Category Archives: Air Serbia

Air Serbia to operate the last Boeing 737-300 flight on October 24

Jat Airlines (Belgrade) rebranded and relaunched operations as Air Serbia (Belgrade) under its new ownership group on October 26, 2013. The new look airline replaced its older Boeing 737-300s with newer Airbus A319s and A320s. The remaining ex-Jat Airlines Boeing 737-300s were shifted to its lower-cost Aviolet (Belgrade) brand. The 737-300s, operated by Air Serbia, never wore the Air Serbia livery.

Air Serbia logo

Aviolet 737-300 nose (Air Serbia)(LR)

Above Photo: Air Serbia/Aviolet.

Air Serbia is operating the Aviolet brand during the 2015 summer season to five countries: Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain and Egypt, and a total of 19 destinations, which include Antalya, Catania, Cephalonia, Chania, Corfu, Dalaman, Girona, Heraklion, Hurghada, Karpathos Kos, Milas-Bodrum, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes, Santorini, Sharm el Sheikh, Skiathos and Zante.

Now the company is planning to operate the last Boeing 737-300 revenue flight on October 24. According to Airline Route, the last flight will be a roundtrip from Belgrade to Vienna on this date, subject to further changes.

Aviolet logo

It is unclear if Air Serbia will also retire the Aviolet brand on this date.

Top Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-3H9 YU-ANI (msn 23416) in the Aviolet markings arrives in Brussels.

Aviolet aircraft slide show:

Air Serbia aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Air Serbia reports its first net profit for 2014

Air Serbia (formerly Jat Airways) (Belgrade) is prospering under its new brand and growing relationship with partner Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). The flag carrier reported a 2014 net profit of €2.7 million ($3 million), a complete turnaround from its 2013 €73 million net loss.

The airline issued this statement:

Air Serbia tails (Air Serbia)(LRW)

Air Serbia, the national airline of the Republic of Serbia, reported a net profit of EUR 2.7 million for 2014. In its first full year of operation, the airline’s revenues rose by 87 per cent to EUR 262 million, marking the strongest results in the existence of the national carrier.

Audited by KPMG, these financial statements also reflect strong growth in passenger traffic and cargo volumes. A total of 2.3 million passengers travelled with the airline in 2014, 68 per cent more than in 2013.

Air Serbia logo

Air Serbia’s passenger carrying capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs), increased by 74 per cent to 3.3 billion by the end of 2014. Despite this increase the airline’s seat load factor rose by three percentage points from 64 per cent in 2013, the last year of operation as Jat Airways, to 67 per cent in 2014.

Air Serbia Cargo also performed significantly better in 2014, carrying 2,700 tonnes of freight, a 67 per cent increase on 2013. Cargo services continue to be a major area of growth for Air Serbia.

In a year of significant capacity increase, Air Serbia’s 2014 average on-time performance at its hub, Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla International Airport, was 78 per cent. This represents a four percentage point improvement over the performance of the former Jat Airways.

Dane Kondić, Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia, said: “These results are a great achievement validating the effectiveness of our strategy. We are proud to have been able to deliver on our mandate which was to achieve strong growth, to become the region’s leading carrier and, most importantly, to do so as a commercially viable and profitable enterprise, while becoming a key driver of economic growth in Serbia. The profit we have delivered in 2014 is, above all, a great sign for the future, as it lays a solid foundation going forward and is proof positive, of what can be achieved when the right strategies and governance structures are put in place. We owe a debt of thanks to our two shareholders – the Government of the Republic of Serbia and Etihad Airways for their ongoing support. I would also like to thank our staff for their contribution and hard work, without which, none of this would have been possible.”

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said: “We are delighted with the progress Air Serbia has made in delivering on its performance objectives in the very competitive European market. Its continued success amidst these challenges will depend not only on continued investment in its workforce and in innovative products and services, but also on the ongoing and strict financial discipline and focus on cost which have marked its first year of operation.”

Since Air Serbia’s launch on October 26, 2013, the airline has undertaken a number of initiatives outlined in its turnaround plan to rebuild the national carrier and transform it into a profitable, stable, reliable and strong airline to serve Serbia and the broader Balkan region

The airline was rebranded and ten new generation Airbus aircraft were introduced, with eight A319 and two A320 added to the fleet. As a result, the average age of the jet fleet has decreased from 25 to 10 years, delivering greater reliability and significantly lowering the costs of operation.

During 2014, Air Serbia’s network of direct routes grew to 40 destinations in 30 countries, the last of which was the highly symbolic launch of flights to Zagreb in December, re-establishing a link between Zagreb and Belgrade, last flown 23 years ago. The airline also expanded to 35, the number of destinations served with codeshare partners – airberlin, Aeroflot, Etihad Airways, Etihad Regional and Tarom. Coupled with the introduction of a modern and reliable fleet, the network expansion strategy has been a key driver of the significant growth in passenger numbers and cargo volumes.

Aviolet logo

Air Serbia also established a dedicated charter brand – Aviolet – which operates four rebranded and refurbished Boeing 737-300 aircraft. Aviolet operated over 520 return flights during the 2014 summer season and transported over 90,000 tourists to popular vacation destinations in Turkey, Greece, Egypt and Italy, among others.

Air Serbia FAs (Air Serbia)(LRW)

Air Serbia’s growth has created a significant number of new jobs for Serbian nationals. During 2014, the airline grew its workforce by more than 400 new professionals. The technical department of Air Serbia has employed 44 engineers and technicians to establish the line maintenance facility at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla International Airport. A number of new pilots were hired in the first half of 2014, including three of the airline’s first female pilots. The airline’s largest ever global drive for pilots was launched in September 2014, and resulted in the recruitment of over 40 new pilots by the end of the year. A nation-wide recruitment drive for cabin crew attracted nearly 1,700 candidates – the highest in the history of the airline, indicating that the national airline not only inspires confidence, but that it has become an employer of choice among young Serbian nationals.

Presently, over 1,900 employees work at Air Serbia, including its subsidiaries Air Serbia Catering and Air Serbia Ground Services.

Air Serbia launched a ground-breaking multi-channel advertising campaign in October, with the tag-line “Air Serbia. The New Wings of Europe”, to boost awareness of the airline and position Belgrade and Serbia as an attractive destination and a convenient European air transport hub. The success of the campaign was recognised by the Association of Advertising Professionals of Serbia (UEPS), receiving two golden awards.

The campaign has to date, received a record 800,000 YouTube views (below):

Top Copyright Photo: (all others by Air Serbia): SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 YU-APH (msn 2645) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow).

Air Serbia aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Air Serbia launches its new “The new wings of Europe” advertising campaign

Air Serbia (Belgrade) yesterday (October 27) launched a multi-channel advertising campaign to boost awareness of the airline and position Belgrade as a convenient European air transport hub. The airline continued;

“The campaign, which carries the end line: “Air‎ Serbia – The new wings of Europe”, also promotes Serbia and its capital city as a vibrant leisure destination, and is part of the next phase of growth for Serbia’s national airline beyond the Balkan region, including Europe and North America.

Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia, Dane Kondić, said: “Air Serbia has already achieved strong growth in Serbia and the region. However, if we are to be truly successful with the implementation of our business plan, we need to strengthen our presence across Europe as we connect our network with those of our partners. There is no point in having the best product and service or most connected network, if people don’t know who you are, where you fly or what you stand for”.

The multi-media campaign will include television, print, outdoor billboards and a strong online component.

All the imagery for the campaign was shot on location in Serbia.

Mr Kondic said he was very happy with the campaign. “This campaign is as much about Serbia and Belgrade as it is about Air Serbia. As we proudly share the brand of Serbia, the campaign captures the best that we have to offer as an airline and as a country.It promotes the natural beauty of our country and the fresh, distinctive flavours of Serbian cuisine; highlights a city with rich history and a vibrant nightlife, and promotes Air Serbia as an airline that exemplifies service and quality. This campaign will attract more business to Air Serbia, and this will in turn support the growth of the airline leading to the creation of more jobs for Serbian nationals. I am very excited about the launch, knowing that by making Air Serbia successful, we are continuing to make a significant contribution to the economy of Serbia”, Mr Kondić said.

The campaign will initially air for a month in the Balkan region, Russia, Poland, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and Austria with the goal of maximizing exposure for the Air Serbia brand and building awareness for its offer.”

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-132 A6-SAB (msn 1159) taxies at Zurich.

Air Serbia: AG Slide Show

Video: The new advertising campaign:

A new airline alliance: Etihad Airways Partners is unveiled

Etihad Airways Partners logo (LRW)

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) today (October 8) unveiled Etihad Airways Partners, a new brand which brings together like-minded airlines to offer customers more choice through improved networks and schedules and enhanced frequent flyer benefits.

Initially, six airlines will participate in the new partnership – Airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Jet Airways, Darwin Airline (Etihad Regional), and Etihad Airways.

However, any airline can become an Etihad Airways Partner even if it is part of an existing alliance, such as Airberlin, which is a member of oneworld.

The key emphasis for Etihad Airways Partners is a strong commercial partnership and shared values.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said “We are broadening our business model to articulate and define a partner proposition for like-minded airlines which will result in synergies and efficiencies for participating airlines on the one side, and enhanced network choice, service and frequent flyer benefits for the consumer on the other.

“The Etihad Airways Partners logo is a seal of excellence and global cooperation. It will be displayed on aircraft and on branded materials by a group of airlines working together to connect travellers around the world, and increasingly to harmonise standards in the air and on the ground.”

Mr Hogan said Etihad Airways Partners differed from legacy airline alliances by offering benefits well beyond pure commercial cooperation.

“The potential for network alignment to maximise flight connectivity for passengers, together with a shared passion for superior service, are central to the ethos of the Etihad Airways Partner concept,” he said.

“Frequent flyers will benefit from the formation of Etihad Airways Partners as it will remove the complexity and confusion that exists within the global alliances.

“We’re aiming to deliver a consistent experience for frequent flyers when they travel, as well as a consistent framework for earning and using their miles.”

This will include standardised mileage and tier benefits across all partners, no blackout periods and priority services.

Etihad Airways Partners will also have access to economies of scale and operational synergies such as centers of excellence, shared sales teams in certain destinations, joint procurement of services and supplies, and shared pilot and cabin crew training at the Etihad Airways facilities in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Airways Partners signing ceremony (Etihad)(LRW)

Above Photo: (Left to right): Maurizio Merlo, CEO Darwin Airline; Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, CEO airberlin; James Hogan, President and CEO Etihad Airways; Cramer Ball, CEO Jet Airways; Dane Kondić, CEO Air Serbia, Manoj Papa, CEO Air Seychelles; celebrate the launch of Etihad Airways Partners.

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Air Serbia remains confident it can be profitable by the end of 2014

Air Serbia (formerly Jat Airways) (Belgrade) reported its first half financial results showing growth in revenue, passengers and cargo following the investment by Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), new Airbus aircraft and a brand overhaul. The airline is now confident it will be profitable by the end of 2014. Air Serbia has issued this first half financial statement:

Air Serbia, the national airline of the Republic of Serbia, has reported strong improvement in total revenue for the first half of 2014, with revenues increasing by 82 per cent to EUR102 million, compared to EUR 56 million for the same period in 2013.

A total of 944,000 passengers travelled with the airline between January and June this year, almost 70 per cent more than the same period last year.

Air Serbia Cargo also performed significantly better in H1 2014, carrying 907 tonnes of freight, a 65 per cent increase on H1 2013. Cargo revenue grew by 32 per cent, an important and burgeoning service for Air Serbia.

Air Serbia’s passenger carrying capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs), was 1,588 million by the end of first half of 2014, an increase of 85 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Since Air Serbia’s launch on 26 October 2013, the airline has inducted 9 Airbus aircraft, with two Airbus A320 aircraft delivered in the second quarter of 2014. This has resulted in the average age of the jet fleet being reduced from 25 years to 10 years.

Dane Kondić, Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia, said: “The results are very pleasing and demonstrate how effectively the Air Serbia team is working to deliver on the strategy of sustainable growth. We are on track to deliver a profitable, strong airline by the end of the current financial year, in line with the commitment of our shareholders, the Government of Serbia and Etihad Airways.We expect to maintain the momentum for the second half of 2014, as we continue to reconnect the Balkan region and new markets, through a combination of direct flights, as well as expanding our codeshare partnerships. There is no doubt that we are bringing choice, convenience and comfort to travellers”, Mr Kondić said.

The fast-paced growth of Air Serbia’s regional route network to 38 destinations by the end of June 2014, one new and four expanded codeshare partnerships and a more modern and reliable fleet, are the key factors driving growth in passenger numbers and cargo volumes.

In the first half of the year, Air Serbia launched 11 new routes. In addition, codeshare agreements with Etihad Airways and airberlin have been expanded to include the holiday destinations of Colombo in Sri Lanka and Palma de Mallorca in Spain. The codeshare agreement with Romanian national airline Tarom was also expanded to include Chisinau, Moldova.

Furthermore, the Air Serbia’s codeshare agreement with Etihad Regional, signed on July 1, 2014, has now introduced the attractive Swiss destinations of Geneva and Lugano to travellers.

The growth of Air Serbia is also creating a significant number of new jobs for Serbian nationals. In the first half of 2014, the airline grew its workforce by 300 new professionals. Investing in the future, Air Serbia is planning to relaunch its cadet pilot scheme.

Elsewhere, 10 young graduates are currently attending a graduate management program in Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways and will, upon successful completion, join operating divisions across Air Serbia.
The technical department of Air Serbia has employed 44 engineers and technicians to establish the line maintenance facility at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla International Airport.

Mr Kondić said Air Serbia needed more good people to join the team. “We have a number of vacancies and I encourage Serbian nationals to visit our website. We are a Serbian company that can offer rewarding career opportunities for the right people.”

Mr Kondić said that while the operational and network improvements of Air Serbia over the past six months were very important, he was proud that Air Serbia was able to make a significant contribution to Serbia’s humanitarian effort during the recent floods which devastated the country.

During the floods in May, Air Serbia transported a total of 154 tons of humanitarian aid (with a service value of approximately EUR 170,000), in the belly-hold capacity of its aircraft to Belgrade and also to Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 YU-APH (msn 2645) arrives in Zurich.

Air Serbia: AG Slide Show

Air Serbia to now operate the last Boeing 737-300 through October 24

Air Serbia (formerly Jat Airways) (Belgrade) will now extend the date of the retirement date of its Jat Airways-painted Boeing 737-300s to October 24, 2014 according to Airline Route. The last routes will be to Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Podgorica. Air Serbia is replacing the older Boeing 737s with newer Airbus A319s and A320s.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-3H9 YU-AND (msn 23329) arrives in Zurich.

Air Serbia: AG Slide Show

Jat Airways: AG Slide Show

Air Serbia to start a new route to Beirut, Lebanon

Air Serbia (Belgrade) will launch a new daily Airbus A319 Belgrade-Beirut route on  June 1 per Airline Route.

Top Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-131 YU-APC (msn 2621) lands at Stockholm (Arlanda).

Air Serbia:

Bottom Copyright Photo: Air Serbia/Vladimir Turo. The Airbus A319 fleet gathers at the Belgrade hub.

Air Serbia Airbus fleet at Belgrade hub (Air Serbia)(LRW)