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.