June 16, 2019 – Is Croatian tourism and commercial enterprise set for the main increase with the vintage airport terminal in Zagreb approximately to begin a brand new chapter as a finances airline base?
It is 16 years seeing that I moved to Croatia permanently, and it’s miles honest to say that there was a substantial change in airline connectivity at that point. Those who these days whinge about the lack of winter flights from cheap vendors from November to March should make appearance again only a few years to earlier than the advent of Ryanair in Zadar in 2007. My off-season choices to get from the United Kingdom to Hvar, as an instance, had been -fold – Ryanair to Trieste and then the eleven-hour bus adventure down the coast to Split and onward ferry, or Ryanair to Graz, teach to Zagreb and bus to Split.
Although Ryanair had been the pioneers, they did no longer make bigger as quick within the Croatian market as somewhere else. Indeed it took them 12 years to inaugurate flights to both Split and Dubrovnik, with the first flights simplest touching down this month. EasyJet and Norwegian had been an awful lot extra aggressive in the Croatian market, with the former outpacing the national provider, Croatia Airlines, by using ways in seasonal passenger numbers to the primary coastal airports. But while more and more price range carriers from an ever-increasing listing of destinations turned into servicing the coast, one key airport turned into seemingly lacking out at the low-cost connectivity.
It was explained to me that one of the motives that Zagreb did not have many budget flight options was a choice to defend Croatia Airlines, a countrywide service in pretty a variety of problem, but a proud image of a younger nation. If Croatia Airlines became subjected to the brutal competition of the Ryanair in its home territory, then it would have little risk of survival. It is a controversy which I should understand from the factor of view of protecting the status quo. However, it, made ththe e little experience for the Croatian economic system. A little envious appearance a brief force north to Budapest confirmed that existence after a failed countrywide carrier became now not most effective feasible but healthy.
The Hungarian kingdom carrier Malev went bankrupt in 2012, the main player at Budapest Airport. As Budapest Airport CEO Jost Lammers defined on this TCN interview, it did not take Budapest long not most effective to react, however, to thrive, and the airport is much busier and greater a success than it becomes then.
“In reality now not best Ryanair;, however, all primary airlines reacted in no time to the brand new state of affairs. With hindsight, I might also say that February 2012 truly tested to us that fierce opposition is going on within the world of aviation, and there’s no room for market vacuum in any respect. Even massive legacy vendors reacted in much less than 24 hours to the financial ruin of Malév and made short business selections to fill within the lacking routes. Some arrived with their first flights in Budapest inside seventy-two hours. Of direction the wintry weather low season also helped, there was a few unfastened potential handy for all essential airlines to start a brand new direction to Budapest. Discount vendors were of course the fastest to react. Their market percentage was once round 25 % while Malév changed into still round, and it quick rose to 50-fifty two % wherein it stabilized.”
I have been operating loads with the scientific tourism industry in Croatia in recent months. As with many stuff here, the potential is phenomenal, but the realities of cutting-edge Croatia are protecting matters returned. The Hungarian dental tourism marketplace is expected at some six hundred million euro a 12 months, at the least 25% of which Croatia may want to take if it got organized, according to Keith Pollard, Chief Editor of the industry’s leading media, International Medical Travel Journal, in an interview with TCN.
But while the first-class of Croatian dental care is as good as any in Eastern Europe, flying to Zagreb from the UK in comparison to places like Budapest is presently lots greater complex and steeply-priced, and Croatia’s dentists, and a whole range of other groups and tourism opportunities are missing out. I requested Lammers approximately the raise that Budapest’s strategy had introduced for Hungarian dental tourism:
“It isn’t handiest “dental tourism” that has proven strong improvement. We have near ties with river cruise operators. More than 250 000 human beings start their holidays on the Danube cruise-ships right here in Budapest. These people are flying in via our airport from everywhere in the international, from the USA through China to Japan. All in all, I suppose Budapest has turn out to be a tremendous tourism vacation spot offering a very huge kind of amusement to all patron segments: the traditional Sziget Festival brings in tens of thousands of young human beings in the summer with backpacks; then Red Bull Air Race and Formula-1 are two predominant and fantastic technical sport events with plenty of spectators. Budapest additionally has plenty to offer in cultural tourism. For example, we cooperate carefully with the Winter Festival, which objectives commonly opera and classical song enthusiasts.”
Zagreb regarded to have moved in a unique path which changed into loads greater prohibitive to the development of finances vendors. A bright new 330 million euro airport terminal opened in 2017, with charges to in shape. The arrival of airways which include Emirates and elevated rotations from Qatar, as well as direct seasonal flights from Canada and Seoul, accelerated Croatia’s intercontinental access significantly, but Zagreb remained a steeply-priced and poorly served airport for the ones looking for a reasonably-priced flight.
But is that about to exchange, and trade notably?
I am now not within the addiction of publishing rumors for the sake of it. This region is that land of rumors and conspiracy theories, and we’d not survive long as a reputable portal if we did. But I actually have heard from several brilliant industry assets that something alternatively exciting – and revolutionary – is soon to take place at the antique (and now unused) airport terminal in Zagreb.
It will operate as a separate airport shape to the brand new terminal,. Howeverthe use of the identical runway,and the old terminal will function as a brand new price range airport hub. Two airways which hold being noted are Eurowings and Lauda, and this will be in line with Eurowings’ expansion within the vicinity. I contacted each the town of Zagreb and the Ministry of Transport for comment, who both responded quick suggesting I contact the airport concessionaire for remark.