Belgrade traffic to “significantly exceed” seven million passengers

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has said it expects to handle over seven million passengers in 2023, making it its busiest year on record. In a statement to BBC News Serbian, the airport noted, “We expect for passenger numbers in 2023 to significantly exceed seven million, which will be a record for Nikola Tesla Airport. This summer, Belgrade Airport offers over 120 destinations, thirty of which were added this year alone. During the daily peak, around fifteen aircraft arrive in Belgrade within an hour, carrying some 2.000 passengers”. During the first half of the year, the airport handled 3.286.860 travellers, while July figures will be published by operator VINCI next Tuesday, August 29, in the evening.

Scheduled capacity at the airport exceeded one million passengers for the first time within a single month this August. Overall, during the third quarter, Belgrade Airport added an extra 581.176 seats on scheduled flights compared to the same period during the pre-pandemic 2019, up 24.8%, making it the 21st fastest-growing airport in Europe this summer. Air Serbia accounts for 54.7% of that capacity, followed by Wizz Air, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines and Swiss. Growth is expected to further accelerate this winter, with capacity during the fourth quarter currently up over 35% on four years ago.
Belgrade Airport scheduled capacity during Q3

Commenting on the operational difficulties the airport has faced this summer, it noted, “The current schedule was confirmed only in April, shortly before the start of the summer peak. Time is required to select a sufficient number of new employees, carry out necessary background checks and train the new staff. A total of 520 people are working in ground handling at the moment, which includes check-in agents, baggage handlers, aircraft cleaning and security. Out of those, 220 are working in baggage handling, while a further 100 people have recently been hired in the sector in cooperation with Air Serbia”. The airport added, “The situation has stabilised and waiting times for baggage delivery have been brought down to a minimum. The increase in traffic is taking place at the same time as a major expansion project is underway due to which the airport has still not reached its full operational capacity”.

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