|Belgrade Airport looks to expand following record traffic and profit|
The Serbian government has announced it will decide on how Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport will be expanded by June 2015 as capacity becomes stretched. The Minister for Transport and Communication, Zorana Mihajlović, said, “During next year we will definitely decide how we are going to expand Belgrade Airport, because it will be unable to handle all passengers if this growth rate continues. We could never have anticipated such large growth”. According to current plans, the airport will refurbish the remaining gates and departure lounges before adding an additional floor on top of its Terminal 2 building. Ms. Mihajlović says the recent Memorandum of Understanding signed between Belgrade Airport and the French concession and construction company Vinci, is non-binding. However, she adds, it foresees the development of joint projects and business decisions which could help Belgrade become a regional hub. Last week, the country’s Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić, ruled out any plans to sell the airport, noting that the government was currently considering whether to offer a concession or invest in the airport on its own.
In the first three quarters of this year, Belgrade Airport handled 3.590.231 passengers. It welcomed its four-millionth traveller on November 4. During the first nine months, Air Serbia was the dominant carrier at the airport, handling 50.3% of all passengers, up from 39.7% over the same period last year. According to the airport, Air Serbia's busiest destination was Paris with 120.685 passengers, followed by Zurich, Moscow, Podgorica, Tivat and Athens, which saw its numbers jump from 24.498 passengers last year to 84.759 travellers in 2014. The second busiest airline operating in and out of Serbia’s capital was Wizz Air, followed by Lufthansa, Montenegro Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines.
TOP 5 CARRIERS AT BELGRADE AIRPORT Q1 - Q3
|Air Serbia||1.804.873||▲ 66.3|
|Wizz Air||326.960||▼ 7.0|
|Montenegro Airlines||203.176||▲ 0.2|
|Swiss Int. Air Lines||157.430||▲ 9.2|
Belgrade Airport’s net profit has soared to 10.5 million euro in the first nine months of 2014, from 2.9 million euros a year earlier. Operating revenue was up 25.5% to 51.6 million euros through September while operating costs increased 2.3% to 29.3 million euros, data from the airport’s unaudited financial report shows. Cargo traffic was up 24% on 2013, totalling 8.447 tonnes in the first nine months. The total debt plus penalty interest Air Serbia has towards Belgrade Airport rose to 48.2 million euros by the end of September, from 35.7 million euros at the end of 2013. It accounts for 92.1% of the airport's total outstanding domestic claims.