Zagreb numbers continue to decline

Zagreb Airport continues disappointing run

Zagreb Airport has recorded its sixth consecutive month of declining passenger numbers. In September, the airport welcomed 234.663 passengers, a decrease of 4% compared to last year’s 244.506 passengers. This is despite the fact the number of operated flights was almost the same as last year, with eight operations more than in September 2012. Despite a strong start to the year, Croatia’s busiest airport has failed to capitalise on the country’s recent entry into the European Union and has seen its numbers steadily decrease over the past half a year. During the first nine months of the year, Zagreb Airport handled 1.789.863 passengers, a decrease of 1.4% compared to the same period last year.

In contrast, airports across the Croatian coast are seeing record figures, primarily Split and Dubrovnik. While Split did see a small passenger decline of 1% in September, by handling 222.367 passengers, the airport has almost surpassed its end of year 2012 result. So far this year, Split has welcomed 1.420.571 passengers. In comparison, the airport handled 1.425.749 passengers for the whole of 2012.

On the other hand, Dubrovnik Airport saw 233.276 travellers pass through its doors in September, just over 1.000 passengers less than Zagreb. As a result, Dubrovnik’s numbers are up 0.8%. So far this year Dubrovnik has handled 1.351.035. Airlines have already begun selling tickets for new flights to the Croatian coast starting next summer season. Germanwings will launch flights from Berlin to Dubrovnik and Zadar as well as from Hamburg to Rijeka in April 2014. In addition, during the week, Thomas Cook announced the launch of flights from Brussels and Lille to Split next summer.


  1. Anonymous10:32

    Croatia's future is on its coast, not Zagreb.

  2. Anonymous10:44

    OT: Please I am very curious to get information about todays two flights from belgrade to innsbruck (1 by embraer 190 and the other 1 by a230). Whats that? and also direct flight to bcn..

  3. Well, due to many new flights from Sarajevo, Skopje, Pristina Podgorica, Split and Dubrovnik to western Europe and to the fact that OU is just flying to Munich, Frankfurt, Bruxelles, Amsterdam and Paris, Zagreb is not more any hub, just a regional airport!

    Now, all ex-yu airports have direct connections to Vienna, Zurich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Copenhagen and Stockholm, so passengers don´t have to fly via Zagreb with quite expensive Croatia Airlines.

    I travel between Sarajevo and western Europe aprox. twice a week and since 2008 I fly via Munich, Vienna, Zurich or even Cologne, so I don´t have to transit via Zagreb or Ljubljana.

    CONCLUSION: with no other destinations and with such prices, Zagreb Airport pax number is going do decline from month to month till some 2 mio. pax are reached.

    Zagreb, with 790.000 inhabitants and some 1,1 million in North-West Croatia, should be satisfied with 2 million pax.

    1. Anonymous11:19

      Hopefully we get you as a customer at Air Serbia! :)

    2. SQ2613:11


      Air Serbia needs to fight for its customers, Air Serbia needs to add more destinations Such as DUB, MAD, LIS, BCN and so on...

    3. Anonymous13:44

      Well, they have announced a good number of new destinations. It's not like they are passive.

    4. Anonymous14:00

      Bravo, thats what im talking about for a years.. Helloooo, we dont have direct line to bcn, lis, vce or man from beg!!! I mean, what r we talking about? two times per day to ath by a319??? and not even 2 weekly to ham or szg... cities where many serbians live in.. but let us see what will happen. i cant wait to see cabin load on ath flights or better to check sofias daily flights :) regards from belgrade!!!

    5. Anonymous14:05

      I guess you don't know what's the difference between loads and yields.
      Also, what makes you think there is a bigger market to Lisbon or Manchester than there is to Athens? Belgrade-Athens market is rather large, now smaller due to the crisis but still, it's not to be neglected.

    6. Anonymous14:13

      because every few days there is an atr flying to athens (6 pw), and dont forget that years ago, jat and olympic both stopped flying on the route.. why? second, barcelona is more touristic for the serbians than athens, and the third, read well you who know the difference between loads and yields: i didnt say to stop flying ath, i am just shocked about two daily a319.. ok? dont be so smart.. instead two daily to ath, we should have 1 daily and 3 pw to man and 4 pw to bcn.. ok? hope u understood now what im talking about. have a nice day!!!

    7. SQ2614:39

      Also Future of Air Serbia is not just to think what Serbs do want or where do Serbs travel or where is Serbian diaspora. I'm myself a Serbian but lets just be honnest Serbs don't have lots of money in their pocket to travel a lot and Serbian Diaspora travels only on holidays, so Air Serbia needs to think more regionally and then later globally if they want to be successfull if they want to be serious player in the balkans.

      As for the ZAG airport and for the Croatia Airlines same lession goes for them as for the Serbs if they want to survive then they need to stop think locally and start to think regional.

    8. Anonymous14:48

      You are so uninformed that it hurts. Olympic did not stop flying the route because there is no market, it stopped flying because the Greek government assigned the route to Aegean. Prior to this decision, Olympic Airways announced its intention to fly two times per day to BEG starting from 01.01.2010.
      Furthermore, prior to the world economic crisis the Athens route saw a lot of business passengers who were heading to Belgrade. There are a lot of Greek companies here.

      There is no market for Manchester. This route could only work once Air Serbia expands its Belgrade network so that it can offer connections.


      Air Serbia is thinking regionally hence why they have announced new destinations and routes. I am sure Barcelona, St. Petersburg and other destinations will be added soon. The launch of Banja Luka, Ljubljana, Prague, Bucharest... is really good. Once they add more flights they will also add more destinations.

    9. BA88814:52


    10. Anonymous14:55

      Meh... people used to say the same thing about Etihad but look at them now.

    11. Frankly, this DW article does not state literally nothing... I guess they needed two minutes of material... Put a little bit of Jat, bombed buildings, arabs and strauss kahn, mix it all up, and you got an article with no structure at all. Will airSerbia be a success we are yet to see, chances are slim, but still existent... I guess attacking the neighboring markets the same way Pegasus did with Serbian market is a good try..

    12. Anonymous17:04

      While Serbian holiday makers would surely benefit from direct flights to places like BCN or LIS, it is hardly a viable route. Why double daily to ATH, or a daily to FCO? Well, take a ride and have a look at who flies these routes (apart from the summer peak season). AZ's A321 on Fridays is packed with Fiat employees going home for the weekend. Virtually every major Greek bank has an operation in Serbia.

      Economic cooperation between Serbia and Spain/Portugal is non-existent. Even Wizzair does not want to establish direct flight to BCN, that says a lot.

    13. Anonymous17:33

      Exactly. Routes are being opened there where there is money. At this point there are more reasons to open flights from Belgrade to Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan than there are for Spain or Portugal... it's not even worth mentioning Manchester.

    14. Anonymous20:10

      Air Serbia will fly to earn money and not in accordance with the wishes of its customers. By the way, TAP will fly to Lisbon, while Wizz will fly to Barcelona from Belgrade next summer season .

    15. Anonymous20:16

      @SarajevoOctober 5, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      Reason why Zagreb is facing decline is nothing to do with Zagreb airport being less busy but with the fact that Croatian Airlines has slashed its operations at Zagreb airport by 20%, other airlines are jumping to cover the holes left over by Croatian airlines cuts but management of Zagreb airport was too slow to react and other airlines are just getting hang of things.

      Number of flights is about the same due to the fact that large number of business jets, in entire 2012 there were only 508 business jet landings (large) in 2013 so far over 1700 landings by corporate jets.

      So 2013 has proved crucial for Croatia attracting inward investments, major business leaders have visited Croatia and Zagreb in 2013, and it looks Zagreb and Croatia will end on good note, when it comes to FDI investments and economy is set to start recovering, with slight real economic growth of 0.2% registered in 2nd quarter of 2013 3rd quarter is expected to improve on that.

      Zagreb numbers should start to improve in October but most likely November and December will show growth on 2012 figures.

      Also Zagreb was never a transit hub, in 2012 only 12500 passengers from other airports transfered via Zagreb, so your talk of being some sort of a hub is stupid clapper.

      Zagreb airport depends on fortunes of Croatian airlines, and if Croatian Airlines does badly, than Zagreb airport does badly, something future management of the airport will take note off

  4. Anonymous11:21

    I remember very well the comments given here that ZAG will have many many more passsengers once Croatia become the part of EU...Sofia was taken as example. According so optimistic opinions BEG will become a regional airport comparing to ZAG. I wonder where these poeple are now? Can they simple say they were wrong?

  5. Anonymous12:04


    1. Anonymous14:15

      All I will say is that at least the coastal airports are showing growth. Cannot say that much growth is shown at or Morava. If Nis and Morava were operating (well Nis is to some extent), Belgrade figures would be lower.

    2. Anonymous14:49

      1. Serbia is not the topic of this discussion. No need to drag it into every discussion when we are talking of Croatia.

      2. Zagreb and the cost cater for totally different passengers so we can't really compare them to BEG and other Serbian airports.

    3. Anonymous17:08

      @2:49 is right in a sense that these pax are totally different. Unfortunately, more traffic to Croatian coast will also be less business for ZAG, as direct flights to coast will become viable. Also, I am not really sure OU has the capacity to run these coastal routes, as it is quite ZAG-centric, so what might happen is OU stagnating, ZAG as well, with coastal airports getting new airlines and more pax, but with foreign airlines, and a lot of them either charters or holiday airlines, such as Thomas Cook or Condor.

      I don't think this is particularly beneficial for Croatian civil aviation as a whole, but potential is there, if anyone has the capacity to use it. Once again, unfortunately, I don't think OU does.

    4. Anonymous17:19

      It got me thinking, what if OU creates a super lowcost subsidiary airline which will operate from the coast? During the winter time it could shift the capacity to the coast or lease the planes to airlines in the southern hemisphere? I mean, OU needs to find a way to deal with seasonality... something it has failed to do until now.

    5. Anonymous17:20

      Sorry, shift the capacity to Zagreb.

  6. Anonymous15:56


    BA has announced that it plans on increasing its presence in Dubrovnik next summer. Interesting as they already fly daily here.

    1. Anonymous17:22

      ...maybe they will finally send widebodies! :)

    2. Anonymous21:16

      Monarch sent A330 this summer few times. Condor will fly regularly with 757-300 next summer.

      Problem is winter, when DBV has few flights per day. We need flights to Munich and Frankfurt whole winter.

    3. Anonymous21:20

      Well, B753 is a narrow-body aircraft but it's cool about Monarch.

    4. Anonymous22:05

      Thank you for correction. It has capacity of 289 pax so I was thinking it's wide-body.

    5. Anonymous23:26

      No problem. :)

      Shame that Croatia introduced visas for Russians. Dubrovnik could have been a potential destination for their A380. I know Antalya, Palma and Larnaca are among other European destinations. :)

  7. Anonymous20:00

    plus minus 2% not worth to mention = stable.

    1. Anonymous20:06

      but it was -4% (passengers) and not only that but the number of flights increased by a few..


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