Skopje Airport amongst Europe’s best

Skopje Airport wins ACI award

Airports Council International (ACI) has named Skopje Alexander the Great Airport as the best in Europe in the category of up to two million passengers per year based on passenger answers to the airport service quality survey forms collected in 2012. “We, as TAV Airports, are delighted to receive this prestigious award related to Skopje Airport, which was renovated and started to render services in a very short time based on our know-how. Accordingly, we are very happy to receive this award as a result of the impressions and experience of our guests who traveled through many airports in Europe. I would like to express my gratitude to all our stakeholders, especially to the Ministry of Transport and Communications for all mutual efforts that contributed to reach this success”, TAV Airports Holding COO Murat Ornekol said.

The Airports Council International awards are handed out in several categories, including best airport by region, best airport by region with fewer than two million passengers, best airport by size and most improved airport. In the former Yugoslavia, only Sarajevo Airport and Dubrovnik Airport have received ACI awards in the past. Airports Council International develops standards, policies and recommended practices for airports, and provides information and training opportunities to raise standards around the world.

Skopje Airport opened its brand new terminal in September 2011. It has started 2013 off on a strong note. In January it handled 65.700 passengers while in February it welcomed 55.077 travellers through its doors, or an improvement of 12% compared to the year before. Wizz Air has now become the airport’s busiest airline, followed by Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Jat Airways and Croatia Airlines. Zurich remains the most popular destination from Skopje, followed by Istanbul, Vienna, Belgrade and Zagreb.


  1. Anonymous09:18

    Congratulations to TAV! They have made an amazing job at SKP Airport! And btw. the growth numbers are denying all previous comments doubting about its potential!

  2. Anonymous09:19

    Looks far more impressive than Zagy, that's for sure...

    1. Anonymous09:40

      And more impressive then Begy! When did they last win anything?

    2. Anonymous10:09

      The impressive is the building, not the award, you idiot.

    3. Anonymous10:25

      Hmmm but the serbs get to keep 20 million euros profit each year where as turks get to pocket the cash from SKP That is the bottom line.

    4. Anonymous15:45

      Current Zagreb Terminal constructed in 1962, expanded in 1979 and now in 2013, received new face front in 2010 and by the end of 2014 it'll be a decent terminal. Interior of the terminal looks like any modern terminal with services and facilities that are on pair with any airport of similar size in western Europe.

      However, its a small terminal that has reached its maximum capacity, thus the need for new terminal which I might add will be the world class terminal, by far best looking and most functional terminal in the region, and wider.

      Current terminal will remain in use for low cost airlines and domestic flights only, that is when new terminal opens, with new terminal cappacity of around 8-10 million it'll be also the biggest terminal in the region and hopefully busiest in the region come 2020.

    5. Anonymous16:28

      "Interior of the terminal looks like any modern terminal with services and facilities that are on pair with any airport of similar size in western Europe."

      You've got to be joking, the international gates are laughable. I have more spacing between the doors in my flat than ZAG between the individual gates. Not to mention how crowded it gets in the morning.

    6. Anonymous18:54

      Reason why they had t expand current terminal, but interior (not departure and arrival halls) is highly functional and modern, and don't forget this terminal was built for 1.5 million pax, it handles nearly twice that.

  3. Purger09:19

    Breaking news:
    European Investment bank gave 120 million EUR loan to ZAIC for building new terminal.

    "Taj će projekt pridonijeti jačanju konkurentnosti Hrvatske, buduće članice Europske unije, zbog njezinog položaja na sjecištu prioritetnih paneuropskih prometnih koridora V i X, ističu u EIB-u."


    1. Anonymous16:41

      CongrEtulation? Purger, are you drunk again? You worry me.

    2. JU520 BEGLAX20:11

      Hello Purger, that is excellent news. I read it on facebook. Aren t u publishing aerovjesti? I hope that contruction will start soon. Can t wait to see Zagreb with an enhanced travel experience.

      and yep of course a big cheer to Skopje for their achievement. happy with you and proud of you!!

    3. Purger01:53

      No, I write for Aeronautika.

  4. Anonymous10:14

    I think the turks used the cheapest materials that they could. Look at that roof. These are the awards that pristina got with their 1960s bus terminal building.

    Also if you are gonna compare beg and skp, you may compare skp with singapore.

    1. Anonymous12:09

      Too bad there are no airports yet in the Outer Space, because those would probably be the only ones people would be allowed to compare with mighty BEG. And yes, BEG and SKP belong in the same category, BEG and Changi DON'T !!!

    2. Anonymous13:04


      To say that when you compare SKP and BEG it is the same thing to compare SKP and SIN, is at least typical prepotent!

    3. Anonymous14:48

      Singapore airport 2012 :

      served 106 airlines
      which carried 51 million passengers
      and operated flights to 240 destinations
      in 60 countries on all continents
      through 3 terminals and
      through 92 airbridges and 37 remote stands

      So yeah, right, if you compare SKP to BEG you can compare it to SIN

  5. Doot11:23

    The whole SKP story is an interesting one.

    At first, it seems like a great PPP deal. New airport, Macedonian taxpayers don't pay for it, TAV gets the airport tax.

    What happens, though, when wizzair says, "give us a break on the taxes" as these low-cost airlines do.

    Is the Macedonian government on the hook to TAV to make up the difference?

    1. @Doot
      The Macedonian (not FYROMian) government has made what they believed to be a strategic decision not to go after a great PPP, but also spend (or invest in management-talk) taxpayers money to attract airlines and passengers to the country. Whether that's the right thing to do is open to discussion, but I don't think the Macedonian government is being "tricked" into giving tax breaks or spending money. It's a conscious decision.

    2. Doot12:24

      I wasn't saying that they were tricked, and you didn't answer the question :)

      Is the Macedonian government on the hook to TAV for tax-breaks to LCC?

    3. @Doot
      I do not know if they're on the hook or not.

      I simply wanted to add that the Macedonian government has made a strategic decision to intervene in this sector and spend money to attract airlines and passengers. I don't think their view of behind recent developments was that of a PPP that would not involve spending Macedonian taxpayers' money. After all, the taxpayer today is subsidising Wizz Air flights out of SKP. So, they don't need to ask for tax breaks since they are already getting them.

      Where will this lead to is not known? We will find out the answer to your question in 3 years' time or so when current subsidies are expected to dry up.

      It is interesting, however, to note that the current operator of Heathrow Airport has raised airport fees on the basis that the number of flights and passengers has not matched their original estimates. Hence, in order to cover the cost of investments, airport fees have gone up. What will happen if SKP does not reach the estimated 4 million passengers that TAV expects by the end of its concession period? Will TAV increase airport fees and then the government be forced to spend more than it intended to remains to be seen.

  6. First, congratulations to SKP. Finally some positive news from the region. It must be said that the award is well-deserved considering the size and terminal facilities compared to the number of passengers. Well done to our south-eastern neighbours.

    Second, in the interest of accuracy, ACI did award PRN the Best Airport 2006 Award in the under one million passengers category.

  7. Anonymous11:50

    Main sentence of the article is :"BASED ON PASSENGER ANSWERS".

    The fact is that vast majority of the customers of all ex-yu airports (except for Croatia and Montenegro, because of the sea& foreign tourists), are their own nationals.

    It is similar situation with BEG being 7th in the world, which is absolutely ridicoulous. It is similar with THY voted the best airline, because majority of passengers are Turks living abroad or on huge domestic network.

    And please don't misunderstand me : I have nothing against SKP and Macedonia, or any other ex-yu republic, quite contrary I wish if they all could have much better results. After all, that's why I follow this blog.

    And I really think SKP and Macedonia did great job with the new airport, which functions very well, opens new services and attracts new airlines; you have my respect for that. But, if we want to speak frankly, it's simply not THE BEST small/medium size airport in Europe, you like it or not.

    1. Anonymous13:21

      NCE is probably one of the best. SAW is not bad either, but the staff is just idiotic, like elsewhere in Turkey.

    2. Anonymous21:00

      SAW is not medium anymore, it is over 10 milion pasangers so..

    3. Doot22:41


  8. Anonymous11:59

    ...or you compare Belgrade and Singapore

    1. Anonymous15:02

      Changi one and only, forever ! :)

  9. Anonymous13:28

    I can see from looking at various pix and websites, that the Turks have used cheapest materials and that several parts of the airport began to show age already. Whoever was in IST knows what I am talking about. I visited IST several times and the "brand new" Terminal looked shabby after 1 year already. Bolts on wrong places, glass windows in different colours...we would say "javasluk" everywhere. Any german engineer or interior designer would just sheak his head when visiting this building.
    The IKEA style can bee seen from outer space.

    1. Anonymous15:17

      All critics of IST Ataturk, give me a break, ok ?! The very best business lounge in Europe by far, and, most probably, among world's top 5 ... Further, airport itself is very good but with less and less space for that number of passengers... Recently, I read an article about plans for constructing a brand new and much bigger airport in Istanbul, not surprised at all ...

    2. Aэrologic16:39

      Turks are known around the entire world for being cheap, superficial and irresponsible. I'm no surprised by the comments above concerning IST, since everything done in Turkey is nothing but a pale copy of what can be seen in the West. They have no inspiration or originality whatsoever. Hence, the quality sucks. They have no authentic design in anything.

      That situation results from the problems deeper at the core of the Turkish ethnos, which is lost somewhere between its Central Asian roots, Islamic-Arab heritage and Western aspirations.

    3. Anonymous20:14

      what a BS! whats next? you'll tell us more about the supremacy of the "arian race"???

    4. Anonymous00:15

      Typical EU- western propaganda! We are the best, the coolest, the smartest, the richest..Because of that attitude everything is falling apart that was built in post war EU! From states till banks, airlines etc. While loosing the old glory only rasistic and self centered comments like this are trying to feed the average European with some nationalistic leftovers..At the Balkans we know this recipe! It's always the beginning of the end!

  10. Anonymous23:01

    "Turks are known around the entire world for being cheap, superficial and irresponsible." Wow! Talk about racism, prejudice and superficial analysis. What an idiot!

  11. Anonymous00:14

    Friends, greetings from Ankara,

    I think you can find answers in some of the comments above why

    - this blog is ex-yu aviation but not yu aviation
    - nostalgia never ends here about JAT DC-10
    - discussions never ends here about when will B733s be renewed.

    Interestingly, just today TK ordered some 100+ A32xNEOs, announced 26% increase in passenger numbers as of Feb13 and declared 1.1B TL EBIT for 2012. It is rumored that, another 100+ B738MAX order is on its way in short term and A388 for Paris Show by summer. Best airline in Europe? You decide it!

    TAV: They are also building Abu Dhabi Airport and Qatar Airport. Bad quality material and low level of Turkish Engineering? You decide it. You know the answer already!

    And next time, please compare Turkish Engineering to your engineering, rather than Germans. Try to respect yourself.

  12. Anonymous09:15

    Sorry my Turkish friend but no one compares the Germain engineering here except the Croats .....

    1. Anonymous11:07

      So you think I don't know you. LOL

  13. Anonymous00:01

    Turkish engineering may not be as German, but is sure as hell closer to it than any other east european countries compared. Hence, Abu Dhabi/Doha new airports. Do you really think the oil-rich Arabs would let the Turks build it if they thought they weren't capable? They have enough money to hire pretty much aaany company in the world. If you're a hater then you'll probably say immediately that it's because of the same religion, which makes you pathetic enough.


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