Air Serbia

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Air Serbia
Air Serbia.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 17 June 1927; 91 years ago (1927-06-17),
(as Aeroput)
Commenced operations 26 October 2013; 4 years ago (2013-10-26),
(as Air Serbia)
Hubs Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport
Frequent-flyer program Etihad Guest[1]
Alliance Etihad Airways Partners
  • Air Serbia Ground Services[2]
  • Air Serbia Catering [3]
  • Aviolet [4]
Fleet size 21
Destinations 42
Company slogan Nova krila Evrope (The New Wings of Europe)
Parent company Government of Serbia (51%)[5]
Headquarters Belgrade, Serbia
Key people

Revenue Decrease 289.69 million (2017)[7]
Net income Increase €16.46 million (2017)[7]
Total assets Decrease €174.56 million (2017)[8]
Total equity Steady €0 (2017)[8]
Employees 2,316 (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.[9] 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.[10][11]


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.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] 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.[14] 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,[14] 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.[14] 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,[14] 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.[14]

JAT Yugoslav Airlines DC-10 in 1984.

The continuous expansion of the company saw a set-back with the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. On 29 February 1992 (1992-02-29) JAT turned into a public company[15] 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.[16] Neverless all political changes that affected the company regarding its management structure, brand and name, the company kept always being the flag carrier, maintained its hub in national capital Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, and kept the airline code JU since very beginning.[citation needed]

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.[17] The Republic of Serbia would retain the remaining 51% and hold five of nine monitoring committee seats in the company.[18] 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.[10]

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.[19]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Air Serbia flight attendants

Ownership structure[edit]

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.[20]

Business trends[edit]

The key trends, since the relaunch as Air Serbia, are shown below (as at year ending 31 December):

2014 2015 2016
Total revenue (€m) 262 305 320
Profit (€m) 2.7 3.9 0.9
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
Notes/sources [21] [22] [23]



An Aviolet Boeing 737-300

In May 2014 Air Serbia launched a new charter brand called Aviolet (Serbian Cyrillic: Авиолет),[24]which uses Air Serbia's rebranded Boeing 737-300 fleet[25] under Air Serbia's IATA airline code (JU).[citation needed] 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.[26]

Air Serbia Ground Services[edit]

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.[27]

Air Serbia Catering[edit]

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.[28]


As of June 2016, the airline operates flights to 42 destinations in Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North America.[29]

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Air Serbia has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[30]

Etihad Airways Partners[edit]

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.[32]

Air Serbia Airbus A330-200


Air Serbia Airbus A320-200
Air Serbia Airbus A319
Air Serbia ATR 72-500

As of May 2018, the Air Serbia fleet comprises the following aircraft:[33]

Air Serbia fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
J Y Total
Airbus A319-100 8 8 136 144
Airbus A320-200 2 8 166 174
Airbus A320neo 10 TBA to be delivered between 2018 and 2020[34]
Airbus A330-200 1 18 236 254
ATR 72-200 3 66 66
ATR 72-500 3 70 70
Boeing 737-300 4 -- 144 144 Operated as part of the charter brand Aviolet[26]
To be retired by the end of 2018[35]
Total 21 10


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.[36][37] 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.[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Air Serbia Etihad Guest". Archived from the original on 10 April 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "AirSERBIA Ground Services". Archived from the original on 24 May 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Catering - about us". 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. 
  4. ^ " - Info". Retrieved 1 May 2018. 
  5. ^ Dron, Alan (3 March 2015). "Air Serbia records first full-year profit in 2014". Air Transport World. Archived from the original on 3 March 2015.  
  6. ^ a b Moores, Victoria (3 July 2018). "Etihad to retain equity stake in stronger-performing Air Serbia". Air Transport World. Archived from the original on 3 July 2018. 
  7. ^ a b "Bilans uspeha (2017) - Air Serbia". (in Serbian). The Serbian Business Registers Agency. Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  8. ^ a b "Bilans stanja (2017) - Air Serbia". (in Serbian). The Serbian Business Registers Agency. Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  9. ^ "Belgrade Airport, with resurgent Air Serbia, challenges the hub order in Central/Southeast Europe". CAPA Centre for Aviation. 18 March 2015. Archived from the original on 21 March 2015.  
  10. ^ a b "Air Serbia: A New Dawn for Serbia as Revitalised National Airline Takes to the Skies". Centre for Aviation. 28 October 2013. Archived from the original on 20 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "Air Serbia: New Route Network Gives Best Ever Choice for Serbian Travellers". Centre for Aviation. 28 October 2013. Archived from the original on 20 June 2014. 
  12. ^ "World Airlines Directory". Flight International. 8 May 1931. p. 407. 
  13. ^ Drustvo za Vazdusni Saobracaj A D – Aeroput at
  14. ^ a b c d e f "World Airlines Directory". Flight International. 28 May 1988. p. 33. 
  15. ^ "Jat Airways on 29 February 1992 turned into a public company". Blic. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  16. ^ "History". Air Serbia. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  17. ^ "Etihad Airways and Government of Serbia unveil strategic partnership to secure future of Serbian National Airline" (Press release). Etihad Airways. 1 August 2013. Archived from the original on 5 August 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "Jat Airways to be renamed to Air Serbia in August". B92. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "From Belgrade To The Big Apple: Air Serbia Makes History As First New York Service Takes Off" (in Serbian). Radio Television of Serbia. 9 November 2015. 
  20. ^ "Governing bodies". Air Serbia. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  21. ^ "Air Serbia records profitability in first full year of operation". (Press release). 2 March 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  22. ^ "Air Serbia reports net profit of EUR 3.9 million - second successive year of profitablity". (Press release). 4 May 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  23. ^ "Air Serbia achieves net profit in 2016 amid changing competitive landscape". (Press release). 8 August 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017. 
  24. ^ Air Serbia’s charter brand takes off[unreliable source?]
  25. ^ Aviolet official website, retrieved 8-12-2014
  26. ^ a b "Aviolet - novi brend Air Serbije za čarter letove". (in Serbian). 23 May 2014. 
  27. ^ "Air Serbia official website -". Air Serbia official website - Archived from the original on 24 May 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  28. ^ "Air Serbia Catering". Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  29. ^ "Summer 2017 - Air Serbia". EX-YU Aviation News. Retrieved 1 May 2018. 
  30. ^ "Profile on Air Serbia". CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 2016-10-30. Retrieved 2016-10-30. 
  31. ^ "Air Serbia and AtlasGlobal unveil new partnership connecting Belgrade, Istanbul and beyond" (Press release). Retrieved 6 November 2017. 
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Our Fleet". Retrieved 10 May 2018. 
  34. ^ "Air Serbia announces ten Airbus A320neo aircraft for its fleet from 2018" (Press release). Air Serbia. 19 November 2013. Archived from the original on 29 June 2014. 
  35. ^ "Air Serbia mulls future fleet options". EX-YU Aviation News. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  36. ^ "Air Serbia - Bruce Drum (airlinersgallery)". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  37. ^ "New name and new look revealed for Serbia's National Airline" (Press release). Etihad Airways. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  38. ^ "Air Serbia unveils its fifth "Living legend" – Goran Bregović". Air Serbia (Press release). 28 March 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Air Serbia at Wikimedia Commons