Belgrade, Zadar among Europe’s fastest growing airports this summer

Belgrade and Zadar have registered large-scale growth in available seat capacity this quarter when compared to the same period during the pre-pandemic 2019. Both have already surpassed their pre-Covid passenger figures and are among the fastest growing airports in Europe. During the third quarter, from the beginning of July until the end of September, which are considered the busiest months in the aviation calendar, Belgrade Airport is the 20th fastest growing airport in Europe in terms of added seat capacity, while Zadar has taken 36th position. Other airports in the former Yugoslavia that have ranked within Europe’s top 100 fastest growing airports this quarter include Skopje (61st), Split (78th) and Sarajevo (94th), while Pristina positioned itself 101st.

Belgrade Airport has added just over 300.000 seats this quarter compared to the same period in 2019, up 26%. While Air Serbia has generated a large amount of that growth, foreign carriers have also contributed, most notably Wizz Air, Turkish Airlines and Flydubai. Belgrade positioned itself between Valencia and Bristol and was ahead of larger European hubs such as Lisbon. This summer, Zadar Airport has recorded the greatest number of new route launches in Croatia, spearheaded by Ryanair, which has increased its number of flights from the city by 215% on 2019. Zadar Airport handled over a million passengers for the first time last year and is expected to both replicate and build on that success this year as well. It has added 221.755 additional seats on Q3 2019 and positioned itself in between Funchal in Portugal and Belgium’s Charleroi.
Capacity growth Q3 2023 vs. Q3 2019
Sochi in Russia is Europe’s fastest growing airport during the third quarter. It has added over 1.4 million seats on 2019. This is primarily as a result of Aeroflot turning the coastal city into its international hub and other airlines redirecting their operations from nearby Krasnodar, which has closed its airport. Several other Russian airports have also significantly grown their operations, among which are St Petersburg, which has become Europe’s eighth fastest growing, Mineralnye Vody (11th), Kaliningrad (13th) and Kazan (14th). Regionally, Tirana has added over 700.000 seats after becoming a major Wizz Air base during and in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic. It has ranked sixth by capacity growth in Europe.

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