Friday, April 22, 2016

Belgrade Airport privatisation process to begin


The Serbian government has accepted a bid by the French consultancy company Lazard Freres SAS to provide management consulting services in the process of privatising the country's largest airport. The Serbian Ministry for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure said the deal with the consultancy firm, to be inked next week, will formally mark the start of the airport's privatisation process. "Early next week, an agreement will be signed with Lazard Freres SAS, after which an initial meeting will take place between members of the government, the airport and the selected advisor in order for the teams to get acquainted and prepare for the successful completion of the project plan", the ministry said. Lazard will charge 1.27 million euros for its consulting services and an additional 3.22 million for the successful conclusion of the privatisation process.

Lazard will also advise whether the airport should be fully privatised or put up for concession. The Serbian government has expressed hope to sell the airport for 500 million euros, however, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said the state should be more realistic with its expectations. For comparisons sake, Germany's Fraport purchased a 75.5% stake in Ljubljana Airport's operator for 144.1 million euros, and later paid 61.75 euros per share for the remaining 24.5% in the operator. The French concession and construction company Vinci has previously shown interest in vying for a concession of Belgrade Airport. In November 2014, the two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of joint projects. The MoU was also co-signed by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and his Serbian counterpart. Vinci Airports Chairman, Nicolas Notebaert, has said, "Vinci Airports have an ambition to cooperate on the development of Belgrade Airport and other Serbian airports. We are interested in long-term partnerships". In 2014, Vinci lost out in a bid to acquire a majority stake in Ljubljana Airport.

Several parties have previously expressed their interest in taking part in a Belgrade Airport concession. Among them were the Greek based Copelouzos Group and the EBRD. In the summer of 2014, two companies from the United Arab Emirates, one of which is Arabtec Holding, the Persian Gulf’s largest construction company, expressed interest in taking part in a potential concession. However, it is believed that awarding control of the country’s main airport to a company from the Middle East, in addition to Etihad Airways’ part-ownership of Serbia’s national carrier, would not be looked upon favourably by the European Union, which Serbia is aspiring to join. The Serbian government holds an 83.2% stake in the airport which has 1.806 employees. Belgrade Airport ahndled a record 4.77 million passengers last year and is expected to post a net profit of 26 million euros.

70 comments:

  1. I used BEG for the first time last year. I found it to be a mixed bag, the quiet area with the sofas was very nice (I was connecting and had a couple of hours to kill) but the main hall with the awful cafe was dire (barely any hot food and flies on the pastries) with a miserable ambiance. I actually walked the entire length of the airside terminal twice because I couldn't believe that there was no real "hub". It felt like being in a bus station rather than an airport.

    I hope that this privatisation changes that.

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    1. I have a different experience. The airport is quite ok. It has free wifi, the seats have power and usb sockets to recharge tablet batteries, it is bright because all the walls are glass big duty free and a number of stores and overall it is very easy to use. What I think they do need is a fast food place.

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    2. Alot is left to be desired at BEG especially now since it has become a hub for a growing JU. Plenty of opportunities lost by allowing more (affordable) retail. Food outlets is basic and understocked for an airport of its size. Its taken some time to finally get a cafe with a smoking area sorted, who knows, in another couple of years a new food outlet will come, even they may surprise us and refurbish the A7-A10 gate areas. Arrivals is still a zoo, taxi is still problematic, parking...no comment! wifi doesnt work the best and loses coverage alot. But things have improved but not as quickly as it should have.

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    3. The free wifi is a myth. Unless you have Telenor and you can connect via the password you can't really use the internet there.

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    4. ^ Not true. There is a new free wifi connection offered by the airport for several months now on top of existing Telenor and Telekon wifi.

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    5. And not a single smoking cabin in the entire airport!

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    6. Yes which is why I said that it's a myth that there is free wifi. Have you tried connecting onto it? Good luck with that.

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    7. ^ That's not the airport's issue. The problem is with the law on smoking in public and enclosed spaces which doesn't regulate smoking rooms. That's why they built a cafe with a terrace where smoking is allowed.

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    8. Anon 9:08AM.
      I do agree with your comment. Contrary yours first by pass that terminal, in next three days will be my seventy third departures to Australia alone in last nearly fifty years since first disembark. Since middle eights steadily upgraded till this days. Hope this time same consortium will make dill with Serbian government. Let hope to see new terminals. Passengers and cargo terminals, include more facility vill be build in next four years. Just than Nikola Tesla International will be equally to any airport in Europe. Hope construction will be soon. Rodney & Care team.✈

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    9. Nobody is saying that there has been no improvement over the years, but a lot of opportunities have been missed. Not to mention corruption, nepotism, mismanagement, etc. The exit path from the arrivals hall to the parking area is atrocious. And then you have to push your cart (through the taxi mafia) full of luggage up a relatively steep hill to the parking lot.

      -- Charlie

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    10. I've been through BEG several times (once with a 7h wait), and it's a decent airport, also continuously improving.

      Sure, food options are sparse, but at least it wasn't outrageously expensive as it some places.

      One non-obvious thing I'd like to see improved is access to the Aviation Museum. While only 400m from the building, getting there is a hassle (requires walking along a major road, no signposts), so nobody goes. It's a great distraction for connections of 3-5h, too long to wait out in the terminal, but not quite long enough to make go to the city and back.

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  2. Shares have been falling down for a long time now... Better sooner than later

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  3. The sooner the better.

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  4. My guess is the French will buy them.

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  5. Where is Vinci present in the region?

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  6. They will probably choose privatization, which I don't think is the best way forward. They should the same thing Zagreb and Skopje did and offer them a concession.

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  7. Finally. Sell it to someone that can manage it.

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  8. I wonder if they will sell the airport but will keep the one terminal or will they make such an agreement with future owner for one terminal to be given to JU.

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  9. OT
    Aegean:

    since this is a slow news day
    question to the few A3 fanboys on here:

    Want to book a flight in GoLight but want to add baggage (dont need the flex option, its a nice rip off)
    Is that really possible only afterwards??? so annoying!

    Is the online option of adding 20€ baggage also possible if u booked through lets say expedia & Co.?

    Thanks

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    1. Why is it a slow news day? Because you are not interested in the topic?

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    2. It's a slow day because there aren't that many comment on here.

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  10. Wherever you turn, Lazard shows up. Commissions, commissions, lovely commissions...

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    1. And its general manager is a former finance minister and deputy pm from Serbia :D

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  11. What about Fraport? Aren't they interested?

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    1. When Fraport bought Ljubljana they said they were not interested in any other airport in the region and ex-Yu. So unless something has changed I doubt it.

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    2. It's strange, they also manage both VAR and BOJ...

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  12. OT - Austrian is restarting LED, JU will have to compete hard on that route

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    1. Not to mention that they are after the same market, that is LED-Balkans/Middle East.

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    2. Actually JU is after P2P travel on that route. It is the buisest unserved destination in Europe from LED.

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    3. An airline that has a hub system in place is after both p2p and transfer passengers.

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    4. Very bad news for Croatia Airlines.

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    5. OU should immediately give up on LED, they will get butchered by JU and OS!

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    6. Austrian is slowly being pushed out of Ex Yu by Air Serbia expansion. Adding new long haul routes out of BEG will further displace OS. Austrian role in the Balkans will be reduced to low cost operator in the future.

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    7. Anonymous 3:29 PM
      LOL!
      I read some crazy stuff here but yours is some of the nuttiest!

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    8. Hahahahahhaah yeah, those two night flights to SOF and OTP have really harmed OS and their four daily flights. hahaha

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    9. Hahaha sooo funny... not really, Vienna was not built into large hub overnight and Belgrade will not suddenly become larger hub overnight. But keep laughing, let your guard down, keep thinking VIE has strategic advantages for connecting the region over BEG...

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    10. Hmm it does, less backtracking from places like Hungary, Romania, Bosnia, Croatia... but sure, keep telling yourself that it doesn't.

      VIE was built into what it is today because it had a visionary management both on top of the airport and its main airline. We have neither one.

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    11. Lufthansa has also done a better job with OS than EY has done with JU.

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    12. HAHAHA come on!!! You can't believe that. EY got JU 8 A319 and 2 A320 plus an A330 and a CRJ!!! OS got some old B767 hahah

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    13. Backtracking didn't stop TK when they have lower prices and cost. Does Austrian have lower cost than Air Serbia?

      OS and VIE growth in the region was built on breakup of Yu and JAT not some visionary miracle management.

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    14. Then why didn't MA, OK or AZ managed to succeed in the region like OS did? They all had a great presence at some point, especially AZ. The fact that OS survived and that they kept on becoming strong only goes to indicate that they needed a good and visionary management to do it.

      Great companies do not become great by accident. They become that because of a visionary management. Look at EK.

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    15. Prestani da lupetas oni su dva puta bankrotirali otkako se raspala Jugoslavija. Dok stoje iza njih nemacke drzave nece propasti ali oni nisu primer uspesnog poslovanja u avio sektoru.

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    16. Autraian nije bankrotirao ni jednom, pa lupaš zapravo ti. Molim da mi pokažeš kada je to Austrian bankrotirao?

      Jeste vi normalni. Uspoređujete Air Serbiju sa Austrianom.

      Austrian
      - svakodnevnih letova u regiji: 30 letova na 16 destinacija dnevno,
      - 4 puta veću flotu od Air Serbia, - 4 puta više putnika,
      - 11 širokotrupaca,
      - 15 naručenih aviona

      Stvarno nije normalno to uspoređivati. Pa Austrijan je daleko bliže Etihadu i po broju putnika i floti, nego što je Air Serbia Austrianu.

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    17. Bio je ogroman Swissair, još je bio veći Pan Am pa su svi riknuli.

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    18. Istina. Ali je ovakvih minijaturnih ko Air Serbija bilo još daleko više.

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    19. Taj isti Swissair je reinkarniran zahvaljujuci LH. EY je imao priliku da reinkarnira stari JAT kroz Jat pa vidimo sta i kako su uradili.

      Isto tako, LH je odradila fenomenalan posao sa OS.

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  13. Just to add, the aforementioned "consulting services in the process of privatising the country's largest airport" will take two years, according to the contract.

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    1. That's written in the airport's official announcement yesterday, maybe admin missed that sentence.

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    2. They will sell it by the end of the year.

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    3. no, they'll sell it by september

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  14. Ovo je odlicno resenje za Aerodrom da ih preuzme Vinci i da se napravi novi T3 i nova pista i veci Kargo centar posto on stalno raste .
    A na T3 bi bilo lepo da ima jedna Terase da moze da se gleda .
    INN-NS

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    1. "new runways" for an airport that tries to reach 5 million passengers a year?

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    2. Nova Pista ne nove Piste .
      Da Aerodrom mora da se siri nece stalno da ostane na istom.
      INN-NS

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  15. Everything has been said by now. Privatization is late by 2-3 years. New terminal is required as soon as possible.

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  16. Дечко ТзарApril 22, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    OT: If the leaked Air Serbia A330 conversion schedule is correct, A330 YU-ARA will have acceptance flight in Air Serbia livery on April 24 in Abu Dhabi. On May 11 it will be ferried to Belgrade where it will be until May 13, to be reurned to Abu Dhabi for cabin work. Final ferry of completed aircraft to Belgrade is planned on June 8. Get your cameras ready!

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    1. So they'll have like less than two weeks to get accustomed to the aircraft before it starts services to New York?

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    2. Pilots already had training and experience with Alitalia and FAs in Abu Dhabi, they are ready.

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    3. Da Piloti su bili u Rimu a bice i u te 2 nedelje promotivnih letova nekoliko da se vidi u Evropi A332 sto je dobro za promociju.
      INN-NS

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  17. FINALLY!!! Better late than never, ASL will pay some taxes to the airport!!

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  18. Sell to a french company or forget your EU-membership -a good example of European values.
    Disgusting !

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    1. +1
      Double standards.

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    2. Well... sell NIS to Russian company and get zilch.
      I'm not favouring any side but when you are a small country that's what happens.you (try) to buy favours and hope the other side honours the deal

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    3. Nothing wrong with French. If they allow largest customer to keep growing, if they allow investments from China and UAE, things will look good for BEG.

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    4. ^If,if,if.
      Why should Chinese and Arabs invest any cent in something which has already gone to their French competitors?
      Its like dating a married woman.

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    5. @ Anonymous April 23, 2016 at 2:24 AM
      To be honest - there is nothing better than dating a married women ;)

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  19. Nema vise odpisivanja dugova Air Serbiji. Wellcome to real economy

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    1. Koji je ovo put da se "definitivno" ide u privatizaciju? Nije li tako bilo i prije 4 godine, i prije 2? Zašto bi sad bilo drugačije?

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    2. Anonymous April 22, 2016 at 10:42 PM
      +1000

      Delete

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