Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Rijeka in talks to become airline base


Rijeka Airport is negotiating for a European airline to open a base in the city in 2019. The Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure noted that this will be preceded by a 2.6 million euro investment in the airport's infrastructure next year, which will include upgrades to the passenger terminal and apron. Although the carrier in question has not been named, the Minister for Tourism, Gari Cappelli, remarked earlier this year that Eurowings had expressed interest to station an aircraft in the city. "If Rijeka offers agreeable terms, it will become a Eurowings base", the Minister said. Eurowings operated an additional sixty rotations to Rijeka over the summer, resulting in an additional 20.000 passengers on the airline's network out of the city when compared to last year.

The Lufthansa subsidiary noted earlier this month that it has big plans in store for the Croatian market over the next three years. Furthermore, the airline recently upgraded its seasonal summer flights between Cologne and Rijeka to year-round operations, becoming the Croatian city's only nonstop international service during the winter period. “Bookings for the winter months have been improving. As with any new route, it takes time to develop. We are working on diversifying Rijeka’s offer in order for it to become a city-break destination”, the airline’s Network Development Manager, Ivan Oreč, said at a press conference in Zagreb earlier this month. In addition to Cologne, Eurowings also maintains flights from Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover and Stuttgart to Rijeka. Currently, the only Croatian airport that serves as a base to a foreign registered airline is Zadar, which is home to Ryanair on a seasonal summer basis.

Rijeka Airport handled 127.132 passengers during the first three quarters of the year, representing a decrease of 5.4% on 2016, making it Croatia's least busiest airport with commercial traffic after Brač. However, it processes the second largest amount of cargo in the country after Zagreb. Over the past several months, the airport has been frequented by numerous Boeing 747 freighter jets which has in turn boosted revenue. According to a report by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, Rijeka Airport has become a logistical base for Pentagon shipments of arms to the Middle East which has resulted in the surge in cargo flights. Despite the decline in passenger numbers, General Manager, Tomislav Palalić, said the airport expects to handle 300.000 passengers in 2018. So far, both Ryanair and Condor have announced plans to introduce new services from Frankfurt to Rijeka next year.

120 comments:

  1. Wow that would be amazing for Rijeka. Would they just open a seasonal base like Ryanair in Zadar or would they go year round?

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    1. Seems they would want it to be year round since they said they want to "diversify" Rijeka's offer.

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    2. That would be awesome. Fingers crossed.

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  2. I would have always thought that DBV and SPU would become bases for some airlines. But in the end it looks like it will be ZAD and RJK.

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    1. They are way too expensive. Why do you think Easy jet with 15 destinations does not want to open a base in Split?

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    2. i don't think there is any room left at Split regardless of the price.

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    3. How much cheaper is RJK compared to SPU regarding airport fees and taxes?

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    4. You can see for yourself

      Rijeka Airport price list
      http://rijeka-airport.hr/pages/sub/36/doc_en/price-list-other-airport-services-2017.pdf

      Split Airport price list
      http://www.split-airport.hr/images/stories/05-b2b/CJENIK_2014.pdf

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  3. This airport has a lot of untapped potential.

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    1. Agree, finally some good news from Rijeka! The city has a great potential and is one of the richest cities in Croatia.

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  4. Replies
    1. Because Rijeka is the cheapest airport on the Adriatic coast.

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    2. And because it is more central than ZAD and PUY.

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    3. And because it does not have as much competition as others.

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  5. How come Rijeka's numbers have gone down this year?

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    1. Really odd, it was a great tourist season...

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    2. Maybe because Limitless went bankrupt? Were their flights covered by other airlines?

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    3. I don't think that had anything to do with it.

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    4. To make things worse, the number flights was up by a lot compared to last year, meaning there were simply fewer passengers.

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    5. @ Anonymous November 22, 2017 at 9:14 AM

      It certainly did. No one really stepped in to take their place.

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    6. Rijeka isn't a tourist destination, there's little demand for air travel to Rijeka when you have Pula next door, which is a holiday destination.

      Opatija, which is one of the most beautiful l resorts in Croatia, Crikvenica, Senj, all charming places right next to Rijeka, however these places aren't well known as Rovinj, Porec or Pula. So it'll take bit of doing to get more people coming.

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    7. Opatija is another league. I wouldn't compare it to Crikvenica and even less to Senj.

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    8. Didn't ECA fly to Rijeka? Their collapse probably had some impact on numbers too.

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    9. They did fly to Rijeka but ECA could handle 10 passengers per flight. I really don't think that had such an impact. Limitless certainly did to some extent. But it is indicative that the number of flights operated to Rijeka this year has increased but passenger numbers are down. It means fewer people are flying to Rijeka.

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  6. If this does happen and they open a few more routes it will be huge competition for Ljubljana and another nearby airport they will have to face.

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    1. and it would happen right about the same time Ljubljana is supposed to open its new terminal.

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    2. Trieste airport with its Air Dolomiti connections would have a competitor too.

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    3. I fly regularly to Slovenia (5-6 times a year) from West and North Europe to visit family on Slovenian coast (I don't live close to main hubs in EU). I mainly use Venice, Trieste and Ljubljana airports, almost always with a connecting flight. Venice has the lowest prices but is far away, Trieste is the closest airport, but has really poor connections (only Munich flight makes sense for me), Ljubljana is between the two (price, availability, convenience). I would fly to Rijeka, or other Croatian airports only if the ticket price and connectivity would be similar than Venice, otherwise they are simply less convenient than Ljubljana or Trieste. The only other exception is superior offer (e.g Emirates in Zagreb).

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    4. Have you ever driven from Ljubljana to Krk? It much easier and comfortable to drive to Venice or Treviso than to Rijeka Airport. Yes, it will be an additional competition, however far from huge.

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    5. Unfortunately the road from Rijeka to Postojna isn't good. Even that from Rijeka to Trieste.

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    6. @ Last anon. True. And there's also no rush to build highway to Jelšane. As I recall last unofficial deadline was set to 2028

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    7. It was said, that motorway is not needed at this relation. Politics were comparing that with Vienna-Prague connection, because there is no motorway also between Austria and Czech republic.
      In my opinion they should work more on railway connections. Only 2 trains drive from Rijeka to SLO daily.

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    8. The real problem is that Slovenia is not interested in building motorways towards Croatia. Zbog kompleksa.

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    9. I've driven from Krk island, where I live, to Ljubljana, Trieste, Trieste airport and Venice airport. They all involve goat track roads through endless villages (thanks Slovenia!) but the one with the least amount is to Ljubljana (about 40km) and feels like the safest and best maintained, the road to Trieste is often riddled with large trucks. RJK connectivity has improved a lot since the motorway was extended to the Krk bridge, now it's all motorway to the Slovenian border.

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  7. Latest FR base was Burgas competing with W6 in VAR. So, my guess is that the airline for Rijeka will be FR.

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    1. I don't think that BOJ and VAR are really competing because the destinations of W6 and FR are very different.

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  8. Great news. Rijeka has so much potential and under serviced. Good to learn of the investment in infrastructure to get rid of that awful appearance of a bygone era. Huge potential for not only Rijeka but also islands of Krk and Rab

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  9. I just hope they don't make the same deal Zadar made with Ryanair. That just isn't good for an airport.

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    1. They certainly will. EW are tough negotiators. They don't open any new route in Croatia unless they get support from tourist board, local government etc.

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    2. They will get free handling/landing/advertising.

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  10. Croatia Airlines could and should have done much more with coastal airports. Now other airlines are moving in and OU is loosing market share year by year.

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    1. I wonder if Croatia Airlines will fly Rijeka-Heathrow next year since they sold half of the Heathrow slots.

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    2. No. Three weekly to ZAG and a Saturday flight to SPU.

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    3. Damn :( so the only OU flight left will be Rijeka-Munich and that's it.

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    4. Hopefully EW opens Munich flights to Rijeka next year and drives them out completely. They obviously couldn't care less about RJK. So much for a "national" airline.

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    5. Croatia Airlines planned to increase flights from Rijeka a few years ago. They negotiated with local government but in the end nothing happened.

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    6. OU doesn't serve Dubrovnik or Split properly over the winter, and you expect a different story in Rijeka?

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    7. They could have kept Munich year round. The route performs extremely well during the summer. They could have at least tried. It's not like they don't have enough planes.

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  11. Wow! Nice. Can't wait.

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  12. Eurowings CEO said recently they plan to open bases outside of Germany/Austria so Croatia seems like a logical choice. It's one of their top 10 markets.

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    1. They already have a base in Palma don't they?

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    2. Yes it was opened this year. They have year round flights from there.

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  13. Airport CEO is dreaming. No chance they can manage 300,000 passengers in 2018. That would mean they would have to double passenger numbers compared to this year. With OU ending Heathrow and just Ryanair and Condor adding a flight from Frankfurt I doubt very much they will achieve this figure.

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    1. I agree. But everytime he talks he gives a different estimate. Meanwhile, Nis overtook Rijeka in passenger numbers.

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    2. Numbers will pick up in November and December because of Eurowings but summer numbers were a bit disappointing.

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    3. The only way they can catch up to Pula and Zadar is by some airline opening a base.

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    4. RJK has always had, and still has, incompetent and ignorant management.

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    5. Its record year was in 2006 with 166.675 passengers. Can they surpass it this year?

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    6. Every year the same - next year record number of passengers! And then nothing. Really bad!

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    7. @ Anonymous November 22, 2017 at 10:21 AM

      It will be very close.

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    8. Airport Rijeka is being mismanaged since beginning i.e. since socialism times.

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    9. "RJK has always had, and still has, incompetent and ignorant management."

      Welcome to Croatia.

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  14. What about bora wind on Krk island? I read many times, that in case of strong wind they close the bridge and stop ferrys. How does Rijeka airport manage those difficult conditions?

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    1. I don't think there have been some major issues. Dubrovnik has the same issue and sometimes it happens that a flight is diverted or cancelled. Seeing as Rijeka has a low volume of traffic at the moment, it isn't such an issue.

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    2. Bura does not effect Rijeka airport as much as effects Dubrovnik. However, bura is often closing Krk bridge and ferrys, and that's the problem. You have an airplane ready for take off, but passangers can't get to the airport. Regardless of that, Rijeka is excellent choice, it's only 1:45 hrs max 2 hrs ride from Zagreb, and it is on the coast. On top of that, cheapest airport in cointry and, apart from Osijek, far less airlines fly to Rijeka than any other airport on the coast, so basicly they would br monopolists there.

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    3. The Bura is nasty, but they've only closed the bridge once for cars in the last two years, due to ice+wind. Just wind seem to be ok.

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  15. Good job Rijeka and Eurowings. I really hope Rijeka will do better next summer, with more destinations.

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  16. Nice! Rijeka is an amazing city. The busiest cargo seaport and 2nd busiest cargo airport in the country. With its culture, suburbs like Opatija and the island of Krk, there's so much tourist potential in addition to industry and cargo-related business.

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  17. I think there is a good chance for Rijeka to become a seasonal base at least. THe number of German on Kvarner is large. On top of that LDRI is quite cheap in terms of taxes and compared to other airports on the Adriatic.

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  18. I have doubt that this will happen, not because of demand but because of the management. I still remember what they did to easyJet. Rijeka was their first destination in Croatia, they had extremely good loads and plans to significantly expand operations to Rijeka. They did make some demands from the airport regarding investments and they did absolutely nothing. The management practically chased them away and after around two years easy picked up and left, moved to other airports in Croatia which were much more cooperative.

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    1. +100
      although that was the former management's doing this one is nothing better. Politically appointed. Remember all those stories how they are going to build hangars and what not when Limitless started flights.

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    2. I remember that time. The airport was in a SHOCKINGLY bad state. Literally no change since the 90's. I don't blame easyJet at all.

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  19. But problem with tourism in Croatia, even more in north is that it is very very seasonal. Istria/Kvarner also depend a lot more on tourists coming by car and bus out of season. I wish them good luck. Eurowings loads on Cologne-Rijeka route are not very good this winter but I really hope they stick with it and develop the route as well as winter flights. Local authorities should also do more to help and develop travel in the off season.

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  20. 2019 seems realistic. Hope it happens.

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  21. That part of the Croatian coast does not have that much competition. So I look forward to RJK developing.

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    1. Umm there is Pula 100km away.

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    2. No, don't forget that the airport is on an island. There is plenty of space for both. Rijeka can serve the city and some islands.

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  22. 2018-PUY Adria
    2019-RJK Eurowings

    Congratulations !

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    1. I'm not so sure about Adria and Pula.

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    2. Ahahahahahaha tip trolla s tom Adriom, daj vec jednom prestani ahahahahahah

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    3. Adria plans to promote PUY immediately after CCAA approval, most preferable before FEB 18.

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    4. this isnt happening; if it is give us a hyperlink to your source.

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    5. Of course this is not happening. He's a troll.

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  23. I think that Rijeka can maintain flights to Belgrade, with P2P pax. In my opinion, Croatia Airlines' Munich flights should be done as SPU-RJK-MUC-RJK-SPU because there is a strong demand on that domestic route and this combination during the winter would secure good loads on both sectors. Other markets can be covered with LCC.

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    1. Velika steta sto er serbija ne leti na liniji beg-rjk.. bila bi to dobra sezonska linija.

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    2. Isn't PUY too close to it?

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    3. It is close but Rijeka could be sustained as a stand-alone destination. Would make more sense then Zadar like they were considering.

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    4. Rijeka has a sizable Serbian community. There is even a Serbian consulate in Rijeka!

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    5. Ne samo Rijeka nego i Brać bi bila dobra destinacija. Poslednjih godina tokom letnje sezone na Braču je svakog dana izmedju 500-800 beogradjana. To je samo beogradjana, a ima jos bar stotinu ostalih iz Srbije. Jedan ATR bi mogao cak i dva puta nedeljno da popuni let za Brac.

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    6. There was talk last year that JU would star Brac. Even the airport manager announced it.

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    7. Also some charter airline was interested in BWL-BEG.

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    8. There won't be any additional Air Serbia flights to Croatia unfortunately. Air Serbia wanted to add Zadar this year, also Brac in 2016. Problem is Croatian Civil Aviation Agency which does not allow Air Serbia to open new routes and has a very odd attitude towards Air Serbia probably based on protecting Croatia Airlines because this is one airline they can protect them from. It accuses Air Serbia of selling tickets from Croatia to third points via Belgrade, which it says they can't do. This is of course ludicrous because almost all airlines do that. Go figure.

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    9. Istina na bracu ima jako puno turista ljeti iz srbije i na plazama se svake godine spominje kako ce se iduce godine uspostaviti direkt linija beograd brac i dosta njih ceka da moze letit na toj liniji....samo nazalost svake godine se prebacuje ne iducu godini..a 2 rotacije tijedno bi bile pun pogodak jer takoder s beograda sa wizierom mogu letit za njemacku a i ostale destinacije jako jako povoljno...a s obzirom da je brac takoder vjerojatno jeftiniji od splita a vjerojatno i rijeke i da ce se lista destinacija iducih godina sve vise i vise siriti kao sta ce se i uzlwtno sletna staza produzivati .mogo bi onda i eurowings razmisliti o bazi na bracu...

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  24. Finally some investment in the terminal. It's still like from another era!

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    1. What’s the building’s capacity? No offence but it is a real commie eyesore. But congrats to Rijeka.

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  25. it’s good to see all the Croatian airports trying to attract airlines during the off season.

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  26. Rijeka is lucky to have at least some flights. The city is at 1,5 hrs driving distance from Zagreb and 1 hrs from Pula. Stranded between these two airports, I think it's just a waste of resources to keep this airport open.

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    1. Waste of resources? It has more passengers then airports like Mostar and Banja Luka. It also has more passengers than Osijek and Brac. Should we close those too?

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    2. If there are airports with decent connections within 1,5 hrs range, yes, you shouldn't use the nation's resources to keep an airport with 150,000 pax open.

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    3. If RJK had some decent LCC flights on offer they could attract pax from ZAG, PUL, & ZAD. Both locals and for tourists.

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  27. Good luck. Let's hope this happens and Rijeka thrives in 2019.

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  28. Nista od toga, hrpa nadobudnih najava sto se tice Rijeke a to smo vec sve culi. Jedino sto ce se 2019. Dogoditi jest Lufthansa na year round liniji MUC - RJK cime ce Rijeka ostati bez linija OU (LHR vise nece letjeti nakon prodaje slotova). Dakle EW nece otvarati bazu, mogu jacati linije i to je to. Ni ova sezona nije opravdala ocekivanja a kapaciteti su se povecali, no RJK svejedno ima pad broja putnika i to u samoj spici sezone, dakle LF je bio los. CGN nece popraviti 11. I 12 mj., Do sada je popunjenost po smjeru u prosjeku od 30 putnika sto je ekstremno lose ( isto je i za PUY ali tamo sada salju Dasha pa se to nekako jos tolerira).

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  29. It would be interesting to know how much the airlines are being paid to fly to Rijeka and who is paying them.

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  30. Replies
    1. daj brate vise...

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    2. tebi jos nije jasno da je to trolanje?

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  31. Who is preventing Rijeka airport management to act same way as Pula, Zadar, Split or Dubrovnik? Incompetency, nothing else.

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  32. I do think that Rijeka Airport could achieve a much better result if it would be privatized.
    As the croatian government is the major shareholder of Krk airport it does not provide the necessary financing, investment for enhancing the infrastructure, due mainly to political reasons, unlike other dalmatian airports.

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  33. future developments of Croatian airport could be some islands, apart from Brač, as Lošinj, Rab and Vis

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  34. Rijeka will be the European Culture Capital in 2020 so they expect an influx of visitors throughout the year. And they have some extra EU funds they can use to improve their connectivity.

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  35. Anonymus 12:19, Vis definitely doesn't need an airport. C'mon guys, we don't need an airport everywhere. Have you ever been to Vis? Where exactly would you build an airport? In the middle of the valley that connects Vis to Komiza? You would destroy the island.

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    1. A possible location would be feasible where the Britons built the airfield during the 2.WW

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    2. Ne, Visu ne treba aerodrom.
      Postojeci na Bracu je i vise nego dostatan za potreba Braca, Visa, Korcule, Lastova i Mljeta.
      Ono sto je nedostatno jesu brze brodske veze izmedju Braca i navedenih otoka.

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