Belgrade and Skopje maintain growth

Boom time for Belgrade and Skopje

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport and Skopje Alexander the Great have recorded a strong start to spring by maintaining notable passenger growth in March. Serbia’s busiest airport welcomed 282.447 passengers through its doors, an increase of 28.2% compared to the same month last year. Air Serbia was the greatest contributor, as the national carrier handled just over 45% of all travellers passing through the airport. It was followed by Wizz Air which welcomed 32.759 passengers on its flights to and from the Serbian capital, while Lufthansa was the third busiest airline. The airport saw the number of flight operations increase from 3.110 last March to 4.209 this year, or an increase of 35.3%.

Through March, Belgrade Airport saw the launch of several new routes including Sofia and Budapest by Air Serbia, Larnaca by Wizz Air and Rome by easyJet. Meanwhile, Air Cairo, a low cost subsidiary of national carrier Egypt Air, has received permits to operate scheduled flights from Hurghada to Belgrade starting next week. The airline will operate three weekly services until the end of the 2014 summer season and is likely to operate two weekly flights from Cairo to Belgrade next winter. In the first three months of the year Belgrade Airport handled 785.296 passengers, an increase of 30% compared to the same period last year.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN270.784 28.9
FEB232.061 33.8
MAR282.447 28.2

Meanwhile, Skopje Airport welcomed 76.589 passengers through its doors in March, an increase of 12.3% compared to the same month last year. Wizz Air was the dominant carrier as its handled 40% of all passengers to and from the airport. On the other hand, Ohrid Airport handled 1.110 travellers during the month. So far this year, Skopje Alexander the Great Airport saw 204.174 passengers, an increase of 9.9% compared to the same period last year. Macedonia’s busiest airport is expected to record strong growth in April with the launch of several new routes by Wizz Air.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN62.362 1.4


  1. Anonymous09:07

    At BEG table there are two FEB :) This morning YU-APA entered the service, deployed to SVO

    1. Anonymous09:38

      That's very good. Air Serbia desperately needs more aircraft. :)

  2. Anonymous09:16

    Late last year, someone (who used to give us news of megalomanic projects about a certain airport in Ex-Yu, that is recording minimal to negative growth as of now) projected:

    Anonymous December 15, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    OK, looks as if this is how this year gonna pan out for all major airports in ex-YU in terms of passenger numbers.

    Belgrade - 3.52 million passengers
    Zagreb - 2.31 million passengers
    Pristina - 1.62 million passengers
    Split - 1.58 million passengers
    Dubrovnik - 1.52 million passengers.
    Ljubljana - 1.31 million passengers
    Skopje - 1.03 million passengers
    Podgorica - 720 000~ passengers
    Tivat - 695 000~ passengers
    Sarajevo - 670 000~ passengers
    Zadar - 485 000~ passengers
    Pula - 385 000~ passengers

    And projections for 2014

    Belgrade - 3.83 million passengers
    Zagreb - 2.55 million passengers
    Split - 1.72 million passengers
    Pristina - 1.70 million passengers
    Dubrovnik - 1.61 million passengers.
    Ljubljana - 1.44 million passengers
    Skopje - 1.16 million passengers
    Podgorica - 810 000~ passengers
    Sarajevo - 785 000~ passengers
    Tivat - 745 000~ passengers
    Zadar - 525 000~ passengers
    Pula - 425 000~ passengers

    We all know who it is, he is named: Talp. Things are looking up...well, not for Zagreb.

    1. Anonymous09:18

      He lives in Holland.

    2. Anonymous09:24

      You already posted it on yesterday's topic, are you obsessed or what?

    3. Anonymous14:03

      Are you pissed off or ashamed by how wrong he was?

    4. Anonymous16:36

      No, I'm a grown up, and I actually feel sorry for you!

    5. Anonymous17:29

      If you were so grown up and mature you wouldn't be posting as Anonymous bud.

    6. Anonymous18:22


    7. Anonymous18:39

      Not to mention that if he was that mature and grown up he would have ignored the comment altogether.

    8. Anonymous18:51

      (2) Hahahahahahahahaha

  3. Anonymous09:25

    In 2013 Tivat had 870 000 pax. official airport info!

    1. Anonymous09:38

      How many in 2012?

    2. Anonymous10:30

      725 000 in 2012.

  4. Anonymous10:01

    I wonder how Wizz reducing flights at BEG will effect numbers there. And the opposite at SKP.

    -- Charlie

    1. It will have a negative effect on the airport's performance, but considering the airport has been averaging nearly 30% growth in the last three months, I don't think it will be even noticed. Air Cairo, Etihad Regional, Vueling, TAP, and Air Serbia are all launching new routes, so I think that they will more than offset the Wizz cuts.

    2. Well, Air Serbia seems to be having a phenomenal April so hopefully they will compensate. As we can see, Wizz Air handled a bit more than just 30.000 passengers last month. I doubt their downsizing will have a major impact on BEG numbers.

  5. Anonymous11:19

    What's the status of Air Serbia's fleet now?


    1. YU-APA
    2. YU-APC
    3. YU-APE
    4. YU-APF
    5. A6-SAA
    6. A6-SAB


    7. YU-APH


    8. YU-AOU
    9. YU-AOV
    10. YU-ANI
    11. YU-ANJ
    12. YU-AND
    13. YU-ANK
    14. YU-ANV


    15. YU-ALU
    16. YU-ALN
    17. YU-ALO

    Is this correct?

    1. Anonymous12:06

      Atr 72- YU ALT and YU ALP are on the painting in Netherlands I think...

      The rest is correct.

    2. Anonymous12:11

      Well, I did not add them because they are currently not in service.
      If we look at it like that then we should also add YU-APG.

    3. Anonymous12:36

      Both 320 are in service

    4. Anonymous12:43

      YU-APG is in Munich on reconfiguration,will be delivered until end of april,only YU-APH is in service

    5. Anonymous13:16

      Does anyone know seat configuration of those 737,how many seats do they have?

    6. Anonymous13:43

      It varies from 126 to 144.

    7. Anonymous18:11

      AOV and AOU are not operating these days due to some maintenance.
      Anyone knows how long will they stay in AirSerbia?

    8. Anonymous18:32

      AOV flew yesterday.

  6. Anonymous11:38

    I'm wondering if Skopje will manage to attract some new Routes this year beceause there were announced some subidizes for airlines launching new routes out of SKP. They are only good connectet to middle europe but not to the south (like Madrid/Barcelona) or north (Moscow, Warsaw) i see some potential on these routes.

    Eyeing Ohrid and the announced subidizes for an airline launching a 2 times per week flight to London (OHD-London) i am also hoping that this will be a good start for Ohrid to attract more Airlines and Tourits.

    1. Anonymous11:57

      I think OHD can also use regular service to Zurich and at least one or two German airports + low cost airport in Sweden.
      Regarding SKP, definitely Barcelona and Moscow will be maintainable, but I'm looking to see more legacy carriers such as the new Alitalia route to Rome

    2. Aleks14:04

      I fully agree... Some legacy carriers operating from skopje to moscow and Barcelona wont be bad. I see a bright future for the macedonian aviation industry

  7. Anonymous11:42

    OT: tomorow Adria receive a new Airbus A320 which will come from Kuala Lumpur. :)

  8. I think Belgrade will welcome its 1 000 000th passenger in April :-)

    1. Anonymous12:12

      No doubt about that especially if the two Atrs return before the end of the month. I am confident that BEG will handle more than 300.000 passengers in April. :)

    2. Anonymous21:20

      Wrong estimation, BEG will handle more than 340.000 passengers in April !

  9. What happened with the old SKP terminal building?

    1. Anonymous14:10

      All what I know is that its out of use and left empty. They planned to open the old Terminal again for LCC's but this idea failed. For now the old terminal just shows some nostalgia without any function.

      Maybe someone knows more and can prove me wrong.

    2. Thanks for the info!

  10. Anonymous15:38

    OT: Etihad investment in Alitalia

    According to internet chatter, Etihad will announce investment in Alitalia as early as tomorrow. Etihad has been known for bold moves, but this one is going way too far. Accounting reviews, government and EU support and union concessions we heard about will only help in the short run, but how will Etihad adapt in a couple of years when landscape changes? Is there a solid exit strategy when (not if) things go wrong? How will they deal with problems arising from airport issues at hubs - with bottomless pit that is Fiumicino and hopeless outlook for Alitalia’s split personalities at Milan airports? Will unions play nice in the future, and will Etihad have full support with future governments and even EC? Plans for long haul fleet refresh just went down the drain, what will be new plan for the future? How will this determine airline alliance future for both Alitalia and Etihad, and how will competition react?

    Air Serbia fans are worried about impact this will have on JU, but that is just a minor impact compared to what will happen if Etihad goes bust as a result of Alitalia adventure. There has been a turning point in airline history when airlines like Pan Am, Swissair or TWA went under, and this just might be compelling event that will determine Etihad’s fate.

    1. Anonymous17:07

      The infamous Hunter strategy

    2. Anonymous19:16

      Agreed, it is naïve to assume Etihad didn’t learn from Swissair’s demise yet it’s looking remarkably similar to what happened to them. Stakes are much higher now that Alitalia investment (including debt) will be several times more than all of Etihad investments in other airlines combined. Scariest of all: even when numbers look okay and business plan for turnaround is solid on paper, you just never know how it will play out in Italy. Lufthansa Italia should be a warning for them.

      Look at the corruption perceptions index for 2013: Italy 43, Serbia 42, but at this point Serbia looks better than Italy in terms of airline industry related outlook. Etihad should stay away from Alitalia and find other ways into Europe.

    3. Anonymous19:38

      So, when it comes to Air Serbia, Air Berlin and others, the comments on this blog were usually "Hogan knows what he's doing", but when it comes to Alitalia Etihad shouldn't buy it just beacuse it's not good for the others?

    4. Anonymous22:07

      I can't be responsible for what others have been posting, but there are many warning signs against Etihad investment in Alitalia. Some of their other equity investments are far from ideal (agree on Air Berlin for example), but the financial impact (and risk) of Alitalia investment is far bigger than all of the others combined.

    5. Etihad should not buy AZ simply because it would take around 2 years to AZ to burn the entire financial injection (at the current rate of money burning). Etihad will face obstruction from all possible directions in the process of restructuring and reorganizing AZ. The list of their enemies will expand from LH to Italian syndicates. With all the petrodollars they have behind them, they should be able to survive those attacks but they better be ready to pour a lot of money in their alliance over the next 5-6 years. I don't see the other way it could work.

    6. Italy is probably one of the most competitive markets in Europe. Just look at the number of airlines flying there or the number of airlines having bases around the country, especially Ryanair. On top of that, Alitalia's primary hub, Rome, is extremely competitive and it will only get worse as Vueling keeps on expanding there.
      So no, Etihad's investment in Air Serbia and Air Berlin can not be compared to that in Alitalia. Italian laws and unions are incomparably worse than those in Germany or Serbia. It will be a massive challenge for Etihad and I believe it will take them 5 to 7 years to bring the airline to stability.

  11. Anonymous16:03

    I would be interested to see the breakdown of passengers between transfer passengers and passengers originating and ending in Belgrade. Does anyone have those figures?

  12. Anonymous16:56

    Is there any rumors to what will happen with the AUH route which is operated by both Air Serbia and Etihad. Will Air Serbia be sending airbus 320 in near future, and which aircraft will Etihad use. I feel like its time to upgraded to at least a airbus 320. Etihad aircrafts are always full, even their business class has usually around 11-12/16 filled seats which is more then great.

  13. Anonymous18:17

    Ja mislim da bi Air Srbija trebala uzeti jedan A321-200 na Lizing.

    1. Anonymous21:27


    2. Anonymous22:12

      Npr za route Moskva,Paris,London Heathrow i Zürich mozda i Abu Dhabi u buducnosti.

    3. Anonymous01:28

      Seems that LCA would be a first destination for such a big airport. Tonight we had two A320 leaving to LCA, one W6 and the other is JU. If the load factors are ok, its almost 250 passengers - would even justify a wide body. No idea what makes people fly this much there, but the fact is they do travel.

    4. Actually a friend of mine flew to Larnaca last night on Wizz Air and he told me that there were more than 100 passengers. The thing is that both Wizz Air and Air Serbia rely on a very different market when it comes to Cyprus. Air Serbia is after transit passengers while Wizz Air is after the O&D ones.

      Air Serbia's loads to Larnaca, out of season, have been so-so. It's only now, during April, that they started to pick up really fast. Just the other day there were more than 130 passengers on the A320 with 6 passengers in business class. I spoke with some agents in both Nicosia and Paphos and they told me that Cypriots are really satisfied with what Air Serbia has to offer. Mind you, even during the Jat Airways period, Cypriots did use Belgrade to connect to Europe even if it required them to stay at BEG for roughly 03.00 to 04.00 hours in the morning.
      We should see how Larnaca performs this winter before we propose they send an A321 there. However, I am sure that they can easily fill a daily A319, especially since Cyprus Airways keeps on downsizing and since Aegean has been rather passive in Larnaca.

      As for who goes there, Cyprus is a country of about 830.000 people which is visited by roughly 2.500.000 tourists every year in addition to having a massive diaspora. In UK alone there are roughly 250.000 Cypriots.

    5. I would also like to add that three days ago there was a group of 37 Danes who flew from Copenhagen to Larnaca via Belgrade. It seems that Air Serbia has really managed to position itself in Denmark (their flights to CPH are usually packed with transit passengers). That's a really good move as Scandinavians are renowned travellers... though not the most high-yielding. lol

  14. Anonymous19:47

    Seems that Belgrade airport is becoming famous for theft
    of transit passengers baggage.

    Search in internet for "Air Serbia - and why to avoid them".

    1. Anonymous21:26

      Seems that you failed to read the comments to the article. Everybody (and it's not faked) put the blame on the pax

    2. Anonymous22:26

      Famous? As in just ONE post from idiot who put laptop in checked baggage? Try this:

  15. Anonymous20:02

    Voleo bi kad bi poceli AF,KLM,Iberia,SAS,Finnair,BA i EK da lete za Beograd.
    Poz iz Novog Sada.

  16. Yes, btw, any news about BA returning to BEG? There was an "insider" rumor a few weeks back about it. Any other source?

  17. Anonymous00:42

    Rumor has it that Wizz will be heading to Sarajevo very soon! :)

    Does the user "Sarajevo" here on the blog have any more information on this?


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