Sunday, 27 June 2021

Croatia Airlines Launches Seasonal Flight Service Between Split and Prague

ZAGREB, 27 June, 2021 - Croatia Airlines has launched a new seasonal route between Split and Prague and will operate it every Saturday until mid-September, the national carrier announced on Sunday.

This direct flight service between Prague and Split will offer Czech tourists an even better choice of travel to the Croatian part of the Mediterranean, the airline said.

Return tickets for flights on this route are available at a promotional price starting at €139.

From June to September this year, Croatia Airlines plans to fly from Croatia to 18 European capitals.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Croatia Airlines Summer Plans: 14 International Flights from Zagreb

June 13, 2021 -  The latest flight news to Croatia as Croatia Airlines summer plans have been revealed with 14 international flights from Zagreb Airport. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines will operate 14 international fights from Zagreb this summer,  one less than Ryanair, offering 15. Namely, Croatia Airlines will connect Zagreb and Amsterdam, Athens, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, London Heathrow, Munich, Paris, Rome, Sarajevo, Skopje, Vienna, and Zurich.

Unlike in 2019 (before the pandemic), Croatia Airlines will not run to Barcelona, Bucharest, Helsinki, Lisbon, Milan, Mostar, Oslo, Prague, St Petersburg, Stockholm, and Tel Aviv this summer. Zagreb Airport will serve Frankfurt, Zurich, Split, and Dubrovnik the most. 

Recall, Ryanair announced its Zagreb base with 12 initial flights but has added three more routes in the last few months to make it 15. The Irish low-cost airline landed at Zagreb Airport for the first time on Wednesday, June 2. 

There will be 80,000 seats between Croatia and Europe each month. 

“Frequencies will be adjusted based on market demand," said Croatia Airlines’ Commercial Division head, Slaven Žabo. There will be a total of eighteen international routes from Croatia. He also added that Croatia Airlines and Zagreb Airport are currently negotiating to improve business conditions after the arrival of RyanAir. 

Ex Yu Aviation adds that Croatia Airlines will also operate 200 charter flights to the Croatian coast this summer, from Austria, Italy, Ireland, Israel, and Scandinavia.

Croatia Airlines will use Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to help the airlines in post-Covid times. 

“BCG will help us redefine new market opportunities for connecting European destinations with the region of Southeast Europe, maximize future revenue potential and increase aircraft productivity. It will help us define opportunities for further rationalization and improvement of business processes," Croatia Airlines said.

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.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Croatia Airlines Reintroduces Summer Flights Between Rijeka and Munich

ZAGREB, 3 June 2021 - Croatia Airlines (CA) on Thursday operated its first flight this season between Munich and Rijeka.

The reintroduction of regular flights between Rijeka and Munich is part of the plans to renew and intensify flight arrangements from Croatia to other European destinations during this summer season.

CA flights on the Rijeka-Munich route will available on Thursday and Sunday this summer, plus also on Tuesday during July, the Croatian air company said.


First flight on the route Munich-Rijeka today (Croatia Airlines Official Facebook Page)

CA plans to operate flights to seven Croatian destinations and another 18 destinations in Europe this summer.

Zagreb will be connected with 14 European destinations, Split with 12, and Dubrovnik with six destinations outside Croatia, for instance.

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.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Croatia Airlines and Zagreb Airport Announce Reintroduction of Several Flights

ZAGREB, 27 May 2021 - A flight from Dublin with about 100 passengers landed in Zagreb on Thursday, whereby Croatia Airlines (CA) and Zagreb International Airport (MZLZ) marked the relaunch on flights on that route after they had been suspended due to the pandemic, and CA hopes to intensify flights to European destinations.

The national flag carrier CA hopes to expand its flight network from Croatia to European destinations and as part of its plans, it will intensify flights on the Zagreb-Dublin route.

There will be two flights a week on that route, on Thursdays and Sundays, and the plan is to adapt to current market demand, depending on the epidemiological situation in Croatia and the world. The first direct flight on that route was established in 2018.

A member of the management board at MZLZ, David Gabelica, underscored that Zagreb is currently connected to 24 destinations and that as of June that will increase to 36. There are 300 flights a week and at peak season there will be 700.

Gabelica added that CA is MZLZ's most important partner and they are in constant contact. Considering the conditions that Ryanair was recently awarded, which are much more favorable than for Croatia's flag carrier, Gabelica said that CA can always count on the best conditions.

The director of the Zagreb Tourist Board, Martina Bienenfeld, underscored that the reintroduction of Dublin-Zagreb flights shows that interest exists for people to come to Zagreb and Croatia.

"The majority of passengers, according to my information, are staying in Zagreb but I am convinced that a large number of flights that Croatia Airlines is gradually reintroducing to Zagreb will have transfers to other destinations in Croatia," she said.

She explained that the majority of tourists currently in Zagreb are from the USA and that tourism numbers are similar to last year's.

CA commercial director Slaven Žabo said that CA will fly to 18 European destinations during the summer, including 14 from Zagreb.

He confirmed that the national flag carrier was in negotiations with MZLZ regarding better conditions.

In an effort to ensure better connectivity and support to Croatia's tourism, CA plans to provide 80,000 seats a month during the summer season on flights from European destinations to Croatia while cooperation with tour operators foresees more than 200 tourism charter flights from Austria, Italy, Ireland, Israel, and Scandinavia, said Žabo.

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.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Is Government Planning to Sell Croatia Airlines? Darko Horvat Responds

May the 16th, 2021 - Minister Darko Horvat has come forward to answer questions about whether or not the Croatian Government has any plans up its sleeve to sell Croatia Airlines and even the well known and much loved brand Podravka.

Croatia Airlines has been knee deep in financial trouble since long before anyone had even heard of COVID-19, which, of course, has done the enfeebled domestic carrier no favours whatsoever. The ongoing pandemic is only working to deepen the airline's already gravely serious issues and it doesn't seem like Ryanair's Zagreb arrival is going to be of any assistance to what many refer to as a company which charges totally unreasonable amounts for the absolute basics in air travel.

Could a sale be on the cards for the ever-problematic Croatia Airlines? It seems that at least currently, that isn't in the works.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Ministers Darko Horvat and Nina Obuljen Korzinek presented their reforms and investments as part of the much talked about Croatian National Recovery and Resilience Plan which are specifically related to the renovation of buildings and culture following the earthquake and the pandemic.

During the presentation of planned reforms in rehard to another burning issue in this country, which regards state property, Minister Darko Horvat answered the question as to whether the government plans to sell Croatia Airlines or Podravka, Media Servis reports.

"Neither this government nor I, as a minister, are considering any privatisation or sale of the Croatian share in Podravka. I'm sure, like my colleague Minister Oleg Butkovic, that Croatia Airlines either needs a quality and good strategic partner or must remain in the Croatian portfolio anyway. To lose an air traffic operator... well, I don't think it would be good or wise,'' Darko Horvat explained.

For more on the Croatian Government and state owned companies, follow our dedicated politics page.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

30th Anniversary of Croatia Airlines First Passenger Flight Celebrated at Split Airport!

May 6, 2021 - The 30th anniversary of Croatia Airlines first passenger flight was celebrated at Split Airport on Wednesday. 

Croatian Aviation reports that Wednesday marked the 30th anniversary of Croatia Airlines first passenger flight. The first commercial flight under the designation of the Croatian national airline was performed on May 5, 1991, on the route Zagreb - Split and established regular air traffic within Croatia and the dream of a Croatian airline.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the first flight, all passengers on yesterday's afternoon Croatia Airlines OU652 Zagreb - Split flight were awarded a free domestic return ticket of their choice.

After the Dash 8-Q400 aircraft (registration number 9A-CQB) landed at Split Airport, a ceremony was held at which Slaven Žabo, Director of Commercial Affairs of Croatia Airlines, thanked all passengers for the trust over the past thirty years and pointed out how service quality and flight safety will continue to be priorities in the company's business.

At the place where the first passengers of the company arrived three decades ago, the importance of the Croatian national carrier in terms of traffic and economy was emphasized:

"Croatia Airlines has been providing continuous domestic connections of Croatian cities and regions with regular domestic flights for 30 years, and at the same time, we provide passengers with a year-round connection to the world through a network of international flights. Even in these extraordinary circumstances, the company never stopped flying, which further confirmed that it represents a strategic part of the Croatian transport infrastructure and that it strongly contributes to the quality of the Croatian tourist product," said Slaven Žabo.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the first commercial flight, Croatia Airlines is conducting a special campaign from May 6 to Wednesday, May 12, in which passengers will be offered a 30 percent discount for flights to all domestic and international destinations of the company. The 30 percent discount can be realized when buying tickets and applies to trips in June, while the return can be realized by the end of this year. The condition for obtaining a 30 percent discount is entering a special promo code during the booking and purchase of airline tickets, which will be available today. The discount applies to the fare, while airport taxes and other fees remain the same.

The company said in a statement: "It is important to emphasize that Croatia Airlines plans to further expand its network of flights from Zagreb and Adriatic destinations to European capitals during the summer months, following which passengers would be offered trips to 18 European and 7 Croatian destinations.

From Zagreb, regular international flights are planned to 14 European destinations - Amsterdam, Athens, Vienna, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, London, Munich, Paris, Rome (via Split), Sarajevo, Skopje, and Zurich.

Split Airport should be connected to a total of 12 foreign destinations during the summer season. A novelty is a seasonal flight between Split - Prague, on Saturdays, from the end of June to the middle of September. Return airline tickets on this route are available at a promotional price of 139 euros. In addition to Prague, Croatia Airlines aircraft should connect Split with Vienna, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, London, Lyon, Munich, Paris, Rome, and Zurich.

Also, direct flights from Dubrovnik to Athens, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Rome, and Zurich and from Rijeka to Munich are planned.

To ensure connectivity and strongly support the tourism product of the Republic of Croatia, Croatia Airlines plans to offer more than 80,000 seats per month on flights from European destinations to Croatia during the summer season. In cooperation with many tour operators, more than 200 charter (extraordinary) flights are planned. Austria, Italy, Ireland, Israel, and Scandinavia.

Air connections within Croatia will continue to be provided by flights in domestic scheduled traffic between the airports of Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Osijek, Zadar, Brač, and Pula, at all times and on all flights taking maximum care of passenger safety and adhering to current epidemiological measures, concludes the press release of the Croatian national airline.

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.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Croatia Airlines Summer Flights to 33 International Destinations from 4 Croatian Airports!

May 4, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Croatia Airlines summer flights have been announced to 33 international destinations from 4 Croatian Airports! 

Croatian Aviation reports that the Croatian national airline Croatia Airlines announced a destination plan for this summer season with departures from four Croatian airports: Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, and Rijeka.

The largest number of international lines was announced from its central hub, Zagreb, with as many as 14 lines, followed by Split, Dubrovnik, and Rijeka.

Lines from Zagreb

This summer, Croatia Airlines will operate from Zagreb to as many as 14 European destinations. Most of the announced lines are already in service. Still, with the beginning of June, the number of weekly operations to almost all destinations is expected to increase and the introduction of regular lines to Dublin and Athens.

Certain destinations to which Croatia Airlines normally operated from Zagreb in the summer were missing. The company points out that it is ready to react to the increase in demand and operate on certain routes that are not currently announced if necessary.

Lines from Split

The Croatian national carrier will increase the number of international routes from Split Airport. Namely, as many as 12 scheduled flights have been announced, and a new one will operate - Croatia Airlines will connect Prague and Split with one flight a week, on Saturdays. Return tickets on this line are currently on sale for 970 kuna.

In addition to Prague, regular routes to Vienna, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, London, Lyon, Munich, Paris, Rome, and Zurich are also announced.

Lines from Dubrovnik

Although Croatia Airlines does not currently have international routes from Dubrovnik, this will change as early as this month when Dubrovnik will be connected to Frankfurt again. Along the route to Frankfurt, Croatia will offer direct flights from Dubrovnik to Athens, Munich, Paris, Rome, and Zurich.

One line from Rijeka

Rijeka should be connected to Munich again from the beginning of June. Croatia Airlines plans three flights a week on this route, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, and in addition to the code-share with Lufthansa, a flight is also available on Saturdays. This is extremely important for Rijeka Airport, which has no new routes this year (only one from Frankfurt), so Croatia Airlines will connect Rijeka with a large European hub such as Munich.

In addition to regular lines, the company has been engaged on charter lines for a long time, which is planned to continue this summer season, especially on charters from the markets of Austria, Italy, Ireland, Israel, and Scandinavia.

Tickets on all these routes are available for booking on the official website of the national airline.

With 33 international routes from and to four Croatian airports, Croatia Airlines will support the tourism sector in Croatia in this summer season. Like last year, it will be imperative to have good air connections with European destinations.

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.

Monday, 26 April 2021

Seasonal Croatia Airlines Flights from Split and Dubrovnik Reintroduced, Many Lines Increased from May

April 26, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as new Croatia Airlines flights from Split and Dubrovnik were introduced, and many lines have been increased from May. 

Croatian Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines announced the planned flight schedule for May. In addition to 13 international routes from Zagreb Airport, the company will operate 5 international routes from Split and one route from Dubrovnik Airport.

13 lines from Zagreb Airport

In May, Croatia Airlines continues to operate regular international traffic to 13 European destinations. Daily flights to Amsterdam continue, as well as more daily flights to Frankfurt.

The company will continue to operate to the following destinations, with several operations planned from mid-May:

Munich - from 20 May twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays,

Vienna - from 17 May three times a week, on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Sundays,

Brussels - from 17 May three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays,

Dublin - from 27 May twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays,

Copenhagen - from 10 May four times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays,

London - from 7 May twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays,

Paris - from 2 May three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays,

Rome - from 2 May four times a week, on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays,

Sarajevo - from May 11 four times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays,

Skopje - from 17 May three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays,

Zurich - daily from 17 May.

More international lines from Split Airport

In addition to the existing international routes to Rome, Frankfurt, and Munich, Croatia Airlines will resume operations on three more seasonal routes to the following destinations at the end of May:

Vienna - Saturday 22 May,

London - from 29 May, Saturday. From June, additional flights on Fridays and Mondays,

Zurich - from May 22, Saturday.

Croatia Airlines will operate on the existing three routes according to the following schedule:

Rome - from 2 May four times a week, on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays,

Frankfurt - three times a week, on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, daily from the end of May,

Munich - from 14 May four times a week, on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Dubrovnik - Frankfurt line reintroduced
In the second half of May, from Friday, 21 May, Croatia Airlines will again operate on a regular international route between Dubrovnik Airport and Frankfurt. By the end of May, two flights a week have been announced, on Fridays and Sundays. 

Croatia Airlines' flight schedule for May looks far better than in previous months. There will be an increase in the number of weekly frequencies on almost all routes, and the introduction of three more routes to Split Airport and regular flights on the line between Dublin and Zagreb should be especially emphasized.

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.

Monday, 19 April 2021

Executives of Croatia Airlines and Zagreb Airport Discuss Growth Incentive Model

ZAGREB, 19 April, 2021- Executives of the Croatia Airlines (CA) and Zagreb International Airport (MZLZ) on Monday discussed the use of the airport's Growth Incentive Model aimed at increasing air traffic.

During the talks held at the transport ministry, both sides showed interest to find a constructive solution to mutual benefit and will intensify talks on that topic in the coming period, reads a press release issued by the ministry.

Transport Minister Oleg Butković was quoted as expressing satisfaction with today's meeting

The ministry and the entire government finds it important to enable Croatia Airlines to survive in doing business while at the same time we wish to support developing business and opening new routes at Franjo Tuđman Airport, Butković said. 

"The pandemic has had an exceptionally negative impact on air transport in the entire world and we are all aware that it is necessary to invest significant effort to survive on the market and preserve every job," Minister Oleg Butković said as carried by the press release.

It was agreed to intensify talks with the ministry in an effort to come to a favourable solution in line with legislative regulations and practices in air transport.

Croatia Airlines is calling on MZLZ to adjust conditions for CA's use of the airport in line with those offered to Ryanair, which has announced opening a base in Zagreb.

CA recently said in a press release that under the terms offered to Ryanair, in 2019 this national flag carrier would have paid MZLZ HRK 135.4 million less than the amount actually paid, which means that instead of a net loss of some HRK 80 million, the company would have posted a net profit of more than HRK 55 million.

Croatia Airlines believes this is a breach of fair market competition and potentially harmful activity, "because of the obvious interest by the parties involved."

Croatia Airlines wants MZLZ to adjust its terms of use of the airport to those offered to the Irish airline Ryanair, taking the number of routes and passengers into consideration.


Saturday, 17 April 2021

Could Ryanair Find Croatia Airlines Incentive Payments Problematic?

April the 17th, 2021 - Croatia Airlines has already been dealt a significant blow by Ryanair arriving in Zagreb, but will Croatia Airlines incentive payments, which it has been being paid since long before the coronavirus crisis also pose an issue for the Irish carrier? It seems it could indeed.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, although the EU Court of Justice recently approved the incentives given by Finland, Denmark and Sweden to their respective air operators, Ryanair said it would appeal the ruling because it runs counter to the principles of the European Union and the free market.

This largest European airline, which is based in Ireland and operates throughout Europe and carried 152 million passengers in pre-pandemic 2019, explained that the Finnish Government has approved a loan of 600 million euros to Finnair, and the overall incentives for this carrier since the beginning of the crisis have now reached a whopping 1.2 billion euros.

The Danish and Swedish governments have respectively given a loan guarantee to SAS of 132m euros, bringing the total aid paid out to the company to over 1.3 billion euros in the last year alone.

Although Ryanair doesn't specifically mention Croatia, the fact is that Croatia Airlines incentive payments stood at around 1 billion kuna over the last 1.5 years alone (around 132 million euros) through several models of assistance, and as the Irish carrier has ambitious plans in Croatia, especially in Zagreb, where one of its main competitors is CA. Owing to that, it is possible that soon there will be questions asked and issues raised.

According to Ryanair's calculations, EU countries have granted a total of 30 billion euros in incentives to their national operators during the coronavirus crisis - The Lufthansa Group received a total of 11 billion euros in this period, as did Air France and multiple others. There are also Norwegian with 800 million, LOT with 650 million and Condor and Air Europa with 600 million euros of state incentives each.

Ryanair pointed out that although the ongoing coronavirus crisis has damaged all airlines that contribute to the economies and connectivity of Finland, Denmark and Sweden, the governments of those countries have decided to support only their carriers. Ryanair asked EU judicial and regulatory bodies to review these incentives as early as back in mid-2020, and they're also announcing an appeal against yesterday’s European Court ruling.

"One of the EU's greatest achievements is the creation of a true single market for air transport. The European Commission's approvals for Finnish, Danish and Swedish state aid were contrary to the fundamental principles of EU law.

These judgments establish a process of liberalisation in air transport back 30 years, allowing Finland, Denmark and Sweden to give their national carriers an advantage over more efficient competitors, based solely on nationality. We'll now ask the Court of Justice to abolish these unfair subsidies in the interests of competition and consumers.

If Europe is to emerge from this crisis with a functioning single market, airlines must be allowed to compete on a level playing field. Undistorted competition can eradicate inefficiency and benefit consumers with low prices and choice,'' they stated from Ryanair, indicating that Croatia Airlines incentive payments could indeed pose a problem.

It's worth noting that this week Croatia Airlines also complained about the conditions and incentives that Ryanair received in its new base in Zagreb from the concessionaire of the Zagreb International Airport (MZLZ).

CA said that they, as the largest long-term user of Franjo Tudjman Airport's services with more than a 50 percent share of its annual passenger traffic, are asking the concessionaire at the MZLZ airport to harmonise the agreed conditions of airport services with better commercial conditions than those received by the new competitor in Zagreb, Ryanair.

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

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