Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Belgrade Airport begins terminal overhaul

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has begun the overhaul of its Terminal 1 (T1) building, marking the first major upgrade of the facility in 34 years. Valued at almost half a million euros, work includes expanding the building's capacity and adding new commercial space. Plans have also been made to reopen the observation deck which has been closed for decades. Previously, the airport completed the renovation of the hall connecting its two terminal buildings, as well as an overhaul of T1's passport control area. As part of the overhaul which began on Monday, the airport will also upgrade the baggage sorting facility located at the terminal. T1 is used exclusively by low cost airlines, Air Serbia's dedicated charter brand Aviolet, as well as other leisure carriers for check-in purposes and immigration. Both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 share a joint departures lounge and gates.

Terminal 1 opened on April 28, 1962. In early 2013, Jat Airways requested for the facility to be handed over to them in order for it to become a dedicated terminal used exclusively by the national carrier. The request was denied at the time. However, according to the Transaction Framework Agreement between Etihad Airways and the Government of Serbia (GoS) in mid-2013, in which Air Serbia is still referred to as Jat, “The GoS shall ensure that either Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 of Belgrade Airport, as the Parties may agree, is allocated to Jat for its exclusive use by no later than 1 January 2014. The GoS shall fund a portion of the costs of the refurbishment of Terminal 1 or Terminal 2, as the case may be, to a standard acceptable to Jat within 2 years of the date hereof, that is proportionate to the size of its shareholding in Jat after the completion of Etihad's acquisition of Jat shares”. The Framework Agreement also states, “The GoS shall ensure that space for a Jat lounge is allocated to Jat in Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 as the case may be, with sufficient capacity to meet its actual and projected business passenger requirements”. While the parties did not stick to the January 1, 2014 deadline, the carrier's lounge has since opened.

Terminal 1 interior

As part of its efforts to add capacity, Belgrade Airport launched a multi million euro expansion project in 2014. This year, it completed the overhaul of the hall connecting the two terminal buildings and built a de-icing platform. However, the planned expansion of its second terminal, valued at fifteen million euros, has been delayed until further notice. Initially, construction was due to commence last year. On the other hand, the Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency has announced the construction of a new control tower at the airport next year. The Agency is in the process of obtaining necessary land and construction permits. The investment in Belgrade Airport's infrastructure comes months ahead of a planned concession. On Monday, the Serbian Prime Minister said the country expects to raise 400 million euros in the privatisation. "We could even get 600 million euros if we give it through a concession for a longer period", the PM added.

Pula Airport to close on January 16 for overhaul


Pula Airport will close its doors from 07.00 CET on January 16, 2017 until 20.00 CET on March 10 for a planned 3.47 million euro overhaul of its runway. The runway was built in 1954 and last upgraded in 1972. The approach lighting system is also expected to be extended from the current 400 metres to 900 metres. Pula Airport will finance the work from its own funds. During the winter season, Pula is served by Croatia Airlines from Zagreb and Zadar, as well as Trade Air, which maintains commuter domestic flights. Passengers with tickets booked for this period are advised to contact their airline. Pula Airport anticipates a record 2017 despite the planned closure after achieving its post-independence record this year by handling over 400.000 passengers. A number of airlines have already confirmed new services to the city in 2017 including Eurowings from Dusseldorf, Jet2 from London Stansted and Thomson Airways from Edinburgh. According to General Manager Svemir Radmilo, a number of new routes are yet to be announced with the airport in talks with a further four carriers. As a result, the airport anticipates handling over 500.000 travellers next year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Record November for Zagreb, Pristina and Skopje

The main airports in Croatia, Kosovo and Macedonia have seen their passenger numbers continue to grow in November, with Skopje outperforming its traditionally busiesr counterpart in Pristina during the month.

Zagreb Airport handled 197.880 travellers, an improvement of 7.4% compared to November last year. Growth was achieved despite a slight decline in aircraft movements, which stood at 2.986, down 1.1%. This came as foreign carriers reduced their operations from the Croatian capital, with Swiss International Air Lines and Flydubai notably suspending services. Overall, the airport welcomed 2.579.036 travellers through its doors so far this year, an increase of 6.7% compared to the same period in 2015. As the new year approaches, Zagreb Airport is preparing to begin testing its new multi million euro terminal from next month. The trial will run up until the opening in March in order to examine different components of the structure and to ensure a smooth start up and optimal service levels for passengers and airlines.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN156.947 4.2
FEB153.077 7.9
MAR199.201 7.3
APR202.282 2.3
MAY246.961 5.0
JUN267.259 7.6
JUL307.218 10.3
AUG306.887 7.9
SEP287.664 5.9
OCT255.498 6.0
NOV197.880 7.4

Pristina Airport extended its growth streak into November by handling 111.635 passengers, preliminary figures show, a 10.3% improvement on 2015. As a result, the airport has now handled 1.609.410 travellers in 2016, up 11.5%. The figure represents Pristina's busiest year to date and the airport has already surpassed 2015's end-of-year result when it registered 1.549.198 passengers. The airport estimates it will handle 1.8 million travellers next year. “There is huge potential on some routes and we are cooperating with different airlines to attract them for opening new services. We are willing to increase flight numbers and extend our network with additional routes, and we are using our incentive plan to attract airlines in order to catch this growth at a sustainable level”, General Manager, Haldun Firat Kokturk, said.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN122.217 12.8
FEB107.184 21.6
MAR124.048 21.9
APR143.367 14.9
MAY144.504 10.7
JUN141.179 10.5
JUL203.053 8.9
AUG216.972 4.0
SEP147.356 8.9
OCT147.895 18.3
NOV111.635 10.3

Meanwhile, Skopje Airport continued to record growth by handling 120.928 passengers in November, an increase of 10%. Skopje welcomed 1.522.796 travellers over the past eleven months, an increase of 14.1% compared to 2015. Much like Pristina, it too has already surpassed its 2015 end-of-year-result. "The increase in the number of passengers is primarily a result of low cost airlines. Over the years, we have also attracted Turkish Airlines, Pegasus, Alitalia and Czech Airlines to Skopje", TAV Airports Marketing Director, Aslihan Cortuk, said. Skopje Airport's General Manager, Zoran Krstevski, noted that Macedonia's airports no longer provide only transport services, but are becoming serious forces in economic and local development. Mr Krstevski noted that the airport is developing into a regional hub. "This is quite realistic and we are working on this, since we are considered the fastest-growing airport in the region", the General Manager said, noting that passengers from Greece, Albania, Kosovo and Serbia are increasingly using Macedonia's two international airports as their point of departure.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN109.097 23.6
FEB102.178 27.6
MAR120.668 26.4
APR135.013 23.3
MAY148.562 26.9
JUN142.332 20.5
JUL173.715 5.7
AUG174.883 1.0
SEP152.519 4.5
OCT142.901 7.7
NOV120.928 10.0

Adria Tehnika sees improved results


The Slovenian aircraft maintenance company Adria Tehnika says it is happy with its results a year after being purchased by its Polish industry peer Linetech Holding. Current projections show that Adria Tehnika will generate 23.5 million euros in revenues this year, which is in line with expectations, but lower than last year's 24.4 million euros. However, projections also show that it will make 3 million euros in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), which is an increase from last year's 2.3 million. As a result of a five-year deal to service easyJet aircraft, the company believes it will increase revenue to 26 million euros in 2017. Last November, the owners of Adria Tehnika signed an agreement to sell the firm to Linetech Holding in a deal unofficially worth 2 million euros. Since the change in ownership, Adria Tehnika has expanded its maintenance services to north-western Europe and has increased its workforce. It aims to employ more workers next year, especially in operational maintenance."Current business results show that despite last year's change in ownership we were able to stay on the right track and forge a good partnership with Linetech", Adria Tehnika's CEO, Maksimiljan Pele, said.