Niš Constantine the Great Airport could add up to five new routes in 2017, following on from a record year. According to the mayor of Niš, Darko Bulatović, flights to Paris, Barcelona, Malta, Podgorica and Tivat are all being considered, as well as possible summer charters to Turkey. Mr Bulatović ruled out the possibility of additional new services being added by the end of the year, with exception to those already announced by Ryanair (Weeze, Bratislava and Bergamo), which will commence at the end of October. "By the end of this year a total of nine routes will be on offer from Niš Airport. We will see about next year. We are planning Paris, Barcelona and Malta, and we will try adding some flights to Montenegro. We are also in talks with our Turkish friends for assistance".
It was previously reported that local authorities had entered talks with Ryanair over a possible service to Malta. Earlier this month, Wizz Air announced plans to launch flights from Belgrade to the island nation in 2017, joining Air Serbia on the route. Authorities have also been in talks with the likes of easyJet, Eurowings, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Pegasus Airlines over the past few months. Meanwhile, the General Manager of Niš Airport, Vladica Djurdjanović, has once again ruled out the possibility of the national carrier, Air Serbia, introducing services from the south-east Serbian city. "Since Air Serbia is building a hub in Belgrade, I do not think it is commercially viable for them to fly to Niš. We have never insisted on it, because we would have to subsidise the losses. Air Serbia would never achieve profitability on this route", Mr Djurdjanović said.
Niš is trying to attract low cost carriers with its three euro charge for handling, landing and passenger services, a policy which has proven successful in drawing both Wizz Air and Ryanair to the once sleepy airport. Due to increased traffic and the planned arrival of new carriers, Niš Airport has recently begun tender procedures aimed at developing project documentation for the expansion of its passenger terminal. The airport is looking at expanding both check-in and security areas. Over the past eight months, Niš Airport handled a record 50.554 passengers compared to the 36.258 travellers handled during the whole of 2015.