Skopje Airport handles millionth passenger

Skopje Airport records busiest year in history

Skopje Alexander the Great Airport has welcomed its millionth passenger for the first time in fourteen years and for only the second time in its history. Macedonia’s busiest airport saw its millionth passenger, Jana Ivanovska, arrive yesterday on a Wizz Air flight from Eindhoven. Ms. Ivanovska was awarded a weekend trip for two to Istanbul, with the passenger visibly surprised upon her arrival. Skopje Airport, which has recorded average growth of 21% so far in 2014, has already handled more passengers than it did for the whole of last year. In addition, the airport is set to see a 14% increase in travellers in October when compared to 2013. The substantial growth has been primarily driven by Wizz Air, which launched four new destinations this year, as well as Alitalia’s arrival to Skopje.

However, the achievement comes at a price. TAV Airports Holding, which runs Skopje Alexander the Great Airport, will pay the Macedonian government significantly less for its twenty year concession since it has handled over a million passengers this year. Under the agreement signed with the Macedonian government, TAV’s fees are reduced based on the airport’s performance. Once the airport handles over one million passengers, fees are reduced from 15% of gross income to 2% of the airport’s turnover. As a result, the Turkish operator will provide the government only between 350.000 to 700.000 euros this year compared to 2.7 million in previous years. TAV’s concession fee will no longer cover the subsidies the Macedonian government provides to low cost airlines, such as Wizz Air, to operate flights to Skopje.

Under the concession agreement with Turkey’s TAV, the company will manage both Skopje and Ohrid airports until 2030 and has already invested 120 million euros in the construction of a new terminal in Skopje and the overhaul of Ohrid Airport’s passenger terminal. The concession agreement also requires TAV to build a cargo terminal in Štip, which has been delayed until 2020. Nevertheless, it has been a very successful year for Skopje Airport, which was named the best in Europe handling under two million passengers by Airports Council International (ACI) earlier in 2014. Passenger numbers are expected to continue to grow next year as the government mulls the establishment of a national airline and maintains subsides for low cost airlines. TAV estimates Skopje will handle up to five million passengers in the coming years.

Below you can review the five busiest years at Skopje Airport. The former Yugoslavia will now have six airports to have handled over one million passengers in a single year.

20141.000.000 +


  1. Anonymous09:26

    She also got a 200 euro voucher.

    Anyway more importantly they gave some info on flights and cargo. So far this year number of flights are up 13% and cargo is up an impressive 40%! Also busiest day this year was August 4th with 5.793 pax while September 2nd had the most movements with 55.

  2. Anonymous09:43

    Now it's time to deal with the airport's landing minima (as promised) to have at least the real CAT I. minimums. It's only a paperwork issue therefore finishing it quickly would save Skopje from last year's catastrophy in Nov/Dec.

    1. Anonymous10:51

      what system does Skopje currently have? Isn't at least CAT I required for all international airports? Maybe my questions are dumb but I'm not an expert in this area.

    2. Anonymous11:03

      CAT I. is not a requirement if you are dumb enough to start flights to an airport without ILS (see Nis or Warsaw-Modlin).
      SKP has a CAT I. ILS but very high minimums for tetrrain (1300 m visibility and 500 feet cloud ceiling). Can't be much more improved either as a genius built a runway junction just south of the runway...
      The current minima can be improved to real CAT I. (550 meter visibility) with procedure changes, it is being done (at least in words) for 4-5-6 months already but no results are seen yet.

    3. Anonymous11:16

      Oh ok, thanks now I get it. Until last year, I don't remember fog ever being a problem in SKP.

  3. Anonymous09:58

    Also heard that they plan to get Ohrid airport going. They plan to do this with the subsidies they're going to offer from 2015 to a low cost airline, one of the conditions will be to have a direct flight from Ohrid to at least one destination. I wonder how successful this will be? I dont see ohrid as having a year round demand although they didnt say wether it would be year round or seasonal.

  4. I would kindly ask people who post off topic discussions to wait more than two minutes from when the article is published to post their off topic comment, unlike today, as a respect to today's topic. Also, if your comment is related to an article published only 24 hours ago, which is still active, please post your comment there. As a result, your comments have been moved to yesterday's news. Thank you.

    1. Anonymous10:15

      What the... no one reads the yesterday's topic. Plus, we all know that today's topic will have like 7 comments so chill out. Off topics are what keep your blog alive. Show some respect.

    2. No, you should show respect for other topics which are not related to Air Serbia. Yesterday's news is the most popular in the last seven days so you can post your comment there. Off topics are allowed but not if you have a news item related to your off topic only a day before. Please do not speculate on what keeps this blog alive and how many comments each news will have. Thank you.

    3. Anonymous10:22

      It's my right to speculate as it's in line with the rules and regulations of this forum... if you forgot what they are feel free to read them once again, they are just below this comment. ;)

      People should be free to post about what they want, especially since a lot of people don't bother to check yesterday's comments. Show some respect and tolerance.

    4. It has been made clear on several occasions that if there if a comment is related on an article from yesterday to post your comment there. Also, posting off topic comments two minutes after it is published, is quite disrespectful to people who are interested in this topic. If you have other problems with the way this blog is run, you can write to

    5. But that is true that noone read yesterdays post! So it is like you have ban on yesterday topic.

    6. It is not true at all since so far today 1.577 people have clicked on yesterday's news, more than the one today and I don't know how yesterday's topic is "banned" since a comment , which is completely related to yesterday's news, was moved there. As I have said before, if you need further explanation you can write to

    7. Anonymous11:16

      Bravo ex yu.

    8. Labunishta19:40

      In regard to Ohrid:
      With or without subsidies-Air Serbia should open direct flights to Belgrade at least four times in summertime.
      Their Atrs are perfect for routes of this kind.

    9. Anonymous20:40

      Well done EX-YU, rules should be respected!

  5. Anonymous10:32

    I wonder what else the concession agreement with TAV has writen in it.

    1. Anonymous10:40

      It's all about politics. The Macedonian government is just megalomaniac. The EU criticized that the building of Skopje 2014 will cost more then half a billion € creating an Astana like monster in a once nice city center. Same with the airport. The government wants to push the building at any price.

    2. Anonymous11:02

      You are mixing apples and oranges or if you prefer babi and zhabi ;) One of these was absolutely necessary (the old terminal was quite honestly the worst in all of europe) while the other. . . . well lets just say this is an aviation website and not a politics and architecture one. Now if you want to speculate on what other hidden gems the concession agreement might have i'm all for it!

  6. Anonymous10:52

    congratulations to Skopje. Fantastic growth. Its great to see six ex-Yu airports over 1 mil!

  7. Generalno sam odusevljen idejom " cuti dobro je" . Pobornicima ideje evo domaceg zadatka:
    -nadjite uporedljive aerodrome i uporedite rezultate 89 i 14.
    Onda cete shvatiti da ovo cime se dicite je u stvari nista, cak ne prati ni prirodan progres ( 3%) A kamoli ozbiljan biznis.
    BEG nije smeo biti idpod 15-20 mil
    DBK I SPL 10 - tak
    ZAG malo ispod itd
    a vi slavite milionce ( i to pod okupatorskom upravom ) i uz silne finasijske subvencije.

    1. Anonymous11:41

      Kad je BEG imao 15 000 000 putnika???

    2. Anonymous11:56

      Ma da jeste bas daj mi te rezultate iz 89. pa da vidimo..

    3. Anonymous12:32

      Београд је већ пре неку годину оборио свој рекорд ид СФРЈ, ако се не варам врхунац је био достигнут 1987. године.

    4. Anonymous20:20

      Pa sta onda ovaj izmislja? Dno dna...

    5. Pera Kojot20:52

      Za promenu ne izmišlja on ništa i vrlo je jasno napisao. Da smo nastavili kao normalne zemlje bez ratova i gluposti ovi aerodromi bi imali te cifre koje je napisao (preterao je ali poenta je ista).

    6. Anonymous08:11

      Ако ћемо том логиком, онда да Србија није одлучила да створи Југославију где би данас били... Бесмислено је коментарисати тако. Ту смо где смо и то је то.

  8. Anonymous12:07

    I am glad to see skopje handels the 1 millionth passenger allready in october... I hope they can keep up this successfull run in the future with a national carrier...

  9. Anonymous12:24

    Skopje will have more passengers than Ljubljana next year and possibly more than Pristina this year! Well done.

    1. Anonymous14:31

      No it won't

      Skopje has an impressive growth this year, but Ljubljana is expected to handle 1.55 million pax nest year, Skopje would need to grow 40% (if this year's predicted traffic of 1.15 million can be achieved).

      Ljubljana is expected to handle at least 1.5 million next year, and could be a lot more, 1.55 million very likely and in 2016 1,7 million. I don't see Skopje reaching these figures before 2017. 1.5 million in 2016 and 1.7 million in 2017, this is if they can attract a lot more airlines and get their national airline off the ground.

      Ljubljana airport is expected to handle around 2.5 million pax in 2020 not sure Skopje would hit more than 2.0 million by 2020, it could, but I don't think they'll surpass Ljubljana Airport. They might surpass Pristina airport in 2015 if numbers continue
      to tumble down.

      Some airports can maintain rapid growth for 1 or even 2 years, this as airports are more integrated in to international travel networks, but after this short and brief expansion airports go back to normal growth rates of 5-6% growth. Ljubljana might have similar growth next year or year after cause of new airlines that are coming to Ljubljana but also new owners will try to push numbers up fast.

      Its a natural progression of things. Its very cold here in Amsterdam.

    2. Anonymous14:34

      Good analysis. I'm most interested to see what will happen with PRN next year. This year has been a massive disaster for them.

    3. Anonymous22:32

      Well they have the new terminal and they also decided to offer subsidies so they should rebound somewhat, especially if they can get a LCC to open a base there.

  10. Anonymous12:32

    I've heard that wizzair will start 5-6 more destinations from Skopje, if this is true, which destinations could it be?

    1. Anonymous13:32

      I thought a destination nearby Vienna would be logical (but maybe not possible or practical) to try and get some diaspora/tourists in that region :)

  11. Anonymous12:40

    pictures from the airport yesterday

  12. Congratulations to TAV, what a nice deal for them. Government is practically paying TAV to operate the airport now. More subsidies they give, pore pax and less TAV has to pay, kudos to whoever negotiated this deal. I just hope that some of the people using SKP are tourists, not just diaspora. This way some new money is introduced in the local economy and you can justify the expense.

    Anybody knows if there was at least some upfront payment from TAV for this concession?

    1. Anonymous15:16

      Yesterdays flight from Stockholm to Skopje had 172 passengers, and 171 back (in wizzairs a320 with capacity of 180) and maybe 25 - 30 % of the people were swedish tourists going to Skopje for a week, skopje has become one of the most popular NEW destinations in sweden

    2. Anonymous17:28

      Jel W6 svaki dan leti za ARN :))

  13. Anonymous17:06


    Sorry to go off topic, just looked at stats for all major airports in Croatia, Split airport has surpassed 2013 record on 7th of October and is set to hit 1.73 million pax for 2014, a growth of around 9.25%.

    Zagreb Airport is on target 8% growth for October and 2014 should end with 2.42 million pax, 5.25% growth on 2013.

    Dubrovnik airport is also looking good 2014, it is expected to handle around 1.585 million, increase by around 4.15%.

    Hadn't had a chance to check Zadar, Pula and Rijeka Airports yet.

    Ljubljana Airport is also set to finish year on a good note with 2.45% growth. No idea why airport performed less than expected this year, if anyone knows can they enlighten me here, thanx.

    Didn't check other airports, had no time.

  14. Anonymous17:31

    Congrats Skopje, great results and well deserved!

    For those interested in yesterdays topic, please join the discussion still going in in the comments section, thank you!

  15. Anonymous19:39

    Hi all,

    While admiring the approaching IR A300-600 into BEG, I noticed a 757 land. Any idea?

    1. Anonymous22:10

      Rossiya from Moscow.

      No idea when is it leaving though.

    2. Anonymous22:35

      Rossiya doesn't have the B757, maybe you confused it with a B767?

  16. Anonymous23:48

    I am looking for forum user that's no longer active. Can someone help me get in touch with him, thanks! He used to post using screen name Dan Syd.

  17. Anonymous07:35

    The person is right, it is a 757 from I-fly airlines not Rossiya

  18. Anonymous08:45

    I-Fly gone bust 2 months ago!

  19. just blogwalking.. nice post :D


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