Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport handled just under a million passengers during the first three months of the year, recording its strongest first quarter on record. During the month of March, the airport welcomed 343.771 travellers, up 9.8% on 2016. The figure was accompanied by a 3% increase in the number of operated flights. As a result, during the first quarter of the year, Belgrade Airport saw 955.988 passengers pass through its doors, an improvement of 9.9% compared to the same period in 2016. The airport added almost 86.000 passengers on last year's result. Furthermore, both the national carrier and foreign carriers serving the Serbian capital saw their passenger numbers improve on last year.
Commenting on the results, Belgrade Airport said, "With a planned summer schedule which will see the introduction of new routes, a good charter season, as well as more charter flights during the Easter and May Day holidays than ever before, and an increase in capacity on existing services, Belgrade Airport anticipates for its passenger growth to continue into the year". During the first quarter, the airport opened its new de-icing facility, began work on the overhaul of its Terminal 1 building (expected for completion by the end of the month), unveiled plans to expand its departures area and began tender procedures for its 25-year concession process.
This coming Tuesday, low cost carrier Transavia will commence operations from Amsterdam to Belgrade, which will be followed by the basing of a second Wizz Air Airbus A320 aircraft in the Serbian capital during the second half of May. As a result, four new routes will be launched and frequencies will be boosted on existing services. Greece's Ellinair will commence new flights from Thessaloniki this summer, while Air Serbia will introduce services to Venice. Unlike last summer, the Serbian carrier will operate services to New York, Hamburg, St. Petersburg and Malta from the very start of summer. Despite decreasing frequencies on several routes, the airline will maintain the same capacity on many of them during the height of summer, more on which you will be able to read in the coming days. In addition, Israeli carriers Israir and Arkia, which commenced operations to Belgrade last winter, will maintain five and three weekly flights each from Tel Aviv respectively, with the latter deploying the Boeing 757 aircraft on two of three of its weekly services. Meanwhile, easyJet, Lufthansa and LOT Polish Airlines will boost capacity on their services to Nikola Tesla Airport.