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Monday, February 13, 2012

Belgrade Airport overhaul in full force

Construction work at Belgrade Airport
Construction work on the modernisation and expansion of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is in full swing. Currently, work is being carried out on the A gate departure lounges and transit areas. By mid summer the airport will have completed the expansion and reconstruction of its C1-2 and A1 to A6 gates. As a result, an extra 2.750 square metres will be added. After the summer rush, expansion work will begin on gates C3-4 and C5-6, the airport says. Air bridges at the A gates, which belong to terminal one, are also to be replaced. An additional new floor stretching over 4.900 square metres will be built above the current terminal two building with construction to begin next year so as to separate arriving and departing passengers.

Construction work at terminal two
Work has also begun on the expansion of the terminal two security and passport control area. Due to a big increase in passenger numbers, long queues are now a constant at the airport, especially during the morning rush hour period. The “Aviokarta.net” portal reports that new x-ray and body scanner machines will be added to cut waiting time, with Belgrade becoming the first airport in the former Yugoslavia to use specialised shoe scanners. The new technology was first rolled out in the United States in 2010. They should cut down on queuing times as the machines do not require passengers to take their shoes off for security checks. Work on the security and passport control area will be completed by the start of the 2012 summer season, on March 25. This has resulted in Jat Airways having to temporarily move its check in operations to terminal one.

Visualisation of Belgrade Airport after expansion completion
Within the next three years 52.985.000 Euros will be invested into the airport. Belgrade is not the only airport in the former Yugoslavia being modernised. Soon it will be known whether a new terminal will be built in Zagreb, while a new terminal is already under construction in Priština. Last September, Skopje Airport opened its new terminal building while Ljubljana Airport will begin construction on a new terminal later this year. Work on the expansion of Sarajevo's terminal is expected to begin this year as well.

34 comments:

  1. Looking good. I’m glad that construction work has begun. Belgrade does not need a third terminal to function since the current two can handle 7 million PAX per year so I think this modernisation (which BEG does need) is good plus it’s not a waste of money.

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  2. Does anybody know what is being done in the check-in area? It does not seem related at all to the expansion of the airside area. Also, will they try to make use of this opportunity to introduce underground fuel and water supply at gates?

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  3. From June 2012 flydubai will be increasing Dubai-Belgrade from 4 weekly flights to 5.
    I guess this confirms that Belgrade was not an unsuccesful route for them as stated by some on here.

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  4. Can someone please tell me why does this growing airport that might reach 3.5M this year does not have some major European airlines such as KLM, Iberia, Finnair, SAS..?

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    Replies
    1. No demand?

      SAS tried with Snowflake couple of years ago, they did not last. Weird, as Wizz and Jat are very successful in the Swedish market.

      Iberia might give it a go now that Spanair is out of the picture.

      KLM was never really into Eastern Europe that much, so I think with their cooperation with JU on feeding transatlantic flights, we won't see them in BEG very soon.

      Finally, Finnair - now, with their new Asia strategy, they might be looking into BEG, although they need to increase their BUD service with MA going under. Hardly any O&D demand on BEGHEL, unfortunately, and this has been keeping them out.

      Delete
    2. SAS' mistake with Snowflake was that it used a relatively large aircraft (MD-82) at a time when Serbs needed visas to travel to the EU.

      Delete
    3. Because Belgrade is a very minor airport.

      Belgrade just cracked the top 100 in Europe, finally surpassing Bari, an Italian fishing village.

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    4. Nope, Bari is in the 97th place. Dunno witch apt is outta top 100 EU apts list

      Delete
    5. Doot,i agree that BEG is minor airport, but than what are other airports in the ex yu?

      Delete
    6. @Doot

      Seriously, what is your problem ? Enough with fishing villages. Why do you bother visiting the blog about bunch of minor airports in exYU.

      Delete
    7. No need for anyone to get their panties in a knot. I was just answering the question of why major carriers aren't tripping over themselves to land in Belgrade.

      I stand corrected. I thought Belgrade surpassed Bari this year. Bari was 100th place last year.

      to answer your question, chelica2, I visit blogs about balkans aviation, because I travel to/from the balkans on a monthly bases, so it's a topic that impacts me. Thank you for your interest

      Delete
  5. KLM codeshares with Jat, part of the deal was to not have KLM operate the flights to BEG. After the codeshare was signed passenger numbers to Amsterdam grew by 35%.

    Iberia saw no point in launching flights since the market between Serbia and Spain is seasonal and was taken care of Spanair. Not to mention that Iberia is non-existent in BCN. If anything happens then Vueling might launch them.

    SAS is a mess for the time being and the market from Scandinavia to Belgrade is already saturated by other carriers.

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  6. I don't see how scanners which do not require pax to take off shoes will sped things up, given that pax have never been asked to take off their shoes at BEG. More likely the purchase of these scanners will speed up padding of somebody's pockets...

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    Replies
    1. I depart from BEG at least every 6 weeks, and I get asked to take off my shoes about every second time.

      Delete
  7. Good News for Belgrade.
    TK starts double daily IST-BEG-IST as of 30MAY

    25MAR-29MAR 10 weekly flights

    0920-1200 TK 1082 Boeing 737-700
    2020-2300 TK 1084 Boeing 737-800

    also more flights will see:

    TGD from 3 to 4 weekly
    SKP from 7 to 10 weekly
    PRN from 7 to 14 weekly, however 14 weekly only as of 28JUN, 9 25MAR to 27MAY, 10 27MAY to 27JUN

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  8. @last anonymous
    nope, you are not right. If you flew out of BEG especially during winter, you would know that everyone is obligated to take off their shoes ;)

    I need an explanation. This is taken from airlineroute.net. The news about new OU RJK-BCN service. Can someone explain to me why OU does not have local traffic rights on ZAG-RJK sector as the national carrier, given the fact that it is domestic sector? This is not the first time, of course, that national carrier does not have local traffic rights from point A to point B if it flies from point A to point C via point B, when A and B are in the same country where the carrier operates regularly? ie some Air Canadas services operate: Europe-YUL-YYZ, but AC does not have local traffic rights on YUL-YYZ sector? Tnx in advance.

    Croatia Airlines starting 12JUN12 is launching NEW weekly service on Zagreb – Rijeka – Barcelona, on board Airbus A319 aircraft. Service operates on Tuesdays. The Tuesday flight will replace 1 of 3 weekly Zagreb – Barcelona nonstop flight.

    Schedule:

    OU374 ZAG1410 – 1450RJK1525 – 1715BCN 319 2
    OU375 BCN1810 – 2000RJK2035 – 2110ZAG 319 2

    It does not have local traffic rights on Zagreb – Rijeka sector.

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  9. Wouldnt be surprised to see Aeroflot going double daily in summer.
    Nearly every day they use A321,
    at "bad" days they "only" use A320...

    What ac do they send to ZAG?

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  10. i think aeroflot might raise BEG to 10 weekly flights. THey use a mix of airbus 319/320 to ZAG during winter. During summer i am not sure

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  11. If they use a mix of A319/320 in winter then in summer it will be A320 and on very good days A321!

    I am not surprised with this good news,have already heard rumours that Aeroflot is very happy with
    its service to ZAG.

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  12. For all those interested you can sign the petition to help bring Malev back:

    http://malevmegmentese.info/declaration.html

    ReplyDelete
  13. Google "Belgrade grows to record levels"
    and you will get some nice statistics about BEG

    ...last year Wizzair replaced LH as second biggest airline serving BEG after Jat !

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    Replies
    1. @last anonymous

      Wizz passed only the Lufthansa brand of the overall group.

      Delete
  14. Well the group is not of importance...what is of importance is Lufthansa ...not Star alliance members
    Singapore or Thai Airways .
    Also Swiss is not same as LH !

    Dear chelica ,are you a woman ?

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    Replies
    1. LH, Swiss and Austrian should be considered as one, as they are owned by Lufthansa Group. Furthermore, they coordinate their activities/flights in Belgrade.

      If you read the article correctly, you will notice that Wizz had the 2nd highest number of seats available during that ONE week which was taking into consideration. This does not show that it carried more pax (though it could have) as we don't know the occupancy rates of the respective airlines.

      Delete
  15. Your loving customerFebruary 14, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    Ahhh...Wizzair,
    why dont you open new routes from BEG?

    Daily to London...where is your problem?
    Then there is Barcelona.

    You made even Memmingen,that provincial shithole in Germany a success!
    Then Hamburg-Luebeck will be no problem
    with twice a week...
    whatever you touch becomes a gold!

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  16. An airport importance isn't judged only by number of passengers. Even if BEG and Bari would have the same number of passengers Belgrade would always be far more important. We should calculate by number of international travelers first of all, not just travelers in general. Same as in the case of Beirut airport which with "just" 8 million pax is as important in the region as any major hub in Europe... What matters the most is the number of connections offered from a given airport. The connections at BEG are fairly good yet there is still alot of room for imporovmenet. I don't think you can fly directly to Moscow or Dubai from Bari. Childish talk...

    In what year we might expect Emirates replacing FlyDubai on BEG-DXB route (cause in summer an A332 might really become suitable) or even Aeroflot sending the A332 on some days? I think we are getting near to see regular return of wide-bodies to BEG.

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  17. A train station on the London-Paris high-speed rail line might have the same number of passengers as those two cities, that doesn't makes her equally important...

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  18. Well, if BEG is minor then ZAG is microscopic. BEG is not minor, it is a medium-sized airport with potential (and the only one with it) for becoming the dominant regional hub. All the other airports in ex-Yu are definitely minor ones.

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    Replies
    1. Within 10 years Zagreb will have more passengers per year than Belgrade. A newer more modern terminal will help bridge the gap to a closer date. This is just my opinion. :)

      Delete
    2. Why would anyone think that a new terminal can close such a huge gap? Just look at global hubs with hideous buildings, and vice versa. I am actually doubtful whether ZAG has any significant potential for growth, except for BRU flights come 2013. Why? Well, Croatian coast, obvious destination of all those summer passangers, will get its own flights when the demand increases (and capacities are overbooked as it is, so how much more space is there for new tourists...). They will prefer direct flights to those via ZAG.

      On the other hand, BEG is still serving less wealthy population, with some room to improve. Commerce and investment is still years away from Croatian standards - once it gets there, we can expect significant rise in travel, esp. business travel, the high yielding type.

      Don't get me wrong, I would love to see both airports doing 10m+ per year, but I fail to see where do you get new pax to ZAG from. Croatia is already "rich" enough for people to be able to afford airfares, Serbia is still far from it. That begs the question whether ZAG is coming to saturation, with or without new terminal.

      Delete
  19. Q400, a new terminal will help like it did in Skopje? Also, how on earth do you expect OU to survive without government subsidies?

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    Replies
    1. What government subsidies????

      Did OU ever get that 50 Mil that was once talked about on this blog? I don't think so, plus OU has been a profitable airline for most of its existence up to 2008 when it for the first time posted a loss. This was the same year new planes were introduced and ordered and the WFC happened. How do you know they then don't have money in the bank?

      OU is heading back towards posting a profit so no government subsidies needed and remember the low cost carriers are getting a better deal at Croatian airports than OU.

      Delete
  20. Croatia itself will have more passengers within 10 years like now, but Belgrade airport will have more traffic/pax eventhough they are not in the Eu!:).

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  21. From september, Alitalia's low cost carrier Air One, will open 3x week Milan MXP - Belgrade.
    Ticket already on sale. Return ticket 70 euro. How will Jat react?

    ReplyDelete

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