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2022-year of significant traffic recovery


After 2 severe years of crisis at Rijeka Airport caused by the COVID 19
pandemic, which led to a drop in passenger traffic of 86% in 2020
and 70% in 2021 compared to the record 2019, at Rijeka Airport in 2022 a
significant recovery of air traffic was achieved. Total traffic of 164.086
passengers was handled, which is 82% of the pre-pandemic traffic. The same
represents an exceptional result, since compared to 2021 traffic increased by
an incredible 191% despite the significant problems and challenges that hit the
airline industry as a result of the pandemic. This refers to the lack of staff
at European airports and airlines, which caused numerous delays and
cancellations of flights in the Republic of Croatia as well. Faced with demand
significantly higher than planned after the COVID-19 pandemic, some European
airports, due to less manpower, limited the capacity of passengers they can
serve, which led to a decrease in the sales capacity of the airline's aircraft
and the cancellation of flights due to unprofitability, while others for the
same reason failed to serve on time passengers, which led to significant flight
delays. However, the problem of labor shortage was also significantly present
in airlines which, due to the lack of cabin crew and crews, failed to perform
the planned rotations, and especially in the case of delays when they were
forced to cancel flights due to the inability to replace crew whose duty-time
had expired. Rijeka Airport also suffered numerous flight cancellations caused
by the aforementioned problems at European airports, however there was no
manpower problem at the airport, in fact, at the beginning of the season, 15
new employees were hired, who are in symbiosis with the existing 20 previous
employees, forming a perfect team, handled all the traffic of the season
without any difficulties. This may not seem like a success, but when you take
into account that almost three times less traffic was handled by the same
number of employees in 2021, i.e. half of the employees from 2018, when the
same amount of traffic was handled, it is easy to conclude about the quality of
the airport team and their effectiveness.


The stated excellent result in 2022 is a result of the
work of the Rijeka Airport Management in cooperation with its co-owners (MMPI,
PGŽ, , the cities of Opatija, Krka, Crikvenica and the Municipality of
Omišalj), as well as a number of participants in the truist sector who, with
their joint efforts, managed to restore almost all regular international routes that operated before the pandemic, but also contracted new routes.


Ryanair, which canceled its operations to Rijeka in 2021,
returned with 3 international routes that operated throughout the summer IATA

Stockholm, Brussels Cherleroi and London Stansted, and return of Condor Airlines
with 2 routes to Frankfurt and Duesseldorf, as well as Air Serbia to Belgrade,
which operated at Rijeka Airport before the pandemic. In addition to the
aforementioned "returnees", the key airline responsible for its
record traffic in 2006 and 2007 finally returned to Rijeka Airport after 15
years, one of the most significant low-cost airlines from the UK market: the
big EasyJet.


According to current announcements, in 2023 is expected that the
problem with the lack of staff at European airports will subside, as well is expected the continuation of the finally established year-round PSO line for Osijek,
Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik. But unfortunately also is planned reduction in the number of routes, and frequencies. According to current
announcements, LOT Polish Airlines is planning to cancel its flights to Rijeka
Airport for the summer season of 2023, and this represents a huge loss for the
future regional development of tourism, except that it is the legacy national
carrier for Poland, which represents one of the regional of the priority
tourist markets of Kvarner, also represents an important network carrier with
connections to the whole world via Warsaw. After the introduction of the line
to Warsaw at the height of the pandemic in 2020 thanks to the negotiations and
investments of Rijeka Airport in the advertising of LOT Polish Airlines, and
then the addition of 3 more lines in 2021 for Szczecin, Zielona Gora and
Olsztyn, 2022 the specified number of lines was reduced to 3 lines, so that in
the end the said airline would very likely completely withdraw in 2023.
However, in addition to cancellations, there are also increases of the number of
operations of certain airlines, especially Eurowings, which is why for the next
season 2023 traffic at the level of 2022 is planned.