Friday, September 5, 2014

Brač Airport hopes for Belgrade flights

Brač Airport anticipates busy summer in 2015

The Croatian island airport of Brač, which has struggled to attract notable passenger numbers since it opened for commercial use 21 years ago, is looking to place its self back on the map and attract new flights next summer, setting its sights on services to Belgrade. With a new CEO in place, the airport is also aiming to serve low cost airlines. Tonči Peović, who ran Dubrovnik Airport for sixteen years from 1993 to 2009, and Zagreb Airport from 2009 until its takeover by the French last year, was named as Brač Airport’s new CEO last month. Mr. Peović is considered an export in airport management, having been credited for restoring Dubrovnik Airport following the war and running Zagreb Airport during the financial crisis. The new CEO believes Brač Airport could handle some 50.000 passengers per year. “If you look at 1997, when Brač handled 31.634 passengers, its busiest year on record, then 50.000 seems like a reachable target compared to the 12.000 passengers being handled over the past few years”, Mr. Peović says.

Late last year, Croatian airline Trade Air launched domestic shuttle flights between Osijek, Rijeka, Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik. Mr. Peović believes Brač Airport could be added to the network and would be popular with tourists from Dubrovnik and Split. One of the airport’s priorities is to lengthen its runway so it could handle larger jets. “One day we will lengthen the runway using EU funds but until then we will do everything to increase our passenger numbers. We are interested in Belgrade, not just because of Serbian tourists but also because Jat was purchased by Etihad Airways from the Middle East. Jat has ATR72 aircraft in its fleet, which can land on our runway. In partnership with Etihad, a considerable number of transit passengers could use this route from faraway places such as Dubai, India, South Korea, Australia and Singapore”, Mr. Peović says. The airport is also keen to attract European Coastal Airlines, which recently launched flights between the Croatian mainland and the island of Hvar.

Brač Airport opened on May 22, 1993 and is Croatia’s youngest commercial airport. It has faced financial problems which peaked last year when it was suggested the airport could be closed. Croatia Airlines maintains seasonal flights between Brač and Zagreb, while Austrian Airlines also operates seasonal services to the island from Vienna, Innsbruck and Graz. Brač Airport also enjoys numerous charters during the summer months, however, it is not in use during the winter. In 2013, the airport handled only 9.433 passengers, its lowest in years. During the first half of 2014, 3.491 passengers passed through its doors.

34 comments:

  1. funny, 23 years ago they were running away from Belgrade and JAT, and now they are turning back to BEG and JAT to bring them tourists

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    1. It is a business sense, though I don't think that Brac tourism is fully dependant on JU or Serbia for that matter. If it makes business sense for both parties, why not. And 23 years ago I would agree that no tourism was present and movement of people from Serbia to Croatia was non existant, aside from military.

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    2. If Air Serbia managed to make Banja Luka work then I do not see why they couldn't do the same for Brac. I am sure there are some tourists and connecting passengers that would be interested in using Air Serbia/Jat.

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    3. @ 9:44
      well, precisely 23 years ago there was no tourism, but 24 years ago Serbs were going to the Croatian shore, so there was quite a lot of movement of Serbs to Croatia

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    4. ^ That is not true at all. Croatia''s tourism industry got developed during the late 60s early 70s. Dubrovnik was TIto's darling. Ask anyone in Dubrovnik, they might dislike Tito but everyone will say "If there is something he did it was put Dubrovnik on the global map". All those famous hotels built along the cost in Croatia were built during that time (some were even owned by Jat). On top of that you had charters from the Croatian coast by JAT and Aviogenex to the UK, Netherlands, France, Austria, Scandianavia and you also had were bus/car tourists from the Czechoslovakia. For a communist country and for that time, tourism was extremely developed in Yugoslavia.

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    5. Hell you even had flights from the US to Dubrovnik back then!

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    6. @ 11:14

      damn it, you don't understand a word i'm saying, do you? all i said that 23 years ago, when the s**t started (that's the '91), there was almost no tourism in all of Ex-YU (well, at least Serbs gonig to the Croatian coast), but 24 years ago ('90) there were a lot of Serb going to Croatian coast. that't to what my first comment is linked to. 23 years ago Croatia ran away from BEG and JAT, and now all of a sudden an airport in Croatia wants JAT and travelers from/via BEG. a great example of the stupidity of the 90s, instead of focusing on further economy development, s**theads wanted to fight and separate

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    7. I think for JU, Split is close to Brac and might not open flights. At the moment,SPU isnt daily and is seasonal, unfortunately.

      The ATR could be better used to ZAG rather than Brac imo. Lets see what next summer brings for JU in Croatia. Im hoping for more flights. This year the flights doubled and came with bigger aircraft, which is great.

      Croatian coast is truely fantastic. After hearing many negative words on Croats towards Serbs, I enjoyed nothing but warm hospitality and look forward to visit Croatia again soon :)

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  2. This is an ancient photo. For years Brač has new, very nice building made of brač stone with modern control tower. This hangar was there just for first 3-4 years.

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  3. Maybe the CEO should be qualified enough to know that the serbian national carrier is called Air Serbia and not "JAT" ?!

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    1. Many people in Serbia still call it Jat and they will keep on doing so for many years to come- especially since it's easier to say, since it's shorter.

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    2. Maybe the CEO of Air Serbia know that their representative office in Skopje is still called JAT airways

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    3. Hahaha most of JU employees still have Jat in their e-mails.

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    4. hahahahahahaha - after ONE YEAR! That is not slow change that is JATOVANJE

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    5. Actually that is not true. Everyone's e-mails got changed to @airserbia but you can still open your e-mail account with your Jat address if you had one. But this news is about Brac not e-mail accounts at Air Serbia.

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    6. Funny because most business cards still have jat.com on them.

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    7. When the .yu domain was removed, for months it was still seen every where, from newspapers to business cards.

      Emails in JU have all changed to @airserbia.com

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    8. And Jat office in Skopje? Much more important than business cards.

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    9. E zbog ovog krecucsvadje ;)
      INN-NS

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  4. From what I heard, YU-APD should be arriving to Belgrade in about 10 days from today. If this is true then it would be great indeed as the airline desperately needs more Airbus aircraft.

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  5. Tonci Peovic is a good manager. Glad they chose him

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  6. Hmm would like to hear Purger's thoughts on Peovic

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    1. Tonci Peovic is very good manager. Unfortunately he was not working for Zagreb airport but for politicians interests (he is member of same party that was prepare concession on that time) and French concessionaire. That was reason why they remove Matković, and bring Peović to do that job for them. In that time only priority was concession, and Peović totally neglected Zagreb traffic, finances, investments...

      Brac is very lucky to have him, he will make lot of benefits to them, because there is no "side tasks" that he was politically instructed to do.

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  7. OT: LJU was sold today to Fraport. ...more details follow after the press conference at 15h

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  8. OS letovi iz INN su imali LF od 87% :)
    INN-NS

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  9. i would be happy if this happen next year. as i know, 2014 was the biggest surprise with serbian tourists at brac island. at least 3pw seasonaly by atr can make very good job. good luck ju!

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  10. Many friends of mine spent their holidays on Brac island this year, if the prices stayed on BEG. - SPU level, i think this might actually work.

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  11. Maybe Aviolet could do charters between Belgrade and Brac?
    The airport looks small but very clean and beautiful.

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    1. B733 is too big for the airport, It would have to JU and the ATR7

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  12. OT Aeroflot turns it seasonal service from Moscow SVO to Tivat to year round. Daily flights with A319.

    Deparure time(SVO): 14:05
    Arrival time(TIV): 15:15
    Departure time(TIV): 16:05
    Arrival time(SVO): 21:30

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  13. OT: at some point in the past, a fellow from this blog had mentioned that ZAG has no scheduled cargo airline... just found out the exact flight # and pulled this out...
    http://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/mb551/

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  14. OT: It seems easyJet are cancelling MXP-BEG next spring after deciding to the same with FCO-BEG

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