No change in EX-YU airport race

Belgrade tops first quarter passenger numbers
The busiest airports in the former Yugoslavia have held their 2011 end of year positions throughout the first quarter of 2012. Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport remains the busiest in the region with added growth while Zagreb holds on to second place with a slight decrease in passenger numbers. Besides Belgrade, strong growth in the first quarter was recorded at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport and Tivat Airport. On the other hand, the airports in Podgorica, Ljubljana and Sarajevo saw numbers slide.

Priština Airport has also recorded modest growth by handling 292.697 passengers in the first three months. Amongst the smaller airports in the region, Niš Constantine the Great has seen growth exceed 20%, while Mostar Airport is also recording record traffic. Despite performing better in both January and February of 2012, numbers at Banja Luka Airport plunged in March. As a result, the airport handled 230 passengers less than in the same period last year.

Below you can review the results of the busiest airport in the former Yugoslavia. Missing from the table are Podgorica and Tivat which have, so far, only provided figures for the first two months of the year.

AirportQ1 PAX 2012Q1 PAX 2011Change (%)
Belgrade604.210530.317 14.0
Zagreb402.590424.461 5.2
Priština292.697280.171 4.5
Ljubljana230.800239.633 3.7
Skopje160.750127.805 26.0
Sarajevo96.290105.435 8.7
Split72.70576.213 4.6
Dubrovnik60.42863.898 5.4


  1. Anonymous09:46

    Свака част за Београд. Само напред, изгледа да ће ова година бити још боља него прошла.

    Могу да замислим колики би био раст да нема кризе.

    1. Anonymous13:38

      I really respect everyone who write in cyrillics or in mother language- it is nice to see how someone respect tradition and language. But since this is international blog I would also appriciate if you could write in english.

      Not everyone understand the serbocroatian language, not to mention the cyrillic writing.

      Regards, Matej

    2. KITSUNE17:52

      Hi Matej!

      I translate for you...
      He/she says:

      "Well done Belgrade.Follow the path,
      it seems this year will even be better then last one.
      I can only imagine how much would be growth if there would be no crisis."

      I hope i made no mistake!

  2. Anonymous10:22

    Great for Belgrade!

  3. Anonymous11:17

    Additional info: both Split and Dubrovnik started strong in April and had almost as many passengers in that month than in the first 3 months of 2012:
    Split 60.837
    Dubrovnik: 84.775 (10.7% increase from April 2011)

  4. JU520 BEGLAX12:52

    congrats to Belgrade....

    today LX with A320 and A321 in Belgrade..... that will further boost the figures hehe

  5. Nice to hear it. But Belgrade is still behind Sofia and that should be their main goal, not EX-YU airports. Best wishes for Belgrade but with out intercontinental flight they won't be No 1 in the region (Budapest, Athens, Bucharest...)
    Belgrade, you need to do it better. One more time congrats ;)

    1. Anonymous18:52

      Belgrade does not need to be number one in the region.
      But it would be nice if all Gulf carriers would serve Belgrade nonstop!

      It would be nice if Serbs had the opportunity to work there(Gulf region) for some years, earn good money and then come back also for holidays.

  6. Anonymous14:34

    ^ Budapest and Bucharest currently don't have transcontinental flights....

    But I too along with many others are hoping that transcontinental flights will start :D

    1. Anonymous14:42

      Technically Belgrade does have. Dubai and Tel Aviv are on another continent hence why the airport does have intercontinental flights. Also, if Qatar ends up opening up their own flights it will be even better.

  7. Anonymous14:37

    Well done to SKP as well. Great growth :)

  8. Anonymous15:21

    How do BEG and SOF compare? It would be interesting to compare growth rates etc., of all Balkan airports. As well as passenger figures for all Balkan airlines.
    Thanx - Charlie

    1. Anonymous20:52

      Both countries face high emigration figures and hence the growing numbers. Bulgaria though, has 4 international airports having all-year destinations: SOF, VAR, BOJ and now PDV. Sofia was hit by the walkaway of many airlines such as Pegasus, Cimber Sterling, Czech Airlines, etc. Thanks to Wizzair, the figures are still steady.

    2. Anonymous21:37

      I would love to see some official statistics to back up your claim of high emigration. Emigration can’t sustain 15% growth each month.

    3. Anonymous22:16

      He just wants (indirectly) to explain the catastrophic pax numbers downslide at ZAG by improving living conditions in Croatia :)

    4. Anonymous23:09

      Well, try and check the population growth rate for Serbia back in 2010 for example and compare it with the one in 2011. Visa free within EU, lots of Serbs leaving the country. This is nothing personal but just the basic facts of life.

    5. Anonymous23:34

      There is no growth rate. There is a population decline because there are more people dying per year than there are people being born, like in Croatia. Visa free regime only gives you the chance to travel within the EU for a maximum of three months. And the fact that the growth is not related to your claim of emigration is proved by the fact that that there are more people arriving at BEG then departing. This is because after the economic crisis people from the diaspora are travelling more (some haven’t visited for several years) and on top of that add that more people are travelling from Serbia holiday/visits etc compared to 2010 (visa free, low cost airlines have arrived), more business traffic and more transit pax from Macedonia and Montenegro. Now, I’m not saying people wouldn’t want to emigrate, I’m just saying that BEG’s traffic isn’t rising because of it. If we were to follow the theory that 10% of Belgrade’s growth each month is fuelled by emigration, by the end of the year there would be no one left in Serbia.

    6. Anonymous01:34

      Whats also very weird is that Sofia doesnt have a year round service to ANY city in Scandinavia...

    7. Anonymous09:35

      Sofia used to have Cimber to CPH. The largest Bulgarian diaspora is in Spain hence the numerous flights to the country. London remains the most important destination to/from the whole country.
      As for the traffic figures of BEG, lets wait patiently and see if this growth will be steady @ approx. 10-15% or it shall decline to 5-8%.

  9. Anonymous15:24

    SKP is on fire, and PRN is doing very well, so it seems that SKP is not 'stealing' and pax from PRN.

    1. Anonymous00:01

      Congrats to SKP!!The fastest growing airport in the region!
      Btw. it doesnt steal pax from PRN but doesnt fuel PRN with pax any more!!Wait and see what happens when soon SKP will have LCC to Scandinavia and Germany..

    2. Anonymous00:06

      OK, so before some Macedonians used to PRN, now thngs are changing and perhaps Kosovars are using SKP.

  10. Anonymous15:44

    The only cities in Eastern Europe currently having regular long-haul (let's say it that way instrad of int. continental) flights are: Kiev, Warsaw and Moscow.

    1. Anonymous16:14

      And Prague, if we consider it "Eastern European" ;-): JFK and ICN as proper long-haul + many intercontinental shorter routes (ALA, DXB, AUH, TAS, etc.)

  11. Anonymous16:03

    You'll excuse me for omitting LED airport from the list above.
    So last year BEG served 3.12 million pax, SOF 3.47.
    This year so far BEG served 871.564 while SOF served 1.066.560 (respective period Q1+April).
    Still for this year, pax trend change +14% for BEG and +3% for SOF.
    It is very probable that BEG will overtake SOF this year.

  12. Anonymous10:33

    To be honnest SOF has got a pretty crappy destinations list...

    1. Anonymous17:48

      You are so right! It has:
      BCN, LHR/LGW/LTN/, MAD, DOH, MAN, TLV. All those are sooo crappy and small cities and destinations Not to mention 9x daily VIE.
      BEG on the other hand has TOP destinations such as:
      TIV, AER, POW, MIR :) and soon have a flight to NYC, SIN and maybe SYD and MEL like in the good old times and MAYBE become the main Balkan hub....

    2. Anonymous18:48

      Laki je malo nervozan?

  13. Anonymous19:48

    8% decline for BEG this year? Yeah right.....

    BEG is getting one widebody by October this year.

  14. Anonymous20:20

    Tivat Q1 2012, Pax = 58,191, Podgorica Q1 2012 Pax = 134,268. Passengers in Tivat have grown 28.4%, 30.6% and 21.7%, in January, Feb and March of 2012 compared to the same months in 2011.


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