Macedonia tops EX-YU airport infrastructure quality

The World Economic Forum has published its acclaimed biannual Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, in which it measures and ranks the competitiveness of 136 economies, comprising of fourteen pillars, one of which is air transport. In the 2017 report, Macedonia was named as having the highest quality airport infrastructure in the former Yugoslavia. Bosnia and Herzegovina was ranked for the first time, while Kosovo was not included in the survey. Two-thirds of the data in the report are provided by international organisations, with the remaining third based on surveys carried out among over 15.000 business executives and business leaders annually in all the economies included in the assessment. The survey represents a unique source of insight into critical aspects of travel and tourism competitiveness. It is important to note that data for this year's report was compiled during 2015 and 2016.

Quality of air transport infrastructure

Global rankCountryScoreRank change
51Macedonia4.8 8
70Slovenia4.3 3
78Croatia4.1 2
81Montenegro4.1 7
92Serbia3.9 19
131Bosnia and Herzegovina2.6-

Macedonia ranked 51st in the world for its airport infrastructure, with an average mark of 4.8 (with one being the lowest and seven the highest). It was followed by Slovenia, which took 70th place, Croatia 79th, Montenegro 81st and Serbia 92nd. Bosnia and Herzegovina fell behind in the rankings, taking up the 131st position and an average score of 2.6. Compared to two years ago, only Macedonia and Serbia managed to improve their rankings. Singapore boasted the best airport infrastructure in the world, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Finland. Skopje Airport was recently named Eastern Europe’s ninth best airport in a global annual passenger survey conducted by Skytrax. In both 2013 and 2014 it was also crowned the best airport in Europe handling under two million passengers by Airports Council International (ACI).

Available seat kilometres (ASK), international

Global rankCountryASK (millions)Rank change
88Serbia75.7 2
120Montenegro20.4 2
121Macedonia20.2 3
123Slovenia19.3 5
137Bosnia and Herzegovina13.2-

Aircraft departures

Global rankCountryDepartures (per 1.000 people)Rank change
34Montenegro11.0 3
38Slovenia9.2 2
49Croatia6.0 1
57Serbia4.2 18
129Bosnia and Herzegovina0.0-

According to the World Economic Forum, Croatia had the most available seat kilometres on offer on international services in the former Yugoslavia, based on a 2016 average. It achieved a global rank of 83, followed by Serbia and Montenegro. On the other hand, Macedonia positioned itself as 121st out of 136 economies surveyed. Unsurprisingly, the United States had the most available seat kilometres in the world. Based on the number of aircraft departures per 1.000 people, Montenegro performed best in the former Yugoslav region, ranking 34th in the world, trailed by Slovenia and Croatia. Croatia had the largest number of airlines with scheduled flights originating in the country, positioning itself as 33rd. It was followed by Serbia, while Slovenia fared worst, in 114th place

Airport density, number of airports per 1 million people.

Global rankCountry
33Bosnia and Herzegovina

Overall, Spain was named as the most competitive country in the travel and tourism sector. Croatia was 32nd, Slovenia 41st, Montenegro 72nd, Macedonia 89th, Serbia 95th, and Bosnia and Herzegovina 113th.

Number of airlines with scheduled flights originating in the country

Global rankCountryNo. of airlines (average)Rank change
51Serbia42 5
86Montenegro23 6
106Bosnia and Herzegovina16-
109Macedonia15 2


  1. Anonymous09:03

    Should bring some people down to earth.

    1. Anonymous09:21

      What was taken into consideration? Just curious, since Croatia opened new terminals in Zagreb and Dubrovnik this year and is currently building a new one in Split.

    2. Anonymous09:23

      It says in article

      "It is important to note that data for this year's report was compiled during 2015 and 2016."

      "Two-thirds of the data in the report are provided by international organisations, with the remaining third based on surveys carried out among over 15.000 business executives and business leaders"

    3. Anonymous09:23

      Also, were new routes taken into consideration, Wizz in BEG, EK in ZAG...?

    4. Anonymous09:24

      Ah, ok, that makes sense! Thanks, Anon 9:23!

    5. Anonymous17:07

      By 2020, Croatia should take the lead in the region, Zagreb , Split, Dubrovnik and Zadar airports should be be completed or expanded as in case of Zadar infrastructure miles ahead of what it used to be. Pula Airport plans to modernize as well, so should be fun time ahead.

      the report for 2017 and 2018, should placed Croatia ahead of the rest, but definitely 2018 and 2019 report, if this isn't the case.

      Croatia is investing heavily in to its infrastructure, especially the railways and airports.

      The infrastructure projects shouldn't be affected by most likely new general elections in Croatia by end of this year. Yep Government is likely to fall again, it seems we're following Italian text book in how to form governments. lol

  2. Anonymous09:07

    I had the chance to fly to Skopje recently and saw the terminal for the first time. It is a really efficient building. Check in is quick and there are good stores. They even have a Burger King which I think is the only global fast food chain at any ex-Yu airport. I flew from Skopje’s old terminal a few times in the past and the two can't be compared. It’s like night and day. I haven’t flown from Ohrid but I heard they also upgraded that airport too. Good work Macedonia.

    1. Anonymous09:10

      I agree it is a good airport but it is also getting very busy at certain times even though capacity is 4 million.

  3. Anonymous09:08

    Makes sense. Business executives which took part in the survey were probably more critical in certain countries than in others.

    1. Anonymous09:17

      Yes. The question is "How would you assess the quality of air transport infrastructure in your country?" The responses are very subjective.

  4. Anonymous09:10

    Well done Macedonia!

  5. Anonymous09:13

    I'm not s huge fan of such reports but it is the WEF which is quite reputable.

  6. Anonymous09:14

    That's way too harsh for Bih. 131/136 for airport infrastructure quality? I can imagine that the remaining countries were from Africa. I don't think their airport infrastructure is bad. Sarajevo is fine. I haven't flown from other cities but I doubt they are all that bad.

    1. Anonymous09:41


    2. Anonymous09:47

      sorry but have you been to TUZLA airport???? TZL is a torture! African airports are LAS VEGAS compared to it

    3. Ne moze svako biti Tuzla International :)

    4. Anonymous22:13

      Niti je on leteo sa africkih aerodroma.

  7. Anonymous09:18

    Croatia rocks!

    1. Anonymous09:22

      Today in ZAG:

      2x Turkish with A321
      Qatar with A321
      Monarch with A321

    2. Anonymous09:24

      Well it is the last working day before 1st of May holiday.

    3. Anonymous09:28

      It is only matter of time when Qatar and Turkish will send widebody to ZAG.

    4. Anonymous09:33

      TK will not send its widebody to ZAG, their overall performance has been somewhat weak, hence the winter reductions. The first city to receive their widebody will most likely be SKP.

    5. Anonymous09:43

      I think all airports across ex-YU saw increased capacity, not just ZAG.

    6. Anonymous09:52

      TK will not send their widebodies anywhere in ex-yu

    7. Anonymous10:36

      Every day in Zagreb we can see much bigger planes than planed by time-table. Usually that is:

      Austrian A320 instead of Q400
      Air France usually A320, sometimes A319 and A321 instead of A318
      KLM 737-900 instead of 737-700
      LOT 737-400 instead of Embraer 195
      Qatar A321 instead of A320
      Turkish A321 instead of A320
      Lufthansa A321 instead of A319
      British A320 instead of A319
      El Al 757 instead of 737-800

      At least 3-4 companies every day sent bigger planes. So it is regular practice not exemption any more.

    8. Anonymous10:44

      And we also read the same comment every single day, don't you think?

    9. Anonymous10:47

      Well it's Easter mixed with May 1st holidays.

    10. Anonymous11:18

      To anon @10:44 - when we read OT every day about JU and/or BEG then it's OK with you?
      Nobody has ever complained about OT comments on JU/BEG.
      Don't have double standards.

    11. Alen Šćuric Purger11:19

      I try to rent a car today for 1st to 3rd May and it is impossible mission. There are no free rent'a'cars in Zagreb. My usual rent'a'car agency told me that this situation was never before in 1st may breaks. Easter was OK, they told me, but 1st May is out of mind. And they are not small agency, they are one of biggest in Croatia (Unirent)

      Most of customers to rent their cars are Koreans. They told me they are flooded by Koreans. Not a single car left.

    12. Anonymous11:22

      @11.18 but you post the same thing every day...

    13. Anonymous12:14

      Anon 11.18

      Yes, people almost always complain when it's an OT on BEG or JU.

  8. Anonymous09:25

    Croatia is always in top 2? How accurate is this?

    1. Anonymous09:33

      So why would that be a problem?

    2. Anonymous10:45

      Well if Croatia is not number one on every list then there must be something very wrong!!!!

    3. Anonymous11:09

      Aside from politics being total shit, Croatia is strongest in ex-yu region.

    4. Anonymous11:12

      Well the World Economic Forum does not agdee when it comes to aviation.

  9. Anonymous09:26

    Anyone been to Ohrid airport? Have the concessionaires reconstructed the airport?

  10. Anonymous09:34

    Of course Macedonia came on top, they have 1.5 airports so it's easy to manage.

    1. Anonymous09:49


    2. Anonymous09:51

      maybe they dont need ghost airports like Kraljevo i ostali.

      btw Serbia also has 1.5 functioning airports if im allowed to comment

    3. Anonymous09:55

      Hahaha, good one, Anon 9:51! Nice result for Macedonia! I'm sure these data will improve for other Ex Yu countries in the future!

    4. Anonymous09:59

      And that 0.5 airport will overtake SKP in the next five years. ;)

    5. Anonymous10:05

      But of course it will... There, there ;)

    6. Anonymous10:07

      At least INI doesn't have to give out cash left and right in order to attract airlines. That shows that the market is far more mature... and real.

    7. Anonymous10:12

      So what does INI do to attract low cost carriers+Swiss?

    8. Anonymous10:14

      3 eur airport taxes? another betray on serbian tax payers ...

    9. Anonymous10:18

      How is it another 'betray' on the Serbian tax payers? Thanks to it the losses of the airport have been more than halved. If anything, it's a gift to them since less money from the budget will go to keeping INI operational.

      FR will announce new routes in May so I am sure that INI can overtake TZL this or next year.

    10. Anonymous10:29

      INI is on a roll, with new routes by FR and Germania flying in winter they are going to have around 400.000 this year.

    11. Anonymous10:48

      INI is unlikely to overtake SKP. The gap is still huge. Buy hey, you neva know.

    12. Anonymous10:54

      No one said it will happen next year but given that INI is a place where FR and W6 fight for the market it means that fares are likely to remain much lower than in SKP where Wizz Air has a monopoly and where airport charges are much higher.

      Let's also not forget that INI has been advertizing in its region which is a great and novel move by an ex-YU airport.

    13. Anonymous11:21

      True, INI perhaps has gained having the Hungarian and Irish who are likely to expand. I'm still thinking that W6 will indeed base an aircraft same like they did in CRA, VAR and KIV. W6 monopoly in SKP is incredible.

    14. Anonymous11:31

      yeah right, just because a plane ticket from INI is 5 euros cheaper than from SKP, im gonna drive 2 hours to get there + cross a border... it is gonna happen for sure....never!

    15. Anonymous12:11

      I think the difference is much bigger than just €5. Also, long-term, SKP has lost southern Serbia and it's about to lose all passengers from UNMIK Kosovo for whom INI is much closer... and cheaper.

      The fact that INI doesn't have an airline that enjoys a monopoly guarantees cheap fares. Not to mention that FR and W6 keep on competing with each other. I am sure Wizz is just waiting to see what FR announces so that they can match them.

      If Eurowings launches INI then their role will only increase.

    16. Anonymous16:14

      True. INI surprised us all this year. I never thought it would make it this far. As for SKP, I think W6 has already covered the most important destinations, so doubt if they're gonna place a 5th a/c.
      SKP needs AF, BA, EK, SU, PS, BT,LO asap

  11. Anonymous09:40

    Congrats Mac.

  12. Anonymous09:41

    I am guessing these rankings will change in the next report in 2019 considering Croatia will have new terminal in Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split (three largest airports in the country).

  13. BA88809:52


    Prime example of selection bias when looking results for Montenegro in departures and density.

    What sort of impact does this piece of information have?

  14. Anonymous10:40

    Serbia is very low positioned. They should invest much more in infrastructure and connectivity. Serbia did not deserve to be on such a low level of air industry.

    1. Anonymous10:42

      Well, I am sure we will jumpy a few places once INI and BEG are reconstructed and modernized.

  15. Anonymous12:18

    Let's face it, this shows nothing. The numbers are showing who is leading in aviation in ex-yu right now and that is BEG and AS. I do not want to be rude and disrespectful but the only one that is relatively close is ZAG, but they will come closer by pax to BEG for 8-10 years.

    1. Anonymous12:20


    2. Anonymous12:24

      As a country, Croatia is leading regarding pax numbers. As a city, BEG.

    3. Anonymous12:24

      Yeah but ZAG got EK while prestigeus BEG only has a lowcost flydubai. lol

      Maybe BEG will get EK is 8-10 years. LOL

    4. Anonymous13:00

      Croatia has 2x more air passengers than any other ex-yu country.

    5. Anonymous14:00

      BEG and INI will handle some 5.8 million passengers this year. How exactly is this twice less than what Croatia handles?

    6. Anonymous14:14

      croatia with all airports handles more than 10 mil. passengers.

    7. Anonymous14:20

      How exactly do they?


      ZAG: 2.7
      SPU: 2.2
      DBV: 2.0
      PUY: 0.43

      That's about 8 million passengers.

    8. Anonymous14:23

      zadar, rijeka and osijek?

    9. Anonymous14:25

      Difference between SPU and ZAG is just 500.000. I wonder how much it will be at the end of 2017?

    10. Anonymous18:40

      BEG and INI will have 5,4 million

      in 2017:
      ZAG 3,2 million
      SPU 2,5
      DBV 2,3
      PUY 0,6
      ZAD 0,6
      RJK 0,1
      OSI, BWK, LSZ 0,1
      together 9,4 million.

      So much more than Serbia. Not twice, but not far from it.

      In 2018. be sure it will be much more than 10 million.

    11. Anonymous18:49

      Come on, does it really matter, we should all be happy to move forward! Congrats, Macedonia and best of luck for other countries in the future!

    12. Anonymous18:54

      I have no idea where 5.8 million came from, but I can only say following expectations for Croatia in 2017.

      Zagreb: 3.2 million
      Split: 2.7 million
      Dubrovnik: 2.3 million
      Zadar: 620k
      Pula: 520k
      Osijek: 35k
      Brac: 15k

      Total: 9.4 million

      2018 numbers are even more impressive. - projection

      Zagreb: 3.55 million
      Split: 3.0 million
      Dubrovnik: 2.55 million
      Zadar: 700k
      Pula: 700k
      Osijek: 50k
      Brac: 20k

      Total: 10.57 million

      Zagreb is likely going to catch up with Belgrade by 2025.

      Projection for Zagreb:

      2017: 3.2 million
      2018: 3.55 million
      2019: 4.0 million
      2020: 4.5 million
      2021: 5.0 million
      2022: 5.7 million
      2023: 6.5 million
      2024: 7.2 million
      2025: 8.0 million

      Belgrade will be about the same in terms for number, however Zagreb number's will be generated by legacy carriers, Belgrade numbers by LCCs and AS mostly.

      Zagreb will have few LCCs, EasyJet, Vueling,Eurowings, Norwegian Shuttle, FlyBe and so on. However legaccy careirs will dominate, some 40 of them will fly to Zagreb on a daily or weekly basis, including some transcontinental airlines with a big names such as Emirates, Air Canada, Korean Air, ANA, China Southern, and even possibly Singapore Airlines.

      However, 8 million pax in Europe is nothing, when Vienna by this point will have around 32-35 million, Milan - 30-32 million, Munich 50-55 million or Frankfurt - 70-75 million pax.

    13. Anonymous19:16

      All your statements are based on senseless projections of yours. Funny how in the beginning you came up with "I have no idea where 5.8 million came from", when in fact that projection for the performance of Serbian airports this year is MUCH more realistic than all those in your whole comment
      Also, ZAG will, factually, never come close to BEG. Most passengers in Croatia are foreigners (tourists) and that's why airports on the coast handle much more pax than ZAG during the summer. Zagreb surely won't be handling 8 million passengers a year anytime soon.

    14. Anonymous00:40

      @AnonymousApril 28, 2017 at 7:16 PM

      Jealous much LOL

      Sad little troll.

    15. Anonymous06:03

      Jealous of what? Screenshot this comment and save it if you wish so you can show it once ZAG catches up/overtakes BEG, which will NEVER happen. Not because I'm jealous or whatever, but because, if we put all your superiority complexes aside, it simply is THE TRUTH. Croatia is a highly SEASONAL market and ZAG will highly unlikely ever come close to BEG.

    16. You are ALL like little kids. Whenever you start with your "projections", you start the kiddie fight. You're just ridiculous and you all absolutely know one big fat nothing.
      You can throw your crystal ball or ask for refund on eBay.

  16. What a loser ,anon 12:24.

    EK arriving to ZAG is a big thing but not even close to the number of pax one airport handles and ZAG is there sill very very far from BEG.
    What should we say about Middle East airlines presence in ZAG before EK announced its arrival? It was only Qatar Airways while BEG had FlyDubai, Etihad and Qatar. Even at the end of 2017 ZAG will have 2 of Middle East airlines and BEG 3.

    1. Anonymous12:46

      Didn't ZAG also have FlyDubai before EK was announced? Comment @12:24 is childish and obviously someone wrote it to provoke, no need to pay attention.

    2. Yes, you are right. ZAG had FlyDubai for the short period of time

    3. Anonymous13:38

      It is easy to have 5 million pax if you are almost only airport in country

      If that would be scenario in Croatia, Zagreb would have more than 9 million pax.

    4. Anonymous13:58

      Serbia has two fully functional airports, one in Belgrade and the other one in Nish. Furthermore, Serbia's geography doesn't require any more airports, maybe Kraljevo in the future but that's about it.

      Northern Serbia is flat and roads are pretty decent meaning that any city can reach BEG in less than two hours. In addition to that, BUD and TSR are also within the region's reach. So where exactly would another airport fit?

      Central and southern Serbia can chose from either BEG or INI. There are also SOF and SKP which can be used by southerners. However, with a growing list of destinations out of INI there is less and less need to go abroad to fly.

      So what commercial sense would there be for Serbia to have more than this? Even Hungary or Slovakia have one airport because of their geography.

      On the other hand, if Croatia had only one airport in ZAG then it wouldn't handle 9 million. The coast would be mostly served through Mostar and Tivat while the northern area would gravitate to VCE and LJU.

    5. Anonymous15:48

      Usporedjujes neusporedivo.
      Ako usporedimo ZAG i BEG, brojke su relevantne. Duplo vec grad ima i aerodrom s duplovecim prometom.
      Ako pak usporedjujemo HR i SER.....sve je jasno.

    6. Anonymous15:54

      Nije ni to relevantno jer je Hrvatska turisticka zemlja, dok Srbija nije, a promet na aerodromima u Hrvatskoj najvecim delom cine strani gosti koji dolaze na letovanje sto je vidljivo po cinjenici da zimi gotovo nema putika ni na jednom aerodromu osim u Zagrebu. Ta dva trzista ne mogu da se uporedjuju.

    7. Anonymous16:13

      Слажем се са последњим Анонимусом. Нажалост одређени људи овде једноставно одбијају то да схвате.

    8. Anonymous16:16

      У Београду живи 1.6 милиона људи а његов аеродром опслужи 5 милиона путника, дакле доста више од дуплог промета наспрам броја становника.

    9. Anonymous16:28

      U Zag i siroj okokici zivi 700 000 ljudi i njego aerodrom opsluzi 2,8 mil. putinika.
      Pa sad racunaj

    10. Anonymous17:33

      Нема потребе да рачунам јер се мој коментар искључиво односио на Београд. Имајући у виду да ћемо ове године прећи 5.5 милиона резултат ће бити више него феноменалан.

    11. Anonymous17:34

      so where are those people who claimed EK will start BEG? Any new info? I think somebody said EK crew members got emails about BEG being a next destination.

    12. Anonymous17:43

      Dakle 5.8 mil za cijelu srbiju.....3 mil manje od Hrvatske.
      Poanta vica je sljedeca, aerodrom sam sebi nije svrha. Nitko ne ide na avion samo da bi posjetio aerodrom....vec ide nekud s svrhom i razlogom.

    13. Anonymous17:51

      Недавни брзи раст броја путника на хрватској обали је резултат кризе широм Блиског Истока и северне Африке. Када се ситуација тамо примири раст у Хрватској ће се вратити тамо где је био 2010. или 2011. године. Дакле постојаће али ће бити до 10% на годишњем нивоу.

      Не заборави да је Ниш прорадио тек прошле године. Ако се настави овакав тренд раста онда ове године можемо очекивати 350.000 путника а следеће године и 450.000.

      Што се Београда тиче, догодине можемо очекивати 5.7 до 5.8 милиона путника.

      Србија нема туризам у тој мери у којој га има Хрватска те ми можемо само органски расти (као што то ради Загреб).

    14. Anonymous17:55

      Вреди напоменути да није само Хрватска профитирала од кризе на истоку, већ су то урадиле и Шпаније, Грчка, Бугарска, Италија па чак и Црна Гора која има убедљиво најгору понуду од свих туристичких одредишта у Европи.

    15. Anonymous18:03

      Opet propustas uociti "ono".
      A ono je sve razlicitosti pojedinih drustava.
      Pa kad pricamo i usporedjujemo, mozemo u relativnim i apsolutnim brojkama.
      Koje su ti prihvatljivije?

    16. Anonymous22:31

      Што се мене тиче можемо споменути обе а онда сагледати ситуацију из разних углова, ја сам крајње флексибилан што се тога тиче.

    17. Anonymous23:45

      smoriste sa jatovanjem

    18. Anonymous06:45

      E pa obe su krive. Ako si pomnije pogledao tablice i malo promislio, dosao bi do zakljucka kako CG npr.ima 2.5 aerodroma na 1 mil.stanovnika.
      Dakle, ovaj cijeli clanak ti je tocan zbroj netocnih informacija.

  17. Anonymous13:35

    Good work Skopje and Ohrid. What is happening with Stip?

    1. Anonymous15:54

      Nothing and I doubt they will build an airport there.

  18. After its size and population Serbia needs, apart from Belgrade and Niš, two or three regional airports more.
    Why not near Subotica? In order to catch passengers from Hungary and Vojvodina. Kraljevo, dead airport or better to let survive by a serious commercial strategy?

    1. Anonymous16:10

      Common Subotica-Szeged (Something like EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg) would have huge catchment area. It is connected also with Arad and Timisoara by high way. The only problem is how to solve shengen issue

    2. BA88822:26


      Really dont care what happens in INI when BUD is near enough (to Novi Sad). Even Osijek is not too far!

    3. Postovani Anon 1.37 PM.
      Slazem se sa vasim tekstom. Uz Beograd i Nis, Kraljevo i Uzice ulaze u avio saobracaj.
      Pozdrav iz Sidneja

  19. Anonymous14:19

    Skopje was a smart investment which payed off.

  20. Anonymous15:37

    These reports are used as a reference for businesses, investors and so on. Even though they are, scientifically at least, worthless, they are not insignificant.

  21. Anonymous21:50

    Macedonia must establish a new National Flag Career , if that happens Macedonian AIR Transport will go more forward.


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