17 June 1927,|
26 October 2013,|
(as Air Serbia)
|Hubs||Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Etihad Guest|
|Alliance||Etihad Airways Partners|
|Company slogan||Nova krila Evrope (The New Wings of Europe)|
|Parent company||Government of Serbia (51%)|
|Revenue||€289.69 million (2017)|
|Net income||€16.46 million (2017)|
|Total assets||€174.56 million (2017)|
|Total equity||€0 (2017)|
Air Serbia (stylized as AirSERBIA; Serbian: Ер Србија / Er Srbija) is the flag carrier of Serbia. The company's head office is in Belgrade, Serbia, and its main hub is Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. In 2016, it was the fourth-largest legacy carrier in Central and Eastern Europe. The airline was formerly known as Jat Airways until it was renamed and commenced operations under its new name in 2013.
- 1 History
- 2 Corporate affairs
- 3 Destinations
- 4 Fleet
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
Air Serbia originates when the first Serbian company for civil air transport Aeroput was formed in 1927, same year in which its hub, national capital Belgrade, inaugurated its new international airport. Aeroput became the flag carrier of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and, with the opening of numerous airfields throughout the country, it significantly improved the connection between the different regions. Besides providing passengers, mail and cargo services to its domestic destinations, in 1929 Aeroput inaugurated its first regular scheduled international route, Belgrade–Zagreb–Graz–Vienna. During the 1930s it will further expand its international routes to other destinations in Austria, but also in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Albania and Italy, positioning itself as a major regional airliner. Its fleet consisted in one Aeroput MMS-3, one Breguet 19/10, two Caudron C.449 Goéland, one de Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth, one de Havilland DH.60M Moth, one de Havilland DH.83 Fox Moth, one de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide, one Farman F.190, one Farman F.306, eight Lockheed Model 10 Electra, six Potez 29/2 and three Spartan Cruiser II one of which was built under licence by domestic Zmaj aircraft factory.
After the war, in 1948, the company was nationalized and rebranded as JAT Jugoslovenski Aerotransport which became the flag carrier of the SFR Yugoslavia. Despite being a communist country, Yugoslavia broke relations with Soviet Union and became one of the leaders of the Non-Alligned Movement. Its fleet consisted almost exclusively of Western-built aircraft and jet age was introduced in 1963 with the acquisition of Sud Aviation Caravelle, followed by McDonnell Douglas DC-9 in 1969, Boeing 707 in 1970, McDonnell Douglas DC-10 in 1971, and Boeing 727 in 1974. By the 1980s JAT operated regular flights to all continents except South America which was planned to be introduced by the 1990s. In 1985 JAT became the first European operator of the Boeing 737-300, and, in 1987, it introduced ATR 42 and ATR 72 for its regional and domestic routes. By 1988 JAT ranked 10th airline Europe in size according to IATA, and included 76 destinations in 39 countries, including long-haul flights to Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, New York, Montreal, Toronto in the West, or Beijing, Calcutta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney in the East. Fleet modernisation plans begin in the 1980s with the introduction of the Boeing 737´s, while the long range DC-10´s were planned to be replaced by either Boeing 767-ER, McDonnell Douglas MD-11 or Airbus A340, however due to the start of the war these plans never materialised. During the 1980s JAT also developed a maintenance hangar in Belgrade and a pilot school in Belgrade and Vršac.
The continuous expansion of the company saw a set-back with the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. On 29 February 1992 JAT turned into a public company and continued its role of flag carrier of FR Yugoslavia. In 2003, the country was renamed Serbia and Montenegro, and that same year the company was renamed Jat Airways. In 2006 Montenegro declared independence and Jat became the flag carrier of Serbia. The aging fleet and lack of investments caused the company to record financial losses year after year, and several Serbian governments were looking for a strategic partner for the company. 
A new chapter in company´s history begins on 1 August 2013, when Jat Airways and Etihad Airways entered into an agreement of strategic partnership. Under the agreement, Etihad acquired a 49% stake in Jat Airways and management rights for a period of five years. The Republic of Serbia would retain the remaining 51% and hold five of nine monitoring committee seats in the company. Jat Airways was reorganized and renamed Air Serbia in October 2013 and launched its inaugural flight under its new name on 26 October 2013, from Belgrade to Abu Dhabi.
On 23 June 2016, Air Serbia began operating non-stop flights between Belgrade and New York using an Airbus A330-200 leased from another Etihad partner, Jet Airways. The transatlantic service became the first non-stop flight operated by any former Yugoslav carrier into the United States since 1992, when all JAT's long-haul flights were discontinued.
Air Serbia is jointly owned by the Government of Serbia, which holds a 51 per cent stake, and Etihad Airways, which has a 49 per cent share. It is governed by an Executive Board led by the CEO, Duncan Naysmith, a Supervisory Board chaired by Siniša Mali, and a Shareholders Assembly chaired by Luka Tomić.
The key trends, since the relaunch as Air Serbia, are shown below (as at year ending 31 December):
|Total revenue (€m)||262||305||320|
|Number of passengers (m)||2.3||2.55||2.62|
|Passenger load factor (%)||67||71||72|
|Cargo carried (000s tonnes)||2.7||3.8||4.9|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||19||20||21|
In May 2014 Air Serbia launched a new charter brand called Aviolet (Serbian Cyrillic: Авиолет),which uses Air Serbia's rebranded Boeing 737-300 fleet under Air Serbia's IATA airline code (JU). The majority of Aviolet flights are operated during the peak of the summer season, in the period between June 15 and September 15. The first-ever Aviolet-branded flight took off from Belgrade to Antalya on 4 May 2014.
Air Serbia Ground Services
Renamed from SU-Port and shortened as ASGS, Air Serbia Ground Services was the first officially certified supplier of ground handling services in the Republic of Serbia, which has obtained a ground handling certificate issued by the Civil Aviation Directorate. ASGS has been certified to provide ground handling operations which include handling of passengers, baggage, aircraft, cargo and mail. Since its founding in 2002 and up to the present day, Air Serbia Ground Services has annually provided ground handling services to more than 1 million passengers, on 8500 flights, on behalf of its parent and other airlines.
Air Serbia Catering
Air Serbia Catering (ASC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Serbia. Located in the industrial zone of Nikola Tesla Airport, the company prepares inflight meals for Air Serbia, as well as other carriers operating to Belgrade. Founded in 1967 as part of JAT, ASC started operating as an independent company in 2005, and in early 2014 it became part of Air Serbia.
As of June 2016, the airline operates flights to 42 destinations in Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North America.
Etihad Airways Partners
Air Serbia has been a member of airline alliance Etihad Airways Partners since its founding in 2014. Besides Air Serbia, it includes Etihad Airways (which has minority shareholdings in all partner airlines), Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia and Air Seychelles. Through the alliance, Air Serbia passengers have access to a combined network of over 400 destinations across six continents.
|Airbus A320neo||—||10||TBA||to be delivered between 2018 and 2020|
|Boeing 737-300||4||—||--||144||144||Operated as part of the charter brand Aviolet |
To be retired by the end of 2018
Air Serbia's livery, introduced in October 2013, was created by designer Tamara Maksimović. Featuring Serbia's national colours – red, blue and white – the design, with its graphical elements and details, is based around Serbian art in the Middle Ages. The carrier's logo, featured on the tail, is a stylized double-headed eagle inspired by the Serbian coat-of-arms. Each aircraft also features the airline's name and logo on its belly.
In 2013, the airline launched "Living Legends" initiative that pays tribute to Serbians who have excelled in their chosen profession and achieved international recognition by naming after those individuals its aircraft. It has so far seen aircraft named after tennis superstar Novak Djoković, basketball player Vlade Divac, footballer Dejan Stanković, actor Miki Manojlović, and musician Goran Bregović.
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- "AirSERBIA Ground Services". Archived from the original on 24 May 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- "Catering - about us". airserbia.com. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
In early 2014, (Air Serbia Catering) became a subsidiary company of the airline company Air Serbia and part of Etihad Airways Partner Group.
- "aviolet.rs - Info". www.aviolet.rs. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
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- "World Airlines Directory". Flight International. 8 May 1931. p. 407.
- Drustvo za Vazdusni Saobracaj A D – Aeroput at europeanairlines.no
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- Air Serbia’s charter brand takes off[unreliable source?]
- Aviolet official website, retrieved 8-12-2014
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Media related to Air Serbia at Wikimedia Commons