Zagreb and Dubrovnik falter in January

Dubrovnik underperforms as other airports grow
In the first month of 2012, the airports in Zagreb and Dubrovnik saw passenger numbers slide after a record breaking 2011. Other airports in Croatia managed to record passenger growth.

Croatia’s busiest airport Zagreb welcomed 131.068 passengers, a decrease in of 5.6% compared to the same month last year. Zagreb’s slow start was followed by a significant fall in the number of transit passengers passing through the airport. Dubrovnik, which was Croatia’s second busiest airport in 2011 and the fifth busiest in the former Yugoslavia, saw an even bigger decline than its counterpart in Zagreb. Dubrovnik handled 17.843 compared to 21.288 passengers in 2011, a decrease of almost 20%.

Other airports in Croatia had better luck with Split, Pula, Zadar and Osijek all recording a passenger growth. Split’s numbers were better than those of Dubrovnik as the airport welcomed 24.678 passengers through its doors. Pula Airport will be content with its January performance as it recorded a passenger increase of 24.2%. Both Rijeka and Brač airports saw triple digit growth but together handled only 47 passengers.

Below you can review the performance of Croatia’s airports in January 2012. Overall, Croatian airports handled 176.929 passengers, a decrease of 5.6% compared to January 2011. The statistics have been provided by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics.

AirportPassengers JAN 2012Passengers JAN 2011Change (%)
Zagreb131.068138.370 5.6
Dubrovnik17.84321.288 19.3
Split24.67824.428 1.1
Zadar2.2161.848 16.6
Pula995754 24.2
Rijeka3111 64.5
Osijek5635 60.0
Brač161 1500.0
Mali Lošinj2672 63.9


  1. Anonymous09:02

    Airport Passengers JAN 2011 Passengers JAN 2011 Change (%)
    Zagreb 131.068 138.370 ▼ 5.6
    Dubrovnik 17.843 21.288 ▼ 19.3
    Split 24.678 24.428 ▲ 1.1
    Zadar 2.216 1.848 ▲ 16.6
    Pula 995 754 ▲ 24.2
    Rijeka 31 11 ▲ 64.5
    Osijek 56 35 ▲ 60.0
    Brač 16 1 ▲ 1500.0
    Mali Lošinj 26 72 ▼ 63.9

    there two 2011 lol meant to be 2011-2012

  2. Anonymous09:10

    Wasn't this reported some time ago? I guess it's a slow news day...

    Maybe someone could tell me why did the number of transit passengers decrease? Could it be because of the snow storm in Bosnia? I would have thought more passengers would fly on Croatia now that Malev is no more.

    Since there isn't anything new reported here is an interview with flydubai, this should put an end to the speculations if BEG is profitable for them.

  3. Anonymous10:28

    What happened with Dubrovnik? The snow actually started in very late January and affected mostly February rather than January.

  4. Anonymous12:54

    Is Croatia Airlines the only scheduled airline to serve Dubrovnik?

    1. Anonymous14:52

      During the winter timetable Dubrovnik is served by Croatia Airlines(Frankfurt, Paris, Rome and Zagreb) and British Airways (London).

    2. Anonymous15:19

      Thanks, and what are the frequencies on those flights?

    3. Anonymous17:15

      Zagreb Wednesday and Saturday 2 daily flights
      Zagreb Monday,Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 3 daily flights
      Zagreb Sunday 4 daily flights
      Frankfurt 3 flights per week (2--5-7)
      Rome 2 flights per week (5-7)
      Paris 2 flights per week (5-7)
      London 3 flights per week (2-4-7)

      As you can see just 30 departures during the Winter and during the Summer you can fly from almost every bigger airport in Europe to Dubrovnik.

  5. Observer12:58

    Do Brac and Mali Losinj have traffic during the summer?

    1. Anonymous13:32

      Brac (Bol) has seasonal scheduled flights ZAG-BWK operated by OU every summer (it has been once/twice a week for the last few years). Also BWK has Austrian operating some charters seasonally from Vienna, Graz, Linz & Innsbruck.

      Mali Losinj ( LSZ ) has some odd flights. Its runway is very short, only 900 m long therefore only small AC. No regular charter flights as far as I know.

      Alex London

  6. Contrails16:02

    I would not worry about DBV. The geography is working in its favor, Dubrovnik is difficult to reach even in the best of times. The traffic will pick up in the months to come.

    However, I am not so optimistic over ZAG, even with the demise of Budapest and Ljubljana slipping slowly, it has a difficult task ahead. Vienna and Belgrade are simply too close for comfort.

  7. Anonymous17:16

    Zagreb have no need to worry about Belgrade, but Viennas close proximity and the quality of the raod network to other airports such as Graz and Klagenfurt may hinder zagreb

  8. Anonymous18:42

    Zagreb has to worry about Zagreb as Croats use FlyDubai and other airlines from BEG.... Isent it funny how Zagreb recorded negative growth for January, while Belgrade recorded 20% growth?

    also, for someone who asked about the Emirates deal with JAT, my friends and some family in Australia i talked to told me a lot of Australis, including them this summer, will be flying Brisbane - Dubai - Frankfurt - Belgrade (FRA / BEG- JAT). one lady i talked to in Dubai said obviously most Serbs there and tourists vice - versa fly non stop with FlyDubai. I believe with FlyDubai however one has to worry about not getting any miles. but with Emirates, miles are earned.

    1. Anonymous20:21

      This deal would make more sense if it was done via Athens or Istanbul but then again, IST is too congested and ATH is quite expensive.

    2. fifi20:47

      Yes, for people in eastern part of Croatia
      it makes sense to fly via Belgrade.

      But what compensates for this is fact that Zagreb is extremely attractive for passengers from neighbouring Slovenia.
      Zagreb is not far away from the border to Slovenia and is connected with highway to Maribor in short time.

      Actually the whole Eastern Slovenia is as far away from Zag as from Lju!

      When Croatia enters EU it will profit a lot from this advantage.

      Biggest competitor of Lju in the region is Zag and when you see how Lju and Adria is in decline position of Zag is only getting stronger.

      If Adria should go bancrupt in future i see Slovenians use Zag as their new main airport!

    3. Anonymous00:12

      Well, why would anyone travel from Slovenia to ZAG, when they can make use of VCE, a mere two hours away, and no border or customs control? They have double daily EK service, with extremely affordable fares, way cheaper than QRs from ZAG, at least for now. Actually, if I was based in ZAG, I would drive to VCE.

    4. fifi00:38

      Actually "if" you were based in ZAG you would NOT drive to VCE!
      Because you would know that this would be too far.

      Take a map of Slovenia and Croatia and you will see importance of Zagreb for Slovenia!

    5. Anonymous11:37

      surely from eastern Slovenia zag is closer then VCE, from LJU it's almost the, some Slovenians use ZAG of course, but i think there are much more using VCE airport.the reason for that is that VCE is very very well connceted to various parts of Europe (and ME, N.America as well!) with numerous airlines.because of strong competition it's easy to get cheap tickets, so driving those half an hour more to VCE instead to ZAG is not a question.also nearby you have Treviso ryanport.not to mention the proximity of VCE for western Slovenia and NW Croatia!i'm affraid ZAG will never be able to offer what VCE does!!besides, Zagreb is not of special importance to Slovenia, what you probably meant is that Zagreb almost IS in Slovenia :)

    6. fifi16:03

      Yes,if you are from lju or a town near the italian border it makes sense to ride
      to Venice or Treviso.

      As long as Croatia is not in EU it will never be able to draw as much Slovenians as it will do when they actually enter.
      That border is really a problem for Croatia.

      And Zagreb really almost is in Slovenia : )
      Even people in this part of Croatia speak
      a dialect very similar (or identic)with Slovenian!

    7. Anonymous17:38


      I am based in BEG, AND I actually drive to VCE. That's why I'm quite sure there are some people in ZAG who would do the same, as it takes them almost four hours and one border less to get there :) Or it's just me :)

    8. Anonymous18:32

      fifi, i'm not sure it will change drastically when croatia enters EU (or Schengen for the matter of border). i mean you can often have queues at the border crossings with croatia but so are italian motorways famous for a very dense traffic and a lot of queues..most of people make decision about booking on prices, dparture times etc, not about having to cross the borders etc. that's why more Slovenians use VCE.and i doubt it will cahnge once Croatia enters EU, simply becuase ZAG will never be able to compete with VCE (which is the main airport for all NE Italy, a highly developed region, with dense population, business travel and tourism).i do wish all the best for LJU & ZAG though :)

    9. fifi20:43

      You are based in BEG and drive all the way to VCE?!
      That is really impressive.

      Well i am from Radenci in eastern Slovenia
      and would never drive to VCE.
      I mostly used VIE or Graz but found out that ZAG is also a good alternative and will be even more so in future when Croatia joins EU.

      For us people in eastern Slovenia ZAG is something we are used to ,what we can relate to.
      And it is very easy to reach by car.

      So how does it comes that you drive all the way from BEG to VCE?
      I bet you have a very good car that you really enjoy!
      And dont have to pay fuel for.

  9. Anonymous18:42

    Zagreb has to worry about Belgrade* ^

  10. Anonymous21:07

    question, how would someone book a flight from australia - belgrade via flydubai?

    1. Anonymous21:23

      via Emirates' office since they have a special agreement.

  11. Anonymous02:27

    But by e-sale (web page) of Emirates or flydubai or Amadeus you can not do that. So, basicly 90% of potential passanger will not buy that ticket.

  12. Anonymous04:20

    Off topic but when will we see an update on the construction at PRN?

  13. Anonymous09:58

    You can book BEG-Australia ticket with Flydubai and Emirates through Amadeus or at any travel agency. Also you can buy ticket from Australia to BEG on Emirates website, the opposit direction is not possible but will be available soon.

  14. Anonymous11:00

    That is true, but you still can not book:
    - BEG-Australia on Emirates site
    - BEG-Australia-BEG on flydubai site

    and for sure most of potential passengers will try to find those tickets in Emirates or flydubai site, and after not succeed will book it on alternative airline.

    1. Anonymous14:20

      BEG - Australia, to which city?

  15. Anonymous19:49

    @FIFI Are you just giving your personal opinion? I actually travel a lot and often I encounter Slovenians on planes out of Zagreb..

    Just last week, there were some 20 SLO passengers from Lisbon to Zagreb (via Paris)...

    As far as Zagrebians using Venice, it is far fetched because it is not so easy or cheap to get to Venice. There is only one train to Venice which leaves at midnight and arrives at Santa Lucia at 7:30, 80 euros round trip. It just takes way too long and when all the costs are considered it is not viable. It is not worth it.

  16. fifi21:09

    I am just giving my personal opinion.

    But i would be very surprised if there are not more people especially in eastern Slovenia who think the same as me.

  17. frequentflyer10:48

    What a great result for Brač! Let's see if they repeat it next year ;)

    In relation to who uses which airport in exYU, I think it comes down to 3 simple criteria:
    - time (how long does it take to access from home?)
    - cost (is it worth driving an extra 2hrs to save xx€ on the flight?)
    - reliability (how often, or long will I be stuck at border crossings etc?)

    Some people can afford a little more in cost to ensure they fly into the airport closest to their home, others prefer to save a little when they think they are getting a better deal. There are no winners - exYU still doesn't have the critical mass of flights just yet taking people where they want to go!


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