Saturday, 30 July 2022

Peak Tourist Weekend in Split and Elsewhere in Croatia

July 30, 2022 - It is the peak tourist weekend in Croatia, and the number of people trying to get to their destinations is causing problems and delays in many places.

Split is filled with tourists, in this peak tourist weekend, and there are more coming through these days. It is expected that over 50,000 people will land in over 200 airplanes at the Split airport today. Croatian Radiotelevision also reports that the ferry port is expecting to see over 70,000 passengers and around 15,000 vehichles arriving or departing today.

Jelena Ivulić from Jadrolinija explains to HRT that the passengers have been arriving in great numbers since the early morning. They had to establish an out-of-schedule line towards Supetar yesterday afternoon, and there was another one this morning already. They are expecting more of those in the afternoon. The same goes for the return from Supetar to Split.

She says that it's really busy, and that the passengers need to be patient: everyone will eventually get to their destinations! They did so last weekend as well, and it was also remarkably busy. There are many passengers traveling to Ancona as well.

And Split is not the only place in Croatia that's full of people on this Saturday: HAK reports that many Croatian highways are also extremely busy, especially the directions towards the seaside. The A1 highway (Zagreb - Split - Ploče) has a lot of traffic in both directions and a 7-km queue at the entrance of the Sveti Rok tunnel in the direction of Split.

On the Eastern side of Croatia, there is a 12 km queue at the Bajakovo border crossing with Serbia, for the passengers crossing eastbound.


It remains remarkable that the one spot in Croatia where we've gotten used to kilometres-long queues, the border crossings with Bosnia and Herzegovina near Neum, are nice and almost empty today.


Screenshot from a HAK webcam

Monday, 25 July 2022

Split Airport Dealing With Huge Numbers, Promising Weeks Ahead

July the 25th, 2022 - The height of the summer tourist season is now in full swing, with more and more foreign visitors pouring into the country through airports. Split Airport has been recording some excellent numbers and it doesn't seem like that is going to stop soon.

The global coronavirus pandemic which caused so much unprecedented damage to the travel and tourism industry appears to be well and truly in the past, with most people assigning that bizarre period to the history books and travelling freely once again. The Croatian tourist season is on course to smash the numbers from the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019, and people are finally able to breathe a sigh of relief following warnings earlier in the year of the war in Ukraine having a potentially negative effect. So far, that fear hasn't materialised.

As Morski writes, we've just seen off the penultimate weekend of July, we're being dominated by a heatwave and the majority of Croatian residents as well as tourists have gone off on their holidays down to the coast, therefore the traffic density has increased on the roads throughout the country. It's also extremely busy at Split Airport.

According to all current indicators, Split Airport at Resnik is slowly but surely approaching the figures from the record year of 2019, with the impressive figure of 450,000 passengers having already been exceeded in July.

''Over these two days, we expect 215 planes carrying 55 thousand passengers. Of course, by the end of July, we expect to be somewhere between 650 and 700 thousand passengers. There's an operation going on every five minutes. At the moment, Split is connected to 90 destinations, i.e. 24 countries. There may be a delay of half an hour, an hour or even a cancelled flight as a result of varying events in European destinations, but this isn't significantly affecting the flow of traffic here and we're completely ready, available and working hard at the peak of the summer season according to our capacities. We're in for the biggest amount of work next weekend or the one after that. It's historic. Those two or three weekends, which occur during the very heart of the season, are when record numbers are achieved,'' pointed out Mate Melvan, head of the passenger reception and dispatch service at Split Airport, writes HRT.

At the end of August, the two millionth passenger will have passed through Split Airport this year.

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

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Croatian Tourist Board Launches New Campaign at Split Airport

July the 24th, 2022 - The Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB/HTZ) has launched an innovative new campaign involving the senses at Split Airport, and it appears to be winning over the many tourists passing through there at the moment.

As Morski writes, the CNTB is referring to their newly launched Split Airport campaign as a new, interesting and innovative one, which they claim delights foreign guests entering the country. Many passengers, leaving the planes and entering the area of ​​the Split Airport, can feel the specific smells of the Mediterranean - sea, pine trees, fresh citrus, lemon, orange, lavender, white cedar, and the list goes on.

According to research carried out the field of marketing and promotion, as much as 75 percent of a person's emotions are invoked by smells, which is one of the most important sensations in shaping reality, mood and concentration. Based on this, an interactive panel which displays the words "Croatia - Immerse your senses" was installed at Split Airport, which emits Mediterranean scents with appropriate animations.

''We at the CNTB follow modern trends in the promotion of tourism all the time, which has been confirmed by this interesting campaign that attracts the attention of many passers-by, that is, our guests at the most frequented locations, and in the middle of the peak summer tourist season, that is certainly at airports. We want to be innovative and immediately give our guests a feeling of summer, rest and comfort, and at the same time interest them and inform them about other Croatian destinations and parts of our overall tourist offer,'' said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic, adding that this activity will be being carried out until the end of July.

The campaign also includes several additional locations in the City of Split, where digital panels are set up on which shots of other Croatian destinations are displayed.

Activities are also being carried out further south in Dubrovnik Airport (Cilipi), where the so-called ''digital towers'' that display video material work to promote the overall offer of Croatia as a tourist destination and showcase some of the most beautiful and attractive landscapes of the country to new arrivals.

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

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Almost All Scandinavian Airlines Flights to Split and Pula Canceled

July 7, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as almost all Scandinavian Airlines flights to Split and Pula have been canceled due to an airline strike. 

There has been speculation about the possibility of a SAS Scandinavian Airlines flight staff strike, and while there was a delay, and a potential agreement, the staff of this airline is now on strike, which has resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of flights throughout Europe, including destinations in Croatia, reports Croatian Aviation

Scandinavian Airlines pilots are on strike for several days, which has resulted in the cancellation of a number of flights to destinations in Europe, including flights to Split and Pula. The carrier operated flights only to Dubrovnik Airport.

Namely, on Wednesday, July 6, SAS canceled all 8 announced flights to and from Split Airport. These are destinations in Scandinavia, such as Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Bergen, and flights scheduled for Thursday, July 7, six in total, have also been canceled.

Apparently, the cancellations will continue until the strike is over, but given that the airline is in financial trouble, the question is how the whole story will end. Namely, the carrier started the restructuring process in the USA, but the possibility of bankruptcy is being mentioned.

In addition to Split, the carrier canceled two of the three scheduled flights to Pula Airport this Wednesday, as well as the flight to Oslo, announced this Thursday. The airline invites passengers to arrive at the airport from which they start their journey significantly earlier than usual in order to find alternative transportation (flights with other airlines), but due to the peak summer season, they also note that there is a high probability that the trip will not be possible within a reasonable time due to the occupancy of other flights.

Due to all these problems, the airline offers a free change of travel date, but this is little consolation to all those who planned their vacation months in advance.

At Split Airport, there are hundreds of passengers who booked this airline and are having trouble getting back to their homes due to canceled flights, especially since other carriers operating to and from Split Airport are almost fully booked, which is expected at the beginning of July, one of the two strongest summer months.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Split Airport Director Pero Bilas Says Facility is Ready for Crowds

July the 7th, 2022 - Split Airport director Pero Bilas has stated that the facility is ready to deal with expected crowds over the summer months, as travel gets back to normal and people put the coronavirus pandemic and all of its woes firmly behind them.

As Morski writes, Split Airport director Pero Bilas claims that the situation with crowding at Zagreb Airport is unlikely to occur there. "Split Airport functions in a different way. We're an extremely seasonal airport and the fluctuations in traffic are very large indeed. We expect crowds in the summer and we know how to deal with them,'' he said.

Not a single employee was fired during the coronavirus pandemic

Split Airport director Pero Bilas said that not a single of the airport's employees was fired during the coronavirus pandemic, they were instead reorganised inside the airport, and he praised the Croatian Government's measure to preserve jobs, which contributed to everyone keeping their staff. He added that they also hired seasonal workers.

What is happening in Europe and what we're seeing as a problem is flight cancellations and delays. When this happens, passengers should have the means to cope with these situations made available to them. We're trying to do our best and we're also trying to make up for all the delays,'' he pointed out.

It is predicted that the traffic by 2024 and 2025 should be at the level of pre-pandemic 2019. Split Airport director Pero Bilas believes that they should easily reach these numbers, because the results that show that they have had an excellent May and June and that they will end this year at 80 percent of the traffic realised when compared to the record year of 2019.

He added that energy prices don't significantly affect the operation of the airport, either. What is significant is that companies that have to load their kerosene at various stations across Europe are sensitive to all changes occuring on the market.

The traffic boom in Split happened with the appearance of low-budget companies, and Bilas says that low-budget companies are very welcome.

They have an equal status, they all operate within the airport under the same conditions. They're very important to us, they make up 40 to 45 percent of our turnover, and the boom in traffic in Split happened with the appearance of these low-cost companies,'' Split Airport director Pero Bilas emphasised for N1.

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

Monday, 20 June 2022

Split Airport Expecting Excellent July Results as Season Ramps Up

June the 20th, 2022 - Split Airport is rubbing its hands in anticipation of an excellent July as the height of the Croatian summer tourist season begins to ramp up.

After two dreadful years of coronavirus-induced issues directly affecting travel and tourism, the sector is understandably delighted with the current figures being recorded throughout all Croatian airports, as it seems the woes caused by the global pandemic are well and truly behind us now.

2019, the year before the world as we knew it changed in the most unprecedented manner, is remembered as being a record one. Numbers in terms of air and tourist traffic were phenomenal, and the desire to get back to that during those most difficult two years of 2020 and 2021 seems to finally be coming to fruition.

As Morski writes, proof that the summer tourist season across Split-Dalmatia County is heating up has definitely been confirmed by the fact that 40,000 passengers and 175 planes from 90 destinations and 24 countries were expected at Split Airport over this past weekend.

Mate Melvan from Split Airport stated that this is the beginning of what they refer to as ''June's striking weekends'', which bring a lot of people through the airport and signal a great July that could be at the record level of 2019 or hopefully even stronger.

From the beginning of this year until today, 660 thousand passengers have passed through Split Airport, and last year in the same period 116 thousand of them, which is a difference of 550 thousand passengers.

Compared to 2019, we have 80 percent of the turnover so far, and we expect to end the year within 80 percent. Split is now connected with 24 countries and 90 destinations, meaning the city is connected with the whole world,'' said Melvan.

There will be no less crowds at Split's ferry port either, where 50,000 passengers and 11,000 vehicles are expected over this four-day extended weekend, N1 reports.

Jelena Ivulic from the Croatian ferry company Jadrolinija stated that the pressure on the port has been on since Wednesday afternoon, meaning that they had to introduce two more ferry lines than they'd normally have over this past weekend.

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

Saturday, 11 June 2022

Five New Croatia Airlines Split Seasonal Flights Running in June

June 11, 2022 - New Croatia Airlines Split seasonal routes were launched on Friday. The national airline will directly connect Split with five new European destinations during this year's summer flight schedule - Stockholm, Bucharest, Dublin, Milan, and Amsterdam.

The ceremony, which marked this year's expansion of the Croatia Airlines destination network from Split, was held after the first seasonal flight from Stockholm landed in Split. Currently, passengers have two flights a week on this international route - Fridays and Sundays, and return airline tickets are available for as little as 129 euros, reports Croatian Aviation.

On Friday around 2 pm, the first passengers on the new Split - Bucharest seasonal line, which will operate on Wednesdays and Fridays, took off on Croatia Airlines, and return airline tickets are available to passengers for as little as 149 euros.

"We are glad that we have offered passengers an even better travel choice and expanded our European destinations network. During this year's season, we plan to connect Croatia with 21 international destinations, i.e., 22 European airports, and the aircraft will fly on 41 international routes. In that period, we plan to run more than 16,000 flights and offer about 1,766,000 seats, which will make the national airline contribute to the quality of Croatian tourism products and improve the transport infrastructure of the Republic of Croatia," said Slaven Zabo, commercial director of Croatia Airlines.

"Croatia Airlines is the most important business partner of Split Airport. This has been particularly evident during the last two crisis pandemic years. Even during the complete blockade of air traffic, Croatia Airlines ensured the connection of Split Airport with the world. Also important to us is the connection that Croatia Airlines provides throughout the year, especially during the winter flight schedule. Direct connection with 18 European destinations compared to 13 in the record 2019, when the Airport had 3.3 million passengers, proves the fact that Croatia Airlines is a strong lever in the process of recovering air traffic and tourism in this region," said Pero Bilas, Assistant Director-General of Split Airport.

On Sunday, June 12, Croatia Airlines is starting to directly connect Split with two other European capitals - Dublin and Milan. There will be flights between Split and Dublin on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and return tickets are available from 169 euros, while flights between Split and Milan are planned on Thursdays and Sundays, and passengers on this route have return tickets from 119 euros.

The fifth new line this season from Split will be introduced on June 14 this year, when the first Split - Amsterdam flight will run. Flights on this route are planned for Tuesday, and return tickets are available to passengers for as little as 159 euros. 

During this season, Croatia Airlines planes will directly connect Split with 18 European destinations. In addition to the new seasonal lines to Stockholm, Bucharest, Dublin, Milan, and Amsterdam, Split will be directly connected with Athens, Vienna, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, London (ZL Heathrow and ZL Gatwick), Lyon, Munich, Paris, Rome, and Zurich. In addition, flights on the Split - Prague season line, which was first introduced last year, are being renewed.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 10 June 2022

Finnair Croatia Routes from Helsinki Boosted from June 20

June 10, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Finnair Croatia routes have been boosted to Split and Dubrovnik from June 20. 

Finnish airline and Oneworld alliance member Finnair will increase the number of flights to two Croatian airports in the second half of June, reports Croatian Aviation

Namely, Finnair will increase the number of flights to Split and Dubrovnik from June 20, while the number of weekly flights between Helsinki and Zagreb will remain the same as before.

The Finnish national airline will operate 24 return flights between Helsinki and Zagreb until the end of July this year. The line was introduced on May 1 this year, and operations continue three times a week, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Instead of aircraft from the A320 family, the airline will mainly use smaller capacity aircraft, type E190 (100 seats) between the two cities, while A319 aircraft have also been announced on certain dates. 

By the end of July, Finnair will offer a total of 5,480 seats between Helsinki and Zagreb.

As for Split Airport, three flights a week are announced until June 19, on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and from June 20, a fourth flight a week is available, every Friday. The stated number of weekly operations is planned through the peak summer season. Unlike the route to Zagreb, Finnair to Split is announcing A321 and A320 aircraft (209 and 174 seats). 

Between Split and Helsinki, Finnair will offer 11,840 seats by the end of July. 

The situation is similar in Dubrovnik. Until June 19, three flights a week are also announced, on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and from the next day, a flight is also available on Thursdays. A320 and A321 aircraft have been announced between the two cities, but A321 aircraft will be more frequent in Resnik than in Čilipi.

Between Dubrovnik and Helsinki, the Finnish airline is offering 11,655 seats until July 31.

Finnair counted on a larger number of transfer passengers from Asia, but due to the war in Ukraine and the closure of Russian airspace, routes to Asia have either been significantly reduced or suspended, so most passengers are on lines to or from Croatia point-to-point.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 30 May 2022

Split-Dalmatia County Overnights at 80% of 2019, High Demand at Split Airport

May 30, 2022 - Split-Dalmatia County overnights and Split Airport flight traffic have hit 80% of the record 2019!

"We are only at the end of May and in the middle of an extended weekend. Nevertheless, all tourist indicators tell us that from the beginning of the year to the end of May, we are at around 80% of traffic in terms of overnight stays compared to 2019," said Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board for HRT.

"If we looked at 2021, we have three times more overnights than last year. So we have excellent bookings for the peak season," he pointed out.

As for guests, domestic tourists make up about 10% in Split-Dalmatia County, and the increase in prices will affect this.

"We hope that prices will not rise too much," Stella said.

Stella added that they had made a master plan for tourism development, and their main goal is sustainable tourism with the help of the local population. They have already taken some actions, and they know how much they can burden local tourism during July and August.

Stella concluded that he expects to get very close to the 2019 results, but it is more critical for them to take care of tourism sustainability.

The head of the Passenger Reception and Dispatch Service of Split Airport, Mate Melvan, was a guest on Dnevnik N1 on Sunday. 

He pointed out that they are delighted with the traffic this extended weekend, after which there are about 140 aircraft and approximately 34,000 passengers.

"Compared to previous years, we are now at about 80 percent compared to 2019, and the goal is to reach 2019. However, compared to last year, we are significantly in the black; it is best to forget," Mate Melvan told N1.

Commenting on the impact of inflation and the war in Ukraine on price growth, he added: “Airlines are under pressure due to the crisis, but it is not affecting high demand so far, and we are looking forward to it. Figures show that we could reach the 2019 figures in July and August. 45 to 50 airlines have announced flights. It turns out that the demand for Split is growing."

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

Monday, 23 May 2022

45 British Airways Split Flights Announced in June!

May 23, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as 45 British Airways Split flights will operate next month, with daily operations in June between Heathrow and Split Airport!

Oneworld alliance member British Airways recently reduced the number of weekly rotations to Zagreb in July, justifying the move by lower demand and a shortage of crew and aircraft, but also increased the number of weekly flights to Split starting next month, reports Croatian Aviation

In June, British Airways will operate 45 return flights between the two London airports and Split Airport, and from May 28, one aircraft will spend the night on Saturday in Resnik.

Namely, Saturday's arrival of the plane from Heathrow to Split is scheduled after 11 pm, with an early departure from Split back to London the next day, which is certainly positive news for the airport and some of the hotels nearby where the crew will spend the night.

British Airways will operate daily between Heathrow and Split in June, and two flights a day are available on certain days of the week, especially Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition to the Heathrow route, British Airways will operate a regular seasonal route between London City Airport and Split this summer, and according to the latest announcements, this route should operate from June 17, three times a week, every Monday, Thursday, and Friday.

More than 15,000 seats are available on the line between Heathrow and Split in June alone, as well as an additional 1,100 additional seats to London City Airport. This is excellent news for Split Airport which is already expecting one of its busiest summer seasons after taking the title of the busiest airport in Croatia in 2021!

British Airways also operates to Zagreb and Dubrovnik, and the fourth destination in Croatia will soon be Pula Airport.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.


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