02 Apr 2014 13:30
Air Serbia, the national airline of Serbia, today reported positive progress after the five months since its launch in October 2013, outlining network and fleet growth and the creation of new jobs in Serbia.
months Air Serbia has:
more than 300 people in roles across the business
employment opportunities for ten graduates and 16 cadet pilots
operating a new call centre for the Etihad Aviation Group
new livery, new uniforms and a more modern fleet of A319 and A320 aircraft
ten A320neo aircraft for the fleet between 2018 and 2020
growth from 29 destinations end 2013, to 38 destinations by end 2014
Officer of Air Serbia, Dane Kondić, said that he was very pleased with the
progress made in establishing Air Serbia as the leading airline in the region.
“In a very short time
we have reconnected the Balkan region, introduced new fleet in the striking Air
Serbia livery, raised the standards of our onboard dining, and created new and challenging
roles for Serbian nationals.
combined with strong ethos of customer service, have fundamentally changed the
way we operate. Air Serbia exists to provide a remarkable service to our guests
and that we will never forget,” Mr Kondic said.
With a focus on
comfort, Air Serbia leased eight modern Airbus A319 and two Airbus A320
aircraft to replace the ageing fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft. The two Airbus A320
aircraft will begin service in early April 2014 to complete the interim fleet
“The Airbus A319 and
A320 aircraft have been completely refurbished and reconfigured into a
two-class cabin and have been extremely well received by our guests,” he said.
In November Air
Serbia announced that, in a deal valued at more than US$1 billion at list
prices, ten next-generation A320neo aircraft were confirmed for its fleet
between 2018 and 2020.
“These Airbus A320neo
aircraft are best-in-class and key to Air Serbia’s strategy to continually lift
its standards of service and comfort,” Mr Kondić said.
“Our onboard service
has been completely overhauled and is complemented by a contemporary new
uniform. Perhaps the most dramatic change in our onboard service has been in our
food and beverage service.
“We now serve
convenient, fresh and tasty meals and snacks in the Economy Class and Business
Class cabins. The meals we serve in Business Class are designed by our chefs
for Air Serbia, made using Serbian ingredients where possible, and matched with
a selection of Serbian wines,” Mr Kondić said.
The changes are not
restricted to the fleet. Mr Kondic said Air Serbia was reconnecting the Balkan
region and that over the past
five months the network had grown rapidly to include close neighbours of
Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Bucharest, Podgorica, Tivat, Skopje, Budapest,
“Some of these cities have not had the benefit of an air link for more
than two decades and I am very proud that we have brought our neighbours
together. This is an important part of
the value we can deliver.
“Air Serbia’s network, serviced by its own fleet, will grow from 29 destinations at the end of 2013 to 38 destinations by
the end of this year. From June Air
Serbia will fly to Varna, Beirut and Warsaw.
“What’s just as pleasing and exciting for our guests, is that Air
Serbia’s access to a global network has been enhanced.”
Air Serbia provides
connections to many destinations worldwide in cooperation with its 10 code
share partners. Cooperation with strategic partner Etihad Airways provides
excellent connections via Abu Dhabi to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth in
Australia, Seychelles and Kuwait. Also, Etihad Airways provides beyond
connections to the Middle and Far East, India and Africa.
According to a study
by Oxford Economics, Air Serbia is also making a significant contribution to
the Serbian economy.
The combined direct, indirect and induced
economic contribution to the Serbian economy is expected to be more than US$700
million in 2014. This means Air Serbia will contribute around 1.5 per cent of
Serbia’s Gross Domestic Product.
Air Serbia is
creating a significant number of new jobs for Serbian nationals and in the past
five months Air Serbia has employed more than 300 people in roles across the
More than 150 cabin
crew team members, more than 40 pilots, over 90 check-in staff and 28 call
centre agents have taken up positions. A total of 36 permanent new positions
have been created within Air Serbia’s line maintenance function.
Starting in October
2014, Etihad Airways is accepting ten pilots as direct hires for an option of
Air Serbia has also
focused on building the capabilities of young people entering the workforce.
The Graduate Manager Development Program is a key initiative which involves 10 Serb
business graduates who have relocated to Abu Dhabi for two years in order to
gain experience in all aspects of the aviation business.
In addition, Air
Serbia has selected 16 cadet pilots for the cadet pilot program, which last ran
in 1989, and it has recruited 10 graduate engineers for a two year contract
The call centre will
support calls and bookings for members of the Etihad Aviation Group. The call
centre is located at Air Serbia’s Head Office in Belgrade.
Minister for Regional
Development in charge of the Ministry of Economy, Republic of Serbia, Igor Mirović,
said: “The Government of Serbia is focused on driving economic growth, and
boosting the employment opportunities for Serbian nationals is one of the key
“We celebrate Air
Serbia’s achievements in creating jobs by recruiting pilots, cabin crew and
ground services personnel over the past five months,” he said.
“Every new job makes
a difference to an individual, to a family and to the economy of Serbia. As Air
Serbia becomes stronger and more successful, so too does Serbia.”
“Last week we concluded
the transaction between Air Serbia’s strategic partner, Etihad Airways, and the
Government. We can now see a strong, secure future for the airline and this is very
exciting for Serbia,” Mr Mirović said.
Mr Kondić said he was very happy that Air Serbia was able
to provide stable employment opportunities for so many young and enthusiastic
“In order to be the
best airline in the region, we need the best people who are committed to the airline’s
success. I am delighted to say we are high value and fulfilling roles for these
energetic and talented people.
“Not only are we
creating a leading airline in the region, we are also rebuilding the aviation
industry in Serbia,” he said.