|EX-YU airports post record results|
Airports across the former Yugoslavia handled over 15.5 million passengers during the first three quarters of the year, with seven of them welcoming over one million passengers. Almost all airports have seen passenger growth in 2015, with Tivat, Zadar, Pula and Brač bucking the trend. Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, which handled its four-millionth passenger over the weekend remains the busiest in the former Yugoslavia, followed by Zagreb, which this month handled its second millionth passenger. Both Split and Dubrovnik have maintained their positions as the third and fourth busiest airports after they overtook Pristina in 2014. Pristina itself has staged a strong recovery this year but is unlikely to overtake its Croatian counterparts during the fourth quarter. So far this year, Split has already handled more passengers than it did for the whole of 2014. Overall, Croatia’s commercial airports welcomed over six million passengers.
Skopje Alexander the Great Airport is on course for another record year and will be close to overtaking its 2014 end-of year result by the end of the month. Turkey remains popular with travellers from Skopje with Istanbul (both Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen airports) the busiest route, holding a 14.4% market share. They are followed by Zurich, Vienna, Malmo, Basel and London (Luton). Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has also seen its numbers improve on the back of a resurgent Adria, as well as foreign carriers. On September 2, it welcomed its one-millionth traveller of the year, 23 days ahead of 2014, while its busiest day was August 23 when 6.960 passengers used Jože Pučnik Airport’s services. Unlike most, Tivat has seen its figures decline slightly this year, as it dealt with a sharp downturn in visitors from Ukraine. Managing Director, Damir Pinjatić, believes the airport will make up for the loss by year’s end. “With exception to Ukraine, the number of visitors from all of our other main markets - Serbia, Russia and Belarus - have been stable or have seen modest growth”, Mr Pinjatić says.
|Mali Lošinj||12.287||▲ 127.2|
Among the smaller airports in the former Yugoslavia, Ohrid, from which Wizz Air launched operations earlier this year, saw its passenger numbers grow 40%. On the other hand, Zadar Airport recorded a slight decline in its figures. Irena Ćosić, the airport's Managing Director, says the disappointing numbers come as a result of the Nordic tour operator, Scandjet, relocating its operations from Zadar to Rijeka this year, as well as fewer services run by low cost carrier Ryanair and EuroLOT's bankruptcy, all of which have affected the airport's performance. Overall, it expects to handle 10 - 20.000 fewer passengers in 2015. In contrast, Mostar Airport has continued to post strong growth throughout the year. “We managed to increase our passenger numbers. We expect to handle some 80.000 travellers this year and surpass our record performance from 2012”, the head of Mostar Airport’s Traffic and Safety Department says. Banja Luka, Tuzla, Maribor and Niš airports have not been listed in the table above, as the four are yet to publish their full results for the first three quarters. However, both Tuzla and Niš have seen strong growth as a result of Wizz Air, while Banja Luka Airport’s numbers have plunged this year. Maribor has seen growth of over 30% primarily due to Adria's seasonal London service.