Skopje and Ljubljana airports see strong growth

Skopje closes in on Ljubljana as both airports extend passenger growth streak

The main airports in Macedonia and Slovenia saw double digit passenger growth in November, with Skopje handling more travellers than its traditionally busier Slovenian counterpart for a second month in a row. Alexander the Great Airport welcomed 109.928 passengers through its doors, an impressive increase of 26.6% compared to the same month last year. During the January - November period, it handled 1.334.815 travellers, up 19.1%. So far this year, it has registered an additional 213.976 passengers compared to the whole of 2014. Meanwhile, Ohrid Airport saw 3.659 travellers in November for a total of 100.238 over the past eleven months. Combined, the two welcomed 1.435.053 passengers this year, an increase of 20.9%, with a total of 14.244 aircraft movements recorded, up 10%.

Skopje Airport has already secured four new routes for next year, with Wizz Air to introduce flights to Berlin, Copenhagen and Bratislava, while Czech Airlines will resume seasonal services from Prague to the Macedonian capital following a four-year hiatus. The carrier holds high hopes for the flights, which will operate three times per week with an Airbus A319 jet from May 19 through to October 14. Czech Airlines' Director of Commerce and Marketing, Jan Toth, says, "I am really happy that the traditional Czech Airlines brand, one of the oldest air carriers in the world, is about to return to its destinations on the Balkan peninsula. We consider this area to be very perspective thanks to, among other things, the fact that these countries are on their way to the European Union. There are many business operations carried out between Macedonia and the Czech Republic. It is in this area where we see a potential for regular scheduled air transport. At the same time, we believe that a direct service between Skopje and Prague will contribute to further growth in business relations. We are also convinced that a direct scheduled connection will appeal to tourists in both countries".

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN88.275 41.6
FEB80.079 22.8
MAR95.457 25.1
APR109.741 3.9
MAY117.099 7.4
JUN118.070 1.5
JUL164.431 24.4
AUG173.158 20.7
SEP145.965 26.1
OCT132.612 23.3
NOV109.928 26.6

Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport registered its ninth consecutive month of passenger growth this November. It handled 93.944 travellers, an increase of 11.2% on last year. It was accompanied by a significant rise in the number of arriving and departing flights, with aircraft movement totalling 2.627, up a notable 37.2%. Despite Skopje having a stronger month, Ljubljana is still in front of its Macedonian counterpart on a annual basis, with 1.358.000 travellers handled during the January - November period. The number of operated flights improved 5.5% during the same timeframe to 30.824 arrivals and departures. Ljubljana Airport has so far secured two new carriers for next year, with LOT Polish Airlines to launch flights from Warsaw on January 2, and Aegean Airlines to commence services from Athens on June 15. Skopje Airport is now just 23.185 passengers behind its Slovenian counterpart.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN73.096 2.9
FEB72.265 3.8
MAR90.902 5.3
APR112.310 13.3
MAY128.411 19.6
JUN149.541 17.0
JUL171.770 16.2
AUG199.219 22.3
SEP157.508 10.1
OCT125.478 9.4
NOV93.944 11.2


  1. Anonymous09:05

    wow well done Skopje. So close to Ljubljana now. It will probably surpass it next year with those new Wizz flights and if Ryanair comes as well.

  2. Anonymous09:07

    Impressive from both sides

  3. Skopje is a great example of how to grow a civil aviation market quickly for very little money.

    They have a great airport and people have a great choice of affordable nonstop flights on LCCs.

    Certainly the biggest success story of this region considering how little potential Macedonia's airline market has because of the country's small size and poor development.

    1. Anonymous22:11

      Except that:

      1. Not all airline customers in this world are so crazy for LCCs.

      2. Once you fully depend on LCCs they will just ask more and more from you. And you have to give it because you don't want to lose them. In if they have no competition they will be as expensive as legacy carriers.

      I fully respect SKP success but if you guys think that the future of this region is a full duopoly between Star Alliance and Wizzair then your wallets may get some nasty surprises in due time.

  4. Nemjee09:17


    For all interested:

    BEG-LCA this morning on W6, 118 pax or 68% loadfactor.

    1. Anonymous09:34

      For this period of a year it sounds great...

    2. Nemjee09:42

      Yeah, not to mention that fares have gone up quite a bit since JU suspended Larnaca.
      Will be interesting to see if they respond in any way the moment JU re-launches LCA. I doubt it but still...

    3. Anonymous10:03

      If JU had a regional jet LCA should have been a goldmine for them.
      It would be a great feeder for their connections from BEG to the rest of Europe.
      But as the Americans say you snooze, you lose.

    4. Nemjee10:13

      Even without the regional jet LCA should have worked. Losing to Wizz Air should have been unacceptable. Bulgaria Air competes with Wizz Air, so do Tarom and Lot yet they seem to be doing fine, especially Lot which also arrives/departs at an ungodly hour.

      Sure, the market from Belgrade is smaller but when you look at the catchment area it's no longer that small. JU should have worked hard on promoting LCA in Timisoara.

    5. Anonymous11:34

      mnogi putnici izbegavaju ASL za LCA samo zbog losih termina poletanja tokom leta. kipar je skupa destinacija i turistima koji tamo letuju iz Beograda nije problem dosta jaka cena ASL, vec nocni letovi.

    6. Nemjee12:11

      Хмм не бих рекао да је Кипар скуп, мање више је у рангу Родоса. Проблем је у томе што се острво никада није рекламирало код нас. Са Србијом су одувек имали другу врсту веза, примарно банкарско-привредну.

      Лета 2014. Кипарска туристичка организација је позвала око 15 домаћих агенција које су спровели по целом острву. Акција је била више него успешна пошто се број српских туриста на Кипру подигао са стандардних 400, 500 на по 2.500 у јуну, јулу и августу дакле укупно 7.500 наших људи је летовало на Кипру лета 2015.

      Представници ових агенција су летели Визером као и туристи које су слали касније.

    7. Anonymous12:38

      Kao sto sam reko Evropska mapa destinacija ASL mi se jos uvek ne svidja.

    8. Ikar12:59

      Kipar jeste skupa destinacija gde bez 50-60 Evra dnevno nemate sta da radite. Drugim recima putnici koji tamo lete su spremni da plate premijum za uslugu i bolje vreme poletanja i sletanja. Imali smo situaciju gde je low-cost Wizz Air leteo u premimum vreme, narocito pre dve godine (polazak u 18:00 iz Beograda) i Er Srbiju koja je letela u LCC vreme u oba pravca, iz Larnake u tri ujutro... Rezultat je vise nego ocekivan. Ljudi lete drugim kompanijama od Wizz, Aegean, Austrian pa i Pegasus sa Turskog dela. Er Srbija ako ovako nastavi njen udeo trzista ce se samo smanjivati i na kraju postati marginalan, ako vec i nije.

    9. Nemjee13:01

      Ok, I did some research and this is what I discovered.

      Serbian tourists in Cyprus:

      2012: 3.960
      2013: 3.433
      2014: 5.212
      2015: 8.175*


      In October there were 707 Serbian tourists in Cyprus which means (if I calculated it correctly) that roughly 51 passengers per flight on Wizz Air were tourists.

      I also came across some rather interesting information regarding the amount of money Cypriots spent in 2013 when travelling abroad:

      United Kingdom: €399 million
      Greece: €199 million
      Russia: €62 million
      United States: €39 million
      Germany: €39 million
      Italy: €35 million

      Mind you in 2013 the island was going through its worst ever economic crisis and a total of 220.000 Cypriots travelled abroad for holidays.

    10. Nemjee13:06


      Нетачно. Постоје места као што су Аја Напа, Протарас, Полис... где може да се летује знатно јефтиније него у Лимасолу или на Пафосу.
      На сајту Визера можеш да нађеш пакет аранжман за Кипар који износи око 200 евра. Не знам ако га и даље нуде али знам да их је било пошто су ишли неки људи које познајем.

      Као што сам рекао, на Кипру може јефтиније да се прође али мораш да знаш где да гледаш. А само да напоменем да барем што се Кипра тиче, нискобуџетне су те које обично лете у нормално доба док класичне компаније лете у глуво доба, примарно због конекција.

    11. Anonymous13:25

      hoteli, renta car i vanpansionska potrosnja su u Aja Napi dva puta skuplji u odnosu na ekvivalentnu uslugu na Rodosu. Bez obzira na to ukoliko ASL pocne da leti u normalnim terminima rast turista iz Beograda ce se uvecati nekoliko stotina procenata. Dobrostojeca populacija se uglavnom opredeljuje za druge destinacije koje su dobro pokrivene carterima ili redovnim linijama, dok samo mali broj koristi Wizz. Nadam se da ovo neko cita iz turistickog biznisa, a posebno iz ASL. Nocni let je imao smisla za transferne putnike, ali sa procvatom Aegeana to je proslost i fokus bi trebali biti domaci putnici.

    12. Anonymous13:27

      Nemjee, nemoj da lupetas i da se opet sramotis. Cak i da su tih par mesta neznatno jeftinija, to ne znaci da isto vazi i za preostalih 90% mesta a vecina turista ce biti zainteresovana bas za ta mesta, stoga - zakljucak i poenta diskusije - to su vecinom ljudi koji mogu sebi da priuste skuplje karte ako im vreme i usluga odgovaraju. Razmisli jos jednom pre nego sto budes sebe protivrecio i drugi put i iznosio neistine. Adios.

    13. Nemjee13:39

      Оно шта је Визер урадио је јако било важно. По први пут Кипар је постао доступан из Србије јер су цене спале са стандардних 300 евра на 60.
      Што се тиче Аја Напе, она је примарно намењена младима који увек путују у групама. То значи да ако њих троје, четворо изнајме апартман, ноћ може да их изађе око 10 евра што није ништа. Наравно, неће бити луксуза али исто тако ти апартмани нису далеко од чувеног семафора и самог центра града. Они се налазе на пола пута између центра и Nissi Beach-a.
      Што се тиче рентакара, од како су проширили аутобуску мрежу смањена је потреба за изнајмљивањем аутомобила. Из Аја Напе до Никозије може да се стигне за свега пет евра а до Пафоса за 7. Ако имаш студентску картицу онда ти је карта до Никозије 2.5 евра а до Пафоса 3.5.

      Примарни проблем је у томе што се Кипар скоро никада није рекламирао код нас. Тек су почели полако да улазе на наше тржиште прошле године. Ако се овакав тренд настави, ко зна, можда ускоро видимо и Авиолет у Ларнаци као што смо виђали Авиогенекс 2012. године.

    14. Nemjee13:45

      AnonymousDecember 13, 2015 at 1:27 PM

      Опрости, заборавио сам да неки Анонимус који никада није ни прелето Кипар а камоли га посетио зна боље. Не схватам по којој логици карта до Ларнаке од 100 евра представља скупљу варијанту летовања (а то је неки просек током мање више целе године).
      Као што сам написао горе, захваљујући Визеру Кипар је постао доступан широј јавности а ти бројке показују. Дакле не видим где то 'лупетам'. Ја ни једну конкретну чињеницу од тебе нисам видео већ само неке површне теорије.

    15. Anonymous13:48

      Rodos je isto skup ako ides solo to jest van aranzmana tako da je ovo sa Kiprom sasvim ok. Tona ljudi je isla tamo ove godine i to zbog Viza.

    16. Anonymous14:08

      AnonymousDecember 13, 2015 at 1:48 PM


      Nas sestoro je islo na Kipar i platili smo 25.000 dinara karte sa dva kofera!

    17. Anonymous15:43

      Any idea who else is traveling between Serbia and Cyprus? Is there a (significant) Serbian diaspora in Cyprus?

    18. Anonymous02:32

      My trip to Cyprus in May 2014 was extremely cheap. My flight was 33€ both ways, I found a very nice apartment in Protaras, I rented a car for me and two of my friends. It was a perfect short holiday, and I'm sure I will go back again. It was a 4 days trip and per person I spent only 100€ for a flight, accommodation and a car. Flight times were better before, they had an evening flight on Wednesday and Sunday, and I took only two days off for a trip from Wednesday late afternoon to Sunday late evening.

    19. Nemjee07:54

      AnonymousDecember 13, 2015 at 3:43 PM

      There are around 1.500 Serbs living and working in Cyprus. Most of them are families who have been there for years so you also have quite a bit of VFR traffic between the two countries. For example, I know a lot of people who used to come twice a year but now thanks to W6 they come 5 or 6 times, especially when there are two weekly flights.
      Every time I fly on W6 I see a lot of Croatian and Romanian passports. There are also quite a few Cypriots coming here for holidays.

      AnonymousDecember 14, 2015 at 2:32 AM

      There we go. Glad you enjoyed it. Unfortunately those 1.600 RSD one way fares are harder to find these days. :)

  5. Anonymous09:20

    Don't forget QR as well

    1. Anonymous09:22

      Well they only said they were thinking about it. I wouldn't count them i just yet but I'm sure someone else will come along.

  6. Anonymous09:25

    Skopje's growth is great and really something to be congratulated. But I'm not sure how wise it is to base all your growth on a single airline (look at BEG as an example of that). The difference is that Wizz is also a LCC. Skopje's actual hub connectivity has gone down over the past 5 years.

    Same with LJU. They are too dependent of Adria which has an insane 70%+ share there.

    1. Nemjee09:46

      Yeah but that's the thing with small(er) markets. In my opinion it is better to rely on a single airline which will have quite a lot of presence there than to have several ones fighting for a small piece of cake.
      Today SKP is not negligible for W6 while it would have been if they had to compete with easyJet, Ryanair and some chronically struggling national carrier.

  7. Anonymous10:07

    Bravo to both.
    So out of all the ex-yu airports BEG was the only one in November that saw fewer passengers than last year?

    1. Anonymous10:25

      They must promote the river project, the castle, the night life, the affordability of the place better abroad.
      Also, why don't they attract foreign films to be shot in the city?
      Prague and Budapest became known all over the world for being attractive and cheap film locations.
      People see the place in the film and then they want to come and visit it.

    2. Anonymous11:15

      What BEG needs is different management.

    3. Anonymous12:10

      Any news about BEG terminal expansion?

    4. BEG is doing very well, since they grew rapidly in 2014 they are not going to see that again for a while as they reached the point of growth. None airports in EX YU has as many passengers as BEG so they are doing just fine as long as they reach the same passengers numbers as last year (which they already did). The best point about BEG operations, there is less flights departures but loads are stronger for most of the routs, and that is what airlines what to see. No point bringing bigger aircrafts and more departures with poor loads. I believe that what most airlines did in BEG for the winter is super smart.

    5. Anonymous23:56

      They cancel terminal expansion. New deadline is not known.

  8. Anonymous10:20

    Mozete li nesto napisati o povecanju kapaciteta, Air France i KLM za Zagreb?
    Navodno od ljetnog reda letenja, Air France ce dolaziti s airbus a318, dok ce KLM povecati kapacitet saljeci boeing737-700, umjesto sadasnjeg embraer 190, a ujedno i time pomaknuo poslijepodnevni termin leta na 12:00 popodne.

    1. Anonymous10:31

      Purger je pisao o tome pre nekoliko dana.

    2. Anonymous11:08

      Ne može, kad je KLM najavio smanjenje frekvencije za ZAG preko zime u roku jednog dana je ovdje izasao tekst o tome, a sad kad se povećavaju frekvencije i tipovi zrakoplova ignore.

    3. Anonymous11:12

      Ne smaraj, nije breaking news da bi se odmah sledeceg dana pisalo o tome. Ima vaznijih vesti, bice svega pa i povecanja za ZAG, verovatno u sklopu letnje sezone.

    4. Anonymous11:15

      Pa da i jucersanja vest bila bas anti-Hrvatska. Smiri dozivljaj malo.

    5. Anonymous11:25

      Večite žrtve.

    6. Anonymous13:31

      A kad ce Korean krenuti sa redovnim letovima za Zagreb?
      Evo zadnjih godina, Zagreb je krcat turistima iz dalekog istoka, i to ne samo ljetnim mjesecima, nego tokom cijele godine. Vjerojatno ne prije nego se otvori novi terminal ili?

  9. Anonymous10:23

    Bilo bi dobro da se SKP potrudi da dovede AF ili KL zbog povezanosti sa svetom nego sto se trude toliko sa W6 .

    1. Anonymous10:31

      Bravo, nisu se setili. Evo sad ce od ponedeljka.

    2. wuaaaauu, thank you for your recommendation - from 01.01.2016 they are coming......

    3. Anonymous11:13

      Having AZ OS and OK (beginning in 2016) I feel Slopje has enough airlines which can connect them to around the world. I also forgot to mention TK.

    4. Anonymous11:15

      You also forgot JU.

    5. Anonymous11:17

      And OU. ;)

    6. Anonymous11:55

      And JP. ;)

    7. Anonymous12:40

      Meni je uz BEG,BNX,INI SKP takodje drag Aerodrom ali vi ne razumete sta ja mislim ;).

    8. Anonymous14:32

      Tesko je tebe razumeti (ako me razumes)

  10. Anonymous10:41

    The fog in December which already canceled 60+ flights in 3 days, something like 10k pax less in December for SKP I guess.
    If the fog wasn't there I wouldn't be surprised if they overcome LJU by the end of 2015. I'm happy for SKP and looking forward to my two upcoming flights with W6 to Stockholm and Barcelona in 2016.

    1. Anonymous12:53

      60+ in Skopje or all over the ex-yu countries ? 10k less pax ? you're wrong ;)

  11. Anonymous12:13

    Does anyone know what is the profit of both airports? At the end of the day this is the most important figure for each company.

  12. Anonymous14:14

    Pitty about CSA being only seasonal to Skopje next year.

    1. It's not confirmed, they said - if route going good - will continue to YEAR ROUND.

    2. Anonymous01:03

      And if bookings are poor the route will be dropped before it even starts. The intention is to have the route as seasonal.

  13. Anonymous15:57

    Skopje is in deep trouble because of the fog every winter and airport management doesn't give a thing about it... It's nightmare for many to travel from/to SKP in December and January. Failed promises about working on the fog issue and no results whatsoever.

    1. Anonymous17:37

      How much does a CATIII radar system costs?
      And is it sure that it can work in SKP?

    2. Anonymous18:19

      Ima jedno brdo ispred aerodroma i posle planina nista previse bitno za catiii.

    3. Anonymous18:31

      CAT III is very expensive if you need to move some hills and demolish a road junction some genious bulit next to the runway.


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