Former Yugoslav airports handle 13.2 million passengers in H1

Commercial airports in the former Yugoslavia processed a combined total of over 13.17 million passengers during the first half of the year, with Belgrade positioning itself within the top eighty busiest in Europe. A total of eleven airports registered their best passenger performance on record during the six-month period. They include Belgrade, Zagreb, Pristina, Skopje, Podgorica, Zadar, Tuzla, Banja Luka, Niš, Ohrid and Kraljevo. On the other hand, three saw their figures lag on last year, which was still impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. They include Sarajevo, Rijeka and Maribor. Furthermore, a handful of airports are still behind their pre-pandemic figures, among which are Dubrovnik, Ljubljana, Tivat, Pula, Osijek, Mostar, Brač and Mali Lošinj.

Passenger performance by airport, H1 2023

During the January – June period, Belgrade Airport ranked 74th busiest on the continent, just behind Keflavik (Reykjavik), Larnaca and Glasgow, but ahead of Eindhoven, Riga and Thessaloniki. Zagreb positioned itself as the 102nd busiest. It was behind the likes of Stavanger in Norway, Dalaman and Leeds, but ahead of Nuremberg, East Midlands and London City. Pristina was 109th on the list, behind Santiago de Compostela, Tbilisi and Paphos but ahead of Verona, Menorca and Cluj. The Kosovo market saw the third-fastest growth rate in Europe during the first half of the year when compared to the pre-pandemic 2019.
Passenger performance by airport, June 2023

During the first half of the year, the Slovenian market saw the biggest decline in passenger figures in percentage terms in Europe (excluding Ukraine) when compared to the pre-pandemic era with numbers down 37.7%. On the other hand, Albania recorded the fastest growth, amounting to 105.1%, according to Airports Council International Europe, and was ahead of Armenia with a 52.6% increase. The Kosovo market registered 44% growth, Serbian 25.8%, Macedonian 15%, Croatian 2.6%, while the Montenegrin market saw its figures decline 0.3% on the same period in 2019. Notably, most Western European markets are yet to recover their pre-pandemic figures with the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary all well below pre-Covid levels. Overall, London Heathrow Airport was the busiest in Europe between January and June, handling 37 million passengers, ahead of Istanbul’s main gateway, which was second with 35.6 million travellers. They were followed by Paris Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam, Madrid, Frankfurt, Barcelona, London Gatwick, Rome Fiumicino and Istanbul Sabiha Gocken.

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