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Pula Airport eyes long-haul transatlantic flights with runway expansion

Pula Airport eyes long-haul transatlantic flights with runway upgrade 

Pula Airport eyes long-haul transatlantic flights with runway upgrade (Illustration)

Pula Airport, which is the 5th busiest airport in Croatia, is looking to extend its runway by 250 meters to a total of 3,200 meters to accommodate long-haul flights. 

The airport recently commissioned a study to investigate the possibility of moving the threshold, which would create space for the extension in both the east and west directions. 

Nina Vojnić Žagar, the director of Pula Airport, confirmed to daily Glas Istre that the airport has enough space to expand in both directions, but the slopes of the area must be taken into account.

“Pula Airport commissioned an analysis of the study to move the threshold, which means that the possibility of extending the runway to 3,200 meters is being investigated to accommodate long-haul flights, flights from the western Atlantic Ocean coast. The current runway of 2,954 meters lacks 250 meters,” Vojnić Žagar told Glas Istre.

In addition to runway expansion, the airport has plans to construct a new terminal building. However, the existing Master Plan from 2016 is outdated and no longer valid. The airport has ordered a new development strategy from Zagreb Airport, which should be ready later this year. A public procurement procedure is being prepared to extend the existing terminal for two additional exits, which was supposed to be done in 2020 but was delayed due to financial constraints.

Pula Airport is also preparing for the upcoming tourist season, which is expected to be the best yet. The airport recently began applying the Schengen regime, which allows passengers from that area to board planes without passing passport border controls. 

Pula Airport will have connections with 27 destinations in 13 countries this year, and 13 airlines will operate from the airport. Within Croatia, national carriers Croatia Airlines and Trade Air will connect Pula with Zagreb, Zadar, Osijek, and Split. Ryanair recently started operating flights to London twice a week.

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In addition, a new destination, Weeze, located near Düsseldorf, will depart twice a week, as well as Brussels. On Wednesdays during the pre-season, EasyJet will begin operating one-week flights to the UK, with full operations running from June until the end of November. 

Lufthansa will continue to operate four flights per week to Frankfurt and three flights per week to Munich. This season, Pula Airport will also have connections to Berlin, Stuttgart, Cologne, and Dusseldorf, in addition to Munich and Frankfurt.

The plans for Pula Airport’s expansion are still in the early stages, but with the potential for long-haul flights and the increasing demand for air travel in the region, it’s clear that the airport has a bright future ahead.

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