EX-YU airport race

Skopje fastest growing among EX-YU’s busiest airports

Airports across the former Yugoslavia handled almost ten million passengers during the first seven months of the year, with Skopje becoming the fastest growing among the ten busiest. While Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport handled the most passengers overall, Croatian airports also fared well, with Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik welcoming almost 3.4 million travellers during the January - July period. Both Split and Dubrovnik have maintained their positions as the third and fourth busiest in the former Yugoslavia after they overtook Pristina in 2014. Pristina Airport itself has staged a recovery during the first seven months of the year, with double digit growth recorded so far. July was particularly strong, with an additional 30.000 passengers handled compared to the same month last year, or an increase of 19%.

EX-YU airport performance
January - July

AirportPAXChange (%)
Belgrade2.702.118 6.9
Zagreb1.437.928 7.0
Split1.043.495 11.0
Dubrovnik915.899 6.4
Pristina882.697 12.0
Ljubljana798.297 11.0
Skopje773.152 15.9
Tivat492.067 1.1
Sarajevo441.262 11.6
Podgorica300.784 * 5.0

* The figure for Podgorica Airport is for the January - June period

Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport and Skopje Alexander the Great are the ones to watch over the coming months as the two enter a tight-knit race, positioning themselves as sixth and seventh busiest airports in the EX-YU region. After initially overtaking Ljubljana for the first time since the two opened their doors to the public, Skopje has fallen back behind Slovenia’s busiest airport but continues to record strong growth, which is expected to continue in the months to come with a significant increase in flight operations. However, Ljubljana has also improved in the past few months and is expected to maintain the momentum during the remaining summer months.

Tivat Airport is the only among the ten busiest in the former Yugoslavia to see a decrease in its passenger numbers. It has been affected by a sharp decline in the number of passengers arriving from Ukraine, down 64%. However, authorities are confident that a strong August and September should compensate for the slump, with the airport expected to finish the year with a record number of travellers. On the other hand, its counterpart in Podgorica performed well so far this year and handled 438.298 passengers from January until August 9 (note that Podgorica figures in the table are for the first six months only). The number represents growth of 7%. Podgorica’s busiest routes are Belgrade, which accounts for 37% of all passengers passing through the airport, followed by Istanbul, which holds a 9% share of all travellers arriving and departing the Montenegrin capital. Sarajevo Airport, which overtook Podgorica last year, has cemented its position with strong growth recorded over the first seven months.


  1. Anonymous09:04

    To me Skopje even managing to overtake Ljubljana is a big success. Who would have thought of this 5 years ago or even 2 years ago. I have a feeling they will overtake them again by the end of the year.

    1. Anonymous10:19

      Probably true. But they could have some kerozine-related issues... This could be a problem.
      Also LJU has bigger growth since April all the time. This could continue and its really a rat race :)

  2. Anonymous09:05

    Good numbers all around

  3. Anonymous09:05

    It seems Prishtina has recovered from the loss of Belle Air.

    1. Anonymous09:08

      I wonder who took those passengers. Which airline did they go to?

    2. Anonymous09:15

      Adria + charters.

    3. Anonymous09:16

      Interesting dynamic as both PRN & SKP are doing well and both airports are so close to each other. Where do they draw their pax from other than MAK & Kosovo? Is it about 4m people altogether?

    4. Anonymous10:27

      PRN and SKP growing big at the same time, i guess those SKP's growth is largely from PRN stories can be put to rest?

    5. Anonymous10:50

      This also dispels the myth that two international airports can coexist in relatively close (<50km). Where else can this example work in Ex-Yugo?

    6. Anonymous13:54

      Dubrovnik - Tivat also Podgorica - Tivat

  4. Anonymous09:11

    wow congrats to Croatia. Three airports in the top ten.It would be great if a LCC opened a base in ZAG. Also wondering how Ohrid will perform this year since they now have regular Wizz Air flights.

    1. Anonymous12:30

      It is highly likely 1st terminal at Zagreb airport will become LCC base after 2017, perhaps as early as 2018.

      EasyJet, GermanWings, AirBerlin, Norwegian, Vueling and number of other carriers could set up a base at the airport, I think GermanWings and EasyJet are quite likely to establish base at Zagreb by 2018 with one or two aircraft based at airport permanently. If this were to happen numbers would go up really fast if both carriers base two aircraft each at the airport.

      I am thinking 5.5 million mark could be achieved by 2020 easily, Gdansk, Krakow, Katovice, Vilnius, Riga airports are fine example of what I am referring to.

    2. The only way I could see Germanwings open a base in Zagreb is if LH would give up on OU and if they would use 4U as their replacement- something I don't see happening at this point or any point as MUC and VIE are close enough to funnel all the passengers.

      Ryanair is a possibility though I doubt ZAG would be willing to give them dirt cheap fares. They have a base in Athens where their deal is not as sweet but the Croatian market is no Greek market.

      A realistic solution would be the invite Wizz Air which has become an expert in cheap, ex-YU flights.

      And yes, I know they had a bad experience the last time around but it's been like 6 years now. Nothing makes a Balkanite forget a bad experience like a cheap fare.

      Air Berlin is on the verge of bankruptcy and the last thing they need is to open yet another low-yielding base.

    3. Bit of a curve ball,

      I predict Wizz will start to run into trouble by 2020,maybe even as early as 2018.

      Companies which follow similar growth models to that of Wizz Air, and I am not referring to just aviation based companies but just the model in general eventually come some grief and they come to that grief fast.

      They made a profit last financial year and that's great but soon they will have to start paying there way as airports realise their desperate position that they need to expand or they are doomed thus leaving Wizz air no choice but to start paying for the use of airports.

      That or if they are super successful then they will have some real direct low cost competition again bad for Wizz.

      I know you can put other rapidly expanding LCC in that mix too but I think Wizz is just a little more vulnerable as say Ryan Air but I wouldn't completely rule out this scenario for them too.

    4. Anonymous13:42

      I hope that Easyjet, Wizz or Ryanair will launch ZAG-SPU and ZAG-DBV. There could pack the planes at least 3 times per day in summer and 2 times per day in winter time with O&D passengers. Did I understand it well? They all can start domestic lines now when we are in the EU?

    5. Purger13:48

      Nemjee I really appreciate you writing here and agree with most of your predictions but this time I disagree. Eurowings (Germanwings) to open base in Zagreb is reality in three scenarios. Let us not forget that Eurowings project is announced as company which is aware to Ryanair, easyJet, Wizzair and Norwegian and they plan to open bases out of Germany.

      1. Croatia is sold to someone out of Star Alliance, Lufthansa start fight and their own expansion in Zagreb. The best way to harm „new“ Croatia is Eurowings + LH routes to FRA and MUC.

      2. Croatia is sold to Lufthansa together with Adria. Lufthansa puts Adria regional jets and Croatia Q400 to Cityline and open routes to VIE, MUC, ZRH, BRU, SJJ, DBV, SPU (LH will fly FRA) and all A320 and A319 to Eurowings (Croatia and Slovenia bases) and open cheap LCC routes to other destinations in Europe. Don't forget that Eurowings announced they will incorporate some of regional companies in their new mega LCC company.

      3. Relations stay the same (nothing changed) and Eurowings base one or maximum two planes for routes that are not competition to Croatia and Lufthansa including some of present routes that are losing money for Croatia at this point.

      If I am ZAIC I would kill myself to base one or more planes of Norwegian and give them whatever they ask. They are very good company, doesn't have base near to Zagreb and even have very real possibility to open long-haul LCC flights with one of their 787 in near future after opening base. And for sure they would push EasyJet, Germanwings, Ryanair, even Lufthansa and Turkish to make more flights from Zagreb.

    6. Anonymous14:01

      4U nece vise da postoji uskoro a glavna baza za ovaj region bice u VIE .

    7. Anonymous14:30

      Niti će ASL uskoro postojati ali sta da se radi...

    8. Anonymous14:39

      To sto vi ne znate da 4U prelazi na EW ja nisam kriv .

    9. Anonymous15:07

      Ako promenis ime firmi ne znaci da ona nece postojati. Moze se Jat zvati Air Serbia koliko hoces, ali je to i dalje nacionalna kompanija Srbije sa dobrim starim navikama.

    10. Purger15:16

      Sinko stvarno si naporan i jako šmrkavo bezobrazan. Pa svi na ovom blogu znaju da Germanwings postaje Eurowings. Zato sam i ja pisao Eurowings (Germanwings). Čak štoviše raspravljamo o strategiji "novog" Eurowingsa. Prestani više pametovati jer postaješ ne samo smješan nego i opako naporan. Baš si se ti našao prati odraslim ljudima noseve i to nisi ni svjestan koliko si blento pritom. Klinac!

    11. Purger,

      Somehow I have a feeling that after purchasing SN Brussels, Lufthansa had enough when it comes to bringing back to life dead or almost dead companies.
      That said, maybe things will change once Germanwings is fully integrated into Eurowings and once their business takes off. Who knows, maybe at that stage the acquisition of OU/JP would go through Eurowings, not Lufthansa (mainline).

      On the other hand, why not do what Aegean did in Cyprus. Wait until the airline dies, step in and take up all the recently unemployed people who would be more willing to accept some unfavourable terms than they would in the process of a natural takeover.
      In my opinion, LH has more troubles with OU because JP is at least trying and they are expanding in markets where LH won't/can't. I am not saying it's smart, I am merely stating facts.

      As far as Zagreb goes, if I were their management I would propose a great deal to DY. Have a traditional base in ZAG but we will also help you set up a seasonal operational base in either Dubrovnik or Split. We all know that Croatia is in great need of a local charter carrier, something like Dubrovnik Airline was. Have two or three B738 fly summer charters BUT when the slow winter months come, you can park your B738s in Zagreb, free of charge- just like Paphos does with Ryanair. This is something that might attract Norwegian's attention. Given them a deal that they just can't turn down.

      At this point I think OU is a lost cause. They have remained passive for way too long and I just don't think they have a future ahead of them. Who knows... time will tell.

    12. Anonymous15:18

      Ja se vama nisam ni obratio G Purger sto se tice EW.
      I nece doci u ZAG glavna baza ce biti VIE za ovaj region za sada .
      I vi ste meni naporni sa nebulozama o ASL pa se ne zalim .

    13. All this said, I still think that a mini-Eurowings base in Zagreb would be the most realistic and natural solution to the current problems.

    14. Q400,

      I agree with you. Wizz Air is rapidly expanding in a region that is economically and financially weak and unstable. However, as long as their costs are low I guess they will be ok.
      Speaking from my experience in both Serbia and Cyprus, I can tell you that they are no longer dirt cheap as they used to be.
      Whoever is funding them won't do it forever and they certainly know it.

      I think introducing that new 'all inclusive' fare was a step in the right direction. Time will tell if it pays off or not... though I think they charge a bit too much for it.

    15. Ex Yu Aviation a few weeks back reported OU's first half of the year results with a loss of $12.8 million euros. If they finish the year with something close to break even then this means that it a way the airline is operated profitably for at least 6 months of the year and profitable to an amount equal to the above loss. This is a 12.8 million euro profit for 6 months of operation. Not bad really.

      OU's needs to figure out how they can both capitalise on the summer months by introducing more capacity but at the same time offload that capacity in the slower winter period.

      Trying to expand the network now after restructuring will be expensive for OU. Concentrating on servicing the Star hubs is ideal for OU because of the close proximity of these hubs to Croatia but that alone does not solve the seasonality issue.

      Also, I'm sure the new Zagreb airport operators are pressing OU to expand their network from Zagreb. This could be good for Zagreb but not so good for OU.

      So it is a tricky situation but not completely hopeless for OU, not yet anyway.

    16. Anonymous16:18

      Koje linije bi vi preporucili kad CTN Izadje iz rekonstrukcije ?
      Ja nevidim neku nadu za spas.

    17. Anonymous16:23

      U pravu si... Nema.tebi spasa

    18. Q400,

      I think the next 12 months will be crucial for OU. Not only will they have to survive the slow winter months (with much more competition) but they will also have to prepare for next summer so as to secure a decent share of the market.

      My proposal for OU would be to team up with, let's say Pula, and to create a joint approach in milking the EU funds. They should tap into the Cohesion Fund with the plan to keep the tourist season alive during the winter months. On average, EU states use roughly 40%of the Cohesion Fund and Brussels has been looking at ways to increase this spending.

      By providing legal subventions, Istra can become an attractive winter destination for older Nordic people who are looking at ways to escape the cold up north. OU would get to transport them and PUY would get some additional winter traffic: it's a win win situation.

      Not to mention that OU could get some additional funds to survive during the winter but also to invest in its future.

    19. Anonymous17:30

      @PurgerAugust 21, 2015 at 1:48 PM

      Norwegian would be nice, they have loads of flights to Croatia, in fact Croatia is one of their main destinations, with over 40 weekly flights in summers.

      I Think having at least one aircraft in Zagreb year round would be a priority of ZAIC, but also enticing EasyJet to return and base one aicraft in Zagreb is a must, as well as making GermanWings at home in Zagreb.

      GermanWings can have flights out of Zagreb to Dusseldorf (not connected), Riga, Vilnius, Valencia, Seville, Lyon, Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin, Gdansk, Krakow, Bratislava and number of cities still not connected with Zagreb.

      Although I hate to post this information as it is early statge,

      Finnair, SAS are in talks with ZAIC over year round service to Zagreb, Helsinki would be connected trice weekly and SAS almost daily service to Stockholm.

      Allitalia is also setting conditions for return to Zagreb, Rome is certain but on the cards is also Milan trice weekly service with Rome at first daily service, talks with Alitalia are in advanced stage, announcements for 2016 should be made sometimes later this year.

      Czech Air is also set to return with trice weekly service to Zagreb in late 2016, it is 95% certain, early 2017 is also likely dependent on Czech Air own scheduling.

      Iberia has a whale of time at Zagreb with almost all flights sold out, so they're looking at year round service from 2016, too late for 2015 to announce anything but 2016 looks almost certain.

      45000 Spanish visitors visited Zagreb in 2014 and about 50 000 are expected this year, promoting Iberia to react.

      Zagreb has released data for tourist arrivals for first 6 months and numbers are up, 542000 visitors visited Zagreb in first 6 months, with 1.0 million expected this year, this does not include domestic visitors.

      Korean Air is also looking at year round service from 2017, they're looking at increasing service to Zagreb to 24-32 seasonal flights in 2016, and than go year round service with twice weekly service to Zagreb from Early 2017.

    20. Q400, Nemjee,

      The fact that you have large percentage of you customers in six months but you have to pay leases, salaries etc. all 12 months of the year is fundamental problem of this business model. So in my mind there are only two things they can do. First one would be to increase number of visitors to Croata in winter which OU on its own can’t do much about. What they could so is get rid of some planes and crews during winter months through leases (preferably wet) or charters etc. The problem is that the market for this is farily small. One place where this could work (I’m sure there are others as well) is North America (north eastern part). People here visit Florida and Caribbean mostly between January and April/May . I think Air Transat in Canada has a deal like this with Transavia for their 737s.

    21. Anonymous17:45

      Da ne ispadnem da sam ljubomoran ali od toga nema nista to ste pisali prosle godine da ce biti ove svake godine pomerate za po godinu AY nazalost nije zaintresovan za letove ZAG ili BEG .

    22. SM,

      I remember reading somewhere that those leases are not that popular because airlines don't earn as much as they would want to. But who knows...

      I still think OU should partner up with one of the coastal cities and try on attracting foreign visitors during the winter months. They could easily place one A319/320 on the coast during those months.

    23. Anonymous19:49


      Sta i u Finnair-u ti radi netko tvoj da znas informacije iz prve ruke?

    24. Nemjee,

      I'm not surprised airlines don't make much on such arrangements but if you can offload some capacity short term and break even, why not. Heck, even if you lose some money it’s OK as long as is less then sitting idle.

      I agree with your second statement. They can't wait for world to turn, they should be doing something themselves to rectify this issue. Any improvement would be great for them. If even 30% of what anon 5:30PM talks about materializes they are screwed.

    25. Anonymous19:55

      Da drug jedan zavrsio je ATPL pre 6 meseci i otisao kod njih .

    26. Anonymous20:22

      Ej balavce, deckici kpiloti dobivaju po prstima od kapetana godinama i moraju da budu manji od makovog zrna i totalno su us*ani od straha i svega novoga i bas se njima menadzment poverava koje linije i kada otvara. Ajde prekini vise sa tim prepotentnim i bahatim sra*ima da mogu najradije bi ti dao 25 po balavom dupetu koliko me nerviras a jao onima koji budu tvoji putnici i kolege ako se to ikada desi jer si takav karakter da psihologa tesko da ces proci

    27. Anonymous20:34

      Ja sam prosao psihologa .
      Kakve veze sto je mlad a kao drugo Kapetani uce svoje mladje kolege a ne biju ih po prstima .
      Ne ja sam skroz drugaci tip UZIVO.

    28. Anonymous20:55

      Nevazno kakav si tu uzivo a kakav ovde, jesi li prosao psihologa ili ne, jesi li stvarno dete ili bot.Ne umes cak ni da shvatis preneseno znacenje "bijenja po prstima" kao metode ucenja. Ali opet vesto izbegavas poantu mog posta a ta je da menadzment NE POVERAVA informacije o sirenju mladim kopilotima. Ni starim. Ni perserima. Ni kapetanima. Oni su tamo da odrade svoj operativni deo posla, i nista drugo. Pogotovo u Skandinaviji. I zato se samo izvlacis na kao nekog svog druga nakon sto si bez ikakvog izvora informacija, i iz mrznje i sovinizma, pisao da AY nece leteti za ZAG. A do kada ce tvoje prikriveno ili otvoreno sovinisticko svakodnevno pisanje admin tolerisati i zbog cega cesce i zesce ne reaguje, zaista mi nije jasno

    29. SM,

      It would be interesting to know how much the checks cost in order to lease out a plane. I guess that these preparatory procedures are making short-term leases unprofitable. I do agree with you that it's better but in my opinion, OU should grow a pair a decide if they want to become a hub carrier or a charter one. If they continue like this, they will turn into another Air Berlin which can only be a bad thing.

      It would be fantastic if we could see how much has KL impacted OU's AMS flights. I think that would be a great indicator of OU's overall competitiveness. I have to say that I was a bit surprised when they reduced ZAG. I thought that the route was doing well on the jungle jet. However, seems like KL is going through some downsizing but still...

    30. Purger21:49

      "At this point I think OU is a lost cause. They have remained passive for way too long and I just don't think they have a future ahead of them."

      Nemjee absolutely agree with you.

      In 2010 I propose them plan very similar to Air Serbia. President of Croatia agree, minister agree, even management was not totally against it. Then they bring Kučko. In same time ZAIC take control over ZAG. And then I publicly said THE END. That was the end, Air Serbia was just make this faster.

    31. The thing with OU is that it has become as inactive as the old JU. Just like Jat they will need a miracle... however, given the changing aviation landscape in Europe, I don't know how realistic it is at this point.

      By the way, Alitalia is preparing a major 'attack' on ex-YU, it will only make it worse for them, especially since Croatia will be important for them.

    32. Anonymous22:22

      Kad pocnem prekidati vasu pricu onda sam sovinista ;)
      Pa ja nisam rekao da da nece samo za ZAG nece ni za BEG leteti nazalost uskoro sto bi ja licno voleo ..
      A mogli ste se potpisati otkriva vas poanta.

    33. SACUVAJ ME BOZE INN01:47

      Joj klinac začepi više. Zar stvarno ne shvačaš da si naporan svima i Srbima i Hrvatima i Bošnjacima i Slovencima i Crnogorcima... nitko te ne može podnjeti.

      Čim smo te ignorirali tu rasprava je bila kulturna i kreativna. I tako treba biti i dalje.


    34. Anonymous04:30

      @inn ns,

      I am the guy who broke news about KLM, Brussels air coming to Zagreb, Swiss, and score of other airlines.

      I have sources at Zagreb airport and at Paris airport as well. I work as an junior architect but with keen interest in airport infrastructure and aviation. Have worked on several projects that are airport related, I wont give too much about my self on a blog suffice to say I am not well connected but do know few people on work related basis.

      Now I can argue with you on number of issues but I can see fellow bloggers have already pointed out your devotion to hate of anything Croat, so I won't waste my time other than say, you really need to grow up, I know you're are older gentlemen and I don't hold that against you, but you act like a 12 year old, perhaps you should act your age ;)

    35. Purger, the other week you were giving us doom day scenario's regarding Air Serbia and their business model but today you argue that OU should have done something similar.....??? please correct me if or why I am wrong.

      Both Air Serbia and Adria have taken ambitious but expensive approaches and it might work for them but it also leaves them vulnerable because of the capital required.

      OU has it pretty good at the moment by flying to close by Star hubs mostly and charging a decent premium for that. It's boring and not what we aviation enthusiasts want to see but is safe.

      The great challenge they face apart from seasonality is keeping the new Zagreb airport owners on their side. I think they need a strategic partner to help solve these issues but with the current economic turmoil in Europe and the world, this will be difficult.

      Can OU do it alone.... time will tell I guess but doom and gloom for OU, not guaranteed just yet.

    36. Anon 4:30

      You can acuse INN NS of many things but I can't say he is Croat hater. Which of his many many posts poin to this? Big time ASL, SNS, RS etc fanboy - definitely, but Croat hater I don't think so.

      In some ways we could say the same about you and your super long posts about new airlines at ZAG but I don't see anything wrong in that. You are proud of your airport, airline etc. Being proud Serb doesn't make anyone Croat hater and vice versa.

    37. Q400,

      I think that he was referring to what JU is/should be doing in theory. The realisation of this theory is a different matter.

  5. Anonymous09:22

    Had the country stayed together these numbers probably would have been achieved decades ago. I recently found a JAT annual report from 1989! There you have plans for 90s. To me the most interesting thing was that they were planning on developing traffic from Sarajevo and Skopje during first half of the 90s. Oh and flights to Seoul, Caracas and Johannesburg were planned for longhaul expansion until 1995. It also says they were considering A310s. What was most interesting to me was that several times it says they are planning to transition into operating in a market economy and were preparing for this. Seems like they knew communism was coming to an end.

    P.S. I’m not trying to predict whether this would have ever happened even if the country stayed together, just sharing some of the plans they seem to have had. It was a great read. Unfortunately the rest was about their operations up to that date which we know about already.

    1. Anonymous09:31

      Even if the country stayed in one peace the industry would have changed in the same way - very rapidly. So perhaps Jat would have been flying to Caracas or perhaps they would end up like Malev or Olympic. Or simply end up somewhere in the middle like CSA. It is not like the exYU breakup was the only threat they were facing. The entire world in which they became a famous airline basically broke up in 1990. Taking into account the notorious inflexibility of state-owned firms and their chronic incapability to keep up with major changes and new trends, I have a feeling the switch to the market economy would have killed them as efficiently as the violent breakup of Yugoslavia did. Either way, that ship has sailed and sunk in the open ocean. We now have to see if we can build another one that will stay afloat.

    2. Anonymous09:33

      I agree completely. Just sharing something I found interesting :)

    3. Any chance you can share this annual report? Is it available online or do you only have a hard copy?

    4. Anonymous09:37

      Obviously one big economic market would have been far better than this circus of mini-fiefdoms that we have today. Politically, the country should have devolved into a loose confederation with highly autonomous republican units, tied together by economic interest (i.e. single currency, common market, etc.), to satisfy both the nationalists and the rationalists. But rationale was always in short supply amongst the Balkan tribes.

      Anyways, JAT would have had to transform considerably to maintain its primate in the region, which I think would have been possible with new wide-body birds (MD-11's that were actually ordered) and fresh approach.

    5. Anonymous09:40

      @ Aleksandar, sorry I found it in the state library in Belgrade. I can see it in JAT Godišnji izveštaj 1989 in Google books but no preview is available.

    6. Okay. Thanks anyway. I will be in Serbia in a few weeks, can I access this report then? Is it public?

  6. Anonymous09:38

    Zagreb is blown away, litteraly, both by Belgrade and by Split+Dubrovnik.

  7. Anonymous09:41

    A bit OT: I was comparing flights Skopje - Melbourne and it seams the best option to be via Zagreb, considering the price and travel time.

    So, Skopje --> Dubai (flydubai) --> Melbourne (direct or via SIN or Kul, Emirates/Quantas) have the shortest travel time (26-28h), but also are most expensive.

    Skopje - Belgrade (AirSerbia) - Abu Dhabi (Etihad) - Melbourne are the cheapest but also have the longest travel time (42-53h) which is ridiculous.

    At the end Skopje - Zagreb (Croatian) - Doha (Qatar) - Melbourne is a little bit more expensive than the one via Belgrade but it has a lot shorter travel time (31h)

    It is interesting info if someone has questions about the performance of flydubai from Skopje to Dubai.

    It is also interesting for comparing which airport has a better connection to Melbourne, Belgrade or Zagreb, at least from Skopje (but either way, waiting in Abu Dhabi is at least 14h)

    1. Anonymous10:07

      It's not always a bad thing to have a longer layover between two connecting flights, especially if you are traveling with one of the Persian gulf carriers. Usually they throw in a free accommodation if the wait is longer than 8 hours, in one of their excellent hotels, and you get a free visa, so you can get to do a little tourist experience in the city you are transiting through. I guess this is ok if you are younger, traveling alone or with a partner and have ample time at your disposal.

    2. Anonymous10:18

      The correct journey times from Skopje to Melbourne via Belgrade and Abu Dhabi range from 28h55m and 31h05m and it's a daily connection.

    3. Anonymous10:21

      For a a low-cost airline flydubai's prices are anything but... they've got no-one to blame but themselves if they dont make it work!

  8. Anonymous10:18

    Where is Zadar in this report? I am sure it has more passengers than Podgorica which is last on the list

    1. No, there were 180.631 passengers in Zadar during the first 6 months.

    2. Anonymous10:52

      Oh wow, only 180.631? So Tuzla with its 130.000 is catching up quite quickly :) Admin, maybe you can make an overview of the TOP 10-20 ex-yu airports as well? Would be interesting to see anyway.

    3. Anonymous10:55

      During the first 7 months Tuzla handled 130000 passengers.

      During the first 6 months Zadar handled 180000 passengers.

      See the difference?

    4. Anonymous11:35

      Tuzla will make up for it in the non-seasonal months I am confident, especially in the coming years :)

  9. Anonymous10:26

    What about the others. I woul love to see the 11-20 list.
    Niš, Zadar, Rijeka, Brač, Lošinj, Osijek, Maribor, Niš, Kraljevo, Ohrid, Banja Luka, Portorož... Less important but also interesting!

    1. Anonymous10:53

      I agree,

      And Tuzla as well!

    2. Anonymous12:32


    3. Anonymous13:34

      AnonymousAugust 21, 2015 at 10:26 AM maybe Niš? :)

      I can tell you that Niš numbers aren't that great considering flights have been around for a short time. Fly from Niš published that the airport handeled 7.000+ pax during last month. Wizz is happy with INI considering that most of the flights these days are sold out and winter flights sales are going very good. There are talks with Air Serbia but considering that their fleet is not big enough for BEG led alone INI I don't think we'll see ASL at INI ever...
      There are roumors that Wizz will open a base at the airport in a year, but city will have to invest in the airport.

      That's all I know

    4. Anonymous14:12

      Osijek will have at least 20% increase of passengers. No new lines, but better performance of existing lines.

      Rijeka will reach 180000 pax this year. There is no a significant increase of passengers in July and August but in spring and autumn, thanks to Limitless Airways. Last time these numbers were seen in Rijeka was when Adriatic Airlines was in function.

      Pula decreased numbers in July, comparing to 2014 (-9%). The airport will probably have the same numbers as it had in 2014, some 400000 pax. passengers.

      Lošinj is blossoming. ECA launched Split-Lošinj-Pula 2x daile line. In July, Lošinj had 300% more passengers comparing to 2014 (3600~). Lošinj sees great improvements of hotel infrastructure. There are rumours that one hotel will put some money for the reconstruction of the airport.

      Zadar is doing bad this year, since Ryanair cut some lines, Eurolot bankrupted and Limitless moved operations to Rijeka. There are only few new lines. This season is good, LF are much better, so Zadar will not see a bigger decrease of passengers.

      I have no idea about Brač. It seems they have more operations, but less passengers. Express had some great plans for Brač, but it seems that they launched only 1 new line, and took over one of Austrian.

    5. Anonymous21:49

      Portorož jan-jul15 13728 pax (+11,8%)
      Maribor jan-jul 15 12518 pax (+28,5%).
      Fourth year in a row, Maribor is third Slovenian airport, not second. Race between the 2 is pathetic, however.

  10. Anonymous10:31

    Impressive results for TIV regardless of the drop in the number of passengers. For such a small terminal building area of 4,000 sq.m. half a million passengers, for 6 months is a serious figure.125 pax per sq.m! LHR if 5 pax per sq.m. for example.

    1. Anonymous12:01

      Haha! You can prove everything with statistics! You forget that when you land at TIV, 2/3 of the pax are waiting outside the terminal building for passport control....;) All of a sudden 2/3 of the pax has a huge outdoor space to walk around at....:)

  11. Anonymous12:58

    So we may assume that BEG performed the best among all those airports when we break pax numbers with change in operations.

  12. Anonymous14:00

    BEG hvale linije za IKA , TBS i AMM sto bi voleo ASL otvori i onda bi jos veci rast imao BEG .
    Bilo bi odlicno kad bi bila jedna top 10 lista Aerodroma po prevezenom Kargo Teretu.

    1. Anonymous15:11

      AMM bas fali BEG-u, mislim da Dane svakog dana razmislja o uvodjenju ove linije...

    2. Anonymous15:19

      Pa nije rekao da fali, nego da BEG hvali takve linije. Tulavac!

    3. Anonymous15:37

      hahahahhahahah @last anon

  13. Anonymous14:57


    1. Anonymous15:32

      The article was written by Dragan Nikolic. Has he left Aviokarta?

    2. Nikola18:31

      yes, he left Aviokarta few months ago, and started his own business

  14. Anonymous15:47

    OT: I am not counting on SkyGreece coming back next year. Things have been falling apart. Their plane in Toronto was delayed for 4 days including ZAG flight:



    1. Anonymous17:50

      Sky Greece was a dodgy outfit from a start, nobody sensible would fly with them.

      Passengers should fly via Vienna, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris or London, forget SkyGreece, totally unreliable airline.

      HTZ and Zagreb Tourist board should make a deal with AirCanada and charter seasonal flights to Zagreb, twice weekly Service to Zagreb from May 1st through to October 31st, 52 flights for $5.2 million, ideally with B7878, these flights should pay out for themselves easily with return tickets price set at $850 CAND.

      Airport will make money and more passengers, Zagreb will make more money from ticket sales and tourists, not to mention promotion of the city in North America where large chunk of Zagreb's visitors come from and everyone is happy.

      And once AirCanada sees that Zagreb is very popular destination with booked out flights they might start their own scheduled flights to Zagreb. There's demand for 2 weekly service to Zagreb, perhaps even 3.

      Same deal HTZ and Zagreb TB should make with United, and have direct flights to Zagreb out of New York and eventually from Chicago and LA via New York. OU already has code share with United.

      Zagreb would this way get extra 50 000 passengers per year from these two destinations and everyone is happy, direct link to New York and Toronto year round if all goes well by 2017.

      Fuck SkyGreece, end off.

    2. Anonymous18:53

      When I travelled to the former Yugo on JAT in 1989, we were delayed 2 days. No reason at all.

    3. Anonymous18:56

      how is that related to SkyGreece fiasco?

    4. Anonymous20:30

      Skygreece shows the best how flying with one long-haul aircraft looks like, so allof the fanboys who are expecting huge success of ASL A330 on North American flights now have opportunity to see what would happen if single A330 arrived and those flights started, which of course, is not going to happen

    5. Anonymous20:35

      Uporedjujete kompaniju koja ima feed i jednu koja ima 2 sirokotrupna aviona i nista vise svaka cast.

    6. Anonymous20:48

      Ne pravi se blesav. Skygreece nema 2 nego 1 avion B767, isto kao sto bi "tvoja jedina ASL" trebala da ima 1 avion A330. (Sto se naravno nece desiti). Skygreecu feed ne treba - letovi su im stalno puni. A ovde govorimo o POREMECAJIMA u saobracaju koji se desavaju kada letis sa JEDNIM avionom. Ali ti si naravno opet najpametniji.

    7. Anonymous20:57

      ASL moze u slucaju kvara uzeti avion od AB , AZ ili EY .I naravno da ce imati.

    8. Ананас21:01

      Мачко, није као да Дане може да окрене Хогана и да му каже: тебра, треба ми авион ај шибни који из Диселдорфа или Рима.

      Ту постоје огромне бирократске перипетије са којим очито ниси упознат.

    9. Anonymous21:36

      Svakako u najgorem slucaju putnici mogu da se prebace preko FCO,TXL i DUS.

    10. Anonymous21:41

      Zlato, pa to nije isto. :/

  15. Anonymous18:54

    OT: Etihad is finally catching up with Air Serbia. On Economy fare bundles, that is. Etihad adopted Air Serbia economy fare names (except Special = Breaking Deals) with almost identical bundling of product.

  16. Yoyo21:18

    What is interesting to notice is relative failure of airports like BEG and ZAG and huge success of SKP, PRN and SJJ in the last decade.

    If I remember correctly BEG already had around 3.5m pax during eighties. Even after phenomenal growth in last 2 years it is still below 5m pax / year. Thats less than 40% over 20+ years. Similar story with ZAG.

    Now compare this to SKP, PRN or SJJ. SJJ had around 200k pax / year in eighties. This year it is passing 800k. Thats 400% growth. PRN and SKP numbers are even more extreme.

    It is clear that Yugoslav centrism hurt these second-tier airports. I don't leaving in Serbia so I might be wrong but it seems to me that Serbia is continuing Yugoslav centrist policies where most resources are poured into the capital city leaving other Serbian cities starved on resources.

    1. Anonymous21:30

      Ugh... you say you don't live in Serbia but you sound like someone from the south. People from other parts of Serbia are sitting and waiting for Belgrade to come forward and do something about their pathetic situation. They should get their act together.

      Also, at least as far as Serbia goes, things have dramatically changed since the 80s. It's silly to compare today with then.

    2. Yoyo22:08

      I am Bosnian. Never been to southern Serbia. I don't have any relations at all to Serbia (except being few times to Belgrade).

      Just noticed that Serbia with 8 million people has one extremely dominating airport which kind-of reminded me of Yugoslavia with 21 millions having two or three. Anyways it was just a thought so I might be wrong.

      On your other comment that people need to "something about their pathetic situation" I think it is extremely wishful neo-liberal thinking. (We are very OT now :)

      1) Traffic at BEG originated thanks to JAT which was company created out of Yugoslav state investment at one point. Not because "Beogradjani" were more hardworking people than say people from Nis were. If Serbia is subsidizing Air Serbia why shouldn't tax payers in south Serbia expect some of that money to be spend on them. It is their money after all.

      2) Most european countries subsidize their poor regions to be able to achieve balanced growth between different parts of the country. Otherwise everybody will start moving to the capital city or emigrate which starts creating another problem.

    3. Anonymous22:08

      @yoyo jel si ti prespavao 90te ili si sleteo iz druge galaksije? Kako možeš da uporedjuješ 80te i 2015?! A proslogodisnji rast od 30% je onakoo, nije lose ali moralo bi bolje.. neverovatno..

    4. Anonymous22:14

      Actually, I disagree. JAT was created out of Aeroput, a private airline established thanks to the funds of a Serbian businessman from the United States. In a way it did happen thanks to 'beogradjani.'
      Aeroput was a successful private airline.

      As for Serbia, look at its geography. The wealthier north is well connected to Belgrade, Novi Sad is just 80 km away.
      The south is poor and it couldn't sustain any flight besides ultra-low-cost ones like the ones it has now.

  17. Somewhat OT:

    The funny thing is that we are all in the same boat. It is not even a proper boat, its more of a (Yugoslav) dingy.

    While we were fighting, real achievements happened elsewhere. I checked Antalya figures, the other day. They went from 10m in 2002 to 28m in 2014. In the period 1-5 2015, they had 7+ milion passengers, almost like all Ex-Yu airports combined.

    In a way, it is pointless to end up in a debate which airport between Vardar and Triglav is the most successful when we are all exactly where we have been decades ago, with fancier terminals, better make-up.

  18. Anonymous22:58

    This comment has been removed by the author.


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