VINCI readies for Belgrade Airport takeover


Final preparations are under way ahead of next month's planned singing of a 25-year concession agreement for Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport between the Serbian government and France's VINCI Airports, in a deal worth 1.5 billion euros. In the run-up to the contract's closure, the Serbian government recently transferred 28 plots of state-owned land around the airport's premises to allow for its expansion. "All participants taking part in the concession tender knew before submitting their bids that the said plots would become the property of the airport, as this was outlined in the binding concession contract. This was done since it was identified that additional land owned by the Republic of Serbia was required in order to expand the airport's capacity". The airport has called for an extraordinary shareholder's meeting on March 9 to finalise all legal matters prior to the singing of the concession agreement.

VINCI has offered 501 million euros to manage the airport and a further 732 million as an investment. In addition, it will pay an annual fee of up to sixteen million euros. Just over 400 million from the concession bid will be poured into the state budget, while the rest will be distributed among minority shareholders including Serbian citizens who were granted airport shares in line with a 2007 privatisation law. The state holds an 83% stake in the airport, while the remainder is owned by minority shareholders and several banks. According to the government, VINCI will overhaul the airport's existing runway and terminal buildings, build a new passenger terminal, as well as a new runway over the next 25 years.


VINCI Airports will take over Belgrade Airport's operations by the end of 2018, following the financial close of the agreement. Both the French concession and construction company and the Serbian government have been negotiating the terms and conditions of the takeover over the past two months, which will be made public. For its part, VINCI has said it will aim at improving airport operating conditions to enable Air Serbia to offer new long haul routes as part of its hub strategy and will build on its partnerships with over 200 airlines to further increase the airport’s traffic and connectivity. “This success marks a new stage in VINCI Airports’ expansion outside France. Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport will serve as the company's “hub” in Southeast Europe, a geographical area in which VINCI Airports has not operated until now”, the French company said.

Comments

  1. I don't get why they need a second runway in the next 25 years and where exactly do they plan to build it.

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    Replies
    1. Apparently it is going to cut through the current runway.

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    2. How exactly would it fit there? Wouldn't they have to remove numerous taxiways to make that work at all. And what would be the point? If one runway is inactive then the other would be too.

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    3. Nema potrebe za umetnutim pistama. Druga pista na mesto sadasnjeg prilaza iz pravca Surcina nije nikakav gradjevinski poduhvat za kompaniju kao Vinci.

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    4. It is a lot more expensive to build a real second runway than the inserted one. It is also more expensive to build a separate new terminal instead of building extension terminal where current ATC tower is. Those details make a real difference in cost and functionality.

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    5. There's enough space to the south-west, if you're worried about the private houses, all of them are built illegally on land that is designated for airport expansion. They will be relocated/demolished.

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  2. I hope they attract more European legacy airlines that used to fly to BEG.

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    1. As long as the government can no longer restrict airlines like Turkish to send wide bodies because Air Serbia doesn't like it then I will be glad.

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    2. Ono sto ne razumes je da Vinci ne menja zakone u Srbiji samo upravlja aerodromom tako da nema sanse da budes zadovoljen.

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    3. ^And you think Vinci will just happily sit and watch the government restrict capacity for certain airlines which would bring the airport significantly more money?

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    4. I am also interested to see which new airlines they will bring. Air France would make sense.

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    5. Od kada je sveta i veka kompanije imaju nacin da dodju do onog do cega zele ali ne na nacin na koji si ti zamislio. Ici ce se na promenu bilateralnog sporazuma. To traje. Pa ces onda videti nekada sirokotrupni iz Stambola. Nema zaista potrebe svaki dan i pored toga za koju godinu otvaraju ogromni aerodrom na obali Crnog Mora. Ne idu svi u Stambol avionom do australije i do istoka.

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    6. What is this ovsession with 'legacy'. Legacy these days just means that they are older than 25 years.

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    7. @ 9.23 I think there is more of a chance we will see either Hop or Joon in Belgrade. With Air Serbia flying double daily to CDG and Wizz Air flying to Beauvais, there is little space for Air France left.

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    8. I also expect to see Eurowings increase its presence.

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  3. They have managed all the airports that they run quite well. So I don't see why they wouldn't do the same in BEG.

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    1. This is their first airport investment in Europe outside of France and Portugal. Will be interesting to see how they develop. I think they will do a good job.

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    2. they need to see some pretty big returns. i am puzzled how they plan to achieve it

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  4. Nice to see BEG featured in their video.

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  5. So they will build a new terminal after all.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. I don't think that was ever under question.

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    2. Where will the build it exactly?

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    3. Next to T2 makes most sense. Not sure if there is enough space to expand next to T1.

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  6. VINCI has said it is interested in purchasing a majority stake in ADP (Aeroports de Paris) which is state owned. Now that would be interesting because if VINVI does buy a majority stake, BEG and ZAG would be run by the same company.

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    1. Wouldn't they be in breach of their BEG contract then which says they can't control more than 50% of a nearby airport?

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    2. Not really since at the time of getting the concession they didn't operate any nearby airport.

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    3. That would be an interesting development.

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    4. United under foreign boot.

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    5. Hi Anon 9:44 AM
      Yours mesage: "United under foreign boot."
      Only You self know meaning of above mesage.Present Belgarade airport take 56 years to growing to 5 milion pasengerss per year. That "achivement" was under "domestic boot". That over fyfty years.
      All the best Sir.

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  7. Looking forward to see the announcment regarding the second runway and more air bridges.

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  8. So so far we know that they plan to renovate existing terminal, build new terminal, renovate current runway, build new runway, increase share of foreign airlines, have good relationship with Air Serbia, not increase fees for two year, not fire staff for first three years...

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    1. No, poanta ulaganja jest da bi se ono povratilo uz profit.
      Ti si nabroio stavke na koje treba potrositi.
      Gdje je prihodovna strana?

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    2. I'm listing their planned investments as announced over 25 years so I don't know what your "no" means. They get money from airlines, passenger growth, retail etc like any airport. Since the official language of this site is English, if you want to get into a discussion write in english.

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    3. Приходи ће порасти од све већег броја путника. Врло једноставно.

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    4. Dobro.
      Da li putnik koji leti LCCom pridonosi aerodromu jednako kao onaj koji leti tzv legacy carrierom?

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    5. Компаније које лете са Т1 плаћају мање укључујући и чартери Авиолета.

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    6. airport EBITDA for 2016 is ~€34mil

      let's say that yearly payments to serbian government will be 11mil
      vinci will pay 500mil upfront
      vinci will invest more than 700mil

      so, even if the double their EBITDA i still don't see how are they going to return the investments. not to mention what happens when you discount that investment


      so most likely they will need to increase their profitability by 4+ times.
      how will that be achieved will be interesting to watch.

      if they had 2 other bidders with almost the same offering, that points that maybe it is more realistic than we think it is.

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    7. Well, for starters they can expand the terminal so as to add more shops, cafes, restaurants...

      They can attract more cargo airlines.

      They can further boost their passenger numbers.

      Also, if they do a good job then I don't see why they wouldn't get an extension or why they wouldn't get another 25 years to run the show there.

      I am sure Vinci did their homework.

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    8. any plan to increase profitability by several time over is an eyebrow lifting plan

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  9. I wonder if all the new routes and arrivals at BEG have anything to do with Vinci since Air Cairo, Belavia, LOT, Flydubai, Vueling, Transavia, Norwegian, Swiss, Wizz Air and TAROM are all increasing frequencies, Iran Air and Qeshm Air launching flights, easy jet launching two new routes and a few airlines increasing capacity.

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    1. Impressive growth this summer which should make up for Air Serbia's decline.

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    2. And speaking of new airlines Iran Air has finally opened bookings for Belgrade flights on their site.

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    3. Kakve Vinci ima veze sa tim. Preuzimaju aerodrom tek krajem godine i ne mogu nista popraviti na njemu jos barem dve godine. Izgradnja traje. Samo i dalje je ljudima u glavi jedino AS. Ja pre ocekujem Izija i jos neke LCC zbog Vincia
      nego AF i BA.

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  10. Many Vinci-run airports have a big LCC presence so it will be interesting to see if they try and attract more of those too.

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    Replies
    1. Kakva je jednadzba za povrat investicije u tom slucaju?

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    2. Don't understand you. Sorry.

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    3. Talking about LCCs, I see them attracting the following:

      1. easyJet/Norwegian from Gatwick

      2. easyJet from Orly

      3. TAP from LIS

      Would be nice to have BCN on a year-round base.

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    4. Ali zaista malo njih uopste ide u BCN izvan april-septembar. Znam da ste opsednuti sa Barselonom zaista lep grad. Bolje Madrid par puta nedeljno.

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    5. Can you please write in English? Not everyone understands you and I would like to join the discussion? I assume the majority of people know English.

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    6. Sta se tu ima za razumjeti?
      LCC let aerodromu ne donosi skoro pa nista, ukoliko naravno let nije subvencioniran.
      1,6 milijardi se nekako mora povratiti.
      Dakle, ekpanzijom LCCa, sto aerodrom dobiva?

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    7. He said that there is no market for BCN flights outside the busy months.

      The market between BEG and BCN is much larger than the one to MAD so I don't see the point of what you are proposing. Vueling has a large hub and they could offer connections which they currently don't really do.

      If BEG can sustain year-round flights to MLA, LCA, SOF or OTP then I don't see why it couldn't to BCN.

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    8. Don't understand Serbian. So if I write a comment in English and you want to reply, reply in English which I notice is the official language of this site.

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    9. Naravno da nisi u pravu. LCC ne donose skoro nista Tuzli i Nisu dok na velikim aerodromima placaju kao i vecina "Legacy".

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    10. LCCs in BEG pay what others pay so once again what you write makes absolutely no sense. How about doing some research before making such definitive statements.

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    11. Thanks @nemjee. I don't mean to be disrespectful but I would like to join in the discussion.

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    12. Use google translator kao sav normalan svijet koji, kad zeli, nadje informaciju koju treba na njemu razumljivom jeziku.

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    13. Why don't you use google translate to understand English, if at this day and age you still haven't learnt it? This is an English language site so it's you that should be using google translate.

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    14. A meni nije potreban translator da bi tebe na eng.razumio.
      E sad, da li je i obratno tako, ne bi se stel mesat.

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    15. Meni koji razume srpksi treba translate da bih razumeo sta i kojim jezikom ti pises.

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    16. That's why Balkan will always be Balkan.

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  11. Vinci is a good company and the price and planned investment budget is very good.

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  12. Will the new management take over straight away or they have to wait to financially close the deal?

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  13. Pretty happy with the end result. VINCI has been interested in BEG for a long time and it's good they have no other investment in Eastern Europe.

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    Replies
    1. There are rumors that talks with Vinci began 5 years ago when they signed that strategic partnership agreement with Belgrade Airport and that negotiations have been happening for 5 years now. That is why they won't require too much discussions between winning the tender last months and singing the takeover next month.

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    2. Yeah and there were rumors the Arabs would get the airport, and that the Chinese would also get the airport...

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  14. If we knew which plots they got it could tell us something on where they plan on expanding.

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  15. I think there will be some good times ahead. I'm glad the airport will no longer be controlled by the state.

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  16. Anyone know how their passenger numbers are holding up in February?

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    Replies
    1. All flights around the holiday were full so my guess is that February should perform rather well.

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    2. Hope so. It just depends if Air Serbia had a dip in numbers and whether foreign airlines were strong enough to produce an overall plus for the airport.

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    3. JU has a huge advertising campaign in Serbia at the moment promoting the new fare structure. I think this will bring in quite a few passengers over the next months.

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    4. At the same time they are loosing a lot of passengers A) because they have reduced their network and B) because there have lost a lot of transfer passengers with this new model. So I'm not sure that an advertising campaign in Serbia will help them much.

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    5. BEG should have nice growth this year. The only risk is Air Serbia.

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    6. JU prices have gone up with new fare structure! I am not sure how many passengers they will manage to attract even with the new campaign.

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    7. Yesterday I was looking at some tickets for Paris in April and this is what I found:

      Nonstop:
      Air Serbia: 38.000 (white tariff)
      Wizz Air: 22.700 (no luggage)

      Connections:

      Lufthansa: 22.300
      KLM/Transavia 27.000

      No wonder foreign carriers are doing well when JU is that expensive.

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    8. Exactly Nemjee. It absolutely makes no sense at all!
      I was looking for Amsterdam in three weeks time. They are trying to stay competitive compared to Transavia but with luggage they are soo expensive. Difference between white and blue tariff was 40 eur on AMS - BEG leg of the journey. Such a confusion they have made of their ticketing.

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    9. meni nije jasno kako je air serbia gubitas kad su najskuplji, a u zadnje vreme vidjam samo svedocenja putnika da su im letovi bili puni. 150 putnika puta 300 evra, prihod 45 000 evra, ukupan trosak leta sa sve amortizacijom nije preko 25 000, mozda je i oko 20 000.

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    10. @AnonymousFebruary 26, 2018 at 5:10 PM
      No, their LF is steadily around 75% if I am not wrong. They are packed in summer and struggling on many routes in winter due to high seasonality. As you say they charge 300 eur to fly you Belgrade - Paris, but they charge same or less those who fly for example Beirut - Paris or Athens - Dusseldorf.
      And they are surely not charging Air France 300 eur to bring transfer passengers who continue then to North America in many cases for around 500.

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    11. I have just checked random dates in April 9 - 13. Beirut - Paris and Belgrade - Paris, both return in blue tariff. The first one was 319 eur and the second one 362 eur for a direct flight! We need real LLC competition on all AS European routes badly!

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  17. Good work Serbia.

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  18. What we will see next year when Vinci takes over BEG is probably Air Serbia begin to grow again with some new planes arriving and some new routes on the horizon. It's good that the airline is restructuring now so it is ready when new operator takes over although they seem to have a good relationship so far.

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    Replies
    1. Well not exactly. Vinci said they expect JU to have a share of 40-46%. They had 50% share last year. So that's a significant reduction meaning they expect to rely more on foreign airlines rather than Air Serbia.

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    2. Mozda u relativnim srazmjerima.
      No, to nikako ne znaci smanjenke obima operacija AS ili njihova prometa.
      To znaci da ce drugi povecati obim svojih operacija.
      Da bi AS, u tom kontekstu, zadrzala svoj prosjek, morat ce ici na povecanje obima operacija.

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    3. Ne mozes njima nista dokazati njima je avijacija u Srbiji samo AS i to ako ide lose. Rasipanje novca mora stati. Srbija zaista nema novca da finansira aviokompaniju koja gubi novac i leti 3-4 miliona putnika od 7-8 miliona putnika na BEG. Za 40 miliona evra mogu se kupiti svake godine dva nova ATR aviona.

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    4. ^You are talking nonsense as usual.

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    5. Stvari se uvijek promatraju s 2 aspekta.
      Apsolutna i relativna.
      Ako ce Vinci agresivno krenuti u trazenje novog prometa, iluzorno je za ocekivati kako ce prosjek AS ostati netaknut bez njizina seirenja.

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    6. @Anon 11:50

      Good to put the subsidy in terma of fleet renewal.

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    7. ^^^

      Serbia doesnt have the money to finance the mass employment of incompitant party cadre yet Air Serbia is one of many firms being abused this way. That is why JU loses millions per year, not because there is no demand for a national airline!

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  19. Shouldn't the takeover agreement be signed next week? On 6th January they said they chose Vinci and that there is a 60 day period to sign the concession agreement. That means it would have to happen during the first week of March.

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    1. You are correct but it definitely won't happen before the shareholders meeting on 9th March.

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    2. A potpis na ugovor?
      Da li je to finalizirano vec?

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    3. Read the article. Use google translate if you don't understand English.

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  20. An interesting piece of information that no other company that was bidding for BEG submitted a complaint against the tender process after Vinci was chosen.

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  21. The question is if we will know a timeline when all these improvement will happen.

    My guess is that they will first renovate the terminals and maybe extend them based on already existing plans. Then they might build a new terminal in maybe 10 years time.

    The most pressing issue is the runway. No, BEG does not need a new runway but the current runway needs to be overhauled ASAP. This was planned to be done in 2017 but with the concession they decided it was not worth wasting money when the concessionaire will do it.

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    Replies
    1. Also another thing, Radojica Rovcanin who was until recently the director of Serbia Air Traffic Agency said that it was agreed with Vinci for them to finance the construction of the new control tower at BEG whose construction is supposed to begin in November this year. He was promptly fired the next day (don't know if it was related to his statement since he was quite controversial and should have been fired years ago).

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    2. I don't think we can comment on the particularities of the concession before they see the concession agreement, which the government said they would publish.

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  22. Will they stick to this plan for expansion?

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QZcI32x6WL8/VS_KfJnTRfI/AAAAAAAAQ3w/Kdj-Du8_G6A/s1600/airport2030.png

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    1. Or this?

      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EwrzXyUVbz8/VQUzbPfixUI/AAAAAAAAQPM/xMmWbaU9y54/s1600/beg2025.jpg

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    2. If they realize 20% of that masterplan it would be great.

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    3. Both of those plans have a real second runway and new, separate terminal next to it. As long as they build both of those Belgrade airport should be good.

      There are concerns Vinci would not build them and instead build something cheaper and quicker like this:

      https://i.imgur.com/OihiP9d.jpg

      It would mean inserted second runway and extension of the current terminal, either at location in this plan or where current ATC tower is. Keep in mind new tower has to be built and old one demolished by 2022 to make room for something, perhaps a new terminal.

      Delete
    4. Thanks for that last anon. Interesting plan although I hope they stick to the former masterplan.

      With the plan you posted they would have to knock down the de-icing platform to make way for the satellite terminal (although I hear that platform is completely useless anyway).

      What is most interesting is the new runway. Can a second parallel runway be built so close to the other?

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    5. Distance would be similar as at LGW.

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  23. Short BEG-SVO flight review Air Serbia flight from Belgrade to Moscow on Airbus A319 at 6:15 this morning. LF around 98%. Many Russians and some transfers. They served fresh and relatively tasty chicken sandwich and a chocolate cookie. Seats are not that comfortable, but manageable for a two and a half hour flight. Staff was friendly and professional. Pilot spoke English well and gave detailed info about the flight. Overall a pleasant experience.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the short review. Sounds good.

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    2. Luckily SVO will be one of the few destinations not to go LCC. Smart move given that they compete with SU.

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  24. I can't believe that it will take them until the end of 2018 to take over the airport o.O

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  25. I hope they will focus on getting a rail link to the city.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Za desetak minuta u BEG slece A321 EP-AGB u VIP šemi bojenja Islamske Republike Irana. Zna li se zasto dolazi i da li ima neke neke veze sa najavljenim letovima?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran is arriving in Belgrade today. It doesn't have anything to do with the future flights since those are scheduled to start this Saturday. Tickets can be bought on iran Air website.

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    2. The Iranian minister of foreign affairs is coming to Serbia along with some 35 Iranian companies.

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    3. Nemjee, since you asked a couple of days ago the result of visa liberalisation with Iran here is an article to answer your question
      https://www.b92.net/eng/news/society.php?yyyy=2018&mm=02&dd=26&nav_id=103572

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    4. The article is extremely misleading. First thing first are they seriously claiming that every tourist that arrives to Serbia is staying here illegally? How come we went from 6.000 to just 380 that are currently in the Presevo reception center? What happened to the remaining 5.620?

      The ministry might have claimed that there were 6.000 Iranian tourists but it was B92 that decided to put quotation marks and to label them as illegals.

      Secondly, their whole argument is based on interviews and claims made by several people which is hardly enough to justify what they claim.

      Furthermore, when someone lands at BEG they are asked by the police to show where they are staying. If they can't provide legitimate proof then they are refused entry.

      All in all I would take all this with a grain of salt.

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  27. Big issue here is to see the final version of the contract between the Government and VINCI including all the annexes. There is a great chance that some of these will remain secretive as it was the case in many previous deals done by Serbian governments. Than we will be able to judge whether it was a good deal or not.

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  28. If Air Serbia wants to keep on growing and it be in accordance with the Vinci plans and the concession agreement, it has to join an actual alliance. At this moment, it would be Skyteam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Slican je problem kao i sa butik kompanijom. Broj poslovnih ljudi
      koji putuju je jako mali. Samo se njima danas isplati sakupljanje milja. U LH su besmisleno ako ne letis barem jednom mesecno preko 1000 milja.

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    2. Skyteam would be better than Star Alliance.

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    3. @Charlie
      Why do you think so?

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    4. ^^^

      JU has codeshares with a number of airlines in the SkyTeam alliance (KL, AF, AZ, RO, SU, UX) , while none with oneworld members, and companies from Star Alliance ‘not friendly’ with JU (LH, OU, TK) even though JU does code share with JP, A3 and LO.

      I believe it was AF who once wanted to sponser Jat into the alliance.

      Dropping the Etihad Guest program and taking Flying Blue program would be a great benefit for JU.

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    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    6. JATBEGMEL's answer is valid. *A is somewhat unfriendly to AS. AF & KLM already have long standing code-shares and years of cooperation with AS. Even though these codes-share to AMS and CDG could be on better terms for AS. Plus most of the region is aligned with *A, so Skyteam gives more competition for pax. AS has little connection or contact with Oneworld members, as there are few in Europa.

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    7. Joining one of alliances would be significant step forward for Air Serbia, but first they have to resolve relationship with Etihad. If Etihad stays then Air Serbia will just follow them. And Etihad also should be looking for some alliance now that their group is practically non-existent.

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    8. Air Serbia, and the whole Etihad Group should join SkyTeam.

      Delete

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