Former Yugoslav airports handle 17.8 million passengers

Commercial airports in the former Yugoslavia processed a combined total of over 17.75 million passengers during the first half of the year, with Belgrade positioning itself within the top seventy busiest in Europe and Split within the top eighty. A total of eleven airports registered their best passenger performance on record during the seven-month period. They include Belgrade, Zagreb, Pristina, Skopje, Podgorica, Zadar, Tuzla, Banja Luka, Niš, Osijek and Kraljevo. On the other hand, two saw their figures lag on last year, which was still impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. They include Sarajevo and Rijeka. Furthermore, a handful of airports are still behind their pre-pandemic figures, among which are Dubrovnik, Ljubljana, Tivat, Pula, Ohrid, Mostar, Brač and Mali Lošinj.

Passenger performance by airport, January – July 2023

During the January – July period, Belgrade Airport ranked 73rd busiest on the continent, just behind Keflavik (Reykjavik), Larnaca and Malta, but ahead of Sofia, Glasgow and Thessaloniki. Zagreb positioned itself as the 109nd busiest. It was behind the likes of Luxembourg, Vilnius and Corfu, but ahead of Paphos, Tbilisi and London City. Pristina was 117th on the list, behind Santiago de Compostela, Chania and Verona but ahead of Cluj, Florence and Split. The airport in the Croatian coastal city ranked 119th on the continent, ahead of Tallinn, Cork and Chisinau.
Passenger performance by airport, July 2023

During the first seven months of year, the Slovenian market saw the second largest percentual decline in passenger figures in Europe (excluding Ukraine), behind only sanctioned-hit Belarus, when compared to the pre-pandemic era with numbers down 35.7%. On the other hand, Albania recorded the fastest percentile growth, amounting to 107.5%, according to Airports Council International Europe, and was ahead of Armenia with a 64.1% increase. The market in Bosnia and Herzegovina grew 54.5%, Kosovo market registered 43.5% growth, Serbian 25.4%, Macedonian 16%, Croatian 9.9%, while the Montenegrin market saw its figures decline 4.7% on the same period in 2019. Notably, many markets in Europe 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, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia and Switzerland all below pre-Covid levels. Overall, London Heathrow Airport was the busiest in Europe between January and July, handling 44.8 million passengers, ahead of Istanbul’s main gateway, which was second with 43.1 million travellers. They were followed by Paris Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam, Madrid, Frankfurt, Barcelona, London Gatwick, Rome Fiumicino and Istanbul Sabiha Gocken.
Rank of select European airports by passenger numbers in the region 
Largest airlines by seat capacity across the former Yugoslavia, July 2023

* Scheduled flights only

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