Belgrade, Dubrovnik and Sarajevo figures decline

Slow start to the year for Belgrade, Dubrovnik and Sarajevo airports

The airports in Belgrade, Dubrovnik and Sarajevo have all registered weaker passenger numbers during the first month of the year. Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport welcomed 290.580 passengers, a decrease of 5.8% compared to January 2015. The figure was accompanied by a notable decline in the number of operated flights which stood at 4.176, down 7.3%. The result was largely influenced by Air Serbia which has made significant cuts to its 2015/16 winter network. During January, both LOT Polish Airlines and Ural Airlines launched flights to the Serbian capital from Warsaw and Moscow respectively. On the other hand, unlike last January, Air Serbia no longer operates flights to Budapest and Larnaca, following their suspension in late October last year.

The former Yugoslavia's fourth busiest airport, Dubrovnik, recorded its weakest January figures in almost eight years. The airport handled 15.666 travellers, down 0.5%. Over the past few years, the airport has been affected by decreasing passenger numbers during the slow winter months, which have come as a result of Croatia Airlines' suspension of a few year-round routes from the city. However, figures are expected to improve next winter season with the carrier considering resuming flights between Dubrovnik and Frankfurt. The head of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlašić, says the city hopes to conclude a three-year contract with Croatia Airlines regarding the service. Despite putting in a weaker performance during the winter, Dubrovnik has seen record figures over the summer months, which has resulted in strong annual growth.

Finally, Sarajevo Airport's numbers decreased 5.7% on January 2015. It welcomed 41.208 passengers through its doors. The decline comes in part due to poor weather conditions, which saw a number of flights cancelled during the month. Meanwhile, Air Arabia has brought forward the launch of its Sarajevo service by two days. The airline will now commence operations between Sharjah and the Bosnian capital on March 18. While it will initially run three weekly flights with its Airbus A320 aircraft, before increasing to daily in July, the airline has already scheduled several additional flights through March and April. The airport is gearing up for a busy summer with Czech Airlines to launch flights in May and a number of airlines increasing frequencies compared to last year.


  1. Anonymous09:03

    Mercedes Benz global training is happening in Dubrovnik this February and something like 15000 are coming with a few charters scheduled so hopefully this should lift Feb numbers for DBV - + the extra day.

    1. Anonymous09:08

      nice :)

    2. Anonymous09:34

      It is possible that DBV will have +50% increase this month due to aprox 15000 new Mercedes pax. The same will hapen in March.

    3. Anonymous10:20

      It's 15000 pax through the April. Im February that number will gonna be arround 6000.

  2. Anonymous09:05

    On a more positive note BEG passed TSA checks :)

    1. Jel to tačna informacija? Hvala

    2. Anonymous09:32

      What is the source for this info?

    3. Anonymous09:41

      It is trues. It's an internal source. NYC sale should begin at the end of next week.

    4. Anonymous09:42

      So we are supposed to believe that but not when someone posts JU statistics?

    5. Anonymous09:43

      ok... you will see next week for yourself.

    6. Anonymous09:43

      Oki doki.

    7. Anonymous09:47

      But why to Hell BEG should not pass TSA checks ? It will pass (or has passed) them without any doubt.

    8. Anonymous09:50

      Because there are people here who always hope for the worst.

    9. Anonymous09:53

      Passing the check is not an issue, the flights to JFK are.

    10. Dečko Tzar09:58

      Well done. Waiting for official start of ticket sales to pop the cork and start celebrating!

    11. Anonymous10:00

      Does ASL have slots for JFK or still to be negotiated?

    12. Anonymous11:17

      Dečko Tzar better to wait opening the champagne when those flights start bringing in more money than they cost.
      Just sayin'...

    13. Anonymous12:28

      Odlicne su to vesti za ASL to otkad vec govorim da ce biti potvrdjeno i uskoro kad pocne prodaja karata videce svi da ce jedva biti praznih mesta .

    14. Дечко Тзар13:39

      @Anon at 11:17

      Haters are predictable as always, moving on to profitability to complain about. Just a reminder: you were wrong about all other items so far.

    15. Anonymous13:43

      Дечко Тзар

      Actually we weren't. ;) We predicted a catastrophe when the winter timetable was announced and here are the results. We predicted that the JFK flights will be a financial disaster and we will be right once again.

    16. Anonymous13:52

      Well done 1:43. Your world must be so shiny and such a beauty every time you see someone underperforming.

    17. Realist, not hater.14:00

      JU is not just underperforming, it is a full on financial disaster.

    18. Anonymous14:40

      Realist, not hater.

      Man, you are not supposed to say things like that. Everything is fine and the airline is prospering.

    19. Дечко Тзар
      I also think that JFK flights are not the first priority before some sort of expansion in the wider region. Does that make me a hater since I said that? Also it is clear that its not going to well for ASL since they are cancelling flights a lot and based on that their LF should be higher than 60%. IST for instance is in reality most of the time 3-4 p/w and not 6-7 as was expected. In regards to whether NYC will bring money neither you nor I can be sure whether it will make money or not. Too early to judge now.
      A few people on here should look at both sides of the story and then make a decision and not automatically say "hater" because they have different views than you.

    20. Danas je najavljeno prve karte će se prodati na sajmu turizma u Beogradu, tako da je sve spremno.Biće tamo Kontić i neko iz vlade koji će prvi da počnu prodaju.

    21. Anonymous16:07

      Znaci Kontic i neko iz Vlade ce prvi poceti da prodaju karte na sajmu? Da li ce biti kao kada se kupuju lozovi ili..?

    22. Dečko Tzar16:56

      Wrong about Airbus planes not arriving at Belgrade (back in 2013), wrong about Serbia not getting FAA Cat I, wrong about USA bilaterals, wrong about amazing growth in 2014, wrong about DoT approval, list goes on and on. Haters have a horrible track record here, why should I even pay attention to their next doomsday statement? Better to ignore and watch them weep once A330 in Serbia colors land at BEG.

    23. Anonymous17:08

      Huh?! No one said anything about Airbuses NOT arriving. Don't make things up just because you feel like it.

      Plus a few selected people on here repeated that JU wouldn't get the permit. Overall, what the 'haters' have been saying all along is that the reduced number of frequencies will harm JU, that passenger numbers will take a hit and that the hub system will no longer make sense. Now that, that came true.

      Personally I find your naivete and enthusiasm quite pathetic and the only justification to it that I can think of is that you either live abroad or that you have absolutely no link to the civil aviation sector in Serbia.

      As was pointed out a few times on here, JU has destroyed it's winter schedule and it's Airbus fleet has grown in more than a year. That was the song being sung by the so called haters, a song that became quite real.

      On the other hand the talk that was repreated by the cheerleaders was based on some illusion that JU will become anything more than wut it is today. Also it's hilarious that you are actually supporting the idiotic idea of launching JFK flights with no brand awareness, no regional network and a single widebody.

      Yeah... let's celebrate it all. Yo are right. I apoglogize for being more realistic than you.

      And 2016 will be a fun year to watch when the regional leader, Air Serbia, will have to face even more competition. Then their metal forks and pillows and their 250 euro fare won't help them fill those seats.

      But thank God for the JFK flights.

    24. Anonymous18:37

      Anonymous February 9, 2016 at 5:08 PM

    25. Dečko Tzar19:22

      Critics want to make Air Serbia better, haters want to see it dissapear. I wouldn't be surprised if harshest criticism comes from Hogan's office, but that's for the benefit of EY/JU venture. Haters would like JU gone with StarAlliance and LCCs taking over. That's the difference.

      Air Serbia did a rational thing this winter. More astute (and less pathetic) observers would also notice that external influences tried to stop or slow down Air Serbia expansion. Long haul flights were supposed to start over a year ago and regional acquisition faced political resistance. All paperwork for US flights took about 2,5 years to complete. Flights with YU metal to US needed about quarter of a century to restart. In contrast, Lufthansa started flights to the US only about a decade after the fall of the Nazi Germany. Despite all the headwind Air Serbia did an amazing job so far, and official start of ticket sales next week will be that inflection point for further growth.

    26. Anonymous19:32

      Talking about JFK flights and about selling tickets, here's the Big Leader himself:

    27. Anonymous20:01

      'external influences tried to stop or slow down Air Serbia expansion. '

      You make it seem as if they failed at it which they clearly didn't, otherwise we wouldn't be seeing so many cuts this winter season. Also, most extra frequencies start at the end of June to collect the few extra passengers that OS, TK, AZ...and the rest didn't pick up.

      It's funny how you consider yourself and astute and less pathetic observer of the whole situation and yet you are saying that what we saaw this winter is a good thing when everyone on here said otherwise and they were proven right. All I am seeing from you is wishful thinking which is not surprising because if you used fact... well, you would prove yourself wrong. ;)

    28. Anonymous20:20

      Meni nešto nije jasno. U više navrata je spomenuto ovde kako JU ima manje više troškove kao i prosečna niskobudžetna kompanija. Kako to da onda nisu uspeli da naprave pare na transfernim putnicima? Šta im je to bio konkretno problem? Svima je jasno, verovatno i dečaku caru, da JU ne ide u dobrom smeru. Ako neko zna molim da mi pojasni.

    29. Anonymous20:39

      pocetak prodaje karata za JFK je u stvari objava ulaska u nepovratne probleme. nadam se da nisam u pravu, mada ...

  3. Anonymous09:06

    So it's safe to presume that SHJ-SJJ flights are selling well?

    1. Anonymous10:49

      Extremely well :=)

    2. Anonymous11:26

      How? It says "low cost", maybe it is low cost for Arabian standards. I, as a traveller on budget, cannot buy some ticket that costs 436€. How sad, i really wanted to fly on board Air Arabia.

    3. Anonymous11:34

      What sort of prices is Fly Dubai offering?

    4. Anonymous14:16

      lol the timing of AirArabias flight is so bad that u need to sleep at the airport to catch connections from like Kuwait, Doha and the others (when flying back from the middle east)

      and it cost whooping 830€ return (WTF!)

      With these prices Air Arabia has no chance!!!

      2011 they failed at Tuzla
      2013 failed at PRN

      when u see the fares, you know why

  4. Anonymous09:12

    While it's completely true that OU screwed DBV during winter, DBV should have looked for another partner. They had enough time. Introducing subsidies during winter months would go a long way.

    1. Anonymous09:19

      They already make agreement that OU will leave DBV-FRA flights during winter, there would be more ZAG-DBV flights and DBV-FCO flights will stay like this year. Concerning that there is demand for some 20.000 pax during winter months I think that is enough. Maybe one or two flights to CDG and LHR. But that is maximum.

    2. Anonymous10:17

      Dubrovnik need winter flights to IST, 3-4 time per week.

    3. Anonymous14:23

      DBV only needs OU flights to ZAG during winter. We're talking about a town of 40,000, be serious.

    4. Anonymous15:44

      Zimi znači po tebi nema razloga da dolaze turisti? Bravo pametni...

  5. Anonymous09:15

    BEG lost 54.000 passengers since August. It will be 90.000 till March, maybe even more.

    Air Serbia decline was more than 11%. With 13% cut of capacity that is just 2% more on LF. And it is very bad concerning the fact of lost potential passengers who choose other companies instead of JU.

    We don't see any important increase of frequencies in JU summer time-table comparing to 2014, exempt JFK flights. So, how will they feed those routes?

    Doesn't looking good at all!

    1. Anonymous09:22

      Actually a lot of flights are increasing compared to last summer - Bucharest, Beirut, Dubrovnik, Pula, Split, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dusseldorf.

      Do a little research.

    2. Anonymous09:27

      Sofia is also increasing compared to last summer and Ohrid is planned to launch.

    3. Anonymous09:36

      You two last Anons! How dare you defy Belgrey?! Never attempt to question his all-doom-only-gloom announcements regarding JU! For shame!

    4. Anonymous09:41

      Hmm it's not all doom and gloom for the love of God, foreign carriers are increasing BEG. As for JU, meh... those increases are only seasonal and are not there to stay. If they were then most of them wouldn't start in June but in March. So cheerleaders, think before posting.

    5. Anonymous10:13

      @ Anonymous February 9, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    6. Anonymous11:18

      Well, maybe, just maybe, they have something to do with JFK flights set for June.

    7. Anonymous11:58

      Of course they do and that is problem, what bout the rest of the destinations? They don't need additional passengers? ;)

    8. Anonymous12:24

      Copied from elsewhere>

      'U februaru je najviše otkazanih letova je na linijama ka Bejrutu i Tel Avivu, što ukazuje da ove linije ne posluju zadovoljavajuće za Air Serbiju. Čak 80% svih naknadno otkazanih letova je u regionu (Podgorica, Skoplje, Zagreb, Bukurešt, Ljubljana) što ukazuje na lošu sezonu u regionalnom saobraćaju. Problemi u regionu dolaze najviše zbog sve snažnije konkurencije i sve bolje ponude na aerodromima u regionu u poslednje vreme.'

      I thought BEY performed well? As for the region, I am not surprised since the prices are craaaazy expensive.

    9. Anonymous14:38

      BEY can not perform well when connecting options in BEG are butchered like they did this winter.
      BEY to BEG is a very small market, it relies heavily on connections. With the great reduction in connections we see great reduction in pass. numbers.
      JU responded by canceling flights and ruining travelers plans.
      The cancelled flights with small load factors saved some money short term but those affected passenger will avoid JU for their future travels.

    10. Anonymous15:02

      Worth mentioning that even this small market mostly flies via ATH, SAW and IST because JU has crazy fares to BEY!

  6. Anonymous11:21

    BEG passenger numbers are down 5.8%
    JU is down 11%
    Foreign airlines took a big chunk of JU's traffic to and from Serbia.

    1. Anonymous14:15

      ASL is unable to defend its home market unless it flies people at a significant loss.
      Losses are only going to increase in 2016 both because the launching of flights to North America and the long period that this route will be cash flow negative until (and if) it gets positive AND most importantly because the increase in capacity in BEG by all the foreign airlines..
      Wizz, Lufthansa, Lot, Tarom, Aegean are all adding capacity to an already depressed market.
      This will only squeeze JU margins further down.

    2. Anonymous14:26

      Losses doesn't matter, apparently Serbian government and taxpayers are rich enough to write off dozens of million Euros every year. Enjoy :)

    3. Anonymous14:59


      This BEG profit that was written off wouldn't exist at all if there were no JU ops, so you would end up where you started. Only without an airline.

      And guess what would competition do then.

    4. Anonymous15:01

      Untrue. BUD still manages to record healthy profits even after MA went belly up. BEG would live on as others would step in and fill the void.

    5. Anonymous15:08

      Anonymous February 9, 2016 at 3:01 PM
      And so did LCA after CY suddenly closed last year. SKP and OHD too.

    6. Anonymous15:57


      Would you mind supplying the link to these profits in BUD? They lose dozens of millions every year, even after they set one passenger record after another. Looks like LCCs bring a bit less bread on the BUD table compared to Malev...

    7. Anonymous16:05

      Can you provide a link showing us these losses in BUD?

    8. Anonymous16:12


      SKP and OHD too, yet MK government has been paying something from the budget if I recall correctly.

      BEG is a 100% owned public enterprise. That translates into - it doesn't matter whether subsidies come from BEG, or the budget, or the city. And vice versa, profits are irrelevant if another state eneterprise profits out of it. Or if state is obligated to pay, by contract, to a company where it is a major shareholder.

      Unfortunately, nobody would really "step in" in case JU went out of business. We would have perhaps AF and BA coming back, and LH increasing frequencies from 3 to 5-6 daily. That's it. Oh, and guess what would happen to ticket prices.

    9. Anonymous16:28

      Well, Wizz Air would step in and probably return the second aircraft and maybe even add a third one.
      I am sure Norwegian would increase flights as well and maybe even launch LGW flights.

      So it wouldn't be that bad.

    10. Anonymous17:48

      Pusti budaletine sve to mogu sami da pronadju. Isto je sa "profitom" Wizz-a to je momentalno najveca prevara u aviosaobracaju u EU.

    11. Anonymous22:16

      Ali zato je profit Air Srbije realan?

    12. Say YES to logic.22:41

      Wizz Air is listed in the London Stock Exchange.
      It's financial performance is being checked and audited daily by hundreds of analysts.
      ASL on the other hand...

    13. Anonymous23:07

      Air Serbia's financial performance is checked and audited by KPMG each year. Unlike Wizz Air, its financial result is public and available for download. Based on those financial reports which were sent to the US, the US issued permits for transatlantic flights.

  7. The E190 should be the perfect aircraft to fly the proposed Dubrovnik to Frankfurt winter service.

    This aircraft will give OU alot of flexibility.

  8. Anonymous13:55

    Not a big deal. It will be compensated from April. Don't worry about BEG ;)

  9. Anonymous14:05

    SKP & OHD Jan - 113.886pax +26%

    1. Anonymous14:11

      Nice :)

    2. Anonymous14:40

      BEG management should ask for instructions. Fantastic results for the Macedonian airports!

    3. Anonymous14:54

      Wich instructions Beg 290580 Skp&Ohd 113886 2,2 x more

    4. Anonymous15:00

      Lessons in managing and nurturing the potential of your local market.

    5. Say yes to logic.15:03

      Anonymous 2:54 are you that daft?
      Why dont you start comparing BEG (only real airport for a country of 7 million) with Kosovo? Or maybe Moldova.
      That would make its results look good...

    6. Anonymous15:16

      Or like Tajikistan .

    7. Anonymous16:01

      Well, even such comparisons would make more sense than your comparisons of BEG and BUD, BEG and OTP, JU and LH, JU and TK...

      Make up your mind gentlemen - if Serbia is the poorest country of Europe as you keep on saying, then you compare it with Moldova, Macedonia and Tajikistan. And if the numbers dont work your way then find another comparison.

    8. Anonymous16:04

      Why doesn't it make sense to compared BEG to OTP or BUD?!

      It's hilarious that you are saying that it makes more sense to compare BEG and SKP. ROFL

    9. Anonymous16:26

      Serbia 7 million pax 4,5 million air travelers

      Macedonia 2 million pax, 1 million air travelers

    10. Anonymous16:36

      The current growth rate of MKD airports will continue until June, unless they bring a new airline. Therefore, the future of Macedonian airports is not really bright and secured.

    11. Anonymous16:44

      Cyprus population 830.000. 8 million travelers!
      Srbija population 7 million+ 4,5 million air travelers...

    12. Bravo SKP!16:53

      Macedonia in 2015 2 million population, 1.560.381 travelers.
      Macedonia wins!
      And 2016 started fantastic.
      Please don't hate us because despite this massive expansion of our airports ASL was 20% down carrying only 3% of travelers.
      Keep Calm and visit beautiful Ohrid.

    13. Anonymous16:56

      Anon 4:04,

      It makes no sense because BUD is a huge tourist hub and OTP is the main hub in a country of 20 million. And both BUD and OTP are in the EU.

      That's why it makes no sense.

      Personally I would not compare BEG to SKP either but if some people insist that Serbia is the poorest country in Europe, well, then the relevant competitors would be SKP, PRN, SJJ and KIV.

    14. Anonymous16:58

      Actually comparing BEG to OTP makes a lot of sense because Bucharest serves about the same amount of people as does BEG. Don't forget that Romania is a big country and most of its population does not fly out of the capital. Heck, Timisoara is gravitating towards BEG more than it does towards OTP!

    15. Anonymous22:21

      Anonymous 4:56
      But still PM Vučić several times compare BEG with BUD and OTP. And insist that BEG will overrun BUD and OTP in few years. So, do you want to say that PM Vučić is wrong?

  10. Anyone know when Ellinair will start flying to BEG? Seems like they dropped their plans to fly from Corfu, Heraklion seems like it will be their only destination this summer.

    1. Anonymous16:38

      They will in the middle of June, tickets are bookable through their web-site.

  11. Anonymous16:46

    Ryanair adds daily flights from SOF to Cologne from October on (already 7th destination from SOF)

    1. Anonymous16:56

      Thanks for the update! Really interesting, I wonder when we might see them in Belgrade. Would be nice to have them fly from BRU to BEG.

    2. Anonymous17:09

      I am sure that Ryan has big expansion plans for Eastern Europe (incl. BEG). They need it to continue growing...

    3. Anonymous18:13

      maybe they can transport migrants directly then. No wonder they are going daily!

    4. Anonymous19:07

      WOW! 7 destinations at a time! SOF might easily reach over 5 million passengers! Bravo and good luck to Ryan, they are going to kick W6's ass!

    5. Anonymous21:53

      @7:07 Da porastu 25%, easily?

    6. Anonymous22:18

      I expect 10-15% increase. I am sure W6 will react and try to open some new destinations before FR does it (e.g. Berlin). For now W6 has announced 5 new routes for 2016