Rijeka Airport Hopes to Grow in 2019 from Year-round Flights, New Airlines

Daniela Rogulj

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After a record 2018, what should Rijeka Airport expect in 2019?

By the decision of the Tourism Council, additional funds were provided in 2019 for implementing strategic marketing campaigns on emissive markets for advertising in cooperation with Croatian Airlines and the Kvarner Tourist Board, reports HRTurizam on February 8, 2019. 

These funds helped establish the year-round airline between Rijeka and Munich. So far, through Croatia Airlines, Rijeka was connected to Munich on Thursdays and Sundays from October 28, 2018, until March 30, 2019. In line with the new financial resources, this line now allows Kvarner to be connected with Munich throughout the year. 

The year-round line between Rijeka and Munich is already operating and continued uninterruptedly after the summer season. Croatia Airlines currently flies to Munich using the Dash 8 Q400 aircraft. 

“The current traffic on the line above is not satisfactory as the average occupancy in the past winter months was only 25%. However, this availability should be taken with a large number of reserves since it is only the first year operating during the winter, and potential travelers are not yet sufficiently acquainted with it, i.e., it is normal that winter lines become a habit of travelers only after 3-4 years in traffic. It is also clear from our experiences regarding the year-round line for Cologne which was introduced last winter, and this year it continued by changing destinations to Düsseldorf. However, the two cities are only 40 kilometers away so it can be considered within the same market,” said Rijeka Airport.

Last year, the average occupancy on the Rijeka-Cologne route was 40%, while this year this percentage has grown to 55%.

It is most difficult and most important is to open a direct airline with a destination, as it is the first precondition for the growth of tourism, especially in the pre and postseason. And having a direct year-round line with Cologne and Munich is a great plus for the entire Kvarner region. But now, it is necessary for all the tourist workers to come together and create demand and therefore the viability of the line. 

Otherwise, after the last year’s record season, where 30% growth in passenger transport was achieved, four new lines were introduced at Rijeka Airport in 2019.

“For now we have confirmed the arrival of four new carriers in 2019, including TUI, Volotea, Lufthansa and Air Serbia who will fly to 3 new destinations: London Gatwick, Marseille and Belgrade, as well as the existing Munich line. Belgrade will be another year-round line that will continue to operate after the summer season. Negotiations are currently underway with some other companies, but for the time being, we have not confirmed other new lines,” concluded Rijeka Airport.

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