Pristina Airport overtakes Split in December
Pristina Airport has managed to stave off competition from its Split counterpart and maintain its position as the third busiest airport in the former Yugoslavia in 2013, recording its seventh consecutive year of growth. In 2013, Pristina Airport handled 1.628.678 passengers, an increase of 6.6% compared to 2012. However, in a worrying trend, numbers plunged 26% in December as the fallout from Belle Air Europe’s bankruptcy continues. In addition, some flights bound for Pristina were diverted due to poor weather conditions last month. For its part, Split Airport put on a good fight welcoming 1.581.734 passengers last year or an increase of 10.9% on 2012. As a result, Split has overtaken Dubrovnik and positioned itself as the fourth busiest airport in the former Yugoslavia.
In 2013 Pristina saw a total of 7.305 flight operations, up 5.2% on 2012. July and August were the busiest two months of the year while December turned out to be the slowest. Belle Air Europe, which ceased operations in late November, was the busiest airline operating in and out of Pristina by carrying 275.814 passengers. The effects of its demise are expected to be felt throughout the winter season despite several other airlines stepping in to take its place. With 156.853 passengers, Germanwings was the second busiest airline flying into Pristina. Despite having a base in the city, Adria was third busiest with 148.806 passengers. It was followed by Turkish Airlines (136.632), Germania (129.546), easyJet (121.708), Edelweiss (119.212), Austrian (99.246), Belair (98.183) and Pegasus Airlines (85.139).
Zurich was the most popular destination served from Pristina with 20.7% of all passengers travelling to the Swiss city in 2013. It was followed by Dusseldorf, Basel, Munich, Istanbul (Ataturk), Stuttgart, and Vienna. Switzerland remains the largest market for travellers from Kosovo followed by Germany, Turkey, Austria, Italy and Slovenia. Overall, 2013 was an important year for Pristina Airport with the opening of its new terminal but it will have to secure new airlines and routes in 2014 in order to alleviate the effects of Belle Air Europe’s departure and secure continued growth.