Belgrade Airport handles over four million passengers


Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport handled 605.224 passengers in September, representing a 6.5% decrease on the pre-pandemic 2019 and its second best result for the month on record. The number of commercial aircraft movements stood at 96.7% of pre-Covid levels. During the first three quarters of the year, Belgrade Airport welcomed 4.177.235 travellers through its doors, down 12.1% on three years ago. Commercial aircraft movements stood at 49.311 for the same period. Operator VINCI said Belgrade saw a surge in passenger numbers on European routes with figures on flights to Turkey growing 43% on 2019 levels.


  1. Anonymous09:08

    I must say WOW. Above 600.000 in September...just WOW

  2. Anonymous10:03

    A very good result

  3. Anonymous10:10

    will it manage to make it to 5 million this year?

    1. Anonymous10:19


    2. Anonymous10:43

      BEG will definitely reach 5,5 million margin passengers this year.

    3. Anonymous11:30

      Definitely not 5.5 millions , for sure 5.1 to 5.2 .

    4. Anonymous12:31

      So Tirana airport might end up with more passangers than Belgrade ?

    5. Anonymous12:31


    6. Anonymous12:32


    7. Anonymous12:33


    8. Anonymous13:23

      Of course not.

    9. Anonymous13:49


    10. Anonymous13:55

      Perhaps TIA will not reach BEG but for sure, the gap has narrowed quite a lot. That drop of airport taxes and strong demand for its coast combined with gasto traffic to Italy has definitely made an impact. If TIA was an ex-Yu it would definitely come second.

    11. Anonymous17:55

      How come no one realises these figures are because of transfer pax. TIA is much more impressing since no transfer options and are actual figures and not hopping from one plane to another

    12. Anonymous19:19

      TIA is only so impressive because holidays in Albania are cheap. Many can't afford to go to more expensive destinations.

    13. Anonymous19:45

      So? They still jave a lot of passengers, why are you downplaying it? Just how people go to Turkey or North Africa where it’s a lot cheaper as well…

    14. Anonymous20:16

      Anon 19:19 "only because" If Albania played it well, lowered its taxes and managed to create many new routes, where is the problem? Did you also see how many Polish tourists and planes arrived this summer for instance? Honestly, I think Tirana is currently doing an excellent job and wish them all the best.

    15. Anonymous22:09

      Anon 19.45 because Anon 17.55 was downplaying BEG's transfer numbers.

    16. Anonymous22:32

      I mean, yes but it was condescending to say that people go there because it’s cheap… it’s probably true but irrelevant to the passenger numbers, we’re looking at pure numbers not causes

    17. Anonymous00:11

      TIA has all the possible chances to reach and outperform BEG. A country that has more to offer, no mystery here.

    18. Anonymous08:02

      Yes so much potential that Wizz massively cut their network there this winter.

  4. Anonymous10:21

    I really like how much natural sunlight there is in BEG looking at that photo. I assume that is the new part of the terminal.

    1. Anonymous10:44

      It is the new part. There is a glass façade on each side so there is a lot of light.

  5. Nemjee10:32

    Good, BEG is ahead of Sofia.

    1. Anonymous10:54

      Nope, sorry. Still 300 thousand difference. Maybe next year lol

    2. Nemjee11:06

      I meant in September. Belgrade was ahead since the beginning of summer. Only reason why Sofia is ahead is because Belgrade had a horrendous start of the year.

    3. Anonymous11:17

      Sofia never had hub ambitions simply because Athens and Istanbul are 1 hour away and its national carrier is not backed by the government. It's also not it's only main and major airport.

    4. Anonymous11:43

      Athens is one hour away? I doubt the Schengen border crossing is one hour away for Sofia, let alone El. Venizelos.

    5. Anonymous12:18

      Have you ever flown between Sofia and Athens? Because I did a lot and it is 1 hour away.
      Same applies for Istanbul which is a bit nearer. Bucharest is around 45min but it doesn't pretend to be a hub neither.

    6. Anonymous12:35

      Why so salty anon 12:18? SOF has a very similar setup to BEG (capital city, centre of the country's economic activity) so it's logical to compare the two airports. Besides, Bulgaria Air has had every opportunity to pursue the same business model as JU, nothing prevents them from doing so even today. Also I don't see what the proximity of hubs such as IST or ATH has to do with pax numbers at SOF.

    7. Anonymous13:25

      BUD is also close to BEG, so what?

    8. Anonymous13:35

      No saltiness here, just clarifying the doubts of Anon 11:43. Sofia and Belgrade do not have the same setup. BEG relies on a significant transfer traffic but also O&D while SOF traffic relies on the bigger boys LCCs and bigger O&D traffic. Bulgaria Air is no longer significant similar to Tarom and their market share shrunk to 14%.
      Do you think Sofia is interested competing with 2 of the most visited and bordering countries in the world or with Turkish and Aegean? No way, bro. Those days of "regional hub" are long gone especially when Balkan collapsed thanks to the "smart" Israeli businessman more than 20 years ago.
      Honestly, I think it is better to have more LCC connections to major cities simply because this is the worldwide trend. Who would say no to a 30€ ticket to Málaga, Mallorca or Lisbon or hop to the warm Jordanian beaches in winter for the same price? I doubt people would fancy having a transfer in Amman or Madrid for instance.
      Yet again, Sofia is quite busier in winter as you know while Belgrade in summer is on fire.
      Still think that both airports are very different and the same goes to Thessaloniki.

    9. Nemjee14:48

      BEG is performing quite well especially in terms of O&D market and best proof of this is the relatively good performance of foreign carriers in Belgrade. Transfers do not make up more than 25% of BEG's traffic. This is not Doha or Dubai we are talking about.

      Sofia's proximity to Athens or Istanbul makes no difference. After all, by that logic BEG is in a worse position because it has VIE which is some 50 minutes away and BUD which is easily accessible by road and fights for the same market as BEG.
      SOF on the other hand is the most dominant airport when looking at its catchment area. Which airport directly competes with them for the market? Nis? Plovdiv? Skopje? Bulgaria's popular ski resorts are also using SOF as their point of arrival.

      It's unrealistic to pay €30 for a two, three hour flight. Someone has to compensate for that. It's either the airport, local community or the airline. Now that I think of it, BEG is not a cheap airport and unlike SOF it did not slash its fares. Given the rapid rise of O&D demand in BEG, we can only assume that Belgrade has become a more lucrative market which can sustain all this growth with higher costs/expenses.

      Talking of Budapest, they seem to be under-performing quite a bit this year. In September they welcomed 1.185.462 passengers which is 22% less than what they had in 2019.

    10. Anonymous15:37

      Nemjee, do you honestly in your heart, compare BEG with VIE or BUD? If so, good for you man. I will not compare SOF with ATH or IST for sure.
      Dominant in what sense? It is the capital and largest city and usually should logically (yet not necessarily) receive more traffic. But hey, take Varna which enjoys flights year-round flights. Plovdiv has secured a decent amount of flights for the first time this year. I will not mention Burgas because it is quite seasonal yet the second busiest in the country. Very similar to Split for instance.
      It is unrealistic to you because you probably haven't experienced it. Trust me, if you book in advance you can easily get a roundtrip for less than 100€ including 10kg luggage and I am a frequent flyer.
      Flying to Spain, Italy, your beloved Cyprus :) or Israel for instance from SOF is quite affordable. This year it was Croatia's turn with both Zagreb and Zadar on the radar.
      Glad about the increase in O&D traffic to Belgrade, which I trust you for that. Sadly, no breakdown according to the official RZS latest data:

      But still, for instance in SOF you have LCC with bigger planes to BUD, OTP, ZAG, BTS, MAD, BCN, LIS and not to mention at least 6 Italian options ranging from CTA, BRI, NAP up to BLQ and the Bulgarian diaspora in Italy is not that super huge compared to other countries and now you have ITA to Fiumicino. I just think that Italy is quite famous as a country to fly to.

      And hey, on the other hand it is pretty to have a good and functioning flag carrier such as Air Serbia. The improvements have been really good, newer fleet, more destinations, etc. It is hard not to acknowledge that there is a significant transfer traffic as well.

    11. Anonymous15:48

      Serbia is the biggest country in ex yugo. In the past only Serbia and Croatia had functioning airports in Yugoslavia. Serbia has good relations with the ex yugo countries and can offer with JU connecntions to Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro. But now they offer connections to much more countries due there geographical posistion. Bulgaria was one of the smallest countries in the SU so they didn't have someone to serve from the ex SU countries and besides their geographical posistion is not good. So they didn't focus much on becoming an transfer airline.

    12. Anonymous16:10

      I am sorry, if by SU you mean Soviet Union then you will need to recheck. Bulgaria was never part of the Soviet Union. Also, do you really think Bulgaria has a worse geographical position? It has a coastline to begin with and 2 big ports and borders 3 big and important countries. Sofia is less than 400km away from Belgrade, Bucharest and Thessaloniki and 8 hours by road to Istanbul. It has sea in summer and ski in winter and really gorgeous nature. Flights to cool places are around 2-3 hours by plane. Plovdiv is like 1,5h away by road from Sofia and a really nice city even much nicer than Sofia if you ask me.
      Why would you focus on being transfer when you already have much bigger players just around the corner? Bro, Istanbul is just round the corner and Turkey is BIG. Millions and millions are spent in the Turkish Airlines brand and Greece has an airline enjoying Global awards.
      On the other hand, yes. Belgrade still has a stance on former Yugoslav capitals and cities and can definitely be considered the gateway to them but on a European and global level where is it?
      I have been to Budapest this year and those guys had like countless flights only in the LCC division. They even recently restored their Seoul flights.

    13. Nemjee16:57

      I did not compare BEG to VIE, I drew a parallel to your comment regarding SOF, IST and ATH. Following that logic BEG is in an even worse position because it has VIE (home to an aggressive OS) and BUD which can easily be reached by road. Yet even with this BEG can still manage to make money and is not forced to lower its fares like Sofia did.
      You say that there is no point in fighting for transfers because you have Turkey and Greece next door? Well, JU managed to strike a deal with both TK and A3 and to actually coexist with them. Did you know that Aegean is keeping BEG as 4 weekly this winter and this week two of their A320 flights were sold out. Same story with TK which actually cooperates with JU. So it's doable, it's just that you Bulgarians didn't know how to do it and you preferred to stick to LCCs.

      Yes you can plan in advance and fly for peanuts but this is not the norm. You make the most from this because you book early. What happens to those who want to book, let's say, a month in advance as most people do? Do they also fly for €30 or for more?

      You make it seem as if BEG is growing only thanks to transfer passengers which couldn't be more wrong. This year was particularly good and next one will be even better. I am certain JU will have another round of expansion and so far we have two nice additions planned for 2023: airBaltic from Riga and Lufthansa bringing back the third daily from MUC starting from the second half of March.

      You ask where is BEG in terms of European and global aviation? Well, it's constantly climbing higher and higher. In the Balkans, it's only us and IST that can make year-round passenger flights work to both the US and China.
      For a few months now we have been ahead of Sofia and by the end of the year we are going to most likely overtake SKG. Rome wasn't built in a day. What matters is that each year we are moving one step at a time in the right direction.

    14. Nemjee16:58

      By the way, as I wrote above, BUD might have countless LCC flights but in September they were still 22% below their 2019 numbers. So obviously something is missing, maybe some more €30 fares on Ryanair and Wizz Air to boost their numbers to pre-covid levels.

    15. Anonymous17:11

      Nemjee you forgot Aegean incresing BEG to 5 next summer.

    16. Anonymous19:40

      " So it's doable, it's just that you Bulgarians didn't know how to do it and you preferred to stick to LCCs" - as far as I know Bulgaria has more airlines and airports than Serbia does to begin with.
      For a few months now we have been ahead of Sofia and by the end of the year we are going to most likely overtake SKG - Solun is a resort destination yet still is ahead of Belgrade.
      You also make it sound as if Belgrade is the leader in the region and thinking that the other airports are not. You say 3 daily MUC and this has existed for at least 15 years in Sofia. Not to mention 4th daily Frankfurt, El Al 787 winter service, TK 3 daily even though people travel via road quite a lot to Turkey, and yeah what about European Air Charter operating from 4 Bulgarian airports?
      Still, I find it surreal for you to compare to airports such as BUD, which used to generate annual traffic equivalent of the "2035 Belgrade goal of 15 million passengers it was". Bro, go to Budapest - this is probably one of the jewels of this continent and saying it even as a non-Hungarian.
      Rome wasn´t built in a day indeed and as you saw before, I wished you all the best of luck in Belgrade and didn't say current traffic is only thanks to traffic but also O&D. Read my comment from above. Again, it does have a strong transfer traffic, you can easily see there are various Serbian planes flying at night to neighbouring capitals.

    17. Nemjee21:33

      Yes Bulgaria might have more airports but in reality there are three relevant ones: Sofia, Varna and Burgas. Varna and Burgas are mostly there to handle incoming tourist traffic. However, between the coast and the capital city there is just one airport and that is SOF.
      And what are some of these Bulgarian carriers you speak of that are so respectable and relevant? We might have one real airline but we have a saying that goes: једна али вредна. ;)

      That is why I said that by the end of the year BEG will most likely overtake SKG as the difference is around 400.000 and winter months are when SKG slows down quite a bit.

      Lufthansa's presence in Sofia is much bigger than it is in Belgrade because your home airline is a joke. If Bulgaria Air was more competent then there would be less of a need to fly on LH as people could fly nonstop. Just look at how many passengers JU's JFK flight took away from airlines such as OS, LH and so on. In Sofia all those heading to New York are forced to transfer at one of the European airports. Maybe when Gullivair's much anticipated expansion starts you will see what I am talking about. ;)

      What makes you think I haven't been to Budapest? I've been there and didn't find it particularly impressive. Sure there are a few nice places but Vienna is far nicer.
      When I mentioned BUD I said they were in the same catchment area as BEG and that the two are fighting for the same market. That's a fact.
      Also, since BUD is so impressive, how come it's experiencing such a massive drop compared to 2019? It's incomparably larger than the one in BEG, SOF or ZAG.

      Yes, there are transfers and they make up 20% of BEG's traffic.

    18. Anonymous23:55

      "Lufthansa's presence in Sofia is much bigger than it is in Belgrade because your home airline is a joke. If Bulgaria Air was more competent then there would be less of a need to fly on LH as people could fly nonstop"
      Do I need to say that this JFK route is nothing but political? The Serbian Government has been investing heavily a lot of money on it and you can clearly see it on the recent Sunday reports here. Critics accepted regarding Bulgaria Air, but they are pretty strong in Varna, Amsterdam, Paris and Madrid transfers with Iberia but an overall pathetic airline.
      And even with or without Gullivair, SOF has been ahead of BEG during the last many years even without your JFK route. It luckily has alternative airlines such as European Air Charter, ALK, GP Aviation (today operating from PRN while you and I talk) and so on.
      I respect your opinion finding Cyprus a more interesting place with its rocky beaches and Russian-dominated Limassol. I will stick to Budapest and still think it is one of the continent's most beautiful cities in Europe.

    19. Nemjee09:20

      JFK was prematurely launched because of politics but this route makes commercial sense. That is why JU managed to transform it from a loss-making adventure to a sustainable and profitable operation. They did not launch Pyongyang or Caracas, now those would be truly political routes which make no sense.

      SOF overtook BEG in 2016 when the airport slashed its charges and LCCs moved in. That year SOF grew by an impressive 21.8%.
      However, for a while now BEG has been ahead of SOF by quite a bit, especially during summer months. This winter season will be interesting to follow especially as BEG prepares itself for a busy end of the year.

      Good for you, no one is doubting your love for Budapest. I am not talking about that, I am speaking about their airport underperforming despite having all those LCCs. That is why I asked you to explain to me how come they are experiencing a 22% drop in September compared to 2019.

    20. Anonymous08:01


  6. Anonymous13:48

    Airport building will be finished in 18 months according to some government minister. Just in time for 2024 summer season.

  7. Anonymous17:32

    Dont forget World cup in November
    Usually november is low season in Europe and Tesla airport always has a big dropout of load & pax flow hence this year it will be increased as there will be flights daily to DOH direct and via IST. I guess with proper planning they can serve arround 5.5 mil per anual.


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