Friday, December 2, 2016

Belgrade Airport revises growth forecast


Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is close to handling five million passengers by year's end following a record November. However, it is set to come just short of its planned target. The airport, which repeatedly estimated it would handle five million travellers by the end of 2016 has now adjusted its forecast to "above 4.9 million". The figure would still represent the airport's busiest year on record, which is to be accompanied by its biggest annual profit ahead of the its planned privatisation next year. In 2015, Belgrade handled 4.776.164 passengers, which is to be surpassed in the coming weeks. During the January - November period in 2016, the airport saw 4.580.739 travellers pass through its doors, an increase of 2.5% on last year.

The General Manager of Belgrade Airport, Saša Vlaisavljević, says, "During the second half of the year we have registered records on a monthly basis. In November, we handled a record 331.242 passengers, an increase of 11% compared to the same month last year. The figure represents the biggest growth so far this year". He added, "Since the start of the year we welcomed 4.6 million passengers, which gives us a realistic expectation that we will handle over 4.9 million travellers in 2016". During the past month, Belgrade Airport registered a 4% increase in aircraft movements. Furthermore, the airport improved its punctuality with over 90% of flights departing on time, while the average duration of delays decreased from eight to six minutes.


Belgrade Airport anticipates a strong year ahead, with the number of flights increasing 5% during the 2016/17 winter season. Furthermore, next summer, Wizz Air will base its second aircraft in the Serbian capital and launch a handful of new routes while strengthening its existing network. In addition, low cost Transavia will introduce services from Amsterdam, while a Chinese carrier is poised to inaugurate flights from Beijing. The airport's busiest airline, Air Serbia, has also hinted at new destinations next summer which could include Tehran and Astana. On the financial front, Belgrade Airport recorded revenues of 60.4 million euros during the first three quarters of the year, while it registered a net profit of 21.2 million euros over the same period, up 22% on last year.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN290.580 5.8
FEB266.660 0.5
MAR313.174 0.7
APR365.335 4.2
MAY416.332 2.5
JUN460.020 0.3
JUL589.159 4.3
AUG590.292 2.7
SEP519.376 5.6
OCT438.980 9.3
NOV331.242 10.7

80 comments:

  1. Good growth in November. If JU didn't stuff up early in the year BEG would have sailed through 5 million. But I guess it will be reached next year.

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  2. It's good that they have got some new airline lined up for next year.

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  3. Looking forward to this airport being put up for concession in 2017.

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  4. Anyone know when do they plan to start check-in at the area shown in the second photo?

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    1. Or open the deicing platform which, when I was taxing earlier this week I saw was completed.

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  5. So has SOF overtaken BEG?

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    1. In terms of the number of inhabitants, the city of Sofia has overtaken Belgrade a couple of years ago.
      It is also stronger economically, more integrated in the world economy and a part of EU for almost 10 years.
      Traveling by plane to BUD, VIE or Italy makes much more sense from Bulgaria than from ex-Yu. Still the bus transport to Western Europe is very strong there.

      The real question is why SOF did not overtake BEG ten years ago.

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    2. The thing is that Bulgarians have emigrated en masse to the EU since 2007, that's also one of the factors behind their growth.

      Also, their current growth is not organic and we should see what becomes of it in a few years.

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    3. BEG is currently far better predispositioned to growth than SOF. Maybe this wasn't the case before, but it is now. And, over the upcoming period, it will move leaps ahead.

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    4. As far as I know next year FR are planning to base 2 additional a/c at SOF and to add 10 new destinations. With the lowering of the fees at SOF with 60% for next year I believe that they will continue to grow.

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    5. Odlicno manje Bugara na autoputu.

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    6. Yes and FR is not growing naturally, organically. They are pushing this growth as a way to inflict as much damage as they can on Wizz Air. What will happen if Wizz Air fails to win the battle and starts suspending destinations and frequencies? SOF will either stagnate or go into a recession.

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    7. @Nemjee
      I think that if W6 loses the battle FR will just come and take their place as the market is already there. Also FB have some plans for expansion for next year, so they can compete with FR and W6. FB are planning BEY and LIS to go year-round. The reduction of fees will probably bring some new player to the market.

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    8. They're also very different animals though, BEG & SOF. Very few people transit via SOF, it's a p2p passenger destination largely fuelled by the number of Bulgarians that have emigrated within the EU (and people going to visit them).

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    9. Yes, but don't forget that money are in P2P. The transit passengers aren't contributing much. They are just numbers with which airports and airlines are showing off.

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    10. SOF and BEG are not comparable, as they rely on completely different business models (p2p vs transfer). BEG is more lucrative from a potential concessionaire's perspective. The model of SOF (with strong LCC) attracts more cash for the city and the businesses in it (hotel, taxi, restaurants) + travel is more affordable for people.

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    11. @Anonymous December 2, 2016 at 2:40 PM
      I don't think that the transfer model is more attractive to concessionaires, because transfer passengers usually don't pay full fees.

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    12. @AnonymousDecember 2, 2016 at 3:54 PM
      I suppose they still get more money per passenger than from LCC (e.g. using air bridges usw..). And in general, having Air Serbia is for sure better for the airport finances than having FR or W6. I read somewhere that BEG makes substantially more cash than SOF which for sure related to more factors than just better management.

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    13. El Al will be sending B777 to SOF from the begging of January every Friday.

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    14. So what? On tuesdays they send to ZAG 767 or 2 737s. Big deal.

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    15. Sofia wins on that one!

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  6. Wizz Air, Transavia and that potential Chinese airline will help numbers next year. As for 5 million I expected they would just miss it.

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    1. And maybe ANA with a few charters from Japan :)

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    2. Air Baltic is also interested in relaunching BEG.

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    3. They're also very different animals though, BEG & SOF. Very few people transit via SOF, it's a p2p passenger destination largely fuelled by the number of Bulgarians that have emigrated within the EU (and people going to visit them).

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  7. What drove the growth in November?

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    1. More operations and obviously more people travelling.

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  8. This unusually impressive growth partially reflects a big fall in November 2015. Without the winter reduction 2015-16, BEG growth would be 3-5% month-on-month, more or less in line with what we have seen since July.
    BEG director was, nevertheless, very irresponsible when he insisted previously that BEG will surpass 5 million milestone.

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    1. The guy is an absolute joke. He proved his professionalism while running Jat to the ground.

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    2. He's doing a fine job at the moment. The airport is reaching records both in terms of traffic and in terms of revenue. The figure will be just under 5 million probably, so it really was not that much off his estimate.

      Give the guy a break.

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    3. Neither the growth or revenue has anything to do with him. He just came at the right time. He has done nothing to attract alternatives to Air Serbia, which is why the airport did not reach 5 million this year, he has done nothing concerning the expansion of the terminal and he should not be given a break for all the things he did at Jat which were borderline corrupt.

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    4. BEG is the weakest link in JU development plans.

      It has so much potential and is hugely profitable. It could be a brand of its own.

      But, let's not fool ourselves. It will never develop properly in the present environment, the present business culture, with the people who lead it.

      People there know that their position depends not on their results, but on politics. The airport is seen as a prize and a source of easy cash.

      Just think about it. Would you do all you can, as a director, to prepare the airport for a steady and stable growth the next 20 or 30 years, or focus on making your buddies happy, by giving bombastic announcement and irresponsible political spins? You know well what will really keep in the position.

      We have seen that it takes ages to do even the simplest tasks, like renovations of the building of deicing platform. And it only happens because of huge JU pressure.

      The sad conclusion is that with Serbian business and political culture only concession/privatization can bring the airport back to the track. Sad but true.

      They should give JU a much bigger say and real influence in the airport development.

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    5. Then W6 should also have a say since they have a growing base in BEG, why only JU?

      Airports are there for all airlines, not just one.

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    6. Aiports are there for key tenants first, which is why W6 doesn't fly to Vienna.

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    7. Wizz Air will become a key tenant in 2017. ;)

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    8. The key difference is that JU destiny is intertwined with BEG. JU cannot exist without BEG. W6 comes and goes when it pleases and doesn't give two cents about BEG future.

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    9. Of course, it's all business at the end of the day. BEG will survive without JU just like BUD survived without MA.

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    10. W6 will become key tenant when they have a total of 4 planes and over 1 million passangers

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    11. Next year they will have about 650,000 which will make them a major player at the airport.

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    12. BUD did survive without MA. And that is about it. Still in the red, still recovering.
      This was not their choice. Hungarians were forced to close national company under EU pressure.

      If your goal is only to survive and hang on, BUD is the prime example why is that bad policy.

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    13. By which standard BUD is in red? By number of passengers not. By income not! By profit not!

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    14. They should be in red by profit. But who knows, maybe it's the government (tourist board) subsidizing airlines' costs with public tenders, marketing supports, adverts in airline magazines etc.

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    15. We know for fact that they subsidize Wizz routes for Balkans states. It would be interested to hear the whole story.

      Hungary did not chose to close MA, and they would gladly exchange the present "success" for MA.

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    16. Why should BUD be in red? Because you dream about it?

      When you point something you should check official data first. Not write your presumption. Wrong presumption!

      Wizz routes in BUD are not subsidized. Balkan routes will be subsidize in future, but are not at the moment.

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  9. So to overcome 5 million they are missing those 120.000 that flew from Nis this year! So far it´s fantastic results for both airports! I am looking forward to see concession at BEG and renovavion of INI in 2107. Congrats!

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  10. Who cares if it's 5 million or 4,99 million? The steady rise in numbers is what the focus should be on and profit, before gov. gives it to concession next year. After that I can imagine concessionaire can build LC hangars (similar like those one in Budapest) and we can see Ryanair (maybe one or two more LC carrier) base in BEG by 2020.

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    1. I personally think FR and LC in general should operate from INI. BEG should really concetrate on bringing some more legacy carrier such as: British, Air France, Iberia, KLM, SAS..

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  11. So 4% more flights but 11% more passengers which means loads were pretty good for everyone. Let's hope we can make it to 5.5 million next year. That said, the expansion of current facilities is more than needed. The airport becomes a zoo during rush-hour periods not to mention that the terminal itself is rather ugly and not nearly as modern as some of its competitors.

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  12. Air Serbia screwed them over early on in the year.

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    1. It also helped them later on in the year ;)

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  13. OT: Air Arabia resumes Sarajevo service from March 2017

    Air Arabia in March 2017 once again resumes service to Sarajevo, per airline’s website booking engine. Sharjah – Sarajevo service is to be resumed from 18MAR17, with 3 weekly flights.

    G9311 SHJ0815 – 1220SJJ 320 357
    G9312 SJJ1310 – 2035SHJ 320 357

    Source: Air Arabia resumes Sarajevo service from March 2017

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    1. This is hardly news. It was announced back in September that they would resume these flights.

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/09/air-arabia-downgrades-sarajevo-service.html

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  14. odlicna vest, samo kada bi konacno bio resen transport od aerodroma do grada i kada bi se sklonili svi oni divlji taksisti koji prepadaju putnike

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    1. Divlji taksisti? Kad si poslednji put leteo sa BEG?

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    2. Ja sam leteo relativno skoro, oktobar, i bilo je divljih taksista koji prepadaju putnike.

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    3. Imas salter sa vaucerima za voznju taksijem po zonama. Divljih taksija ima skoro svuda, nije to specijalitet Beograda.

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    4. imas i bus svakih 20minuta do fontane/autobuske/slavije

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    5. Divlji taksisti na BEG su prisutni u ogromnom broju, da neko stvarno hoce da ih skloni, sklonio bi ih.
      Istina je da ima taxi info pult, ali npr na tom pultu cene za neke delove grada su vece od realnih. Blokovi npr kostaju 1400 dinara, voznja nikad ne izadje preko 1000 dinara bez obzira na noc ili dan.
      Divlji taksisti postoje svugde na svetu, ali nigde u ovolikoj meri

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    6. Zanimljiv članak na tu temu
      http://www.autobusi.net/aerodrom-beograd-poslednja-rupa-na-svirali/

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    7. Ne samo zanimljiv vec je uzasno koliko je to istinito. Uz organizovan autobuski prevoz iz obliznjih gradova Beograd bi lako ove godine premasio 5 miliona.

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  15. Purger,
    Would you inform Mr. Vucic this month in Belgrade about your arguments not to give BEG in concession?

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    1. Država je kompleksan sistem, zašto bi mišljenje jednog avio blogera bilo bitno za Vladu? Aerodrom je samo jedan komad slagalice u celoj drzavnoj upravi. Za taj novac verovatno može da se uradi puno toga a drzava dobija profesionalnu firmu lišenu političkih uticaja, rodjačkog i stranačkog zapošljavanja i korupcije. Naravno, sve zavisi od samog koncesionog ugovora, da ga čujemo pa da ga onda komentarišemo.

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    2. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 2, 2016 at 2:03 PM

      I will not. I don't find my obligation, or "job", or even that it is decent to inform politics about possible mistakes in their moves.

      Mr. Vučić is adult, and intelligent man. If he need to be informed or consulted I am sure he have lot of experts around him, or he can ask for help out of his expert team.

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    3. Anon @1:55

      Govt can hire a company to manage the airport without concesssion, if the primary goal is to put professional management in place.

      The only reason for sale/concesssion is financing of large infrastructure projects like new terminal or second runway. However there are no business plans to justify any of those large investments in the next decade.

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    4. The existing terminal should be extended and reconstructed, so that the airport can develop more organically in future, like AMS. The whole area between air travel museum and the existing airport should be transformed gradually into terminal.

      BEG also needs rail terminal below the airport to connect it to Belgrade and Novi Sad.

      Separate terminal is in the best interest of the concessionary, because it is for them the cheapest option. I hope the government would not allow it.
      The second runway is unnecessary.

      If Serbia was Switzerland, your suggestion to hire professional management would be a real possibility, not a daydreaming.

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    5. New terminal and extension of the exisitng one? How many pax do you expect in 10 years at BEG, 15-10 million? Where will that growth come from?

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    6. LOL I like so much these guys who compare BEG and AMS :) :) :)

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    7. Etihad was handed management contract to manage Air Serbia. Same can be done with airport, no need for Switzerland.

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  16. Congratulations! 4,9 million is awesome in and of itself and next year, BEG will definitely go all the way up to 5,2-5,3 million.
    On a different note, I visited Belgrade 10 days ago for the first time in 12 years and the city is amazing!! Since I have not been there for so long, I can objectively see what maybe some of you don't...and that's the incredible improvement to the city at every level. At night it looks absolutely stunning! Needs metro tho.

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    1. Glad you noticed it too. Sadly, 90% of the locals have this inborn defeatist outlook on life, where everything is always bad or worse than it ever was in Belgrade or Serbia. Part of this can be blamed on the Serbian mentality - everyone is an expert for everything - lots to say, little to do.

      Belgrade is definitely looking more polished and shaped up than ever. The metro remains a priority, nonetheless.

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    2. Hard not to notice honestly. Same thing happened when I started visiting Croatia...my homeland, even tho I live in Scandinavia. Zagreb looks amazing, coast always has, but what they did there is seriously impressive.
      Amyway, had a blast in Belgrade, too much fun almost, if you know what I mean. New Belgrade is like a whole new city, compared to what I remember from Yugoslavia. Serbia in general has such an amazing potential for growth, especially considering how far it lags behind Croatia and Slovenia. Now however, I expect its GDP to explode, I'm even thinking of investing!!

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  17. Very good results Belgrade ,greetings from Athens .Looking forward my new years eve and new years day holidays up there with very good friends from Belgrade !

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Nadam se da ce sledece godine znatno preci 5 Mil putnika sto i verovatno hoce sa novim Aziskim Destinacijama i Evropskim.
      INN-NS

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  19. Belgrat will need to catch up with Riga. They can copy BT´s model and buy a couple of cheap Canadian a/c and replace them with Aviolet.
    Launch IKA, CLJ and now ZIA in Moscow getting more popular.

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    1. "cheap Canadaian a/c" haha good one. CS 100 is around 70 million while CS 300 80 million US dollars. Cheaper than Airbus 320 family, but not cheap. The only cheap plane on the market currently in that size range is the Sukhoi Superjet 100 (around 35 million).

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    2. Embraer 170/175 is also affordable with each plane around 40 million US. JU could order 3 of those for the price of 1 A320. To this day this is what puzzles me the most. They are ordering (leasing from EY) 10 A320neo, but they could have easily done 8 A320 and 6 E175 for example. With that fleet they could fly to all capitals of Europe, Caucasus, N.Africa, etc.

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    3. They didn't need the A319, E95 could have done the job.

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