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Could Transatlantic Flights Be on the Horizon for Croatia’s Pula Airport?

Pula Airport (PUY), located in Valtura, Croatia, has recently begun a study to investigate the feasibility of lengthening its runway. This would allow for an extension in both the east and west directions. Pula Airport will expand the runway to allow transatlantic flights to land at the airport.

Croatia currently operates only two transatlantic flights as a country. Air Transat currently operates a flight from Zagreb to Toronto, flying an Airbus A330-200. Additionally, United Airlines flies from its hub in New York City, NY, Newark International Airport, to Dubrovnik, Croatia. The airline flies the Boeing 767-300 on this route.

Pula Airport renovations

The proposed renovations at Pula Airport’s main goal is to allow larger planes to land at the proposed longer runway. The airport currently has enough space on either side of the runway, but slopes must also be accounted for. Nina Vojnić Žagar, the director of Pula Airport, spoke about the possible runway extension, saying,

“Pula Airport commissioned an analysis of the study to move the threshold, which means that the possibility of extending the runway to 3,200 meters is being investigated to accommodate long-haul flights, flights from the western Atlantic Ocean coast. The current runway of 2,954 meters lacks 250 meters.”

Extending the runway to allow for long-haul flights will add an additional influx of passengers to Pula Airport. The current passengers are connected to North America through various European hubs.

The runway extension is the main goal of the proposed renovations, but Pula Airport has also set separate construction plans. The airport is looking to construct a new terminal building. The plan for a new terminal building has existed since 2016 and has since been outdated. Therefore, the airport has new plans in development that should be ready by the end of the year.

The proposed plan for the new terminal building is to extend the existing terminal. With the expansion of the new terminal, two additional exits will be added. The original plan had the project to be completed in 2020 but has since been postponed due to financial constraints.

Upcoming travel season at Pula Airport

Pula Airport is currently preparing for the upcoming tourist season. This tourist season is projected to be the busiest season yet. The proposed runway changes would allow for an added number of passengers arriving and departing on top of the projected travel numbers.

Currently, Pula Airport has flights to 27 destinations in 13 different countries this year. Additionally, 13 different airlines fly to and from Pula Airport.

Croatia Airlines and Trade Air, both national carriers of Croatia, connect Pula to Zagreb Airport, Zadar Airport, Osijek International Airport, and Split Airport within the country.

Ryanair has recently announced that it will be operating flights to London twice a week. EasyJet will also operate a flight to the United Kingdom once a week on Wednesdays, although it will only last until November.

Lufthansa currently operates four flights a week to Frankfurt, Germany, and three flights a week to Munich, Germany. Pula Airport will also have connections to Berlin, Stuttgart, Cologne, and Dusseldorf too.

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