Monday, July 30, 2012

The changing face of Belgrade Airport

Belgrade Airport expansion progresses
Intense construction work is ongoing at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport as part of its multi million euro upgrade. During the week all of the overhauled and expanded gate areas at terminal one are set to open to the public while work has already begun on the expansion of the terminal two gates, with gate C1-2 now being reconstructed. Earlier this year, security and passport areas were expanded and a new business class lounge was opened.

Furthermore, the airport recently announced the opening of a casino in the transit area. Tender procedures are in their final stages for the selection of the casino’s operator. The casino will cover an area of 150 square metres. As a result, Belgrade will become one of the rare airports in the world to feature such facilities.

As July comes to a close, Nikola Tesla Airport is recording respectable passenger figures. Just over a week ago a total of 15.640 passengers passed through its doors in a single day, an all time 24 hour record. The management anticipates the airport will handle some 3.5 million passengers by the end of the year, the most since opening its doors. “With such results our growth has been significantly higher than other airports in the region”, a statement from the airport reads. In the first half of the year, Belgrade’s passenger numbers rose 11% on 2011.

14 comments:

  1. Dear ex-yu,
    I don’t know what is the source of the casino info but it’s total disinformation. Furthermore, I have seen nowhere that BEG’s announcement regarding the casino in transit area like you’ve stated.
    The real truth is that there is possibility of opening the area with slot machines at BEG, but not in transit area, but in the ex-Post office premises, at T2 first floor before customs and passport control.

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  2. The airport is really starting to look good. Can’t wait for the new level to be built.

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  3. Why did you construct Kraljevo airport then? Does somebody know?

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  4. Does anyone know if there are any plans to construct a lounge or something similar where people can wait for their middle-of-the-night flights? I flew out of BEG this morning and there was quite a few people at 4:15am including some sleeping on the floor in the children play area upstairs (guess those metal chairs are no good for sleeping). BEG seems to be working around the clock lately, so if it aspires to be a successful transfer airport (presuming Jat survives and improves its regional network) it has to provide more than a information booth.

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  5. A casino at the transit? Belgrade Airport must be really desperate...

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  6. Yes, and Dubai airport is even more desperate then, been there?
    I think the only really desperate airports in ex-Yu are SJJ and ZAG.

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  7. Children play area upstairs?

    That sounds like the perfect place to find some sleep...nothing to be ashamed of!

    Usually they have rubber floors and such things.
    I would not hesitate to rest there with my wife and children if there is not better.

    Definitely better than chairs or the hard floor!

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  8. I see that Carpatair have a flight arriving from Timisoara this morning at 09:00 and then departing to Larnaca at 10:00! Anyone know why?

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    1. It departs at 10:00 which means it is not a scheduled flight. I guess it is a leased flight for a charter group, same way Montenegro Airlines operates their E195 from Belgrade to Aqaba in Jordan.

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  9. Belgrade has a wonderful chance for becoming the ex-Yu transit hub. If the airport management is smart, they will start offering incentives for starting medium-haul flights and long-haul flights to bigger markets, most preferably the United States and Canada.

    JAT is crucial for this plan to work so they need to refurbish their fleet ASAP and acquiring those new Airbus planes would be a great start. Belgrade should loan money it has to spare to JAT or buy a controlling stake in the airline to keep it in Serbian hands and still privatize it. I think if JAT can refurbish itself and expand its fleet size and create new routes, Belgrade would be able to compete with Budapest and Athens in 10 years.

    The North American flights are also key here. If Belgrade can get airlines to start flights to North America and BGD, and if they're cheaper than the Budapest/Vienna/Athens flights, it could really profit from such an endeavor. Hopefully AZAL is still interested in commencing those flights.

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    1. A problem with the management of BEG is that they only give a special discount for 6 months. Oslo airport gave Korean Air a discount for three years when they announced that they are interested in opening a dedicated cargo route.

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  10. Carpatiair is charter for Partizan FC.
    @last Anonimous
    Commercial and cargo flights are not the same. I'm sure anyone would give them a long-term discount if they intend to keep the service ongoing for a long time. But for this you have to have a strong economy.
    I agree that chairs must be more comfortable and there has to be some waiting areas or lounges. They have destroyed themselves with long-term Dufry contract, taking them a lot of space for their stores. This should not be allowed.
    Casino will not be a casino but a couple of slot machines. And it won't be at the transit area at all.
    Belgrade is the uprising market but in order to position itself the economy must follow. There is a great interest in North America flights but could they be payable for a year round? I don't think with such economy.
    Batajnica should be opened for charter, LCC and GENAVI flights. Then noone would ask LYBE to be something that he is not intended to - mixed capital, flag-carriers, lowcost, charter, genavi flights airport. LYBE is intended to be capital airport and as such he should stay. They invested a lot but need to invest even more if you ask me to become a real capital airport. Service has to improve, especially for passengers and visitors. And last but not the least, the facility itself has to become more nice looking, at least at some point.

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  11. im not sure whether this is the casino your talking about but a new casino opened at the back of Hotel Yugoslavia next to the river Danube not in the airport but im not sure whether it is it.

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