Belgrade and Skopje among East Europe’s best

Belgrade and Skopje airports recognised at World Airport Awards

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport and Skopje Alexander the Great Airport have been named among the top ten best airports in Eastern Europe at the 2015 Skytrax World Airport Awards held in Paris last week. The World Airport Awards are considered the most prestigious accolades for the airport industry voted by customers in the largest annual global airport customer satisfaction survey. According to Skytrax, the survey and awards process is independent and guaranteed free of any airport influence or interference in final results. It is the first time in the award’s sixteen-year history that two airports from the former Yugoslavia have entered the top ten of any category, which include the world’s best airport, most improved airport, airport with the best staff, best security and best transit airport, to name a few.

Belgrade Airport was placed fifth among Eastern Europe’s best airports, while Skopje managed ninth position, entering the list for the first time. The category was won by Budapest. No other airport from the former Yugoslavia managed to enter the top ten of any category. Furthermore, no airport in the region was among the top 100 best airports in the world, with Singapore’s Changi Airport taking the title for a third year in a row. The 2015 World Airport Awards were based on 13.02 million customer nominations across 112 nationalities of air travellers, and included 550 airports worldwide. The survey evaluates customer satisfaction across 39 key performance indicators for airport service and product - from check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration, through to departure at the gate.

Over the last two years, Belgrade Airport has invested significantly in improving its facilities, with the addition of three new gates, the expansion of its departure lounges, replacement of old air bridges, the overhaul of its business class lounge, opening of new retail space and the installation of a visual docking guidance system for aircraft. On the other hand, since opening its new terminal in September 2011, Skopje Airport has been no stranger to awards. In both 2013 and 2014 it was named the best airport in Europe handling under two million passengers according to Airports Council International (ACI). With six air bridges and a capacity to handle four million passengers per year, some 110 million euros were invested into the terminal building.

Best airports in Eastern Europe



  1. Anonymous09:06

    Bratislava 8th best airport, and no Prague? Wierd

    1. Anonymous09:13

      Bigger is not always better!

    2. Anonymous09:18

      They categorized Prague in central Europe. It came 8th.

    3. Anonymous10:56

      But since Bratislava is on list, so should Vienna be. They are few km apart, and that distance is reason why BTS is dwarfed by VIE, they even have shuttle buses from BTS to VIE that take about hour to destination.

    4. Anonymous16:03

      Budapest SkyCourt is amazing no wonder they're in top position, Tallinn was revamped recently and terminal looks great inside, btw it is the same size as Belgrade's two terminals, 32000sqm, albeit better laid out and with fewer passenger boarding bridges.

      I wonder if they started work on new terminal at Riga, they're expanding it I think adding additional 24 gates and 7 passenger boarding bridges for total of 12, should increase the capacity to 8 million by 2020. Riga handled 5.1 million pax last year I think.

    5. Actually, the new terminal in Riga is advancing quite well. The current one is way too small for the number of passengers it handles.

      Airport authorities are more confident now when airBaltic posted a €9 million profit.

      Riga handled 4.814.000 passengers in 2015 and they ranked as Europe's 79th busiest airport, 5 positions ahead of BEG.

  2. Anonymous09:19

    Congratulations to BEG and SKP. Nice to see.

  3. Anonymous09:24

    When you think about it they are the two best airports in ex-Yu. Pristina is also good but check-in is extremely messy and unorganized. The only other airports that come close is Dubrovnik. Ljubljana is good but very small in my opinion. Just my 2 cents.

    1. Anonymous16:21

      Dubropvnik is getting a new terminal, they''ve just started work on it, it'll take 2-3 years to complete the work but once finished 36500sqm will be 2nd largest in Croatia and with capacity of 5.5 million which Dubrovnik hopes to reach by 2030.

      Ljubljana Airport Terminal is very small around 17 500sqm, too small to handle large volumes of passengers I think it was designed for 2.5-3 million pax but due to the recession in 2008-14, new terminal was scraped first by the airport authority, and now by new owners who don't want to invest necessary $100 million in to new terminal, plan was to add brand new 40 000sqm terminal bringing total volume of both terminals to 57500sqm, with this investment Ljubljana would have had 2nd largest terminal in ex-YU, with capacity of 5-8 million terminal would have secured Ljubljana's position in the region.

      Airport terminals by size in ex-YU as things stand today.

      Zagreb - 17500sqm + 65500sqm new terminalunder construction, old terminal built in 1962 with few extra add ons in 1987, 1995, 2008 and 2014
      Pristina - 42 000sqm, opened in 2014
      Skopje - 40 000sqm , opened in 2013.
      Belgrade - 32 600sqm with 6800sqm planned add on for total of 39400sqm
      Dubrovnik - 35600sqm when completed in 2018, currently 22000sqm~
      Split - 12500sqm with 25000sqm new terminal planned for 2017 with completion planned for 2020.
      Ljubljana - 17500sqm with potential for 40 000sqm add on at some point in near future we hope.
      Podgorica - 6500sqm
      Zadar 5500sqm
      Pula - 5000sqm
      Tivat - 4500sqm
      Rijeka - 3000sqm
      Maribor - 2500sqm brand new terminal
      Brac - 1200sqm
      Osijek - 1000sqm

      Not sure about the others...

    2. Hmm Skopje Airport was opened in 2011 not 2013.

  4. Anonymous09:26



    Congratulations Budapest!

  5. Anonymous09:32

    Was Warsaw also in the eastern European group? I am surprised it didn't make it onto the list.

    1. Anonymous10:28

      It's interesting actually, Warsaw didn't make the top 10 in any category

    2. Aэrologic13:38

      The list is a joke. I've visited most of the airports in E. Europe. Budapest is horrendous, barely deserves a place on the list if not for the mediocre competition. Kiev (IEV) for instance is way better. Tbilisi is the best in all aspects. Belgrade, without a smoking room, free Wi-Fi and with crappy air-conditionning, c'mon? Warsaw is also better than Belgrade, though very basic - same style just little bigger. Big plus is a train connection. My personal list:

      1. Tbilisi
      2. Erevan/Baku (shared second place)
      3. Donetsk (now closed, a magnificent airport)
      4. Kharkov/Kiev (IEV)
      5. Warsaw
      6. Belgrade
      7. Simferopol
      8. Chisinau/Kutaisi
      9. Minsk
      10. Budapest

      That looks more like the list reflecting improvements and not the actual state.

    3. Stranska Sluzba14:02

      lol what is the difference between Tbilisi and Skopje ??? Its the same airport basically, only that TBS is much smaller.

      When i landed at TBS i thought, i know this place from somewhere...

    4. Aэrologic14:12

      Haven't been to Skopje, that is why it's 'personal list'.

    5. Anonymous16:39

      I've been to Tbilisi twice during last 3 years. In Tbilisi airport terminal, non-smoker cannot breathe because entire airport smells of cigar ettes. There is no post office, there is no locker room or boxes to leave luggage, almost all employees are rude and don't know what smile is, not to mention goverment officials at police and customs, i wanted to have hamburger but I didn't because it cost something like 20 euros. Now outside the terminal : taxi drivers in front of the airport are the worst predators I've ever seen, double worse than in Belgrade, train connection form the building opposite the terminal : dirty space with broken doors and glasses, smells of piss, trains don't go as shown on timetable etc etc.

      Plenty of times I disagreed with you here but didn't want to argue. I will not do it even now, but out of over 100 airports worldwide I've been to, Tbilisi is among 5 WORST. placing it on the first position obviously shows why I cannot agree to most of your posts as they are so unobjective and reflect your personnal opinion rather then one based on facts.

    6. Aэrologic21:38

      First of all, can you uncover us the secret where you're from?

    7. Aэrologic01:52

      Ok, as expected, no courage whatsoever. Anyway, back to the facts: the first thing that comes clear from your post is that you haven't been in Tbilisi for the past 6 years at least (since the renovation) or most probably, you haven't been there at all and based your entire post on extracts from passenger opinions on Skytrax who visited the terminal prior to the reconstruction. Vivid imagination in any case. Let's start point by point:

      1 - In the new Tbilisi airport terminal, smoking is forbidden inside of the building so either:
      a) you're totally making things up
      b) you're confusing the smell of kerosene with the smell of tobacco or
      c) you suffer from a serious case of phantosmia in which case you should consult the doctor in the fine country where you live.

      "almost all employees are rude and don't know what smile is"

      2 - No one is obliged to smile to you nor to do you any personal favours or treat your complexes. People are there to do there job and they're doing it right. By this single remark you're showing a complete cultural ignorance and it proves straight away that instead of "100" you've probably seen no more than 10 airports in your life and that from a far. Let's pass that.

      3 - " i wanted to have hamburger but I didn't because it cost something like 20 euros." Your choice, can't blame the airport for that. There are other options that Burger King which for sure isn't Georgian. Can you please by the way quote us the price of similar delicacies in other airports around the world or you was expecting to play the rich with your few Euros in Georgia, then suddenly got disappointed when you understood it wasn't entirely the case?

      4 - Another lie. There are NO taxi drivers right in front of the arrivals and even less aggressive ones. Georgians are very kind people. I should try not to imagine what you look like if you made them behave as 'predators'. You must have fallen from the moon. FYI if you're not happy with the taxis, there are buses every few minutes that can take you to the city for 50 RSD, compare that to the 300 RSD you pay for the infrequent service in Belgrade, not even talking about other airports.

      5 - You did very well to mention the train - how many airports in the region have it? Too bad you wasn't able to read the schedule properly.

      "Tbilisi is among 5 WORST. placing it on the first position obviously shows why I cannot agree to most of your posts as they are so unobjective and reflect your personnal opinion rather then one based on facts." (Saw yourself in the mirror?)

      I guess that applies not only to me but to Skytrax as well and all the people who participated in the poll. While we might discuss the order, most of the airports in the list rightfully deserve their place. As for you poor guy, the world looks quite inverted in your eyes. I don't know what happened to you in Tbilisi but with such an inverted approach to things in life, i can only feel sorry for you. Anyway, if you did one thing right, that's to abstain from attempts at discussing with me so far. So keep it up, you did well until now - and remember: Tbilisi loves you ;)

      PS: Too lazy to look for my own pics but for others here are a few photos of the airport 'full of piss and rude officers':

  6. Anonymous09:53

    Go Bulgaria - 2 airports :)

    1. Anonymous10:33

      Sofia has a new terminal and Varna opened its new terminal last year. Not surprised. good job :)

    2. Yeah but the quality of the new Sofia terminal is not that good. I remember a few years ago there was a huge problem because a large part of the facade fell.

    3. Anonymous11:10

      Oh Yeah. I remember that

  7. Anonymous10:10

    It is interesting to see how will they rank Air Serbia this time. Last year there were no JAT Airways on the list for Eastern Europe, while Belgrade Airport was at sixth place.
    Among airlines, Croatia Airlines was fourth, while Adria Airways was seventh last year. Lists for airlines are still to come.

    1. Anonymous10:31

      Yes I'm wondering whether Air Serbia will make the list year. I know Skytrax isn't in Etihad's good books.

    2. Anonymous12:50

      World airline awards for 2015 will be announced in Paris, on June,16th.

  8. Anonymous11:48

    A gdje su ovdje SPU i DBV???

  9. Anonymous11:48

    Varna barely has traffic outside summer season.

  10. Anonymous11:54

    what about Greece?

  11. Anonymous12:20

    Re Skytrax Airline Ratings 2014....Just looked it up and Air Serbia did not make the top 100. Etihad dropped from 7th to 9th place. Air Berlin, which has investments from Etihad dropped from 59 to 70 and even Air Seychelles dropped from 56 to 62. As for Croatia Airlines it went up from 102 in 2013 to 99 in 2014. Adria never made the list.

  12. Anonymous12:24

    A Skytrax rating is as good as you pay it to be... this is widely known...

  13. Anonymous12:56

    Interesting how Admin did not even mention that Croatia made in 100 World best airlines, but was made all article of Belgrade and Skopje which are not in best 100 but were on top 10 in small and poor region:

    Skytrax results for 2014. Croatia Airlines made it in the top 100. In 2013 they were 102 and in 2014 they were 99. A slight improvement. Adria and Air Serbia did not make the top 100 list.

    1. Anonymous12:57

      So what...

    2. Anonymous13:06

      Stop bitching

    3. Anonymous13:14

      So what? That should be exYU blog. And for sure if one company is in top 100 and was not even mentioned but in same time article was about 2 airports that were not in top 100 one should ask if that is really exYU blog or just one part of exYU blog.

    4. All it takes is a simple search. 2014 results were published in 2014.

    5. Anonymous13:23

      lol maybe you should apologize now anonymous for your nationalistic rant.

    6. Anonymous13:33

      Sada mu je maca pojela jezik :)

    7. Anonymous13:42


      Didn't you actually walk out of Ex-Yu?

    8. Anonymous14:39

      Sorry ex YU did not saw that article.

    9. Anonymous15:41

      No offense but how did ASL not make it into 100 best but Croatia did? I would say both are in the same league, with ASL of course having better catering and better business class, but Croatian better on time performance.

    10. Anonymous15:58

      No offense but how on earth Belgrade old airport, especially T1, with modest service and just few shops, low quality check in, security procedure and worst police passport control, which is very dirty and surrounding in extra poor shape (parking, communication to highway, bus platform, roads, signs...) can be even in top 10 airport? This airport is million years from Bucharest, Budapest, Sofia, Pristina, Split, Dubrovnik, Skopje, Cluj, Kiev, Varna, Burgas…

    11. Anonymous16:04

      With so little flights and no hub basis it's easy to have good on-time performance. I'm sure B&H is even better, especially on their flights to Monchengladbach.

    12. Anonymous16:07

      "Bucharest, Budapest, Sofia, Pristina, Split, Dubrovnik, Skopje, Cluj, Kiev, Varna, Burgas…"

      Have you been to any of them? NO. So stop speaking shit.

    13. Anonymous16:39

      Except for the SkyCourt and for being more crowded, Budapest is pretty much like T1.

    14. Anonymous17:23

      Ok maybe BEG does not deserve that high of a spot, but AirSerbia is definitely better generally than Croatian. And no I am being realistic, not raising ASL to clouds

    15. Anonymous00:08

      Yes I was in all of those airports for several times.

      Budapest is like T1? That is not even joke. You are sic man!

    16. Anonymous00:27

      I don't know where you got that T1 has passport control, security... T1 is only used for check in by Wizz Air and a few charter airlines during the summer. As soon as you check in you go to T2. There is nothing else there. So people who did vote in this massive survey were rating services of T2, not T1 since there is nothing at T1.

  14. Anonymous12:57

    In the land of blind people, ene eyed man is a king

  15. Anonymous13:16

    ''but was made all article of Belgrade and Skopje which are not in best 100 but were on top 10 in small and poor region''

    BAD NEWS COLUMBUS! You are also part of that small, poor and insiginificant region, better yet, you faile dto make it in the top 10. There! I feel better now, Friday can start...

    On another note, congrats to OU for making top 100.

    1. Anonymous13:34

      And more funny is that that was for 2014 and ex-Yu had whole article about it

  16. OT:

    Interesting article about FlightRadar24, its owners, how they started etc.I wouldn't be surprised to find some visiting this blog cooperating with them.

  17. Anonymous13:39

    Nadam se da ce BEG dobiti Terminal dosledan ovo godisnjuoj nagradi.

    1. Anonymous13:50

      Nadam se i ja da ces nauciti maternji jezik...

    2. Anonymous15:32

      A nadam se da cete i vi naucit IATA oznake.
      Ne znam sto volite da glumite profesora srpskog jezika.

    3. Anonymous16:07

      +1 INN

    4. Anonymous16:18

      Sine, to je nivo 4. razreda osnovne skole, prestani da se brukas.

    5. Anonymous17:21

      The guy lives in Austria so why do you expect him to write perfect Serbian, people this days are really sh*t. He seems to know German, English and Serbian at 17, what more can you expect really?

    6. Anonymous17:45

      Love the fact that guy "correcting" him is writing some EXYU language using English alphabet :-)

      Назад у школицу незналицо....

  18. Anonymous14:52

    Being fifth in such a company is not bad, but for sure not so spectacular. Let's hope for better result next year.

  19. OT:
    Both Austrian Airlines and Croatia Airlines sent their A320 to Skopje today, does anybody know why?
    Good loads or just not enough airplanes?

    1. Anonymous18:01

      Someone reported on here that OU sends the A319/320 to SKP only due to cargo demand. Otherwise the route is doing really badly.


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