Thursday, June 27, 2013

Zagreb Airport surpasses million

Zagreb welcomes millionth passenger as fresh problems arise with the French

Zagreb Airport yesterday handled its millionth passenger for the year, a day ahead of 2012. The millionth passenger, Marija Maras, was booked on a Croatia Airlines flight to Brussels. She has received a 200 euro duty free voucher as well as two Croatia Airlines return tickets to any destination in the carrier’s European network. In the first five months of the year, Croatia’s busiest airport welcomed 833.640 travellers, an increase of 2.8% compared to the same period last year. Strong growth from earlier on in the year has been somewhat derailed by the Croatia Airlines strike staged last month.

Meanwhile, the French operator, which forms part of the Zagreb International Airport Company (ZAIC) consortium, has once again cancelled the official takeover of Zagreb Airport. The takeover was to occur this month, which would allow the operators to begin construction of a new multi million terminal in September. According to the official contract, ZAIC was originally meant to take control of Zagreb Airport by April at the latest. The main reason behind the latest delay is ZAIC’s failure to secure a 120 million euro loan from the European Investment Bank, which would be utilised for the construction of the new terminal. The bank has requested government guarantees the loan will be paid back, however, the Croatian government has rejected the possibility of giving such guarantees.

Zagreb Airport is also facing a drop in income. As the country gears up towards European Union membership, airlines operating from European Union member states will be treated as domestic carriers from July 1, decreasing taxes. Such a move will be warmly welcomed by passengers but will cause some shortfalls in the finance books. The Croatian daily “Večenji list” says it is unlikely that the French led ZAIC will now takeover Zagreb Airport by October this year.


  1. Has anyone actually bothered to calculate how much the drop in income will be once all EU carriers are considered as domestic ones?

    I wonder if that means that more low-cost carriers might launch flights to Zagreb.

  2. This are nice news for Zagreb, but airport has much greater potential.

  3. Well, I guess we can then call the ZAG takeover ZAGovanje...

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Not really, Zagreb's new terminal will be built, its not even a question, problem is not with the airport but with the company taking over the airport as they failed to secure sufficient guarantees.

  4. Are there any investors that would like to buy Banjaluka Airport?

    1. You can't buy it, if nobody is selling it!

    2. Banja Luka Airport will never have an economic stable airport because of:
      1. NO famous tourist destination in the region

      2. Just some 300.000 inhabitants in the region Banja Luka - Bos. Gradiska

      3. VERY SMALL PURCHASING POWER of the whole region: Banja Luka is a poor city with no real industry.
      Just the politicians on the way to Belgrade would travel via BNX AND that is insufficient!!!
      Banja Luka is the POOREST among the biggest B&H cities/regions (after capital Sarajevo, Tuzla, Zenica, Mostar, Brcko, Bijeljina, Travnik - Vitez region, Medjugorje-Citluk-Ljubuski region, ...)

      Banja Luka´s diaspora in Scandinavia and Central-West Europe is also small.
      The most of the people live in Serbia and Slovenia.

    3. Hello Sarajevo, I don't think you're right, especially about the number of citizens that gravitate to Banjaluka airport.
      Seems to me your post is biased and off-putting.

    4. @Anonymous 08:02 PM

      My wife works for the Federal Census Bureau so I really have some reliable information!

      CITY of Banja Luka has 190.000 inhabitants!
      The municipality Bos. Gradiska has 63.000 inhabitants and municipality Laktasi 38.000 inhabitants.

      "Some, BNX has an catchment area" of about 300.000 people.

      Of course, you could say that people rom municipalities like Prijedor, Prnjavor or Doboj could use the airport BUT
      1. the most of the diaspora from Prijedor lives in Serbia
      2. the most of the diaspora from Derventa and Doboj region (Croats) live in Croatia
      --> they don´t have to fly.

      Other people live mostly in Slovenia and Austria driving by car to home!

      So, BNX can serve some 300.000 people, where 45 % of the people are UNEMPLOYED, and those who are employed do not earn more then some 300 KM (150 €).
      Just the politicians and few others earn more then some 150 - 200 € a month (many politicians earn between 2000 and 3000 €).

      Poore and unemployed people from Banja Luka? Or perhaps people from Doboj (distance to Sarajevo Airport: 150 km, distance do Banja Luka Airport via Derventa is 117 km, but the journey to Sarajevo is must faster due to the new highway Zenica - Sarajevo and the expressway Doboj - Zenica).
      Or even people from Prijedor, Bihac and Cazin who can use the Airport in Zagreb ?

      Sorry, but to my mind, BNX will never operate without the government aid!

    5. Dear Sarajevo, didn't I tell you, your previous post was biased? Bizarre, instead to back off you rather continued.
      I'll partially answer your question.
      The question's:
      The answer:
      - After BNX is in order, and in summer season, at least two-tenths of the passengers from SJJ will switch to BNX.
      In winter season, three-tenths of passengers from SJJ will switch to BNX because of a simple matter which I am not going to waste my words about.
      Also, I am not going to list all other passengers who would use BNX after the airport were in order.
      But there would be 50,000 more after two years of use. At that rate Banjaluka Airport would be cost-effective. After 6 years SJJ wouldn’t outnumber BNX a lot.
      Unfortunately, things will not be any better for Banjaluka Airport either before the year 2015 or the current Government decides to sell the airport off. I hope you’ve got the prerequisite. You wouldn’t believe but BNX has never been put in order since it was opened for civil aviation, in the late 1997.

    6. Why should someone switch from SJJ to BNX?

      People from follwoing regions use Sarajevo Airport:
      1. Sarajevo (>600.000 inhabitants)
      2. Central Bosnia (Doboj jug -Zenica - Travnik - Visoko, >400.000 inhabitants)
      3. North Herzegowina (Jablanica, Konjic)
      4. East Bosnia (Vlasenica - Visegrad - Gorazde)

      So, who should switch to BNX?

      Also, you forgot, that BNX had flights to:


      Please note, that the Banja Luka region is poorer then the poorest region of the Federation of B&H,

      So, besides of diaspora, who should fly?
      You really think, that people who earn some 150 - 200€/mounth could afford them a ticket for example from BNX to Tivat in the summer paying some 100 € ?
      Well, Air Srpska tried it, and they went bakrupt.

    7. Hello Sarajevo, I don't think your analysis is accurate..
      The airport is perfectly positioned with a lot of potential passengers.

    8. Sarajevo wrote, "Please note, that the Banja Luka region is poorer then the poorest region of the Federation of B&H."

      Hm, Sarajevo, does the above quotation prove your posts are a little tendentious, aren't they?

    9. And where are ALL THOSE PASSENGERS when there is a potential?
      All connections from/to BNX are cancelled or have been cancelled after short operation.

      Well, Anonymous at 8:34 PM, due to the GDP / inhabitant, Banja Luka is behinde Sarajevo, Tuzla, Vitez, Travnik, Zenica, Visoko, Tuzla, Srebrenik, Brcko, Orasje, Mostar, Citluk, Ljubuski, Siroki Brijeg, Posusje, Grude, Livno, Tomislavgrad, Bihac, Tesanj, Gracanica.

      The poorest region of Federation of BiH is Bosansko-podrinjski Kanton, and the average salery in Gorazde is as big as in Banja Luka.

      You are talking about the potential. Which potential does BNX have? Some 250.000 people?
      Why had Adria canelled the flights to Ljubljana?
      What is with flights to Belgrade?
      Why had Austrian cancelled flights to Vienna?

      BNX will become a real airport, when there are enough customers to travel (read: when the people can pay for the ticket).

    10. "And where are ALL THOSE PASSENGERS when there is a potential?"

      All those passengers, from Bihać to Tuzla, have gone to ZAG, SJJ, and BEG.


      l = 160 km
      time = 2 h
      @airport: Daily departures to more then 20 destinations

      l = 170 km
      time = 2.5 h
      @airport: weekly departures to 1 or 2 destinations in the future

      SO: BNX is out because there would be just 1 or 2 departures / week, and our diaspora has to fly on FR / SA due to the vacation!


      Tuzla - BNX
      l = 150 km
      time = 2 h 15 min

      Tuzla - Sarajevo Int. Airport
      l = 122 km
      time = 1 h 45 min
      @ SIA: daily departures to 12 - 15 destinations across Europe

      Tuzla - BEG
      l = 190 km
      time = 2.5 h
      BUT: daily departures to more then 20 destinations across the old continent.

      So, where are the benefits of the BNX Airport?

      People from Bihac region travell via ZAG, those from Tuzla travell via SJJ and BEG, people from central Bosnia travel via SJJ.

      THINK: there were already flights from BNX to VIE, but the load factor was 20 % ... and OU flow with CRJ (50 / 48 seats).

      I know that every village want to have an airport, but not every village can have enough passengers!
      It doesn´t mean than Banja Luka is a village, BUT Banja Lukas diaspora mostly lives in Serbia an they travel by car or bus (due to the former JAT price: 100€) and in Slovenia. As you know, Adria stopped the flights from LJU to ZAG due to poor load factor... Only 5 people were in average on this flight...

      BNX has same problems like Maribor, Nis and Ohrid: there are not enough people willing to pay between 100 and 200 € for a flight.

    12. If you’ve compared Banjaluka to Ohrid how come you forgot to compare Banjaluka with Kraljevo too? BNX is perfectly positioned amongst ZAG, BEG and SJJ. No one of these are close to BNX. It only depends if there are flights which passengers need. As I already told you, first thing that should be done is to put bnx in order. There are good climate, excellent approach, excellent runway, good ILS, good parking place, no problems with birds, but nothing else. There is actually almost no airport there. How one could expect passengers (airlines) in such condition? What it needs is a new owner. Etihad for example. If bnx paved the way – new owner, new managing board, some new personnel, new equipment, new terminal building, excellent fuel price,.. - situation with bnx would change. In the first 5 years, BNX would not be neck and neck with Sarajevo regarding the number of passengers but would have enough of them to live from. Later on, who knows… Think about its great cargo possibilities too…But as I said… the prerequisite first.

  5. This is a huge failure on the part of both Zagreb Airport and the Croatian government. Going from 10 not 2 or 3 but 10 interested and really high profile investors from all over the world a few years back to pretty much zero now.

    Very disappointing news if this is true.

  6. No offense, but Zagreb is not a worthy investment. I can understand a takeover of coastal airports but Zagreb is not a good investment. It's too central with limited connections, it's a feeder for Lufthansa, and it's close to Belgrade and Budapest which are far ahead of Zagreb in pax numbers.

    Don't expect any takeover anytime soon, but still the airport needs to be modernized. They should somehow get the funds to do so.

    I can see a Russian takeover if no one else is interested, but that too is a distant possibility.

    1. Not offended about you having an opinion but I simply do not agree.

      Having 10 airports and companies that own and operate airports including the operators of MAJOR airports in both Asia and the United States does show that there is investment potential here. Problem here is that the Croatian government has been very investment unfriendly and has made it very difficult not just in this case but also in other areas of Croatia for investors of any type.

    2. 'having 10 interested major investors' is what I meant to say here and don't forget all 10 participated in the tender until the Croatian Government stuffed it up.

    3. @Q400
      There will always be interested tenders. I think Anonymous 1 brings a good point in that nearby airports are more profitable and have more potential than Zagreb but it's still an investment that can squeeze out profit. It's not just the Croatian Gov but Croatia Airlines as well that's making Zagreb takeover difficult

      I don't think the Russians will try to takeover Zagreb. Russian investments have been completely shunned by the Croatian Gov since it's about to join the EU and they pretty much tell Croatia what to do from now on. Same thing will happen to Serbia when it gets close to joining.

    4. Your comment that nearby airports are more profitable or more viable, wouldn't that be referring to Belgrade airport, only more profitable airport in ex-YU region other than Zagreb, Well Zagreb has turnover of 57.5 million US$ in 2011, Belgrade had turnover of 61.1 million US$, Zagreb had 5.1$ million, Belgrade airport had 1.72$ million.profits.

      I guess your argument who's more profitable or viable clearly shows you know nothing.

      Zagreb airport - 2011 financial result

      Belgrade Airport - financial result

  7. So, AGAIN no new terminal start in september.. damn :/

  8. OT: Tango Six is reporting that Etihad will be effectively taking over JAT on October 1st and that they'll be launching a "new product" which may or may not include a "deep" rebranding of the company. They may also scrap the ATRs in service and replace them with Q400s. Also, the CEO may be a Serbian who has international experience running an airline.

    1. That article written by Tango Six is horrible. He seems very unprofessional and gets his opinion in stead of presenting us with facts. It's as if his articles are a gossiping column in a women's magazine.
      Plus, some weeks ago he wrote in an article that all artists heading abroad are 'prostaci'. Someone wrote a comment to him and he changed it really fast.

  9. I would cancel that agreement with the French...
    Theres enough time for a new agreement with new partners till summer next year.
    If nothing will happen this summer we already know that no construction will happen in the winter when weather is too bad for doing anything.


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