Saturday, May 10, 2014

Pula Airport seeks Russian alternative

Pula Airport expects strong year despite Russian exodus

While entry into the European Union usually generates passenger growth at local airports, Croatia’s integration into the European family in July last year brought more challenges to Pula Airport than it originally anticipated. “We had some 360.000 passengers last year, but then came the EU entry on July 1. The effect on our tourism was immediate. Prior to joining, 40% of our arrivals were from Russia, and the new visa rules for Russia, Ukraine and Belarus meant that arrivals from these countries were down 50% in 2013 from the previous year. We tried hard to increase flights from other areas, and reported increases in key strategic markets such as the UK (up 32%), France (+12%) and Scandinavia (+28%), but the Russia visa issue was a severe blow”, Svemir Radmilo, Pula Airport’s CEO, told the “Digital Journal” recently. The airport is now actively looking for a solution in order to ease its reliance on Russian tourists.

So far this year, Pula Airport has been performing well and it recorded strong passenger growth in April. During the first four months of the year, Pula Airport handled 19.712 passengers, an increase of 17.2% compared to the same period last year. A key test for the airport will be the upcoming peak summer season. Mr. Radimlo expects to see some 50.000 passengers from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus this year, down from 130.000 in 2012. However, Pula Airport’s CEO warns, “The conflict in Ukraine may have a say in this as well. We have been speaking to our airline partners, and have targeted specific airlines to increase their flights to Pula. The Russians are still coming, but in much smaller numbers. Pre-EU it was in Boeing 747-400 planes, today it is in Airbus A320s, with a lot less capacity”.

Pula Airport in 2012

However, Pula Airport is on course to maintain the strong growth it has seen so far this year. As Mr. Radmilo explains, “We are delighted, for example, that Scandinavian will commence operations next week, a full month earlier than 2013. We recently welcomed Aer Lingus with direct flights from Dublin. Jet2 will launch services from Edinburgh this year, and from East Midlands in 2015. Germanwings will fly from Hamburg and Scandinavian will introduce two new routes from Gothenburg and Stockholm. Next year, Thomson will fly to Pula from Norwich, and we are close to introducing scheduled flights from Nantes and Bordeaux as well”. The CEO concludes, “There is strong competition, and not only from Trieste. Ljublijana is ninety minutes away, Rijeka is two hours, Treviso is a strong Ryanair base, and Zagreb is two hours by car. We have to approach airlines to persuade them of the benefits of Pula, offering them attractive prices, and more and more are willing to come”.

26 comments:

  1. Tivat is having the same problem. This year the airport expects to have 25% less passengers from Russia because of the disgraceful Montenegrin politics.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ceo pule Svemir,....
    kao u srbiji sef saobracajne policije stojadin ....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol Stojadin, Svemir i Kresimir Kucko :D

      Delete
    2. bolje nego sef kriminalisticke policije, Pendrek. haha

      Delete
  3. OT

    ebookers Switzerland has a massive campaign for holidays in Abu Dhabi and all the flights that they offer are with JU via BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That probably explains why JU's service to/from ZRH always has people connecting from both airlines' AUH flights, especially Air Serbia's one.

      Delete
    2. Yeah. And I think that they also offer Dubai with JU/EY-flights. The prices are extremely cheap, things like ZRH-AUH-ZRH and four nights in a 4*-hotel for 500€.

      Delete
    3. The price for the flight itself is from CHF 511, the lowest price of any airline. If ZRH is a busy route from/to BEG, I wonder why they are trying to substitute O&D pax with lower yielding transit pax.

      Delete
  4. It's interesting really how everything has its positive and negative side such as EU integration. But it's nice to see PUY doing well this year

    ReplyDelete
  5. That pic from 2012 looks powerful. Does Transaero fly anywhere else in Croatia? Are they flying to Pula this year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe a little bit late but yes they do fly to Pula, also to Split and Dubrovnik.

      Delete
  6. I'm really amazed at how Croatia Airlines offers so few flights from Pula. What's the deal with that. And it's not like it happened in the past few years when Croatia started cutting routes and frequencies but they have never really given Pula a go at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not enough planes and not enough ambition so they could have a fleet to service Croatia properly.

      Delete
    2. After few years of missing Pula for summer hols, last years trip there was fine. Airport was fine too and not many Russians around compared to previous years (fine with me, prob not so for local tourism).

      I NEVER understood why is was impossible to have a same day/overnight hop to DBV/SPU and back with Croatian. I hope SOMEONE will get that idea...

      Delete
  7. Question: Which airlines fly year long to Pula? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Croatia Airlines has yearlong flights to Zagreb either direct or via Pula.

      I think it rotates.

      Delete
    2. BTW, why was no new comments aloud on yesterdays topic? The conversation did not seem that bad unless comments were removed???

      I noticed not many people commented of the 73 million euro lose something I had a go at guesstimating a few days back, even though my worse case scenario was only a lose of 50 million euro's for Air Serbia.

      Anyway, a pat on the back for my efforts even though some 'dude' called me dumb for doing so. :)

      Delete
    3. Q400. I think or guesstimation and the 73 mil € loss are two different things. You were talking about AirSerbia losses, while 73 million is loss of Jat Airways (until the process was completed in January 1st). Even if the process was over in october 1st, still they did not tell in which degree the loss was enlarged (since in october those crazy promotion started).

      After we get results for '14, then we could know if you were right or wrong...

      Delete
    4. @Q400 thing is this blog is kinda "ignoring" the negative news related to AS. 73 mil € is in my opinion dramatic

      perhaps the decline of russian tourists in Pula is a more important news

      Delete
    5. " You were talking about AirSerbia losses, while 73 million is loss of Jat Airways (until the process was completed in January 1st)."

      But was is not the case that Jat's debts were the responsibility of the Serbian government as per the agreement with Etihad, therefore Air Serbia stated with zero debt?

      Delete
    6. Q400, you are talking about an accounting loss. First of all, Jat did not make such a loss last year. It was net loss for 2013. + correction for previous years. The loss itself was around €50m + previous years corrections of around €20m. Seems like Jat managment intentionally understated losses during the last decade to make it look better...
      The loss itself has nothing to do with debt, which was transfered to Republic of Serbia's government.

      Delete
    7. @Ekonomista: A whole article will be dedicated to the topic. If you want a serious and engaging discussion then you won't usually find them on a Saturday or Sunday, not because topics published on these days are not important, but because there are understandably fewer visits on these days.

      As for yesterday's discussion being closed, a nasty country vs country argument was developing.

      Delete
    8. Just croatia airlines. During winter only morning flight PUY ZAG and evening ZAG PUY both via ZAD. During summer there is also afternoon flight ZAG ZAD PUY and PUY ZAG direct.. all the other airlines fly to Pula just during summer

      Delete
  8. Very strange no comments about Korean Air B747-400 in Zagreb today instead of regular B777-200

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If ZAG airport webpage for dep/arr wld be just more informative and better listed up, we would hve noticed the change. But in comparison to beg.aero I seldom visit ZAG airports page
      I hope someone places a video on utube

      Delete
    2. http://youtu.be/Vj3IsRMz2Vc
      short, but very nice!

      Delete

Before posting a comment be mindful of other participants and readers. EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. Such comments will be deleted as soon as possible. The opinions expressed by those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of EX-YU Aviation News. Thank you for your cooperation.