Air Serbia has become the busiest airline in the former Yugoslavia in 2014, recording a net profit of 2.7 million euros and handling 2.3 million passengers, the carrier’s audited financial results show.

The numbers represent the strongest results ever posted by Serbia’s national airline following on from a 73 million euro loss in 2013. Its revenue rose 87% to 262 million euros, while passenger numbers soared 68% compared to the year before. The carrier’s average cabin load factor increased three points, from 64% in 2013 to 67% last year. The growth in loads came despite a 74% increase in capacity. Aviolet, Air Serbia’s dedicated charter brand, carried over 90.000 passengers. Air Serbia Cargo also performed significantly better in 2014, carrying 2.700 tonnes of freight, up 67% on the year before.

Year PAX (million) Change (%)
2014 2.3 68 %
2013 1.4 8 %
2012 1.3 8 %
2011 1.2 14 %

Commenting on the performance, Air Serbia’s CEO, Dane Kondić said, “These results are a great achievement validating the effectiveness of our strategy. We are proud to have been able to deliver on our mandate which was to achieve strong growth, to become the region’s leading carrier and, most importantly, to do so as a commercially viable and profitable enterprise, while becoming a key driver of economic growth in Serbia”. He added, “The profit we have delivered in 2014 is, above all, a great sign for the future, as it lays a solid foundation going forward and is proof positive, of what can be achieved when the right strategies and governance structures are put in place”.

Airline PAX (million) Change (%)
Air Serbia 2.3 68%
Croatia Airlines 1.82%
Adria Airways 1.1 8%
Montenegro Airlines 557.000  -5%
B&H Airlines 35.600 17%

In 2014 Air Serbia’s on-time performance at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport stood at 78%, an increase of 4% compared to the year before. Over the past twelve months, Air Serbia has employed some 400 new staff members and now has a 1.900-strong work-force. The airline’s maintenance department employed 44 engineers and a number of new pilots were hired in the first half of 2014, including three of the carrier’s first female captains. The airline’s largest ever global drive for pilots was launched last September, which resulted in the recruitment of over forty new pilots by the end of the year.