Friday, 8 November 2019

Flights to Croatia: Swiss Ends Summer Zagreb Service, JetTime and TUI Launch New Lines to Split

November 8, 2019 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for new flights to Croatia with updates from Zagreb, Split, Pula, and Zadar. 

Ex Yu Aviation announced that Swiss International Air Lines would stop its seasonal summer service to Zagreb. 

“Swiss regularly reviews its route network for possible adjustments and its further development, to ensure that its aircraft fleet is deployed on it as effectively as possible. The prime considerations in these activities include current demand, the development potential offered by individual routes and the competitive landscape. As part of these ongoing endeavors to optimize our route network as a whole, we have decided to cease service to Sarajevo and Zagreb as of the 2020 summer schedule,” the airline said in a statement to Ex Yu Aviation. 

Recall, Swiss flew to Zagreb three times per week over the summer.

This doesn’t mean that Swiss is leaving the Croatian market, however. The airline will resume its weekly flight between Geneva and Pula from June 20 next year. Swiss will also codeshare Croatia Airlines’ services between Zagreb and Zurich, which runs twice a week. 

Avio Radar reports that TUIfly Nordic will run a new trip from Sweden to Split in their 2020 summer flight schedule. Namely, the Norrkoping-Split route will operate on Fridays every other week from May 15 to October 9. 

The Danish airline JetTime has flown on this line for the past year with a smaller Boeing 737-700 aircraft. TUI will service this line with its own Boeing 737-800 aircraft. 

They also announced two other new routes - Gotheburg-Split, which will run once a week on Fridays, and Stockholm (Arlanda)-Pula, which will run once a week on Saturdays. 

Avio Radar also reports that Danish airline JetTime will service TUI Sverige on new routes from Scandinavia to Pula and Split. Namely, it will fly between Gothenburg-Pula and Copenhagen-Pula once a week, on Fridays, with the larger Boeing 737-700 aircraft instead of the smaller British Aerospace Avroliner ARJ-100, operated by Swedish regional carrier Braathens Regional Airlines this year. 

Furthermore, the new line Orebro-Split, will run every other Wednesday from May 27 to October 8, 2020. The line is being introduced instead of the Norrkoping-Split line that TUI has taken over with its new aircraft. The Helsinki-Split, Copenhagen-Split and Vaxjo-Split lines will continue to operate the same as they did this year. 

Avio Radar adds that Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair will boost two flights to Zadar in the 2020 flight schedule. The Prague-Zadar line, which started operating only this year with two flights per week on Mondays and Fridays, will run three times a week in 2020 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. 

The second reinforced line is the Stockholm (Skavsta)-Zadar route, which also introduced a third-weekly trip. Starting March 31, 2020, this line will run on Tuesdays, Thursdays,  and Saturdays on the Boeing 737-800 aircraft. 

On the other hand, Ryanair announced the closure of its base in Hamburg a month ago. This means that the Hamburg-Zadar route,  which began operations this year with two flights per week, will not be on offer next year. 

To end this week of flight news, Ex Yu Aviation reported that easyJet and Pula Airport concluded a five-year agreement at the World Travel Market in London, which will further strengthen their cooperation and grow operations at the airport, with a focus on the UK market. 

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

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Flights to Croatia: SunClass Airlines and Volotea Announce New Lines to Split

November 3, 2019 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for new flights to Croatia with updates from Split.

Avio Radar reports that Spanish low-cost carrier Volotea launched many new lines in its 2020 flight schedule, which includes something new for Split. 

Namely, in a short time, Volotea has added a fourth new line in their offer to Croatia next year, which includes a trip between Italy and Split. 

Thus, the Bari-Split line will circulate once a week, on Wednesdays, only in the heart of the season, i.e., from July 8 to August 26.  This will be the third line from Italy to Split next year, with existing lines from Palermo and Venice. Earlier this year, the first line from Greece to Split was announced from Athens. The Boeing 717-200 aircraft is expected to run on this line. 

Recall, Avio Radar reported earlier Volotea also strengthened three flights from France to Split in its 2020 summer flight schedule. Namely, flights from Lyon, Nantes, and Toulouse will fly to Split three times a week next year - on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays in the peak season. On the other hand, the Marseille-Split route, which only ran three flights a week, was reduced to two flights per week. 

Furthermore, Avio Radar reports that SunClass Airlines is the new name of the Danish airline Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia. The Scandinavian branch of Thomas Cook resumed traffic after a one-day hiatus about a month ago, when its parent British airline Thomas Cook Airlines collapsed in September. The new business owner has now changed its name to SunClass Airlines and will keep Thomas Cook’s yellow heart logo.

Thus, a new line for Croatia in the 2020 summer flight schedule has been announced. Namely, the Copenhagen-Split line will operate once a week on Fridays from May 29 to September 25. SunClass Airlines will continue working on this year’s Thomas Cook routes between Gothenburg-Split, also once a week on Fridays, and between Helsinki-Split, which will also run once a week, but on Wednesdays. Tickets are on sale through the Scandinavian agencies Spies, Tjareborg, and Ving.

An Airbus type A321 aircraft was announced on all lines. Currently, the fleet consists of 8 Airbus A321 aircraft and four larger Airbus A330 aircraft. 

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

Monday, 7 October 2019

New Route in Discussion for Anticipated Split Airport Train Project

October 7, 2019 - The strategic project connecting the Split ferry port and airport, unofficially estimated at a total of 150 million euro, got a new twist last week.

As T.portal confirmed by several sources, after a disagreement that the future railways should pass through Kastela, a completely new route surfaced amid the chaos. 

According to the proposal made by HŽ Infrastruktura to the Ministry of Transport, the trains would run on an overhead line that is parallel to the Split-Trogir highway, mostly on the pillars that would sit between its two lanes.

“This solution is only slightly more expensive than the route proposed by the City of Kastela, which, in one part, rises to a relatively high altitude and almost completely bypasses populated areas. On the other hand, it is much cheaper than installing a railway line in a tunnel or a buried pipe in the lower part of Kastela, which was insisted by local authorities, and thus could be financed from European funds. Third, there are no property and legal issues on this route, while the performance itself would be relatively straightforward. It would not even be necessary to close the entire expressway for traffic, but only possibly one of its lanes,” said T.portal’s source. 

In addition to the Ministry of Transport, a proposal for a new, fourth route of the railway through Kastela was sent to consultants from Ernst & Young, who will make an assessment of its cost-effectiveness in the next month, and include it in an already completed study, followed by a change of spatial plans.

At a government session last May in Split, connecting the Split ferry port and airport was declared a project of strategic national importance, which implies, among other things, possible funding from European funds from 2020 to 2027. It should be suitable because Split airport handles 3.3 million passengers per year and the ferry port over 5.5 million, while the daily migrations of Split and Kastela residents should be added.

In fact, there are already 18 kilometers of railroad tracks between the two endpoints that need to be thoroughly reconstructed, and the added section - depending on whether it would be separated in Kastel Kambelovac or Kastel Stari - would be between eight and ten kilometers long. The final train station would be located south of the newly built Split Airport terminal, though there are ideas to move it to nearby Trogir.

Small suburban trains have been operating between a part of Kastela and Split for a long time, and since this summer, the famous 'mini-metro' between the Split suburbs and the city center has been in operation. However, the mini-metro has recorded a low number in passengers - reportedly only one per ride on average - but city officials continue to say that 'citizens should get used to this option' and that everything will make sense when the airport and ferry are connected with one logical and complete project.

It was announced that several existing railway stations in Split, Solin, and Kastela would be reconstructed by next summer, and HŽ Infrastruktura also signed a 2.7 million kuna contract last week to develop the technical documentation of the underground station at Trg Hrvatske bratske zajednice, exactly halfway between Kopilica and the port, in the administrative part of town, near the court and the police. 

The station should adapt to new security conditions and be about a hundred meters long, with platforms and exits to Trg Hrvatske bratske zajednice. The same project envisages the installation of a ventilation and fire-fighting system and other equipment in the Split 'metro' tunnel. 

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

Thursday, 26 September 2019

From Split Airport to Ferry Port in 35 Minutes: Promet Director Talks Integrated Public Transport

September 26, 2019 - Miroslav Delic, director of Promet Split, talks about the integrated transport between Split Airport and Ferry Port. 

The number of passengers on Split's integrated public transport line in the first month indicates the desire of the people to ride this type of transport. It is already known that this project will start next year from May 1st.

Miroslav Delic, director of Promet Split, went into further detail for Dalmacija Danas

“We're still driving this weekend until October 1st. We started in mid-July, so in the middle of summer. At first, it was a new line, unknown to people, but within ten days the interest was very good. We also had full buses from Split Airport to Kastel Stari. According to the reactions, passengers were happy to avoid the crowds. As mentioned, we brought passengers from the airport to the ferry within 40 minutes. It takes about 10 minutes to drive to the station in Kastel Stari, and by the timetable up to 25 minutes by train from the ferry port. In a month, we had sold about 2,000 tickets. Of course, we started late, and the results could have been much better if we had started on time. However, we are already preparing for next year in the sense that we have an agreement on what needs to be arranged at the railway station in Kastel Stari by HŽ to disembark passengers from the bus to the train even faster.

They should arrange access to the Kastel Stari, and for the next year, we will strive to intensify and start at the beginning of the tourist season. I think this is a select line that really speeds up travel time for passengers. In the biggest crowds, the airport bus from Trogir to Split sometimes takes two hours. This is a perspective line that will only show all its benefits in the years to come.”

Delic then commented on the new buses that arrived on city and suburban roads in September.

“Of course, everyone is satisfied, both citizens and drivers. So far, there are no problems as far as passengers' attitude to new buses is concerned, and I hope we will all realize that these are not Promet buses but our common buses. Most buses are in operation at the moment, but there are four more buses left. We'll release them next week.

As is well known, before putting the new buses into operation, we have to write off the old buses and this is a process that must be done carefully. Putting several buses out of use for a certain period creates problems for us. We don't have too many buses, but just as many as we need. Some days the old buses need to be put out of service and the new ones put into use. Other buses are operational, rotating on various lines. After riding on buses over 20 years old, this is a big change for the better,” Delic concluded.

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

Monday, 23 September 2019

Split Airport's Numbers Closer and Closer to Those of Zagreb

As Novac/Boris Oresic writes on the 22nd of September, 2019, the number of aircraft landing at Croatian airports and the number of passengers being transported around has never been higher in Croatia's entire history. It was the first time in July that one airport in Croatia had more than 700,000 passengers in one month - Split Airport, which opened a new passenger terminal just that month.

Its director, Lukša Novak, who has been in his position since the early 1990s, reveals that 2.5 million passengers arrived at Split Airport during the first eight months of 2019, with an expected amount of around 3.3 million by the end of the year, just short of Zagreb Airport, which should conclude 2019 with about 3.4 million passengers.

Dubrovnik comes in third place with 2.9 million passengers, followed by Pula and Zadar with 800,000 passengers each. According to Novak's estimate, all Croatian airports should serve 11.2 million passengers this year, which is six percent more than last year, when there were 10.6 million passengers.

The increase in traffic at airports along the Croatian coast, and especially at Split Airport, is far higher this year than the total increase in the number of tourists. What are the reasons?

''The time of double-digit growth we have had over the last few years is behind us, but the increase of 600,000 passengers compared to last year is very large. In 2018, tourism grew by seven percent and air traffic by 10 percent. Air traffic is always growing more than tourism is, because it depends not only on tourism but also on other economic activities. And our people are also travelling more and more as tourists and go to other countries, especially young people who book flights in advance to get cheaper tickets. Hopefully there will be more luck and that the economic situation in Croatia will get better and that our citizens will get to travel even more.''

Did you expect so much growth this year and does that mean that there may be more passengers and planes in the coming years?

''We planned to reach 3.3 million passengers this year. In terms of the number of passengers, we're getting closer to Zagreb Airport and will probably even out next year. We're not burdened with numbers. It's important for us that the tourist season lasts longer and we are absolutely satisfied with the number of passengers from April to October. Both March and November are getting better, and we aim to have about 100,000 travellers in the winter months.''

Does this mean that Split Airport is becoming less seasonal?

''This May, we had the traffic we once had at the very height of the tourist season. This year's April was 26 percent better than last year. But from November to March, we still have relatively little traffic. The big question is how to increase traffic in the winter.''

If it is true that the capacity of the new Split Airport is 3.5 million passengers a year, that figure could be exceeded as early as next year. Do you have the opportunity to expand further?

''With good organisation, this terminal will be able to serve up to five million passengers a year. The aircraft stand has a slightly lower capacity, and this will be our focus in the coming years as we expect a further increase in traffic of four to five percent annually. At the old terminal, we accepted three million passengers with 14,000 square metres, and now we have 50,000 square metres. Dubrovnik Airport is about the same size, and Zagreb is slightly larger, with about 60,000 square metres.''

Since you opened a new terminal in the middle of the summer, have you managed to adapt to it working in these new conditions?

''We're pretty pleased with how it all went. The rules of the profession say that it takes one whole summer and winter season to fully come together properly. Passenger reactions are good because the terminal is simple and easy to read, the processes are fast and people can easily cope.''

In your opinion, will air traffic in Croatia continue to be based at three major airports in the coming years - Split, Zagreb and Dubrovnik - or will other smaller airports grow more and more?

''Zadar and Pula will reach one million passengers in the coming years. This means that we'll have as many as five airports with more than one million passengers a year, which is satisfactory as Croatia has a large number of airports in spite of its size and population.

What happens to the national airline (Croatia Airlines) is very important to us now, as it maintains year-round connections both domestically and with important hubs in Europe. There are smaller and smaller differences between low cost and traditional carriers. For example, low cost companies are increasingly flying to primary airports, including Split Airport, from which Ryanair now pays the same price as all other companies. The only criterion by which we can give a carrier a discount is - the higher the number of passengers, the better the price.''

Make sure to follow our dedicated travel page for more information about Split Airport and much more.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Split and Dubrovnik Airports Record Busiest August, Zagreb Back Up from July

September 7, 2019 - It was a busy August at Croatia’s airports, which saw records and growth from the three most active in the country - Split, Dubrovnik, and Zagreb. 

Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports that Split Airport recorded 672,261 passengers in August, which is an increase of 7% compared to 2018. Split Airport also welcomed its two-millionth passenger of the year in August. 

From January to August, Split handled 2,497,427 passengers, which is up 6.5% on last year, or an additional 153,266 passengers. The airport is also on schedule to reach its projected 3.3 million passengers this year. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Dubrovnik Airport also saw its busiest month on record after handling 524,615 passengers in August, which is up 8.9% on last year. Dubrovnik also welcomed its two-millionth passenger in August, nineteen days earlier than 2018. Furthermore, the airport handled over 24,000 passengers on August 3, which was a 24-hour record. 

From January to August, Dubrovnik welcomed  2,099,022 travelers, which is up 12.9%, or an additional. 240,016 passengers. Dubrovnik Airport was also the fastest-growing airport in the Ex-Yu region in the first sixth months of 2019, adding 157,184 passengers during this period. 

Recall, the first six months of the year, Dubrovnik Airport welcomed the most passengers from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, and Croatia. The airport expressed that this rise in passengers should continue until the end of the year, and especially going into the end of the holiday season. 

"This winter we expect to see British Airways, Aegean Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Trade Air, Turkish Airlines, Vueling and Croatia Airlines maintain flights to Dubrovnik,” Dubrovnik Airport said. 

Ex Yu Aviation concluded that Zagreb Airport even saw a good August, well, a better August than July. Namely, in August, Zagreb saw 376,026 passengers, which is the slightest increase of 0.9%. From January to August, Zagreb handled 2,276,373 passengers, which is up 2.4% on 2018, or an additional 52,847 passengers. 

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

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Split Ports Handle 132,000 Travelers During Last Weekend in August

September 1, 2019 - Split welcomes September with impressive numbers. 

Splitski Dnevnik reports that through the two Split ports, the airport and the ferry port, an impressive 132,000 passengers will arrive by air and sea this weekend, the Resnik Airport and Split Ferry Port revealed on Saturday.

Mate Melvan of Split Airport said 115 aircraft with 27,000 passengers were expected on Saturday, while 95 aircraft with 25,000 people will land and take off on Sunday at the Split Airport. 

"When we look at the cumulative three months this summer and compare it to the same period last year, we see a six percent increase," said Melvan. 

The airport, he estimated, would conclude the year with a total of 3.3 million passengers.

However, there will also be crowds at the Split Ferry Port, which will receive 80,000 passengers and 13,000 vehicles in the three days of the weekend.

Jelena Ivulic, the head of Jadrolinija in Split, confirmed that there is a lower intensity of passengers towards the islands than in the past weekends, but because of that, there is a higher traffic intensity towards the ferry port.

“Due to the increased inflow of vehicles, we sent one extra line to Supetar at 8.45 am this morning, and there was a need for another extra line heading to Brač at 12.45 pm. All other departures and arrivals take place according to the timetable,” said Ivulic on Saturday, confirming that when ferries arrive and the vehicles are unloaded, traffic is usually created when leaving the port, approaching the Jadran Bridge and Bacvice in the city.

For the last weekend in August, Jadrolinija expects 80,000 passengers and 13,000 vehicles, which is a piece of cake compared to the first weekend in August, when 95,000 passengers and 18,000 vehicles passed through the port.

Recall, the penultimate Saturday in August saw many travelers return home after their summer holidays, where over 85,000 passengers and over 15,000 vehicles passed through the ferry port last weekend. 

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

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Split Tourism Finally Slowing Down as Peak Summer Season Nears End

August 18, 2019 - There are more tourist departures than arrivals at the Split Airport and Ferry Port this weekend, showing the first signs that this year's tourist season is nearing its end in Dalmatia.

"On Saturday and Sunday, about 70,000 passengers and 12,500 vehicles will travel through the Split ferry port, of which about 60 percent are tourists returning from the islands, and 40 percent are those who are leaving for the islands," said Jelena Ivulić, head of Jadrolinija in Split, for Splitski Dnevnik.

According to Ivulić, three extra ferry lines for Supetar (Brač) - Split were introduced on Saturday due to the increased return of passengers from the island to the mainland.

The departures at Split Airport are already more noticeable than the arrivals. 

"On Saturday, 115 aircraft will land and take off with about 30,000 passengers, of which about 16,000 are departing and 14,000 are arriving,” said Mate Melvan, head of the Split Airport Reception and Dispatch Service.

According to him, in the first two weeks of August, the number of passengers through the Split Airport increased by about 4 percent compared to the same period last year.

Melvan also said that by mid-August, traffic at the Split Airport had increased by about 150,000 passengers compared to the same period last year.

"About 2.2 million passengers have flown through the Split Airport so far this year, with an estimated 1.1 million more expected by the end of the year," Melvan said.

Recall, Split Airport experienced record numbers this summer. Just after it unveiled its brand new terminal building, the airport recorded the busiest month ever - 723,048 passengers in July,  which was up 4%. From January to July, Split handled 1,825,166 travelers, which is up 6.4% or an additional 109,029 passengers compared to last year. 

There were also more passengers departing at the Split bus station on Saturday than arriving.

"About 400 buses will pass through the Split bus station on Saturday, and we increased the number of bus routes to Zagreb due to the increased number of returnees from holidays," said Split Bus Station Director Mate Jujnović.

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

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Split Airport Registers 3% Growth in First Week of August

Split Airport continues to break records, and in the first week of August alone, it recorded a 3 percent increase in traffic, reports Splitski Dnevnik on August 10, 2019. 

However, Split Airport is not far behind the Split Ferry Port, which, due to the high interest of the passengers, introduces additional lines to the islands almost every weekend.

This weekend, 220 flights and 57,000 passengers will travel through the Split airport, while 95,000 passengers and 18,000 vehicles will travel through the ferry port. Thus, 115 aircraft carrying 30,000 passengers will take-off and land at Split Airport on Saturday alone, while on Sunday, 103 aircraft carrying 27,000 passengers will be on the runway.

“Cumulatively, the airport's traffic increased by 6.3 percent in the first seven months of this year. In the first eight days of August, we have an increase of three percent again. We are the only airport in Croatia to break the record of 723,000 passengers in just one month, and I am referring specifically to July this year,” said Mate Melvan of Split Airport.

This weekend will also boast big crowds at the ferry port, which will achieve a record 95,000 passengers and 18,000 vehicles from Friday to Sunday, announced Danijela Ivanović from Jadrolinija. The highest demand of passengers is for the island of Brač and Hvar, which will run additional lines, while the rest of the islands will sail according to the usual schedule of navigation.

“Today, we are crowded both on the arrivals and departures. There is more pressure in Supetar on the return than the departure, and from the end of next weekend and elsewhere, we expect more returns than arrivals,” Ivanović added.

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

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Split Airport Records Busiest Month on Record, Zagreb Airport Drops

A look at the two busiest airports in Croatia this summer - Split and Zagreb.

At the end of last month, TCN reported that Zagreb Airport should see a 5% increase in passengers this year. 

"Since the start of the concession, at the end of 2013, until today, Zagreb Airport has recorded a 45% increase in passenger numbers. Growth is continuing this year as well in line with our plans and expectations,” the airport said.

However, July was expected to be a bit slower than last year thanks to the absence of the World Cup. 

Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports that Zagreb Airport handled 366,242 passengers in July, which is a 3.4% drop compared to 2018, while the number of aircraft movements was down 2.4%. However, from January to July this year, Zagreb Airport welcomed 1,900,347 travelers, which is up 2.7% or an additional 49,411 passengers. 

Zagreb Airport anticipates an even higher increase in passengers in the first six months of 2020 when Croatia takes on the presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Split Airport, on the other hand, is experiencing record numbers this summer. Just after it unveiled its brand new terminal building, Split Airport recorded the busiest month ever - 723,048 passengers in July,  which is up 4%! Split is not far off from Zagreb when it comes to the number of travelers in the first seven months of this year, either. Namely, from January to July, Split handled 1,825,166 travelers, which is up 6.4% or an additional 109,029 passengers compared to last year. 

But Zadar Airport is also experiencing a record year. Avio Radar reports that in July alone, the airport transported 145,362 passengers, which is up 27.1% compared to last year. This is an absolute record for passenger numbers at this airport. 

From January to July 31, 2019, 441,000 passengers were served at Zadar Airport, which is up 34% compared to last year. The trend is expected to continue until the end of the year, when more than 750,000 travelers should come through Zadar Airport, which would be a 25% increase in traffic compared to 604,000 in 2018. 

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

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