Commercial airports across the former Yugoslavia handled a combined total of 7.732.376 passengers during the first four months of the year, with 2.64 million travellers in April alone. Among them, during the fourth month of the year, three airports stood out for their high growth rate. They include Zadar with a year-on-year increase in April of 105.7%, Dubrovnik with 33.6% growth, and Podgorica, which had a 19.4% boost in numbers. All three recorded their busiest April on record. On the other hand, several regional airports underperformed during the month, including Tuzla, which saw an 80.4% slide in figures, Rijeka, which had 61.5% fewer passengers than in April 2023, and Ohrid, which shed 30.4% of its travellers year-on-year. A number of other airports also saw their figures decline compared to last year, among which are Niš, Banja Luka, and Brač.

Passenger performance by airport, April 2024

During the January – April period, Belgrade Airport ranked as the 70th busiest on the continent, just behind Cologne, Malta, and Palermo, but ahead of Stuttgart, Fuerteventura, and Reykjavik. Pristina positioned itself as the 103rd busiest, behind Hanover, Cagliari, and Stavanger in Norway but in front of Zagreb and Santiago de Compostela. The airport in the Croatian capital itself took 104th place. It was just ahead of Pristina but ahead of the likes of Tallinn, Florence, and Nuremberg. Skopje ranked 121st, with the Macedonian capital behind Verona, Chisinau, and Crock but outperforming Paphos, Poznan, and Salzburg. During the first four months of the year, the Slovenian market was the fastest growing in the former Yugoslavia in percentile terms, increasing its overall figures by 24.5%. In contrast, the market in Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of three in Europe to register a year-on-year decline, contracting 10%. Elsewhere, the market in Kosovo grew 23.4%, Macedonia 18.7%, Croatia 17.4%, Serbia 15.3%, and Montenegro 12.6%.

Passenger performance by airport, January – April 2024

European rank of select regional airports by passenger numbers

The majority of European markets saw year-on-year growth during the first quarter of the year. In addition to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the exceptions were Russia (-17%) and Armenia (-1.4%). London Heathrow was once again Europe’s busiest airport over the four-month period, with 25.239.346 passengers, while Istanbul’s main gateway was second with 24.277.183 travellers. The pair saw growth of 8.2% and 8.6% on 2023 respectively. They were followed by Paris Charles de Gaulle with 20.809.192 passengers, Madrid with 20.224.916, Amsterdam with 19.867.379 travellers, Frankfurt with 17.629.262, Barcelona with 16.032.270, Rome Fiumicino with 13.500.052, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen with 12.787.028, and London Gatwick with 11.805.267 passengers. Out of Europe’s top ten busiest, four are still below their pre-pandemic 2019 records. They include Paris Charles de Gaulle (-9.4%), Amsterdam (-8%), Frankfurt (-15.4%), and London Gatwick (-12.7%).
Largest airlines by scheduled seat capacity across the former Yugoslavia, April 2024

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