Belgrade Airport expects traffic “restart” in 2021

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport expects for passenger numbers to begin recovering by the summer of 2021 but figures could remain choppy in the coming months. “No one can say with certainty how the situation with the pandemic will evolve, but we expect a return to our more usual operations during the summer of 2021. In the coming months, we anticipate a gradual growth in traffic, most likely with a small jump during the Christmas holidays. If the virus is put under control, we could expect a real restart in April or May of next year, if the health situation improves in Europe and worldwide”, Belgrade Airport’s Chief Technical Officer, Nicolas Brousse, said.

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
JUL116.937 84.1

Belgrade Airport handled 1.125.025 during the first seven months of the year, representing a decrease of 66.4% compared to the same period last year. The airport was the 87th busiest on the continent during the seven-month timeframe, ahead of the likes of Luxembourg, Vilnius and Tallinn, but behind Malta, Keflavik and Thessaloniki. The airport’s recovery efforts have been undermined by an entry ban for the majority of Serbian nationals into the European Union, which was upheld for another two-week period at a meeting held by the block yesterday. However, the resumption of flights to Montenegro and an increase in charter operations compared to previous months is expected to have softened the negative trends in August and September.

Currently, sixteen carriers maintain scheduled operations from Belgrade, including Air Cairo, Air France, Air Serbia, Austrian Airlines, Belavia, easyJet, Etihad Airways, Flydubai, Lufthansa, Montenegro Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Pegasus Airlines, Qatar Airways, Swiss International Air Lines, Turkish Airlines and Wizz Air. Transavia and LOT Polish Airlines are set to resume operations from Amsterdam and Warsaw on October 1, while others are expected to do so at the start of the 2020/2021 winter season, if circumstances permit. LOT Polish Airlines plans to commence new services between Budapest and the Serbian capital on October 25, Eurowings from Stuttgart on the same date, while Ukraine’s SkyUp Airlines will inaugurate flights from Kiev on October 27, although changes remain possible.


  1. Anonymous09:04

    Hope things turn for the better next year.

  2. Anonymous09:04

    So Purger’s claim how BEG would have less passengers than Zagreb in July proved to be completely incorrect. In fact it had almost 40,000 more passengers...

    1. Anonymous09:22

      He also said that ZAG has the chance to "become the true hub of the region" in bold letters and in first 6 months BEG had 1.000.000 pax and ZAG 550.000.

      What to say? Tendency to see what he wants to see or "sto je babi milo..."

    2. Yes, my prediction was wrong. In that period Belgrade has less flights than Zagreb. But that shows load factor was much better than Zagreb one.

    3. Anonymous09:39

      Obviously airlines feel like they can make money in BEG with lower LF meaning yields are better.

    4. Anonymous10:03

      But BEG had higher LF then ZAG.

    5. Anonymous10:08

      Maybe the Wizz flight with lower prices were helpful. Any statistics on which airline carried more? W6 or JU?

    6. Anonymous10:22

      Belavia also helped as they were among the first to resume BEG

    7. Anonymous10:37

      that article of him had so many false figures

    8. Anonymous10:51

      That's for sure.

    9. Anonymous10:57

      Quote some of the false figures.

    10. Anonymous11:00

      Maybe that BEG would gave 73,000 partners in July.

    11. Anonymous11:04

      BEG gave what? Can you at least try to quote it on "local" language?

    12. Anonymous11:06

      Have 73,000 passengers in July. My phone autocorrected what I wrote. The original comment contains even a screenshot from it, if you bothered to look. No need to be rude.

    13. Anonymous11:08

      He also said that ZAG has the chance to "become the true hub of the region" in bold letters and in first 6 months BEG had 1.000.000 pax and ZAG 550.000.

    14. Anonymous11:08

      Maybe that ZAG will become regional hub with its tiny passenger numbers?
      Without pandemic even TIA would have had more passengers than ZAG.

      And the false is that number of passengers started to fall in February. ZAG had in that month increase of 1,7% comparing to February 2019.

    15. Anonymous11:28

      Anon 11:06
      Its ok. I thought that you said that BEG gave passangers to some other airport.

      "become the true hub of the region"
      Here is his statment:
      "Samim time Zagreb ove zime ima izuzetnu šansu biti jedini ozbiljan hub za letove iz regije, prvenstveno iz Splita, Dubrovnika, Zadra, Pule, Osijeka, kao i iz Sarajeva i Skopje, eventualno iz Podgorice i Mostara. Direktnih letova prema inozemstvu će biti jako malo, pa će potencijalni putnici morati letjeti preko Zagreba. Hrvatska je dio Europske Unije i bez obzira na ograničenja, ona će uvijek imati bolji položaj od drugih zračnih luka izvan Europske Unije."

      He says how for THIS WINTER Zagreb has a chanse to become ONLY SERIOUS hub for the flights from the region firstly from SPU, DBV, ZAD, PUY, OSI, SJJ, SKP, maybe TGD and OMO. Because THERE ARE NOT SO MUCH INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS ANNOUNCED FROM THESE MARKETS!!! Because CROATIA HAS BETTER POSITION IN EU THEN OTHER COUNTRIES which is really immportant for TGE CURRENT SITUATION. I dont know whats wrong with this he only said how for this winter ZAG has a chanse to become only serious region hub for this winter because of lack of direct flights from these markets where OU is in front of JU and because it is in EU. Nothing wrong with that.

    16. Anonymous12:26

      @anon 11:28

      I will tell you what is wrong.

      You can say "the only serious hub in the region" and that pick the cities you like. Either you talk about the region as a whole or you quote certain airports.

      If you talk about the region you can't exclude Belgrade what he actually intetionaly did. So saying "the only serious hub in the region" including even Skopje (that is further from ZAG than BEG is) and at the same time excluding the biggest of all, Belgrade is really nothing but ridiciolus.

      It would be the same like I make the statement that BEG is the biggest on Balkans and then I quote SKP, TGD, ZAG, PRN, SJJ, ZAG, BOJ, VAR...and intentionaly forget SOF, IST, ATH, SKG...

      It looks very much he wanted to twist the facts in order to fit his goal and it is even worse than making false statements as the one where he said that in February the passenger drop started in ZAG.

    17. Anonymous12:28

      "Hrvatska je dio Europske Unije i bez obzira na ograničenja, ona će uvijek imati bolji položaj od drugih zračnih luka izvan Europske Unije."

      How so? At the moment the only difference in connectivity between EU and non-EU airports is that you can't fly to the US from EU airports.

    18. Anonymous12:41

      @anon 11:08

      Dude even in your screenshot the author clearly states that 73000 is a PREDICTION, not a claim + he admitted that it was wrong and mentioned that BEG must have better LF because it managed to do it with less flights.

    19. Anonymous13:00

      The statistic that Zagreb had more flights in July is not correct either

      Belgrade: 2,067 commercial movements -69.9%

    20. Anonymous13:48

      In total, we have plenty of very wrong information given there.

      The author was obviously led by his wishes and not by real facts.

    21. Anonymous14:05

      Anon 12:26
      He dis not said that.

    22. Anonymous15:54


    23. Anonymous22:06

      He said ZAG has a chanse for only this winter to become the only serrious hub for the region. He does not hates Serbian aviation and he does not praise croatian aviation. He is just a aviation analyst and if you think you know better then him start your own text section where you will praise Serbian aviation.

    24. Anonymous07:01

      But that is the problem right there, everyone thinks they can write about aviation, no matter what. He is not impartial, there are many, many articles out there that prove it. This one being one of the more hilarious. He says that ZAG can become some sort of competition to BEG when they don't even have winter flights to anywhere in the Balkans outside the ex-YU. Heck, they don't even fly to airports like BEG, TGD, PRN and so on.

      If they want to become any sort of competition then OU must wake up and expand its network.

    25. Anonymous09:24

      On nije rekao da ce Zagreb biti hub ove zime, on je rekao da ima SANSU da bude ozbiljan hub ove zime. Naravno uz to da se OU probudi i iskoristi ozbiljnu priliku, ovo im je sada ili nikada. Da se ne lazemo ove zime Zagreb ce imati veci potencijal od Beograda zbog zatvorenih granica, a i samim time sto se u Hrvatskoj mnogo vise putuje avionom pa ce se sa Jadrana presedati u Zagrebu za Evropu, Beograd to nema u Srbiji prvo zato sto niko ne moze da ide za Evropu. Na srecu Beograda, ni on ne veruje da ce Zagreb iskoristiti sansu sto posto.

    26. Anonymous13:14

      Gresis. On je rekao da ZAG ima sansu da bude JEDINI ozbiljan hub ove zime. Kako covek moze tako nesto da kaze kad zna da i pored cinjenice da Hrvatskoj nisu granice zatvorene ne postoji avio kompanija koja to moze da iznese a Beograd je u prvih 6 meseci i pored POTPUNOG zatvaranja od 2 meseca (koje ZAG nije imao) imao duplo vise putnika nego li Zagreb. Taj isti Beograd koji je cak i po pisanju autora istisnuo OU iz SJJ. Da ne pominjem kako govori jos i o Podgorici - aerodromu gde Croatia uopste ne leti a istovremeno JU i YM uz code share imaju neograniceni broj letova. I na tom terenu sad ZAG treba da bude jedini ozbiljan hub. Vazi.

      A za tvoju informaciju BEG ima dosta tranzitnih putnika koji iz na primer Bugarske ili Grcke lete za zapadnu Evropu i za te putnike nema NIKAKVIH ogranicenja da lete preko BEG.

      A sa trece strane tek sad vidimo koliko ogromnu prednost ima to sto BEG ima TATL letove u vreme kad je iz EU zabranjeno leteti za US pa time i za JFK i gde se ako ova situacija potraje moze ocekivati samo da se taj broj rotacija na JU500/501 povecava.

      Ne zaboravi jos jednu vaznu cinjenicu a to je da je JU sklopio code share sa TK i da prema Turskoj ne postoje nikakva ogranicenja za putovanja sto moze u skorije vreme da dovede i TK sirokotrupca u BEG. A da ne govorimo o celogodisnjim charterima ka Egiptu koji su u ZAG nepoznata kategorija.

    27. Anonymous08:11

      +100 last Anon

  3. Anonymous09:05

    It is good to see that some new routes will launch next month.

    1. Anonymous09:06

      If they launch

    2. Anonymous09:14

      I was at BEG the other day. In the arrivals hall they are advertising on video screens the new Sky Up and Eurowings fights.

    3. Anonymous09:34

      I'm not sure how long those SkyUp flights will survive.

    4. Anonymous09:38

      And who knows, we might see those BEG-PRN flights launch this winter too.

    5. Anonymous09:39

      BEG and KBP were always connected by air, at least in the past 50 years. Obviously there is some sort of demand. SkyUp has a great PR department and I am sure they can stimulate demand.

  4. Anonymous09:06

    This will depend on the EU limitations and it's just extremely early to predict what's going to happen. This will also depend on the gastos and whether or not they are considering visiting their home countries. This will also mean people will prefer to make transfers and stick to a direct, non-stop flight if they can.

    1. Anonymous09:09

      One would expect that by next summer border restrictions are lifted.

  5. Anonymous09:08

    If you consider there is travel ban into the EU, handling over 100,000 passenger in July isn't all that bad, especially since the second wave of corona was at its peak during that month in Serbia.

    1. Anonymous09:10


    2. Anonymous09:24

      Peak was in August not July. July in most countries was much better situation than August.

    3. Anonymous09:28

      ^ I'm talking about the situation in Serbia. Peak was in July. In August numbers were coming down on a daily basis.

  6. Anonymous09:09

    Fingers crossed.

  7. Anonymous09:12

    Things would improve much quicker if the EU travel ban was lifted.

  8. Anonymous09:13

    Today JU has 3 charters to Antalya

    1. Anonymous09:15

      and 33 departures from BEG today in total.

    2. Anonymous09:40

      No flights to Hurghada?

    3. Anonymous09:41

      Today no, but there is one tomorrow.

    4. Anonymous19:42

      Tomorrow is actually a pretty solid day.

  9. Anonymous09:19

    The increase in Turkey flights by Air Serbia and Turkish Airlines this month and more flights by Air Serbia to New York will hopefully help decrease some of the losses.

    1. Anonymous09:30

      I don't think it will have too much of an impact but better something than nothing.

    2. Anonymous09:58

      Flights to Zurich have also increased.

  10. Anonymous09:23

    Huh? This is the best result in the region.

  11. Anonymous09:24

    It could have been a great year if it were not for corona.

  12. Anonymous09:33

    Recovery will be long and hard everywhere.

  13. Anonymous09:39

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

    1. Anonymous09:40

      Taking in consideration the circumsances and that Serbians can't enter EU it is very good!

    2. Anonymous14:49

      Let's be precise - Serbian passport holders cannot enter the EU. Serbs (or any other nationality) living in Serbia, but that have a passport of an EU country (Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia) can enter the EU. Apartheid alive and well.

    3. Anonymous15:58

      You are correct. Unfortunately.

      Let's be more precise - Serbian passport holders with EU residency permit can enter EU.

  14. Anonymous09:40

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

    1. Anonymous09:43

      Depends from the situation but I would say it is realistic.

    2. Anonymous09:45

      I don't think it is possible. The number we had in July is probably the biggest we will have this year. From September number will probably be below 100,000 so I don't think 2 million can be achieved.

    3. Anonymous10:22

      But in December they will rise and don't forget we won't have anymore the results we had in April or May.

      And you forgot August that will be better than July.

    4. Jatovac09:30

      Even if all months have 100k passengers, we won`t achieve 2million. That is 500 000 plus 1 125 025 which is 1 625 025. Sad but i think it is true. Tell me if I am wrong anywhere

  15. Anonymous09:40

    Huh 84% , 88% drops for July and June are the best results?

  16. Anonymous09:41

    Yesterday Israel removed quarantine for Serbian nationals. I expect demand to start recovering in this market though I think TK will profit the most as they are currently they only connection between the two countries. Them and Pegasus that is.

    1. Anonymous09:42

      It's good about the removal but unfortunately Israel is going into complete lockdown from tomorrow until the middle of October so there won't be any flights until then I fear.

    2. Anonymous09:57

      Yep, Air Serbia has scheduled it's first flight to Tel Aviv the day after the lockdown in Israel ends. On the 16th of October.

    3. Anonymous10:19

      That's unfortunate as I assume flights would have begun straight away.

    4. Anonymous14:02

      This just shows how political these decision is. Serbia announces it is moving its embassy to Jerusalem and it is put on the green list.

    5. Anonymous14:02

      *these decisions are

  17. Anonymous09:43

    Under the circumstances, yes.

  18. Anonymous09:55

    Recovery would be quicker if there wasn't a ban on entering Europe.

    1. Anonymous09:57

      When is the next decision on this going to be made?

    2. Anonymous09:59

      30th September.

    3. Anonymous13:05

      wait wasnt it supposed to take place now (the decision meeting)? Or they prolonged it?

    4. Anonymous13:07

      As per the article

      "The airport’s recovery efforts have been undermined by an entry ban for the majority of Serbian nationals into the European Union, which was upheld for another two-week period at a meeting held by the block yesterday. "

  19. Anonymous09:57

    But SPU had better results in July then BEG.

  20. Anonymous09:58

    It would be interesting to see what is the busiest market at the moment from BEG

    1. Anonymous09:59

      I would assume Switzerland at this point.

    2. Anonymous10:25

      Hurgada :D

    3. Anonymous12:47

      Pretty sure it's Turkey. Up to three daily flights, all packed, plus an untold number of charters for the coast.

    4. Anonymous20:52

      Definitely Turkey. Most of the flights are with A321/A321neo and many charter flights to Antalya.

      As capacity, it's definitely Istanbul (IST+SAW)

    5. Anonymous07:02

      My friend, don't forget JU has upgraded many flights to A320. Demand must be booming right now.

  21. Anonymous09:59

    Yes and between January and July?

  22. Anonymous10:05

    He said BEG had better results in July then any other airport in the region. He was not talking about half of the year. Also now we are talking about drops because of corona and not about numbers of passangers before it. (January, February, March)

  23. Anonymous10:08

    But you are comparing apples and oranges. Flights from the coast in July and August when Croatia lifted all restrictions (one of the reason why there are so many cases today) and there was little option of traveling elsewhere. Of course the numbers were great. Check on the numbers in September, October and November in Split. And again, one should note that Serbian citizens can't travel to the EU which is 90% of the market from BEG.

  24. Anonymous10:16

    To be honest, I was expecting much worse numbers.

  25. Anonymous10:17

    BEG has the best result in the region in this year. even with EU bans. Full stop.

  26. Anonymous10:18

    I dont know at all where did you found that I compared in any of my comments BEG with SPU. I just said a very simple reported fact that SPU had better results than BEG in July. And it probably has better results and in August. That was just an answer on one of comment here. Nothing else.

    I know how current situation is and why SPU and DBV will in September have less then 80.000 passangers, why BEG had 3 times more passangers in June then SPU, why SPU had more 55% more passangers then BEG in July.... Im not saying that numbers in this year will be a product of "successful flag carriers" or "successful airport managments", but a product of handling numbers of effected by corona.

  27. Anonymous10:24

    "BEG has the best result in the region in this year. even with EU bans. Full stop."

    Give me an example when BEG had less passangers in year then some other airport in the region in the past 20 years.

  28. Anonymous10:35

    wow -84.1% is really heavy

    1. Anonymous10:36

      You obviously haven't looked at results at other airports.

    2. Anonymous10:41

      Similar to most larger airports in Europe in July

      Madrid: -83.4%
      Munich: -85.8%
      Rome: -83.9%
      Barcelona: -83.7%
      London Heathrow: -88.8%
      Lisbon: -83.8%
      Vienna: -81.8%
      Stockholm: -87.4%
      Budapest: -81.1%
      Gatwick: -94.1%
      Prague: -87.3%

      Interesting to note that Athens was busier than Heathrow.

    3. Anonymous10:50


    4. Anonymous11:21

      Moscow was the busiest Europe.

      AER handled more than Munich at some time.

      Is there any figures for Sofia?

    5. Anonymous13:28

      In July Moscow was second busiest (DME) and SVO was third busiest. Paris (CDG) was busiest. I guess if you calculated all of Moscow's airport then it would be busiest.

      January - July situation is a bit different.

      1. London LHR
      2. Paris CDG
      3. Amsterdam
      4. Istanbul
      5. Frankfurt
      6. Madrid
      7. Moscow (SVO)
      8. Barcelona
      9. Istanbul
      10. Munich
      11. Moscow (DME)
      12. London (LGW)
      13. Rome
      14. Paris (ORY)
      15. Oslo

    6. Anonymous13:29

      As for Sofia

      JUL - 249,831 -62.4%
      JAN-JUL - 1,875,434 -54.6%

    7. Anonymous15:20

      Where did you get the numbers?

      Is there a complete list?

    8. Anonymous19:41

      Budapest is September is -90%

    9. Anonymous20:54

      I guess 4 is IST, 9 is SAW.

    10. Anonymous21:42

      @15:22 - SOF is almost 2 million:

      Negative percentages are decreasing compared to the doomed month of April.
      Jordan and UK ski routes are still on sale.

    11. Anonymous07:03

      Was SOF closed at some point like some other airports? I think i remember there being flights during the height of corona-crisis.

    12. Anonymous09:31

      No, it never remained closed. First, because of the domestic flights and second that the figures were low at the beginning. Bans came after this but from selected, individual countries.

  29. Anonymous10:51

    The point is that even with EU bans no other airport in ex-YU can'c come even close to BEG.

  30. Anonymous11:01

    Are you serious or you dont see what is happening currently and how much did BEG had passangers in the past years and how much other airports??? SPU had more passanger then BEG in July and August because travel restrictions in Serbia. And here you go, because of travel restrictions in BEG, SPU overtaked it in July. And you think there are no travel restrictions for Croatia currently?

  31. Anonymous11:02

    In July and August there were none and certainly not to destinations that make up 90% of your flights.

  32. Anonymous11:06

    In the past the only month when SPU had more passengers that BEG was July 2018. Not even in the last year.

    When ZAG manages to have more than BEG at least in one month it will be public celebration. Or when SPU achieve it in any other winter/spring/autumn month.

  33. Anonymous11:13

    "In July and August there were none and certainly not to destinations that make up 90% of your flights."

    Excuse me but my calendar says that September is. Not July. And please stop diverting this converstation in your side. I gave you an answer with facts. SPU overtook BEG in July. Or maybe you are that one guy which hates bad facts about Serbian anything.

    "In the past the only month when SPU had more passengers that BEG was July 2018. Not even in the last year."

    And this year July and August. Because of we know which reasons.

    "When ZAG manages to have more than BEG at least in one month it will be public celebration. Or when SPU achieve it in any other winter/spring/autumn month."

    In normal situation quite immposible because none of these airports/markets have something that can overtake BEG in one year or one of the qouted times of the year.

  34. Anonymous12:27

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

  35. Anonymous12:29

    We know the reasons for this year and this year can't be anyhow taken as a reference for comparison. Without them SPU would not have more passengers that BEG in July or August. The same like last year.

  36. Anonymous13:40

    SU not coming back to BEG until 28 March 2021 ...maybe even later if they push it back once again.

    1. Anonymous13:52

      Not true actually. SU has had to remove ALL flights for countries for which the Russian government still hasn't given approval for flights to begin (only 7 countries so far are allowed and flights to a few extra countries for repatriation - only one way tickets to Moscow can be purchased). Ljubljana flights are gone too. But in the next month and a half the Russian government is expected to add many countries to the list of approved flights. SU had been heavily criticized for selling tickets for flights that were uncertain or not going to operate. So they have had to remove all flights which have not been given government green light. So check your information first.

    2. Anonymous16:42

      Go online and check when you can purchase the first flights. If the RU government approves it earlier than it is a different story but that happening is remote as I am desperately watching the news every day and hoping for some announcement but they do not even entertain re-opening the borders except maybe with CIS countries.

    3. Anonymous16:45

      Well if they don't reopen borders they are suspending 98% of their network, not just Belgrade.

  37. Anonymous14:46

    Where did you get the info that SPU had more pax than BEG in August? I highly doubt that - there was A LOT of Egypt and Turkey charters (like 5 planes in a row) in August.

  38. Anonymous15:28

    Any idea how many passengers could be handled by the end of the year?

  39. Anonymous15:42

    It’s my prediction based on the fact that SPU had more daily flights then BEG with quite good LF.

  40. Anonymous15:58

    We saw already the predictions of one so called expert.

  41. Anonymous19:40

    How come LX has two flights tomorrow? Did they increase Belgrade? How many flights to Zurich are there now in total? Is JU 14?

  42. Anonymous19:41

    What was DC-10 configuration at JAT?

    1. Anonymous19:45

      2-5-2 in economy

    2. And 2-2-2 in premium business
      36 seats premium business and 240 economy
      And before switching to premium business, some 5 years after DC-10 joined the fleet, it was 16 seats first class and 266 economy. Also 2-2-2 and 2-5-2 respectively.

    3. Anonymous07:05

      Interesting, thank you both. Anyone have pictures of the premium business when they had 36 seats? They were probably much smaller than the ones they had later on?
      I can imagine the horror of flying to Australia on the middle seat of the 5. :/

  43. Anonymous22:08

    If one prediction in the workd is wrong that doesnt mean all after it will be wrong too.

  44. Anonymous08:38

    Do you maybe remember his prediction about the amount of money BEG is going to get for concession? First he wanted to play smart saying that Vucic should get monument if Serbia gets 1,3 billion EUR for BEG and than the reality showed him how wrong he was.

    BEG was paid 1,5 billion.


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