|Dubrovnik Airport anticipates strong year ahead|
Dubrovnik Airport anticipates welcoming almost 1.8 million passengers next year on the back of a record 2015, during which it became the first and only airport in the former Yugoslavia to handle the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on a regular basis and started construction work on its new terminal. A handful of airlines have already announced new services to the city in 2016, among which are Volotea, Air Berlin, Niki, easyJet and Transavia, while many carriers will boost frequencies on existing seasonal flights. Dubrovnik Airport estimates its passenger numbers will grow between 5% - 6% next year. The airport also hopes to see an increase in Russian tourists, whose numbers have declined significantly since Croatia's entry into the European Union in 2013, which signalled the end to visa-free travel. However, with Russians no longer able to holiday in Turkey and Egypt and with continuing security concerns in Tunisia, Croatia's tourism sector hopes to benefit.
Over the past eleven months, Dubrovnik Airport saw its busiest year, handling 1.675.517 passengers, an increase of 6.8%, surpassing its 2014 end-of-year result and positioning itself as the third busiest in Croatia, following Zagreb and Split. International passengers accounted for 86.7% of all travellers passing through the airport this year. Some 67 airlines operated flights to the city in 2015. A total of 37.2% of all passengers were carried by scheduled carriers, 37% by low cost airlines and just 8% on charter flights. London was the busiest route, accounting for 13.7% of all passengers. It was followed by Paris at 6%, Helsinki and Barcelona at 4.2%, Rome at 3.5%, Manchester and Dublin at 3% and Frankfurt at 2.8% of all travellers. The United Kingdom was the busiest market followed by France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Norway and Finland. Croatia Airlines was the busiest airline operating out of Dubrovnik, followed by easyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Thomson Airways, British Airways, Vueling Airlines, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines.
|Dubrovnik Airport's new terminal under construction|
This year, Dubrovnik Airport began work on its 36.500 square metre passenger terminal. The airport expects for construction to be completed by the end of 2016 and for the terminal to be operational by the spring of 2017. As a result, Dubrovnik will have the capacity to handle 3.5 million passengers per year. The building will be located next to the current terminal and will be connected to it. It is part of a major 274 million euro expansion project, which includes the construction of new storage facilities, access roads, a car park and the lengthening of the runway and taxiways. Next year, the airport plans to begin work on expanding its apron and taxiways, while the overhaul of the runway will start next winter. It will last three years, with work to be carried out only during the winter months so as not to affect air traffic. The entire expansion project is scheduled for completion in 2019.