From Zagreb to New York in 2011Tonči Peović, the director of Zagreb Airport, has confirmed that flights between Zagreb and New York will commence in 2011. Peović said that the service will be inaugurated in mid May, although he did not wish to disclose the name of the airline that will be operating the flights. At an end of year press conference, Peović said that flights to New York will operate twice per week. The airline will be exempt from paying landing and handling fees in the first year, with the fees being progressively introduced within the next five years. Peović believes that, with the establishment of the direct US service, Zagreb will become a transit point in the region, which will in turn attract many new airlines and passengers. Rumours suggest that the merged United-Continental airline (simply known as United) will operate the flights, although such claims have not been confirmed.
Peović revealed that in 2011 the construction of Zagreb’s new terminal will begin, however, the current terminal will also be expanded in order to cope with the number of passengers until the new terminal is open. “Next year is our last chance to start the construction of the new terminal because our competition isn’t resting, especially Belgrade and its airport. The entire terminal project is estimated at some 180 million Euros and as a result Zagreb Airport will become a regional leader”, Peović said. The airport reported a growth in profit, a small passenger increase and the arrival of several low cost airlines in 2010. Last week, the airport opened a new lounge for passengers flying business class.