Skopje Airport misses million passenger target

Skopje ends year with strong growth but short of a record

Skopje Alexander the Great Airport handled 984.407 passengers in 2013, missing its target of welcoming over one million passengers and breaking its own record. In December, numbers were severely affected by bad weather conditions which saw the airport close its doors for almost two weeks with flights diverted to different cities. Despite missing the million passenger mark, Skopje Airport saw impressive annual growth of 18.8% compared to 2012. Macedonia’s busiest airport is expected to see numbers continue to rise into this year since Wizz Air will base a second Airbus A320 in the city and launch new flights to Charleroi, Cologne, Beauvais and Hahn while boosting frequencies on existing services. Strong growth is particularly expected to be seen this month as it recorded only modest growth in January 2013.

Last month ended Skopje's dream run with passenger numbers tumbling due to the airport’s closure. In December, it handled 55.034 passengers, down 14.9% on 2012. Skopje’s busiest month was August, followed closely by July, while its slowest months were December and February. Meanwhile, Macedonia’s second international airport, Ohrid, welcomed 83.060 passengers through its doors last year, an increase of 6.5% compared to 2012. Combined, the two airports handled 1.067.467 passengers, up almost 17%. At the same time, the number of flight operations grew by 10%.

Since Skopje failed to reach the one million passenger mark, its Turkish operator TAV will have to fork out 15% of its gross annual income to the Macedonian government. This figure will be reduced to only 2% of revenue once the airport handles over one million passengers, which it is now expected to do so this year. During 2013, Skopje attracted Germania as its new customer while Wizz Air increased its flight offer by 350% during the summer compared to 2012. The year behind us marks Skopje Airport’s second busiest in history. Below you can view Skopje Airport’s five most successful years since its opening.



  1. What is going to happen with JU's 737-300s? They may be old, but they still have a lot of life left in them. It would be nice to see them still in service in a carrier in Macedonia or Bosnia.

    Perhaps they could be sold to Aviogenex, or maybe two of them could be converted to presidential aircraft.

    1. They will be used for charters.

    2. Anonymous09:42

      how old are these planes ?

    3. Anonymous10:33

      The ones that were leased from the Bulgarians are around 21 years old. The older ones owned by JU are between 26 and 28 years old.

      The two B737-300 that are going for maintenance, are we talking about C checks? Does that mean when they are done that they will join the fleet regularly? With the two A319s supposed to arrive soon it means JU will have a fleet of 18 aircraft- not bad.

  2. B777PIA09:29

    I am going to miss JU's 737.

    Boeing fan for life!

  3. Anonymous10:36

    B&H Airlines has introduced a new website, it actually looks quite nice.

  4. Anonymous10:48

    Is there fog in Sarajevo? I see that some flights had issues.

    1. Anonymous18:01

      Yup, three flights cancelled today

  5. Anonymous11:32

    Just got this in my e-mail from Air Serbia:

    Cenjeni gosti,

    AirSERBIA, nacionalna aviokompanija Srbije, omogućiće vam još veću ponudu u prvoj polovini 2014, sa uslugama koje će biti uvedene na šest novih destinacija u Evropi i na Bliskom istoku.

    Letovi za Bejrut, Budimpeštu, Sofiju i Varnu otpočeće 30. marta 2014, a zatim za Kijev i Varšavu, 29. maja 2014.

    Nove linije povećaće ukupan broj destinacija u međunarodnoj mreži AirSERBIA do 35, sa stopom rasta od 20 odsto.

    Dane Kondić, generalni direktor AirSERBIA, izjavio je: "Ove nove usluge deo su naše strategije proširenja prema ključnim međunarodnim tržištima i veće ponude putovanja putnicima, što istovremeno otvara brojne mogućnost za rast turističkih, trgovinskih i investicionih veza Srbije sa drugim državama. Pored najavljenih destinacija, koje su među najvažnijim tržištima za odmor i poslovna putovanja u Evropi i na Bliskom istoku, istražujemo mogućnosti za dalji rast mreže u 2014, čiji detalji će biti objavljeni u dogledno vreme. Putnicima iz Beograda nudimo specijalne promotivne cene od samo 99 evra za Budimpeštu, 129 evra za Varšavu i Kijev, 149 evra za Sofiju i Varnu i 210 evra za Bejrut. Promotivne cene takođe nudimo za putovanja do i od destinacija AirSERBIA u regionu, kao i za putovanja iz ovih gradova prema Beogradu i destinacijama na kojima već letimo."

    AirSERBIA ponudiće vam dnevne letove za Budimpeštu, Kijev, Sofiju i Varšavu, dok će Bejrut i Varna početi sa tri leta nedeljno i povećaće se na dnevnu frekvenciju od juna 2014.

    Letovi za Kijev, Varšavu i Bejrut obavljaće se avionima Airbus A319 u potpuno novim bojama AirSERBIA, u crvenoj, plavoj i beloj boji. Sa ukupno osam sedišta u biznis klasi i 120 sedišta u ekonomskoj klasi, usluga tokom leta takođe je osvežena novim opcijama u jelovniku, besplatnim barom i poboljšanom zabavom na letu.

    Letovi za Budimpeštu, Sofiju i Varnu obavljaće se avionima AirSERBIA tipa ATR72.

    Nove usluge nude odlične veze preko matične vazdušne luke AirSERBIA na aerodromu Nikola Tesla u Beogradu do brojnih destinacija širom Evrope, uključujući Pariz, Amsterdam, Prag, Rim, Milano, Kopenhagen, Stokholm, Štutgart, Diseldorf, Berlin, Cirih, Brisel i Moskvu.

    U ponudi su takođe međunarodne veze za Aziju, Australiju i Ameriku preko partnerskih aviokompanija i našeg akcionarskog partnera Etihad Airwaysa.

    * Navedene cene su najniže u ekonomskoj klasi i uključuju sve takse osim usluge izdavanja karte.

    Vaša AirSERBIA


    I guess that the flights should be loaded and bookable as of today.

    1. Anonymous11:43

      Nothing new. Ex-YU published this like in August 2013. Even gave the times and everything. If you have't turned this article into your own private Air Serbia party, someone actually might have wanted to comment on this news but now there is no use

    2. Anonymous11:48

      You do realize that 100% of today's comments have nothing to do with the actual blog topic? That only goes to prove how little interest there is, even Bosnia managed to generate more interest.

      Also, if the airline is sending this as their newsletter then it means that the routes will be available probably today.

      Stop hating on Serbia just because we finally have a functional air carrier.

    3. Anonymous12:00

      Beirut €219
      Kiev €129
      Varna €149
      Sofia €149
      Warsaw €149
      Budapest €99

    4. Anonymous12:18

      I’m not hating on Serbia. I’m Serbian. I live in Belgrade and got the same mail as you did and I enjoy reading news about Air Serbia but I also enjoy reading news about other countries and don’t want this site turned into news only about Serbia. Offcourse no one is going to comment since Aleksandar Stojanovic couldn’t wait 15 minutes and had to post something about Air Serbia. And we all know the B737s wills stay for charters (I don’t know if he follows this site but it’s been written here many times) and especially since it was written yesterday in the comments AGAIN! And I don’t think the newsletter from JU is so monumental since this site published the list of new routes in June 2013 and last month published the exact starting dates of these new routes which were only confirmed by this newsletter.

    5. Anonymous12:47

      I see nothing wrong with people posting off topics as much as they like as long as its related to ex-YU aviation. Obviously there are going to be a lot of posts about JU since it's the only airline currently undergoing a restructuring process. Obviously few people care about this topic as we have yet to have a single comment on it.
      Croatia and Serbia generate the most interest here, that's a fact.

    6. Anonymous15:18

      Since I suppose the tomorrows topic would be how JU flight are loaded into the system, I won't be commenting anything today about it. But I can't help myself when I see this:

      Regular price for Sophia would be 309e.

      Na dupe bih progovorio.

    7. Anonymous15:20

      Sorry it is Sofia *, it is not some Greek goddess or whatsoever :D

    8. Anonymous15:56

      Oh God, Aviokarta does not publish anything for days and then it goes and writes an article with information that was presented to us by Ex-YU months ago.
      What Aviokarta failed to mention is that these prices are not the final ones. It was the same for their current ones but a few days later they were adjusted.

  6. Anonymous12:17

    Air Serbia S14 Athens Operation Changes
    by JL

    Update at 0740GMT 10JAN14

    Air Serbia has revised planned service increase on Belgrade – Athens route in Summer 2014 season. From 30MAR14 to 14JUN14, service operates 10 weekly instead of 14 weekly. The Airline will operate 14 weekly flights from 15JUN14.

    JU516 BEG0015 – 0250ATH 319 247
    JU512 BEG1250 – 1525ATH 319 246
    JU512 BEG1330 – 1605ATH 319 x246

    JU517 ATH0520 – 0555BEG 319 247
    JU513 ATH1610 – 1645BEG 319 246
    JU513 ATH1650 – 1725BEG 319 x246


    1. Anonymous17:43

      Air Serbia will be also flying double daily to Rome, codeshare with Alitalia seems to be gone.
      Amsterdam will be operated by an A320 and the flights are adjusted so as to enable connections.
      People travelling to/from Monastir can buy connecting flights with Air Serbia.

      The most interesting is that Thessaloniki will be double daily with A319! They are really going for total domination in the Balkans- good for them.

    2. Anonymous17:57

      Total dominance can be achieved if they make a brand new terminal and go for longhaul. After that, the sky is the limit (no pun intended).

    3. Anonymous08:53

      Sure, Aegean with 25 destinations from Thesaloniki, Ryanair with 15 destinations, Astra with 12 destinations, Air Berlin with 7 destinations, Germanwings with 5 destinations, easyjet with 4 destinations, with 27 companies to fly from Thesaloniki, for sure Air Serbia will dominate there! Jesus you are so prepotent!

    4. Anonymous11:02

      First of all, Aegean does not have a base in Thessaloniki, it's their focus city from where flights are operated with aircraft from Athens. In other words, their presence there is not cast in stone and it changes from season to season
      Do you even know what kind of airline Astra is? You do realize that they do not operate any scheduled flights and that they are a charter one?
      Air Berlin and Air Serbia are in the same alliance so their presence there is not important. Furthermore, the presence of Air Berlin is the same as that of Germanwings- primarily to cater for the O&D traffic between Germany and Thessaloniki which during the summer months is very large. Naturally, a part of this German traffic might be stolen by JU now. As we already know, JU's flights from both Thessaloniki and Athens are packed with connecting passengers.

      Air Serbia will fly to some 35 destinations out of which Thessaloniki will be double daily operated with A319s. In other words, the airline will have 512 seats in/out of the city every day! Wanna compare it to the other airlines which are not there for charter flights? ;)

      It is not us who are 'prepotent', it's you who is refusing to see the reality. I guess it hurts you too much.

    5. Anonymous19:27

      Hey, Aegean with 25 destinations, more than 200 flights per week from Thesaloniki.

      It is not true that Astra is just charter company. They have regular flights, what more lot of those are PSO. Out of Thessaloniki they have 10 regular routes, 4 all year PSO routes, 6 seasonal regular routes, and 2 charter routes.

      Sure, Air Berlin is in same "alliance". So? For sure more passengers will fly directly to Berlin, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart and Munich then via BEG. And for sure more passengers will use connections via those airports then via BEG.

      But in same time, you have 27 operators, with 100 routes and some 1.000 weekly flights from Thessaloniki. For sure those 14 flights will not dominate this market, and those 150.000 potential yearly passengers will not dominate in more than 4.000.000 passenger per year.

  7. Anonymous12:40

    who cares. lets talk about Air Serbia

  8. Anonymous13:30

    Good news for SKP. Could it beat Ljubljana in 2014?

    1. Nikola13:53

      well, when it's about places 3 to 10 on EX-YU list of busiest airports everything is possible. this year we have PRN, SPU, DVB, LJU, SKP, TIV, next year it could be SPU, PRN, DBV, SKP, TIV, LJU, or any other combination. only first two positions will remain unchanged for a long long time

    2. Anonymous15:08

      in yours dreams

  9. Anonymous13:51

    Too bad the fog closed the airport could not get 1.000.000 passengers. I believe next year this number will be easily achieved mainly because of the new Wizz air routes, however, this issue with the fog must be fixed, although I read that with the current infrastructure, SKP is not able to fix this problem with the fog even if the authorities want to.

  10. Anonymous14:06

    What does SKP need to do to fix the issues with fog? If infrastructure investment is on the order of a few million, I believe that TAV should do it and increase the availability of the airport considerably.

    1. Anonymous19:56

      Actually it is not infrastructure or money-related issues, it's because of the terrain configuration, pretty hilly on the South and South East of the airport.

    2. Anonymous20:52

      With the actual shitty ILS (with minimums 1300 meters visibility and 425 feet ceiling) it eill never be a real airport. Dozens of idversions and cancellations are happening with 2 km visibility only for the low cloud ceiling. ILS can not be imrpoved to CAT II or CAT III for the highway next to the runway end (as the unway lights must be extended with 600 meters for that). You can not approach in dark from nort either (in case of southern wind) as circling is only allowed in daylight. All in all it will remain a joke of an airport for years with continuos diversions and cancellations unless it is changed somehow.

    3. Anonymous11:21

      So, if I understand correctly, ILS sucks and it cannot be improved for the current airport location? Can they build a second runway (maybe parallel to the helipad stand, roughly perpendicular to the current runway) that will not be as sensitive to the fog?

  11. Anonymous14:19

    Still no data of December numbers in Air Serbia? How comes that they were so quick in data from 1st week in January, but can not calculate results of December even after half of January?

    ExYU promise to publish those data!

    Well, it looks than numbers are not so good! It is obvious!

    1. I have to correct you. The weekly data was exclusively obtained by EX-YU Aviation News, just like the monthly data. The airline doesn't actually publish them. Unfortunately not a single EX-YU airline publishes their results on a monthly basis. As soon as I obtain the data it will be published :)

    2. Anonymous14:58

      Yes but someone have to provide those data for 1st week in January and does not want to do same with bad results in December!

      Sapienti sat!

    3. Actually there was significant growth in December. I'm just waiting for the specifics ;)

    4. Anonymous08:56

      Of course it was. Some 25%, but as there was 50% more flights that would be still around 50% LF!

      By that way you can open 200 new routes with empty planes, no problem!

  12. @Ex-YU Aviation
    As you conclude the 2013 airport results for the region, it would be great if you could put together the list of airports along with the number of pax, annual in- or decrease as well as share of the Ex-YU market :)

    1. Of course. Just waiting for some final data :)

    2. Anonymous16:48

      Thats the same data i would like to see. Each country and the number of different airlines going to each country.

  13. Anonymous15:24

    all flights to/from Skopje for today r cancelled

  14. Anonymous19:49

    What's happening with Air Serbia today? I do get the fog issue in Skopje, but what happened with Sarajevo, Athens and now Zurich?!

    1. I don't know, but Turkish and Austrian cancelled their flights as well.

  15. OT:

    First SAAB 2000 in Etihad regional c/s...

    1. Wow such a good livery. One of the best looking Turboprops too.

  16. Anonymous23:19

    FlyDubai flight to Skopje was also diverted to Belgrade.
    How were the pax transported to Skopje?
    With busses?

    1. Anonymous04:47

      FlyDubai - diverts to Belgrade
      Wizz - to Sofia
      LH's bitches - to Pristina

    2. Anonymous07:47

      Why those harsh words on LH and it's partners?! Usually it's simple people with no education that use them, when they don't have any valid arguments. LH is one of the smartest airlines in the world, with smart and dedicated people working for it - they are a company that change(d) the airline business. It's not their problem that the IQ of the people in this region is...

    3. Anonymous09:01

      And what about Etihad bithches (Air Berlin and Air Serbia? Did they devert their flights?

    4. Anonymous10:53

      I personally laughed when I read 'Lufthansa's bitches.'
      I don't think the guy has to be uneducated to say that. lol

  17. Anonymous18:51

    It's just another serbian retarded nationalist expressing his anger. He was obviously upset why LH landed on Pristina because, as you know, retarded serb nationalists don't even like to hear the name Pristina. Just ignore them, in fact, you should feel sorry for them as you would when you see a three legged puppy walking down the street.


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