Air Serbia eyes 45% of pre-pandemic traffic this summer


Air Serbia expects to be operating up to 45% of 2019 traffic levels this coming summer season as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the world. The figure would be above the industry average now being forecast by the likes of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Eurocontrol. Speaking at yesterday's CAPA Critical Thinkers summit, Air Serbia’s General Manager for Commercial and Strategy, Jiri Marek, said, “We currently operate around 38% of 2019 capacity. It's slightly above the EU average but we will of course optimise if necessary. What we foresee for Q1 is that we will more or less operate around those 35% - 38% of capacity. This is what we really manage to do on a daily basis”. He added, “We have a couple of scenarios for the summer but those might dramatically change depending how the market evolves, what the restriction will be and, also, if there will finally be some coordinated approach, because it's a big jungle out there now to understand what restrictions are enforced by which country. Obviously, we will try to flexibly adjust ourselves to it, as we have been successfully doing so far. Even during 2020, we've always operated above the average compared to the rest of the EU with higher KPIs [key performance indicators] achieved in terms of load factor. So, at the moment, for Q2, we will most likely be around 40% to 45% of 2019 traffic levels”.

Mr Marek noted that travel habits are changing which has resulted in Air Serbia making quick adjustments to its network and capacity. “All bookings and demand are now usually happening within ten days of departure. So, it's more critical how you manage your network now in a very quick and flexible way in order to adjust to fluctuating demand because regulations are changing at very short notice, which has a strong impact on demand. Flexibility is key”, the General Manager for Commercial and Strategy said. He added, “We had to completely reshape and change our network and concentrate on the key days of the week when we still want to have decent connectivity. There are some days where basically we are operating at almost 80% to 90% of 2019 levels, but there are also days where we hardly have a flight”

Air Serbia’s share of connecting traffic has declined considerably and now accounts for around 30% to 35% of total passenger volumes. “It's significantly lower than what it to used to be because connecting traffic is difficult to manage since some countries are imposing different restriction for transfers, so not only for those entering a country, but also for those transferring through certain countries. However, flexibility gives us a real advantage in maintaining decent connectivity. This is also visible in our aircraft deployment. Sometimes we are sending ATRs to Berlin, which is typically a jet route, just in order to maintain connectivity and allow people to transfer to their final destination within our region”.

Mr Marek said that entry restrictions into the EU for Serbian citizens continue to seriously affect the carrier. “We've already been heavily impacted by these restrictions. So, we already had to adjust through the course of last year to something which we call ‘really essential travel’. Basically, those people that have to travel will travel, or people with dual nationality or a residency permit in a foreign country will travel. However, my view is there will be new opportunities coming up. Whoever reacts faster, with greater flexibility and is more agile to changes happening on the market will be the winner. We continue to have the long-term ambition to serve the wider region and beyond and continue to be the leading regional airline in Southeast Europe”.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    Aviation is in a really difficult state. IATA predicts 50% of 2019 traffic might be reached at the end of the year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:26

      I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel at the moment unfortunately.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:03

      Well let me just note that Norwegian regional/domestic airline Wideroe is currently bigger than Lufthansa. This week it has an average of 269 flights compared to Lufthansa's 209. That's how bad things are.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:05

      Here is the full top 5 list
      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Et75uCSXYAAniL8?format=png&name=900x900

      Delete
    4. About Widerøe; it's useful to know that they have a fleet og 41 DHC-8 with 22 39-seat 100s. Lufthansa most likely has a lot more passengers...

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:05

    I think they have been rather flexible through this whole crisis and quick to respond to some potential market opportunities by launching new routes and replacing older aircraft.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:05

    In line with what other carriers are predicting too, e.g. LH

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:06

    Anyone know Air Serbia's charter program for this summer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Egypt and Turkey. Greece will depend on what they decide with their borders. But a memorandum of understanding has been signed for Greece to let in all vaccinated people, while those not vaccinated will be able to enter with negative PCR. Of course if they don't change their mind by then.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:14

      Interestingly Mouzenidis travel which worked with Ellin Air is currently selling packages to Russia. But they are selling summer packages to Greece.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:19

      They are trying to survive. Mouzenidis travel actually owns Ellin Air.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:21

      ^ wow didn't know that. Hopefully they will be back this summer.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:22

      Well not surprised. Mouzenidis does a lot of work in Russia and ex-USSR countries.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:06

    Interesting points. Let's see how summer develops

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:22

      Unfortunately I think it will be more of the same.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:07

    I wonder how many PAX they handled last year and their expectations for this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:25

      Did they reach a million?

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:08

    Good to see the Czech guy with plans but claiming to be the leader in the region sounds way too retro. There are already many airlines in the region the size of ASL or bigger. If he meant, ex-Yu then this is still not exactly right. W6 is the largest airline in SKP and very soon in SJJ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      He said "regional airline". There is a difference between big network carriers and regional airlines.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:15

    Some "experts" say it will be 70-80% of traffic from 2019

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. self-proclaimed "experts"

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:12

      Exactly.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:12

      And who said that?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:43

      70-80% for costal airports during the summer, not for JU, BEG or ZAG.m

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:50

      Some people commenting here said how high vaccination rate will lead to complete recovery. Obviously Air Serbia does not think so.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous15:10

      I'm also not confident travel will be back to normal. We are now reaching a full year of EU's ban on "dangerous peoples" - we have already established that the virus they brought to this region is more deadly than the one they have.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:15

    "Air Serbia’s share of connecting traffic has declined considerably and now accounts for around 30% to 35% of total passenger volumes."

    Does anyone know what is the usual share of connecting traffic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      My guess is it went up to 50%. But I don't know the figure.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:17

    Srbija će masovnom vakcinacijom do lete pobeti virus. Nadam se da će državljanima Srbije biti omogućen ulaz u druge države bez ograničenja,što će se svakako pozitivno odraziti na LF ErSrbije.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:57

      Švajcarska vraća Srbiju na "crvenu listu": Od 22. februara obavezan karantin
      Na listi se nalazi 31 zemlja sveta.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:13

      Treba pregurati februar i mart. Ako se nastavi ovakav tempo vakcinisanja od aprila bi situacija trebalo biti znatno povoljnija.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:16

      I wonder what that will mean for the Geneva route.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:17

      If they are flying Oslo where people have to quarantine upon return, I'm pretty sure they will start Geneva as planned.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:24

      Mislim da će karantin pre svega uticati na početak letova EasiJeta na relaciji BEG-GVA. JU može da računa i na transVerne punike.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:05

      EasiJet? Lol

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:23

    This is the reality and these figures seem realistic to me. On the other side you have some people who were claiming here in the comments how things would be operating close to normal this summer.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:25

    Will this mean a lot of routes will be cancelled?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:26

      No, it means there will be fewer flights.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:29

      They actually plan to cut very few routes. Two I think in total.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:26

    I'm still wondering if markets like Italy will reopen for people from Serbia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      They actually plan to cut very few routes. Two I think in total.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:29

      Sorry this was meant for the comment thread above.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:27

    Sad to hear but expected

    ReplyDelete
  15. "And continue to be the leading regional airline in Southeast Europe" Okay.... Aegean airlines with 9 times in a row best regional airline in Europe is not?!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:11

      Greece is politically taken as western country.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:23

      What is even considered ''regional'' nowadays?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:47

      Aegean isn't that bigger vs. JU when you take into account that 70% of their passengers are domestic passengers.

      I.e in the international and transfer game the two airlines aren't that far apart.

      Btw JU is always stronger on BEG-ATH.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:27

      Ah ok so now JU is bigger than Aegean. Nice one

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:33

      The gems like comment by anon 11:47 make visiting this site real fun.

      Yes, Aegan had 15 milion pax in 2019, 1,3 bln euro income and 78 mln euro profit. Indeed very close to JU.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:46

      It doesn't count because 70% of their passengers are domestic

      Delete
    7. Anonymous13:06

      It doesnt count? Hahahahha, of course when it say more in favor of Aegean.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous13:09

      30% of 15 mil. is still 4.5 mil.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous13:12

      Anon 12:46
      Who said it doesnt count?

      Delete
    10. Anonymous13:35

      It goes without explanation that a domestic route like ATH-SKG does not count and an international route like BEG-TIV counts and if you pretend that you do not understand this then you are a hater;)

      Delete
    11. Anonymous14:02

      Anon 13:35
      Great explation of its logic! +1000

      Delete
    12. I like fanboys balkanstyle ex-yu-wide but I must admit JU fanboys are the best :) :) :)

      Delete
    13. Anonymous 12:46 next time do your research. Aegean carried 6.3 million on their domestic network and 8.7 million passengers on their international network. It's all in their website. Have a nice evening.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:10

    Just goes to show how dire the situation is at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous10:11

    Even this is too optimistic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:12

      Next couple of months will be very difficult.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:49

      More like years.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:29

      Or even centuries?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:59

      2021 will be clearly better than 2020 for aviation - things look already way better than last year in Asia or Middle East, for example. I am just afraid there is something much bigger than us (which, of course, we will never get to know) behind the so-called ´variants´. Let´s not forget that each & every single virus mutates naturally.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:11

    Considering the situation, it's good JU is still standing and even opening some new routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:15

      Especially considering the fact that Serbian passport holders can't enter EU.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous10:13

    Good luck to them.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous10:16

    " There are some days where basically we are operating at almost 80% to 90% of 2019 levels, but there are also days where we hardly have a flight”

    One of those days is Tuesday. They have around 3-5 flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:51

      It is probably a good way to streamline costs too.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:27

      Today JU has 10 departures from BEG.
      Tomorrow 21

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:01

      It reminds you of avitation as in the 80's.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous10:17

    Anyone know if KVO flights are going to resume?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:28

      Doubt it in this climate. Maybe towards the end of summer if things and travel restrictions imporve.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous10:18

    they should think about joining an alliance soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:18

      An alliance would be very beneficial for them. Have they actually ever looked into it?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:55

      You don't "join" an alliance, you get asked to join or more correctly stated, you get "sponsored" by an existing member to join.

      Having cleared that hurdle, the fees for membership are onerous. Given that JU is in a liquidity crunch, I'm not sure that funds spent to become a member of an alliance given the prevailing environment, is money well spent. They have more urgent priorities than becoming a member of an alliance

      Delete
  23. Anonymous10:20

    Networks for many airlines will be set back by years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:27

      Some even more.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous11:48

    Meanwhile LCCs operating at 4-5% of 2019 levels. Scary.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EtdsUIgXAAYswhC?format=jpg&name=medium

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:12

      wow that is a disaster.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous11:49

    Things will start getting better from Q3 2021.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:28

      Let's hope

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:28

      Not according to IATA.

      Delete
  26. At least JU and BEG respects the Covid19 preventative measures. I flew FRA-BEG yesterday on LH and the flight had a LF of 100%, with everyone squeezed in together. The new terminal in FRA was PACKED - I couldn't find a seat near the gate and didn't see any cleaning crews in the 5 hour layover from YYZ [which by contrast was being cleaned constantly - and with limited flights].

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:05

      @11:52 Is PCR testing required in order to transit through FRA airport? I mean transit without having to go through luggage collection / customs

      Delete
    2. 2021 is definitely an opportunity for small flexible airlines, many routes underserved or require 2-3 stops with trip time 15+ hr. People are still travelling for business/work purposes. Need to think and find some feed routes for major players or to bring transit to your flights.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous11:55

    Does anyone know why there are no flights at all to Italy? I am asking because I even see Aeroflot having flight s to Milan and Rome

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:58

      There is a complete ban on citizens from Serbia and all ex-Yu countries outside of EU. I think there is also a ban on transferring through these countries to reach Italy. That's why there are no flights.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous12:02

    The turboprop is hurting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:30

      ?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:35

      @12:02 Hurting ears or something else you may have had on your mind??

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:41

      Yeah, I bet if they had replaced all ATRs with A380s, they would have more passengers. Not to mention profit.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:57

      2021 will be clearly better than 2020 for aviation - things look already way better than last year in Asia or Middle East, for example. I am just afraid there is something much bigger than us (which, of course, we will never get to know) behind the so-called ´variants´. Let´s not forget that each & every single virus mutates naturally.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous23:52

      "things look already way better than last year in Asia or Middle East"

      Not really at all. Even China's air market has started to contract again.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous16:15

    Admin,

    Could you please explain the information received in the title that Air Serbia eyes 45% of pre-pandemic traffic this summer and later on we see the statement from Mr. Marek who says "So, at the moment, for Q2, we will most likely be around 40% to 45% of 2019 traffic levels”

    Q2 does not mean summer. Officially summer starts in the second half of June when Q2 ends.

    During July, August and September we might see better results than 45%.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:20

      Summer season in aviation does not start in second half of June. It starts in March.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:51

      But it lasts until October and not until end of June like Q2 Mr. Marek is talking about.
      That's the main point.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous23:52

      The entire summer is expected to be more or less the same. According IATA forecast too.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous23:51

    A330 looking good in the photo :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous23:53

    Emirates thinks there will be more meaningful return to 2019 levels in Q4. So still a way to go.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous01:06

    ^ Good for Air Serbia

    ReplyDelete
  33. You have provided very helpful information with us. Thank you for sharing this wonderful article.

    ReplyDelete

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