Air Serbia to “adapt and evolve” to overcome Covid crisis


Air Serbia has said it is optimistic and hopeful it will overcome upcoming challenges by adapting and evolving its business. The carrier’s CEO, Duncan Naysmith, noted, “Since the gradual restoration of air traffic in May last year, we have monitored all changes in travel restrictions on a daily basis and adapted our network accordingly. We are re-establishing flights to all destinations where possible and are increasing frequencies in accordance to demand. Our strategic planning, flexible and agile approach, as well as quick adaption to changes in the market, have yielded results. During the previous year, we have managed to accomplish a good passenger load factor on a large number of routes. Not only have we recommenced and reinforced flights to many existing destinations, we have even introduced new ones during the most challenging period for our industry. At our home base, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, we have significantly increased our market share, transporting more than half of all passengers in January”.

Air Serbia recently removed eleven routes previously planned to operate this coming summer, although some may be reintroduced if circumstances permit. Furthermore, the airline has reduced its fleet over the past year, with its Boeing jets recently retired. On the other hand, it added a new destination to its network last week and plans to substitute its existing Airbus A330-200 jet with another of the same type, reinforcing its commitment to its sole long haul route. “Now, exactly a year after the changes that shook even the largest giants in the global aviation industry, we will continue to adapt, evolve and ensure we are agile to market demands and customer needs. We have proven that we can deal with challenges and turn them into opportunities. That gives us the right to be optimistic and have faith that we will successfully adapt and overcome everything ahead of us”, Mr Naysmith noted.

As part of its plan to better adapt to new market conditions, Air Serbia’s General Manager for Commercial and Strategy, Jiri Marek, said the airline is seeking new commercial partnerships. “We recently renewed our codeshare agreement with Etihad and basically we are maintaining connectivity via the main, let’s say, Etihad gateways in Europe. Being a smaller regional player, any codeshare agreement is important to us because it gives us access to a more global network and also gives us extra feed for our regional network. So, we are maintaining strong cooperation with Etihad. The codeshare has been expanded but, of course, there will most likely be less demand since the nonstop Etihad flights are, let’s say, currently suspended. We are developing other codeshare partnerships to cover that part of the world. Last year, during the pandemic, we signed the codeshare partnership with Turkish Airlines, we fly daily to Istanbul and we have wide access to their network. We will further be expanding that codeshare cooperation as well. Basically, we are open to working with any airline partner that is helping us add additional feed to our network to enlarge our footprint”.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    So even more cooperation with Turkish Airlines? Interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      Well it has been working for them so far.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:25

      How come Istanbul is working so well for them this time around? Air Serbia had a lot of problems with Istanbul in 2014 and 2015.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:31

      The new IST airport is becoming a global hub now, that's probably why.

      It's the busiest airport in Europe in 2020 in terms of passenger numbers.

      Air Serbia carries a lot of transfer passengers to/from IST apart from the locals.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:07

      They also fixed their schedule to IST, in the past when Etihad was doing it some connections did not work because of 5 minutes. That was fixed so there are more transfer options.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    When can we expect Air Serbia to publish their results for 2020?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:04

      In the summer when they are obligated by law.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:13

      They usually publish it in July or August.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:05

      Too little, too late.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:09

      Well that's what the law requires of them. It's the same for all companies in Serbia.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:07

      APR has extended the deadline due to covid.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    I really hope they use this time to address their fleet, and not just in terms of retiring old planes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      They should. All their planes are now leased. They should replace older jets, especially ATRs.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:28

      ATRs are not jets.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:29

      As far as I know Air Serbia still owns some of its ATRs.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:02

      Again, it doesn't seem the fleet is of any priority to this airline.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:05

    "During the previous year, we have managed to accomplish a good passenger load factor on a large number of routes."

    Which ones?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      JFK, IST, ZRH...

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:06

    I hope the new A330 has the livery from the photo.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:08

    Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:08

    Oh this doesn't sound good. Last time they used words such as "evolving" and " adapting" they became a hybrid airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Well this was, in the end, the right thing for them to do. However unpopular it was.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:59

      Evolving to become Chinese owned ;) mark my words

      Delete
    3. How can we mark your words when we don't know your name?

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:14

    Hope things will improve.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous09:15

    I hope it works out for them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:17

    I think JU must now look into Israel, Egypt or even Africa.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:17

    Not sure why not re-establish direct link with Abu Dhabi or Dubai?

    Fly Dubai and Qatar are having a pretty strong presence in BEG with no sign of withdrawing like in some other cities and yet JU is idle in that Gulf region??
    Can someone explain?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      I agree. Abu Dhabi wouldn't make much sense as it is closed. But Dubai is open and probably the most popular destination from BEG at the moment.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:19

      Yes, in my opinion Dubai demand should be something they respond to.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:40

      They can't compete against Fly Dubai.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:49

      True. FZ offers tour operators good deals.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:50

      Operating Dubai would be very expensive for Air Serbia and would mean your plane would be out of service for over 12 hours for just this one route.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:50

      If Abu Dhabi didn't work for them at the best of times, why would any Gulf destination work for them now?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:11

      And who in the commercial department could make this work? It's not just about introducing flights it's also about selling them well. Look at Marek's clueless statement. They are speaking about AUH connections like it's the next best thing to happen to them. Not only are JU-EY flights extremely expensive but they are also via AMS, ZRH... having a massive detour. Meanwhile FZ is killing it with non-stop flights and TK is offering convenient connections via IST. On top of these two there is also Pegasus which offers flights to both DXB and AUH via SAW.

      So Marek should better stay quiet because these statements are embarrassing. Maybe he can share with us how many passengers flew on these highly fantastic JU-EY codeshares.

      Delete
    8. Abu Dhabi did work in the past, when JU was called Jat Airways.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:30

      Of course it worked that's why it was cancelled so fast. B733 was never made for such long runs, it was initially planned to be a regional jet operating out of regional airports.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:41

      Jat Airways never flew to Abu Dhabi, only to Dubai as an abysmal 1-stop flight.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous11:59

      Of course Jat Airways was flying to Abu Dhabi.

      https://www.moodiedavittreport.com/serbias-jat-airways-joins-list-of-airline-clients-at-abu-dhabi-international-airport-060509/

      Delete
    12. Anonymous12:50

      Jat Airways was flying to Abu Dhabi via Larnaca.

      Delete
    13. JATBEGMEL16:30

      I believe AUH was also via KWI for a season as well.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:21

    Just the start of the consequences of EY termination contract.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      What contract termination? They expanded their codeshare and Etihad still owns 18% of Air Serbia.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:58

      They should sell the Etihad part to Qatar Airways.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:37

      Who should sell it?

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:21

    Would not wonder if the network significantly shrinks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      It has to be done.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:41

      Everyone is shrinking their network worldwide. There has been this thing equivalent to the plague.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:27

    Missed opportunity for Wizz Air. They should have gone ahead with their Belgrade expansion. They could have killed JU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      All airlines are struggling, Wizz Air too.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:59

      The good news is the state is willing to help Air Serbia.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:03

      Air Serbia's long term strategy will be the same as the short term strategy. Lots and lots of government money.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:05

      It's the same story with everyone.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:40

      Anon @ 9:27, what opportunity are you referring to?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:23

      Can't kill airlines with unlimited state aid.

      Delete
    7. JATBEGMEL13:13

      They should get state aid since its 'brilliant' ideas by the government that effect their finances.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:31

    This summer will be a disaster.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:34

      Summer is coming!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:34

      A lot regarding next summer will depend on travel restrictions.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:04

      I fear more financial aid will be needed.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:15

      They will pull through this.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:52

      Anonymous09:34

      Hahahaha:)))

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:32

    Good news. Meanwhile, hot meals are finally back in Turkish Airlines business class also on European flights. Full bar service is also back. One more step towards normalization. Pics from 4 days ago:

    https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.flyertalk.com-vbulletin/2000x1504/79a022ec_7dc1_43f4_92eb_cf3c709f1abb_73ae22eae927d319e0980e39321c6d49ba2ad470.jpeg

    https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.flyertalk.com-vbulletin/2000x1504/dbe4b8e9_cf23_48d0_9a5a_2f7407f6e453_5b2b377ead423028744d8ba622b6cd6561fcc1f0.jpeg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:36

      It was senseless of them removing catering in the first place.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:34

    Considering the circumstances, they have done great in my oppinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:35

      *opinion

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:48

      They have. They cut unprofitable routes, changed up aircraft types when needed, launched new routes when opportunities presented themselves and haven't cut on board service levels.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:36

    I really wonder what's going to happen with their Nis and Kraljevo flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      Nis is operating. Kraljevo is supposed to come back in June.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:51

    People are talking about new routes but seem to forget that Air Serbia's fleet has shrunk, especially ATR fleet. Basically they are in a position where they can't launch anything new without cutting something else. Same situation we had a few years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JATBEGMEL13:16

      Their fleet has shrunk, but so has their network and frequencies. The full network wont come back anytime soon.

      At the moment, their aircraft are barely operating a rotation a day.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous10:00

    I think under the circumstances they are doing relatively well. They are serving around 30 destinations from BEG with decent frequencies.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous10:02

    They have been pretty proactive and "flexible" as they say with adding flights and frequencies if there is demand which is good.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous10:14

    There is only so much you can plan for in situations like these.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous10:14

    If the EU lifted the entry ban and some countries reopened their borders, it would really help the airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:10

      The EU wants to keep the so-called "Western Balkans" countries poor. The ban won't be going down any time soon.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous00:13

      The EU does not want to keep the so-called "Western Balkans" countries poor. The ban will be lifted as more people are vaccinated and infection rates trend downwards.
      n't be going down any time soon

      Delete
    3. Anonymous08:46

      @Anon 19:10: That's why Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria have received billions of EUR from the EU budget since joining?

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:15

    Corona will change the way people travel in the next few years and it's good to see they recognize that.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous10:18

    Instead of stories of adapting and evolving, Duncan and Jiri have avoiding and evading Toronto route. Top priority mandate for the route is loud and clear.Time to deliver.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:53

      Spending too much time in meetings looking at PowerPoints and spreadsheets, instead of being out on the factory floor, said Elon Musk on what was his biggest mistake. Air Serbia management makes the same mistake. Aviation, Air Serbia included, is not going to be profitable in 2021. Instead of looking at the next quarter follow Elon's advice and start delivering on long term goals, add widebodies and build out long haul network like you care.

      Buyer's market for aviation management jobs is not going to end any time soon.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous10:29

    Where is Dane Kondic when you need him?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:47

      haha good one.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:21

      Period under his leadership saw more improvements and innovations implemented than at any other period in more than three decades at JU.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:50

      Aha, the very successful boutique concept for one.

      Delete
    4. Yoda22:59

      Successful in improving company's terrible image, boutique concept was.

      To make profit the idea was not. Hmmmmmm.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous23:49

      To waste much money was successful in doings.
      Then to have to make new image and new organization of things was result of original bad idea.
      Hmmmmm...

      Delete
    6. Anonymous02:07

      Boutique concept was Etihad's idea and Abu Dhabi was not frugal. That was not a secret.

      What remains a mystery is how is it possible for so many people to forget dozens of positive changes that occurred after rebranding. Neuralizer from Man in Black movies?

      Delete
  27. GullivAir from Bulgaria plans on introducing SOF-JFK flights. This may impact JU's flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:58

      They also got approved to fly to YYZ according to their Facebook page. Both A330s and 3 ATRs already are in SOF and will most likely launch SKP, OTP and CLJ.

      Delete
    2. If there is demand from Bulgaria to YYZ, then there must be from Serbia as well.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:09

      For sure. There is a significant Balkan diaspora in Canada.

      Delete
    4. And JU should try to grab as much of that market as they can.
      YYZ will be successful.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:21

      They should take advantage of the bloody cheap A330 and get not only ARB but ARC as well. That said, does JU have a license to operate to Canada?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:55

      Someone need to tell JU from the Government that YYZ is priority... Otherwise no one at JU will do a thing on their own.. It's a cushy government job for many up in the higher management levels of this company.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous12:16

      JU's SOF flights don't connect to JFK so this will mostly impact TK and OS. They are quite big here to JFK.
      Also let's see what becomes of this airline.

      Delete
    8. People from Niš can just as easily drive to SOF as they can to BEG.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous12:50

      The US DoS has granted them charter, regular and cargo flights not only from/to US but also the entire EU, which is huge advantage for sure. The open skies agreement made wonders. The interesting this will be if they will launch flights to BEG. Their 3 ATRs are approx. 5 years old.

      Delete
    10. JATBEGMEL13:48

      As explained, aircraft leases maybe cheaper but you still have:
      - operational expenses: fuel, taxes, crew expenses.
      - acquisition costs: livery, interior.
      - employment: additional pilots, cabin crew as well as their training expences.
      - marketing expenses to advertise the new route.
      Just to name a few things. Also:
      - JU's frequencies are down.
      - ARA is still operating 2 pw most of the winter with little to no improvement in frequencies the past couple of years, imagine YYZ.

      Guliv have an advantage of being an EU airline, allowing them to operate freely in the EU territory (as seen in OTP). However, they also have disadvantages of being an unknown airline, with little known information about them and no network. BH Air also dabbled the idea of TATL ops and backed down. SOF never really adequately connected to JU's JFK flights for them to be a threat.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous14:58

      JATBEGMEL, great review!
      To bring YYZ to the table, JU will definitely need a second A330. Now that ARB has arrived, they should definitely consider ARC when ARA's contract expires in May if I am not mistaken. It seems that getting a 10-15 year old A330 todays is quite affordable.
      Yes, the current US-EU open skies agreement actually is quite beneficial for many EU carriers such as DY, LO (BUD-US flights) and will most likely be such if W6 consider deploying their A321XLR in the future.
      As for G2, they will definitely need more on marketing and advertising to be recognised. Their website is still amateurish but do have a good logo and decent fleet for a start-up. They seem to have quickly gained popularity in Romania with their charters to MLE, PUJ and soon MBA.
      When launching SOF in 2014, JU actually had 9 frequencies to SOF with 2 early morning flights that lined with the JFK flights and always competitive prices but they were later dropped guess they were not commercially viable.

      Delete
    12. I still can't process Air Serbia managing to operate long-haul, and improving on the service even financially, now Bulgarians highly likely starting North American operations, and Croatia (both country and company) which has triple more passengers from distant markets than Serbia and Bulgaria combined, in deep hibernation, with prospectives for REM phase to become even deeper. So sad.....

      Delete
    13. Anonymous03:49

      Don't forget that BEG-JFK relies not only and pax from Serbia but also the whole Balkan region, basically wherever JU flies. (Obviously Turkish and other airlines have a much larger share than JU of Balkan JFK traffic).

      Delete
  28. Anonymous17:27

    Reading the statements that Naysmith & Marek are giving reminds me lot on Jat's duo Vlaisavljević & Ognjanović, even more when I look their CV's, and that will not end good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JATBEGMEL21:31

      Seriously?

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2011/10/jats-ceo-nightmare.html

      Delete
  29. Can someone please explain how does the codeshare works? What benefits an airplane have from it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous03:45

      best to google it my friend.

      Delete

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