EX-YU airports handle over 22 million passengers

Airports across the former Yugoslavia handled over 22.1 million passengers during the first three quarters of 2018, up over two million travellers on the same period last year.

Croatia's nine commercial airports are on course to handle over ten million passengers in 2018, with figures expected to double over the next five to seven years. Overall, this year's passengers growth across the country will average 10%, with all airports seeing an improvement in their figures. Almost all are expected record their busiest year to date, with Pula Airport surpassing its post-independence record on Thursday by handling its 700.000th passenger. It will overtake its busiest year, registered in 1987, today by welcoming over 701.370 travellers through its doors. Zadar Airport, which saw its passenger numbers decline during the two busiest months of the year in July and August, bounced back in September by handling 93.093 travellers during the month, representing an increase of 14.7% on last year. Overall, its growth during the first three quarters stood at 2.8%.

EX-YU airport results, JAN - SEP 2018

AirportPAXChange (%)
Belgrade4.401.028▲ 6.0
Split2.799.756 10.0
Zagreb2.569.296 8.6
Dubrovnik2.245.371 9.8
Pristina1.662.878 13.3
Skopje1.660.439 17.8
Ljubljana1.424.352 9.7
Tivat1.135.378 9.7
Podgorica970.093 16.2
Sarajevo847.305 10.1

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has continued to post its best figures to date to maintain its position as the busiest in the former Yugoslavia. Its General Manager, Saša Vlaisavljević, said recently, "We are strategically focused on the continuous improvement of our business. Today, Nikola Tesla is the leading airport in the region. We are anticipating another record year by handling between 5.8 and six million passengers". Meanwhile, Niš Constantine the Great Airport has said it will maintain its three euro fee for airlines which has been credited with attracting the likes of Ryanair, Wizz Air and Swiss International Air Lines. The airport said the three carriers have all signed contracts with the airport until 2021 and 2022, meaning that the airport's fees will remain unchanged until then. The government's takeover of the airport from local authorities in July stoked fears that charges for handling and landing would be increased. Niš estimates it will handle a record 360.000 travellers by year's end.

Montenegro's two international airports handled a combined total of over two million passengers during the first three quarters and by mid-October surpassed their 2017 annual traffic result. "We expect these trends to continue over the next two and a half months with 2018 to be remembered as our busiest year on record", the General Manager of operator Airports of Montenegro, Danilo Orlandić, said. Macedonia's two international airports have also continued to post stellar growth with Skopje and Ohrid handling a combined total of 1.821.744 passengers during the Q1 - Q3 period, up 18% on last year.

AirportPAXChange (%)
Pula672.585 20.0
Zadar539.270 2.8
Tuzla464.233 14.1
Niš266.989 10.1
Rijeka161.777 27.3
Ohrid161.305 18.5
Osijek52.502 62.4
Brač29.003 37.8
Mostar25.758 32.6
Banja Luka17.767 5.8
Mali Lošinj6.572 14.6

Three out of four of Bosnia and Herzegovina's commercial airports have seen passenger growth. Banja Luka Airport, which has benefited from charter flights to Turkey over the summer, has finally managed to handle more passengers than the previous year. It expects strong growth to continue in the coming months as Ryanair prepares to launch operations to the city at the end of October. On the other hand, Mostar Airport continues to struggle as it deals with the loss of its biggest customer, Italy's Mistral Air.

Ljubljana Airport has seen its passenger numbers grow by almost 10% this year, with the airport to benefit from increased traffic from Adria Airways and easyJet this winter, as well as the arrival of Aeroflot. "There are six major airports in the region. We have strong competition in Zagreb, Venice and Treviso. However, in the last two years, we have recorded greater growth than all of the surrounding airports. I think that we are successfully fighting for our share on the market, and we are also supported by the favourable economic climate in Slovenia and the increasing visibility of Slovenia as a tourist destination", Ljubljana Airport's General Manager, Zmago Skobir, said recently.

Pristina Airport is preparing for a busy winter season, which will see it handle more flights than ever before, following on from a record three quarters this year, during which its figures grew over 13%. A number of carriers have committed to increasing frequencies from the city this winter when compared to last year. Among them are easyJet from Basel and Berlin. Edelweiss Air from Zurich, Adria Airways to Frankfurt, Pegasus Airlines from Istanbul, Wizz Air from London and Germania from Zurich. In addition, low cost carrier Wizz Air will expand its operations from Pristina with the introduction of three new routes.


  1. Anonymous09:05

    Nice results

  2. Anonymous09:07

    Finally the passenger decline has stopped at Banja Luka :)

    1. Anonymous09:10

      And it will only grow with FR coming.

    2. Anonymous09:11

      Their numbers will boom now with Ryanair!!

    3. Anonymous11:03

      They also announced new charters to Greece and possibly Montenegro in 2019 so I'm expecting quite strong growth.

    4. Anonymous11:25

      Probably around 200.000 next year.

    5. Anonymous12:21

      Anonymous at 11:03
      Which airlines and for which destinations announced charters?
      Many thanks for any info.
      Exciting times ahead for BNX!

    6. Anonymous12:31

      Thessaloniki/ Aviolet

    7. Nemjee13:17

      They also announced more charters to Turkey for next year. Both BEG and BNX saw a lot of Croatian tourists from Osijek using these flights. JU was even willing to launch OSI charters but... politics.

  3. Anonymous09:07

    Oh dear, poor Mostar

    1. Anonymous11:02

      Really unfortunate. And they even got new flights from Eurowings and Croatia Airlines.

  4. Anonymous09:08

    Belgrade will easily handle 6.2 next year!

  5. Anonymous09:13

    Congrats Pula!

  6. Anonymous09:14

    Zadar only 2% growth? Why?

    1. Anonymous09:17

      3/9 months had a passenger decline. September saved them from being in the red.

    2. Anonymous11:01

      But what caused it? Considering all other airports in Croatia are doing well. Any explanation?

    3. Anonymous11:28

      Ryanair crew strikes during summer.

    4. Anonymous14:01

      Strikes, but also reliance on flights from Germany, which was by far the worst perferoming emitive market this season. Number of tourists from Germany was reduced by almost 25%

  7. Anonymous09:15

    I think the Serbian government was stupid to block TK's widebody request. They should have allowed at least a two weekly flight using those aircraft. There has to be demand, yesterday even KK sent the A321.

    It's impressive how BEG has very few regional jets (other than JU) flying into the airport. Some years ago regionals were everywhere, now they are very rare. Only RO and OS regularly send them. LH seems to be making a killing, so many A320s these days.

  8. Anonymous09:18

    I wish ZAG would have 10% at the end of the year but I don't see it happening especially with winter reductions. I predict growth in 2018 to be around 7% which isn't bad.

    1. I ja bi da Hajduk bude prvak, ali ne ide to tako.

    2. Anonymous09:51

      Krešimir, you are this blog's champion of disposable, unnecessary comments that add nothing worthwhile to the discussion.

    3. Hvala na komplimentu

  9. Anonymous09:18

    Bravo Hrvatska!

  10. Anonymous09:20

    The gap between SPU and ZAG is getting wider and wider each year.

    1. Anonymous09:32

      How did you get to this conclusion? Gap is narrowing,not widening. SPU is getting closer and closer to ZAG.

  11. Anonymous09:23

    From the 10 busiest airports BEG recorder the smaller growth rate.
    Any explanation for that?

    1. Petar09:26

      All the airport's passenger increase is because of foreign carriers adding services.

    2. Nemjee09:31

      There are several factors:

      1. Wizz Air used its BEG based aircraft to launch OSI flights.
      2. JU fleet actually shrank since it retired a B733. Meanwhile they have been busy with their primary business strategy: пресипање из шупљег у празно.
      3. Though foreign carriers have been adding flights it wasn't enough to secure double digit growth though some markets like AMS exploded since Transavia launched flights.
      4. Don't forget that BEG has the most passengers, so it's 6% growth is comparable to double digit growth at some other airports that don't see as many passengers.

      Realistically speaking, until either W6 or JU add planes to their BEG base, we won't be seeing any double digit growth.

    3. Anonymous09:48

      Gap between Belgrade and Zagreb is growing even though Zagreb has higher percentage growth.

    4. Anonymous10:01

      New management and new terminal at Zagreb helped helped increase the growth in 2017 and 2018 but not enough to close the gap. With Belgrade getting new management and a new terminal in the next 5 years gap is likely to increase in favor of Belgrade.

    5. Ajmo se prestati zsvaravati i lagati.
      ZAG nikad nece dostici BEG kao sto ni Srbija nikad nece dostici Hrvatsku u broju putnika.
      Stoga se prestanite baviti mjerenjem ciji je veci.
      Bitno je da je ucinkovit.

    6. Anonymous17:50

      Kad je u pitanju broj putnika na ZAG i BEG ne treba menjati temu na ukupni broj putnika CRO i SRB, sto sigurno zaslujuje zasebnu analizu. Postojalo je misljenje da ce ulazak u EU, novi koncesionar i novi terminal uciniti da se umanji razlika izmedju dva vodeca aerodroma u regionu. Rezultati iz 2017 (kada je u trecem mesecu otvoren novi ZAG terminal), iz tri tromesecja 2018 i ukupno u poslednjih 5 godina pokazuju da se to nije dogodilo. Ako se u optimistickom scenariju te iste tri promene dogode u Beogradu u narednih 10 godina (novi koncesionar, novi terminal/pista i ulazak u EU), onda je zaista realno ocekivati da ce se razmak izmedju ova dva aerodroma jos vise povecati u narednim godinama.

    7. Kako je postojalo mišljenje oko ZAG, tako postoji mišljenje i o BEG.
      Na kraju krajeva, sve su to samo mišljenja. Rezultati su nešto sasvim drugo.

    8. Anonymous19:12

      Rezultati pokazuju da BEG odmice od ZAG kad ZAG ima EU, koncesiju i nov terminal, a BEG nema nista od toga. Ne treba mnogo zdrave pameti i logike da se zakljuci sta ce tek biti kad BEG bude imao te prednosti.

    9. Anonymous20:21

      Пургер је посебно предвиђао масовни раст путника након уласка у ЕУ па чак и након пријема у НАТО пакт. Нажалост та предвиђања се нису обистинила. Највише су профитирали аеродроми дуж обале али добро, тако би било са и без чланства у ЕУ.

    10. Ajde da pokušam ponovno: predviđali su ovo i ono za Zagreb, pa se nije dogodilo, a ti sad govoriš da bi se trebalo ovo i ono dogoditi za Beograd. Znači, predviđanja su jedno, ono što će se dogoditi je drugo.

    11. ZAG je samo dio objedinjena trzista kojeg cini jos 8 aerodroma.
      Nosioci tog trzista su 3 aerodroma koji ce ovo godine generirati blizu 1 000 000 novih putnika......
      O cemu mi tu pricamo????

    12. Neki ignoriraju činjenice kao tu i da je jedan Beograd skoro duplo veći i nastanjeniji od jednog Zagreba.

    13. A neki "ignoriraju" cinjenicu da se samo kontininentalni aerodromi mogu porediti, dakle Beograd i Zagreb, jer Srbija nema Jadransko more da bi ravnopravno mogla konkurisati brojem putnika na obali a samim tim ni ukupnom broju putnika u jednoj drzavi.
      Takodje "ignoriraju" cinjenicu da je Hrvatska u EU, da ima bolji standard od Srbije kao i stranog koncesionara na tek otvorenom aerodromu sto bi zajedno moralo generisati daleko veci broj putnika nego sto je sad u ZAG.
      A u realnosti mi imamo da se razlika u broju putnika izmedju BEG i ZAG konstantno povecava.
      Podseticu da je razlika izmedju Beograda i Zagreba 2002. godine iznosila samo 400.000 putnika. Prosle godine je to bilo 2.300.000 putnika.
      Eto to se ne moze "ignorirati".

    14. Zašto bi se samo kontinentalni aerodromi mogli usporediti? Beč nije na moru, pa ima milione turističkih dolazaka. Prag isto. Budimpešta.
      Kakve veze EU ima sa brojem putnika i standardom? Kao da je pravilo ako je jedna država članica EU i ako ima viši standard da automatski ima i više putnika.
      Također, brojke na BEG su eksplodirale kada je JAT otišao kvragu, država ulupala pare i stvorila novi projekt nazvan Air Serbia. Tko zna kakve bi brojke bile da se isto nije učinilo.
      Toliko o činjenicama.

    15. Kao sto rekoh vec, mjeri se nemjerljivo.

    16. Zato sto je Jadransko more veliki magnet za turiste koji dolaze avionom i stvara komparativnu prednost koju konkurent nema.

      Beograd a ni Zagreb nemaju turisticki potencijal jednog Beca ili Praga i o tome je iluzorno govoriti.

      EU i te kako ima veze sa brojem putnika jer ulaskom u EU zemlja postaje konkurentnija za investitore, ostvaruju se jace ekonomske veze sto znaci i vise letova, podize se standard sto znaci da vise ljudi imaju novca da putuju avionom, politicka klika je vise u Briselu nego u Zagrebu i jos mnogo toga.

      A ako cemo o Jat Airways-a evo nekoliko zanimljivih podataka:
      2002 BEG 1.620.000
      2002 ZAG 1.203.000
      I tad je Beograd bio duplo naseljeniji od Zagreba pa je razlika bila samo oko 400.000 putnika

      2012 BEG (pre formiranja Air Serbie) 3.360.000
      2012 ZAG 2.340.000

      Znaci za deset godina od 2002 do 2012 samo razlika izmedju BEG i ZAG je porasla sa 400.000 na milion putnika iako tad Air Serbia uopste jos nije ni bila formirana a Jat Airways bio u fazi raspada otkazujuci veliki broj letova zbog nedostataka aviona u floti. Da nije bilo tako razlika bi bila jos veca. Podseticu da je OU tad bila avio prevoznik sa najvecim brojem prevezenih putnika u ex-yu.

      Formiranje Air Serbie jeste uticalo na rast broja putnika u BEG prevashodno jer se Air Serbia tad okrenula tranzitnim putnicima ali i bila u mogucnosti da odgovori na domacu povecanu traznju. Medjutim trend poslovanja Air Serbie se vise ne bazira toliko na transfernim putnicima vec na P2P a ono BEG i dalje raste. To prakticno znaci da je rast organski a ne vestacki i da bi se isto desilo sa ili bez Air Serbie kao projekta.

    17. 2002 razlike izmedju Hrvatske i Srbije je bila cca 1 300 000.....danas je razlija 4 000 000 +........
      To se ne moze ignorirati

    18. Anonymous09:17

      Ајмо том логиком да поредимо Дубровник и Сплит са аеродромима попут Бургаса и Варне? Хоћемо? Баш да видимо како ту стоје ствари.

      Београд се може поредити са Загребом исто као што се може поредити са Прагом, Будимпештом или Бечом. Исто тако, Загреб се не може поредити са Дубровником или Сплитом јер је структура путника различита. Из тог разлога Београд и Загреб можемо поредити али не и остале.

      Као што сам написао пре неки дан, ви још нисте достили бугарски туризам тако да се маните ћорава посла. Бугарска је најсличнија Хрватској јер има комбинацију летњег туризма и континенталне потражње која је заснована на истим параметрима као и она у Загребу.

    19. Anonymous09:26

      Путнички промет Бугарска vs Хрватска.

      Бугарска: 7.951.752
      Хрватска: 7.225.234

      Бугарска: 11.535.096
      Хрватска: 9.626.021

      Када се ствари ставе у праву перспективу онда видимо да Хрватска заправо каска за правом конкуренцијом. Дакле ви можда јесте први у селу, али у граду...

    20. Anonymous17:44

      Nebojsa, fantasticna analiza, hvala. Koncesionar i novi terminal su svakako pomogli da Zagreb uveca broj putnika, ali nedovoljno da se umanji razlika sa Beogradom. Sa druge strane, rast Beograda dolazi iako Air Serbia realno ne raste poslednje dve godine, sto ukazuje na potencijal organskog rasta u Beogradu.

      Rezultati su odlicni i za CRO i za SRB, svaka strana ima nesto u cemu je vodeca. Cro ukupno ima i nastavice da ima superiornu prednost kada su zbirni rezultati u putanju, a Srb ima odlican potencijal u najvecem aerodromu regiona koji nastavlja da raste u odnosu na konkurenciju. Win-win.

    21. I vise nego dobri s obzirom kakva ekipa orangutana sjedi na vaznim stolicama.

      Zanimljivo na temu Bugarske.....SOF npr je 2004. imala putnika kao i BEG.
      Docim 2017. taj broj iznosi 6 400 000 i kusur........

      Pa kad vec radimo poredbe, nije ni ova za baciti.

  12. Vidje Osjeka.....ljepo, jako ljep.
    Brac, svaka cast.

  13. Anonymous10:46

    Good results overall. Nice work from Tuzla and Nis.

  14. Anonymous10:46

    Podgorica is the quiet achiever this year. Not a lot of fuss but really good growth.

    1. Anonymous10:58

      +1 and they have been growing for several years now. On top of that it's natural growth. 1 new route already announced for 2019.

    2. Anonymous11:07

      Montenegro is impressive. Such a small country but 2 airports in the top ten.

  15. Anonymous10:58

    Could Tuzla take over Zadar next year?

    1. Anonymous10:59

      No chance. Look at how many flights are already announced for Zadar in 2019.

    2. Anonymous14:04

      I don't think so. W6 announced huge reduction of flights, while Zadar is getting 5 or 6 new ones.

  16. Anonymous11:00

    The difference between Skopje and Pristina is 2,000 passengers! This will go down to the wire.

    1. Anonymous11:04

      Not really. This winter Wizz Air starts 3 new routes from PRN. Also as you can see in the text a lot of airlines are increasing frequencies. In Skopje there will be reductions from Wizz Air, Qatar Airways, FZ.

  17. Anonymous11:04

    Mostar's numbers are pathetic.

  18. Anonymous11:05

    Good results generally. Macedonian airports especially.

  19. Anonymous11:05

    It is sad that airports like Skopje and Pristina are handling more traffic than Ljubljana... The Ljubljana airport should really wake up. I really wish they would.

    1. Anonymous11:14

      But you have to take into consideration that a lot of people from SLO travel to VIE, ZRH, MUC, Italy... and elsewhere by car while from Macedonia and Kosovo it takes a whole day just to reach the schengen border with SLO. Just my humble oppinion.

    2. Anonymous11:55

      Exactly. Most of Europe is easily accessible by car from Slovenia (or the other way around), but the same can't be said about Macedonia or Kosovo.

  20. Anonymous11:05

    How do the top exyu airports compare to the rest of the region?

    1. Anonymous11:27

      I think TIA will have as many passengers as ZAG which I think is extremely impressive.

    2. Cim nos u Bugarsku promolis, tek onda vidis koliko je taj famozni "ex-yu region" beznacajan u sirim okvirima...

    3. Anonymous11:43

      SOF and especially OTP are now far ahead of all Ex-Yu airports.

    4. Nemjee13:18

      I don't know what's going on with SOF, they haven't published any statistics since May this year.

    5. Anonymous15:47

      I dont think SOF and OTP are far ahead of ex yu airports. Both of them have only 2 long haul routes, both from OTP.
      10 LCC routes cant be compared with 1 long haul, out of ZAG or BEG, next year SPU and DBV.

    6. Oh yes, Bulgaria is ahead in terms of the pax numbers even when compared to Croatia, although it has only half the number of tourists. Meaning its economy isn't so dependent on tourism. No wonder it's surpassing Croatia in terms of the nominal GDP this year and soon in terms of the PPP as well. Congrats, any year now we'll be in the last place in the EU! :)

  21. Anonymous11:06

    Sarajevo really should be handling over a million passengers by now.

    1. Anonymous11:08

      I think Sarajevo has much more potential because it is heavily underserved. They need to do everything they can to get Wizz to open a base there.

  22. Anonymous11:08

    For me the most impressive result is SPU, they are in the second spot. Could they still be number one after September?

    1. Rezultat SPU je ocekivan.
      Po meni 2 rezultata su itekako impresivna.
      Ona OSI i BWK.

    2. Anonymous12:31

      SPU won't and can't be number one after september, for the time being. Winter season is starting, airline companies are retreating from Split until next summer, and Split goes to third place. Zagreb on second.

  23. Anonymous12:28

    There's this gem from almost 10 years ago here:


    Poor LJU was still anchored firmly at third place. It also has pretty much the exact numbers as they'll have this year

    1. Anonymous13:22

      This year LJU will have around 1,85 million passengers, so not exactly the same. But 2008 and 2017 numbers were very similar.

  24. Anonymous14:25

    I think BEG will see more flights to seaside resorts in the future. Egypt and Tunis are already served in winter. Jordan would be nice.

  25. Anonymous15:03

    Jadno, kao jedna Atina.

    1. Anonymous18:00

      ATH is tiny compared to PEK or ATL, so what. Topic is ex yu aviation, and ATH, PEK and ATL are not part of it.

    2. Anonymous19:04

      Any idea about the numbers at Portoroz and Maribor? Any way to find out, maybe some internet link?


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