Former Yugoslavia’s third busiest airport to be decided this month
December is shaping up to be a showdown between the airports in Split and Pristina as both contend for the title of the third busiest in the former Yugoslavia. Pristina has held the position since 2011 when it overtook Ljubljana Airport, which last year fell behind Split and Dubrovnik as well. However, the strong growth at Split, coupled with the recent collapse of Belle Air Europe, has put Pristina in danger of losing its top three placing. Even more impressive is Dubrovnik which has also closed in on both airports but is unlikely to gain ground against Split and Pristina in December as it has been affected by Croatia Airlines’ downsizing.
Split Airport welcomed 29.213 passengers through its doors in November, an increase of 3% compared to the same month last year. So far in 2013, Split has handled 1.553.405 passengers, an impressive 11.3% increase on the same period last year. The airport has already surpassed its 2012 end of year result but will need to see a strong December if it is to place third at the end of the year. In December 2012 it handled 30.160 passengers. However, Croatia Airlines will not operate some of its flights to Split during the Christmas and New Year holiday period which will affect figures.
On the other hand, late last month Pristina was hit by the demise of its busiest operator Belle Air Europe. While other airlines, such as Adria, were quick to respond, the airport saw its figures decline. In November, Pristina Airport handled 95.528 passengers, a decrease of 2.4%. The airport’s rate of growth, which has been overly impressive during the year, has slowed since September. December will be the first full month Pristina has been without Belle Air Europe and the true effects of the airline’s grounding will be seen. So far this year, Pristina Airport has handled 1.536.160 passengers, putting it 17.245 travellers behind Split. In the elapsed eleven months, Pristina has seen growth of 9.4% on last year.
You can make your prediction and vote in the EX-YU poll on the left hand side whether you think Split or Pristina will be getting the bronze in 2013.