The busiest foreign carriers operating flights to Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport have recorded mixed results during the first three quarters of the year as they face increased competition. Wizz Air, which boasts a base in Belgrade, continued to recover after its numbers fell sharply in 2014 following the suspension of several routes and a public spat with the airport over fees. The low cost airline handled 319.824 passengers bound to and from Belgrade during the first three quarters, an increase of 3.2% compared to the same period in 2015. Wizz's passenger share at the airport grew to 8.4%, which is still below its record 12.5% share registered during Q1- Q3 in 2013. Over the first three quarters of this year, it increased frequencies on several routes and introduced flights to Baden-Baden, marking its first new destination from the Serbian capital in two years. It comes ahead of major expansion next May, which will see the carrier base a second aircraft in the city and launch four new routes. As a result, Wizz will offer 642.000 seats from the Serbian capital in 2017. “This is the right stepping stone forward in this market which is unpenetrated. We are reacting to the increased level of demand”, Wizz Air CEO, Jozsef Varadi, said recently.
Star Alliance members Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines saw their numbers dip during the first three quarters, with the latter registering a sharp fall in figures. The German national carrier welcomed 218.786 travellers on board its aircraft to and from the Serbian capital, a decrease of 3.1% on last year. Furthermore, Swiss handled over 11.000 fewer passengers, recording a 7.4% decline in numbers. Unlike in 2015, the carrier did not run flights between Geneva and Belgrade as it retreated from the former Yugoslav market. However, this winter season, it has added an additional weekly flight between Zurich and the Serbian capital. The route remains extremely competitive, with Zurich being Air Serbia's busiest destination so far this year. Despite this, the Swiss carrier still enjoys an advantage, handling almost 6.000 passengers more than its Serbian counterpart. Montenegro Airlines saw its passenger numbers improve slightly during the first three quarters of the year, handling 209.958 passengers, up 1.1%. The figure was achieved despite an overall fall in the number of operated flights.
Busiest foreign carriers at Belgrade Airport Q1-Q3
|Wizz Air||319.824||▲ 3.2|
|Montenegro Airlines||209.958||▲ 1.1|
|Swiss Int. Air Lines||142.418||▼ 7.4|
Lufthansa remains Belgrade Airport's second busiest foreign carrier behind Wizz Air with a passenger share of 5.7%, followed by Montenegro Airlines at 5.5% and Swiss with a share of 3.7% of all passengers. Overall, foreign carriers handled 1.696.177 travellers on flights to and from the Serbian capital during the January - October period, up 0.3% compared to 2015. They now account for 44.5% of all passengers passing through the airport, an increase of 1%, having been surpassed by Air Serbia which now handles 55.5% of all travellers using the airport. During the first nine months of the year, Montenegro Airlines operated the most flights to and from the city out of all the foreign carriers, followed by Lufthansa, Wizz Air, Austrian, Turkish Airlines and Aeroflot. A notable increase in frequencies was recorded by LOT Polish Airlines, TAROM, Flydubai and Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Most frequent foreign carriers at Belgrade Airport Q1-Q3
|Airline||Flight ops.||Change (%)|
|Montenegro Airlines||2.429||▼ 3.4|
|Wizz Air||2.018||▲ 1.8|
|Austrian Airlines||1.400||▼ 0.4|
|Turkish Airlines||1.205||▼ 9.5|
|Swiss Int. Air Lines||970||▼ 13.8|