Belgrade Airport in talks with several carriers as recovery continues


Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport saw its passenger numbers reach 79% of pre-pandemic levels this March on the back of easing travel restrictions. Despite the war in Ukraine, which has resulted in a reduced number of flights from the Serbian capital to one of its biggest markets - Russia - the city’s position as one of the few in Europe still offering flights to the country managed to offset a larger decline. During March, the airport welcomed 294.000 travellers, representing a 21% decrease on the pre-Covid 2019. Commercial aircraft movements declined 15% on the same month three years ago. Overall, during the first quarter of this year, Belgrade Airport handled just under 744.000 passengers, down 28.2% on 2019.


General Manager, Francois Berisot, said this week the airport is seeing a strong comeback, with a record summer charter season expected to further improve figures. In addition to Air Serbia’s planned eleven new routes from Belgrade, EX-YU Aviation News learns Wizz Air is also considering expanding from its Serbian base, in line with earlier reports. Talks are also under way between the airport and several other carriers. The airport has also expressed hope that El Al Israel Airlines, which launched operations to the Serbian capital in 2020, during a month-long one-way travel bubble with Israel, will also return this year, following the lead of Arkia, which restored operations from Tel Aviv this month.

“Our teams across the world are closely working with over 250 partner airlines, among which are low cost carriers, in order to identify new routes and for them to be launched”, the airport operator said recently. It added, “We will continue improving business conditions in order to enable Air Serbia to offer new long haul flights, as part of its hub strategy, but we will continue building on our partnerships with other carriers too”. Apart from Air Serbia’s new routes, this summer has already seen Wizz Air introduce flights from Belgrade to Rome and Nice, while Eurowings will inaugurate operations from Dusseldorf next month. Furthermore, Aegean Airlines will commence seasonal scheduled services from Heraklion and Rhodes, while Flynas is expected to soon schedule its operations from Riyadh. In addition, Tunisia’s Nouvelle Air will commence regular summer charters from the island of Djerba. The service will run once per week, each Tuesday, staring June 14, until September 27. On the other hand, Air Cairo has shelved its planned new service from Sharm el Sheikh to Belgrade but continues serving the city through its scheduled Hurghada flights.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    Good results, all things considered

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    I really hope they work on getting BA back to BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      I hope they attract more European legacies in the years to come. TAP, SAS, British, Iberia...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:55

      “Our teams across the world are closely working with over 250 partner airlines, among which are low cost carriers, in order to identify new routes and for them to be launched”

      Look where the emphasis is, and you have your answer.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:51

      They just said they work with legacy and LCCs. I don't see an issue.

      Delete
    4. To see BA888 to Belgrade again would be amazing.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    Nice to see flights from Djerba again. it's been a very long time since they last operated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:04

      Is it just me or has interest for Tunisia gone down significantly? A couple of years ago it was one of the top leisure markets from Serbia, now there are barely any packages being sold.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:04

      According to beg.aero Nouvelair will also have 3 weekly from Monastir this summer.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:05

      Maybe Serbs just switched to Algeria :D
      On a more serious note, seems like Tunisia is making a comeback this summer with 4 weekly flights with Nouvelair.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:05

      The Monastir flights were operational last year too. Good to see them resume that route as well.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:07

      Because the situation deteriorated in Tunisia. Since the overthrow of the previous regime, there have been terrorist attacks, the quality of hotels and services have gone down and southern coast of Tunisia, near Monastir, experiences issues with stinging jelly fish between June and September which are becoming an increasing problem and they are multiplying because of warm waters.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:10

      Interesting. Most people have probably replaced Tunisia with Egypt.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:02

      It's a shame Tunisair ended their flights last year. They served BEG year round for many years. Don't know if people know but there is a considerable Tunisian diaspora in Serbia.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:23

      I think TU launched BEG either in 2004 or 2005 and they served the market without interruption until China virus showed up.

      Delete
    9. JATBEGMEL13:51

      TUN could be a great opportunity for JU. The flight time is short enough for both midday and midnight departures, with the possiblity to connect to almost all destinations in their network, including JFK.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous15:35

      As well as make a codeshare with Tunis Air to connect to Africa.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:06

    If Wizz does expand in BEG then I am sure they are going to be adding LIS and CGN among other routes. I could see them launch Berlin flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      My guess is many of the routes they planned last time around in 2020. I think they also planned Turku.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:34

      Their 2020 planned expansion was Barcelona, Charleroi, Cologne, Friedrichshafen, Hamburg, Milan Malpensa, Salzburg, Turku and Sandefjord

      From it, they launched Barcelona, Hamburg and Sandefjord.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:36

      Ha now I realized why JU is launching Salzburg this year.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:41

      Wizz operated a few flights to SZG but it was at the height of Austria's restrictions and then Austria banned flights from the Balkans al together and Wizz never restored them.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:42

      They should start Turku, especially considering Air Serbia has withdrawn from the Finnish market.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:51

      Is there really demand to Turku or Finland in general?

      Delete
    7. JATBEGMEL14:28

      @10,51

      There is some form of demand. It does well year round from SKP and PRN for example. I assume its a destination more for the transfer market and JU was simply not able to adequately tap into it. It worked while the CRJ was in the JU fleet, but not for anything larger. Most of the other destinations served from HEL, that are also JU destinations, are seasonal routes, which means that JU potential pax market would mostly be seasonal as well. Perhaps with a couple more routes south of BEG would make the route more attractive for transfers, making the route more viable.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:11

    Is Luxair still flying to Belgrade? If yes, how many weekly flights do they have?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      Yes they do

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:16

      Twice per week

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:19

      Luxair was also in "talks" with LJU, but of course nothing happened.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:27

      I'm really glad BEG worked out for Luxiar. I wonder if they see a lot of passengers from nearby areas on these flights or just from Luxembourg.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:24

      Last year they planned to increase BEG to 3x but I suppose HHN by W6 affected them.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:12

    Wizz expansion please!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:12

    If Wizz expands then figures at BEG will be very good this year in light of whole situation.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:13

    Seems like BEG is pretty sure JU will expand its long haul network.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      If I was BEG, I wouldn't rely too much on JU to develop long haul network. They should try and attract foreign carriers.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:18

      +1 last anon. I'm sure had they engaged with Air Transat it would have started seasonal 2 weekly flights. But they don't want to do anything because Air Serbia has been thinking about the route for over 5 years and will probably be thinking about it for another 5.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:52

      Like they also did nothing to attract Chinese carrier because JU expressed interest.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:17

    LOT is also increasing BEG to 9 per week in early May.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      What was their pre Covid frequency?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:25

      I think 8 weekly.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:53

      So it's above pre-Covid levels? Nice

      Delete
    4. While I appreciate legacy carriers like LOT, I would prefer that JU takes over that connecting market. With all Star Carriers around it is getting... crowded.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:17

    744,000 pax is not bad actually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      Especially since Aeroflot, Nordwind and Windrose flights ended.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:19

    How many pax could BEG have at the end of the year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      Didn't they set a target of 5 million this year?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:26

      Yes. They expect 5 million this year, 6.1 million next year.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:28

      And they estimated 2.9 million for last year but in reality handled 3.1 million.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:24

    Air Cairo cancelled Sharm-Belgrade plans because they weren't given a permit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      Because you have to protect the JU empire. I am very interested in how two weekly Air Cairo flights will harm JU's 10 ?!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:55

      I think they are panicked that they will offer better terms to tour operators and then soon enough you will have 10 Air Cairo flights instead of JU.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:55

      charters are the most profitable part of the airline business. Of course they want to protect it at all costs.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:28

      And before all of those conspiracy theories how CAD is protecting JU explode, can someone tell what does bilateral with Egypt says because that is what CAD does, not some JU protection.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:26

    It would be nice to see Wizz with 30-35 destinations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:29

      How many do they have now?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:31

      23

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:26

      Would be nice if they boosted frequencies

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:27

    I believe there will be some exciting times ahead for BEG

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:28

    Hope Ryanair will arrive soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:32

      This will be very good!

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:34

    Will Belgrade surpass Sofia in the number of passengers in 2022?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:50

      Could be, Sofia lost quite a few destinations by Wizz this year, I think 6-7.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:37

    It would be very interesting if Serbia has another airline! Imagine you have a low cost Serbian airline with 5-6 planes;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:50

      That could not bring any profit, but yes - I`d love it if we had Air Belgrade, or sometning like that.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:58

      Domicile LCC highly unlikely - but a purely leisure and ACMI operator, that could perhaps work.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:08

      I wonder why no one started an airline in Serbia? Are there any restrictions? Why, for example, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece have so many airlines?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:21

      Romania has a 20 million population that cannot move around in cars as easily as 7 million Serbs. Bulgaria has a strong tourist/coastal component to add to their air traffic, and Greece... do we have to even start with reasons why Greece has so much more air traffic?

      None of those countries compares to Serbia in terms of population, location, traffic infrastructure, political affiliation and, ultimately, the demand for flights.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:27

      Well we had Centavia for a while but it had a lot of obstructions from Jat and CAD.

      Delete
    6. QR 92111:03

      Serbia lacks cargo airlines and it is completely ludicrous, given its geographic position, that there isn't one and that even French are investing zero efforts into the cargo area.

      Heck, even Moldova has a cargo airline with 6 747F.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:05

      Yes! But why are there no airlines in Serbia? Why are there no airlines for ACMI / Cargo? Perhaps business aviation is most successful in Serbia.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:07

      Bulgaria also have big cargo carrier Cargoair! They have 14 B737. Also Compass Cargo (new airline).

      Delete
    9. Anonymous15:37

      Moldova has 2 cargo carriers with 12 (twelve!) B747 in total.

      Anybody knows why is cargo (outside of charters and scheduled flights) nearly inexistant in BEG?

      Delete
    10. JATBEGMEL15:37

      There was a cargo airline in BEG over 10 years ago called Air Tomisko. They had 3 IL-76's. They lost their license a year later, I believe for weapons smuggling. I believe one of the biggest issues with cargo operations in BEG is that the cargo facility isn't large enough for any major operations.

      Centavia was launched in 2006, they operated 1 summer season, using 2 BAe146 aircraft. The market back then was heavily regulated, which made it impossible to get rights to fly to other countries. Air Maxi was supposed to be another start up, but they failed to launch. Air Pink also had intentions for scheduled pax service as well. Problem with the European market is that airlines are not limited to their home countries, which is why we have large airlines such as FR and W6 with bases all over Europe. It makes it difficult to adequately compete. Serbia isn't part of the EU, while tourism isn't large enough to support multiple carriers.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:37

    When flynas will start BEG ops?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:02

      June most likely.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:38

    Maybe soon Wizz will announce 5-6 new routes and one new A321;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:44

      Fingers crossed.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:51

      Hopefully they add ATH

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:21

      If Wizz starts ATH then its gonna be difficult for Aegean and JU. But they can try and start seasonal flights to destinations in Greece such Preveza, Kavala, Kalamata or Chania. That could be interesting.

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL16:12

      I think for Wizz it would be more difficult.

      JU and A3 have frequencies W6 cannot compete with. JU and A3 target transfers as well on both ends. Both airlines codeshare.

      Greek Islands are heavily seasonal traffic.

      It would be awesome to see SOF, PMO, TIA and OTP.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous16:47

      Just be patient. Few more days and you'll know more :))

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:43

    Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:43

    It seems the only three airports in ex-Yu with charters for outbound passengers are Belgrade, Ljubljana and Sarajevo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:44

      There are also Skopje, Nis, Banja Luka and Tuzla with chargers for local population. That's about it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:46


      SKP may have charters to Antalya with Corendon,but yes;)

      Delete
  22. Anonymous10:12

    Pls charters to Maldives,Zanzibar,Thailand,Dominicana,Kenya,Cabo Verde,Cuba,Vietnam and Seychelles !
    When serbian tour operators will start exotic charters?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:57

      It's a big financial risk for tour operators which are struggling as it is from Covid.

      Delete
    2. The Serbian tour operators will start exotic charters when the demant becomes persistant and profitable. Serbian tourists flock Zanzibar and then when all those who could affort it take their turn, Zanzibar would be forgotten (unfairly, I might add)... and then we will all go by car to Greece.... Again.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous10:58

    I have a feeling Air Algerie might come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:00

      Visas are a big issue.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:03

      You never know. If linked with another destination it could work. Jat Airways served Belgrade-Malta-Tripoli until the financial crisis in 2009.

      Delete
    3. JATBEGMEL13:44

      I believe there was much larger business and trade with Libya compared to Algeria. When the war broke out in Libya, the Serbian government organised special charters through Jat Airways to repatriate Serbian and Montenegrin citizens from Libya.

      I don't think we will see Air Algeria in BEG.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:58

    Wait, what about Air Cairo to Cairo?

    Sharm-el Sheikh isn't that important since it can be served from Cairo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:00

      Everything is rejected except Hurghada. And god only knows how they got that in the first place.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:34

      Cairo is a must from BEG.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous11:25

    "We will continue improving business conditions in order to enable Air Serbia to offer new long haul flights"
    S obzirom da JU počinje da šalje A330 za Moskvu,Barselonu i Cirih,govori da imaju više obučenih pilota za ovaj avion. Pretpostavljam da očekuju dolazak drugog A330.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:54

      Нема то везе са тим. Лети имају 6 недељних за Њујорк тако да се ван сезоне само мало боље користе капацитети.
      За ЈУ је проблем јер немају авиона да додају летове ка тим дестинацијама. Ако Визер стварно најави експанзију онда је ЈУ у проблему јер неће бити у могућности да одговоре. Не би ме чудило да Барса оде на 4.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:17

      Za 6 nedeljnih letova za JFK njima su potrebne 3 posade. Jena ostaje u NjuJorku,druga u Beogradu a treća leti. Sa dve posade teško je da mogu da pokriju Moskvu,Cirih i Barselonu.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:03

      A332 нема више од једне ротације на дан изван Њујорка што значи да је искоришћеност у смислу сати летења нижа сада него лети када JFK иде 6х.

      Delete
  26. BEG should offer a free shuttle bus service from Zemun railway station to the Airport every 15 minutes or so during peak hours. It is a 18-20 minute drive via the autoput. This would be great for travelers from Novi Sad and in the future from farther north. Of course great for Beograđani too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:27

      GPS says it is about 10 minute drive to the new Zemun Station.
      Good idea.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous03:29

      Shuttle bus would make sense.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:18

      People who works at airport would use this autobus.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous01:05

    Why is VINCI enabling Air Serbia to offer new long haul flights but not other airlines? It has been more than 4 years since VINCI won the concession and they brought many airlines during Covid19 period. Number of long haul destinations VINCI brought to Belgrade: nought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous07:49

      Easy peasy! There is demand for shorthaul flights, not so much for long haul.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:27

      O&D numbers for PVG, PEK, YYZ etc are much higher than for unserved destinations in Europe. Demand exists for long haul, not so much for short haul.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:57

      Fake news. There is much more demand for short haul than long haul flights.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous23:11

      Imaš li neke brojeve koji pokazuju koliko putnika ide iz Beograda za Kinu a koliko za Lisabon na primer?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous05:31

      Zurich, Paris, Podgorica, all have more demand then does China my friend.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:35

      Unserved destnations, see Anon 09:27. Zurich, Paris, Podgorica are served by nonstop flights from Belgrade.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:24

      Ya got me.

      Delete

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