|Skopje Airport continues to outperform Ljubljana in 2015|
Skopje Alexander the Great Airport has again handled more passengers than its traditionally busier counterpart Ljubljana, maintaining a lead over Slovenia’s busiest airport so far this year. Ljubljana and Skopje were the former Yugoslavia’s sixth and seventh busiest airports in 2014 respectively. In February, Skopje Airport welcomed 80.079 passengers through its doors, an increase of 22.8% compared to the same month last year. Macedonia’s other international airport, Ohrid, handled 818 travellers during the slowest month in the aviation calendar. So far this year, Skopje Airport has seen 168.354 passengers use its services, up an impressive 31.5% compared to the same period last year. Macedonia’s busiest airport estimates that its average passenger growth will amount to 25% this year, with Wizz Air to launch five new routes from the city this summer.
On the other hand, Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport handled 72.265 passengers in February, down 3.8% on last year. The decline came despite its main customer, Adria Airways, registering more passengers during the month than the year before. The number of operated flights, which stood at 2.043, also declined, by 2.1%. In a recent statement, the airport operator said it had recorded a net profit of 3.6 million euros in 2014, down from 5.2 million euros on the year before. The fall in profits came as a result of necessary investments in maintenance company Adria Airways Tehnika, which is partly owned by the airport. Adria Tehnika is up for privatisation, with binding bids to be submitted by March 20. So far this year, Ljubljana Airport has handled 145.361 travellers, down 3.4%, while the number of operated fights decreased 1.5%.
Despite the negative trends, Ljubljana Airport expects to see its numbers improve, with Adria to launch new routes to Berlin and Stockholm, while Swiss International Air Lines will introduce services from Zurich at the end of the month. Adria Airways’ CEO, Mark Anžur, is confident the new destinations will prove successful. “As part of our new strategy, Adria Airways is establishing more routes between Slovenia and European cities. Following the inauguration of flights to Prague and Warsaw last year, Adria will connect Ljubljana with Berlin and Stockholm starting with the 2015 summer season. Following Frankfurt and Munich, Berlin will become the third German city directly linked to Slovenia. Germany is Slovenia’s largest economic partner and the key factor in its tourist market. In close cooperation with Ljubljana Airport and the Slovenian Tourist Board (SPIRIT), Adria Airways expects these new routes to be a success story”, Mr. Anžur said.