Sunday, January 29, 2017

Serbia produces second ghost airport


The opening of Užice's Ponikve Airport in Western Serbia is not expected any time soon, becoming the country's second airport to boast a new terminal building with little or no traffic. The airport was initially to open for commercial use last August, following the completion of a new passenger terminal. "The runway is 3.100 metres long, of which 2.200 metres have been overhauled. The length is more than enough to accommodate larger aircraft. However, the main problem, and the reason we are still unable to handle any flights, is the lack of a perimeter fence", the General Manager of Užice Airport, Saša Savić, said. A further three million euros are required to complete the work, however, funding issues have delayed the opening until further notice. Local municipalities have called on the government to provide the necessary finances as the airport would boost both tourism and the local economy. "We are trying. We have a development plan, ambitions, big hopes and few resources. We built a terminal to try and bring the airport to an acceptable standard. We had big plans for 2016 but unfortunately the funds that were promised to complete the runway overhaul and set up a fence never came. We have deferred those plans for this year and now we can just sit and wait to see what will happen", the airport's General Manager said.

Užice Airport was destroyed during the 1999 NATO bombing. However, the Serbian government and the European Union have jointly invested over one million euros into the creation of a project masterplan, while significant funds were put into the removal of unexploded bombs around the airport's runway. Its control tower was reopened in 2013 following a major overhaul by the Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency, while Belgrade Airport also donated funds. Late last year, Mr Savić said, "There is interest for flights, especially from foreign tourists who would like to visit nearby Zlatibor Mountain and Mokra Gora. We are already in talks with a local hotel in Zlatibor and have discussed the possibility of operating promotional charters to several European countries (Cyprus, Greece, Russia and Slovenia) with both smaller and larger aircraft, including Boeing jets with the capacity to seat 150 passengers". He added, "If these prove successful, we hope to have regular charter flights next year". Low cost airline Wizz Air has shown its support for the new airport development and said it would consider flying to the city.


The Užice region is home to some of Serbia's most exported goods. On the other hand, it is also close to several major cities in the former Yugoslavia, with Sarajevo and Belgrade just 118 kilometres away. During the 1996 summer season, JAT Yugoslav Airlines operated a two weekly Belgrade - Užice - Tivat service. Over the past few years, small private aircraft have used the airport during the daytime. However, questions have been raised whether Užice Airport will follow in the footsteps of Kraljevo, in central Serbia, which opened a new modern terminal building in 2012 which has not been used since.

113 comments:

  1. I think UZC has much more potential than Kraljevo Airport.

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    Replies
    1. almost the same = none

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    2. Potencijale za milione putnika nemaju....ali da sluze svojim regionima, koji vec placaju poreze i doprinose budzetima imaju... sa nekoliko linija...kao Tuzla Osijek Nis...itd

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  2. Serbia is creating nice new terminals which I'm sure a lot of airports across ex-Yu would be happy to have. Unfortunately they are all empty.

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  3. Complete waste of money this airport....

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  4. With the rise of low cost airlines I don't think you should write off an airport. If the a good deal is made a LCC could fly there instead of say Belgrade or Nis.

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  5. So they have built two empty terminals. Better to have invested that money in building one big one in Nis.

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  6. OT: As I see at the busiest european airports list BEG ranked at number 93 while in 2015 was ranked at number 87 , well done airport management , my compliments to you keep up the good work !

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    Replies
    1. You do realize it slipped 6 places down right?

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    2. Well, Wizz Air and Transavia are coming this year so the numbers should improve.

      We can't really blame BEG management for Air Serbia's cuts and cancellations.

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    3. You post the 100 rank every other day... We got it.

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    4. Air Serbia has cancelled more than 80 departures in coming February : ZAG, HAM, IST, MXP, BRU, SVO......

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    5. I am surprised they can't make HAM work. Wizz Air is launching Hanover in a few months so they will indirectly compete for the same market.

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    6. Air Serbia has cancelled 9 consecutive flights to Hamburg in February.

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    7. In February JU will operate two return flights between BEG and HAM: 09.02 and 27.02.
      Flights resume after that.

      With no marketing this is what you get.

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    8. &AnonymousJanuary 29, 2017 at 9:51 AM

      Correction, the flight to Hamburg scheduled for February,27th has been cancelled in the meantime.

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    9. Wow... one flight in the whole month. Is this the extra experience Dane was telling us about?

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    10. Well , certainly their job is to attract some airlines to the airport but this is also depends on the economic and tourist status of a country , we have just wait and see what will happen .

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    11. Well I think they are doing an ok job so far. I mean the airport is not run by the CEO who is useless. There is a whole army of rather competent people there.

      I am sure with new arrivals things will start moving. In a few days we'll see how we performed in January. :)

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    12. Double digit growth at the moment.

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    13. BEG was ranked 84 in 2014, 87 in 2015 and 93 in 2016.
      The problem is that most other airports close to it are growing much, much faster than BEG. Newcastle, Liverpool, Eindhoven, East Midlands, Seville, Bilbao have higher increases.
      Only Turkish airports have similar or worst performance.
      It is highly probable that in a couple of years BEG will drop out of the top 100 like it was before 2013 and the creation of Air Serbia.

      All data is here:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_busiest_airports_in_Europe

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    14. 4 years ago it was impossible to think that BEG would be in the top 100. The airline business is unpredictable.

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    15. Sofia is on fire!
      It was nowhere before but with both FR and W6 opening new routes all the time it easily surpassed BEG.
      Will the airport authorities and the government allow BEG to become a base for low cost carriers like SOF or will it try to limit competition for ASL any way it can?
      If it does allow I can easily see BEG traffic rising quickly above 6-7 million. SOF and OTP show us the way.

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    16. BEG is already a base for a LCC which will add another plane and expand operations this year. It is shocking that Sofia needed this long to surpass BEG (just) having in mind it is a capital of an EU member state, has a much bigger EU based diaspora and its citizens could travel visa free for so long.

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    17. BEG will handle some 5.4 million this year thanks to Wizz Air's second aircraft.

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    18. BEGs metropolitan area is bigger than SOF and also Bulgaria is the poorest EU country. People could not afford air travel until the LCCs arrived. Its gastarbeiters were overwhelmingly traveling by buses.
      Also, Bulgaria had more than one full functioning international airports. BEG was the only option for all Serbia.

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    19. You are forgetting Nis which is a fully functional airport served by 4 airlines.

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    20. FR are planning to base another 2 a/c @SOF in 2017. I think that SOF will handle around 6 mln. in 2017

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    21. Good for them.

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    22. Let's see what happens when the fight between FR and W6 comes to an end.

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    23. They are selling tickets for 5 EUR from SOF. They fight is already on.

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    24. And how much profit did Sofia Airport have in 2016?

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    25. @Anonymous at 12:05 PM

      Niš started operating just in 2015 and its traffic numbers are minuscule compared with Varna and Burgas.
      It is more comparable to Plovdiv.

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    26. Odakle nekom ideja da jedan avion moze da donese 400000 putnika. 180*4leta*365 dana je maksimalno 260000 putnika

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    27. Anon 12.28

      Niko nije rekao da ce taj jedan avion doneti sve putnike vec da ce pomoci da se stigne do cifre od 5.4.
      Zasto odmah napadas? Pitaj ako ti nije jasno.

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    28. Anon 12.25

      Are you seriously comparing INI to tourist airports on the coast? Different markets, different target groups...

      Nis will handle some 300.000 this year. That's already a solid number for an airport like that one.

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    29. 150 PAX x 6 flights x 365 days equals 328.500 PAX.

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    30. Anon 12:38 he did not compare Nis with Varna or Burgas but only with Plovdiv.

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    31. ' its traffic numbers are minuscule compared with Varna and Burgas.'

      He did compare them.

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    32. Anon 12:36 BEG ne treba vestacki rast kao Sofia vec normalni 3-5%. Novi avion Wizza ce biti u tih 5%.
      AS nije najavio nikakve promene u svojoj regionalnoj floti.

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    33. Anonymous at 12:55 no I did not.
      I clearly stated that Niš can only be compared with Plovdiv. Burgas and Varna airports are examples that show that SOF has much bigger domestic competition than BEG has and despite that it managed to pass it in passenger numbers.

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    34. You do realize that Sofia is 400 km away from the coast?
      In Bulgaria, Sofia has only Plovdiv which is some 145 km away.
      From international airports there is only INI which could potentially steal some passengers.
      In other words Sofia is blessed given how little competition it has.

      Unfortunately for BEG, it has BUD, TSR, INI, OSI, TZL... which are fighting for the same market.

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    35. Also the coast is booming because of tourists. I doubt SOF can compete for those. Now one will fly into Sofia and then take a bus to go to the coast.

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    36. Speaking of Bulgaria, yes it is the poorest EU but the economy is growing fast. It has 4 operational airports, now W6 opened a base in VAR, BOJ has recently upgraded its aporn and will reach 3,2 million, PDV is the only underperformer but still enjoys FR flights since 2010.
      Not to mention the future lcc domestic flights.

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  7. If the road network was not as bad, Uzice could have acted as a cheaper alternative to Sarajevo, the two airports are about 180 km one from another.

    They should reach out to one of the lowcost carriers because this region has money. During a recent study on who has the greatest chance of being poor, Uzice ranked second to last with 17% right before Belgrade.

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    Replies
    1. Isnt Tuzla kinda already serving as a cheaper alternative to Sarajevo?

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    2. It is but with improved infrastructure there can be another choice for people flying out of Sarajevo and certain parts of Republika Srpska. Mind you, the two cities are 188 km apart without a highway. If there was one then the distance would have been much smaller.

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    3. Boze covece resetuj se, od Sarajeva treba oko 4 sata voznje uzasnim putem do Ponikava, bolja alternativa je npr Mostar (oko 90 minuta). Pitas li se ko ce da plati opremanje Ponikava koje su trenutno spremne samo za uzgoj krava.
      Bez uvrede,

      ATCO

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    4. Нема потребе да се ресетујем већ те молим да пажљивије прочиташ шта сам написао пре него што коментаришеш.

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  8. Uzice does get some VIP charters. You can dig some videos on youtube. I look them up once in a blue moon on flightradar24.

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    Replies
    1. Yes but can that be a return on the investment in the terminal and airport?

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    2. Uvazeni Anon 9:33 AM.
      Sta drzava i svi ostali koji ne vide buducnost Kraljevackog i Uzickog aerodroma ce uraditi sa novim terminalima i manjim delom infrastrukture koja je na njih vec gradjena kada su i terminali. Niko od kriticara ova dva aerodroma nije do sada, izuzev kritike, nije rekao zasta ce da sluze ovi zakljucani terminali. Naravno drzava je ulozila nekoliko milijardi dinara u ove aerodrome.
      "Rodilo se valjaga ljuljati". Sigurno ove aerodrome ce zavrsiti i pustiti u saobracaj Vlada Srbije. Za Moravu i Ponikve, tu su nisko budjetni... Za Beogradski, spas je koncesionar!
      Treceg nema. Ima. Da propadne ulozeni novac. To nemoze biti vise. Premnogo je toga bilo u siromasnoj drzavi Srbiji.
      Sorry.
      Rodney, Kraljevo + Sydney

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    3. Ako su odgovorni priznace greske i obustaviti dalje bacanje para.

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    4. Par miliona evra nikako nije nekoliko milijardi dinara. Terminal na Ladjevcima je platila Turska, na Ponikvama je preradjen kamponir.

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    5. Terminal na Lađevcima nije platila Turska, to je potpuno neistinito.

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    6. a za kaponir/terminal na Ponikvama ANT je bacio 250 000 eura

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    7. &Anon 12:52
      So Belgrade Airport "threw away" 250000 EUR wilfully, deliberately or what ?

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    8. Belgrade Airport has policy of aiding the development of other airports in Serbia. It also donated equipment and funds to Nis Airport too.

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    9. a sta kazu vlasnici, odnosno mali akcionari

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  9. I think Kraljevo Airport have central regional position in Serbia. Modest potential is at all three regional airport. Firstly Nis Airport, second opportunity goes to Kraljevo Morava and third position willbe Ponikve Uzice. In next 10 years i hoppe, regional airports in Serbia will carrying up to 25% of passangers trafic. And 10 to 15 percent of cargos loads. Naturally, Belgrade airport will be developed in modern Europian airport. Possible many people will not agree with my way of seeing future development of commercial aviation in this land. Serbia.
    Rodney.
    Kraljevo + Sydney

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    Replies
    1. Mr Rodney, you are obviously bad informed about opening possibilities of Morava Airport. This airport cannot handle aircraft with MTOW greater than 23t at the moment. So there won't any serious traffic to Kraljevo airport for next two or three years at least.

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    2. Postovani Anon 9:46 AM,
      Moje misljenje se odnosi naperiod od deset godina i duze. Ne za ovu ili par iducih godina. Od srca zeleci mir ovde u Evropi i preobrazaj Srbije, posebno u civilnoj avijaciji i razvoju Aerodroma Srbije. Oprostite ako je moje gledanje u buducnost Srpske aviatike nerealno, neskromno... Vi ste ozbiljan za razliku od mene. Posto pisem ovako kako vidim.
      Optimizam i odlucnost su mi darovali srecan, pristojan i skroman zivot.
      Sada u penziji, svake godine polovinu vremena provodim ovde u Otadjbini, pa stoga pomalo posmatram i avione i aerodrome. Kako po svetu, tako i ovde gde zimujem. Vama sve najbolje. Hvala Vam.
      Rod.

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    3. Postovani, svojim ocima sam gledao sletanje ATR, i to sa predsenikom drzave unutra, CL604,....Morava i ne ceka A380.

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    4. A ko pa leti sa ATRom od chartera i LCC? To je bila predizborna kampanja. Dva i po kilometra piste nije preskupo za Srbiju.

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    5. Ko leti ATR? Salite se?

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    6. Izvinjavam se...nisam video rec LCC ..oni ne lete...ali zato svaka grcka i turska kompanija ima manje avione. Da je srece da se otvore Morava i Ponikve...pa da popricamo za par godina. Iznenadili bi se svi. Samo pogledajte broj linija u Nisu. Dolazi i Swiss

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    7. Svaka grcka i turska kompanija ima manje avione...olympic na primer.

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    8. Za tvoju informaciju Wizz i Ryan lete sa manjih pista od Ladjevaca.

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    9. Kod Morave nije u pitanju dužina već nosivsost piste i ostalih manevarskih površina. Taj aerodrom ne može da prihvati čak ni CR2 ili E45, DH4 nikako, AT4 može, a AT7 može samo ako se opslužuje negde na pisti, daleko od terminalne zgrade.

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    10. Gibraltar ? 1600 metara. Lete BA i Easyjet?

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    11. Pa neka se opsluzuje gde god. Ovo je najveca steta ovako. Za Moravu i Ponikve. I narod koji ovde zivi. Ja zivim ovde pa verujem da se nesto moze uraditi. Samo pogledajte Nis

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    12. Sa A320? Tesko 2100 m je za poletanja, a Ladjevci su 2200 m. Moze uz ogranicenja.

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    13. Naravno da se može uraditi i da bi bilo dobro da se uradi, ali neko treba da obezbedi veliki novac za rekonstrukciju, proširenje i opremu.

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    14. Nis i dalje pravi ogromne gubitke i sa ovim cenama bice na pozitivnoj nuli kada bude imao pola miliona putnika. Novca za investicije ni tada nece biti.

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    15. Zapravo gresis. Aerodrom Nis u skolpu preduzeca drzi sve parkinge u gradu sto firmi donosi profit.

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    16. Niški aerodrom je se zvanično i sasvim regularno subvencioniše iz budžeta lokalne samouprave u Nišu, ove godine je u pitanju oko 450.000 evra, to nije tajna i to se radi planski.

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    17. I agree that Kraljevo (Lađevci)airport has more potential than Užice (Ponikve)airport, unlike some other opinions on this forum. Firstly, it is less than 50 km away from three major Serbian cities: Kraljevo, Čačak and Kragujevac, which combined have 300.000 inhabitants city proper. Secondly, catchment area includes Raška, Moravica, Šumadija and Zlatibor okrugs (districts), partly Resava and Kolubara as well, which is in total 1.100.000-1.400.000 people. Thirdly, it is the closest airport(compared with BEG and INI) to 3 major touristic places of interest in Serbia: Kopaonik(ski center), Vrnjačka banja(spa center) and Zlatibor-Mokra gora-Tara(mountains, NP, Eco tourism), with Studenica and Sopoćani monasteries and Stećak necropolis'(which are all UNESCO world heritage sites) being in the same area as well. And last, it is 20 km away from Obrenovac-Požega highway, which makes it well located having in mind future expansion of this road(Belgrade to Bar, Adriatic port of Montenegro). It just needs runway extension and overhaul and apron enlarging, as well as good management and touristic promotion of the region. Up to 5 annual and 10 seasonal flights with numerous charters is a realistic future developement.

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  10. It's a pitty but especially about Morava. That terminal looks better than most other ones in ex-yu.

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  11. Still dont understand why no airports in the northern part of Serbia.
    (Also known as Vojvodina)

    Difficult terrain to build? Not enought people (cca 2 million)? Or politics and blind eye turned that way?

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    Replies
    1. There were plans for Novi Sad Airport but it is so close to Belgrade it defeats the purpose. The other part of Vojvodina is so close to Budapest it also defeats the purpose. While Uzice is also not that far away from Belgrade it takes 3 hours by car because of difficult terrain.

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    2. because they will also burn a lot of money without any reason.

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    3. There is a fully functional airport in Vojvodina, by Vršac.

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    4. Fully functional? Have you been there?

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    5. Vršac airport is much to far from most of the population centres in Vojvodina.

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    6. With the highway, Surčin is as much Novi Sad airport as is Belgrade's. It's no more than 35-40 minutes from city center of Novi Sad to the terminal building - on par with some parts of Belgrade. Modern rail between two cities would reduce travel time to 15-20 minutes (yeah, I know, science fiction at this point...) - building another airport to serve this area would be a collossal waste of money. Especially with untapped potential of BJY as a low cost base, once BEG reaches capacity - which is even closer to Novi Sad.

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  12. They have funding issues because they are so greedy they can't decide between them how much % they are going to steal from the investor.

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  13. Prettvaranje dva rezervna aerodroma JNA u aktivne civilne trazi vise znanja. Privatne inicijative iz Cajetine vs Zorana i sl nisu dovoljne da se napravi pista kakva treba posle bombardovanja. U Ladjevcima je slicno napravljen je terminal zahvaljujuci turskim parama nije uradjena pista. Radi se o dva rezervna aerodroma JNA kao i sjenicki nisu to Zadar i Tuzla sa dve piste. Diletantizam u Ministtarstvu koje vodi Zorana ne vredi opisivati. Drobnjak raznese milijarde para, a oni jedva nekako zavrsavaju autoputeve. Nema tu para za po dva i po kilometra piste? Tesko.

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  14. OT: When UK exits EU, would wizz/ryan need to stop with the flights between UK and non-eu ex-yu states? If yes/no, why?

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    Replies
    1. Isn't Serbia part of Open Skies, yet not in EU?

      UK was never part of Schengen hence no real changes in operations too.
      Only increase in price (for us in UK) while we watch GBP in free fall after Article 50 initiated...

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    2. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wizz-air-sees-uk-staying-in-europes-open-skies-2017-01-18

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    3. Yet, no company has right to open a line between BEG and TGD or TIV.
      I think that the participation in EU matters more.

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  15. I agree that Kraljevo (Lađevci)airport has more potential than Užice (Ponikve)airport, unlike some other opinions on this forum. Firstly, it is less than 50 km away from three major Serbian cities: Kraljevo, Čačak and Kragujevac, which combined have 300.000 inhabitants city proper. Secondly, catchment area includes Raška, Moravica, Šumadija and Zlatibor okrugs (districts), partly Resava and Kolubara as well, which is in total 1.100.000-1.400.000 people. Thirdly, it is the closest airport(compared with BEG and INI) to 3 major touristic places of interest in Serbia: Kopaonik(ski center), Vrnjačka banja(spa center) and Zlatibor-Mokra gora-Tara(mountains, NP, Eco tourism), with Studenica and Sopoćani monasteries and Stećak necropolis'(which are all UNESCO world heritage sites) being in the same area as well. And last, it is 20 km away from Obrenovac-Požega highway, which makes it well located having in mind future expansion of this road(Belgrade to Bar, Adriatic port of Montenegro). It just needs runway extension and overhaul and apron enlarging, as well as good management and touristic promotion of the region. Up to 5 annual and 10 seasonal flights with numerous charters is a realistic future development.

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  16. OT: From another forum, the guy has inside infos, still doesn't know about flights to NYC or Beijing from ZAG, but...

    There is another surprise planned (new route from ZAG) which is almost certain and will be announced soon. Also, for the opening of the new ZAG terminal a special plane will be there (A380, I suppose, but which carrier, maybe Lufthansa)

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    1. There was a comment here that Emirates will send a A380 for the first flight
      The opening is probably in late March..probably something from either LH, AF..Qatar or BA even ?

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    2. Since Emirates will start in June, it should be some other carrier, I'd bet on Lufthansa, would be really nice to see it!

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    3. How 'bout this new route? Where and who could it be? Suppose it's big

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    4. New route by new carrier or new route by OU?

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    5. I think it's something much bigger than OU, but can't claim since I'm just reposting other guy's info. (from Skyscrapercity)

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    6. Ok, this was written on the forum, hope someone could break the code:

      LATNAATAERWKNLSEOSAIFOCOGHIARMEATNTORIASNHNG

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    7. Korea Airlines. Boom!

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    8. No, it's not Korea, is it Washington? Atlanta?

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    9. What does that mean, how its that korea, i dont understand

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    10. Don't know, the "code" was written by a guy who knew about EK coming to ZAG, he doesn't write BS, maybe it's a joke, maybe it's a hint. The other guy, who really does have inside infos from ZAG management, wrote today about a big surprise which could be a new route. Let's wait and see, everything should be announced soon.

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    11. Japan Airlines, Tokyo - Zagreb 3pw

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    12. Daily RO from OTP.

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  17. What kind of a "general manager" says "and now we can just sit and wait to see what will happen"? *That* is the basic problem...

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  18. OT: nice to see the pictured Finnair's DC10 at DBV in the vintage section.
    AY will be flying to DBV 8 weekly with A321 this summer. Any chance of an upgrade to a weekly A333 or A343 service?

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  19. OT

    MUN - ZAD 3 pw, 3may-30sep

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    Replies
    1. That's already announced
      http://www.exyuaviation.com/p/eurowings-munich-split.html

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  20. The only culprit of this ¨ghost airports¨ is Air Belgrade, with its policy based on we just fly from Belgrade to Belgrade and for Belgraders, from one HUB-Belgrade.
    I'm almost sure they are getting mad because INI is doing so well.
    One ATR72 would be more then enough to cover INI, KVO and UZC, with few weekly flights to 3 or 4 destinaions (which is not Belgrade certainlly)!

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    Replies
    1. Did you even read the article? No commercial plane in the world can land there because the airport is not complete and does not satisfy international standards. The traffic at Nis Airport completely annuls your entire rant that an airline is holding aorports back.

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