|Skopje Airport maintains lead over Ljubljana|
The main airports in Macedonia and Slovenia have recorded strong passenger growth during the slowest month in the aviation calendar. Skopje Alexander the Great Airport handled 102.178 travellers, registering its strongest February on record. The figure represents growth of 27.6% compared to last year. Over the past two months, Skopje welcomed 211.275 passengers, which is up 25.5% on 2015. The country's second international airport, Ohrid, also recorded strong growth. Its monthly passenger figures stood at 3.334, up by 310%. Combined, the two handled 1.087 flights, an increase of 18% on last year. Ohrid's strong figures were fuelled by Wizz Air, which last year introduced year-round flights from Basel. Similarly, in Skopje, Wizz Air has significantly strengthened its network compared to last winter.
Skopje Airport has secured a handful of new routes for 2016 which should ensure strong passenger growth throughout the year. Starting tomorrow, Wizz Air will begin adding new routes out of its Skopje base with flights to Berlin, Copenhagen and Bratislava to launch on March 21, 22 and 28, respectively. Furthermore, the budget airline has announced it will launch services from Skopje to Hamburg as a replacement for its Lubeck route. The budget airline will pull out of the German city in mid-April, substituting it for Hamburg instead. In May, Czech Airlines will introduce services from Prague, while in November Qatar Airways will launch flights from Doha to Skopje. Similarly, Ohrid will offer several new routes this summer, with Arkia Israeli Airlines to start seasonal flights from Tel Aviv as of June 9. A week later, Air Serbia will introduce seasonal three weekly services from Belgrade, while on June 20, one of Europe's largest tour operators, Thomas Cook, will commence summer charters from Brussels.
In February, Ljubljana Airport saw 77.976 travellers pass through its doors, an improvement of 7.9% compared to the same month last year. The result came despite a notable decline in the number of operated flights, which amounted to 1.950, down 4.6%. The fall can be partly attributed to Adria Airways' suspension of its Istanbul service. Furthermore, Swiss International Air Lines' discontinued flights from Zurich, although the carrier introduced this service last March. Over the past two months, Slovenia's busiest airport handled 151.543 passengers, up 4.3%, while aircraft movements were down 6.8% to 3.924. Earlier this month, LOT Polish Airlines launched flights from Warsaw to Ljubljana, while Adria Airways will commence services to Cologne in just over a week.