Croatia’s top airports see record September

Croatia’s three busiest airports, Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik, have registered strong growth during September, with all three handling a record number of passengers.

Zagreb Airport handled 287.664 passengers during the month, an increase of 5.9% compared to last year. The number of aircraft movements stood at 3.862, up 8.1%. During September, Zagreb Airport welcomed its two-millionth traveller of the year. As a result, over the first three quarters it registered 2.127.658 passengers, representing an improvement of 6.7% on the same period in 2015. At the end of October, ČSA Czech Airlines will introduce flights from Zagreb to Skopje, while Croatia Airlines will increase frequencies to Copenhagen. On the other hand, Flydubai and Swiss International Air Lines will suspend their operations to the Croatian capital, while Turkish Airlinest will decrease its frequencies when compared to last year.

Split Airport handled its record two-millionth passenger of the year during September, achieving the milestone for the first time in its history. For the whole of the month the airport welcomed 341.405 travellers and was well ahead of its traditionally busier counterpart in Zagreb. The figure represents growth of 18.5% compared to last year. Split has already overtaken its 2015 end-of-year result and anticipates handling a total of 2.250.000 travellers this year, an increase of 17%. Numbers are expected to continue growing during the winter with Croatia Airlines to boost services from the city to both Munich and Rome. During the first three quarters, the airport saw a record 2.058.833 passengers pass through its doors, an increase of 16.8%.

Dubrovnik also continued its growth trend with the airport handling 305.895 travellers, a notable 20.5% rise in figures. During the month, it overtook its 2015 end-of-year result by welcoming 1.743.972 passengers over the January – September period, an increase of 15.8%. Dubrovnik Airport is gearing up for what is likely to be its busiest winter season on record. Croatia Airlines will extend its summer service to Frankfurt, while Trade Air will continue operating to Rijeka during the winter. Furthermore, Turkish Airlines will maintain its new flights from Istanbul throughout the year. British Airways will continue flying from London Gatwick to Dubrovnik during the winter, however, there will be a partial stoppage in service in November, as well as from mid-January until mid-February. On the other hand, Croatia Airlines will discontinue its flights from Dubrovnik to Rome for the first time since 1994. The route was to be taken over by low cost carrier Vueling, however, no flights have been scheduled so far.


  1. Anonymous09:04

    Impressive results from all three.

  2. Anonymous09:06

    If Split would be able to sustain more winter traffic it would easily be Croatia's number one airport.

  3. Anonymous09:20

    Really impressive results, especially for Split and Dubrovnik! Looking forward to next year!

  4. Anonymous09:23

    wow nice

  5. Anonymous09:24

    Have they completed construction of Zagreb Airport's terminal?

    1. Anonymous09:27

      I think yes

    2. The construction of the terminal was finished couple months ago. They are running bunch of tests before they could open it in March 2017.

    3. Anonymous21:25

      98% of job done, they still need to few bits, and loads of testings to be done over coming months.

  6. Anonymous09:51

    Bravo Hrvatska!

  7. Anonymous10:03

    Does anyone have any more info on those rumoured flights between New York and Zagreb?

    1. Anonymous10:13

      Dude, those were rumors, just like QR sending its Dreamliner to ZAG.

    2. Anonymous10:15

      I understand that but it was reported here a few times too that the management wants a link to New York. From what I gathered this will a seasonal 1 weekly flight operated by an EU-based airline (probably some leisure carrier).

    3. Anonymous10:48

      I heard that too. Apparently there will be an announcment mid december or mid january. But onestly I am very sceptical. Would be great though.

    4. Anonymous11:07

      If there are some flights then it will be someone like National or one of those airlines.

    5. Anonymous11:40

      The flights will happen by a European airline, but not Star Alliance!

    6. Anonymous14:05

      Maybe AB? They need extra revenue.

    7. Anonymous14:55

      And you think a one-weekly service between non-hubs is good for extra revenue? :D :D

    8. Anonymous15:01

      What about something like TXL-JFK-ZAG-JFK-TXL?

    9. for sure hahahahah

    10. I bet it will be a company like XL Airways, Air Europa or Hi Fly. AB will def not be interested in doing such flights.

    11. YYZ those are only wet dream come on which intercontinental flights Air Europa,XL,HI operate from different state,than their main state.OMFG

    12. Anonymous16:42

      Guess Whoo, talk to you by mid January when the flights are confirmed! OMFG

    13. Ok,heheheheheheheehheeh,i am having sweet laught

  8. Anonymous10:14

    DBV and SPU are booming, I can't wait for next year as it will be even more impressive!

    With all the reductions I fear ZAG might experience a 1% to 3% growth this winter.

    1. Maybe, maybe not.

      Croatia is seeing a real recovery in its economy which means more Zagreb based travel for both business and pleasure. Also, tourism in Zagreb is not as seasonal as the coast and Zagreb is seeing its own decent tourism boom. With Ultra having a Zagreb festival with some reportedly well renowned DJ's over the Christmas NY period as well, than I can see how Zagreb could maintain at least 5% growth through the winter period despite some carriers pulling out.

    2. @q400 - I wish this as well...however its simple math. There'll be significantly lower # of flights. Zagreb could at best maintain 0 or grow minimally up to 1% ...

    3. Anonymous12:06

      And those numbers shows that tourism in croatia is mostly by car and not by air. This goes to those guys who wanted to compare as equal by air traffic croatian tourism with let's say tourism in Greece. One month (September) of Athens airport is the hole nine months of Zagreb.

    4. Anonymous14:05

      The issue here is that with TK reducing flights and FZ leaving, QR will most likely increase their fares. They need extra cash and ZAG is a good market for them.

      I am sad about SU but either way, ZAG market can be best served via BEG with JU.

    5. @exyu - information on Aeroflot reducing flights is incorrect. Su has been flying 4pw in winter and 7pw in summer from Moscow to Zagreb for years and years. Nothing has changed there for the upcoming winter.

    6. Anonymous14:21

      one thing is for sure...i ain't flying via BEG no matter what.

    7. Anonymous14:40

      It's ok, there are many that would and that do. :)

    8. Anonymous14:44

      It's unbelievable that ZAG has such low demand for Moscow flights. All airports in the region seem to have more, much more.

    9. Anonymous14:57

      @Anon 2:21 PM

      With that mindset, I'm surprised you're flying at all.

    10. Anonymous15:00

      He probably isn't.

    11. Anonymous21:33

      I predict 3-5% growth in October, November and December despite Turkish reducing number of flights and Swiss leaving till March/April next year.

      I think number of flights and seats on offer will remain the same and with 2-3% increase in load factor seen in past few years, things should be ok. Overall Zagreb should handle around 2.75 million this year.

      October should be around 250k, November 190k and December 175k. Overall around 2.75 million.

    12. Zagreb has been maintaining a steady tourism growth year round, from 660,000 tourists in 2011. to over a million in 2015. And this year that could easily surpass 1,2 million, especially during the holidays, with Advent being given the title of the best in Europe last year. With cities such as Vienna and Salzburg as competition, that's very impressive. Additionally there'll be more events this December. A significant portion of those tourists actually do fly to Zagreb, especially with the increase of Asians, North Americans, Brits and Scandinavians. Also, hardly anyone will drive, or travel by bus to Zagreb from Holland, Belgium, Italy, or even Germany and Czech Republic in winter. Maybe Slovenia, Bosnia Austria and Hungary. I had expected 2,7 million pax this year, but at this point, I agree...2,75 mill is pretty much guaranteed.

      For those who asked about the Russians, the reason is that since we entered the EU, the Russians unfortunately need visas now for Croatia. I suspect that to be the main reason for lowered interest on their part for Zagreb, as opposed to some other destinations in the region.

  9. Any numbers from Zadar?

    1. Anonymous14:13


      Rujan 2015/16:

      69.401 / 71.143

      Prvih 9 mjeseci:

      430.417 / 452.069

  10. Anonymous11:04

    This is year in Croatia the civil traffic aviation will likely reach a total passengers number of over 8.000.000

  11. Anonymous15:15

    How about Rijeka? Numbers? They will be open during the winter?

  12. Anonymous15:39

    OMG SPU is going to beat ZAG?? Really??? So BEG beware you will soon have 2 competitors! :D
    Bravo na Hrvatska! EU membership was quite worth it.
    Go Zaggy go go

    1. We in Belgrade are soo scared omfg

    2. Anonymous16:44

      Aaaah, you shouldn't be scared, there is one more great news, besides flights to New York, but you'll just have to be patient for a while!

    3. Anonymous17:34

      The only thing that might come up is yet another airline reducing or suspending ZAG flights.

      Also, EU membership had nothing to do with booming tourist numbers on the coast.
      #antalya #dalaman #izmir #hurgada #sharmelsheik

    4. Anonymous18:28

      Agree that EU membership has nothing to do with booming tourist pax in Croatia, but on the other hand, there has been a significant growth for the past few years and no one can deny it.

      As far as Zagreb airport is concerned, I suppose there will be some cancellations to come (who knows), but I wasn't talking about that. Let's just wait and see for ourselves!

    5. Anonymous19:03

      I am sorry but out of the top ex-Yu 5 airports, 3 are in Hrvatska. No hard feelings but this will likely continue. It´s not a matter of comparing dick sizes. Besides, BEG will most likely remain number 1 but the Croatian latter are doing great. Congrats.

    6. Anonymous19:08

      Absolutely true, Belgrade will remain the busiest airport in Ex-Yu, no doubt about it! But Croatia is also doing a great job, considering the state of its economy, lousy national carrier and bad decisions made by our politicians! Congrats to Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik, but also to other Ex-Yu airports for (so far) great first nine months of 2016! Hope for even better 2017!

    7. Anonymous19:18

      While you are congratulating the Croatian airport why isn't anyone mentioning INI which has experience the most spectacular growth in all of ex-YU.

      No other airport simultaneously got both W6 and FR!

    8. The EU has made it isier to travel to from Croatia.

    9. Anonymous19:52

      Not really... you still need an ID to enter by air, just like you did before the entry. Same requirements as with Serbia.

    10. Yes you need an ID and thats all, but you can bring more stuff with you if you travel within the EU, more bottles wine and local products an you can bring more cash money with you without any declaretion

    11. Anonymous20:17

      Serbia requires you to declare if you are bringing more than €10.000 with you. I doubt many bring more than that with them to HR.

      Also, given that most tourists come on charters or lowcost which are pretty strict with luggage I doubt they are making the most of it. This applies more to those who take the bus or car.

    12. Anonymous21:56

      @AnonymousOctober 9, 2016 at 7:52 PM

      Serbian passport holders need a passport and proof of income and reason of travel to any EU destination.

      Croatian ID is sufficient for travel with in the EU, and Croatians can work in much of the EU and don't need a proof of income to travel. UK, Netherlands and Slovenia still maintain moratorium on labour market access.

      Although most Croats if they go to work in the EU move to Scandinavia and Germany.

      Some go to Austria, France and Italy too.

      So when you try to equate Croatian passport holders with Serbia, please beware of these factors. And yes the EU played a significant boost to Croatians going overseas, most Croatian's aren't used to flying, most still prefer to use buses, trains and cars to get around, but habits are slowly changing. The EU membership helped in that trend.

      So this is what I am saying.

    13. Anonymous22:15

      I live in Istria, and when Croatia wasn't a eu member state, we still travelled to Slovenia (eu) only with ID and no reason of travelling or proof of income was ever required.

    14. Anonymous23:02

      Anon 09.56

      Actually when travelling to the EU, Serbs only need a passport, no proof of income or reason for travelling.

      Also the dicussion was about foreigners visitng Croatia.
      There is absolutely no difference for a German when he is travelling to Serbia or Croatia by plane. He can enter either country with his ID.

      I think you completely missed the point tonight especially since no one was speaking about Croats travelling abroad since they make but a tiny fraction of the coastal airport's statistics.

    15. Anonymous23:03

      Just to add, EU citizens could enter Serbia with their ID from 2009.

    16. Purger00:25

      1. No need for extra health insurance, you have full health insurance inside all EU, Croatia included.

      2. Much easier to bring food, drinks, cigarettes etc. No, custom control.

      3. You are sure that you will not be scam because you are protected by law in all EU, that is if someone scams you in Croatia you can have legal procedure from your resident country.

      4. Much easier to bring business, for instance you can have Italian plate car in Croatian rent’a’car. Same thing with boat, plane…

      5. Can have property in Croatia almost without limitation. That is why lot of Germans, Hungarians, French… have houses or even small apartment business in Croatia. For sure that brings more people here (if they have property here they will come again)

      6. Standard is EU (quality of food, service, legal procedures, security, health…) what is very important for tourist, especially from EU, Japan, USA, South Korea, Canada, Australia…

      7. Image, when you are EU country people will rather go there than to some “banana” country (you must understand that most EU citisens think like that).

      8. Much easier to travel, especially for groups. For instance when I travel with my troop to Romania I go via Hungary, not to leave EU, because I don’t want to make all that paperwork (ata carnet etc) just to transit Serbia. So, I will do 200-300 more kilometers not to have administration problems.

      9. Easier for tourist and bus companies that are from EU to organize tripe. For example you can have driver from Croatia to drive your Polish bus inside Croatia. You can not have that in Serbia or Montenegro.

      10. You have tax benefits as company or even private person in Croatia if you are from EU.

  13. Anonymous23:38

    What is happening with Osijek airport? Any new flights on the horizon? We heard here before that Ryanair is considering Dublin service, but nothing is happening. They will fly to London this winter for the first time. I'm wondering if they will fill those flights.

    1. Anonymous23:45

      They came really close to it and they had the support of the airport and the city but they decided against it since the market wasn't as big as they hoped. Maybe they will come back with some German flight.


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