Zadar in Croatia unaffected by downturn; traffic up 40% this year as Ryanair adds routes

Image: Zadar Airport
With its seven routes, Ryanair is the largest carrier at Zadar during the summer. In winter, Croatia Airlines is the only scheduled carrier operating domestic routes to Pula and Zagreb.

In spite of having lost SkyEurope, which had a 20% share of scheduled capacity in July 2008, at the end of this year’s summer season, Zadar airport on the Croatian coast has been able to more than compensate for its demise and report a staggering 43% growth so far this year.

Chart: Seasonality
Source: Zadar Airport

The airport traffic is highly seasonal, caused by the strong inbound leisure passenger flow. This winter, the airport’s only scheduled services are daily flights to Pula and nine weekly services to Zagreb; both on Croatia Airlines’ Q400s. The local Lufthansa flight school and Croatian Air Force training base do, however, also make use of the airport all year.

Chart: 01-08 traffic
Source: Zadar Airport

Ryanair dominant carrier; offers seven routes

Image: Zadar routesWhile Croatia liberalised its air services agreements toward the European Union in 2006, the large traffic boost happened somewhat later in Zadar than at other Croatian coastal airports.

Although SkyEurope had started serving Zadar from Bratislava already at the start of the summer in 2002, the major low-cost invasion started in 2007. The airlines leading this traffic surge are Ryanair and germanwings.

Zadar’s low-cost routes by launch date

Origin airport Airline Launch date
Bratislava (BTS) SkyEurope 29 June 2002
Stuttgart (STR) germanwings 26 March 2007
Cologne/Bonn (CGN) germanwings 31 March 2007
London Stansted (STN) Ryanair 1 April 2007
Vienna (VIE) SkyEurope 3 April 2007 (moved from Bratislava)
Dortmund (DTM) germanwings 30 March 2008 (dropped for S09)
Dublin (DUB) Ryanair 2 April 2008
Prague (PRG) SkyEurope 7 June 2008 (dropped for S09)
Stockholm Skavsta (NYO) Ryanair 1 April 2009
Edinburgh (EDI) Ryanair 1 April 2009
Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) germanwings 2 May 2009
Pisa (PSA) Ryanair 5 June 2009
Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) Ryanair 3 July 2009
Düsseldorf Weeze (NRN) Ryanair 6 July 2009
Source: database
Image: Zadar Airport
Discussing a joint route proposition: Zadar’s Marina Zugaj and Tomislav Zepina meet with Katowice airport at last week’s Airport Exchange at Airport Exchange in Barcelona.

Other airlines serving Zadar include DanubeWings, which has reinstated Bratislava services, and InterSky, which serves Friedrichshafen. Major European countries are, however, currenly unserved from Zadar and on its Route Shop page, the airport seeks to fill routes to France, Spain, Russia, Norway and Italy.


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