Belgrade Airport takeover by year's end


The Serbian Minister for Finance, Siniša Mali, has announced that the French concession and construction company VINCI will take control of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport by the end of the year, when it will make its payment for the 25-year concession. Previously, the Ministry for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure noted the takeover would take place between September and November. As part of the 1.5 billion euro deal, 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. During the first five years, VINCI is obliged to invest 500 million out of the total 732 million euros. VINCI itself will outline its development plans for the airport once it takes over.


  1. Anonymous13:49

    It would be good to know the reasons for delay.

    1. Anonymous13:51

      Where is the delay exactly?

    2. Anonymous13:53

      End of the year = December
      Previously informed = between September and November
      Exactly there

    3. Anonymous13:55

      He's right. It was supposed to be this month:

      Read the last paragraph of the text.

    4. Anonymous13:55

      It's a billion+ euro deal. 3 weeka hardly makes any difference.

    5. Anonymous13:56

      Drama! Have you already cooked the conspiricies?

    6. Anonymous14:00

      PS it took Aeroports de Paris exactly 12 months from being selected until taking over Zagreb airport. So calm down people.

    7. Anonymous14:07

      There was never a specific deadline except end of 2018.

    8. Anonymous14:34

      Not 3 weeks but 3 months

      "The French company has said it plans to take control of the airport by September 2018, following the financial close of the concession deal"

    9. Anonymous17:26

      B.S. Concession process, deadlines and decision were postponed couple of times with cumulative delay of over 6 months. Airport should have been under new management already.

    10. Anonymous17:43

      Drama!!! There must be a conspiricy. Please make us one.

    11. Anonymous17:51

      you are quite boring

    12. Anonymous17:57

      No, it shows that you are trying to imply something without any facts. If they said they will take over by November and then say by the end of the year, it changes little. It took Zagreb Airport's new management exactly a year from signing the concession agreement to taking over. They have to cough up over half a billion euros for a single transaction in one go so it takes time for them to finalise the the financial construct - loans etc and make the transaction at a time that best suits their balance sheet.

    13. Anonymous20:21

      From September to December are 3 months.
      First it was September then from September to November and now December
      They knew in January they need to cough up amount they offered

    14. Anonymous20:25

      Waiting patiently for the conspiracy you will cough up :)

    15. Anonymous20:26

      Passengers and enthusiasts want better and bigger airport facilities, more destinations and better service right away. There is no conspiracy about that.

    16. Anonymous20:27

      "By the end of the year" could mean tomorrow. It means from today until the end of December.

    17. Anonymous20:33

      Guys, guys, guys....please. This is a super complex and long process because we are talking about millions of €€€ here that the GoS needs to gobble up. Yes, since January, 9 months have passed but let them take their time and make this concession the best ever on Balkan soil.

    18. Anonymous20:35

      The government of Serbia isn't gobbling up anything.

    19. Anonymous21:24

      No conspiracy. This is talked about for months now. The offer is not realistic and it is hard to find a bank to finance it. 500mil upfront + 500mil investment in 5 years is just not viable.

    20. Anonymous21:28

      It's 25 years not 5 but I guess you know best.

    21. Anonymous21:31

      GoS needs cash to repay expensive loans. Vinci knows they need cash and Vinci delays closing as they want to minimize their investment and reduce the scope, similar to how ZAG terminal plans got smaller during negotiations. GoS is not desperate to get the money right now in exchange for smaller Vinci investment, but that could change over time. Aliens from the spaceship told me never to tell this to anyone otherwise they come and take me awa^&^`~*

    22. Anonymous21:56

      @anon 21:28
      Read the news entry again!
      "During the first five years, VINCI is obliged to invest 500 million out of the total 732 million euros." As investment does not make sense if there is no return after 8 years they would need to make profit after tax of 125 mil!

    23. Anonymous21:58

      And you think they didn't know how much they have to invest. Stop creating conspiricies and hoping for the worst since that would make you happiest.

    24. Anonymous22:01

      Why doesn't the GoS use this money to begin the Beograd metro? Until when will the ex-capital of Yugoslavia not have its metro system? :(

    25. Anonymous22:02

      Sorry but I'm sure they know better then you what they are doing.

    26. Anonymous22:04

      The concession started already to seem a bit fishy with those delays.

    27. Anonymous22:05

      Can you give us a conspiricy theory?

    28. Anonymous22:17

      We know, it was too good to be true. Sorry.

    29. Anonymous22:46

      This guy repeats nothing but conspiracy. I told you once already, you are boring. There is no conspiracy, there is delay. Full stop.

    30. Anonymous08:45

      Fortunately the airport will be just fine even without this deal and continue to have some growth over next years.

  2. Anonymous13:53

    More good news for BEG. According to seems like Al-Masria will be keeping BEG in winter as well with two weekly flights.

    1. Anonymous14:32

      Fantastic news. It also gives us hope Morocco flights might happen as there seems to be more and more demand for winter holiday destinations.

  3. Anonymous13:58

    It would be interesting to see how the Frenchies will act with BEG, so far in ZAG they did stuff but not so LCC friendly rather focusing on long-haul. Maybe secondary airlines such as Volotea?
    On the other hand, Sofia Airport finally will be given to concession next month - 22nd October 2018. Lets see what happens there too.

    1. Anonymous14:01

      They are two different companies with much different approaches to airport management. Vinci is way more cozy with LCCs so I am sure we can expect more of them. They are also good with easyJet which is expanding at BEG right now. Coincidence? I don't think so.

    2. Anonymous14:08

      EasyJet is coincidence falling together with the stationing of many planes in Berlin and the need to expand and fly them somewhere. BSL is also an attempt to fend off WIZZ in its Swiss market. Basically no connection with Vinci´s takeover.

    3. Anonymous14:24

      But is it true that BEG might have more French connections or destinations?

    4. Anonymous14:32

      Of course, everything is a pure coincidence when it comes to BEG. How come their TXL and BSL expansion has been so limited in the region then? Also, how come they keep on increasing their GVA-BEG presence?! Another coincidence maybe?

    5. Anonymous14:36

      Nobody can say it at the moment.

      It is good that the company like U2 spreads its wings in Belgrade and we hope they might open a base here. It is for sure Vinci will not forbid them to do it, but opposite.

    6. Anonymous14:37

      I wonder why Easyjet did not expand by opening TXL-ZAG

    7. Anonymous14:46

      We will see the fate of BEG, LJU and maybe ZGB on the 20th when the U2 summer schedule is launched:

      Maybe INI will finally be considered....

    8. Anonymous15:56

      I wonder why Ryanair is not flying from BEG to Berlin?

    9. Anonymous17:29

      I wonder why FR does not fly from BEG at all?

    10. Anonymous17:54

      FR is not flying to BEG because it's a Wizz Air base. You know, BEG is the only airport in the region that's home to T.W.O. airlines, not one but TWO!

    11. Anonymous19:34

      2 airlines? What do you mean, mate?
      Are you including Aviolet or you're referring to ASL and Wizz?

    12. Anonymous19:57

      Aviolet is Air Serbia so it doesn't count as a separate brand. The two airlines I am refering to are indeed Air Serbia and Wizz Air. Both have a base at BEG, no other airport in the ex-YU region has such a privilege.

    13. Anonymous20:12

      Aha, now I see what you mean. To tell you the truth, Belgrade can easily host a 3rd airline as its home base. Take for example other capitals with smaller market such as Vilnius - 3 + 1 charter airlines, Riga has 3 + 1 charter too.
      I see easyJet or Ryanair as serious potential candidates, what do you think?

    14. Anonymous20:21

      Ryan and Wizz are candidates for ZAG

    15. Anonymous20:23

      SOF is the base for Bulgaria Air, Wizz air and Ryanair.
      So what is your point?

    16. Anonymous20:28

      I think An 17:54 wanted to compare Belgrade vs the rest of the ex-YU cities. He is right, there is currently no other LCC base in ex-Yu only Zadar, but it's seasonal. Still counts, though.
      We can't include Skopje to the list because it's a mono base.

    17. Anonymous20:48

      Anon 20.23

      First of all, Sofia is not ex-YU and second of all Air Serbia is much larger and better run than Bulgaria Air. Also, SOF is only booming because of FR-W6 rivalry. BEG on the other hand is growing organically and next year it will have 6.4 million of hard earn guests passing through its doors.

    18. Anonymous21:58

      Air Serbia is much larger, we know thanks to who ;)
      Sof growth is also about legacy and charters. Not sure? Do some checks and see how many Bulgarian charter companies there are. You'll be surprised.

    19. Anonymous22:50

      Anon 20:48
      SOF was behind BEG before W6 and FR started war there. No matter if it is ex yu or not it is very good example how FR is not afraid to open the base on the aiport that is already base of W6 and one more carrier.
      So we still do not have the answer why FR avoids BEG

    20. Anonymous01:33

      Nope, BEG was ahead when the new ASL was born and the traffic suddenly increased.
      Both airports had similar figures most of the times until the arrival of Ryan in Sof in 2016.
      But Ryan never based any new a/c in the region because of Wizz, true.
      Timisoara base closed, Oradea, Craiova and Plovdiv soon out, Burgas becomes like Zadar, etc.
      Wizz is very clever and knows the terrain much better than Ryan, but that doesn't mean that BEG-STN cannot work out or busy Belgrade routes to compete with Wizz, like: BVA, NYO, FMM, HHN, etc.
      And if Serbia was EU member, flights to Jordan, Israel, Canary Islands would've worked perfect.

    21. Anonymous01:37

      You realize that Wizz was in SOF like 8 years before Ryanair, right? It did not start with the 'battle' last year. By that time BEG had nothing but JAT.

    22. Anonymous03:29

      London is all about the visas. If Serbia was an an EU member then you will have at least 5 daily flights to London. Look at Romania. 411 thousand Romanians in UK already.....

    23. Anonymous06:50

      SOF hasn't published its numbers in months so that's fishy.
      BEG on the other hand has been growing quite steadily and what matters the most is that JU has stabilized its operations so it will make it easier for them to grow in the future.

      By the way, TSR losing FR is great news for BEG as many Romanians from western Romania use BEG. It's not uncommon to see many Romanian buses at 05.00 just before the first flights leave.

      I hope once French come that BEG will handle 6.5 million as it will be far more competitive compared to other airports it competes with.

      SOF we will have to see how they perform this winter and next summer. They lost many destinations. Seems like there was overcapcity and market stimulation through extremely low fares.

    24. Anonymous08:48

      @Anon 01:33

      Ok, I agree that BEG and SOF are the airports who had similiar number of passengers in the past.
      Therefore the argument that FR cannot open the base at the aiport that already has W6 or local airline base is fully wrong. SOF is the best example for it. Of course not all the destinations will be successful, but a bunch of them will stay.

      Could you please let me know why on Earth it is not possible FR or W6 to fly from BEG to Canary Islands although Serbia is not yet EU member?

    25. Anonymous08:49

      Ryanair will not come to Belgrade due to passenger fees. Their cheapest fare ("free ticket") would have to be 16.5 eur making it most expensive in the network.

    26. Anonymous09:02

      I do not think so the fee is a reason. They fly from many other more expensive airports and at the same time fees in BEG are not problem for Norwegian, EasyJet, Wizzair, Vueling etc.

    27. Anonymous09:20

      An 1:37, Wizz arrived in SOF back in 2004 so that's 14 years and not 8 to rival with SkyEurope.
      If I am not mistaken BEG was in 2007.

  4. Anonymous15:15

    Both BEG and LJU seem to be performing really well for easyJet. If they weren't then they would be cut or reduced. BEG has performed really well this year and they are increasing the difference with ALL airports in the region. Just look at winter flights and this will be obvious.

    1. Anonymous16:07

      True dat, it was high time. Really happy about LJU.
      In the region, PRN has up to 3 daily flights!
      In SOF, they will launch second London airport SEN and BRS, which used to be operated by W6.
      MAN is obviously doing extremely well. Also tried VAR during summer and worked for them.
      SKG + ATH of course because of Stelios :P
      I think SKP, INI, ZAG should really be the next airports!

  5. Anonymous19:00

    Of course you can justify this delay with all sorts of reasons, but one thing is for sure - it creates more uncertainty than certainty.

    1. Anonymous19:05

      Only for you.

    2. Anonymous21:28

      They probably realised that it would be overinvestment. I suppose they are now negotiating with the Government and examining options.

    3. Anonymous21:30

      Hahaha let the conspiracies begin

    4. Anonymous22:01

      No conspiracies here. They offered too much. There is no way to make a return on that investment.

    5. Anonymous22:11

      I would rather trust a Brit to a French.
      Them Frenchies love to sell the product at its best and then talk bullocks.
      South Korea or Turkey should have won the bid.
      Compare Skopje growth run by Turks vs Zagreb run by French.
      I know the truth hurts, but Turks are masters when it comes to running airports. I will also add the Germans with the remarkable growth in Ljubljana.

    6. Anonymous22:13

      Who made the second best bid?

    7. Anonymous22:19

      Belgrade should've been given to an operator that KNOWS the market.
      Turks know very well, what Beg needs and what it doesn't. Koreans are clever too and know how the market is evolving...but the French??? French have been good at making cars, planes, perfumes, cheese, wine but airport management is not their stake.
      I hope I am wrong of course.

    8. Anonymous10:10

      @Anonymous10 September 2018 at 22:11

      You do know Turks also are part of the team that runs Zagreb airport, in fact first transition boss was Turkish. The route manager is Turkish.

  6. Anonymous22:12

    For those of you who understand Serbian. Show from the Serbian public broadcaster (RTS) aired on 22 March. At 13:35 state secretary in charge of the deal states that the payment to the state will be made within 6 months.

    1. Anonymous22:25

      This where Vlaisavljevic made a statement of BEG going from 5.3 to 15 mil in 5 years.

    2. Anonymous01:40

      And 10 mins later he woke up.

    3. Anonymous04:37

      ""@Anonymous10 September 2018 at 22:25
      This where Vlaisavljevic made a statement of BEG going from 5.3 to 15 mil in 5 years.@""

      Vlaisavljevic is a complete moron. Professor of economics Savich, is sitting there and wonder wtf just happened. Savich, passengers need to come from somewhere, Romania, 3 times larger country, 3.5 million strong diaspora. Serbia hasn't got even third of that.

      Vlaisavljevic, direct flights to Tokyo, Brazil, South America, 15 million passengers in 5 years ... The guy has gone completely mad.

    4. Anonymous08:43

      Even the state secretary was entertained by that statement in the show.

  7. Nemjee10:14

    Btw IR sent its A332 to BEG today!

  8. Anonymous10:32

    It is only legitimate to criticize the three months delay. The defense brigade with its aggressive and persistent "oh shut up, don't make up conspiracies, nothing to see there" salvos is killing the public discussion, which is in the interest of everyone involved. It is particularly nasty when the brigade switches into whataboutery, with Zagreb being their favorite distraction, playing on the nationalist rivalry. My favorite moment is when it alternates the argument "government knows the best" with "government appointed director is a complete mad moron," and sees no contradiction in it.