Serbia targets Užice Airport opening in 2020


The Serbian government plans to invest several million euros into Užice’s Ponikve Airport, in the country’s west, in order to enable it for commercial use by the end of 2020. The airport, which boasts a new terminal building, was recently taken over by the state. Last month, a 3.735 metre perimeter fence was erected, however, a further 5.195 metres are required. In addition, the final 800 metres of the 3.200-metre long runway must be resurfaced, and a lighting system installed. “In the upcoming development phase, we need to overhaul the water supply system for the terminal building and fit in fire safety equipment. Some five million euros are necessary in order for the airport to be put into commercial use”, the Mayor of Užice, Tihomir Petković, said.


Užice Airport is used for private flights and has handled 200 domestic and eighty international services so far in 2019. The Užice region is home to some of Serbia's most exported goods. On the other hand, it is also close to several major cities in the former Yugoslavia, with Sarajevo and Belgrade just 120 kilometres away. During the 1996 summer season, JAT Yugoslav Airlines operated a two weekly Belgrade - Užice - Tivat service. The airport was destroyed in 1999, however, the Serbian government and the European Union have jointly invested over one million euros into the creation of a project masterplan, while significant funds were put into the removal of undetonated bombs around the airport's runway. Its control tower was reopened in 2013 following a major overhaul by the Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency, while Belgrade Airport also donated funds.


Serbia opened its third commercial airport, in Kraljevo, earlier this summer which is yet to see any services. According to the airport’s operator, talks are underway with interested carriers and revenue flights are expected during the 2020 summer season. On the other hand, the country’s second busiest airport, Niš, has continued to record strong growth, benefiting from twelve new routes launched by Air Serbia this summer. In September, the airport welcomed 44.376 passengers through its doors, an improvement of 47.7% on last year. The number of aircraft movements stood at 476, up 82.4%. During the first three quarters, Niš Constantine the Great Airport handled 295.578 travellers, an increase of 10.7% on the same period in 2018. Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has also seen record figures this year, handling over 4.750.000 passengers up until October.




Comments

  1. Terminal doesn't look bad at all.

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  2. They should first get traffic from Morava Airport before opening anything else.

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  3. Replies
    1. Yes 11L/29R

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    2. Used to be a military airport.

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    3. Seems long, but the airport is located at a higher altitude, so it needs to be longer.

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  4. Could this airport realistically have any flights?

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    Replies
    1. I'd say that Austrian should be incentivised to operate several flights per week

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    2. If they use the Nis model, the could be.

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    3. With the rise of low cost airlines I don't think you should write off an airport. If the a good deal is made a LCC could fly there

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  5. Elections are coming next year.

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  6. Interesting that thre are so many private flights already.

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    Replies
    1. I wonder why there is no more private flight

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    2. Who says that there aren't? It says in the text that so far this year there has been 200 domestic private flights 80 international. How did you conclude from that statements there are none anymore?

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  7. This is just simply really, really, really ridiculous. Nothing else needs to be said.

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    Replies
    1. What's ridiculous is that you presented no arguments to back your claim.

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  8. Complete waste of money this airport....

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    Replies
    1. 3 years ago people said the same about Nis and look it now.

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  9. I didn't even know they have built a terminal building. Looks very decent.

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  10. With the rise of low cost airlines I don't think you should write off an airport. If the a good deal is made a LCC could fly there .

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  11. What if all these airports (Ponikve, Kraljevo) could work with LCC serving gastarbajter routes? Perhaps even a few legacy carriers to places like VIE, ZRH, IST? Or JU having several daily flights with small turboprops to BEG for transfers and p2p?

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  12. It could serve as a low cost alternative to Sarajevo.

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    1. The current road network between Uzice and Sarajevo is poor. Until it is built it can't be a viable alternative to SJJ.

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    2. The new highway from Belgrade to Sarajevo will go via Uzice.

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    3. Interestingly, Uzice actually closer to Sarajevo than Tuzla is to Sarajevo.

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    4. Distance between Uzice and Kraljevo?

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    5. Around 85km.

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    6. it's really silly to have two international airports in such close proximity.

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    7. A koliko je udaljen aerodrom Zadar od aerodroma Split? Ili aerodrom Pula od aerodroma Rijeka?

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    8. That's why Rijeka has under 200,000 passengers and Pula under 800,000. Despite strong tourism growth. That does not make economic sense

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    9. Ne, nego znači da treba bolje da se radi, da se privuku novi letovi i mnogo više turista.

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    10. Pula will be just 3K under 800K Pax this year.

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  13. Uжice doesn't have to be a major player in the region. All it has to do is to attract winter charters taking passengers to ski resorts. On top of that there are many natural parks around that could attract some tourists. From Tara to Uvac. Zlatiborski okrug has a lot to offer and not to mention that it's home to over 300.000 people.

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  14. Complete waste of money.
    The state will be paying airlines to fly there and take passengers away from BEG.

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    Replies
    1. Don't see Nis taking away passengers from BEG. Opening low cost opportunities from secondary cities created a whole new category of passengers who didn't used to fly in the past.

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    2. INI primarily killed bus companies especially with flights such as INI-LJU. People are developing new traveling habits.

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    3. You obviously missed the BEG newsflashes these days.

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    4. BEG does well, especially because it compensates with transfer passengers. I flew from ZAG yesterday and when we reached the passport control 80% of the flight went upstairs to the transfer area. The flight was completely full.

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  15. INI numbers are truly fantastic. I can't wait for FR to launch Malta and for JU to fly this winter as well. Numbers should be through the roof. I think 500.000 is almost certain next year.

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  16. What is Serbia going to do with all these airports?

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    Replies
    1. Nothing, like we are doing now.

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  17. Which one has more potential - Kraljevo or Uzice?

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    Replies
    1. Kraljevo is centrally located in Serbia and can serve a greater area.

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    2. Kraljevo by far!

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  18. Uzice is actually a really nice city
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/80/Uzice_pan.jpg/1200px-Uzice_pan.jpg

    It is in a very nice part of the country close to the Tara mountain. With a little bit of investment I am sure some charter flights could be launched out of UZC.

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  19. And I just read that Kruševac Airport will join Airports of Serbia by the end of the year.

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  20. Does Ponikve has rwy issues like Morava for A320/B737 a/c? Did passanger jets ever land there, other than biz jets?

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    1. Well it says in the text JAT used to fly BEG-UZC-TIV for a season. I presume it was with an ATR.

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    2. I know it was with ATR, I meant DC9/727/737/320? Can rwy support them without limits unlike KVO?

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    3. As of now, same issues as KVO. Despite the runway being 3200x45 m, only around 1800x30 m is currently operational, though having the necessary "shoulders" of 2x7,5 m. Can also be seen on maps and is described in articles here.

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  21. This little airport looks so beautiful and cute! Is the exterior of the building made of wood or stone? Does anyone knows? Looks so Scandinavian, I love it.

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    1. Its a former reinforced concrete fighter jet shelter reconstructed and opened to 2 sides as well covered with wood to represent the local building style. More info was published here and can be found easy by searching the web.

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  22. Come on, man. INI being subsidised, JU backed by the state in BEG and now tax payer needs to maintain a boutique, empty terminal until the end of 2020.
    Seriously, no logic.
    Serbia is okay with 1 sole airport...

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    1. The 420,000 passengers flying out of Nis this year would not agree with you.

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    2. Once traffic develops all of these airports can be put up for concession.

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    3. What for?
      Enough to have 1 airport. Big cities full, villages empty and population emigrating to Germany.
      Also, you already have TSR giving excellent opportunity to West Europe.

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    4. Hahaha TSR, sure.

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    5. Haha not.
      Timisoara is considered as a cheaper way to reach Belgrade especially from Belgium, Spain, UK, Denmark and Israel.
      2 million traffic is already something...

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    6. What two million? Last year they had 1.5 and this year they were off to a bad start. They'll be lucky to reach 1.6 this year even with Wizz flights.

      One thing is reality and another wishful thinking. ;)

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  23. Airport is insignificant, the Uzice region is not an economic Bavaria where they need an airport, Sarajevo and Belgrade suffice, this airport will never work out, nonetheless Good Luck, they’ll need it.

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    1. Why would anyone, anywhere in Serbia travel to SJJ to catch a flight when BEG offers cheaper flights and more options. Please be realistic.

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    2. Ovo vazi i za potencijalne putnike iz Sarajeva preko aerodroma Uzice. Ko ce se, zbog par evra , voziti tri sata do tog aerodroma.

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  24. Well to be realistic there is a good road and railway connection to that area of the country.

    It could get some low-cost companies eyeing it if the fees are reasonable, just like Nis did.

    But Nis and Sarajevo are going to create competition.

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  25. Serbia has tremendous potential. At a time when many airports in the region are facing falling passenger numbers or stagnating performance, our airports are booming. Goes to show the crazy potential Serbia has.

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    Replies
    1. Let's see in 2020. No new routes announced...

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    2. Actually it only requires you to look into the new route launches section to see that

      Hahn-Nis
      Budapest-Belgrade
      Stuttgart-Belgrade

      All new routes in 2020.

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    3. Don't forget H1 2020 will have all those frequencies from H2 2019.

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  26. I flew with the kids on tuesday INI-HAJ with A319 YU-APK the load was 96 pax, but they kept 3 between the scanning and passport control, so at the end we were 93. We got only the small water bottle and nothing else for the 2:05 flight. The crew was nice and the flight on time!

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  27. So loadfactor of around 65%, not bad for that time of the year I would say.
    Are any official figures about INI routes?

    Maybe some kind of that routes would also work for Uzice

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  28. I just can say that I smell elections in the air and that infrastructure opening frenzy is preparing. Not impressed at all.

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    1. Ja mozda imam bolji vid od tebe jer primecujem da se svake godine nesto otvara. Recimo kakve je veze imalo ceremonijalno otvaranje aerodroma Morava pre par meseci sa bilo kakvim izborima ili preuzimanje ANT od strane Vansija prosle godine? Ama bas nikakve.

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  29. @Author, when is the above terminal interior photo from?
    Does anyone know, is that raw concrete beam from the original shelter construction still like that inside the terminal or covered?
    Just curious as I havent seen it yet for all the years...

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