Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Foreign carriers record modest Belgrade growth

Foreign carriers overcome increased competition and fees during first quarter

The busiest foreign carriers operating flights to Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport have seen their passenger numbers improve in the first quarter of the year despite increased competition and a significant reduction in the number of operated flights. Montenegro Airlines, which is the airport’s fourth busiest carrier, led the growth with 48.730 passengers handled, an increase of 16% compared to the same period last year. The airline was one of only a handful of international carriers (joining Aegean Airlines, easyJet, Qatar Airways, LOT and TAROM) to boost its number of operated flights to the Serbian capital in the first quarter of the year. It also managed to increase its passenger share from 9.8% to 11. 8%. However, the surge is not translating into increased profits for the carrier. Montenegro Airlines recently said that due to increased competition from Air Serbia it has been forced to reduce fares on its signature routes between Podgorica, Tivat and Belgrade, leading to low yields.

Star Alliance members Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines also managed to see their passengers numbers improve by 8.4% and 3% respectively. However, both reduced their operations to Belgrade, with Lufthansa running 19.7% fewer flights this year. Wizz Air was the major exception to the trend. The no frills carrier, which also calls Belgrade its home, saw its passenger numbers slide 8.4%, handling 83.968 passengers, an airport report shows. The decline comes following a decision made last year by the low cost airline to cut down on routes and capacity from its Belgrade base in response to increased fees, which have only been applied to international carriers. Overall, foreign airlines accounted for 425.906 passengers at Belgrade Airport during the first quarter, up 2% on last year.

Busiest foreign carriers at Belgrade Airport Q1
AirlinePAXChange (%)
Wizz Air83.968 8.4
Lufthansa56.944 8.4
Montenegro Airlines48.730 16.0
Turkish Airlines36.822 3.0

The performance put in by international carriers has been in focus over recent months after several airlines publicly accused Belgrade Airport of significantly increasing its fees over the past year. Furthermore, foreign airlines now face a much stronger national carrier, which managed to increase its passenger numbers by 26% during the first quarter. Last year, Wizz Air said in a statement, “Unfortunately, Serbian passengers and tourists now have to stand aside while their choices gradually diminish as a result of a full fare ‘wannabe’ monopolist Etihad/Air Serbia. [Belgrade] as one of the most expensive airports in Europe should work to stimulate low cost travel”. Montenegro Airlines has also responded to the increased fees. Over the weekend it said its finances have been affected as a result of a new pricing policy implemented by the airport last April. The carrier’s Chief Commercial Officer, Predrag Marković, said recently, “We have been offered extremely unfavourable terms for aircraft handling. It all started in April last year, when we were given an annex to our agreement which foresees a significant increase in handling fees by 50%. You will agree that this is quite irrational, because every year we record passenger growth on this market and basic business sense dictates that when someone records passenger growth they should be stimulated, not the opposite”.

Despite flight cuts, the majority of the busiest foreign carriers operating into Belgrade Airport managed to improve their passenger numbers. However, during the second quarter, Lufthansa, Alitalia, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Vueling, Turkish Airlines and easyJet will operate fewer flights than last year while the likes of TAP Portugal and Etihad Regional have suspended services all together. Germanwings will maintain flights from Stuttgart to the Serbian capital for just over a month, between late July and early September. Problems with charter flights operated by foreign carriers also threaten to impact the airport’s passenger growth rate.

Most frequent foreign carriers at Belgrade Airport Q1
AirlineFlight ops.Change (%)
Montenegro Airlines688 19.0
Lufthansa672 19.7
Wizz Air594 12.2
Austrian Airlines462 13.6
Turkish Airlines377 11.9
Aeroflot358 0.3
Swiss Int. Air Lines292 17.0

58 comments:

  1. And why easyJet data is not published? I thing their change is the biggest

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    1. These are the only figures provided in the BEG Airport report unfortunately. They are for the top four busiest foreign carriers.

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    2. I thin(g)k Swiss might be seeing the biggest decline. Especially when they cancel Geneva this winter.

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  2. Great article!

    Do you have Lot's and Belavia's numbers?

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  3. Wow well done Lufthansa! Big increase for such a huge decline in flights

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    1. Lufthansa offers from long haul destinations to Belgrade are more agressively priced compared to previous seasons.

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    2. You mean Lufthansa became 'more reasonably' priced?

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    3. Today A321 to Munich, we didn't see that in a while.

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    4. LH is showing a glipmse of their upcoming strategy to combat future Air Serbia long haul offering. LH still doesn't get it

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  4. Like it says in the article Q2 will be the one to watch.

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  5. What happened to the destruction of Montenegro Airlines?

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    1. Look at what it says. Their yields are low even they admitted it. You can carry 50% more passengers but if they are paying peanuts for it (and you are a full fare airline) it ain't going to be good. Hence the 9+ million EUR loss in 2014.

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    2. Absolutely the same can be said about Air Serbia. They can carry 10m passengers but if they're giving tickets away it ain't gonna be good for them either.

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    3. Yes, I completely agree with you.

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  6. This grow from Montenegro Airlines is also thanks to Air Serbia, who increased prices to TGD/TIV lately, where you could find before the tickets from 89EUR why lately the most cheapest can be 106EUR.

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  7. Well someone has to pay for the airport's concessions to Air Serbia.
    Thankfully it wont be the tax payers.

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  8. ot: Serbia-USA bilateral was signed, but now it needs to be ratified by both sides. UAE bilateral took 6 years to be ratified by Serbia, how long will it take National Assembly to ratify this one? Is this going to additionally delay start of USA flights?

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Toliko o tome kako ostale Aviokompanije lose posluju i napustice LYBE ;)
    A tek kad dodju novi ATR-i bice zanimljivo :
    INN-NS

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    1. INN, how 'bout doing us a big favor and giving it a rest today.

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    2. Admin this comment by INN-NS is clearly here to provocate so please just delete this comment for sake of healthy discussion.

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    3. Ja ne provociram nego postavljam pitanje vama koji ste pisali 1 mesec ovde kako ce samo ASL ostati u LYBE sto jel vam sad krivo sto vam se nije ostvario plan.
      I nadam se da nece biti obrisano .
      INN-NS

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    4. Da li si ti procitao tekst? Tek u 2 kvartalu ce se videti efekti smanjenja frekvencija letova stranih kompanija. To je nazalost neminovno. A ti ne optuzuj ljude da imaju lose namere ako diskutuju o tome. Prestani vise sa provokacijama!

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    5. Kad vi prestanete i ja cu ali ono nije provokacija sto sam ja napisao nego pitanje za vas sto ne podnosite dobar uspeh .
      INN-NS

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    6. Komentarisati smanjenje frekvencije letova stranih kompanija na LYBE je potpuno legitimno. Izmedju ostalog to je I bila svrha teksta. A sto se tice tvojih komentara tu ne znam sta da kazem. Ne razumem porive i potrebe koje zadovoljavas kroz ovo sto radis ovde. To je vec u domenu psihologije tako da kao ekonomista nisam merodavan. Sve najbolje u svakom slucaju!

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    7. INN-NS, this is what we are talking about and it will occur even more in the coming months.

      Most frequent foreign carriers at Belgrade Airport Q1
      Airline Flight ops. Change (%)
      Montenegro Airlines 688 ▲ 19.0
      Lufthansa 672 ▼ 19.7
      Wizz Air 594 ▼ 12.2
      Austrian Airlines 462 ▼ 13.6
      Turkish Airlines 377 ▼ 11.9
      Aeroflot 358 ▼ 0.3
      Swiss Int. Air Lines 292 ▼ 17.0

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    8. Smanjuju frekfencije ali se sve vise koriste letelice većeg kapaciteta A320 a sve češći gost na BEG je i A321

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    9. Kao sto kaze @ 6:30 isti slucaj je i u INN smanju se se letivi stranih kompanija ale sve je cesce A320 i A321
      Vase prognose su kao i uvek ne istinite.
      INN-NS

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    10. Sam sebe citiras? O Boze boze

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    11. Ne to nisam napisao a ja se barem nekako potpisem za razliku od nekih ;)
      INN-NS

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    12. Jesi jesi..frekFencije samo ti mozes da napises ;)

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    13. Svako ko se slaze samnom vi mislite da ja to pisem ili ga proglasite nacionalistom
      Nisam nikad sam sebe hvalio kao Anonymous niti imam nameri ili sam sa sobom da se svadjam.
      INN:NS

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    14. U tome je stvar, niko se ne slaze sa tobom jer te niko ne podnosi.

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    15. Mislim da je mnogo vaznije to sto pise nego slovna greska. Dakle i pored smanjenog broja frekvencija, najveci broj kompanija belezi rast, koristeci vece letelice.

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    16. Zivi bili pa videli to cudo gde smanjenje za 20% broja letova donosi povecanje broja putnika u totalu. Na zalost nece biti tako. Kazem na zalost zato sto hocu vise putnika za LYBE I Air serbiu.

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    17. Polako se blizimo realnim brojkama. Ovogodisnji rast vise nece biti dvocifren, naravno... BEG ce realno porasti do 5%

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  11. Is BEG really one of the most expensive airports in Europe for it's size? How does it compare to other airports in the region?

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  12. objavljeno 16. aprila, sa beobuilda. Ana Luković, direktorka delatnosti razvoja i investicija na aerodromu “Nikola Tesla" u vezi novog graničnog prelaza na Terminalu 1: "Trenutno je u procesu tender za izbor izvođača, radovi počinju u maju dok je otvaranje novog prelaza najavljeno za 25. jun ove godine."

    25 jun je malo više od mesec dana od sada, a radovi nisu ni počeli!

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    1. a za produženje C hodnika je rekla: Očekuje se da dozvola za izgradnju novog C hodnika bude izdata do oktobra

      Šta ima da se čeka dozvola od aprila do oktobra, zar nije zakon da se izdaju građevinske dozvole za samo 28 dana!!!

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    2. Neću da branim ministarku ali.. postoji i rok za žalbu. Onda je pitanje da li je projekat gotov i odobren. Iz iskustva znam da nekada izvodjač čeka mesecima na projekat.

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    3. Sta ovi ljudi na BEG rade zimi kad otvaraju prelaz 25.juna ?

      LYKV-LCY

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    4. Kakva ministarka, to je izjavila direktorka sa aerodroma. Pitanje nije da li je projekat gotov i odobren, jer je ta ista direktorka držala prezentaciju medijima pre mesec dana i najavila sve te rokove. Da li je smela da ih najavi da projekat nije gotov i odobren? Ništa nije od građevinskih radova uradila nova ekipa na aerodromu celu prošlu jesen i zimu, a sad će za par nedelja da naprave novi granični prelaz? Neko će biti odgovoran...

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    5. Direktorka razvoja aerodroma je sitna riba. Sve se rešava u ministarstvu.

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    6. Taj prelaz je potpuno nepotreban i samo će dovesti do toga da na oba mesta bude manjak policajaca koji rade na graničnoj kontroli... Ionako kontrola na T2 praktično nikada ne radi punim kapacitetom, ja ne pamtim kada je više od 4-5 šaltera bilo otvoreno u jutarnjem špicu...

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  13. Haha Wizz Air statement is very true.

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  14. That decline in flights is worrying to say the least

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  15. I actually see Wizz expanding out of BEG in the next year, even thought they reduced their operations last year. While the trend of foreign carriers decreasing flight ops is worrisome and will continue, only Wizz can make a come back. What do you guys think, what is future of Wizz in BEG?

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    1. In order to expand to any whatsoever profitable routes out of Belgrade (Tel Aviv, Moscow...), Wizz will have to obtain a Serbian AOC what they're unwilling to do so far.

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    2. Tel Aviv is definitely not a profitable route, look at ASL loads. Maybe they could make TLV work like Larnaca with 2 p/w.

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    3. That is entirely the fault of Air Serbia. Some heads need to be cut at the pricing department. I mean going from BEG, would you pay 250$ to fly Air Serbia or go with the half of that with Pegasus or Aegean, without waking up at 4 AM or arriving there in the middle of the night?

      Secondly, half of the flights have almost got no feed. With the O&D butchered by the more than inedeqaute pricing (to put it mildly), with most of flights seeing no decent feed, it is no wonder that the route is hanging on the ropes. I am sure that Wizz Air could make work TLV as 3/w without any problem.

      On another note, regarding Pegasus, a friend of mine flew yesterday LWO-SAW-BEG and told me that the plane to Belgrade was packed to the rafters, mostly with Turkish citizens.

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    4. I completely agree with everything you said about TLV route when it comes to ASL, but is there really enough O&D between BEG and TLV for 3p/w Wizz flights ( do not forget wizz A320 has like 180 seats)? I know there are certain times of the year when Serbians go to Israel, but year round def not. Also there is only few Serbians living in Israel, and I am sure there is some tourism from Israel to Serbia but its not enough.

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    5. You are forgetting the largest of the two markets out-there which is the Israeli one and the Israeli tourists coming to Serbia. Israelis are keen travellers and besides visiting Serbia Belgrade could be their starting point for other trips around Europe, especially that Wizz Air isn't flying to their destination №1 in the region which is Croatia.

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    6. Yea, and please dont tell me that people will fly to BEG with Wizz and then go with ASL or bus to Croatia. There are direct flights with both LY and Croatia airlines

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  16. ZAG BEG danas 25 pax, iso je 733 yu-and

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    1. when will the new ATR come into service is the real question after reading this. With the ATR this is STILL catastrophic load, but ASL will survive. With the Boeing this is hilarious if of course the load posted is true.

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  17. Svaki u po jednom redu, masala. Zbogom lijepa pameti!

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  18. Is there any chances that you have the Aegean's numbers?
    Thank you in advance!

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