Slow year for Zagreb Airport

Zagreb numbers decline as Dubrovnik and Split boom
While most Croatian airports are recording strong growth in 2012 with some seeing record figures, Zagreb Airport is lagging behind on last year. Croatia’s busiest airport welcomed 1.064.000 passengers in the first half of 2012, a slight decrease of 1.8% compared to the same period last year. The airport managed to level to last year’s results in mid June when it handled its millionth passenger on the same day as in 2011, however, numbers declined in the coming days. Zagreb has lost Malév, Spanair and Central Connect Airlines to bankruptcy but has welcomed Qatar Airways, which will be joined by SkyWork Airlines and British Airways later on in the year. “This year we have handled 18.400 passengers less than in 2011. The primary reason for this is the financial crisis”, Zagreb Airport spokesperson Jadran Kapor notes.

On the other hand, Dubrovnik saw its best June on record. The airport has also started strong in July as it welcomed 5.000 passengers more than last year. Croatia’s second busiest airport also has new routes planned for the upcoming slow winter season. Croatia Airlines will extend its seasonal summer service from Dubrovnik to Zurich throughout the winter. Flights will operate twice per week while Swiss International Airlines will code share on the service. It comes after Lufthansa announced it will be operating flights from Munich to Dubrovnik throughout the 2012/2013 winter as well.

After a slow start, Split has also turned its fortunes around. The airport handled 471.692 passengers so far this year, an increase of 10.1%. Split Airport ended 2011 by handling 1.300.381 passengers and is expected to comfortably surpass that figure by the end of 2012. Zadar and Pula are also recording strong growth. The only airport which has taken a big hit this year is Osijek which has suffered greatly from Ryanair’s exit.


  1. Anonymous09:09

    Zagreba airport management is just doing what it is orderd. This year they must have minus that next year by Franch consorcium they will have more than 20% plus. And that will be evidence how Franch are a gift from God.

  2. Anonymous09:52

    The figures will definitely change by next year once Croatia joins EU. ZAG figures will increase while BEG might start decreasing.

  3. Anonymous09:55

    Hello Ex-Yu, can you please post some figures for May and June for Zagreb because there is no official data published either on Pleso's website or on Croatian Civil Aviation Agency (CCAA)? Thanks.

  4. Anonymous13:34

    Why would Belgrade decrease? Its not like people from Belgrade travel to Zagreb in order to fly. With Qatar starting flights soon, and rumours of TAP starting with, I don't see how BEH numbers will decrease.

  5. Anonymous13:35

    Why would Belgrade decrease? Its not like people from Belgrade travel to Zagreb in order to fly. With Qatar starting flights soon, and rumours of TAP starting with flights, I don't see how BEG numbers will decrease.

    1. Anonymous14:03

      Add to the list Air One from Milano which is scheduled to launch flights on September 18.

    2. Anonymous17:03

      Actually flights are also gonna be operated for Alitalia (Belgrade-milano).. So alitalia will be operated by both Jat and AirOne to Milano.

    3. Anonymous17:20

      Actually I think it was arranged for Jat Airways to operate in the afternoon while Air One keeps the morning flight. Like that they can offer convenient connections in Milano.

    4. Anonymous17:44

      There are three A321s in Belgrade today:

      1. Morning departure of Lufthansa to Frankfurt
      2. Aeroflot to Moscow
      3. Alitalia to Rome

    5. Anonymous18:15

      Add to that Swiss 1416 to Zurich :)
      thats 4 A321 in one day :D

    6. Anonymous18:17

      sorry, typo - Swiss 1413 ;)

  6. Anonymous18:26

    For the first six months.....

    Croatian Airports

    Zag 1.064.000
    Dbv 506.000
    Spu 472.000
    Zad 126.000

    TotaL 2.168.000

    This doesn't includef Puy or Osi

    Serbian Aiports

    Beg 1.481.982
    Nis 12.418

    Total 1.494.400

    People keep comparing Beg and Zag air traffic. If there were more flights from Nis and if these new airports in Serbia open to actual trffic, is it not safe to say that Beg traffic will decline...Why is there not more trffic out of Nis? Are the authrities afraid to lose the traffic at Beg?

    As for Zag, many airlines are also creating regular direct flights to the final destination, thus bypassing Zag.

    1. Anonymous18:42

      Don’t see your point. Offcourse Croatia is going to have more traffic across the board since it’s a tourist country with several airports. INI doesn’t get traffic because there is no interest for it. Little industry, no foreign investment and no tourism. You can’t base your entire operations to a city purely based on seasonal diaspora passengers. Like Hungary, Serbia is a centralised country. BEG gets all the flights just like BUD gets all the flights in Hungary.

    2. Anonymous20:43

      The initial argument is quite stupid. If we take Cyprus, a country of 830.000 inhabitants, their airports handled 7,286,450 in 2011.
      This just goes to prove that Croatia is actually under-performing when it comes to passenger numbers.

    3. Anonymous21:03

      Not necessarily. As Cyprus is an island the only way to get there is by plane, (or I guess by boat). So you would expect them to have high airport pax numbers.
      Many countries are close enough to Croatia that people can drive there often in one day or so. Or all day and all night bus ride. So although the airport pax numbers for Croatia may seem relatively low as compared to Cyprus, it is a realistic number.

      -- Charlie

    4. Anonymous21:31

      I disagree. Regardless if Cyprus is an island or not, Croatia is 4 times bigger thereby it should handle incomparably more passengers. Not to mention that Croatia has a larger diaspora which should stimulate growth.
      Cyprus sees a lot of flights to Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Greece which are all destinations that could be reached by boat. Boats went out of business because the air links were more convenient and better organized. In addition to all this there are flights offered from the occupied zone to Istanbul and beyond. With all these Cypriot airports manage to keep a high number of passengers.
      If you do not think Cyprus is a good example then use Bulgaria whose airports handled 6,987,482 last year.

      Croatia and Serbia can not be compared when it comes to passenger numbers. You need to take similar markets.

  7. Anonymous22:48

    You disagree with me but you seem to prove my point. That being that if you want to get to Cyprus you have to take a plane (as you said since ships are not used as much anymore, even people from nearby countries have to fly there). Hence Cyprus has high airport pax numbers for all these reasons plus the ones you mentioned. Croatia may have a large Diaspora but they can drive home.

    Bulgaria also has relatively high airport pax numbers for slightly different reasons. Their main tourist draw is the Black Sea which is very far for western European tourists, not to mention Brits which come in the hundreds of thousands, Winter and Summer. Point being that it is harder, read: takes longer, to drive to Bulgaria from many countries (exception Turkey, Romania, Greece, perhaps Serbia). So, many people flew there.

    Croatia still has tremendous potential for more airport pax, which will occur -- with more direct flights to more destinations, with more competitive pricing.

    Serbia does not have a tourism market comparable to these countries so it is difficult to compare.

    -- Charlie

    1. Anonymous23:14

      You are missing my point. Cyprus used to have boats but they went out of business because people who were in charge of the aviation sector were smart enough to organize themselves and defeat the naval industry.
      They have managed to get people used to flying rather than traveling by sea. Mind you a flight from Larnaca to Beirut is not longer than 20 minutes. Both Israel and Egypt are reachable by plane in less than 50 minutes.
      So the fact that there are no boats from Cyprus to these countries is not by luck or because it is an island; it is like that because the aviation sector came out triumphant at the end of the battle.

      So you are telling me that the Brits are flying into Bulgaria but they are not doing so when heading to Croatia? Also the fact that more and more flights are added from the Croatian coast to Germany, Austria and Switzerland just goes to prove that the market is there, just those who are in charge of it in Croatia are not doing a good job at promoting it.
      They need to understand that they are competing against cars, buses and trains...

      I think we were trying to say the same thing, just that I wanted to make sure people got why you can not compare the Serbian market to that of Croatia, as someone did so earlier today.
      It is like comparing apples and pears.

  8. Anonymous23:46

    I still like BEG as it is. Try connecting from Usa or Europe to one of those coastline airports in Crotia, and see how germans and austrians will still rip your skin off. That will stay like that for long time.

  9. Anonymous00:01

    Honestly comparing figures one to one is very wrong and primitive. Belgrade gets lots of business pax, and you are puting them in a same boat with those that pay few bucks and fly with Ryanair to Crotia. Come on get real. Ever wondered how BEG manages to scoop up 20M a year in profits? You will never get that from those that fly Ryanair. That's why they are investing serious cash in Belgrade airport while Zagreb is still the same as it was back in the 1960s. Money talks BS walks!

    1. Anonymous06:47

      You probably meant under "business pax" economic emigrants from Serbia going all over the world.
      Number of foreign business people arriving / leaving BEG is negligible at the moment.
      Of course, that may change in the future, if economy starts to raise instead of shrinking at present.
      In hope that first will happen soon, so I could recover some of my money that I invested and lost in investment fund involved with Serbian companies.

  10. Anonymous07:33

    ^ do you have any data to back your facts? So probablly those pricey hotels along new Belgrade are for those as well?


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