Air Serbia's passenger share tumbles in 2018


Air Serbia saw its passenger share at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport decline last year after rolling out a set of unpopular cost cutting measures and reducing its number of flights. According to Belgrade Airport's annual report, the Serbian carrier recorded a passenger share of just 45%, down from 50% registered the year before. Although not indicated in the report, the airline's passenger numbers at the airport are believed to have fallen over 5%, while foreign carriers registered a 14% increase in numbers. Last year, Air Serbia operated some 30.000 flights to and from Belgrade, down 6% on 2017. At the same time, foreign carriers grew their passenger share to 55% and accounted for 49% of all flight operations.

The operator of Belgrade Airport, VINCI, has said it anticipates for Air Serbia to hold a passenger share of between 40% and 46% on an annual level. The company faces growing competition from airlines which are increasingly moving in on routes which were previously solely operated by the national carrier. Over the past few years, it has been directly challenged on a number of its services including Amsterdam, Berlin, Malta, Paris, Larnaca and Tel Aviv. However, Air Serbia will soon launch nine new routes, which should help improve both its passenger numbers and overall share at Belgrade Airport. The airline has also faced growing indirect competition from low cost carriers at Niลก Airport in the country's south-east. Last year, just over 7% of all passengers departing Constantine the Great Airport hailed either from Belgrade or the northern province of Vojvodina. Meanwhile, Wizz Air launched operations from Vienna to Niลก last November, further challenging both the Serbian and Austrian national carriers which maintain services between Belgrade and Vienna.

Air Serbia completed its transition into a hybrid full fare - low cost carrier last year, which has been met by a largely negative response from the flying public. The airline's CEO, Duncan Naysmith, said last year, “Technology has completely transformed the way people travel in the 21st century, and the ability to have a tailor-made travel experience has been central in this process. Measures, such as unbundling air fares, has enabled Air Serbia to better compete and offer more value, while retaining all its differentiating hallmarks, including the fact that we fly to primary airports, run a frequent flyer program, operate a Premium Lounge, provide seamless codeshare flight options through Belgrade and much more”.




Comments

  1. Congratulations to Etihad on their high level of professionalism and management skills.

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    Replies
    1. Jet Airways about to declare insolvency. Afetr Air Berlin and Alitalia another success story of Etihad.

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    2. Etihad's signature "KNOW HOW"™

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    3. Nemjee, yeah but, yeah but... look at crew uniforms and that beautiful lick of paint on the air frame.

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    4. Where was Air Serbia before Etihad?

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    5. Etihad motto: putting lipstick on a pig.

      Last Anon, it didn't exist but the situation is not that different as both airlines are loss making and struggling.

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    6. Jat Airways had 6 operational planes and a loss of 70 million euros in 2013. Cancelled flights all the time, triangle flights, seasonal flights to key cities like Brussels... So no, the situation is FAR from similar.

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    7. Brussels wasn't seasonal, it was triangle operated via AMS. Know your facts.
      Also remember last year how many flights ASL cancelled? ASL is a bit better than Jat but still struggling. Jat had better on board product btw

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    8. You should check your own facts. Brussels became seasonal in the last year of Jat operations.

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    9. It is true. Jat did not operate Brussels in winter of 2012/13. And it barely had an operational fleet in summer 2013.

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    10. You are all forgetting that Jat never had such access to capital like ASL does. ThatsT why their current state is unforgivable.

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    11. Air Serbia has access to money brcabec it's political project but the problem is that it's management is incompetent. Remember how long ago they planned on retiring Boeing planes? Was it May 2014? Lol

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    12. If they carry less people and make more money, then this is exactly what they should be doing and more of.

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  2. Wait weren't people serving up here how they are a monopolist and that other airlines can't fly to BEG?

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  3. Time to fully privatize this company or stop wasting taxpayers money and let it die.

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    Replies
    1. If the airline had a profit, the passenger share is then hardly an issue. It had 17 million profit in 2017.

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    2. 17 million profit after the government subsidies.

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    3. LOL, JU has never been profitable.
      If it was it wouldn't need subventions every year.

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    4. Subsidies or not, their finances significantly improved last year.

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    5. subsidies or not...? my god 30+milion of subisidies????

      serbia mentality is far from ready for market economy

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    6. Serbia mentality? Are you aware that Wizz/SKP needed three public attempts to get new subsidies tailor made for Wizz in order? Do you know that Wizz is forcing Tuzla to provide services for free while having to expand terminal out of TZL pockets? Do you know what money keeps Montenegro Airlines operational? Can you explain the link between OU and ZAG not having Ryan, Wizz or Easy? Perhaps you should not be making aviation comments unless you grow up and understand how things operate outside of Serbia? Aviation is by it's very nature international business so you can't say you only pay taxes in Serbia and you don't care what happens around it.

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  4. I assume the number of transfer passengers on their flights has also declined.

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    1. With the network and fleet they have JU would need to go back to their initial frequencies and even boost many in order to make any sense of the transfer airline concept.

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    2. They are not as cheap as they used to be for transfers.

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    3. But they are still more expensive for locals.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Paying for everything on board while keeping prices high certainly hasn't helped.

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    Replies
    1. They also ruined their business class product. When they went hybrid they started serving food out of cardboard boxes in business. A few months later they realized they were crazy and returned the normal business class service but the damage was already done by then.

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    2. ^ True. That was an epic fail. Who signed off on that should have been fired long ago.

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    3. It was Danes decision. He was fired and is now CCO at Saudia.

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    4. Who is CCO at Saudia? Dane Kontiฤ‡?

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    5. One upon a time

      https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZkpHR_qi5dU/UwZMISZYxPI/AAAAAAAALbI/vlOrvmn-mxY/s1600/1012036_1458099891070776_1319144627_n.jpg

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    6. OMG Anon 11:17 ! ! ! o_O
      What a difference!! It looks like another company! Was that really the initial ASL Business Boutique product ¿

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    7. Yes of course until 2017
      https://knightofmalta.net/2014/04/17/air-serbia-business-class-a-320-zurich-to-belgrade/

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    8. I read the report with my mouth open wide and utterly shocked.
      The Business Class for a short hop from ZRH to BEG was more than perfect! Metal cutlery, the dishes, the hot towel, the coffee and everything seemed spotless.
      What a big, big pity that this is now history. The product was simply amazing.

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    9. Other than the seats, the product is now the same. You also get hot towels, hot meals, glassware, metal cutlery etc.

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  7. What is most striking to me is that foreign airlines increased their passenger numbers 14%!

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    Replies
    1. I assume it was more of the same in the first quarter of this year.

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  8. To tell you the truth, I thought their passenger numbers declined even more. It's far from a good result, but I thought it would have been a bigger disaster.

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    1. These are passenger numbers from/to BEG. They operated quite a few flights that neither originated or landed in Belgrade like charters from Banja Luka and they also operated a few charters from Ohrid to Basel last year. So the decline might be lower overall.

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    2. The scale at which their passenger numbers decreased does show that something needs to change though.

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  9. It is interesting to note the market share of Adria at LJU and Croatia Airlines at ZAG yet not one comment about a monopoly, in the same way that many people here on this website scream about Air Serbia's supposed monopoly at BEG, where it has a share of below 50%. How come that fact seems to have escaped the attention of esteemed commentators ?

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  10. It's not good when they have 50%. Then they are 'monopolists'.

    It's not good when they go below 50% either. Then they are 'disaster'.

    One simply can't make a Serbian customer (news reader) happy.

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  11. passengers numbers are more important than share

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    Replies
    1. but that's performing even worse. 7% down.

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    2. yes i know

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    3. *5% not 7%.

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    4. It is better to have 1 business passenger than 5 low costers BUT it is also better to have 2 Wizz A321 to MMX or GOT than 1 ju to jfk with A330.

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    5. Anonymous at 10:45
      +1000

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  12. Well it seems Vinci knew what they were talking about when they said they want JU to have a share of 40-46%. I remember everyone was in shock when they said this and how that is too low.

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  13. If they do not bounce back to 50% share this year with 9 new routes, they never will :D

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  14. It shows they need more regional jets.

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    Replies
    1. They could get some good deals on q400. Bombardier is eager to add to the order book. If they could use the JAT Airbus deposit for C-series/A220 and replace the A319/A320s then they would have a good looking fleet.

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    2. It seems you have not heard that the Airbus deposit has been returned to Jat Airways/Air Serbia and it's being used to expand the route network this summer season.

      I for one will be happy to never, ever, ever hear another mention of that deposit.

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    3. A220 is far from reality for YU. On the other hand, the market will soon be flooded by second hand E190s as American, Jetblue, Avianca and Copa are retiring the type from their fleets. They have a combined total of around 100 aircraft, so they'll probably be cheap to acquire and on top of that relatively young with none being older than 15yrs.

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    4. Air Serbia should
      -Replace the A320 family with new A220-300's
      -Replace the ATR family with new ATR-600's
      -Replace the A330 by leasing a A321LR from April to September (make the NY flights seasonal)

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  15. If they get those flights from Nis on top of the 9 new routes they are launching from BEG, their numbers will grow significantly.

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    Replies
    1. I just don't understand where they will find the aircraft for those flights from Nis.

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  16. The good thing is that we can see that foreign airlines are more than able to cover Air Serbia's shortcomings.

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  17. Not a surprise. JU was stagnating last year while others keep on adding more and more flights. Thankfully thing will change in 2 months.

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  18. Wizz adding capacity from London with a non BEG plane didn't help either.

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    Replies
    1. That happened just 2 weeks ago so it didn't impact their 2018 performance.

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    2. I know I am just saying overall.

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    3. Seems like the route is performing well, yesterday's flight arrived with 208 passengers and it returned to Luton with 202. That's a 91% and 90% LF.

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    4. is that good? I mean it is the Easter week, I would expect the inbound flight to be 100%.

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    5. Well it was a Tuesday flight, I am sure as we get closer to Easter loads will get better and better. Though I would say 91% from London is pretty good given the circumstances. Makes you wonder if some German or Swedish routes could sustain an A321.

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  19. AS is system relevant for Serbia, so these figures do not matter much.

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  20. Their passenger numbers were down because of network reductions and frequency cuts they introduced last year. That has allowed them to grow this year.

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  21. What had a greater impact on these numbers, JU cuts or foreign airlines adding flights?

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  22. No wonder they haven't been publishing any operational results for last year.

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    Replies
    1. They will start publishing them from the second half of 2019 when all the new routes have a positive impact on passenger numbers :D

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  23. Hopefully even though passenger numbers are down, let's hope their finances have improved.

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    Replies
    1. I think they have. Even if you remove the government support, their finances improved in 2017 and all the extra measures introduced in 2018 probably helped even further.

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  24. They need to actually fight for their passengers.

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  25. Passenger decline is directly the result of fewer flights as seen by the numbers.

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    Replies
    1. But that means the load factor didn't improve.

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    2. Does anyone know what was Air Serbia's LF last year?

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    3. Their average CLF in whole 2018 was 70% sharp including charter flights.

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    4. That is very low. They definitely will be financial losses last year as well.

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  26. Air Serbia's passenger market share at Nikola Tesla in Q1 2019 was 37,3%.

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    Replies
    1. Well that's a disaster. It means their passenger numbers kept going down.

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    2. Last year it was 40% in Q1, the year before 47%...

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  27. And all at expense of Serbian tax payers.

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    Replies
    1. Like I said above, if they carry less people and make more money, then is good for Serbian taxpayers.

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  28. Decrease is not good but considering how they culled their network I was expecting a far worse result.

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  29. Why don't ASL create a low cost subsidy and use the older 737s? They can launch flights to secondary cities while main airline becomes full fare again.

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    Replies
    1. That's not how low cost airlines work. 733s are too inefficient and too old for that kind of adventure.

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  30. Postovani Anon 9:17 AM. Tacno je to da VINCI Airports su objavili da ce Air Serbia imati do 46% putnika. To ste tacno
    prepricali. Ipak povecanjem prometa putnika povecava se i broj putnika Er Srbije. Sigurno da predhodna uprava aerodroma nije bila u stanju da investira i poveca broj putnika, koliko to cini koncesionar Vinci. Od godisnjeg prometa broja putnika, progresivno za Er Srbiju ce biti do
    46% posto. Kada bude broj putnika narastao do 15 milions
    Prema VINCI - evoj prognozi. Proporcialno tome Srpska avio kompanija ce imati izmedju sest ipo i sedam miliona na godinu. Doduse to ce se dogoditi za period od desetak godina. Er Srbija nije duplirala broj putnika ni kada je imala drzavni monopol. Da ne govorim da je Beogradskom aerodromu trebalo 57 godina od osnivanja da sleti na njega petomilioniti putnik... Zahvaljujuci VINCI - ju i naporima da vrati investicije... Bice hleba i za Er Srbiju. Jos ako se privatizuje. Tek tada ce biti realna utakmica i uprni napori
    Potencijalnog investitora. Izazvacu pojedince mojim nacinom
    razmisljanja. Mozda je i hendikap sto se potpisujem licnim imeno. Sto stoim iza teksta koji pisem. Za anonimuse je ipak
    Lakse. Jer anoniman znaci neko ili niko. Napise i ostane nepoznat. Nemoze ga niko prozvati...
    Kao sto cesto ponavljam. Ova 2019 godina jeste blagoslovljena. A Vidovdan posebno. Otvaranje medjunarodnog aerodroma Morava Kraljevo.
    Pozdrav iz Sidneja.
    Rodney. ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐ŸŽ†๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ✨๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ˜Š๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐ŸŒŽ

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  31. I hope this summer we will see some positive percentage for Air Serbia,

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    Replies
    1. New destinations will be introduced in June with numbers for subsequent months expected to bear the fruit.

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    2. Passenger numbers matter less, while profitable flying is THE be all and end all

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  32. Why is there such an obsession with passenger numbers going either up or down? Numbers are critical for airports, they are less important for airlines. What is critical for airlines, is passenger yield and that their RASK is greater than their CASK. Passenger numbers contribute to this, but you can carry less passengers and make considerably more money by flying higher yielding passengers at the expense of low yielding passengers.

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    Replies
    1. There is NO airline on the planet that is profitable with just a 70% load factor.
      Absolutely none!

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    2. Obsession is there because pax numbers is the only matrix even remotely available to general public unless we are talking about publicly traded companies where some of hte info you are talking about is disclosed through stock markets

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  33. Bice opet veliki rast sa novim destinacijama.

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    Replies
    1. Veliki rast predvidja veliki strucnjak? Daj Boze... pitanje sta ce od tih novih destinacija opstati u 2020...

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  34. I want that plane model on the photo :D

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    Replies
    1. You can buy it at Air Serbia sales offices in Belgrade.

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    2. You can buy them at the Air Serbia retail stores in Belgrade. ATR model too.

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    3. I think they also have them at BEG airport.

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  35. Whatever happened to ASL, it still remains one of the safest, oldest and best airlines in the region.
    Those declines are simply temporary because no one bothered to read the article.
    The reduce was essential to save some money and possibly because EY didn't inject enough money as it is currently facing financial problems and the headache with 9W.
    I am pretty confident that 2019 and onwards will be extremely successful.

    - Flights to Iberian peninsula
    - Increase in Russian market
    - Return to North Africa
    - More presence and dominancy in the Croatian coast (vital Balkan market - third after TGD/TIV and ATH/SKG)
    - One of the very few carriers covering almost the whole of Scandinavia excl. Norway. 3 Scandinavian capitals connected
    - JFK finally seems to bring money. Route is likely to last for quite a while as now it gained more popularity, especially the Business Class

    https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/04/trip-report-air-serbia-belgrade-new-york.html

    - Image improving and Internet reviews getting better everytime (almost 3.8/5)

    Exciting times ahead for ASL, with no doubt.

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    Replies
    1. Oldest?? They are like 5 years old!

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    2. The IATA and ICAO code it carries is not 5 yrs old and it inherited both since it just changed its brand name. It was not created as a new company.

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    3. Anon 15:13. Some basic facts, sinko.

      IATA ICAO Callsign
      JU ASL AIR SERBIA
      Founded 17 June 1927; 91 years ago,
      (as Aeroput)

      Air Serbia (stylised as AirSERBIA) is the flag carrier of The Republic of Serbia. The company's HQ is located in Belgrade, Serbia, and its main hub is Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport.

      In 2016, it was the fourth-largest legacy carrier in Southeastern Europe. The airline was formerly known as Jat Airways until it was renamed in 2013.

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    4. Anonymous @11:44

      You make some good points, expansion is coming this summer and numbers will go up. Hopefully AS will be able to keep these destinations year-round.

      BTW, Finland is not in Scandinavia.

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  36. Not a surprise really. There number were down 4.9% in Q1-Q3
    https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/11/ex-yu-airlines-handle-52-million.html

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  37. Wonder what the trustee's of Jet Airways are going to do about their A330 that they leased to Air Serbia? Jet own that aircraft so it could well become something that they have to recover in the event of liquidation / paying off creditors...

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    Replies
    1. I don't think this is up to trustee at all. Contracts usually have provisions for such cases and I would assume that contract and not the asset itself (in this case the plane) are part of the pool on a temporary basis until it runs out.

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    2. It’s official now, Jet Airways has ceased all operations.

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    3. Noooo!! I just saw it. It says temporary but I really really doubt it.
      EY is the airline destroyer and JU should be thankful for being alive.

      They destroyed AB, they destroyed Darwin, they destroyed AZ, they destroyed 9W.
      This airline must be closed forever in UAE.

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    4. In real life, Etihad had only 25% of Jet Airways, it was run by (in)famous Indian businessman who is majority stake holder and already was on edge on collapse several times.

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  38. Air Serbia expanded in 2016 and then pulled back. This could happen with planned 2019 expansion. CRJ will go back after the summer season and Air Serbia can decide to cut some destinations, frequencies or switch to seasonal service. They removed BUD, OHD, KBP, IST, WAW, VAR, AUH.

    When air traffic in the region in years ahead is expected to outgrow European growth and when most airlines in the region, from LCCs to government owned receive some form of subsidies or support, it is clear that GROWTH, not profit, must be the primary short term goal. For example, one additional aircraft to be added to the fleet (not including retirements of old planes) every year for the next five years, and increasing destinations and frequencies to match that.

    Things will get get a lot more competitive and JU will lose more marketshare at BEG by 2022 unless they sustain more growth, both long haul and short/medium haul.

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    Replies
    1. Good points, I agree with you.
      The "problem" now is that regional jets are getting less and less popular in Europe excluding domestic travel.
      OS itself said that it will no longer operate the Dash and try switching to A320 to be more competitive in the market.
      JU's market share fell because it has a smaller ASK compared to its competitors: W6, SU, A3, LO & OU for example.
      The only way to keep fighting back is to replace urgently the ATRs with A320s just like OS did. The ATRs can be phased out slowly and then sold in Africa, CIS, Indonesia for example.

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    2. OS will not move from Q400 to A320, they are moving Q400 routes to Embraers. Air Serbia does not need additional A320 any more. YU-APH has been out of service for some time now and YU-APG covers everything with time to spare. Now that Air France are back and Swiss increasing presence, A320 is not needed every day to all ZRH and CDG flights.

      Network planning does not start by eyeballing a nice plane and then building a network around it, it's mostly the other way around. Air Serbia needs to commit to network growth in years ahead and then look at suitable fleet growth.

      Delete

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