|Skopje closes in on Ljubljana as both airports extend passenger growth streak|
The main airports in Macedonia and Slovenia saw double digit passenger growth in November, with Skopje handling more travellers than its traditionally busier Slovenian counterpart for a second month in a row. Alexander the Great Airport welcomed 109.928 passengers through its doors, an impressive increase of 26.6% compared to the same month last year. During the January - November period, it handled 1.334.815 travellers, up 19.1%. So far this year, it has registered an additional 213.976 passengers compared to the whole of 2014. Meanwhile, Ohrid Airport saw 3.659 travellers in November for a total of 100.238 over the past eleven months. Combined, the two welcomed 1.435.053 passengers this year, an increase of 20.9%, with a total of 14.244 aircraft movements recorded, up 10%.
Skopje Airport has already secured four new routes for next year, with Wizz Air to introduce flights to Berlin, Copenhagen and Bratislava, while Czech Airlines will resume seasonal services from Prague to the Macedonian capital following a four-year hiatus. The carrier holds high hopes for the flights, which will operate three times per week with an Airbus A319 jet from May 19 through to October 14. Czech Airlines' Director of Commerce and Marketing, Jan Toth, says, "I am really happy that the traditional Czech Airlines brand, one of the oldest air carriers in the world, is about to return to its destinations on the Balkan peninsula. We consider this area to be very perspective thanks to, among other things, the fact that these countries are on their way to the European Union. There are many business operations carried out between Macedonia and the Czech Republic. It is in this area where we see a potential for regular scheduled air transport. At the same time, we believe that a direct service between Skopje and Prague will contribute to further growth in business relations. We are also convinced that a direct scheduled connection will appeal to tourists in both countries".
Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport registered its ninth consecutive month of passenger growth this November. It handled 93.944 travellers, an increase of 11.2% on last year. It was accompanied by a significant rise in the number of arriving and departing flights, with aircraft movement totalling 2.627, up a notable 37.2%. Despite Skopje having a stronger month, Ljubljana is still in front of its Macedonian counterpart on a annual basis, with 1.358.000 travellers handled during the January - November period. The number of operated flights improved 5.5% during the same timeframe to 30.824 arrivals and departures. Ljubljana Airport has so far secured two new carriers for next year, with LOT Polish Airlines to launch flights from Warsaw on January 2, and Aegean Airlines to commence services from Athens on June 15. Skopje Airport is now just 23.185 passengers behind its Slovenian counterpart.