Belgrade boom

Low cost airline increase passenger numbers at Belgrade Airport
Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has reported a significant increase in passenger numbers handled last month. The biggest airport in the former Yugoslavia handled 358.750 passengers in August 2010, compared to 300.750 in August 2009, an increase of 19.3%. This makes August 2010 the most successful since 1991. So far, from January to August, the airport welcomed 1.823.330 passengers, an increase of 9.9%.

The arrival of low cost airlines is said to have had a direct impact on passenger numbers. The director of Belgrade Airport, Velimir Radosavljević, said that instead of taking passengers away from other airlines, low cost airlines have bought new customers to Belgrade. Since the low cost Wizz Air inaugurated flights from London Luton to Belgrade, the number of passengers travelling between the two cities rose by 27.1%. Wizz Air has a share of 27.8% of all passengers travelling to London. Other routes experiencing a boom from Belgrade include flights to Vienna, which have seen a 24.9% passenger surge and flights to Rome, Milan, Stockholm and Oslo. In 2009 the share of low cost airlines operating out of Belgrade stood at 4.5%. By September 2010 the number increased to 7%, while Radosavljević believes that by the end of the year the number will increase to 9%.


  1. Anonymous09:16

    I do not see why you didn't mention that the increase on the Belgrade-Vienna is thanks to Austrian Airlines and not so much thanks to Niki?
    what is this low-cost mania...

  2. JATBEGMEL09:53

    Its nice to read some possitive growth here. I would think that the growth isnt just due to more carriers rather that our passports dont need visas in the Schengen zone making it easier for Serbian people to travel to many European countries.

    @ anonymous

    I dont think the moderator mentioned any form of carrier, considering the moderator also mentioned Rome, Milan and Stockholm growth which isnt serviced by LCC.

  3. b-73710:24

    If Mr. Radosavljević does not succeed as a CEO of airport, he will definitely find a job in PR department of some low cost carrier :):)

  4. Anonymous12:01

    Low-cost is the way to go! Who needs an old sandwich served by ignorant crew in an old aircraft? :)

  5. Anonymous12:47

    Stockholm is served once a week by Norwegian so I suppose that lowcost have contributed to that route.
    The reason why I mentioned that was because there is so much hype about those lowcost airlines that people are foregetting the standard airlines.

    @last anonymous
    I flew Jat last night the sandwich was ctually really tasty, two triangles one vegetarian and the other one standard. There was the plum with chocolate that was more than tasty and crew was actually half young and half old so...
    For you they might be the choice but for they definetly are not. I want to travel in comfort with my seat booked rather than to fly on some cheapo airline with cattle style boarding process!

  6. Anonymous13:41


    I also prefer the legacy carriers, but I salute the LCC, as they have led to a decrease in the fares of legacy carriers as well.

    And, when I want a quality airline, I avoid Jat whenever possible (and this is alway).

  7. Jimmy Wang15:00

    I realised that JAT Airways has no domestic flights within Serbia even if the country is not enough large for huge flights, but in Europe there are several Airlines which scheduled short haul flights within a 250-400 km distance.
    For example would a flight between Beograd and Niš be not enough profitable? And maybe earlier future also to Kraljevo...
    Getting to Croatia, even if domestic flights are scheduled but it seems a little bit strange that Rijeka and Pula are not connected with Split and Dubrovnik, so also from Osijek to Zagreb, Rijeka, Pula and Split, by Croatia Airlines.
    Q400, ATR and/or AB319would be fit for these flights.

  8. Anonymous15:15

    ^ You should consider the purchasing power of citizens in Serbia compared to those other countries with short domestic flights.An ATR72 is too big for any sort of flight between BEG and INI.

  9. @ Jimmy Wang

    Before the split-up of Yugoslavia, JAT and Adria used to operate many domestic flights. Belgarde was connected pretty much to any airport in ex YU, from Ohrid to Maribor. They even served very small airports such as Mali Losinj in Croatia. With ex YU Republics being independent today, many of those previous domestic flights vanished. For example, we still don't have any airline serving the ZAG-BEG route or BEG to DBV/SPU. Hopefully, ex YU airlines soon realize that they will never achieve a significant success unless they start cooperating and developing business opportunities together without politics.

  10. Anonymous19:17

    This is really a good news :-)

    I am surprised too there si no flights between RJK or PUY and DBV & SPU for example.

    Regarding this news and passanger growth I hope and I think we shall see even better results next year in Serbia. Only Hope that Serbia will get domestic flights, doesn't matter between which cities. Would be really nice to see those destinations again between all EX YU cities like before 1991. BEG-ZAG, BEG-DBV, BEG-SPU, BEG-PUY, BEG-ZAD, ZAG-OHD, MBX-TIV, LJU-TIV, SJJ-BNX, INI-SJJ-BNX, etc.....

  11. Anonymous19:48

    @ first anonymous
    You are right that Austrian made bigger increase out of three serving Vienna, but do not forget that before Niki entered, return ticket to Vienna was 210 euro. Since Niki came, both Austrian and Jat lowered the prices to 100 euro return, which made many people travel by air unlike before or more often then before. So the arrival of Niki contributed both to the passenger figures and lower prices.
    So the advantage of LCC arrival is more then obvious regarding the competition and prices. Soon we will see prices slash on route to Rome, once Wizz starts flights in December. Currently Alitalia and Jat keep it around 180 euro return, but not for long I am sure. All in all, even people who prefer legacy carriers, myself included, benefit from arrival of lowcosters price wise, isn't it?

  12. Anonymous21:02

    finally, some good news at last! and it's quite evident what the next big move will be. with belgrade garnering major airline traffic, it will expand the airport. once this is done, it will try to attract a carrier from north america (or if this does not succeed it will wait for emirates airlines to start up operations in belgrade). then jat will commence flights to croatia offering tourists in america an easy transit to the coastline for a cheap price. i only hope this works.

  13. Anonymous21:13

    does anyone actually know what were the figures for BEG, ZAG, LJU, SJJ, TGD, SKP, DBV, SPU, PRN, INI, OHD, BNX, OMO, MBX, OSI, PUY, ZAD, TIV before the war?

  14. Anonymous10:11

    Of course I agree that the arrival of low-cost has been great as now we can travel for less money. What I don't agree is that they always give credit to the lowcost ignoring the llegacy. Like here, they have mentioned that Niki has forced them to reduce prices but they ddn't mention that OS is actually responsible for the increase of passengers.
    I do not think EK will start Belgrade anytime soon, they are more than happy with Jat flying the route. This theory was even proven sometime ago when they moved to Abu Dhabi resulting in EK calling them back.
    I think domestic market in Serbia can work only if there are direct flights to North America. I know A LOT of people from Nis who would pay to fly there. Heck they can even feed their European flights with a few flights from Nis. They can always put one ATR on the route and voila.
    I still do not see why people always say: If I want a legacy I never fly Jat.
    I understand if you go to Vienna and you fly on Austrian but I always wonder what do people see in let's say Lufthansa whose service or friendlyness is way worse than Jats!

  15. Anonymous10:21


    Lufthansa may not be the friendliest airline, but they are a very professional one and a RELIABLE one.

    You know things won't go wrong with them, and if they do, they'll solve it.

    Btw, anyone wanting to fly to Dubai, Austrian has a great deal for 352 EUR all taxes included from Belgrade.

  16. If you compare domestic flights during ex-Yugoslav period and today don't forget that the roads were much worse than today, that cars people travelling with them were much less conofortable and the buses too comparing to today's confortable road vehicles. For the destinations you can reach up to 2 to 3 hours of ride flights are not needed, also not request by the people and therefore not profitable. Please think about that thay you need for example 1 hour to get to the airport in trafic jam, than at least 30 minutes to check in, about one hour of the flight and again exiting the plane and reaching destaniation town centre at least 45 minutes, and you'll get there for the same time by car in about 3 hours ...


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