Low cost carriers drive Croatia's record summer


Croatia's nine commercial airports are set to handle a record number of passengers during the coming peak summer months with 81 new scheduled and charter routes introduced from 24 different markets. The majority of the new services, a total of fourteen, have been launched between Croatia and Germany, followed by twelve new routes from the United Kingdom, eight from France, five from Italy and four from the Netherlands. The greatest number of frequencies this summer season are being maintained between Croatia and Germany, followed by the United Kingdom, France, Austria and Switzerland. It is estimated that the nine airports will handle a total of eleven million travellers by the end of the year.

Capacity increases at Croatia's five busiest airports this summer are being driven from three of Europe's biggest low cost carriers - easyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Ryanair. easyJet will operate over 3.100 flights to the country this July and August and has more than doubled its capacity to Zadar compared to the summer of 2018. Furthermore, it now maintains over fifty services to Croatia. Ryanair has introduced eleven new routes to the country this summer season for a total of 32. Its growth has been focused on Zadar with over forty weekly flights maintained to the city. Its overall operations are up by 50%. Transavia has increased frequencies across Croatia, with operations in Rijeka up 350%.

January - June 2019

AirportPAXChange (%)
Zagreb1.534.105 4.2
Split1.102.118 8.0
Dubrovnik1.059.684 17.4
Zadar295.316 38.0
Pula242.826 17.3
Rijeka62.204 19.4

Several markets have experienced significant capacity growth from Croatia this year. Among them is Ireland with the seat count up by 60% compared to 2018. This summer saw Aer Lingus introduce new services from Cork to Dubrovnik, while Ryanair commenced flights from Dublin to both Dubrovnik and Split. Croatia Airlines is also upgrading its seasonal operations between Zagreb and the Irish capital to year-round flights starting this winter. Services to Spain are up by almost 50%, with Iberia increasing capacity on flights to Dubrovnik, Split and Zagreb in 2019 by 44.6%, offering up to 204.586 seats between the two countries. Its low cost subsidiary Iberia Express introduced services to Zadar last week. Air Serbia has increased seat capacity to Croatia by 18% and now has over 95% of all available seats being sold between the two countries.




Comments

  1. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  2. It makes sense that it's LCCs since point of sale is in their 'home' markets. It's easy for JU or JP to carry most tourists in their home markets when demand is from there. OU has a much more difficult job in reality. That's why it's easier, better, wiser and cheaper to concentrate on ZAG and passenger growth there shows it.

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    Replies
    1. Well I think OU is already focusing mostly on Zagreb.

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    2. So not true. Almost 50% of Croatia Airlines flights in top season is not in Zagreb, but in Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, Brač and Osijek.

      So unlike other legacy carriers which are concentrate in hub like British, Iberia, Air France, Turkish, Tarom...

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    3. Air Serbia already transfers a lot of passengers via BEG to Croatia

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    4. as if JU is the only one. They don't have even 1% of market.

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    5. I was reffering to the sentence

      "It's easy for JU or JP to carry most tourists in their home markets when demand is from there. OU has a much more difficult job in reality"

      So beside bringing the tourists from Serbia JU is also transporting tourists out of Serbia to the Croatia and back.

      If your point was to belittle Air Serbia you missed the target

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    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    7. What is the actual JU's market share in ZAG and Croatia?

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  3. Very impressive

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  4. Asiana is reducing ICN-VCE, I am certain ZAG flights by KE affected them the most.

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    Replies
    1. That's quite a stretch.

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    2. No way. Trolling alert on.

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  5. Keep Calm and visit Dalmatia9 July 2019 at 09:04

    Looks the whole world wants to visit beautiful Croatia.
    Numbers are only going to get better.

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    Replies
    1. june wasnt as good as expected

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    2. Having just spent five weeks in Trogir it is according to all locals a very poor start to the season. People are learning that Croatia is more and more expensive.

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    3. Croatia is a prestigious destination.
      If people are looking for a cheap summer holiday with cheap hotels, food and drinks they can go to Turkey. More affluent tourists from all over the world will take their place.

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    4. Enough with this "prestigious" lunacy about destinations and airlines please.

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    5. haha. procitaj naslov teksta jos jednom. hvala

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    6. A 09:28, why are you triggered when he was right? Croatia is not a cheap destination.
      Poor tourists go to Turkey and Chalkidi. Facts are facts.
      Of course it is important to maintain prestige and the positive image.

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    7. Go to Monte Carlo to learn what "prestigious tourism" means.

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    8. low-cost-carriers-drive-croatias-record

      tacka. peace

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    9. https://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/alarmantni-podaci-o-sezoni-u-nekim-mjestima-turizam-pao-do-20-posto/2098539.aspx

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    10. Monte Carlo is just a pile of blocks in a small piece of land. The prestige is because of Cannes and the Hollywood bonanza.

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    11. Nothing is only black and white. And there is significant group of tourists from most important and biggest emitive tourist markets which are not royalties going to Monte Carlo neither factory workers going to Mallorca. Croatia's offer is becoming better and better year by year and several destinations in Croatia are positioning as very desirable with higher-class tourists, with the higher prices accordingly. And yes, some of them arriving even with LCC's, the same as some "gastos" sometimes use Lufthansa or Swiss. But people here generally have no sensitivity for anything, and are not aware that nothing is, as I said in the beginning, just black or white.

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    12. Index.hr as a reference. Made my day.

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    13. What's wrong with Index.hr? By far the highest quality tabloid in Croatia.

      And it makes me laugh to hear about Croatia as a "prestigious" destination where low-cost carriers run the show and the vast majority of accommodation is private.

      If it was truly a prestigious destination, chain hotels would be strung out along the entire cost. Hardly the case today.

      The sea and coastline are beautiful, but not more so than in 2013. Meanwhile, prices have increased significantly since then. And people are starting to realise that.

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    14. How about - everything is wrong with it? Their sensationalist "reporting" for instance where whenever there is a glimpse of a not so good news, they will paint it black, splatter it all over the front page with the dramatic titles.

      And who mentioned prestigious destination, beside that one delusional bot? Did I? And why are the hotel chains the sign of the prestigious tourism? They are certainly not. Also, they are being built one by one, but I guess if there aren't thousands of them in a decade, something must be off, right?

      So, you're saying nothing changed since 2013? I guess all these tourists that are keep coming must be idiots and someone should tell them that they are walking straight into a trap.

      Bitter much?

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    15. Croatia is not a prestigious destination, stop making us all laugh. It is a very good Mediterranean destination, but far from being prestigious. Turkey has a lot of very nice destinations for rich people, so bashing the country doesn't help.
      A true story is that this year Greece and Turkey are becoming more and more popular again, and you can see a slow decrease in Croatia. -7% if you consider the same period of last year. At the end the season will be great again, but the boom is past. For now.
      I live in Istria and can tell you that newly renovated top hotels, like Rovinj Park, are now very difficult to fill.
      Private accomodation is in a bit of a crisis too, las year was definitely better.
      So guys, just be honest.

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    16. Again, who said it was prestigious?
      And where did you get -7%?

      And private accommodation should be in crisis since bunch of them got greedy and saw quick earning in opening their shabby little rooms and offering nothing in return. And now they are complaining how they can't fill their beds? Surprise, surprise.

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    17. Dalmatia's prestige is making many people angry I see...

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    18. @An.10.14
      I stayed in almost all chains that exist. And I stayed in lot of non-chain hotels which were better than chain ones. I don't know where you got your info there are no chains in HR because Kempinski, Le Meridienne, Westin, Radisson, Hilton, Sheraton, Rixos all do business in HR. And on the coast. In addition to that there are several Croatian chains with 4 and 5 star hotels. Also, dozens and dozens small family boutique hotels with amazing offer would it be spa and wellness, health and sport, gastronomy. If you read my post, you realize I don't agree with generalizing and I would definitely not call entire Croatia "prestigious", it's BS. But also I cannot agree with you saying that HR is average or less, and on the same level as 2013 because it is simply not true as the quality of offer is constantly raising, and that's why the prices become higher as well.

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    19. Bulgaria's coast is also "suffering" from fewer tourists because of the strong competition, especially from Greece, Turkey and Egypt. There are more Visegrad tourists, especially Poles but fewer Russians. Fewer Bulgarians go to the Black Sea. This changed a lot, especially after EU membership. More go abroad in places like Bali, Thailand, etc.

      I also think that demographics play a role. We all know its decreasing in almost the entire continent (which is also a factor). Finally, today the world is becoming smaller. Less visas or electronic visas. Options to fly...whoever thought Argentina will cost 200€ OW from Europe.

      The world is evolving :)

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    20. Interestingly enough, other EU countries are also hit by a decrease in tourism, eg Mallorca, Bulgaria. Seems the hyper capacity of Turkey is impacting everyone.

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    21. Exactly, anonymous 11:19h. The weaker lira is more than welcome. Turkey has a very good product, beaches and service. Then in winter it will be Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Canary Islands...
      Feeling sorry for the Spaniards, though. I have been to many parts in Spain and to me, they are really one of the best. Especially, Níjar, Menorca, Fuerteventura and of course La Costa Brava. Beaches are very clean and usually with very easy access.

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    22. Just to back up my statements and conclude the discussion with the yesterday's headline of the article about croatian tourism from "prvi plan.hr" portal : "Dogadja li se najbolji moguci scenarij - manje gostiju a veca zarada"

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    23. Croatia is a travel destination for sophisticated tourists.
      For people who are trying to have a holiday by spending only 5€ a day on food, 20€ max on a room and get drunk every night with cheap booze Croatia is the wrong place to be.

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    24. Sophisticated? What is sophisticated for you? Have you ever seen the tourists that are coming? There are 5 euro tourists and there are rich ones too. Ne generaliziraj.

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    25. Prestigious...

      I bet the most prestigious guests stay in Haludovo on Krk island.

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    26. Ispravak netocnog navoda. Not -7% in the number of tourists, but bookings in hotels, camp sides and apartments were from -3 to -7% if you consider the same month in 2018. Source: Hrvatska udruga turizma.

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  6. Zadar is the main winner this summer. Benefiting from Ryanair and Easy jet. Well done.

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    Replies
    1. SPU being completely full also helped ZAD.

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    2. And there are already two new routes announced for Zadar next year :)

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    3. Ryan effect :)

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  7. I'm glad that some smaller airports that struggled over the years like Rijeka are having strong growth.

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    Replies
    1. Its nice to see Rijeka as a positive surprise last and this summer.

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    2. Year round on JU will be great for them. Especially thanks to all connections.

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    3. I’m predicting Rijeka to be the next big hit too.

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    4. And it's good to see Croatia Airlines continuing with Rijeka-Munich in winter.

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    5. It was a very promising airport years ago when Easy Jet started flights there.

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    6. ^ True. Thankfully things have improved this year and last after so much wasted potential.

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  8. Congratulations Croatia.

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  9. Goes to show that the "prestige" argument does not bring you major growth. It's tourists coming overwhelmingly on LCCs that drive numbers up.

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    Replies
    1. Not getting into the "prestige" argument but I think people would be surprised how many better off people fly with LCCs.

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  10. only the prestigious one is stagnating ;)

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    Replies
    1. That's because they are stubborn and disillusioned. Meanwhile airports around them are growing and booming. LJU is their biggest threat especially since Wizz Air keeps on expanding there.

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    2. Wizz Air has not expanded in Ljubljana for years. Check before writing nonsense.

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    3. They announced A321 from Luton this winter, that's also expansion. Maybe I am not the one writing nonsense.

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    4. You are writing nonsense
      "Wizz Air keeps on expanding there."

      No, it has not "kept on expanding". That would indicate they have been growing there year after year which is not the case at all.

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    5. They are going to grow there this winter. ;)

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    6. Anon 09:08

      Maybe the prestigious one is the only one run by commercial purpose, maybe the ones who run companies like ADP, TAV, Bouygues, IFC, Marguerite and invest billions into this business are aware of the optimum financial and operational strategy better than the commenters of this blog, or government assigned party members and their relatives? Maybe government owned airports are not focusing on profitability of the business but trying to balance public service and commerce?

      Or maybe you're right.

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  11. Can Split overtake Zagreb this year?

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    Replies
    1. No. It will be around 100k difference at the end of year. But next year is possible, if ZAG continue to struggle like in 2019.

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    2. With bigger apron and rnw, SPU could easy reach more than 5 million in few years.

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    3. ZAG really struggles.
      No new airline for this winter and a lot of reductions (FZ, KL...)

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    4. Actually number of airlines are increasing frequencies or capacity so it eliminates reductions.

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    5. Actually when you add and substract there is no change for ZAG in winter.

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    6. Yes, almost the same like last winter.
      KL is not reducing ZAG this winter, it is same like last winter.

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    7. Not true, last year they had daily until February now it's six from the start.

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    8. It is not true, it Was not daily thru all winter season

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    9. In Zagreb this winter for now:
      Iberia will have one more flight (this year 3, last year 2)
      British two more flights (extra flight on Friday and Sunday)
      Korean will increase capacity to 787-9 from September, and all winter
      Croatia 2 more flights as Dublin will become all year destination

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    10. And reductions?

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    11. Croatia will not fly to Lisbon 2pw
      FlyDubai will fly 4pw instead 7pw

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    12. And Croatia will increase Brussels +2pw

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  12. wow at Dubrovnik. Really well done. They have almost the same numbers as Split.

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    Replies
    1. I think they are even ahead!

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    2. They are not. Look at the table in the article.

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    3. Croatia's best airport is no doubt DBV.

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    4. Probably one of the better managed in the region, if not the best managed.

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    5. DBV is definitely the most high quality airport in the Balkans and naturally is attracting the most affluent visitors.

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    6. A da odete malo do Krfa barem? I on je veci po broju putnika.

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  13. Really good numbers. Well done.

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  14. What's going on with OSI?

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    Replies
    1. I'm also interested to see how they will perform with Wizz recently pulling out. I hope numbers won't be affected too much.

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  15. It is easyjet and Ryanair which are contributing the most the these great results. Eurowings on the other hand has really stagnated this year in Croatia. Surprised to hear about Norwegian. Haven't really paid much attention to their ops.

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    Replies
    1. I would love to see EasyJet finally open year round flights to Croatia. Zagreb could be a good option but I think even one or two routes to Dubrovnik in winter could work.

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    2. Eurowings has been a mess. Not enough crew or planes. They have grown way too quickly and need to cover markets which have greater priority. So all plans for Croatia are on hold.

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    3. It also has big losses so no wonder they put the breaks on expansion.

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    4. But they introduced flights to Tivat, Ohrid and Sarajevo this year. They also opened a base in Pristina.

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    5. Apparently EW is in talks over opening a base in ZAG.

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    6. Apparently for how many years now?

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    7. 300. Stay tuned. Lol.

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  16. Biggest market in ex-yu.

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    Replies
    1. well that is expected

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    2. There will probably be around 20 million passenger by 2025

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    3. Could be sooner than that. Croatia will be probably the second biggest aviation market in the Balkans.

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    4. 20 million passengers is more than all the other exyu countries combined!
      CRO is truly impressive!

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    5. We are talking about 2025 here.

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    6. And how many of all these ex-yu countries have the length of the coast Croatia has?

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    7. No country comes even close to the beauty of Dalmatia.

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    8. Palma de Mallorca and Antalya airports combined had about 62 million passengers in 2018. Dubrovnik and Split combined less than 6 million, so less than 10% of the other two. PMI and AYT, with exception of Middle East and couple of Siberian airports, had no long haul flights, not even seasonal. No China, North America, Japan, Korea etc at all.

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    9. A da ti osim Dalmacije vidis malo svita? Split nije centar svega.

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    10. IMO the Croatian coast is one of the most overhyped and overrated beach destinations in Europe

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    11. Anonymous at 08:52
      There is always Ohrid for the likes of you.
      And if you can afford a plane ticket Sochi in the Russian Black sea!!!

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  17. U2 will create new product in 2020 called easyJet Holidays. This was announced in the ITT Conference in Split.

    https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/79610-easyjets-holidays-unit-to-launch-in-2020

    We might see much more UK-HR routes next year.

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  18. Pula is doing extremely well. All those new route which started this year are obviously resulting in bigger passenger numbers.

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    Replies
    1. True. Again easy jet helped the most. This year they will be the busiest airline in Pula. Overtook OU.

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    2. i enjoyed PUY a lot. the terrace ia great

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  19. Good achievement so far in 2019. Anyone willing to predict results for the end of the year?

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    Replies
    1. Well I think they should handle jointly around 11 million pax as the article suggest. Not sure how each individual airport will perform though.

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  20. Some impressive growths over here! Bravo Hrvatska.

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    Replies
    1. Croatian coast is growing and growing each year with impressive double digits.

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  21. How many pax will Dubrovnik have this year?

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  22. It is great to see that 3 of Croatia's largest airports already have over 1 million passengers in the first half of the year.

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    Replies
    1. Good for CRO!

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    2. Yeah but they talking about the seasonality in Croatia, gotta laugh at those ppl

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  23. Those new US flights to Dubrovnik must be performing well :) Great to see all the main airports growing and the double digit growth in Pula, Zadar, Rijeka and especially Dubrovnik is impressive.

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  24. Is there any chance that easyjet or Ryanair may open a base in Croatia?

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    Replies
    1. FR just closed their base in Zadar.

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    2. While they did close their base, they increased flights significantly. So the base was obviously closed for other reasons and not because of lack of demand since they wouldn't have grown after pulling their plane from there.

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  25. Does anyone know what the state is of the old terminal building in ZAG? Is it still there or is it being used for something else?

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