Dubrovnik Airport Readies for Challenging Summer Season

Daniela Rogulj

April 23, 2020 – Like many airports around the world, one of Croatia’s busiest airports in the summer will take a considerable hit this year. Dubrovnik Airport readies for a challenging season ahead. 

The tourism sector is one of the biggest victims of the coronavirus pandemic, and when travel resumes remains unknown. Lifting the travel restrictions, however, is just part of the solution – what airlines will survive once all is said and done, and what connections will remain is another hurdle we have yet to cross. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Dubrovnik Airport General Manager Frano Luetić is anticipating handling just 30% of its planned traffic this year – and that is the best-case scenario. 

Recall, American Airlines and Qatar Airways won’t be resuming traffic to Dubrovnik until 2021, while a handful of airlines like Lufthansa, airBaltic, Enter Air, Jet2, Finnair and Volotea are significantly reducing operations. 

“We are witnessing something unlike we’ve ever seen in peacetime. We have been left without any traffic,” Luetić said.

Ex Yu Aviation adds that Dubrovnik Airport has been closed since March 19 and has no plans to open until at least May 2. 

“Some domestic flights are expected to resume next month, however, the majority of international services are unlikely to resume before June. The airport estimates it will register a net loss of 9.5 million euros during the first half of the year. Despite the result, none of its 387 staff members will be dismissed, although the fate of 162 seasonal workers will depend on the support the Croatian government provides to its airports as part of measures to stimulate the economy in the aftermath of the pandemic,” writes Ex Yu Aviation. 

Dubrovnik Airport has also stopped all non-essential investments, though it could purchase thermal cameras to measure body temperature once operations resume. 

2020 was meant to be record summer for Dubrovnik Airport, with a 4% increase in overall operations. However, in the first quarter of this year, the airport was down 38.6%, welcoming only 72,406 passengers. 

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