Air Serbia, the national airline of the Republic of Serbia, recorded a net profit of EUR 3.9 million in its second full year of operation, exceeding last year’s profit of EUR 2.7 million by 44 per cent.
The airline posted total revenues of EUR 305 million for 2015, representing an increase of 16 per cent over 2014, a result that was driven by significant growth in passenger numbers.
These results were achieved on the back of growth in the airline’s key operating metrics, including its network capacity, which expanded 6 per cent to 3.65 billion Available Seat Kilometres in 2015, and the number of flights operated, which increased by 8 per cent to 32,384 flights by the end of last year.
This was accompanied by an 11 per cent year-on-year rise in the number of passengers carried, which grew to 2.55 million in 2015, and an increase in the load factor, a measure of filled seats compared to available seats, which went up to 71 percentage points in 2015 from 67 percentage points the year before.
Air Serbia’s codeshare partnerships contributed EUR 21.5 million in 2015, a result of the airline developing its existing agreements and signing new codeshare partnerships with Aegean Airlines, Air Baltic, Air China, Air Europa and LOT Polish Airlines.
Air Serbia’s annual financial statements were independently audited by KPMG, in accordance with International Auditing Standards.
Dane Kondić, Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia, said: “Our increased revenues and profit are a great achievement and a direct result of our unwavering focus on lowering costs, raising productivity and building on our product and service offering.
“There has also been a continued focus on improving sales and commercial performance as well as attention on revenue management.
“Last year, we consolidated and built depth into our European network and are now in a position to expand it regionally and across the Atlantic. Our strategy in 2016 is to strengthen the network further by taking advantage of Belgrade’s position as the gateway to the Balkans and capturing regional traffic flows to the United States.”
Siniša Mali, President of the Supervisory Board of Air Serbia, said: “Air Serbia’s strong financial results for 2015 are a clear and pleasing sign that the business is becoming stronger and the strategy it has put in place is delivering on its key commercial objectives.
“With the support of its shareholders, Air Serbia will this summer expand its network to five new markets, including New York, opening the doors for more growth, increasing Serbia’s brand visibility and laying the groundwork for the airline to make an even bigger contribution to the national economy in 2016.”
Mr Mali added: “Air Serbia’s continued expansion in 2015 created significant job opportunities, with the airline employing 400 additional staff and growing the combined workforce of the Air Serbia Group, including its subsidiaries, Air Serbia Catering and Air Serbia Ground Services, to 2,450 people.
“Further demonstrating the airline’s reputation as an employer of choice, last year’s recruitment drives for cabin crew attracted 6,400 candidates in total, the highest number of applicants in the history of the national carrier.”
James Hogan, Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Air Serbia and President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “We are pleased by Air Serbia’s continued success in restructuring and strengthening its commercial operations.
“This success is evidence of the equity partnership strategy in action. Air Serbia has made tremendous strides on its journey to sustainable profitability. Europe is a very competitive market, and the airline’s ongoing investment in products and services has created a compelling offering for European consumers.”