Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Belgrade lowers taxes and expands

New apron, busses and taxiways
Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is experiencing a renaissance this month with 2 new airlines commencing services and another 3 are expected to start flights in the near future. However, Belgrade’s airport has some of the highest taxes in the region which repel low cost airlines and are added on to the ticket price. Last week, the airport announced that it had lowered its security tax by 25%. "Fifteen months ago when we imposed taxes needed to improve the security of visitors at our airport, we invested 4.5 million Euros. Among the investments, Belgrade Airport bought new X-ray devices", deputy director Velimir Radosavljević told the media who toured the airport’s newly build taxiways and apron. When all of the airport’s taxes are added up now, they amount to 15.3 Euros for flights checking-in at Terminal 1 and 19.8 euros for flights checking-in at Terminal 2.

In addition, two buses for the transportation of passengers from aircraft not parked at the gate have been purchased at the request of budget airlines, Radosavljević added. A completed 55 million Dinar (576.000 Euro) project was also shown off to the media last week. Additional aircraft parking spaces have been constructed and the A platform gates (Terminal 1) and C platform gates (Terminal 2) have been connected via new taxiways.

From January 1, all low cost airlines, charter airlines and all charter flights will be using Terminal 1 while all other full fare airlines and scheduled destinations will use Terminal 2.

16 comments:

  1. What was the point of joining the two terminals?
    So I assume that from now on Germanwings and Norwegian will be parked at the parking and not at the gates?

    Ok so besides the two and Niki, does this mean another low cost will be arriving? EasyJet?

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  2. i think T1 is from gates A9 to A11 where as T2 is gates A1-A8 and gates C1-C6...if im not mistaken, there is a couple of parking spaces (B1-B4???) which are not connected to the terminal.

    maybe we could see the following low cost airlines come to BEG:

    * Atlasjet (IST)
    * easyJet (CDG, MXP, LON, MAN)
    * TUIfly (DUS, HAM, MUC)
    * Jet2.com (MAN)
    * Ryan Air (LON, CRL, HHN, DUB)
    * Transavia.com (AMS)
    * Wizz Air (SOF, BUD)
    * Blue Air (BBU)

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  3. I would like to add one thing. Though the tax did drop by about 25% in euros, that amounts to about 1 Euro. That is all. BEG, I suggest you go back to the drawing board, and come up with something more tangible.

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  4. As there are no more visa restriction for Schengen countries I do not see any reason why some low cost(such as Wizzair, Ryanair, Easyjet, Aerlingus etc.)wouldn't start flight from Belgrade and Nis.

    As it has been said Belgrade is one of the biggest cities in that part of Europe and I am sure that with proper LCC prices people would fly from Belgrade but also visit Belgrade too. So many people nowdays do weekend trips and they make decisions what airline/s is/are offering and and what are good deals, simple as that. Belgrade is beutiful city( and Novi sad only hour away - less than the most airports from the cities they are called after!!!) Regarding separating terminals is a good idea, a lot of airports do that!

    @JATBEGMEL

    I think you are right with mentioned destinations and LCC! Lets hope for the best!

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  5. @ 3rd Anonymous,

    I see a problem with Ryanair, etc. coming to Serbia. Jat! For as long as that company exists, I think that it will be difficult to see real LCC's in Belgrade. I think that, because it is government owned, the government will protect it as much as possible in order to save the jobs. Big LCC are a big threat to Jat, and I can't see them coming for some time. I hope I'm wrong about it.

    There is another problem - BEG gets a lot of visitors from diaspora, and while a good chunk of them comes from EU, a large number is still coming from Australia and USA/Canada. The problem with LCC is that truly cheap flights are the ones operating from smaller airports, while the flights from Can/USA/Aus are to the main hubs in Europe. Then, to switch flights, passengers would have to go to a different airport. For example, CDG is a good hub for USA/Cad flights, and yet, Ryanair doesn't fly out of it...it flies out of Beauvais which is much farther. Easyjet does fly out of CDG, but those flights might be more expensive, a logistical nightmare, etc. So, for those LCC are not really a good choice.

    I think that LCC's take these things into consideration when they try to project the number of passengers they could take away from Jat (unlike Jat, who bases their plans on wishes, or whatever Vidovita Zorka might tell them).

    In any case, despite what I wrote, I hope that we will see big LCC's in Belgrade.

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  6. To the person above:

    Very good analysis. But I believe most of the "intercontinental" Diaspora population only returns to Belgrade in the peak season. In this case, it doesn't justify any policy to switch the operation to a major airport. Granted, I understand you were focusing on LCC's threat on JAT. I am genuinely happy for the recent development of Belgrade nevertheless.

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  7. Anonymous above,

    Please before posting anything get informed. Jat can't pose a threat to the low cost airlines anymore as Serbia has signed the open skies agreement meaning that any airline that wishes to start flying can. Do not trash Jat just because you dislike it.

    As far as the low cost airlines go, I am sure that their primary goal is not to take the intercontinental pax, if it would be then they would have done something about it.
    All the low cost that want to start operations to Belgrade it will be because there is demand from the airports from which they originate.

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  8. LCC focus on O & D traffic. JAT doesnt just focus on O & D taffic, rather also focusing on connecting passengers via its hub - BEG. JAT flights depart from major euro hubs where as LCC mostly fly from random locations near big cities. As mentioned, the Serbian government is granting all airlines rights to BEG as long as they meet requirements and hand in neccissary papers.

    An addition to my wishlist of possible low cost carries to BEG, as Jetstar is opening Euro destinations, i hope after Rome and Athens we could see Belgrade as a pottential destination :)

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  9. And one more airline will start flights to Belgrade. It is airBaltic of Latvia.

    http://www.buzzpodium.lv/airbaltic/airbaltic-to-offer-summer-flights-to-belgrade-madrid-and-vaasa

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  10. Selected itinerary and fare

    Mo 5/7 13:50 Belgrade 17:15 Riga BT502 Economy Class, T
    Fr 9/7 11:55 Riga 13:10 Belgrade BT501 Economy Class, T

    Fare Taxes and surcharge Transaction fee Passengers Total
    EUR 24.00 EUR 65.19 EUR 10.00 1 Adult EUR 99.19
    Checked-in bags: EUR 20.00

    Total purchase amount for all passengers: EUR 119.19

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  11. Riga - Belgrade
    from EUR 59
    flights from 05.05.2010.
    Belgrade – just where the Danube meets the Sava Rivers in modern day Serbia, there is a party city like no other. Southeastern Europe’s fourth largest city, Belgrade is an intersection of east and west, where floating bars and an endless party scene have earned the city a reputation as one of the most exciting places on earth. Dating back some 8000 years, and exchanged from empire to empire and culture to culture, Belgrade is packed with fortresses and palaces, monuments and forested parks, and plenty of cafes and museums on the river banks. From impressive Kalemedan Citadel to the underground scene of Skadarska and onward to shopping on Knez Mihailova, Belgrade delivers a travel experience like no othe

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Please before posting anything get informed. Jat can't pose a threat to the low cost airlines anymore as Serbia has signed the open skies agreement meaning that any airline that wishes to start flying can. Do not trash Jat just because you dislike it."
    ---------------

    I would really like to live in your world. My friend, in Serbia, everything is possible! Even in "more lawful" countries you can find examples where the government will step in and help out to save jobs (I mean votes). You are deluded if you think that, just because Serbia had signed onto Open Sky agreement, that the skies are truly open for competition.

    The only reason why you see this sudden increase in LCC flying to Serbia is because of the visa-free travel which had backed Serbian government into the wall...they no longer have any choice, and are now allowing the smaller LCC's to operate in/out of BEG.

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  13. Well their recent actions show that they are not as protective of JU as before.
    So I am sure the serbian government is sick of keeping JU artificially alive

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  14. @ anonymous

    Serbia had a choice as to whether to ratify the open skies agreement in parliament of not. After all, it was signed a couple years ago and has finally been brought through Serbian parliament (if your from Serbia you shouldnt need further explanation). Airlines like MA and JP were denied rights to BEG because of their flights to PRN, but the Serbian government seems to be easing up in regards to that, even allowing people with "Republic of Kosovo" stamps in their passports to enter Serbia instead of being rejected entry as previously. The Serbian government previously didnt deny airlines flights to BEG, as long as they handed in required documentation, which is why we saw 5G from YYZ, LH from DUS, Germanwings from CGN and STU, DY from OSL and ARN, LOT from WAW, AF from CDG etc etc come to BEG in the past few years. People here are forgeting that it was back in 2006 that a Serbian low cost airline (Centavia) was flying for a few months with 2 BAe 146 aircraft. While were talking on protectionism, i wonder why JAT stopped flying to HAM? oh, thats right, because LH in "perfect" Germany requested JAT to axe the deal with EK regarding BEG-HAM-JFK! Serbia may not be the worlds best country, its far from perfect, but it is a country who has gone through a whole lot of crap and bad publicity in the last 20 years and is trying to get back onto its feet so spare the bashing!

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  15. ^
    Dear mis-informed readers -

    The 'Open Skies', known as the ECAA agreement, has been ratified by Serbia but contains 3 phases. Until Serbia has entered the 3rd phase, the skies are not truly 'open', and the timetable for entering Phase 3 is at Serbia's discretion.

    Furthermore, the skies can be open as you like, but if the management at Belgrade airport are told by the politicians not to do a deal with the big LCCs - then they will not enter.

    Who here has seen the ground handling contracts that Ryanair and Wizz force airports to sign? Neither will be in Belgrade in any sort of major way for at least 3-4 years, or unless Jat go bankrupt.

    Jat actually can die and it wouldn't matter at all. The connecting passengers to/from Serbia are served by other 'network' carriers such as BA, Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, etc.

    LCCs offer point to point services only and the two can co-exist quite happily together. The trick of course is that where LCCs and network airlines compete for point to point passengers, the LCCs dominate the market with their lower charges.

    Witness Austrian Airlines at €250 for BEG-VIE versus FlyNiki (who aren't really that low cost) at €60-€100

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  16. @ anonymous

    Wizz Air will in spring have an aircraft based in BEG giving them the ability to 20 flights a week. In the papers it writes the aircraft will be registered in Serbia and have Serbian crew. BEG states that the airline could do as much as 20 weekly flights out of BEG. JAT certainly aint goin bankrupt in spring, and its spring 2010 mentioned not in the next 3-4 years. Im gussing you dont live in Serbia considering its been in the papers for a couple days now!

    JAT can die, true that, probably would be a good thing in brining down airfares, except for the 1.500 unemployed coming from the company, something Serbia needs, more people unemployed, like it doesnt have enough already.

    With the arrival of LOT, MA, RO and the arrival of OU, JP, A3, BT, HG and W6 just for BEG, how more open do you want it to get? the arrival of every airline in europe?

    ReplyDelete

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