Record year for EX-YU airports

Three EX-YU airports surpass 2014s end of year results

The former Yugoslavia's ten busiest airports handled over 15.7 million passengers during the first ten months of the year, with three of them surpassing their 2014 year-ending results. Split, Dubrovnik and Skopje all welcomed more passengers during the January - October period than for the whole of last year combined. Over the past ten months, Split Airport handled an exceptional 1.897.475 passengers, an increase of 12.1% compared to the same period last year, and cemented its position as the third busiest in the former Yugoslavia. This is compared to the 1.752.657 travellers it welcomed through its doors during all of 2014. The airport originally estimated it would register some 1.860.000 passengers this year but the figure has already been surpassed. Managing Director Lukša Novak says he expects Split to hit the two million passenger mark in 2017. However, with Aegean Airlines, Air Berlin, Volotea, Niki and Thomson Airways already announcing new routes to the coastal city for next year, the figure could be achieved sooner rather than later.

AirportPAXChange (%)
Belgrade4.169.970 4.6
Zagreb2.233.141 6.8
Split1.897.475 12.1
Dubrovnik1.654.553 6.9
Pristina1.348.970 12.1
Ljubljana1.264.056 10.6
Skopje1.224.887 18.5
Tivat859.100 1.7
Sarajevo692.944 11.8
Podgorica658.729 7.2

Dubrovnik and Skopje also surpassed their 2014 end of year result in October, with the former recording 6.9% growth, while the latter an increase of 18.5%, benefiting from a handful of new routes launched by Wizz Air this summer. In March, Skopje Airport's operator estimated it would handle up to 1.5 million passengers in 2015. Meanwhile, Belgrade Airport sustained its position as the busiest in the former Yugoslavia, while Pristina continued its recovery with 1.3 million travellers registered so far this year. In October alone, the airport saw growth of 12.7%. Ljubljana also recorded double digit growth and is expected to surpass 2014s annual numbers by the end of this month.

Tivat remains the only airport within the ten busiest in the former Yugoslavia to see its passenger numbers decline, as it dealt with a sharp downturn in visitors from Ukraine this summer. However, its figures improved 3% in October. Managing Director Damir Pinjatić believes the airport will make up for the loss by year’s end. On the other hand, its local counterpart in Podgorica continued to register growth but will be unable to surpass Sarajevo. Podgorica was overtaken by Bosnia and Herzegovina's busiest airport last year, which positioned itself as the ninth busiest in the former federation. With 692.944 passengers handled so far in 2015, Sarajevo will surpass last year's annual result by the end of the month.


  1. Anonymous09:03

    Well done. Especially Split, really closing in on Zagreb.

  2. Anonymous09:03

    Is that Split on the photo? What chaos...

    1. Anonymous11:33

      Yes it's Split and they need a new terminal fast!

  3. Anonymous09:05

    Congratulations to all of them

  4. Anonymous09:05

    Nice to see PRN quietly recovering. If Skopje gets some new flights next year there is a big chance it could overtake LJU.

  5. Anonymous09:12

    What's fueling the growth in Podgorica?

    1. Anonymous09:14

      Ryanair. Edelweiss also added passengers during the summer. Montenegro Airlines and Air Serbia to a lesser extent as well.

  6. Anonymous09:27

    Go SJJ! Next one in line to be overtaken, Tivat! :)

    1. Anonymous11:35

      With new CSA flights plus Qatar Airways probably starting flights and Fly Dubai increasing frequencies it will get close next year :)

    2. Anonymous15:02

      +1 :)

  7. Anonymous09:35

    I'm really happy that all the major airports are doing well.

    Basically this year will be best on record for - BEG, ZAG, SPU, DBV, SKP, SJJ and TGD.

  8. Anonymous09:42

    Next year should be exciting with Air Serbia flights to New York, Zagreb airport being almost finished and possible OU and JP privatisation process coming to an end! Great job and congrats to all Ex-Yu airports!

  9. Anonymous11:36

    I really hope this passenger growth at Ljubljana forces Fraport to resume those plans for a new terminal.

    1. Not so sure about LJU perspective... For your information, this year's growth at LJU is totally irrelevant as this year's numbers (1.45-49 mil) will not be even near to the numbers before the crisis in 2008 (1.69 mil pax)...

  10. Kako je Sa ostalim aerodromima u ex yu?

    1. Anonymous15:03

      Tuzla Jan - Oct: 219,185

    2. Anonymous19:39

      Banjaluka pala 30% u odnosu na prošlu godinu.

    3. Ohrid closing 100,000 after a long empty period (since the second half of the 80's, when Dutch tourist were in their best numbers and there were still domestic flights and domestic airlines to other routes),

      96,443 > Jan - Oct 2015.

      Next year we will get more positive numbers too:
      - Arkia coming seasonal to TLV (2W);
      - Thomas Cook Belgium seasional to BRU
      - Wizz making LTN year long and EAP from 2W to 3W.
      - Air Berlin continuing charters from VIE/GRZ.

      In the unofficial part, ArkeFly increasing capacity, and also there are rumours about Scandinavia in summer and Danish tourist in particular (I also hope Finnair charters will get back).

      Wizz Air to Treviso will be a great catch, since most of the passengers on the SKP-TSF flights are from that part of the country - students from Ohrid/Struga and workers from SW Macedonia in Venezia-(Friuli-Giulia), same goes for BLQ.

      One of CGN/DTM, FKB, MMX/GOT,any of MST/GRQ/EIN, and maybe even BRQ/PRG would be a top destinations to try.

  11. Anonymous13:03

    OT: Adria Airways Tehnika sold to polish company Linetech Holding

    1. Anonymous13:06

  12. Anonymous13:07

    I guess projection for rest of the year might look something like this.

    Belgrade 4.800 000
    Zagreb 2.600 000
    Split 1.950 000
    Dubrovnik 1.710 000
    Pristina 1.550 000
    Ljubljana 1.450 000
    Skopje 1.400 000
    Tivat 900 000
    Sarajevo 800 000
    Podgorica 750 000
    Zadar 500 000
    Pula 370 000

    2016 however might see major improvements for all Croatian Airports and Ljubljana.

    Belgrade 5 100 000
    Zagreb 3 000 000
    Split 2 200 000
    Dubrovnik 1 850 000
    Pristina 1.650 000
    Ljubljana 1.600 000
    Skopje 1.600 000
    Tivat 900 000
    Sarajevo 920 000
    Podgorica 800 000
    Zadar 500 000
    Pula 400 000

    1. Nemjee14:16

      Hmm... I don't see how Zagreb can grow so much faster than, let's say, Split. Unless the situation in SPU is getting so bad that the airport simply can't handle more passengers.

      In my opinion, it's realistic to have ZAG at around 2.8 million. Let's not forget that they need to grow thanks to the O&D market and without lowcost carriers I doubt they can grow so fast.
      SPU on the other hand is profiting from the mess all throughout the Middle East and northern Africa, giving it so much potential.

      If I were ZAG management, I would wait for the outcome of the OU privatization and if it fails I would work hard on bringing either Wizz Air or Eurowings to open a base there. They could also try with Ryanair given their ok presence in the country.

    2. Anonymous14:57

      Ovo neki crni humor ili sta?

  13. Anonymous14:29

    Go Serbia!

  14. Anonymous14:39

    Bravo Hrvatska!

  15. Anonymous17:00

    Austrian Airlines announces 4 weekly flights to Esfahan after announcing double daily IKA flights.
    It's time for JU to work on launching Iran flights!

    1. Anonymous17:22

      IKA bila jako profitabilna linija zbog velikog broja transfer putnika pogotovu za JFK i ostale Evropske gradove.

    2. Plane Mad, the same thing was said for Beirut and at least during summer I know it is one of the more successful destinations in terms of LF ( whether its profitable is questionable due to generally low prices when connecting via BEG). I could be very wrong, but I think routes such as CAI, IKA, AMM, and so forth are the way to go before doing any expansion in States, Canada, China. ASL will def lose way more money on NYC route if it does not work than on say AMM or IKA. Not to mention that it would be also good idea to expand more in the region and rest of the Europe.

    3. Anonymous18:06

      OS je toliko prepunjen stalno i dobar deo putnika je transferan .
      ASL bi imao jako velik za JFK .
      A i zemlje su prijateljske i to je dobar razlog

    4. Anonymous18:12

      dobar razlog does not equal $$ and €€.

    5. Plane Mad,
      You presented a fair argument and I agree with most of your points. What I was trying to point out is that there is still a lot of room for ASL when it comes to expansion in Middle East, Europe, and the whole wider region.

      btw does anybody know if Tunisair is still flying to BEG?

  16. Anonymous17:07

    OT Predsednik Srbije je danas "ukazao na mogućnost otvaranja direktnih letova za Kubu i Kinu"

    1. Anonymous17:11

      What about Caracas?

    2. Дечко Тзар18:38

      It may sound funny, it's not April 1st and Pyongyang was not mentioned as next, but...

      PM recently mentioned Beijing as next destination during Air Serbia New York announcement, and delegation in currently in China. Last year when Serbia and China signed agreement, codeshare deal was announced because Air Serbia "didn't have widebody aircraft in their fleet". That will change soon as A330 widebody was talked about during New York event, and now this mention, to UAE ambassador, no less. It adds up.

      It could be a job for second A330, or it could be part of winter schedule, or it could even be alternative if New York approval doesn't arrive soon (BTW, with this week being mostly a write-off because of Thanksgiving, there's only about 3 US work weeks left in 2015).