Monday, December 23, 2013

Belgrade Airport breaks all time record

Busy year for Belgrade Airport

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has recorded its busiest year on record since opening its doors back in 1962 as it has welcomed over 3.363.919 passengers, improving on last year. December passenger growth is nearing 20% thanks in part to the launch of six new routes this month (Banja Luka, Prague, Sarajevo, Bucharest, Ljubljana and Geneva). The busiest time of the month begins from today with the number of arriving passengers expected to soar as the Christmas holidays approach. During the year, the airport also recorded its busiest day of all time on August 2. The results come despite a sluggish start to the year, influenced by Jat Airways’ significant frequency reductions and fleet shortage.


During the year the airport partially expanded and refurbished its C gates, with the rest currently undergoing reconstruction. Additionally, in September, the airport completed the expansion of its terminal two apron by adding an additional 26.000 square metres and has also built new jetways. Earlier this month, six new air bridges were put into use at the airport. Nikola Tesla Airport has announced other major investments in the year to come with the installation of a visual docking guidance system (VDGS) at a price of 340.000 euros. The VDGS is an electronic display system placed at the gate, allowing pilots to park their aircraft with greater precision and safety. In addition, a new baggage handling system will be purchased, with the investment worth 150.000 euros. Under Air Serbia’s request, the airport will also open two new ground level gates under the A4-A5 gates from which passengers will be bussed to remote stands.


This coming year promises to be a busy one for the airport. Three new airlines have so far announced flights to the Serbian capital (TAP Portugal, Vueling Airlines and Etihad Regional) while easyJet (Geneva), Wizz Air (Larnaca) and Air Serbia (Beirut, Budapest, Kiev, Sofia, Varna and Warsaw) will launch new flights from the airport. Recently, the CEO of Belgrade Airport, Velimir Radosavljević, told China Radio International there is a possibility for Belgrade to have a direct air link to Beijing in the near future with Air China, China Southern and Hainan Airlines cited as potential partners. Another important development set to unravel in 2014 is whether the government will be successful in its attempt to award Etihad Airways a twenty year concession of Belgrade Airport.

88 comments:

  1. Can anyone tell me what is their best year in terms of aircraft movement?

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  2. When did they exceed that number? That can tell us about what would be final figures for 2013.

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  3. Good news. The airport has been doing well this year.

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  4. And if it has been doing well we should sell it immediately to Arabs!

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    1. We shouldn't sell the airport to Arabs, but we should give them the concession over the airport for investments that they are planning (new terminal, runway, etc ), that the current management can't afford.

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    2. Sure, there is a huge different between giving someone 20 years concession and so sell. But 20 years is eternity in air business today. In 5 years air traffic in one country can be destroy and in 20 years... 20 years ago there was no LCC in Europe, 15 years ago there was no alliances, 10 years ago there was no big players from Middle East (exempt tiny Emirates)...

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    3. I understand both sides of the story and I think an airport can be such a cash cow if it's run properly. In general I'm against government owning anything becouse they just don't how to do it. One way or another they end up having polititians rather than real managers in place and it all results in lower income. Time and time again it happened that something was sold and the governemnt was making more from the taxes on increased profit them the dividiend it had while it owned it. Good example is NIS. Serbia didn't know how to do it, didn't have funds to invest. Now, it contributes 10% of Serbia's tax income, plus the dividend from 49% ownership goes to budget. On the top of everything, NIS is now wort wayyyy more then before the sale.

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  5. I am not surprised BEG makes the record year as it is the only airport in the country which has flights!
    No other country in the region have only one active airport. :)))
    Centralism in Serbia is just disgusting!

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    1. Hungary, Albania, Kosovo to name a few

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    2. We can also add Austria, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia... these are all countries where one airport dominates over the others.

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    3. Well, Zagreb is the only airport in Croatia for most of the year (Sept. to May) which doesn't seem to help. Besides, having additional airports in the country should on the other hand increase central hub's numbers due to transit pax and less 'leak' to airports across the border instead of decreasing them (if say Subotica and Nis had working commercial airports, it'll mean more flow to BEG and less leak to BUD or Sofia). So your arguments hold no ground and that only goes to show how dire the situation in Zagreb (Croatia) really is.

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    4. Hungary has 2 airports, Austria 6 (other 5 have more than 5 million passengers per year), Bulgaria 4 (other 3 airports have 3,7 million passengers)...

      Zagreb is not the only airport in Croatia during winter. SPU, DBV, ZAD, PUY and OSI have regular traffic with more than 100 flights per week.

      And to compare with Kosovo or Albania. Congratulations.

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    5. SPU, DVB, ZAD, PUY and OSI have more than 300.000 passengers during November-March period.

      In April and October, but especially in September and May they have another 1,3 million passengers (from March to October also RJK and BWK have regular flights). So in that pariod which you mark as “no passangers in other airports than ZAG”) you have at least 1,6 million passengers.

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    6. That is not true, by Ministry of transportation statistics from September to May there is more than 1,8 million passengers in other Croatian airports exempt ZAG.

      BEG had just little more than that in same period (2,2 million passengers).

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    7. Hungary might have all the airports it wants when only Budapest is the fully functional one. I don't think anyone takes Debrecen seriously which does not even have 7 weekly flights in total. So we can be easily compared with Hungary.

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    8. I think we might be comparing us with Albania more then Hungary. I just read an article where says,, A number of regional airports have been renovated but cannot become functional for civil flights as per the 20 years and over monopoly that holds Tirana International Airport's shareholder company over Albanian airspace since 2005,,.
      Hahahahahahaha.. Belgradeisation, pardon me Tiranization in this case..

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    9. The ultimate argument:

      http://www.zagreb-airport.hr/g71.aspx

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    10. There is Balaton airport with several regular routes every year and several charters every week.

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  6. construction company has been chosen and a contract was signed for bus gates, so construction might start after holidays. they are expected to be open by the end of march. there will be only two gates for start, eventhough BEG really needs at least four

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  7. Admin, in the last sentence of today's article, I believe it should be "whether" instead of "wheatear".

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  8. BA 747 from JNB to LHR hits office building while taxiing, 4 people hurt, oil spill, flight cancelled.

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  9. Well well it looks like finally there is someone in the EX YU that understands the airline business , not like the ones at Croatia Airlines. Which is a pity .

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  10. With all the new airlines and destinations being announced for 2013, it's almost certain that Belgrade will enter top 100 European airports next year. I am not sure we will make it this year. I guess we will finish the year with 3.535.000 or so passengers.

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  11. Well, 2 b quite honest, Air Serbia would never thought to open two new ground level positions. It's more like the Airport management set couple of months ago and thought how to solve the incoming rush hour problem. You guys are giving way too many credits to Air Serbia :)

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    1. If you knew who worked in BEG management you would know this idea originated from Air Serbia.

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    2. They could have asked Zagreb airport 'experts' for advice, sure as hell they know how to manage an airport with only bus gates.

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    3. No, they should ask Kim Jong Vucic, he seems to know everything!

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  12. SU and LX sent A321 this morning, A320 expected tonight. OS will also send one A320. There will be some crowd at BEG today :)

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  13. BEG will certainly break all time record this year but it wasn't the case last year as reported here. In terms of passengers number, the best year is still 1987, not 2012. As to AC movements, the best year is 1979 (50.048) and that record will not be broken this year, but it is rather probable that it will happen next year. Complete BEG statistic data on the following link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5BQ5KlupgSRc052Y05uMEZ6N0E/edit?usp=sharing Best regards, Dejan

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    1. great, thanks. i've been looking for these numbers for long time now. but, there's only one thing, BEG will break all time record in numbers of international passengers. you have to bear in mind that in 1987 approx. 1/3 were domestic passengers, and now all passengers are international

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    2. sorry, did break all time record, not will

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    3. So basically BEG traffic is like it was 26 years ago, and AC movements not even like 34 years ago?

      Almost all other ExYu airports broke records several years ago. That shows how BEG was privileged and artificially grow in ExYU.

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    4. you are aware that 34 years ago planes landing on BEG had capacity of less then 100 passengers. and that 26 years ago BEG was main airport in a country of a 20 million people and that 'round 30% were domestic passengers. if that country didn't break up, BEG would have had around 15 million passengers in 2013.
      oh yeah, and stop trolling

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    5. As I said, artificially grow BEG till 1990's. It was stupid that DBV-BEG route had 100% more flights than DBV-ZAG. Same thing SPU-BEG, PUY-BEG and ZAD-BEG in compare to SPU-ZAG, PUY-ZAG and ZAD-ZAG. Basically passengers from PUY travel 2 hours (via RJK) to BEG to travel again to West (FRA for example).

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    6. + there is a difference between other airports in ExYU operating as domestic airports within a large country, and operating as capitals of 6 separate countries. The market changes a lot when a city turns into a capital and the main traffic/economic hub of a new country.

      But I guess this is something that just does not reach nationalistic minds or the 'logic' that stands behind their hilarious conclusions.

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    7. Well, even today there aren't THAT many flights from Zagreb to its coastal cities. I can imagine that before the breaking the market was not bigger than it is today, quite the contrary.

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    8. As I said, artificially grow BEG till 1990. And very centralized, like other things in ex YU.

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    9. That is not true.

      1989 ZAG-SPU 19 flights per week today ZAG-SPU 31 flights per week

      1989 ZAG-DBV 13 flights per week
      today ZAG-DBV 32 flights per week

      1989 ZAD-ZAG 5 flights per week
      today ZAD-ZAG 14 flights per week

      1989 PUY-ZAG 4 flights per week
      today PUY-ZAG 14 flights per week

      1989 OSI-ZAG non flights
      today OSI-ZAG 5 flights per week

      but to Belgrade there were more than 35 flights from Dubrovnik, 34 from Split, 12 from Zadar, 10 from Pula, 9 from Rijeka.

      So, you should check first data, before say something so stupid.

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  14. All this growth at air serbia and by extension belgrade airport seems very artificial.

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    1. I don't see anything else looking more fake and artificial at this point than 'Zagreb will become a hub once it gets a glass building and few air-bridges - in 2017'... My 2 cents. If for you concrete numbers seem more artificial than your imagination and wishful thinking then go for it, i won't stop ya. Good luck hitting the wall.

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    2. Calm down, what's with these personal attacks, I'm not Croatian if that's the reason for your little outburst, and I never said the numbers were fake or imaginary.

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    4. Ok, so would you care to put an argument and share with us what 'seems' artificial to you if numbers aren't fake or invented? Can we become enlightened in the same way as you are?

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    5. Um did you not read what I just wrote. And out of curiosity does anyone know how many pax Zagreb (or Zagy as my friend affectionately calls it) and the other capitals had in 1980?

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    7. What exactly is artificial? Passengers? Flights? Is any carrier subsidized to fly to BEG? Do passengers receive government vouchers to use BEG?

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    8. That is stupid to say that BEG grow is artificial.

      But, why, on earth, you in same second thing that it has to be someone from Croatia? And what, on earth, Zagreb has to do with Belgrade grow. How comes that «I don't see anything else looking more fake and artificial at this point than 'Zagreb will...”. That really is sick... you have huge mental problem, not just one person here...

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    9. I agree with the anonymous from above. People from Serbia should no longer compare Belgrade and Zagreb airports. Belgrade should be compared to Sofia, Malta or Thessaloniki. Those are the airports we are competing with now.

      By the way, does anyone know how Sofia did this year?

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    10. Belgrade handles already 50% more traffic than Zagreb so there isn't anything left to be compared, honestly.

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    11. Sofia airport is recording 7.5% growth this year but still behind BEG so far. In cargo they're doing better than Belgrade though the gap has been getting more narrow recently.

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    12. SOF had growth of 7,5% in Novembre. On SOF wikipedia page they writte as change the number of previous month and not the total percentage. The person who is doing it obviously didnt get the point of it. I realized it few moths ago when I saw that the numbers are not metching.

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  15. Nice for Belgrad - samo napred se nadevam deka i Skp vo idnina ke se dvizi priblizno do Nikola Tesla..... Srekni Praznici i pozdrav od MAKEDONIJA ! ;)

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    1. as the other ex-yugos are going on with their disputes, it seems that only our beloved macedonians are cosmopolits and warm-hearted and wishing nice holidays to everyone! respect lovely macedonia! best xmassy wishes from vienna back there!!

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    2. Hvala prijatelju. I ja tebi sve najlepše od srca želim u nadi da će se Beg i Skp boriti za tron u Ex-Yu!

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  16. By chance does anyone know where to find link to BEG master plan? I've seen it before but just can't seem to find it now. Thanks.

    -- Charlie

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  17. Good luck Belgrade with many great years ahead! To all the readers of this blog have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Greetings from Croatia!

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  18. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1441655872715178&id=1406571032890329&refid=17&ref=stream

    Mister Predrag Stojanovic for the win! :)

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    1. What a moron. What an idiot.
      You really needed to share this?

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    2. Fortunately this company isn't relying on Serbs to fill their planes. Don't sure what you guys think how spitting on your national company and making folks travel with foreign airlines will do to you any good.

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  19. OT: Wizz Air starting Cologne/Bonn out of SKP. First flight on 4th of April, 2 weekly frequencies (1---5--).

    Source (in Macedonian): http://faktor.mk/archives/89668

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  20. Etihad i Aegean signed wide ranging codeshare agreement today. I don't know how many pax to AUH connected via BEG but this is not a good news for JU.

    Can someone who knows the pax. numbers and departure times comment on this. Maybe it's not such a bad news. Thank you.

    http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/aegean-airlines-to-operate-to-abu-dhabi/

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    1. I do not see the logic behind placing their code to Larnaca since they already fly there.

      I don't think any passengers from Athens flew to AUH via BEG simply because all Persian Gulf carriers have a very strong presence there, especially Emirates. It's also worth adding that Turkish Airlines is a really big player in Athens and a Star Alliance partner. I think this is more of a way for EY to get additional feed both in Abu Dhabi and Athens.
      Aegean is a stable carrier which has managed to post a profit this year. They are not looking for an investor.

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    2. Great to know, thank you namjee.

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    3. Welcome. Another thing which might be the reason for doing this is that they want to deter Qatar from opening up direct flights between Athens and New York. They wanted to do so with their Dreamliner. However with Sky Greece launching their own flights to New York, Montreal and Toronto in summer 2014 and with Etihad working with Aegean I feel that Qatar will have to go elsewhere.

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    4. This does not affect JU at all, since EY has been flying to ATH directly for some time and also code shares on OA flights between BEG and ATH.

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    5. Well, that means it would be much more logical to fly from Larnaca and Thesaloniky via Athens to Abu Dhabi, but via north (Belgrade).

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  21. Let's be realistic. Balgrade is a sole player in quite a big area. There is no competitors at all in range of cca 400 km. The closest bigger airport is Budapest. That is greate for airport development. For example: the same range as BEG has with BUD – LJU has with Vienna, Munich, Milano, Budapest, Venice (they are all X times bigger than BEG) – in cca 1 hour you can reach Zagreb, Triest, Graz – so very croudy air traffic arround Ljubljana.

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  22. Air Serbia's flight to Skopje just took off from Ohrid. Is the situation still bad there?

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  23. Turkish Airlines' A321 was parked at remote stand B5. Could it be due to a lack of gates?

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    1. No this is due to the fact that TK has not paid their handling fees to BEG for the past 3 months and BEG is tasking some measures to warn them that this behavior will not be tolerated any longer.

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    2. Where you get that info? Why didn't they send the other ones to B gates as well? Was that a special flight (due to the codes)? Thanks.

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    3. These seem to be some charters, not regular/scheduled flights...

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    4. Weren't these flights Sarajevo bound, and they landed in BEG due to fog in SJJ?

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  24. Are any of you able to imagine how much money BEG airport operator earns every day, if there are 50 flights per day with the average landing costs of at least 1000EUR per flight taking into consideration the weight of the aircraft? Also it will have over 3 million passengers annually to pay the airport tax of EUR 16.5? So, this year, the airport will earn around 60 million Euro from the passenger tax only. Also 20 million EUR from the mentioned landing and about 5 million from selling fuel. There are also other businesses such as selling sweets, drinks and newspapers in the kiosks and restaurants, collecting parking charges, etc.. And now, such a company should be given to some sort of Arabs or anyone else, because the company with its income of at least 85 million euro per year can not survive. This is all about that famous "Is there me/a few of us in it?" The easiest and most elegant way to get the money from it, is to give the airport to a stranger and the stranger will return my part opening my accounts in some banks all over the world. The police checks and arrest only those who are not in power and never those that are in power in such countries. What about foreign police? They are under control as well if it is all about deals made with those that manage the world “economy”.

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  25. Who is to say that a private professional airport management company, domestic or foreign would not be able to double profits through efficient management? Plus be able to invest hundreds of millions €s of their own money over the term, for a new terminal, and other infrustructure. Just imagine the taxes, and revenue from the concession. The fact that BEG is earning some €50m yearly just means that the government would get a good deal on the concession. I would just like it to go to a professional airport management company, not an airline related aliance, like Etihad.

    -- Charlie

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  26. Does the airport operator ground handle the companies properly or not? In my humble opinion, it does. But, Vučić had settled the things with the Sheik before Etihad took over the JAT, and made Air Serbia. All interested in the deal asked themselves what was the point for Etihad. Belgrade airport was the point, now we all know.

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    1. You don't know jack. You are speculating on something you badly wish to be the case. But your nationalistic dreams of the neighbouring country failing and falling do not make reality. It is only in your mind.

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  27. A lot has been said about ownership and operational powers in BEG.
    However, I think the best possible model for BEG (and Serbia) is the one of YVR - a not for profit operational company (state ownership) with mixed state and city ownership over the airport. Whole profit goes into airport improvement, expansion, etc. (or to return the credits the company takes to undergo initial expansion at the airport).
    In the long run, after 2-5 years when BEG has been significantly improved, expended and polished to became a beautiful and pleasant airport, ownership of the other airports (Niš, Morava, maybe Ponikve and Vršac) in Serbia is changed - they become owned by local community and state, but they are under operational management of the same company that runs BEG - in that way whole airport infrastructure in Serbia is operating on self-sustaining basis, similarly to air traffic controls.
    The benefits are more than obvious (btw just look at the YVR, one of the best airports in the world, and a rare non-Asian, non-Arab airport that often gets tons of awards).
    "I vuk sit i sve ovce na broju."

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    1. Canadian airports lose a good percentage of their travellers to northern USA airports due to huge rents that transport canada charges them, which they pass along to the airlines, which is reflected in considerably higher ticket prices in Canada compared to the USA.

      I would certainly not look to Canada in this regard for airport policy

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  28. That may be the best model in Canada where corruption is not the national sport. In Serbia, however, money has a strange habit to vanish and disappear from any public corporation. This is why EY is now running the show in Jat and why ADAC will likely run the show in BEG. Desperate measures for a desperately corrupt economy. Let's hope all sides will benefit from this emergency.

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    1. I disagree :)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbTfR64PArU

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  29. Today I was very disappoint when receive the mail from Air Serbia with this text:

    "Dear Miha, could you send us your message in English, please!? Regards"

    I wrote a question in Slovenian just when they expect to repaint ATR a/c nothing hard to understand but they send me this :(.

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    1. Well, come on, if I wrote to a Slovenian airline in Serbian Cyrillic they would probably ignore the e-mail or just write back in English. Slovenian and Serbian are not that similar.

      Still, really nice on their behalf to have replied to you.

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  30. hate to break the celebration but the EU are considering in returning obligatory viza's for the citizens of Serbia.

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