Belgrade Airport targets 5.6 million passengers


Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport anticipates handling some 5.6 million passengers this year after welcoming its millionth traveller for 2018 on April 1. The estimated 5% growth will be generated primarily by foreign carriers as Air Serbia reduces its number of flights, however, the airport's outgoing General Manager, Saša Vlaisaveljvić, said the Serbian carrier will be making a "surprise announcement" during the course of the year. So far, three new foreign carriers have launched flights to Belgrade in 2018, with others increasing capacity and frequencies. Both LOT Polish Airlines and Romania's TAROM have revised their planned growth in operations to the Serbian capital by further adding flights, with LOT to maintain up to twelve weekly services instead of eleven and TAROM operating nine weekly flights instead of the initially planned eight.

Turkish Airlines approved for limited A330 service to Belgrade

Turkish Airlines, which planned to deploy wide-body aircraft on its route to Belgrade this summer but was barred by the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate under a bilateral air agreement between the two countries, has been okayed to operate its Airbus A330-300 jet from Istanbul to Belgrade between May 16 and May 21 as the Serbian capital hosts the FIBA EuroLeague Final Four, which is sponsored by Turkish Airlines. The carrier will deploy the A330 on both its morning and evening service on May 16 and May 21, as well as once per day in between. Meanwhile, both Pegasus Airlines and Atlasglobal will be adding additional services to Belgrade during the championships.

Summer charters are again expected to aid Belgrade Airport in achieving its record results. This summer, Air Serbia has filed schedules to operate leisure flights from Belgrade to Athens, Chania, Cephalonia, Chios, Heraklion, Skiathos, Santorini, Corfu, Rhodes, Zakynthos, Samos and Preveza/Lefkada in Greece; Antalya, Bodrum and Dalaman in Turkey; Alghero, Palermo, Naples and Calabria in Italy, as well as Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Girona in Spain. Foreign carriers operating charters to Belgrade will include Aegean Airlines from Heraklion, AlMasria Universal Airlines from Hurghda, FlyEgypt from Hurghada, SunExpress from Izmir, Tunis Air from Monastir and Turkish Airlines from Ankara and Antalya.

Belgrade Airport's new operator, VINCI, will take over its runnings sometime between September and November.

Comments

  1. I still can't get over the fact that the stupid CAD didn't allow TK to fly the A330 for all of summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. why would they? turks strangled JU on istanbul route

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    2. They did not. JU committed suicide by scheduling the flight at odd hours that were an inconvenience both for locals and transfers.

      Funnily enough, initial slots given by the Turks were much better.

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    3. Really? The story repeated over and over again was that Turks didn't want to provide better slots. Actually, I read it also here a couple of times. That explained the animosity between us and them.

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    4. Why would JU get slots at odd hours? That is all that was given to them, stop spreading disinformation.

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    5. When AirSerbia started flying to Istanbul they were forced to fly to Sabiha Gokcen airport. After CAD threaten to revoke the approval for Turkish Airlines to fly to BEG they allowed AirSerbia to fly to Ataturk airport.

      Not sure which slots AirSerbia had but they were unable to be concurrent on the route specially after all things that happened in Turkey. Interest for flying there dramatically dropped and they found solution in synergy with AtlasGlobal.

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    6. It would be nicer if they let TK send the A330 instead of the A321. They fly the regional version of their A321 to BEG which is uncomfortable with no real business class, no tv screens in any seats and very cramped seating. I know it's just a 1.30 hour flight but their other narrow body Airbuses and Boeings have a much better product.

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    7. At the moment when JU does not fly anymore to IST CAD should be concerned only about benefits that A330 would bring to BEG and not looking back trying to revenge to Turkish authorities and TK. Or even to try indirectly to protect EY what would be even bigger nonsense.

      And BEG benefit would be higher number of passengers that TK would bring with its widebody plane.

      No more no less.

      Delete
    8. @Nebojsa
      Well, that would mean that bully tactics worked (if we correctly understand that there were problems for JU)

      Delete
    9. @Petar
      It worked from the moment JU decided to stop flying to IST, but I believe it was the main reason JU lost the battle against TK.

      Simply, TK offered attractive prices and wide network of connections from BEG - something JU could have not competed with.

      From the other side most of the Turks visiting Belgrade as tourists prefer airline from Turkey to bring them here. That is also one of the reasons why KK is more successful in BEG than JU was in IST.

      Delete
    10. JU got the slots it wanted at IST. The only problem was that Istanbul didn't really fit into their waves so most destinations (CDG, AMS, ARN...) could only be sold with a 17 hour connection in one or the other direction.

      Had they kept the night flights (slots initially given by Turks) then they would have been able to offer ALL of their destinations. Their times would have been similar to the ones they offer to ATH.

      JU has no one but itself to blame for failing miserably in Istanbul.

      Delete
    11. i don't know what is your source, but from JU commercial staff i heard the story about them being given a bad slots couple of times.

      Delete
  2. Bravo Srbija!

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    Replies
    1. Bravo Srbija, Bravo Hrvatska, Bravo Makedonija, Bravo Slovenija, Bravo BiH, Bravo crna Gora ... bravo for the ExYu

      Delete
    2. Funny how we don't have same reactions on daily "Bravo Hrvatska" posts.

      Delete
    3. i reacted on "bravo anything" posts with the scoreboard, but admin keep deleting it :(

      Delete
  3. My guess is that the Air Serbia "surprise" is them announcing a new long haul route for 2019. If I remember, they announced New York in November, the year before the launch.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm surprised at the demand between Romania and Serbia. 9 weekly flights from TAROM and 8 weekly by Air Serbia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of foreign companies in Serbia having their regional headquarters in Bucharest and vice versa, but still incredibly high demand.

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    2. Interesting. Does RO still operate Atr42s to BEG or have they increased capacity?

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    3. Interestingly, JU still has very good transfer loads from Bucharest despite OTP being well connected with European cities.

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    4. Does Tarom also carry transfers from BEG?

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    5. RO still operates with Atr42 to BEG, rarely they send bigger bird.

      Tarom offers connecting flights from BEG, but their prices are usually not very competitive.

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    6. RO is smart. They are pushing frequencies in stead of capacity. Their timetable is idea for businessmen which is why they only fly on working days. This summer they will fly two times per day in stead of Monday when they have a morning flight.

      Delete
  5. I think 5,6 is a conservative estimate but I think they finally got the picture after overestimating growth and targets for 2 years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It looks conservative to me too.
      5.75 is more realistic taking in consideration all the new destinations and airliners coming to BEG

      Delete
  6. Nice spread of charter routes. Interesting to see charters to some large cities like Athens and Barcelona.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There must be a lot of demand since there are already scheduled flights to Athens by JU and A3 and to Barcelona by Vueling.

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    2. And A3 is increasing capacity from Athens this summer too.

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  7. This is realistic as foreign carriers keep growing organically, and Air Serbia finalized its downsizing efforts, seemingly improving the load factor.

    I do not sincerely expect any new route e=announcements for this year. Takeover negotiations and prepartions are now a priority. For 2019 I however expect British (or another European oneworld carrier), Air France or HOP, direct flights to China and Canada and winter seasonal services to Thailand, as well as further growth of summer charters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a big possibility that Shanghai-Belgrade will start this year.

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    2. Could be. They announced just today new route Shenzhen - Vienna from October.

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  8. Has FlyEgypt flown to BEG before? Don't remember them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think so.

      So this summer Al Masria, Fly Egypt and Air Cairo are all flying between Hurghada and Belgrade.

      Delete
    2. And the Air Cairo flights are scheduled, not charters. They are increasing frequencies to 5 weekly this summer.

      Delete
    3. Air Cairo is packed throughout the year. I am surprised they haven't added more flights this winter. Then again they don't have that many aircraft.

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    4. How come nobody is flying to Sharm El Sheikh. It's just as big as a tourist destination (as far as I know).

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    5. Cause Hurghada is more mass tourism destination, and cheaper, and Sharm is kind of elite, and much more expensive. Generally, of course, with exceptions for the both

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    6. Thank you for the info.

      Some 10+ years ago we went there. When we were checking Sarajevo and Belgrade agencies, 9/10 packaged vacations were to Sharm actually and consequently the flights too.

      Delete
    7. SSH is located on the Sinaï peninsula with still relatively high risks of terror attacks as the centre of the peninsula is a rebel stronghold of some Al Qaida or IS near terrorist groups. Remember also the attack on a Russian plane that just departed SSH? I personally would not like to fly there or spend holidays there.

      Delete
  9. Are AirSerbia's (Aviolet's) charter flights bookable for the general public independent of tourist agencies' holiday packages? And if yes, how/where?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, you can fly on these charters if you book a holiday with one of the tour operators.

      Delete
    2. No they operate flights for tourist agencies only. You can even check on their web site their flight schedule by agency they are operating.

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    3. However many agencies sell Aviolet tickets separately from hotel bookings for a limited number of travelers. You can then choose your own accommodation and destination transport methods. Remember that it's not always the cheapest option.

      Delete
    4. True but they mostly add a nice surcharge compared to booking the flight as a part of a package.

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  10. It nice to see how political the whole aviation system in Serbia is. No mention of anything without a politician.

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    Replies
    1. Which politician is mentioned in the article?

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    2. Well why can´t they just wait and JU as a seperate company announce the big thing. Instead the airports anticipates news that JU should make. Is that not strange? The airport being the official speaker of Air Serbia

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    3. First of all you said it was a politician. The General Manager of Belgrade Airport is not a politician. Second he said that in the context when he was asked about future routes, since I read the full interview here when it was reported 2-3 weeks ago. He just mentioned they expect some surprises from Air Serbia. You are making an elephant out of a fly since you didn't know what else to stick to to criticize.

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    4. Vlaisavljević is one who announce nonsense all the time. Unreal predictions, new routes never happened etc.

      New huge "brilliant" announcement was prediction that Belgrade Airport will grow to 15 million passengers in just 5 years.

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  11. On some days there will be around 5 or 6 flights to Istanbul in May.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not surprising Turks are now no 1 tourists in Serbia.

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    2. If Fenerbahce makes the final 4 you will probably see more than 10 flights per day from Istanbul to Belgrade in May.

      Delete
    3. Especially since they don't need visas. I am sure there are going to be a ton of charters.

      Delete
  12. Fantastic news for Belgrade.

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  13. I expect summer growth to be around 10%.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Summer months should be strong especially with charters. Easy Jet will have an extra 6 weekly flights.

      Delete
  14. It should be mentioned that many airlines are now operating flights to BEG with A321s on a regular basis - Aeroflot, Turkish, Lufthansa, Atlasglobal...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Soon to be joined by Qatar Airways :)

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    2. When does QR start sending A321 to BEG?

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    3. Which plane does Aeroflot usually use on Belgrade flights?

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    4. Exactly. We have not seen lately additional LH flights from MUC and FRA but instead of A319 (FRA) and CRJ-900 (MUC) they keep sending more often A321 (FRA) and A319 (MUC) to BEG

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    5. From what I've seen A319 is the default aircraft on MUC-BEG.
      FRA was scheduled as double daily A319 and A320 but most flights were already upgauged already.

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  15. Airlines that have increased frequencies this summer compared to last: Air Cairo, Belavia, Etihad, LOT, Flydubai, Vueling, Transavia, Norwegian, Swiss, TAROM, easyjet

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  16. 1 million passengers by April is good. Next year they will 1 million in first quarter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder what is Air Serbia's share in that figure. Anyone know?

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    2. ...particularly compared to the last years...

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  17. "Surprise announcement during the course of the year"

    So that means 'during the course of the year + 5 seconds', the comments will be here saying how it'll never happen/be a disaster for them/only happening because of political pressure etc. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They have already started lol. See comment 9.13

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    2. And which part of the 9:13 comment is false?

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  18. 5% would be a nice increase.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Nice to see EY finally up their BEG capacity but I think it's a little bit late with them competing against Flydubai and Qatar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Taking in consideration that JU stopped flying to AUH and that EY is strategical JU partner anything smaller than A321 in winter and A330 in summer should have been expected.

      Why it was not done (demand is surely there) remains a mystery.

      Delete
    2. *shouldn't have been expected

      Delete
  20. Great news. BEG should have nice growth this year. The only risk is Air Serbia.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Congrats BEG. Tomorrow U2 will launch their winter timetable. I hope we see new routes from/to BEG.
    Not sure how the BEG-TXL route is performing but maybe we see a French route or Spanish one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt they will be launching new routes in winter. They launch 2 new routes this summer. The question will be if they will be year round.

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    2. It's impressive that Easy jet will fly 3 routes this summer. I do hope that they look at some other potential destinations.

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    3. I must say I don't really understand the points of them starting Basel. It's a route already served by Wizz Air.

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    4. Glad to see them increase their presence. There have been way to passive during the last few years.

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    5. U2 is much better than W6 and I hope they will prove it on BSL-BEG route.

      The fact that W6 already flies from Basel to Belgrade does not mean nobody else should try to offer better service and lower prices.

      Delete
  22. Last year Sofia growth was 30.3%.
    Belgrade could achieve same numbers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no need for BEG to be a ULCC heaven

      Delete
    2. For this BEG needs to have FR base 3 aircraft and W6 deploying A321. That said, SOF welcomed 1,5 million pax so far. So 7 million is achievable in 2018.

      Delete
    3. In the first three months of 2018, SOF grew by 6%. Rapid growth that was experienced came as a result of a massive fight between W6 and FR.
      As our friend from Sofia who posts on here informed us, Wizz Air is already reducing some flights and reallocating capacity to some other, larger, markets.
      This goes to show that growth of 21.8% in 2016 and 30.3% was far from organic.

      BEG on the other hand is in Serbia which has gone through a lot over the past 30 years. Unlike Bulgarians , Serbs simply can't pack up and leave to look for a better future in the West. There are places in Bulgaria that were literally emptied over the past ten years. Though this is sad it does create a lot of demand for air travel.

      Over the past five years, BEG's yearly growth was 11% which really isn't that bad.

      2013: 5%
      2014: 31%
      2015: 3%
      2016: 3%
      2017: 8.5%

      Growth in 2014 was impressive but it wasn't organic which is why BEG more or less stagnated in 2015 and 2016. Last year the market stabilized so growth resumed.

      Personally, I am impressed by how far Belgrade has come. Let's not forget that just ten years ago the airport had 2.650.048 passengers. Today it's getting close to six million.

      Before the boom at SOF, BEG was actually ahead (2015):

      BEG: 4.776.110 (+3%)
      SOF: 4.088.943 (+7.2%)

      Even before Etihad's takeover of Jat Airways, BEG was busier.

      (2013)
      BEG: 3.543.194 (+5%)
      SOF: 3.504.325 (+1.1%)

      What I am trying to say is that Sofia outperforming BEG is a relatively new phenomenon. It doesn't mean it will stay like this in the coming years.

      Delete
    4. oh come on, the comparison of passanger figures is so stupid anyway, BEG is a transfer hub for the Balkans thanks to AS, SOF is pure O&D. It is like comparing HAM with MUC. That said, even at in 2013 JAT times, figures are not comparable

      Delete
    5. JAT wasn't around in 2013.

      As for 2013, are you seriously implying Jat was a serious player in terms of connections?

      Delete
    6. Since when is BEG a transfer hub for the Balkans? I thought Istanbul and Vienna were transfer hubs for the Balkans?

      Delete
    7. Belgrade is a transfer hub just not a major one.

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    8. First of all O&D bring more money than transfer passengers. I hope that you guys do understand that usually airlines pay 0 fee on transfer passengers. Second BEG O&D + transfer pax are less than SOF which is only O&D. This is a very bad indicator...
      Not to forget how funny is when I see now suddenly having less pax how have became something good, while the same people where super happy when BEG have surpassed SOF. lol

      Delete
    9. You do realize that the sudden boom in Sofia only occurred because Wizz Air and Ryanair started fighting for the market by adding seats, launching new routes and melting the fares?
      Market did not grow naturally. Demand was artificially stimulated.

      We will see what happens once dust starts to settle. Growth is already down to 6% this year. Not to mention that FB is on verge of bankruptcy.

      Delete
    10. Bankruptcy of FB will be healthy for the market. Not to forget that if it bankrupts this will make FR and W6 expand in order to get bigger part of the pie.

      Delete
    11. One more thing. O&D does bring more money but only if those passengers exist and if they are willing to pay a decent fare.

      Transfer passengers are artificially created but they don't necessarily have to equate a loss on a certain route.
      There is zero O&D demand between Belgrade and Beirut yet the route is profitable thanks to transfers.

      It all boils down to how much a person is willing to pay. Air Serbia might be earning more per ATH transfer passenger than Wizz Air is earning from an O&D passengers heading to Baden Baden.

      Delete
    12. Anon 04.56

      Not necessarily, especially not in the markets where they faced them as competition. FR/W6 might just increase their fares so as to increase their yields, especially in markets where they might have been losing money or where their profits were not as satisfactory.

      Ryanair and Wizz Air might be fighting for the market but at the end of the day they are still businesses.

      Delete
    13. I invite you all to visit Sofia one day and for those who have been there before should realise it changed dramatically during the last decade, it is currently booming with new offices, skyscrapers, new roads, 3rd underground line, etc. Therefore you keep focused on LCC traffic and forget about business. Actually there is much less traffic during the weekend compared to weekdays.
      When Serbia joins the EU, you will see that this is process is inevitable. If by then BEG can sustain both transfer and O&D it would be great!

      Delete
    14. We should make an excursion to SOF and have a party on JU 123. :D

      Delete
  23. Ha, not 15 milion? That's wierd.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He never mentioned 15 million for this year anyway.

      Delete
    2. But in 5 years. Hahahahahahahahahah!

      Delete
    3. I'm not saying what he said will happen but your original comment is false. And I notice today's news generally annoys you. Wonder why.

      Delete
    4. P.s maybe sit one day out if you have nothing constructive to say.

      Delete
    5. I love the few trolls showing up to criticize something and trying really hard since there is little to criticize in today's news.

      Delete
  24. Nice to see. I think summer will be very strong

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  25. Everyone is growing, JU is shrinking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JU was growing a few years ago while everyone else was shrinking ;)

      Delete
  26. I hope Wizz Air will diversify its offer from BEG soon and finally introduces Spain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spain, Greece, or Portugal.

      Delete
    2. It may happen, but not by W6...

      Delete
    3. Well Vueling seems to be consolidating on the BCN market.

      Delete
    4. my bet is on easyjet

      Delete
  27. BEG-OTP 17 weekly which is impressive.

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  28. It seems that foreign carriers will be doing extremely well at BEG passenger wise this year.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Is there any chance that flights to Kiev will ever resume?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes
      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/03/ukraine-international-plans-zagreb.html

      Delete
    2. Well I was hoping for something earlier than 2022 haha

      Delete
    3. Me too. Lol

      Delete
  30. Moja procena za 2018-u je 5.7 miliona, a od sledece godine na krilima ErSrbije i Vansija bice ludilo

    ReplyDelete
  31. Finaly new game starting on Nikola Tesla. Vinci openining new horisons of oportunity. Air Serbia is in low mode so far. To surway, must to commbec to buisnisse. For neo is big enigma.
    But definitliy new era in aviation for Belgrade airport. So promissing. So positive.
    Greeting from Sydney
    Rod

    ReplyDelete
  32. after reading article by our mr. purger in tangosix it is obvious, how this numbers are going to be achieved: by hammering down all other airports in Serbia. Nice move...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tarom, Lot, Air Cairo, Vueling, Hainan, Iran Air and all the others adding/increasing flights to Belgrade actually wanted to fly to Kraljevo or Nis, but someone "hammered" them down? You are so smart!

      Delete
    2. anonymous is also very smart.....read the article. Govt wants to cap all the airports at 1 million pax per year. I suspect this might be the hidden part of the Vinci contract - that all airports will be incorporated in Belgrade sooner or later....

      Delete
    3. Read what you wrote: 5,6 million at BEG is going to be achieved by hammering down other airports in Serbia. Nonsense. And I don't care to read what that guy has to say.

      Delete
  33. Return of Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and new/old Girona on top of extended Vueling coverage is a good sign that charter market can stomach destinations more expensive than just Greece and Turkey. More seasonal destinations in Spain and Portugal, adding Canary Islands and perhaps Morocco should be nice addition for 2019.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Let's not forget LO. They are sending the E75 by default to BEG and have two flights on some days.

    In February their LF was 84% while two days ago they sent the E95 that was full both ways.

    Besides that, today there are three A321 from IST and four to ZRH where three were on the A320. Tomorrow there are five flights to Zurich!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's nice is that since LX and RO added flights, TK is no longer the only one departing when the airport is dead.

      Departures:

      08.55 YM TGD E95
      08.55 YM TGD E95
      09.15 TK IST A321
      09.20 LX ZRH A320
      09.20 RO OTP AT42

      In the evening it also got better.

      19.40 RO OTP AT42
      20.15 LX ZRH A320
      20.20 TK IST A321
      20.25 JU TGD AT72

      Two years ago we used to have only TK departing and an occassional LX on the days when they didn't have a double daily flight.

      Mahan is also pretty cool as they arrive and depart at around the same time as Vueling. I think they leave at 22.00 just as JU starts to arrive.

      Delete
    2. Sorry, two YM flights, one to TGD and one to TIV.

      Delete
    3. Small aircraft, BEG needs 321, 777, 787, and 380 in summer. Just hope EY send 380 during summer peak.

      Delete
    4. Well there are between 3 and 5 A321 per day/ That's not bad.

      Delete
  35. My prediction is that the airport will grow between 8% and 10%.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Is Etihad Cargo really launching Derby-Belgrade-AUH from 25.04?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks that way. Qatar Airways Cargo launching BUD-BEG-DOH.

      Delete
    2. Really? Is the QR one confirmed?

      Delete
    3. It's false information. I looked online everywhere and there is no mention of QR and BEG. Anyway why would QR fly there? It's not like BEG is a major cargo player.

      Delete
  37. Good news for Belgrade airport. easyJet has published its winter timetable and they will still offer 10 weekly flights.

    Berlin: 4
    Geneva: 3
    Basel: 3

    Wizz Air has not yet published its winter schedule so let's see if they respond to this. They currently fly three times per week from BSL.

    I am happy about this because it shows easyJet is serious when it comes to the Serbian market.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice. So far BEG will have 6 more weekly flights compared to last winter. Let's hope there are more surprises.

      Delete

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