Macedonia tops EX-YU airport infrastructure quality

High score for Macedonia’s airport infrastructure

The World Economic Forum has published its acclaimed biannual Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, in which it measures and ranks the competitiveness of 141 economies, comprising of fourteen pillars, one of which is air transport. In the 2015 report, Macedonia was named as having the highest quality airport infrastructure in the former Yugoslavia, although Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo were not included in the survey. Two-thirds of the data in the report are provided by international organisations, with the remaining third based on surveys carried out among over 15.000 business executives and business leaders annually in all the economies included in the assessment. The survey represents a unique source of insight into critical aspects of travel and tourism competitiveness.

Quality of air transport infrastructure

Global rankCountryScore

Macedonia ranked 59th in the world for its airport infrastructure, with an average mark of 4.7 (with 1 being the lowest and 7 the highest). It was followed by Slovenia, which took 67th place, Montenegro 74th and Croatia close behind in 76th place. Serbia fell behind in the rankings, taking up 111th position. Singapore boasted the best airport infrastructure in the world, followed by the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong. Skopje Airport was recently named Eastern Europe’s ninth best airport in a global annual passenger survey conducted by Skytrax. In both 2013 and 2014 it was also crowned the best airport in Europe handling under two million passengers by 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 Skopje Airport’s new terminal building which opened in September 2011.

Available seat kilometres (ASK), international

Global rankCountryASK (millions)

Aircraft departures

Global rankCountryDepartures (per 1.000 people)

According to the World Economic Forum, Croatia had the most available seat kilometres on offer on international services in the former Yugoslavia, based on a 2014 average. It achieved a global rank of 83, followed by Serbia and Montenegro. On the other hand, Macedonia positioned itself as 121st out of 141 economies surveyed. Unsurprisingly, the United States had the most available seat kilometres. Based on the number of aircraft departures per 1.000 people, Montenegro performed best in the former Yugoslav region, ranking 31st in the world, trailed by Slovenia and Croatia. Croatia had the largest number of airlines with scheduled flights originating in the country, positioning itself as 33rd. It was followed closely by Serbia, while Slovenia faired worst, in 114th place.

Airport density, with at least one scheduled flight (2014)

Global rankCountry

Overall, Spain was named as the most competitive country in the travel and tourism sector. Croatia was 33rd, Slovenia 39th, Montenegro 67th, Macedonia 82nd and Serbia 95th.

Number of operating airlines

Global rankCountryNo. of airlines (annual average)


  1. Anonymous09:06

    I had the chance to fly to Skopje this March and saw the new terminal for the first time. It is a really efficient building. Check in is quick and there are good stores. They even have a Burger King which I think is the only global fast food chain at any ex-Yu airport. I flew once from Skopje’s old terminal and the two are absolutely incomparable. It’s like night and day. I haven’t flown from Ohrid but I heard they also upgraded that airport too. Good work Macedonia.

  2. Anonymous09:08

    Jasno vam je koji je kvalitet ovakvog izvestaja.

    1. Anonymous09:11

      Svetski ekonomski forum

    2. Anonymous09:12


    3. Anonymous09:17

      So it is a very respected institution (and I don't know how you can disqualify the rest of the data like ASK which are based on stats from IATA). The main problem here is that Serbia wasn't top. If it was we wouldn't have this comment at all.

    4. Anonymous09:29

      I served more than 8 months on that airport and it still has same problems, wrong direction, no one use nearby freeway, they do not have airbridges but they have Burger Kings etc. Great.

    5. Anonymous09:31

      What are you talking about? They have six air bridges, if you are talking about Skopje.

    6. Anonymous09:42

      And Wizz use them?

    7. Anonymous09:49


    8. Anonymous09:58

      Then they have great advantage there. Sorry I did not know that. But rest is still there.

    9. Anonymous10:31

      Mora da im je izvesta iz Srbije pisao Misa Brkic ;)

  3. Anonymous09:19

    Well done Macedonia! I'm surprised Montenegro did well and Serbia so poorly

    1. Anonymous09:21

      Podgorica has a relatively new terminal. I think it was opened in 2007 or 2008?

    2. JU520 BEGLAX09:31

      And it already rains in the terminal...

  4. JU520 BEGLAX09:30

    Montenegro and Croatia hve better airports than Serbia. Ok DBV and next year ZAG. But in my eyes BEG is after all the refurbisment done, mot such a bad export. Is Serbia laging behind cause of having only 2 international and operative airports?

    Congrats to SKP, smart investment which pays now off

    1. Anonymous09:51

      Serbia is lagging because it has one major airport where refurbishment can only be described with the famous Serbian verb "budžiti". It has one more operational airport with poor equipment and a 19th century terminal. And finally it has one unfinished airport without equipment and infrastructure. With such record, Serbia scored even good in the report.

    2. Anonymous10:09

      +1, haha!

    3. Anonymous11:22

      @JU520 BEGLAXJuly 21, 2015 at 9:30 AM

      Zadar airport was completely refurbished and new terminal built with additional plans for runway extension and upgrade to whole runway infrastructure. NATO will finance one runway modernization the other to be financed by the EU funding and Airprtort's own resoruces. Also airport had 14% growth for 6 month period of Jan 1st to June 30th.2015.

      Split Airport plans to modernize runway as well, add taxiway and new terminal to be constructed from October this year with completion work around 2018,

      Dubrovnik will also have its runway refurbished and modernized on top of new terminal that is being constructed.

      And Finally Zagreb airport is getting new Terminal, so things are looking up, Only thing that really pisses me off how both political parties have undertaken political football over Zagreb Airport "Pleso" renaming, for some of them want to rename airport in Dr Franjo Tudman, as if he represents everything that is great about Croatia.

      I am disgusted, as are many here in Croatia, everyone else is naming their airports after preeminent scientist and inventors, and we are naming it after autocrat and right wing lunatic who wanted to turn Croatia in to his own personal fiefdom and a banana republic.

    4. Anonymous11:29

      100% agree with you on your text, the info is 100% correct - just wasn't aware that it was a deal that NATO would finance on the of the runways?

    5. Anonymous11:53

      Sa duznim postovanjem, ali kako mozete upredjivati "limenke" poput TGD i TIV sa BEG... znate, malo je ne ozbiljno...

    6. The naming of the airport is not final and I am sure the French consortium will have a say in it too.

    7. Anonymous12:22

      In Croatia Rijeka has improved infrastructure this year. Pula and Osijek are old-fashioned, but still nice, efficient which dont need bigger improvements. Brac was built few years ago of white stone which is known as bracki kamen, that airport looks really nice. I dont know are they still using old building, but it is still there. Losinj is completely in trouble. Although it has scheduled flights, that airport looks awful and outdated. There should be found some solution for Losinj. Other people have already mentioned ZAD, ZAG, SPU and DBV. I would say that Croatian airport infrastructure by 2020 will be completely refurbished.

    8. Anonymous19:22

      People often forget Rijeka airport, its even more old fashioned yugo-style god, i am so ashamed when i have to be there more than necessary, and it is atleast 3-4 times a month.
      Dear government and Rijeka town-if you dont have money for it-organize "radne akcije"...something must be done soon!

    9. JU520 BEGLAX19:36

      Indeed Croatia is on a good way. Zagreb will be state of the art, DBV already good. ZAD too. SPU will be hopefully jetbridges once the terminal upgrade is done

      regarding naming airport after politicians. Fully oppose any naming of politicians here but also in the Western world. Republican voter might do not agree with Kennedy either. Chopin, Mozart, Tesla thats acceptable
      i m glad that Zurich UNIQUE Airport was named back to just Zurich Airport. No one in CH liked that name
      Personally I prefer the naming after their geographical location such as Zurich Kloten or Belgrade Surcin Airport. I think thats a way most people can agree
      so hopefully LJU will go back to Brnik airport and ZAG stays Pleso

    10. Anonymous21:49

      @JU520 BEGLAXJuly 21, 2015 at 7:36 PM

      No immediate plans for jetways at Split, reason they need fast turnover of aircraft and so far only SAS, Croatian, Lufthansa and Austrian expressed interest for year round Jetway use (SAS summers only) and since most carriers perfer fast touraround at least as part of next phase there won't be jetways, but there are longer term plans to expand airport further with addition of 4 jetways only.

      @Q400July 21, 2015 at 11:56 AM

      I know Q400, but HDZ campaign has already started. In Croatia you have loads of ignorant people with simple minds, they're easy to manipulate, most are uneducated and educated are very cynical and disillusioned.

      A lethal cocktail for radicals to do what ever they want.

  5. Anonymous10:17

    These results should be delivered to Vucic and BEG CEO Vlaisavljevic who say they are creating the best hub in Europe.

    1. Anonymous10:29


    2. Anonymous11:14

      Sto se ovo ne obrise kad je i moj normalan post obrisan ?

    3. Anonymous11:20

      Yeah! I liked that comedy routine you had going before. Funny, funny stuff!!!

  6. Anonymous11:12

    Although the terminal of SKP has a capacity of 4 million passengers per year, in rush hours it can be busy. It doesn't affect the check in ---> boarding procedures yet, but in some time following the growth of passengers and especially the number of flights it might cause some difficulties. Maybe one can get that kind of an image if currently the airport might not be operating as it would at full capacity, hence being efficient, expecting that it will increase operations and services meeting the demands as they grow, but either way, in some hours when there are few flights in a relatively short period of time, at least it looks busy.

    1. Anonymous11:26

      In some occasions there are takeoffs from RWY 34 and RWY 16 one right after another.

  7. Anonymous11:13

    Odlican uspeh srbije BEG medju 100 najboljih Aerodroma , BEG najbolji Aerodrom u ex yu , ASL najbolja u EX YU tako da ovo u opste nije poraz .

    1. Anonymous11:18

      Build and airbridge and get over it buddy, BEG is the worst airport in ex-yu.

    2. Anonymous11:28

      How can you say that BEG is the best airport on ex yu when the report says otherwise?

    3. Anonymous12:15

      With "budzenje" it will have almost the same number of
      "aviomostova" as all rest airports in exYU. Sorry.

    4. Anonymous12:21

      And less than a quarter of the tourists. You're welcome.

    5. Anonymous12:31

      Pa to sto ovaj report kaze mozete da okacite macki o rep .
      BEG je definitivno najbolji Aerodrom u EX YU ne po izgledu ali po svemu ostalom .
      Ima najvise cargo saobracaja ako se nevaram zajedno sa LJU.

    6. Anonymous12:36

      Sad smo se dotakli prave cinjenice da Rvati ne lete vec turisti.

    7. Anonymous12:49

      How can beg the best? No on-line check-in, no automated baggage sorting.

      There is no shame in coming last INN-NS.

    8. Anonymous12:54

      BEG jeste najbolji po mnogo cemu .
      Sta ce aerodromu on line chek in nece on da vas leti nego Aviokompanija.
      Pa radi se na tome i na novom terminalu .

    9. Anonymous13:00

      Lupate gluposti. BEG nije niti najbolji niti najmoderniji, ukoliko ima najvise prometa ne znaci da je najbolji. Setite se da smo pre nekoliko dana dobili wi-fi na aerodromu...
      Zagrebacki novi terminal izgleda impresivno, kada bude gotov BEG po izgledu, detaljima, usluzi i svemu ostalom nece moci da parira jednom malom, ali veoma modernom aerodromu

    10. Anonymous13:31

      It probably doesn't help that all of serbia has only one proper airport, Nis probably wasn't running flights when this survey was collected, the report is about national airport infrastructure not individual airports.

      It is really pathetic that a nation the size of serbia only has 1 functional airport, Nis operates flights at a loss with their current subsidies and once the go so will Wizz.

      This explains the numbers in BEG, it is because passengers going to serbia have no other choice...

    11. Anonymous13:42

      There are no subsidies for Wizz flights from INI. They do have a big discount on a lot of airport services. And why would they leave? Flights are usually full till the last seat... And there are talks of basing an aircraft next year and new airlines are in talks with Niš Airport

    12. Anonymous14:08

      I fail to see the difference between big discounts and subsidies, they equate to the same thing. Wizz left BEG when their discounts/subsidies were cut there, what makes you believe that they will not do the same when the discounts/subsidies are cut at Nis?

      Nis has been around for a long time, and it was not considered viable to fly there until the discounts/subsidies were offered, JU still will not fly there even with the same discounts/subsidies.
      And of course the airport would say they are in negotiations with other carriers it is what they have been saying for the last 6 years.

    13. Anonymous14:19

      Sta vredi novi Terminal ZAG kad nece imati veci broj putnika a pritom zaboravljate da ce BEG dobiti isto novi Terminal.

    14. Anonymous14:35

      Nothing they do to BEG will get it anywhere near the new Zagreb Airport, they need to do the same and build a completely new one from scratch.

      There is only so much lipstick you can put on a pig..

    15. Anonymous15:36

      Upravo tako, jedino da ga sravne sa zemljom pa kompletan novi terminal. INN-NS ti si verovatno mnogo mlad pa verujes u taj novi terminal na BEG-u, verovatno verujes i u cuvenu drugu poletno-sletnu stazu. Danas ministarka dala izjavu da AS ima tehnicnih mogucnosti da leti za SAD, toliko o tome.

    16. Anonymous15:39

      Oh my god, I would have to agree with INN-SNS on ZAG. We have seen the June performance for ZAG, and from what I'm hearing, July is struggling aswell. I am sure that when new terminal opens, there will be few more carriers, but then again, so it was this summer and numbers aren't impressive. There simply isn't much O&D for ZAG, and OU is failing with transfer pax. ZAG is almost always one day trip, not much to see there.

    17. Anonymous17:21

      Logika ljudi mi nikako nije jasna.Bg aerodrom ko aerodrom ne obracas paznju na "lepotu" ako imas jeftiniju cenu karte,nisam dosao u galeriju da se divim izlozbi.Malo mi je smesno sto ljudi misle novi terminal super evo gomile novih putnika i rast od 20% ali to se nece desiti da naprave jos dva takva terminala a beg ce i dalje da raste vecim tempom iz nekih drugih razloga a ne sto ima ili nema "lep" aerodrom.Koncesiju je najlakse sprovesti i dobiti novi terminal ako imas konstantan rast putnika i profit,ne znam sta je to spektakularno sto su radili i li rade aerodromi u okruzenju.Svi ce rasti i dobijati onakve kapacitete koji su im i potrebni prema broju putnika i rastu samo je pitanje ko ce dobiti bolje usloe koncesije i vise love sve ostalo su nebitna prepucavanja

    18. Anonymous19:31

      Ali sadrzaj u aerodromu je jako bitan za ljude sto presedaju, ako je bg aerodrom sa izgledom 80-ih i besplatnim wifi-om jedino sto moze da ponudi, i naravno slot- masine-onda su u problemu.

  8. Anonymous11:13

    INI: Are you totally incapable of understanding even the easiest text? Do you seriously believe that "Airport infrastructure" is down to the airbridges???? You wold make a perfect CEO at any airport in Serbia....

  9. Anonymous11:40

    What i find most interestin is that in competativness in the travel and tourism sector, that out of the ex-yu countries Serbia is last by a long way. One would think they would be better than Macedonia.

    1. Anonymous11:46

      I'm from Serbia and I don't know much about the tourism sector in Macedonia but they are advertising like crazy on every single channel - BBC, CNN, Eurosport. Plus they give subsidies for every tourist from certain countries - even Serbia!

      I'm from Belgrade and you can see simply by walking down the street that tourism numbers are up. You can hear Turkish everywhere and lots of Germans and Dutch as well but I don't think the government (this one or the ones before) have done anything to promote Serbia. I'm no Air Serbia fanboy but I think it has done more in the last two years in promoting Serbia than the government. I'm not surprised about the rankings, at least Serbia's position.

    2. Anonymous11:48

      When you look at that overall ranking I think Montenegro should be most concerned. A country that lives off tourism ranked so low is not good.

    3. Anonymous19:36

      You dont have to worry about us-montenegro and its tourism rise a little bit every year and how come-easy from mouth to mouth,social medias and thats the best promotion a country can get with little money!

  10. Anonymous11:49

    "Croatia had the largest number of airlines with scheduled flights originating in the country, positioning itself as 33rd. It was followed closely by Serbia"

    The difference is greater than 50%, hardly what anyone would consider "followed closely".

    1. Anonymous12:16

      For once in life, try to enjoy your country's success without looking for a way to humiliate another. You will see how the world can be lovely.

    2. Anonymous17:21

      Great comment, should be added to blog's editorial guidelines! This blog would become a better place, too.

  11. Anonymous12:45

    I'm glad that 'leader in the region' bubble has been deflated a bit more with this ranking. BTW, I'm from Serbia.
    Let's pour hundreds of millions on highway to Montenegro, but not several millions in airport infrastructure outside of BEG.

    Glad that INI is operating again and it should be properly developed.
    I wish Morava is next. All the investment in Morava is effectivelly 'sunk cost' and shouldn't be considered in decision making. I wonder how much would it take to certify it as international airport. Just checked, LCY has shorter runway with the same width. And it handles E195, A318, BAe 146, which is more than enough for the demand in the region.

    Perhaps Serbia would then move few places up in the ranking. Government started paying attention to rankings, namely 'Ease of doing business' by WB, after humiliating drop (read: reality check) last year.

    From a politicians perspective, it seems a good value for the money. And it won't threaten AirSerbia and/or BEG much. Hopefully , someone from the government reads the blog.


  12. Anonymous13:11

    There's more interesting things in the report> Openness of bilateral Air Service Agreements:

    Croatia ranked: 51th place
    Serbia ranked: 97th place
    Macedonia ranked: 112th place

    I think that everybody here on the forum are familiar with the Civil Aviation Authority and the Assistant Minister......

  13. Anonymous13:36

    WEF reports, especially the one on competitiveness is laughing stock of the trade with serious economists - it is superficial and arbitrary. I wouldn't know about the airline industry, as I didn't look into methodology, but the titles themselves are a bit "weak" in my opinion.

    That being said, these reports are used as a reference for businesses, investors, etc. So, even though they are - scientifically at least - worthless, they are not insignificant. More or less, your Skytrax awards, only in the field of economics. Not a lot of merit, but they are well known and get read.

  14. Anonymous13:43

    OT: I had the misfortune of using SPU yesterday and the airport was in such shambles that I have yet to see a comparable disaster after 240 flights taken. It took me TWO AND A HALF HOURS from arriving at the airport to the gate. Passengers literally couldn't fit into the terminal building and had to queue at 35 degrees outside. Check-in was handled by all desks for all flights and the security line was over 100m long. Absolutely beyond belief and a horrible first (or last) impression for tourists. And all this on a Monday! I can but cringe at the prospect of a weekend flight.

    1. Anonymous15:24

      And that's why the are investing in a new terminal, new parking, new road access, runway reconstruction, new ATM/ATC systems.....they are addressing all the issues. Permits has been issued, contractors has been chosen, now waiting for the off-season so that work can start and stretch over a 3 year period. i.e work will start in October.

    2. Anonymous17:11

      That should have been done 5 years ago so tourists dont have to wait.

  15. Anonymous15:14

    OT: Skupstina Srbije se danas izjasnjava o vazdusnom saobracaju sa SAD.

    1. Anonymous15:30

      Vec je proslo kroz skupistinu tako da pozdrav za ljobomorne.

    2. Anonymous15:53

      A sta ti to znaci anonimno detete iz INN?

    3. Anonymous16:41

      Otkud vi znate da sam ja anonimn ?

    4. Anonymous22:02

      Anonimac najveci.

  16. Anonymous16:52

    EY predstavio nova odela i svaka cast na izboru manekenki .

  17. Дечко Тзар17:07

    Dear EXYU admin,

    I love your blog and consider you a bright kid. Few days ago I explained how this thing works. For your headline stat, Quality of Air Transport Infrastructure, results are in BLUE, not BLACK (pls read page 355 and then page 452) - it means subjective responses for that particular category are from that country's small group of business people ONLY, unlike BLACK graphs. Question is "How would you assess the quality of air transport infrastructure in YOUR country?" so the responses to that category are very subjective.

  18. Anonymous00:33

    Aviokarta je veceras prenela sledecu vest: Dear Customer,

    Please be informed that due to enforced strict rules of German border police, we will temporarily not carry passengers holding Albanian passports on routes between Macedonia and Germany (Nuremberg) unless those passengers are holding a visa allowing them to stay in Germany for more than 90 days.

    Under international regulation and our General Conditions of Carriage, we have a responsibility to carry only those passengers we reasonably believe will be allowed to enter the country. As we believe passengers traveling on an Albanian passport without a valid entry visa will not be admitted to pass through German passport control, we are forced to take this action.

    All passengers denied boarding to Germany will be eligible for a refund according to General Conditions of Carriage by submitting a claim on our website.

    We apologize for any inconveniences caused.

    Kind regards,

    Wizz Air Customer Service

  19. Anonymous10:44

    He He Serbia has 3 international airports as Slovenia and its main airport handle 5 times more passengers than main airport in Macedonia and Macedonia is better? In this can believe only Croats and people employed at ANT.


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