Belgrade Airport handles millionth passenger

Belgrade Airport welcomes 2014's millionth passenger

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has today handled its millionth passenger for the year, over a month ahead of 2013, as it continues to record unprecedented growth. In a statement, the airport said, “These results have confirmed previous estimates that, with the beginning of the summer season, Belgrade Airport will continue to record the biggest growth in passenger numbers and traffic volume out of any other capital city airport in Europe”. It adds that growth is being primarily driven by Air Serbia. The airport notes that while its workload has been significantly increased over the past few months, all departments continue to carry out their duties successfully.

Within the first nineteen days of April, the airport handled 214.704 passengers. Estimates suggest it will welcome 350.000 passengers through its doors by the end of the month, an increase of almost 40% compared to April 2013. The airport expects to see significant traffic over the Easter weekend. Similarly, its main customer, Air Serbia, has witnessed record passenger numbers so far this month. According to the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate, Belgrade Airport will continue to see strong growth over the summer months as a record 32 foreign carriers will operate flights to and from the Serbian capital, eight of which are charter airlines.

So far in 2014 many airlines have announced the launch of new routes to Belgrade including easyJet, Wizz Air and Air Serbia. In the coming months Etihad Regional, Vueling, TAP Portugal and Air Cairo will launch scheduled services to the city, while Croatia Airlines will resume its seasonal flights to Belgrade. In addition, several carriers have been issued permits to operate charter flights such as Aegean Airlines, Freebird, Nesma Airlines and Onur Air. On the other hand, Belgrade Airport saw Adria Airways discontinue services to the city earlier this year while Wizz Air has announced plans to shelve two routes and cut frequencies on several flights from its Belgrade hub.


  1. Anonymous10:15

    If Yugoslavia didnt break up (+/- 5%):
    BEG 12 mil
    ZAG 8 mil
    SPU 6 mil
    PRN 6 mil
    DBV 5 mil
    LJU 5 mil
    SSJ 4 mil
    SKP 4 mil
    PUY 3 mil
    INI 2.5 mil
    KVO 2 mil
    TIV 1.8 mil
    BNX 1.5 mil
    RJK 1.5 mil
    MBX 1.5 mil
    OHD 1.5 mil
    TZL 1 mil
    OSI 1 mil
    UZC 1 mil
    OMO 650.000
    POW 350.000
    BWK 300.000

    1. Anonymous10:34

      Excuse me, what is the point of this meaningless comment?

    2. Anonymous10:52

      its your meaningless problem...

    3. If there has NEVER been that dungeon of nations called Yugoslavia which produced mostly wars and blood, these numbers would have been realistic.

    4. Anonymous13:57

      I don't really think your predictions are correct and I would like to know what are you basing it on. Some airports like INI or UZC don't have any airports that are close to them so some of these numbers might be true...but airport like OSI could not have market big enough for 1mio passingers considering the closenes of ZAG and BEG...

    5. Anonymous15:28

      70 million passangers? So, that means Yugoslavia would have much more passengers than Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweeden, Denmark, Greece, Austria, Ireland, Belgium, Portugal, Finland, Romania, Poland, Czech Republik, Ukraine...

      ...and Belgrade more than

      You are so funney!

  2. Anonymous10:22

    I forgot ZAD, around 3 mil

  3. Anonymous10:29

    Since when does Croatia Airlines fly to Belgrade

    1. Seasonal flights from SPU, they're flying it since 2012

  4. Anonymous11:13

    Svakko ko voli aerodrome Beograd, postujuci druge, nemoze sakriti radost zaista impresivnog rasta i ako ekonomija drzave je za sada na niskim granama. ANT Beograd sa AIR SERBIA pojacavaju imidz, daju nadui, ohrabrenje i pravac prema teskom ali pametnom radu za rast. Od profita, pa do nacina poslovanja ste na dobrom putu u sredini i okolnostima u kojima je sada zivot u Srbiji
    Zamerka, da se sporo dogradjuje aerodrom ANT, da dinamika rada, brzina odobravanja, projektovanja i same gradnje, nebih mogao dati komplimenteali. Naprotiv po ovim pitanjima je nekopetenost, neodlucnost onih koji odlucuju. Sve dok Aerodrom bude u drzavnim rukama, organizacija sa navikama ce biti posledica improvizacije I neodgovornosti prema vremenu i efikasnom biznisu visoko organizovanom i visoko sposobnom izazovima, transformacijama... Ovo jje zelja da svima ne bude samo bolje, nego sasvim dobro. Ozbiljnost, organizacija i predanost garantuju postojanost sa uspehom u okolnostima. Za 9 dna nas dvoje ce proci kroz vase terminale, po mojoj evidenciji u 120-ti put u pravcu Sidneja. Svima na aerodromu ANT BEOGRAD, uridnistvu ovog blog sa ucesnicima, radosno VASKRSENJE GOSPODNJE, mirne letove u svakom dobru. Svima, svakom , svuda.
    Iskreno, Rodney Marinkovic, AME. Kraljeo / Sydney.

  5. Is anyone officially and seriously talking of BEG expansion?
    I saw some drawings on this and another forum but they were old.
    And what's happening with that deal for Etihad to take over the airport? It looks like its going ahead (slowly pushing Wizz out by raising prices), just no one is really talking about it.

    Anyway, anyone has any info on that?

    1. Anonymous15:05

      Nothing so far. Someone should tell Vucic and Sheiks their investment in Air Serbia will hit glass ceiling if things stay this way at the airport.

  6. Anonymous11:35

    "Gate of Serbia"

    I'm so ashamed when they use Google Translate to create marketing content... Is it so difficult to find someone who actually speaks very good English?

    By the way, correct English would be "the gate to Serbia".

    1. Anonymous18:59

      Your English is not much better either - it should be "Gateway to Serbia"

    2. Anonymous23:30

      That changes the meaning. Don't be a smartass.

    3. Anonymous00:46

      you should learn how to spell correctly if you are going to criticise ... 'smartass' should be smartarse - you dickhead

  7. Anonymous11:54

    Kada se koristi u ovom kontekstu najbolje bi bilo "gateway", ali valda ozni znaju bolje :).

  8. Additionally, Yugoslavia you dream of should be rich enough to afford this passengers figures would also invest in high speed rail which would draw many short haul passengers away.

    1. Anonymous14:40

      Even with all bad things about SFRJ, we can still consider that country a role model far beyond reach of any single banana that emerged from its ruins. At least SFRJ was no one's colony/protectorate and this was visible in all aspects of society and economy - including aviation.

  9. Anonymous15:31

    OT: AC epic fail:
    Air Canada passengers watch as carry-on luggage goes flying at Pearson

  10. Anonymous17:48

    Some guy posted this from yesterday, is it possible to know about the load on certain flights
    I booked a ticket from Belgrade to Tel Aviv and back and I am wondering is it possible to find info on what is the load on that flights. I am going there on August 8 and coming back on 11. Is there a way to look into it, or can somebody just tell me the load, thanks!

    1. Don't know about that time but the loads should be good, Tel Aviv rarely has less than 90 passengers.

  11. OT:

    Ex XA-VOR, Volaris A319 would be the next AirSrbia bird

    1. Anonymous19:52

      How it will be registered in Serbia?When does it come?

    2. Anonymous19:57

      That will be probably YU-APB.

    3. Now it is at KBGR ( Bangor,ME, USA )and flying to Europe for painting and reconfiguration

  12. Anonymous18:37

    Congratulations BEG, amazing results.

    Yesterday's flight BEG-BNX 80% LF! :-)


    Does anyone know, have any info how are first flights from STN to TGD and OSI doing? What is LF?


    1. Anonymous23:22

      Of course it is Gread week. Flights should be 100% full!

    2. According to Glas Slavonije Ryanairs flights to London are 80 per cent full

  13. Anonymous18:59

    ANT ima kapacitete za dugoliniski Saobracaj ali ocigledno neko to nedozvoljava.
    United Airlines neleti zbog LH.

  14. Anonymous19:05

    We need to be brutally honest here ... Management of BEG airport has done absolutely nothing to contribute to these numbers ... They are riding solely on the back of massive growth of Air Serbia, who are achieving + 60% growth in passenger numbers over last year ... They are extremely fortunate to have a rejuvenated national carrier as its anchor tenant. No one other capital city airport in Europe has its national carrier contributing almost 50% of passenger volumes at its airport

    1. Anonymous19:15

      +1, it is evident that AirSerbia has improved in every aspect. On the other hand BEG airport has changed so little in a positive direction that its embarrassing. The only positive thing is that they have renovated T2 area,added new bridges, and few extra shops (unnecessary ones in my opinion). The majority of the staff in BEG airport are female spozoruse, and they have no manners at all. There is so much to brag about BEG airport and its staff.

    2. Anonymous21:31

      T2 renovation and air bridges renovation started way before Air Serbia deal was announced. BEG airport really didn't do anything new to improve capacity since announcement was made.

    3. The only thing that the management did in the past six months was add those two bus gates.

      If the management wants to keep their jobs, they should have started planning to build T3 as soon as the Air Serbia deal was finalized, and they should have already started to build it by now. The is no time to wait. This summer will be crazy once the airport sees more than 500.000 passengers per month. I cannot even think what will happen in summer 2015 or summer 2016 if the airport continues to grow...

      Air Serbia and Dane Kondic has made it clear that they plan to introduce long haul eventually. There is no chance that they can do that before something major happens at BEG, such as T3, baggage system overhaul, etc.

      I guess our only hope is if Etihad gets the airport.

    4. Anonymous00:26

      16 gates is more than enough, even with JUs expansion. There is virtually unlimited number of bus gates. Building T3 now is a step too far.

      However, there are couple of things that could and should be done - and fast:

      1) Building dedicated bus gates - either at C7 or at former domestic arrivals - where pax could be separated waiting for the bus. I'd say 4 or 6 of those.

      2) The upper floor for international arrivals is an absolute priority. If plan doesn't already call for it, they should include passport control up there, because existing facilities are already creating a bottleneck. That space on the ground floor can also be used for the bus gates.

      3) Completely revamp international arrivals, which is seriously sub par as it is compared to the rest of the airport. This is not an easy fix, and would probably include some serious construction efforts.

    5. Regarding #3, there is a quite easy way to improve intl. arr. If you take a closer look, there is quite a lot of space, that has been awfully utilised. They should adapt what is on YVR, and make an exit line with bolted fence parallel with customs, remove the useless and constantly empty Hudson news - waiting crowds would be more evenly distributed, and it would be much easier to exit the airport. I sketched it, though not so well and not in scale:

      In addition, if they really want to be perverse :) they could install a live feed camera filming those who are exiting from customs, and install few plasmas with feed (one outside, at the smoking area, one in "cafe"), so the persons waiting could distribute even more evenly throughout the area. Also, solved is the issue of a taxi stand, which is virtually invisible now. Added with new lights (professional, not majstor Žika putting neons where it is easy to fit), arrivals could be adequate, especially since JU is focusing on transfer pax.
      In addition, this is not a big deal, it is quite cheap and can be done under full traffic, during night or low peak hours in two weeks or less - and will significantly improve flow and feel of the airport.

    6. Anonymous19:17

      Those are all good ideas but will not help much in the long run. Adding upper floor could impact operations downstairs and that's the last thing airport needs now. BEG needs to tear down Terminal 1 (preserve some heritage items like gorgeous mural above inside entrance, on top right of this picture: and build brand new Terminal (call it T3 or New T1) that will absorb A gates and expand it. That will allow T2 to operate as normal until new terminal is done, at which point new level could be added to T2. New terminal would fix outdated corridor at A gates, it should have centralized security (instead at gates), more parking, better baggage handling, bigger border control and arrivals areas, vastly improved parking and loading/unloading/taxi/car rental areas. More room for lounges, dining and shopping options and expansion area if needed in the future. In the least likely possibility of Etihad pulling out in a couple of years, new terminal will stay in Belgrade, so that's a more expensive but also better/safer long-term investment. And if you build it, they (passengers and other airlines) will come, even in the worst case of things not working out with Etihad (not that I want it to happen).

    7. Anonymous01:45

      But building the upper floor will actually make centralized security possible again. There is nothing wrong with expanding check in area at existing T1 (to where airport offices are now) and building another security / passport control corridor back where domestic departures once were. You don't need new terminal for that.

      Also, A corridor can be updated without building the new terminal, as they did with gates A1-A4. If extra gates are needed, they can build A11 and on, or C7 and go from there.

      Of course, at some point in time, more check in space will be necessary - that can be solved by expanding the building towards the parking, that shouldn't be too difficult; and adding a proper parking structure further away.

      All of this will keep BEG functioning perfectly until 10-12 million mark or so, when, of course, new terminal will be in order - but I'd say that should be done next to a new runway, and away from the existing building.

      The point is, all these updates are quite cheap, simple and fast. On the other hand, building a new terminal would take years, and that's if the funds are available now, which they are not. BEG will not be able to handle increased traffic as it is. Now, of course it all depends on how JU perform in coming years, but if they maintain some kind of growth, it will just attract more foreign carriers and numbers will go up fast.

    8. Anonymous04:29

      Centralized security already existed at T2, just before current passport control for departing passengers (and also at the gates).

      Plans for upper floor also existed back in 2011, see the picture of BEG airport with additional floor:

      Problem is, they didn't realize so far. Same for plans you mention for adding more A gates (A11 etc), more check in space, adding proper parking structure and other improvements you mentioned. If they are quite cheap, simple and fast as you mention - how come they didn't happen (or at least start) by now? Even if they are all completed by now, terminal would still have areas that need to be fixed. For example, sad toilets at old A gates (A6-A10) that are accessible using narrow stairs one level below concourse, or "hidden" elevator behind bar area at arrivals hall - the only way to get from arrivals to departure levels if you have luggage cart etc. There are many more examples I can come up with, and they should not exist for 4M airport, let alone 10-12M/year.
      Sometimes it's just better to build brand new terminal than to keep fixing existing one with the speed tape, and examples are everywhere. Once Otopeni opened new area in 2011, their passenger numbers jumped from 5M to 7M in one year! There is no long term alternative to new terminal at BEG. Who will invest and under what conditions, now that's a completely separate story.

    9. Regarding OTP, it was because they closed down second airport in Bucharest for lowcost and transferred them to OTP.

      Central control was temporarily "eliminated", until the second floor is added, so to avoid two security checks for departing passengers - when the second floor is added, and arriving flow separated from the departing one it will be eliminated.

      In my, humble, opinion, airport has to:
      1. Build a lowcost dedicated terminal (a simple hangar with bus gates would work fine - and give it to students of architecture to design it) with very cheap prices. Within the next year.

      2. Refurbish T2 (arrivals, gates, second floor, etc.), and later T1 (while preserving the architectural and cultural heritage of T1). In the meanwhile, fix all those "little" problems, parking, hotel, Museum, grass and flowers - with little dedication one can really make the airport look nice.

      3. During the summer start working on T3, as planed by the airport's master-plan, and on second runway. Intl. design competition, preparing land, securing the funds (use the Arab loans and money), and make it a dedicated JU terminal. It should be done in a few years time.

      In 5 years you have a perfect airport, maybe bigger than the needs are, but certainly an airport that can be highly sufficient for the next 15/20 years.

    10. Anonymous13:06

      Look, I'm not against the new terminal, just the opposite, however, I don't think money is there just yet. BEG will need T3 only if Air Serbia takes off seriously, and we won't know whether this will happen for at least year or two. But if it does, it will need new capacities and resources much sooner than T3 would be ready, even if constructions begins today!

      Now, I can't say as to why those "simple and cheap" things weren't completed. As for the reconstruction, I'd say things are going according to plan, as we are now entering stage three - but in my opinion stage four should happen simultaneously.

      Sure, there are some issues that haven't been considered (as the toilets), and I'm sure there are many more once you look at the ground floor (aka baggage handling area). But still, these costs are next to nothing compared with the cost of building a new terminal from scratch.

    11. Anonymous15:01

      "BEG will need T3 only if Air Serbia takes off seriously, and we won't know whether this will happen for at least year or two"

      We already know, just look at 60-70% monthly growth YoY. No one expects sustained 60% for the next 2 years, but even 10-20% growth plus growth with other carriers at BEG would mean it would be way too late to act after 1-2 years.

      "I don't think money is there just yet"

      Money will never be there unless you have amazing business plan and solid backers. What this really means is government has to make a deal with foreign investor for a long term (20-30y) operation of the airport. It is government's responsibility to invest in infrastructure, not to milk revenue from current BEG airport. Benefits will come in added jobs, local construction companies doing a lot of work, additional revenue (tourism etc) and having a brand new terminal paid by others. Look at what ZAG is doing, it will pay big time in the future.

      What happened to proposals from Etihad and Greek investor at BEG?

  15. Interesting fact, today there were around 230 passengers flying from Belgrade to London Heathrow. Don't remember the loads for the flights back.
    Even Larnaca had spectacular loads, 110 passengers out of Belgrade and 112 into Belgrade!
    After 4 months loads are starting to improve slowly, slowly..

    1. Anonymous21:46

      one way 230 pax? AIrbus 320 can handle a maximum of 160-170 pax, right?

    2. Anonymous21:47

      btw would you mind providing us with some other loads for today

    3. Anonymous21:56

      There are two daily flights to lhr on sat/sun

    4. AnonymousApril 19, 2014 at 9:46 PM,
      There were two JU flights to LHR today. Both were with A319s.
      JU's A319s can seat 128 so there were 256 seats available in each direction.

    5. Anonymous22:51

      Gospodine Nemjee jel znate na kojim Linijama Yu najvise stranaca putuje

    6. То су углавном линије где велики број путника преседа као што су Тел Авив, Солун, Атина, Ларнака, Букурешт. Нека одредишта као што су Софија имају 50-50 однос. Одлично је то што има јако пуно O&D путника на летовима из Београда.

    7. Ух... ево чега се сећам.

      Јутарњи долазак из Москве: 112
      Јутарње Скопље: 24
      Париз у доласку, као и вечерњи Париз су имали око 130 путника.
      Вечерњи Цирих око 110.
      Атина 83.

      Осталих се стварно не сећам али попуњеност је генерално била добра данас иако је празник. :)

      Христос воскресе!

  16. Anonymous21:08

    I was on ju 208 today and it was packed. I want a320!!! :))

    1. haha so fly to Zurich or Paris. :P

  17. Anonymous21:25

    Any one knows will AirSerbia's A6 planes will be re-registered on JU, or stay on A6 registrations?

    1. Anonymous21:39

      They will be re-registered to YU registrations over the coming 2 mths, as JU slowly becomes self sufficient with its own pilots, who are now finishing their Airbus training. 4 Airbus instructors arrived last week from EY and this will enable JU to take command of their own aircraft ... this has been the biggest constraint over the past 4 mths, hence the requirement for wet leasing aircraft and crew from EY

    2. they should better revoke them and demand replacement aircraft.

  18. Anonymous00:41

    Sretan svima Uskrs i da sve Ex Yu kompanije zavrse sa Dobitkom ove godine i LH da propadne.

    1. buhahahahaha LH olicenje zla.BEG - ZAG via FRA, sporije od busa ali jos uvek brze od voza :D pritom 15x skuplje

    2. Anonymous01:02


    3. Anonymous19:28

      Hahahahahaha aaahahaha. Jesam ateista ali, pomolimo se za Air Serbiju i Kroaciju, a LH nek bankrotira :)

  19. Anonymous17:10

    I`d say that the Tesla Airport development/expansion (investing without borrowing money) strategy has become inadequate, for it has not been modeled for a situation in which there`s a two-digit increase in passenger numbers.
    Something important has to be done, and it has to be done soon.

    First, all works envisioned by the Master plan, that refer to widening or refurbishment of the existing terminals should begin in no time.
    I`d suggest implementing as many bus oriented gates as possible, and also doubling of the luggage-claim area by expanding the subterranean level underneath the T1. Thus, we get the opportunity to create a vast new check-in area above.

    While that is being done, with T1 closed, additional capacity would have to be offered. There are two solutions:
    1) As suggested by someone above, to build a simple and cheap, low ceiling and somewhat claustrophobic low cost terminal on ANT.
    2) Move low cost flights to Batajnica airport, which I strongly advocated on another forum.

    Also, the planning stage for T3 has to commence now, too. It has, nonetheless, to bee said that THERE CAN BE NO T3 WITHOUT A SECOND RUNWAY, at least under the existing Master plan, as the usage of the old runway alone would prove to be uneconomical for airlines operating from T3.

    As for the financing, we should not be afraid of bank loans in this business, and I guess that Tesla airport is a perfect spot for public-private partnership .


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