Monday, May 29, 2017

HNA Group frontrunner for Belgrade concession


China's HNA Group, a sprawling conglomerate with interests in aviation and tourism, is the favourite to win a tender for the financing, development, maintenance and management of infrastructure at Belgrade Airport over the next 25 years. HNA, which is bidding as part of a consortium with China National Aero-technology International Engineering Corporation, which designs, contracts, and constructs various public, civil, and industrial projects, will submit its non-binding bid for the airport by May 30. However, the company's CEO, who visited Belgrade earlier this month, has already outlined some of its plans. The bid will include major infrastructure development at the airport, as well as a strategy to significantly boost the number of Chinese tourists visiting Serbia. Hainan Airlines, which is part of the HNA Group, plans to launch services to the Serbian capital this September.

The Mayor of Belgrade, Siniša Mali, noted, "There are currently two Chinese companies bidding for a concession of Belgrade Airport. We have held talks with both of them and may the best one win. However, Belgrade is currently the only city in this part of southeast Europe which has nonstop flights to North America, and soon direct services to Beijing. If a Chinese company wins the concession tender, it will be of great importance for us, because we will be able to develop the airport at a much quicker pace and welcome in a significant number of Chinese travellers". The other Chinese company bidding for Belgrade Airport is believed to be the Shenzhen Airport Group. The HNA Group has already signed a letter of intent with the Serbian government for the establishment of services and the set-up of a flight training centre in the country. The HNA Group has been among the most acquisitive players in a wave of overseas investments by Chinese companies in recent years. Last year alone, HNA purchased Brazil's third largest airline Azul, Swiss airline catering company Gategroup, and stakes in airlines such as Virgin Australia and Portuguese national carrier TAP.

Meanwhile, the Serbian government has made a second extension to a deadline for the submission of non-binding bids for the 25-year concession to operate Nikola Tesla Airport. The deadline has now been extended until May 30. The original date was fixed for April 13. "The public body (government and airport management) decided to extend the deadline to allow qualified participants sufficient time to prepare all of the required documentation", the airport said. The government expects for the airport deal to be worth around 400 million euros. Last week, Belgrade Airport reported a rise in its net profit of 21% to 6.8 million euros during the first four months of the year. Operating income rose 11% to 22 million euros, with the highest rise in revenue registered from aircraft de-icing services. Gross profit amounted to 7.9 million euros, up 18%.

128 comments:

  1. oh what a suprise

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    Replies
    1. People were first saying how the Arabs would win. Then how the French would win. Now it's the Chinese.

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    2. Only a handful of people on here said that the French would get it. I think most people think the Chinese will get it because of so much money they already invested in the country.

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    3. Vučić take peanut route to PEK via PRG.

      China take BEG concession.

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    4. It will go via Prague initially during the winter...

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    5. Anon 10:10,

      China will PAY for the BEG concession - if they win it at all. Your attempt to present this as if BEG was given away in exchange for one route is a bit childish.

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  2. They would be a smart choice in my oppinion

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  3. What's the point of the tender then? The Mayor seems to have already have decided it's going to be one of the two Chinese companies.

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  4. Do they operate any other airport?

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    1. 16 airports in China

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    2. So this would be their first airport investment outside of China?

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  5. BTW HNA Group also has a stake in Durfy which operates Duty Free and retail at Belgrade Airport.

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    Replies
    1. Is there anything they don't have a share in?

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    2. The way they are going there won't be much left.

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    3. Seems like a bubble that will burst sooner or later.

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    4. No, seems like a clever diversification strategy to direct Chinese capital abroad. But that's probably going to fly right over your head.

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  6. Ironically, the same applies for PDV. Hainan seem to be the favourite. But only 3 companies applied anyway. Lets see what happens.

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    1. Silk Road Plovdiv Airport, Consortium Plovdiv Airport and a tie-up between Hainan and Plovdiv Airport Invest. They haven't provided details on who is behind these companies.

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    2. Hainan is represented by the Bulgarian ex-Minister of Transport.

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    3. Anonymous at 10:15 AM
      LOL, that is the Balkan way of doing business!

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  7. I'm sure they would do well in developing the airport. Chinese investments in Serbia have all turned out quite well.

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  8. I would be interested to see their strategy in increasing tourist numbers from China to Belgrade.

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    Replies
    1. They own so many airlines and tour operators in China, I'm sure they would use them. I have also read they plan to buy Hotel Yugoslavia, which would probably be completely reconstructed to cater to the needs of Chinese guests.

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    2. Can you give an insight into what investments are you talking about? As far as I know, they've made a lot of LOANS to Serbian government, but no major investments.

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    3. We would probably see flights to Shanghai too.

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    4. Agree with anon @10.07

      Serbia’s business deals with China focus too much on loans for infrastructure instead of direct investments.

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    5. The first direct investment is their purchase of the Zelezara steel mill.

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  9. So can we expect Terminal 3?

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    1. They could offer to build terminal 4 and 2nd and 3rd runway, but with non binding bids, and Chinese companies are very sneaky as they always offer such deals, but never deliver.

      Hopefully Serbian government has some smart people, and can see what the HNA Group is up to.

      Binding bids only and concrete plans. Also I don't understand why Belgrade Airport needs to be put into concession ? My only guess, some fat cats want to line their pockets at the expense of Serbian tax payers.

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  10. "Last week, Belgrade Airport reported a rise in its net profit of 21% to 6.8 million euros during the first four months of the year. Operating income rose 11% to 22 million euros, with the highest rise in revenue registered from aircraft de-icing services. Gross profit amounted to 7.9 million euros, up 18%".

    You have to wonder why on earth they would be selling a company that is performing this well.

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    Replies
    1. To secure more budget revenue and comply with the terms of a 3 year 1.2 billion euro loan deal with the International Monetary Fund, Serbia needs to sell off its remaining state owned firms.

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    2. That is why the winner will be dictated by the MMF. Like everything else in this country.

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    3. So much for all that BS that Air Serbia do not pay their way at the airport ....

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  11. Cooperation with Chinese usually only benefits the Chinese.

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    1. Actually Chinese offer better terms than most.

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    2. They built the bridge over the Danube in Belgrade and it benefited the whole city.

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    3. +1

      The bridge did wonders for the city as it enabled us to remove all trucks from Karadjordjeva Street.

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    4. You do realize that the Chinese gave a LOAN to Serbia to finance the building of the bridge with CHINESE companies and workers. So they are getting the LOAN REPAID, will CHARGE INTEREST on the loan, had THEIR companies employed, GREW THEIR EXPORTS to Serbia, etc.

      Are you really not seeing this or just fooling around?

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    5. And the above doesn't apply for all other countries/enterprises in the world giving loans?

      The bridge was built and directly benefits millions of Serbs. The end.

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    6. You guys keep shaming the Croats for taking loans to construct a network of highways that benefit Croats and Croatian economy, yet seem fail to grasp the fact that all China is doing is giving LOANS so that THEIR companies can export THEIR (CHINESE) SERVICES and GOODS to these countries. The bridge does benefit the city, but it was a LOAN that will be REPAID by those same citizens. It is NOT a gift. NOT a gift. Repeat!

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    7. The bridge is part of a much broader picture, silk road is a unique chance!!!

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  12. This could really bring a lot of Chinese feed to the airport.

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  13. Wow well done Mr Mayor. 27 companies have expressed interest in the airport but you have already chosen a winner. What a farce.

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    1. The Chinese will probably give a big offer for the airport since they are in the best situation to do so.

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  14. Chinese are most likely to turn BEG into regional hub.

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    1. Only airlines can turn an airport into regional hub, not airport operators.

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  15. If the Chinese ever win, maybe they can think of building a second runway for BEG?

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    1. Around the same story again? what is the point and benefit of a second runway and why do you so badly need it when aviation doesn't? Better keep rural land than transfer it into solid concrete.

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    2. Because BEG's traffic is increasing a lot and it's better to have a second one.

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    3. BUD, OTP, ATH, SKG... all have a second runway, why shouldn't BEG?
      It's an investment in the future.

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    4. Exactly. After all, there is a plenty of space too. And who knows, maybe bigger jets will be sent in the future like A380.

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    5. LOL!
      Neither BUD, OTP or SKG need a second runway for the amount of traffic they serve currently or in the next 20 years!
      So certainly BEG doesn't need one either.
      LGW handles 40 million travelers+ with just one runway.

      What BEG needs is improvements in the terminal and LOWER charges.
      That will attract airlines, not an expensive second runway which would only increase airport expenses without any added benefit.

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    6. Getvik bi imao drugu pistu da ima mesta za nju.
      Potrebe organizacije savremenih aerodroma namecu drugu pistu a ne broj poletanja i sletanja.
      Druga pista je potrebna, ali ne paralelna postojecoj, radi smanjenja buke prilikom poletanja. Kargo saobracaj je delimicno izmesten u Nis zbog toga. Problemi sletanja pri jakom bocnom vetru i sl., gustina saobracaja

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    7. What BS!
      No airport needs another runway if it doesn't have the necessary traffic to support it. GTW functions perfectly and transports 43 million with only one.
      What BEG desperately needs is a lot mote airlines and passengers to use existing facilities. Building new and unneeded infrastructure will only drive charges for airlines up and passenger numbers down.

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    8. Finally some sense from people. Take a look at LGW, LTN, STN, BHX, etc. Single runway airports with traffic (both aircraft and pax) much higher than BEG. There's this need for megalomaniac projects in the exyu only to score political points. Another runway for MBX while we're there, invest in the future :)

      As far as the A380 goes, I don't see any problem for BEG ops. If the 747 can land and takeoff, A380 should be no different. Taxiways and apron is different story.

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    9. Lets agree that 2 is more than 1. Why not have 2 runways now until it's too late? You cannot compare STN or LGW with BEG.

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    10. Why stop at 2 while we're at it?!

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    11. Why not building second runway? Because it costs a lot of money. And it's you Guys, Serbian people, who will need to pay for it. Investors come to make money, nothing else. So I would better listen to experts and build the second runway only if needed, i.e. when traffic growth justifies this. But this decision can be made after 10 or 20 years.

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  16. i don't understand who pronounced them front-runners? siniša or the Ex-Yu admin?

    anyhow, it isn't really serious to do so, especially since the 4-time prolonged date for submitting non-binding offers hasn't passed yet.

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    1. Belgrade Mayor has pretty much proclaimed them the winners.

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    2. From what I have read and what I have heard they conditioned the Beijing flights with the airport concession. Now suddenly they apply to fly to Belgrade, their 'Dream Jet' lands in BEG, their CEO is in BEG... They have also signed agreement with the Serbian government to invest in Serbian aviation where the airport concession is also outlined. Smells to me too like they will get the concession.

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    3. huh, this quote is favorable for them, but i guess siniša can spill a few good words for anybody out there. also, it would be nice to know on which occasion did he made this comment? if it was to some chinese related event than it is normal for him to utter something like this.
      " If a Chinese company wins the concession tender, it will be of great importance for us, because we will be able to develop the airport at a much quicker pace and welcome in a significant number of Chinese travellers"


      but nevertheless, if it is to be HNA may they spend vast sums and buy JAT Tehnika as well

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    4. Who owns JAT Tehnika? Air Serbia or the government?

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    5. The Serbian government. It used to be part of Jat but was taken out its ownership in 2004.

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  17. Do we know how many offers were actually submitted so far?

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    1. We will know on 30th of May. Unless they extend the deadline again.

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    2. It would be great if they actually reveal eventually what each of the bidders is proposing to do.

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    3. at least to know which horses are still in the race :)

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    4. @11.09 I don't think they will do it but knowing how everything leaks to the Serbian media we will probably have details plans from each.

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    5. @11.14 that they will. They are obliged to and they publish this promptly on the BEG airport website.

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  18. Some people criticize the Chinese, but really, everything they did in the country was finished before the deadline, which can not be said for some major infrastructure projects carried out by companies from the EU. I think they would be a good choice for the airport.

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  19. Why is everyone freaking out because the Chinese might get it?
    Personally I think it's the best solution and here is why:

    1. Serbia and China are far apart meaning that it's difficult for a direct conflict of interest to take place.

    2. China has a proven track record when it comes to infrastructure in Serbia. Pupin's Bridge being the prime example. Another one being the Belgrade-Budapest railway link.

    3. China has bought several large, loss-making companies saving thousands of jobs.

    4. China has supported Serbia in its rightful fight against Kosovo's illegal secession.

    5. HNA Group has a lot of money on its hands meaning that they are not in a rush to earn some more. In other words they can afford to have lower margins until their business consolidates.

    6. By owning airlines and tourist agencies, they can turn BEG into a regional center for the arrival of their tourists to this part of Europe. If they get the airport concession then it can be expected that some of the traffic that currently uses BUD will be switched to BEG.


    Overall it seems like a win-win situation.

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    1. As long as they invest a lot in infrastructure and upgrading facilities I don't mind.

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    2. Not a word about what role is planned for Air Serbia when concession starts? Is it going to turn into what Korean did to CSA, with one A330 flying to Asia, in this case Air Serbia A330 flying from Belgrade to Shanghai while Hainan flies BEG to PEK? Looks like a good excuse for JU to shut down "unprofitable" JFK and fly to China instead.

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    3. 4th point...I cant begin to believe you wrote that!

      CRUCIAL FOR AVIATION and for slippng politics into something totally unrelated! (LOL!)

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    4. @1.23: CSA is owned by Korean. Whoever gets the concession they won't own Air Serbia. As for New York, Air Serbia is in it for the long term with that route. You think Beijing would be profitable straight away?

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    5. Anon 13.29
      Believe it or not, it's your right just like it's my right to defend my country's territorial integrity.

      The two countries have always had very good relations. Serbia was also the first European country to open its doors to Chinese investment. This concession is just a product of a long and prosperous relationship.
      With Bank of China Balkan HQ in Belgrade, Zelezara in Smederevo and hopefully Bor as well, any potential BEG-PEK route will see a lot of business traffic which usually increases a route's yields.

      Like I said, these are some good news. Especially since the Chinese have already proven their worth in Serbia but I would also add that this will shift some BUD traffic to BEG.

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    6. Also, let me add that civil aviation is very much tied to politics.

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    7. Concessionaire will not own Air Serbia but will have massive leverage in terms of discount levels, pricing that may or may not be attractive to LCCs etc. That way they can big influence on Air Serbia.

      Hainan will easily make BEG extension profitable. If they have LF of 67% for PRG-PEK, BEG can only fill remaining 1/3 of the seats or 194 one-way weekly seats. If their LF is 75%, that's only 146 weekly seats available to be filled from BEG, and that should be easy.

      While Vucic and Kondic worked hard for the past 2-3 years to get flights to China (#1 in long haul O&D from BEG to the East), they are not at all interested in working as hard to secure more top long haul destinations to the West, namely ORD and YYZ. Now that JU is committed to not expanding A330 fleet, what's stopping them from reaching out to other airlines for those routes? ZAG has TS with 692 weekly one-way seats from YYZ, that's more than what HU could offer on PEK-BEG it they upgrade to two weekly NONSTOP A333 flights (584 weekly seats). Why are Kondic/Vucic not reaching out to Air Transat or Air Canada Rouge with the same passion as they did for PEK flights?

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    8. According to Serbian media, HNA is also looking to buy several spa complexes in the country!

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    9. and Hilton Hotels
      China's aviation and shipping giant HNA Group extended its push into hotels and Chinese tourism on Monday, paying $6.5 billion to buy a 25 percent stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (HLT.N) from biggest shareholder Blackstone Group LP (BX.N).

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    10. HNA investments and possible concession should not interfere with further expansion of long haul routes from BEG to the West. Hainan won't be able to one day fly BEG-ORD or BEG-YYZ, and JU doesn't want to fly there. So bring those that can.

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    11. Hmm Hilton should be opening its first hotel in Serbia in a couple of months.

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  20. So if they get the airport we might see TAP resume flights to Belgrade :D

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  21. Let's wait and see but I also believe the Chinese will win this. It would be an interesting game then. We have Germans in Slovenia, French in Croatia, Chinese in Serbia and Turks in Macedonia and Kosovo.

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    1. Montenegro will give up its airport for concession soon as well.

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    2. It's sad really. Airport's should be operated by the countries they are in.

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    3. So far the Turks are the doing the best. SKP and PRN are booming!

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    4. SKP is booming because of Wizz Air.

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    5. SKP is booming because of the LOW PRICES offered by WIZZ. They would also boom if any other airline would offer such low prices.

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    6. TAV is doing so well in SKP thanks to their concessionary agreement under which they basically pay no concession fees once the number of pax reaches 1 million. I would not be surprised if they struck a similar deal in PRN as well.

      Not to mention the only carrier they can attract to SKP is Wizz. They even don't bring other LCCs (I wonder why...)

      Whoever wins the BEG concession, I hope it won't do anything similar to what was done in SKP and PRN.

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  22. OT: Today BEG - JFK 5 business/ 217 economy
    many Greeks

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    1. We all know JFK might be profitable as well as many other routes. Tje problem is 2k useless employees, not the routes.

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    2. You can have 100% loadfactor on every flight 365 days a year and it wont matter!

      It is YIELD that matters ans makes you profitable or not. Not offering super cheap tickets to attract connecting passengers from Greece and the Balkans.

      That way you are only subsidizing foreigners and foreign countries tourism industries.

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    3. It's better it or to fly the plane empty?

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    4. You are losing money either way. What is better is to only fly routes and frequencies that passengers are willing to pay a price that at the very minimum covers your costs. Not offering charity to mostly foreign travelers.

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    5. Have you even looked at their prices to New York lately?

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    6. From Belgrade or from ATH, SKG, SOF, OTP, TIA, SKP, DBV, SJJ, ZAG etc?
      Cause their prices are great if you are not travelling to and from Serbia.

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    7. @3:31PM Why are you so worried about that?

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    8. Prices FROM New York are not cheap at all

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    9. AnonymousMay 29, 2017 at 4:51 PM
      Because he was jealous

      AnonymousMay 29, 2017 at 5:35 PM
      Yes, the minimum price is 790-850euros to ATH, SKG, TGD, SKP, OTP... from New York to Belgrade over 1000 euros.

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    10. When does New York starts 4x weekly?

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    11. From June 2nd, 4x weekly (add friday flight)
      From June 20th 5x weekly (add tuesday flight)

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    12. Yeah, I find kind of outrageous too that people from Serbia, those same taxpayers who 'maintained' their national airline for 2 years with their money, have to pay much more for a ticket than Greeks, Albanians, Croats, Bulgarians etc.

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    13. Good observation, which shows why all this government-owned national airlines on life support are a complete waste of money, except for the people who work there.

      Same thing with JP, millions of taxpayers' money was drained into the black hole that the company is, only so you have a privilege to pay 600+ EUR for a return ticket to BRU.

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    14. Form me is also cheaper to fly from BEG to JFK via FRA, than Germans from FRA to JFK direct. Everywhere is the same.

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    15. Taxpayer is not a shareholder, and shareholder is not a employee or a CEO. Try walking into Apple Store saying how you hold some shares in Apple and demand they reshuffle the merchandise or give you a discount and report back...

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  23. Sutra je D dan za prvi krug podnesaka za koncesiju. Bez obzira ko izjavljuje o koncesiji. kome se ko i sta svidjalo,dve cinjenice su najvaznije. Prva je visina novca koji ce se investirati u razvoj aerodroma, efektinost i garancija kraceg roka gradnje i multipliciranja putnika i karga u vreme koncesije. Drugi razlog jeste ostvarenje potpisanog u dogovorenom vremenu. Nepotrebno je bar sto se mene tice, elaborirati koji konzorcijumi su najsposobniji za investiranje potrebnog novca. Kao i kapaciteta, iskustva, referenca...
    To ce se videti na zavrsnom biranju koncesionara. A do tada prici po pitanju davanja aerodroma na koncesiju moze da bude bezkrajno. Koliko se pojedincima kao sto sam i sam, svidja.
    Iskreno ocekujem brzi preporod Beogradskog vazdusnog cvora. U ostalom kao i najveci broj ljudi u Srbiji, koji zele promene i brzi razvoj. Komercijalne avijacije i aerodromske infra strukture u zemlji Srbiji.
    Pozdra iz dalekog Sidneja.
    Rodney Marinkovic & Aviation Entusiast Group
    Kings Park NSW
    Sydney AUSTRALIA

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    Replies
    1. Drzava daje u koncsiju, jer MORA, uspesno preduzece. Predaje je verovatno drzavnom preduzecu iz Kine. Toliko o privatnoj inicijativi. O kakvom preporodu uspesnog aerodroma sada mastas?

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    2. Ne mastam o Vasem nacinu razmisljanja postovani Anon 1:15 PM. Dali je "verovatno" privatno ili ne, to je sekundarna stvar. Beogradski aerodrom jeste drzavno uspesno preduzece. Ali i taj neto godisnji profit nije dovoljan ni za 35 godina da bih napravio na aerodromu to sto ce koncesionar sa kim ce se sklopiti konesija, za narednih deset godina. Da drzavno preduzece polako gradi iducih decenija, od svoga godisnjeg profita to se u dnasnje vreme ne cini. Da dize kredit da sami grade je takodje neobjektivno. Koncesija o kojoj je dosta napisano jeste odgovor na vasu dilemu. E sada ko ce da dobije tu koncesiju, iskreno neznam. O tome sam u prethodnom clanku izneo svoje misljenje.
      Uzivaj te u dolazecem letu. Sa ili bez maste. Vasa je slobodna volja i Vas izbor. Spostovanjem.
      Iz Sidneja,
      Radovan Marinkovic

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  24. I for one am happy if the Chinese get the airport. Good news.

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    Replies
    1. I am happy if the one that makes the best offer wins be it they are Chinese, Japanese, French or whoever.

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  25. Those are good financial results from BEG airport.

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  26. The expansion of the HNA group in Serbia seems very interesting. I wish them luck and I hope it benefits the average Serbian traveler.

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  27. Which Chinese company runs TIA? Are they related to HNA Group?

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  28. I don't understand what's the point of tender if such announcements are being made even before it ends.. I sincerely hope Koreans will win the concession, they seem the best pick of all that applied, Chinese close second.

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  29. OT

    EK129 DXB-ZAG 1.Jun overbooked

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    1. Better tell us about Jun the 2nd.

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    2. 1st June can still be booked so stop talking bullshit.

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    3. EK129 DXB-ZAG 01.06

      Booked: 7F 19J 340Y

      Capacity: 8F 42J 310Y

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    4. Bravo, ZAG! Samo pucajte od ljubomore!

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    5. AnonymousMay 30, 2017 at 8:52 AM

      Setite se vas kakvi ste bili 23. juna 2016. godine kada je Air Serbia poletela za USA.
      Lično me ne interesuje to što je ZAG povezan sa DXB, nije to nikakv novitet ili wow destinacija ostim toga što će usluga na letu biti bolja.

      Delete
    6. Kakvi smo "to bili"?
      I ne glumi sveca. Hate brigade i fanboysa ima na obje strane.

      Delete
  30. http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/273047/hainan-airlines-expands-prague-frequencies-in-s17/

    not a single word about BEG flights??

    ReplyDelete

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