Thursday, November 23, 2017

Belgrade Airport targets August 1 takeover


Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport anticipates for the new concessionaire to take over its running on August 1, 2018. It comes following several delays in the completion of the second and final phase of the concession process, which has now been scheduled for December 8, after which the public body evaluating the bids will have a further thirty days to make their decision known. Belgrade Airport noted that, "For the avoidance of doubt, the selected best bidder (or the second ranked bidder) will not be entitled to adjust the terms of its financial offer if the actual concession commencement date differs from the assumed commencement date". Following the selection of the winning bid, the state will initiate talks with the concessionaire to navigate the financial closure of the 25-year deal.

Despite delays in the second phase of bidding, all participating parties have now submitted the final draft of the concession agreement, while their binding offers are due in just over two weeks time. In transcripts between the bidders and the public body, it is evident that the participants are still formulating their final bids since a number of questions and clarifications concerning financing, commitment letters and administrative procedures have been requested. However, the Serbian Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlović, believes that the latest deadline extension will be the final one. She previously noted that a deal with the future concessionaire should be completed in March 2018. "The final deadline is March, which means that everything related to the concession, including all paperwork and administrative procedures, should be completed then".

The Serbian President, Aleksandar Vučić, said last week that he anticipates for the concession fee to amount to some 500 million euros, which is double the initial estimate. The President noted that the offers submitted during the first phase of bidding exceeded expectations by some 15% to 20%, adding that these cannot be lowered during the second phase. The future concessionaire will be responsible for the airport’s long-term development strategy including management, maintenance, financing and capacity expansion. The five entities taking part in the process include the Franco-Swiss consortium comprised of Zurich Airport, Meridiam and Eiffage, a consortium made up of India's GMR Infrastructure and Greece's GEK Terma, a consortium comprising of South Korea's Incheon International Airport Corporation, Turkey's Ic Ictas Altypi and Russia's VTB Capital, a stand-alone bid by Vinci, and a Chinese consortium made up of HNA Airport Group, AVIC International Holding Corporation and the China-Central and Eastern Europe Investment Cooperation Fund.

Belgrade Airport reported a 22.7 million euro net profit during the first three quarters of the year, up 14.4% on the same period in 2016. Operating income rose 15.4% to 28.3 million euros, while operating expenses increased 6.6% to 32 million euros. The airport anticipates welcoming its fifth-millionth passenger of the year early next month. Shares in the company peaked last week to historic levels, with the airport's share price gaining 26.9% in value on the Belgrade Stock Exchange over the past year.

117 comments:

  1. BEG will be definitely a nice price for anyone who gets it. I am still hoping for the Koreans but let's see what happens in the end.

    One thing is certain, next summer will most likely be a busy one at the airport as it gets closer to handling six million passengers.

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    1. +1

      Plus foreign carriers seem to be adding more and more flights all the time. We are not yet in 2018 and we have the following announced:

      - Swiss up to 16 weekly
      - Transavia 6 weekly
      - Hainan which didn't fly last summer
      - Qatar daily (for now)
      - flydubai daily

      I am sure there are going to be more changes. I am still waiting for easyJet to post their own schedule as I am sure we will see more flights from GVA.

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    2. I think we might see another destination from easy jet which is why they are still not publishing their Geneva schedule.

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    3. I don't think so, their GVA flights are operated by Swiss registered aircraft.

      I am still waiting for LH to introduce a morning MUC/FRA to BEG because connecting times from the US are a bit long when arriving on this morning flights.

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    4. I still think we will see Etihad increase capacity on the BEG line.

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    5. EY has been an absolute disappointment. Their planes are full, competition is rising and they do nothing.

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    6. @ Anonymous November 23, 2017 at 9:05 AM
      You should also add Vueling which will fly this year from March to October and not just during peak summer months.

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    7. I'm surprised at the lack of Eurowings in Belgrade. Hopefully they put a bit more focus on there and expand.

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    8. And fly to where. I think there are flights from Belgrade to 8 or 9 cities in Germany. Covered by Lufthansa, Air Serbia, Wizz Air...

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    9. I think Berlin could see another carrier as it's only Air Serbia at the moment. Eurowings could launch two weekly to start with.

      Hamburg is another destination, sure there is ASL but their schedule is sad.

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    10. I hope Eurowings stays away from Serbia. I am happy the market is divided between Ryanair and Wizz Air when it comes to lowcosts.

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    11. Cologne is one of the most unserved routes from Belgrade so there is an opportunity for any airline there.

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    12. easyJet will not be adding any more flights or destinations to Belgrade. It's still questionable if they will resume flights from Geneva. Serbia is not in the EU so the demand is much more modest.



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    13. "It's still questionable if they will resume flights from Geneva."

      There is nothing to "resume". They fly to Belgrade. They just haven't put tickets for sale from April and they said several times, including last week that they will be on sale soon. So I have no idea what you are talking about.

      Geneva or Switzerland is not in the EU and they are doing extremely well on this route by all accounts. Switzerland has one of the largest Serbian diasporas.

      The majority of flights from Serbia are to EU countries, including Germany where demand is the largest, so your logic is completely off.

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    14. You false logic is further highlighted by the fact that Swiss is adding flights from Zurich to Belgrade and Nis next year.

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    15. Swiss is a national airline that relies on transfer passengers and some diaspora. easyJet is a different company. If they were serious about Serbia then they would already sell flights for the summer. They are probably looking if there is anywhere else they can send the plane. If not then they will return with their two weekly flights.

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    16. Sure. That's why they have been saying for a month that flights will be back on sale. The route is doing exceptionally well with a very high load factor.

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    17. easyJet caters for the diaspora which Switzerland is full of. If you study passenger trends at BEG you will see that the bulk of traffic is diaspora. So again your argument makes no sense.

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    18. If I am wrong and you are right then why did they announce ALL of their flights besides Belgrade? Truth is that easyJet is probably more expensive which is why most fly on Wizz Air.

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    19. Because it could be as simple as them trying to change their slots on this flight. I can tell you on good authority that the flights have a very high load factor and operate 3 times per week this winter.

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    20. More German cities need to connected: BRE, LEJ, NRN, HHN, XFW, SXF.

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    21. Yeah all will be well until they say that flights are not coming back. It's ok there is Wizz from Basel, they can take those passengers. Serbia is still relatively poor and people can't afford to fly that often. Maybe some time it will be better and easyJet will return.

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    22. Berlin is served through TXL so there is a connection to that city.

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    23. @ AnonymousNovember 23, 2017 at 11:03 AM
      Troll alert.

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    24. @ 10.56, 11.03

      „easyJet će nastaviti sa letovima između Ženeve i Beograda i tokom letnje sezone. Trenutno radimo na redu letenja za ovu liniju i letovi će uskoro biti dostupni našim putnicima za rezervisanje preko sajta easyJet.com“.

      Easyjet statement 10.11.2017

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    25. Ok, let's wait but I am not holding my breathe.

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    26. Serbia is still relatively poor and people can't afford to fly that often

      Typical troll from the neighbourhood (lat. Troglodytarum Simplex). It has been explained many times diaspora is the main driver for those flights.

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  2. Finally we have some approximate time when this thing will be completed. It has been dragging along for a while.

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    1. It hasn't been that long. Expressions of interest began in February so the whole process should be completed within a year.

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  3. Since the bulk of 2018 summer will be under the current management, I sure hope they have done something in trying to attract new airlines. No major announcements for next year so far.

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    1. Well many are increasing their flight to BEG which is always good.

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  4. I can't wait to see who wins this and more importantly what their plans are for BEG.

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  5. "Operating income rose 15.4% to 28.3 million euros, while operating expenses increased 6.6% to 32 million euros." What does that mean, BEG loses money? If so how come they reported 22.7 million profit? Any idea?

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    1. Operating income could be what they got from airlines and so on which doesn't factor in other sources of revenue such as shops, parking, advertizing space...

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    2. Yes it's what the anon above said. You can see their whole financial report for the third quarter here.
      http://www.belex.rs/data/2017/11/00106194.pdf

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    3. I read it as follows:

      operating income = revenue - operating costs

      operating income = 28,3
      costs = 32
      revenue= 28,3 + 32 = 60,3

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    4. Yes but there is a thing called auxiliary income

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    5. yeah, as i thought i took look at the financial report
      revenues are about 7,2 bln din, which comes to about 60 mil€
      other figures matching as well.

      it is impossible that shops and other stuff generate so much money. it the report is says it generates about 6,4 mil€



      what is interesting is that JU holds ~50% of the traffic, but generates only about 40% of the income

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    6. 2,023 employees
      permanent contracts - 1,089

      about half of the employees are on temporary contracts. ridiculous.
      it is obvious they are not giving them permanent contracts so they could just f*ck with them as they like.

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    7. That is the norm in Serbia in most state owned companies and increasingly in private ones too.

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    8. i know, but it is very far from fair treatment

      also, unlike other jobs, airport personnel has to work graveyard shifts, physically demanding jobs in all sorts of weather conditions and not to mention the responsibility their job carries.
      in reward they are kept on minimum wages and temporary contracts only happy to have a job.

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    9. Oh I agree with you completely. It's a crazy practice.

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  6. Not a big fan of the government but they probably chose the best time to put the airport up for concession. They will get the best price they could have and for BEG to enter the next phase of developments it needs a new owner and professional management.

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    1. +1
      Current BEG management must be replaced by professional management.

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  7. 500 million EUR up front? That's a lot.

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    1. But who will pay this amount of money?

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  8. Excellent news for Belgrade Airport and Serbian people. The more money they get, the better.

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  9. So 500 million for concession
    + 10 million per year for concession fee
    = 750 million in 25 years

    30 million profit per year now x 25 years
    = 750 million in 25 years
    but for sure profit would be bigger in 5-10-15-25 years with more passengers.

    No logic in that!

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    1. We will see. We don't exactly know what the requirement the government has given to the future concessionaire.

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    2. Their logic is, that they don't want to wait so long to reap those 500m$.

      if they get this amount of money, ofc....

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    3. Look at what the Koreans proposed, that is to basically turn the airport into a mall with some airbridges, same thing as AMS. That will provide them with a lot of additional revenue.

      Plus, their plan is to invite more carriers which are paying full charges unlike Air Serbia.

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    4. Speaking of Air Serbia, I do wonder how this concession will affect them. I highly doubt the new owners will happily write off airport charges for them.

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    5. *new operators I mean.

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    6. ASL will still pay less than others but more than they are paying now.

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    7. Agree with last anonymous. Exactly the same thing is happening in Zagreb and it was even part of the concession agreement that OU pays less.

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    8. @Anon at 10:06
      Look at what the Koreans proposed, that is to basically turn the airport into a mall with some airbridges

      Where can we see details of what Koreans and others proposed?

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    9. There is some information on these links

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/10/incheon-plans-belgrade-airport-revenue.html

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/04/south-korea-outlines-belgrade-airport.html

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  10. Hopefully BEG falls in good hands.

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  11. Give it to the Turks who are with the Koreans. Turkish companies have developed PRN and SKP nicely.

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    Replies
    1. Is the Turkish company related to TAV?

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    2. No it's a different company. They have bid with Incheon for a few airports in Europe. I think they also bid for Zagreb.

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    3. Insider info: TAV considering only TIV in MNE.

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    4. TAV could not consider BEG even if it wanted to because the concession brief excluded all companies operating airports within 500km radius of BEG.

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  12. New terminal, runway overhaul and airport hotel are needed from a future owner in my opinion.

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    1. I think the most important would be to attract new airlines and expand capacity.

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    2. Their priority will be to make a profit ;)

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  13. BEG has been impressive this year. Strong growth despite JU stagnating, new airlines, new routes and second long haul route. Good work.

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    1. I think it will reach 5.4 million passengers this year.

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    2. Also a lot of airlines have been increasing capacity on flights to BEG which is good.

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    3. Lufthansa seems to be doing extremely well. Most of their second MUC flight is operated by the A319 and from what I heard they are quite full!

      A lot of their FRA flights are on the A320 as well. That's a lot of extra capacity this winter.

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    4. Actually, the biggest passenger growth after Wizz Air was recorded by Lot. Even most of their flights now are operated by the E75.

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    5. How many flights did LO have last summer?

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  14. Any idea on who is likely to win the concession?

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    Replies
    1. Let's not jump to conclusions. Before the Chinese showed up people were saying that the French had won it.

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    2. I hope for the Koreans.

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    3. I would prefer a company that would increase the amount of airlines and frequencies at BEG. Stimulate LCCs and launch of new destination. No matter if they are Chinese, French, Swiss, Indian or Korean.

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    4. Anonymous November 23, 2017 at 10:04 AM
      +1000

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    5. Stimulate LCCs

      Why stimulate most profitable airlines in the industry? Their goal is to displace/destroy domestic airlines and once competition is gone, jack up the prices. No to LCCs. Let them take incoming 200+ A320/A321s to Germany market and see what kind of welcome they get from Germans.

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  15. I hope the best bid wins.

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  16. What are the obligations of the concessionaire? What are they expected to build?

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    1. A second runway must be built according to the concession requirements.

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    2. @ Anonymous November 23, 2017 at 10:57 AM
      and why they will need it exactly? Can you give a reasonable explanation why somebody will need to build something that he won't use?

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    3. So you are implying they will build it and it will just sit there? BEG should start planning for the future given the steady growth in passenger numbers.

      ...and before you mention LGW, let me remind you that they have one functional runways because of other reasons, not because they want to. Look at AMS and how many more runways they have compared to LHR despite handling less passengers.

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  17. Fingers crossed that what they are saying is true and that offers are well above expected.

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  18. Has BEG given any estimate as to how many passengers they plan to have next year?

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    1. No estimates so far. However if there is zero growth in November and December the airport should welcome some 5.310.000 passengers. My guess is that we will finish 2017 with some 5.4 million.

      My estimate is that in 2018 we will have around 5.7 to 5.8 million.

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    2. We will see how Air Serbia develops in 2018. There has to be an end to the consolidation and cost cutting measures at one point.

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    3. There will be no changes in ASL, same schedule without two B737s.

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    4. What will they do for charters then? It accounts for a lot of their traffic during the summer.

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    5. I am sure their management will consider bringing back the B727 as there is no leasing cost.

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    6. Haha good one. Well they actually took a JAT B727 and it is parked at the hangar apron at BEG freshly painted in JAT's old flame livery :D I think they are preparing to move it to the nearby aviation museum.

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    7. Maybe in a few days on here we will read a text like this one: Air Serbia CEO Dane Kondic welcomed Air Serbia's newest aircraft in the fleet, a B727, featuring a retro livery to commemorate the airline's long history. The introduction of a new model is in line with the airline's consolidation measures which will make the airline a true region leader.

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    8. You're joking about the B727, but I would fly ASL just to get on board of this machine! I'm not joking about it. I like old machines :)

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  19. BEG gets quite a bit of cargo traffic. There were plans 15 years ago for some American company to build a cargo center in BEG. Hopefully the new concessionaire will consider developing this segment of business.

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    Replies
    1. That should be one of the priorities.

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  20. I was at BEG a week ago and I have to say that the airport is nice. The terminal has a nice interior and is bright. I was at the airport last time 3 years ago and compared to then there are a lot of new shops and I also saw more development going on inside. They also renovated the toilets, at least the ones I was using, and they were clean. I also think it is smart how they put toilets inside the gates as well. Overall I had around an hour at the airport and walked from one end to the other. It's also good that the entire terminal is glass and you have great views of the aprons :)

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    1. I agree that some great spotting can be done from the airport. It's nice that they added several areas with comfy chairs just as viewing zones.

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    2. It would be nice if they could somehow exploit the aviation museum more. It is a very impressive sight and if someone is in transfer for a couple of hours it would be a fantastic way to kill some time. The complex is next to the airport but it is not that accessible.

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    3. The museum belongs now to the ministry of defense so don't expect anything much there.

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    4. yeah, the new areas they opened are great with some quality seating space, without handle bars so long transfer pax can actually get some rest.

      i especially liked space for kids. it really relieves the suffering of handling a toddler at the airport

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  21. I am excited at the prospect of some real development and investment at BEG other than just some small upgrades and refurbishments. I hope the concessionaires don't keep the current management in place.

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  22. Good luck with the concession.

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  23. This is what they said last year in terms of financing. I took it from this site.

    the Serbian government would offer a 25-year concession contract through a tender procedure, with the future operator required to provide an up-front payment of 310 million euros and invest at least 700 million euros in the airport.

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  24. Dear Anon 1:11 PM.
    If is payment up front 310 million euros and 700
    Million to development Belgrade air port, that will be most sucsess achivament in aviation history of Serbia. In field of aviation infrastructures. God helping to be thrut.
    Not long time to see full story.
    Rodney and entusiastic people. 🌍🌎🌏🌐🗺

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  25. Which German destination is next to receive flights from/to BEG, anybody knows?

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  26. The chief aim of the new concessionaire is to turn BEG into a true regional hub. With as many direct connections a possible. More and more trans-continental, Euro-Mediterranean, and probably most important; regional. With 1-3 daily flights to all major Balkan cities, plus at least one daily flight to smaller cities, and seasonal flights to sea side and winter tourist cities.

    This of course has to be injunction with a strong Air Serbia.

    Balkans:

    3-4 daily flights:

    TDG
    TIV
    SJJ
    SKP

    2-3 daily flights:

    ZAG
    LJU
    SOF
    OPT
    TIR
    SKG
    ATH

    1-2 daily flights:

    SPU
    PRN
    BNX
    DBV

    1 daily flight:

    OMO
    ZAD
    RJK
    ZAD
    MBX
    CND
    VAR
    OHD
    CLJ

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    Replies
    1. Just 4 daily flight to SKP? Why not 10?

      and 3 daily to Tirupati in India (TIR)

      OPT? That is some new airport to be open?

      Constanta? Hahahahahaha!

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    2. Sta naprica ti?

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    3. Maybe a little ambitious, but good ideas.

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    4. If ASL had about 200 planes, this would happen for sure

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    5. definitely not a good proposal, but another things come to mind

      since we are talking about long term planning, most likely by 2025 we could have highway to podgorica, tivat and even sarajevo if turks are willing to give a loan. that could seriously diminish the demand for air traffic between the countries

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  27. You don't need 200 planes for this, just more regional planes.

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