Belgrade handles four-millionth passenger

Belgrade Airport surpasses four million passenger mark

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport today handled its four-millionth passenger, the first time it has done so in a single year since opening its doors in 1962. To mark the occasion, the Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić, as well as the airport’s acting CEO, Saša Vlaisavljević, welcomed the four-millionth traveler, Nikola Miljković (pictured below), flying out on Air Serbia's flight to Banja Luka. Mr. Miljković received two free return tickets to any of Air Serbia's destinations and a business class voucher at Belgrade Airport. So far this year, the former Yugoslavia’s busiest airport has seen unprecedented growth, averaging over 30%. It has already handled 12% more passengers than it did for the whole of 2013, making it one of the fastest growing capital city airports in Europe this year. The increase is primarily attributed to Air Serbia, which now holds a 50% passenger share at the airport.

As the airport continues to break records, it also faces an uncertain future. Recently, the Serbian government confirmed it would give the airport up for concession next year. The Serbian PM noted, “The airport is now worth three times more than it was last year. Through a concession we can now get 500 to 600 million euros plus a billion euros in investments and a contract which can be terminated at any point”. Previously, investors from the United Arab Emirates, Greece, Russia and France expressed their interest in taking part in the concession. On the other hand, the government recently adopted plans for the public company running Belgrade Airport to be renamed to “Airports of Serbia” with more than twenty of the country’s smaller airports to be added to its managing portfolio. As a result, a future concessionaire would also have control of a majority of the country’s airport infrastructure.

Although passenger numbers in Belgrade have increased this year, the growth has come at a price for international airlines. Earlier this year the airport’s former CEO was arrested under suspicion for offering subsidies and benefits to Wizz Air, which has since cut down on its flights to the Serbian capital. Furthermore, several other foreign carriers have also reduced their flight offering including Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian, Turkish Airlines and easyJet. Germanwings and Etihad Regional have suspended their flights altogether, although the latter only operated for several months. On the other hand, this year saw the arrival of TAP Portugal, as well as Vueling on a seasonal summer basis. Air Serbia has significantly increased its operations from its hub, bolstering passenger growth. Yesterday it announced the introduction of a second daily flight to Ljubljana and an increase in capacity on its Podgorica service starting December 12. In a statement, the airline’s CEO, Dane Kondić, said, “These increases in frequency and capacity demonstrate our ongoing commitment to add depth to our expanding network. More importantly, it’s about offering our business guests, those regularly commuting between major capital cities in the region, more attractive and convenient travel options”.


  1. Anonymous09:05

    Reminds me of that old saying:
    "Lies, damned lies, and statistics"

  2. Anonymous09:06

    Just a small correction, Vueling is not really operating on a seasonal summer basis since they will also add flights around Christmas. :)

    As for Belgrade, this is fantastic. I hope we manage to handle at least 4.5 million passengers this year. I am sure next summer will be epic with more flights than ever before. Let's hope Air Serbia adds a few more birds to its flock by then.

    The reduction of flights by foreign carriers is expected since the Serbian market is no longer free for the taking. There is competition now so things are returning to normality. :)

  3. Dear staff on NIKOLA TESLA BELGRADE,
    Congratulation on good achievement !. Bright time starting from new 2015. Let in passion joining synergies and all forces in attempt to resurrecting thru NEW HUB.
    New Serbia and its people deserve it !. Let hop to be end of improvisation, but truly air port to region of approximaly 60 million people. Start to hope transferring to reality. Belong to ANT-BEG.
    Rodney Marinkovic, AME. Kraljevo /// Sydney.

    1. Anonymous10:23

      I think this airport should change the name to NIKOLA TESLA SERBIA AIRPORT, as is only one international airport that actually works. Congrats anyway!

    2. Anonymous10:25

      So? Serbia is not that big for it to absolutely have more than one functional airport. Look at Hungary, no airport is really open with the exception of Budapest.

    3. JATBEGMEL10:31

      Sadly, Serbia's purchasing power doesnt justify it to have more functioning airports. However much it would be nice for more airports to open at least for tourists, theyve come theyve gone, and that was evident with the Thompson charters from London to Nis. Nothing much has changed since. Our sad reality.

    4. Anonymous15:02

      That is not true. Debrecen airport during all year have 3 regular routes (Moscow, London, Eindhoven) and 10 more during summer timetable.

      Balaton airport has 1 regular route all year (Moscow) and 5 seasonal routes.

      So, Hungary has 6 international airports out of which 3 have all yaer regular flights.

      Also, someone here mentioned that Iceland has just one airport.That is far from truth. Iceland has 98 airports and 11 of them has regular flights, 4 of them international routes.

    5. Anonymous16:37

      Oh wow... one weekly flight to Moscow. Now there's something. ;)

      I actually don't understand why does it matter that Serbia has one functional airport. We have the best airline in ex-YU and soon one of the strongest in all of eastern Europe so...

    6. Anonymous16:51

      I also don't understand why does it matter. ASL is already best one of the airlines on the Balkan, just behind Aegean and maybe Tarom.

  4. Anonymous09:47

    So what kind of capacity increase will we see to Montenegro? Are they replacing the Atr with the B733? I really wonder how much longer YM will last on the market.

    1. Anonymous09:53

      A319. Mgx is doing ok on the route with lots of special fares and salws

    2. Anonymous10:12

      I highly doubt they are making any money given the fact they recorded a 70 million loss last year. In my opinion, the best solution would be for YM to go belly up and for W6 to base an aircraft in Montenegro.

    3. Anonymous17:33

      probably their Belgrade flights are the only ones that make a profit....

    4. Anonymous17:35

      Maybe Moscow too. However, with increased competition from Air Serbia it will become harder for Montenegro to reach profitability, especially now when Air Serbia keeps on adding capacity. I still don't understand why does YM send its F100 to BEG so often. Is it often to operate than their E-jet?

    5. Anonymous21:03

      Whatever airline yo have,Moscow and Dubai are always profitable destinations.
      O&D always strong and front rows always full.
      If an airline fails on those routes then there is something very wrong with that airline.

  5. Anonymous11:07

    Monopol na sve aerodrome u Srbiji....drugim recima, zaboravite na bilo koji drugi aerodrom.

    1. Anonymous11:13

      Да, ужас. Посебно зато што су до сада сви аеродроми широм Србије имали огроман број летова.

    2. Anonymous13:49

      Ahahaha a da ne pricamo o gubitku putnika....A sto je bilo putnikaa....Jadni svi ti silni aerodromi, ukupno 30 ih je unisteno...A mogli su imati lepu buducnost... :(

    3. Anonymous14:39

      nije imala ni tuzla ni mostar nijedan, a ni banja luka..

    4. Anonymous15:06

      Zapravo je uzasno da je Srbiji bitnije da otvori liniju za Banja Luku, da ne spominjemo Split, Dubrovnik i Pulu nego za Nis. I sve to uz subvencije koje su mogle da se usmere i na letove iz Nisa.

    5. Anonymous15:32

      Neka se odazovu bar 20 osoba koje bi letele iz Nisa za Beograd..?? Ko ima za to bacanje para? ASL-ova povratna karta iz Nisa za Beograd bi verovatno bila oko 60-80 eura, retko ko bi to sebi priustio za putovanje od 25 minuta na udaljenosti nesto vecoj od 200km. Mislim u ovoj zemlji to funkcionise:"Daj sta je najjeftinije". Nislije bi verovatno vise volele direktne letove za Evropu, nego za BEG.

    6. Anonymous15:38

      Niko ne bi leteo da ostane u Beogradu ali bi još kako produžavali iz Beograda na druge destinacije. U tome je sva mudrost povezivanja BEG i INI.

    7. Anonymous15:41

      ... a subvencije za Banja Luku plaća vlada Republike Srpske tako da se one ne mogu preusmeriti u Niš.

    8. Anonymous19:57

      Bogami plača i Srbija kroz investiciju u Air Serbiu i subvencije.

  6. Anonymous13:32

    INTERSKY razmatra letove INN-BEG to sam saznao ako im uspe jos jedna linija za Italiju.
    Tako da se nadam da ce im se analiza dobro pokazati =D

    1. Anonymous14:47

      ja vidim salcburg, nevidim inzbruk. a?

    2. Anonymous15:47

      Pa procitaj ponovo sta sam napisao .
      Oni ce sa neke Italijanske destinacije leteti 1 za INN pa ce onda INN-BEG ako se isplati da Italijanska routa.

  7. Anonymous14:03

    Toliko o azurnosti novog menadzmenta aerodroma i blamaze vezane za grozan novi sajt... ljudi jos nisu culi da imaju novog generalnog,.. sekcija ''snimanja na aerodromu''

    ''Допис са наведеним информацијама треба доставити генералном директору АД Аеродром Никола Тесла Београд проф. др Велимиру Радосављевићу на број телефакса (+381 11) 2286 187, а после 17:00 часова радним даном, и викендом, на број телефакса (+381 11) 2286 173.''

  8. Anonymous14:19

    is is fantastic news!
    I really hope BEG will reach 4.6 million in this year and than it will overtake 5 million in next year, which would be really great score, but BEG does not have more capacity :( I would like to see some expansion of Terminal 1, and Terminal 3, and new runway by 2018! In this shape BEG can't take such an airline as ASL is. He needs development, that's probably why government wants to give it into concession.

  9. Anonymous14:20

    *This is

  10. Anonymous15:23

    Lot will be suspending Athens this winter, fantastic news for Air Serbia.

  11. Anonymous16:19

    "Upitan da li će aerodrom biti privatizovan, Vučić je istakao da država neće prodavati aerodrom već da razmatra koji model će primeniti, odnosno da li će to biti koncesija ili će Srbija sama u njega ulagati."

    Huh? Not even a concession? No new terminal, just renovations? Same management at BEG airport?

    If new airport web site is any indication of things to come at BEG airport, I see trouble ahead.

    1. Anonymous16:47

      I really don't understand why did they made such an airline as ASL is, when they could assume that this will happen. What now? They will make some little insignificant renovations on T1, probably make it for ASL only, and what then? Nothing! ASL will collapse just like JAT would. They just NEED new terminal as soon as possible, because ASL wants to develop, and it just can't with such an 'small' airport for the airline they could be. I don't know what to say, this news really made me sad. :(

  12. Anonymous17:26

    Its obvious that only an Arab concessioner can run an airport like Belgrade.
    The same like with a project like Air Serbia which is only possible because of the Arabs.

    But either the Serbian government wants it for themselves although they are totally incompetent .

    Or there is masive pressure from Germany and the Europeans to get the concession.
    Not because they want to improve or invest anything but only to have maximum control.
    The same as with OU and JP.
    Have these ever benefitted from Star Alliance membership?

    Are the new owners of Zagreb airport interested in a strong home carrier?
    And if they are,why is OU in Star Alliance and not partner of AF/KLM?

  13. AirCEO17:36

    Call me crazy, but tail in this picture (stop staring at food and you'll find an airplane tail!) does not look anything like A319/A320 nor ATR72. You know what it looks like? Airbus A330, that's it!

    It looks like Air Serbia livery will get a nice refresh for A330 with a touch of elegant shade at the top of red area:

    1. Anonymous17:48

      Hmm... though I would love for it to be true, I fear that it is just a badly drawn picture of an aircraft tail.

      Before getting the A330, I would love for Air Serbia to get at least another five A319s so as to be able to replace all of the Boeing birds and actually have another one for growth. :)

    2. Anonymous17:51

      Jeste ja A330 tail sad sam uporedio ss mojim Herpa modelom Etihadovog A330=DD

  14. Anonymous17:38

    has anyone seen the new Belgrade Airport website?

    1. Anonymous17:54

      Hahahahah oh yes... check yesterday's comments. :P

  15. Anonymous17:53

    Can someone predict what would be the best departure time for Air Serbia's New York and Chicago flights? Would it be around 09.00? Earlier? Later?

    If so, then they will not have a problem with available gate space, They could use C1 and C2 since the airport would be empty at that time.

    1. Anonymous18:43

      They will probably expand airport for some new gates until those flights happen, but maybe they will use B platform gates?
      Also, I would like to see some flights to Beijing, Sydney..Although direct flights from Serbia to Australia would be unprofitable, so they could work via AUH. BEG most have the new terminal until 2020 because in other option it won't be able to handle such airline as ASL will be. Even now BEG is cluttered, and it will break it's capacity next year. That is pretty bad. With renovations to start even in January 2015 they won't be finished until 2017. That is also bad. How do they think to renovate T1 and not to overload T2? Years to come will be very difficult for BEG.

    2. Anonymous18:50

      *And yes I think those flights will operate in morning hours. Maybe about 9:00AM or 8:00AM

    3. Anonymous19:03

      A gates can not handle an A330. A1 can not take anything bigger than a B763. It has to be on the C gates.

      Hmm well even if the flight leaves at 08.00 there is still room as most flights leave by 07.30.

    4. Purger20:19

      There is possibility for extension and to make C7 gate. Also there is possibility for making some bus gates especially for turboprops. But that can be solution for maximum 2 years, and what after that?

      If more companies which pay full amount of money will leave BEG because of Air Serbia discount which is too big competition for those who need to pay full amount, who will finance those essential expansion.

    5. Anonymous21:30

      Gospodine znam da me ne podnosite ali ne bojte se za BEG nece niko otici, bolje pozabavite se malo vasim aerodromima gde i nije bas tako sjano stanje :)
      Pa vi nemate ama bas ni jedan dokaz sta ASL placa a sta ne tako da pustite tu pricu dosadila je vise.

    6. Purger23:08

      Mladicu ja Vas nemam zasto ne podnositi, jednostavno niste nikakav bitan faktor u mom životu da bih imao ikakv stav o Vama meni bitan. Vrlo cesto iritirate, no uz moje svakodnevne poslovne ratove i borbe sa vrlo ozbiljnim igračima iz vrha hrvatske i šire regionalne politike, sporta i gospodarstva iskreno se ne osječam ni u kakvom sukobu sa vama. Ovaj forum je vrlo zanimljiv, ali ja ga koristim u slobodno vrijeme i isključivo kao razbribrigu.

      Ja se sa svojim zagrebačkim aerodromom bavim, bio sam daleko najači i medijski eksponiran borac protiv koncesije, zbog toga je i moj korni bizniz osjetno nastradao. I da, smatram da je zagrebački aerodrom sramota, da se nisu prije, a niti danas koristili svi potencijali i da je sustavno uništavan. I dok nam je za Jugoslavije bio kriv netko drugi za zadnjih 25 godina nemamo koga kriviti nego vlastitu glupost. I žao mi je što od 20 letova samo jedan obavim iz Zagreba. Stoga ne lupajte jer nemate pojma koliko i kako sam kritizirao management Zagrebačkog aerodroma. Ja ovdje nisam nacionalno i jednoumno obojan. Nego kritiziram loš rad, nerad i glupost kakvog god ona nacionalnog predznaka bila.

      No, kako sam i sam korisnik Beogradskog aerodroma (u prošlih godinu dana sam 4 puta koristio ovaj aerodrom) isto mi daje za pravo sudjelovati u ovoj raspravi. Eto ja sam svojim novcem i plačanjem taksi sudjelovao u financiranju i Air Serbie i Beogradskog aerodroma i to 4 puta u prošloj godini, a Vi mladi gospodine? Koliko ste Vi financijski pridonjetil Beogradskom aerodromu i Air Serbiji?

      Konačno, od Vas sigurno neću niti tražiti a niti dobivati dozvolu da pišem o nećemu. Ako ništa, iz čistog respekta prema mojim godinama, a vjerovatno sam jedno tri puta stariji od Vas, morali bi razmisliti odakle Vam pravo da si uzimate slobodu meni govoriti o čemu da pišem ili ne i što je meni bolje čime da se bavim. Ma tko ste Vi, golobradi mladiću da meni govorite što je bolje za mene?

      Dokazi koje spominjete su objavljeni i na ovom forumu, a dokumenti su jasni, javni i transparentni, samo ih treba pročitati. A ne pričati o njima temeljem svojih želja i mokrih snova. Konačno mokri snovi bi ipak trebali biti namjenjeni nekim drugim temema, zar ne?

      Ako je Vama nešto dosadno, nemojte čitati. Pa niko Vas ne tjera na to.4

      Citirao bih Vaš komentar od prije svega par tjedana "gospodin Purger koji jedini ovdje ne vrijeđa i koji bi trebao biti direktor aerodroma Zagreb". Interesantno kako Vam se promijenio stav. No, to ne govori o meni nisam time ni bolji ni lošiji, nego o Vama i Vašem karakteru.

    7. Anonymous00:08

      Jel ucestvujete i u prici u Banja Luci u Politici .
      Pa dok niste rekli da oladim to sam mislio a nikad nisam rekao da vi niste veliki strucnjak cini mi se da jesam jednom ali tad sam bio iznerviran necim :)
      Nemorate vi mene pitati nista ovde moze svako da pise sta hoce .
      Ja sam 4 puta leteo za BEG 2 sa OS i 2 sa JU na razlicite destinacije.
      Ja ne znam sto ste zapeli toliko za to da ASL ne placa nista ili jedan deo nije samo meni dosadilo nego i drugima sta je sledece =D
      Ne znam sto ste bili protiv koncesije kad niste niti bitan igrac niti politicar da mozete nesto promeniti samo ste sebe doveli u opasnost :)
      Na kraju meni nije zao da ja placam stvari za ASL u srbiji posto za nju zna cela Evropa a i uskoro ceo Svet :) =D
      A uskoro ce i letovi za SAD hvala boze sta ce vama onda smetati =DD

    8. Hi Purger, since you like to use this site to relax, let me ask you something about aviation. Have you ever heard of Cape Air in the US? Do you think a similar model could work in ex-yu?

      Cape Air's management uses these strategies:
      -Small twin pistons on routes generally less than 30 min
      -Code shares with big carriers
      -Low time pilots with low pay

      Say routes with some business, connecting, and O/D potential, but too small and close for a flag carrier.

      Perhaps like this:
      Beg-Tsr (timisoara)

    9. Purger01:02

      Same model you have in Scotland especially for Northern Scottish Islands and Western Isles. I like that idea, exempt it is not allowed in rest of Europe (one pilot commercial passengers flight are not legal). I did make some analysis for some Canadian investors which did want to invest in company with 10 Cessna 208 Caravan (9-14 pax) to make regional connections mainly in Croatia but also in rest of ExYU + cargo routes in exYu. There is market for that, but not in conditions as today. Also you must know that Trade air had some flights OSI-SPU, OSI-DBV, OSI-ZAD with Turbolet and Mr. Cvijin, who is friend of mine, told me that even with 100% LF they did not have break even on those flights (of course without PSO) mainly because huge costs like Eurocontrol etc.

      But in same time we can see example of ECA flying SPU-Jelsa, SPU-Rovinj, and Rovinj-ZAG. So, maybe with little bigger plane (20-30 seats) on some longer routes (BEG-MBX, BEG-OMO, BEG-RJK, BEG-ZAD, BEG-OHD, ZAG-LSZ-BWK, ZAG-OMO, ZAG-TIV, ZAG-TGD, SJJ-TGD, SJJ-SKP, TGD-SKP, TGD-INI etc.), but for those short routes I don't think there are any chance for commercial flights (with car you need less than 2 hours on those routes). Also you must know that you cannot compare our market with USA. And let me also mention that Cape is financed with little more than 32 million USD for those routes.

      1. Odakle, pobogu, mladiću vi znate tko sam ja i kakav je moj status ili utjecaj u Hrvatskoj? Imate kristalnu kuglu, ili samo lupate iz rukava pretpostavke bez ikakvih osnova?

      2. Zašto pobogu vi mislite da bi mene nešto smetalo oko Air Serbie. Da me nešto smeta onda ne bih letio sa njima. Da sam porezni obveznik u Srbiji smetalo bi me, ali nisam, pa mi i te kako paše kada superjeftino letim ih Srbije na račun poreznih obveznika iz Srbije. Daj bože da potraje, i daj bože da se uvede i let ZAG-BEG po tako niskom cijenama pa bi i još više koristio JU.

      Čudim se kako ste odabrali dva puta letjeti sa omraženim pulenom LH koji se samo zove OS, a zapravo je ispostava i marioneta LH, te niste i tada patriotski odabrali svoju JU.

    10. From my understanding, single engine planes like the caravan are not allowed to fly scheduled passengers in the EU? Also the Caravan is a good plane but quite thirsty for what it accomplishes...

      I am reading my FAR right now, and if only we had these rules in ex-yu, I think that commuter airlines could be successful. Do you know if there is an equivalent law book for aviation in any ex-yu countries? I looked at the Civil Aviation Directorate in Serbia, and there isn't much information on their site...

      Back to the Cape Air thing, I do agree that 20-30 seat planes are better option, but I think that airlines such as JU would not be willing to cooperate there because they would feel threatened. I did a bit of research, and airport fees for C402c planes at BEG are very low, and the plane uses less than 150l of fuel per hour. Do you think people from Osijek would pay 50e for a 30 minute flight to BEG for connections instead of driving 2.5-3 hours? Overall I think taking a bus or driving a car and paying parking would come out the same or cost more.

    11. Purger08:58

      As I said:

      - too many administration problems
      - too expensive and no money for PSO (30 million in USA per year just for Cape)
      - 50 EUR per leg is for sure too much in today financial reality especially in Slavonia and Serbia

      For 40 EUR you have flights from OSI to ZAG but still plane (30 seater) is not that full.

    12. Ah yes. The logical side of me is fully aware that it is not possible, but the aviation loving side of me wishes it was true. Perhaps one day things will change and the entire region will be connected again.

  16. Anonymous19:15

    Unfortunately I'm old enough to have seen and fondly remember QF 742's connected to gate A1, many moons ago.

    1. Anonymous19:21

      That was before a taxiway was added next to A1. :)

  17. Anonymous21:39


  18. Anonymous22:08

    Problem: BEG is increasing constantly, but government has no intention to sell BEG so customers can build Terminal 3, Cargo center and all other things which BEG needs now.
    Solution: They can simply give it under a concession, and than do all that things. But noo, now Vucic changes his story and said:"We won't sell BEG, we are considering give it into a concession, or Serbia will collect money for expansion."
    WHAT?? WTF? Serbia can't collect that money for the next 5 years! What do they think,that Terminal 3 should be some meaningless building standing there, to have a capacity of 5 000 000 pax/year??? That is just funny. Terminal 3 should be an world made building, to have capacity of at least 10 000 000 pax/year (because BEG is increasing constantly, and constant renovations are not so smart procedure). Air Serbia can't be an "world-known", "best airline in Southeast Europe" with an miserable terminal with capacity of just over 5 000 000 pax! That is just funny! It would be nice to give BEG into a concession to someone who will make it as an world known, better and bigger airport, not to build an poor small terminal with 5 gates!

    1. Anonymous22:14

      Wait until next year..Then troubles will begin.


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