Lasta is the oldest bus company in our country and one of the most respected carriers in the region. It is synonymous of travel in Serbia and the name of good service in passenger transport. On roads across Europe, it is known for its safe, reliable and comfortable service. In its rich history, it has achieved observed results in other activities: tourism, catering, transport of goods, retreading of tires, bus repair and technical inspection of vehicles.
Lasta was established by the Decision of the Government of the People's Republic of Serbia, on February 18, 1947, as the Bus Company of Serbia Lasta. It started with work on April 1, and that day is celebrated as the day of the company. The fleet consisted mainly of trophy buses, seized in World War II, and trucks. The vehicles transported passengers on intercity lines, a suburban line to Avala, and they also provided assistance to city traffic in Belgrade. One of the most attractive buses at the time was a Mercedes, which housed Romelo's operational headquarters in North Africa during the war. At that time, they traveled to Ub by Dodge, which had 30 seats, and on the longest line - to Kragujevac by Gref. The most comfortable and beautifully designed vehicle was the Saurer.
The bus station was located near the church of St. Mark, and the main office was in "Macedonia" (Palilula casino). There were a total of 80 workers. Lasta had branches in all major cities: Belgrade, Valjevo, Vranje, Kragujevac, Kruševac, Knjaževac, Leskovac, Niš, Negotin, Novi Pazar, Petrovac na Mlavi, Pirot, Požarevac, Čačak, Šabac ...
In the first years, the quality of service was measurable in terms of the passenger reaching the destination. It took quite a long time to travel, the buses covered 60 kilometers in three hours.
At the beginning of the fifties, Lasta purchased a larger number of vehicles, and the "queens of the vehicle fleet" were Škoda. With the integration of the Public Transport Company "Srem" from Zemun, in 1955, Lasta expanded the network of lines to the territory of lower Srem and began to drive passengers to Kupinovo, Pećinac, Karlovčić, Progar, Ruma ... In those years, the interest of Serbian citizens for bus transport service, so the vehicle fleet was renewed with 10 FAPs and 20 buses of the English manufacturer AEC, in 1956. With the new buses, Lasta started long-distance transport in Yugoslavia and achieved notable results on that market. On the lines to Zagreb and Banja Luka, more tickets were always required. In Serbia, several departures have been opened to Smederevo and lines to Erdevik, Venčane and Aranđelovac. In that period, transportation is more comfortable, lines are longer, departures are safer, and the volume of goods transport is increased. Lasta’s trucks, Škoda and Prag with a transport capacity of 3 tons cruise on the roads of Serbia, and MAK's trucks with a capacity of 10 tons on long-distance transport to Zagreb and Rijeka.
In 1957, Lasta had 75 buses and 40 trucks in its fleet, and maintained 72 departures a day on 49 lines. It carried about two million passengers.
Since 1959, the service range has been richer for the tourist business. The Tourist Bureau Belgrade is integrated into the system, which initially provides accommodation, ticket sales and marketing services.
Business at the level of the entire company was on an upward trajectory, so in 1960, Lasta resumed the renewal of its fleet with 60 new buses and 30 trucks from domestic manufacturers.
In those years, she became recognizable for shopping tours. Buses went to Trieste, one of the leading European fashion centers, every day, and returned to Serbia with a pile of luggage in which were whispered, jeans and other clothing items. The line to Trieste has been in operation for two decades. It was abolished by amending customs regulations, which significantly increased the prices of goods. After that, new shopping destinations, Bucharest and Istanbul, appeared on the map of Lasta's lines. Lastina's buses left the BAS station for Istanbul every Friday and drove passengers who wanted to buy a leather wardrobe or some other fashion hit. Interest in this service was great, so departures were always organized with 10 to 15 buses.
With the closure of the freight transport facility in this decade, the process of disintegration was completed in 1967 and the process of new integrations began. The "Kolubara" plant from Lazarevac enters the Laste system, and two years later the catering company Napredak from Lazarevac with the Vis Hotel and several restaurants.
In the sixties, transportation is comfortable, buses are more reliable, and Lasta is also engaged in the transportation of cultural events.
The biggest names in folk music traveled through Lasta's new Fiat in 1968: Lepa Lukić, Meho Puzić, Nedeljko Bilkić, Jasna Kočijašević, Ismet Krcić, Živan Matić. Transportation was organized in several cities in Yugoslavia, as part of the music festival "Autumn 68". With this participation, Lasta gained popularity in the music world, and the opera diva of the National Theater in Belgrade, Gordana Jeftović, recorded two songs: "Svuda Lastom" and "Leti Lasta".
Since 1971, Mercedes, tourist and intercity class buses have been arriving in the fleet, which will become a new symbol of Lasta's recognizability. The ride on the "Mercedes road cruiser" was a real pleasure for the drivers, and especially the most representative example that drove the Yugoslav national football team to the World Cup in Munich in 1974.
The following year, Lasta opened the first regular "guest worker" line to Munich, and then to Vienna and Paris on June 20, 1975. The line to Paris was the longest line in the history of Lasta and in the history of our road transport. The route of the line was 2,100 kilometers long, and the journey lasted 32 hours. On the way to Paris, buses passed through Trieste, Milan, Brescia, the tunnel under Mont Blanc, then through Annecy, Dijon and Lyon.
In this decade, Lasta is again becoming a giant on the market, by integrating local companies from several cities in Serbia: Mladenovac, Indjija, Stara Pazova, Bor, Zajecar, Negotino, Smederevo ... Integrations have significantly increased the scope of services in local, suburban and intercity traffic and contributed to the construction and modernization of bus stations and technical maintenance facilities.
It was the "golden seventies" during which the off-line transport service reached a high level. In mid-1974, Lasta was the official carrier of the Tenth Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, where it transported 1,000 delegates daily with 25 buses. The following year, she drove 250 American journalists who accompanied US President Ford during a visit to Yugoslavia organized in Belgrade.
The great jubilee - thirty years of work and existence of the company, in 1977 was marked by extraordinary results. There were 620 buses in the fleet, which performed 1,700 departures per day on 350 lines.
The development trend of contracted transport services also had positive effects on business. Lasta signed a contract with the economic giant Metallurgical Plant "Smederevo" and on January 5, 1981, it started driving 4,200 workers of this plant with 15 buses a day. In the following years, other large economic systems became users of Lasta's contracted transport service: Goša, "Petar Drapšin" TENT ...
After that, Lasta introduces a new business. In Smederevska Palanka, in 1983, a plant for retreading tires was opened with the most modern equipment and technology from the American manufacturer YU Bandag.
One of the most important off-line rides was realized at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in 1984, an event of first-class importance, where Lasta transported athletes to Sarajevo with 60 buses, 30 of which were new. The organizers praised Lasti for the good service, as well as for the transportation of the great jubilee - the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo in 1989, where the participants of the celebration were driven by 151 buses.
In the eighties, the vehicle fleet was flooded with "Sanosima". The network of international lines was richer for new destinations, Zurich and Copenhagen. The line to Copenhagen was opened on the SFRY Statehood Day, November 29, 1987. The flags of two friendly countries, Denmark and Yugoslavia, fluttered at the Rodhaus in Denmark. With the sounds of the Royal Guard, the ceremonial ribbon in front of the bus of Lasta and the subcontractor Espergarda Turistfart was cut by Kurt Larsen, the head of the Ministry of Public Works of Denmark. The Kladovo-Belgrade-Copenhagen-Frederikversk line was 2,600 kilometers long. For many of our people working temporarily in the Scandinavian countries, that was the only connection with their home country.
In the first half of the eighties, a large number of tourists traveled to Poland and Greece with Lasta's arrangements. In the first six months of 1985, 54 buses with 1,300 tourists left for Thessaloniki.
The first war, 1991, marked the beginning of the most difficult period in the company's history. Lasta faced the economic and security crisis, fuel shortage, and due to the war situation, work on the lines to Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Europe was suspended. In these difficult times, Lasta was also faced with unfair competition. With her flexibility, she managed to adapt to the new circumstances and find a way to function successfully on the market. As part of the JTS system that covers the suburban transport service, Lasta performs 2,437 departures on weekdays with 320 buses and 700,000 kilometers traveled. It opens lines to Knin, Prijedor, Donji Vakuf, Banja Luka, Bosanska Krupa, Teslić, Pale, Bijeljina, Ugljevik and Tuzla for the areas affected by the war. It renews its fleet with a new generation of high-tourist buses, Setras and DAFs in 1996, thus pushing the boundaries of service quality on international routes. Under the slogan "The passenger is always right", Lasta marked half a century of travel in 1997, during which buses covered a billion and a half kilometers and transported two billion passengers.
Entering the 21st century, Lasti brought 150 Berkoff buses of a high tourist class, with which it will be recognizable on roads across Serbia and Europe for its high level of service. The buses were equipped according to the most modern standards, with a mini kitchen, refrigerator, toilet, audio and video equipment, seat belts, air conditioning, ski box ... The first 14 "white Berkhofs" branded with Serbian tricolor arrived in Last in December 2001. In the first summer season, in two months, they transported a record 40,000 passengers on the lines to Montenegro. The flagship of this part of the vehicle fleet was the luxury bus "Crna Guja" with 28 leather seats, a set of tables and other equipment from the high-tourist class program. With Berkh's buses, Lasta reached distant destinations she had never traveled to before: Syria, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Tenerife ... She became recognizable in the world of sports and at the biggest international events in Serbia, driving Serbian champions, politicians, artists ... She set records in intercity, international and off-line transportation.
New service standards have also been set in suburban traffic. The vehicle fleet has been renewed from year to year with new generations of Ikarbus, SOR and Mercedes buses that provide a better level of comfort and safety.
In 2001, Lasta opened a line to Montpellier that goes through Italy and covers Nice, Toulon, Marseille and Avignon on the Cote d'Azur. In the following years, it renewed a significant number of lines in the region (for Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Tuzla) and opened new ones for Pula, Poreč, and the Montenegrin coast. In intercity traffic, it opened lines to Novi Sad, Smederevo, Zlatibor, Kopaonik. It expanded the scope of service in suburban traffic by introducing a large number of new departures to Obrenovac, Mladenovac, Lazarevac, Mladenovac, Barajevo and Sopot.
On January 1, 2006, it entered the city transport market in Belgrade for the first time with 50 new Ikarbus buses, 30 of which were solo and 20 articulated. For the needs of transportation on 7 city lines, it also hired 6 additional buses from the existing vehicle fleet.
The quality of more services was also provided by large investments which modernized bus stations, opened new technology parks in the system of tire retreading and bus repair, new laundries and services VDL, SOR, Ikarbus.
After large investments in the vehicle fleet and facilities, Lasta was organizationally, professionally and personnel ready to respond in the best way to the demanding challenges in the organization of off-line rides.
In 2008, she was the carrier of the largest European music event, the Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Belgrade from May 15 to 26. 43 countries and 2,500 journalists participated in this competition, which Lasta drove with 51 high-tourist buses in Belgrade and Serbia. In May 2009, with 94 buses, she drove voters to Croatia to Dalmatia, Lika, Banija, Kordun and completed the complete transport without any breakdowns or incidents.
At the Universiade, a sporting event of planetary significance, she drove participants with 153 buses every day. The Universiade was held in Belgrade from July 1 to 12, 2009, with the participation of 8,500 students from 140 countries and 1,500 delegates, judges and journalists.
Capital investments have secured new records that have been falling from year to year. In 2007, buses covered 69 million kilometers and carried a record 101 million passengers. In 2010, the highest revenue in the company's history of 100 million euros was realized. The following year, the longest ride in the history of the company was realized. The final destination was Tenerife, 11,900 kilometers away from Belgrade. The ride was organized for the purpose of shooting the movie "Monte video-God saw you". On June 23, 2011, Lasta introduced the Open Top sightseeing service from the open bus on the tourist tour "From the heart of the city to Avala". The service was later extended to monastery tours and city tours with an audio guide in eight languages.
The open bus was engaged in all the ceremonial receptions in front of the Assembly of the City of Belgrade, which were organized for our athletes-champions, Novak Djokovic, "golden" water polo players, volleyball players ... The music group "Neverne bebe" recorded a video in Lastina Open Top a song from the album "Praštam" and with this bus, she marked her 20th anniversary with a tour of Serbia.
In the same year, Lasta's agency achieved the highest achievements in the history of its existence, by realizing a large number of excursions in the country and abroad, tourist arrangements in Europe, holidays in Montenegro, Greece ... In order to improve tourism, in 2013 a new hotel was built in near the river Drina near Ljubovija, with accommodation capacities of 18 rooms and a restaurant of 100 seats.
The most important off-line ride in 2013 was realized at the ceremonies organized on the occasion of the "Seventeen Centuries of the Edict of Milan", when the Ministry of Culture of Serbia hired Lasta as the official carrier. On average, there were 12 buses available to participants at each event, and the transportation of leaders and the highest Orthodox dignitaries and delegations of other churches, believers and journalists to the Hierarch's Holy Liturgy was organized with 44 buses. This year, Lasta set new records, the volume of service was at the level of 6,200 departures per day, which were realized with a fleet of 900 buses on 600 lines. For recognizability, quality, reputation and reliability of the service, Lasta was awarded the most prestigious awards: "Best of Serbia" awarded by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, and later, in 2013, the awards "Superbrand Serbia" and "Golden Chariot". The "Golden Chariot" was awarded to her in Moscow in the competition of the most successful companies from 50 countries around the world.
One of the most significant humanitarian actions in the history of the company, Lasta realized in May 2014, during the floods in Serbia. In rescuing citizens and providing assistance to the endangered on the territory of Obrenovac, Lazarevac, Valjevo and other cities, she participated with transportation on which 375 vehicles were engaged.
The most important institutions of the state of Serbia also gave their trust to Lasta. Lasta drove the Government of the Republic of Serbia, from Belgrade to Nis on July 29, to a solemn session organized on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. The carrier was also present at the solemn inauguration of the President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić on July 23, 2017, where the transportation of guests from public, political and cultural life, as well as other guests, was organized with 60 buses of high tourist class. After successfully overcoming the crisis, caused by credit indebtedness and company restructuring, Lasta re-traced the development path.
The fleet received successive deliveries of SOR buses, which are air-conditioned and equipped with information systems for marking lines, an automatic passenger counting system and an electronic braking system-EBS. By purchasing these 70 buses during 2017 and 2018, Lasta provided greater reliability of the vehicle fleet and a high level of safety and comfort of travel in suburban traffic. SOR's buses are engaged on the most frequent lines maintained by Lasta's business organizations and work units from Belgrade, Mladenovac, Sopot and Barajevo. The quality of service in suburban traffic has been further improved by purchasing Otokar's buses, as well as by opening new lines on the territory of the municipalities of Grocka, Sopot, Mladenovac ...
In April 2018, Lasta opened the first tourist terminal, which finally solved the problem of Belgrade travel agencies around the location from which tourist buses can depart to destinations in the country and abroad. Terminus has 15 departure platforms for buses, 5 preparation platforms, as well as 3 spare platforms. In the tourist season it is open 24 hours.
In August 2019, Lasta renewed its fleet with 30 new solo buses from the Turkish manufacturer Temsa, of which 20 were included in suburban and 10 in intercity traffic. These buses are equipped with an environmentally friendly Euro 6 engine that reduces emissions.
The following year, Lasta entered the market for the first time in Nis with 25 new buses, which perform transportation on 5 suburban and 3 city lines with 443 departures per day.
Lasta's business in this period was also marked by participation in a large number of events of importance for the state, which cover various spheres of social life. Lasta was the carrier at the ceremonial opening of Pupin's bridge, then the Military Parade in 2015, organized on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade, at which the President of the Russian Federation, Putin, was welcomed with the highest honors.
In May 2018, Lasta was the official carrier of two tournaments: the Euroleague in basketball, in which the 4 best teams of the Old Continent participated (Fenerbahce, Zalgiris, Real Madrid and CSK Moscow) and the Final Elite of the Euroleague with 8 best junior basketball clubs. It transported participants from 20-25 buses, from May 10 to 22. She was the sponsor and official carrier of the European Basketball Championship for women in 2019, where 10 buses were engaged in the transportation of participants from 16 countries, from June 27 to July 7.
At the qualifying tournaments for placement at the Olympic Games in women's basketball, held in February 2020, Lasta transported 8 national teams with 8 buses. As a socially responsible company, it has responded to many actions organized in order to preserve the environment and raise environmental awareness. In November 2019, she was the carrier of the action "Plant a tree" and drove the participants-volunteers with 5 buses. The action was organized with the aim of acquainting the general public with the importance of trees in the production of oxygen.
During the corona virus pandemic, Lasta preserved its system and renewed its fleet with 10 new minibuses, 15 suburban-type solo buses and 7 suburban articulated buses. From the very beginning of the epidemic, it has adapted the service to the needs of citizens, state and health institutions. During the state of emergency, it organized corridor lines for the transportation of employees in health care institutions, citizens from the diaspora, and employees in large economic systems. For above-average quality in business, Lasta was awarded the "Golden Excellence 2020" award, which was recently awarded to her by the company Bisnode.