Air Serbia soars in April

Air Serbia sees record April and boosts ties with Etihad Regional

Air Serbia has seen its passenger numbers climb in April as the airline was given a boost by the Easter holidays and the lead-in to the May Day break. During its sixth consecutive month of growth, the Serbian national carrier handled 172.954 passengers, a massive increase of 90.4% compared to last year’s 90.844 travellers. During the month, the airline launched flights to Sofia and Budapest and significantly increased frequencies across its network as the 2014 summer season kicked off. In April, Air Serbia maintained a share of 47% of all passengers who passed through Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, up 11% on 2013.

During April the airline recorded an average cabin load factor of 68%. Flights which saw the highest cabin occupancy rate were from Paris, Zurich and Amsterdam to Belgrade. Overall, during the first four months of the year, Air Serbia has managed to handle over half a million passengers. The airline welcomed 541.343 travellers on board its aircraft, an increase of 73.2%, making it the busiest carrier in the former Yugoslavia. According to Belgrade Airport, Air Serbia’s biggest competition in the first quarter, from its hub, were Wizz Air with 91.715 passengers, Lufthansa with 52.526 and Montenegro Airlines with 42.007 travellers.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN127.432 63.5
FEB108.545 77.1
MAR132.412 60.8
APR172.954 90.4

Meanwhile, the CEO of Etihad Regional, Maurizio Merlo says the two airlines are exploring opportunities to strengthen their cooperation. Regional launched flights from Geneva to the Serbian capital earlier this month with a five hour layover in Belgrade prior to its return to Switzerland. Mr. Merlo says Etihad Regional and Air Serbia are discussing the possibility to utilise the 50-seat aircraft on regional flights from Belgrade before its return to Geneva. Previously, it has been rumoured the turboprop could be used on new flights between Belgrade and the Albanian capital Tirana. The two airlines recently agreed for Etihad Regional’s passenger call centre to be relocated to Belgrade and run by Air Serbia.


  1. Anonymous09:22

    Congratulations. Impressive numbers

  2. Anonymous11:11

    @Purger, did you take that flight to Sofia (or Bucharest was it) with JU like you mentioned? What were your impressions?

    1. Purger00:21

      I will tell you my impression whan I will come back from my business trip.

  3. Anonymous11:32

    Congratulations to Air Serbia. The 68% load factor is a major improvement and a slap in the face to all the naysayers.

    1. Anonymous13:23

      OT: Adria will lounch Ljubljana-Thessaloniki on 10.6. - once a week evry Tuesday

    2. Anonymous13:51

      68% is stil very poor ( if that numbers is correct at all )

    3. Anonymous14:10

      Number is probably correct due to masssive travel of gastarbajteri during Easter period. It will be back to some 50-55 % in May and June, and rise to some 70%again during peak season in July and August.

    4. Anonymous14:20

      I hope JU will iron out the conflict with TK and finally go back to IST airport. SAW airport is a pure nightmare and i strongly recommend you to avoid it at any cost.

    5. Anonymous15:02

      explain why ? its a functional airport and better then any of our Balkans airport.

    6. Anonymous18:32

      Information girls are very rude, check in counters open late, queues at passport control are huge although they have installed enough counters, aircraft handling is bad, and its way too far from the city.

    7. Anonymous19:59

      Anon @ 1.51pm ... 68% LF on a 100% increase in capacity you say is bad ?? What have you been smoking ?? Any airline that can achieve that is more than doing ok ....

  4. Anonymous14:41

    Why those unreasonably bad predictions?

    Why would it be 50-55%, in May and Jun if it was 56-58% in first two or four months, if I recall correctly? Doesn't make sense. And the difference between 50 and 58 is big.

    For those who still wonder if these data are correct, let me remind you this is insider info. No vecernje novosti, TV Pink or any other media that glorifies Vucic and serbian government ever published LF numbers. So why would admin lie? Or why would his data be uncorrect or rigged?

  5. If you doubt the data you only have to consult Belgrade Airport's quarterly report and see that Air Serbia's numbers correspond exactly as they have been reported here since January.

  6. zoran14:53

    Ann. 1:51 PM
    If You can explain why 68% LF in April is "still very poor". Having at least 3 day rotation, introducing new lines (no additional flights during Eastern), with all international lines, i'm positive these are good results. And be sure that May and June LF will remain same or little be higher, but in July, August it is expected to be more then 85%.

  7. Anonymous15:04

    Does it mean (according to 68% LF) that AS offers about 250.000 seats per month ... more than 3 mio per year?

    1. Anonymous15:27

      No, the number of aircraft in the fleet varies each month because of the use of Boeings, the repainting and servicing of ATRs, the introduction of the A320 this April. So there was 68% average for the month of April. You can't apply a universal estimate for the year because the airline is introducing or phasing out aircraft every single month.

    2. Anonymous16:19

      Ok thx .... so average LF is an average of LFs per each flight

    3. Well usually load factor is this:

      passenger air seat kilometers (PASKM) divided by total air seat kilometers (ASKM).

      to calculate PASKM for a single flight, simply multiply the distance flown by the number of passengers.

      to calculate ASK for a single flight, simply multiply the distance by the total seats available for purchase.

      but I think that all the airlines in ex-yu actually report this:

      total seats sold divided by seats for sale.

    4. Anonymous19:49

      I see....some lessons would be great to adopt as I can see that more or less people talk just about something not about the facts...thx for the explanation

    5. Anonymous20:00

      Sorry, Aleksandar, what is passenger air seat kilometers? Could you give us an example for your 6:46 PM post? Thank you!

    6. Of course. :)

      I will give example of Banja Luka flight. The flight is about 238 km. The ATR 72-200 can hold 66 passengers. This means that there is 238 x 66 air seat kilometers available.
      So total ASKm available on BEG-BNX when ATR flies is 15.708.

      Now if the plane has 15 seats sold, then 15 x 238 is the total Passenger Air Seat Kilometers sold. The total is 3570 air seat kilometers sold.

      This means that 3570 seat kilometers out of 15.708 available were sold, which is about 23%

      So why is this important? Well it allows us to distinguish regional flights and long haul flights when calculating load factor. Having a 30% load factor on the Banja Luka flight is no big deal, but having a 30% load factor on a flight to Abu Dhabi will mean that Air Serbia can lose thousands of Euros.

    7. Anonymous22:16

      I don't understand. 40% of 500 and 40% of 10 million is still 40%

    8. Anonymous22:19

      Aco, just small correction : in AUH case it's tens of thousands of euros, not thousands.

      As far as I've heard on this very blog, AUH has one of the worst LF's in JU, with an average of some 30-40 pax per flight.

      Very roughly speaking, if 1 hour on 319 costs approx. 5000 euros (let put it to 4000, due to possible favourable deals with EY, and if 40 pax pay each 500 euros for return ticket (and it's probably less), we see that each return flight makes 20.000 euros loss.

      Now, how many BNX's,OTP's, LJU's and's are needed to "cover" for such losses. But, of course, when someone writes like this, he is, according to many people here, pure hater, and troll, and of course, croatian

    9. AnonymousMay 19, 2014 at 10:16 PM,
      please allow me to explain it this way:

      Airline "A" has planes that seat 200 passengers. The airline operates 20 flights per week. Ten flights are regional and ten flights are long haul.

      The ten regional flights have an average of 175 passengers on board, and the flight is 100 km long.

      The ten long haul flights have an average of 100 passengers on board, and the flight is 5000 km long.

      So if we only calculate seats sold divided by total seats for sale, we can this load factor:

      2750 seats sold / 4000 seats available = ~70 % load factor. This is pretty good, no?

      But is that really accurate? I would say no because it doesn't take into consideration the different lengths for different flights.

      (175 passengers x 100 km) + (100 passengers x 5000 km)

      divided by

      (200 available seats x 100 km) + (200 available seats x 5000 km) =

      = 50.73 % loadfactor.

      This takes into consideration the longer routes, which are now given greater importance when calculating load factor.

      Of course most airlines won't see a difference of 20% depending on what method they use to calculate load factor since I chose values to better display how error may be introduced, but it is still something to think about.

      I think this website describes all of this very well. There is a lot to consider when trying to figure out the profitability of an airline.

    10. Anonymous00:05

      @Anon at 10:19

      This has nothing to do with nationality. It has to do with the fact that negative comments always follow positive news about Air Serbia. In this case, LF or "loss" of a particular route, just to counter amazing 90% passenger growth.

      For fans and professionals alike who followed announcements and plans Air Serbia made since last year, it is clear that JU stated number of priorities including adding new routes, shift to new fleet etc. However profitability and high load factors are nowhere to be seen as goals for 2014! Only trolls/haters "fail" to see that, and somehow claim "positive criticism" to obsess about profitability and LF. Those parameters will be dealt with in coming years, not in 2014. You can't have BOTH massive growth AND outstanding profits, not in this industry.

  8. Anonymous15:42

    Every time positive results about Air Serbia are published here, negative comments appear with 100% predictability. If the good news are about improved load factor, negative comments are about new planes not joining as fast as initially expected. If good news are about new planes arriving, negative comments are about delays. If the good news are about massive passenger growth, negative comments are about profitability or lack of online check-in etc... You get the picture, haters gonna hate.

    The rest of the industry is impressed with growth and rate of improvements in service and quality. If they continue this way, Air Serbia will deserve the "most improved airline" title for 2014. Keep up the great work!

    1. Anonymous16:15

      improved delays from 4 hous to 3 hours

    2. Anonymous16:26

      Pure hate

    3. Anonymous17:06

      When Zagy, delays there are measured in years, not in hours.

    4. Anonymous18:07

      No, you have wrong info. Last flight of Korean Air B747-400 in Zagy was on time, not delayed. And imagine, it's in Zagy, not Begy.

      And if critical commenting on Air Serbia within the topic are pure hate, I wonder what this off-topic of yours is, pure love I guess.

    5. Anonymous21:23

      If Singapore Airlines or Lufthansa had 90% passenger increase YoY, they would not be able to cope with that growth and would have massive delays, cancellations and other issues. Twitter would explode with passengers disgusted with LH service and SQ would not be #1 in quality. Every airline insider know that problems that come with massive growth of 90% YoY are expected (and a great problem to have!), as long as airline is working as diligently as Air Serbia to rectify issues in the long run. However trolls/haters don't know that, and unlike airline professionals are solely focused on just negative side effects of such explosive growth. That's the difference between industry professionals and those who pretend to be, but are really just pure haters.

    6. Anonymous22:07

      When sns botovi call themselves industry professionals and call trolls and haters people who dare having critical opinion, different from theirs : neprocenjivo!!!

    7. Kiza22:42

      @ AnonymousMay 19, 2014 at 10:07 PM
      A ti si neki DR-MR, pa ćeš da nam soliš o vazduhoplovstvu? Ne drobi, nisi interesantan!

    8. Anonymous22:57

      Prvo ne znam koji ste to "vi", verovatno mislis na Vuckove potrcke. Drugo ako nisam interesantan tebi mozda nekome jesam. Trece, nisam ni dr ni mr ali radim u vazduhoplovstvu od 1986 i vrlo dobro znam o cemu pricam. Cetvrto ako ti se ne svidja ovde a ti idi citaj nesto drugo. Cao!

    9. Anonymous23:13

      Gospodo draga sto stalno moramo da se svadjamo, svi volimo avijacij.
      Ako ima neko drugo misljenje ne moramo se odma svadjati.
      Kao ja sto mrzim LH a neko je voli.

    10. Kiza01:04

      @ AnonymousMay 19, 2014 at 10:57 PM
      Prvo: nisam ti persirao, jer to ne zaslužuješ; drugo: verovatno si intresantan nekome sa koeficijentom inteligencije poput tvog; treće: verujem da radiš u vazduhoplovstvu gledajući vazduhoplove na nebu; četvrto: za tebe su, ipak, mediji koji ne zahtevaju mnogo razmišljanja. Good night!

    11. Anonymous21:54


  9. Anonymous17:37

    The projected LF for May is currently at around 70% so that's not bad.

    1. Anonymous22:38

      Methodology used for abovementioned projection being crystall ball, located in sns headquarters

  10. Anonymous18:34

    How many humanitarian planes have landed so far in Serbia?
    I know this info for sure:
    1 Belorussian Ilyushin 76
    2 Russian Illyushin 76 in BEG, and 2 in NIS
    1 UN plane in BEG
    any other ones?

  11. Purger18:42

    BEG-OTP A319, 54 passangers on 128 seats (1 in business class)

    = 42%
    by price of 90 EUR return ticket yield should be desaster!

    1. Anonymous18:51

      can you post some pics? How was the overall experience?

    2. Yeah but then again, the past week there were days when OTP had around 100 passengers so its not all doom and gloom.

  12. Yugo19:25

    1: Avio kompanija #AirSerbia 20min pre poletanja aviona sa gejta izbaci 10 putnika jer shvati da je let overbooked!

    2:@airserbia @celal3535 pleaseee we are still in SAW airport and waiting exact flight information

    3:6hours or even more, stuck at the airport #bogazicisultans @airserbia #airserbia

    4:Mr.Müdür ‏@tolcetinkaya 16. Mai

    We have been waiting for 2 hours to fly bergrade from sabiha gokcen airport! @airserbiat

    and so on and on ...

    1. Anonymous00:23

      If you investigate a little bit deeper you will see it's not as bad as it sounds, for example:

      "Wooow pohvala za #AirSerbia refundirace mi avio karte za ono sto su me izbacili iz aviona!:)"

  13. Yesterday's total of Air Serbia flights:

    A319 - 17
    A320 - 3
    733 - 10
    AT7 - 11

    total - 41

    Total flights at BEG:

    Passenger - 73
    Cargo - 2

    total -75

    Not bad. :)

  14. One thing that's great and that is rarely mentioned on here is that Air Serbia has managed to attract passengers flying within the Balkans. Naturally, this model is not yet fully developed since they lack the adequate number of regional frequencies but you know how many passengers fly on the morning JA flight to Belgrade and then connect onward to Skopje, or how many passengers from Ljubljana continue to Sofia and so on. I think this is another market that is not yet developed but it's one they should really work on.

    By the way, yesterday morning, Varna arrived with 37 passengers.

    1. Anonymous19:17

      And do you remember the guy who constantly kept repeating that Air Serbia will not be successful in Ex-Yu region because it has that name instead of some neutral one?

  15. Anonymous17:54

    Ko ce prvi da objavi slike B-737-300 aviona Er Srbijine carter kompanije "Aviolet" (B-737-3H9)?


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