· On track for profitability by end 2014
· Total revenues increase by 54 per cent from EUR 37 million to EUR 57 million
· Total passenger numbers grew by 74 per cent from 419,000 to 730,000
· 239,000 passenger carried in August, a 71 per cent increase over August 2013
· Available Seat Kilometres of 967 million
· Cargo achieves 64 per cent growth having carried a total of 669 tonnes
· Aviolet charter operation carries 90,000 passengers
Air Serbia, the national airline of the Republic of Serbia, today reported continued improvement in its financial performance with total revenues of EUR 57 million for the third quarter of 2014, an increase of 54 per cent over 2013, achieved by accelerating passenger and cargo growth during the summer months.
The airline’s total passenger numbers increased to 730,000 between July and September this year, 74 per cent higher than the 419,000 passengers from the same period in 2013. Air Serbia Cargo also achieved a 64 per cent growth over 2013 carrying 669 tonnes of freight during the third quarter of 2014.
August was a record in the history of the airline. A total of 239,000 passengers travelled with Air Serbia, a 71 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. The first half of August was especially busy with 180,000 passengers travelling with the airline, which boosted the quarter.
Air Serbia’s passenger carrying capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK), was 967 million by the end of Q3 2014, an increase of 62 per cent over the same period last year.
Aviolet, Air Serbia’s charter brand launched in May this year, carried out over 520 flights during the season and transported 90,000 passengers to various summer destinations in Turkey, Greece, Egypt and Italy, among others.
Dane Kondić, Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia, said: “Our focus on organic growth and codeshare partnerships is delivering strong results, notwithstanding strong competition and subdued economic growth in the region.
“We have committed to deliver a profit by the end of 2014 and we are on track to do that. We are confident we have the right business and customer strategy, and that we have the right people as part of the team for success.
“Between January and September Air Serbia carried a total of 1.8 million passengers and 2,000 tonnes of cargo, in each case reflecting an increase of 66 per cent over the same period in 2013. These are impressive numbers and, importantly, revenue is following this trend closely,” Mr Kondić said.
In the quarter the airline’s fleet expanded to 10 narrow bodies and five turbo-prop aircraft, with the delivery of the last of the A319 aircraft arranged last year. This is the tenth Airbus aircraft delivered to Air Serbia since its launch on 26 October 2013 and the last one until 2018, when Air Serbia expects to take delivery of its first Airbus A320neo.
With the launch of a Tirana service in late September, the airline’s network now covers 39 destinations in 29 countries. An additional 20 destinations are offered to Air Serbia guests through its codeshare partners, Etihad Airways, airberlin, Air France, KLM, Tarom and Aeroflot.
Organic growth was supported by codeshare and equity partnerships in the third quarter of 2014. During this period, Air Serbia signed a new codeshare agreement with Etihad Regional providing guests with greater access and connectivity to major Swiss destinations including Zurich and Lugano.
A special pro-rata agreement between Jet Airways of India and Air Serbia has been further expanded to include attractive destinations in India, including Ahmedabad and Goa.
Air Serbia also agreed to expand its current codeshare cooperation with Aeroflot with affect from the winter season 2014/15, enabling Air Serbia guests to fly to Sochi via Moscow.
Air Serbia continues to create jobs, thereby making a significant contribution to the economy of Serbia. The largest ever global drive for pilots was launched in September, and is expected to bring over 40 pilots to the Air Serbia team by the end of this year.
Presently, over 1795 employees work at Air Serbia, including its subsidiaries Air Serbia Catering and Air Serbia Ground Services. The sustained growth of Air Serbia will continue to create a significant number of new positions for Serbian nationals. Also, more than 300 Serbians now work for Etihad Airways with the majority based at the airline’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
“Our success would not be possible without the commitment and loyalty of our people and I would like to recognize their hard work; they are the engine of our growth.
“However, at the center of our business are our customers and I also extend our appreciation for their loyal support. We are taking onboard all feedback and continuously improving the way in which we serve our customers, every day,” Mr Kondić said.