May the 13th, 2023 – Croatian air traffic for the month of March this year has surpassed that recorded back in March 2019, hailed as Croatia’s record-breaking year for tourism. It’s clear that the coronavirus pandemic is well and truly history as far as international travel is concerned.
As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, after two years dominated by the global coronavirus pandemic, in which there was a collapse of air traffic, this type of mobility has finally almost completely recovered. This recovery has been evidenced by the recently published data of the National Bureau of Statistics which shows that in March 2023, Croatian air traffic surpassed that seen back during pre-pandemic 2019.
In the third month of 2023, total Croatian air traffic broken down amounted to 374,000 passengers, which is 44.6 percent more than in March 2022, when Croatian air traffic numbers recorded 258,000 passengers. Compared to March 2019, when Croatian air traffic numbers amounted to 346,000 passengers, this year’s figure is higher by a very encouraging 8.1 percent.
Zagreb’s Franjo Tudjman International Airport achieved the highest passenger traffic of all, recording 263,000 passengers, which is an increase of 34.8 percent compared to March 2022, when 195,000 passengers passed through that airport, and an increase of 13.8 percent compared to March 2019, when 231,000 passengers were recorded there.
The capital’s airport is followed by Dubrovnik Airport (Cilipi), with 50,000 passengers recorded, representing an increase of 97.6 percent compared to March 2022, when 25,000 passengers passed through, and a decrease of 13.4 percent compared to March 2019, when traffic amounted to 58,000 recorded passengers.
Split Airport, with 49,000 passengers, recorded an increase of 56.7 percent at the annual level, when traffic amounted to 31 thousand passengers and an increase of 1.9 percent compared to March 2019, when traffic amounted to 48 thousand passengers.
The other six Croatian airports and airstrips are almost entirely seasonal in character, which is very clearly reflected by the minor number of passengers recorded during the off-season. As such, back in March this year, 8,368 passengers were recorded in Zadar, which is twice as many compared to the same period last year. Pula had 2,357 passengers, with a dependent growth of 52 percent. Osijek had 964 passengers, Rijeka 157, Mali Losinj 32 and Brac 9 passengers.
The most significant international passenger traffic was achieved with the airports of Germany – recording a massive 80 thousand passengers – which is 29.3 percent more compared to March 2022 and 23.5 percent less compared to March 2019.
Across Europe, Germany is followed by the airports of the United Kingdom with 32,000 transported passengers, which is 53.5 percent more compared to the same period last year and 103.2 percent more compared to March 2019, and the airports of the Netherlands with 25,000 transported passengers. which is 38 percent more compared to the same period last year and 74.6 percent more compared to March 2019.
The total number of aircraft landings and takeoffs at airports in March 2023 was 5,604, an increase of 12.7 percent compared to March 2022, when the number of landings and takeoffs was 4,974, and 2.5 percent less than on March 2019, when the total number of landings and takeoffs was 5,747.
Total cargo traffic at the airports in March 2023 was 808 tonnes, an increase of 2.4 percent compared to March 2022, when cargo traffic was 789 tonnes, and also an increase of 2.4 percent compared to March in 2019
The number of passengers in Croatian airports is also expected to increase during the month of May, but the exception to that could be Zagreb Airport. This is because on May the 2nd this year, they started work on the runway which will be closed to all traffic at night from 23:00 to 06:25 until May the 31st.
In particular, Ryanair, which has a base in Zagreb, could be in trouble due to this and, due to accumulated daily delays, the last flight to Zagreb is often well after midnight.
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