10 July, 2023

Nikola Tesla Airport may soon get a new ground operator........

After weeks of disruptions, delays and cancellations at Belgrade's Nikola Tesla Airport due to a staff shortage at operate Vinci and a lack of serviceable planes at Air Serbia the airport may soon end up with at least one new ground operator. 

Vanja Popoviฤ‡ from Bloomberg Adria reports that competitors of the concessionaire of the Nikola Tesla Airport, Vinci, have been waiting for years for the chance to take up operation at the airport. Now, that opportunity may very well be upon them after the Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure said on Sunday "The Directorate for Civil Aviation will soon, according to an urgent procedure based on the order I gave, call for a tender for new operators of ground operations at the 'Nikola Tesla' Airport, which Serbia has the right to according to the concession agreement with the Vinci company."

According to Popoviฤ‡, leading ground handling companies such as Swissport and Dnata are in the picture to put in applications to run the airport. However, even a new operator might not be able to relieve the disruption of recent weeks.  There is still a shortage of trained and security-cleared staff and such a labour shortage won't be immediately solved by a change of handling operator. 

There has been concern that the Serbian authorities are set to negate some of the security clearances after Goran Vesiฤ‡, the Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure,  said on Friday that 30 new employees would join the airport the next day.