According to preliminary statistics from the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency, passenger traffic in Croatian airports jumped by 11% year-on-year in June, while passenger turnover is up 10.7% from the beginning of the year when compared to the first six months of 2018. More than 1.5 million passengers were recorded in June, while close to 4.3 million have been registered since the beginning of the year. The data was presented on Saturday by Croatian Chamber of Commerce.
The President of the Air Transport Association of the Croatian Chamber of Economy and director of the Brač Airport, Tonči Pejović noted that the trend of short stays in various destinations is boosting passenger turnover.
"Growth in passenger turnover at our airports in the first six months of 2019 is extremely strong, I would particularly single out Dubrovnik Airport with a growth rate of more than 17%. This is thanks primarily to the arrival of Europe's largest air carrier Ryan Air and the largest international air carrier American Airlines. This has resulted in additional investments in infrastructure," Pejović said.
In June, Zadar Airport recorded the largest growth of 43%, followed by Rijeka Airport at 37.5%, Pula Airport at 14%, Split Airport at 8.2% and Zagreb's Franjo Tuđman International Airport with a mild increase of 0.8%. Only the airports in Brač and Osijek registered a decline of 8% and 5% respectively.
Similar trends are evident in the first half of the year. The leading airports are Zadar and Rijeka with 39% and 19.6% respectively, followed by Dubrovnik 17.4%, Pula 16.3%, while Split and Zagreb saw and increase of 8.1% and 3.9%. Brač and Osijek recorded a drop in passenger turnover of 13.6% and 12.1% respectively.
Pejović believes that the positive trends in Croatia in Europe will continue. "What worries us is how the Brexit situation will unfold because England has so far been a signatory to the Open Sky treaty. When and if that changes, a lot of things will need to be negotiated to establish what the flight regimes are. The other thing that could negatively affect air travel is the Persian Gulf crisis, which could cause oil and kerosene prices to rise," Pejović explained.
Croatia's nine international airports generated 4.3 billion Kuna in revenues and 451 million Kuna in profits last year.
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