Croatia Airlines to reduce Dubrovnik operations this summer
Croatia Airlines will continue downsizing its operations from Dubrovnik Airport this summer season as it looks to cut costs and maintain profitability. The Croatian national carrier will suspend several seasonal flights and reduce frequencies to other destinations from the city. The airline will no longer operate flights from Dubrovnik to Osijek and will suspend services to Vienna this summer. It comes after Croatia Airlines cancelled most of its operations out of Dubrovnik this winter, maintaining only flights to Zagreb and a two weekly service to Rome. In addition, frequencies on the Rome service itself will also be cut this coming summer. In order to compensate for the reductions, the airline will introduce an additional weekly flight from Dubrovnik to Paris and Zurich compared to last summer, to be operated four and five times per week respectively.
The CEO of Dubrovnik Airport, Roko Tolić, recently said, “We have a great challenge ahead of us as we can no longer rely on our partner. We understand that Croatia Airlines must undergo restructuring but we will not sit with our hands crossed. We will look for partners elsewhere”. However, last week, the Dubrovnik city council said it will purchase up to 50.000 tickets from Croatia Airlines for travel next summer, which it will then sell at reduced prices through travel agents.
In 2013 Dubrovnik Airport saw its busiest year on record. The airport handled 1.522.629 passengers, an increase of 2.9% compared to 2012. However, Croatia Airlines’ network reductions had a severe impact on the airport over the winter months. In November passenger figures tumbled 14% while in December the airport saw a 12% decline in numbers. In 2014, Dubrovnik Airport estimates it will see a 1.7% increase in the number of travellers using its facilities. “We base our estimate primarily on foreign carriers”, the airport says. It adds domestic travel from the airport should stay the same as last year. Dubrovnik Airport was the fifth busiest in the former Yugoslavia in 2013, down from its fourth position on the year before as it has been overtaken by Split.