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.