Croatian Airports Expect 10 Million Passengers for First Time in History

Daniela Rogulj

Croatian airports expect an even better year than 2017 when they welcomed 9.6 million passengers. 

Croatian airports achieved double-digit growth in passenger traffic last year, welcoming 9.6 million passengers which represented an 18 percent increase. Given the growing trend in recent years, this year, the number of passengers is expected to rise by about 10 percent, which means that around 10 million passengers will travel through Croatian airports for the first time, reports HRTurizam on October 6, 2018. 

In the next five to seven years, the number of passengers is expected to double, which would mean even greater investments in Croatian airports. 

“The great increase in passenger traffic, which Croatian airports record annually, was mostly influenced by the increase in the gross domestic product of the countries passengers are traveling from, as well as numerous other factors, most of which relate to safety. Namely, travelers are primarily determined to go to tourist destinations where they will feel safe,” said the President of the Association of Air Transport HGK, Tonci Peović.

The increase in traffic at Croatian airports, among other things, was also due to the airlines themselves, who partly reduced average fare prices as a consequence of cheaper petroleum products in the world market. The increase was also due to the short stay of tourists in certain markets of about two to three days, thanks to online booking systems such as or

“In the summer season, charter flights were significantly activated, which increased traffic to Croatian destinations, created additional lines to existing destinations, and introduced new lines,” said Peović, adding that a great leap forward for Croatia was opening the markets of the Middle East and the Far East. 

“Such dynamic growth in traffic, however, brings new challenges when it comes to the capacities of our airports (roadways, platforms, terminals, parking lots, access roads, human resources), which have to meet the peak load requirements, given that traffic is expected to double within 7 years – and certainly, the process of building for such growth in Croatian conditions will take much longer. It is also necessary to define the ultimate capacities of some airports, to begin preparations for moving to locations where new, undisturbed development can begin in the decades to come,” explains Peović, who stressed that it is necessary to highlight the effects of large-scale investments in airports that help the defective construction sector because capital investments, after Franjo Tudjman airport, have been announced in Dubrovnik, Split, and Brač, as well as in Pula and Zadar.

Total passenger traffic in Croatian airports in the first six months of 2018 amounted to 3,871,939 passengers, which is an increase of 13.5 percent compared to 2017. In the first six months of 2018, the largest increase in the number of passengers was recorded by Osijek Airport, followed by Franjo Tuđman Airport in Zagreb, and Split Airport. 

The total number of take-offs and landings at airports in the first six months of 2018 was 52,831, compared to 49,119 in the first six months of 2017, which represents an increase of 7.6 percent.


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