Thursday, 14 October 2021

Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman Airport Receives Important Safety Certificate

October the 14th, 2021 - Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman Airport has been re-certified as a safe airport in the conditions of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the capital's busy airport reported on Wednesday.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman Airport recalled that back in 2020, they were among the first European airports to successfully pass the accreditation programme for the establishment of health and safety measures in the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic, and recently the re-accreditation process for 2021 was completed.

In the accreditation process, as they say, special emphasis was placed on further improving the established health and safety measures in the conditions of the global pandemic at airports, developed by the World Airports Council (ACI World).

It is a process of examining the conditions and organisation for the safe use of the airport's space, prescribed in accordance with the recommended health measures set out in the ACI Aviation Business Restart and Recovery Guidelines.

The programme is designed to identify and demonstrate the fact that airports are safe places to be in when travelling, and to take further precautions to reduce any risk to passenger health.

The programme, as they say, was made according to the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO Aviation Recovery Task Force Recommendations) and in accordance with the best examples from the industry.

In the procedure of assessing all submitted evidence, Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman Airport proved that it can and does successfully implement all of the prescribed measures and thus provides conditions for the safe travel to all of its many users from across the world. Owing to this box being ticket, the facility once again received the Airport Health Accreditation Certificate for the next twelve months, according to the airport's report on the topic.

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Thursday, 27 May 2021

Croatia Airlines and Zagreb Airport Announce Reintroduction of Several Flights

ZAGREB, 27 May 2021 - A flight from Dublin with about 100 passengers landed in Zagreb on Thursday, whereby Croatia Airlines (CA) and Zagreb International Airport (MZLZ) marked the relaunch on flights on that route after they had been suspended due to the pandemic, and CA hopes to intensify flights to European destinations.

The national flag carrier CA hopes to expand its flight network from Croatia to European destinations and as part of its plans, it will intensify flights on the Zagreb-Dublin route.

There will be two flights a week on that route, on Thursdays and Sundays, and the plan is to adapt to current market demand, depending on the epidemiological situation in Croatia and the world. The first direct flight on that route was established in 2018.

A member of the management board at MZLZ, David Gabelica, underscored that Zagreb is currently connected to 24 destinations and that as of June that will increase to 36. There are 300 flights a week and at peak season there will be 700.

Gabelica added that CA is MZLZ's most important partner and they are in constant contact. Considering the conditions that Ryanair was recently awarded, which are much more favorable than for Croatia's flag carrier, Gabelica said that CA can always count on the best conditions.

The director of the Zagreb Tourist Board, Martina Bienenfeld, underscored that the reintroduction of Dublin-Zagreb flights shows that interest exists for people to come to Zagreb and Croatia.

"The majority of passengers, according to my information, are staying in Zagreb but I am convinced that a large number of flights that Croatia Airlines is gradually reintroducing to Zagreb will have transfers to other destinations in Croatia," she said.

She explained that the majority of tourists currently in Zagreb are from the USA and that tourism numbers are similar to last year's.

CA commercial director Slaven Žabo said that CA will fly to 18 European destinations during the summer, including 14 from Zagreb.

He confirmed that the national flag carrier was in negotiations with MZLZ regarding better conditions.

In an effort to ensure better connectivity and support to Croatia's tourism, CA plans to provide 80,000 seats a month during the summer season on flights from European destinations to Croatia while cooperation with tour operators foresees more than 200 tourism charter flights from Austria, Italy, Ireland, Israel, and Scandinavia, said Žabo.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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Monday, 24 May 2021

Busy Weekend at Croatian Airports: Over 70 International Flights!

May 24, 2021 - It was a busy weekend at Croatian airports with over 70 international flights to destinations around Europe! 

Croatian Aviation reports that Croatian airports continued the positive trend that began in early May. It is to be expected that the positive trends will continue in the coming period, especially as the summer season approaches its peak.

Croatian Aviation hopes that the epidemiological situation will be favorable for travel and that over time, the demand for passengers will grow even more. But, for now, we can be satisfied, since this weekend Croatia had over 70 flights to international destinations!

Zagreb Airport 

Zagreb Airport was connected to 17 international and 4 domestic destinations last weekend. Frankfurt was again the international destination with the most outbound flights from Zagreb, i.e., with a total of 9 outbound flights. Of the domestic destinations, the most outbound flights this weekend from Zagreb were recorded to Split, i.e., a total of 5 outbound flights.

Sunday's traffic at Zagreb Airport was increased compared to Saturday's traffic, just like the previous weekends. The most active airline at Zagreb Airport was Croatia Airlines. The domestic airline has connected Zagreb with international destinations such as Frankfurt, Zurich, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Vienna, Paris, Rome, Sarajevo, and Brussels. Croatia Airlines flew from Zagreb to Split, Dubrovnik, Osijek, and Pula via Zadar.

Of the foreign airlines this weekend, the most active were KLM, with 4 outbound flights to Amsterdam and Lufthansa with 3 outbound flights to Frankfurt. AirFrance also flew from Zagreb to Paris, Austrian to Vienna, Aeroflot to Moscow, Turkish to Istanbul, Windrose to Kyiv, LOT to Warsaw, AirSerbia to Belgrade, and Eurowings to Stuttgart and Cologne.

Split Airport

This weekend, Split Airport was connected with 18 international destinations and 2 domestic destinations. Traffic at Split Airport has significantly increased compared to the previous weekend and compared to the entire previous period in 2021. Although Zagreb Airport had several commercial passenger aircraft operations this weekend, Split Airport managed to establish connections with the most international destinations for the first time this year.

Saturday was significantly busier than Sunday at Split Airport. This Saturday alone, you could fly from Split to 8 different destinations in Germany. Of the domestic destinations from Split, most outgoing flights were traditionally directed to Zagreb, i.e., a total of 6 outgoing flights. The largest domestic airline flew from Split to international destinations such as Zurich, Munich, Frankfurt, and Rome and also operated domestic flights to Zagreb and Osijek. 

Several different foreign airlines could be seen in Split this weekend. Thus, Eurowings flew from Split to Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Dortmund, Cologne, easyJet to Basel, Berlin (Brandeburg), Geneva and London (Luton), Lufthansa to Munich and Frankfurt, KLM to Amsterdam, Austrian to Vienna, Smartwings to Prague, LOT to Warsaw and Transavia to Paris (Orly).

Dubrovnik Airport

At Dubrovnik Airport, traffic was as high as last weekend. This weekend, Dubrovnik was connected with 8 international destinations and with Zagreb as the only domestic destination. As in the case of Split, air traffic in Dubrovnik is more significant on Saturdays than on Sundays. 

This weekend in Dubrovnik, Croatia Airlines performed 5 rotations on the route to Zagreb and 1 rotation on the route to Frankfurt. Of the foreign airlines, Austrian from Vienna, Lufthansa from Munich and Frankfurt, Air Baltic from Riga, LOT from Warsaw, Luxair from Luxembourg, Transavia from Paris (Orly), and Iberia from Madrid flew to Dubrovnik.

Zadar Airport

Zadar Airport also recorded several flights and airlines this weekend. Zadar was connected with 4 international destinations and 2 domestic destinations this weekend.

Croatia Airlines flew on Saturday and Sunday from Zagreb via Zadar to Pula and further to Zagreb. Among the foreign airlines to Zadar are Lufthansa flights from Munich and Frankfurt, Luxair from Luxembourg, and Ryanair from Krakow.

Pula Airport

Pula recorded 4 operations of commercial passenger aircraft this weekend, just like the previous weekend. On Saturday, Lufthansa operated on the route from Frankfurt to Pula, while Croatia Airlines operated on the route from Zagreb. This week, Russian S7 Airlines performed a regular rotation between Moscow and Pula, and Croatia Airlines another domestic rotation to Zagreb.

Rijeka, Osijek, Brač airports did not have international traffic on regular routes this weekend either.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Over 50 Flights at Croatian Airports During First May Weekend!

May 3, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as there were over 50 flights at Croatian airports during the first weekend of May!

Croatian Aviation reports that Croatian airports last weekend (May 1 to 2, 2021) saw an increase in international routes compared to the last weekend of April. Namely, five Croatian airports had more than 50 international routes! Only Rijeka, Brac, and Osijek did not have direct flights to destinations outside Croatia.

Zagreb Airport, as expected, had the largest number of domestic and international routes. From Zagreb on Saturday, it was possible to travel directly to and from Paris, Doha, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Moscow, Warsaw, Zurich, Split, Zadar, Pula, and Dubrovnik. The largest number of flights was operated by Croatia Airlines, while the Dutch KLM had two flights. Traffic was more significant on Sunday when Zagreb had direct lines to Istanbul, Paris, Kyiv, Frankfurt, Vienna, Cologne, Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Sarajevo, Zurich, Split, Dubrovnik, Pula, and Zadar. Croatia Airlines again performed the most flights, while the Dutch KLM and the German Lufthansa had two flights each.

Russian Aeroflot landed in Zagreb on Saturday from Moscow with an A321 aircraft, while on Sunday, a NEO version of the same aircraft was sent to Zagreb by Turkish Airlines.

Split Airport also had better traffic this weekend. EasyJet had regular flights from Berlin, Basel, and Geneva, Eurowings from Stuttgart and Dusseldorf, Lufthansa from Munich and Frankfurt, Vueling from Barcelona, KLM from Amsterdam, Smartwings from Prague, and Croatia Airlines from Zagreb, Munich, and Frankfurt. KLM sent a larger aircraft (B737-800) to Split, Smartwings B737-700, and Lufthansa on the Frankfurt A319 route. 

The traffic was less intense on Sunday. EasyJet operated from Basel, KLM from Amsterdam, LOT from Warsaw, Austrian from Vienna, Lufthansa from Munich, and Croatia Airlines from Zagreb, Frankfurt, Osijek, and Rome. This weekend, Split was connected with as many as 15 destinations in Croatia and Europe!

The first flights last weekend were operated from Prague (Smartwings), Berlin (EasyJet), and Barcelona (Vueling).

The increase in arrivals and departures was also recorded at Dubrovnik Airport. Lufthansa connected Dubrovnik with Frankfurt, LOT with Warsaw, Croatia Airlines with Zagreb, while Air Baltic made its first flight this season from Riga.

On Sunday, it was possible to see the aircraft of Vueling (from Barcelona), Austrian Airlines (from Vienna), Iberia (from Madrid), and Croatia Airlines (from Zagreb) in Dubrovnik.

Pula welcomed Lufthansa's first flight this season from Frankfurt on Saturday, while Russian S7 Airlines rotated between Moscow and Pula on Sunday. The line was introduced last weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, Pula directly connected with Zagreb and Zadar with a domestic flight of Croatia Airlines.

Zadar Airport also welcomed the first Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt. Like Pula, it had a domestic Croatia Airlines flight from Zagreb via Pula back to Zagreb on Saturday and Sunday.

Rijeka, Brac, and Osijek did not have international traffic on regular lines this weekend. It should be noted that Osijek was connected to Split by a Croatia Airlines flight, while there was no domestic traffic to Rijeka and Brac last weekend. The increase in international lines compared to the last weekend of April is significant and expected, as traffic at the European level begins to recover. From week to week, Croatian airports will have more and more airlines, and consequently, passengers.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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Sunday, 14 February 2021

Brač Airport Director Tonči Peović: Air Traffic Recovery will Depend on Dynamics of Vaccination

February 14, 2021 - Brač Airport Director Tonči Peović comments on what Croatian airports can expect this year.

HRTurizam reports that airlines from all over the world are announcing the return of seasonal flights to Croatian airports. Thankfully, as well, after Croatia experienced a devastating loss last year. In 2020, slightly more than 2 million passengers passed through Croatia's seven airports, while a year before, there were almost 11 and a half million.

"At the global level, there has been a decline in passenger traffic of 64%, in Europe, this percentage is 70%, and in Croatia, it rises to 78%. Large countries such as Russia or China, which due to their size have stronger domestic traffic, have not had such a decline, mostly because they recorded an increase in the segment of domestic passengers," explains Tonči Peović, President of the Air Transport Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the director of Brač Airport. He adds that one of the reasons for such results is the lack of harmonization and agreement at the international level.

Namely, after the attack on New York in 2001, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the United Nations agreed in the shortest possible time on counter-terrorism, which airlines and world governments began to implement soon after. Such cooperation was lacking during the coronavirus pandemic. The difference in applying epidemiological measures from country to country has negatively affected and still affects air transport.

"When the epidemiological measures subside, and when air traffic is re-established to a greater extent, I expect that the biggest downtime will occur in intercontinental flights and in business class. In intercontinental flights, the delay could be due to passengers' fear of coronavirus outbreaks, which makes it difficult to get back to your destination, and in business class, because companies around the world have started using all the benefits of online remote meeting tools while there are travel restrictions, so I believe that business people will not fly like they used to," emphasizes Peović.

Croatian airports are hoping for some traffic recovery in 2021. Optimism is mostly based on the announcements of airlines, which will operate seasonal flights to and from Croatia. Namely, in 2019, a significant increase in passenger traffic at airports was achieved in April, and similar results were recorded in previous years.

"The first lockdown in Croatia, in April last year, reduced air traffic in Croatia to almost zero. This year, we can hardly expect an "awakening" in early April, at Easter time. In the current situation, we may be able to expect a slight recovery in early May, but this will depend on the dynamics of the split. The lack of vaccines is already playing a big role, so everything will probably continue. Recovery also depends on the situation in the countries from which most of our tourists come, and in most of them, there is a lockdown. All previous optimistic announcements are based on good wishes, but we have to talk about the facts," said Peović.

Airlines worldwide are eagerly awaiting the recovery of air traffic and have been actively involved in solving the problem. The introduction of so-called "Covid passports," i.e., passports for safe travel, would greatly facilitate business. However, such passports also open up a handful of new questions. One of the largest is the type of vaccine. Namely, the vaccine given in some countries is not accepted in others. Therefore, people who have received a vaccine will not be able to travel to destinations where the same vaccine is not accepted.

Therefore, the International Air Transport Association has recently launched a travel pass initiative, which allows the integration of multiple passports or applications and determines which tests for COVID-19 and vaccines are allowed.

"The desire is to introduce standard software, for example for smartphones, with which it will be immediately visible whether passengers have the necessary documents and permits for the destination they are traveling to. Airlines worldwide can’t wait to start flying because even though their current costs are minimal, they want to make a profit, even a minimal one. But the question is how many airlines will survive after the measures are relaxed because, with the start of flights, the costs become much higher. If there is no interest of people in travel and the planes are not filled, I believe that the companies will make big losses, some of which will not recover," says Peović.

And what are the predictions for Brač Airport, which last year achieved only 17% of the traffic from 2019? Well, according to the airline’s announcements, the year could be quite successful. Namely, Brač Airport expects to maintain two Croatia Airlines' flights between Zagreb and Brač this year, which operates twice a week during the summer flight schedule, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

On its long-term charter line Graz - Brač, Croatia Airlines plans to resume traffic from mid-May to early October. German Sundair plans charter flights from Dusseldorf on Saturdays and from Berlin on Sundays from the beginning of May to the end of October, and ticket sales have already started. Charter flights from Bern and Graz will be operated by Great Dane Airlines in the off-season, from September to October.

"Negotiations are currently underway with Luxair, which connected Brač with Luxembourg two years ago, so I hope that Luxair will decide on reintroducing the line this summer. There is also LOT, the largest Polish airline with which we are in negotiations. We have sent them all the requested documents, and we are waiting for a response."

While the recovery of air traffic is expected, Brač Airport is not sitting idly by but is working to improve conditions. Namely, the airport upgrade project is in progress, where they are extending and widening the runway and reconstructing the passenger terminal. A construction permit for the passenger terminal and a location permit for the runway is pending. After that, the passenger terminal reconstruction project will apply for the EU energy efficiency project, as part of the initiative that arose in response to the impact of COVID-19. 

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Monday, 11 January 2021

Less Than 2.2 million Passengers at Croatian Airports in 2020

January 11, 2021 – Unlike the record 2019, when more than 11.4 million passengers passed through Croatian airports, in the crisis 2020, that number dropped by as much as 81 percent, counting less than 2.2 million passengers.

At the beginning of each new year, the revenues from the last tourist year are added up, and tourists' numbers are concluded. However, it was inevitable that in 2020, during which world tourism experienced a massive decline due to the coronavirus pandemic, would also affect tourist numbers.

As reported earlier, the Croatian tourism sector saw 50 percent fewer tourist overnight stays in 2020 than the record 2019. Likewise, commercial aviation experienced its largest decline in history. In 2020, Croatian airports accepted and dispatched less than 2.2 million passengers, writes Croatian Aviation.

Traffic to Croatia's three largest airports, Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik, has been growing steadily for years, but this series has been interrupted by a global pandemic. The three mentioned airports had over 9.6 million passengers in 2019, while in 2020, they recorded less than 2 million passengers together (1,929,336). The fact that the other five Croatian airports had 242,827 passengers last year is also devastating, of which Zadar alone served over 120,000 passengers.

sadrzaji.jpg

Source: Franjo Tuđman Zagreb Airport

With 924,823 passengers throughout the year, the main Croatian airport Franjo Tuđman Zagreb failed to reach the millionth passenger in 2020. However, almost half of the total Croatian traffic in 2020 was realized at the Zagreb airport.

Although it recorded an increase in the number of passengers in January and February compared to the same period in 2019, Franjo Tuđman Airport recorded a decrease in the number of passengers of 73 percent compared to 2019.

Unlike Zagreb Airport, Split Airport in January and February has modest traffic compared to the summer, seasonal months, and so it was in 2020. However, after the global pandemic hit Croatia, air traffic in Split almost stopped.

However, compared to other Croatian airports on the coast, Split still had a certain number of passengers in the peak season, especially in August. Still, the numbers in the post-season dropped drastically again. With 674,366 passengers, Split Airport recorded a decrease in the number of passengers of 79.58 percent compared to 2019.

Dubrovnik Airport was one of the biggest losers last year. It was closed in April, while the traffic was very poor in May and June. An increase in the number of passengers was recorded only in July and August, but not enough to avoid a large drop in the number of passengers.

Although many companies flew to Dubrovnik this summer, the planes were empty rather than full, as confirmed by statistics. The decrease in the number of passengers at Dubrovnik Airport is 88.6 percent compared to 2019.

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Source: Zadar Airport

Traffic also dropped drastically at Zadar Airport, but not as much as in Pula. These two Croatian airports have been competing in the number of passengers for several years, and the difference between them is relatively small. Nevertheless, in 2020, Zadar accepted almost 40,000 more passengers than Pula. Zadar Airport recorded a drop in the number of passengers of 84.93 percent compared to 2019, and Pula Airport 89.6 percent.

In 2019, Rijeka Airport finally exceeded 200,000 passengers for the first time in its history. Still, the numbers dropped drastically in 2020 as many airlines have given up on introducing seasonal routes to this airport due to the global pandemic. Rijeka Airport thus recorded a decrease in the number of passengers of 86.22 percent compared to 2019.

In 2020, Osijek Airport had only domestic PSO (Public Service Obligation) lines and the Eurowings line to Stuttgart, but only in August. It recorded a decrease in the number of passengers of 85.72 percent compared to the previous 2019.

Brač Airport also recorded a decline in the number of passengers in 2020. A slightly more significant number of passengers was recorded only in July and August, but these are also modest numbers compared to the 2019 summer season.

You can see the graphs of the 2020 traffic from all Croatian airports at Croatian Aviation.

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Sunday, 13 December 2020

Croatian Airports Report Sharp Declines in Activity in January-November 2020

ZAGREB, Dec 13, 2020 - Croatian airports have reported sharp declines in the numbers of passengers and flights and the amounts of cargo handled in the first 11 months of 2020 as a result of the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic, related travel restrictions and lower demand for air travel.

Statistics posted on the airports' websites show that all the airports have been in the red since March, with slightly higher turnovers from June to the end of September, but still considerably lower than in the same months of 2019.

The country's largest airport, Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman Airport, registered 883,300 passengers in the first 11 months of 2020, compared with 3.4 million in the same period of 2019, and operated 20,100 flights, against 45,000 last year.

In November 2020 alone, Zagreb Airport was used by 42,700 passengers, or 83% fewer than in November 2019, the number of flights was halved, to slightly over 1,500, and 857 tonnes of cargo was handled, compared with 1,000 tonnes in November 2019.

Split Airport recorded 665,700 passengers in the January-November period of this year, compared with 3.3 million in the corresponding period of last year. In November alone, slightly over 8,000 passengers used this airport, a decrease of 82% in relation to the same month of 2019.

Split Airport's website, as well as that of Dubrovnik Airport, did not provide data on flights and cargo. Dubrovnik Airport served 325,800 passengers in the first 11 months of this year, down from 2.9 million in the same period of last year. In November alone, it registered slightly over 4,000 passengers, compared with 57,000 in November 2019.

Zadar Airport logged 119,800 passengers in January-November 2020, compared with 798,700 in the same period of 2019. In November alone, it recorded 417 passengers, or 89.2% fewer than in November last year. Just like in November 2019, this November the airport did not handle any cargo and operated 79 aircraft, a decrease of 65.3%.

Rijeka Airport stood out from other airports in that it operated 53.8% more aircraft this November than last year, or 200 against 130 in November 2019. In the 11 months of this year their number was 3,200, or 1,700 fewer than in the corresponding period of 2019.

The three remaining airports - Osijek, Pula and Brac - did not provide relevant data on their websites.

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Three Largest Croatian Airports Record Less than 100,000 Passengers Combined in October

November 4, 2020 - The three largest Croatian airports, Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik, released their monthly statistics for October. All airports recorded a decrease in the number of passengers compared to September.

Croatian Aviation reports that the drop in passenger numbers in October was actually expected for several reasons. First, we traditionally have fewer seasonal lines in October, especially in Split and Dubrovnik. This year, due to the pandemic's impact, several lines stopped operating in late September, a month earlier than usual in previous years.

Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik combined did not reach 100,000 passengers in October

In addition to the earlier cancellation of routes, aircraft operating to and from the three mentioned airports had low passenger cabin occupancy. In addition to the pandemic itself and the crisis it causes, there is the fear of traveling by plane due to frequent flight cancellations and uncertainty about frequent changes in rules at state borders. All of the above resulted in record low numbers - the three largest Croatian airports in October together did not have even 100 thousand passengers (specifically, there were 95,432)! 

Zagreb Airport in October this year recorded 55,289 passengers, by far the most of all Croatian airports. Still, there is a noticeable decrease in the number of passengers than in September (more than 10 thousand fewer passengers than the previous month).

In October 2019, Zagreb registered 330,598 passengers. In total, from January 1 to October 31, 840,610 passengers passed through the main Croatian airport (2,957,109 in the same period last year). Thus, it is clear that Zagreb Airport will not reach the millionth passenger this year. From January to October, Zagreb recorded a drop in passenger traffic of over 71% compared to the same period last year.

Split Airport recorded 25,796 passengers in October, while in October 2019, 247,172 passengers passed through this airport. Split lost its chance for the millionth passenger a long time ago; by the end of October, only 657,570 passengers passed through Split Airport, which is actually an excellent result considering that there was almost no significant traffic by May. Hence, most passengers passed through Split at the height of the season. Namely, from June to October, Split generated over 600 thousand passengers!

This airport had more passengers from January to October last year than Zagreb - over 3 million (3,214,702).

Dubrovnik was far from famous this year in air traffic, and October was another modest month. Only 14,347 passengers passed through Dubrovnik Airport, while in the same month last year, there were almost 300,000 passengers (299,532).

At Dubrovnik Airport, slightly better traffic monthly was achieved only in August (almost 120 thousand passengers).

From January to October, 321,296 passengers passed through this airport, while last year in the same period - 2,804,478.

One thing is for sure, the decline in the number of passengers will continue in the last two months of this year, but the problem is that the market recovery is not in sight, almost certainly not until the spring of next year. Detailed statistics of other Croatian airports (Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, and Osijek) will be published soon.

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Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Croatian Airports on Their Knees: 90 Percent Less Traffic in July

Due to the collapsed operations of Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman Airport as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there was immediate speculation that the concession agreement might be terminated, leaving a 196 million euro loan on the back of the state. Croatian airports on the whole have suffered catastrophic losses.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 16th of August, 2020, on average, 94 percent fewer passengers passed through Croatian airports in June than at the same time last year. Globally, air traffic fell nearly 97 percent in June. Croatia's main airport, Zagreb Airport, was eerily empty in early April. Four months later, however, there's a slightly more positive picture.

"In July, we recorded 78,000 passengers, which is still at about 21 percent of what it was when compared to July last year, a slight increase has been felt in August, but we're somewhere at 25 percent of passenger traffic in this period," said Lidija Capkovic-Martinek, a spokeswoman for Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman International Airport.

As stated, due to the collapsed operations of Zagreb Airport as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there was immediate speculation that the concession agreement might be terminated, leaving an enormous loan on the back of the already enfeebled state. However, such a scenario has been vehemently rejected by the competent Ministry.

"Throughout this crisis, the main topic of conversation between the representatives of the concession grantor and the concessionaire were possible measures to ensure the long-term survival of this project throughout the concession, and there was no discussion on the possible termination of this concession agreement," the ministry said.

The 2012 concession agreement prescribes the conditions and circumstances under which both the concession grantor and the concessionaire may terminate the contract in the event of force majeure. Air traffic in Croatia, on the other hand, currently depends mostly on the national airline, Croatia Airlines.

"Planes fly from Zagreb to fourteen European destinations and five Croatian airports. We connect Split Airport with eleven European destinations, Dubrovnik Airport with seven European destinations and Rijeka Airport with Munich,'' said Slaven Zabo, Director of Commercial Affairs of Croatia Airlines.

The most traffic of all Croatian airpotts was recorded by Zagreb Airport, which still suffered a drop of 87 percent. They are followed by the airports of Split and Rijeka with a respective drop of 95 percent in traffic. Dubrovnik, as a well-known air destination, has experienced a drop of 97 percent, with Zadar seeing a 98 percent drop. The worst of all Croatian airports is Pula Airport with a tragic drop of 99 percent.

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Friday, 17 July 2020

Split Airport Expecting 2 Million Fewer Passengers this Year, Dubrovnik Remains Optimistic

July 17, 2020 - Business troubles caused by the coronavirus will bring considerable annual losses to airlines, and 2020 will be remembered as “the worst year in the history of the aviation industry”. The crisis has not bypassed Split Airport in Kastela, where it is estimated that this year's losses at the end of the year will reach 2 million fewer passengers compared to 2019, when more than three million passengers landed at that airport.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that the first 6 months of this year, Split Airport had a turnover of 108,000  passengers, while in the first half of last year, 1.2 million passengers were recorded. If we compare the month of June, the decline is about half a million passengers. This year, 26,000 passengers were realized, while last year, 513,000 passed through Split Airport.

"Until July 13, we had a turnover of 55,000 passengers, and by the end, we expect another 65,000, which at the end of the month will amount to a total of about 120,000 passengers. In the first 6 months of this year, we recorded a loss of about a million passengers, and we will lose that much more in July and August. So we are in the red about 2 million passengers," said Mate Melvan of Split Airport.

When it comes to companies that fly to Split Airport, the situation is somewhat better, but the problem, they point out, is that there are no passengers.

"Unlike last year when we were connected with about 58 global companies, this year we are connected with 30. I must emphasize that only ten of these thirty companies last year accounted for 90 percent of our total turnover last year. I think we are well covered in this regard, but the problem is that there are no passengers. People just don’t travel by plane and that’s where the whole problem lies. Last weekend, our port had the highest traffic, there are all the main carriers and there are no obstacles and problems," concludes Melvan.

It is interesting to note that in April this year, there were only six passengers, and in the same month last year, the traffic was more than 156,000 passengers.

Vienna, Warsaw, Madrid, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, Riga are just some of the twenty or so airports that are currently connected to Dubrovnik. However, the "real season" should start soon, when flights from Great Britain begin. British Airways (from London - three times a week), Jet2.com, EasyJet and others are establishing lines with certainly the most important tourist market for Dubrovnik. Low-cost carrier Ryanair is already flying on a route to Dublin, Ireland, and other airlines have decided to resume in an attempt to at least partially recoup losses in recent months.

Despite everything, by the end of July, Dubrovnik should be connected with more than 30 European cities. Compared to the current situation, traffic is expected to triple by the end of August. Thus, according to the announcements, there should be as many as 140 landings and take-offs at Dubrovnik Airport on the first weekend of August.

"It all depends on the epidemiological situation both in our country and in the countries from which our guests come. Most of the airlines we have worked with before are coming back, new ones are coming, and some have failed due to the corona crisis. We have to be optimistic because the situation is moving as we predicted," says the director of Dubrovnik Airport Frano Luetic.

Despite the unprecedented crisis for air traffic around the world, the airport is proud to highlight this week's agreement on the intercontinental connection of Dubrovnik and Dubai with Flydubai, and the start of flights from new destinations in Kyiv, Ukraine, Budapest, and Vilnius in Lithuania.

However, even with such an increase, the airport will find it difficult to achieve 30 percent of last year's traffic in July and August, which is mostly at the level of total air traffic worldwide. Namely, this year, up to thirty international planes a day will land at the airport in Cilipi during July and August, while in the same period last year there were even more than sixty.

The semi-annual number of passengers at the end of June last year was 1,059,684, while this year's number was 87,026 passengers in the same period, which is just over eight percent. Also, in June 2019, there were 415,876 passengers, while this year there were 10,592, which means that with the greatest optimism this year, it is difficult to expect more than half a million passengers at the airport.

"The Dubrovnik area and everything that gravitates to our airport are much smaller than the often mentioned area of ​​Split and their airport, which currently has more planes and passengers than us. One should know that Split gravitates to more than half a million local people, and their tourist capacities range from Zadar to the Neretva, and from numerous islands to the deep hinterland and Medjugorje. Our area is cramped and has less than a hundred thousand people, without the roads that Split has and with less tourist capacity. We are also oriented towards guests of higher purchasing power given that we have a lot more five-star hotels. And that is the reason why low-cost carriers opt more for Split because such is the offer and the purchasing power of passengers," says Luetic.

Last weekend, 3870 passengers passed through Zadar Airport. Compared to last year, the turnover is lower by 70 percent, and judging by the forecasts, these figures will be transferred to all of July. Namely, the expected weekly traffic in July is about 60 commercial aircraft, or 120 rotations, while during August, 70 commercial aircraft or 140 arrivals and departures are expected.

"Although it is difficult and ungrateful to give any forecasts at the moment, we expect about 33,000 passengers in July, and about 60 thousand in August. By the end of the year, the total traffic should reach the number of about 150,000 passengers, which is 19 percent of last year's result," said the management of Zadar Airport about the season which, if corona had not happened, should have been a record.

Last year, the traffic at Zadar Airport increased by 30 percent compared to 2018, and they welcomed the end of the year with more than 800,000 passengers. On the wings of these results, which were the best in the history of Zadar airport, this summer was greeted even more ambitiously.

This is best illustrated by the projections of the largest low-cost carrier in the world, Ryanair, which announced in early 2020 that it will carry a total of 670,000 passengers on 30 lines and its base in Zadar this season, 50 percent more than a year earlier. Instead, Ryanair currently flies on only ten routes, and the base, which was supposed to house three aircraft with staff for eight months, has been postponed until the summer of 2021.

In addition to Ryanair, whose share in traffic is by far the largest with almost 70 percent, ten other airlines are currently flying to Zadar Airport, connecting Zemunik with 29 European destinations.

Whether that number will be maintained or increased next season, no one currently wants to predict. Because it’s hard to say what will be next month, let alone next summer.

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