Air traffic in the Croatian tourist season exceeds the pre-pandemic year of 2019


September 16, 2022 – Croatian tourist season air traffic has reached heights that exceed those we saw in the record pre-pandemic year of 2019.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, even with many difficulties still facing airlines, air travel to southeastern Europe throughout the summer season has so far greatly exceeded pre-pandemic levels. This also includes Croatian tourist season air traffic levels.

According to analysis by ForwardKeys.

Most customers are from Germany

Arrivals to neighboring Albania also increased by 28%, despite accounting for just 1% of the market share of all European air arrivals. All other countries are still in the red from the pre-pandemic summer of 2019, and neighboring Slovenia saw the smallest drop of just 7% from the pre-pandemic period, followed by the Iceland with an 8% drop, and Portugal, which is down 10%.

According to the latest data published by the Croatian Statistical Institute, the number of air passenger arrivals in Croatia fell by 11% in July alone.

During the period from January to July this year, 5.1 million passengers were recorded as having passed through Croatian airports, representing 81% of the country’s pre-pandemic traffic, the highest number of passengers during the first seven months of 2022 being recorded from Germany, followed by the United Kingdom and then France.

In July this year, the highest level of Croatian air traffic in the tourist season was reached by Split airport, followed by Dubrovnik airport and then Zagreb airport. The largest volume of international passenger traffic has been with UK airports, which are almost seven times higher than last year when restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic were in place.

Looking at European cities, Athens saw 7% fewer air arrivals in July and August than in 2019, Reykjavik and Porto recorded an 8% drop and Malaga saw a considerable drop of 13%.

The main drivers of air traffic growth for Turkey are the steady decline in the value of the Turkish Lira and its opening up to the Russian market, from where direct flights to most of Europe are banned.

Departures in Europe fell by 22%

European destinations could have attracted more visitors during the summer months this year had the airline industry better coped with increased travel demand in late spring and early summer. Had it not been for the disruptions, ForwardKeys estimates the recovery in flight bookings in Europe would have been five percentage points higher. An analysis of departure markets reveals that within Europe, Greece proved the most resilient, with departures to European destinations in July and August at the impressive levels of 2019.

Poland recorded a decrease of 9% compared to 2019, Spain recorded a decrease of 12%, the United Kingdom a decrease of 13%, Denmark a decrease of 14% and Portugal a decrease of 15% . In total, departures in Europe have been reduced by 22%. The strongest non-European market was the United States, with a decline of only 5% compared to 2019. It was followed by Colombia and Israel, both with 9%.

The outlook for the next three months is optimistic, despite still unstable circumstances. As of August 31, there were 21% fewer flight bookings compared to the same period in 2019, and the exceptions were again Greece and Turkey, which both enjoyed higher booking numbers than in 2019, by 5 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

To learn more, be sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

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