Air Serbia

Air Serbia (stylised as AirSERBIA; Serbian: Ер Србија, romanized: Er Srbija) is the flag carrier of Serbia. The company's headquarters is located in Belgrade, Serbia, and its main hub is Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport.[11] In 2016, it was the fourth-largest legacy carrier in Southeastern Europe. The airline was formerly known as Jat Airways until it was renamed in 2013.[12][13]

Air Serbia
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded17 June 1927 (1927-06-17),
(as Aeroput)
Commenced operations26 October 2013 (2013-10-26),
(as Air Serbia)
HubsBelgrade Nikola Tesla Airport
Niš Constantine the Great Airport[1]
Frequent-flyer programEtihad Guest[2]
Fleet size23
Company sloganNova krila Evrope (The New Wings of Europe)
Parent companyGovernment of Serbia (51%)[7]
HeadquartersBelgrade, Serbia
Key people
Revenue 290.73 million (2018)[9]
Net income €11.17 million (2018)[9]
Total assets €193.31 million (2018)[10]
Total equity €0 (2018)[10]
Employees1,756 (2018)



Air Serbia originated in 1927 when the first Serbian company for civil air transport Aeroput was formed. 1927 was also the year the nation's capital Belgrade became the hub of its operations, with the inauguration of an international airport. Aeroput became the flag carrier of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and, by the opening of numerous airfields throughout the country, significantly improved connections between the different regions. Besides providing passenger, mail and cargo service to its domestic destinations, Aeroput inaugurated its first regular scheduled international route Belgrade–Zagreb–Graz–Vienna in 1929. During the 1930s, it expanded by opening new routes to other destinations in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Albania, and Italy. These new routes helped it position itself as a major regional airliner.[14] 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 the domestic Zmaj aircraft factory.[15]

After WWII, the company was nationalized and rebranded as JAT Jugoslovenski Aerotransport in 1948, thus becoming the flag carrier of the SFR Yugoslavia. Despite being a communist country, Yugoslavia broke relations with the Soviet Union and became one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement.[16] As a result, its fleet consisted almost entirely of Western-built aircraft. The carrier entered the jet age in 1963 with the acquisition of the Sud Aviation Caravelle, followed by the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 in 1969, the Boeing 707 in 1970, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 in 1971, and the Boeing 727 in 1974.[16] By the 1980s, JAT operated regular flights to all the continents except South America, which was planned for commencement by the 1990s. In 1985 JAT became the first European operator of the Boeing 737-300,[16] and introduced the ATR 42 and ATR 72 in 1987 for its regional and domestic routes. According to IATA in 1988, JAT was ranked the 10th largest airline in Europe by flying to 76 destinations in 39 countries, which included long-haul flights to Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, New York, Montreal, Toronto in the West, and Beijing, Calcutta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney in the East.[16] Its fleet modernization plan began in the 1980s with the introduction of the Boeing 737, while its long-range DC-10s were scheduled to be replaced by either the Boeing 767-ER, the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 or the Airbus A340.[16] However, its modernization plan was never realized due to the start of the Yugoslav wars. During the 1980s, JAT also established a maintenance hangar in Belgrade and a pilot training academy in Belgrade and Vršac.[16]

The continual growth of the company would be set-back with the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. JAT became a public company on 29 February 1992[17] and continued its role as flag carrier of the FR Yugoslavia.

Development since the 2000s

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 Airways became the flag carrier of Serbia. An aging fleet and lack of investment caused the company to become unprofitable. As a result, the Serbian government began looking for a strategic partner for the company.[18]

A new chapter in the company's history began on 1 August 2013, when Jat Airways and Etihad Airways entered into a strategic partnership agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Etihad would acquire a 49% interest in Jat Airways and its management rights for five years.[19] The Republic of Serbia would retain a controlling interest of 51% and hold five of nine monitoring committee seats in the company.[20] Jat Airways was then reorganized and renamed Air Serbia in October 2013 and launched its inaugural flight from Belgrade to Abu Dhabi.[12] on 26 October 2013.

On 23 June 2016, Air Serbia began operating non-stop flights between Belgrade and New York using an Airbus A330-200 leased from Etihad partner, Jet Airways. This transatlantic service became the first non-stop flight operated by a former Yugoslav carrier into the United States since 1992, when all of JAT's long-haul flights were suspended.[21]

Air Serbia implemented an extensive restructuring plan in mid-2017 that saw changes at all levels of the company to improve its performance. The goal was to focus on net profit, a new fare structure, new sales channels, and offer additional services that would increase efficiency.[22] From May to June 2017, it retrofitted its Airbus A319 and A320 fleet with Recaro BL3520 seats to standardize its seating plan. This resulted in a seat capacity increase of 12%.[23] On 24 January 2018, the carrier announced it would introduce a new pricing model that would create four different fare types in an effort to unbundle its fares. Passengers can pick from four different fare types, with each fare type determining luggage allowance, priority boarding, fast track through the airport, travel date changes, and other entitlements.[22] On 1 March 2018, Air Serbia opened the Elevate Deli & Bar service on its short and medium-haul flights to give passengers the option of purchasing food and drinks in flight. This service replaced its previous inflight catering and offers one of two menus based on the length of service and type of aircraft operating the route. Inflight catering on its long-haul, transatlantic service remains unchanged, with passengers receiving a free meal.[24]

Corporate affairs

Ownership structure

Air Serbia is jointly owned by the Government of Serbia, which holds a 51 percent share interest, and Etihad Airways, which owns a 49 percent share interest and management control. It is governed by an Executive Board led by CEO, Duncan Naysmith, a Supervisory Board chaired by Siniša Mali, and a Shareholders Assembly chaired by Luka Tomić.[25]

Air Serbia's key performance indicators are (years ending December 31):

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Turnover (€m) 262 305 320 288 288
Net profit (€m) 2.7 3.9 0.9 15.7 12.2
Number of staff 1,488 1,370
Number of passengers (m) 2.3 2.55 2.62 2.62 2.48
Passenger load factor (%) 67 71 72.4 73.4 71.2
Cargo carried (000s tonnes) 2.7 3.8 4.9 6.2 6.2
Number of aircraft (at year end) 19 20 21 21 20
Notes/sources [26] [27] [28] [29] [30]



In May 2014, Air Serbia launched a new charter brand called Aviolet (Serbian Cyrillic: Авиолет),[31] using a fleet of 3 Boeing 737-300s[32] under Air Serbia's IATA airline code (JU). The majority of Aviolet charter flights are operated during the peak holiday season, which runs from June to September. The first Aviolet-branded flight took off from Belgrade on 4 May 2014, flying to Antalya.[33]

Air Serbia Ground Services

Formerly known as SU-Port, Air Serbia Ground Services (ASGS) is the official provider of aircraft ground handling services in the Republic of Serbia, being certified by Serbia's Civil Aviation Directorate. ASGS provides ground handling operations to passengers, baggage, aircraft, cargo, and mail. Since its founding in 2002, the company handles more than two million passengers and 8500 flights for Air Serbia and other airlines annually.[34] It was shut down in November 2017, and all employees were transferred to Belgrade Airport.[35]

Air Serbia Catering

Air Serbia Catering (ASC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Serbia. Located near Nikola Tesla Airport, the company prepares and handles inflight meals for Air Serbia, as well as other carriers flying to and from Belgrade. Founded in 1967 as part of JAT, ASC started operating as an independent company in 2005, and became part of Air Serbia in 2014.[36]


Air Serbia operates flights to 59 destinations in 32 countries as of August 2019, including its hubs at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport and Niš Constantine the Great Airport.[6]

Codeshare agreements

Air Serbia has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[37]

Etihad Airways Partners

Air Serbia has been a member of airline alliance Etihad Airways Partners since its founding in 2014. Besides Air Serbia, the alliance includes Etihad Airways, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia and Air Seychelles. Through the alliance, Air Serbia's passengers have access to a combined network of over 400 destinations across six continents.[41]


Current fleet

As of November 2019, Air Serbia's fleet is composed of the following aircraft:[42]

Air Serbia fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
J Y Total
Airbus A319-100 9 8 136 144
Airbus A320-200 2 8 166 174
Airbus A330-200 1 18 236 254
ATR 72-200 3 66 66
ATR 72-500 3 70 70
Boeing 737-300 3 144 144 Operated as part of the charter brand Aviolet.[33]
Planned to be retired by the end of 2020.
Total 21


Introduced in October 2013, Air Serbia's livery was created by graphic designer Tamara Maksimović. Featuring Serbia's national colours – red, blue and white – the design, with its graphical elements and details, is based on 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.[43][44] The carrier's name and logo can be seen both on the fuselage and belly of each aircraft.

In 2013 the airline launched the "Living Legends" initiative, which pays tribute to famous Serbian citizens who have made positive contributions to society, both in Serbia and abroad. In recognition of their success, Air Serbia names each aircraft after them. Such individuals include inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla, tennis superstar Novak Djoković, former NBA player Vlade Divac, former footballer and manager Dejan Stanković, actor Miki Manojlović, and musician Goran Bregović.[45]

See also


  2. "Air Serbia Etihad Guest". Archived from the original on 10 April 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  3. "AirSERBIA Ground Services". Archived from the original on 24 May 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  4. "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.
  5. " - Info". Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  7. 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. 
  8. 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.
  9. "Bilans uspeha (2018) - Air Serbia". (in Serbian). The Serbian Business Registers Agency. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  10. "Bilans stanja (2018) - Air Serbia". (in Serbian). The Serbian Business Registers Agency. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  11. "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.
  12. "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.
  13. "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.
  14. "World Airlines Directory". Flight International. 8 May 1931. p. 407.
  15. Drustvo za Vazdusni Saobracaj A D – Aeroput at
  16. "World Airlines Directory". Flight International. 28 May 1988. p. 33.
  17. "Jat Airways on 29 February 1992 turned into a public company". Blic. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  18. "History". Air Serbia. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  19. "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.
  20. "Jat Airways to be renamed to Air Serbia in August". B92. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  21. "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.
  22. "Rumor: Air Serbia to restructure. Will Etihad pull out?". Aerotime News Hub. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  23. "Air Serbia increases seating capacity of narrow-body aircraft". SeeNews. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  24. "Air Serbia launches new "Еlevate Deli & Bar" catering service". Air Serbia. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  25. "Governing bodies". Air Serbia. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  26. "Air Serbia records profitability in first full year of operation". (Press release). 2 March 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  27. "Air Serbia reports net profit of EUR 3.9 million - second successive year of profitablity". (Press release). 4 May 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  28. "Air Serbia achieves net profit in 2016 amid changing competitive landscape". (Press release). 8 August 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  29. "Business improvements bring Air Serbia profit increase in 2017". (Press release). 2 July 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  30. link, Get; Facebook; Twitter; Pinterest; Email; Apps, Other. "Air Serbia posts €12.2 million profit for 2018". Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  31. Air Serbia’s charter brand takes off
  32. Aviolet official website, retrieved 8-12-2014
  33. "Aviolet - novi brend Air Serbije za čarter letove". (in Serbian). 23 May 2014. Archived from the original on 24 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  34. "Air Serbia official website -". Air Serbia official website - Archived from the original on 24 May 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  35. "Air Serbia gasi sopstvenu službu zemaljskog opsluživanja aviona". Air Serbia gasi sopstvenu službu zemaljskog opsluživanja aviona. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  36. "Air Serbia Catering". Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  37. "Profile on Air Serbia". CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 30 October 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  38. Liu, Jim (24 April 2019). "airBaltic / Air Serbia expands codeshare network in S19". Routesonline. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  39. "Air Serbia and AtlasGlobal unveil new partnership connecting Belgrade, Istanbul and beyond" (Press release). Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  40. "Finnair and Air Serbia establish a new codeshare partnership". Finnair. 28 October 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  42. "Our Fleet". Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  43. "Air Serbia - Bruce Drum (airlinersgallery)". Archived from the original on 22 February 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  44. "New name and new look revealed for Serbia's National Airline" (Press release). Etihad Airways. 1 August 2013. Archived from the original on 27 August 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  45. "Air Serbia unveils its fifth "Living legend" – Goran Bregović". Air Serbia (Press release). 28 March 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2017.

Further reading

Media related to Air Serbia at Wikimedia Commons

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