Questions, comments or suggestions? email me at:
Don't miss out a chance to win in our monthly "Croatianicity" t-shirt draw!
As well as our monthly Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic fridge magnet give away!

nedjelja, 15. travnja 2012.

Zagreb Pleso Airport Expansion Contract Officially Signed

Current arrivals and departures board at Zagreb International Airport.

Quick post here to update the situation regarding Zagreb Airport that I touched upon HERE.  Just recently all the official paperwork was signed by Croatian government representatives and of their French constortium partners. "All systems go" as they used to say back during the Croatian space program in the 60's. 

This will be a win-win situation I think. It's been on the backburner for a while. However, there were  other projects that were being completed and needed to be addressed first. Even now, there are other big projects that are going to start around the corner.  In a nutshell, the modernization and enlargement of Zagreb Airport - (Pleso) will be starting construction at the end of the year, which by the time of completion will more than double the amount of arrivals it can accomodate.  The French consortium ZAIC is going to make money, the Croatian government is going to make money, but most importantly with the forecasted numbers of visitors and arrivals to Zagreb, then travel to other parts of Croatia, related economic spin-off, it's going to mean even more tourist dollars, much more.

Current view of Zagreb-Pleso passenger terminal.

Tourism numbers dropped significantly between 1991-1995 because of  Serb-Yugoslav forces occupying up to a third of Croatia,  however tourism numbers have been growing since then and now have equalled and are surpassing  pre-1990 numbers steadily since  1996.  Zagreb Airport will be a major hub destination for the region. Croatia will be in the European Union next year, and a more modern, efficient airport was needed, and finally will be in place.  Zračna Luka Zagreb-Pleso will be a truly modern international airport befitting the progressive capital city of a country in the European Union...

  A map showing only Croatia Airlines destinations which give a better overall picture of Zagreb Airports prime European hub location.



*Updated photos from the official grand opening at photos-of-day-new-zagreb-airport

Croatia's government and a French consortium led by the Aeroports de Paris (ADP) signed a deal Wednesday for a 30-year concession to manage Zagreb airport

Croatian Prime Minister, Zoran Milanovic and ZAIC representative toasting after the official signing with some bubbly in Zagreb. Photo: Zlatko Kalle.


The contract includes the construction of a new passenger terminal, an investment estimated at more than 230 million euros ($301 million).

The deal was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, the chairman of Aeroports de Paris Pierre Graff and the chairman of the Bouygues construction group Yves Gabriel.

Milanovic stressed it was a "big, important project for Croatia" that is set to join the European Union next year.

The authorities hope that a new terminal will improve the airport's position and transform it into a regional hub.

The Adriatic country's economy is heavily based on tourism.

The ZAIC consortium, grouping Aeroports de Paris Management (ADPM, a branch of ADP) and Bouygues Batiment International (BBI), will manage both the current and new terminal as well as the airport infrastructure for a 30-year period. The third partner is Croatia's construction firm Viadukt.

The new terminal, which will have an annual capacity of five million passengers, is scheduled to be completed within the next three years.

Zagreb Pleso airport can currently process around two million passengers a year.

Graff said five million passengers is a "completely realistic figure," adding that it could move even higher in the coming years.

ADPM manages some 20 airports throughout the world, including 13 in Mexico.

 Before and after visuals of the new added terminal at Zagreb Airport.

Concession agreement for Zagreb Airport signed.


Representatives of the Croatian government and the French consortium Zagreb Airport International Company (ZAIC) on Wednesday signed a concession agreement for the construction of a new passenger terminal at Zagreb Airport and the management of the existing and new terminals over the next 30 years.

Attending the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said it was never too late for such important projects, especially because Croatia lagged behind in the construction of strategically important infrastructure.

A bidder with world-renowned expertise, knowledge and experience has won in an open and fair international tender, Milanovic said, adding that Croatia had positive experiences with French partners in the Bina Istra motorway project and voicing hope that construction work on the motorway in Istria County would continue under the same concession model.

The concession agreement signed today allows the construction of a terminal that will turn Zagreb Airport into a regional as well as European hub without a cent being spent from the state budget, and plans also include raising the passenger turnover to five million annually, said Deputy Transport and Infrastructure Minister Zdenko Antesic.

The concession revenue over 30 years will amount to EUR 1.94 billion, while investments in the first construction stage will amount to EUR 236 million, he added.

ZAIC CEO Cristophe Petit said the takeover of the existing terminal and the construction of the new one could begin in six to nine months. Construction is expected to be completed in three years. After the current terminal is turned over to them for management, the French will pay the first concession fee instalment of EUR 2 million.

The terms for the payment of the fee are very favourable for the state, but ZAIC has taken the risk because it feels that Zagreb Airport does have regional and European value, and Paris Airports and the Bouygues construction company, which founded ZAIC, have sufficient experience in such projects, said Petit.

ZAIC has also taken the obligation to respect the agreed rights of Zagreb Airport's employees. The bulk of the construction on the new terminal will be done by two Croatian companies - Vijadukt and Zagorje Tehnobeton.

Croatia did not have the funds to build the new terminal alone, so the concession model is the best solution and will also attract investments and bring considerable funds into the state budget, it was said.

Aéroports de Paris consortium’s high hopes for Zagreb

Fighting talk: Zagreb Airport’s Tonci Peovic (right) has high hopes the Aéroports de Paris-led consortium behind Zagreb’s future will see low cost, national carrier, and other-carrier all developing routes in harmony.


The Croatian Government has awarded an Aéroports de Paris-led consortium Zagreb Airport International Company (ZAIC) the concession to construct a new passenger terminal at the airport. ZAIC will invest €235 million in the first phase of the new facility, which will have an annual capacity of five million passengers and is scheduled to be complete in 2015. Tonci Peovic, General Manager, Zagreb Airport, provided a network planning perspective on the development to’s Ross Falconer. “What is your strategy for attracting new airlines and new services from Zagreb Airport?”

Peovic: “Tourism currently accounts for around 20% of Croatia’s GDP and the development of Zagreb Airport will play a significant role in increasing this. Croatia will become a member of the EU before the new terminal is built and soon after its completion, Croatia will also join Schengen. Therefore Zagreb will be as accessible to EU citizens as Prague, Budapest or Rome. There are tourist attractions within two-hours of Zagreb that are still largely unknown to many visitors, including the Plitvice Lakes and Lonjsko Polje National Park. Furthermore our catchment area covers Slovenia, and some of Austria, Hungary, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.” “Are you targeting new routes to particular destinations from Zagreb?”

Peovic: “Routes to Scandinavia, Ireland, the Gulf region, China, Australia and North America. Zagreb Airport has a special incentive scheme to facilitate airlines opening new routes by sharing the risk – it is a proactive approach to enhance the possibility of route success.” “Do you really believe there is an opportunity for Zagreb Airport to become a regional hub?”

Peovic: “Yes I do. Zagreb and Croatia Airlines already operate as a regional hub, transferring passengers from the Adriatic coast and other cities airports north and west to the main EU markets. A big part of these routes is feeding intercontinental traffic. As we already serve this demand there is more scope for intercontinental point-to-point routes to Zagreb, linking with Croatia Airlines as for future distribution.” “And how has low-cost developed since Croatia liberalised access?”

Peovic: “Low-cost services currently account for only 12% of Zagreb Airport’s traffic, but this is growing fast and will soon increase to over a third. We welcome this, it means air transport will become accessible to a much bigger part of the Croatian community and greatly assist in attracting year-round tourism to the Zagreb region.”

Some updated views and information about Zagreb Pleso Airport today and the future expansion plans.

I was looking for some current footage of the interior of the airport, and came across this kind of cool look at the front of the passenger terminal at night time. Last couple of times I left Zagreb it was during the morning, so I didn't know about this lighting effect thing.

Featured post

And The Croatian City To Be A European Capital of Culture In 2020 Will Be...(Drum Roll).....Rijeka

Yep, I know it's still 2 years away and I already covered this topic last year when it was announced, but I added a few extra ima...