Foreign carriers see mixed results in Belgrade

Foreign airlines register 5% passenger decline in Belgrade

The busiest foreign carriers operating flights to Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport have recorded mixed results during the first three quarters of the year as they face increased competition, which has been accompanied by a reduction in the number of operated flights. Wizz Air, which once boasted a notable presence in the Serbian capital, has seen its passenger numbers weaken. However, Montenegro Airlines, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines all registered passenger growth on their services to Belgrade. Overall, foreign carriers handled 1.692.871 travellers on flights to and from the Serbian capital during the January - September period, down 5.2% compared to 2014. They now account for 44.9% of all passengers passing through the airport, a decrease of 5%, having been surpassed by Air Serbia which now handles 55.1% of all travellers using the airport.

Wizz Air, which has a base in Belgrade, remains the busiest foreign carrier in the city. However, its passenger numbers have been declining for over a year now, ever since the airline decided to rationalise its operations, blaming airport favouritism and hidden subsidies granted to Air Serbia. The low cost carrier welcomed 309.976 passengers on board its aircraft bound to and from Belgrade during the Q1 - Q3 period, a decrease of 5.6% compared to last year. The airline’s passenger share has now slumped to just 8.2% and has been accompanied by a further decline in the number of operated flights. However, this winter, Wizz Air has added frequencies to a select number of destinations compared to last year and will introduce its first new route from Belgrade in two years at the start of the 2016 summer season next March.

Despite reducing its operations to Belgrade, Lufthansa has continued to record growth on its services to the Serbian capital, offering passengers a more competitive fare structure. The airline handled 225.814 travellers, up 6%. In a statement earlier this August, the German airline said it expects further positive developments on the Serbian market and for passenger growth to continue despite reduced capacities. The carrier now boasts a 6% passenger share at the airport. Montenegro Airlines remains the most frequent airline in Belgrade out of all the foreign carriers and has positioned itself as the fourth busiest in the country, handling 207.625 passengers on 2.515 flights during the first six months, an increase of 2.2%. Turkish Airlines also saw its numbers improve markedly on last year, overtaking Swiss International as the fifth busiest carrier in the city.

Busiest foreign carriers at Belgrade Airport Q1 - Q3
AirlinePAXChange (%)
Wizz Air309.976 5.6
Lufthansa225.814 6.0
Montenegro Airlines207.625 2.2
Turkish Airlines155.427 14.3

Common to almost all foreign airlines is the sharp decline in the number of operated flights, with the trend expected to continue this winter as well. Scheduled year-round operators running fewer services to Belgrade during the first three quarters include Lufthansa, Wizz Air, Austrian, Turkish Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Alitalia, easyJet, Flydubai and Tunis Air (caused by flight cancellations as a result of the Sousse terrorist attacks). LOT Polish Airlines temporarily suspended its flights to Belgrade this summer due to restructuring, but will resume its service to Warsaw on January 2. On the other hand, foreign airlines which have boosted flights to the Serbian capital include Montenegro Airlines, Etihad Airways, Aegean Airlines, TAROM, Qatar Airways and Norwegian Air Shuttle. Meanwhile, Belavia, Aeroflot and Pegasus Airlines have operated roughly the same amount of flights as last year. Belgrade Airport handled 4.169.970 passengers over the past ten months, an increase of 4.6%.

Most frequent foreign carriers at Belgrade Airport Q1 - Q3
AirlineFlight ops.Change (%)
Montenegro Airlines2.515 7.7
Lufthansa2.116 6.2
Wizz Air1.983 10.1
Austrian Airlines1.406 16.1
Turkish Airlines1.332 3.1
Swiss Int. Air Lines1.125 9.1
Aeroflot1.088 0.3
Alitalia590 27.0
Etihad Airways558 2.2


  1. Anonymous09:03

    Thank you for this info ex-Yu. I'm not surprised at these numbers as you now have a very strong a competitive local airline. The suspension of Lufthansa's early morning flight from Belgrade is completely understandable. Up to a year ago this flight (which is purely for transit passengers not point to point) was full with people travelling to places like Paris, Rome, Stockholm, even London. Now with much better fares and product people are simply flying with Air Serbia. Codeshares should also not be underestimated. For example people flying to places like Birmingham are now flying Air Serbia to Amsterdam and continuing on KLM codeshare flights. A

  2. Anonymous09:17

    U perspektivi bi trebalo sve LCC izmestiti sa BEG ( Batajnica, Nis ...) i ustupiti mesta konvencionalnim kompanijama AFR, BAW, CSA ...

    1. Anonymous09:49

      Kako mislis "ustupiti" mesta? Kao LCC im je oduzeo mesta na BEG?

    2. Anonymous09:51

      AFR, BAW i CSA su bili i dobrovoljno otišli iz BG, bez nekog izgleda da se u skorije vreme vrate, zbog nekih drugih razloga ne zbog LCC. To da tako nekoga planski izmeštate ko stoku na livadu definitivno se ne zove perspektiva.

    3. Anonymous10:31

      Gluplji komentar nisam procitao odavno. Cuj izmestiti lcc? Pa da li se ti cujes? A o osvim kompanijama ce covek pre mene vec rekao, oni nemaju interes da lete za BEG

    4. Anonymous11:43

      A, šta je tačno kriterijum kada neku kompaniju proglašavamo LCCom? Koliko plaća za handling i šta traži od "dodatnih" usluga, tipa avio mostova? Bojim se da bi neka druga kompanija onda išla za BJY.

  3. Anonymous10:32

    racionalnije je od Batajnice praviti LCC hub sa relativno malim ulaganjima nego ulupati silne pare za treci terminal i drugu pistu na ANT. Beograd zasluzuje da ima dva civilna aerodroma.

    1. Po čemu zaslužuje? Koliko gradova od 1,5M stanovnika i 5M putnika godišnje imaju dva civilna aerodroma? Koja će to magija da vrati putnike Wizzu samo zato što ih je neko izmestio na Batajnicu?

    2. Anonymous10:51

      Athens, a city that has 5 million living in its metropolitan area has only one airport.
      One that this year will serve 18 million passengers +.
      And you want Belgrade to build a second airport with all the surrounding infrastructure to take a share of the 5 million passengers that BEG had?
      Seriously now?
      And keep in mind that BEG is the only major airport in ex-yu that this year will not have an increase in passengers and flights compared with 2014.
      The government needs to focus all its effort in attracting more carriers and passengers in BEG, not opening up another commercial airport nearby to sabotage it.

    3. Anonymous10:52

      ^ The airport has 5% growth this year. Don't know how you concluded that it won't have an increase in passengers.

    4. Anonymous11:03

      The article refers to the first three quarters of the year. The last quarter sees major reduction in number of flights both from foreign airlines and ASL compared with 2014.
      If it's lucky it might end the year with a 1-2% growth.
      Compare that with the growth figures at all the other airports in ex-yu.

      But this isn't the point I am trying to make.
      I am saying that the BEG authorities and the goverment need to attract more passengers to BEG, not open up another competing airport when there is absolutely no need for it.
      BEG needs economies of scale.
      It absolutely needs to expand it's terminal space and also give incentives for the opening up of new routes and more airlines serving it.

  4. Anonymous10:33

    На коју фору је Етихад повећао број летова, када од како је почео да лети за Београд лети константно једном дневно.

    Не сећам се да је уопште било додатних летова Етихада.
    Такође, контам да се у тексту помињу само путнички летови, не и карго операције

    1. Anonymous10:44

      To je 12 dodatnih letova za 9 meseci, verovatno neki posebni letovi za zaposlene i/ili delegacije ASL i EY.

    2. Anonymous11:30

      &AnonymousNovember 15, 2015 at 10:33 AM
      The figures presented in the article are written down from Belgrade airport Q3 report and, yes, cargo flights are included in the counting.

    3. Anonymous11:45

      Такво мешање података и уврштавање карго летова међу путничке операције је жеља да се наивном посматрачу са стране представи другачија слика него што јесте.

      Другим речима, кувамо клин чорбу, а у њу стављамо све што нам падне под руку, само да би деловала богатије.

      Садашњи директор Тесле има искуства у прављењу клин чорби. Прво у Јату, па сада треба да спичка и аеродром

    4. Anonymous12:30

      on je svoju epizodu odigrao po utvrdjenom scenariju. sada je na redu koncesija kao novi posao stoljeca.

    5. Anonymous14:04

      Koliko god pljuvali, matematika kaze da ce ovo biti najuspesnija godina u istoriji BEG.

    6. Milivoje Rodic15:24

      Prosle godine, jedno vrijeme, dosta letova Etihada u stvari obavljala Air Serbia. Mozda zbog toga.

    7. Anonymous15:50

      Jel vi znate samo koliko Kargo letova je EY imao ove godine i koliko je kargo porastao.

    8. Anonymous22:14

      EY letovi su povecani jer u zimskom redu letenja EY nije leteo za BEG, vec je JU obavljao dva dnevna leta.

  5. Anonymous11:47

    Well done to Lufthansa. They are doing really well despite fewer flights.

    1. Anonymous12:14

      Load factor and RASM is the name of the game.
      Whoever is going only after marketshare and number of flights looses big.

    2. Anonymous14:35

      That would be Montenegro Airlines ....

    3. Anonymous15:10

      And Air Serbia ....

  6. Anonymous15:01

    Drugu godinu za redom LYBE pravi najbolji rezultat u EX YU .
    Jedva cekam sledecu godinu kad ce rezultati biti najbolji u istoriji Srpskog vazduhoplovstva .

    1. Anonymous16:53

      * kaže se u "novijoj istoriji srpskog vazduplohlovstva"

    2. Anonymous18:11

      * boga mi i u starijoj.

    3. Iskreno verujem u apslutni record vazdusne luke Nikola Tesla Beograd, da ce u 2016 godini dostignuti najveci broj putnika i kargo tereta u istoriji Srbije... ✈R✈

    4. Anonymous00:39

      pa zar nije sad već reKordna godina?

    5. Anon 12:39 AM,
      upravuste. Ova je do sada rekordna godina. Iduca ce kao sto rekoh oboriti record ove i svih ostalih godina, zbog rasta prvenstveno Er Srbije. Kao i ostalih promena koje sleduju. Racunajuci prosirenje kapaciteta i mogucnosti aerodrome. Iduca godina donosi i koncesiju, ali o tome drugi put. ✈R✈.

  7. Anonymous18:19

    Wizz air busiest destination is Larnaca with 20 000 passengers yearly
    But same Larnaca was not profitable destination for Air Serbia

    1. Anonymous21:47

      That was an epic failure for ASL.

    2. Anonymous22:28

      ASL will be back to Larnaca in summer when money is to be made in the route. Speaking of Wizz, were they profitable to LCA during winter? Not likely, so small fail for W6.

    3. Anonymous22:47

      W6 is one of the most profitable aitlines in Europe. And now has a monopoly in LCA.
      And when JU returns to LCA it will have to deal with a strengthened and entrenched W6.
      Same situation in BUD.
      So W6 is the one who eon by driving JU out of those two routes, JU is the one ho lost

      So W6 is the winner

    4. Nemjee08:32

      Flew to LCA yesterday and there were 122 passengers. What surprised me was how many Bosnian and Croatian passports I saw.

      Air Serbia failed in LCA because no sane p2p passenger wanted to arrive here at 03.20 and depart at 04.20. Now, why they failed in attracting transfer ones is a whole different story. Btw before W6 launched LCA we regularly paid €350 to fly on JU.

      Wizzair has been growing here, yesterday there were three W6 birds at the airport: Vilnius, Belgrade and Warsaw.

    5. Anonymous15:08

      JU timing was off but that can change

    6. Anonymous17:38

      Bosnian,Croatian,Monte Negro passengers are traveling with Wizz to LCA because of very high prices ASL/no cheap transit prices for them


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