Skopje Alexander the Great Airport has kept up its momentum over Piristina, handling more passengers than its traditionally busier rival for a second month running. On the other hand, Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport recorded its third consecutive month of declining numbers.
Skopje Airport handled 142.332 passengers in June, an impressive increase of 20.5% compared to the same month last year. As a result, the airport managed to welcome 1.153 travellers more than Pristina. During the first half of the year, Skopje Airport improved its figures by 24.6%, for a total of 757.850 passengers, which is still some 18.650 travellers behind Pristina during the same period, although the gap is narrowing. Last year, Skopje overtook Ljubljana Airport to position itself as the sixth busiest in the former Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, Macedonia's second international airport, Ohrid, welcomed 17.811 passengers in June, up 33.5%. Combined, the two saw 1.508 aircraft movements, an increase of 13% on last year.
Skopje Airport has positioned itself as a star performer in the former Yugoslavia this year, with the highest growth rate of any capital city airport. Over the past six months, Wizz Air launched three new routes from the Macedonian capital and replaced its service to Lubeck with Hamburg. Furthermore, Czech Airlines introduced flights from Prague. Meanwhile, Wizz Air recently applied for Hungarian-backed subsidies to operate flights from Budapest to the Macedonian capital later this year, while Croatia Airlines has announced plans to open a base in Skopje in 2017. In addition, Qatar Airways plans to launch flights from Doha early next year. Services were initially to commence this October but were pushed back due to an ongoing fleet shortage. All eyes will be on Skopje's performance this July, with airlines to offer just a 1% increase in capacity from the city compared to last year.
On the other hand, Ljubljana Airport has recorded its third consecutive month of declining figures. It handled 135.757 passengers this June, a decrease of 9.2% compared to last year. The number of aircraft movements stood at 3.228, down 3.1%. The results come despite Aegean Airlines launching new flights from Athens to the Slovenian capital during the month. The decline in figures is attributed to Adria Airways which has discontinued two routes from Ljubljana since the start of the year, as well as softer demand for leisure flights over security concerns, which has had an impact on airports across Europe. During the first half of the year, Ljubljana Airport handled 598.271 passengers, down 4.5% on 2015.