|Croatian airports’ quarterly results fail to impress|
Croatian airports have witnessed a disappointing start to the year with most recording declining passenger numbers in the first quarter. Among the country’s seven main commercial airports, only Osijek managed to see its figures improve. On the other hand, Rijeka shed the most passengers. Croatia’s busiest airport, Zagreb, handled 429.504 travellers, down 2.7% on the year before. Dubrovnik Airport also saw a notable decline in the first quarter as it welcomed 52.336 passengers, down 22.1% while Split’s numbers tumbled 9.3%. Although both Dubrovnik and Spit estimate they will handle roughly the same amount of passengers as last year, the management at Zagreb Airport is optimistic its numbers will improve by 8% compared to 2013.
Zadar, Pula and Rijeka all saw a double digit decline in passenger numbers. In the first quarter, Zadar, once a star performer among Croatia’s airports, welcomed 6.524 passengers, down 40.5%. Similarly, Pula shed its numbers by 13.7% while Rijeka handled only 113 travellers in three months, thus recording an 82.5% decline in passenger numbers. Osijek, which has benefited from new, year round domestic flights, was the biggest improver as it handled 482 passengers, up a whopping 578%.
In a statement, the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency says, “During the first three months of this year, Croatian airports have recorded a decline in flight operations of 5.95%, a decline in passenger numbers of 5.92% and a decline in transit passengers of 27.36% compared the first three months of last year”. It adds, “During the same period, 5.4% less cargo was handled while a 29.51% increase in flown mail was recorded". Croatian airports are hopeful a strong summer season will lessen the impact of a slow winter.