Belgrade Airport approaching pre-pandemic capacity levels


Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is expected to offer a similar number of seats this summer season to that of the pre-pandemic 2019, during which it handled a record 6.162.159 passengers. Currently, overall seat capacity for the upcoming 2022 summer season is 10% down on 2019 levels, however, these figures do not factor in Air Serbia’s six new routes which are to be introduced from April onwards, as well as additional new destinations the carrier is set to unveil in the coming period. Furthermore, it does not take into account charter operations, which outstripped pre-Covid levels last year. Once these are added, the airport is expected to see similar capacity to 2019 if existing schedules stick.

Last year, Belgrade Airport estimated it would handle five million travellers in 2022, while pre-Covid passenger numbers would be reached in 2023. The airport further outlined its figures would grow to 6.9 million in 2024, 7.3 million in 2025 and 7.7 million travellers by the end of 2026, based on industry trends. During 2021, the airport performed better than expected, handling 3.2 million passengers instead of the initially forecast 2.9 million. In addition to Air Serbia, foreign carriers will also be growing their operations from the airport this year. They include Aegean Airlines, Eurowings and Wizz Air, which will be introducing new routes, while others such as Turkish Airlines, KLM, LOT Polish Airlines and Flydubai will increase frequencies on existing services. Furthermore, Luxair, AnadoluJet, Eurowings, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and KLM are set to operate their first full summer in Belgrade.

Belgrade Airport will offer more capacity this year to several markets compared to the pre-pandemic 2019. These include to Germany, Turkey, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria, the United Arab Emirates and Spain. Airports Council International Europe (ACI) recently said passenger performance at the airport was "significantly outperforming the European average". The organisation noted, “The road to recovery will be long, but it is already very clear that it is faster for Belgrade Airport than others. Looking ahead, we see Belgrade Airport positioning itself as an important hub for Eastern Europe, working closely in an integrated manner with Air Serbia, as well as other airlines with the goal to increase the country’s connectivity”.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    Good about capacity. The question is will the passengers be there to fill that capacity.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      +1

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    2. Nemjee09:31

      Well airlines are basing their estimates on their last year's performance and then onto that they are adding what is the expected growth for this year.

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  2. Anonymous09:03

    Would be fantastic if they could handle similar numbers to 2019 this year.

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  3. Anonymous09:03

    I'm sure there will be another new airline at BEG this year too.

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  4. Anonymous09:04

    Nice pic! :)

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  5. Anonymous09:05

    Let's not forget that Air Serbia is going to introduce even more destinations soon that will additionally increase capacity.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:36

      It is said in the article. Try to read it!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:51

      I think you should read it carefully

      "Currently, overall seat capacity for the upcoming 2022 summer season is 10% down on 2019 levels, however, these figures DO NOT factor in Air Serbia’s six new routes which are to be introduced from April onwards, as well as additional new destinations the carrier is set to unveil in the coming period."

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:05

    Nice to see. Especially KLM growing even more.

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    1. Anonymous09:25

      KLM is giving Lufthansa a run for its money.

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    2. Nemjee09:32

      Which is great. Now with the morning flight to AMS they offer connections onto their entire network. JU's flight used to arrive slightly later, same as with CDG, missing quite a few flights.

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    3. Anonymous09:38

      I think KLM might be having quite an affect on Air Serbia's Amsterdam flights.

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    4. Nemjee09:44

      Don't think so, these flights are mostly aimed at transfers to North America. JU has a better timetable for locals.

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    5. Anonymous10:52

      Don't think so? JU had double daily flights to Amsterdam in 2019, now it's not even a daily route anymore for JU.

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    6. Nemjee11:12

      I think corona and entry restrictions had more to do with their reductions than KLM. If you are a local then leaving Belgrade at 06.40 in stead of 06.00 is more appealing same with a 17.00 departures vs a 12.30 one.

      Also don't forget JU still carries transfers onto KLM's global network.

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    7. Nemjee11:13

      Also I don't think they had double daily, it was 10 weekly from what I remember. Plus KLM can dispatch their small E75 while JU's smallest plane is the A319.

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    8. Anonymous13:25

      I do believe KLM also took quite some direct passengers too, you don't just decrease from 10 weekly to 4-5 weekly only because of Corona, while KLM in the same period increased from nothinh to double daily. Let's see if JU ever will come back to their 10 weekly flights.

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    9. Nemjee06:27

      Like I said, KLM has the luxury of sending the E75 meanwhile JU is stuck with the 144 seat A319. I think entry restrictions were the most to blame followed by KLM.

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  7. Anonymous09:06

    TK going from 14 to 21 flights is a nice boost.

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  8. Anonymous09:07

    How many new routes from BEG so far this year?

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    1. Anonymous09:09

      11 announced for summer at the moment, plus BEG-INI was launched this month.

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  9. Anonymous09:08

    Meanwhile, seat capacity @ZAG for the same period is 6% up, if anyone here is interested.

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  10. Anonymous09:11

    Hope we see more new airlines.

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  11. Anonymous09:11

    Nice

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  12. Anonymous09:11

    Where has the growth for flights to Sweden come from?

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  13. Anonymous09:14

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

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    1. Anonymous09:43

      But it has also popularized markets which were open. For example UAE which is why we are seeing such good growth.

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  14. Anonymous09:15

    Nice to see the airport returning to life.

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  15. Anonymous09:15

    I have to admit I didn't expect such a quick recovery. Yes, I doubt passenger numbers will be the same as in 2019 but I didn't expect that it would be even close.

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  16. Anonymous09:19

    Wonder if charter flights will be at the same level as last year.

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  17. Anonymous09:19

    Keep up the good work.

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  18. Anonymous09:19

    I'm hopeful there will be a few more routes from Wizz considering they have a third plane in BEG now.

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  19. Anonymous09:23

    As soon as covid is over (or brought to manageable levels) BEG will see a big increase in traffic.

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  20. Nemjee09:24

    I think there are a few very important factors that contributed to these results:

    1. Serbia was pretty straightforward when it came to entry requirements. During the whole covid saga they were changed maybe twice. Certain other countries are literally changing entry requirements on a weekly basis. This schizophrenic attitude made it impossible to plan ahead.

    2. Serbia made sure its key tourist markets were accessible. Deals were signed with Greece, Turkey and Egypt making sure summer travel is not disrupted. As a result of this we saw up to 8 daily flights from Belgrade to Hurgada last summer.

    3. Serbian economy was not annihilated by endless lockdowns and restrictive measures. Even though other countries provided aid to local companies, mostly in the form of loans, it still created an additional burden for them later on when they would have to start paying it all back. Serbian business resumed, more or less, normal activities in summer 2020.

    I think we can all be optimistic regarding summer 2022 especially since both JU and others are boosting their presence in Belgrade.
    Personally looking at all of these announcements, I feel as if Lufthansa is slowly starting to stagnate. Yes, they are expanding with Eurowings but that company is unreliable and unpredictable. On top of that they are launching two routes where there is a lot of competition (JU direct, W6 indirect competition).
    Seems like other airlines have taken for themselves most of the newly created market.

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    1. Anonymous09:28

      Agree with your points.

      Lufthansa is internally a bit of a mess at the moment. But we will see. They seem willing to compete considering they brough Eurowings back with two routes.

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    2. Nemjee09:35

      Indeed, they have somewhat rebuilt their presence in BEG but they have not expanded like many others have done. I think they should have launched NUE-BEG as part of a W pattern. That seems like a market that can work with a slightly smaller plane than a high density A320 that Wizz Air used to operate in the past.

      Ideally this is a route Air Serbia should be operating. I think they can do it with the ATR.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:39

      They should have started Cologne. Either Eurowings or Air Serbia.

      I wonder would it make sense for JU to take on Lufthansa with flights to Munich?

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    4. Nemjee10:43

      I think they should not launch BEG-MUC until they have a regional jet. Lufthansa has the CRJ and they can bring back their pre-covid schedule with triple daily flights. On top of that there is Wizz Air to FMM which is handling the more price sensitive clientele.
      There are so many other, 'easier' markets on which they could/should focus before returning to Munich. For example their sales team should focus on Berlin so that they can reach 14 weekly flights as soon as possible. There are a lot of transfer passengers they could be carrying from over there.

      Aegean had a brilliant marketing campaign in Berlin a few years ago and their performance improved after that. Unfortunately seems like Air Serbia is ignoring the concept of ads.

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    5. Anonymous10:49

      JU has seemed to generally struggle in Germany. They could not make Hamburg work even though it has been a success for Wizz (with A321). But they have been really lucky that easy Jet has pulled Berlin.

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    6. Nemjee11:15

      I think JU does ok in Germany, it's just that competition is fierce and they don't have the best marketing approach. At times it feels as if they just put their flights on sale and then pray to God that they sell by themselves. I don't remember when was the last time I saw a JU ad in Belgrade.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous09:25

    What is the number 1 foreign airline at BEG in terms of passenger numbers?

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    1. Anonymous09:26

      Wizz Air...

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    2. Anonymous09:37

      Wizz and after them it's Lufthansa.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous09:26

    I like the variety of airlines.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:49

      Agree. Bit of everything for everyone :)

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    2. Anonymous10:50

      I would like them to attract more European legacies - SAS, British Airways, Iberia...

      Delete
  23. Anonymous09:27

    Turkey's currency has dropped significally making holidays there cost less. I guess those charters will grow.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      And maybe now they let more Turkish airlines operate charters and not block them.

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    2. Anonymous09:35

      It seams the bilateral deal is - turkish carriers run scheduled flights, JU mostly run charters.

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    3. Anonymous09:36

      I'm not so sure. TK is adding 7 weekly flights plus 2 weekly from Ankara. Air Serbia has added 2 weekly from Kraljevo and Nis.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous09:43

    Nice to see UAE market above 2019 levels even though we had Etihad flying back then.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:54

      Well Flydubai additional daily flight made up for that, plus you have Wizz Air AUH with A321s.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous09:56

    Good news all things considered.

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  26. Anonymous10:02

    Belgrade's time is only coming now with the expansion.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:06

      When are the new C gates going to open?

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    2. Anonymous10:07

      This April

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  27. Anonymous10:06

    Seems like things are looking up for BEG.

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  28. Anonymous10:07

    Well done Belgrade. Nice to see some airports in such a fast recovery.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:08

      Seems ex-Yu airports are performing really well compared to the rest in Europe.

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    2. Anonymous11:29

      All except LJU.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous10:08

    JAN-MAR will still be difficult. Anyone know how many passengers they could have this January and how many they had in January 2019?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:45

      347,544 pax in January 2019.

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  30. Anonymous10:39

    Wait for pre-pandemic levels before getting new long haul destinations at Belgrade aiport. Voilà!

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:46

      Agree. And in any case Serbian community could also try and lobby US airlines to start flights to BEG if JU is not interested.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous10:48

    I think BEG will be close but not a pre pandemic levels this year (passenger wise I mean). I see Sarajevo, Pristina and Zadar as having better results than in 2019 among ex-Yu airports.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous11:39

    Amman, Lyon and Sochi are the new Air Serbia destinations.

    ReplyDelete

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