Ljubljana’s Brnik-based Airport has this year undergone something of a renaissance, data for April showing 112,310 passengers using the Fraport-owned aerodrome equating to a year on year increase of 13.3%. Drilling down into figures for the first four months of 2015 highlights a more modest 3.8% spike in traffic compared to like for like data for 2014 but after posting declining passenger numbers for January and February, the subsequent exponential growth has seen footfall at levels only slightly below regional rival Skopje, the Macedonian capital overseeing just 24,000 more passengers for the same period than Brnik, a gap that has been dramatically narrowed although Joze Pucnik Airport had until this year traditionally eclipsed its former-Yugoslav counterpart.

The backdrop to Ljubljana’s burgeoning passenger figures at first glance appears to be somewhat incongruous, the number of operating flights for the four months to the end of April actually dropping back by 2.5%. It does though seem that additional routes offered by flag-carrier Adria Airways, a reintroduced Swiss Airlines service between Ljubljana and Zurich and an increase in frequency of the Turkish Airlines route into Brnik has more than offset a marked 10% decline in passenger numbers between the Slovenian capital and Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, a trend being felt across Europe’s aviation industry as economic sanctions imposed upon the Putin regime begin to show their teeth. Adria’s new services linking Berlin and Stockholm with the sunny side of the Alps will complement the forthcoming UK package holiday season that brings tourists to Ljubljana en route to their bases in Bohinj, Bled and Kranjska Gora. Despite Adria only owning one of the twelve aircraft it will operate this summer, it is pleasing to note that the decision to wet-lease larger aircraft(150+ seats) rather than the wholly inadequate Bombardier CRJ900 series will for instance potentially double the amount of travellers on the twice-weekly flights between Slovenia and Manchester.

Further reading on this matter can be viewed at:

Ex Yugoslav Aviation blog: Brnik close to overtaking Skopje passenger figures