Sunday, October 16, 2016

EX-YU airports see cargo traffic potential


Airports across the former Yugoslavia are putting a greater emphasis on cargo flights as a source of additional revenue. Zagreb Airport plans to challenge Ljubljana in the freight transport sector over the coming years, while Niš Airport in south-eastern Serbia is set to see its first scheduled cargo flights by the end of the month. Over the past three years, both Belgrade and Zagreb have seen a notable rise in cargo traffic, mostly as a result of the export of arms to the Middle East, while both Tuzla and Banja Luka have benefited from the export of meat and animal products to Turkey.

Belgrade Airport handles the greatest volume of cargo traffic in the former Yugoslavia. It is served by Turkish Airlines Cargo, European Air Transport and Swiftair on a regular basis, as well as a number of other carriers running ad-hoc charters. Starting October 31, Turkish Airlines Cargo will launch scheduled freighter services from Istanbul to Niš Constantine the Great Airport, the "eKapija" portal has learned. Previously, a promotional flight will operate on October 17. The airport, which already handles chartered freighter services, recently acquired a cargo loader. "We will have two to three weekly cargo flights next year. We need to have a substantial amount of cargo traffic in order to be financially sustainable for the city and self-sustainable by 2018", the head of the Regional Development Agency, Bojan Avramović, said concerning Niš Airport.

Ljubljana is second in terms of cargo traffic and it plans to continue pursuing this segment. Ljubljana Airport is used as the south-east European hub for DHL and UPS. "Last year we successfully implemented several projects with DHL and TNT, which will bear results this year and next. DHL has started flying to Ljubljana with a large Airbus A300 aircraft, while we are close to finalising a deal with TNT, which was purchased by FedEx, to move its operations to the airport", Ljubljana’s General Manager, Zmago Skobir, said recently. However, Zagreb Airport aims to challenge its Slovenian counterpart. Jacques Feron, the General Manager of Zagreb Airport, recently said the current passenger terminal, which will be closed in March 2017 following the opening of a new facility, will be used for freight storage and office space. Mr Feron said the airport will put a greater focus on cargo operations after the new terminal is completed. He added that despite its larger size, Zagreb lags behind Ljubljana in terms of cargo operations. According to Mr Feron, there is great potential in developing cargo traffic due to the airport's location and general demand. Zagreb Airport handled 9.225 tonnes of cargo in 2015, compared to Ljubljana's 10.140 tonnes.

This June, Turkish Airlines Cargo commenced scheduled operations from Istanbul to Tuzla Airport in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the export of meat and animal products. The carrier is expected to operate flights until November 30. “By the end of November, we anticipate exporting 5.700 tonnes of meat to Turkey on these flights. Over the past few months, we have built a cold storage facility which has the capacity to accommodate 65 tonnes of meat”, the General Manager of Tuzla Airport, Rifet Karasalihović, said. Banja Luka Airport has also put a greater focus on cargo operations. From November 2014 until mid-2016, it recorded 78 cargo flights, which were used for the export of 3.096 tonnes of frozen meat products. As part of its planned expansion, Banja Luka Airport will build a new cargo facility at the airport. “The cargo facility is the focus of the investment and will cater for requirements made by carriers concerning the protection and special conditions necessary for freight transport”, the CEO of operator Airports of Republika Srpska, Miroslav Janjić, said.

The operator of Macedonia's two international airports, Turkey's TAV, is still considering whether to build a cargo terminal in Štip, in the country's north-east as outlined in the concession agreement with the Macedonian government several years ago. Under the agreement, the cargo airport should be completed by 2020. TAV Holding CEO, Sani Sener, said last year that the company is ready to start construction promptly after receiving the inspection results on air currents and wind directions. The construction of the cargo airport has been delayed for several years because experts have not completed the meteorology study on wind currents in the Štip and Sveti Nikole region. This study should show where the ideal and safest location for the construction of a runway  would be and whether the region is suitable for such an airport.

63 comments:

  1. Very interesting. Hopefully the airports use their geographical location to their advantage.

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  2. Wow so INI getting TK Cargo flight too. Nice!

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    1. Do you know witch aircraft will operate thoses flughts to INI?

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    2. Can an A330 land in Nis?

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    3. If an IL-76 can then I am sure an A330 can as well.

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  3. I don't think they will ever build the airport in Štip. Why not develop cargo traffic at Skopje instead? It would less expensive.

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    1. and "the guy from Stip" will be in jail til then

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  4. Does Turkish Cargo still fly to Sarajevo?

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  5. Nuce to see an article about cargo :)

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    1. +1

      There are still some cargo operators in exyu and vicinity, but only news worthy articles are about, OU, JU and JP appareantly.

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  6. Not a bad move for ZAG to develop old terminal for cargo. I don't think there are any scheduled cargo flights at Zagreb at the moment.

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    1. Of course thera are. 5 regular routes out of which Istanbul-Zagreb-Paris iz with A300 and DHL 757.

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  7. Do they still plan on building a cargo center in Belgrade?

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  8. There is a lot of room to develop in this sector. Airports in ex-Yu have only recently begun developing in the freight traffic market. I think it is a very good idea to develop smaller airports which are struggling to attract any passengers (and there are a lot of them in ex-Yu) into cargo airports.

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    1. It is not that easy. You can't just build an airport in the middle of nowhere and expect cargo airlines to flock there. You have to have supporting infrastructure, be close to major city centres so the cargo that is transported does not have to travel for too long by road or rail. That's why this Stip Airport idea makes absolutely no sense. It would have been better if they just invested in Skopje's cargo capabilities.

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  9. Congrats to Nis for getting TK freighter flights. The guy's statement also gives us an idea about the airport's finances.

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  10. Just that we are aware of what quantities we talk here
    Largest Cargo Airport HKG with 4'422'227 tons where LJU stands at 10'000 tons
    Frankfurt at 2'076'734 tons
    10000 tons is roughly 27 tons a day
    Where the proportion in passengers between LJU and HKG is 1:45, in cargo tonnage it is 1:442
    Unless a huge production place is being relocated to the region (such as for example Inditex in ZAZ) I dont see a real potential for a cargo airport
    U need cargo flows to operate a cargo airport. However the economies in the Balkans are so weak, we are moons away fm those flows moved in Western Europe, North America or Asia

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    1. +1 Completely agree

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    2. @JU520 BEGLAXOctober 16, 2016 at 11:06 AM

      Zagreb Airport handled around 12500 tons at most, but cargo volume went down after 2012, no idea why.

      Old terminal will be converted in to large bonded warehouse and cargo terminal with capacity of around 250 000 tons per year.

      There are plans to knock down old post and cargo terminal and few other buildings adjacent and build a proper cargo terminal there once 100 000 ton cargo capacity has be reached.

      Zagreb Airport can handle around 300-320 000 tons of cargo, that's the potential capacity, unlikely to be reached before 2030.

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    3. A problem nowadays is also that you can not determine full aircargo flow of a country since large airfreight forwarding agents such as Schenker, Kuehne Nagel, DHL move cargo to their hubs and fly it fm there. We assume that in Switzerland apx 1/3 of all airfreight export are moved this way. They dont show on any statistic since customs files them in CH under road export

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    4. @JU520 BEGLAXOctober 17, 2016 at 8:57 AM

      You can only assume the potential capacity of an airport based on infrastructure, connectivity and importance of the economic city. Zagreb being mid sized city between 500 000 and 1 million and in relatively integrated road and rail network should perform ok, long term performance and market should correspond to similar sized cities such as Lyon, Valencia, Krakow or Dortmund/Dusseldorf.

      However it'll largely dependent on how the current management wants to develop the airport and its cargo hub. Zagreb handled 12500 Tons in 2012 and even 15000 tons in late 80s, however to attain these numbers any time soon new carriers must be invited in, ideally UPS, FEDEX, DHL and number of smaller operators.

      Airport could theoretically handle 30-32000 tons by 2020 and 100 000 tons by 2025, but airport management must work on it.
      Zagreb and Croatia have the infrastructure comparable to any western European country, road infrastructure that is almost completed consisting of 1600km of motorways and 500km~ of fast roads. Rail infrastructure that is undergoing major infrastructure improvements including electrification of all important lines and improvements in rail speeds, with new High Speed Rail planned between Rijeka and Zagreb and Hungarian border. Zagreb - Slavnski Bord - Osijek line is already fully electrified and maximum speeds risen to 185km with 160kmph permitted on entire line.

      Line to Varazdin, Karlovac, Sisak, Bjelovar and line between Varazdin - Koprivnica - Bjelovar - Osijek are also getting all important upgrades and speed increases, electrification and 2nd track where needed.

      Communication and telephony has received significant improvements too. All these are important for a small country should it wish to remain competitive and attract international clients and foreign investments.

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    5. I m very satisfied in how Croatia has invested in infrastructure. I hope this will yield out same way as it does already in tourism. Croatia is on a good way. Lets hope for the good :-)

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  11. Will TK Cargo operate flight to both BEG and INI?

    INI flights could cover both SOF and SKP.

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    1. http://www.blic.rs/vesti/drustvo/mihajlovic-u-ponedeljak-prvi-kargo-avion-iz-turske-slece-u-nis/l0ey8vw

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    2. So flights will start tommorow

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    3. Tomorrow will be just one flight and then none until October 31, when they start operating on a regular basis.

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  12. No doubt, INI is the most successful airport in 2016! They went from a ghost town to having nine destinations served by both Wizz Air and Ryanair. They will announce another carrier by the end of the month plus these cargo flights operated by TK!

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  13. I would like to see BEG take over as main Balkan hub for UPS, Fedex, TNT, and other courier and shipping companies. From BEG you have the best and most connections to most of the Balkan cities. Plus Highway and rail networks are being improved.

    This area, as well as passenger travel is where Serbia should really concentrate as a national goal (many people can be employed in this sector) for economic development. Air Serbia carrying people, and in partnership with shipping companies carrying products and goods. No one can do it faster in the Balkans than Air Serbia.

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    1. Highway and rail networks improved in Serbia, are you kidding? And Air Serbia can just sink as fast as it sailed, very second EY considers it necessary. And before daydreaming of BEG as some hub for Balkans for cargo, Serbia should join WTO, and current "leaders" obviously doesn'consider it necessary

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    2. Are you saying that the highway network has not improved over the last few years? Why would EY leave if they are making money from their deal with Air Serbia? Serbia will enter WTO this or next year.
      Boom, all your arguments shoot down.

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    3. I don't rhink Etihad is going anywhere

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/07/etihad-plans-long-term-partnership-with.html

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    4. LJU was chosen about ten years or so ago over ZAG or BEG because ZAG and BEG were in disarray. And Adria had the best Ex-yu network. But time have now changed.

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    5. 1. Everywhere you go from Serbia, you have a "hard" border (no Schengen). None of the express shippers (UPS, DHL, TNT) will be happy to transfer the goods by land through these borders. Highway or not, it's not an option.

      2. DHL and other companies are rarely transporting cargo on passenger aircraft. Also don't see how you could carry passengers at a decent load factor as well as cargo on ATR72.

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    6. An. 1:36
      1.Serbia doesn't have highway "network". It has highway Beg-Nis, pretty the same as 30 years ago. Few kilometres from Nis to the East and South cannot exactly be called improvement. In addition to that, railway network is absolutely the WORST and the slowest in geographical Europe, and is opposite to improved-it's in worse shape than in 19th century. So, BOOM, my first argument firmly stays.
      2. Correct, EY is making money in JU, on expense of Serbian tax payers, not because JU is healthy business. And as I said before, very second EY estimates it makes no more money, or not enough money with JU, it leaves, and soap baloon makes BOOM, the same as your second argument.
      3.Telling me my argument about the WTO is shut down because of PREDICTION, probably based on crystall ball vision, is nothinges but cheerleader fan boy attitude which doesn't even deserve the third "boom".
      4. And with this I discontinue any further arguing with you, as it''s under my level

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    7. BEG is not ready for this. Besides there are already important cargo hubs in FRA, LGG, CGN, LUX, LEJ. No need for another one covering the region. LEJ is only 1100km away from BEG.

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    8. Even BOJ have bigger cargo than BEG. Stop daydreaming.

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    9. Interesting article about BEG being a cargo hub:

      http://www.beg.aero/pdf_convert.php?jezik=en&go=vest&ID_uniq=6261

      It´s a bit immature and old, some thing are true.

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  14. Is MNG Cargo still flying to Banja Luka?

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    1. MNG stopped flying there at the end of 2014. All indications suggest there will be no such cargo business at BNX in the next at least ten years.

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    2. It was silly to expect significant but stable airfreight before developing stable passenger traffic.

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  15. "Over the past three years, both Belgrade and Zagreb have seen a notable rise in cargo traffic, mostly as a result of the export of arms to the Middle East, while both Tuzla and Banja Luka have benefited from the export of meat and animal products to Turkey."

    If this is true with respect to Zagreb & Belgrade, and if it is, something tells me they are exporting weapons different sides in the conflict...then I say; kudos to Tuzla and Banja Luka! Zagreb and Belgrade; shame on you!

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    1. It is very true and they are both arming the same side

      http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/making-a-killing-the-1-2-billion-euros-arms-pipeline-to-middle-east-07-26-2016

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    2. OT: Aegean uvodi liniju za Zagreb via Dubrovnik od 3.6.2017.

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    3. Anonymous 4:40, sezonsku ili cjelogodišnju?

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    4. Anonymous 4.50 , prema prvim info, sezonska

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    5. Why should Belgrade and Zagreb be ashamed? If those guys don't buy it from us then they will from someone else.
      Also, Serbia sold the weapons to Saudi Arabia, it's not our problem what they do with it later on. ;)

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    6. What a very stupid logic, Nemjee. I'm speachless.

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    7. Well, thank God everyone is entitled to his own opinion. At the end of the day, selling weapons has always been a very lucrative business, it's a fact of life.

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    8. Nemjee is right in regards to the fact that Serbia sells its weapons to either Gulf countries, Turkey or US which then facilitate this transfer to Al Nusra and such. Other countries like Croatia, Bulgaria, and Slovakia are also involved. While this is not ethical of course, if Serbia or Croatia decline this offer I am sure there will be other countries willing to sell these weapons and therefore they will get weapons one way or the other.

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    9. @ Anonymous October 16, 2016 at 4:40 PM

      I have been informed today by Aegean that there are no such plans.

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  16. OU A320 today operating as JP 306 LJUZRH since one ac out at JP (missing oxygen cockpit mask)
    JP and OU hve nice vice versa deal in case they need each other. Finally!

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  17. Just returned from Sofija. Went there to see the A380 of Lufthansa. It was really nice. Their Air Force had anniversary and they allowed us to enter the airbase at the airport.

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    1. From where did you come from?

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    2. Sofija. Lufthansa had promotional flight with A3800

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  18. Thanks to the Admin for this piece on cargo traffic in the Yugoshere.

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  19. Maybe I'm posting too late, maybe it was just a coincidence, but I was in ZAG 3 times during last 6 weeks,and ALL 3 TIMES there was DHL B757 parked on ZAG apron. Maybe that says something about ZAG cargo potential and future, especially with new French management.

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    1. @anonymous at 9:52, true - DHL's 757 has been serving ZAG daily, or at least 5pw during the last several months in the summer...I think DHL is now back to 2 or 3pw...the rest of the days use 734 by some other cargo carrier... MNG comes 1pw (Friday nights) with A300...

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  20. Odlicno je sto ima tekst o Kargo Saobracaju u EX YU .
    Nadam se da ce se potencijal BEG u buducnosti poprafiti i da ce EK i EY slati cesce svoje kargo avione .
    INN-NS

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