Strong April from Skopje and Sarajevo

Skopje and Sarajevo grow while Ljubljana sees numbers decline

Both Skopje and Sarajevo recorded strong passenger growth in April, with numbers in both cities surging over 10%. Skopje Alexander the Great Airport handled 74.381 passengers, up 12.3% compared to the same month last year. Macedonia’s second international airport, Ohrid, also improved its figures by welcoming 2.272 passengers through its doors. In the first four month of the year, Skopje Airport handled 262.601 passengers. The airport could soon get a new customer as Bulgaria Air has announced plans to launch services from Sofia to the Macedonian capital. The airline had similar plans several years ago but in the end never launched flights.

Sarajevo Airport also recorded impressive numbers this April. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s busiest airport saw 56.918 passengers go through its doors, up a considerable 14.5% compared to the same month last year. So far in 2013, the airport has handled 165.385 passengers, an improvement of 13.3%. Banja Luka Airport also managed to improve its result by 6.5% as it handled 431 passengers. On the other hand, the airport in Tuzla once again did not handle a single passenger. However, this is about to change. In ten days Wizz Air is set to launch flights from Malmo, Gothenburg and Basel to Tuzla which is set to bring new life to the airport.

Meanwhile, Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has published its first quarter results. The airport handled 211.843 passengers in the first three months of the year, a decrease of 2.7% compared to the same period in 2012. However, the airport is showing signs of slow recovery. In March it welcomed 81.785 passengers, which was down only 0.9%. With Adria Airways’ figures slowly improving, the airport is expected to have seen its first passenger increase for years in April. The airport’s management estimates it will end the year off with a 2% passenger increase. Numbers will improve in September as Slovenia hosts the European Basketball Championships.


  1. Anonymous10:40

    Great to hear all that for SJJ and SKP. I flew recentely to Skopje and it is nice and modern airport, congratulations for them!!!! The only thing I didn't like is that everything was written in albanian language...not just at the airport but also in the city. I think it's something to be carefull about.

    Could you give us numbers for Nis (INI). Would be intersting to know how Montenegro works on the route from Podgorica and Mistral air from Trieste. Any one knows load factor on those flights?

    1. What is so dangerous in having signs in a local language so that the local population is able to read and follow them? A quarter of Macedonia's population is of Albanian ethnicity and a similar percentage of Skopje's population is of Albanian ethnicity.

      Is the official name Republic of Macedonia something you did not like either? Is that something to be careful(l) about, too? Both Republic of Macedonia and Albanians in the Republic of Macedonia are the reality whether you like it or not.

      Why is diversity and inclusion something "to be carefull about?"

    2. Anonymous11:30

      Please don't be offended, I don't hate anyone. I just say what I didn't like. And,let me remind you that local language is macedonian and not albanian. It would be the same as we would have serbian signs all over Chicago but we don't!
      But we are all here beacuse of aviation that we like, so let's enjoy it and hope to see progress and get good news form every cornerer of our ex-country! :-(
      Best regards to all of you and thanks for the post about INI !!!

    3. Anonymous13:04

      There are signs in different languages all over the normal world. Even Chicago.

      No big deal!

    4. Anonymous13:49

      That's not correct. You'll see some signs, commercials in Spanish maybe but even that is only in southern states like Florida (MIA is one airport that comes to mind). Everithign else is in English, every single US airport.

    5. @Anonymous 11:30 AM
      It's not possible to know whether you hate anyone or not, but your words don't carry a message of love and understand, rather they seem to be against diversity and inclusion. I hope that your intentions were better than that.

      For your edification, Albanian language is an official local language in Skopje. In municipalities where ethnic groups are represented with over 20% of the total population, the language of that ethnic group is co-official (Source: If, say, 20% of Skopje were Serbian then Serbian becomes an official language in Skopje. I think that's only fair, correct, tolerant and accepting. All positive things in my book.

      Since we're here to discuss aviation, a community of people that travels and are exposed to different cultures and languages, I would expect you to be a little bit more open-minded than your "average Joe."

      Last, but not least, Skopje Airport is trying to attract Kosovars to fly out of SKP. It makes commercial sense to have signs in a language that Kosovars understand. We are moving towards post-ethnic societies in the former Yugoslavia. You never know, we might even see Albanian language signs at INI to try and attract Kosovars and Preshevo valley air passengers.

      Keep an open mind, please.

    6. Anonymous21:15

      @ Anonymous, given your level of English, it's clear you're not from the US, so stop pretending to know things about American airports.

      Plenty of airports around the world have bilingual or even trilingual signs. Heck in Vancouver you even have signs in Chinese. Imagine that!

      But most importantly, whether you like it or not, Albanian is an official language in Macedonia. And a large chunk, if not most, of the passengers in SKP are of Albanian descent. Unless I'm not aware of, when did Serbian become the official language of Chicago?

      You come here and say that the only thing you didn't like about SKP was the use of Albanian and to be careful about that. When people challenge you on your bigoted views, you say lets talk about aviation and not politics, when it was you who talked about politics. Why am I not surprised that not only are you a bigot, but also a hypocrite.

    7. Anonymous08:44

      Vancouver airport, you see Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, English, French

      oh my, we better "be careful"

  2. Nikola10:54

    Niš welcomed 1.394 passengers in April, up 30% comparing to March (1.070). So far this year, 5.147 passangers, but I don't know how much they had this time last year. Still, no results from BEG.

  3. Anonymous12:15

    How come we haven't seen April figures for BEG?

  4. Anonymous15:21

    SKP is seriousy getting closer to LJU!
    Btw. there is nothing to wonder about signs in Albanian. Dozens of Kosovars are flying from
    Skopje, are coming for shopping in the malls or are being treated in macedonian private hospitals. The country profits for them a lot.

  5. Anonymous23:35

    Croatia Airlines strike has ended! The cabin crew will accept a 9 percent drop in their salaries!

    1. This is crazy. 5 different Unions with 5 separate agendas was easy pickings for OU management. If they stayed united they may have at least kept the same wage. Its not like they are anywhere near overpaid.

      Now the management have a victory and an agenda to continue with the status quo, not change anything significant and eventually run the airline into oblivion.


Post a Comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.