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Serbia's Jat Airways welcomed 82.336 passengers in March, managing to avoid a major passenger plunge due to a big reduction in operations. Compared to the same month last year when it handled 83.369 passengers, the Serbian carrier registered a passenger decrease of 1.2%. This is despite the fact that the number of operated flights plunged 12%. The average cabin load factor was up on last year, standing at 70%, an improvement of two points. Services to and from Montenegro were hardest hit. With a 17% reduction in flights, passenger numbers fell 11%. Euro-Mediterranean flights saw a 1% passenger decrease on top of an 11% reduction in operations, while charter flights registered a 74% passenger increase compared to March 2012.
Thanks to a strong January, the Serbian national carrier has recorded a 0.5% passenger increase in the first quarter. A total of 221.573 passengers used the airline’s services in the first three months. The average cabin load factor stood at 64%, down one point, while the number of operated flights decreased 8%. Jat has managed to divert a major passenger plunge thanks in part due to constant promotional ticket sales to various European destinations.
The Serbian Minister of Transport, Milutin Mrkonjić, confirmed that the carrier is in the process of acquiring new aircraft which are to begin arriving later next month. This Thursday Jat’s cabin crew will begin training for the Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. The training course will run for 25 days. Last Friday, Jat Airways CEO, Vladimir Ognjenović, said that the Serbian airline plans to end the year breakeven. He added that if a strategic partnership with Etihad Airways materialises, the airline should be operating with a profit next year. Source; Ex-YU Aviation News
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