|Belgrade Airport registers strong October performance|
Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has seen its busiest October on record. It welcomed 406.757 passengers during the month, an increase of 38.2% compared to 2013. The number of flights operating to and from the Serbian capital also increased sharply, by 22.8% to 4.908. A total of 795.068 kilograms of commercial cargo was handled, an improvement from 762.271 kilograms last year. The strong growth is being primarily driven by Air Serbia which has more than doubled its passenger numbers this year. Over the past ten months, Belgrade Airport has handled 3.996.988 travellers, up 32.1% on the same period in 2013. On November 4, the airport welcomed its four-millionth passenger for the year.
The acting CEO of Belgrade Airport, Saša Vlaisaveljvić, recently said, “Next year we expect to see passenger growth of around 10%, which means we are reaching the upper limits of our capacity, so we have to invest in infrastructure”. According to the CEO, the airport is ready handle long haul flights from 2015. Earlier this week, the Serbian 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”.
Meanwhile, the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate has concluded Bilateral Air Agreements and Memorandums of Understandings with fourteen countries over last week at the ICAO Air Services Negotiation Conference in Bali, Indonesia. Successful talks have taken place with counterparts from the United States, Egypt, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Seychelles, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan and Vietnam. The Directorate says talks with the United States were held in relation to planned flights from Belgrade to the States in the second half of 2015, while Air Serbia has expressed interest for agreements to be made with the other abovementioned countries as well. The Serbian Directorate was the only aviation regulator from the former Yugoslavia present at the ICAO conference among 78 other countries.