|Skopje growth slows as Ljubljana surges|
Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has seen its passenger numbers surge in April and is now close to overtaking Skopje Alexander the Great Airport, which has been outperforming its Slovenian counterpart throughout the year so far. Macedonia’s busiest airport handled 109.741 passengers, an increase of 3.9% compared to the same period last year. It is the first time since January 2013 that Skopje Airport has not recorded double digit growth. Wizz Air has generated most of the growth so far as it launched four new routes last April. As a result, for the first time in a year, Skopje has had roughly the same amount of flights operated by the low cost carrier as it did the year before. However, Swiss International Air Lines introduced two weekly services between Geneva and the Macedonian capital during the month. Overall, the figure still represents the airport’s busiest April on record.
During the first four months of 2015, Skopje Airport welcomed 373.552 passengers, an increase of 20.6% compared to the same period last year. The growth rate is expected to pick up again in late June, when Wizz Air launches flights from Skopje to five new destinations and further increases frequencies on existing services. On the other hand, Macedonia’s second international airport, Ohrid, handled 1.592 travellers during the month, up 6.7%. So far, Ohrid has registered 5.827 passengers. Late last month, Conrendon Airlines launched charters from Amsterdam to Ohrid, while Air Berlin also inaugurated charter flights from Vienna. Yesterday, TUI Belgium operated its first seasonal summer service from Brussels to Skopje via Ohrid.
Meanwhile, Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, which has seen a slow start to the year, has recorded a strong surge in passenger numbers. In April, it handled 112.310 travellers, up 13.3% on last year. The number of operated flights increased by 4.1% to 2.693. During the first four months of 2015, Slovenia’s busiest airport has welcomed 348.573 passengers through its doors, an increase of 3.8% compared to the same period last year. This is despite a decline in the number of operated flights by 2.5% to 9.329. Ljubljana Airport is now closing in on its Macedonian counterpart and is 24.979 passengers behind. This year marks the first time that Skopje has been ahead of the traditionally busier Ljubljana Airport.