Wednesday, 29 November 2023
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.


Airline carrier SAS Scandinavian Airlines, member of the global airline association Star Alliance, will have a significant boost when it comes to flights to Croatia in its summer schedule – Avioradar reports. SAS flies from several destinations in Scandinavia to Dubrovnik, Pula and Split.

For Dubrovnik, SAS will have 15 flights per week - every day (7 times per week) from Copenhagen and five times per week from Oslo and Stockholm. Compared to last year, when it comes to Copenhagen, this means one flight per week more, in the case of Oslo two flights more and in the case of the Stockholm one flight per week less. However, beyond the heart of the season, from March 29th from Dubrovnik to Stockholm there will be three flights per week or one more compared to the last year. Copenhagen and Oslo lines for Dubrovnik will only be in traffic during the heart of the season from June 23rd to mid-August .

For Pula, 21 flights per week are planned during the heart of the season. For the first time, Pula will be linked to Copenhagen every day, or one week per week more than last year. The Pula - Gothenburg line, which last year
had only 2 flights per week, will have twice the number of flights every week – 4. Pula - Oslo line had 2 flights per week last year and will have additional 3 flights this year, but the route from Pula to Stockholm, which had 5 flights per week, will have 2 flights per week less. All of these lines for Pula will operate from June 22nd to mid-August 2018.

Most SAS operations in Croatia have already a long-term connection with Split, and for this year an incredible number of 80 flights per week have been announced on regular lines during the heart of the season. Even 20 flights per week, or every day 3 times a day except Saturday (2x daily) Split – Copenhagen line will operate. This means 4 flights a week more than last year. The same number of flights will be on the line Split – Oslo, which is also 4 years a week more than last year. Four flights from Oslo to Split will operate on Friday. And line Split - Stockholm will have 4 flights a week more than last year, for the total 20 flights a week. Split-Gothenburg line will get 3 new flights a week so there will be 10 flights per week on that route.

The Split - Copenhagen line will start two weeks earlier than last year, from March 24th with one flight per week every Saturday and from May 24th, outside the main season, there will be 3 flights a week on this route. The Stockholm-Split line begins with out-of-season operations from April 28th, with 2 flights per week. The lines from Split to Gothenburg and Oslo will start flying from mid-May with one flight per week every Saturday. The other mentioned lines will operate only in the heart of the season from the second half of June to the middle of August 2018.



Even though Croatia has around 86 percent of citizens who declare themselves as Catholics, only just around half of the couples decide to get married in church.

When it comes to regions, people from Lika and Slavonija are more willing to ''seal the deal'' in church and that option is not so attractive to those from Istria and Primorje – reports Vecernji list.

The number of marriages made official in the church in recent years has gone downhill and, as never before, came closer to civil marriages. In the first nine months of 2017, 8.439 religious (52.6%) and 7.606 (47.4%) civil marriages were made, according to the Ministry of Administration.

Just for comparison - in 2009, the number of religious marriages was 63.5 percent, while civil was only 36.5 percent.



One of the world’s largest manufacturers of telecommunication equipment has installed a Croatian smart bench in Hungary.

The Finnish company Nokia recently installed the Croatian product - a smart bench Steora, in front of its central office in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

One of the leading European manufacturers of innovative solutions for ‘’smart cities’’ headed by a young innovator and an ‘’IT genius’’ Ivan Mrvos from Solin near Split and his team are responsible for designing the Steora smart bench. Their main goal is to raise human awareness about renewable energy and environmental protection.

steora smart bench croatia 2018

The Steora smart bench is a green invention ideal for cities, parks, airports, marinas, business and shopping centres. It includes batteries, which are powered by solar panels; they provide internet access and the possibility to charge mobile phones and laptops by USB charger. Steora also gathers data about air quality, humidity, city noise, displays advertising, and provides light at night.

So far, more than 450 smart benches have been installed in 23 world countries such as Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United States, Qatar, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia as well as in Hong Kong and in front of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg.



As from this summer, the Croatian city of Zadar will be connected with the capital of the Netherlands.

TUI fly Netherlands or TUI Airlines Netherlands, a Dutch charter airlines within the German travel conglomerate TUI Group, will operate flights between Zadar in the Dalmatian region and Amsterdam next summer.

The new flight will be operated once a week, on Fridays, starting from the 6th of July until the 31st of August 2018 with Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

TUI fly Netherlands carries out regular and chartered flights, although most of the chartered flights are operated for the Dutch tour operator TUI Netherlands. It operates to destinations in the Mediterranean, Finland, the Canary Islands, the Red Sea, Mexico, the Caribbean, the United States, Africa, the Middle East and the Dutch Caribbean.

In addition, TUI fly Netherlands maintains code share agreements with Surinam Airways.



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Of the ten most developed Croatian cities seven are on the coast. The Ministry of Regional Development has released a new model of urban development indexes for the period 2014-2016.

The most developed Croatian city is Zagreb, with a development index of 116.56, which means the average annual income per capita of 44.733 Kuna and average per capita income of 6,232 Kuna. The second is Dubrovnik with an index of 115.64 and revenues even higher than in Zagreb – 7,394 Kuna per capita. The third is Poreč, followed by Krk, Rovinj, Umag, Sveta Nedelja, Hvar, Opatija, Zaprešić and Novalja.

The development index is calculated factors such as average income per capita, average unemployment rate, general population trends, share of educated population aged 20 to 64 and age index.

In fact Dubrovnik has the second highest average salary in the ten most developed cities in Croatia, at 7,394 Kuna, only beaten by Opatija which has an average income of 7,626 Kuna.



Croatia’s external debt seems to be going in the right direction according to the latest data. At the end of September 2017 the gross foreign debt amounted to 39.4 billion Euros, which is 3.1 billion Euros less than of September 2016.

A study carried out by Raiffeisenbank Austria shows that the external debt of Croatia is slowly falling and that the drop is mainly due to deleveraging from the Croatian government.

The debt as a percentage of GDP stood at 81.5 percent at the end of the third quarter of 2017, which is down from 84.7 percent from the previous quarter. The general government debt and other domestic categories led the way in reducing the overall external debt, each achieving a debt reduction of €1.4 billion over the year.



As 2017 came to an end so the final figures for Dubrovnik Airport were revealed. The airport in Cilipi cemented its position as the third busiest airport in Croatia with a record breaking year handling over 2.3 million passengers.

Last year was the first time in history that Dubrovnik Airport had handled over 2 million passengers, mainly thanks to a strong summer season. In fact, in terms of passenger numbers last year only one month, March, was down on 2016. By far the busiest months for the southernmost airport in Croatia were July and August when almost a million passengers passed through.

This is in sharp contrast to the winter months where the airport, and Dubrovnik in general, is still struggling to attract tourists. In January 2017 only just over 19,000 passengers used the airport and in February this number had climbed slightly to almost 23,000. However even the bleaker winter months showed an increase in guests compared to 2016, and the airport finished the year strongly with November (+40.4 percent) and December (+20.5 percent) showing drastic improvements.

This year, if indicators are to be believed, should be even more successful for the airport with many international airlines introducing new flights. This will not doubt be boosted by the fact that Easyjet has announced that they will increase operations to Dubrovnik by a huge 30 percent. The British low-cost carrier is already the second most frequent airline landing at Dubrovnik Airport, after the Croatian national carrier, Croatia Airlines, and this strong increase could see the airport break the 2.5 million mark in 2018.

Thomson Airways and Norwegian Air Shuttle have also announced an increase in operations to the city by 20 percent for 2018.



The Voice of Dubrovnik


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