Belgrade's Airport Busiest in the Ex-YU Republics

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 15:29 By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

Although Yugoslavia (Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) fell apart a couple of decades ago, many links still bind Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. Yugonostalgia is a well-known phenomenon in the Balkans, and refers to nostalgic feelings for the former union of the Balkan nations. The Economist even coined the term Yugosphere to describe the complicated cultural, economical & the linguistic similarity of the six Ex-Yugoslavian nations. 

After the Yugoslav wars and painful period of reconstruction of both infrastructure and links between feuding nations, the sky over the Yugosphere was once again becoming streaked with aircraft trails. The arrival of low cost airlines in the region made air travel affordable for students, tourist and anyone with a strict travelling budget. 

The busiest airport in the Yugosphere in 2014 was Belgrade Nikola Tesla airport with 4,638,577 passengers. Zagreb airport comes second with nearly 2,5 million travelers.  Split airport had around 1,7 million passengers in 2014. The least busy airports in our top 10 list are Podgorica and Sarajevo with around 700,000 passengers in 2014. 

Nikola Tesla Airport reported a passenger number annual growth of 32% in 2014, and a net profit of over 27 millions euros. Airport management expects a continued growth in income and passengers in 2015, and announced 20 million investment in capacity expansion. These numbers rank Nikola Tesla airport among the top 100 busiest airports in Europe


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