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After 25 years, Dubrovnik Airport has surpassed its all time annual passenger record set during the Yugoslav times in 1987. In the elapsed eleven months of this year, Dubrovnik Airport handled 1.460.549 passengers compared to 1987 when it welcomed 1.460.354 for the entire year. The record was broken on November 30. It rounds off a stellar year for the seaside airport, which is reporting growth of 9.9% compared to the same period in 2011. Dubrovnik is now certain to end the year as the fourth busiest in the former Yugoslavia, surpassing Ljubljana. It is believed it will greatly benefit from Croatia’s entry into the European Union next year with tourism set to rocket as countless airlines have already announced new flights to the city. Furthermore, airport authorities are in talks with Hainan Airlines to open a seasonal service from the resort city of Sanya on Hainan Island in Southern China next summer season.
Dubrovnik Airport opened its doors in 1962. However, the city was previously served by the Gruda Airfield which opened for commercial traffic in 1936 and was in use only during the summer months. During 1987, the most successful year in Yugoslav aviation, the airport handled 835.818 passengers on international flights and a further 586.742 on domestic services. Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, the airport surpassed the one million passenger mark in 2005.
Today, Dubrovnik boasts the most modern passenger terminal in the country. A new terminal is being planned in place of the old airport building, constructed in 1962, which has now been demolished to make way for a new modern structure. The price tag of the project amounts to seventy million euros and is to be financed out of a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In May 2010 a new terminal opened at Dubrovnik Airport stretching over 13.700 square metres. It has the capacity to handle two million passengers per year. This year marks the airport’s fiftieth anniversary.
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