Air Serbia sees passenger decline in H1

Air Serbia saw its passenger numbers decline 3% during the first half of the year on flights to and from its hub in Belgrade, according to the airport's quarterly report. The loss was almost entirely generated during the first quarter of the year when the airline made significant cuts to its network, while the second quarter saw similar passenger figures to that of last year. Overall, the carrier handled 1.110.380 passengers on flights to and from the Serbian capital, thus maintaining its position as the busiest airline in the former Yugoslavia, ahead of Croatia Airlines with 822.260 travellers during the same period. The Serbian carrier recorded 14.848 aircraft movements at Belgrade Airport, down 2.6% on 2015.

Air Serbia's passenger share at Belgrade Airport stood at 52.6% during the January - June period, a decrease of 0.9% on last year. Its figures are expected to grow during the third and fourth quarters with five new routes launched in late June and a planned increase in frequencies during the upcoming 2016/17 winter season. Explaining the carrier's decision to cut operations during last winter, Air Serbia's CEO, Dane Kondić, said in an earlier interview that the measure resulted in improved financial results and a boost in the carrier's average cabin load factor. "The prime goal was to take out capacity to therefore boost our load factors. We have had far more profitable operations - load factor increase of 4 - 5%, yield increases of about 9 - 10% and RASK (Revenue per Air Seat Kilometre) improvement of almost 20%. By any measure, I think it was a fairly smart, wise and good move", Mr Kondić said.

According to Belgrade Airport, Air Serbia's busiest route during the first half of the year was Zurich with 89.845 passengers carried, a notable increase of 17.3% compared to last year. At the same time, Swiss International Air Lines, which competes directly against Air Serbia on the route, saw 82.687 travellers. Zurich was followed by Paris with 75.587 passengers, down 4.9%, then Podgorica with 63.242 travellers, up 5.9%, and Amsterdam with 51.820 passengers carried during the first six months of the year, up 5.9%. According to Belgrade Airport, the carrier's fifth busiest route, Moscow, saw 48.477 passengers, marking a sharp decline of 16.9% on last year.


  1. Anonymous09:03

    I find the route by route passenger numbers quite interesting. Seems quite a few passengers migrated from Swiss to Air Serbia on Zurich flights. Also what is driving Amsterdam growth? Would have thought that with New York being launched there would be fewer people flying to Amsterdam. Also seems like JU has finally overtaken MGX on Montenegro routes. Moscow underperforming.

    1. Anonymous09:07

      ZRH saw an increase because of normal ticket prices, unlike last year. They also had some seasonal flights this year so that helped a bit.

      This is for first half before JFK was launched which is why AMS saw such good growth. This winter it goes down to daily, probably because of JFK direct flights.

    2. Milivoje Rodic14:08

      Yes, ASL takes MGX but mostly because of transit passengers, which is good for Montenegro tourism.

  2. Anonymous09:07

    I would have thought the decline in passengers would have been bigger considering how much they cut the netowrk during the winter.

    1. Anonymous09:18

      "The Serbian carrier recorded 14.848 aircraft movements at Belgrade Airport, down 2.6% on 2015"

      2.6% is not that much of a drop.

  3. Anonymous09:08

    Why the big dop to Moscow?

    1. Anonymous09:11

      During the winter they operated 7 weekly flights compared to 12 the year before.

    2. Anonymous09:17

      I think he means why the passenger demand fall so much for flights to Moscow.

    3. Anonymous09:19

      If you cut 5 weekly flights from the schedule passenger numbers will go down. Demand for travel to Russia has dropped everywhere.

    4. Anonymous09:23

      I guess Aeroflot did well because of all the connections they offer. Then again they always had the upper hand on BEG-SVO sector.

    5. Anonymous10:34

      Schedule!! they (JU) have a poor schedule to SVO!!...often JU is flying 30 minutes within Aeroflot flights so what can they expect!?!
      In addition the construction business where most of the Serbian workers are employed is not currently doing very well hence less travel for our people. Aeroflot has a better choice of flights, they are more punctual, price wise more or less the same and of course they have a vast network they offer. JU is just trailing behind......

    6. Anonymous10:38

      Prestanite vise da pricate o padu to je prosla godina, sve se oporavilo u Rusiji opet uvoze strana pica.

    7. Anonymous11:02

      Nije pad prosla godina, taj isti pad je i u ovoj godini to jest sve dok nisu poceli da dizu saobracaj a to je pocelo od aprila. Pravi rast je krenuo od juna.

    8. Anonymous11:28

      Ja pricam o padu ruske ekonomije znaci nije do toga pad ASL na toj liniji moraju bolje da pogledaj zasto im je opao broj putnika.

    9. Anonymous11:45

      ASL could have salvaged the situation by compensating with transfer pax to MNE and GRE.

    10. Anonymous11:50

      Da li si ti normalan? Pored toliko chartera iz RU i regularnih ruskih prevoznika koji je svaki veci od njih?

    11. Anonymous15:33

      Tom logikom onda ne bi prevozili ni jednog transfernog putnika. Isto turisti iz rusije za ath i skg uglavnom idu redovnim letovima.

    12. Anonymous15:58

      To je logika koja vazi za godidsnjeodmorce posebna
      kategorija putnika pogledaj
      njihov profil na TIV i PDG.

  4. Anonymous09:32

    It is strange that more frequencies since end of March did not accumulate more passengers:

    Amsterdam +1
    Berlin +1
    Bucharest +2
    Dubrovnik +3
    Dusseldorf +1
    Malta +1
    Pula +2
    Sofia +2
    Split +2
    Tirana +2
    Tivat +3
    = +18 flights
    - 10 flights (BUD and WAW) = +8 weekly flights more!!!!

    And new flights from June, 30 of them all together in H1. For sure those flights were not so good as it was start (exempt first flight which are crowded with press, politicians, management, staff), but it should be at least 6.000 passengers more on those 30 return flights:
    +4 Hamburg
    +6 Kiev
    +5 New York
    +3 Ohrid
    +3 St.Petersburg

    All together that was 224 more return flights (448 one way).

    So, how comes that number is same as last year?

    1. Anonymous09:34

      You are including new routes which started in the last week of June and frequency upgrades which started in June too.overall the number of flights was down during the first half as you can see.

    2. Anonymous10:40

      Before making conclusione people should see how Aeroflot is performing on the route...

    3. Anonymous11:44

      Aeroflot is doing really well and that's primarily because of transfer passengers to China and ex-USSR. Two markets that didn't see a decline in passenger numbers.

    4. Anonymous11:47

      Aeroflot wins!

    5. Anonymous14:58

      As I said those 5 new routes made some 30 flights, but after calculation i find it was 45 return flights in June. It is about 10.000 seats. That is just 10% of all 250 return flights (500 one way) since end of March.

      But please do not ignor the fact that in 2nd half of H1 there was 500 new flights but number of passengers were the same. And "summer" part of H1 is bigger than "winter" is it starts on 27th Mach. So winter part had 86 days with old, winter, canibalised time-table, and "summer" part had 96 days with new time-table with much more frequencies than last year. That is not good at all!

    6. Anonymous15:04

      Take note that 90% of Air Serbia's frequency increases in summer start in mid May not March 27. But obviously demand for air travel is lower this year. Same with OU. It had no network cuts during the winter, launched 4 new routes, had an increase in the number of flights and recorded just 3% passenger increase which is really not good at all especially after so many years of decline.

    7. Anonymous15:34

      Most additional flights started in mid june.

    8. Anonymous17:49

      Not true. Most of those start in March, or earlier than last year with more frequencies (SPU, PUY, DBV). Just 5 new routes start in mid June, what is less than 10% of new flights.

    9. Anonymous17:53

      This is not true. Most frequencies increase in mid June like Thessaloniki, Skopje etc..

      "Increases in frequencies to a number of destinations do not come into effect until mid-June."

    10. Anonymous00:35

      In this article just Split, Varana, Pula, Dubrovnik starts in May and June, and those starts earlier than 2015. Where you can see that Thessaloniki and Skopje starts later? Where did you read this? And what are those etc. There is no etc. There is no Thessaloniki and Skopje, and especially not etc.

    11. Anonymous00:41

      No you did not get it at all. Those destinations that you listed above actually start on those dates in May and June because they are SEASONAL routes. FREQUENCY UPGRADES FOR EXISTING DESTINATIONS mostly start in June like it says in the article which you obviously did not understand. READ again: "Increases in frequencies TO A NUMBER OF DESTINATIONS DO NOT come into effect until mid-June".

      You are not aware of how Air Serbia divides its network. Frequency upgrades start on June 15 in summer. In winter frequency upgrades start on December 15. If you don't know how things work than stop making stupid comments and bringing down other people that actually know what they are talking about. Same as I'm not aware of how Croatia Airlines divides its network and don't attempt to appear as if I do.

    12. Anonymous08:41

      Again. It is about 5 new routes and some seasonal (and when we compare it with those routes last year they start earlier with more frequencies, so it should be more passengers even on those seasonal routes this year). We compare those with last year if you did not understand.


    13. Anonymous08:50

      No it isn't but you are just too thick to understand. Stick to Croatia Airlines.

  5. Anonymous10:23

    Ocekivan rezultat ipak rezovi u zimskom delu su brutalno uticali na dalji tok. Svakako ce druga polovina godine biti bolja s obzirom na pojacavanje zimskog rasporeda.

    1. Anonymous10:42

      Vama naravno treba crtati najbitniji deo Kondiceve izjave RASK +20%. Broj putnika je jedina mera koju razumete.
      Cela exYu regija je totalno ekonomski nepismena i zato ce uskoro da zatvori dve, a mozda i trecu avio kompaniju.

    2. Anonymous11:03

      Taj rast od 20% nista ne znaci jer ne znamo ako ih je on doveo do break-even-a. Ta brojka sama po sebi ne znaci puno brate.

    3. Anonymous11:32

      Svaka tebi cast zreo si da upravljas sa nekom avio kompanijom. Place CTN za takvim menadzerom da ih jos dublje zakopa u dugove.

    4. Anonymous13:56

      Air Serbia has too many employees and inefficient structure. Layoffs and spinoff of Catering to start cutting costs.

    5. Anonymous15:02

      Numbers are questionable till they are published on legal way. It would not be first time that we can see creative calculating in Air Serbia.

      But I agree that number of passengers are not the most important data here (for sure it is important), but the most important data is connectivity which was cannibalized and consequences can be seen in 2nd part of H1.

    6. Anonymous15:08

      Naravno i exYu podrzava ove tvoje besmislice It would not be first time that we can see creative calculating in Air Serbia.

  6. JU520 BEGLAX12:38

    So Swiss has slightly more pax per flight but actually for both, pretty nice loads
    JU 123.4 pax per flight
    LX 140.6 pax per flight

    1. JU520 BEGLAX12:38

      On the ZRH BEG ZRH rotation

    2. Anonymous13:06

      JU520 BEGLAX kad cemo na kafu na ZRH aerodromu?
      Radim isto tamo.

    3. SuisseOuest15:11

      Wow, impressive. I imagine LX is running a very profitable operation on this route given all the flexibility they have wrt the choice of aircraft and the good timing of the morning flight that enables connections to the mid-day long-haul departure wave at ZRH. No wonder GVA-BEG got cut without connections - A320 is not easy to fill just with O&D pax. Maybe that one comes back when GVA base gets CS100...

    4. Anonymous17:58

      @ SuisseOuest

      without connections?....... GVA carried many people on connecting flights from the USA... as well as from other European destinations..

    5. @ AnonymousAugust 15, 2016 at 1:06 PM
      @ JU520 BEGLAX

      recite kada da vam se pridruzim, i ja radim tamo...

    6. JU520 BEGLAX21:24

      Ex YU meeting ZRH: currently on vacation, but back on 30aug. Can meet for lunch ili na kaficu. Lemmi know :-)

    7. i'm in as soon as i know my sept schedule. beglax uzivaj na odmoru! ;)

  7. Anonymous13:49

    ASL bi trebala u buduce uvesti da se moze bez prtljaga putovati mislim da bi bio to plus nebi bio minus nebi skodilo ni brendu.
    A takodje mislim da bi trebalo poceti letiti za AMM, IKA,KWI i ESB u narednoj ekspanziji.

    1. Milivoje Rodic14:17

      Znajuci balkanski biznis, cijene bi ostale iste samo bi ljudima ukinuli taj predati prtljag, tako da nisam za uvodjene tih mjera/paketa.

    2. Sigurno bi bilo tako, ali nije to samo balkanski biznis. LH je uradila potpuno istu stvar, tako da su samo putnici na gubitku i to ne treba podrzati.

  8. Anonymous14:19

    OT: Air Serbia baggage transfer at BEG improved a lot, but one thing they can add is bag tracking option for passengers. I recently used Delta’s mobile phone app with bag tracking function. Worked instantly at bag drop machine and updated status every time bag made it on or off the plane, but errorneously reported bag was going to carousel during transfer:

    System is based on baggage tag barcode scanning which is imperfect so DL is investing $50M to add RFID technology for improved accuracy. RFID is the future but expensive for Air Serbia/BEG, so they can stick with barcodes for now and start allowing passengers to track it.

  9. Anonymous14:21


    CSA is going to operate PRG-SKP during the winter season as well. Flights can be booked. It will be operated 2 pw.

    It seems SKP did better than expected.

    1. Anonymous14:36

      BEG should hire SKP management.
      They have done a fantastic job.

    2. Anonymous14:46

      Skopje is still recording a net annual loss in its finances...

    3. Anonymous15:47

      but not czech obviously

    4. Anonymous16:46

      SKP is a PRIVATE airport so Mac. taxpayers don't have to cover losses.
      TAV is.

    5. Anonymous16:50

      Yet Macednian tax payers cover the subsidies for airlines flying to Skopje. Not TAV.

    6. Anonymous17:05

      Subsidies ended but new destinations and flights remain.
      Huge win for Mac. taxpayers and their economy.

    7. Anonymous17:07

      Not true. New subsidies started in 2015. Google it.

    8. Anonymous17:14

      Not for existing routes they didn't. Google it!

    9. Anonymous17:17

      Again not true.

    10. Anonymous17:52

      Macedonia pays some 1,5 million EUR for subventions per year.

    11. Anonymous17:53

      First I think PRG was not announced as a seasonal service.
      Second the biggest news is that LX is upgrading ZRH to 6 p/w + GVA remains 1 p/w.
      Third, there are still only subsidies for 4 routes launched last year. Much much less than what other taxpayers in ex-yu pay for their national airlines - in either form (discounts, rabatts, cash injections, subsidies etc.)
      Fourth, concerning financial performance - it's only an accounting perspective. You can offset losses inqured in one period in subsequent periods and thus get a reduced tax basis. Because TAV invested over 200 Mio. EUR in the project they're allowed to offsset this in the tax sheet. This has nothing to do with the Cash Flow and the profitability in recent years, which is much better than you think of it!

    12. Anonymous17:55

      @Anonymous at 5:17 PM
      Yes true, subsidies ended for most routes but W6 continues flying them.

    13. @Anon 5:53. Please do not mix the Tax report and Balance sheet.

  10. BA88816:01

    No stats for LHR.

    After good 10 years I am back on W6 outbound due to absolutely insane price. I hope thar reflects the LF but it does not make sense since there was at least 60% US bound passengers.

    Return on JU. Cant wait how many people for the price I paid!

  11. BA88818:25

    BA stopped LHR flights in Nov 2010. For last ten years I've been on BA/JU flights but this time I am taking W6 outbound from LTN.

    I am puzzled about extremely high prices given the fact that LHR route was always more than half US bound leading to decrease in LF following new flights to JFK.

    1. Anonymous19:36

      That is bad news for JU.

  12. Anonymous22:35

    Air Serbia improved numbers by shrinking operations and passengers. To survive in the market they need to grow. Something has to give.


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