Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport recorded its fourth consecutive month of declining passenger numbers, while its busier counterpart in Skopje continued to see its figures improve, although its growth expectedly slowed in July.
Ljubljana Airport handled 163.267 travellers during the month, a decrease of 5% compared to July of last year. The figure was accompanied by a 6% decline in aircraft movements, which stood at 3.214. The softer results are attributed to Adria Airways, while foreign carriers saw their passenger figures improve 17.4% during the month. Over the January - July period, Ljubljana Airport welcomed 761.538 travellers through its doors, a decrease of 4.6%. Movements were down 3.2% during the seven months, standing at 18.320. In a statement, the airport said that the numbers come as a result of Adria's network cuts and security fears across Europe and popular summer destinations such as Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia.
The Chairman of the Executive Board of Ljubljana Airport's operator Fraport, Stefan Schulte, says the group has downgraded its passenger forecast for 2016. "As a result of geopolitical circumstances, traffic at some airports has significantly decreased. Despite the difficult environment, the group has achieved solid results overall", Mr Schulte said. Airports which have seen a decline in passenger numbers within the Fraport group include Frankfurt, Antalya, St. Petersburg and Hannover, in addition to Ljubljana. Ljubljana Airport's General Manager, Zmago Skobir, previously said, "We expect a slower growth rate to that of last year and we would like to close at 1.5 million passengers. That will be heavily influenced by how Adria Airways' new owners manage the airline. Air traffic growth is forecast to be moderate, but stable. At the same time, changes in the traffic structure are expected to go in favour of an increased share of foreign air carriers".
On the other hand, Skopje Alexander the Great Airport registered its busiest July on record. The airport handled 173.715 passengers during the month, an increase of 5.7% compared to last year. The figure is somewhat lower than the growth rates seen over the past year, however, the airport recorded only a 1% increase in capacity during the month. Overall this year, Skopje Airport welcomed 931.565 travellers through its doors, up 20.5%. Meanwhile, Macedonia's second international airport, Ohrid, welcomed 25.832 passengers in July, up 20.3%. So far this year it handled 75.776 travellers, up 76.2%. Combined, the two recorded 9.609 take offs and landings, an increase of 13.4% on last year.