Belgrade Airport concession decision due

The Public Body overseeing the concession process of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is expected to make its preliminary decision on the highest-scoring bid tomorrow. The Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, said the selection will be made on December 25, while the Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlović, noted the decision will be disclosed either by the end of the year or in early 2018, adding that the 25-year concession contract will be made public. "The President expects for an upfront payment of some 500 million euros from the concessionaire. I think that is a bit too ambitious, and expect that we will surely receive between 350 to 450 million euros. This will be followed up by an annual concession fee and over 100 million euros worth of investments into the airport's infrastructure, as well as a professional management", Ms Brnabić said.

The concessionaire is expected to take charge of the airport by August 1, 2018 at the latest, although the contract between the future operator and the Serbian government will be signed during the first quarter of next year. "The final deadline is March, which means that everything related to the concession, including all paperwork and administrative procedures, must be completed by then. We will have a concessionaire that will invest hundreds of millions of euros into the airport's development, which is stipulated by the agreement and is the main purpose of this process", Ms Mihajlović said. The future concessionaire will be responsible for the airport’s long-term development strategy including management, maintenance, financing and capacity expansion.

During the first phase of bidding, some of the four finalists commented on their future plans for the airport. The Incheon International Airport Corporation with its Turkish and Russian partners have said they plan to expand the airport's capacity as quickly as possible, as well as balance between aviation and non-aviation revenue streams. India's GMR Infrastructure noted it would be involved in building new and updating existing infrastructure at the airport, while its Greek partner, GEK Terma, would formulate a profit-making strategy and be involved with the managerial side of the business. The Franco-Swiss bid, which includes Zurich Airport, aims to expand and improve the airport’s infrastructure to achieve its maximum growth potential by utilising the best management practices. France's Vinci, the only company to have submitted a stand-alone bid, has remained silent throughout the concession process. The concession and construction company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Belgrade Airport for the development of joint projects back in 2015 and was the first to express interest in taking part in the concession.

Meanwhile, General Manager Saša Vlaisavljević said this week that the airport's net profit hit 29 million euros between January and November, up from 26 million over the same period last year. Revenues are expected to rise to 84 million euros in 2017.


  1. Anonymous09:07

    It's funny how the prime minister and the minister can't even agree on what to say to the media. Only goes to show the level of animosity between the two ladies.

    That said, I hope they announce it tomorrow as BEG needs a professional management as well as more investment. It's good what they did until now but the airport requires a lot more work, especially with the airport handling record passenger numbers.

    If they keep this growth then next year we are looking at 5.8 to 5.9 million passengers!

    So far we have:

    1. Qatar going daily.
    2. flydubai going daily.
    3. Transavia increasing from 3 to 6.
    4. easyJet launching BSL.
    5. Air Serbia launching GVA.
    6. Swiss increasing flights.
    7. Four weekly flights from IKA.
    8. Additional flight to New York.
    9. Beijing operated in winter as well.
    10. Lufthansa has added a lot of extra capacity from MUC.

    I am sure more like Lot and others will add some changes as well.

    1. Anonymous09:14


      LO operated 9 weekly flights last year. I am sure they will have at least the same this year. Maybe even more!

    2. Anonymous09:54

      How many passengers will OTP, BUD, SKG and SOF handle this year? Will BEG overtake at least SKG?

    3. Anonymous09:56

      ASL really needs to step up its game.
      The airport cant keep growing by close to double digit percentages for ever just by O&D pax growth.
      We need a strong carrier bringing in transfer traffic.
      The EY school of management needs to be abandoned ASAP.

    4. Anonymous10:07

      @Anonymous 9:54 AM
      No, not even close.
      According to Fraport SKG had almost 6 million passengers by November.
      RHO and HER airports are above BEG too.
      Seems like the Germans despite all the bad reputation they have in the ex-Yu they manage the airports well.
      Look at the massive growth that Varna and Burgas have!

    5. Nemjee10:09

      One thing BEG has going for them is its large catchment area. For example, this morning I was at the airport and on W6's morning flight to DTM there were at least 100 Romanians. The more flights BEG gets the more appealing it will become for those who live around Serbia.

    6. Anonymous10:13

      Ljubljana is up 20% this year too!
      Fraport is doing great at least in the Balkan airports it manages.

    7. Anonymous10:15

      Fraport has done a terrible job at Ljubljana so far. Growth up because of Adria's major expansion after decline last year. 1 new foreign airline for 3 years. New part of terminal won't be completed until 2020, profits down...

    8. Nemjee10:15

      Varna as well, so far it handled 1.9 million passengers, an increase of some 15%.
      Let's see what they do in Greece. The first thing they did was to increase the charges.

    9. Anonymous10:19

      Maybe the problem is LJU not Fraport. ;)

    10. Petar11:01

      SOF is far ahead of BEG too.
      What a difference from just a few years ago!

    11. Anonymous11:06

      But interestingly there was no interest for a concession of Sofia Airport and the whole plan had to be cancelled. Turning a capital city airport into a low cost hub doesn't always pay off.

    12. Not only that Qatar will be daily through the 2018, but they plan to send A321 on a regular basis, starting 25 th March.

    13. Nemjee11:13

      We will have to see what happens in SOF in the next few years. This was not organic growth but it was rather a product of a war between FR and W6.

      I am happy Wizz Air finally understood that they can't beat Ryanair by only fighting back in eastern Europe. Now they took the fight to the other side of the continent by opening bases in LTN and EIN. Really interesting times ahead.

    14. Anonymous11:13

      It certainly paid of for the city of Sofia and the surrounding area!
      Both for its economy and for the travelling public.

    15. Nemjee11:18

      I hope Bulgaria Air makes it in the end. It would be a shame to lose another airline in Europe.

    16. Anonymous11:21

      I was on Wiki (I know) and I noticed that last year the busiest route from Sofia was London with 351,377 passengers. Interesting as that's less than BEG-ZRH. Other routes are not that busy so I wonder where they are getting the 'extra' passengers from.

    17. Anonymous11:24

      Bulgaria Air still operates because it is allowed to not pay airport charges.
      Such companies is a shame to allow to live, not to close.

    18. Anonymous11:40

      Anonymous @11:21 AM
      SOF has a great many more destinations than BEG because of W6 and FR.
      So its traffic is much more evenly spread out and gastarbeiter routes have a diminishing importance.

    19. Anonymous11:41

      Umm most routes out of SOF on W6 and FR are gasterbajter routes. One of the few that isn't is the W6 SOF-FRA.

    20. Anonymous11:50

      Have a look here:
      Lots of leisure destinations AND routes to cities without a significant Bulgarian diaspora.

    21. Anonymous11:53

      Anything in Spain, Italy or the UK is a gasterbajter route. Look at how many Bulgarians live in those countries and all will be clear to you.

    22. Anonymous12:06

      With the exception of Greece, the UK, Spain and Germany the rest of those countries have too few Bulgarian immigrants to warrant direct flights.
      See the tourism growth in Bulgaria and all will be clear to you.
      You can thank the huge growth of LCCs for it!

    23. Anonymous12:12

      @Anon 12:06
      That is the story in Burgas and Varna too.

    24. Anonymous15:15

      You are forgetting that SOF receives much more oftenly bigger planes not only from W6. LH is regularly sending A321, TK too + 4 weekly flights increase, SOF has much more leisure destinations. New connection to Azerbaijan. SOF will no doubt reach 7 million in 2018.
      VAR might get a second aircraft from W6 in the future.
      PDV will receive 3 new year-round destinations too.
      BOJ is now a Ryanair base starting March 2018.

    25. Anonymous17:51

      It's not surprising TK is increasing SOF since neither KK or Pegasus fly there.

    26. Anonymous18:12

      I just checked and all QR flights to BEG this summer will be operated by A321.

    27. Anonymous18:53

      Don't forget that SOF is getting flights to Odessa as well from March 2018. There are also plans for SJJ and SKP in 2018

    28. Anonymous19:19

      On Bulgaria Air... huge difference. They might not be here in a year.

  2. Anonymous09:25

    I'm really interested to see who will win. With the Chinese out the decision is wide open.

    1. Anonymous09:50

      Yes. Especially since all the everyone commenting here already knew it was going to be the Arabs, the French, then the Chinese.

    2. Anonymous09:53

      My money is on the Koreans.

    3. Anonymous11:02

      I think it will be either Vinci or Zurich. But let's wait and see. I would prefer the Koreans.

    4. Anonymous17:10

      My money for conecssion is on Arabs and the Chinese. They have big projects in Serbia.

  3. Anonymous09:26

    So if they we will get 100+ million EUR of investments it means then they definitely plan a third terminal.

    1. Anonymous09:30

      That was never in doubt.

    2. yea.. second runway is a question.. but new terminal is a must.

    3. Anonymous11:04

      If they do build a second runway, where would it go?!

    4. Anonymous11:07


    5. Anonymous11:08

      A second runway won't be needed for the next 20 years.
      Great improvements can be made though to the passenger handling facilities. Many more commercial spaces should be open, possibly even a business park created at the airport premises.
      And please, do something about the crooked taxi drivers!

    6. Anonymous11:17


      On airport's south-western side, the houses there are all illegally built and will be cleared out when space is needed.


      2nd runway is in the concession agreement.

    7. Anonymous11:32

      I highly doubt that the concession agreement will stipulate that a second runway will be constructed without the necessary traffic to support it!
      That means that BEG will have to be really close to 20 million passengers a year before construction of an extra runway begins.

    8. Anonymous11:35

      Both BUD and OTP have two runways and around 10 million passengers. Just because an airport can function with a single runway doesn't mean it should.

    9. Anonymous11:46

      What is the point of building a second runway if it no need for it exists?
      Make the asphalt factories happy or increase the airport charges for passengers to pay for it?
      Please don't tell me just to take part in a penis measuring contest with the the kids at school!

    10. Anonymous11:50

      Last summer there were three emergency landings in BEG that paralyzed the airport for about an hour. Some weeks ago a KK pilot got sick and had an emergency landing at BEG they didn't manage to turn away from the airport so they stopped tehre in the middle... blocking the traffic once again.

      Also by building a new runway now they are investing in the future. It will make future airport expansions much easier not to mention that maintaining the runways will be done better and much easier than it is now.

      There are more pros than cons.

    11. Anonymous11:56

      The pros you mentioned are laughable!
      A pilot did not manage to turn his plane away from the active runway some weeks ago so lets build an extra just in case? Seriously now?

      Maintaining two runways with our traffic figures will become EXPENSIVE.
      Which means higher airport charges.
      Which means airlines will think twice before expanding traffic.
      Which means less growth.
      Which means an even lesser need for a second runway.

    12. Anonymous12:00

      Belgrade passenger growth will be close to 10% this year while cargo is up 35%.
      This trend will continue in the future and the airport will become more and more busy.

      The last time I checked the extra expense didn't bother SKG, OTP or BUD so it won't be a problem for us either.

    13. Anonymous12:23

      BEG doesn't need a second runway tomorrow but in about two years the concessionaire should think about it.

      BEG growth should be something like this:

      2017: 5.4
      2018: 5.9
      2019: 6.2
      2020: 6.5

    14. Anonymous12:26

      That trend will need to be continued until 2030+ and without any interruptions!
      It will take JU to become a major transfer carrier (not according to the latest announcements).
      So keep dreaming but don't take your wallet out to pay for dreams.
      Wait until the become real. ;)

    15. Anonymous12:34

      Why are you being so malicious? You do realize that just five years ago BEG handled 3.3 million passengers? Furthermore, BEG added some 400.000 passengers this year without JU expanding its network which shows that they don't have to be the primary driver of growth at BEG.

      Sorry to break it to you but we might not have to wait for 2030. Some people...

    16. Anonymous14:10

      You do realize that you are asking for hundreds of millions of Euros to be spent for something that we don't need either know or for the next couple of decades, right?
      You do realize that PASSENGERS will have to pay for it, right?
      You do realize that O&D passengers alone wont grow our airport to a point that in needs a second runway, right?
      It is not maliciousness or hatred choosing to live in the real world, it is just common sense.
      BEG has far more pressing needs than a completely needles second runway.

    17. Anonymous14:14

      You are presenting theories while I gave you examples of airports the size of BEG that have more than one runway and it was not a problem for them. It wasn't a financial burden for them so I don't see why it should be for BEG.

      BUD is the size of BEG with VIE right next to it. It has a large catchment area like BEG so in the future BEG will reach 10 million without a problem. ;)

      And you are malicious because your theories are always belittling BEG's importance.

    18. Anonymous14:19

      Also, don't look only at passenger numbers, look at aircraft movements as well.

      2012: 44.989
      2016: 58.633
      2017: 50.443 (Jan-Nov)

      So if we look at daily aircraft movement we get the following:

      2012: 125
      2016: 160
      2017: 186

      That's the same principle as with AMS which has less passengers than LHR but has more runways because it has more aircraft movement.

  4. Anonymous09:29

    Profit is impressive.

    1. Anonymous03:13

      You should tell it to the Chinese, who ran away following the due dilligence ��

    2. Anonymous06:14

      Or maybe you should follow up on what has been happening at the HNA group lately. But then again, had the Chinese won, you would be the first to come to tell us what a disaster it is. I'm quite happy how the concession went. Compare it with the shambolic Zagreb tender where bidders in the end sued the government for corruption and fixing the result...

    3. Anonymous06:18

      Oh just leave him. It's just "noir- dresses" with his usual vitrol.

    4. Anonymous06:23

      So Swiss, French, Koreans did not "run away" after due dilligence? What a childish moron.

  5. Anonymous09:44

    "The President expects for an upfront payment of some 500 million euros from the concessionaire. I think that is a bit too ambitious, and expect that we will surely receive between 350 to 450 million euros."

    What a joke of a country we are... :)

    1. Anonymous09:53

      Well if they get €450 then they were right to ask that much. No?

    2. Anonymous10:06

      I guess. But I'm not talking about the numbers. The fact that an airport concession is talked about in this way by leaders of a country is truly amazing.

    3. Anonymous10:09

      Welcome the the Balkans!

    4. Anonymous17:26

      One of the last remaining things that they can sell and pocket some bakshish so no wonder that their interest is high!

  6. Anonymous09:51

    Can't wait for a professional management to take charge.

  7. Great developmet com to Belgrade Airport. Most important will be upgrading Terminal Two. New terminal three, Kargo terminal. Second runway, hotel, new multy store parking. New roads acsess to terminals... Big time arriving. Include new terace on roof of terminal to visitors, aviation entusiast, onlookers. Definitly, face of Belgade Airport Nikola Tesla will be nice and new.

  8. Anonymous10:51

    How could this affect JU?

    1. Anonymous10:53

      They will still pay less but so might Wizz Air. The new management will be interested in increasing passenger numbers, with or without JU.

  9. Anonymous10:53

    400m up front would be a great deal.

  10. Anonymous11:01

    Can't wait to see who wins and how much they will pay.

  11. Anonymous11:03

    Zurich is the best. They have the best organized big airport in Europe. I hope the concession is given to them.

  12. Anonymous12:59

    I am surprised that nobody ever commented anything about Indians here, so I have a feeling it would be such a shock if they win!

  13. Anonymous14:09

    I do not know who will get the airport but what I know is that whoever gets Niki they will be launching BEG-VIE.

  14. Anonymous14:26

    Some people are so vicios when it comes to a possibility of building a second runway it's incredible. My favorite argument that they scatter around is LGW, which would have not two but at least three runways if they had enough space to build them. Yes, BEG can function with a single runway even for the next 30 years but why on earth would they? Costs? Sorry but name me a single airport in wider region similiar to BEG (OTP, BUD, SKG, PRG, KBP...) which was financially exhausted because of the second runway? At the end of the day, BEG wil surely be handling over 10 million passengers per year by 2025 and it would take at least a year or two to build it, so where's the problem if the concessionaire is willing to do so?

    1. Anonymous14:28


      It's probably the same people who worried about finances of PEK and JFK routes. If you know what I mean.

  15. Anonymous23:01

    Good to see that they landed safely but what impressed me was that there were 177 passengers on the ZRH-INI flight!

    1. Anonymous07:19

      Who would have guessed that INI would be such a success for Swiss. Ryanair and Wizz Air sure... but LX?

  16. Anonymous23:46

    Two weeks ago EX-YU published that Maribor airport signed consesion 600 mil euros worth contract with Chineese company for 15 years period. So I Will je disaponted if Belgrade sign concesion less then 700 mil euros. It should be considered that Belgrade airport has very good rewenue and future concessionaire will have big profit.

    1. Anonymous00:24

      Stock up on sedatives.


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