Six EX-YU airports among Europe's top 150 in 2019


Eleven airports from the former Yugoslavia have ranked among the 150 busiest on the continent during the first half of the year, out of which one is in the top 100. According to the European airport trade association, Airports Council International Europe (ACI), which publishes the only air traffic report that includes all types of airline passenger flights (full service, low cost, regional, charter, private and others), Belgrade Airport positioned itself as the 89th busiest with 6.162.159 passengers, 62.062 aircraft movements and 17.340 tonnes of cargo processed last year. It was ahead of the likes of London City, Minsk and Vilnius but behind Sofia, Thessaloniki and Gothenburg.

Its counterpart in Zagreb ranked 115th with 3.435.531 travellers, 45.061 aircraft movements and 12.684 tonnes of cargo. While it performed better than Tirana, Split and Tallin, which took the following three spots, it was behind Luxembourg, Tbilisi and Wroclaw.
Split Airport continued to improve its standing among European airports, becoming the 117th busiest on the continent during 2019. It was followed by Dubrovnik (129th), Pristina (136th) and Skopje (137th).

Ljubljana Airport just missed out of the top 150, ranking151st on the continent. Out of Europe’s capital cities, Sarajevo had the least passenger traffic, coming in at 169th on the continent while London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Madrid and Barcelona were the busiest In Europe. Although all six airports from the former Yugoslavia within the top 150 saw their passenger numbers increase over the last year when compared to the previous one, all registered a decline in the amount of processed cargo with exception to Skopje, which was up 3.6%.

Overall, freight traffic across Europe posted its worst results since 2012.

Six EX-YU airports among Europe's top 150 in 2019
Overall passenger development across European markets according to ACI

Europe saw its slowest passenger traffic growth in five years in 2019, mainly due to stronger deceleration in the non-EU market, declining domestic traffic, as well as airline bankruptcies and capacity restraint in the EU market. The Director General of ACI Europe, Olivier Jankovec, said, “Over the past five years, Europe’s airports have increased their passenger traffic by more than +32% – meaning they have actually accommodated an extra 595 million passengers since 2014. But 2019 has been a pivotal year.

Volumes were still up, but the deceleration has been notable on the back of both supply and demand pressures”. Looking at the months ahead, Mr Jankovec noted that many airports have planned for continued lower growth in passenger traffic in the face of uncertain trading conditions. He commented, “Some of the supply side pressures might start easing, especially if the 737 MAX is finally approved to fly again and if the recent decrease in oil prices is not reversed.

However, there are for now few if any signals that airlines may be considering more capacity expansion – and further airline consolidation remains an ongoing reality”.

He added, “The immediate big question mark is what happens with the coronavirus outbreak”.


Six EX-YU airports among Europe's top 150 in 2019


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