Air Serbia to contribute US$ 211 million to national economy and support 8,700 jobs in 2015

31 August 2015

Air Serbia will make a core contribution of US$ 211 million to the Serbian economy in 2015 and support 8,700 jobs. These figures are based on the latest independent report by Oxford Economics, the leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis.

The study projects that the airline's direct expenditure on its day-to-day operations and its strong supply chain economic footprint in Serbia will generate US$ 190 million for the national economy this year.

In addition to this, Oxford Economics says that the airline is expected to carry 2.5 million passengers in and out of Serbia in 2015, to and from a range of markets, including countries across Europe and the Middle East.

International visitors to the country are estimated to spend close to half a billion US$ this year, accounting to a value-added contribution of US$ 373 million to the GDP, supporting a further 22,400 jobs. By 2020, the economic footprint of the airline, related to tourism, is projected to increase to US$572 million, supporting a total of 28,200 jobs.

Dane Kondić, Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia, said: "This study is a clear testament to how Air Serbia, as a commercially-effective and profitable airline, is making a significant impact on Serbia's economic development, and contributing to other industries as a facilitator for economic activity. The report demonstrates how Air Serbia's strong performance, since the inception of the airline, creates positive effects not only within our business, but also externally to companies and individuals across the country. We are pleased to see that projections indicate continued growth in the years to come, both in terms of tourism and global connectivity, and that we will be increasingly able to build on one of Air Serbia's main objectives – to be a key catalyst of economic growth in Serbia".

Siniša Mali, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Air Serbia, reminded that the privatisation of Air Serbia in partnership with Etihad is the most successful in our country.

"Through this strategic partnership we demonstrated that, from a lossmaking airline, it is possible to create a profitable company that is no longer a liability to the state budget. Air Serbia now is a driver of Serbia's economic development. The Oxford Economics study shows that there is a direct link between a successful airline, the introduction of new destinations and the level of economic growth, i.e. the development of business in our country. Therefore, it is important that we continue moving in the same direction, to enhance Air Serbia's fleet, to launch new destinations, as in doing so we will also strengthen the Serbian industry and economy", highlighted Mr Mali.

Oxford Economics highlight that the economic impact of an airline go far beyond its operational footprint. The services it offers facilitate a wide range of economic activity in both the local and global economy – from establishing business interactions and facilitating foreign investment to encouraging tourism and trade. This impact can be measured by the airline's overarching contribution to air connectivity as a key driver of economic development and growth, facilitating a country's participation in the global economy. Global data also suggests a correlation between inward foreign direct investment (FDI) and air connectivity.

In 2015, Air Serbia's contribution to passenger and cargo connectivity is expected to boost Serbian productivity by US$ 690 million. This is equivalent to nearly 32,000 jobs and equates to nearly two percent of the national GDP.

As well as being crucial to the growth of the tourism industry, Air Serbia will also be vital for export-oriented business, especially for links with the European Union. This will encourage exports and increase competition in the local economy, benefiting consumers.

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