Quiet achiever

Pristina Airport on a roll

While most of the limelight is on Belgrade and Zagreb, Pristina Airport has managed to significantly increase passenger numbers over the past few years and is looking stronger than ever in 2013. In addition, the former Yugoslavia’s third busiest airport is set open the doors of its new multi million euro terminal by year’s end, which it hopes will further boost traffic and passenger flow. In the first quarter, Kosovo’s main airport saw its figures boom 19% while in February and March numbers rose over 27%. The airport handled just over 349.000 passengers in the first three months. The growth is being driven, amongst other things, by a strong increase in the number of operated flights, up by 15%.

The busiest carrier at Pristina Airport was Belleair Europe, which was the airline of choice for 64.030 passengers. Germanwings came in second with 36.115 travellers. Adria Airways, which also calls Pristina its home, carried over 20.000 passengers and was the fifth busiest airline at the airport, behind Germania and easyJet but ahead of Darwin Airlines, Edelweiss, Turkish Airlines and Belair. The most popular destination from Pristina was Zurich with a combined total of both inbound and outbound passengers standing at 80.000. The route has seen a 27% boost in passenger numbers so far this year. Istanbul (both Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen airports) was the second most popular destination with some 40.000 passengers. Dusseldorf and Munich were next in line with over 30.000 travellers.

Meanwhile, construction of the airport’s new terminal and control tower are progressing, with construction to be completed by the end of the year. The new terminal stretches over 45.000 square metres with the building featuring three air bridges. Furthermore, a new apron and car park with the ability to serve 1.750 vehicles are also under construction. Pristina handled 1.527.134 passenger in 2012, up 7.4% on the year before.


  1. Anonymous11:47

    What is the expected capacity of PRN once they finish construction?

    1. Anonymous11:59

      4 million air passengers per annum.

    2. Anonymous12:41

      so they are doubling capacity then. Good lick to them.

    3. Anonymous14:52

      It's a 20 year concession, so 4 million air passengers per annum is not as unrealistic as you may think.

  2. SuisseOuest12:06

    Great news for Pristina! Does anyone know the numbers for other destinations in Switzerland? I'd really like to see if numbers for GVA are as strong as ZRH. Maybe that could nudge EasyJet or Swiss (or both) towards adding daily GVA-BEG (or at least 4 weekly). On that note, I'd really appreciate if someone has load numbers for MXP-BEG on EasyJet.
    I flew recently GVA-FRA-BEG and back and was amazed how many (>80% for sure) people were connecting in FRA from both inbound flights. Given the number of daily flights to StarAlliance hubs (FRA, MUC, VIE, ZRH) from BEG, is it realistic to hope that one of the other alliances could have 2-3 daily flights to BEG (from CDG, AMS or LHR) that rely on connecting pax? Right now they get very few overseas connecting pax and by using JU codeshares they are likely to lose those, too... Honestly, I think KL regional double daily would work well for connections to Scandinavia, US and O&D market in Holland.

    1. @SuisseOuest
      2013 Q1 PRN figures to Swiss destinations:
      BSL 17,946
      GVA 19,431
      MLH (BSL) 9,399 + 1,549 (charter)
      ZRH 79,509

      So, totals:
      1. ZRH 79,509
      2. BSL/MLH 28,894
      3. GVA 19,431

      ZRH and BSL are 1 hour drive apart, so BSL is essentially the low-cost alternative to ZRH. They both serve the same market from PRN perspective. ZRH flights are criminally expensive.

      In July and August these figures really shoot up with up to 12 flights a day between ZRH and PRN. This season I expect that figure to be even higher considering 2-3 additional daily flights by Belle Air Europe (sold under Darwin Airline brand for legal reasons).

    2. SuisseOuest16:53

      Thanks for the info! Those are very impressive passenger numbers, especially given the overpriced ZRH flights. It's amazing that high demand didn't lower the prices yet...
      Unfortunately, the numbers don't quite support my wish to get better connection between GVA and BEG - there are many people from Kosovo in west Switzerland and still majority of them fly from ZRH and BSL. Majority of Serbian diaspora is in the eastern part of Switzerland, so ZRH works better for them anyway...

  3. Great work Prisina!

    OT, is it true Etihad is now in talks to take over OU? Reported on airliners.net.

    1. Anonymous12:40

      Post a full link.

    2. http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/5769432/

      dhr, rpl 14

    3. Anonymous13:57

      it's speculation on a forum, about as reliable as the news you read here.

  4. Ongoing flame wars on who is better have been deleted and will continue to be deleted.

  5. Anonymous18:21

    i strongly doubt Croatian Government will sell a steak in Croatian Airlines to anyone, they just made threads of bankruptcy for workers to agree to new pay deal and conditions. Croatian Airlines has massive assets and large turnover that any purchase in airline by anyone would be a major investment even by Lufthansa standards, and I don't see anyone in current economic circumstances willing to part with 300-400 million for 49% stake in an airline that has internal issues.

    Only solution for Croatian Airlines right now is to restructure itself, get rid off crooks and start to operate like an highly competitive airline.

    For this, SDP/HNS must appoint British/French/German general manager, independent auditing firm to do its audits and arrest anyone who has been steeling money from the airline over the years, which mostly are HDZ appointees and crooks.

    Once that is done, Croatia Airlines has a very bright future, it is the only airline in the entire region with some future perspectives, they'd be damned if they can't use this to their advantage.

  6. Anonymous23:19

    600-800m € market capitalization? Say what? They've been piling on debt for years now, they are a completely failed airlines that's about to see its subsidies cut out due to EU laws. And Lufthansa is in a no position to acquire anything, let alone add another loss maker to its already large balance sheet. Recession isn't the best time to expand, you know.

  7. Anonymous00:36

    Great job PRN!
    With the new terminal and eventual visa free regime PRN can easily handle more than 2 mln pax by 2014!

    1. Anonymous06:39

      I am sorry to burst your bubble but there will be no visa free regime until 2025.

    2. Anonymous14:55

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but we don't care.


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