Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Croatia Airlines Copenhagen-Zagreb Flights Boosted in December, New Ryanair Zadar Flights

November 24, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Croatia Airlines Copenhagen-Zagreb flights are boosted this December, while Ryanair has announced two new lines to Zadar Airport next year.

Croatian Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines is increasing the number of weekly operations between Zagreb and Copenhagen in December.

The Zagreb - Copenhagen - Zagreb line was among the first to return to traffic last year after the end of the lockdown in Europe. The line was operated daily in the summer season, and Croatia Airlines additionally operated in the summer flight schedule on the regular line between Split and Copenhagen.

At the beginning of the winter flight schedule, the number of weekly operations between Zagreb and Copenhagen was reduced, but there will be an increase in the number of weekly flights in December, and the capacity itself.

From November 29 to December 5, Croatia Airlines will operate on this route 5 times a week, every day except Tuesdays and Saturdays, while 3 out of 5 flights will be operated with A319 aircraft, significantly higher capacity than DashQ400.

Daily flights were announced from December 6 to 12, but with smaller DashQ400 aircraft, while a week later (December 13-19), 6 flights with the A319 and one with the DashQ400 were announced.

From December 20 to 26, 6 flights have been announced, and Zagreb and Copenhagen will not only be connected on Christmas, but four of the six flights will be operated with the A319. Five flights have been announced from December 27 to 31, with three flights currently scheduled with the A319.

From November 30 to December 31, Croatia Airlines will operate 30 return flights between Copenhagen and Zagreb, currently offering almost 6,900 seats, most on A319 aircraft. 

Furthermore, Croatian Aviation announced that Ryanair launched two new routes from the UK to Zadar next summer, both operating from the end of March next year.

Ryanair will now connect Birmingham and Bournemouth to Zadar. While there are already scheduled flights from Birmingham to Croatian airports, this will be the first flight from Bournemouth to Croatia.

The Birmingham - Zadar - Birmingham will operate from March 30 to October 29, 2022, twice a week, every Wednesday and Saturday.

The Bournemouth - Zadar - Bournemouth line will operate from March 29 to October 29, 2022, twice a week, every Tuesday and Saturday.

There are an additional 45,000 seats between the UK and Zadar, or almost 130 more return flights from these two new routes alone. Zadar currently has 7 Ryanair destinations in the UK announced for next summer season.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Reduced Qatar Airways Zagreb Flights, Croatia Airlines Only Flight Between Zagreb-Heathrow

November 20, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as reduced Qatar Airways Zagreb flights have been announced in December, and Croatian Airlines remains the only route between Zagreb and Heathrow... for now. 

One World Alliance member Qatar Airways is reducing the number of weekly rotations between Doha and Zagreb in mid-December, reports Croatian Aviation.

The news does not come as a surprise as the occupancy of aircraft on this route is relatively low, with few arrivals from Asia. Qatar does not have a wide base of transfer passengers that were the backbone of the line to Zagreb before the pandemic.

Until Saturday, December 18, Qatar Airways will run three flights a week between Doha and Zagreb, every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. From mid-December, flights will be canceled on Mondays and the line will operate only twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The same number of weekly rotations is planned until the end of January next year.

Qatar Airways uses A320 narrow-body aircraft on this line, the smallest in its fleet. Until there is a significant opening of countries in Asia and until passengers from these countries visit Croatia in greater numbers, the number of weekly departures will remain uncertain. 

Furthermore, Croatian Aviation reports that British Airways has again canceled all flights on the Zagreb-London route at the end of this month. Consequently, only Croatia Airlines operates between Heathrow and Zagreb. 

British Airways again canceled a number of flights between Zagreb and London, as the airline is dissatisfied with the demand on this line, and ticket prices between the two cities have never been more favorable. Namely, before the pandemic, British Airways came to Zagreb with A321 aircraft, when more seats were required due to frequent overbooking.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Zagreb line has not functioned well, thanks in part to the strict measures in the UK. British Airways operated to Zagreb until the beginning of November, then all flights were canceled at the end of this month. There were plans to return in December with a smaller number of flights, but that is currently still in question.

Croatia Airlines operates between Heathrow and Zagreb four times a week, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. One more flight per week is available compared to the summer months. All flights depart from Zagreb in the afternoon, with an evening return from London.

Ryanair also operates between London and Zagreb daily, but to Stansted Airport, which is approximately 65 kilometers away from the center of London (Heathrow is only 22 kilometers away from the center).

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

2021 Croatia Airlines Winter Schedule Announced, More Spring Ryanair Zagreb Flights

October 26, 2021 - The 2021 Croatia Airlines winter schedule has been announced, while Ryanair has begun announcing even more spring flights from its Zagreb base next year. 

Croatia Airlines has announced its winter flight schedule, which will take effect on the last day of October and run until the end of March next year, reports Croatian Aviation.

Croatia Airlines has thus announced 13 international routes from Zagreb, 3 from Split, and one from Osijek, a total of 17 international routes to and from Croatia.

Lines from Zagreb

Croatia Airlines will have the largest number of flights and weekly flights from Zagreb Airport, its main base. Flights to the following European destinations have been announced:

Amsterdam, 7 times a week, daily,

Vienna, 3 times a week, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays,

Brussels, 6 times a week, every day except Saturday,

Dublin, 2 times a week, Thursdays and Sundays,

Frankfurt, 3 to 4 daily flights

Copenhagen, 5 times a week, every day except Tuesdays and Saturdays,

London, 4 times a week, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays,

Munich, 5 times a week, every day except Wednesday and Saturday,

Paris, 7 times a week, daily,

Rome (via Split), 7 times a week, daily,

Sarajevo, 6 times a week, every day except Saturday,

Skopje, 4 times a week, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays,

Zurich, 11 times a week, daily, two daily flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

Lines from Split

Croatia Airlines will operate on three routes from Split Airport to two destinations in Germany and one in Italy; scheduled flights to Munich, Frankfurt, and Rome have been announced:

Frankfurt, 7 times a week, daily,

Munich, 7 times a week, daily,

Rome, 7 times a week, daily.

Flights from Osijek

Croatia Airlines will introduce a regular flight between Munich and Osijek on November 15 this year. Aircraft will operate on this route twice a week, every Monday and Friday. Thus, passengers will be able to continue their journey to 6 European destinations via Munich.

On most routes, the Croatian national airline will use DashQ400 aircraft with a capacity of 76 seats, but in a much smaller proportion than last winter. Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft have been announced from Zagreb to Amsterdam, Dublin, London, Frankfurt, Paris, and Copenhagen and from Split to Frankfurt. 

There will be no regular international flights to Rijeka and Dubrovnik this winter, as before the pandemic. Still, Croatia Airlines continues to operate on domestic routes to Pula, Zadar, and Dubrovnik and PSO routes from Zagreb Airport in the upcoming winter flight schedule.

Furthermore, Ryanair has launched additional departures on several international routes from Zagreb Airport next spring, adds Croatian Aviation.

Namely, the Irish low-cost carrier released tickets for next year's summer flight schedule, including flights from Zagreb Airport, with additional departures on 9 international lines from the new Zagreb base, allowing flexibility for travelers to and from Zagreb.

The following lines have increased from 2 to 3 flights per week: 

Zagreb - Memmingen - Zagreb (March 2022),

Zagreb - Malta - Zagreb (March 2022),

Zagreb - Paphos - Zagreb (March 2022),

Zagreb - Weeze - Zagreb (March 2022),

Zagreb - Basel - Zagreb (March 2022).

The following lines will operate four times a week instead of three times a week:

Zagreb - Frankfurt Hahn - Zagreb (March 2022),

Zagreb - Gothenburg - Zagreb (May 2022).

Lines to Bergamo and Brussels are in the highest demand, so Ryanair is introducing additional flights on these routes:

Zagreb - Milan Bergamo - Zagreb, from 4 to 5 weekly flights (April 2022),

Zagreb - Brussels Charleroi - Zagreb, from 4 to 5 weekly flights (April 2022).

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Osijek-Munich Flights Connect to 6 European Destinations

October 16, 2021 - Osijek-Munich flights now connect to 6 European destinations after a short transfer in the Bavarian capital. 

After Croatia Airlines announced it would introduce a regular route between Osijek and Munich, tickets are now available to purchase to 6 more international destinations,  reports Croatian Aviation

With one transfer in Munich, passengers from or to Osijek can now buy tickets to 6 European destinations - Copenhagen, Brussels, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris, and Dublin.

Although a relatively large number of Croatian citizens live in Munich, as a major European hub, Munich offers a number of connectivity options, and it is now possible to buy tickets for connecting flights via the Bavarian capital.

With one stop in Munich, passengers from Osijek now have access to the capitals of Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, and Denmark, as well as flights to Frankfurt. Tickets between Copenhagen, Brussels, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris, Dublin, and Osijek can be purchased on the official website of the Croatian airline. Lufthansa and SAS aircraft also operate on flights from Munich to European destinations. 

Recall, from November 15 this year, a regular line between Osijek and Munich will be introduced, which will operate twice a week, every Monday and Friday.

Given that scheduled flights on the route between Munich and Osijek have so far been confirmed until mid-January, it is to be assumed that this number of available connections will remain in force until a possible extension of operations, which Croatia Airlines and Osijek Airport will actively discuss in the coming period.

The new Munich route is good news not only for tourists, but also for the many local people who have emigrated to Germany in search of a better economic future. The potential of tourism in Slavonia and eastern Croatia is largely untapped, and improved connections to other international destinations are key to its development. 

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Croatia Airlines to Announce Munich Flight, 1st International Osijek Connection

September 22, 2021 - International flights are returning to Osijek, as ExYuAviation reports Croatia Airlines set to announce a new Munich route at a press conference tomorrow. 

Finally some good news for those wishing to travel to eastern Croatia, as Croatia Airlines is set to announce a new flight from Osijek to Munich. According to ExYuAviation, more details will be announced at a press conference tomorrow at 11:30 on the service, which should begin in the 2021/22 season.

The arrival of Ryanair in Zagreb has shaken up the Croatian flight market, and the Irish airline's supremo, Michael O'Leary, was in the Croatian capital yesterday explaining the low-cost carrier's plans. With some 40 Ryanair destinations from Zagreb in the pipeline by next summer, there is clearly some pressure on Croatia Airlines to respond.

In addition to the Zagreb announcement, Ryanair also announced that they are returning to Rijeka, with an initial service to Brussels Charleroi. This means that the airline will now service six out of the seven mainland Croatian airports next season. The only exception - at least for now - is Osijek, an airport that Ryanair once connected to, with flights to London and Germany. 

Currently, there are no international flights to Osijek, with only domestic routes offered by Trade Air and Croatia Airlines. 

The new Munich route will be good news not only for tourists, but also for the many local people who have emigrated to Germany in search of a better economic future. 

The potential of tourism in Slavonia and eastern Croatia is largely untapped, and improved connections to other international destinations are key to its development. Whether or not Ryanair has plans to reenter the Osijek market remains to be seen, as is whether or not there will be additional routes from Osijek Airport by the Croatian national carrier. 

TCN will being you an update of this story after tomorrow's press conference.

For more information about flights to Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.

To learn more about Osijek Airport, click here

Thursday, 16 September 2021

A220 Aircraft is One Option for Croatia Airlines Fleet Renewal

September the 16th, 2021 - The A220 aicraft is one potential option for the Croatia Airlines fleet's renewal as the company which has struggled to find a strategic partner and be more competitive for years plans its next business moves.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the A220, as various Airbus experts have said, covers a segment of 100 to 150 seats and is designed to meet the current global market demands for smaller aircraft in the skies.

The European aviation consortium Airbus presented the A220-300 aircraft in the City of Zagreb recently, emphasising that it is ideal for the post-covid era because, among other things, it is characterised by low consumption, high efficiency and has the performance of larger narrow-body aircraft.

The AirBaltic A220-300 with 145 seats of one class in the passenger cabin and a range of up to 6,390 kilometres was exhibited at the stand of Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman International Airport (MZLZ).

Among those gathered were representatives of Croatia Airlines, which, in a recently published post-covid strategy stressed the need to renew the Croatia Airlines fleet, and the presented aircraft is one of the possible options for that move, especially since the domestic airline has Airbus craft in its fleet already and is authorised to maintain them. That in itself is great advantage for the company which is likely to struggle against the likes of Ryanair and its incredibly cheap flights to many destinations across Europe.

This particular aircraft which could become a solid part of the Croatia Airlines fleet renewal has good environmental performance with the A220-100 and A220-300, having more than 99 percent common parts.

It was pointed out that the A220 can connect Croatia with Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the east coast of the United States. AirBaltic CEO Martin Gauss said AirBaltic is the largest A220-100 user in all of Europe and the A220-300 in the world, as they currently have 31 aircraft of this type, and eight more will arrive next year.

Croatia Airlines has faced numerous complaints for many years, with huge numbers of people considering them to be outrageously expensive for what they offer, with the likes of not only British Airways but also the highly competitive Ryanair offering the same routes for a mere fraction of the price. It seems that new planes isn't the only thing the company which has posted losses for a long time needs to be looking into, as the cheap and cheerful Ryanair makes Zagreb a stronghold.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Croatia Airlines Slovenia and Macedonia Expansion on Horizon

September 14, 2021 - A Croatia Airlines Slovenia and Macedonia expansion is on the horizon as the national carrier looks to launch flights in both countries. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines is looking to expand in the region, specifically to destinations in Slovenia and Macedonia. 

Namely, Croatia Airlines CEO Jasmin Bajić is looking to improve the connection between Zagreb and Ljubljana, with the potential for Skopje - Ljubljana - Zagreb flights as over 40,000 passengers flew between Macedonia’s and Slovenia’s largest cities before Adria Airways went bankrupt in September 2019.

Croatia Airlines and the Slovenian government spoke about launching operations from Ljubljana last year.

“Croatia Airlines is potentially interested in establishing flights from Ljubljana Airport to enable passengers from Slovenia to connect to European destinations,” the carrier had said.

"We have had some gain on the Slovenian market since Adria Airways’ bankruptcy where we offered certain solutions to react to the demand that was there. However, we had not added any flights to Slovenia because our hubs are nearby and we were more focused on our sales and marketing activities in Ljubljana at the time, which helped us significantly increase our market share in Slovenia," Croatia Airlines’ Head of Commercial Division, Slaven Žabo, said last year. 

Ljubljana Airport’s operator has also previously expressed interest in Croatia Airlines connecting Ljubljana with Vienna, Skopje, Prague, and Copenhagen. 

Furthermore, Ex Yu Aviation reported that the national carrier could launch to the Macedonian market after TAV Macedonia, the Macedonian Chamber for Tourism, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and the Croatian National Tourist Board spoke last week.

“If there is interest from Macedonian tour operators and partners, we are ready to expand our cooperation onto routes other than Zagreb and Skopje, like perhaps Ohrid and Split," said Jasmin Bajić. Talks initially happened between the two countries already months ago. 

“Road connectivity is not satisfactory, which is why new airline routes would be a big step forward. For example, I believe flights between Ohrid and Split would be of interest to tourists, so they could visit both countries within a few days in one go," said TAV Macedonia’s Marketing and Revenue Manager and Macedonian Chamber of Tourism President, Vladimir Gramatikov. Over 3,000 passengers flew indirectly between Skopje and Split in 2019. Croatia Airlines also handled 74,590 passengers between Zagreb and Skopje in 2019 on 996 flights.

Croatia Airlines also plans to add between 12 to 15 aircraft to its fleet based on its post-Covid strategy. 

Follow the latest flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Monday, 16 August 2021

Ryanair Zagreb Base Will Destabilize Croatia Airlines, Says Air Transport Expert Tonči Peović

August 16, 2021 - Air transport expert Tonči Peović discusses the Ryanair Zagreb base, the fate of Croatia Airlines, and when Croatian airports will see pre-pandemic figures again. 

While the number of tourists arriving by road in Croatia in recent weeks is the same as in the record 2019, aircraft and passengers at Croatian airports are still significantly less than pre-epidemic times. Tonči Peović, director of Brač Airport and the Air Transport Association president, which brings together all Croatian airports and airlines, talks about the challenges facing civil aviation with Jutarnji List.

What is the traffic like at Croatian airports?

"Traffic is returning, but we are not even close to the figures from 2019. In the first six months, we achieved 16 percent of the traffic of 2019, but July brought a dose of optimism with about 30 percent of passengers compared to 2019. In the first seven months, we are at 25 percent of 2019, and if there are no major disruptions with the measures, I believe that this trend will continue in August and September and that in the whole of 2021, we will have 35 to 37 percent of passengers compared to 2019. The biggest drop in the number of flights are from North and South America, as much as 60 percent, and toward other markets about 40 percent. The drop in the number of passengers is somewhat bigger because the planes are less crowded. Purchasing power seems to have fallen, and epidemiological measures are often not clear enough."

British Jet2 has recently established numerous routes to Split and Dubrovnik; Ryanair has started flying to Zagreb and is announcing many new routes. Is there a reason for optimism?

"Of course there is. Ryanair is the first operator in the European sky in terms of the number of flights."

Is the low-cost model the future?

"I wouldn't say. Low cost is rising, but all models must be represented. Traditional carriers that adapt to the new conditions will survive. Currently, 39 percent of traffic in Europe is held by low-cost carriers, 44 percent by traditional companies, and 12 percent by charter companies. Air traffic has become more accessible than ever. Before the crisis, the annual number of passengers in the world was seven billion. Low-cost airlines bring in less revenue to airports. Therefore, I am not sure how good the Ryanair base is being established in Zagreb. This will bring great uncertainty to Croatia Airlines. In Split and Dubrovnik, Ryanair pays the same price for airport services as all other companies."

Last year, only 2.2 million passengers were transported through all Croatian airports, and in 2019 there were 11.5 million.

"Last year is better to forget. We are at least twice as good now. Dubrovnik, for example, had 60,000 passengers in June and only 10,000 last year. So I hope this season will be quite long. If the weather is good and the epidemic doesn’t go wild, we could have the season until the end of October."

Why does air passenger transport recover more slowly than road transport?

"The companies offered flights, but they fill up less. Passengers prefer to come by personal vehicles because they have the freedom to return whenever they want. We didn’t even have guests from Scandinavia, the UK, and the US in the first half of the year. Now that the measures have eased, it will take time for the traffic to start. People usually buy tickets a month before the flight. And many passengers were unable to return from distant destinations last year due to the measures. Fearing this will happen again, people are less willing to travel by plane. Today, even guests from Sweden come to Croatia by car, which is a two-day trip."

If the epidemic calms down, how long will it take to reach the number of passengers from 2019?

"There are estimates that it will take three to four years. I estimate that many weaker airlines will go bankrupt in the fall, mostly those with a smaller fleet that will not pay for aircraft leasing. This year, the price of kerosene is also very high, about $75 per barrel, and last year it was $15. On the other hand, new companies that do not have losses from previous years are being established, so they are attractive to investors. For example, Croatian Trade Air recently acquired a new aircraft with four Airbus 320s and several more Fokkers with about 100 seats. In contrast, another small Croatian company, EasyFly, already has three aircraft. Regarding the number of seats, the two companies together are almost as big as Croatia Airlines."

How do Croatian airports operate in these times of crisis?

"It is easier for airports than for airlines because they have a larger share capital than income. Croatian airports will be on the verge of covering workers' salaries with their revenues this year. We asked the Government to continue with the support measure of HRK 4,000 per worker. We want no one to lose their jobs because our workers are specially educated, and we want to keep them for the future. We get support from the state if we prove that our turnover drop is greater than 70 percent compared to 2019. Without that, we would have to borrow from banks."

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 30 July 2021

Croatia Airlines Generates Net Loss of HRK 147.4 mn in H1 2021

ZAGREB, 30 July 2021- The Croatia Airlines national flag carrier's net loss in the first half of 2021 amounts to HRK 147.4 million, HRK 25.8 million or 15% less than in the comparable period of 2020, the airline reported on Friday.

In the period from January to June, the airline conducted a total of 5,421 flights and transported 208,657 passengers, 37% down from the first six months of 2020.

The number of passengers on regular domestic flights decreased by 15% (71,367 passengers) and on international flights by 46% (131,181) while charter flights transported 8% more passengers (6,109) year-on-year.

Flight occupancy was 45.3%, which is 13.4 percentage points less than in the first half of 2020.

This year the company operates 13 planes flying directly from Zagreb to 14 European and 5 Croatian destinations.

During the summer season Croatia Airlines plans to offer more than 80,000 seats a month on flights from European destinations to Croatia, as well as more than 200 tourist charter flights from Austria, Italy, Ireland, Israel and Scandinavian countries, the company said in a press release.

For more on business in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Ryanair Domestic Flights in Croatia on the Horizon

July 27, 2021 - After opening its base in Zagreb, Ryanair domestic flights in Croatia are on the horizon. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Ryanair is looking to launch domestic flights in Croatia after its new Zagreb base officially launched earlier this month. The airline's CEO, Eddie Wilson, noted it could be done without subsidies. 

“At the moment, all the domestic routes are subsidised. Seems bizarre that you must pay an airline to fly up and down Croatia when Dubrovnik is such a nice place to go to. We would have no difficulty flying internally with zero subsidies. We have just done that in Ireland, where there was one of these Public Service Obligation routes, which is just a way of channelling money to airlines. Why should the taxpayer pay for that on 300 euros fares to Dubrovnik in the height of summer when commercial airlines can do that for no subsidies? We would be quite prepared to do those routes”.

European funds are available for 'unprofitable domestic routes deemed vital for the economic development of the region they serve' through the Public Service Obligation (PSO) scheme in Croatia. Croatia Airlines and Trade Air hold the existing PSO contracts, and new contracts should be opened by the Croatian government later this year. 

As part of the current PSO contracts, Croatia Airlines covers routes from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Pula, and Brač, and Trade Air from Osijek to Dubrovnik, Split, Pula, Zagreb, and Rijeka. Croatia Airlines annually receives 10.3 million euros for domestic services, while Trade Air receives 2.6 million euros per year. 

The Ryanair Zagreb base will operate on 24 lines to and from 16 countries - Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In the first year of flying on routes from and to Zagreb, Ryanair will transport about 700,000 passengers.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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