Belgrade Airport traffic 17% short of pre-pandemic levels


Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport’s flight programme for the summer of 2021 is now just 17% short of that compared to the pre-pandemic 2019, operator VINCI has said, as airlines continue to add new flights to the Serbian capital. “In Serbia, the gradual easing of travel restrictions led to a rapid increase in passenger traffic at Belgrade Airport, which rose from down 67% at the end of April to down 36.1% at the end of June, principally buoyed by flights to and from Montenegro, Egypt and Turkey”, VINCI said. Hurghada saw the biggest growth in flights when compared to the summer of 2019, up 90%, with Air Serbia running up to nine daily flights to the Egyptian resort town on select days.

Numerous carriers have increased their operations to the Serbian capital in recent weeks, with some outstripping pre-pandemic levels. A number of new routes, launched this summer, are performing well. Among them, KLM, which recently announced it would add an additional five weekly rotations between Amsterdam and Belgrade for a total of twelve weekly flights, has further increased its services and will now run double daily operations on the route until August 29, with exception to July 25, 30, 31 and August 1, 7 and 8. On the other hand, Luxair, which launched services to the Serbian capital last month on a seasonal summer basis, has upgraded the route to year-round operations and will maintain flights throughout the winter. Tickets for the 2021/2022 winter season have now been put on sale. Furthermore, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, which also commenced services to Belgrade last month, will grow its frequencies from two to three weekly from the start of the winter season in late October.

A successful summer charter programme, which has exceeded 2019 levels, has also had a positive impact on the airport’s performance. Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways is the latest airline to commence a series of charter flights to Belgrade. Starting this evening, the carrier will be operating several weekly rotations from Kuwait City over the coming three-week period. “Belgrade airport’s positive momentum enjoys growing recognition from the aviation and tourism industry in Europe and from the Serbian government. As Europe prepares for the recovery of tourism, creating a smart and sustainable new airport hub in Belgrade will support Serbia’s perspectives ahead”, Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and President of VINCI Airport, said.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    Nice to see. Especially KLM growing even more and Luxair extending flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:03

      Also is this the first time we had tourist charters from Kuwait?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:41

      Yes and last scheduled flights were back in 2005 or so when Jat flew to Dubai via Kuwait.

      Delete
    3. And during "difficult times of darkness behind the iron curtain" JAT operated Australia via Kuwait with B707. Then, when DC-10 joined the fleet, AUS stopover was switched to DXB, and Kuwait continued operating on scheduled bases twice weekly with B727 via Damascus. During those times of sadness, fear and poverty, Kuwait Airways as well operated scheduled Kuwait - Istanbul - Beograd weekly with B707. And then the light, freedom, fortune and happiness came.

      Delete
    4. JU520 BEGLAX11:14

      No iron curtain in YU. Tito was the co founder of the non aligned nations and split with Stalin in 1948.
      If I remember well SYD flts operated via KHI

      Delete
    5. JATBEGMEL13:55

      @ JU520

      I guess you didn't notice the sarcasm :D

      The MEL & SYD flights throughout its operation had a different first 'port of call' before heading out to SIN, MEL and finally SYD. Usually it was DXB, but KHI and BOM was also used too.

      Delete
    6. Prepelica15:58

      Good old times. I remember travelling with my mum (she was JAT stewardes) BEG-DXB-SIN-MEL-SYD and back. I think the whole tour was 21 days?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous21:05

      Legend says the planes returned home full of yoghurt which was not available in Yugoslavia ...

      Delete
    8. @JU520BEGLAX
      I am sorry you of all people didn't get my message. After all, iron curtain in my post is under quotations. It is something done today on daily basis - forging history and placing Yugoslavia behind iron curtain where it had never been. That's why I wrote it. @JATBEGMEL already explained, and I will repeat and elaborate : fear, poverty, sadness, difficult times in Yugoslavia - all sarcasm, the same as light, freedom, fortune and happiness today. I really don't know how you couldn't get it, especially because this is not my first post in that style. And few days ago I told you Yugoslavia was 5 times better than all banana republics we have today. Also, Karachi was stopover on Australia flights for 2 years only, after that it was Kuwait for 4 years, than Baghdad for 1 year, and finally Dubai for long years, until the end, until everything went to p.m. Bombay was never regular stop on Australia service, however it did happen once or twice during irregularities caused by Gulf war.

      @Prepelica
      Any chance Mum's name is Dragica? Maybe you remember saying PGP RTB a lot on that flight? If not, my apologies.

      @An.21.05
      You always make my day with yoghurt remarks ☺👍

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    No surprise these were the scenes at passport control the other day

    https://nova.rs/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/1626607383-IMG_20210718_130826-scaled.jpg

    https://nova.rs/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/1626607373-IMG_20210718_133054-750x500.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:04

      Yikes

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:05

      Covid party.
      Funny, I see that passport booths at the end are not working. Of course, why should police work full capacity at the height of the summer season.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:07

      ^ You can't see that. The passport booths are not the one straight in front on the second photo (that is the detention and police center). The passport control is on the right.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:13

      The good news is that passport control will be expanded and that the third level of the airport is being built quickly
      https://abload.de/img/6d35add2-7515-4ce2-a1sjm3.jpeg

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:15

      Looks good. Will fit nicely with the new part of the airport.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:21

      You can see in the second pic, in the upper right corner are the last booths ad they are empty.

      Delete
    7. JATBEGMEL14:04

      The last booth is labled for those requiring a visa for entering Serbia. The area around passport control on arrivals is not very big and quickly can become congested.

      It doesn't help that the only smart gate is often not working, or when working is very slow. Judging by the picture it looks as if it isn't working.

      Perhaps arrivals can be made into a park since the officers in passport control like to throw you your passport back to you like a frizby.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:39

      Where do they recruit passport control officers ?
      These are the worst and most despicable type of humans possible-
      not alone in Ex Yu but also in the US(JFK!)...

      Delete
    9. Anonymous14:40

      It's not the airport that recruits them, it's the police.

      Delete
    10. Worst custom officer I've every been in contact with was on USA-Canada land border at Detroit. Guy was spiting his chewing tobacco as we spoke, disgusting.

      Delete
    11. Prepelica16:02

      I regularly travel to the USA and I can confirm that the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers are in most cases extremely rude.

      Delete
    12. Friend of mine used to work as a customs officer at YYZ. He was telling me that their attitude is intentional and something they actively practice. It's used as a means to intimidate people and see who cracks under pressure.

      There are some nice guys but this is one place where you are not going to be greeted with a smile for sure.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    So do we know how many passengers BEG had in the first half of 2021?

    I would also add Turkish Airlines which recently increased BEG from 12 to 14 starting from August and Air Serbia which will increase CDG to 14 from 31.07.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      BEG had 922.000 passengers in H1.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:17

      Brilliant so BEG is ahead of SKG and BUD and I think tied with SOF.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:48

      LOL the BUD comparing guy is back.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:14

      Is what he wrote factually wrong?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:34

      No, it is not.

      It just disturbs some people here who want to see Belgrade in the situation as it was in 1993.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:56

      True

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:21

      BEG will never reach BUD levels. Come on, let's be realistic. Even Slovenia with its smaller airport had 5 million visitors in 2019.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:46

      At the time Yugoslavia existed BUD was far behind BEG, so never say never again...

      FYI - BEG not only reached BUD level in this year , but it is ahead of it.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous14:54

      It's really sad to see so many on here cheer for BEG not to overtake BUD, an airport that just expanded in the last 7 to 8 years. Like someone wrote the other day the airport is about to be renationalized becasue its finances are so bad.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous15:48

      No, it's really sad to claim that BEG "overtook" BUD when we all know that the Hungarian borders were closed. Vinci said that they were expecting 12 million by 2035, numbers which are easily achieved by BUD.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous15:53

      6 mil in 2019 and 12 mil in 2035. It is just their conservative estimation.

      BEG will have much more than that even if you wish so badly to see BEG down on its knees.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous16:27

      Using a crystal ball, everything is possible.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:04

    I'm really interested to see what the July performance will be like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      Indian charters will also help.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:22

      Actually there won't be any more, they are finished. Indigo BOM-BEG via IST was the final one. There are no more listed on beg.aero

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:24

      Do you know why ?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:27

      There will actually be more. They are just not listed. In any case these flights are temporary and never meant to run for a long period of time. Doha has now reopened to vaccinated Indians and I assume many will do their quarantine there.

      Speaking of Qatat, great to see then operating daily A321 flights to Belgrade.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:35

      *qatar

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:12

    Great that Luxair has had success on the route. Who would have thought

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:14

    Congratulations

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:14

    I think BEG airport management and Vinci had totally underestimated number of passengers this summer, people now have to wait almost an hour for passport control when entering Serbia. Reconstructions in various parts of building, gate shortage, dirty toilets and hallways, simply chaotic.

    On the other hand it looks like BEG will pass more than 3 million passengers this year which is amazing !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      True. Few days ago I arrived on Wizz Air flight. We parked at the new apron next to Austrian and Lufthansa. Luggage took a good 40 minutes to arrive to the terminal.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:18

      I agree. I think they did underestimate this summer completely and in my opinion should have done some upgrades to the A7-A10 gates before using them intensely as they are now. Another problem I found is that the area they are reconstructing at the moment A1-A4 has no air-conditioning so the hallway next to it is boiling.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:23

      Vinci is also understaffed, don't forget about that. Salaries aren't that great and many people got fired last year when covid started. Not many people want to work for 40.000 via Omladinska zadruga.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:46

      It's not just BEG. Two days ago I waited 45 min at ATH to get my luggage from the short hop for JNX.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:47

      +1000

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:51

      I would have rather landed in KVO [it's completely empty] and then drive for an hour to BEG on the new highway. Plus I'd be able to stop on the way to Mrcajevci for some pecenje and rakija.

      Delete
    7. Vlad10:02

      I can tell you're a big fan of rakija if you think the drive between BEG and KVO takes an hour. You'd be looking at two hours minimum in case of zero traffic.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:51

      I does not take 2hrs my friend, I go from Beg to V. banja often and it takes me 2:15-2:20h. So from KVO airport it takes less then 2hr but definitely more then 1hr as our rakija friend said:))

      Delete
    9. Anonymous15:31

      To Trg Republike from Morava Airport it takes 1:55 minutes with no traffic.
      (gmaps)

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:14

    Nice

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous09:19

    What the crisis can show is which destinations are more resilient in terms of travel demand and airlines have acted accordingly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:22

      It also helps that there have not been any draconian entry requirements into Serbia. And also considering that cases are rising across the world no matter what sort of measures you have, it also shows they are completely useless.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:41

      It goes to show there is a lot of organic local demand which is always good.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:20

    Anyone know why there was a Plus Ultra Airlines A340 arriving from Sao Paolo a week ago?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      Brazilian Olympic athletes. They have a base camp in Belgrade before going to Tokyo.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:23

      Don't know about that one but another A340 flew the Serbian Olympic team to Tokyo, Plus Ultra that is.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:26

      That was this week :) last week was the one from Sao Paolo. Plane then returned empty to Madrid where it is based.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:14

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V3SXGJesB4

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:34

    Nice to see the airport returning to life.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:35

    I have to admit I didn't expect such a strong summer. Yes, it is still not at 2019 levels but I didn't expect it to be so close.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:36

      Had EU entry ban been lifted earlier, I'm sure we would be at 2019 level, traffic wise at least.

      Delete
    2. Vlad10:04

      And there are markets where the ban still isn't lifted, such as Italy. I can't imagine the numbers if travel was totally free.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:16

      Are there really still limitations on flights to Italy? What kind of limitations?
      PCR test or entry ban?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:27

      Serbian citizens cannot enter Italy at all (unless they have an EU/EEA work visa or are visiting for imperative family reasons).

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:32

      Horrible.

      It is really strange Italy still keeps that ban taking in consideration that EU put Serbia on its green list.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:57

      Even more considering Italy is the reason we had COVID in Europe.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:15

      You can technicaly enter Italy, but you need to do an antigen test in Belgrade, another once you arrive in Rome, go into quarantine for between 6-14 days (depends on who you ask), and do one more final antigen test when out of quarantine.

      Delete
    8. Vlad16:54

      Currently the steps are antigen test before departure -> 10 days of quarantine -> another antigen test. But all of this applies only if you have a valid reason to enter, so no tourist entry for Serbian citizens.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:36

    The number of charters this year has been crazy

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:42

    Anyone know how many passengers we can expect this year at BEG?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:04

      It's very hard to predict how things will pan out in this sort of environment and with the Delta variant making problems.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous10:03

    Nice to see demand coming back

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous10:04

    Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous10:04

    Hoping Wizz will finally base a third plane.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:15

      Me too.
      I would really like to see all these announced flights with 3rd plane especially Finland and Portugal.
      They made mistake last summer announcing it too early and made a new one by not introducing these flights for summer 2021. As we see based on BEG numbers this summer it would have been much better if they had done it now.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:16

      Oh I'm sure it's going to happen next year. BEG seems to be performing so well for them. They have quite a decent presence even with all the competition.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:14

      Wizzair in Belgrade never seems to do anything right.
      I wouldnt bet on them next year either...

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:20

      Sure they can't. They just launched five new routes from BEG this year and increased capacity by 40%. Ahh the Wizz hater who thinks only one airline should fly from Belgrade is back.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:32

      Air Serbia should erect Wizz a grandiose memorial for being such little competition.
      Had Wizz got its act together JU would aready be history for years.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:36

      If you're thinking of *alliance i thinking there should be more diversity.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous18:05

      Anon 11:32 To be fair, Wizz should erect a grandiose memorial to Serbian DCV for allowing Wizz to base aircraft in Belgrade without AOC.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:06

    Great to see Wizz Air AUH doing well with A321 and adding third flight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:08

      Yes great news :) EY made a mistake by pullling out.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous10:07

    Seems like those new Ural Airlines flights will go ahead as planned this weekend. Flights are still on sale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:13

      Hopefully.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:18

      I believe it only when i see it .

      Delete
  20. Anonymous10:40

    As soon as covid is over (or brought to manageable levels) BEG will explode. AS has like 10 new routes in various stages of planning. Charters are on fire. New foreign airlines seem to be coming every week. Existing airlines are increasing frequencies all the time. Plus future new long haul flights.
    BEG is really becoming a regional hub. Imagine where it will be in 2-3 years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:40

      If JU ever starts ORD & YYZ BEG will really take off with all those additional transfer flights.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:35

      Frequencies are increasing, that's important factor. BEG is under serious reno. When done no more crowded passport control and other areas will see major improvment.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous10:53

    Hurghada at 43C. Yey!
    This is normally off-season, however they found a way to fill the beds. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:05

      Well people want to go and enjoy summer with nice sea, friendly locals, good hotels and without being ripped off. I don't see an issue

      Delete
  22. Anonymous11:04

    There are some weird one off flights these last few days. Yesterday AZAL from Baku. Today there is a flights from Almaty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:20

      Almaty?
      Which airline and which aircraft?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:22

      Enter Air B737-800.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:23

      It's a charter flight for Red Star Belgrade that is playing a game in Almaty.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:26

      Thanks!

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:03

      The Azal flight was a vaccine donation to Bosnia and Herzegovina. They flew via Belgrade.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous11:11

    Finally we have those Jazeera flights!
    Every serious airport has to diversify its range of destinations.
    Attracting charters from outside is an important step forward.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Good recovery but unfortunately new lockdowns are coming ahead. Next week Holland is closing again and imposing restrictions. Kuwait is already in the red list, so not sure how good those charters will be. Greece most probably will close again. Cyprus is again in red list. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:14

      Greece will most definitely not go into lockdown again.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:18

      Vaccinated people can enter Greece and Cyprus.

      Delete
  25. JU520 BEGLAX11:18

    Bravo Belgrade and glad to see that living standard is on the rise, so more and more people can afford tourism abroad such as Hurghada. 8 daily flight is a lot, not even ZRH has that many

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:26

      In terms of charters, today 3 flights to Antalya (on some days there are 7), 2 to Bodrum, one to Rhodes and one to Chania. I think Hurghada record was set on the weekend. There were 10 in one day. 9 by Air Serbia and one by Air Cairo (although Air Cairo is normal flight that operates every day).

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:26

      Exactly.

      And HRG has nothing to do with diaspora.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:32

      I have no idea why people believe BEG depends on the (infamous) diaspora. BEG's main pillars are JU's transfers and outbound tourism.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:40

      I would not say it is due to living standard on the rise but more has to to do with that tourist have found great value in AI packages to Turkey & Egypt this season.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous18:11

      Great Hurgada value was there in 2019 but there wasn't 9 daily charters. Try again.

      Delete
  26. Traffic is on 87% and employees are on 50% pre pandemic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:29

      Excellent comparison!

      Add in the fact that salaires are cut as well but work is just as crazy as pre pandemic

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:37

      that is Capitalism baby :)

      Joking aside it is confusion what to expect in the fall and how to handle current demand and it is not only in BEG.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:39

      BEG managment is cheap, cutting corners and cost everywhere. AC is mediocre, workforce poorly paid, cleaninless a la French. Spolja gladac iznutra jadac.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous17:45

      Flight info online has technical difficulties on daily basis, monitors in terminal often broken, my son yesterday missed his flight to BSP because of lack of info snd delayed flight ( of course there is his fault too for not being attentive!)

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:04

      Lol the kid should know why he's at the airport - to catch a flight :D BSP? It appears to be some airport in India.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous17:13

      Kiev Borispol is in India ?
      You always learn something new ...

      Delete
  27. Wake up people. BEG is back. And it has little to do with the Serbian diaspora.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:51

      The Serbian diaspora still awaits the long promised new Wizzair destinations....

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:35

      lots of it has to do with good deals for AI packages in Turkey and Egypt for secondary markets due to lack of tourists from main European markets Germany, Russia in these Med countries.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous18:17

    BEG numbers are good but it's a shame no one is mentioning that INITIALLY new C gates will have mixed arriving/departing passengers. Separation will only occur later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:26

      Why is that a concern for you that "no one is mentioning that INITIALLY new C gates will have mixed arriving/departing passengers"?

      It has been discussed many times.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:27

      First time I hear about it. They are mixed now, so what difference does it make if they will be mixed or not?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous22:23

      It has to do with the flow of passengers, security, and certification for certain destinations. Mostly to be able to streamline certain levels of security controls.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous04:57

    Novak left from BEG today going to Olympics, arriving on LH716 D-ABYU B748 FRA-HND in first class.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous05:10

      I wish him success !!!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous05:42

      Wow! Unbelievable.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous15:22

    It's great to see BEG performing very well. I have a question though. JU has not been flying to Cairo since the pandemic started. I however noticed that they loaded the schedule for W21 3 times weekly. Will JU resume CAI in W21 or they haven't updated the schedule yet? As for Air Cairo from HRG, their booking is unavailable for November and I plan to visit Serbia in November.

    ReplyDelete

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