Zagreb, Pristina and Skopje record growth

The main airports in Croatia, Kosovo and Macedonia have seen their passenger numbers improve in October, with Pristina returning to double digit growth after three months.

Zagreb Airport handled 255.498 travellers, an improvement of 6% compared to October last year. The figures were aided by an increase in the number of operated flights which stood at 3.650, representing growth of 7.5%. As the airport enters the 2016/17 winter season it will see Croatia Airlines operate the same volume of flights as last year, while several foreign carriers will decrease their operations, with Swiss International Air Lines and Flydubai notably suspending services. Overall, the airport welcomed 2.381.156 travellers through its doors so far this year, an increase of 6.2% compared to the same period in 2015. Zagreb is also preparing for the 2017 summer season which will see the opening of its brand new terminal. Furthermore, on Monday, the airport confirmed it is negotiating for the launch of flights to New York, as reported by EX-YU Aviation News several weeks ago.

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
AUG306.887 7.9
SEP287.664 5.9
OCT255.498 6.0

Pristina Airport extended its growth streak into October by handling 147.895 passengers, an impressive 18.3% improvement on 2015. The number of operated flights grew by 11.7% during the month. As a result, the airport has now handled 1.497.775 passengers in 2016, up 11.6%. Aircraft movement stood at 11.732 over the ten-month period, an increase of 26.7%. This October, Pristina benefited from the introduction of easyJet’s new service from Paris. Commenting on the results, the airport's General Manager, Haldun Firat Kokturk, said, "We have achieved significant double digit growth in passenger numbers. We are willing to increase flight numbers and extend our network with additional routes, and we are using our incentive plan to attract airlines in order to catch this growth at a sustainable level. We are expecting a very successful next year, especially if visa liberalisation happens in Kosovo".

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
AUG216.972 4.0
SEP147.356 8.9
OCT147.895 18.3

Meanwhile, Skopje Airport continued to record growth by handling 142.901 passengers in October, an increase of 7.7%. Skopje welcomed 1.401.868 travellers during the first ten months, an increase of 14.4% compared to 2015. Late last month, Wizz Air introduced its new service from Skopje to Hanover, however, Swiss International Air Lines suspended its flights from Geneva and Czech Airlines from Prague. Istanbul maintains its position as the busiest route out of the Macedonian capital, operated by both Turkish Airlines and Pegasus. It is followed by Zurich, operated by Belair, Edelweiss, Helvetic Airways and Germania Flug on a charter basis, Vienna, which is run by Austrian, then Malmo, Basel and London, which are all maintained by Wizz Air.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN109.097 23.6
FEB102.178 27.6
MAR120.668 26.4
APR135.013 23.3
MAY148.562 26.9
JUN142.332 20.5
JUL173.715 5.7
AUG174.883 1.0
SEP152.519 4.5
OCT142.901 7.7


  1. Anonymous09:02

    Yay so interested to find out which airline will operate ZAG-JFK. Any ideas? When will we know more details?

    1. Anonymous09:34

      Inside info from another forum: definitely not XL, but a European airline.

      The terminal in Zagreb looks amazing!

    2. Anonymous09:36

      Could you give us a clue? :D Maybe if its a flag carrier or leisure airline?

    3. Anonymous09:38

      I don't know, but a guy who knows says he can't tell yet, everything will be known in December!

    4. Anonymous09:46

      Thanks. Looking forward to next month then. Hope it will be more than just seasonal flights but anything would be welcome.

    5. Anonymous10:03

      Plot twist - Air Serbia operates them lol

    6. Anonymous10:06

      haha good one :D

    7. Anonymous10:52

      It will be a carrier from an EU country, so definitely not Air Serbia.

    8. Anonymous10:55

      He was joking ;)

    9. Anonymous13:17

      People who love aviation will be very pleasently surprised, and those who hate ZAG and HR will be shocked and sad, because it will be legacy carrier, one of the 3 biggest in EU, and main operator of one of the 3 alliances

    10. Anonymous13:20

      Never noticed that anyone hates ZAG or HR here. In fact most people are quite postive and congratulatory towards HR's coastal airport numbers. If I say ZAG should have more traffic primarily based on the fact that it has extremely poor LCC presence does not mean I hate ZAG.

    11. Anonymous13:23

      People, Air France!! :)

    12. Anonymous13:30

      Anonymous 1:17, who told you it will be a legacy carrier? I wrote the 9:38 comment and the guy who knows more about this says it won't be a legacy carrier and that it will go 2 times pw on ZAG-JFK route.

    13. Anonymous14:59

      Wow AF would be very cool if it's true.

    14. Anonymous21:43

      I also get information it is Air France!

    15. Anonymous00:24

      Why on God's good Earth would Air France abandon its hub-and-spoke model to operate twice weekly flights between ZAG and NYC? You people really believe everything you read on the internet...

    16. Anonymous02:05

      Many options are available, for example one of the following:


      TUI (one of TUI brands like Corsair etc)

      Thomas Cook or Condor

    17. Anonymous11:06

      I think they are already negotiating with ONE airline, since the deal is about to be revealed in December or January (according to the same guy that has first written about that on another forum.

  2. Anonymous09:03

    I don’t think there is a chance of Skopje overtaking Pristina this year but it will be a tight finish and next year it is very possible fro SKP to overtake PRN.

    1. Anonymous21:09

      If visa liberalisation happens in Kosovo next year, there is no chance for SKP to overtake PRN.

    2. Anonymous23:50

      Pristina this year will hit 1.8 million and next year 2.0 million. When the visa liberalisation happens Pristina will hit 2.5 or even 3.0 million.

      On the other hand, at least 1/3 of Skopje passengers are Kosovans. When Macedonian government stops subsidies for airlines, those kosovans will use Pristina airport again.

    3. Anonymous09:37

      "On the other hand, at least 1/3 of Skopje passengers are Kosovans. When Macedonian government stops subsidies for airlines, those kosovans will use Pristina airport again"

      Complete BS, on both claims. Kosovars just can't accept the fact that Skopje is outgunning them with a proper business plan.

    4. What's this "proper business plan" - enormous subsidies for one airline which, when and if it goes belly up, will have a lasting effect on the entire airport? That's a proper business plan, putting all your eggs in one basket?

    5. Anonymous11:28

      "Complete BS, on both claims. Kosovars just can't accept the fact that Skopje is outgunning them with a proper business plan."

      Actually, it is just the opposite. Pristina is beating Skopje every single year. This is a fact. Everything else is BS.

    6. Anonymous11:30

      'Enormous' actually meaning peanuts, which is why nobody else applied for the tenders?

      You call 5 EUR per pax enormous?

      You call 15% of the total network (new destinations only!) still being covered by these 'enormous' subsidies while everything else is self-sustaining a bad business plan?

      You assume nobody would jump on the opportunity to replace a well established European P2P network for practically free?

      You're assuming this company would go belly up while it's operating within the Top 2 net profit margins in Europe while growing 20% YoY?

      Ignorant and laughable. Just another random troll.

  3. Anonymous09:07

    Weren't people here predicting doom and gloom and how Skopje's numbers would dive?

    1. Anonymous09:11

      Nope, nobody did. It´s just that the figures are likely to remain almost the same in 2017 as there are currently no new routes announced.

    2. Anonymous09:16

      Wait till November results are out.

    3. Anonymous09:22

      Yeah I'm not optimistic either. Two airlines left Skopje in November and another is leaving (with DAILY flights) in December.

    4. Anonymous09:34

      The same is the case with Pristina this winter. Around 3 airlines suspending flights.

    5. Anonymous09:39

      Which are leaving PRN? I am not surprised, with no economy or improved economic prospects it will be harder for PRN to overcome its seasonality and/or its reliance on diaspora visiting.

    6. Anonymous09:48

      Pristina - Croatia Airlines ended Zagreb, Eurowings ended Berlin flights, Turkish Airlines cut Pristina flights from 14 to 10, SAS ended Copenhagen flights...

    7. Anonymous10:01

      And same story in Zagreb - Flydubai and Swiss leaving, Turkish cutting flights.

    8. Anonymous11:35

      I think that OU will suspend London altogether next year, they can't compete with both Monarch and British Airways.

    9. Anonymous11:52

      I doubt it, London has always demand. No matter which airport you pick. Most EU capitals are connected to at least 4 of its airports: LHR,LGW, STN & LTN.
      ZAG needs DUB asap!

    10. Anonymous12:35

      The thing is not if there is a market but if OU can capture it while still making money on the route. I think the second part will be crucial. My guess is that in W17 LON will become a seasonal route for OU... of course, if they are still around by then.

    11. Anonymous15:41

      Pristina-Berlin flight have been replaced by Easyjet

  4. Anonymous09:11

    If they keep this up Skopje could easily reach 2 million passengers next year.

  5. Anonymous09:16

    Do we have any sort of date when Qatar will start their flights to Skopje?

    1. Anonymous09:21

      Nothing yet.

    2. Anonymous09:26

      Lack of a/c. We have already covered this topic 10 thousand times. Besides, with the departure of AZ, I really doubt about the demand and LF. Imagine, if AZ cannot fill an Embraer Jet then how will QR do so with an A320?

    3. Anonymous09:27

      Hope they don't cancel them for good.

    4. Anonymous09:35

      According to the airport timetable the flights should start on January 1, 2017. But not sure if its true or they don't know the date and just wanted to indicate they will start in 2017.

    5. Anonymous09:40

      Definitely not starting JAN1. It's for informative purposes like you say but Qatar flights are a done deal. It will start in the first quarter.

    6. Anonymous10:44

      I would love if QR could connect SKP with SOF, there is a lot of O&D + Transfer potential there

  6. Anonymous09:17

    Admin, hoping you publish LJU tomorrow: fresh figures from Fraport today.
    OCT LJU 132 081 +2,8%
    FINALLY Ljubljana had a positive month!
    YTD: 1210414 pax -4,2%
    Hopefully U2 and HV will boost numbers next year.

    1. Anonymous09:33

      my latest experience for LJU:
      excellent infrastructure but very visible lack of passengers.

    2. Anonymous10:24

      According to LJU timetable AMS become daily from 10.12

  7. Anonymous09:19

    Is that the new Zagreb terminal in the photo?

  8. Anonymous09:27

    Ex-yu, could you make analysis of the seasonality of the region's airports as there are on It would be a nice addition to the blog!

  9. Anonymous09:49

    Impressive results from all three.

  10. Anonymous10:04

    Skopje as the centar of a poor country has really narrow potential. To profit best from this potential is to make a package of LCC carriers. For the main market, the EU, Skopje needs one more player besides Wizz (possible: Ryan, Easyjet, German-/Eurowings, Germania, Transavia or Vueling) to base at least one aircraft there. For the Russian market (non EU) there would be nice Pobeda would fly twice a week (like Flydubai for Middleeast market and Pegasus for Little Asia). Some charters-offereres in the summer are excluded (maybe the same LCC carrier seasonal on some routes).

    Legacy are two wings enough: Vienna double daily (westtraffic) and Istanbul double daily (easttraffic).

    And this would satisfy the macedonian needs very best:

    -- Wizz (all Eu-Countries)
    -- Ryan (all Eu-Countries) (or one of the other LCC)

    Pegasus 3x weekly (Istanbul)
    Pobeda 2x weekly (Moskow)
    Flydubai2x weekly (Dubai)

    1. Anonymous10:21


    2. Anonymous10:23

      Macedonia is not THAT poor but the only thing is that it has a very small market. W6 is already acting as its de-facto national carrier. Russians usually visit Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgarian coast but not MK.
      OS already has 12 weekly flights.
      VY faces a tough competition from W6 so it´s a bit too late to launch BCN.
      Pobeda focuses mainly in RU domestic flights.
      Also JetAir Fly tried to fly to SKP and OHD but never succeeded.
      Perhaps a possible nice airline would be LOT, maybe they include SKP in their new expansion plan.
      As for FR, I could see them launching STN, SXF just like they did with INI.

    3. Anonymous10:44

      Russian also visit other countries, like Macedonia, not just Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria. There are already double daily flights to Moskow from Belgrade (Aeroflot and AirSerbia). Double weekly for Macedonia would cover the business needs and also pleasure from both sides (Macedonian and Russian).

      There is a big demand for Zurich (non EU, while Basel airport has both EU-entry and Swiss-entry). The potential for Zurich should be covered by Swiss and not by albanian travel-agencies (the prices would come to a normal level).

    4. Anonymous00:21

      Norway of Balkan!

  11. Anonymous11:03

    Really impressive results, especially for Skopje and Pristina!

  12. Anonymous11:11

    "Russians usually visit Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgarian coast but not MK."

    Actually, not true. Ohrid, as we all know, is the Orthodox Jerusalem and gets some Russian tourists, and there is a growing Russian community in Skopje. This has been a very well known fact in Macedonia for the past 10 years, it's just that news like that don't spread very quickly unless there is some controversy going on.

  13. Anonymous11:45

    OT. FZ 746 BEG-DXB full to capacity today. Pretty good for 10 Nov...

    1. Anonymous12:34

      Not to mention that this year they are operating an extra flight!

  14. Anonymous12:04

    Hoping Ryan comes to Skopje

    1. Anonymous12:06

      me tooooo !!!

    2. Anonymous15:15

      I don't.

  15. Anonymous12:34

    OT: I've seen an A388 docked at PRG Terminal 1 twice this month. Have I missed the moment in which Emirates upgraded the aircraft on this route? That bird looks like a spaceship in a place like PRG.

    1. Anonymous12:52

      A388 flies to PRG daily

  16. Anonymous12:51

    So what are the final predictions for the year for these three airports?

  17. Anonymous14:58

    Good work ZAG, PRN & SKP.

  18. Anonymous17:40

    Ovo su odlicne vesti da svi Aerodromi EX YU imaju dobar rast sa ili bez LCC to je svkako odlicno.

  19. Anonymous19:58

    SKP needs WAW, LHR, CDG, AMS or MAD to be well connected. 3 weekly MAD and or daily AMS with Embraer or AF.


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