Belgrade Airport handles sixth-millionth passenger


Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport handled its six-millionth traveller of the year yesterday, marking the first time the airport has achieved such a milestone. The passenger, travelling on an Air Serbia flight to Skopje, received two return business class tickets to New York. The General Manager of operator VINCI Serbia, Francois Berisot, said, “The best result to date, amounting to six million passengers, was achieved primarily due to the launch of ten new routes by Air Serbia, followed by new flights to Paris by Air France and ASL Airlines, Wizz Air’s new service to Lyon and a very successful charter season”. Belgrade Airport’s previous best result was achieved in 2018 when it handled a total of 5.641.105 travellers for the entire year. Therefore, it has already added 358.895 passengers in 2019.


Belgrade Airport has seen its month-on-month growth rate increase during the third quarter and continue to grow into the fourth quarter. In October, it welcomed 562.996 passengers, representing an increase of 13.5%. During the month, it was the 84th busiest airport on the continent, ahead of the likes of Reykjavik-Keflavik, Sochi and Vilnius. It is expected to continue with strong growth in 2020, with Air Serbia set to introduce over a half dozen new routes next summer, while LOT Polish Airlines and Eurowings will launch services from Budapest and Stuttgart respectively next May. Furthermore, Russia’s Nordwind Airlines plans to commence flights from Moscow to the Serbian capital.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN347.544 4.1
FEB315.717 6.1
MAR372.122 1.6
APR467.469 4.4
MAY507.633 5.9
JUN602.466 11.7
JUL734.898 9.4
AUG757.062 9.8
SEP647.005 11.9
OCT562.996 13.5

VINCI will soon mark a year since it took over the airport for a period of 25 years. Although the operator has not publicly announced which infrastructure projects it is currently undertaking, construction work is visible at two remote areas within the airport complex. In addition, seventy construction site containers, which will house workers and offices for the duration of the expansion project, have been set up. Earlier this month, an environmental impact study was presented to the local municipality concerning the construction of a new natural gas heating plant and waste water treatment plant for the airport which will be built on the site of the current staff car park. The joint venture company between VINCI and Terna is also in the also process of hiring builders, steel workers and carpenters for future construction work.

The project encompasses the expansion of the airport's existing facilities by 42.000 square metres and the refurbishment of the terminals. Furthermore, a new 3.500 metre runway will be built, while the existing 3.400 metre runway will be upgraded. A total of nine new taxiways will be developed, the existing apron will be expanded, and a new 55.000 square metre apron will be built. The deicing platform will be expanded by another 6.200 square metres. Landisde, a new car park, with a capacity for 2.400 vehicles, will be built and new curbside/sidewalk infrastructure and facilities for departures/arrivals handling will be developed. Other projects include road work around the airport, encompassing some 3.500 metres, a new rainwater drainage system, marking and static signage, lighting and CCTV camera systems. Furthermore, construction of auxiliary building facilities and other infrastructure works such as waste water and solid waste treatment plants, a heating plant, a meteorological station and a solar panel plant, amongst others, will be built.




Comments

  1. Congrats Belgrade! First time ever!

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  2. I find it odd that Vinci forgot to mention Lufthansa which added a third daily from Munich. Kind of unprofessional to leave them out from the list. Especially since these days they keep on sending the A321.

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    Replies
    1. They only listed airlines that introduced new routes. If they were to list all airlines that increased frequencies it would be an extremely long list.

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    2. I hope the list keeps on getting longer and longer! Next year 7 million for sure.

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    3. The list getting longer is bad news for Wizz Air. Their profits already fell and others are beating them in Serbia. If they remain passive they will lose even more. Maybe it's time to replace W6 with U2 in Belgrade?

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    4. Their profits fell by barely half a million euros and it is a half yearly result (not even a full year).

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    5. It still fell, there is no growth while others are expanding left and right. They were defeated in Belgrade.

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    6. You statement of "defeat" would be true if their passenger numbers fell. But in fact they have grown from BEG in 2019.

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    7. Also if you concluded who won and who got "defeated" based on profit margin growth or decline, Air Serbia should have closed its Belgrade base at the end of 2018 since their profit fell by a few million euros.

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    8. I am not basing my argument on that so it's a pointless thing to bring it up especially since by that logic W6 should be closing their Vienna base asap, faster than JU should be closing their Belgrade one. :)

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    9. It's rather hard to expand on an airport which can provide zero additional aircraft stand during the night.

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    10. The last time I checked there was enough room on the B platform. ;)

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    11. The last time you checked was wrong. At least the airport have a different opinion.

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    12. Nope. B platforms are mostly empty at night. There are seven of them and one is always used by the government plane so that leaves us with six. More than enough room for them to park their shiny toys. Also from what I see Wizz Air tends to use normal gates at BEG, LCA this morning departed from A4 so I doubt gate space is an issue. Anyway, if they really wanted to they could move their first departure to 05.40 but they chose not to.

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    13. I was told that some gates will be closed next year due to reconstruction. It will be fun...not.

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    14. Both LH flights to FRA tomorrow are on A321. Hopefully in summer we get the third daily.

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  3. Good result. I expect it will finish the year with 6.1 million.

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  4. 'construction of a new natural gas heating plant '

    This is an extremely smart move given that Serbia will have a South Stream distribution center in Банатски Двор and that for the first time ever we will have a certain amount of free gas. Good job for thinking creatively.

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    Replies
    1. Who is 'we' and how exactly will this gas be free?

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    2. Anon 11:26

      Exactly, where is it free?

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    3. Serbia will get a share of free gas from the transit. Part of it will be sold to Bosnia while the rest will be kept for us.

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    4. Serbia have their own gas rigs that produces a lot of natural gas and still it's not free, Serbia gets 3% of the money.
      Business doesn't work like that, simple as that.

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    5. I am talking about what happens once South Steam is completed, please don't speak about things you don't know. There will be a special gas line (funded by Serbia) which will go from Pozarevac via Smederevska Palanka towards Republika Srpska. We received a special permit from Russia. Croatia asked for their own line but Russians turned them down saying they can get their gas from Bosnia as there is already existing energy infrastructure linking the two countries from the days of Yugoslavia. So please don't speak about things you don't know,especially when speaking to people like me who work in this sector.

      Vinci obviously knows about this as well which is why they are pushing this gas project and reparing in time for new circumstances.

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  5. Very good result. I think they could add another half a million next year.

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  6. October 2019:

    SKG: 607.944
    SOF: 595.352
    BEG: 562.996

    Tight race.

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    Replies
    1. Reminds me of the SKP and PRN race. :D

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    2. 2020 might be interesting, but I personally think SKG will take a huge lead. A3 are expanding and many new routes even though seasonal.

      Interestingly, the Jan-Nov results SOF and SKG are interesting, so 100% agree with anon 09:12 :)

      SOF 6,541,134
      SKG 6,447,029

      Most likely difference will be extremely little though SOF is quite busy in December compared to SKG, especially last 15 days & Saturdays of December.

      As for BEG, I think it will conclude with around 6,1-6,2 million. Overall, excellent results!

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    3. Next year will be a make it or break it for BEG especially as JU keeps on expanding and the local economy remains stable. I think 7 million is realistic next year.

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    4. @LIMA ZULU is right SKG will boost its passengers traffic since A3 with the luxury of adding 5 a320neo and 2 a321neo this year, announced 6 direct European routes to Barcelona, Brussels, Milan, Rome, Berlin and Zurich and also 2 domestic routes to Lemnos and Ikaria, although I think they are seasonal.

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    5. What about Sofia? Any increases announced for 2020? I think Aegean wants to kill FR in SKG. That said in the past they tried expanding from SKG and they failed.

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    6. SOF will rely on the newly introduced winter destinations extension last month such as French destinations to MRS, BVA, Lauda to VIE, etc.
      It is interesting that W6 will resume seasonal destinations in February and not April e.g. AGP, BSL. Similar to BEG, they are being extremely passive in the region - perhaps focusing on AUH.
      Other than that, nothing special except LO to BUD and quiet FR increase in existing destinations on selected routes: BGY, STN and final, eternal arrival and welcome of OU from ZAG.

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    7. SOF will suffer a lot in 2020, FR cannot expand due to lack of aircrafts, W6 dito with their focus on VIE and LUT
      :D

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    8. Wizz also cut its growth forecast. I guess Vienna is costing them a bit too much.

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    9. The situation in Vienna is a mess. Wizz added 6th or 7th plane a few days ago. Crazy.

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    10. Anon 16:24h, not sure if SOF will "suffer". It may not grow like in 2016-2017 but numbers won't be that red. UK ski charters are really huge this season and even PDV is receiving additional flights from STN.
      Most importantly, all airports in the regions are growing: SOF, INI, PRN, SKG, SKP/OHD.
      SOF-INI highway currently in construction and should also be beneficial for both.
      Exciting times ahead.

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  7. Anyone know if JU plans on keeping LJU 17 times a week in summer? Those flights connect nicely to Etihad.

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  8. 563K in October is very respectable. Anyone know if we had more than 10% growth in November?

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  9. BEG added more passengers than any other airport in the ex yu region, increasing the gap over all other airports.

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    Replies
    1. Belgrade has a large catchment area which also helps.

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    2. Belgrade means Serbia in terms of Air Passengers ,so to comapre the BEG air flow w others is ridiculous. 95% air flow happening via BEG

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    3. Belgrade catchment area includes parts of Bosnia, eastern Croatia and western Romania

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    4. Western Romania has Temesvár already with a decent EU coverage. Beograd represents 95% of Srbija as Howson says just like Budapesht. When u have few airports it is normal.

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    5. Yeah TSR is a major player with their 1.5 million passengers. No matter what you want to believe BEG is booming, six this year, seven next year. ;)

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    6. Well done TSR and others but let's compare BEG to the Ex Yu region. Within that region in 2019 so far BEG gained more than fantastic DBV and increased the lead over second place ZAG. Arguments about large catcment area are irrelevant, for example ZAG also pulls parts of Bosnia, Slovenia, coastal cities like Rijeka are very close etc. Those arguments were not used to explain 2009 gap when BEG lead ZAG by only 321k passengers and now it will be over 2.6 million. In the meantime ZAG got into EU, got new airport operator and a beautiful new terminal but despite all those events BEG massively increased the gap. INI airport growing to 400k didn't stop BEG growth at all. Stop looking for excuses, BEG growth relative to Ex Yu region is fantastic.

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    7. The last time I checked that small regional airport in Romania is not in ex-YU.

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    8. Not sure why you are ignoring TSR existence. This is an airport making 30% of what BEG does.
      An airport with links to airports like MAD, BCN, FRA and MUC.
      An airport which is a cheap alternative to fly to London.
      An airport growing and offering lower prices.
      An airport with domestic traffic and decent cargo network too.

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    9. Good for TSR I guess but they have no new lines announced and their growth is still smaller than their drop last year. 1.6 is as good as it gets for them.

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    10. Not sure why are we ignoring TSR existence? Because we also ignore SIN, LAX or MEL existence here. They are not within the region as defined by the webiste. You know that, so please stop spamming.

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    11. I think he just wants desperately to make TSR matter. Unfortunately numbers are so weak that not much can be done about it. If you want to compare TSR to an ex-YU airport then it's LJU.

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    12. TSR is smaller but still has a lot to offer.
      Wizz total destinations: 19
      Wizz total Beg destinations: only 13

      Airport has Lufhansa to both FRA & MUC.

      It is heading 2 million and already 30% not being a capital of 1.6 million

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    13. True, TSR is a massive threat. Stop trolling.

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    14. On my flight from TSR around 10% were from Serbia, lot of people use it for London. Next time i will use INI.

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    15. Lol you are not even from around here because if you were you would know there are no flights from INI to London. Like I said, stop trolling.

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    16. лол 20.28 is one of the biggest fails on here and that says a lot since the bar is placed high.

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    17. TSR lead is quiet and clever......will see how it goes in 2020,,

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  10. Congratulations to Belgrade and what a nice present 2 free Business Class tickets to JFK. Cool !

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  11. Those Vinci predictions of 12 million passengers don't sound too crazy now.

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  12. It would be really cool if Volotea start flying to BEG, Napoli would be awsome for example. And BEG needs more leisure companies for sure.

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    Replies
    1. I actually think a summer seasonal, two weekly BEG-ATH could also work on Volotea.

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    2. Volotea usually don't do capital cities. Their only new expansion in the region is VAR next April.
      Maybe INI can fit but unlikely BEG.

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    3. Volotea has a base in Athens.

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    4. I think you missed the word "usually". If you open their map, you will see fewer capital cities because they are focused on smaller ones.

      https://www.volotea.com/en/destinations/

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    5. Do you guys think that Jet2 or TUIfly could try out BEG? Seems that Volotea is not easy to get.

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    6. Doubt about Jet2, they are focused on EU. Tuifly is more charterish and this part is covered by Aviolet. The eventual candidates could be:
      - Return or Air Baltik and Tap PT
      - Buta Airways
      - Chair
      - Any kinky Russian stuff similar to Nordwind, etc
      - SkyUp Ukraina - currently growing like crazy
      - Routes to Krakow, Lodz or Katowice
      - Blue Panorama to Italy - not enough italia connections from Beograd
      - Flybe to UK - BHX or MAN

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    7. Italy has become JU's playground.

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  13. Congratulations on the result. Very good.

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  14. And people were sceptical they would even reach 6 million this year :)

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    Replies
    1. Everything positive about Serbia is usually met with skepticism in the comment section.

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  15. Everything is positive. Their only new expansion.

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  16. Definitivno da ce masine i kranovi da budu svakodnevica u 2020-oj godini i iducih godina. Buduci izgled dogradjenih i preuredjenih terminala Jedan i Dva, kao i novog buduceg terminala Tri su za sada velika nepoznanica za nas koji putujemo i pratimo progres izgradnje. Iskreno se nadam da
    da ce na jednom od terminala napraviti terasu za posmatranje letova sa kafeom i drugim sadrzajem.
    Ako VINCI uspe da za vreme mandata uprvljanja aerodroma Nikola Tesla, podigne broj putnika na 15.000.000 godisnje... U tom slucaju i sa takvim rezultatom
    VINCI International bi imao sanse da produzi ugovor koncesije... Dobar posao i veliki rezultati su dovoljna referenca za buducnost drzave, aerodroma i koncesionara.
    U ovom slucaju Francuskog VINCI International.
    Uz nadu da ce mo u iducoj godini videti fotografije i rendering buduceg izgleda terminala i objekata, ostaju
    dobre zelje za Bozicne i Novogodisnje praznike.
    Aerodromu Nikola Tesla, koncesionaru VINCI - TERNA,
    svima koji lete pod svodom nebeskim. Uz sve koji iskreno vole i pisu o civilnom vazduhoplovstvu. EX-YU Aviation administratoru i timu.
    Rodney Marikovic AME ✈🌐✈😀✈🇷🇸✈🇦🇺✈🌏🌎🌍✈
    Kraljevo ✈ Sydney

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  17. Congratulations.

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  18. Nice result. 2020 will be even better.

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  19. Congratulations on the result Belgrade. I really hope we will see even more new routes and airlines next year.

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    Replies
    1. We sure will :)

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    2. Any idea when Air Serbia will start sales for the new Belgrade routes in 2020?

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  20. We need more long haul flights.

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    Replies
    1. You nailed it. Air Serbia failed to deliver on expansion, Hainan pulled back, Koreans decided against it, Vinci didn't bring any flights longer than 7 hours. Long haul could have been key BEG differentiator in the market but it turned out to be the biggest disappointment.

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    2. Not enough demand for long haul flights.

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    3. LOL, did you see BEG long haul network in the late 1980's? There was demand to LAX, YYZ, JFK, SYD, MEL, SIN...

      There is enough seasonal long haul O&D demand from BEG to couple of destinations. With current narrowbody and regional feed Air Serbia can absolutely make it work. Other airlines can also make it work, just look at pathetic SkyGreece 1pw YYZ-ZAG that grew to daily (RV&TS combined) in a couple of years. Not enough demand/yield is a lame excuse.

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    4. If demand was there someone would launch flights.

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    5. If there were incentives, joint advertising etc. Any proof they were offered to other carriers?

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  21. Nice to see Eurowings and LOT launching new flights. But I don't think ASL Airlines will return.

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    Replies
    1. Too much competition and almost completely unknown brand with minimal advertising. No surprise. They flew for 2 months anyway.

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    2. With quite poor loads from what I hear.

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  22. I think they should focus on attracting FR or expanding U2 operations. FR could easily do STN-BEG and U2 could do CDG-BEG and kick ASL France out easily. A question I do have is when decisive expansion plans and start dates for projects are going to be revealed since the design capacity of BEG is 7 million which will be reached in the not too distant future. In the short-term I wonder is there any way to add more bus gates so that B apron can be used by ATR's and W6 and maybe YM and others flying regional jets in. They should also improve the duty free options air-side and place a big emphasis on improving the almost non-existent food options in the airport. This should be aimed especially at passengers with longer layovers.

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    Replies
    1. Food outlets has improved the past couple of years from being almost non existant to having a cafeteria with a smokers section, 2 Kafeterija carts, Hleb & Kifle. Its a start at least. I think space is the problem.

      What JU especially could do for their pax on longer layovers, in cooperation with the Belgrade Tourism Board is organise city tours.

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    2. Well there was no need to place that National Museum exhibition, better to have used that space for a coffee shop or a restaurant or how they placed that Serbia Creates nonsense in the C gate section. They complain of there not being enough space but the little they have is badly used.

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    3. I think that if they want to target passengers from Western Europe in particular a big chain such as Pret, McDonalds or Burger King etc needs to be present airside which it currently is not. I like the point made about city tours and definitely think it is not a bad idea at all to promote the city and show off what it has to offer. However, for this idea to take place, a better link between airport and city needs to be introduced. A train would be the dream but obviously quite costly and more of a long-term solution.

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    4. I see no point in trying to help them by providing ideas. They are defensive, not open to improvement ideas and will likely say vendor contracts made by previous management forces them to keep existing local vendors. Previous guys placed Lilly pharmacy (where majority of goods are liquids in packages over 100ml) in transit area before security checkpoints at gates.

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  23. March 2020 over 400.000 passengers for sure. Legendary year ahead of us.

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  24. Seasonal night flights to Athens also start tomorrow at 00.30.

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