Croatia's busiest airports register growth


Croatia's two busiest airports - Zagreb and Split - saw their passenger numbers increase in November, while Dubrovnik's figures slumped as it continues with the overhaul of its runway which has restricted traffic somewhat.

Zagreb Airport handled 234.075 passengers during the month, representing an increase of 5.1%. The number of aircraft operations grew 4.7% to 3.223. During the January - November period, Zagreb Airport welcomed 3.121.445 travellers through its doors, up 8.1% on last year. So far in 2018, it added an extra 235.080 passengers compared to 2017. The airport anticipates welcoming some 3.4 million travellers in 2018, which would result in an almost 10% increase on last year.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN191.276 13.3
FEB170.658 10.3
MAR223.642 16.2
APR253.853 5.7
MAY300.676 11.8
JUN331.533 6.6
JUL379.193 7.9
AUG372.590 7.2
SEP345.770 4.5
OCT318.074 6.9
NOV234.075 5.1

Split Airport welcomed 54.856 passengers through its doors, representing an increase of 38.7%. The airport has already overtaken its 2017 end-of-year result and handled its record third-millionth traveller of the year in October. Overall, during the elapsed eleven months, Split saw 3.079.995 passengers, up 10.7%.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN33.699 10.8
FEB30.629 28.0
MAR53.165 57.2
APR124.352 0.9
MAY304.135 18.1
JUN474.646 17.6
JUL695.506 5.9
AUG627.846 5.7
SEP455.595 8.2
OCT225.170 13.6
NOV54.856 38.7

Dubrovnik Airport's growth momentum ended as it handled just 26.615 passengers. The figure represents a decrease of 21.9% on the same month last year. Overall, the airport registered 2.516.173 travellers through its doors by the end of November, up 9.5%. Dubrovnik's growth will continue to slow in the coming months as the airport carries out the second phase of its runway overhaul, which will somewhat restrict traffic and capacity. Several airlines, including British Airways, Turkish Airlines and Vueling, have scheduled fewer flights this winter when compared to last.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN22.280 15.3
FEB24.074 5.5
MAR47.684▲ 40.9
APR151.661▲ 5.4
MAY291.453▲ 14.8
JUN365.348▲ 7.9
JUL474.643 7.7
AUG481.863 9.3
SEP386.365 10.8
OCT244.187 12.0
NOV26.615 21.9


  1. Anonymous13:31

    Isn't 3.4 a tad bit overambitious for ZAG? Isn't 3.3 more realistic?

    Also, as for DBV that's quite a drop. Is it really just because of runway works?

    1. Anonymous13:52

      Yes it's because of runway reconstruction.

    2. Anonymous15:04

      look and judge!

  2. Anonymous13:32

    Will be curious to see January and February for ZAG with all the cuts announced. Hope they manage at least a 5% increase.

  3. Anonymous13:41

    And we heard here ZAG will go 10%

    1. Anonymous15:05

      goes to show how much bu.....t we get in the comments...

  4. Anonymous13:49

    It is interesting to see how immensely seasonal SPU overall I really don't see it overtaking ZAG any time soon on full year level. Still, summer numbers are really impressive!

    1. Anonymous14:04

      You have many other examples in other European coastal towns and cities with similar seasonal tendencies:


      Even BCN can be considered semi seasonal.

    2. Anonymous14:18

      Yup. Zagreb in its slowest month of February has more pax than Split or Dubrovnik in April and November combined. But still Split handles more pax than Belgrade in the busiest month

    3. Anonymous14:20

      And Split almost handles more passengers in July than Zagreb in July and August combined.

    4. Anonymous14:44

      This will always be like that.
      You can't compare a busy July in Split with a sleepy July in Zagreb.
      When Zagreb sleeps, Split is out hunting and the other way around.
      That said, we may see Split right behind Belgrade very soon.

    5. Anonymous15:01

      Anon 14:20

      Minus 50k which is March in Split.

    6. Anonymous15:11

      The problem with airports like Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana is that their growth is directly linked with the national carrier. I’m afraid that all are doomed to stagnation or generic growth rather than substantial considering the state of their respective national carriers and apparent protectionism. Airports like Split and Dubrovnik are not that dependant of the national carrier as of LCCs but even they have their limits because of the predominantly inbound demand which is linked to tourist accommodation capacity. Another story if they become something like cruise ship homeports that would create large inbound demand, as in Venice.

    7. Anonymous16:32

      I don't think your argument is really valid here. For example in BEG we have a situation where the national carrier stagnates but foreign airlines boom and expand really quickly. I think their growth is not tied to the national carrier but rather to how healthy the local market demand is.

    8. Anonymous16:39

      Right, you will see that on Thursdays at DBV when TUI UK will send 3 787 in 2019. And many 757s and 738s..

    9. Anonymous19:25

      DBV was always the pioneer airport when it comes to ultra modern widebodies.
      Last summer, Dreamliners, Rossiya 747 and many many more.
      Other bigger airports are simply proud of temporarily widebodies forgetting that DBV in summer receives at least 10 of them daily.

    10. Anonymous21:07

      Rossiya B747 is ultra modern to you?

  5. Anonymous13:58

    SPU will overtake ZAG next year. ZAG will have smaller growth than SPU and for now there is no new routes and airlines announced from. The capital, but SPU will have much more capacity and many new seasonal routes in S19. This year there will be just around 200.000 difference, SPU can accept those numbers in the summer.

    1. Anonymous16:34

      I think we will have to see how ZAG performs in January, February and March when many cuts takes place. During those months SPU will keep on booming so even more reducing the difference between the two airports. We will have to see how FZ affects the numbers now.

    2. Anonymous17:06

      FZ won't negatively affect numbers. During winter EK LF on 777 was 50% 4-5pw which translates to around 86% load on 737-MAX8 7pw. The reason why EK flew 777s last winter was because they did not have any agreement with FZ and they didn't have any suitable aircraft for the demand so they had to fly 777s to qualify for first year incentives. In fact, since FZ capacity is still larger than the number of passengers that flew to and from DXB last year, and they offer better schedule (7pw vs 4-5pw) for transfer passengers (which on DXB flights constitue majority of passengers), I would assume FZ will actually have a slightly positive effect on ZAG growth in the winter months.

      DY cut two 1pw flights with 189 pax plane until April which translates into 9720 seats from Jan to beginning of April.

      A3 cut one 2pw flight with 78 pax plane between 17 Jan and 24 Feb which translates into 1694 seats. However, this flight did not run last year at all. So effect on growth will be net positive if at least one passenger flies between 1 Jan and 17 Jan or between 24 Feb and April.

      KE added one 3pw flight with a 248 pax plane, which translates into 19344 seats from 1 Jan to 1 Apr, however, this capacity is shared with ZRH on the outbound leg. If we assume that no passengers board the aircraft in ZAG during entire winter season, that is still 9672 seats added which is almost enough to offset DY cuts (off by one ATR-42).

      And then we have Iberia flight additions, the fact that OU did their maintenance on Dashes last year so they won't be cancelling flights, and so on...

      tl;dr: the beginning of 2019 doesn't look so gloomy for ZAG when you take into account all factors, in fact, we might see a growth increase this winter, instead of decrease. :)

    3. Anonymous17:38

      We should also add KLM which reduced AMS by one weekly and BA which cut two weekly flights. Also, didn't we have SN Brussels last winter as well?

    4. Anonymous19:23

      Number of offered seats is different than LF... For example, KE is almost empty for whole November (!!) and FZ have poor booking in last few days when they start the route instead of EK. January and February may be just worse regarding booking than November...

    5. And you know that how?

    6. Anonymous09:50

      Because I work in the airport frishki.

    7. Who brought the additional 11,5k passengers?

    8. Nemjee10:07

      Given the numbers from the previous months my guess is a combination of Qatar and LOT.

    9. So, what are the KE numbers per months? Why would the first month almost be sold out and all of a sudden no one is flying KE?

    10. Nemjee10:15

      I don't have the KE numbers yet so I can't say but judging from previous months LO and QR seemed to have the biggest growth. Some months LO even managed to double their performance. KE no doubt contributed but I don't think they were the main growth factor.

    11. That is so weird. When we were looking for flights to KUL in mid October, Qatar which is usually the cheapest (and best) option from ZAG - was the most expensive, by far.

    12. Nemjee10:27

      Maybe their planes are being filled by various tour operators that have access to special fares.

    13. Anonymous12:15

      KE has around 30-40 pax from/to ZAG whole November, and even now in December is not different! Few days ago even under 20. I presume the flight via ZRH is not attractive for Koreans, or maybe price is not ok. Number of Koreans in CRO is not a number of KOR who are flying to CRO. A lot of group pax arriving to Italy (Venice) , Austria (VIE) or even Germany (MUC) and bd than traveling through Eastern Europe by bus, including also Croatia. I believe KE will switch next year this route to seasonal, but for the first year they need to fly year round to get discounts.

    14. Then why were the flights in September and October almost completely booked and that even KE said that ZAG was one of their top international destinations? What the hell happened? Why would numbers completely sink? Something is off.

    15. Anonymous12:23

      I don't know, that is what I see on the check in. The truth is that they were fully booked whole september and october, but now is totally different. For now doesn't look good and I think that guys in Seoul will not tolerate that poor LF...

    16. So, did it start with the ZRH triangle or...?

    17. Anonymous12:29

      Wow, I can't believe that KE is so empty in ZAG.

      30-40 passengers in whole month? It must be disaster.

      If this continues we might see KE flying to ZAG no longer than AA flies to DBV.

    18. Not 30-40 pax for the whole month. It's per flight.

    19. Anonymous12:31

      It could be that they are full to/from ZRH.

    20. Anonymous12:33

      Hainan was also full from PRG but it did not help BEG to keep this route.

    21. Anonymous12:34


      it was written like this

      "KE has around 30-40 pax from/to ZAG whole November,"

    22. It was written like that, but I doubt that's what the OP meant. Do you know what would that mean? Couple of passengers per flight. OP should clarify that statement.

    23. Anonymous12:37

      Yes, I agree. You could be right. Probably per flight.

    24. Anonymous12:38

      Ok well anon might be correct about the load. I just looked on expert flyer app to see how many seats are taken next Monday ICN-ZAG. Total of 17 seats occupied and 35 blocked in economy. Ok this may increase at check in but it's not a lot. In business 4 occupied and 2 blocked. First 1 seat occupied. This is just one day of course, I took the first departure from today.

    25. Anonymous12:39

      Around 30 to 40 pax per way per flight. So one rotation around 60 to 80.

      That started with winter schedule, yes, and it is not connected with ZRH booking because they are not limited on leg because there is connected flight. Who has better booking - use more seats and that is all.

    26. Anonymous12:41

      Anon 12 38, yeah, those are that numbers, as u can see, booking is low...

  6. Anonymous14:25

    ZAG just refinanced its debt last week. Don't expect too many new routes soon. The airport's financial situation isn't great exactly. Only exception could be China if a political deal is made. And of course Ryanair if government agrees to lower concession fee.

    1. Anonymous12:36

      I can't believe fancy airport like ZAG is counting now on FR...

      We had so many comments here that these "terrible" LCC are not needed in ZAG at all and that they could stay in the "poorer" countries.

  7. Anonymous15:10

    Congrats to all airport sin Croatia. Next year 14 million Pax is possible..

  8. It's virtually impossible for ZAG to reach 3,4 million this year. It would need 280,000 pax in December.

    1. Anonymous16:35

      That is why next year we are aiming for 3.5 to 3.6 :)

  9. Anonymous17:36

    I predict this slow growth rate of ZAG to stop. There are already this winter season many reductions and cancelations and no new routes announced. This time of the year is the best to do so but no new routes. Many airlines are not satisfied with expensivness of the airport and are on verge of cancellations (Norwegian, Vueling, Eurowings, KLM, Emirates, just to name a few). Plus OU is on verge of collapse. Future does not look bright. It is even shown in very conservative predictions of the management for next 3 years.

    1. Anonymous17:39

      KLM also reduced flights this winter by one flight and Eurowings is cancelling their three weekly ZAG-TXL in summer.

    2. Anonymous17:41

      I see QR is 13 weekly. Wasn't it supposed to be 14?

    3. Anonymous21:09

      Yes, it's a temporary reduction. They probably feel less heat now that FZ flies in winter.


Post a Comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.