|Foreign airlines register 3% passenger decline in Belgrade|
The busiest foreign carriers operating flights to Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport have recorded mixed results during the first half of the year as they face increased competition, which has been accompanied by a reduction in the number of operated flights. Wizz Air, which once boasted a notable presence in the Serbian capital, has seen its passenger number continue to slide. Swiss International Air Lines also saw a slight decrease in its figures, while Montenegro Airlines and Lufthansa bucked the trend. Overall, foreign carriers handled 991.964 passengers on their flights to and from the Serbian capital during the first half of the year, down 3% compared to the same period in 2014. They now account for 46.4% of all passengers passing through the airport, a decrease of 5%, having been surpassed by Air Serbia which now handles the majority of travellers.
Wizz Air, which has a base in Belgrade, remains the busiest foreign carrier in the city. However, its passenger numbers have been declining for over a year now, ever since the airline decided to rationalise its operations, blaming airport favouritism and hidden subsidies granted to Air Serbia. The low cost carrier welcomed 193.057 passengers on board its aircraft bound to and from Belgrade during the January - June period, a decrease of 11.4% compared to last year. The airline’s passenger share has now slumped to just 9% and has been accompanied by a further decline in the number of operated flights. Despite reducing its operations to Belgrade, Lufthansa has continued to record growth on its services to the Serbian capital. The airline handled 136.000 travellers, up from last year’s 126.336, or an increase of 7.6%. In a statement earlier this month, the German airline said it expects further positive developments on the Serbian market and for passenger growth to continue despite reduced capacities.
Busiest foreign carriers at Belgrade Airport H1
|Wizz Air||193.057||▼ 11.4|
|Montenegro Airlines||113.166||▲ 6.0|
|Swiss International||92.143||▼ 0.3|
Montenegro Airlines remains the most frequent airline in Belgrade out of all the foreign carriers and has positioned itself as the fourth busiest in the country, handling 113.166 passengers on 1.529 flights during the first six month, an increase of 6%. Swiss International Air Lines, which maintains services from Zurich and Geneva to Belgrade, shed 297 passengers compared to last year. Common to almost all foreign airlines is the sharp decline in the number of operated flights. The trend is expected to continue this winter as Swiss turns its Geneva service into seasonal summer flights only, effectively cancelling the route during the winter months. In addition, LOT recently cancelled its Warsaw service on a temporary basis until January 2016. Furthermore, this winter will see Air Serbia cut frequencies to several destinations and terminate flights to Budapest and Larnaca, while a handful of other carriers, including Lufthansa and easyJet will further reduce their operations to the Serbian capital.
Most frequent foreign carriers at Belgrade Airport H2
|Airline||Flight ops.||Change (%)|
|Montenegro Airlines||1.529||▲ 11.9|
|Wizz Air||1.275||▼ 16.2|
|Austrian Airlines||910||▼ 17.6|
|Turkish Airlines||799||▼ 11.8|
|Swiss Int. Air Lines||706||▼ 11.0|