do it alone) - well they can't, because LH will not allow it - they like been fed to FRA and MUC and doing it by themselves.

    Concerning airline being endangered the most, in my view it is JP for sure - their glory days were when they were serving 23 M market + flying summer charters to the entire Adriatic coast. Nowadays, with that market and many possibilities with it gone, and with further ECAA agenda, they would have to change their model radically and find some additional markets completely unrelated to Slovenia, to some extent similar to LCCs.

    Airline having the biggest potential currently is OU, mainly due to tourist pax, however that will come under pressure with further ECAA rollout and complete loss of competition protection comming from billaterals system.

    JU or some other airline replacing it will do relatively well, as Serbia's 7+ M market potential alone is enough to support a Serbian flag carrier.

  29. Anonymous15:35

    Thanks for the link to audit report! Really fascinating document (much more through than independent audit reports which can be found on JAT's website). Although I have no clue about auditing, I can see just from scanning through numbers that costs are so high (especially myriad of costs not directly related to planes) that JAT wouldn't be profitable even with 100% load factor... Also, it is quite painful for an IT person to see how messed up JAT's information system is: half-baked instalation of Oracle which is not integrated with other components of financial and inventory system + bunch of other systems paid for but never brought on-line...


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