Croatian airports in 2009

Osijek Airport – biggest improver in 2009
The majority of Croatian airports ended the year of the global financial crisis mostly unscathed with small passenger losses. One of the worst months for all airports in Croatia was December 2009 when airports such as Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Pula and Zadar recorded a traffic decrease of more than 10% when compared to December 2008 while the number of passengers handled on behalf of Rijeka Airport decreased by 69%.

Overall in 2009, Zagreb Airport handled 2.056.388 passengers, a decrease of 5.7%. Both Split and Dubrovnik also saw passenger numbers decreasing between 5 and 7%. Both airports handled over 1 million passengers. The worst performer of the year was Pula whose traffic decreased by 20.8%. The airport handled 302.448 passengers, compared to 381.680 in 2008. This is despite the fact that aircraft movement at the airport did not decrease by a large margin.

Zadar and Osijek have survived the year with a major increase in traffic and passengers, showing that the 2 airports were not following the trends of others in the country. Passenger numbers at Zadar increased by 34.9%. The airport handled 195.163 passengers. The airport also recorded an increase in aircraft operations of up to 124.1%, mostly thanks to the arrival of the low cost Ryanair. The most successful airport of the year, when compared to 2008, is Osijek which saw passenger numbers increase by 37.8%. Meanwhile, Rijeka, which is having financial problems, managed to report growth of less than half a percent.

The following table displays the passenger change that airports in Croatia had in 2009, compared to last year.

AirportPassengers 2008Passengers 2009Change (%)

How do you think Croatian airports will do in 2010? Send a comment.


  1. Most reports in the media suggest that 2010 will be a year of some recovery, therefore there should be an increase compared to 2009 but figures may still be lower then 2008 for most of the Croatian airports.

    Looking at this, I noticed Croatian airports at this time currently handle around 5 million passengers per year. Is this the most of any country or the ex yu republics?

  2. (...... Of the Ex Yu republics)

  3. Anonymous14:53

    Would be interesting to compare those numbers to the pre-war ones. I am really curious to see whether anything is improving, if at all?


  4. @Q400: Correct, when all airports are combined Croatia overwhelmingly handles the most passengers out of all the EX-YU republics.

  5. frequentflyer05:33

    I don't think the airports have done too badly given the economic situation, it will be good to compare the figures across the entire exYU to see a regional set of statistics (and then a breakdown by country etc).

    What is interesting though is the breakdown of traffic - it's about 50% coastal bound (ie not ZAG/OSI), yet national carrier OU only holds 30-40% share of flights out of these airports (less during summer)... is OU's recent growth focused properly for the country's tourism industry and image? Have they expanded enough with purchasing 6 Q400s replacing one 320 and 3 AT4s (should they have acquired more Qs or another 319?). Which destinations could be better served from OU out of PUY, DBV and SPU?

    As for OSI, it will be hard to repeat such a huge increase again in 2010.

  6. Anonymous09:38

    Talking about Rijeka Airport I think
    that, despite its small size, could boost the passengers figures in the future if croatian government could hand over its owned majority shares to the local county which could ensure much more investment for the airport improvement and luring the major uropean low costs as Ryanair and Easy Jet.


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