|Ljubljana Airport positions itself as EX-YU's sixth busiest airport|
Following Skopje Alexander the Great Airport’s five month passenger lead, Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has managed to close the gap and overtake its Macedonian counterpart. Ljubljana Airport, which is traditionally busier than Skopje, was outperformed during the first half of the year. However, a stronger performance during the past few months continued into July when it handled 171.772 passengers, an impressive increase of 16.2%. The number of operated flights also improved, increasing by 10.2% to 3.420. During the first seven months, Ljubljana welcomed 798.297 travellers, up 11% on the same period in 2014. Furthermore, the airport recorded a net profit of 600.000 euros and sixteen million euros in revenue over the first half of the year. As a result, its net profit increased by 84.000 euros compared to 2014.
Ljubljana Airport’s growth over the past few months was fuelled by both Adria Airways and foreign carriers such as Turkish Airlines and Air Serbia, which increased their flight offering to the Slovenian capital this summer. Furthermore, Swiss International Air Lines launched services from Zurich earlier this year. In 2016, LOT Polish Airlines will inaugurate six weekly flights from Warsaw to Ljubljana on March 1. Some 12.000 passengers are expected to use the service in its first year. "If we were not in a position to say that the airport was competitive with others in the region a few years ago, this is definitely not the case today”, Ljubljana Airport said in a statement.
Despite falling slightly behind Ljubljana, Skopje Airport also saw impressive growth in July. It handled 164.431 travellers during the month, up 24.4% on 2014. Overall, numbers during the January - July period improved 15.9% to 773.152 passengers. Of those, low cost carriers held a 57% passenger share at the airport. With Ljubljana and Skopje now neck-and-neck, the two airports have positioned themselves as the sixth and seventh busiest in the former Yugoslavia respectively. The list is headed by Belgrade, followed by Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik, with Pristina Airport remaining in fifth place.