Sunday, 10 May 2020

Croatia Airlines Readies for Slower Summer

May 10, 2020 - As Croatia Airlines readies to resume domestic services within the country from tomorrow, how will this summer look in international travel for the national airline?

Ex Yu Aviation reports that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Croatia Airlines to downsize some of its operations, which makes us wonder what routes in its international network will return. Because it’s been said that the border with Slovenia should open on June 1,  it’s safe to assume some international services could kick in from then, too. 

While they haven’t announced a date for the resumption of international travel, Croatia Airlines had previously said it has three different plans, depending on how COVID-19 progresses. “Croatia Airlines will be the first carrier to bring tourists to Croatia and enable the country’s connectivity to the world. We will start with domestic operations first. In terms of international flights, we currently have three active strategies, of which each has several sub-strategies, on how to resume services. Routes with healthy point-to-point demand and some transfer traffic will be prioritized,” said Krešimir Mlinar, the airline’s Director for Network and Revenue Management, 

Currently, Croatia Airlines’ only operating international service is to Frankfurt, while this year’s new routes to Zagreb to Sofia and Podgorica have been canceled. Ex Yu Aviation adds that we can expect that seasonal flights from Zagreb to Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo and Tel Aviv will also be temporarily suspended, though anything is possible. 

Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said that Croatia Airlines would participate in creating “air bridges” to specific European markets, bringing foreign tourists to the country in the peak summer months. Talks are being held with the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and Germany. 

The German Federal Tourism Commissioner said that people might be able to travel abroad soon so long as the situation stays under control, and Italy’s Prime Minister shared the same sentiment. French President Emmanuel Macron, however,  did not want to jump to any conclusions until the beginning of June. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Croatia Airlines Passengers Required to Cover Face While Traveling

May 3, 2020 - Croatian national carrier and Star Alliance member Croatia Airlines announced that as of May 4, all of its passengers are required to wear a mask or face coverings on all flights. 

Avio Radar reports that following the decisions and instructions of the public health and civil aviation authorities, Croatia Airlines has taken this precautionary measure to reduce the potential risk of transmitting the coronavirus in flight. Under the new measure, passengers are required to board flights with a face mask or cover, which will be used for the remainder of the flight. Acceptable face covers include two-layer cotton masks, medical (surgical) face masks, and respirator masks with or without a valve. 

To protect the health of the passengers and staff, the Croatian carrier continues to implement many other measures already in place. Namely, cabin crew members who are in direct contact with passengers and ground staff are given adequate protective equipment. Furthermore, the aircraft is disinfected daily, enhanced hygiene measures are carried out during the regular cleaning of the passenger cabin, and various disinfectants are available to staff. The aircraft is also equipped with high-quality filters to purify the air in the passenger cabin, which is supplied with the continuous flow from the atmosphere. The air in the passenger cabin circulates vertically. 

Recall, from May 11, Croatia Airlines will resume domestic flights between Zagreb-Split and Zagreb Dubrovnik. The only international flight operated by Croatia Airlines is between Zagreb and Frankfurt. 

You can see the schedule below:

Zagreb -Split
  • OU652 (08:10 - 09:00) 
  • OU656 (20:20 - 21:10)
Split - Zagreb
  • OU653 (09:45 - 10:35)
  • OU657 (21:50 - 22:40)
Zagreb - Dubrovnik
  • OU662 (08:00 - 09:05)
  • OU664 (20:20 - 21:25)
Dubrovnik - Zagreb
  • OU663 (09:50 - 10:55)
  • OU665 (22:10 - 23:15)

Fortunately, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, no cases have been reported on Croatia Airlines flights. The national carrier will continue to adapt to the current situation and the official decisions and instructions of public health competent authorities. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Croatia Airlines Shares Schedule for Resumption of Domestic Flights

April 26, 2020 - Croatia's national carrier, Croatia Airlines, has launched the schedule for domestic flights from Zagreb to Dubrovnik and Split, starting May 11. Tickets are on sale on the airline's official website.

Dalmacija Danas reports that the Government of the Republic of Croatia decided to gradually loosen the measures in force because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and announced that the introduction of domestic air traffic would be possible from May 11. Thus, Croatia Airlines announced on Saturday that two daily flights from Zagreb to Split and Dubrovnik would be in operation from then.

Croatia Airlines will fly two daily flights between Zagreb and Dubrovnik, one each in the morning and evening.

The morning flight departs from Zagreb at 08:00, and the landing in Dubrovnik is planned at 09:05. The aircraft will depart from Dubrovnik at 09:50, and arrival in Zagreb is scheduled for 10:55.

The evening flight departs from Zagreb at 20:20 and arrives at Dubrovnik Airport at 21:25. Departure from Dubrovnik is at 22:10, and arrival in Zagreb at 23:15. Both daily flights will operate on the 76-seat DashQ400 aircraft.

One way tickets start at 430 kuna and return tickets from 780 kuna. Croatia Airlines is currently offering four daily flights between Zagreb and Dubrovnik from May 18.

From May 11, the service between Zagreb and Split will also operate. The aircraft will depart from Zagreb at 08:10, arriving at Split Airport at 09:00. Departure from Split is planned at 09:45, and arrival at Zagreb Airport at 10:35.

The evening flight departs from Zagreb at 20:20, while the landing in Split is scheduled for 21:10. The return to Zagreb is planned for 21:50, and arrival in the Croatian capital at 22:40.

The Zagreb - Zadar - Pula line is on sale from May 18, and the Zagreb - Brač line from May 19.

The national carrier saw bookings declined 95% in April compared to last year, as it canceled 3,200 flights in March and April. In addition to the services from Zagreb to Split and Dubrovnik on May 11, the airline will maintain its single daily service from Zagreb to Frankfurt.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Domestic Flights in Croatia to Resume from May 11

April 24, 2020 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced at Thursday’s government session that domestic air traffic in Croatia would soon resume as part of the loosened measures in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Namely, Avio Radar reports that Andrej Plenkovic announced that domestic flights in Croatia would resume from May 11, 2020. 

Croatian national carrier Croatia Airlines has been allegedly preparing to reinstate flights for some time, and there are several scenarios in the pipeline. However, the decision on which scenario to implement and which flights to introduce depends on several factors, including the prescribed measures of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, Croatia, the European Civil Aviation Agency, and with the agreement of airports. 

By this date, not all flights (destinations and frequency) in operation prior to the COVID-19 pandemic will return. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that the General Manager of Brač Airport, Tonči Peović, said that flights from Zagreb to Split and Dubrovnik would be resumed first, and other domestic destinations later on. 

Recall, Croatia Airlines stopped domestic services in March, and while almost all of Croatia’s airports are still open, only Zagreb Airport is running commercial flights (i.e.,  the Croatia Airlines service to Frankfurt). 

Dubrovnik Airport is the only airport closed in Croatia and has been closed since March 19 after staff members tested positive for the coronavirus. The airport plans to reopen on May 2. 

A look at the new measures below:

PHASE 1 - April 27, 2020

- Ability to work for all business entities engaged in trade, except those operating within shopping centers

- Continuation of work to all business entities engaged in service activities, except those in which close contact with customers is observed, respecting physical distance measures (for example, carpenter, tailor, locksmith, travel agencies, photo studio)

- Introduction of public city and suburban transport lines and express lines for islands not connected by ferry

- Libraries, museums, galleries, antiques and bookstores to open

- Facilitating training of athletes I and II. categories in individual sports and senior sports teams competing in the highest level of competition

- Facilitating the state professional exam for priority groups of students

PHASE 2 - May 4, 2020

- Enabling the full operation of the public health system, with the exception of exceptions in line with the Ministry of Health measures

- Enabling the full operation of the private health system, with due regard for specific epidemiological measures

- Ability to work for all business entities engaged in service activities in which close contact with clients is observed, with respect to specific epidemiological measures (for example, hairdressers, beauticians, barbers, pedicurists)

PHASE 3 - May 11, 2020

- Gatherings of up to 10 people in one place allowed, while respecting physical distance measures

- Facilitating the operation of shopping malls while respecting specific epidemiological measures

- Facilitating the work of preschools and elementary classes from grades 1-4 and special classes and working with children with disabilities who have a teaching assistant

- Laboratory, artistic and clinical exercises and practical work allowed in small groups in higher education

- Introduction of inter-county and domestic air services

- Allowing catering facilities to work exclusively in outdoor areas and terraces

- Allowing catering facilities to work in accommodation facilities only for users of accommodation services

- Operation of national and nature parks allowed

- Expanding opportunities for issuing e-passes

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Croatia Airlines Currently Flying Directly to Only Four European Cities

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 30th of March, 2020, with the start of the summer flight schedule, which is valid from Sunday the 29th of March, 2020, Croatia Airlines' entire flight volume has been reduced to direct flights from Zagreb to just four major European cities - Frankfurt (Germany), Brussels (Belgium), Amsterdam (Netherlands) and London Heathrow (United Kingdom).

The national carrier's schedule has been reduced down to flights from Zagreb to Frankfurt, Brussels, Amsterdam and London due to the coronavirus pandemic, a statement from the domestic airline read.

Namely, following the decision of the Civil Protection Staff to ban people from leaving their place of permanent residence unless they have a valid reason and a pass (propusnica), Croatia Airlines suspended all internal flights within Croatia from the 25th of March to the 19th of April, 2020.

Croatia Airlines says that these flights are being operated to continue to ensure Croatia's connection with the rest of Europe and the rest of the world, while at the same time facilitating the return of Croatian citizens and foreign citizens with legal residence to Croatia and the departure of foreign nationals without residence in Croatia back to their home countries.

In this way, the national air carrier, it is said, is providing valuable additional support for the protection of the entire public health system in the Republic of Croatia.

Croatia Airlines also announced the possibility of additional ad hoc changes to the already significantly reduced flight plan, depending on the development of the epidemiological situation in Croatia and abroad, and the recommendations of the Croatian and world public health authorities.

The company's website will regularly publish scheduled flight information as well as any other important passenger information, and each passenger and each airline ticket will be processed in accordance with custom rules issued by the air company due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

Travellers should contact Croatia Airlines sales outlets before the date of their planned trip, which is a basic prerequisite for arranging travel arrangements in the aftermath of the epidemic.

"Due to extensive and constant changes in our timetable, notice to passengers of any cancellations may be delayed and, in rare cases, they might not be notified at all. Croatia Airlines therefore invites passengers to follow the information provided on the company website to keep themselves informed about the status of their flight immediately prior to the trip,'' the statement concluded.

Make sure to follow our travel page for more. Keep up to date with our dedicated section for rolling information and updates on coronavirus in Croatia.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Croatian Tourism Ministry Temporarily Halting All Marketing Actions Due to Coronavirus

March 11, 2020 - The Croatian Tourism Ministry is currently stopping all marketing actions due to the coronavirus outbreak. reports that Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said on Wednesday that all marketing actions in tourism are coming to a halt due to the coronavirus outbreak and that actions with a special marketing approach are being prepared for all markets when they reopen.

Furthermore, the joint action of the Croatian Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian National Tourist Board, titled "A week off is worth it", has been canceled, which was announced from 10 to 19 April. This is an action that enables all Croatian citizens to visit and get to know other parts of our country by offering half the price of all tourist products, from accommodation, transportation, sights, to catering services and different experiences.

Meetings with all tourism stakeholders will now follow, after which, in Cappelli's view, measures will be known to alleviate the coronavirus situation.

Croatia Airlines also announced that they're launching a new flexible policy for international flights until May 31, 2020.

"Following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Croatia Airlines introduced a more flexible travel policy for all international passengers. The policy refers to existing and newly booked tickets up to March 31st 2020. 

  • passengers are entitled to date change without rebooking fee 
  • travel must be completed no later than December 31st 2020
  • if, the original booking class is not available on the new flight, the fare difference will be charged.

Croatia Airlines continues to monitor the situation and recommendations of the competent institutions and authorities in Croatia and abroad. 

Operations on the route Zagreb – Rome – Zagreb temporarily ceased

Croatia Airlines has suspended operations on the route Zagreb – Rome – Zagreb up until March 28th 2020.

All affected passengers are entitled to:
  • change without rebooking fee
  • full refund
Croatia Airlines continues with all flights to all other European destinations." You can read the full announcement here.
You can follow TCN's coronavirus update here. 
To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.
Friday, 6 March 2020

Croatian Government to Cease Search for Croatia Airlines Strategic Partner

As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 5th of March, 2020, the concerning coronavirus situation which is wreaking havoc not only with public health but also with the global economy has now brought about the very first serious economic situations to Croatia's doorstep. The Croatian Government has now decided to give up the search for a strategic partner for Croatia Airlines until further notice.

Namely, according to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, following the meeting of the Commission for the implementation of the procedure and proposing the selection of the strategic partner of Croatia Airlines, the current course of action of finding a strategic partner was discussed, as well as the impact that the appearance of COVID-19 has had on the situation in the aviation industry as a whole.

''Based on the discussion, the Commission decided, due to the unfavourable situation and the risks present in the sector, to adjust the dynamics of the whole process, so the process will be put to rest, in accordance with the deadlines set by the Croatian Government's decision on creating the pre-requisite conditions for securing the process of recapitalisation of Croatia Airlines. The commission will continue to continuously monitor developments within the aviation sector,'' a statement from the appropriate ministry said.

It's worth recalling that it was announced earlier that the largest European independent regional airline, Britain's Flybe, has collapsed. The utterly catastrophic business results in recent weeks when the fear of coronavirus saw a dramatic fall in the number of passengers using the airline, and consequently the interest of creditors and investors, stood out as one of the main reasons for Flybe's downfall.

The British Government refused a much needed £100 million injection for the largest independent European airline, and Flybe has now entered administration.

In addition to the above situations with the Croatian Government, Croatia Airlines and Flybe collapsing, the World Aviation Federation has estimated that the worrying coronavirus pandemic could cost airlines more than 60 billion US dollars this year.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Croatia Airlines Monitoring Coronavirus, Flying as Scheduled

February 27, 2020 - Following the current situation with the coronavirus, Croatian national carrier Croatia Airlines continues to operate all scheduled flights to all European destinations.

HRTurizam reports that since January 23 this year, the company has been continuously monitoring and following the recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia, Croatian Civil Aviation Agency, Star Alliance, International Air Transport Association (IATA) and other Croatian and international competent institutions and associations regarding the current situation around the coronavirus.

Croatia Airlines' Crisis and Emergency Management Office is actively monitoring the situation and continually plans and takes all necessary steps to keep the health of passengers, aircraft crew and all other employees of the company to the highest possible level, emphasized Croatia Airlines, and added:

The company continuously informs its employees about all current information and new findings regarding the coronavirus in Croatia and abroad, advising on the necessary measures and forms of behavior. The company's operating manuals prescribe procedures and processes for detecting infectious disease in crew members or passengers, and the company is in constant and direct contact with all the airports at which its aircraft land to coordinate procedures and processes regarding the possible occurrence of an infected person with the coronavirus. In addition, the company also has access and means to disinfectants and aircraft disinfection, if necessary, Croatia Airlines concluded. 

Otherwise, Croatia Airlines planes will fly direct to regular destinations in 40 destinations in 26 countries during this year's tourist season.

The third case of coronavirus was confirmed in Croatia on Wednesday. A Croatian man has been diagnosed who works in Italy and is based in Rijeka.

The Clinic for Infectious Diseases "Dr. Fran Mihaljević ”in Zagreb reported the news that a third case of the coronavirus infection has been confirmed.

"The man works in Parma, Italy. He is housed in a hospital in Rijeka," the Civil Protection Directorate announced.

"The patient became infected in Italy. The diagnosis was performed at the Infectious Diseases Clinic. He will be in isolation until he is healed. The disease is mild," Krunoslav Capak, director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (CES), said.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Croatia Airlines Introduces Flights to Podgorica and Sofia

ZAGREB, February 24, 2020 - Croatia Airlines on Monday introduced new international flights from Zagreb to Sofia and Podgorica, and Management Board chair Jasmin Bajić said that the coronavirus was not having a significant effect on the company's business results.

Asked whether Croatia Airlines felt the effect of the coronavirus epidemic, Bajić said: "Possibly less in Croatia Airlines, but this major problem is being felt considerably more in other companies in Europe."

"We are feeling the effect on the bookings for March since that month is weaker than in previous years. However, so far there has been a one percent increase compared with the previous year so we still have not been adversely affected," Bajić said.

Scheduled international flights from Zagreb to Sofia will start on 1 May and will be operated three times a week until the end of October. International flights from Zagreb to Podgorica will start on 3 May, and will also be operated three times a week.

"This way we are expanding the network of our destinations to 40, in the 26 countries where we are present as an airline," Bajić said.

He added that besides having a beneficial effect on demand, these routes would support the ones to the west by providing passengers with transfer options.

"This is a significant event for both countries. It is important not only for connecting the two cities, but also for connecting our people," Montenegro's ambassador to Croatia Boro Vučinić said.

Bulgarian ambassador to Croatia Genka Vasileva Georgieva said that the flight service to Sofia was important for improving connections with the European market and the European Union and that it would help the two nations to get to know each other better.

Croatia Airlines will open this year's season with one more aircraft in its fleet. An Airbus 319 with a seating capacity of 150 will join the company's fleet at the end of March, and at the end of April an additional aircraft, Dash 8-Q400 with a seating capacity of 76, will be introduced as support in cases of unforeseen air traffic disruptions.

Croatia Airlines spokesman Davor Janušić said that there was no new information regarding strategic partners and that they would know more in June, when the government makes the decision.

More news about Croatia Airlines can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Flights to Croatia: Croatia Airlines Confirms New Zagreb Services to Sofia, Podgorica

February 12, 2020 - Croatian national carrier and Star Alliance member Croatia Airlines is introducing new international flights from Zagreb to Sofia and Podgorica this summer. 

Namely, Avio Radar reports that regular international flights from Zagreb to Sofia are scheduled from May 1 to the end of October this year. This service will run three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and will operate using the 76-seater Dash 8-Q400 aircraft. 

Two days later, on May 3,  2020,regular international flights on the Zagreb-Podgorica route will be introduced on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Flights will also be operated by the Dash 8-Q400 aircraft. As of today, return airline tickets are sold on both routes. 

Compared to the last tourist season, where Croatia Airlines had a fleet of 14 aircraft (12 of their own and 2 chartered CRJ 1000 aircraft), they will enter this season with one additional aircraft. Based on a long-term dry lease, the fleet will include a 150-seat Airbus 319 in late March and an additional 76-seat Dash 8-Q400 in late April to support unplanned traffic disruptions. In addition, from April to October, a short lease (wet-lease) of one CRJ 1000 aircraft by the Spanish air carrier Air Nostrum is also planned. 

Thus, the company will have a fleet of 15 aircraft this year (two Airbus 320s, five Airbus 319s, seven Dash 8-Q400s, and one CRJ1000 aircraft).

Croatia Airlines aircraft will fly scheduled flights to 40 destinations in 26 countries during this tourist season, thus continuing to contribute to regular and year-round connectivity in domestic and international air transport, as well as provide strong support to the development of Croatia’s tourism potential. 

Furthermore, Croatia Airlines is also looking to hire new cabin members to cover its expanding fleet and route network. President of the Supervisory Board Zlatko said on Ex Yu Aviation:

“Croatia Airlines is a decent and high-quality Central European company, whose strategic goals are, first and foremost, quality and passenger safety. In the words of our owner, the government of the Republic of Croatia, the expansion of our destination network, as well as fleet renewal, is our strategic focus in the upcoming period”.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

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