Skopje ends year with strong growth but short of a record
Skopje Alexander the Great Airport handled 984.407 passengers in 2013, missing its target of welcoming over one million passengers and breaking its own record. In December, numbers were severely affected by bad weather conditions which saw the airport close its doors for almost two weeks with flights diverted to different cities. Despite missing the million passenger mark, Skopje Airport saw impressive annual growth of 18.8% compared to 2012. Macedonia’s busiest airport is expected to see numbers continue to rise into this year since Wizz Air will base a second Airbus A320 in the city and launch new flights to Charleroi, Cologne, Beauvais and Hahn while boosting frequencies on existing services. Strong growth is particularly expected to be seen this month as it recorded only modest growth in January 2013.
Last month ended Skopje's dream run with passenger numbers tumbling due to the airport’s closure. In December, it handled 55.034 passengers, down 14.9% on 2012. Skopje’s busiest month was August, followed closely by July, while its slowest months were December and February. Meanwhile, Macedonia’s second international airport, Ohrid, welcomed 83.060 passengers through its doors last year, an increase of 6.5% compared to 2012. Combined, the two airports handled 1.067.467 passengers, up almost 17%. At the same time, the number of flight operations grew by 10%.
Since Skopje failed to reach the one million passenger mark, its Turkish operator TAV will have to fork out 15% of its gross annual income to the Macedonian government. This figure will be reduced to only 2% of revenue once the airport handles over one million passengers, which it is now expected to do so this year. During 2013, Skopje attracted Germania as its new customer while Wizz Air increased its flight offer by 350% during the summer compared to 2012. The year behind us marks Skopje Airport’s second busiest in history. Below you can view Skopje Airport’s five most successful years since its opening.