Zagreb and Pristina record strong growth

The airports in Zagreb and Pristina recorded strong passenger growth in July, with the latter overtaking Skopje during the month. The two have been locked in a battle for passengers, with Skopje gaining the upper hand over its traditionally busier rival during the past few months.

Zagreb Airport handled 307.218 travellers in July, marking its busiest on record. The figure represents growth of 10.3% compared to the same month last year. In addition, the number of flight operations grew 4.5% to 3.876 arrivals and departures. Contributing to the growth was Croatia Airlines, which launched four new seasonal routes from its main hub this summer. As a result, the carrier welcomed 235.936 passengers on board its aircraft during July, up 7% on last year. During the first seven months of 2016 the airline carried 1.060.454 travellers, an improvement of 3%. Its busiest day of the year so far was recorded on July 29 when it handled some 9.000 passengers. Overall, Zagreb Airport saw 1.533.107 travellers during the first seven months of the year, an increase of 6.6%.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN156.947 4.2
FEB153.077 7.9
MAR199.201 7.3
APR202.282 2.3
MAY246.961 5.0
JUN267.259 7.6
JUL307.218 10.3

Pristina Airport continued to see its passenger numbers improve into July as well. It welcomed 209.053 travellers through its doors, a jump of 8.9% compared to last year. As a result, it was busier than its counterpart in Skopje which has been outperforming its rival in Pristina over the past two months. Macedonia's two international airports, Skopje and Ohrid, handled a combined total of 199.547 passengers. Both Pristina and Skopje airports have been involved in a tussle over passengers. Earlier this year, the General Manager of airport operator TAV Macedonia, Zoran Krstevski, said that an increasing number of travellers from Kosovo, Albania and southern Serbia were using Skopje as their point of origin. On the other hand, Pristina Airport has fired back, requesting for the European Commission to investigate state subsidies offered to low cost airlines operating out of Skopje.

During the January - July period, Pristina Airport handled 985.555 passengers, an increase of 13.6% compared to 2015. easyJet awarded the airport for the best ground handling in its network for the month, outperforming some 600 other airports in the airline's network. Pristina Airport excelled in key areas such as on-time performance, customer service and the efficiency of its ground handling services. The General Manager of Pristina Airport, Haldun Fırat Kokturk, said, "We have demonstrated exceptional performance in passenger and flight operations and this award is proof of that".

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN122.217 12.8
FEB107.184 21.6
MAR124.048 21.9
APR143.367 14.9
MAY144.504 10.7
JUN141.179 10.5
JUL203.053 8.9

Photo by Josip Škof


  1. Anonymous09:03

    So like people predicated Skopje's growth slowed in July. We will have to wait and see by how much exactly but I don't think there is a chance of them overtaking Pristina now.

    1. Anonymous09:07

      Never say never. Quite a few routes being suspended from PRN this winter.

    2. Anonymous09:37

      Skopje had 164341 last July. My guess is this year it was around 170000.

    3. Anonymous09:49

      Don't forget PRN seasonality as well as route cuts from there later on this year + the new destinations from SKP: Hannover (2) and Berlin (+2: 4 weekly) without any other frequency cuts.

      Qatar should be there by the next year, and Czech is expected to make the flights year-long.
      Budapest and some undisclosed routes are announced from Wizz.

      The only worries being the slowdown in the Turkish market, obviously because of the instability there.

    4. Anonymous11:51

      Will Wizz base that 4th aircraft in Skopje this winter?

    5. Anonymous12:02

      I doubt they will base 4th A/C this winter. SKP has limits and I think that they are already there.

    6. Anonymous12:38

      You are probably right.

    7. Anonymous13:15

      I noticed that some of the OK flights to SKP were operated by their jet aircraft in stead of the Atr. Guess they are doing really well.

      Maybe Wizz could consider two weekly SKP-PRG.

    8. Anonymous13:22

      Well they do fly to Bratislava. Does Wizz even fly to Prague?

    9. Anonymous14:24

      OK are doing charters SKP-Heraklion

    10. Anonymous16:05

      Strange that Wizz didn't do some charters. Better than to have their planes sitting idle on the ground at night.

    11. With schengen visa free in late winter too many people from Kosova will look for new destinations so Easyjet and maybe Wizzair will add many new low cost fares!

    12. With schengen visa free in late winter too many people from Kosova will look for new destinations so Easyjet and maybe Wizzair will add many new low cost fares!

  2. Anonymous09:03

    I am really happy to see that OU is finally responsible for growth at ZAG. I wonder if LIS and PRG could be kept in winter.

    1. Anonymous09:05


      They will probably manage to reach those 1.97 million passengers they estimated they would carry. Unfortunately I don't think they will keep any new destinations but for me PRG would be a must as CSA will keep flying and you are really just giving your competition the upper hand by doing seasonal flights.

    2. Anonymous09:12

      They can use the Dash they were using for Pristina two times per week to maintain Prague. I think it would be a smart decision. On other routes they don't have any competition so it's not that big of a deal.

    3. Anonymous09:15

      PRG on CSA is also summer only. Try to book in the winter period and you will see no flights available. Don't really get this as this was announced as a year-long route and I believe the demand is there ... what a pity!

    4. Anonymous09:24

      Hmm true. Just noticed. :/

    5. Anonymous09:39

      It would be sad if they leave. That would be the 3rd airline this year to suspend ZAG.

    6. Anonymous09:48

      Which are the other two?

    7. Anonymous10:03

      TAP in March and Swiss in October.

    8. Anonymous10:10

      PRG and PRN used to be operated in different waves so you can move the Q400 from PRN onto PRG.

    9. Anonymous11:29

      Does anyone know which route is performing best out of the ones recently launched by OU?

    10. Anonymous16:17


    11. Just a note. Czech Airlines has Zagreb in its plans for the 2016/17 winter season but a final decision on weather the route will continue will be made at the end of August or early September. The airline is currently analysing its results on the route.

    12. Anonymous19:03

      Thanks, Ex-Yu!

    13. Anonymous22:08

      Admin; sta je sa planovima CSA da lete za Sarajevo? Znam da su pre par godina leteli na toj ruti!

    14. Initially flights were planned to start this summer. According to a statement from CSA, these have now been pushed back until summer 2017.

  3. Anonymous09:06

    Good work for ZAG. and Croatia Airlines for that matter.

  4. Anonymous09:07

    Terminal looks fantastic in the photo.

  5. Anonymous09:11

    Is there a chance for Easyjet to open a base in Pristina? They added two new routes this year plus they already fly to a few cities.

    1. Anonymous09:25

      With Ryanair in Nis and Wizz in Skopje it seems like a logical choice for easyJet if they want to increase their presence in the region.

  6. Anonymous09:13

    EX-YU, if ZAG handled 307218 passengers during July it's nearly 10000 passengers per day on average. So, how can 29th of July, with 9000 passengers, be the busiest day ? Were these 9000 passengers only outbound passengers, or excluding transfer passengers ?

    1. It was Croatia Airlines' busiest day, not the airports.

  7. Anonymous09:26

    Bravo Hrvatska!

    1. Anonymous17:20

      What medals have they won ?

    2. Anonymous17:48

      Golden, check yesterday's news!

    3. Anonymous23:03

      But didn't Portugal win the Euros ?

  8. Anonymous09:40

    Can someone tell me has Qeshm Air from Tehran actually started flying to Zagreb? They were supposed to fly once per week between July 8-September 16.

    1. I've been checking both the websites for ZAG and IKA and can confirm that flights appear to have started.

    2. Anonymous10:38

      Great! Thanks :)

    3. Anonymous16:18

      And did they start Belgrade flights or that was just one flight and that was it?

    4. They didn't start BEG flights for reasons unknown. They received the necessary licences. Iran Markaz, the tour operator who was selling the flights, is still advertising Serbia as a top destination for 2016.

      Qeshm is operating Sofia, Zagreb, Varna and Sochi. Willing to be corrected on my limited Persian knowledge.

  9. Anonymous10:42

    Zagreb is performing really weel this year. It will be interesting to see what 2017 holds with new flights to Beijing and Air Transat possibly extending its flights.

    1. Anonymous16:53

      July was so so, some 40-50 flights were cancelled and for a week Turkish and Air France has no flights due to Air France strike and Military Coup in Turkey, Austrian cancelled 18 flights due to shortage if aircraft and air crew, Austrian is facing serious problems as of late and Croatian cancelled 9 flights. In all 5-7000 pax lost in July, August if all goes well should hit 320 000 pax. Zagreb from current projections should hit 2.82 million. Next year with an average growth 3.1 million, although 3.25 million is quite likely.

      2018-2020 will be exciting period for Zagreb, high growth expected due to surge of foreign carriers. Swiss should return next year in April, they've got shortage of aircraft and cancelled Zagreb and many other new destinations they've launched. Zagreb had decent numbers with average load factor of 65%, they only launched in March of 2015 I think.

      They should be back in April next year with CS100, we'll see then how well they do, but they need to stick with Zagreb year round, not just seasonal.

      TAP is coming back next year as well, should be fun.

  10. Anonymous11:23

    Good work for both.

  11. Anonymous11:52

    wow Pristina has been doing great this year.

    1. Anonymous14:02

      True. Double digit growth almost all year.

  12. Anonymous12:53

    Someone yesterday mentioned that the new terminal in ZAG will be opened on APR 3. From what I see on the Zagreb Airport facebook page it will be March after all. They just put a pic of the new terminal with march 2017 written over it.

  13. Anonymous14:06

    How isn't this a problem at the current terminal?

  14. Anonymous14:22

    Interesting that the gap between BEG and ZAG is closing.

    1. Anonymous14:28 the double difference?

    2. Wishful thinking14:30

      I'd rather say that the gap between Pristina and Zagreb is closing if to judge by the numbers.

    3. Anonymous14:30

      Actually the difference between the two airports in July was almost the same as last year so I fail to see how Zagreb is closing the gap?

    4. Anonymous14:31

      In order for them to close the gap they need to have a similar performance to Split in July and August.

    5. Anonymous17:00

      Last 13 months ZAG +170.000 passengers, BEG -37.000, that is 207.000 passengers difference in favor of Zagreb

      In same time in real number ZAG had 15.000 more NEW passengers last year than PRN. This year gap is even bigger in favor of ZAG.

      So, gap between BEG and ZAG is sill huge, but 200.000 passengers smaller than last year, and gap between ZAG and PRN was even bigger in 2015 and much bigger this year.

    6. Anonymous17:13

      Current Zagreb terminal is too small to attract many more carriers, however as things improve in coming years with new terminal things should square up with Belgrade pretty fast, 2020 both airports will be neck and neck I predict.

      This isn't a race, it is a marathon.

    7. Anonymous17:16

      You have been predicting the arrival of 20 new airlines in ZAG for the past 3 years on this blOg. You also expect BEG ti be doing nothing for the next 4 years...

    8. Anonymous22:04

      Well in last 2 years there was really lot of companies that came to Zagreb:

      1. Air Europa
      2. Air Malta
      3. Air Serbia
      4. Air Transat
      5. Brussels Airlines
      6. Trade Air with PSO routes
      7. Czech Airlines
      8. Eurowings with new routes on top of old ones
      9. flyDubai
      10. KLM
      11. LOT
      12. Qeshm Airlines
      13. Swiss International Air Lines
      14. Wings of Lebanon

      So, it was not 20 but 14 in two years. In another one year trust me there would be another 6.

    9. Anonymous22:05

      *sorry not 2 but 3 years

    10. Anonymous22:35

      Qeshm operates charter flights and so does Wings of Lebanon. Also, LX came and left.

      Are Air Malta and Air Europea scheduled?

    11. Anonymous23:02

      Huh? Air Malta doesn't fly to ZAG!!

    12. Anonymous08:50

      Air Malta flies to Zagreb. Qashm and Wings of Lebanon does bring passengers to Zagreb, what more they bring tourist. What is the difference? Exempt that tourist spend much more money in destination.

      LX came and did not left but made this route seasonal.

      To came and left:
      - Air Croatia
      - ECA
      - SkyGreece
      - TAP (as I understand they will coma back in April)

    13. Purger08:55

      Air Malta flight is KM7518/7519 flies every Monday.

  15. Anonymous14:28

    They've tried to be cheap in any way they could.

  16. Anonymous15:00

    Ajd malo pogledaj datum od tog članka iz kužim zašto ponavljate glupi članak i lupate gluposti

  17. Anonymous15:39

    Stvarno ne vidim zašto bi to bio problem. Nema security, nema carine, samo pasoška kontrola, ako avion dolazi iz Šengenskog prostora znači da su putnici već dobro kontrolisani (plus su uglavnom EU državljani), dakle neće biti nekih nezgodnih situacija... Nekoliko šaltera za tranzitnu pasošku kontrolu može da se stavi bilo gde i nema razloga da to sve ne ide veoma brzo.

  18. Anonymous15:42

    Does anyone know which airlines are considering flights to Zagreb and if anyone is interested? I heard from a guy that works at ZLZ (not the airport but the public company that used to run ZAG and still manages a lot of things around ZAG) that EY has entered talks with them which I find a bit odd because of Air Serbia but I didn't have the time to ask for more details.

    1. Anonymous17:31

      There are several carriers that are in talks with Zagreb to start flight operations to Zagreb in late 2017.

      TAP is returning in April I think
      Swiss is also coming back in April
      EasyJet is keen to return but talks are ongoing
      SAS is keen to start Stockholm - Zagreb and Copenhagen Zagreb flights, 2017 October quite likely SAS will start off with 3 weekly flights to Zagreb.
      Finnair is in talks over Helsinki - Zagreb flights twice weekly.
      Aer Lingus over Dublin Zagreb flights from late 2017 or early 2018.
      Alitalia - Rome and Milan flights daily, talks are in advanced stage and Alitalia might start these flights from late 2017 or March 2018.
      Agean - Athens Zagreb - twice weekly from next year sometimes, not sure when exactly.
      Air Berlin - Dusseldorf at first trice weekly from April 2017, still need to be confirmed, however 99% chance of April.
      WizzAir wants to return with flights to UK, no idea how likely, new management won't budge over landing charges.
      Czech, Swiss, Iberia - might go year round from 2018 with trice weekly flights.
      Korean Air looks at starting direct flights to Zagreb 2018 very likely.
      ElAl - twice weekly service to Zagreb from 2018 very likely.
      FlyBe - connecting Edinburgh and Glasgow with Zagreb from 2018, twice weekly, 95%
      Vueling year round service - Barcelona and Valencia trice and twice weekly 2018 - 95%
      Montenegro - Podgorica - Zagreb - 2018 possible
      Tarom - Bucharest - Zagreb - 90%
      Ukraine International Airlines - Kiev Zagreb - 90% in 2018.
      Air Baltic Vilnius - Zagreb - likely in 2018 70%.
      Norwegian - year round service - Copenhagen, Bergen, Oslo - Zagreb.
      North American Carrier - unnamed - New York - Zagreb. 80% change in 2018.
      ANA - Tokyo - Zagreb - seasonal 2017.

    2. Swiss is not coming,and why you bother your self every single airline in world is keen to fly to ZAG

    3. Anonymous18:38

      Jos nisam skuzio koji su njegovi izvori. It remain a mistery. So Guess Whoo, take it as a funny contribution.

    4. Anonymous21:59

      My absolute favorite is flybe from Scotland. :D EDI-ZAG on the Q400.

    5. That guy has been making these predictions for years already. I want to know who his dope dealer is.

    6. Anonymous23:16

      I think he was the one who predicted an additional million passengers in ZAG after HR's EU membership.

    7. Anonymous23:46

      Da moguce je da dodju te kompanije ali ne u ZAG nego u SPU i DBV .
      A ZAG nece prestici BEG posto i BEG ce imati iznenadjenja.

    8. Anonymous23:57

      Ja iskreno ne znam ko vise lupa, ovaj gore ili INN-SNS sa svojim najavama iznenadjenja.

    9. Anonymous00:02

      This comment has been removed by the author.

    10. Anonymous00:02

      Ja ne lupam kao neki nego iznosim istine da ce BEG imati takodje iznenadjenja .
      A vi ocigledno ne znate da citate pise se INN-NS ako niste znali.

  19. Anonymous19:53

    This airline coming I think.
    I think lol

  20. Next year Zagreb will be among the fastest growing airports in Europe, that's for sure! And possibly the year after that. The projections are; 3,7 million pax by the end of 2018. By then, Belgrade should be around 5,2 million, so we won't really start to play at the Belgrade level, before 2023-2025 in my opinion. Even with the new terminal. Some people seem to forget that,unlike Zagreb in Croatia, Belgrade is the only real Serbian international airport.
    However, we could start to compete with Sofia in 2018-2020 period. Which in and of itself is awesome, since we could be the second ex-yu airport to surpass Sofia. Anyhow, I'm proud of our entire region and can't help thinking what it would be like if we didn't have to talk about *Ex Yugoslavia*. :p

    1. Anonymous21:31

      Well there is Nis which already qualifies as a decent alternative to BEG so I guess we can drop the whole 'Serbia has one functional airport.'

      Also, I think BEG will surpass 5.2 million by 2018.

    2. Anonymous22:25

      If INI will grow so fast, and there would be so many new direct routes from SKP, TGD, ZAG, SJJ, SOF, OTP... so there will be not so many transit passengers via BEG, it is too optimistic that BEG will reach 5,2 million in 2018.

      2014/2015 just 138.000 new passengers

      In 2015 till July there was minus, so there would be not more than 85.000 new passengers in 2016. If same growing will be in 2017 and 2018 BEG will not be even near to 5 million in 2018, especially not to 5,2 million.

      In same time this year ZAG will have at least 250.000 new passengers. In 2017 just one LCC to base plane in ZAG (and that will happen for sure) that is 400.000 new passengers. Including new companies that will come next year that will be at least 700.000 new passengers in 2017, and 300.000 new passengers in 2018. That would make make 1.2 million more passengers than 2015, or at least 3,8 million at the and of 2018.

      In 2019. ZAG and BEG will come to just 1 million difference. One can not predict situation in longer period than 3 years.

    3. Anonymous22:28

      Maybe you were fast asleep in your cave but JU has a winder network than SKP, TGD, ZAG, SJJ, SOF, OTP... Also, they seem to be doing fine in SKP despite Wizz's expansion so they are not going anywhere.

      Also, in your prediction your forgot to remove the passengers when OU goes bankrupt. It will happen before W18.

    4. Anonymous08:20

      Compete with SOF?? SOF will possibly reach 5 million pax this year and Ryanair hasn´t even based their 3 aircraft there, not to mention that Wizz will base an A321 as of Jan 2017.

    5. Purger08:59

      Croatia is not even near to bankrupt. If nothing else they have more planes to sell, maintenance, slots and some real estate to sell... So they are safe at least another 5 years.

    6. Anonymous09:01

      Anon 10:28
      You do recognize that BEG lost almost 40.000 passengers in 12 months, instead to have more passengers than 12 months ago.

      You also do recognize that BEG has much less passengers from SKP than one year ago. They shrink their traffic share there.

      Now, your conclusion is????

  21. Anonymous23:37

    Bice zanimljivo ko ce na kraju imati vise putnika PRN ili SKP.

  22. I didn't say that Serbia has one fuctional airport, but that it has one real international airport and that is Belgrade. If Nis grows, cool..but it is not, nor will it become a real alternative, or competition to BEG in a foreseeable future. Not like Split and Dubrovnik are to Zagreb in Croatia.
    To answer to another commenter; yes I know that BEG has had close to 40,000 pax less in the last year, but ultimately that isn't important for what I'm saying. My point is; whether BEG will have 5,2 mill pax by 2018. or more or less, we as Zagreb will not become comparable to BEG until mid 2020s.
    I was wrong about SOF. I had thought for a while there that Belgrade will surpass them and also take a good portion of connecting passengers from them, which would've indirectly benefited us as well, however Sofia has been performing really well, that's true.
    And finally, as I had already mentioned elsewhere, there seems to be a couple of people here with some pathological, irrational fixation on OU going bust, hahaha!! Forget about facts, numbers,forget that OU has been profitable for the past three years and its profits as well as passenger numbers are steadily growing, naah...OU simply has to go bankrupt. Meh..All I have to say to that is; facepalm! And I assure you that OU ain't going anywhere. :))


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