According to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) Croatian airports recorded the highest number of passengers in history. In July 2016 almost 1.5 million passengers passed through the Croatian airports of Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Pula, Zagreb, Osijek, Rijeka, Brac and Mali Losinj. On the other hand, in the first seven months of 2016 the airports in Croatia recorded around 4.4 million or 12.4 percent more passengers in comparison to 2015.
''The most important factor in increasing the air travel demand is growth of the economy and GDP in most EU countries and growing tourist demand for Croatian holiday destinations due to decreased departures to some of the European and North African traditional destinations such as Turkey, Greece, Tunis etc.'', said Tonci Peovic, the president of the Association of Air Traffic in the HGK.
He also added that air carriers partly reduced the average ticket prices in air transport as a result of the oil price reduction on the world market. The air traffic increase in Croatia was also affected by the shortened stay of tourists in various destinations, approximately 2-3 days on average, mainly thanks to internet reservation systems which enabled more frequent exchange of tourists in the same capacity.
Ljubica Herceg, the director of Transport and Communications in the HGK, emphasized that most European countries as well as Croatia were trying to respond to the challenges of providing adequate accommodation capacity for the current upward trend in air traffic taking into account the development of tourism.
“Works on the upgrading of the airports in Zagreb and Dubrovnik are almost completed, whilst works on the modernisation of Split Airport are to start soon'', said Ljubica Herceg, noting that apart from the increase in capacity and modernization, all major international airports also paid special attention to the improvement of business processes of the acceptance of passengers and luggage.
The data from the HGK show that in the first six months of 2016 Croatian airports recorded an increase in passenger numbers in comparison to the same period last year; Brac Airport recorded an increase of almost 90 percent, Pula 34.15 %, Split 25.41 %, Dubrovnik 16.46 %, Zadar 15.3 %, Zagreb 10.4 %, whilst Osijek recorded an increase of 7.85 percent and Rijeka 7.46 %.