|Belgrade Airport halves expected growth rate for 2015|
Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has revised its growth forecast for 2015 and is now expected to handle between 4.8 and 4.9 million passengers by year's end. While the figure represents its busiest year on record, the growth rate has been halved compared to the management's initial estimates. "This year we will record growth of up to 5%, between 4.8 and 4.9 million passengers", the airport's Managing Director, Saša Vlaisavljević, says. Earlier this year, Mr Vlaisavljević predicated the airport would see 10% growth in 2015. The airport has been affected by a decline in the number of flights operated by foreign carriers over the past few months, although there were still more aircraft movements during the January - October period compared to the same time last year.
Belgrade Airport saw its passenger numbers decline in October. It welcomed 401.542 travellers through its doors, a decrease of 1.3% compared to the same month last year. Furthermore, the airport registered a reduction in the number of operated flights during the month, with 4.870 take-offs and landings, down from 4.908 in October 2014, or a decline of 0.8%. Overall, this year, Nikola Tesla Airport handled 4.169.970 passengers, an increase of 4.3%. During the month, the airport handled its four-millionth traveller over two weeks ahead of last year. While flight operations declined in October, the airport managed to record over 50.000 aircraft movements within a ten month period for the first time in its history. It has now registered 50.489 operations, up 1.4% on 2014. At the same time, the amount of processed commercial freight doubled to 1.192.905 kg.
Despite some negative trends over the past few months, Mr Vlasisavljević, who previously managed Jat Airways, says the airport will see record profit this year. "We will record profit of over 23 million euros, which, together with 2014, is a new record", Mr Vlaisavljević notes. The airport expects that the introduction of transatlantic flights will help fuel growth in 2016. As this year comes to a close, monthly figures at the former Yugoslavia's busiest airport are expected to continue to record negative growth since foreign carriers have reduced their operations to the Serbian capital and Air Serbia has scaled back its network this winter season.
|Belgrade Airport plans to install five auto bag drop kiosks|
Meanwhile, Belgrade plans to purchase five automated baggage drop-off kiosks next year, becoming the first EX-YU airport to offer the service. The self service product allows passengers to check-in their baggage within seconds. The new kiosks will be located in the expanded check-in area at the airport, which will also include an additional seven traditional check-in desks. The airport is overhauling 700 square metres of space for the extended check-in area. A tender to select a contractor to adapt the area closes in February 2016. Belgrade Airport embarked on a forty million euro expansion and overhaul project this year with the aim to increase capacity by 35%.