New York was the busiest unserved route from Pristina in 2016 for a second year in a row, with passenger numbers from the airport to the United States continuing to grow. Some 15.000 travellers flew from Pristina to New York (JFK and Newark Liberty) last year. Of those, 10.900 were bound for New York's JFK Airport and 4.100 to Newark Liberty Airport. Other routes in North America which saw a notable number of passengers departing Pristina included Chicago, Washington and Toronto. In 2009, Scanderbeg Air, a short-lived tour operator that contracted with Sky King Airlines, introduced two weekly flights between Pristina and New York with a Boeing 767-200ER aircraft. Services were maintained twice per week between June and September. Since then, there have been no flights between the two cities. Pristina’s close rival, Skopje, also saw notable demand for the Big Apple. Some 7.500 passengers flew between the Macedonian capital and New York's JFK and Newark Liberty airports in 2015. The majority of passengers connected through Istanbul with Turkish Airlines to reach the United State's largest city. New York was only preceded by Frankfurt am Main Airport, which was the most popular unserved destination from Skopje.
Pristina Airport's General Manager, Haldun Firat Kokturk, recently said the US city continues to be a target destination. "The airport is focusing on opening new services to destinations not directly served from Pristina. This should have a positive impact in covering more of the countries and catchment areas where our diaspora is located, and will generate additional passengers visiting Kosovo either for leisure or business", Mr Kokturk noted. He added, "We are willing to increase flight numbers and extend our network with additional routes, and we are using our incentive plan to attract airlines in order to catch this growth at a sustainable level". Other unserved destinations with solid numbers include London Heathrow, Helsinki (to be launched this year), Oslo (to be launched this year), Ankara, Antalya, Stockholm (to be launched this year), Izmir, Amsterdam and Dubai.
|Top unserved routes from Pristina Airport (click to enlarge)|
Pristina Airport handled a record 1.744.202 passengers in 2016, with figures improving 12.6% compared to the year before. Zurich was the busiest destination served out of Pristina during the year. The airport registered a total of 7.254 aircraft movements, up 7.1% on 2015. Germania maintained its position as the busiest carrier with some 270.000 passengers handled, followed by easyJet with 200.000 travellers. The two were proceeded by Edelweiss Air, Adria Airways, Turkish Airlines, Eurowings, Germania Flug and Austrian. The Slovenian national carrier, which boasts a base in Pristina, registered similar figures to that of the year before, however, it was overtaken by both easyJet and Edelweiss, settling as the airport's fourth busiest airline. Pristina Airport handled 1.157 tons of cargo, a slight improvement on 2015s 1.017 tons.
|Passengers by airline at Pristina Airport in 2016 (click to enlarge)|
Switzerland maintained its position as Pristina's largest market in 2016, with 39.2% of all passengers travelling to the country. It was followed by Germany, Turkey, Austria, Slovenia and Belgium. The majority of travellers departed Pristina for Zurich, some 19.7%, followed by Basel, Dusseldorf, Istanbul, Geneva and Munich. Some airlines have already announced plans to launch new flights to Pristina this year including Wizz Air (Budapest) and Norwegian Air Shuttle (Helsinki). SAS Scandinavian Airlines will add new seasonal services to Pristina this summer season as well. The carrier will operate a total of eight return flights from Stockholm on selected dates between August 1 and August 28 with its new Airbus A320neo jet. In addition, the carrier will run ten flights from Oslo to Pristina on selected dates between August 4 and September 2 with a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. It will also resume seasonal services from Copenhagen and Gothenburg. During 2017, the airport is expected to have its runway and taxiways extended, as well as its ILS (instrument landing system) upgraded. The runway will be extended from the current 2.560 metres to 3.000 metres.
|Passengers by destination at Pristina Airport (click to enlarge)|
TOP FIVE BUSIEST YEARS AT PRISTINA AIRPORT
Data provided by Kosovo CAA