Friday, 16 September 2022

Croatian Tourist Season Air Traffic Exceeds Pre-Pandemic Year of 2019

September the 16th, 2022 - Croatian tourist season air traffic has reached heights that outdo those we saw back during the record breaking, pre-pandemic year of 2019.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, even with numerous difficulties still being faced by airlines, air travel to Southeastern Europe throughout the summer season so far has significantly exceeded pre-pandemic levels. This also includes Croatian tourist season air traffic levels.

Both Turkey and Greece exceeded the levels of arrivals of international visitors they recorded back before the pandemic struck by 9 percent and 2 percent respectively, and of the capital cities, Istanbul had the strongest growth of 2 percent compared to 2019, according to an analysis by ForwardKeys.

Most guests are from Germany

The number of arrivals to nearby Albania has also increased by as much as 28 percent, although it only accounts for 1 percent of the market share in all European air arrivals. All other countries are still in the red compared to the pre-pandemic summer of 2019, and neighbouring Slovenia has seen the smallest drop of a mere 7 percent compared to the pre-pandemic period, followed by Iceland with a drop of 8 percent, and Portugal, which lags behind by 10 percent.

According to the latest published data published by the Croatian Statistical Institute, the number of air passenger arrivals to Croatia fell by 11 percent in July alone.

In the period from January to July this year, 5.1 million passengers were recorded as having passed through Croatian airports, equal to 81 percent of the country's pre-pandemic traffic, with the largest number of passengers in the first seven months of 2022 being recorded from Germany, followed by the United Kingdom and then France.

In July this year, the highest level of Croatian tourist season air traffic was achieved by Split Airport, followed by Dubrovnik Airport and then Zagreb Airport. The most significant amount of international passenger traffic was achieved with British airports, which accounts for almost seven times more than last year, when the restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic were in effect.

When it comes to European cities, Athens had 7 percent less arrivals by plane in July and August than it did back in 2019, Reykjavik and Porto saw drops of 8 percent, and Malaga saw a considerable drop of 13 percent.

The main drivers of air traffic growth for Turkey are the constant decline in the value of the Turkish lira and its openness to the Russian market, from where direct flights to most of Europe are prohibited.

Departures within Europe were 22 percent lower

European destinations could have attracted more visitors during the summer months this year if the airline industry had coped better with the surge in travel demand during the late spring and early summer. If there had been no disruption, ForwardKeys estimates that the recovery of flight reservations within Europe would have been five percentage points higher. An analysis of departure markets reveals that within Europe, Greece has proven to be the most resilient, with departures to European destinations in July and August at 2019's impressive levels.

Poland saw a minus of 9 percent compared to 2019, Spain saw a drop of 12 percent, the UK saw one of 13 percent, Denmark saw a drop of 14 percent and Portugal had a drop of 15 percent. In total, departures within Europe were reduced by 22 percent. The strongest non-European market was the USA, with only a 5 percent drop compared to 2019. It was followed by Colombia and Israel, both with 9 percent.

The outlook for the next three months is optimistic, despite the still unstable circumstances. As of August the 31st, there were 21 percent less flight reservations when compared to the same period back in 2019, and the exceptions were once again Greece and Turkey, which both enjoyed a higher number of reservations than they did back in 2019, of 5 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Croatian Flight Controllers: More Air Traffic Now Than 2019

June the 28th, 2022 - Croatian flight controllers have stated that there has been more air traffic in the country's air space than back in the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Mladen Miletic writes, representatives of the Croatian Trade Union of Air Traffic Controllers (HSSKL) presented their forecasts of some truly excellent and encouraging business results from within the aviation sector so far in 2022, in spite of problems the industry is still faced with.

The above was presented at a recently held meeting of the Functional Airspace Block of Central Europe (FAB CE) in the Hungarian capital city of Budapest.

Representatives of seven European countries (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia) all gathered within the FAB CE initiative jointly estimate that in the coming months, the crowds at airports will be greater than before due to an ongoing lack of workers, but also the fact that despite negative economic trends and other problems, particularly the ongoing and brutal war in Ukraine following Russian invasion, there has been no decline in interest in flights.

"With the full activation of international air traffic, we expect even higher traffic than the record year of 2019, to which traffic during the summer months will contribute the most. Regardless of the negative economic trends affected by the global coronavirus pandemic and the unstable situation in Eastern Europe as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war, business forecasts in the field of aviation are very optimistic," say Croatian flight controllers.

"All statistical indicators and analyses indicate that by the end of 2022, we will witness an upward business trajectory. We're already recording better results than we previously predicted, and now a total and utter recovery of air traffic from the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight,'' said Kresimir Rakoci, President of the Air Traffic Controllers Union after the FAB CE meeting.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 6 May 2022

Official Split Airport Passenger Figures Extremely Encouraging

May the 6th, 2022 - The official Split Airport passenger figures so far are encouraging to say the very least, with hopes high for the strong summer tourist season and some decent income following two tricky and unstable years dominated by financial insecurity and a global pandemic.

When it comes to Croatian tourism, we all thought 2022 was going to be the year in which the global coronavirus pandemic and all of the severe damage restrictions across the world caused would be left in the past. It seems as though that is going to be the case. With all entry restrictions in regard to COVID-19 when crossing the Croatian border now scrapped, and with that being the case in most of the European countries from which the most tourists tend to arrive, many are rubbing their hands.

The ongoing war in Ukraine following Russian invasion is still raging, and although this definitely poses a risk to travellers, those now wondering whether or not to visit Croatia are not typically Europeans. American travellers, who think Croatia looks a little bit too close to Ukraine on a large map of Europe have been cancelling, but it isn't occurring en masse and most of those working in the Croatian tourism sector aren't concerned. Official Split Airport figures offer a glimpse of the trends we can expect throughout 2022.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the numerous satisfied statements of tourism industry workers from across the country about a decent and very promising pre-season could be read on numerous portals and in many newspapers over more recent days, and the official figures on the number of guests who arrived in the City of Split by plane are now in, as reported by Croatian Aviaton.

When it comes to Split Airport passengers so far, the Dalmatian airport saw 133,136 passengers during the month of April, with Croatia Airlines and EasyJet carrying the largest share of passengers. That’s 85 percent of the traffic recorded back in the same month of pre-pandemic, record 2019, when 156,381 passengers were recorded passing through Split Airport, up from a mere 14,783 last year.

If everything continues going in this direction and this trend remains as it is, there will also be good passenger traffic in May and June for Split Airport, which provides a lot of hope for those needing to fill their half-empty pockets back up after an unprecedented and extremely difficult two years.

For more, make sure to keep up with our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Height of Croatian Summer Season Sees Air Passenger Numbers Double

October the 14th, 2021 - A remarkably good Croatian summer season which few could have possibly predicted or expected when remembering the dire situation we experienced back in 2020 saw air traffic passengers in Croatia double. The sheer amount of people being transported by air was certainly a breath of fresh air for the travel industry, which was not only so badly harmed by the pandemic, but has also now got to work to regain the trust of travellers.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, back during August 2021, the very height of the Croatian summer season, the total amount of passenger traffic at Croatian airports reached 1.25 million or 113.8 percent more than in August 2020, when traffic of a mere 585 thousand passengers was recorded as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

For comparison, back in the pre-pandemic August of 2019, the turnover was 1.95 million passengers. In August this year, 64.1 percent of the passenger traffic from August 2019 was reached.

The most passenger traffic was realised by Split Airport, with 491 thousand passengers, which is 81.1 percent more than in August 2020, when 271 thousand passengers were transported - in August 2019, 669 thousand passengers were transported.

Split is followed by Dubrovnik Airport, with 288 thousand passengers (117 thousand passengers were transported in August 2020, while 522 thousand passengers were transported in August 2019) and Zagreb Airport, with 193 thousand passengers - in August 2020, 93 thousand passengers were transported, while in August 2019, 374 thousand passengers were transported.

The most significant international passenger traffic was realised with Germany, with an impressive 242 thousand passengers, which is an increase of 92.2 percent compared to the same period back in 2020, when 141 thousand passengers were transported.

The total number of aircraft landings and take-offs at Croatian airports in August 2021 stood at 16,318, an increase of 40.5 percent when compared to August 2020, when the number of landings and take-offs was 11,613. The total number of aircraft landings and take-offs at Croatian airports in August 2019 was 19,847.

The total amount of cargo traffic at Croatian airports in August 2021 was 769 tonnes, an increase of 28.6 percent compared to August 2020, when cargo traffic stood at 598 tonnes.

For more, make sure to check out our travel section.

Friday, 13 August 2021

Croatian Air Traffic in June 2021 Outshines June 2020 as Passengers Arrive

August the 13th, 2021 - Croatian air traffic has well and truly outshined the dire situation we experienced last year as the vaccination rollout continues globally and restrictions on travel and tourism slowly but steadily allow for more flexibility. 285 percent more air passengers arrived in June 2021 when compared to the same month in 2020.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, although the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is far from totally over, all indicators suggest that almost all trends and figures in terms of freight and passenger traffic in national and international traffic, if not already returned to their pre-pandemic levels, are very much on track for a safe recovery.

The data from the Central Bureau of Statistics on traffic in Croatian seaports and airports also confirm this. According to that data, traffic in seaports doubled in June this year, and tripled in airports when compared to last year. Croatian air traffic has certainly been on the rebound, and it hasn't come a moment too late.

According to the aforementioned CBS data, 5.43 million passengers embarked and disembarked in Croatian seaports during the second quarter of 2021, which is an increase of 81.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

Compared to pre-pandemic, record 2019, this is still a drop of 41.9 percent, but that isn't really surprising. Circumstances caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus back in 2020 directly affected the decline in passenger and vehicle traffic across all Croatian seaports, and things are now finally showing signs of steady and sure recovery.

After a six-month break, in the second quarter of 2021, the return of passengers on cruise ships began. There have so far been 12 thousand passengers, but compared to the same quarter of 2019, traffic in that sector fell by a depressing 97.6 percent.

In the second quarter of 2021, there was an increase in vehicles on Croatia's roads when compared to 2020, but compared to 2019, 19.5 percent fewer passenger vehicles and 78.6 percent fewer buses were loaded and unloaded on/from vessels.

The total turnover of goods at the level of the Republic of Croatia increased by 10.2 percent when compared to the same period back in 2020, which was caused by the increase in the turnover of dry bulk goods by 42.5 percent, which has a share in the total turnover of goods of 26 percent.

Current cargo turnover, with a share in the total turnover of goods of 51 percent, decreased by 2.6 percent when compared to the same period back in 2020. Of the five ports that account for 92 percent of the total turnover of goods in seaports, the Port of Ploce (57.7 percent), the Port of Rijeka (18.1 percent) and the Port of Split (18.1 percent) all saw increases in 2021's second quarter.

In the first half of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020, the total number of ships arriving in Croatian seaports increased by 30.3 percent, the total passenger traffic by 40.7 percent, and the total cargo traffic by 12.5 percent.

A similar situation, but with more pronounced growth, can be seen in Croatian air traffic, which suffered tremendously throughout 2020.

In June 2021, the total passenger traffic at Croatian airports amounted to 320 thousand or 285.4 percent more than in June 2020, when Croatian air traffic brought only 83 thousand passengers into the country. For comparison, back in June 2019, the turnover was 1.56 million passengers.

In June 2021, 20.6 percent of passenger traffic from June 2019 was realised. The largest amount of passenger traffic was realised by Split Airport, with 115 thousand passengers, which is 360.1 percent more than in June 2020, followed by Zagreb Airport with 100 thousand passengers and Dubrovnik Airport with 59 thousand passengers.

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