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Croatia: Tourism Drives Croatia’s Flight Recovery As EX-YU Markets Struggle

The number of arriving and departing flights in countries of the former Yugoslavia are down an average of 60.2% compared to last year as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, with Croatia being the exception.

At the end of last week, flights were down 41.2% in Croatia according to European air navigation provider Eurocontrol. The softer decline in air traffic in the country, the third lowest in Europe overall after Albania and Luxembourg, is primarily down to coastal airports, with Zagreb itself seeing a weekly average decline of 51.1%. The Croatian tourism sector has seen promising signs of recovery with 2.44 million arrivals registered in July, around 60% of last year’s result. "With the increase in the number of airlines, tourist traffic in the southern parts of Dalmatia, including Dubrovnik, has intensified", Kristijan Staničić, the head of the Croatian Tourist Board, said. Over one million arrivals were processed during the first nine days of August, which is at 70% of last year’s figures.

Traffic in Slovenia declined 56.7%, positioning it behind Bulgaria but ahead of the United Kingdom, albeit at different starting bases. Slovenia’s softer decline is down to the majority of airlines resuming traffic to Ljubljana, while figures were well down last year as well as Adria Airways entered its penultimate month of operations, cancelling numerous flights at the time. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s decline in traffic stood 60.2%, with Sarajevo particularly affected. The capital city’s traffic fell 69.7%, however, a slow recovery in Tuzla and Banja Luka have lowered the country’s overall rate of decline in the number of arriving and departing flights.

Serbia and Montenegro, which are jointly grouped by Eurocontrol, saw a 60.3% decline in the number of flights, positioning them behind Bosnia and Herzegovina but ahead of the likes of Denmark, the Czech Republic and Ireland. The decline in Montenegro was more pronounced, with Podgorica seeing its traffic down 68.3%, while Belgrade’s weekly average figures decreased 57.5%. Macedonia recorded the biggest decline in traffic among the EX-YU markets, with average weekly figures down 64.7%, behind most countries but still ahead of Sweden, Moldova and Georgia. Skopje’s traffic itself declined 59.9%. Separate data for Kosovo is not available as it is not a formal member of Eurocontrol.


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