Belgrade Airport swings back to growth

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has seen its passenger numbers improve in May following two consecutive months of declining figures. Serbia's main airport welcomed some 416.322 passengers last month, up 2.5% on May 2015. It anticipates posting stronger growth this June, with Air Serbia to introduce five new routes including Hamburg, Kiev, New York, Ohrid and St. Petersburg. Furthermore, the majority of the carrier's frequency upgrades will come into effect during the month. So far this year, Nikola Tesla Airport handled 1.651.670 travellers, which is still down 1.5% on the same period last year. While the airport did see its figures improve in February, its numbers have been declining since October 2015, primarily as a result of Air Serbia's reduced operations during the winter.

Belgrade Airport's General Manager, Saša Vlaisavljević, said, "The start of the summer season will mark a significant increase in passenger numbers. It is estimated that charter services alone will cater for more than 250.000 passengers, an increase of 15%". He added, "There is a lot of work ahead of us, but we are fully prepared. In addition to charters, we are also focusing on nonstop services to the United States which Air Serbia will launch in three weeks". This year, the number of leisure flights between Belgrade and Greece will grow by 50%. New operator Ellin Air will join Air Serbia's dedicated charter brand Aviolet, as well Aegean Airlines, on charters to fifteen cities in the country. In addition, the number of holiday flights to Spain will double. New charter destinations served from the Serbian capital this summer include Parga, Lefkada, Samos and Lemnos in Greece, Burgas in Bulgaria, as well as the Calabria region in Italy and Tehran in Iran. Due to strong demand, a number of scheduled services will also see the addition of charter flights. These include Tivat, Athens, Thessaloniki and Barcelona. Belgrade Airport estimates handling a record five million passengers by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, work on the overhaul of Belgrade Airport's facilities are progressing, with construction of an extended check-in area currently being carried out. The airport is overhauling 700 square metres of space to make way for eight additional check-in desks, as well as self check-in kiosks. Furthermore, the airport will soon begin work on overhauling its Terminal 1 building. All of the construction work is being financed by the airport. It recorded a net profit of four million euros, as well as revenue of 14.8 million euros, during the first quarter of the year. Revenue growth was generated by cargo services, the lease of commercial space and the passenger service tax. Overall, the airport's financial results improved 3% on last year.


  1. Anonymous09:03

    Good to see growth. How big of an increase can we expect in June?

    1. Anonymous09:27

      Somewhere between 5-10% maybe?

    2. Anonymous09:42

      Does anyone know how sales are going for these new flights?

    3. Anonymous11:15

      5-10% increase for the airport because of mostly increases ASL flights means that ASL will increase its passenger numbers about 10-20%.
      Seems a lot to me.

    4. Anonymous11:20

      Look at the Q1 figures. Foreign carriers are recording growth as well. So Air Serbia won't be the only one contributing.

    5. Anonymous12:14

      Yes but foreign carriers achieve this growth by increased load factors.
      Not by extra frequencies or new destinations.
      Nor do any new foreign carriers are expected in the short term.

    6. Anonymous12:17

      We have Wizz Air to Baden Baden and Ural from Moscow when compared to last summer so both brought around 5.000 passengers or 50% of the total increase.

  2. Anonymous09:07

    This growth is only there because May had 31 days! If it wasn't for that there would be a decline!

    1. Anonymous09:09

      Every year may has 31 day!

    2. Anonymous09:10

      @Anonymous June 3, 2016 at 9:07 AM

      I hope you are joking, otherwise I'm embarrassed for you.

    3. Anonymous09:51

      @Anonymous June 3, 2016 at 9:07 AM


    4. Anonymous09:57

      Last three Anons,

      I was just illustrating the mindset of he hater brigade :)

    5. Anonymous10:00

      Anon 09.07 and 09.57

      What a failed attempt to be funny.

    6. Anonymous11:10

      Lighten up a little, he was making a joke.

    7. Anonymous12:15

      Which is why I wrote that he failed at trying to be funny, entertaining.

    8. Anonymous20:39

      Actually, it was a pretty good joke.

  3. Anonymous09:08

    Belgrade will reach 5Mil. this year, finally!!!

    1. Anonymous11:13

      Just like last year?

    2. Anonymous11:36

      No, just like this year.

    3. Anonymous11:36

      What makes you think that Belgrade will have so big increase for the second half of the year?
      Enough increase to cover the losses of the first half and add 230.000 extra passengers.
      It seems extremely difficult to me.

    4. Anonymous11:48

      Totally plausible. 5 new lines from JU, plus a few others, not to mention a huge spike in charter flights, ferrying Serbian tourists to Iran, Jordan, Greece, Italy and Spain.

      It's a no-brainier.

    5. Anonymous13:14

      Serbian tourists to Iran and Jordan? I'll have what your snorting...

    6. Anonymous13:27

      Aqaba in Jordan is quite popular with Serbian tourists. All tour operators sell packages and there will be addittional charters to there this summer.

    7. Anonymous15:16

      Just forget 5 million this year, and the new european routes are all seasonal ending late october.

    8. Anonymous15:24

      Belgrade will only get to 5 million this year because 2016 has 366 days.

    9. Anonymous20:40

      "Just forget 5 million this year, and the new european routes are all seasonal ending late october."

      Wrong, St Petersburg will be maintained in the winter schedule as well.

    10. Anonymous21:06

      Okay , and you think this extra route will save the day? I don't think so...

    11. Anonymous21:36

      @ Anonymous June 3, 2016 at 1:27 PM
      Aqaba in summer? Who goes there in summer? In summer Aqaba is over 45-50 degrees. Hope that you will go there someday to see what I'm talking about.

    12. Anonymous21:55

      Anonymous 8:40 PM , You are 100% wrong St Petersburg is for sure seasonal. So don't expect from these 4 new european routes some serious contributio for BEG airport to reach 5 million pax, maybe 2017.

  4. Anonymous09:14

    Any Numbers of May for Skopje, Pristina Sarajevo and Zagreb ?

    1. Anonymous13:49

      Sarajevo 68.850 pax, +7% :)

    2. Anonymous14:50

      wonderful Sarajevo :)

    3. Anonymous15:51

      But last May Sarajevo had 80,143! It cant be the number for Sarajevo in May

    4. Anonymous16:05

      yes you are right.

      It's wrong it's not 68.850

    5. Anonymous16:42

      Here is the right number:85.738 +7%

    6. Anonymous17:10

      Dbv went up 7,6% to 213321 pax this month which is up 13.3% on year base.
      Split went up 12% to 204595 this month which is up 7,8% on year base.
      Still waiting for ZAG numbers

    7. Anonymous17:20

      Great for Split, they had 22000 passengers more than in May last year!

    8. Anonymous20:41

      My mother took a return flight to SPU in mid-May and said the terminal was already overcrowded.

      I dread my flights in mid-July...

  5. Anonymous09:26

    I'm glad numbers are finally up

  6. Anonymous10:23

    How come? From the comments here I thought the airport was about to close.

    1. Anonymous13:22

      Again one want to be funny???

      BEG airport lost 100.000 passengers during winter. That is not small number. And one can not deny that. I really hope that summer will be much better and that next winter will not be so bad again.

  7. Anonymous10:48

    Parga? What is Parga Airport?

    1. Anonymous10:51

      It does not say Parga Airport it says flights to Parga (city) which is served by Aktion Airport.

    2. Anonymous09:15

      You are referring to PVK? That is called either Preveza or Lefkada but neither the airport nor the destination is known as Parga. I have never ever heard that before.

  8. Talking about self check in, are there any indications as to when Air Serbia plans on increasing the number of departure points with online check-in possibility? That list has been unchanged for quite some time now and it can be a bit annoying having to queue in big airports even if you're travelling light and with no bags to check in.

    1. Anonymous12:04

      It'll probably occur only after the cutover to SabreSonic PSS, due in 2Q 2017.

    2. Anonymous13:35

      Any plans to add JFK departure point to the online checkin list before cutover to Sabre?

  9. Anonymous11:42

    This modest increase pf 2,4% is the first step in the major increases that we will be witnessing at BEG, as of this month. By end of June, the negative growth, for first half of year, will be neutralised, and both BEG and JU will take commence a strong growth trajectory, over right up to October.

    So the scene is now set. Can't wait for the first results at the end of this month. Whatever happens, it will be arecord year for both the airline and the airport.

    1. Facts only.12:10

      For BEG to reach 5 million passengers it needs from now until year's end 260.000 extra passengers!
      That is a FACT.
      From now until end of December needs 3.35 million passengers.
      that is an 8% increase over last year.

    2. Anonymous13:36

      Of course. When SOF gets a bunch of new routes it automatically means at least one million new passengers. But when BEG gets 5 new routes (one of which transatlantic) it automatically means they can be happy if they somehow cover what was lost in the winter and they can only dream of reaching 5M pax.

      You guys are so predictable...

    3. The 12:16 Anon gave you real numbers.
      You just wrote some incoherent phrases.
      Can you participate in a discussion based on reality?

    4. Anonymous15:42

      I participate in the discussion the same way you do. You have no idea how the numbers will pick up once the new routes are launched but you do know (from a crystal ball probably) that no matter what happens it will not be enough to cover for the winter loss of pax.

      In other words, yes you and your comrade above do have some real numbers from the past and you use them to predict the inevitable future. The part with numbers is correct but the fortune telling part is as worth as my incoherent phrases. So we have an equal discussion.

    5. Facts only16:27

      @Anonymous 3:42 PM

      Nope, I only posted FACTS.
      You are only posting opinion and dreams that you want to make anyone take them as facts.
      BEG so far this year is 1.5% down compared with 2015.
      That's a fact!
      To reach 5 million passengers this year it needs extra 260.000 compared with 2015 for the rest of the year.
      That's a fact!
      That means that BEG needs from now until end of December 3.35 million passengers.
      That's a fact!
      That means that for the rest of the year it needs an 8% increase in passengers compared to 2015.
      That's a fact!

      Now you can attack me again.
      And also right your fantasies without any facts to back them up.
      Facts like extra capacity numbers and which airlines will provide it so that the airport will have those extra 260.000 passengers for the rest of the year.

    6. Anonymous17:11

      I can only repeat what I've said:

      1. Your facts are correct.
      2. You cannot predict the future with them. Estimate maybe, but you can't stone carve that estimation.

      By the way, I did not predict any numbers for BEG. My motto is 'let's wait and see how it goes'.

      I'm afraid the only one with fantasies here is you. You have some heavy fantasies of BEG doing very bad and being unable to accelerate. Don't know why and honestly don't care either.

    7. Facts only.17:15

      You also forgot to say that I am a BEG "hater" and that I want to see the national airline collapse.
      Your routine has become all too obvious arounf here.

      Still no suggestions on which airlines and by how much will increase capacity.
      260.000 extra passengers are needed for the rest of 2016 in order to reach the 5 million mark.

      Only personal attacks on other posters...

    8. Anonymous18:08

      Maybe Wizz decides to base another aircraft and increase the current destinations. Time to copy SKP and start subsidies!

    9. JATBEGMEL18:39

      - Capacity on JFK alone is roughly 69.000 pax.
      - QB started new charter flights from IKA with AB6.
      - Wizz has a new service to FKB
      - JU has new routes to HAM, JFK, KBP, LED, OHD.
      - JU increased flights to AMS, TXL, DBV, DUS, OTP, MLA, PUY, SOF, SPU, TIA, TIV.
      - Charter capacity has increased by 15%.
      - Extra charters to scheduled destinations.
      - EY upgauged to A320 (from A319)
      - QR 5 x p/w direct on A320 (extra capacity)
      - FZ extra flight to BEG.

      This winter should be an increase:
      - will be surprised to see JU keep HAM and LED seasonal.
      - JU will likely drop WAW.
      - JU will have 5 x p/w JFK
      - I don't think JU will be as drastic as last winter with cutting frequencies, especially regional fitting into JFK.

      I think 4.9M is realistic.

    10. Anonymous18:49

      OT JU monthly report : 220K PAX (+1,6% yoy), PLF 71,8%.

  10. Anonymous12:56

    Lets see if other carriers will increase or decrease their frequency this winter. BEG is not only about ASL hellooo

  11. Anonymous13:53

    There are almost no comments about the future of Belgrade airport in terms of major infrastructure development, new terminal etc. Mismanagement killed any hope for the future. For example, decision to invest in visual docking guidance system (VDGS) for old A6 to A10 gates is utterly retarded. Those gates have to be torn down first and replaced with new ones including VDGS equipment. Other investments in temporary fixes are a waste of money and distraction from unavoidable goal of building a new terminal.

    1. Anonymous19:10

      +100, not only that but the tender for the VDGS was a joke, corruption on the highest level. All orchestrated by the BEG management. Just look at the paper trial on their website.
      Same goes for the bagage handling system.

  12. Anonymous16:49

    Anyone knows anything about how the sales are going for the new routes from ZAG and BEG?

  13. Anonymous18:12

    If only Srbija was a EU member, things would've changed dramatically. With the current population ageing & decline, also high unemployment..not sure if people have the money. BEG needs low fares like INI and SKP and not some shiny, expensive carrier. T1 needs to be exploited to the max!

    1. JATBEGMEL18:55

      LCC doesn't suit all. Lots of Serbs in the diaspora would be at a huge disadvantage if JU were to tomorrow close operations, and air fares would dramatically increase. Just compare the region with BEG and we have fairly decent prices. Lets not talk on businesses and the importance of BEG having the frequencies ex BEG as well as the vast network offered by JU. Competition in general is healthy regardless of it being LCC or full fare. JU has benefited from the state, but the state benefits from JU as well.

      BEG needs proper management. A lot is needed to be done, and I didn't comment a while back asking whether its just more cost effective in the long run just to build a new terminal rather than renovate and repair outdated infrastructure.

      Serbia needs to invest in advertising Serbia, making the secondary cities attractive to visitors. This could fuel some demand for flights to secondary airports in Serbia, which goes well for the local population. INI is doing well, KVO is just a useless terminal. UZC should seek LCC.

      Serbia going into the EU is not the solution. Serbia suffers from corruption, poor money management, black market economy and an identity crisis. That doesn't magically change with EU membership.

    2. Aэrologic02:44


      I fully second your thoughts, the last paragraph in particular.

  14. Anonymous21:29

    Don't forger that Ohrid, Hamburg, Kiev and St. Petersburg flights are seasonal. The decline will start again from October.

  15. JU520 BEGLAX22:52

    OT: we just drove by LJU Airport and saw a A330 of TK. Time was around 2145h
    does someone knows more? Checked flightradar 24 but i didnt find anything

  16. JU520 BEGLAX18:53

    Turkish national football team arrvd, they are playing Slo on Sunday in LJU

  17. Anonymous08:13

    SOF will get a brand new terminal. This is part of the concession requirements.


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