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Number of passengers handled by Croatian airports up nearly 11% in H1

(Photo: A. Grubelic/Croatia Airlines)

ZAGREB, Aug 5 (Hina) – Croatian airports handled nearly 11 percent more passengers in the first half of 2019 than in the same period of 2018, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) said on Saturday.

Preliminary data from the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency shows that the country’s airports handled 1,557,530 passengers in June 2019, an increase of 11 percent over the same month in 2018, and 4,287,075 passengers in the first half of this year, up 10.7 percent year on year.

In June 2019, compared with June 2018, the largest increase in the volume of passengers, of as much as 43 percent, was recorded by Zadar airport, handling 120,397 passengers. It was followed by Rijeka (+37.5 percent, 30,786 passengers), Pula (+14 percent, 135,715), Dubrovnik (+14 percent, 413,200), Split (+8.2 percent, 510,768) and Zagreb (+0.8 percent, 333,838). Decreases were recorded by Brac (-8 percent) and Osijek (-5 percent).

In the first half of 2019, compared with the same period of 2018, the largest increases were recorded by Zadar airport (+39 percent) and Rijeka airport (+19.6 percent), ahead of Dubrovnik (+17.4 percent), Pula (+16.3 percent), Split (+8.1 percent) and Zagreb (+3.9 percent), while decreases were observed by Brac (-13.6 percent) and Osijek (-12.1 percent).

“The passenger growth rates of our airports in the first six months of 2019 are very good. I would single out Dubrovnik airport with a growth rate of more than 17 percent, which is primarily due to the arrival of the largest European company Ryan Air and the largest global company American Airlines. We can see that such an increase in turnover has also attracted investment in infrastructure,” said Tonci Pejovic, the head of the Air Transport Division at the HGK and director of Brac airport.

He predicted a continuation of positive trends both in Croatia and Europe. “What we are concerned about is how the situation will unfold with regard to Brexit, because the UK is a signatory to the Open Sky agreement. If this changes, a lot of things will need to be negotiated regarding flight regimes, which has not been done yet. Another thing that might adversely affect air transport is the Persian Gulf crisis, as a result of which oil and kerosene prices might go up,” Pejovic said.

In Croatia, there are nine international airports, two airlines and two flight control centres which generated a total of HRK 4.3 billion in revenues and HRK 451 in profits. They directly employ about 4,100 people, and an estimated 9,000 people make their income in activities related to air transport. The average gross monthly income per employee is HRK 14,300, excluding Croatian Flight Control where the average gross monthly salary exceeds HRK 49,000.

(EUR 1 = HRK 7.37)

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