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četvrtak, 6. travnja 2017.

Photos Of The Day: New Zagreb Airport Terminal Officially Opened (+Video)

On March 28th 2017, the new Zagreb Airport terminal was officially put in operation, the first passengers departed for Dubrovnik in the early morning hours and by the end of the day it was business as usual as all other scheduled international and domestic flights resumed.

I decided to do this one to finally officially finish the topic once and for all, I posted new photos periodically since day one when the paperwork was first signed and throughout it's different construction phases, those links are below. (besides there's actually lots of those airports themed websites and forum threads devoted just to this topic I noticed, tons of people always hungry for the latest airport news and gossip rumous). So for the unfamiliar here's a basic rundown of what all took place...

On the 12th of April 2012, the consortium ZAIC (Aeroports de Paris) received a 30-year concession of the Zagreb Airport from the Government of Croatia. The concession included financing, designing and constructing a new passenger terminal. The construction of the brand new 70,000 m2 (750,000 sq ft) terminal facility was designed by Neidhardt architects firm of Zagreb and Institut IGH and was carried out by Bouygues Bâtiment International in partnership with the Croatian construction company Viadukt, work officially began on the 18th of December 2013 to replace the existing Zagreb Airport terminal which was nearing full capacity.

This new four-floor terminal has an initial annual capacity of 5.5 million passengers in the first phase and it was completed in October 2016. The official inauguration of the terminal though began just days ago after numerous tests on 28th March 2017. ZAIC now operates the entire airport for 30 years including the runways, the current passenger terminal, the cargo terminal, car parks and future property developments. It is also the hub for the state-owned flag carrier Croatia Airlines as well as Trade Air. The concession contract involved a total investment of €324m (£259m): €236 million for the design and construction of the new terminal and €88 million for operation of all airport infrastructure for the entire 30 year period of the concession. The airport is owned by the Republic of Croatia (55%), the city of Zagreb (35%), the county of Zagreb (5%), and the town of Velika Gorica (5%).

It was also announced in August 2016 that, similarly to the Václav Havel Airport Prague and Polish Lech Wałęsa Airport, the new Zagreb Airport terminal will be officially named the Franjo Tuđman Zagreb International Airport, after Croatia's 1st modern era democratically elected President. This new Zagreb Airport terminal stretches over 65.800 square metres on three levels featuring three baggage carousels, eight air bridges, nine security checkpoints, thirty check-in desks, twenty three passport control booths and a car park with the capacity of 1,100 vehicles. Furthermore, the apron has three remote stands next to the terminal, while stands at the old passenger building are also to be used if the need arises. Each of the aircraft parking positions at the facility includes a Visual Docking Guidance System which gives information to a pilot on how to park their aircraft. The terminal itself features a large 600 square metre duty free shop operated by Aelia, sixteen cafés, bars, restaurants and snack bars. (a few pics included below).

It was also announced in August 2016 that, similarly to the Václav Havel Airport Prague and Polish Lech Wałęsa Airport examples, the new Zagreb Airport terminal will be officially named the Franjo Tuđman Zagreb International Airport, after Croatia's 1st modern era democratically elected President. (I will update this post as newer shops and stores are added to the facilities)

Enough space has also been left for additional check-in counters and baggage carousels to be added once the new terminal reaches its maximum capacity of 5.5 million passengers. Further extension bridges envisaged along the thirty-year concession period will potentially see capacity increased to 8-10 million in the coming years. That's pretty well the gist of it.

With over 13 million tourists arriving to Croatia in 2015, it's important that the capital city has a state of the art up to date modern 21st century airport facility, it's the door to the country and first thing you see. You want the passenger to see and know that it's a top notch modern facility and safe and secure. Interestingly, according to 2014 statistics the top-5 foreign visitors to Croatia in terms of overall numbers were from Germany (24 %), Slovenia (11 %), Austria (9 %), the Czech Republic and Italy (both 8 %) and probably surprising to many, it has actually been the large numbers of visitors from China, Japan and Koreans that has been the fastest growing segment the past few years. (Which is good, because lotsa hot single ladies from the far east is good for Croatia's image, there's much worse things to be crawling around, it also helps explain why camera sd memory cards are selling like hotcakes and many times sold out wherever they go, probably, and of course the Chinese restaurantsJapanese restaurants and some other Asian and other restaurants). This new four-floor Zagreb Airport terminal will now be able to handle 5.5 million passengers a year, increasing to 8-10 million through planned expansions in subsequent years.

Views of the former main Zagreb Airport terminal seen above during the busier summer season, will be a thing of the past. Disturbing and disgustingly shocking instances of roaming mutants, shitfuckery and ghetto-fucko scenes such as this will be a thing of the past. In 2015 about 2.8 million passengers travelled through Zagreb even though the airport's original annual capacity was built for 2.5 million. (this former main terminal will however still be used for only smaller chartered airlines, private planes, police helicopters etc) Image: Goran Jakuš / Pixsell.

I should also note that this recent new Zagreb Airport terminal is not the only international airport to land in when traveling to Croatia, even though it's all definitely good news as a whole and especially for the capital city, this may come as a shock but Zagreb Airport is not the only major airport in Croatia to land in, it's true. Last year almost 8.2 millon airline passengers arrived in Croatia, but Zagreb was not the only airport destination. Split Airport (aka "Resnik" Airport after the name of the Split neighbourhood where it's located) and Dubrovnik Airport similarly recently also signed contracts for work to expand and construct new terminals. Dubrovnik just finished their new terminal because it's now getting over 2 million passenger arrivals annually, and Split Airport is around 2.5 million passenger arrivals, last year there were even a few months in the summer where there were more arrivals in Split than in Zagreb). Zadar Airport had over 520,000 passengers arrive last year and is also expanding facilities, and even Pula Airport is approaching 500,000 passengers annually. Because of the many low-fare carrier flights coming over the last year from closer European locations, Osijek Airport will also be doing some expansion, just not on the scale of these Zagreb, Split or Dubrovnik projects. I read some articles about something in the works for Rijeka Airport which is at almost 200,000 annual passengers, but it's not as urgent or needed right now either. Just some bonus supplementary information that's good to know for travelers. (some images Here regarding those projects)

Interestingly, the Zagreb Airport terminal opening coincides almost to the day with the first official Croatia Airlines flight from 25 years ago. Image of the Croatia Airlines Boeing 737-200 with the livery and tail fin logo used in 1992.

Another interesting thing to note before continuing to the images, is that the timing of this official Zagreb Airport terminal opening and first flight coincides almost to the day with the 25th anniversary of the first Croatia Airlines passenger flight. Because it was on April 3rd 1992 that a new Croatia Airlines Boeing 737-200 landed on the Zagreb airport runway for the first time and a few days later on April 5th that it flew its first regular daily flight to Frankfurt. A week later on April 11th 1992 it started to depart three times a week to Dusseldorf, Stuttgart and Berlin, and the rest is

But it wasn't an easy early history for the new airline, because Zagreb Airport earlier in 1991 became the scene of dramatic events and seen on television sets around the world, as official independence was on the horizon and inevitable for Slovenia and Croatia after their first democratic elections in 1990. (with over 93.24% of voters opting for independence in 1991 and 94.8% likewise in Slovenia in 1990, other Republics followed soon after). After a short war by the remaining Serb-Yugoslav army in Slovenia, the communist Federal Air Traffic Control Authority in Belgrade ordered the immediate closure of  Zagreb Airport, and later on the very same day ordered that it be exclusively controled by the Serb-Yugoslav army strictly for military transport aircraft and helicopters.

At the same time, Croatian Airlines and other foreign airline companies had to cancel their flights, and Croatian Airlines flights were temporarily moved to Maribor, Slovenia. In February of 1991 a Crisis Staff was formed and by August 31, 1991, Zagreb Airport employees joined in the establishment of armed units for the defence of Zagreb Airport also. Soon after this the remaining Serb-Yugoslav army forcibly grounded a number of foreign planes that landed. (it was already strictly a Serb army by this time but just using the former JNA weaponry in their possesion). Zagreb Airport and all road appoaches were also then closed, within days the Serb-Yugoslav army opened fire on a nearby Croatian police car escort and the politician officials from a European Union observer peace mission. Zagreb airport was then completely closed to traffic by early September 1991. On Christmas Day 1991, the remaining Serb-Yugoslav Army eventually agreed to officially leave Zagreb Airport after U.N. mediated talks between them and the Croatian Government, although they intentionally damaged buildings and equipment first before leaving, the monetery losses caused by the closing of the airport at first were huge. However financial problems eased somewhat with returning UN flights and humanitarian aid. A little later in the early 90's, Serb church supported terrorists with ethnic cleansing paramilitaries arriving from Serbia were indiscriminately shelling and rocketing school areas in the city of Zagreb including at times the airport grounds also, (using the same tactics as in Sarajevo and elsewhere, all condoned and Serb church approved), which at the time was strictly being used to bring humanitarian aid only. In 1993 Zagreb Airport, officially named "Zračna luka Zagreb" by then (Croatian for "Airport Zagreb"), started to have positive financial gains after the battles for control of Zagreb Airport officially ended. (more information: There, this project and blog topic is officially completed now also, I'm looking forward to seeing this place in person next time, on with the opening day photos.

Previous posts: photos-of-day-update-new-zagreb-terminal






New Zagreb Airport terminal officially named the Franjo Tuđman Zagreb International Airport, after Croatia's 1st modern era democratically elected President 

The first set of photos are just from the official grand opening on March 21st 2017, consisting of the usual obligatory ribbon-cutting ceremonies, appetizers/hors d'oeuvres/wines/snacks/entertainment and of course speeches attended by the Croatian Prime Minister, members of government and parliament, Mayor of Zagreb, ZAIC officials and the various VIP's, there was even special congratulations sent by officials in Montenegro and Ukraine, just the typical usual grand opening happenings but here's some pics anyway.

Video footage from the grand opening and views from the first official day of airport operations. (When I go to Croatia next time I won't make a video but I'll take some good pics, hopefully by then there'll be a Hugo Boss store and some good quality watch shops, stay tuned) 

You heard it here first, but don't be too surprised if down the road they hold a fashion show in or around this new Zagreb Airport terminal, it wouldn't surprise me at all. (see cro-porter-croatian-airlines for the shocking proofs)

I'm glad they took my advice, I think a few armed soldiers or security personnel doing rounds with security attack dogs is nothing but a plus and will make things safer. It's always best to be prepared for all sorts of travelling anarchists, riff-raff, strange looking foreigners, mind control cults and subversive scum hell-bent to stir up subversive acts. (Just like at the Israeli airports and many other airports these days, they can be trained to chase balls, sniff out explosives and all kinds of things, even to attack for the throat jugular immediately instead of just hands or ankles). Also just look around at the invasions of Greece lately and some other places these days, it's appalling and almost like the Fall of Constantinople and the Byzantine empire all over again. Anarchists, cults and subversives in various guises intent to spread their subversive theologies and voodoo ways. We can't take the chance of various subversives just sauntering into Zagreb and then committing subversive acts to ruin peoples vacations, personalities, identities and ice creams. (stun guns wouldn't be a bad idea either so as to avoid accidentally damaging the shops and souvenir store items etc)

The security eyes will be watching, they're watching even right now, good to know.

These photos are from just before the first official scheduled departure, the Croatian Airlines - Star Alliance Airbus A319-100 flight departed for Dubrovnik at 5:50am on March 28th, then at 6:30am the first arrival landed from Doha Quatar. (I should note that the meals were very tasty, good choice of on-flight entertainment options and the pillows and seats very comfy according to some reports). By the end of the day it was business as usual as all other scheduled international and domestic flights resumed.

What the hell, lastly here's a few of the shops and stores that are also at the airport. The terminal itself features a large 'next generation’ 600 square metre duty free shop operated by Aelia, (featuring more than 9,000 products blending leading international and Croatian brands), sixteen cafés, bars, restaurants and snack bars, as well as shops offering top international and Croatian designer brand items, general and other lounge areas. Images taken from 

Of course there's a few Tisaks also, because you gotta have a Tisak around.


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