Pristina Airport remains third busiest in EX-YU

Pristina Airport overtakes Split in December

Pristina Airport has managed to stave off competition from its Split counterpart and maintain its position as the third busiest airport in the former Yugoslavia in 2013, recording its seventh consecutive year of growth. In 2013, Pristina Airport handled 1.628.678 passengers, an increase of 6.6% compared to 2012. However, in a worrying trend, numbers plunged 26% in December as the fallout from Belle Air Europe’s bankruptcy continues. In addition, some flights bound for Pristina were diverted due to poor weather conditions last month. For its part, Split Airport put on a good fight welcoming 1.581.734 passengers last year or an increase of 10.9% on 2012. As a result, Split has overtaken Dubrovnik and positioned itself as the fourth busiest airport in the former Yugoslavia.

In 2013 Pristina saw a total of 7.305 flight operations, up 5.2% on 2012. July and August were the busiest two months of the year while December turned out to be the slowest. Belle Air Europe, which ceased operations in late November, was the busiest airline operating in and out of Pristina by carrying 275.814 passengers. The effects of its demise are expected to be felt throughout the winter season despite several other airlines stepping in to take its place. With 156.853 passengers, Germanwings was the second busiest airline flying into Pristina. Despite having a base in the city, Adria was third busiest with 148.806 passengers. It was followed by Turkish Airlines (136.632), Germania (129.546), easyJet (121.708), Edelweiss (119.212), Austrian (99.246), Belair (98.183) and Pegasus Airlines (85.139).

Zurich was the most popular destination served from Pristina with 20.7% of all passengers travelling to the Swiss city in 2013. It was followed by Dusseldorf, Basel, Munich, Istanbul (Ataturk), Stuttgart, and Vienna. Switzerland remains the largest market for travellers from Kosovo followed by Germany, Turkey, Austria, Italy and Slovenia. Overall, 2013 was an important year for Pristina Airport with the opening of its new terminal but it will have to secure new airlines and routes in 2014 in order to alleviate the effects of Belle Air Europe’s departure and secure continued growth.


  1. Anonymous09:07

    Another record year, congrats to Prishtina!

    Any news or rumor of a LCC stepping in?

  2. Good luck to Airport Pristina and commercial aviation at Kosovo & Metohia. To flying safe and serving well.
    Merry Christmas and prosper 2014 to people who fly and all people of good will included .
    Rodney Marinkovic, AME. Kraljevo / Griffith

  3. Anonymous11:13

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. I have moved your off topic comment to yesterday's news since it is related to Air Serbia and yesterday's comments section is still very active so its more appropriate to be posted there than in an article about Pristina/Split.

  4. Anonymous11:24

    Dear administator ... looks like that anyone can put OTs when theri is a positive news about Air Serbia is OK, but when something is going wrong than the post must be deleted ... that's why I do repet my post again:

    Magla i vidljivost slabija od 150 metara natjerala je juče pet aviona Air Serbia da umjesto na beogradski aerodrom "Nikola Tesla" slete na podgorički čekajući da se gusta magla u glavnom gradu Srbije povuče, pišu "Dnevne novine".

    Putnici, njih oko 100 koji su trebali da putuju za Beograd, više od 10 sati su proveli u prostorijama aerodroma u Golubovcima čekajući zeleno svijetlo iz Srbije za polijetanje aviona. Nakon što je jedan od aviona Air Serbia poletio je za Beograd oko devet časova, putnike je čekalo novo iznenađenje, jer su piloti nakon višeminutnog kruženja bili prinuđeni da se vrate u Podgoricu. U Golubovcima, vidno iznervirane putnike dočekala je još veća agonija koju, kako je za "Dnevne novine" kazao jedan od putnika, nijesu očekivali.

    Prema riječima jednog od nezadovoljnih putnika, niko od osoblja Aerodroma Crne Gore nije obraćao pažnju na njih te su sami morali da se snalaze.

    "Niko nije došao da nam ponudi piće, a kamoli sendvič. A kada se okupila grupa od oko 100 putnika došlo je do napada na osoblje aerodroma, zbog višesatnog nemaranog odnosa prema putnicima, prebacili su nas u Niš", rekao je sagovornik Dnevnih novina.

    Direktor aerodroma u Podgorici Dragan Milanović kazao je da nije upoznat sa tim da je došlo do incidenta između putnika i osoblja aerodroma, ali je dodao da je bilo nezadovoljstva putnika.

    Među putnicima koji su zbog magle bili prinuđeni da slete u glavni grad Crne Gore bio je i poslanik Evropskog parlamenta Jelko Kacin, koji je putovao na dvodnevni sastanak sa predstavnicima vlasti u Srbiji, navodi podgorički list. (Dnevne novine, CdM)

    1. Off topics are fine be it positive or negative about any airport or airline. But if you have an article published 24 hours ago and your off topic comment is related to that, than I do not see the point of hijacking another article. I have made that clear several times. I will leave it this time since I do not care for being accused of playing favourites but now that you know the rules stick to them next time.

    2. Anonymous11:53

      Now, this behavior of Air Serbia is definitely not professional, and it is on level of African companies.

      In EU company have obligation to passengers in case of delay even in vis major. Passengers did have right to get drink, food, 2 phone calls, and after 6 hours a hotel, and if it is not vis major even for compensation (not in this case).

      Airbus can land in 75 meters visible, so 150 meters at least for Airbus should not be a problem. Basically they can make air bridge with Airbuses as rotation to TGD is just 2 hours (flight just 40-45 minutes) to transport all passengers stuck in TGD. But that would be “professional”, higher level, but to give passengers rights is minimum in air traffic.

      This “African way” without food and drink, without phone calls, and without information is for sure not good image for company, and by that way they will not be leader in SE Europe. And that is not the first time (remember this example of passengers from Dusseldorf via Cologne). EU principles are very civilized, they protect passengers and if Air Serbia wants to be out of that, they can do it as Serbia is not in EU but for sure that will not secure more passengers in future. Even more if those flights were from EU, they (doesn’t meter that landing was in TGD who is not in EU), Air Serbia can have problems even to get to “black list” for not give EU rights to passengers, because rule is connection to destination but also to original airport.

      OT is regular practice on this blog especially with Air Serbia and even if post from last day was related to Air Serbia. Most of readers do not read yesterday post, which is practice of all blogs.

    3. No, the airline is NOT responsible for the passengers if the weather is the cause of the problem which in this case it was. Air Serbia could have left them there to find their own way home if they wanted to but they didn't. They took care of them and brought them to Belgrade in the end. Some people just expect too much from the carrier. Anyway, if they were really that bothered by the delay they could have taken a bus or a train to Belgrade and then they could have requested compensation of their tickets.

      I would like to remind you of the Ryanair incident in Split last year. ;)

    4. Anonymous13:08

      Read the passasnger laws again... most yesterday flights were from EU ... so who cares if Serbia is not yet in EU

      Passenger rights

      Air passenger rights
      Firstly, you may not be charged a higher price for a ticket because of your nationality or where you are buying the ticket from.

      Secondly, you also have rights in case things go wrong. This concerns delays, cancellations and overbooking that prevent you from boarding ...

      ... and applies if you are:

      departing from any airport situated in the EU, or
      arriving in the EU with an EU carrier or one from Iceland, Norway or Switzerland.
      Refund or alternative transport
      If you are denied boarding or your flight is cancelled or overbooked, you are entitled to either:

      transport to your final destination using comparable alternative means, or
      having your ticket refunded and, where relevant, being returned free of charge to your initial departure point.
      Long delays - if your flight is delayed by 5 hours or more, you are also entitled to a refund (But if you accept a refund, the airline does not have to provide any further onward travel or assistance).

      Your airline must inform you about your rights and the reason for being denied boarding, or any cancellations or long delays (over 2 hours, although this may be up to 4 hours for flights in excess of 3500 Km).

      Food and board
      You may also be entitled to refreshments, meals, communications (such as a free phone call), and, if necessary, overnight stay, depending on the flight distance and length of delay.

      Financial compensation
      In addition, if you are denied boarding, your flight is cancelled or arrives more than 3 hours late on arrival at the final destination stated on your ticket, you may be entitled to compensation of €250 - 600, depending on the distance of the flight:

      Within the EU

      1,500 km or less - €250
      over 1,500 km - €400
      Between EU airport and non-EU airport

      1,500 km or less - €250
      1,500 - 3,500 km - €400
      over 3,500 km - €600
      If the carrier offered you an alternative flight with a similar schedule, the compensation may be reduced by 50%.
      With cancelled flights, you won't receive compensation if:

      the cancellation was due to extraordinary circumstances for example due to bad weather, or
      you were informed 2 weeks before the scheduled flight date, or
      you were offered an alternative for the same route with a similar schedule to the original one.
      For cancellation due to extraordinary circumstances you may not have the right to compensation, the carrier must still offer you either:
      a ticket refund (in full or just the part you have not used)
      alternative transport to your final destination at the earliest opportunity or
      rebooking at a later date of your choice (subject to seat availability).
      Even in extraordinary circumstances, airlines must provide assistance when necessary, while you are waiting for alternative transport.

    5. Thank you for posting that because you just proved what I was saying.
      Also, I am not going to write a reply here as I wrote a comment on yesterday's topic.

    6. Anonymous13:38

      How did he prove what you were saying, read it again, slowly this time...

    7. Anonymous13:41

      I will help him .... namjee I would like to point out :the carrier must still offer you either:

      For cancellation due to extraordinary circumstances you may not have the right to compensation, the carrier must still offer you either:
      a ticket refund (in full or just the part you have not used)
      alternative transport to your final destination at the earliest opportunity or
      rebooking at a later date of your choice (subject to seat availability).
      Even in extraordinary circumstances, airlines must provide assistance when necessary, while you are waiting for alternative transport.

    8. There is an ongoing discussion in the other thread, stop hijacking this one.

    9. Anonymous14:03

      Yeah avoid the issue and make an accusation, nicely played

      P.S the admin does a great job of moderating i'm sure he will move what needs moving ;)

    10. You do realize that I am not avoiding the issue but merely telling you to move the discussion to the other thread so stop trolling.

    11. Anonymous18:28

      It is easy:
      even LCC must give you drink, food, phone call and alternative transportation in case of vis major. And that is if you travel from or to EU.

      So, Air Serbia act like African company from black list. I get drink and food even from easyJet.

      Nemjee, you can say what ever you want but this time it is:

      Air Serbia act against law
      Air Serbia was unprofesional and "passenger unfrendly".

    12. Anonymous20:40

      Can you please enlighten me on how are EU laws enforced on territories outside of EU? Say, if this has happened on US carrier that had weather related diversion on a US territory? Keep in mind that this week there were thousands of weather related flight delays and cancellations in the US and Canada before you answer...

    13. welcome to EU21:22

      and that is easy also:

      "departing from any airport situated in the EU, or
      arriving in the EU with an EU carrier or one from Iceland, Norway or Switzerland.
      Refund or alternative transport"

      ...and if company refuse to act by those Acts it is in dangerous to come to "EU black list" and be refused to fly to EU in future.

    14. Anonymous22:47

      Great, can you point me to an US airline that got blacklisted because it may have violated those rules? Right... At best, you may have to accept any compensation US airline will offer you, and if it's not what EU rules require, you can sue them in the US court. Good luck with that legal endeavor based on EU rules in US courts... and for your enjoyment, here is a pic from New York JFK airport (not in Africa!) from last Friday:

    15. Anonymous10:25

      Ladies and gentlemen, the airline was not obliged to provide food and drinks at the airport as the dealy was caused by the weather. Stop bashing Air Serbia just because you have an inferiority complex.

    16. Anonymous11:31


  5. Anonymous11:36

    I agree with you ... but than use those rules at any time and always

  6. Anonymous11:41

    Congratulations to Pristina. But they will have to find a replacement for Belle Air fast. -26% in December in huge and its only going to get worse. What about Wizz Air?

    1. Anonymous12:52

      If Wizz Air opens a base in Pristina then they will be forced to close their base in Belgrade. I am sure that BEG is far more lucrative as a base for it to be sacrificed for PRN.

    2. Anonymous12:54

      Why will they be forced to close their belgrade base?

    3. Anonymous12:58

      Well, for the same reason people who graduate from the universities in Kosovo are not allowed to pursue their studies in Belgrade. The paperwork they will have to sign will have 'Republic of Kosovo' on it. This goes against both the Serbian constitution and the UN resolution 1244.
      This would render their presence there illegal from the Serbian point of view.

    4. Anonymous13:06

      But they wouldn't fly to Belgrade, I'm confused?

    5. Anonymous13:07

      Doesn't matter, they can't have a base in both Pristina and Belgrade at the same time because according to Belgrade, Pristina is part of Serbia as stated by the UN Resolution 1244. So they would have to get the permission from the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate.

    6. Anonymous13:15

      But didn't adria set up a base there. There were no repercussions as far as i'm aware?

      BTW i know this topic can escalate quickly, but thats not my intention.

    7. Anonymous13:18

      Adria doesn't have a base in Belgrade so it doesn't matter. That's why they couldn't launch flights to BEG until the liberalization of the market. The bilateral stated that each airline could fly to one city in each country. Since Adria flew into Pristina they could not fly into Belgrade as well.

    8. Anonymous13:26

      Didn't know that, thanks for the info.

      If thats the case then the question is which one is more "lucrative", Belgrade is more than twice as big market but they'd have no competition in Prishtina.

    9. Anonymous13:34

      No problem.
      Another reason why Wizz Air might be reluctant to launch flights to Pristina is because their entry into the Serbian market was not the most legal one- well, the opening of the Belgrade base that is.
      Back in the day when Wizz Air started expanding in Belgrade, DS intended to bankrupt Jat Airways and have W6 as the national carrier. After the 2012 elections some officials from the new government made comments about Wizz Air's legality in Belgrade, we did not hear much about it after but these statement surely echoed in Budapest. I am sure they do not want to poke the bear.

    10. Anonymous14:24

      @AnonymousJanuary 10, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      "Since Adria flew into Pristina they could not fly into Belgrade as well."

      there are regular flights to BEG ... bit confused about this statement

    11. Anonymous14:49

      That's why I said prior to the liberalization of the Serbian market which came as a result of the implementation of the Open Skies Agreement. Before that Adria could not fly to both Pristina and Belgrade.

    12. Anonymous17:42

      Hmmm, wouldn't the same Open Skies allow Wizzair to have bases in both Belgrade and Pristina? In any case, if market gap is attractive enough for a LCC, we can see EasyJet or Ryanair open a base...

    13. Anonymous18:25

      AnonymousJanuary 10, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      You are trolling big time. Potencial opening of Wizzair in Kosovo would have absolutely no impact on Wizzair in Serbia whatsoever. You just proved that you are completely missinformed. For your information, ProCredit bank and Raiffaisen bank exist in both Serbia and Kosovo and nothing stopped them for functioning normally in both Countries. Try again, but try to sound smarter this time. I for one would welcome a Wizzair base in Pristina. Hope it happens soon.

    14. Anonymous23:35

      What do banks have to do with Open Skies treaties? :d

    15. Anonymous10:23

      Haahahhahaha dude, banks and airlines are subject to different rules and regulations. Like I said it before, Wizz Air's opening of the base in Belgrade was not the most legal move. The Serbian government turned a blind eye to it but if they decided to open a base in UNMIK Kosovo then Air Serbia and Etihad might use that as an excuse to try and push them out. The bureaucracy there is more complicated then when it comes to banks.
      Then again, it's not like there is any rule of law in Kosovo so who knows what might happen.

    16. Anonymous21:35

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Anonymous12:25

    1989 just 2 flights per week in summer from PRN
    Today 1,6 million passengers!

    Well, one can say that PRN was, more than other airports, discriminate and extremely underserved during exYU.

  8. Yet another record year for PRN, despite (1) SKP (Wizz Air) attracting a growing number of Kosovar pax; and (2) the demise of Belle Air Europe.

    In my opinion, both of the above can be positive for PRN and wider Kosovo.

    First, SKP (Wizz Air) has not been able to have a major impact on the two key PRN markets (Switzerland and Germany), so the threat is not as big as some perceive it to be. However, in my opinion, SKP competing with PRN is a good and healthy development because it lowers the cost of flying and/or leads to better products for air pax. So, Kosovars will get either a lower cost / better product to PRN or fly to SKP on a flight subsidised by the Macedonian taxpayer. What's there to complain about?

    Second, the demise of Belle Air Europe could be the best thing that happened to PRN since it reopened in 1999. The airlines had a really poor customer service record with very high number of passenger complaints, ad hoc timetables and last minute changes/cancellations. It was simply not good enough. What it did do however, was to show that there were markets for other more serious airlines to explore. EasyJet Switzerland for one has increased it frequencies from BSL and GVA. Adria Airways has also stepped in with additional frequencies and routes. So, most of the pax that were flying with Belle Air Europe will still fly mostly to PRN and I can only hope that Belle Air Europe is not replaced by yet another "Ajvar" Airlines that leaves a mess behind.

    Also, Germania has turned its route from LGW to a year round one and now with Belle Air Europe gone, they might increase frequencies to PRN. For an independent operator they have a really good product. You never know, even BA might reopen its LGW-PRN.

    P.S. During the holiday period, someone used my nick to attack Zagreb calling it a village airport or something along these lines. It was not me, clearly. Admin had closed the comments section, so I was unable to clarify this the next day.

    1. Anonymous13:21

      Do you know about the number of Macedonians (mainly Albanians) using Prishtina? I know a few years ago it was not an insignificant number.

    2. Unfortunately, I do not have such figures. But according to some anecdotal evidence a not-so-small number of Albanians from Macedonia fly from Switzerland and Germany to Prishtina mostly on easyJet and Germanwings flights. On the other hand, there is also anecdotal evidence that a significant number of Kosovars fly from Scandinavia, UK and Italy to SKP with Wizz Air. Getting hold of such figures I think would be close to impossible.

      Also, a number of Albanians from Albania itself are using Prishtina to fly to Europe. There were a few on my last flight from Prishtina. How large is that number is really hard to tell. It's certainly not huge.

      On my previous post I forgot to add that if Adria Airways moves to a more hybrid business model as suggested on this site a few days ago would be beneficial for Prishtina, in my opinion. Finally, the departure of Belle Air Europe creates a little bit more space for Montenegro Airlines to return but they must pay the monies owed before they contemplate new moves. They flew some beautiful birds (I mean their Embraers) to Prishtina.

    3. Why should Montenegro Airlines pay for using an airport to someone that actually does not own it?!
      Its practically stolen property on ground that is occupied from Serbia.
      Okay i know that now everybody will say thats irrelevant because bla bla,but in the end its all politics and politics are not for eternity and claims do not withdraw,especially when they are backed by international laws.
      That is also the reason why no airline has at the same time a base in Belgrade AND Prishtina.
      In this case YM is on the right side and owes them nothing.Skopje is an other case.
      The state of Macedonia is legal and so its deal with TAV is justified.

    4. Sloba09:27

      So, why did Montenegro Airlines used to fly there and talk to people that have stolen the airport? :)

    5. Anonymous18:17

      Maybe they thought they will get something for free for aligning with Serbias enemies.
      Obviously that didnt work out as expected...

  9. Anonymous14:55

    If Priština is Serbia why is Serbian airspace closed for most of the flights that atre flying to BKPR so they have to fly around via Montenegro..

  10. Anonymous16:34

    @admin blog

    How did you find specific figures for each airline pax at Pristina airport?

    I wondered where I can find same for Zagreb airport, they only publish overall data.

  11. Anonymous16:54


    KLM Cityhopper od 27.05. uvodi liniju za Zagreb, pretpostavljam iz Amsterdama (s Fokkerom 70), 4 puta tjedno!

    1. Anonymous17:08

      KLM has announced plans to return to Zagreb from 25 May 2014:

      - dep. AMS 14:30 - arr. ZAG 16:20 KL1943 non-stop 1h 50m Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun
      - dep. ZAG 16:55 - arr. AMS 19:05 KL1944 non-stop 2h 10m Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun

      Seems that our source at ZAG was right after all.
      I wonder if they could pull of the same thing with Sarajevo?

    2. Anonymous20:33

      Great job, Zagreb!

  12. Anonymous18:12

    OT : Number from Skopje for december are : 58.435pax (the number from decembre are only for half mounth but official are for all december)
    * In december the ariport was closed 13-15 days - reason : dense fog and all flight was canceled or divert ..... and the airport was open for trafic only 15-18 days in december......

    Number for 2013 from SKP: 984.407 or 18% more from 2012
    Number for 2013 from OHD: 83.060 or 6.5% more from 2012

    1. Anonymous18:16

      Congrats Macedonia, congrats Pristina!

    2. Anonymous21:49

      So, no record?

    3. Anonymous22:25

      Hmm thats interesting, Skopje was clearly set for a million if it wasn't for all that fog, practically half a month, but i thought ohrid would get more of the diverted pax, if your numbers are correct thats under 6,000 for ohrid in december, it seemed like there were more diversions. Maybe sofia and prishtina benefited from those diversions i know wizz went routinely to sofia.

      congrats in any case, 2014 should see good growth too, with wizz expanding.

    4. Anonymous00:24

      yes yes, all flighr from wizz air and 50% of flight from vienna (austrian) was diverted to sofia, croatia, edelwise and Turkish was divered to Prishtina and the part of other flight was deverted to Ohrid and part was canceled........ all best from Macedonia ;)

    5. So does this mean TAV will have to pay full concession fee for one more year? Or that clause is based on combined number of pax in SKP and OHD (which is over 1M)?

      Is the text of the agreement available online?

  13. Great seeing Prishtina grow every year. Too bad BelleAir Europe is gone otherwise the numbers would have been slightly better. Wishing for an even more succesfull year in 2014!

    To boost some numbers in Kosovo it is time for Ryanair to come in.

  14. Anonymous21:55

    Funny is how many airlines preferred flying toPrishtina before Belgrade airport.
    TK,Pegasus,Easyjet,Croatia and Adria Airlines.
    They were there long years before going to Belgrade.
    Also Even after Belgrade was dropped British Airways flew to Prishtina.
    Germanwings also prefers it more then Belgrade.

    1. OMG ..... U must be 10 y.o or tone with extreme low IQ

  15. Anonymous22:18

    the -26% on December was due to foggy weather, for 2 weeks were almost no flights in/out from Prishtina. On November the Belle Air went bankrupt and made another effect on final figures. For sure this year Pristina will see another increase.


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