Belgrade Airport Set for Passenger Surge Next Week

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is expected to register strong passenger growth over the coming two weeks as the Serbian capital prepares to host the EuroLeague Final Four basketball tournament from May 19 until May 21, which has resulted in airlines increasing frequencies, capacity and selling out on many flights. The four teams taking part are from Greece, Spain and Turkey. As a result, Aegean Airlines has so far put on sale an additional four flights next week, with one extra service to operate on May 18 with the Airbus A321, May 19 with the A320 and the remaining two on May 22, with the A321s. However, the airline has requested a total of eight additional landing slots at Belgrade Airport for next week, the majority of which are on May 19. The carrier’s scheduled service from Athens to Belgrade, in the lead-up to the tournament on May 18, has also been upgauged to the A321 and sold out. In addition, Air Serbia has added a further four departures to Athens and is expected to run additional charters to the Greek capital.

Besides increasing frequencies to Athens, Air Serbia is also adding flights and growing capacity to Barcelona, Madrid and Istanbul next week. The Serbian carrier will deploy its A330-200 wide body aircraft to Barcelona on Tuesday, May 19, instead of the usual A319 jet. This will complement the Sunday flights which are already being maintained with the A330. Capacity will also be increased to Madrid on May 19 with the A320 to operate the service. Furthermore, the airline will deploy its A330 jet to Istanbul on May 18, as well as the A320 on May 19, instead of the usual A319. Turkish Airlines, as the main sponsor of the EuroLeague, will allow passengers to earn four times the carrier’s frequent flier miles when travelling to Belgrade from May 18 to May 22 for tickets purchased between April 29 and May 22. Turkey’s Corendon Airlines will operate a charter for fans to Belgrade on May 22, while Iberojet will fly from Barcelona on the same day.

Other foreign carriers are also seeing a surge in demand for flights to the Serbian capital. Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, KLM and Swiss International Air Lines are sold out on a number of services during the tournament. They are likely to add additional capacity on their Belgrade operations in the coming days. Belgrade last hosted the EuroLeague Final Four tournament in 2018. Major sporting events have generated strong growth at airports in the former Yugoslavia over the past few years, including the UEFA Super Cup Final in Skopje in 2017 and EuroBasket in Slovenia and Croatia in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Further changes in frequencies and capacity are expected in the coming week. Additional flights are likely to be scheduled once the finalists of the tournament are known.

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