The airports in Zagreb and Pristina recorded strong passenger growth in July, with the latter overtaking Skopje during the month. The two have been locked in a battle for passengers, with Skopje gaining the upper hand over its traditionally busier rival during the past few months.
Zagreb Airport handled 307.218 travellers in July, marking its busiest on record. The figure represents growth of 10.3% compared to the same month last year. In addition, the number of flight operations grew 4.5% to 3.876 arrivals and departures. Contributing to the growth was Croatia Airlines, which launched four new seasonal routes from its main hub this summer. As a result, the carrier welcomed 235.936 passengers on board its aircraft during July, up 7% on last year. During the first seven months of 2016 the airline carried 1.060.454 travellers, an improvement of 3%. Its busiest day of the year so far was recorded on July 29 when it handled some 9.000 passengers. Overall, Zagreb Airport saw 1.533.107 travellers during the first seven months of the year, an increase of 6.6%.
Pristina Airport continued to see its passenger numbers improve into July as well. It welcomed 209.053 travellers through its doors, a jump of 8.9% compared to last year. As a result, it was busier than its counterpart in Skopje which has been outperforming its rival in Pristina over the past two months. Macedonia's two international airports, Skopje and Ohrid, handled a combined total of 199.547 passengers. Both Pristina and Skopje airports have been involved in a tussle over passengers. Earlier this year, the General Manager of airport operator TAV Macedonia, Zoran Krstevski, said that an increasing number of travellers from Kosovo, Albania and southern Serbia were using Skopje as their point of origin. On the other hand, Pristina Airport has fired back, requesting for the European Commission to investigate state subsidies offered to low cost airlines operating out of Skopje.
During the January - July period, Pristina Airport handled 985.555 passengers, an increase of 13.6% compared to 2015. easyJet awarded the airport for the best ground handling in its network for the month, outperforming some 600 other airports in the airline's network. Pristina Airport excelled in key areas such as on-time performance, customer service and the efficiency of its ground handling services. The General Manager of Pristina Airport, Haldun Fırat Kokturk, said, "We have demonstrated exceptional performance in passenger and flight operations and this award is proof of that".
Photo by Josip Škof