Friday, April 24, 2009

New flights as profits soar

Will new flights lead to more passangers?
Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has been impacted by the global financial crisis as the number of passengers that have passed through the airport have declined however profits are greatly on the rise. While airports in the region are reporting significant financial losses, in particular Podgorica and some airports in Croatia, Belgrade made a profit of 387 million Dinars (3.2 million Euros) in the first quarter of 2009, which is 2.5 times more than the same period last year. In 2008 the airport made a profit of 14.161.231 Euros. The airport management emphasises this as a great success as passenger numbers have been reduced. The airport authorities say the result has been achieved by cost cutting measures the management has implemented. However, others would state another reason. The airport has been heavily criticised for the extremely high tax passengers have to pay. The airport’s resident, Jat Airways, has particularly criticised the 16.5 Euro airport tax its passengers have to pay.

Serbia’s largest airport has also reported that there will be an influx of new services this summer. Tunisian charter carrier Nouvelair will begin services to Belgrade from its hub in Monastir. Flights will operate twice per week which will add significant competition for the two carriers already operating on this line. There are a total of 11 weekly flights from Belgrade to Monastir with Jat Airways operating 7 flights and Tunisair operating the other 4. The new service will lead to 13 flights per week between the two cities. Meanwhile Turkish Airlines will increase its flights from 5 weekly to daily by the end of May, from Istanbul. The low-cost Norwegian Air Shuttle will introduce new services to Stockholm from May 23 while LOT Polish Airlines will begin with 4 weekly flights to Warsaw which will provide excellent short connection times for passengers transiting to New York, Chicago and Toronto. Jat will commence services to Abu Dhabi in May with flights operating twice per week.

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