Air Serbia commenced (25-Oct-2013) operations under its new name, completing the carrier's rebranding process. The carrier plans to launch seven new routes between Jan-2014 and Apr-2014, with five new routes to be launch before the end of 2013 including Abu Dhabi, Banja Luka, Bucharest, Ljubljana and Prague. The carrier plans to double its current frequencies and capacity by Jun-2014, offering 73,000 seats and 670 weekly frequencies from its Belgrade hub. Serbia's first deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said: "The launch of Air Serbia marks an important new beginning for the airline industry in our country. Having a strong and successful airline is vital for Serbia’s future economic development and growth. Air Serbia will deliver hundreds of millions of dollars a year into our economy." Air Serbia CEO Dane Kondić said: "The new Air Serbia is good news for travellers, increasing route network choices regionally and across the globe. It is good news for the business, with new investment and a strict commercial mandate that will secure the airline’s long-term future. And it good news for the Serbian economy, helping to develop tourism and trade routes over the long term." Mr Kondić added: "We are going to be making changes to focus everything on the guest. That means better aircraft and a guest focused team. It also means a network that takes people where they want to go, with easy connections." The carrier will also look to develop its freight operations at Belgrade, with Mr Kondić stating: "With a better route network, and better connections with international partners, this can become a regional hub for air freight." [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II] [more - original PR - Serbian] [more - original PR - II - Serbian]
Air Serbia commences operations following rebranding
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Air Serbia's 2015 profit another step in Etihad-inspired transformation. Wizz Air a possible threat
Air Serbia's transformation from the loss-making carrier Jat Airways in 2013 to one with the possibility of sustainable levels of profitability took another step forward in 2015, with another positive result. After receiving investment from Etihad and the Serbian government in 2H2013, it had recovered from heavy losses to a small profit in 2014. This was based on an impressive reduction in unit cost, with a realignment of the network and its commercial positioning.
In 2015 Air Serbia again increased its net profit, although this remained slim at only 1% of revenue. Buoyed by its success in establishing a track record of positive results, Air Serbia is growing its European network. Perhaps more significantly, it is also launching its first long haul route, Belgrade-New York, this summer.
Its unit cost is efficient versus legacy airlines and not very much higher than LCCs such as easyJet. It has the good fortune to face only a relatively small amount of competition from LCCs (it only has competition from any other airline on a minority of its routes). However, the ultra-LCC Wizz Air, which has a much lower unit cost than Air Serbia, is its leading LCC competitor and could provide a greater threat over time.