|Belgrade Airport sees strong passenger and cargo growth|
Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has recorded strong passenger growth during the second last month of the year, as it begins to increasingly focus on cargo traffic as a source of additional revenue. During November, the busiest airport in the former Yugoslavia welcomed 314.696 passengers, an increase of 25.4% compared to the same month last year. The number of flight operations also grew, from 3.629 last year to 4.325 this November, up 19.2%. However, it was cargo traffic that saw the biggest growth, with the airport handling 1.018.429 kilograms of goods, an increase of 37.7% and its best monthly result for the year.
Over the past eleven months, Nikola Tesla Airport has welcomed 4.311.684 passengers, improving its numbers by 31.6%. The airport is now on course to handle its planned 4.6 million travellers by the end of the year. The number of flight operations, which have so far this year totalled 54.111, have increased 25.1%, while the amount of handled cargo grew by 26%. Dejan Popović, head of the airport’s trade union, says Belgrade expects to profit from Croatia’s entry into the European Union. “With Croatia’s entry to the European Union, a considerable amount of cargo has been redirected towards Serbia and is producing significant revenue for the airport this year. Cargo growth is expected to double next year”.
Six airlines currently maintain scheduled cargo flights to Belgrade. They include, among others, ČSA Czech Airlines, which operates from Prague to the Serbian capital and continues onwards to Sofia, as well as Turkish Airlines which maintains flights from Madrid and continues onwards to Istanbul. As 2014 comes to a close, the acting CEO of Belgrade Airport, Saša Vlaisavljević, says 2015 will see substantial investments in infrastructure. During next year, the airport will finalise the replacement of all of its airbridges and expand and revamp its facilities. The investment will be worth twenty million euros. A privatisation advisor will be selected for the airport in 2015, while revenue is expected to increase by a third. During the first half of the year, the airport registered revenue of 30.4 million euros, while profits amounted to a record 10.7 million euros.