Skopje tumbles while growth slows at Zagreb and Belgrade
Several airports across the former Yugoslavia have seen a mixed bag of results this October as the number of operated flights plummeted. Skopje Alexander the Great Airport saw its passenger numbers tumble by 9%. The airport welcomed 68.192 passengers. It is the second time this year that the airport has seen its numbers decline, after an almost 1% decrease in August. The drop was fuelled by a significant decrease in flights of 12%. In the first ten months of the year, Skopje and Ohrid airports handled a combined total of 782.988 passengers, an overall increase of 9%. Skopje’s numbers should see a boost in November since Wizz Air opened its base in the city and launched flights to six new destinations.
Meanwhile, the pace of growth at Zagreb Airport has slowed. Croatia’s busiest airport welcomed 213.936 passengers, up 2.6% on 2011’s 208.569 passengers. Growth was recorded despite a 10% plunge in the number of operated flights. By the end of October the airport handled 2.009.271 travellers, a decrease of 0.6% on the same period last year, data from the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency shows.
Belgrade managed to record its 31st month of consecutive passenger growth, however, the rate of increase has significantly slowed. In October it welcomed 275.583 passengers, some 3.000 more than last year or a 1.1% increase. As was the case with Skopje and Zagreb, Belgrade too saw a dive in the number of operated flights by 2.6%. The airport is soon expected to handle its third millionth passenger of the year. By the end of October it saw 2.918.112 travellers pass through its doors, an increase of 8.4%. Nikola Tesla Airport is now 56.266 passengers behind Sofia Airport. During the week an incident occurred when an airport catering truck collided with a Lufthansa Regional Embraer E195 jet, which was parked at the gate awaiting passengers to board a flight to Frankfurt. While an internal investigation is ongoing it has been said that the truck’s breaks failed, enabling the driver to come to a stop. The damage to the aircraft will be covered by insurance.