Zagreb Airport numbers decline, Sarajevo grows

Zagreb Airport figures decline over 5% as Sarajevo maintains growth

Zagreb Airport has seen its passenger numbers decline in March after posting growth the month before. In March, Croatia’s busiest airport welcomed 165.336 passengers through its doors, down 5.7% compared to the same month last year. The number of operated flights was also down. The airport recorded a total of 3.030 flight operations, a decrease of 3.9% compared to the same month last year. So far in 2014, Zagreb Airport has handled 429.504 passengers, down 2.7% on the year before. The number of flight operations to and from the airport decreased by 4.4% so far in 2014 to 8.212.

Zagreb Airport will hope to see its numbers improve in the coming months with the launch of several new routes. In May, Croatia’s busiest airport anticipates to see a spike in traffic since passengers figures were affected last year due to Croatia Airlines’ industrial action which lasted almost ten days. This April, Zagreb has already seen the launch of two new routes. Apart from the commuter domestic service inaugurated by Trade Air yesterday, on Wednesday Onur Air launched a one weekly charter service from Antalya in Turkey. Flights will run until May Day and will resume again on September 18. Next month, Korean Air will begin its charter services from Seoul to the Croatian capital. Flgihts will operate each Sunday starting May 17 and will run until June 21.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN135.758 2.6
MAR165.336 5.7

On the other hand, Sarajevo Airport has record its sixteenth month of consecutive passenger growth, though its pace has somewhat slowed. In March, Sarajevo Airport handled 45.789 passengers, an increase of 2.6% compared to the same month last year. The number of flight operations stood at 439, up 7.9%. So far this year, Sarajevo Airport has welcomed 117.338 passengers through its doors, an increase of 8.1%. This month, on April 15, Germanwings will launch services from Berlin to Sarajevo, making it its third destination served out of the Bosnian capital following Cologne and Stuttgart.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN36.114 8.0


  1. Anonymous09:13

    That means that loadfactor by Croatia Airlines is down again I really think it is time to fire the Ceo he has done nothing positive for the airline

  2. Anonymous09:16

    but when they joi n euuuuuuu

  3. Easter probably has a lot to do with the decline but I still expected to see an improvement this year.

    Where are we wit the terminal, building anything yet?

    1. Anonymous11:55

      last month people here were still claiming 8% growth was easily achiavable, I wonder if they've changed their opinion???

    2. Anonymous16:29

      @AnonymousApril 5, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      easily achievable, it was expected that first 3 months will do very bad, first OU is still operating at reduced schedule, and only 8 aircraft are flying at, out of fleet of 12.

      This will remain so till the end of 2014.

      @AnonymousApril 5, 2014 at 9:13 AM

      I totally agree with your sentiments, only option for us in Croatia is to report CEO to USKOK, demand investigation in to OU's finances and operations. But, deep down I think that is already happening, first it could have been initiated by workforce at Zagreb airport or one of the OU's own staff could have reported Kucko and his gang of thrives, and not forgetting that any Croatian citizen can request to see OU's own financial reports, to see if there's anything fishy going on and than show any findings to USKOK and the Croatian public.

      @Q400April 5, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      only preliminary stages, by mid May things should start to move bit faster with heavy mechanisation starting to dig the ground out.

    3. Anonymous16:41

      No one on here predicted that the first three months will see a decline. You are the first to post this now.
      So if April underperforms will you come here and say that it was expected that the first four months will see a drop?! You are a fool and a naive one at that too.

    4. Anonymous16:53

      Hope OU goes bust 'cause this type of carrier is not needed in Croatia! Thank you, Kucko!

    5. Anonymous21:51

      @AnonymousApril 5, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      almost all Croatian posters here have been saying that first 3 months won't be dramatic, I've said if we see any growth in first 3 months would be nice, but stagnation is what I expect, and this has been posted here a few times, just look at recent Zagreb airport articles on this blog and you'll see.

      Zagreb will come alive in later part of the year, from mid april and than with june and rest of the year. Again OU will continue to operate at reduced schedule with fewer flights but foreign carriers should pick up, as they did in first 3 months, yes despite OU's own poor performance Zagreb did well with foreign carriers who saw good growth on last year.

      In Jan OU had 83 000 passengers out of Zagreb, a drop of 9000, foreign carriers picked up and had 52 000 passengers increase on 2013 by 4000 passengers.

      In February OU managed 77000 foreign carriers 51 000, increase in 5000 pax.

      In March OU again underperformed with 105 000 pax and foreign carriers increasing their share tp 60 000 or 3000 pax growth.

      So in final analyses foreign carriers were responsible for growth zt Zagreb airport a growth of 12 000, whilst OU has been stagnating or drooping, reason for results we have now.

      With arrival of new carriers in 2014 and increased frequencies by some things should really pick up, so 2014 should see 7-8% growth easily especially if LOT, Allitalia, Czech Air flights materialize towards the last quarter of 2014.

      2.5 million pax for 2014 is very likely, 2015 on the other hand should see massive growth for Zagreb, OU should return to profit in 2014 and return to full operation in 2015.

    6. Anonymous22:01

      Yeah, yeah, yeah.. you always come up with some story to justify the mediocre results in Zagreb. You have become quite pathetic and hilarious by now.

    7. Anonymous12:41

      Exactly... Dear Lord...
      He keeps predicting massive growth month by month, all started with predictions that since Croatia's entry to EU pax growth at ZAG will be massive, massive this month, massive next month...
      But the only thing we see for month, more or less is massive decline at ZAG.
      So please spare us your rosy predictions again.

    8. Anonymous03:17

      @AnonymousApril 6, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      Can you stop trolling lies,

      @blog admin, can you please tell me who is this guy so I can refer to him by his real nick.

      First off I never predicted any such thing for 2013, or EU membership, this blog has, I was one who said there won't be growth due to OU's reducing its operations by 10% to cut the costs.

      however I am predicting that 2015 will be a phenomenal year for Zagreb and I am sticking with that prediction, 2014 8% growth is possible and probable, 2015 20% growth is quite probable and likely, but 12% would be nice or 300 000 pax.

      And I am sticking with my opinion in this regard.

  4. Anonymous10:27

    Congratulations to Sarajevo, Zagreb results a bit dissapointing as usual.

    Enjoy the weekend everyone!

  5. Anonymous10:54

    Ovo je smiješno... Ako u siječnju nema napretka, a siječanj zbog blagdana ipak ima putnika, onda neke stvari zaista štekaju... Ali kako to obično bude, doći će im KLM, napravit nekoliko stotina letova i dovest xy putnika koji će na kraju napravit plus na razini godine od 2 ili 3 posto i oni će se zadovoljit s time, tobože kriza je itd... jadno... Mislim da Trade air ne treba ni spominjat u ovom kontekstu, oni s 20ak rotacija s aviončićem od 30 putnika mogu biti na hvalu i slavu aerodromu kakav je npr. Brač... Nije da omalovažavam liniju, dapače, ali mislim... Zagrebe, nije ovo dobro!

  6. Anonymous10:59

    So OU carried around 70.000 to 80.000 passengers?

  7. Anonymous12:58

    I think they would need historic growth during the summer season in order to reach 8% growth, especially since last month's drop is a considerable one, almost 6%!
    April will be a good indicator of how well the airport will perform in 2014. Let's hope that all these new airlines contribute to passenger growth and not only in stealing passengers from dormant OU.

    1. April should have growth of at least 5% which can be contributed to Easter. Growth of 10% will be a positive indication. Anything below 5% growth for April will be very disappointing and would show a continued trend of passengers abandoning Zagreb for other travel alternatives including other airports.

      The question is what can Zagreb do and more importantly what is OU doing in trying to win these passengers back who have and are deciding using Zagreb although probably the most convenient is not their first or even second option for travel.

    2. Anonymous16:35

      OU is still operating at reduced capacity, if you look at live camera feed from Zagreb airport u can see 3-4 aircraft parked outside not moving at all, these are OU aircraft, in 2012 and before these aircraft would have been in the air, but as OU is flying at reduced schedule they're all grounded. Blame that cunt Kuscko for low numbers.

      Also as a result underused capacity Zagreb airport is stagnating as well, but with April things should move dramatically, 10-12% is quite probable and likely for the rest of the year.

      OU will continue with reduced timetable till the end of March 2015.

      For trolls that always attack all things Croatia and Croatian Airlines, bare this in mind!!

    3. Anonymous16:40

      Dude... you are on drugs. 10% to 12% growth? Are you for real? They will barely get 6%!
      I fear that my compatriots need to finally embrace reality!

  8. Anonymous13:07

    Sack Kucko!

  9. Hey relax everyone. It was the Easter effect last year. The new lines still didn't kick in yet. Turkish 7 x additional flights, klm x 7 flights, curling to Rome, 2x flights, Gothenburg 36 rotations (2nd Saturday flight introduced), Hamburg (2x by germanwings, 4x by Dalmatian), then there are some additional rotations by el al Israel, vueling to Barcelona 1 month earlier, Korean added 2 more flights, trade air to osijek. Don't forget that Croatia Airlines started cutting in April so these numbers in 2014 so far are being compared to the period in which Croatia still had 1 more plane. The growth will happen

    1. Anonymous13:40

      The growth will happen? Really? People have been saying that for the past three to four months but the result has been the exact opposite. Even if OU is being a mess, its competitors should have compensated as was the case in Belgrade with Jat or in Sarajevo with B&H Airlines or even in Skopje in the aftermath of MAT's demise.

      I think there is some other problem with Zagreb.

    2. Anonymous14:18


      Growth overall yes but has the 8% prediction gone out the window in your opinion???

      Cause to achieve it they need to have over 2 million pax over the next nine months or a growth of over 10.5%. Very unlikely IMO.

    3. In my opinion, yes 8% seems very hard at this point, but then again - it's not impossible.

      Let's just look at the facts. OU's first 3 months in 2013 were excellent, Easter was in March etc. and then bystarting in April OU has cut down 10% capacity. No other new airline had arrived to Zagreb, yet the airport had somehow ended a year with a 2% decrease in pax numbers.
      Apparently what had actually happened was this: foreign carriers brought 10% more pax, while OU had brought 10% less pax, which overall resulted in a 2% decrease for Zagreb, given the OU/foreign carries' ratio of 60:40...

      All I am saying is that within last few months, there have been announcements of new routes and additional frequencies, which still haven't kicked in far I haven't heard of any route reductions compared to last year etc.

      Judging from all of the route-related announcements, at this point a growth of 5% is likely. However, there might still be some deals which have not gone out public yet...

      For example, yesterday I noticed that Zagreb Airport listed 2 x flights to Gothenborg on Saturdays, which is a double from what was announced originally. This makes a total of 36 rotations. Also, Zagreb - Prague by Chezch on Sundays is listed there as well...and that wasn't exactly announced anywhere...yet.

      Another person (a guy who runs aerocroatia blog, with a nickname of Johnny Cotex) wrote on croatian aviation forum that he had received Hamburg Airport's newsletter advertising a direct flight to Zagreb (another 4 frequencies in addition to Germanwings' already announced 2 frequencies...).

      All that, in addition to what was already announced and or had started (Vueling, KLM, Turkish, El Al, Korean, Trade Air, Germanwings...) is certainly a good sign and is definitely putting Zagreb in a much better position, especially when compared to last year when there was no positive change in frequencies/new routes (except Turkish adding 3 flights, and perhaps easyJet adding 1 flight for a period of 2 summer months, plus Norwegian extending the season by 1 month...)

      So, yes I do hope that things will get moving once there lines kick in.

      We still haven't heard what's being planned for summer charters as that may be another area where the improvement is possible...

      Let's wait a month or two and see what other routes are planned...

      8% looks very ambitious, but is not out of reach ...

    4. Anonymous15:25

      Well, a 20% growth is also possible but it's not really realistic. I think April will be the month which will decide on how well Zagreb performs until the end of the year.
      I believe we all should should be more than happy if it ends 2014 with a 5% growth.
      Also, the real question here is if KLM will open up a new market or simply steal more passengers from OU. Both OU and KL are legacy carriers and they attract the same clientèle. That's why I believe that they will not fundamentally change anything. Now, if either Ryanair or Wizz Air launched flights from either Maastricht or Eindhoven then we could talk about some new passengers arriving.

      Without strong OU Zagreb will never see its passengers grow beyond a certain point. However, thanks to Kucko and his competent management the airline will just keep on decreasing its presence in the region. Soon enough unpleasant news will be announced related to Pristina and Skopje. Disgusting.

  10. Anonymous14:41

    OT: I've read many times the advantage of legacy carriers (and members of alliances) having frequent flier programs. These are completely irrelevant to leisure fliers,who fly several times per year (at most), ususally short-haul. It is ever harder to earn miles, with some tickets not qualifying at all, while many receive 25% credit. As a result, one can never even collect enough miles to redeem for any award. In an unlikely scenario where one manages to collect sufficient miles to redeem for an award trip (say within Europe), Taxes & Fees (deceiving legacy carriers classify fuel and other operating expenses as Fee rather than Fare) are outrageous and not worth the redemption. Frequent flyer program works for Business class traveler and those flying long-haul. Although, I'd question the value of Business class on trips less than 2 hours. Most of the passengers, which fall into leisure category, should not care at all about these perceived benefits. Also, food as a perk on legacy carriers (some don't serve at all), is completely overrated.

    1. ... And the point of your lecture is?

    2. Anonymous15:40

      This is a blog where people share opinions. If you don't have one, then don't write anything. Keep reading.

    3. +1 totally agree with you.
      Yes, of course legacy carriers have their place and should be present everywhere, but LCC have their place too. Especially for kind of traveller that you described (occasional flight, short haul...)

      That's why I couldn't understand why so many people were moaning about discounts airports/governments give to low cost airlines (discussion on this blog 2-3 days ago regarding Wizz at BEG)
      And what's really pissing me off is that most, if not every single one, of those people fall in that occasional flier category, who would benefit most from airlines like these. If not to fly with them, than to put some pressure on legacy carriers to be competitive in pricing.

      Skopje had similar reaction about their subsidies, and I don't have anything against that, but in their case it was just too convenient that government poured money to increase number of passengers so that privately run airport management company would be able to enjoy a MASSIVE discount after they reach 1mil passengers. Otherwise, good on them. They should attract as many carriers as they can.

      Zagreb should do the same. At the moment they are being kind (maybe to kind) to OU, but hopefully it will all play out well for both Croatia Airlines and Zagreb airport.

      Of course there should be some safeguards in place so you don't allow LCC to take over and kick out the bigger/"normal"/legacy/flag carriers but all in all, more competition better for all of us.
      Even the airlines them selfs. We all know that in any business, having monopoly will make you lazy and you will start offering crappy service as soon as there is no one to challenge you. They need LCCs to keep them on their toes and constantly improve service and innovate. If we give them unreserved support (like what I am sensing some would do with AirSERBIA now) they will screw up. And than we gonna cry. But it will be too late as the world will move on and we'll have JAT v2.0 on our hands.
      AirSERBIA should have all f our support as long as they are keeping the good work up. And they SEEM to be doing OK for now... dare I say good :)

      Same goes for Croatia Airlines. They need someone to push them to be better and people will come. They could, for example, take over Kosovo and enter Albania's market where they will be competitive. Both have crazy prices to and from Western Europe.
      I don't know who this guy Kucko is or how good of a manager he is, but judging from your guys comments it looks like he is an ass.
      Croatia Airlines need a kick, need a new competent management and I am sure they will be OK.

      Sorry for the long rant :)

  11. Anonymous15:36


    Tomorrow's flight JU162 from Belgrade to Skopje will be operated by the A320. I guess it shows what good market Skopje is for JU. Then again SKP is a good market for almost all airlines flying there!

    1. Anonymous15:38

      Also, the newly introduced flights from BEG to SKP that fly at night have had the average loadfactor of 65%.

    2. Anonymous18:32

      how are BUD and SOF flights going?

    3. Anonymous21:51

      BUD-BEG is doing much better than BEG-BUD. I guess the average loadfactor is around 45% to 50%.
      Sofia has been performing really well in April. The average loadfactor has been around 65%!

  12. Anonymous15:54

    Another thing I noticed is that Wizz Air has moved its Luton flights to 17.25 in the afternoon. They are finally responding to Air Serbia's expansion.

    Another interesting thing is that both Lot and Alitalia have arranged their Belgrade flights so as to fit perfectly with the evening bank of departures. It's really great.

  13. OT: Ljubljana Airport had a 13,4% increase in passengers in February with good trends continuing into March, whilst Adria had a 10,1% increase in passengers despite a 10,8% reduction in operated flights which increased the LF to almost 70%.

    1. Anonymous18:08

      Bravo for Ljubljana Airport...

  14. Ovo su pravi problemi za jedan aerodrom !!!


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