Air Serbia posts €40.5 million profit, plans new aircraft type in fleet


Air Serbia has posted a record 40.5-million-euro profit for 2023, which it says was achieved “without a single euro in state subsidies” as it prepares to add a new aircraft type into its fleet. It comes on the back of a record 627.9 million euros in revenue, surpassing half a billion euros for the first time in the carrier’s history. With a record year behind it, the airline is focusing on consolidating its operations in 2024 and avoiding operational issues which it faced over the past twelve months due to the addition of over twenty new routes, as well as ground handling problems at its hub in Belgrade. Dealing with the termination of its Embraer wet-lease contract with Marathon Airlines, the airline now plans to introduce a new aircraft type into its fleet, with an official announcement expected shortly. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, this will involve the addition of dry-leased Embraer jets to its fleet this summer, which will be operated by the carrier’s own crew. In addition, it is expected to wet-lease an additional Embraer jet as well.

The Serbian airline also plans to take on three dry-leased ATR72-600s in the coming period as well as two Airbus A330-200 aircraft, formerly operated by Etihad Airways. Although the two wide-body jets were in storage for two years, they more recently flew on behalf of Air Belgium. Their arrival in Belgrade is expected in July and September, respectively.

Air Serbia’s CEO, Jiri Marek, said, "Last year, Air Serbia experienced significant growth compared to the last pre-pandemic year of 2019. That year is now history, and we are now writing a new chapter. Last year, we expanded our network with 23 new destinations and at one point operated flights on a total of 87 routes to 34 countries across Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa. In scheduled and charter traffic, we carried a total of 4.19 million passengers, which is the third-best result in the nearly 97 years-long history of the company. The share of transfer passengers increased to 40%, up from 35% in 2022. We are very pleased that such unprecedented growth was accompanied by positive financial results. The intensive growth in 2022 and 2023 was inevitable for us to meet the increased demand and achieve the critical mass and market presence necessary for further business development, in line with our strategy”.


Commenting on the upcoming period, Mr Marek noted, “Now, as we reach the aforementioned critical mass in the milestone tenth year since the establishment of Air Serbia, we will work on further operation stabilisation, network expansion, and improving the services provided to passengers. The Serbian national airline owes its great appreciation for the achieved results and strong position as a leader in aviation in this part of the world to the significant support of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the dedicated work of its employees, the loyalty of partners, and the trust of millions of passengers”.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    E195 in their own fleet. What an amazing turnaround of this whole situation.
    Kudos to JU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19


      Hopefully they'll use them to finally launch Yerevan, Baku, Tbilisi and possibly reinstate Cairo and/or introduce other African destinations.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    Really amazing results. Especially if you look at the revenue you see how large scale their operations were last year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    Make it rain $

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:13

      Sve skupa od 2013, gubitaš. Debeli, debeli minus!

      Delete
    2. Vlad12:24

      @Anon 12:13 you forgot your mask 🤡

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:40

      1224, you do the math, it's not that complex.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:55

      OMG you can't be serious and include the Covid years in your "gubitas" calculation. Would you have preferred that the entire country depended on Wizzair for connectivity in the Spring of 2020?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous16:08

      2013 Covid year??

      Delete
    6. Anonymous16:09

      2013 was the year Jat Airways was in existence until October 26. Try harder next time

      Delete
    7. Anonymous17:02

      @Anon 12:13
      Sve skupa od 2013, tebi - pardon, Vama, je sve gore što je Air Serbia bolje. Sve veći profit, više aviona, destinacija i putnika. Gubitaši su oni koji i dalje gaje nadu o kraju Er Srbije.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous18:47

      +1

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:05

    Great work by Air Serbia! I wonder will they take the embraers from Marathon or completely different

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      I think it will be the ex-Marathon E195s that are in JU livery.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:36

      2 former Marathon E195s dry leased and 1 Bulgaria Air E190 wet-leased.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:39

      @anonymous 09:36 do you have Source for this?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:42

      You will see in a few days :)

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:45

      Well if true, would they also eventually end up dry leasing the E190 too?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:50

      That I don't know.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:08

      Hello from Sofia! One E190 flew to Warsaw( for maintenance) so it is possible that this machine was for JU.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:03

      Don't think so, they are flying in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, check FlughtRadar

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:06

      ^ what are you talking about? E190 is not flying in Sri Lanka. If yoiu are referring to A330, yes but so what. They arrive in Belgrade in May and October. Thry do not have to be grounded for 10 years to be leased by Air Serbia. They are under one contract and will be under a new one soon.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:08

      Not before July, May is old news.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous11:14

      They will be reaching 30 dry leased aircraft this year, and according to Marek that's the point at where JU will start ordering NEW aircraft. Methinks that there is possibility of getting E2 directly from Embraer for quite cheaply

      Delete
    12. Anonymous12:13

      Not new. He said they will be buying after 30 leases, but not new aircraft and he specifically pointed out the unreliability of the recent technology (E2 has the same engine issues as A220). They should go for 5-10 years old aircraft. But with those purchases there will always be politics included (not just in Serbia, to be clear).

      Delete
    13. Anonymous12:15

      Looking from A gates today I can see two of them in AS livery parked at maintenance hangar. Next to YU-ARC

      Delete
    14. Anonymous12:21

      LZ-SOF will be joining ASL fleet as Embraer 190. Examples taken from ex Marathon fleet will be OY-GDA and SX-RMA, of course registered in Serbian registry. OY-GDA is already in Belgrade since 30JAN.

      Delete
    15. Anonymous12:33

      LZ-SOF also with serbia regulation or this is only ACMI?

      Delete
    16. Anonymous12:36

      So, that will be oy-gda and sx-ptm, right? What about oy-gdb?

      Delete
    17. Anonymous12:49

      LZ-SOF is most definitely coming to Air Serbia. On March 6 it flew to WAW for regular maintenance after which it is joining JU. I think it will stay until the end of summer.

      Interesting that this plane is 12 years old and was delivered new to Bulgaria Air. Then the past two years it flew for TP. I guess FB doesn't need it in its fleet now that it has those fancy A220s.

      Delete
    18. Anonymous12:56

      GDB should be joining JU after B check

      Delete
    19. Anonymous14:45

      That’s great. Now to find a way to fix oy-gdc

      Delete
    20. Anonymous18:54

      OY-GDC goes to scrapping and spare parts. GDA, GDB and SXRMA will be dry leased by Air Serbia. Marathon canceled lease agreement, Air Serbia took these jets. At the same time hiring actively rated TRI/TRE Embraer captains from Air Montenegro and other Serbian captains and first officers for Embraers.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:06

    "Although the two wide-body jets were in storage for two years, they more recently flew on behalf of Air Belgium. "

    This s good. These aircraft are 9 yrs old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      So the registrations are OE-LAC and OE-LCL?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:22

      Seems like it. It is the only A330-200s Air Belgium has ever operated. And they are both former Etihad aircraft.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:25

      Great! Young aircraft too, can't wait to see them join the Air Serbia fleet

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:30

      Same seat type as ARB

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:46

      Finally some sort of unification, hope all A330s will have the same configuration soon.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous19:07

      Which A320 has only sign AirSerbia on itselft fuselage, like former Marathon E190? Rest of plane is copmletely white, without tail or engine colored

      Delete
    7. Anonymous19:14

      2 Getjet A320 - LY-MAL and LY-WIL

      Delete
    8. Anonymous20:34

      Thanks. So they are going towards dry lease, since they have Air Serbia marking?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous21:09

      No, just a common practice in wet-leasing. ACMI carrier puts airline sticker on aircraft.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:08

    They have E190/195 listed as operating flights to Athens from 17 April! And it says Operated by Air Serbia :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:52

      My flight to OMO on Apr 26 now with E190/195 operated by Air Serbia. After E175 operated by Marathon first switched to A319 and now to E190/195 operated by Air Serbia. Flight back on May 6 currently still A319.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:06

      Same.. Im fly to OMO ON the 29th of April...its says E190.
      May 6th return on A319

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:13

    Well done JU!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:16

    Embraer is a good choice for Air Serbia. It is a good decision that they will adopt the aircraft type and fly with their own crew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      I just hope it won't be marathon pilots again that left marathon to joing Air Serbia

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:27

      I am sure Marathon pilots from Montenegro will be among them.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:52

      Almost 100% of Marathon employees in BEG switched to flying for JU.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:22

    How cheeky it would be for them to take the planes at Marathon. First they accused them, now they are taking their planes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:24

      "First they accused them".

      Accused them of what? They said they wouldn't comment on the accident until the investigation is over. If you read their press release about the accident, they didn't accuse anyone. Preliminary investigation shows pilots were to blame. I don't see what that has to do with aircraft Marathon Airlines was leasing from another company.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:25

      He's right! It was also thanks to the pilots that people remained alive and well!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:27

      Right about what? Did you even read what he wrote? And it was thanks to the pilots that they were in the accident in the first place.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:54

      OK, guys, I think it's fair to say those pilots involved in accident will not be flying JU planes (nor any other, I think). The rest of the crew is free to join any company, including Air Serbia after the selection and training proccess. I think JU would be crazy not to take some of them if they are planning their own Embraer fleet, specially knowing Marathon employed some Montegrin staff with good experience and expertise in flying at BEG airport.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:31

    Those financial results are really amazing. Happy about the A330s/Ejets too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:37

    Congrats

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:37

    Wow it is amazing how quickly they found some sort of solution to Embraers considering the whole thing happened a months before the start of the summer season.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:45

    What a year. You don't get ones like that too often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:06

      True, but they had a lot of operational meltdowns. Better to cool down a bit this year and focus on product and service, like they say they will.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:47

    So now that they will have embraers maybe they will return some routes like Florence and Cairo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:06

      Hope so

      Delete
    2. I hope Marseille will be back.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:12

      Ryanair is launching Marseille from Zagreb so that's less transfers from Zagreb and Ljubljana for the route which wasn't best performing, to put it mildly. The chances are super slim.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:13

      We were told that no one from Croatia flies with Air Serbia.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:24

      Why are you coming with an argument not aimed at conducting any reasonable discussion? Why does this blog have to become that kind of place, too? Why are you doing it, really?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:27

      It is true. We were told no one from Croatia flies with Air Serbia over and over again. It depends when the argument suits. Also do you have any supporting data if the Maseille flights actually connected onto LJU/ZAG, if there were transfer passengers in the first place? Were there so many transfer passengers that the route depends on these two markets?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:49

      No, I don't, it was just a guess, why is that bothering you? The logic I used is:
      - if the company decided to stop Marseille among only handful of routes, that means it didn't perform well
      - there are several daily JU flights from/to Zagreb and Ljubljana, so they do connect to Marseille flights even without watching the schedule because I know Marseille flight is not the first in the morning
      - 40% of JU pax are transfers and both Zagreb and Ljubljana got boosted because of that
      - there is new route in the region to Marseille which will not make chances of returning Belgrade flights better since JU is after regional transfers
      What's your logic?

      Delete
    8. Anonymous12:12

      Flew to BCN the other day and back to BEG yesterday. Parked at Tesla, it was packed, cro, ro, bih plates, u name it. Only 13 vacant places out of I don't know how many, according to the monitor at the entrance. Seems like BEG and JU are back on track to being serious regional players, as they once were....

      Delete
    9. Anonymous12:51

      And those are people who are not in 40% transfer statistics. Belgrade has good catchment area and it was high time to reverse the trend of seing SRB plates at Timisoara, Sofia, Budapest airports...

      Delete
  15. ilijabgc09:48

    What livery could we have on the next A330s ??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:54

      One will be a special "Expo 2027" livery. The other will be a "famous face". My guess is Mileva Maric Einstein.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:40

      Milutin Milankovic / Ivo Andric most likely

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:44

      I think that Mileva Maric deserves it, but it would be widely misinterpreted. Nobody outside of Serbia knows about her or that she was an important scientist. Think that foreigners would just think that we are putting her face on the plane because she was a wife of somebody famous, and would ridicule it.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:06

    Is it possible to take the old Bulgaria Air E190s? Or will FB keep them until the replacement A220-100 arrives?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:07

      They will wet lease one E190 from the Bulgarians. The rest will be dry leased E195s, not from Bulgaria Air.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:09

      Ok thanks

      Delete
  17. Anonymous10:08

    So how many of their own aircraft will they have if we are working on the premise that they will dry lease two E195s as is being mentioned?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:10

      They should have 29 aircraft in the fleet if you an extra 3 ATR72s, 2 A330s and E195s. This excludes wet-leases.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:10

    I ask myself where are all those "experts" that predicted catastrophic scenarios for Ju due to high number of wet leased planes?

    They were all so sure that JU will make a loss, as these "planes are not cheap".

    Maybe they aren't cheap but JU made great profit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:32

      Well Marathon came close to being catastrophic, that plane almost crashed.

      At least they’re managing the aftermath well.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:00

      Then why they are cutting wet leases this year?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:01

      They said from the start it is a temporary measure. They will have around 8 wet leased aircraft this summer which is the same as last year.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:05

      "Around 8" two weeks before summer schedule starts don't sound as well-developed strategy.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:07

      ^ I am not an Air Serbia employee. So I don't know what you are getting at? They know exactly how many aircraft they will have.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:19

      Do they? I'm not kidding, I don't have that impression and by looking at their constantly changing schedules it seems they don't know it. Didn't have that impression even last year, not to mention this one. I'm sure they developed like "scenario A" without Embraer, "scenario B" with some of them etc. I get they are not in an easy position now, but let's not pretend they lacked operational planning last year too. That's exactly why and how they introduced Embraers in the first place, that wasn't a strategy.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:24

      It was a strategy. Read the interview published here in February 2023 where Marek says they plan to introduce a regional jet to bridge the gap between ATR and A320.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:57

      They added first E195 in last August, and it was wet leased. If that's strategy I'm Einstein.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous12:44

      You ate antieinstein. They said clearly that planes are dump leased and they will be dry leased as soon as JU have it’s own crew. That’s why they were painted in AirSerbia livery

      Delete
    10. Anonymous12:56

      The planes were wet leased and not dump leased. That was the strategy when they saw the benefits of Embraer, but it obviously is not any more. During the fall they were talking about dump lease, now they are taking about dry lease. So sudenly the dry lease is better than dump lease. Talking about strategy...

      Delete
    11. Anonymous12:58

      Better reread what they exactly said before putting your own spin on things. And it is called damp not dump lease.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous12:59

      Also it seems their strategy resulted in 40.5 million EUR profit and over half a billion EUR in revenue. So I guess they know better than you what they are doing.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous13:01

      For the record, even if the profit was 40 million in the end, it is still a failure if their meltdowns cost them e.g. 5 million and reduced the profit from 45 million

      Delete
    14. Anonymous13:02

      You do not give up 😂

      Delete
    15. Anonymous15:58

      Marathon incident was catastrophic

      Delete
    16. Anonymous16:35

      No, it was not.
      It was serious but not catastrophic.

      Delete
    17. Anonymous17:40

      Anon 15:58 "Marathon incident was catastrophic"

      What aviation accident investigation experience do you have? Flying baton accidents don't count.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous10:20

    Air Serbia will end this summer with AT LEAST 29 dy leased airplanes:
    -10 ATR 72-600
    -10 A319
    -3 A320
    -4 A330
    -2 E195

    We are getting closer to the 30 dry leased airplanes that mark the possibility of JU ordering new jets as per Marek a year or so ago

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:22

      What is certain is that they will have much fewer wet leases than they did last summer.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous10:26

    "As EX-YU Aviation News learns, this will involve the addition of dry-leased Embraer jets to its fleet this summer, which will be operated by the carrier’s own crew." Finally some good decisions

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous10:46

    Interesting that transfer passengers reached 40%

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:48

      I wonder which are the main transfer destinations.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:05

      TGD must be No. 1.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous11:05

    It's really nice to read so nice news. Bravo Air Serbia!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Does Marathon own these airplanes? Or he leases them, too? How legal and financial structure will look like?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:17

      No, they leased them. They have been returned to the lessor.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous11:41

    Will the employees of JU get any money out of the profit?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous11:49

    Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous11:55

    I just hope they will train their own cabin crew for Embraers instead of those awful Marathon flight attendants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:57

      Everyone I've heard from said they had great experience with Marathon crew.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:38

      Me too, don't know what this comment is about?

      Delete
  27. Anonymous12:20

    Glad they are working on improving the overall experience. Flew out of Belgrade today and the change after Menzies took over is huge. All check in staff extremely nice, courtious and helpful. Of course 2-3 managers walking around the check in desks monitoring staff. Amazing what some discipline can do.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous13:16

    Didn't they announce lately the leasing of another 3 A320 aircrafts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:37

      2 from GetJet and one from Bulgaria according to some

      Delete
  29. Anonymous15:57

    It will take years for this pet project to return all of the money it burned through. If adjusted for inflation and opportunity cost, it's clear that this has been a huge waste of taxpayers' money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:59

      Don't be jelous.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:00

      Why would I be jealous? I am a Serbian living in Serbia

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:01

      Good for you. Your argument with inflation adjustment makes no sense.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:34

      If you would only understand there is indirect benefit from owning the airline...

      Delete
    5. Anonymous16:43

      @16:01

      If government invested X amount in 2014. and it's only now getting some of it back, that amount should be inflation adjusted.

      But an even bigger issue than this is the opportunity cost of that money. It could have been used for much more lucrative investments or for tax cuts.

      @16:34
      It's very questionable if the indirect benefits are worth it. Non-government-owned airlines would fly to Serbia if there is demand, plenty of countries have a thriving economy without a government owned airline.

      Delete
    6. Vlad17:54

      "But an even bigger issue than this is the opportunity cost of that money. It could have been used for much more lucrative investments or for tax cuts."

      This is a pretty wild argument to make in a country where other state-owned enterprises are burning through literal hundreds of millions of EUR a year. It's not Singapore we're discussing.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous17:57

      Pet project? Any sane adult living in Serbia knows well this is not a pet project but a continuation of 97 year old flag carrier. Major change was rebranding and complete restructuring of a troubled national carrier in 2013. Pre-2013 efforts to find suitable airline partner and help airline have been well documented. Airline turnaroud since 2013 including key metrics and accounting data are also documented and widely available. Now that the airline is set for even more profit and growth in the coming years, no sane expert would be able to present this as huge waste of money.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous18:01

      "Non-government-owned airlines would fly to Serbia if there is demand, plenty of countries have a thriving economy without a government owned airline. "

      Just look at hundreds of millions Slovenia lost following this flawed advice. Case closed.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous07:11

      Touché.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:49

      Slovenia is doing just fine. Thanks for proving my point.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous14:38

      Slovenia would be doing just fine without Ljubljana airport. Thank you for not understanding the difference between doing just fine and hundreds of millions of potential revenue lost.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous22:22

      And even more millions saved by the taxpayers which are spent in the real economy or used for personal investments of those taxpayers

      Delete
    13. Anonymous02:11

      What is the difference between direct+indirect economic activity on the economy of one country generated by having a national airline and what you call real economy?

      How much money per capita was being spent per annum to support Air Serbia, not counting pandemic years?

      Delete
  30. Anonymous06:04

    Someone here mentioned about LZ-SOF of Bulgaria Air joining JU. It is indeed a big surprise if true. FB is a small airline and usually uses their Embrarers more actively in summer to both Varna and Burgas in summer. Plus, FB made announcements for several new routes. Yes, the aircraft is currently in Warsaw, Guess the Lufthansa Technik centre is full in SOF, because there are regulary so many aircraft even more Saudi Arabia A320!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:00

      LHT at SOF works B737 and A32S, Embraers go for maintenance in WAW. Usual situation at Bulgaria Air in recent years is less than 2 daily rotations per a/c even in summer. So they can send LZ-SOF to JU, and five A320 to Condor ...and happily have all their expansion this summer with 4x 223, 3x E90 and what is left of their 319/320/733 fleet.

      Delete

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