In all sectors and areas of life statistics have the ability to spin whatever message those who commission their publication wish. Whilst the numerical size of passenger numbers in the aviational field merely serve as window-dressing for vital positive exposure in a notoriously volatile sector, a modest year on year increase should be taken in context – rather than be used as an opportunity to break open the champagne.

Like for like figures can show a tangible increase but do they tell the whole story? Do they take into account the performance of similar-sized regional rivals’ facilities? Is published data a reliable gauge of an airport’s performance when it is running significantly below its potential operational capacity? Are under-performing routes being ‘carried’ by the impressive data emanating from others? Or, should stats just be taken at face value, with a ‘they are what they are’ mindset that accentuates the positives? Whatever your point of view, analytics have now become the metric of choice upon which every organisation seems to now base its business health and scope for future development.

The raw data points to Ljubljana’s Brnik-based airport enjoying modest but hardly exponential growth since Fraport’s acquisition of the former state-owned aerodrome. On breaking through the million passenger mark for 2015 Joze Pucnik Airport reached the milestone more than three weeks earlier than last year, representing an 11% increase of year on year figures for 2014. The ability to attract, sustain and broaden relationships with key regional, continental and several worldwide airlines has heavily contributed to the spike in passenger numbers using Brnik but much work still remains to grow the airport to a level commensurate with Slovenia’s potential as a tourist destination and its geographic position at the crossroads between Western Europe and the emerging Balkan market. Although it will perhaps always be difficult to declare when Brnik has reached its natural apogee, statistics will only then start to play a more decisive role in quantifying the true financial and operational health of the airport. Despite reaching the million passenger mark, it remains a figure that can for the time being only be regarded as purely symbolic.

Further reading on this subject can be found at:

Ex Yugoslav Aviation: Brnik reaches one million passengers for 2015