Air Serbia recorded a 66 per cent year-on-year jump in passenger numbers to 364,924 in the first quarter of 2014.
The increase was attributable to shareholder Etihad Airways’ global connectivity, funnelling more passengers on codeshare partners and introduction of three Airbus aircraft – two A319s and one A320.
The airline’s passenger carrying capacity, which is measured by available seat kilometres (ASKs), soared 93 per cent, resulting in a 47 per cent increase in revenues. No profit figures were released however.
Until the end of March, Air Serbia has expanded codeshare agreements with Etihad Airways, airberlin, Tarom, Adria Airways and BH Airlines. Daily flights between Belgrade and Abu Dhabi, on Air Serbia and Etihad Airways, are driving growth to and from the Middle East.
Air Serbia CEO Dane Kondić, said it is “on track” to break even in 2014. “The improved passenger numbers and revenue reflects the growing appeal of the airline for leisure and business travel across the Balkan region and beyond,” he said. “In addition to strong growth in passenger revenue, we are also growing very important cargo revenue, which provides more stability to the revenue base of the business.”
Cargo tonnage increased 46 per cent to 175 tonnes in the first three months compared with the same period last year, as the network expanded.
The additional aircraft capacity allowed new routes to Sofia and Budapest and raised the network to 34 Euro-Mediterranean destinations serviced directly from its hub at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla International Airport. More destinations will be launched over the remainder of 2014.