EX-YU airport race 2018

Airports across the former Yugoslavia handled a record 27 million passengers in 2018. For the first time, ten airports managed to welcome over one million travellers with Sarajevo joining the list. Split added the most new passengers for a second year running, while Skopje saw the biggest percentage growth among capital city airports, boosting its numbers by over 15% on the year before. For the first time, three airports handled over three million travellers in a single year and six over two million. Compared to 2017, Banja Luka overtook Brač, Mostar and Portorož, while Brač itself raced ahead of both Mostar and Portorož.

AirportPassengers 2018Passengers 2017Change (%)Difference
Belgrade5.641.1055.343.420 5.6+ 297.685
Zagreb3.336.3103.092.047 7.9+ 244.263
Split3.124.0672.818.176 10.9+ 305.891
Dubrovnik2.539.4122.323.065 9.3+ 216.347
Pristina2.165.7491.889.659 14.6+ 276.090
Skopje2.158.2581.868.272 15.5+ 289.986
Ljubljana1.812.4111.683.045 7.7+ 129.366
Tivat1.245.9991.129.720 10.3+ 116.279
Podgorica1.208.5251.055.142 14.5+ 153.383
Sarajevo1.046.635957.698 9.3+ 88.937

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport maintained its position as the busiest in the former Yugoslavia, welcoming over 5.6 million passengers. On the other hand, Croatia cemented its lead as the busiest overall market with over 10.5 million travellers handled at nine commercial airports. Zagreb registered over three million passengers for the second time, while Split added over 300.000 passengers when compared to the year before. In another first, Skopje Airport surpassed the two million mark. Furthermore, it inched closer to its traditionally busier counterpart in Pristina, with only 7.491 travellers setting the two apart, compared to 21.387 in 2017. Macedonia's busiest airport is expected to continue on its growth trajectory in 2019 with four new routes to be launched by its busiest carrier, Wizz Air, and a fifth aircraft to be based in the city.

AirportPassengers 2018Passengers 2017Change (%)Difference
Pula718.187595.812 20.5+ 122.375
Zadar603.819589.841 2.4+ 13.978
Tuzla584.589535.834 9.1+ 48.755
Niš351.582331.582 6.0+ 20.000
Ohrid184.283159.072 15.8+ 25.211
Rijeka183.606142.111 29.2+ 41.495
Osijek67.23543.373 55.0+ 23.862
Banja Luka36.18020.867 73.4+ 15.313
Brač30.17021.596 39.7+ 8.574
Mostar28.46343.118 34.0- 14.655
Portorož24.84025.450 2.4- 610
Mali Lošinj6.9396.042 14.8+ 897

Podgorica Airport continued to post strong figures, fuelled by the introduction of new routes from a mix of legacy and low cost airlines, while national carrier Montenegro Airlines also posted record numbers. In total, Podgorica Airport saw 594.292 arrivals and 614.233 departures. For the first time in its 49-year history, Sarajevo Airport managed to surpass the one million passenger mark in a single year. The figure represents overall growth of 9.3% on 2017, or an additional 88.937 travellers. Meanwhile, Banja Luka's strong growth was fuelled by Europe's largest airline, Ryanair, which introduced flights to the city during the fourth quarter. Despite having no commercial flights, Portorož Airport welcomed almost 25.000 primarily leisure travellers visiting the city and its surroundings.


  1. Anonymous09:02

    Congratulations to all of them especially Split, Skopje and Podgorica.

    1. Anonymous09:06

      It is nice seeing people in Ex-YU flying more!

  2. Anonymous09:03

    Bravo Hrvatska!

    1. Hrvatska is super. Congrats. I love Hrvatska.

    2. Anonymous20:51

      Hrvatska i ove godine ide +10%

  3. Anonymous09:04

    So top 5 airports with most new passengers

    1. Split + 305.891
    2. Belgrade + 297.685
    3. Skopje + 289.986
    4. Pristina + 276.090
    5. Zagreb + 244.263

    1. Anonymous09:06

      SPU is clearly heading towards second position and why not even first?
      BRAVO HR!

    2. Anonymous09:10

      If BEG starts to match the growth rates of the other airports it will stay no1 easily. But if current trends continue we will see from this year even the number of passenger diference to narrow with all other big exyu airports.

      Just my2cents

    3. Anonymous09:13

      3 new airlines are starting flights to BEG this year. And I don't understand everyone's obsession with BEG.

    4. Anonymous09:13

      Do not think BEG will continue with the trend. It is the major entrance point into Serbia and like all markets will see solid growth rates.

    5. Anonymous09:16

      BEG increased its difference with ZAG for new 50.000 passengers despite EK, KE , new terminal etc.

    6. Anonymous09:17

      LESS than one in five passengers in ExYu last year traveled through BEG!!
      how times have changed.
      BEG is steadily losing market share in the region.

    7. Anonymous09:18

      Yes. I hear they plan to close the airport next year. 2020.

    8. Anonymous09:19

      ... Or put in another way: ZAG managed to add 244.000 Pax with EK, KE and A3 only!

    9. Anonymous09:20

      And Croatia Airlines didn't add new routes last year? I tend to believe it did.

    10. Anonymous09:20

      Love these analysts and their malicious wishful thinking. Belgrade will have over 40 additional frequencies next summer and a 10% increase in charter traffic by JU. It will be back as number one airport in terms of overall passengers added. It's not Belgrade that should care about SPU, it's ZAG.

    11. Anonymous09:24

      Why should ZAG care exactly about BEG?

    12. Anonymous09:26

      No one said it should. Read again what he wrote.

    13. Anonymous09:29

      "It's not Belgrade that should care about SPU, it's ZAG."

    14. Anonymous09:30

      Next year SKP and PRN will add more passengers than BEG.
      SPU will add more passengers than everyone else.

    15. Anonymous09:30

      Well read it for a third time. It means it's not Belgrade that should care about Split, it's Zagreb that should care about Split.

    16. Anonymous09:32

      @ Anonymous22 January 2019 at 09:30
      You realise that BEG is getting some 40 new frequencies at this very moment? So not sure how you predict SKP with less than 20 new frequnecies will add more passengers than BEG. But maybe it's in your crystal ball.

    17. Anonymous09:34

      @ Anonymous 9.30:
      You are right. I hear BEG plans to close next year.

    18. Anonymous09:39

      Let's be honest here and say that wishful thinking of some people to find any reason to belittle BEG is really funny.
      One way or another, no matter if you are going to like it or not, BEG will remain nr. 1 in ex-yu by the number of passengers and by many other parameters.
      Bromazepam for haters

    19. Anonymous09:41

      BEG has obviously hit its limit. Once subsidies run out it will go down before bouncing back to growth.

    20. Anonymous09:43

      If an airport adds 297,685 passengers and sees growth of over 5.5%, how has it "reached it limit". By that logic, except for Split, the only one which added more passengers, everyone has reached it limit.

    21. Anonymous09:45

      Subsidies in BEG? What are you smoking?
      Mind you there is no "udruzeno oglasavanje" in BEG like somewhere else artifically boosting passenger's numbers.
      There should be age limit for accessing this site, after all it is not kindergarten playground.

    22. Anonymous09:49

      It's pure common sense. SPU is continuously adding new airlines and having many widebodies this summer including Thomson B787 for instance. If the trend continues, BEG will lose its ground.
      After all, many Asian carriers left in 2018, several months after their launch indicating pure stagnation.
      This year additions are just simply seats but not any serious additions.

      Anyway, good luck SPU and keep up the good job.

    23. Anonymous09:51

      So much wrong with your comment. But when you are blinded by pure hate, there is little point in entering any discussion.

    24. Anonymous09:53

      "This year additions are just simply seats but not any serious additions."

      What does that even mean? What other sort of additions are there other than seats?

      I'm quite glad three new airlines are starting to fly to BEG this year at this point.

    25. Anonymous09:56

      Ma šta se primate na iskompleksirane trolove...bravo svima za rast broja putnika.

    26. Anonymous10:19

      "This year additions are just simply seats but not any serious additions."

      We should vote here for the Darwin awards.

    27. Anonymous10:31

      I am surprised that so many people are triggered by BEG's success.

    28. Anonymous10:47

      Fingers crossed the BEG will surpass Newcastle airport this year!

    29. Why exactly should Zagreb care about Split?

      Congratulation to Split, Dubrovnik, Pula, Zagreb and others. Split grow is good for all country. It is more than normal that every local airport grow as much as it can. And it should grow! That is good for city, region and country.

      And what if Split will have more passengers than Zagreb? What is that bad for country or Zagreb? That is not sport competition, you know.

      Bravo Split!


    30. Anonymous11:04

      It is like saying that TIV having more passengers than TGD is somehow bad for Montenegro.

    31. Anonymous11:10

      SPU added 8200 passengers more than BEG but the difference between them is 2.7 million. At this rate it will take over 300 years to catch up.

    32. Anonymous11:11

      Purger thé fact you congratulated only Croatian airports shows how malicious you are. Zagreb should care because it shows how incompetent they are. Remember how over years you came on here writing how EU membership will boom ZAG numbers, then it was NATO membership, then it was Advent... but in the end Zagreb lagged behind and it's numbers grew but didn't boom. This shows management is not realistic or competent. SPU on the other hand keeps on booming because it's management is realistic and knows what works. ZAG management is full of complexes and they would rather have seasonal EK and KE via ZRH than daily Wizz to Malmö or Dortmund.

    33. Anonymous11:13

      Btw look down to the number of passengers added in 2011-2018 period and look where Zagreb ranks.

    34. I was reflecting to sentence that Zagreb should care about Split! That is why I mention Croatian airports only. And for sure I don't have to prove that I congratulate to all airports in region. More than several times.

      Croatian grow is not bad at all. 10,5 million passengers is good number. Yes, it should be much better concerning EU membership and by experience of other countries when they enter EU. But still you can not say that grow it modest.

      Zagreb strategy to grow first on biggest legacy carriers and than on long-haul, and when they finished with that to LCC could be good, or not. You can attract LCC when ever you like. They will come in second it you give them what they want. Of course it is not like this for legacy, especially not long-haul.

      But for sure 30 new routes to Zagreb since ADP came (KLM, Brussels, Swiss, ČSA, Aegean), and 16 long-haul flights per week by Emirates, Korean, Air Transat and Air Canada Rouge is not something you can call bad.


    35. Anonymous12:05

      Population of Croatia 4.000.000. Traffic of Croatian airports 10.500.000.
      Population of Serbia 7.000.000. Traffic of Serbian airports less than 6.000.000
      We have a clear winner!

    36. Anonymous12:10

      Good points about Zagreb but, in spite of all those "biggest legacy carriers" backing the prestige idea of the airport, the numbers are still very small compared to other EU capitals.
      You will jump and say, yeah it's all about LCC. Yes and no.
      Zagreb is still lacking basic destinations:

      - More London airports. 2 airports is simply way too low given visa-free travel
      - Secondary UK cities
      - Winter charters to warm destinations
      - Only ATH?? What about the rest of Greece?
      - Iberian peninsula increase
      - No Kiev? One of the biggest European cities
      - No Cyprus? Seriously?
      - Still puzzled why PRG and TLV, 2 extremely important cities

      Of course I am not adding LCC, because we know what the airport policy is on that.
      You cannot simply have a "sleepy" VNO having 1,5 more traffic than ZAG which is much bigger in size. Lithuania is not that richer nor bigger than Croatia.
      Even TLL registered 3 million pax meaning it will likely to surpass ZAG by 2021.
      The airport managament must do something about it and not focus entirely on long-haul.

    37. Anonymous12:13

      Population of Greece 10.770.000. Traffic at Greek airpots 63.700.000.
      We have a clear winner! Go Hellas!

    38. Anonymous12:16

      :-)))))))))) very good anon@12:13

    39. Petar12:27

      Anon@ 12:03 it would be funny if ti wasn't so sad how far down we still are compared even with some of the Eurozone's poorest countries...
      Look to Malta and Cyprus as well of how much traffic their airports have compared to their populations.

    40. Ajmo se ne lagati previse.
      Samo OU moze znacajnije povecati br.putinla na MZLZ-FT.
      Ovi-oni s jednom do dvije linije......sve je to goli.....

      Samo OU....a to se nece tako brzo dogoditi, ukoliko se uopce dogodi.

    41. Bogami se ne slažem. Baziranjem samo dva aviona jednog LCC, te dovođenjem još 4-5 linija drugih LCC (što ne bi smio biti ni najmanji problem za Zagreb kao grad sa daleko najmanje LCC u Europi) broj putnika iz Zagreba bi se povečao za milijun putnika. Toliko Croatia ne može generirati ni u najluđim snovima u istom periodu, čak i uz dolazak kvalitetnog investitora.


    42. @Kresimir Skoric i Unknown /Purger
      Obojica ste u pravu, svaki sa po 50%,jer ZAG treba i sinergiju sa OU, naravno ne ovakvom nego novom, i LCC bazu+ druge LCC linije

    43. Anonymous13:26

      A sto se to sa LCC ne uradi?

    44. Anonymous13:37

      Kad bude razloga da ljudi dođu oni će i doći, a avio kompanije će se tući uspostaviti linije. Dok toga nema ni rast broja putnika se ne može očekivati. S vremenom se može očelivati smanjenje broja putnika u Hrvatskoj (vjerojatno i u ostatku ex-Yu). Ljudi na ovim prostorima je sve manje, oni koji su otišli sve će se manje vraćati, a ni turizam neće vječito rasti.

    45. Anonymous13:43

      While ZAG plays prestige airports such as LJU, BNX, TZL, OSI...are booming and making the most of it. It's obvious that ZAG can't keep current legacy flights while luring in LCCs. If I were wrong then today we would have both. One would have to lose.

    46. Anonymous14:32

      @ Anonymous22 January 2019 at 12:13

      This is an Ex-Yu aviation blog. For comparisons with Greece we should be renaming this blog "Balkans Aviation". Alternatively we could just mention other countries as well or stick with the geographical area this blog is intended for EX-YU! :D

    47. Anonymous17:52

      Anon 14.13

      Comments such as these are needed to put things into perspective and to stabilize some people who lost their connection with reality.

      Then again we can take MNE with 550.000 people and its airports that handled over 2.1 million passengers.

    48. Anonymous18:50

      Montenegro have over 620.000 people and its airports handled over 2.45 million passengers.Please,talk with exact data...

    49. Anonymous18:57

      Congratulations to BEG and INI on recording another record breaking year. I am sure 2019 will be even better with more airlines, frequencies and records.

  4. Anonymous09:04

    Congrats and thank you Admin for the data! 2019 will be even better!

  5. Anonymous09:05

    10,45% growth for Croatia is pretty good. Congrats.

  6. Anonymous09:05

    Mostar is the only real disappointment. And they loose passengers in the year they get normal scheduled flights.

  7. Anonymous09:06

    I'm still amazed at the number of passengers Portoroz has considering it has no scheduled flights. 24.840 is quite a lot. It's close to Mostar.

    1. Anonymous09:37


    2. Anonymous19:54

      I honestly don't understand Portorož numbers. Judging by 24840:365 days they must have some 68 pax per day without any scheduled traffic. If it only comprises of passengers in business jets and leisure private planes then they must have like 34 aircraft movements in average of these aircraft per day over the whole year. As far as I know pilots are not counted in this statistic. Is there really that much traffic at Portorož? I never noticed this. Or do they add pax of other means of transport from/to the airport?

  8. Anonymous09:06

    I think in 2019 Skopje will finally overtake Pristina. Very close last year.

    1. Anonymous09:18

      We keep seeing this predictions for the last 3-4 years.

    2. Anonymous09:22

      and we keep seeing they are coming closer.. only 7k this year

    3. Anonymous09:35

      Doesn't really matter. The focus is on Ohrid growth in any case. It's not just about one airport..

    4. Anonymous09:59

      indeed it doesnt really matter. its more important for SKP to secure some legacy connections. PRN will always have bigger gasto diaspora

  9. Dejan09:07

    BEG had the smallest growth rate among the 10 biggest ex-Yu airports.
    And it is all because of JU scaling back growth while all other airlines added capacity.
    Lets hope in 2019 we see serious growth by them as well.
    They lost a lot of market-share during the last two years.

    1. Anonymous09:08

      It added more new passengers than any other airport except Split.

    2. Anonymous09:14

      Anonymous at 09:08
      If 2018 growth rate of the airport similar to 2018 it will have less new pax added compared with all the rest within two years max.

    3. Anonymous09:15

      You are right. I hear they plan to close the airport in 2020.

    4. Anonymous09:17

      ^ Following the hate which was on full display in yesterday's article (I see it's been deleted since), do you really expect anything different today? BEG added a lot of new passengers, saw solid growth for an airport its size, but the experts on here will tell you its doom and gloom and are hopeful the results will be worse this year.

    5. Anonymous09:20

      BEG had the smallest growth of all the major airports in the region. FACT.
      BEG's share of exyu traffic is getting smaller for three years now. FACT.
      BEG needs to reverse that trend to keep its poition. FACT.

    6. Anonymous09:20

      Yes. I hear they plan to close the airport next year. 2020.

    7. Anonymous09:20

      When Nis had enourmous percentage increase due to the low base everyone laughed at it pointing out to the actual number of passengers.
      Now when BEG has the second best result in ex-yu regarding to the number of passengers added we have people looking at the percentages.
      FYI ===> 7.9% increase in ZAG or 15.5% in SKP is still less in passenger's numbers than 6.6% increase in BEG

    8. Anonymous09:21

      No, it was moved back to 2021 the lady I heard.

    9. Anonymous09:26

      BEG has far the biggest number of passengers in ex-yu in 2018. FACT
      BEG will have far the biggest number of passengers in ex-yu in 2019. FACT
      BEG will have next summer minimum new 39 weekly rotations. FACT
      Any airport in ex-yu will not reach BEG in next 20 years. FACT

    10. Anonymous09:33

      The responsibility for BEG's smaller growth lies with JU.
      Foreign airlines add frequencies and larger planes but JU reduced it.

    11. How old are you all?

      Should you have midday sleep after your Bebipapa?


    12. Anonymous17:30

      BEG passenger volume is growing by 5% in January.

    13. Anonymous17:52

      No, it is not Anon 17.30

    14. Anonymous17:53

      I'm sure you know.

  10. Anonymous09:10

    So it was an airport race after all?

  11. Anonymous09:11

    Where is all that demand for PRN and SKP coming from? Just out of curiosity.

    1. Anonymous09:20

      Gastarbeiter traffic afforded by low cost tickets.

    2. Anonymous09:24

      PRN: gastos
      SKP: gastos and affordable lowcost travel in general (locals and tourists)

    3. Anonymous13:39

      I''m really curious to have some data from both, SKP and PRN (or even TDG) of albanians using those airports. I mean albanians from Albania.

    4. Anonymous13:43


    5. Anonymous16:18

      You will be very surprised. SKP and TGD are frequently used by Albanians. In fact some routes to Italy, Germany and Sweden are highly dependent on them. PRN on the other hand, not at all.

    6. Anonymous17:07

      Skopje is was third largest ex-yu city its a place of more than 600k people there are business and other leisure travel.

      Pristina is small but Kosovo is locked and more air travel than land travel

    7. Anonymous17:53

      Well, 40.000 Albanians are about to get their work visa for Germany. Expect more flights and growth from Germany to both SKP and PRN... maybe even OHD.

  12. Anonymous09:12

    I am extremely glad for INI. In spite of all the negative comments and jealousy, we still achieved a positive trend and the same percentage growth as ASL land. The Airbus deposit will boost the figures in 2019, so good for them.

    1. Anonymous09:13

      It added like 20,000 passengers. That's a really poor result. And you are comparing it to "ASL" land which added almost 300,000 passengers. Ok...

    2. Anonymous09:39

      Nobody is jealous about INI and the negative comments come only as a result of totally unrealistic trolling about this airport in the first place

    3. Few years ago, I was comparing INI and RJK, similar in size and importance. At that time INI had no LCC flights and much less passengers than RJK. My point was: If RJK can, why INI wouldn't.? And I 'm glad INI managed to reach and surpass, even double RJK numbers. And now I challenge RJK to be more proactive and at least reach INI. Hopefully happens.

  13. Anonymous09:16

    ZADAR wil have a major boost this year with all the new announcements. I expect it to reach 750.000 this year.

    1. Anonymous09:33

      The coast will be on fire this year!

    2. Anonymous09:47

      well i really hope not

    3. Anonymous10:23

      It's Impressive how much Zadar has grown over 10 years.

    4. Anonymous10:29

      Ryanair effect.

    5. Anonymous14:29

      Other carriers have notably increased their presence at ZAD!

  14. Anonymous09:28

    Impressive from all airports except Mostar. Hope things change there this year.

  15. Anonymous09:33

    LOL only comments attacking BEG and how everyone will surpass it. I look at the results and wonder if these people live in a parallel universe or what.

  16. Anonymous09:38

    What are pax numbers at MBX-Maribor?

    1. Anonymous11:57

      As they would say in Maribor: Nula koma Jozef. Many well meaning experts and enthusiasts wonder how it's possible and look for answers. The answer and the cause is only one: Total incompetence. Good and hard working people from Maribor and surroundings do not deserve this.

  17. Calm down guys.
    Instead of trying to see who is bigger in a small pond we should deal with the fact that ALL Ex-Yu airports combined last year had less passengers than VIE!!!
    An airport serving a city of less than two million people which also has BTS as a low cost alternative...

    1. Anonymous09:48


    2. Anonymous09:48

      True. And in the 80s just BEG alone had more passengers than Vienna. Shows what has happened to this entire region.

    3. Anonymous10:02

      Exactly, we are arguing about who is more prestigious, whatever that means while OTP is reaching 15 million passengers a year.

    4. Anonymous10:55



    5. Anonymous10:56



    6. Absolutely agreed. But when I tried several times to write who is guilty for our today's situation, aviation-wise only, all my posts were erased within minutes

  18. Anonymous09:56

    top 5 pax increases 11-18

    1.BEG +2.516 mil
    2.SPU +1.823 mil
    3.SKP +1.398 mil
    4.DBV +1.189 mil
    5.ZAG +1.017 mil

    1. Anonymous17:02

      This list is probably the most impactful of all data mentioned today yet no comments. Instead of focusing on short term YoY results this one shows long term growth. SKP proved the point for ULCC but remains to be seen if this growth can be continued over the next 6-7 years at the same rate. DBV and SPU are driven by tourism growth and that will likely continue. Most telling is the growth potential between BEG and ZAG. While 2011-2013 BEG results were probably depressed by miserable state domestic carrier was in at the time, and earlier ZAG results suffered from old infrastructure and old operator, when viewed over 7 year period those events even out and BEG ends up with a significantly bigger growth advantage that is likely to continue in the next long term period.

    2. Anonymous19:46

      They are silent because there is nothing to add to this list, it's as clear as day.

  19. Anonymous10:00

    calm down with your bashing about BEG/SPU/ZAG numbers.

    BEG clearly won't be outrun as you guys look at the percentage as it is higher than BEG

    Let me explain something to you with 2 airport scenarios examples:

    Airport 1 - 2,000,000 (2018) -> 2,200,000 (2019) = About 10% Growth

    Airport 2 - 4,000,000 (2018) -> 4,200,000 (2019) = About 5% Growth

    You can see that both airport has achieved 200,000 new passenger but 2 different growth numbers because of the total passenger from last year result.

    As airport gets more passenger the growth become smaller and smaller until there is a large expansion of flight then it a different story.

    BEG can maintain the 6-8% as it will slowly drag away from ZAG and catch up with SOF

    1. Anonymous10:06

      SOF despite all the doom and gloom predictions about FR and W6 finally stopping price dumping last year grew by 7.3% to almost 7 million passengers!
      So no ex-yu airport will be coming anywhere close to it.

    2. Anonymous10:27

      You forgot TIA that is likely to have as much traffic as ZAG in 2018!
      Now this is one, smart little airport. TIA is even served by BA!

    3. Anonymous10:32

      True. It's not about how much the growth is, but its origin and if it's sustainable.

      If you compared BEG, ZAG and SPU it's obvious which one of those is organic, and which one is superficial.

    4. Anonymous10:32

      Are there any new additions to Sofia in 2019?

    5. Anonymous10:33

      low-cost heaven

    6. Anonymous10:44

      @Anon 10:32
      Which one of BEG, ZAG and SPU airports had superficial growth?

    7. Anonymous10:47

      Sofia's additions are>
      FR: CHQ, KLX, KBP, TLV, EDI (resumption of NYO)
      W6: Resumption of all cancelled flights in winter
      LH: FRA 4th daily
      TK: 3 daily
      JU: Increase in capacity: from ATR to A319 2 out of 7 weekly. JU has very good prices via BEG in cooperation with EY.
      JP: LJU (rumours for an additional 4th weekly but not confirmed yet as route is doing extremely well)
      FB: possible launch of daily DME

      Interesting fact: U2 sends A320 and A321 neo from LGW, MAN and sometimes SEN on Saturdays as it is the busiest day having at least 20 flights from UK. Even Thomson's sexy 757 :)

      However, this year belongs to VAR. They won the W6 Airbus and will have more routes :D grrr

    8. Petar11:09

      SOF is the clear leader of the Balkans if we leave Greece and Turkey out.
      Who would have thought of that 5 years ago?

    9. Anonymous11:18

      Being from SOF, I disagree that Sofia is a "leader". There is nothing to be proud of.
      All this growth is clearly thanks to EU membership, increasing standard of living, visa liberasation and so on.
      Air traffic is growing almost everywhere you go.

      Leader airports are definitely IST and ATH and it will take decades to reach them, if this ever happens.

    10. EU membership, increasing standard of living, visa liberasation are exactly the things you should be proud off.
      ATH and IST will never be reached by other Balkan airports but that is not the goal.
      The goal is to grow the living standards and the ability of the population to travel.

    11. Anonymous12:44

      TLV also on Ryanair? How many airlines will fly this route, this is crazy..

    12. Anonymous12:53

      This winter SOF-TLV is served by 5 airlines: FB, LY, W6, IZ and 6H.
      Is summer: FB, LY, W6, FR and still no schedules for the latter.

      W6 flies daily with A321 and LY sometimes sends 772. Crazy indeed.

      On some days, you have 5 daily flights :D even crazier.

    13. Anonymous13:06

      Is it for leisure, business or both, or self transfer via SOF? That is some massive capacity.

    14. Anonymous13:15

      Many Israelis visit Sofia, ironically for poker and gambling and also head to Plovdiv.
      Also this year Eilat by the Red Sea was connected.
      Israir also flies to Varna twice weekly even in winter.
      There have never been so many flights to/from Israel before. Even the Vidin synagogue will be restored. So it's all insane.
      Who would've thought that Tel Aviv will be one of the busiest routes this winter?

    15. Anonymous13:24

      I guess they come for good and cheap skying in the winter. Israelis like the good value for little money. Generally, you rarely see luxury cars in TLV, people seem to not like showing off.

    16. Anonymous13:33

      Maybe you are right, Bansko and Pamporovo are already well developed ski resorts.

    17. Anonymous17:10

      Freedom of movement is NOT visa liberalisation. It is domestic travel.

    18. Anonymous17:27

      Yes but after EU membership, visas were also lifted for many countries.

      > Japan used to impose visas to Romanians
      > Canada to both Bulgarians and Romanians
      > Croatia has now one of the most powerful passports in the world

    19. Anonymous18:00

      Most powerful passport in the world? Are you sure? lol

      1. UAE
      2. Germany
      3. Singapore
      4. Denmark
      5. Sweden
      6. Luxembourg
      7. France
      8. Finland
      9. Italy
      10. Netherlands
      11. Spain
      12. Norway
      13. South Korea
      14 USA
      15. Belgium
      16. Austria
      17. Greece
      18. Portugal
      19. Switzerland
      20. Japan
      21. UK
      22. Ireland
      23. Canada
      24. Czech Republic
      25. Hungary
      26. Malta
      27. Iceland
      28. Slovenia
      29. Poland
      30. Lithuania
      31. Slovakia
      32. Latvia
      33. New Zealand
      34. Australia
      35. Malaysia
      36. Estonia
      37. Romania
      38. Bulgaria
      39. Cyprus
      40. Liechtenstein
      41. Croatia/Monaco

      So Croatia has one of the weakest passports in the EU.


    20. Anonymous18:12

      This is a fake list.
      Japan, Germany and Singapre are tied. Croatia is in position 20. 168 visa free countries.


      In 5 years time, it will become top 10.

    21. Anonymous18:13

      After comparing sizes of airports, now you are comparing sizes with airports. Jeez you people need a life.

    22. Anonymous18:18

      Everything is fake that doesn't show Croatia as the best country in the galaxy.

    23. Anonymous18:20

      Anonymous22 January 2019 at 18:13

      We didn't compare them, a Croat felt the need to bring it up. Probably compensating for something else.

    24. Anonymous18:33

      But those are the facts. Croatia is at least 20 points ahead compared to other countries in the region. No more visa for UK and Ireland.
      Passport index is heavily related to airport traffic. It comes with no wonder that the countries on the top have developed air travel.
      Japan, S Korea, Singapore, etc.

    25. Anonymous19:54

      Or to be precise, visa liberatisation is NOT freedom of movement.

    26. Anonymous20:17

      Visa free = stimulate to travel. Easy as 1,2,3.
      Freedom of movement is just an extra ease of visa free.
      The more countries abolish visas to Croatia, the more people will travel. Not very difficult to understand.

    27. Anonymous20:32

      Yes but not necessarily by plane, they can travel by bus or car. ZAG's connectivity is pretty pathetic, especially outside the summer months.

    28. Anonymous20:41

      End of story, Croatian passport is currently in top 20 in the world and that's it.
      Total number of airports: 8


      Total number of passengers: 10,631,806


    29. Anonymous21:16

      Will you be able to sleep quietly tonight? Do you feel any better? Do you think your complexes are calm now after writing that?

    30. Anonymous21:21

      Rhodes population: 115.000
      RHO in 2018: 5,567,748

      That's a tourism success story.

  20. Anonymous10:13

    Based on the current results it is now very difficult to indicate which airport can be identified as the "regional leader". BEG, ZAG and LJU already offer transfer flights but SPU or DBV are both champions in widebody aircraft.
    SKP can also be a regional leader having connections to many secondary parts of Europe, which makes it different.

    1. Anonymous10:24

      Yes, very, very, "difficult".
      Have a look on the spreadsheet in the text

    2. Anonymous11:06

      Split and Dubrovnik are both champions in wide-body aircraft? And that is not Zagreb with 7pw 777-300ER by Emirates, 4pw 767-300ER by Air Canada Rouge, 3pw 777-300ER by Korean and 2 pw A330-200 by Air Transat, so 16 pw wide-bodies?

    3. Anonymous11:53

      Yes, but in the summer you have much more wider-bodies in the coast compared to the capital. Besides ZAG will never see a Russian 747 for example or a Dreamliner. Not to mention 757.
      A330 and 777 are boring aircraft anyway and you can see them anywhere.

      Also don't forget AA 767 this summer, too ;) ;) ;)

    4. Anonymous21:08

      A 757 isn't a widebody.
      Where will operate a 747 this year?
      SPU has no scheduled wodebodies at all.

  21. Anonymous10:20

    Good job Bosnia and Herzegovina. The market as a whole grew significantly this year.

  22. Anonymous10:24

    Get your act together Mostar!

  23. Anonymous10:25

    The numbers are embarrassing actually. It comes that Belgrade, Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Pristina, Skopje and Ljubljana had all together same passanger number as some Malaga or Hamburg. Lol

    1. Anonymous10:27

      and yet they describe Hamburg as a village here, lol

    2. Anonymous10:33

      So far, Belgrade International is the 83rd busiest airport in the entire continent:


      The only major capital city behind BEG is VNO.
      This is why Belgrade was already compared to other Baltic capitals because of the numbers achieved and the same passenger concept of organic and transfer traffic.

    3. Anonymous10:39

      VNO last year grew by 30.9%
      WOW, just WOW!

    4. Anonymous10:47

      And all that with 3 mil population. They also have KUN with >1 mil pax for 2018.

      And Riga has >6 mil pax with 2 mil population. No privileged carriers either.

    5. Anonymous10:56

      Yeah, mate. VNO growth is just awesome. I visited VNO last year and it's so cool. New modern offices in town, very polite people and civilised.
      It will definitely surpass BEG because a new charter is launching many destinations and LOT launching LCY!

      BEG should really look into the Baltic states and apply their Nordic model.

    6. Anonymous11:12

      What do yoiu mean by "major capital city"?
      There are so many EU capital cities behind BEG

    7. Anonymous11:12

      All ExYu countries should look at the Baltic states and follow their economic model.

    8. Anonymous13:10

      I am struggling to find ZAG here


  24. Napredak avio saobracaja u Hrvatskoj i Severnoj Makedoniji prvenstveno, jeste daleko na prvom mestu. Do sada Srbija nije dovoljno napredovala sa do skoro samo jednim aerodromom. Dolaskom koncesionara i ulaganjem uz veci privredni razvoj, usudjujem se da kazem da ce aerodrom Nikola Tesla u iducih nesto vise od deset godina ce prevazici po broju putnika i kargo prevozu sve Hrvatske aerodrome zajedno. Na godisnjem nivou. Mozda za mnoge ce izreceno liciti na 'svetogrdje", ostaje da se vidi. Kao sto uredno spomenem, uz Niski koji se razvija, pridruzuje se u ovoj godini i Kraljevacki i Uzicki aerodromi. Na ova dva zadnja, ako budu imali sedamdeset hiljada putnika godisnje i to zajedno, za pocetak bi bilo ohrabrabrenje. Nove kompanije i investitori koji dolaze i marketing uz kargo prevoz ozivece ove zaklopljene sekundarnrne aerodrome. Unapred se izvinjavam osetljivim komentatorima, ako ih moj tekst uznemirava. Logicno da rast saobracaja i turista ce se povecavati i ostalim drzavama koje su pomenute u ovom blogu. Nema sumnje u to. Naprotiv. Jugoistok Evrope je u otvaranju. Jer mir i trgovina nema alternativu. Od mene za sada toliko.
    Pozdrav iz zimskog Kraljeva.

    1. Anonymous10:41


    2. Anonymous10:48


    3. Anonymous11:09

      Sure, it is so easy to grow from 5,6 to 10,5 million, just 100%. No, problem Belgrade will do that in 2-3 years and will have more passenger not just than Croatia but than all airports in region together? Are you for real Marinkovic?

      If concessionaire is so good choice why Zagreb did not have huge grow after one of best and biggest concessionaire take over Zagreb?

    4. Anonymous12:55

      LOL :D

    5. Anonymous13:05

      But didn't Vinci say that BEG will reach 12 million, I am pretty sure I read it somewhere.
      Still not impossible to achieve 10 million.

      2019 - 6 million
      2020 - 6,7
      2021 - 7,4
      2022- 8,3
      2023 - 9,3
      2024 - 10,1

      Prior to new terminal, runway, etc it will be achievable.

    6. Anonymous13:54

      Gledajući po broju stanovnika odnos Srbije i Hrvatske, Srbija bi sada trebala imati oko 18,5 milijuna avio putnika (Hrvatska sada ima 10,6 milijuna), a ima oko 6. Tako da je ovo trenutno debakl za Srbiju. Svakako bi razlika trebala biti manja. Mislim da Srbija ima i veću dijasporu koja, naravno, uzrokuje povećanje broja putnika.

    7. Anonymous15:30

      Gledajuci po turistickom kapacitetu Hrvatska bi trebala imati 25.000.000 putnika a ima 10,5, dok je turisticka ponuda Srbije neuporedivo siromasnija i ne moze se po tom kriterijumu meriti uopste sa Hrvatskom. Srbija za svoje uslove ima fantastican broj putnika na aerodromima i otud i zavist kod nasih zapadnih komsija.
      Razlike u broju dijaspore nema pogotovo posle velikog odliva radne snage iz Hrvatske nakon prikljucivanja EU

    8. Anonymous21:18

      Наравно да би требала да има, погледај како их је прешишала Бугарска и у зимском и у летњем туризму. Тако се то ради али нема поенте писати о томе овде када се појаве догматичари који крену да просипају неке глупости.
      Као што је горе написано, сетимо се само Пургерових испада о томе како ће потражња за летовима експлодирати када се уђе у ЕУ, када се уђе у НАТО и шта још све. Где смо данас? Ту да за 2019. годину Загреб скоро па да нема никаквих нових летова.

  25. Ljepo je za vidjeti instant ucinak produljenja piste na Bracu.
    Ljepo je za vidjeti porast broja putnika u Rijeci i Osjeku.
    Keep it up.

    1. Anonymous10:51

      Ali zato za s 19 brac nema jos ni jednu potvrdenu novu liniju a ima 3 izgubljene..adria skywork i luxair..
      Pa bi po tome s 19 trebao zavrsiti u minisu ukolilo ne dode koja nova linija koja bi nadoknadila 3657 putnika koliko su ih ukupno imale ove 3 linije..

    2. Anonymous11:00

      Brac pregovara sa Lotom ,Air Serbiom i jos nekim ukrajinskim prijevoznikom za letove u 2019 mozda netko o njih i uspostavi letove...

  26. Anonymous10:40

    Brač extending its runway was an excellent investment. The numbers speak for themselves.

  27. Anonymous10:48

    With all subsidies, LCC, visa liberalization, SKP did not manage to pass PRN. I can only imagine what will happen with the number of passengers in PRN when/if visa liberalization happen.

    1. Anonymous10:51

      You can also imagine what happens when Kosovo opens a second airport as well.

  28. Anonymous11:26

    BNX will have a great yeat. From April there will be three weekly to Moscow and Ryanair might add Berlin.

  29. Anonymous11:28

    Does anyone have Tirana statistics for 2018.

    1. Anonymous11:29

      They are not ex-yu

    2. Anonymous11:45

      2.934.865, -1,7% comparing to 2017

    3. Anonymous12:02

      Not exatly -1.7%, in 2017 were 2,630,338 (official data)

    4. Anonymous12:37

      TIA saw an increase of 12% compared to 2017.

    5. Anonymous18:02

      12% was only for the first 11 months when they handled 2,719,911 pasesengers. Tirana will have over 3 million this year guys!

    6. Anonymous18:19

      ZAG category

  30. Anonymous11:43

    BWK is best by percentage increase. So investment in runway was justifiable. I expect even greater numbers this year since it is good alternative to overcrowded SPU. And views are incredible during landing. Best run airport in ex yu.

    1. Anonymous11:56

      BWK can perfectly be connected to LCY. Both airports have a similar runway and capacity background. Smaller planes, runway, sea, etc.

    2. Anonymous12:23

      Will eurowings have flights to bwk in s 19?

    3. Anonymous17:00

      First, data is incorrect, BNX is the best percentage wise. BWK is around 40% increase, admin pls change that so it is shown correctly. And what is this fascination with BWK. Insignificant airport with unbelievable big number of fanboys throwing random BWK comments. Even Adria couldnt make it work, but we read here it was the best performing new route Adria had this summer. It will always be small island airport.

  31. Anonymous12:09


  32. I really don't get the competitiveness on this board.

    Congrats to all of the airports on the list! It's great to see the entire region grow (regardless if it's via LCC or legacy carriers.) Travel and an increase in connectivity is always good.

  33. Anonymous16:41

    Goal for concessionaire at Belgrade is not to race against other ex yu airports but to execute according to the business plan and basically grow as much as possible. Growth predictions have been published, contract for new runway and terminal has been signed and both will be ready by 2024. From that point on BEG will have newest and most competitive infrastructure for further growth. Next 5-10 years are looking very good for BEG.

    1. Anonymous17:03

      It is pointless BEG to race with other ex-yu airports because they are far behind.
      Vinci needs to execture their business plan and to reach SOF, SKG and other airports in the region

    2. Anonymous17:29

      Dear new user, welcome to this site! Let me inform you that the scope is aviation within Ex Yu countries. Please enjoy the site!

    3. Anonymous17:30

      Do you think the Greeks will built it well? I mean Terna.

    4. Anonymous18:41

      I feel i will get erased for this comment but i fear they will not do a good job because of inexperience .

  34. Anonymous16:56

    What happened with airport Maribor, Slovenia?

  35. Anonymous17:10

    Interesting facts:


    - OSI, BWK and PUY have the highest percentage increases
    - INI is now well ahead of OHD, slowly catching up with SKP
    - It is very likely that TIV will surpass TGD and SPU will surpass ZAG
    - KVO has no registered traffic but can borrow experience from POW in generating traffic

    1. Anonymous17:14

      Have you actually read today's article? You have all the results for 2018. Data you posted is 2017 and Tivat is already ahead of Podgorica. You just have to read today's article.

    2. Anonymous20:03

      slowly cathing up with SKP? pls give me from the stuff that you're smoking


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