Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Oleg Butković Visits Split Airport, Confirms New Terminal Opening Planned for June

You’re all pretty familiar with the construction going on at Split Airport by now, which has seen an investment of more than 450 million kuna go into a new terminal and additional facilities. It is only necessary, because more than three million passengers traveled through Split Airport last year alone. 

It is known that the project is progressing faster than planned and that the end of works, instead of the previously announced September, could be in June, that is, three months earlier. On Tuesday, the Minister of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković and his associates came to see the project for themselves and stated that this is an investment of strategic importance for Split-Dalmatia County and the city of Split, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on March 19, 2019. 

Among other things, the media was interested in the name of the 'new airport', with one reporter asking the minister whether it would be named after Oliver Dragojević, with all due respect to the deceased music legend. Butković asked a question in return: "Don’t you think the new airport should be named "Airport Kaštela", since 95% of the space in which the airport operates and is located in the town of Kaštela?

At this point I have no answer to that question, it is a job for a broader debate at the local level, and after the debate is over, the proposal goes to the ministry,” Minister Oleg Butković answered, expressing satisfaction with the works that have been done so far.

The construction site the minister visited includes a 35,000 square meter passenger terminal, a 120-meter pedestrian bridge, a bus terminal for 50 buses and a parking lot with a capacity of 900 vehicles, as well as the reconstruction work of the existing terminal.

“The project is of strategic importance to Split-Dalmatia County and the city of Split, and its realization will enable the passenger terminal capacity to be matched with expected traffic demand, achieving a high level of safety and quality of service at the airport and meeting the EU standards for the international border crossing at Split Airport,” added Butković. The first man at Split Airport, Lukša Novak, added that this season expects an increase in the number of passengers by seven percent, which means nearly four million passengers.

Split-Dalmatia County prefect Blaženko Boban, who visited the airport with the mayor of Kaštela Denis Ivanović and Split Andro Krstulović Opara, said that the meeting with the minister was constructive and added that the dynamics of the deadlines and traffic plans of the agglomeration of Split goes according to previous arrangements.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 22 February 2019

Who Could Potential New Majority Owners of Croatia Airlines Be?

Minister Oleg Butković has stated that the company's business has now been stabilised, but who could the potential new majority owners of Croatia Airlines be?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of February, 2019, Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, said that it was difficult to estimate what the potential ownership ratio could be in relation to the state, as well as with a potential strategic partner for the enfeebled Croatia Airlines.

"It's hard to say that this will be a 50, 60, 70 or 100 percent sale of the ownership of Croatia Airlines, and in any case, there are those who are interested, and international companies are coming and are interested. In that sense, we're waiting for the whole process to begin. Then we'll who will place an offer, who is the most serious, and how this whole situation will go further,'' Butković told HRT.

"It [Croatia Airlines] has transported a record number of passengers last year, and we're insisting that Croatia Airlines remains a Croatian brand, to keep hold of all the routes on which it is currently flying, the acquisition of new aircraft, the modernisation of the new fleet, and the opening up of new routes, that's in function with Croatian tourism and with the whole economy,'' the minister added.

Butković didn't want to talk about any possible solutions for Croatia Airlines for the time being. He believes that the commission which has now been formed must delve much deeper into all the information and operations of Croatia Airlines and see what is, and what isn't a healthy part of that company, or what else can be done from within company in order to boost its function.

Gordan Maras said that Croatia Airlines should find a strategic partner with which the burdened flag carrier would remain a Croatian company.

"We need to find a partner that would work with Croatia Airlines on the level of world-wide destinations, that they're strong and outside of the EU, and not in the situation in which we just end up as their distributor. My position is that we need to find a partner outside the EU in order to develop that destination story," Maras said.

Minister Butković said that Croatia cannot influence exactly where a potential strategic partner will come from.

"Of course, there are certain restrictions as far as EU legislation is concerned, nobody who isn't from the European Union can become the majority owner of Croatia Airlines. There are many things that we have to take into account before the final decision is made,'' he concluded.

Make sure to stay up to date with the unfolding Croatia Airlines situation and much, much more by following our dedicated business page.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Investment in Croatia: 80 Million Kuna Allocated to Ports

More investment in Croatia and some very welcome news for fishing ports up and down the Croatian coast in several counties as valuable contracts worth a massive eighty million kuna are signed by Oleg Butković, the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure.

As Morski writes on the 20th of February, 2019, on Wednesday the 20th of February, Croatia's Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure signed binding agreements and contracts for the allocation of state budget funds for the construction, repair, and reconstruction of various facilities in ports which are open to public traffic, marking a praiseworthy investment in Croatia.

The ports, which are located in seven different coastal Croatian counties are considered to be of importance at both the county and local level, and their upcoming modernisation, reconstruction and construction will take place as part of the construction of fishing infrastructure this year.

The contracts will be signed by the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, and the directors of the port administrations Rabac, Crikvenica, Rab, Bakar-Kraljevica-Kostrena, Novi Vinodolski, Novalja, Senj, Zadar, Korčula and Vela Luka, as well as the port authorities of Šibenik-Knin County, Split-Dalmatia County, and Dalmatia's southernmost county - Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

Through the signing of these contracts and agreements, a huge total of eighty million kuna will be allocated to 25 infrastructure projects in as many as seven Adriatic counties in a massive investment in Croatia and its long and impressive coastline, not only in popular Dalmatia, which relies heavily on ports and their infrastructure.

With the allocation of these state budget funds, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs Transport and Infrastructure is continuing to go forward with its previously started investments in the field of the development and modernisation of port infrastructure on Croatian islands, as well as in coastal [mainland] areas, the competent ministry said in a statement on the matter.

Make sure to stay up to date with everything you need to know about investment in Croatia by following our dedicated lifestyle and business pages. If you've clicked on this article for sailing info, give our Total Croatia Sailing and travel pages a follow.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Privatisation for Croatia Airlines, But is the Interest There?

As we reported recently, the enfeebled Croatian flag carrier, Croatia Airlines, will undergo privatisation, with the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, having confirmed that the process is ongoing.

As Suzana Varosanec/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 3rd of February, 2019, fairly soon, the Croatian Government will decide on the appointment of a required commission to deal with the finding of a strategic partner for the burdened domestic airline.

In response to Poslovni Dnevnik's question on the matter, the response from the competent ministry was that Croatia Airlines has a tender which is currently in its final phase dedicated to finding a financial advisor for the development of the company's needed recapitalisation and the finding of an equally needed strategic partner, but as the initiator of the entire process Croatia Airlines is currently undergoing, it isn't in a position to comment on the details until the end of the procedure.

By the force of a decision made by the Croatian Government back on the 4th of January 2018, Croatia Airlines was returned to the list of companies of strategic and special interest to the Republic of Croatia. On the 26th of April 2018, the Croatian Government adopted the national program of reforms for the year 2018, which suggests ensuring further development and the strengthening of competitive advantages and positions on the air transport market through a quality strategic partnership should be the main goal for Croatia Airlines.

As an indicator of the results, the expansion of the domestic airline's transport network has since been established, as has as the increase in its market share and its recapitalisation.

Back in September 2018, in order to conduct a tender, a limited two-stage procurement procedure was initiated for the "financial advisor service to develop Croatia Airlines' recapitalisation model and finding a strategic partner".

Unofficially speaking, there does appear to be some serious interest for Croatia Airlines, but we're yet to see how that will manifest.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated business page for much more.


Click here for the original article by Suzana Varosanec for Poslovni Dnevnik

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Dubrovnik Highway: Talk of 800 Million Euro Project Reignited

After a decade of silence and complete inactivity, the Croatian Government is moving once again towards the temptation of a highway construction project towards Dubrovnik, a move initially started by former PM Ivo Sanader.

As Kresimir Zabec/Novac writes on the 2nd of February, 2019, after a rather unnecessarily lengthy and of course unclear title, the conclusion of the ''study documentation for the road connection of southern Dalmatia to the motorway network system of the Republic of Croatia from the Metković junction to the future Pelješac bridge and from the Doli junction to the City of Dubrovnik'' (yes you can take a breath now), which was adopted during Friday's Government session held in Dubrovnik, has actually led back to the beginning of re-activating the old plan to build a highway to Dubrovnik.

The last time constructing a highway to Dubrovnik was mentioned was way back in 2009, ten whole years ago, when a construction contract worth 3.675 billion kuna was signed in Osojnik in the presence of the controversial former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, an amount which didn't include the VAT for the planned Doli - Dubrovnik section. Although the contracts were indeed signed, the money for this project was never secured, therefore the works never started and all in all, time went by and people simply forgot about it for the most part.

Although there are permits, projects and designs from that time that still exist and could be acceptable today, Croatian roads (Hrvatske ceste) will spend 4.06 million kuna this year to take a better look at the southern Dalmatian transport system in the area of ​​Dubrovnik-Neretva County and its link with the existing highway network, and determine the feasibility of any highway construction from the existing Metković junction to the future Pelješac bridge, and then from Doli to the City of Dubrovnik. They'll also rule whether or not it is simply better to use the highway through neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina.

EU co-financing

Croatia's Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, has already jumped the gun when it comes to the talks held on Friday, stating that the Ploče - Dubrovnik motorway will be built, but the question is when. He is counting on the EU being prepared to co-finance the project in the next operational period. However, some insist that a study is needed because the road image itself has changed over the past ten years, not only in southern Croatia, but also in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The motorway was built behind Ploče and the where the future Pelješac bridge will be, in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, the construction of part of the Vc corridor from Počitelj to the border with Montenegro through Popovo polje has also begun.

Compared to ten years ago, the highway would now be changed somewhat. Back then, the route went from Ploče to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina at Neum and then continued on the other side down south to Dubrovnik.

It was estimated that eighty kilometres of highway from Ploče to Dubrovnik could cost around 732 million euros.

Today, it is assumed that the direction would go from the current Karamatići junction to the Pelješac junction, from where traffic will go down to Pelješac bridge. That equals approximately twenty kilometres of brand new highway sections. The traffic would continue along the new Pelješac road to the Doli junction, and from there 29.6 kilometers of highway would be built leading down to Dubrovnik.

According to the old 2009 project, a total of thirty objects needed to be built, of which there were ten viaducts, nine tunnels, and eight underpasses. Back then, the price of one kilometre of construction was 16.5 million euros without VAT, equalling a total of almost half a billion euros without VAT. The price of the construction of the highway from Karamatići to Pelješac is as yet unknown, but this section is also a very demanding part of the project as the route passes through the Neretva valley, so a high level of environmental protection will be required. Owing to all of the above, estimates are that the entire highway from Ploče down to Dubrovnik could stand at a massive 800 million euros.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated lifestyle and politics pages. If it's just Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you're interest in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow.


Click here for the original article by Kresimir Zabec for

Friday, 1 February 2019

Oleg Butković Reveals Fate of Croatia Airlines - Privatisation

Croatia's flag carrier hasn't had a particularly easy time of it of late. With the desperate search having been on for some time to finally locate a potential strategic partner, Croatia Airlines has been down on its luck and the enfeebled air company, despite having had a good tourist season last summer, is still struggling.

While privatisation isn't always a popular move for companies of such size, it may be the only way forward in some situations. It seems that the fate of Croatia Airlines is now not only heading in that very direction, but that it has already begun, with the process apparently ongoing.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 1st of February, 2019, after having visited Pelješac Bridge's construction site, on which work on the highly anticipated bridge is progressing faster than previously thought, Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, spoke about the fate of Croatia Airlines. He announced that the only national airline company is now ready for privatisation.

Minister Oleg Butković told Dnevnik that when it comes to the road to Croatia Airlines' privatisation, ''the process is ongoing".

"At the next session of the Government, or at the one after that, a decision will be made on the commission [for the privatisation process], which will monitor the entire process of finding a strategic partner [for Croatia Airlines]"

"Croatia Airlines' management has begun the process of selecting a financial advisor, so all of the preparatory actions, more specifically concrete actions are ongoing, and after all these decisions are made then we'll see who is interested. There are interested people who have made themselves known, but I wouldn't say more about any specific names,'' added the minister.

Make sure to stay up to date with Croatia Airlines' ongoing situation and much more by following our dedicated news and business pages.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Minister Oleg Butković Visits Company with Largest Fleet of Boats in World

As Morski writes on the 26th of January, 2019, Minister Oleg Butković spent some time in Shanghai and Ningbo where he met with the representatives of the giant shipping company COSCO Shipping.

The Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure also visited the port of Ningbo, the only port in the entire world which has shipped more than one billion tons of cargo, a statement from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs said.

In Shanghai, the Croatian delegation led by Minister Oleg Butković met with representatives of COSCO Shipping, a well respected shipping company that owns the world's largest fleet, as well as the third-largest fleet of specialised container ships.

On the same day, a meeting was held in Ningbo with representatives of the port of Ningbo Zhoushan, the port that, for the very first time, shipped over one billion tons of cargo in 2018, making it the only port in the entire world to do so. During the visit of the Croatian delegation of which Butković was a leading part, the data from the huge Chinese port showed how it has dealt with a massive 2,103,683 containers since the beginning of the year.

The visit to the port of Zhoushan was completed by visiting two of the most significant container terminals and meeting with leading port operators, which was an opportunity to exchange experiences with the Port of Rijeka's administration and talk about the projects they are preparing, whereby a clearly mutual desire for further cooperation was expressed.

The visit to Shanghai and Ningbo Zhoushan marked the end of the official visit of Minister Oleg Butković, who has been spending time in the People's Republic of China since January the 20th, and where he held a series of meetings with the aim of exchanging experiences between the two countries in the area of ​​transport infrastructure, and further enhancement of mutual cooperation.

Make sure to stay up to date with Croatia's political scene by following our dedicated politics page. If you're interested in Croatia's deepening relationship with China, give our business page a follow.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Croatia Airlines And A Quagmire Of Issues

Unions are disappointed that even after a month since Prime Minister Plenković's promises, nothing has been done with regard to the consolidation of the already burdened company...

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Citizens Want Free Usage of Krk Bridge and Učka Tunnel

Citizens argue that if other bridges and tunnels are free, Krk bridge and Učka tunnel should be too,

Monday, 9 July 2018

Oleg Butković: ''I Don't Expect Thousands of Chinese Workers On Pelješac Bridge''

Works on the highly anticipated bridge connecting southern Dalmatia with the rest of Croatia's territory will officially start at the end of this month, as has been stipulated by the contract.

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