Belgrade Airport recovery undermined by travel bans


Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport’s modest recovery in June has been affected by the introduction of travel bans and flight restrictions from core markets in the European Union. The airport registered 1.008.088 passengers through its doors during the first half of the year, down 61.4% on 2019. Since July, the few markets in the EU which had reopened for Serbia’s nationals have again closed, while Italy, Poland, Romania and Austria introduced flight bans, although the latter was lifted at the start of August. As a result, Air Serbia was forced to reduce its network through July and August, with a number of routes set to resume towards the end of the month. Wizz Air has also delayed the expansion of its base operations in the city, with the launch of nine new routes now scheduled for March of next year.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN403.145 16.0
FEB356.729 13.0
MAR163.568 56.0
APR5.894▼ 98.7
MAY9.666 98.1
JUN69.086 88.5

Charter flights to Egypt and Turkey now account for a notable share of Belgrade Airport’s traffic, with the two countries having no entry restrictions or regulations. Yesterday alone saw eight flights to Hurghada and Antalya, which are being operated on a daily basis. Among scheduled carriers, Air Cairo, Air France, Austrian Airlines, Belavia, easyJet, Etihad Airways, Flydubai, Lufthansa, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Pegasus Airlines, Qatar Airways, Swiss, Transavia and Turkish Airlines, in addition to Air Serbia and Wizz Air, have resumed operations to the Serbian capital, albeit at a significantly reduced rate. Aegean Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines and TAROM are set to restore services in September, depending on entry restriction regulations. Both the Greek and Romanian carriers flew to Belgrade in late June and early July.


Following the tentative coordination of the lifting of travel restrictions at EU level as of mid-June, traffic recovery has been slower than expected across the continent. As a result, passenger traffic across European airports declined by 78% in July compared to the same month last year. This translated into an additional 208 million passengers lost, bringing the total passenger loss since the start of the year at 969 million. Over the past two weeks, the pace of recovery has further slowed down. This is due to several states re-imposing travel restrictions. Olivier Jankovec, the Director General of Airports Council International Europe, said, “The recovery is far too slow-paced and uncertain. Despite desperate efforts to trim down their costs, Europe’s airports are burning cash at the height of the summer. Revenues are weak because of the combination of low volumes with rebates and incentives to airlines to attract and incentivise air traffic. Considering the seasonality of demand, this does not bode well for the coming months. If the recovery does not accelerate significantly, many airports will simply run out of money”.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    The number of airlines flying to BEG isn't that bad actually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      But most of them have 1, 2 or maximum 3 flights per week. Mostly almost to nothing.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:16

      Actually that's not true. MOST of them don't have 1 or two flights per week.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:20

      +1 Anon 09:15.
      There is still a long way to recover. LO for example is now 3 weekly and so is LH to FRA and QR to DOH. All used to be daily.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:22

      Better soemthing than nothing.

      BEG at least did not lose so many airlines as ZAG

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:26

      Yes, but ZAG remained open when BEG was closed. So it's almost the same situation. Current traffic difference is not that big.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:30

      Remaining open means that there are better chances airlines not to stop flying to your airport.

      If you close the airport as BEG was closed airlines do not have actually any choice but to stop flying.

      Therefore I am very surprised that ZAG (despite Croatia does not suffer from travel ban) lost so many airliners.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:32

      Because most demand was artificially created, ie it relied heavily on non-organic traffic caused by tourist arrivals. Now that's gone it will show how much real, organic demand there is there.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:36

      Agree.

      And now we can actually see how artificial was comparision between total air traffic in Croatia (long and warm coast as the biggest magnet for tourism) and Serbia (could count only on organic growth).

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:39

      Actually Serbia hasn't been as organic due to the booming, rapidly growing number of transfer passengers that have been using BEG as a stopover when travelling from one place to another.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:40

      so tourist charters from BEG to wherever are not artificial but only those to croatian cost are artificial . lol the stuff you read on blogs

      Delete
    11. Anonymous09:45

      Serbian chartes show the ability of Serbian people to travel on Serbian air carrier to the foreign countries. It is organic.

      Chartes to Croatia are the arrivals of foreign nationalities coming to Croatia with their own air carriers as OU can't cover that part of traffic.

      Not the same

      Delete
    12. Anonymous09:50

      Charters from Serbia are filled with people who live and work here so it was demand that ws organically created by Serbia. The more the economy improves the more demand for air travel it creates. Very simple.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous10:00

      ZAG remained open serving bigger EU capitals. No big mystery here. There were no restrictions for Croatia.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous10:00

      SMFH

      Delete
    15. Anonymous10:50

      Well unfortunately from today Italy requires PCR test for Al coming from Croatia. That will impact tourist numbers on the coast.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous11:35

      Well unfortunately, Wizz postponed opening its new BEG routes to March next year. This will impact on figures in the capital.

      Delete
    17. Anonymous11:42

      How can it impact when those flights didn't exist last year either. Losing 7 airlines which flew last year to your airport does on the other hand.

      Delete
    18. Anonymous11:47

      I think it is more than 7.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    Recovery would be quicker if there were Montenegro flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      Probably from next month.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:35

      Serbia is about to introduce PCR tests, let's see if Montenegro will be on the list of countries. If it is then I don't expect more than daily flights to both TGD and TIV by JU and YM.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:03

      There are rumors that Montenegro will announce border reopening on Friday. As I see, JU and YM have scheduled flights starting this Sunday.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:04

      * sorry meant starting this Saturday.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:10

      I guess we will find out tomorrow. Would help both sides (airports and airlines).

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:20

      Of course, whoever is following the situation in MNE knows they are about to go bankrupt. Government even had to take a loan to pay for the everyday expenses. Without tourism they have limited income.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    Even the WHO has called for travel restrictions to be scrapped.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:05

    Looking at the map, Serbia had the second lowest decline in passenger numbers behind Norway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      After also Armenia, Albania, Russia and Belarus, which makes it 6th (at least, if I didn't miss some)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:10

      Nope. Look at Hungary, Belarus and Albania.
      After all, Belavia is the size of JU, if not a bit bigger.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:14

      Also looking at the map, Croatia has the highest decline in whole Europe, even though they never closed (ZAG) airport. This clearly shows that Croatian market depends on tourists a lot.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:17

      Correct

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:08

    The growth in JAN and FEB was impressive. Shame the year turned out like this.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:10

    Taking all everything in consideration especially travel ban that neighbouring EU countries do not have, BEG is doing great and much better that those who don't suffer because of travel restrictions.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:12

    We see here than Serbia had the lowest traffic decrease among all ex-Yu countries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      Yes but let's see if that's the case in July and August.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:16

      It would be the case if all ex-Yu countries have the same travel ban Serbia has.

      If not comparison does not reflect real situation as the base for comparison is not the same

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:34

      lol you turn it always on your side. reality is reality

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:38

      Reality is that apples are apples and oranges are oranges.

      You simply can't compare them.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:48

      passenger numbers are passanger numbers

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:52

      I agree with you here

      2020
      BEG ==> 1.008.000
      Decrease in Serbia -61.4%


      2020
      ZAG ==> 547.735
      Decrease in Croatia - 81.1%

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:04

      sure but stop trolling all morning about not real situations

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:59

      The situation is not the same. It is reality you refuse to see.

      Despite that reality BEG had better results. I understand you do not like to see it on that way but it certainy has nothing to do with trolling.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:15

      Just look at numbers after lockdown which are important when we are talking about recovery. Split and Belgrade had similar numbers in July 2019., while this year BEG had 2,5 times less passangers then Split.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:24

      You can't know that since Belgrade hasn't published its statistics for July.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous11:36

      And BEG July numbers won't be known before October 2020.

      So please do not base your assumption based on Purger's expectations.

      Nothing but expectations.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:13

    Is it realistic for BEG to handle at least 2 mil passengers this year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:59

      Unfortunately it is not realistic for BEG to handle 2 mil pax in 2020. In July they had less than 120K pax, and in August traffic volume is the same, means less regular flights and more charters.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:24

      How on earth can you know how many passengers they had in July

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:14

    The charter traffic to Turkey and Egypt is really crazy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      Egypt charters will operate in winter too because of demand.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:17

      It sucks that we can't see charter flights info on flightradar24.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:18

      Air Serbia yesterday had 3 flights to Antalya, 4 to Hurghada, 1 to Sharm and Air Cairo had its flight from Hurghada.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:20

      I know I was seeing there flights BEG-AYT

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:21

      Why not?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:23

      @9.18

      Wait till the weekend. There will be whole lot more charters :)

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:24

      Yes, you can. I personally saw them last night. They were cuming from SSH and HRG. Aviolet too.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:28

      I saw them too and I have a BEG filter activated on there.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:30

      This boom in charters in both BEG and other European countries only goes to show how COVID will not force people to reevaluate their travels and to eventually reduce them. Once restrictions are down, air travel will resume.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:31

      I checked now and it seems only you can't track them.

      For example there was yesterday JU9203 to AYT but FR24 can't see it in flying history.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous09:31

      Once Covid is over people's wallets will be empty and there will be less travel because of economic reasons.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous09:34

      There will be LESS demand, so there will be demand overall for more and more flights to be introduced. You make it sound as if all countries will have their economies collapse. Look at Turkey, even though their currency is in free fall, number of Turkish tourists in Serbia increased in June once flights were introduced (compared to May).

      Delete
    13. Anonymous09:34

      Nobody knows what will be.

      We had in the past cases that Serbs took credit from bank only to be able to travel to sea coast.

      We see now that people suffer from economic + pandemic situation. When the pandemic is gone there will be only economic. So therefore I believe it could be only better than it is now.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous09:35

      @9.20 SMFH

      Delete
    15. Anonymous09:38

      that was for 9.30 obv

      Delete
    16. Anonymous09:40

      09:35

      Check today at noon

      JU9902

      Delete
    17. Anonymous09:42

      Serbia always had strong outbound demand as Serbs travel A LOT! Just look at how much the market has developed since December 2009 when visas were removed. Now, as the economic situation keeps on improving so will demand grow. That is why airlines have not rushed to suspend BEG, their yields are probably good over here.

      Delete
    18. Anonymous09:47

      @9.34 are you for REAl. number of turkish tourists in June in Serbia is 1087 thats 8% of last year!!!!!! EIGHT PERCENT from last years number. keep on trolling

      Delete
    19. Anonymous09:51

      Anon 09.47 did you bother to read what he said? He compared the numbers to May. How about you read what people write before trolling with your hateful comments.

      Delete
    20. Anonymous10:02

      you compare to May when there was zero tourism?

      Delete
    21. Anonymous10:04

      @9.42 lol

      Delete
    22. Anonymous10:14

      Also, let's not forget that Egypt is way much cheaper and affordable to Serbs who can't afford to go to South Greece, Italy, Spain and Croatia, Nice, etc. Egypt is like Chalkidiki or Kusadasi - low cost destinations.

      Delete
    23. Anonymous10:18

      Turkey is dirt-cheap if you go with a charter thats why theres demand from all yugo countries. "economic situation is improving" must be a party troll when i read stuff like that

      Delete
    24. Anonymous10:21

      Anon 10.02 flights to Turkey were resumed in May.

      Delete
    25. Anonymous10:22

      Turkey has millions of tourists from the west especially from Scandinavia, Britain, France...

      Delete
    26. Anonymous10:25

      Ok, economy will collapse, all airlines will go bankrupt, people will completely stop travelling and lock themselves in their homes forever. Is that what you wanna hear?

      Delete
    27. Anonymous10:36

      The only reason Turkey sounds cheap is their currency lost %200 value against USD in 6 years.

      There is every type of holidays in Turkey, probably even the most luxurious and expensive ones you can't find anywhere in Europe.

      Remember Antalya itself has more 5 star hotel than whole Spain lol

      Delete
    28. Anonymous10:40

      Lol true

      Delete
    29. Anonymous11:01

      Probably all of those charters JU had to Spain, Italy, Crete, Rhodos as well as regular lines to SPU, DBV, PUY and ZAD show how much Serbs can't afford it

      Delete
    30. Anonymous11:43

      The real reason behind JU introducing NCE was the fact that Serbs can't afford it.

      Delete
    31. Anonymous12:20

      NCE is actually quite a prestigious destination. Not everyone can afford the French Riviera.

      Delete
    32. Anonymous15:28

      The charter flights can perfectly be seen on Flightradar24.

      Delete
    33. Anonymous18:04

      All you have to know is the aircraft registration number .
      If you type them into your Google Search Flightradar shows their flight paths .
      No problem at all .

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:46

    Croatia -81.1%

    That is huge. Biggest decrease in Europe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:05

      Actually, I would say it's way much worse in Greece and Cyprus.
      Greece has maybe 30+ airports and 2,5 times bigger than Croatia in population. 77% is a lot! The same goes for LCA being such a busy airport.

      Delete
    2. Nemjee10:24

      Cyprus is not a surprise, for two months you were not allowed to leave your house without an sms permission from the police. Airports were shut down and there were no flights besides repatriation ones. Same situation as in Greece more or less.

      Also don't forget that until August, Brits were required to quarantine themselves before entering Cyprus. Flights are only resuming now, Jet2 announced resumption of charters two days ago.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:35

      How is it worse in Greece? Greece had 5.6 million pax during H1. As you said it has 2.5 the population, so Greece is doing about 5 times better than Croatia.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous10:40

    Last week I was in Cyprus, the Turkish part, it felt like an abandoned place; they were rarely some tourists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:42

      ^^ Sorry I meant to comment on Nemjee's post.

      Delete
    2. Nemjee17:30

      Don't know about the occupied areas but in the Republic hotel occupancy is like 20% to 30%. Very bad. Then again it's not surprising, BEG-LCA was supposed to be 11 weekly now but at the moment we have just one flight a week which is mostly used by transfers. It's pretty much the same situation with other markets out there.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous11:34

    Till Covid19 (middle of March):
    917874 Belgrade
    607378 Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik

    From start of Covid19:
    163214 Belgrade
    442335 Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik

    It is 2.7 times more passengers what was last time in 1999.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:37

      What does this have to do with anything in today's article? Also you don't know Belgrade's July figures.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:39

      If you need 3 airports to have more traffic than 1 in the middle of a global pandemic and people are mostly banned from travelling from that other airport then congratulations. I would be rather embarrassed.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:41

      Yes, but similar to Hungary, Serbia has 1 main airport while Croatia technically has 3. It's quite normal to see these figures. Yet, SPU is the busiest airport in ex-Yu in summer.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:42

      wasn't last year actually, even in summer.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:45

      You forgot that the types of airports are totally different.

      If you want to compare BEG with any airport in Croatia it is ZAG and not SPU or DBV.

      If you want to compare some coastal airport as SPU or DBV you need to do it with LCA, PMI, AYT.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:48

      Summer 2019

      Split
      JUN - 513706
      JUL - 723048
      AUG - 672262

      Belgrade
      JUN - 602466
      JUL - 734898
      AUG - 757062

      So how was Split the busiest?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:53

      It happened only once in July 2018, but they stick to it "kao pijan plota"

      Delete
    8. You have forgot to mention something very important. Those three Croatian airports have lost 4.25 million's in same period Belgrade has lost 2.36 millions! Covid period 03-07-2020

      Delete
    9. Anonymous14:33

      All I'm seeing is that according to your stats one Serbian airport still had more pax than three "prestigious" Croatian ones (despite Serbia being outside the EU, not being a summer holiday destination and so on). BEG is still ahead by over 30k pax.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous18:30

    The article is about decline at Belgrade, yet all the comments are trolling jealousy of Croatia....haha is someone suffering from a sligh inferiority complexe?!

    I personally hope Belgrade becomes the center of the civilized world, the HUB of all airlines HUBS, because I would the be a proud neighbor LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:32

      Comments are about Croatia because people kept comparing BEG to all Croatian airports combined (all the while citing random figures "that dude" posted wherever), so some ppl decided to settle things by showing the true "stellar" Croatian stats.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:45

      Yes, it is SPU. New terminal, widebodies, 85% European network coverage. Primary destinations. Legacy and LCC + domestic.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous23:23

      Croatia as a country will ALWAYS be stronger then Serbia....sorry is this bothers anybody...and yes, tourist passengers count, LOL how they became a separate category in the eyes of some haha

      Delete
    4. Anonymous23:24

      Did you compare that with BEG? Direct flight to New York, 6.1 million passengers in 2019, businest month ever in all of ExYu, most cargo ever in all of ExYu, direct service to four continents, 16 jet bridges, primary destinations, legacy and LCCs. In a couple of years when construction is complete, two runways, 28 jet bridges, expanded and renovated terminal with 15 mil passengers per year capacity. SPU is no match for BEG.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous23:33

      My dear friend, Croatia had close to 12 million passengers, close to double that of Serbia, so please stop embarrassing yourself.

      Serbia will never in my lifetime have more air passengers then Croatia, any other arguments are a non sense.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous00:13

      Well my dear friend, we'll see this year. The winter is coming and it appears August won't be as awesome as you hoped since the pandemic is booming again there. I will point out one more time: during the first seven months of this year, BEG had more pax than three busiest Croatian airports combined.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous01:37

      Croatia reached to KE, AC, EK, AA levels, mon ami.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous06:36

      If you pay enough you will get any airline in the world to fly to Croatia. Not in my lifetime is something many countries could have said to UAE in 1980 but look at passenger numbers UAE had in 2019 compared to many of those countries.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous08:41

      Of course BEG will have more passengers than Croatia at some point. You know why? Because BEG is open to everyone, both legacy and LCC. If it weren't for corona this year we would have have 7 million for sure. JU is not going anywhere and they are firmly committed to building a hub and in boosting their transfer passenger numbers. On top of that Wizz Air is attracting more and more passengers from the region which is how they expect to fill three A321s.
      Anyway, for many aviation fans in Serbia, Croatia is not a target. We are comparing ourselves with more relevant markets like SKG, SOF, OTP or BUD. Those are our competition, not a few regional tourist heavy airports. You need to compare yourself with Rhodes, Chania, Zakynthos and so on.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous22:39

    Bulgaria will reopen border with Serbia on 16th of August so we will see more passengers to Sofia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:53

      JU actually increased its frequencies from 5 to 6 weekly to SOF.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous08:42

      That's great, I am still sad they never managed to make those night flights work like they did in OTP or SKG. Nice to see them rebuilding their regional network though.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous08:50

    Interesting that there is an Icelandair B767 flight to LAX from BEG tomorrow. Anyone know what's that all about? It's a passenger aircraft, not cargo.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous13:23

    Globalisation in reverse, I love it. Bring back the golden age of travel when it was more expensive.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous09:50

    The prediction seems realistic. Hopefully by summer the virus is under control somewhat.

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.