President of France Emmanuel Macron joined his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vučić to launch an expansion project for Belgrade Airport, which is managed by French company Vinci.
The two heads of state met with Vinci Chairman and CEO Xavier Huillard, as well as President of Vinci Airports and CEO of VINCI Concessions, Nicolas Notebaert, as part of Macron’s official visit to the Republic of Serbia.
“Vinci is honoured to contribute to Serbia’s development and the strengthening of Franco-Serbian relations by improving air transport in the country,” said Huillard.
The Serbian government awarded the French operator a 25-year contract in March 2018 to run the airport, covering such areas as financing, maintenance, operations and expansion of the airport and its runways.
As part of its concession, Vinci committed to opening new routes, increasing the airport’s capacity, improving passenger flow, rolling out an environmental policy and boosting Serbia’s economy.
€730 million (£660 million) is to be invested in the modernisation project (carried out by Vinci Construction Grands Projets) to help achieve these aims, raising the airport’s quality to the highest international standards and its capacity to 15 million passengers.
“Over the coming 25 years we will work closely with the Serbian authorities as a key partner of the country’s economy,” said Notebaert.
“The goal of VINCI Airports is to make Belgrade the future hub in Southeast Europe.”
The number of passengers has risen 5.9 per cent to 2.6 million since Vinci officially took over on 22 December 2018, with Air France returning and a new route opening between Belgrade Nikola Tesla and Lyon-Saint Exupéry as well.