Strong passenger growth anticipated for SkopjeWith strong passenger growth and several new airlines lined up, Skopje Alexander the Great Airport is forecast to handle one million passengers within a year by the end of 2013, the first time in thirteen years. In June, Skopje and Ohrid airports handled 88.092 passengers, an increase of 14% compared to the same month last year. In the first half of the year, the two airports welcomed a combined total of 402.946 passengers, a surge of 19%. The results were achieved despite a notable decrease in the number of flights operated to the two airports.
In the following months, Wizz Air will launch new services from Skopje as it opens its own base in the Macedonian capital. In neighbouring Serbia, Wizz Air has captivated a completely new market of travellers, rather than simply taking passengers away from the competition. The low cost airline has already announced the possibility of expanding its operations from Macedonia in the summer of 2013. Furthermore, Flydubai will be launching flights to Skopje this October, connecting the city with a direct air link to the Middle East. According to airport officials, negotiations are under way for a new service to be launched from Moscow to Skopje.
Skopje Airport handled a record 1.000.200 passengers in 2000. However, this impressive figure had more to do with the political situation in the region rather than natural growth. In 2011, Skopje welcomed 759.928 passengers through its doors, its best year since the 2000 record. Skopje is currently the seventh busiest airport in the former Yugoslavia behind Belgrade, Zagreb, Priština, Ljubljana, Dubrovnik and Split. The three busiest airlines operating out of the Macedonian capital in 2012 are Austrian, Jat Airways and Croatia Airlines, all of which rely heavily on transit passengers on their flights to and from Skopje.