|Main airports in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia see September growth|
The airports in Belgrade, Zagreb and Sarajevo have all seen their passenger numbers grow in September, with the trio ending the third quarter of the year with record results. During the month, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport saw a modest improvement on last year, returning to positive territory following August's slump. It welcomed 491.656 travellers through its doors, an increase of 1.3% compared to the same month last year. This is despite a decline in the number of operated flights to the Serbian capital, as foreign carriers continue to cut back on their operations. The airport registered 5.424 arrivals and departures, down 1.7%. Overall, it handled a record 3.768.428 passengers during the first three quarters of the year, representing an increase of 5% compared to the same period in 2014. Despite the record numbers, Belgrade Airport will have to deal with the loss of three routes this month as Air Serbia ends its operations to Budapest and Larnaca, while Swiss International Air Lines ceases its Geneva service. Meanwhile, the French Ambassador to Serbia, Christine Moro, last week said that both Bouygues and Vinci are interested in the potential concession of the airport. Bouygues is one of the leading partners in the consortium managing Zagreb Airport.
Croatia's busiest airport continued its run of good results in September by handling 271.647 passengers, an improvement of 8.1%. Similar to its Serbian counterpart, Zagreb also experienced a decline in the number of flight operations, primarily as a result of its biggest customer - Croatia Airlines. The airport registered 3.572 arrivals and departures, which is down 1.7% on the same month last year. During September, Brussels Airlines launched six weekly flights from the Belgian capital to Zagreb. The carrier says it hopes the service will cater for both holidaymakers and businesspeople. During the first eight months of the year, 140.000 Belgians visited Croatia. The country's main airport welcomed a total of 1.993.994 travellers during the first three quarters of 2015, up 6.9%.
Finally, Sarajevo Airport was the only from the three to see double digit growth in September and throughout the entire duration of the third quarter. The airport handled a record 79.120 travellers, an increase of 11.2%, with Turkish Airlines continuing to maintain its position as the dominant carrier. So far this year, 621.689 passengers used the airport's services, representing an impressive improvement of 12%. The airport recently began tender procedures for the construction of a rapid exit taxiway. This provides aircraft with the opportunity to vacate the runway at higher speed, permitting another to land or depart in a shorter space of time. Work on the taxiway will begin next year. The investment is valued at two million euros and is the first in a series of infrastructural upgrades at the airport, which includes the expansion of the apron in 2016, as well as the planned overhaul of the runway in 2017.