April numbers down as airport expansion continues
As May comes to a close, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has recorded a passenger plunge in April. Last month, Serbia’s busiest airport welcomed 251.873 passengers, down 5.7% compared to April 2012. As a result, the airport has recorded its largest drop in monthly passenger figures so far this year. Fuelling the passenger plunge was Jat Airways which saw its numbers decrease by 16% in April due to flight reductions across its network. Foreign carriers operating to the Serbian capital managed to see their numbers improve compared to last April. An additional factor was the Orthodox Easter holiday, which was observed in mid April last year while it was marked in May this year.
So far this year, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport handled 855.597 passengers, a decrease of 1.8% compared to the same period last year. The airport is maintaining its position as the busiest airport in the former Yugoslavia, some 227.000 passengers ahead of second placed Zagreb Airport. Despite Jat’s woes, preliminary figures indicate the airport is on course to handle a record number of passengers in May. Working in the airport’s favour were the combined May Day and Easter public holidays as well as charter airlines launching their summer flights to the city during the month.
Meanwhile, construction work at the airport is continuing as part of the multimillion euro upgrades taking place. The expansion of the airport’s C apron, which will see an additional four parking spaces for commercial aircraft, is nearing completion and should be in operation by midsummer. The C apron, used by terminal two, features six air bridges. The added parking spaces will be used by smaller regional jets and will increase capacity by 17%. The investment is worth 2.6 million euros. In addition, on June 3 the foundations for new glass air bridges, to be used by terminal one, will be laid while in two weeks time the airport will end its long running procedure of double security checks.