Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has seen its passenger numbers improve in May following two consecutive months of declining figures. Serbia's main airport welcomed some 416.322 passengers last month, up 2.5% on May 2015. It anticipates posting stronger growth this June, with Air Serbia to introduce five new routes including Hamburg, Kiev, New York, Ohrid and St. Petersburg. Furthermore, the majority of the carrier's frequency upgrades will come into effect during the month. So far this year, Nikola Tesla Airport handled 1.651.670 travellers, which is still down 1.5% on the same period last year. While the airport did see its figures improve in February, its numbers have been declining since October 2015, primarily as a result of Air Serbia's reduced operations during the winter.
Belgrade Airport's General Manager, Saša Vlaisavljević, said, "The start of the summer season will mark a significant increase in passenger numbers. It is estimated that charter services alone will cater for more than 250.000 passengers, an increase of 15%". He added, "There is a lot of work ahead of us, but we are fully prepared. In addition to charters, we are also focusing on nonstop services to the United States which Air Serbia will launch in three weeks". This year, the number of leisure flights between Belgrade and Greece will grow by 50%. New operator Ellin Air will join Air Serbia's dedicated charter brand Aviolet, as well Aegean Airlines, on charters to fifteen cities in the country. In addition, the number of holiday flights to Spain will double. New charter destinations served from the Serbian capital this summer include Parga, Lefkada, Samos and Lemnos in Greece, Burgas in Bulgaria, as well as the Calabria region in Italy and Tehran in Iran. Due to strong demand, a number of scheduled services will also see the addition of charter flights. These include Tivat, Athens, Thessaloniki and Barcelona. Belgrade Airport estimates handling a record five million passengers by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, work on the overhaul of Belgrade Airport's facilities are progressing, with construction of an extended check-in area currently being carried out. The airport is overhauling 700 square metres of space to make way for eight additional check-in desks, as well as self check-in kiosks. Furthermore, the airport will soon begin work on overhauling its Terminal 1 building. All of the construction work is being financed by the airport. It recorded a net profit of four million euros, as well as revenue of 14.8 million euros, during the first quarter of the year. Revenue growth was generated by cargo services, the lease of commercial space and the passenger service tax. Overall, the airport's financial results improved 3% on last year.