Wizz Air leads Ljubljana Airport recovery

Encouraging trends for Ljubljana Airport

Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has posted much needed passenger growth as its search for a new owner intensifies. In the first three quarters, Slovenia’s busiest airport welcomed 1.033.901 passengers, an increase of 8.1% compared to the same period last year. A total of eight airlines operated scheduled flights to the city compared to seven last year. Ljubljana Airport welcomed 845.304 passengers on scheduled flights, up 10.2%, with the remaining 150.960 passengers boarding charter flights, also up 9.5%. Some 158.738 passengers used Ljubljana as a transit point for onward travel, representing an improvement of 36.7% compared to 2012.

Wizz Air has been a key player in Ljubljana’s recovery. The airline launched flights from London Luton and Brussels Charleroi late last year and has led to an expansion in low cost travel from the airport. Wizz Air and easyJet now account for 12.3% of all passengers using the airport, up 4.2% on the same period last year. easyJet is currently the second busiest airline in Ljubljana after Adria Airways. However, its numbers have been hit by a 7.5% decrease as it discontinued its Paris route but continues to maintain flights to London Stansted. In less than a year, Wizz Air has become Ljubljana’s third busiest airline with some 50.000 passengers carried to and from the Slovenian capital. Other carriers performing well include Montenegro Airlines which recorded a 22% improvement on its Podgorica service. Turkish Airlines, which is Ljubljana’s fourth busiest airline, saw its passenger number soar 35.4%. The biggest loser was Air France which has seen its figures plummet by 19%. The airline now operates its Paris - Ljubljana service through its regional subsidiary HOP!.

Ljubljana Airport’s performance is strongly linked with that of its biggest customer - Adria Airways. The Slovenian carrier, which has seen its numbers improve 3.2% in the first three quarters, carried a whopping 69.5% of all passengers using Ljubljana Airport or 691.919 travellers. This is despite the fact that Adria has operated fewer flights than last year. Overall, the most popular destination served from Ljubljana is London (both Stansted and Luton), followed by Frankfurt and Istanbul. Skopje is the most popular EX-YU destination to be served out of the Slovenian capital while Sarajevo and Belgrade come bottom last. The most popular charter flights were those to Tel Aviv followed by Antalya and Hurghada in Egypt. Almost all destinations served from the Slovenian capital recorded improved passenger trends in 2013 compared to last year with exception to Vienna, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Belgrade while Pristina and Brussels were break even.

Ljubljana Airport is hoping to end the fourth quarter and the year on a positive note. Earlier this week Air Serbia launched daily flights to Belgrade. In addition, next year, Adria Airways will introduce new flights from Ljubljana to Prague, Warsaw and London Gatwick. On Tuesday, the Slovenia Prime Minister pitched Ljubljana Airport to investors at the Russian-Slovenian investment conference. The Russian Minister for Mass Communications, Nikolai Nikiforov, has confirmed Russian companies are interested in buying a stake in Ljubljana Airport.


  1. Anonymous10:36

    'Minister for Mass Communications' ? This sounds so Orwellian.

  2. Anonymous11:16

    OT": Air Serbia first flight to Tel Aviv - today.... 4 days in a week....

    1. Anonymous11:25

      Huh? I don't get what you mean.

    2. Anonymous12:08

      He means first JU a319 flight to TLV

    3. Anonymous17:26

      Actually no. Air Serbia flies four times per week to Tel Aviv today. Strange, I thought it was daily.

    4. Anonymous18:25

      It goes daily from JAN 01 2014.

    5. Anonymous23:31

      Za Tel Aviv će se leteti utorkom, četvrtkom, petkom i
      nedeljom i ta linija biće veza za važne destinacije,
      kao što su Pariz, Amsterdam, Brisel, Moskva,
      Kopenhagen, Cirih, Beč, Berlin... Haha, like Tel Aviv does not have its own connections to those cities. God!

    6. Anonymous23:54

      God. Пратећи твоју логику зашто Туркиш лети 8 пута на дан тамо када постоје директни летови ка већини градова ка којима продају карте.

    7. Anonymous01:06

      Ma koji ce zidov letjeti arapskom kompanijom Air Serbia?

    8. Anonymous01:25

      Па мораће некако док не слети Шаховница у Тел Авив.

    9. Anonymous10:37

      šahovnica leti u Tel Aviv vec 15 godina i to tri puta tjedno. A leti i El Al za ZAG sa 767.

  3. Anonymous13:42

    Is it possible to see breakdown of pax numbers in ExYU airports between legacy/lowcost carriers?

  4. Anonymous16:26

    And i would like to see O&D vs. transit.

    -- Charlie

  5. Anonymous16:55

    OK, looks as if this is how this year gonna pan out for all major airports in ex-YU in terms of passenger numbers.

    Belgrade - 3.52 million passengers
    Zagreb - 2.31 million passengers
    Pristina - 1.62 million passengers
    Split - 1.58 million passengers
    Dubrovnik - 1.52 million passengers.
    Ljubljana - 1.31 million passengers
    Skopje - 1.03 million passengers
    Podgorica - 720 000~ passengers
    Tivat - 695 000~ passengers
    Sarajevo - 670 000~ passengers
    Zadar - 485 000~ passengers
    Pula - 385 000~ passengers

    And projections for 2014

    Belgrade - 3.83 million passengers
    Zagreb - 2.55 million passengers
    Split - 1.72 million passengers
    Pristina - 1.70 million passengers
    Dubrovnik - 1.61 million passengers.
    Ljubljana - 1.44 million passengers
    Skopje - 1.16 million passengers
    Podgorica - 810 000~ passengers
    Sarajevo - 785 000~ passengers
    Tivat - 745 000~ passengers
    Zadar - 525 000~ passengers
    Pula - 425 000~ passengers

    And projections for 2015

    Belgrade - 4.13 million passengers
    Zagreb - 3.25 million passengers
    Split - 1.87 million passengers
    Pristina - 1.81 million passengers
    Dubrovnik - 1.73 million passengers.
    Ljubljana - 1.71 million passengers
    Skopje - 1.31 million passengers
    Sarajevo - 955 000~ passengers
    Podgorica - 900 000~ passengers
    Tivat - 795 000~ passengers
    Zadar - 575 000~ passengers
    Pula - 505 000~ passengers

    And projections for 2016

    Belgrade - 4.44 million passengers
    Zagreb - 3.55 million passengers
    Split - 2.02 million passengers
    Pristina - 1.93 million passengers
    Dubrovnik - 1.84 million passengers.
    Ljubljana - 1.82 million passengers
    Skopje - 1.44 million passengers
    Sarajevo - 1.06 million~ passengers
    Podgorica - 965 000~ passengers
    Tivat - 835 000~ passengers
    Zadar - 585 000~ passengers
    Pula - 525 000~ passengers

    And projections for 2017

    Belgrade - 4.82 million passengers
    Zagreb - 3.85 million passengers
    Split - 2.21 million passengers
    Dubrovnik - 2.04 million passengers.
    Ljubljana - 2.02 million passengers
    Pristina - 2.0 million passengers
    Skopje - 1.64 million passengers
    Sarajevo - 1.21 million~ passengers
    Podgorica - 990 000~ passengers
    Tivat - 865 000~ passengers
    Zadar - 705 000~ passengers
    Pula - 585 000~ passengers

    1. Anonymous22:32

      I do not believe that Zagreb will reach 3.85 million passengers in 2017. More realistic is the 3.2 million passengers, because they won't have a strong airline that will bring so much passengers to Zagreb Airport.

    2. ^Yes, you are right, those predictions won't be accurate. BEG will get around 3.9 mil in 2014.

      The 2013 numbers will be around 3.55, and I think BEG will have around 12% growth next year. There will be a few new airlines, and Air Serbia is having a big expansion.

    3. Anonymous01:49

      @AnonymousDecember 15, 2013 at 10:32 PM

      My Zagreb prediction is based on French investors own prediction and plans.

      I like to think they know what they're talking about since they are after all 2nd largest airport management group on the planet with 2 of Paris airports under their wing, as well as Istanbul airport, Amsterdam airport to name few.

      Serious plans are afoot and I am confident in my data. I am not sure Belgrade airport would go so fast as some of you think,

      Yes many new airlines are coming to Belgrade and this is where growth is going to happen (not with air Serbia as much).

      I think Ethiad might play major role at Belgrade airport but I see no major dramatic changes in terms of numbers, a steady growth of between 300-400 000 per year.

      Zagreb airport you all forget had steady growth of 8-9% per year before economic crisis, only in 2013 numbers went stagnant for obvious reasons, Croatian airlines cutting down on many flights (15% reduction in operations out of Zagreb Airport) and than you had 8 days of strike in May and than 2-3 days of strike in November. Don't forget first 3 months Zagreb recorded growth, only with summer schedule and reduction in operations by Croatian airlines did numbers go down, but even than Zagreb airport was on its way to good year until 8 day strike which literally shut down the airport for 8 days, basically Zagreb airport lost 10-11 days due to strikes, and than another 2800 flights out of Zagreb airport due to Croatian Airlines cutting number of operations, this is a lot of passengers (roughly 250 000 passengers) no wonder Zagreb didn't grow, it is actually going to have a slight loss of 50 000 passengers by my projection this year.

      2014 will be very good year for Zagreb airport, first construction of new terminal will start in earnest, hopefully this blog maintains updates with photos coming on a regular basis.

      2nd, old terminal will be done up first only new 5700sqm section will be added in 2014, as early as April works should start on that, its a $12 million update, no major reconstruction planned, this should lift capacity of the terminal to 3.5 million pax and than planned arrival of loads of new airlines that fill in the holes in Croatian Airlines lackluster attitude towards its main hub.

      KLM, Iberia, Alitalia, CSA, LOT, SAS, Finnair, Brussels Air, Air Swiss, and few others all will be invited back to Zagreb and some that already fly will be asked to increase their frequencies, Iberia, TAP, Valuing, Norwegian Air Shuttle.

      8-10% growth in 2014 is expected (based on new carriers alone, not Croatian airlines performance) and the full effect of this strategy should be visible in 2015 when growth of 20-25% is expected. New management is aiming for 5 million pax by 2020 and 8 million by 2025, I posted their plans (with links) on this blog several times, you can also google for them, I have pdf document of their strategy on my computer and I can tell you its researched and well planned.

      After all would you invest $440 million in to an airport if you hadn't had any faith in your vision or plans ? I can assure you, French aren't stupid, and Company behind ain't stupid, after all they're 2nd largest airport group in the world. I'm pretty sure they know what they're doing.

      Also, some of tyou said Ljubljana Airport won't recover, I was only one saying all along it will, and they have a great future ahead of them, although Ljubljana airport is too close to Vienna and Venice to benefit from links to these two important cities for Slovenian Economy and commerce (30% of Slovenian GDP is linked to these two markets - northern Italy and Austria) so Ljubljana Airport can't benefit from these links much, but i see great future for Ljubljana airport, my prediction 2.7 million by 2020.

    4. ^Zagreb is getting a new terminal, and you think that it will translate into more passengers? Foreign airlines aren't going to come to Zagreb just because of a new terminal. They are not in the business of doing you any favors. They are in the business of making money. Lets see some commitment from airlines before your come up with these numbers for Zagreb. Sure, Zagreb is underserved, but let's wait and see what airlines will do about it.

      BEG already has many new carriers coming next year, and Air Serbia will fly more, and hopefully that will mean more passengers.

      Your numbers for Zagreb are too high, and the numbers for Belgrade are too low.

      Nice terminals don't attract passengers or even airlines. Good networks attract passengers and demand attracts airlines.

    5. Anonymous02:56

      @Aleksandar StojanovicDecember 16, 2013 at 2:05 AM

      Yes many new airlines will come back to Zagreb, and this is not cause Zagreb is undeserved, its cause Zagreb is a big market, its an important city and now with in the EU even more so.

      Zagreb is becoming major tourist destination, a city brake destination with projected 2 million visits and 3.5 million nights by 2020 (easily) and this will reflect greatly in airport figures, especially if easyjet is allowed to base one of their jets at Zagreb airport. U're looking at city that has best prospects of all ex-Yu capitols cities and with greatest potential on offer, currently greatly underutilized.

      Let me post you an interview with the new director of Zagreb airport, read and see what you think.


      This is directly out of horses mouths, so you have any questions you should direct at him, and he has great plans for the city, something he and his company are betting on $440 million. Not a little money.

    6. I know of one new airline for ZAG in 2014, and that is Etihad Regional.

      You think ZAG is so very important? Nothing in the Balkans is even remotely important. Not Zagreb, not Belgrade, not even Bucharest or Sofia. Croatia is EU now, so what? The coastal airports have the opportunity to grow, but ZAG doesn't have the market to break deep into 3 mil without transit passengers.

      So what if some "experts" think that there will be market. What else is the director of ZAG supposed to say? We see the same thing across Ex-Yu. Serbian politicians do it all the time. They make false promises. We don't even know if BEG or ZAG will get a new terminal. We need to wait until construction starts. Often politicians make promises to build something, but construction never starts.

    7. Anonymous11:43

      Yeah, the French are magicians when it comes to running airports. Look how well their November numbers have been. If only they could mirror the same exceptional growth in Zagreb. ;)


    8. Anonymous16:02

      @Aleksandar StojanovicDecember 16, 2013 at 3:35 AM

      Clearly you never bothered to research or read the documents and links i posted why bother responding to you.

      in your hatred of all things Croatian you simply ignore any facts and figures.

      Why would I even waste my breath explaining you things when you can't bother to read plans and interviews with the main guy in charge of the whole thing.

      I'll tell you this, Zagreb's prospects are great, now that Croatia is in the EU even greater, the economy is recovering and Zagreb is becoming major tourist destination in its own right.

      I think in my extensive reply to you in my previous post I have made more than sufficient reasoning why Zagreb will do ok, its your jealousy and utter hatred of all things Croatian make you see only bad things in Croatia.

  6. Anonymous17:36

    Are you kidding ? Belgrade will handle at least 4.6 million passengers next year !

    1. Anonymous17:42

      you mean 46 million? lol

    2. Anonymous18:01

      No man, 46 million is impossible but if this year they carried roughly 200.000 more passengers then next year they can surely reach close, if not over, 4 million.

    3. Anonymous18:19

      Was looking BUH website, and noticed that Air Serbia codeshares with Tarom on the Bucharest - Chisinau route.

      ROT208 Chisinau(KIV) 07:15 07:07
      JAT8163 Chisinau(KIV) 07:15 07:07

    4. Anonymous21:17

      What RO flights JU is codesharing and other way round?

    5. Anonymous21:25

      I am curious to see if more flights are to be added in near future- it would only make sense.

    6. Anonymous23:48

      Ok, my comment also got deleted though i didn't insult anybody. Can we have a civilized discussion about why those comments had to be deleted at all?

    7. Because they were getting out of hand, insulting and childish and were not in accordance with the comment guidelines.

    8. Anonymous17:19

      Oh, i didn't knew that "being childish" was against to the comment's guidelines, my bad.

  7. OT: Why has Air Serbia cancelled today's flight to Bucharest, JU642 - http://www.beg.aero/putnici/letovi.231.html?flightId=236527
    If they keep going this way, they will start losing customers. The route has just been launched and they are already cancelling flights. Same with yesterday's flight to Banjaluka.

    1. Anonymous17:39

      Reason of cancellation : fog in BUH.

    2. There is something called heavy fog at destination. It affect all scheduled flights to that destination, not only Air Serbia's. And, strangely, it has a tendency to occur in winter. Shame on Air Serbia for allowing thick fog in BNX and OTP!

    3. Anonymous18:14

      Good thing that at this age of Internet, one can go online and check the info - http://bucharestairports.ro/otp/index.php?cat=8&article=45
      Let's see flights arriving in OTP between 3pm - 4pm:

      BMS104 Madrid(MAD) 15:15 15:03
      BAW886 London(LHR) 15:05 15:07
      ROT402 Nice(NCE) 15:25 15:12
      BMS106 Beauvais(BVA) 15:00 15:16
      ROT294 Sofia(SOF) 10:55 15:21
      SWR1884 Zurich(ZRH) 15:25 15:25
      ROT422 Barcelona(BCN) 15:40 15:29
      ROT362 Amsterdam(AMS) 16:05 15:38
      ROT606 Timisoara(TSR) 15:40 cancelled
      ROT804 Suceava(SCV) 15:40 cancelled
      ROT644 Cluj Napoca(CLJ) 15:45 15:43
      JAT642 Belgrade(BEG) 15:50 cancelled
      ROT2500 Constanta(CND) 15:00 15:58
      DLH1652 Munchen(MUC) 16:10 16:09
      all flights after 4pm also landed on time. Guess real thick fog in Bucharest :)

    4. Anonymous18:17

      If you fly in a region that is prone to fog, don't you get to fly planes equipped with CAT II/III? What's the point of having planes that can't fly during winter (fog) time?

    5. No point. All flights delay and/or cancel. Death iminent, only a matter of time.

    6. Anonymous18:55

      Dude, check the Romanian flights and the one from Sofia. They were either heavily delayed or cancelled which goes to prove that there were problems with fog at a time when they were supposed to take off. Regional flights suffered. I don't know if that has something to do with the fact taht they were all operated by the Atr.

  8. Anonymous17:54

    B&H Airlines starts flying to Belgrade tomorrow and it seems that there is going to be a delegation on board since the flight arrives at 08.15 and not 06.45 as it was supposed to. Let's hope this becomes a daily flight soon. :)

  9. Anonymous18:26

    Air France from March 2014 will fly to LJU with E190 not CRJ700 any more.

    1. Anonymous18:32

      Big deal...

    2. Anonymous18:36

      Good news for Ljubljana

    3. Anonymous19:00

      What about Adria's flights to Paris? So basically Ljubljana will see same amount, if not more, of seats offered by Air France as Zagreb? lol

    4. Anonymous20:24

      Guys, the topic is Ljubljana airport!

    5. Anonymous21:38

      I think from March 2014 LJU will have more seats than ZAG, and if I look right we have 3 daily flight from LJU to BEG. 2 times Air Serbia with ATR72 and 1 Adria CRJ900. Also TK will increase flight to 2 daily flights from LJU to IST that's mean 3 flights daily to IST. LJU will have big incerase in 2014. Also PRG, WAW, LGW and OHD. Arkia will fly with B787 to TLV. I can't wait all those big impact to LJU. It was a time for LJU.

    6. Anonymous22:18

      Waaaait... where did you see that JU will be going double daily to LJU?!

    7. Anonymous22:20

      Hmm how come LJU-IST has so much demand but ZAG doesn't? I am not asking to make fun of ZAG, I am genuinely curious.

    8. Anonymous22:51

      Zagreb also becomes double daily from march.

  10. Anonymous18:59

    Yes, good news for Ljubljana

  11. Anonymous20:37

    In the text from yesterday it was mentioned that next week we can expect Air Serbia flight details for the summer season. Do you expect some surprises (possitive or negative) or just already anounced stuff?
    I believe that Cairo will drop off while we will see some more regional flights such as Tirana or Odessa. Also I would not be surprised if we see Baku or Sochi at the list.
    Pep what do you think?

    1. Anonymous20:38

      I agree with what you said. I've been speaking about Odessa and Sochi for a long time. Pity they didn't do it prior to the Olypmpics though.

    2. Anonymous20:53

      Is it allowed by air agreement between Serbia and Russia for JU to launch regular Sochi flight? Also isnt it too late now? Olympics starts are at February

    3. Anonymous22:36

      Sochi route is possible but I believe that we will see Saint Petersburg too. And I would like to see Madrid and Hamburg.

    4. Anonymous23:00

      Saint Petersburg is the only important new route
      for JU.

  12. Anonymous20:46

    OT: JAT8163 Chisinau(KIV) - is Air Serbia codesharing to Kishinev?

    1. Anonymous20:56

      where can i find that flight?

  13. Anonymous21:43

    Dear adminisrator... is it not so that this is an ex yu blog? I like it, but lately becomes an "air Serbia" one. Why do not open another one whith prevoius mentioned name? I do not think it is so interesting for many of non-serbian readers how many minutes had tenis player named aircraft aircraft delay and so on. If you as administrator publish one article that please moderate it so that the meaning of it should track the debate... OTs should be moved to proper subject... This is just a humble opinion of a non-serbian daily reader of this blog which lately becomes boring and worthless to follow comments

    1. Anonymous22:00

      You are right, but apart of some people being impolite, there are two more things:

      1. There are more Serbian readers, therefore more Serbian comments
      2. There are more things going on about BEG and Air Serbia than about other countries.
      3. Serbs and Croats tend to behave like they are in the kindergarten, thus provocing such bragging posts.

      But you are right. At least the admin himself is not biased and tries to post every valuable information about ex-yu aviation. :)

    2. Anonymous22:00

      p.s. I am a Serb

    3. Anonymous22:13

      I am sorry but I can't agree with you on this one. I would rather have people post off topics throughout the day rather than to have a few topics on days when it's not a hot story.
      Like today, if there weren't for the ots then we would have maybe 4 or 5 comments which sucks.

      I mostly come back to Ex-YU to read the comments and discussions.

      No one is stopping you from posting off topics on your own country. Heck, people even encourage it.

    4. Anonymous22:36

      For example this topic has something about 40 comments, which is not too much, it is below average. If there werent off topics, we would lack some useful information.

      Still, I agree with you and think that people should somehow distinct irrelevant off topics from relevant ones. For example, fog at OTP is not so relevant, but on the other hand codesharing Chisnau flights is somewhat important. If there were more Slovene people here, and more things going on about Slovenia, you would see. So the best thing would be to simply save unimportant off topics for some Serbia-related articles. It would be the best solution, although is hard to distinct one from another.

  14. JU8160/1 OTP-SOF-OTP
    JU8162/3 OTP-KIV-OTP,
    operated by TAROM.

  15. Anonymous10:36

    European Commission on Adria AIrways anyone?
    Why no decision-news?
    Are Slovenians paying the EC with coca?


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