Belgrade to challenge Zagreb for long haul flights

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has identified counterparts in Zagreb and Budapest as its main competitors to securing long haul services. As a result, Serbia's main airport has begun tender procedures for consulting and technical support for the development of new routes with an emphasis put on services to North America, China and Australia. "Our aim is to become a gateway for long haul flights in Southeastern Europe to North America, China and Australia, as well as to introduce new routes to the Euro-Mediterranean region and strengthen our regional connectivity, which would, in turn, help increase loads on flights to the abovementioned markets. The main competitors in achieving these goals are first and foremost Zagreb and Budapest", the airport said. It noted that according to Airports Council International's Airport Industry Connectivity Report for 2017, Belgrade Airport has the second highest hub connectivity in the region, which includes Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia, putting it in a  favourable position for securing long haul flights.

The tender for the consultancy deal is set to close on October 11. According to Belgrade Airport, the study must include a comparative analysis of Zagreb and Budapest airports, potential passenger numbers on new routes, ticket prices, as well as a number of other trends. "The study must include additional analysis of the Australian, Canadian and African markets. The Australian study should take into account the large Serbian and Macedonian diasporas on the continent, Emirates' daily service between Dubai and Zagreb, as well as regional transfer options from Belgrade, which serves as Air Serbia's hub. The Canada study must take into account the significant Serbian diaspora, Air Transat's service between Toronto and Zagreb, as well as flights from Budapest to Canada. Finally, the study for the introduction of flights to Africa outside of the Mediterranean basin should take into account the potential of the whole of Southeastern Europe and identify an airline from Africa which has a developed network and a hub that could be used as a gateway to the continent".

Belgrade Airport identifies Zagreb as biggest competitor in long haul service race

The study comes after both Zagreb and Budapest secured several new long haul services over the past few years. Belgrade Airport's Investment and Development Director, Ana Kaludjerović, recently said that the Serbian capital has ambitions to become a regional transfer hub. In addition, the Serbian Ministry for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure recently told EX-YU Aviation News it is working on attracting more medium and long haul flights to the country in an effort to boost tourism and connectivity. It has identified several markets which hold potential to generate inbound, outbound and transfer travel from and to Serbia, including Canada, Japan, India, South Korea and Morocco, as well as further opportunities in the United States and China. The Moroccan Ambassador to Serbia last week announced that Royal Air Maroc would launch scheduled flights from Casablanca to Belgrade in 2018. Belgrade Airport attended the three-day World Route Development Forum in Barcelona which ended yesterday. World Routes is the global meeting place for airlines, airports and aviation stakeholder aimed at securing new routes and partnerships. Others from the former Yugoslavia to attend include Adria Airways, Croatia Airlines, as well as the airports in Ljubljana, Pristina, Skopje, Ohrid, Brač, Pula. Zadar and Zagreb.


  1. Anonymous09:04

    They should have done this years ago.

  2. Anonymous09:05

    Why do they have to get an external company to do this study? Shouldn't this be the airport's job???

    1. Anonymous09:09

      I wouldn't be surprised if one of the politicians has registered a consultancy firm and needs to land a customer.

      Same way the airport recently hired an external PR firm but also has its own in-house PR. Exactly the same thing with Air Serbia. Has its own PR and another PR company, the other is owned by Vucic's cousin of course.

    2. Anonymous09:11

      Hah crazy. Probably that is the catch.

    3. Anonymous10:42

      and the training for the airport PR staff is provided by Nebojša Krstić, regime's favourite thinker

  3. Anonymous09:07

    Do they honestly expect flights to Australia? LOL

    1. Anonymous09:10

      No but they mention EK's ZAG flights as an example so they probably want a one stop connecting flight.

    2. Anonymous09:14

      BEG already has those through Etihad. Its flight from Belgrade connects perfectly to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

    3. Anonymous09:19

      Add to that Qatar and flydubai which just increased flights to daily.

    4. Anonymous09:24

      And Qatar and Flydubai.

    5. Anonymous09:34

      Samo sirokotrupni da uvede Etihad.

    6. Anonymous09:36

      Неће, ове зиме остаје А320 као и прошле.

    7. Anonymous09:42

      Za letnju sezonu, sasvim je OK zimi A320.

    8. Anonymous09:52

      They will stay on the 320 and once they offload JU like they did with AZ, AB and F7 they will stop BEG flights because it is highly loss making for EY.

    9. Anonymous09:54

      And you know the route is loss making how exactly?? You sit in front of their financial books and saw the financial performance of their BEG flights? Their flights are doing extremely well and are full. More importantly their business class is sold out on these flights more often than not.

    10. Anonymous09:59

      If the route wasn't performing well then they would have kept the A319 as was the case with VCE.

    11. Anonymous10:07

      So, how comes that there is no Etihad A321 during winter like so many "experts" here said they know as fact if will happen.

      Those experts say that they know from inside source
      - A321 during winter
      - A330 during summer

      Wet dream? Unreal hoping? Or just desperate excuse because Abu Dhabi capacity cuts to half?

    12. Anonymous10:09

      You tell us. You are the one that claims to be sitting in front of Etihad's financial books and knows the financial performance of their routes.

    13. Anonymous10:25

      Abu Dhabi is a huge success. EY is full on all flights. Thats why they ordered JU to stop flying. Because it is such a huge success and they are full all the time, they will sell even cheaper after capacity reductions. I heard that TIV flights by Fly Dubai are the same- extremely successful and full all the time. That's why they will couple it with SJJ flights and reduce their prices. Because of the huge success!

    14. Anonymous10:29

      I guess that is why Emirates is decreasing Zagreb. Because they are full.

      As for Etihad they are full most of the time at least when I flew with them. I have flown with them over the past few years in March, September and November. They were full to the last seat, including business every single time. The fact that they have been flying daily for 4 years now indicates that they are doing just fine.

      Fly dubai isn't flying to Tivat during the winter. I would suggest you start following aviation a bit more and leave your nationalism, condescending tone and belittlement out the door before coming here.

    15. Anonymous10:54

      i think 10:25 was being sarcastic

    16. Anonymous12:28

      " You are the one that claims to be sitting in front of Etihad's financial books and knows the financial performance of their routes."

      Of course I was not the one, don't say bullshit.

      But even if I was the one is this argument which will minimize fact that there will be no A321 on Etihad Abu Dhabi route this winter?

    17. Anonymous12:31

      When did Etihad ever announce that they will send an A321 to Belgrade this winter?

    18. Anonymous12:35

      Sure think that Emirates cuts from 7 to 5 flights pw is result of not so good performance. But no one from Zagreb claim that Emirates will increase capacity this winter from 777 to A380, unlike from Belgrade who claim that Etihad will increase capacity to A321 on winter and A330 on summer. And claim that as inside information and fact. Now, you are embarrassed a lot, a presume.

      And reduction from 7 to 5pw is far smaller than from 14 to 7, isn't it?

    19. Anonymous12:42

      Why on earth would I be embarassed? LOL. Someone starting a rumour under an anonymous nickname does not mean that it is an official announcment or that it was me who said it. Same way someone said that Qatar Airways would fly B787 to Zagreb this summer and hasn't. Or the countless times someone wrote how Emirates is sending an A380 to Zagreb for its first flight.

      Etihad operates 1 daily flight to Belgrade. Not 2. They have kept their frequency the same since they launched the flight. Air Serbia's decision to cut Abu Dhabi is completely unrelated to Etihad's service and has to do with internal problems at the company.

      Bit uour need to belittle others in order to prove how you are better then them is concerning.

    20. Anonymous12:57

      ZAG-DXB is not a reduction. It is their first winter that they fly to ZAG five times a week. It it changes next Winter then we can speak of reductions. Compare winter with winter and summer with summer.

    21. Anonymous13:03

      It is because it was scheduled as daily. I remember many Croatian commentators screaming here when Air Serbia did the same. They scheduled 5 flights to New York for their first winter season but months before the winter season started they rescheduled it to 3 per week. And you were all saying how it is a reduction and a disaster and the end. Please apply the same rules.

    22. Anonymous14:23

      @AnonymousSeptember 27, 2017 at 12:35 PM

      From 777W to A380? Are you certain???
      And I presume you meant from summer 2018, which starts on March 30th 2018?

      Emirates reduced Zagreb to 5 cause they realized Sundays will be hard to fill, and they rather have pax from Sunday spill on to weekdays.

      No idea why they cut Saturday, I guess cause it is also quite bad, Saturday is worst performer for most airlines @Zagreb.

      The other days Emirates is almost full, 90-95 LF, on Saturday that goes down to 60% and on Sunday 65%. I can understand why no one is flying on Sundays, but not on Saturdays, I often travel on Saturday.

    23. Anonymous14:57

      Etihad own 49% of Air Serbia. So, when Air Serbia cancel 7pw flights that is 50% reduction on Etihad/Air Serbia flights to Abu Dhabi.

      Yes, that was rumor. Stupid one like most of them in this blog. That was only intention of my comment.

      Qatar did not start to fly 787, but instead they start 14 flights, what is 40% increase of capacity + lot of flights were with A321 instead or previous A320.

  4. Anonymous09:09

    So BEG recognizes ZAG as a serious competitor. Interesting since most commenting here seem to dismiss it.

    1. Anonymous09:12

      We all know how competent BEG CEO and his team are. I can see how BUD is a competitor but ZAG is far behind BEG when it comes to overall connectivity.

    2. Anonymous09:17

      @Anon 9.09 Off course they see ZAG as a competitor, especially when it comes to long haul flights. ZAG can rely on a lot of tourists who later transfer to the coast, making it an easier way to persuade airlines to launch flights there plus being in the EU helps. Some people who comment here are not that representative of the way business is actually done.

    3. Anonymous09:21

      Is it? Zagreb has:

      5 flights per day to FRA
      5 flights per day to VIE
      4 flights per day to MUC
      2,5 flights per day to BRU
      2,5 flights per day to ZRH
      2 flights per day to LHR and LGW
      2 flights per day to CDG
      2 flights per day to AMS
      2 flights per day to IST
      2 flights per day to DOH
      1,5 flights per day to WAW
      1 flight per day to MAD
      1 flight per day to DBX

      + flights to Toronto

      2 long-haul planes are in Zagreb almost every day in summer (Toronto, Dubai, Seoul, ad hoc charters).

    4. Anonymous09:25

      Although it should be noted that there are currently no long haul flights from Zagreb during the winter. I think ZAG should work to getting an all year long haul flight.

      As for connectivity people should READ what the article says. It says Serbia is ranked second best in terms of connectivity among the countries listed. Croatia was first last year and I assume they maintained the same ranking this year.

    5. Anonymous09:26

      They can rely on a lot of tourists but so far they haven't secured any long-haul flights besides a seasonal charter flight from Canada.

    6. Anonymous09:28

      Dude, chill... there is simply no evidence that ZAG is ahead of BEG. Not only in terms of passenger numbers but also in terms of the number of cities served in Europe. You should really give it a break.

    7. Anonymous09:29

      'Croatia was first last year and I assume they maintained the same ranking this year.'

      Yes, overall as a country because of the coast. Here we are talking about BEG vs ZAG.

      Maybe we are not the ones who should read more carefully. ;)

    8. Anonymous09:31

      ACI's Airport Industry Connectivity Report is done based on overall country connectivity. Not on individual airports (unless they are major world hubs). In Serbia's case its airport connectivity = Belgrade. You can read more about their reports on the internet.

    9. Anonymous09:32

      Its funny how the comparison is always between ZAG and BEG. In the end we could compare other airports in those countries such as SPU and DBV which will have the same amount of PAX as BEG.

    10. Anonymous09:33

      So the report was published before INI's expansion took place. We should see what happens next year especially since INI can sustain far more flights in winter than DBV or SPU can, even less so airports like PUY or ZAD.

    11. Anonymous09:34

      INI is not relevant in this case because the airport deals with HUB connectivity. Except for Zurich International Nis has no hub connectivity.

    12. Anonymous09:34

      *the report deals with, it should say

    13. Anonymous09:35

      So you are implying that Croatia ranks higher than Serbia because ZAG's connectivity is better than BEG's? :D

    14. Anonymous09:38

      Yes it probably has higher hub connectivity than Belgrade due to the number of frequencies it has to Star Alliance hub airports in Europe.

    15. Anonymous09:40

      SPU in winter is connected to ZAG, FRA and MUC giving it connectivity that INI will never have!

    16. Anonymous09:40

      Connectivity does not only look at the number of connections you have via various (star) alliance hubs but how connected you are in general to other cities. That's where ZAG falls flat in comparison with BEG.

      Finally, if I remember correctly they did factor in the coast when the report was presented. There was even an article on it here.

    17. Anonymous09:41

      Yeah, LH can sell SPU-ARN for €500 via MUC while people from INI can fly for €10 on Ryanair to the same destination.

    18. Anonymous09:43

      For goodness sake people here it is from the official report:

      Airport connectivity - 4,133
      Direct connectivity - 1,187
      Indirect connectivity - 2,946
      Hub connectivity - 67

      Airport connectivity - 2,179
      Direct connectivity - 603
      Indirect connectivity - 1,576
      Hub connectivity - 332

    19. Anonymous09:44

      Yes but people can fly many times a day to SPU while they can to INI twice a week.

    20. Anonymous10:01

      Many times a day from SPU? Are you sure about that? In winter? ;)

      Also, if the market from SPU was that great then so many airlines wouldn't have suspended their plans in winter.

      Thank you anon 09.43 for showing us that this includes the whole of Croatia and not only ZAG as the other anon claimed.

    21. Anonymous10:03

      ^Excuse me where did I claim that it didn't. Read what I wrote

      "ACI's Airport Industry Connectivity Report is done based on overall country connectivity. Not on individual airports (unless they are major world hubs). In Serbia's case its airport connectivity = Belgrade. You can read more about their reports on the internet."

    22. Anonymous10:05

      This is the comment I was referring to:

      AnonymousSeptember 27, 2017 at 9:34 AM
      INI is not relevant in this case because the airport deals with HUB connectivity. Except for Zurich International Nis has no hub connectivity.

    23. Anonymous10:18

      SPU during winter has:

      22 pw to ZAG Croatia
      7 pw to FRA Croatia
      7 pw to FCO Croatia
      7 pw to MUC Lufthansa + Croatia
      4 pw to CGN Eurowings
      3 pw to STR Eurowings
      2 pw to DUS Eurowings
      2 pw to RJK-OSI Trade Air
      2 pw to PUY-OSI Trade Air
      2 pw to DBV Trade Air

      = 58 flights per week so it is 8,3 flights per day
      + charters

    24. Anonymous10:24

      How have the Emirates flights to ZAG been doing recently?

    25. Anonymous10:25

      "They can rely on a lot of tourists but so far they haven't secured any long-haul flights besides a seasonal charter flight from Canada".

      Zagreb-Dubai by Emirates 777-300ER is long-haul. Euro control defines long-haul as flights more than 4.000 km and Zagreb-Dubai is 4.100 km.

    26. Anonymous11:04

      well thats a change.. the major intl hub INI is not being compared to SKP anymore, this time its INI vs ZAG and SPU

    27. Anonymous11:10

      Anon 11.04 it's ok, given that Eurowings is suspending their SKP launch there is no point in mentioning them.

  5. Anonymous09:10

    Is it not Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Paris etc which should be their comparison because these offer all the connections. Like it says it is not at though the passengers sty in BEG but they would be distributed which is currently done by the big ones.

  6. Anonymous09:12

    I find it interesting that they want a connection to an African hub the most.

    1. Anonymous09:15

      Cairo makes sense especially when you take into consideration MS' network.

    2. Anonymous09:18

      But they mention countries outside of Euro-Mediterranean area and I think Egypt is considered Euro-Med.

    3. Anonymous09:25

      Ethiopian maybe?

    4. Anonymous09:27

      Funnily enough Ethipian has a GSA based in Belgrade that manages the rest of the ex-YU market for them.

    5. Anonymous09:29

      Plus Air Serbia and Ethiopian have an interline via Rome.

  7. Anonymous09:18

    Game on.

  8. Anonymous09:19

    Does this mean concession is dead? Route development is concessionaire job.

    1. Anonymous09:21

      No there is less than a month left for bids to be submitted and 4 have already been submitted.

      BEG's management has mostly been acting as if there is no concession going on. They have been refurbishing the terminal and what now.

  9. Anonymous09:20

    ZAG and BUD make sense. No other airport will get long haul flights anytime soon, airports like SJJ, SOF, SKG, SKP,TSR, TZL..

    1. Anonymous09:22

      It is interesting that Sofia and Bucharest don't have long haul flights.

    2. Anonymous09:24

      RO also gave up on their crazy idea to fly longhaul.

    3. Anonymous10:35

      Budapest has better geographic position, it will be used also by Slovak and Romanians.

    4. Anonymous11:11

      Yes but for a lot of Romanians BEG is more convenient, especially those living in Timisoara which is also the country's second richest city. It's less than 200 km from BEG.

    5. Anonymous12:41

      Because neither SOF nor OTP have that surge need. They are already well connected via the real hubs.

    6. Anonymous16:28

      OTP has been obsessing about getting a direct air link with China.

  10. Anonymous09:21


  11. Anonymous09:21

    Qatar has just increased their second daily flight to an A321 which is almost always full. Zagreb has a way better connectivity from the Gulf states and thus Australia/Asia than BEG has.

    1. Anonymous09:24

      This winter ZAG will have:

      - 14 on Qatar
      - 5 on Emirates

      BEG will have

      - EY daily
      - QR daily
      - FZ daily

      In the end BEG will have more airlines and more frequencies which is always better when ensuring lower fares through more competition.

    2. Anonymous09:28

      19 on ZAG vs 21 on BEG, seating capacity probably bigger on ZAG. But overall, solid situation for both markets and tough competitive winter for carriers - pleasure for customers!

    3. Perhaps, but this is 21 dlifgts vs. 19, basically the same. However, having an airline such as Emirates with a 360 pax capacity gives ZAG a few more pointers ;)

    4. Anonymous09:43

      BEG has connections to three airports DOH DXB and AUH, ZAG only to two airports. Advantage Belgrade.

    5. Anonymous09:49

      Croatia has 4,2 million inhabitants and almost 10 million pax.
      Serbia has 7,1 million inhabitants and
      almost 5,6 million pax.

    6. Anonymous10:03

      Croatia is in the EU, ZAG can barely sustain one long-haul flight on a glorified charter airline to Canada.

      Serbia, not in the EU, no tourism, two long-haul flights, INI booming on a year-round basis...

    7. Anonymous10:05

      Damn you kids !!! Snap out of it !

    8. Anonymous10:08

      Anon 10.05 so now when we are showing facts you want us to stop?

    9. Anonymous10:09

      "c sustain one long-haul flight on a glorified charter airline to Canada" ...well that flight on that glorified airline (it is a regular flight by the way) has been increased steadily since its introduction while services to JFK have been reduced since. So it is actually the other way round. And we are not talking about sustainability of HU which basically takes off and lands in PRG.

    10. Anonymous10:10

      When has New York ever been reduced?
      5 per week during summer
      3 per week during winter

    11. Anonymous10:11

      Was it not?

    12. Anonymous10:11

      "JFK have been reduced since"

    13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    14. Anonymous10:13

      No it still operates 5 per week during summer and 3 per week during winter with 4th flight in winter between middle of December to middle of summer.

    15. Anonymous10:16

      @ 10.12 . That discussion is ridiculous. Tourists in Croatia obviously do not count as much as tourists in Greece flying from say AMS to SKG via BEG?????

    16. Another pissing contest. I swear to god, you are no more than 11 yo.

  12. "Belgrade Airport has the second highest hub connectivity in the region, which includes Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia"

    So, which airport has the highest connectivity?

    1. Anonymous09:34

      My guess is OTP.

    2. Anonymous10:56

      Srbija navodi Albaniju pod sovj region a Mađarska se ni ne spominje haha. Prvo OTP pa SOF pa tek onda BEG.

    3. Anonymous11:00

      Da si procitao tekst video bi da se odnosi na Southeast Europe

      Ovo je Southeast Europe i ne ukljucuje Madjarsku, vec upravo zemlje koje su oni pobrojali.

  13. Anonymous09:31

    Why Canada? Ex Yu wrote more than a month ago that Canada Serbia bilateral has been agreed and is now just a matter of negotiations between Air Canada and Air Serbia. Isn't that a done deal?

    1. Anonymous09:37

      They need the study to Canada so they can persuade either JU or AC or whoever to start flights
      "the Canadian Ambassador to Serbia, Philip Pinnington, said that while there is a common interest for flights to be resumed between the two countries, it is ultimately up to the respective carriers from each nation to determine whether such a service would be commercially viable."

    2. Anonymous09:38

      Best case scenario would be for Air Canada Rouge to launch these flights as they could also offer connections however I don't think their fellow Star Alliance partners would be too happy.

    3. Anonymous09:55

      Star Alliance partners would be very happy! I was on Rouge flight BCN-YYZ this summer and United had bunch of passengers on the plane, connecting from Toronto to places in US from New York to LA. Both UA and LH had codeshare on that flight with Air Canada Rouge. UA and LH would be happy to do the same on YYZ-BEG flight.

  14. Anonymous09:49

    The airport finally getting its act together after putting no effort in for the past 4 years towards attracting new carriers so as not to upset Air Serbia and create competition?

  15. Anonymous10:07

    Why is everyone comparing Croatia and Serbia, BEG and ZAG in the comments when the article doesn't deal with that at all? It's about BEG trying to develop long haul flights which I support.

    1. Anonymous10:09

      I support it too and they have done a good job so far, they got JFK and PEK. This will put additional pressure of MEB3 who will have to compete more efficiently from now.

  16. Anonymous10:16

    What is the point of this tender if the airport is going for concession and will be managed by others at the start of next year?

    1. Anonymous10:36

      Concessionaire will take over in March 2018. The airport probably wants to use the winter season negotiate new long haul flights for next summer.

    2. Anonymous11:02

      Problem with that theory is that long haul flights for next summer are typically announced in the next two months.

  17. Anonymous10:20

    ZAG should have at least two additional wide body airliners in 2018. Both Korean, and Qatar should be flying their Dreamliners.

    Turkish could start widebody service soon.

    I can see additional Canadian wide bodies arriving, a Chinese widebody very soon, and an American service very soon.

    1. Anonymous10:45

      ...and a service to the moon very soon.

    2. Anonymous10:45

      I think that Korean Dreamliner is possible next year and not just during summer but year-round.For other things I dont know.ZAG wont get Chinese widebody any time soon because of BEG.Same for US.I can see Toronto flight just seasonal but with more frequencies.

    3. Anonymous11:12

      Agree. ZAG quietly just gets on with it and drops the surprises without any notice. I’m predicting flights to USA, Canada, China and Korea.
      Well done ZAG on achievements and what a terminal. Congratulations

    4. Anonymous11:14

      Quietly? They have been announcing flights to the US since 2010!

    5. Anonymous11:18

      2009 actually

    6. Anonymous14:46

      @AnonymousSeptember 27, 2017 at 10:45 AM

      China flights and Zagreb have nothing to do with Belgrade. The fact that Chinese airline lands at Belgrade does not preclude another Chinese airline landing at Zagreb.

      Belgrade in regional sense has very little impact on Zagreb in terms of transfers. Istanbul, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam and Munich on the other hand do.

      Most Chinese visitors, who visit Croatia come via these airports to Croatia. Direct link to Zagreb is unlikely however.

      Perhaps in 2020, not sooner then that.
      So far in 2017, 106000 Chinese visitors visited Croatia in first 7 months. Total number expected to reach 165000.

      In 2018, 220-240 000 Chinese visitors to Croatia, 100 000 of these to Zagreb.
      2019, 300-320 000 Chinese visitors to Croatia and 120-150 000 to Zagreb.

      In 2020, 400 000 Chinese visitors would justify direct link between Zagreb and Beijing or Shanghai, probably with China Eastern or Air China Airlines.

      We'll see how numbers work out.

      Korean Air to Zagreb is quite likely now due to massive influx of Korean visitors to Croatia, 400k+ expected this year.
      In 2018 that number will most likely be 500k+.

      At this point, Zagreb needs to have direct connection with Seoul.

      Direct connection to Tokyo should also be in works by 2020, as 175000 Japanese visitors are expected this year, and 250-300 000 by 2020.

      So 2020, Zagreb could see following wide body routes in place.

      Zagreb - Beijing - 90% chance. - Three weekly flights year round, 4 weekly flights during summer months.
      Zagreb Toronto - Air Canada R - three weekly throughout the year
      Zagreb - Montreal - twice weekly with Air Transant.
      Zagreb - Seoul - 5 weekly flights with Korean Air year round, with winter months going down to 3.
      Zagreb - Singapore - twice weekly with Singapore Airlines
      Zagreb - Tokyo - ANA three weekly in summer months, twice weekly in winter months.
      Zagreb - US/New York - probably Delta summer months only - three weekly flights at best, twice weekly most likely.

      There's a chance of direct Thailand flights and perhaps even India flights, but with Emirates I'm less certain of India flights.

      Emirates by this point will fly A380 on the route although I'd prefer double daily B777-800.

    7. Anonymous15:04

      Majke ti rista, jel to kaj ti pušiš iole legalno i gdi se može nabavit? Hebote, ja sam zagrepčanec, volil bi fakat da Zagreb ima više linija, al ovo kaj ti predviđaš je ravno ludilu.

      Čuj ima ti tu jedna institucija u Vrapču. Lijepa žuta zgrada, pa svrati malo, buraz. Bu ti dobro napravila.

    8. Anonymous15:22

      Anon 2:46, why stop only there and be so conservative in your predictions? :)

    9. Anonymous16:11

      hahahahahah my fav is SQ from SIN :D

    10. Well when this guy made predictions almost 3 years ago he got 2 out of 9 right (Aegean and Czech are in ZAG now but SAS, Alitalia, UIA, Easy, Korean, JAL, and year round Iberia are not )

      That means you guys can pick 2 from his list today. I would personally choose Singapore and Seoul.

    11. Anonymous18:46

      Well he partially got it right, OK went seasonal.

    12. Anonymous21:16

      @AnonymousSeptember 27, 2017 at 3:04 PM

      You first, clearly you needed far more than I do.

      @Aleksandar StojanovicSeptember 27, 2017 at 6:39 PM

      2 years ago, and I said in coming years, didn't give specific dates. 2020 is a specific date. Things are just starting to go nice for Zagreb.

    13. Anonymous22:46

      You mean like the EK reduction and the winter suspensions by SN and OK? Or OU's inability to turn most of its seasonal routes into year-round?

    14. Anonymous23:38

      Not only that got only 2 out of 9 right (his results are worse than random guess) in 2 years and 8 months, but he displayed complete lack of knowledge when it comes to fundamentals. He calculates load factor by dividing number of airport passengers by number of airport operations!!! It there is one person that deserves ban, that's him:

    15. Anonymous23:45

      Thank you Aleksandar Stojanovic!

    16. Anonymous23:48

      @AnonymousSeptember 27, 2017 at 11:38 PM

      You're a moron.

      Also number of passengers and number of operations is quite relative to overall passenger numbers and future potential growth.

      I don't breathe airports and aviation all day long and don't know all the terminology, but can see how things are moving and what is happening in the world.

      You on the other hand, got nothing better to do but to troll and post ridiculous comments and stupid nationalist wet dreams.

  18. Anonymous10:34

    Good luck BEG. I think the most realistic new long haul route will be Toronto but who knows. Beijing came as a surprise. We will see.

    1. Anonymous12:09

      Yeah I doubt it. I don’t hold much luck for either JFK and newly launched tourist route to Beijing via Prague. QR, FZ, EY and TK much nicer options

    2. Anonymous12:52

      Nicer for whom? For big Chinese groups, I assure you that they'd rather fly Hainan without connecting and with the ability to speak and watch content in their own language throughout the journey.

  19. interesting to see how BEG evolved its views on competition in 9 months

    ANT CEO on December 2016
    "Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has identified Budapest, Sofia and Thessaloniki airports as its primary competitors in the region in the coming years and no longer sees the likes of Zagreb and Sarajevo as its main rivals, according to General Manager, Saša Vlaisavljević."


    ANT September 2017
    "Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has identified counterparts in Zagreb and Budapest as its main competitors to securing long haul services. "

    1. Anonymous11:13

      Not that I am defending him but SOF or SKG are nowhere close to getting long-haul flights, BUD and ZAG secured them.

    2. i am just point out that first he was dissing zagreb as it was no competition and now he is hiring consultants to battle with zagreb on long haul market

    3. Anonymous12:09

      Yes there is a shift but equally so ZAG has a lot of work to do before it becomes an actual threat

  20. Anonymous11:50

    Well, well.....the tender has been cancelled.

    1. Anonymous11:53

      No it hasn't. The tender was published last week. Then on their site it says its cancelled but then it was reopened again. You can see on their site that the status of the tender is "open".

    2. Alen Šćuric Purger12:20


      My company contact Belgrade Airport for tender documentation, and they told us that tender is cancelled today.

    3. Anonymous12:24

      I just spoke to them and they said that it was no cancelled.

    4. Anonymous12:24

      They should probably update info on their website.

    5. Alen Šćuric Purger12:46

      So, you want to tell me that airport was giving my company false information to eliminate me from possibility to compete in tender?

    6. Anonymous12:53

      Purger, I'm pretty sure he is just making it up.

    7. Anonymous13:07

      Since the tender was officially canceled yesterday (time stamp) they are not, by law, allowed to re-tender it for at least 6 months.

      The tender is dead.

      Purger: Yes, you should expect anything with tenders at BEG. Just go to and see what's happening with tenders that doesn't go their (management) way. They have a lot of tenders being blocked due to irrational demands, tenders being completed but no contracts being issued due to trying to blackmail the winners etc

    8. Alen Šćuric Purger13:30

      Very unprofessional, isn't it?

    9. Anonymous15:06


    10. I have no idea if it is or isn't cancelled but my guess would be that there was no chance they were going to get that massive lump sum upfront plus the infrastructure investment they were after so the offers fell short of what they were expecting. I always thought if they do secure this than that would be an awesome achievement!

    11. Anonymous15:57

      Q400 what are you on about??? This discussion relates about the TENDER for the "consulting and technical support for the development of new routes" which this topic talks about, not the concession!

    12. Lol sorry, my bad! I thought people were saying the concession had been cancelled.

    13. Anonymous17:28

      I thought the same by the way they wrote it.

  21. Anonymous12:24

    What's the next long hual route we can expect?

    1. Anonymous12:25

      My money in on Toronto or Chicago.

  22. Anonymous12:47

    I still insist that ZAG is way too small to sustain long-haul flights. What ZAG needs are more LCC. Travelling from Europe to ZAG is generally expensive. People usually use BUD as an arriving point and then travel on land to reach ZAG. Only cheapest destinations from Europe are UK and Germany only.

    1. Anonymous13:38

      As it is too small to have Emirates flights to Dubai 7pw in summer and 5pw in winter with 777-300ER?

      Or 2pw to Toronto and 1pw to Seoul with A330-300 during summer?

    2. Anonymous15:08

      Too small as in not to be able to serve an Airbus A320 during the night...

    3. Anonymous16:06

      KE is a charter airline so dymanics are a bit different. Also, if it wasn't that small EK wouldn't be reducing their flights. If I remember correctly some were even predicting EK A380 in ZAG.

    4. Anonymous16:25

      Dude, even OHD can handle 773 flights given someone pays for them. Emirates are flying there almost for free so please check your facts. It was a PR move by the french to justify how much they screwed up Croatian taxpayers to build the airport and the fact it even isn't operating at night, get over it.

    5. Anonymous17:38

      It is small because Emirates decrease their capacity for 28%. OK, by same logic Belgrade is even smaller as Etihad/Air Serbia decrease their capacity for 50% to Abu Dhabi.

      Your logic is really something.

      Before you say that price on Emirates is low, you should check it first. Turkish, Qatar, even Aeroflot and Air France have lower fairs than Emirates. We all are so surprised about that. You have hundreds example of what I said here. So, don't put rubbish and nonsense on this blog because of jealousy.

    6. Anonymous18:01

      Jealous of what exactly? BEG can't be smaller than ZAG when it handles almost 50% more passengers and has an incomparably larger network.

      You make it sound as if ZAG is some world class airport. Newsflash: it has no non-stop air links with Rome and it's only getting them now with Athens. TK reduced its own flights (which it didn't do in LJU) while Pegasus or Atlasjet are keeping clear.

      On top of that Aeroflot can barely fill an SSJ and Hainan chose 'small' Belgrade over all the prestige in Zagreb.

      Let's also add that both SN Brussels and OK kind of failed there as well.

    7. Anonymous18:02

      One final point, maybe start belittling BEG once your own airport passes the 3 million mark.

    8. Anonymous20:21

      Of course what is British, Air France, KLM, Brussels, Air Transat, CSA, Iberia, Emirates compare to Aeroflot, Pegasus and AtlasGlobal

    9. Anonymous20:39

      1. British Airways is basically an extremely expensive version of easyJet.

      2. SN Brussels in a lowcost airline with a BOB product just like BA.

      3. Air Transat with its sardine can A330s.

      4. CSA and its seasonally operated Atr flight?

      5. Iberia is a lowcost and pretty much the same as Belgrade's Vueling.

      6. Belgrade has flydubai which doesn't have to reduce flights the moment the busy summer season is over.

      Just because these fly to ZAG and not BEG doesn't make them somehow wonderful and fancy.

      Also, both Aeroflot and Atlasjet have a better onboard product than most of the airlines you listed. lol

    10. Anonymous20:40

      Talking of CSA, BEG doesn't need them. ASL manages to make PRG 10 weekly throughout the year, something neither OU nor OK have managed to do.

    11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    12. Anon @8:39 +1000

    13. Anonymous23:45

      British is almost easyJet? Hahahaha

      SN and Iberia are low cost? hahahahah

      2pw to Toronto is nothing, shit flights? Hahahahaha

      ČSA ATR is shit, but Air Serbia one is perfect? Hahahahaha

      Flaydubai is even better than Emirates? Hahahahaha

      Now, really? You really believe in those nonsense?

      By the way, you do know that flydubai 189 pax in 7 pw is 1323 seats pw, and Emirates 364 pax in 5 pw is 1820 seats pw?

    14. Anonymous23:48

      anonymous 8:39 is there any good company exempt Air Serbia, Aeroflot and AtlasGlobal?

      I presume that is why 250% more passenger fly with British than with Aeroflot, because it is so bad company.

  23. Anonymous13:36

    Air Serbia was not in World Route Development Forum in Barcelona?

    Adria Airways and Croatia Airlines were there, but Air Serbia not? So strange.

    1. Anonymous13:38

      Maybe they are represented by Etihad? Although they could have surely sent someone.

    2. Anonymous13:42

      I notice they didn't take part last year either. What's the logic?

  24. Anonymous14:39

    BUD list

    Air China BUD-Beijing 4x weekly A-330
    Emirates BUD-Dubai DXB daily B-777-300
    Qatar BUD-Doha 12x weekly A-320
    Wizz BUD-Dubai DWC 2x weekly A-320
    AC Rouge BUD-Toronto May-Oct 4-7x weekly B-767

    Announced for 2018:

    LOT Polish Budapest-New York 4x weekly B-787
    LOT Polish Budapest-Chicago 2x weekly B-787
    American Budapest-Philadelphia 7x weekly B-767

    The airport is pushing for more intercontinental flights with 11.5 million pax handled in 2016 which is expected to grow to 13 million in 2017 (14,7% increase was recorded in the first 8 months). That's quite a big leap BEG should make if they consider BUD as competition.

    1. Anonymous15:06

      Not really.

      Hainan BEG-PEK 2 weekly 333
      Flydubai BEG-DXB daily 738
      Qatar BEG-DOH daily A320
      Etihad BEG-DOH daily A320
      Air Serbia 3-5 weekly BEG-JFK 332

      Where's the big leap?

    2. Anonymous15:07

      Belgrade doesn't lag that much behind Budapest in terms of long-haul as it lags in terms of medium-haul, especially to places such as Spain, North Africa, Iceland etc.

    3. Anonymous15:13

      And you don't see big leap here?

      BUD 31pw wide-body
      BEG 7pw wide-body

      BUD 14 pw narrow-body long-haul
      BEG 21 pw narrow-body long-haul

      BUD 45 pw long-haul
      BEG 28 pw long-haul

    4. Anonymous16:24

      You call that a huge gap? That's about a third.

    5. Anonymous16:45

      It confirms what i've been saying meaning that the biggest gap is in European services, not in transcontinental ones.

  25. Anonymous16:50

    A third by aircraft movement but a huge difference in available seats.

    1. Anonymous17:29

      How come? BEG has triple daily to the ME while BUD has 2 daily 1 one-wide. That's pretty much the same.

    2. Anonymous17:57

      BEG also has links to BEY that BUD doesn't have plus three airlines flying to TLV. BUD has Hop and Wizz Air if I am not mistaken.

    3. Anonymous18:13

      In the summer it will be 12.746 seats available (in/out) in BEG versus 22.032 seats in BUD. That's about 72% more. The daily Emirates itself is 6000 seats a week.

    4. Anonymous18:44

      Which is why mentioning Zagreb is funny. Can we compare BUD and ZAG

    5. Anonymous23:39

      o<O How you calculated this??!

    6. Anonymous23:40


    7. Alen Šćuric Purger23:53

      To Middle East


      ZAG 4.760 seats
      BEG 3.238 seats

      ZAG 3.786 seats
      BEG 3.336 seats

    8. Anonymous00:04

      The Middle East includes Lebanon and Israel which you of course forgot to calculate as your numbers would be a bit diffetent.

  26. If BEG really wants to become a serious airport with long haul then they should attract longhaul airlines by helping offload some risk.

    They should contact Air Canada rouge and offer zero airport fees for the period of two years. If AC doesn't want it then offer the same thing to Air Transat.

    YYZ-BEG would be great with 2 weekly seasonal for the start.

    Also BEG could offer them some complimentary advertising space at the airport.

    1. Anonymous18:03

      Something Zagreb has for two years now.

    2. Anonymous20:36

      Yeah a seasonal flight on a plane that has a sardine can configuration, just like the EK bird. I guess they need the low CASM to make the route work.

    3. Anonymous22:26

      Air Canada has 777-300 in 400 seat config

    4. Anonymous22:28

      ... and 450 seats (!)

  27. Anonymous23:09

    Seems like Sofia's run is coming to its end. Ryanair announced network reduction by 30% while Wizz Air is suspending three UK destinations with only Luton left.

    Last year they handled 4.980.000 passengers. Let's see how they perform this winter and how much ahead of BEG they are going to be.