The Croatian Ministry of Tourism has earmarked HRK6 million kuna (USD0.95 million) to attract carriers to Rijeka airport, Novi List has reported. The money may even be used to support a Eurowings (EW, Düsseldorf Int'l) base.

The director of the Croatian National Tourism Board (HTZ), Kristjan Staničić, said that the agency has already drawn interest from Eurowings, as well as Ryanair and Norwegian. Earlier this year, the Croatian Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli, stated that Eurowings would open a Rijeka base if it secured a good enough offer.

The low-cost Lufthansa Group subsidiary is one of only two airlines, besides Trade Air (C3, Zagreb), flying to Rijeka year round. It currently offers a 2x weekly service to Cologne/Bonn, the ch-aviation schedules module shows. In summer 2018, the German airline plans to operate 2x weekly flights from Rijeka to Berlin Tegel, Hamburg Helmut Schmidt, Stuttgart Echterdingen and Cologne/Bonn and 1x weekly service to Düsseldorf Int'l.

Eurowings recently announced that it plans to fly 900,000 passengers from and to Croatia this year, a 60% increase on 2016. In 2018 the number should reach 1 million according to the Novi List report. The airline currently operates to Zagreb, Split, Pula and Rijeka, according to the ch-aviation capacity module.

The airport located on the island of Krk in the northern part of Croatia is set to receive a EUR2.6 million (USD3.1 million) upgrade next year which will allow it to improve the level of service. Rijeka has seen a drop in passenger traffic this year, serving 127'000 passengers until the end of September, a 5.4% decrease compared to 2016. The airport authority intends to serve 300'000 passengers next year, EX-YU Aviation reported.