Belgrade set for EuroLeague passenger boom


Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is expected to register strong passenger growth over the coming days as the Serbian capital prepares to host the EuroLeague Final Four. Airlines have scheduled additional flights and upgauged their equipment in order to cater for the growth in demand over the coming days. As a result of the basketball championship finals taking place between May 18 and 20, some 45 additional flights, both scheduled and private, are planned to run in the coming week. Of those, at least ten will be operated by wide-body equipment, while a number of carriers, among which are Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Wizz Air and Swiss are sold out on select flights to Belgrade during the event.

Turkish Airlines, Pegasus, Atlasglobal, Aegean Airlines and Aeroflot have scheduled additional services during the championships. Turkish carriers are leading the way, with Turkish Airlines deploying its Airbus A330-300 aircraft to Belgrade across the week on its scheduled flights. Furthermore, it will operate up to four return services per day on select dates. Pegasus plans to run up to three daily flights to the Serbian capital, while Atlasglobal intends on operating its Airbus A321 jets twice per day. A number of charter flights will also be run during the week by carriers such as Astra Airlines from Athens, Republic Airways from Vilnius, Freebird Airlines and SunExpress from Istanbul and KlasJet from Kaunas, although additional fan charters are also expected. The four teams taking part in the EuroLegue semi finals and final include Real Madrid from Spain, Fenerbahce from Istanbul, Zalgiris Kaunas from Lithuania and CSKA Moscow from Russia. Turkish Airlines is the general sponsor of the EuroLeague.

Turkish Airlines to run up to four daily flights to Belgrade with A330/A321s

Belgrade Airport has seen solid passenger growth so far this year by handling 1.445.206 travellers during the first four months of 2018, representing an increase of 5.3%. The airport saw its busiest day of the year so far on April 27, when it welcomed 18.095 passengers through its doors. It previously said it anticipates handling some 5.6 million travellers in 2018. 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, with a further two planning to introduce services over the summer. Belgrade Airport's new operator, VINCI, will take over its runnings sometime between September and November.

Major sporting events have in the past year generated strong growth at airports in the former Yugoslavia, the most recent example being the UEFA Super Cup Final, which was held in Skopje last summer.

Comments

  1. Good news. If the Turks make it to the final we will be seeing even more flights from IST on Sunday ;)

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  2. That's a lot of additional flights.

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  3. Im glad to see people from lithuania in belgrade hope they will like it and come back again!

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    1. At the moment I work for Lithuanian company. Amazingly nice and kind people!!! Both professional and friendly! Hope will enjoy BEG! Welcome !

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  4. Will Iberia send its own equipment? Their A330 was a nice sight in Skopje last year.

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    1. It looks that Real Madrid fans will come to Belgrade mostly via Zurich, Vienna, Frankfurt and Munich. There's no direct flights but there is a lot of transfer options on MAD-BEG route. Of course we can expect few charters from MAD.

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    2. Rome as well. Air Serbia's morning flight on 18.05 is sold out!

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    3. They can also use Iberia to ZAG and than JU to BEG, or they can bus from ZAG to BEG

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    4. That way they would have to pay for two separate tickets. Easier to go with Lufthansa, Swiss or Austrian.

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    5. Sometimes 2 separate tickets can be cheaper than one transfer especially when we speak of LH which often has european transfer tickets well over 400 or 500 euro .Not to mention rather cheap Iberia to ZAG, which is with BUD the closest IB destination to BEG ,and than few hours by bus. For those who couldn't find charter flights those would be the cheapest option, and of course LCC from Spain to BUD or SOF ,and than the bus, if the tickets were bought enough in advance. But then again bus connection to BEG is much better from ZAG then from SOF or BUD, at least to my knowledge

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    6. Or Wizz Air to TSR.

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  5. Which airline will be bringing Spanish fans through? Iberia?

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    1. Unfortunately BEG has no direct flights to the Iberian Peninsula aside from Vueling's seasonal flights to BCN that are twice per week, which I think is hilariously low. I can't believe that there isn't much of a market for traffic between BEG and LIS or MAD

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    2. Vueling increased to three per week, the whole season.

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  6. Growth prediction for May?

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  7. I am sure BEG will grow by some 20% in May so passenger numbers should be around 520.000. I hope we see some extra growth so that BEG starts June with 2 million passengers.

    By the way, May should be generally strong. Tourist numbers for March are out and they are really good.

    China: 4.600 (+224%) - 12.067 in 2018.
    Turkey: 4.407 (+11%) - 11.658 in 2018.
    Iran: 2.098 - 3.388 in 2018
    India: 521 - 1.045 in 2018

    I find that the Chinese are the most interesting as Hainan in March offered 4.627 seats both ways meaning that a great number of these Chinese arrived on other airlines. No wonder Qatar, Lot, Etihad and Turkish Airlines all requested additional flights and seats to Belgrade.

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    1. I guess those Indians arrived on QR or FZ?

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    2. Wait there were more Chinese than Turks in April? Wow.

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    3. Not only in April but so far this year as well. Demand is extremely strong!

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    4. No wonder we are getting Shanghai flights soon.

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    5. Shanghai has a population around 24mil people. It is a bigger market than Beijing. And, more than 90% of "domestic" chinese citizens in Serbia is from Shanghai region.

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  8. Lufthansa from MUC on those days is €500 one way but it shows A319 while some flights are on the A321. I bet in the end they will all be on A321s.

    I hope BEG spotters will be busy those days!

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  9. Ha la Madrid !!

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  10. I am really curious to see where all these extra planes will be parked. Luckily TK arrives at dead hours so at least that's that.

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    1. Parking will be problematic because there will also be a lot of private planes. They will have to use parking across Jat Tehnika too, as well as parking on de-icing platform.

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    2. Pity private planes can't be rerouted to Batajnica airport.

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    3. It can't this bad, World Cup 2006:

      http://www.airliners.net/photo/-/-/1072234/L

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  11. Charter season will also be upon us. Travelling from BEG will be a beautiful experience. <3 <3

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  12. Serbia is land of basketball, go BEG!

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  13. In that case, June will be hurt. The growth, compared to May will be very low. Still, lets see if BEG reaches 6 million by year end....

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    1. Yes but June growth should be around 10% which isn't that bad.

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    2. I think a more realistic comparison for growth would be June 2017 vs June 2018. Not May 2018 vs June 2018. Even though I see what you're saying. We might see a month-on-month slump due to this, although it's not a given.

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  14. Fantastic. I think 5.6 is a conservative estimate.

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    1. Agree. For once they are being cautious in their predictions.

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  15. A lot of airlines are sold out on 18 and 20 may. interesting.

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  16. Will we see W6 A321 anytime soon in BEG? SKP and INI will already see them this year.

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    1. Nope. They are not even fully utilizing what they have now and they are cutting LCA.
      Seems like the market is getting pretty saturated.

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    2. Shame about LCA. I guess not enough gastosi there.

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    3. Well, Germany and Sweden are well covered so no more market left I guess :( How is MLA doing?

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  17. Why did LH A319 attempt to land at BEG today but then diverted to BUD?

    https://www.flightradar24.com/DLH3PV/1159fd97

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    1. Bio je grad i nevreme u Surcinu

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    2. Not just in Surcin, in a large part of Srem over which planes land on their way to BEG.

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  18. Looks as if it will be a good year for BEG.

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  19. Can't wait for Vinci to take over. 2019 will be a big year.

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    1. Are you sure? I don't think they can top this.

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    2. Just wait and see :)

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    3. More like 2020.

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    4. Next 6 months will be important for aviation in Serbia. Vinci taking over and revealing plans for the next few years, Etihad - Air Serbia decision, new long haul surprise from Air Serbia, A320NEO decision, all in the next 6 months.

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    5. I hope that the decisions of A320NEO are positives.

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    6. I assume they will take 4 of them as reported earlier. I know the situation is not great, but apparently Air seychelles is supposed to take 2 and JU is supposed to take a total of 4.

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    7. And the remaining 4 will be for Etihad?

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  20. Anyone know the summer charter season starts?

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    1. I think on 19th May, charters to Turkey.

      This year, we will have 3x more our tourists in Turkey than past year. Egypt 2,5x more than past year. And Greece recorded increase of +6%

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    2. That's cool, thank you. I guess this summer it will be extremely busy at BEG with JU having four aircraft just for charter flights.

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    3. 2 Boing 737 have been retired, right? So, are there not only 2 planes for charters? Will JU lease some additional planes?

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    4. I think it was reported here recently that 1 B737 is being brought out of retirment during peak summer. YU-ANK I think. Also 1 A319 is being used just for charters. That was reported back in February.

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  21. Od 12.06. Qatar dodaje jos 4 leta nedeljno za BEG, tako da ce biti 11 letova nedeljno...

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    1. QR 11 + EY 12 + FZ 7 = 30 weekly, or 4 flight/day 5 days a week and 5 (five!) flights/day twice a week to DXB/AUH/DOH! Amazing!

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    2. I think FZ will be forced to respond. They will become insignificant.

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  22. What is really shame is the fact that Air Serbia has no single flight to IST. Last year ASL said that the number of PAX to IST is low but THY, KKK and other have raised the number of flights. This is something that could be investigate by the prosecutor. It is national treason.

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    1. Many airlines terminated IST. Croatia Airlines and Austrian Airlines both stopped IST. National treason? Get yourself investigated by a good doctor.

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