November figures hit by strike as Zagreb prepares for new terminal
Zagreb Airport has recorded its eighth consecutive month of passenger decline on the back of a two day strike staged by its employees. Croatia’s busiest airport welcomed 151.760 passengers through its doors in November, a decrease of 8.2% compared to the same month last year. The number of flights operating to and from the airport was also significantly down. It saw 1.305 departures and arrivals, down from 1.518 in November last year, therefore plummeting 14%. So far this year, Zagreb Airport has handled 2.150.254 passengers, down 2.1% compared to the same period last year. The airport’s new operator estimates Zagreb will record an 8% increase in passenger numbers next year.
Meanwhile, the Zagreb Airport International Company, which last week took over the airport’s management, has announced that the concession has reached a financial close since it has signed financing agreements with lenders. The new 65.000 square metre terminal building, which will have the capacity to serve five million passengers per year, is scheduled for completion in December 2016 and will cost 243 million euros. The consortium running the airport says the existing terminal, built in 1966 and expanded in 1974, is now at “saturation point”. Capacity will eventually reach eight million passengers per year. The project will see a total investment of 331 million euros, 243 million of which have been allocated for the design and construction of the new terminal and 88 million euros for the maintenance of airport infrastructure over the entire thirty year period of the concession.
Initial preparation work for the construction of the new terminal building will begin next week while actual work is scheduled to commence in January or February next year, depending on weather conditions. The airport’s operator says the new terminal has been designed by architects Kincl, Neidhardt & Radić, with support from the design office IGH, who have joined forces to develop a “daring, yet functional design”. Its construction will involve between 700 and 800 people during peak times. Particular attention will be paid to sustainable construction, as the project aims to secure LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The financial lenders for this project are the European Investment Bank (EIB), IFC, Unicredit Bank Austria and Deutsche Bank.