|Skopje Airport off to a flying start as Ljubljana, Split and Dubrovnik falter|
Skopje Alexander the Great Airport has recorded its busiest January on record, topping off an eleventh consecutive month of passengers growth. Macedonia’s main airport handled 88.275 passengers, an impressive increase of 41.6% compared to the same month last year. Several factors contributed to Skopje’s growth last month. In January 2014 the airport was closed on several occasions due to poor weather conditions, which was not the case this time around. Furthermore, unlike last year, Wizz Air now serves an additional four destinations from Skopje, while Alitalia has introduced six weekly flights from Rome. During January, Skopje Airport saw a total of 976 flight operations, up 21% on last year. The airport is expected to continue to break records in 2015, with Wizz Air to launch five new routes this summer and boost frequencies on existing services, while Swiss International Air Lines will inaugurate flights from Geneva.
On the other hand, Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport registered a downturn in January. It handled 73.096 passengers, slipping 2.9% compared to the same month last year. The disappointing result comes despite a relatively modest fall in the number of operated flights which stood at 2.122, down 0.9%. The amount of handled freight and mail also decreased compared to last year by 8%. Ljubljana Airport ended 2014 as the former Yugoslavia’s sixth busiest airport with 1.338.619 travellers welcomed, while Skopje came seventh with 1.208.359 passengers. Jože Pučnik Airport anticipates for numbers to pick up in the coming months with Adria Airways to launch several new routes, while Swiss will introduce flights from Zurich. In addition, during the summer, Turkish Airlines will boost flights from Istanbul to the Slovenian capital from its existing daily service to ten flights per week.
Over on the Croatian coast, the airports in both Split and Dubrovnik saw their passenger numbers decline. Split Airport welcomed 24.519 travellers, down 5.9%, while Dubrovnik handled 15.743 passengers, a decrease of 1.3%. Despite the slow start to the year, both airports are bullish of their prospects for the coming summer. A significant number of airlines have announced flights to both cities while several have moved forward the launch of existing seasonal services. Split and Dubrovnik were the former Yugoslavia’s third and fourth busiest airports in 2014 respectively.