Friday, December 30, 2016

Belgrade Airport outlines plans for 2017


Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is upbeat on its future prospects and plans to handle over five million passengers, overhaul its runway and welcome more scheduled long haul flights during 2017. General Manager, Saša Vlasaivljević, says that, in addition to the ongoing reconstruction of Terminal 1, the installation of 28 new check-in desks, as well as a new automated baggage handling system, to be completed by April 2017, the airport will also commence work on upgrading its runway. "Traffic will not be disrupted during this period because we will undertake the overhaul in the most risky but modern way, similar to what the airports in Frankfurt and Zurich have done. Work will be carried out between midnight and 05.00 in the morning. This sort of reconstruction is the most demanding", Mr Vlaisavljević told the "Novi Magazin" weekly. He added, "Currently, Chisinau Airport is undertaking a similar project and we will send our teams to review the work being done there".

According to the General Manager, other infrastructure projects pencilled in for 2017 include the overhaul of a further four departure gates, the last to be upgraded at the airport, the opening of an observation deck and the expansion of Terminal 2. Originally planned for 2015, the expansion of the Terminal 2 building, which would involve the construction of an additional eight gates, including four air bridges, has been constantly delayed. Belgrade Airport will handle a record number of travellers this year but will come short of the five million passenger mark. However, with Wizz Air and Transavia having already announced new flights to the city next year, the figure is expected to be surpassed in 2017. Furthermore, two cities in China are likely to be linked with Belgrade next year.

Meanwhile, the Serbian government is convinced that it will strike a deal for a 25-year airport concession in 2017. The country's Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić, said last week, "Tender procedures will be opened, and I think we could get a concession agreement for 25 years as a result of the good job done by Air Serbia and the management of Nikola Tesla Airport". Mr Vučić reiterated that the government prefers a 25-year concession rather than an outright privatisation. A concession would bring a one-off payment of up to 400 million euros, plus an annual fee of eleven million euros to the state, the PM pointed out. He added that the government has not reached a firm decision on the matter. The airport's privatisation advisor will decide on the most suitable sale model within the next two to three months.

121 comments:

  1. Great news that they will start working on the runway.

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  2. Anyone know with how many passengers they will end 2016?

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    Replies
    1. Very close to 5 million, 4.9.

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    2. They should be able to manage around 5.2/5.3 million next year.

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    3. I think 5.3 is more realistic as W6's second A320 will bring an additional 300.000 passengers.

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    4. A single A320 300k ? Seems a bit much ?

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    5. Yes but those 300k will not come out of the blue. Some will be real new passengers but many will simply switch the airline of choice. So we cannot say the second A320 will bring additional 300k. It will be less than that.

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    6. The additional A320 will mean more cheap fares on the market which means it will stimulate demand. They will not steal from other airlines but from bus and minibus companies.

      Also, their A320s have three daily rotations, so six daily flights. That means that this A320 will add an additional 376.000 seats to BEG.

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    7. Second W6 A320 will add only 100.000 passengers next year to BEG and that's not bad at all. They will start from the end of May and will add 13 weekly flights, not more.

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    8. 13 weekly flights? Hahah riiiight.

      They fly three flights per day so 21 weekly flights, not 13. Also, no W6 flights has a LF less than 85% so you do the maths

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    9. Second A320 will be partly used for flights out of BEG, INI included.

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    10. Not true. If you look at their announced schedule you will see that there are only two weekly slots that are still empty. So in a way INI or any other destination might get two weekly flights, not more.

      So much hate.

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    11. During S16 W6 used to operate 28 weekly flights from BEG, four per every day. From the end of May next year thay will add these 13 frequencies to Belgrade base:
      HAJ (2), FDH (2), NUE (2), MLA (2), EIN (1), DTM(1), FMM (1), NYO (1) and GOT (1).

      Official statement :

      "Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe announced today that it will base a second Airbus A320 aircraft at its Belgrade base. From May 2017 the airline will operate four new services from Belgrade to Friedrichshafen, Hanover, Nuremberg and Malta. The new aircraft will also allow Wizz Air to increase the number of weekly flights on the existing routes from Belgrade to Dortmund, Eindhoven, Gothenburg, Munich Memmingen and Stockholm Skavsta."

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    12. Yes but the schedule is still not final, there are some weekly slots that are left unused which will be added in the coming months

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    13. Not true, only a single weekly slot left void, on Thursdays in the evening, that's negligible.

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    14. What slot? BEG does not have slots! What are you talking about????

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    15. Who's talking about BEG slots ? It's Wizz Air's evening slot in their timetable. They usually have three daily slots : morning, mid-day and evening, so they can fly to three destinations daily from a base. Very rarely they perform four frequencies daily with a single aircraft.

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  3. I would rather they have built the T2 extensions then renovating T1... but I guess it's better then nothing.

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  4. Nice but I still don't get why are they investing so much money into improving the airport if it is going under concession next year anyway and the new operators will probably be obliged to invest themselves.

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    Replies
    1. Because the better the shape the airport is in, the better the chances it can be sold and at a better price.

      Plus you have to work on the premise that the airport might not be sold at all. Maybe the government is unhappy with the offers made and decides to annul the tender. It has happened before.

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    2. I don't think they play on selling the airport. More likely concession.

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  5. Apparently Chinese are extremely interested in the airport and will make a very good bid.

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    1. I hope they give it to the Chinese, after all, all of their infrastructure projects in Serbia proved to be a major success.

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    2. Well, Belgrade`s Severna tangenta (Pupinov most - Pancevacki put) with its 50 km/h speed limit has not proved to be engineering major success.

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    3. Yes why? Looks great, passed through it the other day

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    4. It's the Serbian idiots who are to blame and not the Chinese, for putting 50km/h limit on what's already a highway.

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    5. How come no one never raised the legality of that?

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    6. Zato sto je to gradska saobracajnica. Kakav bre
      hajvej seljaku.

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    7. The purpose of speed limits is punishing the driver.

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  6. Great news and I am happy they are finally improving the airport, it was getting quite bad.

    Air Serbia's JFK flight is scheduled to land at 05.30 but the flight almost always arrives before 05.00. I wonder what will happen given that it might arrive when the repairs are still scheduled to take place. Will it circle or will they finish before the flight arrives?

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    1. My thoughts too. Etihad's flight from Abu Dhabi also almost always arrives before 5, sometime as early as 4.30. Also I think there are a few flights which always leave past midnight even though they should before.

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    2. Exactly, maybe they will have less time to work so they might take longer to complete the overhaul of the runway?

      Yeah, forgot about Etihad. When it leaves AUH on time it tends to arrive much earlier than scheduled.

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    3. If a NOTAM is issued that the airport is closed during this time they will either have to circle or will depart with a delay if their estimated arrival time is before 5. This could be problematic at slot restricted airports such as JFK so they will just have to circle around.

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    4. Thanks. I guess circling around wouldn't be so bad as it wouldn't take longer then 20 to 30 minutes.

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    5. Oduzmu gas malo pre Engleske i nema problema. Nemjee i njegovo razumevanje avio saobracaja.

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    6. Тако је, само мало смањи брзину и баш га брига... зато што баш то тако функционише.

      Овде се прича о ваздухопловству, не о вожњи аутобуса.

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    7. Da, upravo tako Nemjee, baš tako to funkcionira. Jedana od stvari koje piloti imaju u kokpitu je planirano vrijeme slijetanja uz trenutne uvjete (ruta, vjetar, brzina), svaka promjena automatski računa novo vrijeme slijetanja (smanjiš gas, vrijeme slijetanja je kasnije).

      Zato Ryanair kada kasni leti sa pedalom do poda da što manje kasni, neovisno o količini goriva koje će pritom spržiti. Ali, jednako tako je moguće i u obrnutom slučaju...

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    8. 09.50

      They cant just reduce speed, depends on traffic and what atc allows them.

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    9. Anon 10.19

      Kao sto je gore napisano, nije to samo do pilota vec je pitanje ako moze u zavisnosti od toga kolika je guzva u vazduhu i sta mu kontrola letenja odluci. U suprotnom kada bi svaki pilot tako radio sudarali bi se avioni na svakih sat vremena.

      Anon 09.40 je dao najbolji odgovor na moje pitanje.

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    10. Za predvidjeni period rekonstrukcije aerodroma to je najavljena brzina preleta. Nisu to nikakve proizvoljne zelje pilota ili nesto izazvano vremenom ili nesto slicno. ATC se normalno bori sa tim

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    11. Usporavanje nije pretjeran problem ni tijekom špice, jer postoje razne rute, visine leta. A pogotovo to nije problem tijekom noći. Ako avion dolazi u 5 u BEG u to vrijeme promet prema BEG i iznad Europe je fantomski prazan

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    12. Ruta se dobija otprilike tri sata pre poljetanja tako da nema mnogo flexa.

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    13. Nije istina. Tijekom leta možeš tražit promjenu rute. To se najčešće radi noću da skratiš rutu i uštediš.

      No, kao što rekoh u 3 u noći možeš bez ikakvog problema usporit ili ubrzat. Oko tebe apsolutno nikaga.

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  7. Wonder what the scheduling could be for the Beijing flights. In 1999/2000 JAT's flight left BEG at around 1AM or something like that.

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    1. If Air Serbia was to operate the flights then it could depart at 17.00 or 18.00 with a scheduled arrival time in PEK at 08.30 and 09.30.

      Scheduling a return flight would be more tricky. However, since a Chinese carrier will operate these flights then I suppose it will make sure it suits their connections in China, not Belgrade.

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    2. Air Serbia will not be operating these flights, so it is a mute point you raise

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    3. @nemjee


      I think they will also look into scheduling flights to make regional connections in BEG, especially if they intend to codeshare with JU.

      O&D is only soo much. I don't think there will be a drastic increase in Chinese tourists to Serbia once the visas are removed. What is encouraging is the growing business and trade between China and Serbia, which could see decent J demand.

      A large amount of Chinese tourists do visit Croatia and that is a growing market. JU with 4 destinations in Croatia during the summer, 3 in the same departure wave could make BEG an interesting transit point. JU has increased its flights to Croatia every year.

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    4. JATBEGMEL

      The Chinese have already announced a lot of their tourists coming to Serbia once the visas are abolished. Serbia was also present at various fairs in China.

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    5. Chinese visiting Europe already require a Schengen visa and with a Schengen visa, you do not require a Serbian visa, so this is all hullabaloo .... There will be no dramatic increase in Vhinese tourists to Serbia. They simply do not do mono-destinations in Europe. And, even without the requirement of Serbian visa, they still need one to visit other countries in Europe, further reinforcing the point that nothing dramatically will change.

      Moreover, there is no infrastructure in Serbia to support Chinese tourists. For example, there is not one single licensed Chinese speaking tourist guide - so how on earth do they expect to support an influx of Chinese tourists ?

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    6. It's fascinating how whenever something positive can happen to Serbia there are always people who are super smart and give all sorts of reasons why it won't/can't happen.
      Remember when there were rumors of EY buying JU, even Purger came here and gave us extensive lists of why it won't happen and why buying OU made more sense.
      Then the same happened when JU announced ZAG and TIA. Doom and gloom scenarios were presented on here yet JU is successful at both destinations.
      Then JFK was announced and we saw the same pattern happen all over again.

      Worry not, the number of Chinese visiting Serbia will increase simply because not many have Schengen visas and many of them don't want to go through the process so going to Serbia is easier.

      Also don't forget that Bank of China will be opening its regional office in Belgrade. This will further stimulate business travel between teh two countries, the same travel that is already good.

      All in all, these future routes will see a lot of success. I have no doubts about that.

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    7. I like your last sentence best;
      "I have no doubts about that."

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    8. I have a feeling you are making fun of me so please tell me why? I am not a native speaker so..

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    9. Oh great logic... so BoC is opening shop in Serbia and suddenly that will result in a flood of Chinese tourists. The are many more back in China, so based on your logic, we will see an increase in domestic chinese tourism !

      Chinese don't know Serbia and it takes a long time to build a destination's profile.

      You also know little about the nature of Chinese tourists. Over 90% travel in organised escorted groups, with multi destinations part and parcel of the experience, with shopping one of the key reasons cited why they travel..

      They will not visit Serbia because it is not a shopping destination, nor does it hold sufficient interest as a mono-destination for any tour groups coming to Europe.

      The best that Serbia can hope for, is for Serbia to be included as part of a multi destination itinerary - in which case, visa free travel to Serbia will not add any value, since they will all have Schengen visas before they depart from China.

      And, as the person said earlier above, there are no licensed Chinese speaking tour guides in Serbia.

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    10. You seem to know everything. They are opening flights to Belgrade for the fun of it. That must be it!

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    11. It's called poliics my friend.... same reason Chinese carriers fly to other points off the beaten track

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    12. Same reason why JAT used to fly such crazy routings that made little commercial sense

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    13. Dogs bark but the caravan rolls on.

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    14. I just love how one-eyed and parochial people are when it comes to the above conversation re Chinese tourists and the potential that Serbia has in receiving huge numbers of them to visit Serbia.

      as someone already said, it takes years and much investment to build the appeal of a destination - especially in a crowded space such as Europe - where people already have many options.

      If Serbia can't attract a greater share of rich Western Europeans - such as Britons, Germans, French, Scandinavians and Dutch - to visit a destination which is only 2-3 hours away, where they already don't need visas and is already well connected by air - then how on earth are they going to attract people from the other side of the planet in far away China ?

      Get real people....

      The tourist people can't do their job in markets closer to home, so any hope of them doing a miraculous job in China is simply fiction

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    15. It seems that some of our friends here think every route out of Belgrade is crazy and political. We must have so many friends and be so respected internationally to have so many political routes.

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    16. No, only one in the future, which is China - IF it actually happens

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    17. "Purger came here and gave us extensive lists of why it won't happen and why buying OU made more sense."

      Absolutely not true. Never said so!

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    18. You did! You were on here saying that it's Jatovanje and that if they were going to buy someone in the region then it should be OU. ;)

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    19. Oh sure...it only happens when poor Serbia is concerned, no one has EVER seen the same thing happening when some ppositive news comes out of Croatia i.e. what do they want now, imitate Serbia,or something? Thet actually think that ZAG can have intercontinental flights...muahaha, little Zagreb, which compared to Belgrade is a village, same with Bosnia, Macedonia, Slovenia,Kosovo...etc. In fact, Serbia is the big boss and all other countries should just have ASL flying and give up their own air traffic.

      And as for the Chinese, funny how they need visas for Croatia, yet looks like this year the number of Chinese tourists will exceed the 2015 number by close to 15%. And in 2015. we had just over 200,000 Chinese tourists.

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  8. I'm really happy that the China flights will be operated by a Chinese airline. Not because I would not like Air Serbia to run these but because it will add more verity and choice at the airport, plus opens up a whole world of opportunities for transferring through China on a single ticket.

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    1. And yet, as someone who frequently flies to China, I honestly don't believe I will use the direct routing due to the very fact that it's a Chinese airline servicing it... Bad service to say the least, unapproachable customer service in English, almost no FF recognition.

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  9. Good to see imporvments will continue at BEG.

    BTW This evening Turkish Airlines is sending its A330-200 to BEG and Yamal Airlines is operating a charter with tourists from Russia.

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    1. ТК is sending A333 because morning flight is canceled.

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    2. Nevertheless nice to see another widebody :)

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    3. Oh and yes I initially wrote A330-200 instead of A330-300. Sorry/

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    4. Oh yes! I agree, the more the merrier. :)

      Let's see if it goes on C6 or another one like C1/2 or C3/4.

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    5. For someone like me living in Athens it sounds so strange when some people are happy that a long haul plane visits BEG airport.Maybe because we have them everyday and we get used to this sight.Anyway I wish to everybody a very happy new year full of prosperity and good health! My kisses to my very good friends in Belgrade,they know..

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    6. Athens is four times the size of Belgrade and has millions of tourists every year. It's also a starting point for many visiting the Greek islands. :)

      Merry Christmas!

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    7. @ Anon 10:18

      it's going to C5

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  10. Ex-YU would be great if you could find out how many passengers BEG will handle today. Lots of extra capacity compared to last year:

    - JU to/from JFK
    - Yamal from DME
    - TK A333
    - A3 A320, compared to Q400 last year
    - LO E95 today
    - charter to Portugal
    - charter to Malta
    - charter to Barcelona
    - charter to Catania

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    1. Wow... those charters brought over 500 passengers alone...! Plus 500 from JFK you have an extra 1000 compared to last year...

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    2. DBV also has a charter to BCN operated by Vueling.

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    3. Charters to Barcelona, Malta and Lisbon are one way today, A3 always use A320 on Fridays, TK was forced to cancel morning flight today so they'll send wide-body to pick up all passengers. There are two charters from Bari as well.

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    4. A3 did not send its A320 last year but OA Q400.

      Still, those charters count as today, they are in high configuration with 144 seats so that's why they have 500+ pax today

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    5. Saw a Sun Express 738 land earlier today. Also a charter?

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    6. LO E95 BEG-WAW will be almost 100%! I wonder what they will do in summer.

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    7. TK1083 inbound A333 full to last seat...

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    8. I guess there have been a lot of op-ups

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  11. Good news. Can't wait for the observation deck!

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  12. So when will the runway overhaul begin?

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    1. I would assume next winter season when traffic volume is lower. It would be crazy to do it during the summer when you have charters operating throughout the night.

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    2. What about winter charters?

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  13. Nadam se da ce se naci Koncesionar koji ce napraviti novi Terminal.
    A takodje se nadam da ce se ostvariti svi planirani letovi i pogotovu oni za Kinu.
    A takodje se nadam novim Destinacijama sa wide body avionom.
    INN-NS

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    1. I ako se aerodrom u Beogradu bude dao na koncesiono upravljanje nece biti izgradnje nikakvog novog terminala, to nije u planu niti ce se zahtevati od koncesionara. Odakle vam to ?

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    2. Upravo vlada prica vec godinama da je cilj dovodjenja koncesionara realizacija velikih infrastrukturnih ulaganja na aerodromu.

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    3. Actually no, they speak about one-off payment plus substantial annual fee. Check today's article and all recent statements.

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  14. Pretty cool picture of INI taken the other day:

    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Xd7kyoYmkzA/WGLBiTKiMgI/AAAAAAAADEU/XjG1EZ2l4JAp7Uh0mM16GQEK_vUC1Kx_gCEw/s1600/4.jpg

    Photo credits: INI ATC

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  15. Last flight with JU and last review of the year.

    BEG-IST on YU-ALP last week, flight taking approximately 2 hours. 55/66 pax at gate. Catering served a small sandwich with beef-salad and orange cookie. Most of pax transfers from places like LJU, VIE, Germany.

    Wishing everyone a happy New year and positive developments in 2017.

    Bonus: pics of Kopaonik and Belgrade under the winter sky on Aegean Airlines flight from Athens earlier in December + Terminal 1 reconstruction:

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pxnfan1495xad3i/AAB07gnfdZIqwq3NDWfRjPuCa?dl=0

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    1. Thanks for the report and pics :) interesting that there are a lot of transfers on JUs IST flight.

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    2. You're welcome ;)

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  16. How 'bout renovating the outside area on the arrivals area. It's a mess, uneven pavement, taxi mafia, and then that long uphill tunnel/pathway to the parking lot. Every time I land at BEG I cringe at the thought of running that gauntlet yet again. I can only imagine what first time visitors think.

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    1. I was at the airport on Monday waiting for my sister and was shocked that there was no taxi mafia. Since I arrived a bit early and it was overcrowded inside I stood outside for most of the time. Not a single guy saying "you need a taxi" to anyone. The reason why? Two police officers and the and two communal police officers as well as their car parked in front. I don't know if it is a one off but let's hope they decided to do something about it.

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    2. I visited a dozen of airports in Europe and Middle-East this year and Belgrade is one of the best among them. Unlike ATH, BEG offers a real rest area with long-chairs where passengers can take a nap during long transits, what is rarely seen in European airports.

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    3. Also, A/C plugs are everywhere unlike other airports where they're either switched off or where you need to put a coin (Turkey).

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    4. Yeah, I was talking about the outside area.

      Good to hear that the idiot taxis' are gone. Haven't been to BEG since November.

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    5. That exit is horrible, Charlie and Anon@5:03 are right. While effort is being made to improve departure areas, arrival areas didn't get any facelift in years and are not listed for improvement. Times from plane to street are very short compared to large airports, but experience at the arrivals hall and exit is disappointing.

      Renders for renovated T1 include new checkin desks but no signs of airside restaurants/bars equiped with tablets and chargers at each table.

      I made my pessimistic outlook on Dec 17 and now confirmed runway reno will only make things worse. There does not seem to be plan for needed high speed exits or any major taxiway layout changes. Runway work is going to be expensive, so it may be an excuse to push A gates reno into 2018, same for C concourse extension. I hope this is not a sign of second A330 for Air Serbia being pushed even further to 2019 when NEOs will probably start operating in larger numbers. With no new terminal in sight there is not much to be excited about.

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    6. What I heard is that when they change police officers and communal policemen, there are no illegal taxis for some time. Then they get familiar with police and return. They should change them every couple of days.

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  17. While some are busy spreading lies and hate about Chinese tourists in Serbia, in a while there are going to be three Turkish Airlines A330 in Belgrade.

    1. A330-300, scheduled evening flight.
    2. A33F from MAD
    3. A33F from VKO

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    1. What are they transporting?

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    2. MAD is a scheduled freight flight but Vnukovo is a chartered flight.

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    3. There is also a 747F bound for Kabul.

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    4. In total 3 large cargo planes this evening in BEG.

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    5. OMG !!! So happy !!!

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    6. DHL also sent its B734 from Leipzig, replacing RAF Avia or/and Solinair from BUD/LJU.

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    7. Actually Solinair still operates normally for DHL to LJU but DHL has also introduced a regular line operated by the B734 that flies between BEG and LNZ, BUD and BRU.

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    8. This is the daily routing:

      LNZ-BRU
      BRU-BUD
      BUD-BEG
      BEG-LNZ

      Then they go to LEY when they need to send a new B734. :) Cargo at BEG has been booming.

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    9. 4 wide-bodies tonight at BEG, 5 if to count Air Serbia's A330 which is having a rest. Pity it wasn't deployed to any European destinations though, during the holidays.

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    10. With JFK going 5 weekly around the holidays there was no room, unfortunately of course.

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    11. What about the period outside the holidays, on routes such as ZRH, LHR, CDG?

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    12. Solinair hasn't been operating to/from LJU for a very long time...

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  18. Sorry for my questions below if they sound stupid, but I am not so much familiar with the airport structures:

    1. Will this additions to terminals and runway increase airport capacity?

    2. Where will be the bottleneck at the airport when it will hit projected capacity which was set at 5.5mil?

    3. Is it possible to invest in existing infrastructure to increase capacity to lets say 7mil pax, so there wouldn't be need to build another runway & terminal?

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    Replies
    1. Passenger capacity at BEG now is circa 7m annually. No need for new runway or terminal for next ten years.

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