Zagreb Airport continues impressive run
Zagreb Airport has notched up its fifth month of consecutive growth. Croatia’s busiest airport handled 175.384 passengers in March, an impressive increase of 12.7% compared to the same month last year when it welcomed 155.672 travellers through its doors. The growth comes on top of a surge in the number of operated flights. A total of 1.576 arrivals and departures were recorded by the airport, an increase of 6.6% compared to the same month in 2012. So far this year, Zagreb Airport has handled 441.508 passengers, up 8.8% on last year when it saw 405.940 passengers.
Over the summer months Croatia Airlines’ network reductions will set in, which could have an effect on the airport. However, the country’s entry into the European Union on July 1 is expected to boost travel. Furthermore, from June 18 Turkish Airlines will add an additional three weekly flights from Istanbul to the Croatian capital for a total of ten weekly flights. Also, Iberia will resume its two weekly seasonal flights from Madrid, which run from June 15 until September 15. Norwegian Air Shuttle, which operates summer flights from Copenhagen, has brought its service forward compared to last year and will now commence on April 9.
Fuelling Zagreb’s growth is also Croatia Airlines’ exceptional start to the year. In the first two months of 2013, the national carrier welcomed 187.782 passengers, an increase of 5% compared to the same period last year. The airline still needs to do more to improve its cabin load factor, which averaged 56% in January and 55% in February (both down on 2012). Croatia Airlines’ average cabin load factor for all of 2012 stood at 67%. However, Croatia Airlines’ good run is likely to come to a halt in April since the carrier has cancelled a significant number of flights as it looks cut costs and operates with one aircraft less compared to last year’s summer season.