Belgrade Airport
Transatlantic potential

Inside Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport
Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is the largest out of all the airports in the former Yugoslavia. It has the largest passenger volume and movement which is set to increase during 2009. It is expected that when Serbia is put on the “white Schengen” list (which would allow Serbs to travel to countries inside the European Union without needing a visa) travel will significantly increase amongst the local population. Belgrade Airport is served by most major European carriers although very few carriers outside of Europe fly to the Serbia’s capital despite signs and trends that transatlantic services would prove profitable.

New York had been served out of Belgrade for decades until the 1990s. In 2003 Jat Airways attempted to revive services in a code share agreement with Uzbekistan Airlines and negotiations are underway to re-establish services to New York, once again through a code share agreement with another large Eastern European carrier. According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2005, 169.479 Americans declared themselves of Serbian descent. The main difficulty with flights to America is that they are highly seasonal, meaning that passengers usually travel only during the summer months (June to September) and during the holiday season in December and January. To make flights more profitable an airline could operate flights from Belgrade to Chicago via New York. The metropolitan area around Chicago, Illinois, is of particular note for its large Serbian community. A lot of marketing and preparation would have to go into making these flights profitable. Due to the highly seasonal services, charter flights during the summer could be used as a pre-launch to regular services. Connecting Belgrade with the region and adjusting regional flights to connect to the Belgrade – USA service would insure more passengers. Once these flights become profitable, an airline could start concentrating on the Canadian market. During the 1980s Jat Yugoslav Airlines operated flights to Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles and New York City in the United States from Belgrade.

Another key market from Belgrade could be Croatia. There is a significant Serbian population in Croatia and there are significant business relations between the two countries. Although relations are often strained between the two Jat Airways has announced a return to Pula this summer and Dubrovnik (if it receives all necessary licenses). Tourism is another factor that benefits these services during the summer.

Other potential profitable destinations inside Europe would be Madrid in Spain, Sofia in Bulgaria, Bucharest in Romania and Budapest in Hungary.

Note: Jat Airways will be resuming services to many destinations from the past starting this summer season. Visit tomorrow for details.


  1. Anonymous18:17

    Dream on.

  2. Anonymous23:12

    Anonymous, that's a bit of a harsh call to make...

    This forum looks at all possibilities for all issues (regardless of location etc) within the ex-YU.

    Whether these possibilities end up in fruition is another story (nobody can predict the future), but clearly the stats do speak in large volumes...

    Interestingly what wasn't mentioned was what will happen with the population travelling from Australia/NZ who used to codeshare with Emirates via Dubai.

    We have seen many of the other main airports in the region listed so far, and it's only fair that we see BEG listed too.

  3. Anonymous03:33

    ko je ta "velika istocna aviokompanija" o kojoj pricate? ima li poima? Aerosvit? Olympic?


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