The former Yugoslavia’s 24 commercial airports handled 1.464.779 passengers during the first month of the year. Brač Airport was the only not have welcomed a single passenger, while a total of three handled under ten travellers. Two airports from the former Yugoslavia – Belgrade and Pristina – ranked within Europe’s top 100 busiest, placing 68th and 99th respectively, while Zagreb was just behind in 101st spot. The airports in Belgrade, Pristina, Zagreb, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Tuzla, Banja Luka and Kraljevo, registered their busiest start to the year on record. All markets within the former Yugoslavia, with exception to Slovenia, saw their passenger numbers grow during the first month of the year when compared to the pre-pandemic era.
Skopje Airport recorded its second busiest start to the year on record. Macedonia’s main gateway welcomed 152.753 passengers in January, up 0.3% on 2019 but down 6.9% on its record 2020 performance, just before the effects of the coronavirus pandemic began to be felt across Europe and the travel sector. Mostar Airport continued its disappointing run during the month, with no scheduled traffic. Its figure was down on 384 passengers handled in January 2020. On the other hand, Osijek Airport saw a major jump in traffic compared to 2020 levels, buoyed by Croatia Airlines’ year-round service to Munich. The airport’s passenger figures grew 254% on the same month three years ago.
During January, the Slovenian market saw the biggest decline in passenger figures in percentage terms in Europe (excluding Ukraine) when compared to the pre-pandemic era, while Albania saw the fastest growth, according to Airports Council International Europe. Most markets in Western Europe are yet to overtake their pre-Covid figures, with the only exceptions being Ireland, Luxembourg, Spain and Portugal. Notably, Russia handled more passengers in January 2023 than three years ago with 6.6% growth. Overall, Istanbul’s main airport was the busiest during the month, handling 5.6 million passengers. It was followed by London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Madrid, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Istanbul Sabiha Gocken, Rome and Lisbon, Ex Yu Aviation news portal reports.