Friday, March 22, 2013

Brač Airport to shut down

Brač Airport, 1993 - 2013

Bol Airport on the Croatian island of Brač will close its doors after twenty years of operations due to mounting debt. The airport operator and the Croatian government have agreed to shut down the airport prior to the start of the 2013 holiday season, with the operator to declare bankruptcy. Brač Airport handled just over 12.550 passengers in 2012, making it busier than the likes of Banja Luka, Osijek, Lošinj and Maribor. Croatia Airlines maintained seasonal flights between Brač and Zagreb, while Austrian Airlines also operated seasonal services to the island from Vienna, Innsbruck and Graz. Brač Airport also enjoyed numerous charters during the summer months.

The airport’s closure has caught the Austrian tour operator Gruber-Reisen off guard. It had already sold 3.500 tour packages for the summer, which included direct flights to the island. Gruber-Reisen also operates a hotel on Brač. “Since Split Airport is overbooked during the high season, Brač is the ideal alternative for our charter flights during the summer, where we operated an average of 100 flights per year. We fear what will happen if the airport is closed”, the tour operator said in a statement. However, other sources claim that plans for the airport’s closure were made known to tour operators as early as last year.

The airport is believed to have been generating an annual loss of 66.000 euros. During its hay day Brač Airport used to handle some 35.000 passengers per year. The airport employs sixteen people. Some of them have been offered to transfer to Split Airport while others will be offered jobs at local hotels. Brač Airport opened on May 22, 1993 and is Croatia’s youngest commercial airport.

20 comments:

  1. Sad :( The airport was actually pretty good and meant a lot for the tourism industry there. I guess SPU will profit from this.

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  2. Sad news, I was planning a flight there in the near future. What a nice alternative to the overcrowded SPU.

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  3. What a stupid decision. Split is overcrowded and cannot handle more flights during the weekend. Croatia airlines was also very stupid flying just once a week from Zagreb and for sure there was more than 76 pax (Dash Q400 capacity) on this line.

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    1. if i'm not mistaken Bol has too short runway for jet planes.unless you tried to stress the frequency of OU's flights :)

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  4. This airport was opened while war was still raging?

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    1. Doot, there was no war in Brač.

      People used to fly and holiday even during the war.

      I flew there once 6 or 7 years ago on my way to Hvar. A good option to be able to fly straight to the islands, but there is no room for sentiment. If it's loss making and no business wants to take it over, it has to shut.

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  5. Please compare BWK and BNX: BWK - 16 employees, 12.550 pax, unknown numebr of operations, BNX - 73 employees, 6.420 pax, 1.928 operations!
    BWK made 66.000 Euros debt last year. BNX has been making debt last 8 years, in last year at least 500.000 Euros. BWK is closing down, BNX should receive subsidy from RS government.
    Around 14.000 people live on Brac island and around 200.000 live in Banja Luka!
    BWK may change the owner and will continue to operate, but BNX must change a lot to become attractive for any serious airline.

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  6. It is hard to understand tourism community on island. They cannot take some money from tourism tax to preserve operations?

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    1. Yes, it seems like it's being shut for a very small amount of money: 66k Euros per year. But, there is no room for sentiment. If it's loss making and no business wants to take it over I would rather spend 66k Euros on educating the children of Brač. That's assuming that closing the airport will not impact the local island turist industry for more than 66k Euros -- and I do not know if that's the case or not.

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  7. If it handles 35000 pax a year and you add 2 eur more each of them to pay (1eur each way) ,you remove the debt and you even get some extra money... I think they want to privatize the airport.

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  8. That's not a good news but I guess if the airport keeps losing money year after year with no strategy to improve, it is probably better to shut it down. I have been always fascinated by the island airports. BWK is too close to SPU and probably one of the reasons why it could not grow more. Maybe it would have more sense to build an airport at Vis or Lastovo. That would be something...an airport in the middle of the Adriatic :) Well, I guess Lastovo and Vis will have to invest first in building more hotels and other infrastructure before trying to build an airport there.

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  9. Serbian football team leaves Zagreb by flight JU7503 at 23:00, so it will be in Belgrade at 23:45 if you want to wait for them.

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  10. I am so sorry to predict 3:0, Serbian team was so successful and it was just 2:0 for Croatia.

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    1. If you dont delete this comments admin, which are not related to aviation,i will never open this blog again

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    2. Whine you Serbian looser whine ..

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    3. Of course, it must be deleted. Because Serbs can not loose is anything. They must be best even when they loose. If nothing this can not be published!

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    4. "i will never open this blog again"


      LOL!!!!!


      ok there, Mr. Anonymous!

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  11. Are the runways going to still be open and use it as a non commercial airport for general aviation?

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  12. ASmin please change vthe picture on the title of this artcle, because it is Dubrovnik Čilipi airport and not Brač-
    Thank you.

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