Review by Christos T. Panagopoulos –
Serbia’s Jat Airways has ended its 66 year existence by recording a decline in passenger numbers. The former Serbian national carrier, which officially ceased to exist on October 29, handled 104.966 passengers during its last month, a decrease of 2% compared to October 2012.
This is despite the fact that the number of operated flights increased by 12%. The average cabin load factor stood at 63% and was down eight points on last year.
Flights to Montenegro saw the greatest improvement with passenger numbers increasing 15%.
Euro Mediterranean flights were hit by a 5% decline while passenger numbers on charter flights were up 14%.
In October, flights to and from Paris, Athens and Podgorica saw the biggest increase in passenger numbers while flights to Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport were hit hardest (however these flights were discontinued on October 27 which has influenced numbers).
The airline can find comfort in knowing that in its last month of operations, it did not cancel a single flight. Jat, which was rebranded to Air Serbia in the final few days of October, recorded an 86.9% on time performance (delays under fifteen minutes are not included).
During the month, the airline recorded its highest load factor on flights from Istanbul’s Sabiha Gocken Airport to Belgrade (operated as Air Serbia), Belgrade to Paris and from Tivat to Belgrade.
Overall, Jat Airways/Air Serbia welcomed 1,173.,56 passengers on board its aircraft in the first ten months of the year, down 1.6% compared to the same period in 2012. The average cabin load factor stood at 68.8%, down 5.7%. All eyes will now be on Air Serbia and its passenger performance in its first month of operations. The airline is counting on a large amount of transit passengers in November, particularly on services from Istanbul and Abu Dhabi, which will see its flight times change from this Friday to cater for connecting passengers.
During October, the airline operated its flights with three ATR72s, ten B737-300s, one B737-200 and one Airbus A319, which joined the fleet in the last few days of the month.
Source: EX-YU Aviation News