Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Croatia Airlines Flights from Zagreb: 10 International Seasonal Lines Dropped

April 6, 2021 - The latest flight news for Croatia as there could be 10 fewer international Croatia Airlines flights from Zagreb this summer. 

Croatian Aviation reports that the Croatian national airline will no longer sell 10 international routes on which the company operated from Zagreb in the summer of 2019, before the outbreak of the global pandemic.

These are international routes from Zagreb Airport that the airline has gradually introduced since the summer of 2016 and on which it operated seasonally in the summer flight schedule. Most of the lines were in operation from April to October, but certain lines started operations earlier, in March, and continued until December.

The airline will likely not resume traffic on as many as 10 international routes from Zagreb Airport in the upcoming summer flight schedule:

Barcelona,

Bucharest,

Lisbon,

Mostar,

Milan,

Prague,

Oslo,

Stockholm,

Helsinki,

St. Petersburg.

Vueling and TAP Portugal should operate on the routes from Barcelona and Lisbon, Ryanair will operate to Milan, and Zagreb Airport will not have direct flights to other destinations (Bucharest, Mostar, Prague, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, and St. Petersburg).

Only flights from Zagreb to Dublin and Athens are on sale (with a stop in Dubrovnik). Still, the question is whether Croatia Airlines will withdraw the route to Dublin in the coming weeks, which the airline briefly introduced around the Easter holidays.

In the summer flight schedule, the Croatian national airline will continue to operate to several European destinations from Zagreb, mainly to major European hubs (such as Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, London, etc.). Still, the question arises as to why the airline did not choose to operate on certain routes on which there is no competition, at least with a minimum of two flights a week in the peak season.

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, 1 April 2021

How Will Croatia Airlines Survive Ryanair Zagreb Arrival?

April the 1st, 2021 - The Ryanair Zagreb arrival was recently finally confirmed following months of speculation, and while this is absolutely fantastic news for the Croatian capital and for the Irish company itself, what will happen with an already enfeebled Croatia Airlines and the frequent accusations it faces of being too expensive?

As someone who lives in Zagreb and travels twice per year to the United Kingdom, more precisely to London, I was dreading having to pay Croatia Airlines prices as British Airways, which was far cheaper, still hasn't returned on this route as a result of the pandemic. With Ryanair now firmly on its way, I have zero doubts that many will be thinking the same as I am.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, although it is neither the first nor is it the largest company, the wildly popular Irish low-budget airline Ryanair has become synonymous across Europe for its ultra cheap flights and is more or less always first option for young people, as well as for many business people who need to travel a lot.

In addition, Ryanair has been present in Croatia since the mid-2000s, but their announcement that it will open its regional base in Zagreb still resonated like a bomb in domestic business and within tourism circles who are anticipating the Ryanair Zagreb arrival with gritted teeth and tight jaws.

While many people in Croatia and Europe are happy to rub their hands together because they will have the opportunity to, with good and long-term planning, travel to another European capital such as London for about 50 euros or less, the question is how their arrival in the Croatian capital will affect Croatia Airlines, which really didn't need the Ryanair Zagreb arrival to add to its already overflowing heap of problems.

Aviation analyst Gojko Mavrinac, the editor-in-chief of the Croatianaviation portal, pointed out that, in addition to Ryanair deciding to introduce routes to the same European cities as Croatia Airlines (Rome, Milan, Frankfurt, Brussels, London, Paris), it will definitely take a huge percentage of national passengers from the national carrier and deal it another enormous blow.

"Croatia Airlines should react promptly to the Ryanair Zagreb arrival, but the fact is that Croatia Airlines cannot enter the fight at all, primarily because of its prices, with such a large airline. Ryanair has entered the main Croatia Airlines base where it plans to expand its business and Croatia Airlines is now in an almost hopeless situation, I hope they all sat down at the table in Buzin yesterday and are continuing to try to find a solution,'' warned Mavrinac.

He added that passengers are looking for cheap tickets today and Ryanair will offer precisely that in Zagreb and thus take a large "part of the cake" from the continually burdened Croatia Airlines, which financially cannot even enter the ring against this European giant.

"A radical change of business is needed for the company to survive in the capital now that the Ryanair Zagreb arrival has been confirmed, which, in the summer of 2022 plans to have routes to as many as 40 destinations from the Croatian capital, far more than CA ever had even in normal circumstances back in 2019," said Gojko Mavrinac.

Croatia Airlines commented that there is no doubt that the announced flights of the Irish airline from the Franjo Tudjman International Airport in Zagreb will be a direct and additional competition to the national airline.

“CA will adapt its business to the new market circumstances in as much as is possible. It should be noted that part of the newly announced routes refers to flights to secondary airports in destinations to which the national airline regularly flies to primary airports, ie major European transport hubs (Brussels, Frankfurt, Rome, London, Paris) throughout the year, thus continuously providing Croatia's air connections with the rest of the world,'' they stated from the Croatian national airline.

An enormous injection for the capital's tourism

Although the deal was probably agreed before the Ryanair Zagreb announcement came, the second largest Croatian airline, the private TradeAir, announced recently that it plans to take over the fifth aircraft for its fleet soon. According to avioradar.hr, it is an Airbus319 that will join the Fokker F-100 and three Airbus A320.

TradeAir owner Marko Cvijin says an engagement has already been arranged for their fifth aircraft. The Ryanair Zagreb arrival will breathe new life into Zagreb's tourism, which fell by a concerning 76 percent last year due to the coronavirus crisis and the earthquake, as evidenced by the figures presented recently which showcase about 340,000 guest arrivals and 770,000 overnight stays throughout all of 2020.

In the run-up to the record year which was 2019, Zagreb had 1.3 million arrivals and 2.4 million overnight stays. Simultaneously with the announcements of arriving in Zagreb, Ryanair announced the continuation of operations for Zadar, where it has had a base in the summer season for years, and the increase of the existing 20 routes with another 17.

For all current coronavirus information specific to Croatia, including border and travel rules, as well as testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark this page.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Croatia Airlines Mask Rules Change Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

March the 30th, 2021 - Croatia Airlines mask rules change slightly as the situation with international travel continues to be plagued by problems.

The vaccine may finally be here, but with the rollout being slow and problematic across Europe (with the exception of the United Kingdom), the coronavirus crisis is still continuing to cause tremendous issues for the airline/travel industry. Croatia Airlines, which has faced issues since long before the pandemic struck, isn't immune to these problems but has managed to keep its head above water.

Croatia Airlines mask rules have changed as the situation continues to unfold, both in terms of the spread of the virus itself and in terms of the various lockdown measures different European countries are introducing. 

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatia Airlines has announced that as of Tuesday, March the 30th, 2021, only protective medical/surgical masks are allowed on all their flights, meaning that ordinary cotton masks are no longer enough to be accepted for boarding.

''Acceptable face coverings are medical (surgical) face masks and masks with filters (FFP2, N95 or KN95 without valves) - they stated from the Croatian national carrier, before urging passengers to please pay the proper attention to this and other measures for flights as the responsibility to do so lies solely with them.

From March the 30th, 2021, the use of protective medical/surgical masks only are allowed on all Croatia Airlines flights, read a post by Croatia Airlines on Monday the 29th of March 2021.

- On all Croatia Airlines flights, wearing a mask over the nose and mouth is mandatory.

- Visors and scarves are not allowed as a replacement for face covers on our flights.

- Children under the age of six are not required to wear face masks.

- If for health reasons you cannot wear a face mask, you must have a medical certificate as well as a negative test for COVID-19.

- Bring your own ballpoint pen to fill out the forms or to pre-fill the form needed to enter your destination.

For all current information on coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel and border rules, as well as testing centres up and down the country, make sure to bookmark this page.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Croatia Airlines Flights to Osijek and Brac Airport Canceled Until Mid-April

March 29, 2021 - The latest flight news as Croatia Airlines flights to Osijek and Brac have been canceled until mid-April. 

Croatian Aviation reports that the Croatian national airline has announced the introduction of seasonal PSO routes within Croatia at the beginning of the summer flight schedule. However, flights on three PSO lines have been canceled until mid-April.

Croatia Airlines has canceled flights between Osijek and Split, Osijek and Dubrovnik, and Zagreb and Brac until the second half of April. Considering that these are PSO routes, on which the Republic of Croatia compensates for the difference between the realized revenues and direct flight costs, it is not clear why the national airline canceled the already announced flights.

Croatia Airlines offered flights on Sundays on the Split - Osijek - Split route starting March 28, but the first two announced rotations were canceled. Currently, the first direct flight on this line is on offer for April 11, but the company may cancel that flight as well.

The Dubrovnik - Osijek - Dubrovnik line was supposed to start operating today (March 29), but that flight was canceled, and other flights on Mondays until April 19.

According to the PSO program, the seasonal Zagreb - Brac - Zagreb service should operate twice a week. Still, the company canceled flights on Tuesdays until May and scheduled flights on Saturdays until April 24 were also canceled, which obviously will not meet the minimum prescribed number of available seats on the line this year.

Passenger demand is very low during the pandemic. Still, given that these are routes on which the state bears the difference between revenues and costs, it is not clear why Croatia Airlines canceled these flights, especially around the Easter holidays, when a certain number of Croatian citizens will surely travel between distant regions.

The purpose of the PSO is to enable rapid connectivity between the outermost regions. A flight lasting less than an hour between Zagreb and Brač or Osijek and Dubrovnik can in no way have an alternative in road transport, which takes many times longer, and which a certain number of passengers will now be forced to do since there are no direct flights at the moment, or they will cancel the planned trip.

Passengers from Osijek have an alternative to travel to Dubrovnik and Split with Trade Air, which opened sales in the summer flight schedule a few days ago, so travel by plane from Osijek to Split is possible four times a week, every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. In contrast, flights to Dubrovnik are available twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tickets can be purchased on the airline's website.

The PSO program will continue to apply until the end of this year's summer flight schedule according to the items from the contract in force from 2016 to 2020. The Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure said that the tender for the new contract period was not announced due to the outbreak of a global pandemic. When asked how the pandemic was justified when the tender was supposed to be announced a few months before the virus appeared in China, the competent Ministry did not answer.

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Croatia Airlines Removes 14 Summer Routes in 2021

March 10, 2021 - The latest flight news as Croatia Airlines removes 14 summer routes in 2021.

Ex Yu Aviation reports that just two weeks away from the start of the summer flight schedule, Croatia Airlines removed flights from Zagreb to Barcelona, Bucharest, Dublin, Helsinki, Lisbon, Milan, Mostar, Oslo, Prague, St Petersburg, Stockholm, and Tel Aviv, all of which operated in the 2019 summer schedule, as well as services between Dubrovnik - Dusseldorf, and Split - Belgrade. 

The aviation portal reveals that bookings should not really pick up until later this spring, even though a better season is expected in Croatia this year. 

“We have drafted several scenarios for the summer season, but considering the circumstances, which are changing on a daily basis, we will completely optimise our timetable in accordance to existing conditions and demand. We anticipate a better tourist season compared to 2020, but the question is when exactly it will start. It is already apparent it will not begin at the start of the 2021 summer flight season but rather in mid-May or early June. In line with those circumstances, we will optimise our capacity and will have to undertake a permanent optimisation process," said the head of Croatia Airlines’ Commercial Division, Slaven Žabo, at the Aviation Arena summit.  

“Unfortunately, we cannot talk about the post-Covid strategy for this summer because the coronavirus pandemic is still having a significant impact on aviation, primarily because of entry restrictions at border crossings within the European Union. Under normal circumstances we would already be taking bookings for the summer season and selling our capacity, however, these bookings are completely lacking this year. Already in February we saw a significant impact on bookings for the summer. We expect that late bookings will come, and we are ready for them at Croatia Airlines. However, it is questionable whether those late booking will be able to substitute the lack of bookings we are seeing now. It is obvious that the expected increase in demand at the start of the summer season, which coincides with the Easter holidays this year, is completely absent and we were forced to modify our planned timetable for this period," Žabo said about reduced summer bookings thus far. 

Further changes in the summer flight schedule are possible, considering demand and the endlessly evolving COVID-19 regulations in place. 

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Friday, 29 January 2021

Flights to Croatia: Croatia Airlines Reduces International Traffic in February

January 29, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Croatia Airlines reduces international traffic in February.

Ex Yu Aviation reports that due to entry restrictions and requirements in European Union member states, Croatian national airline Croatia Airlines will reduce its international network of destinations next month. 

Namely, in February, Croatia Airlines will connect Zagreb with Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Rome (via Split), Brussels, Copenhagen, Zurich, Paris, and Skopje, reducing its network to nine international destinations. Croatia Airlines will not run to Sarajevo and Vienna next month, even though the airline operated to those destinations in January.

Non-stop flights will be maintained from Split to Frankfurt, Rome, and Munich, and it will maintain its extensive domestic network next month. 

Ex Yu Aviation adds that the Croatian airline concentrates on flights where passengers can continue to connect through its partners. 

“Croatia Airlines is a regional carrier with the prime purpose of connecting Croats with Europe and the rest of the world through major European hubs with connections to the networks of our Star Alliance partners. We will continue to connect major European hubs as this is our strategy, and it will remain unchanged. However, we will also provide connections for Croatian people to fly within the country, and we will continue to provide direct links to Croatian holiday destinations from around Europe. We believe that the hub and spoke system will survive. Croatia Airlines is a strong regional operator with a clear goal. It is also well connected with many other airline partners through its interline and codeshare agreements and part of the best alliance in the world - Star Alliance," Croatia Airlines' CEO, Jasmin Bajić, had said. 

Commenting on the airline’s expectations in the post-pandemic era, Bajić added:

"Being a small airline may be an advantage to surviving the global turmoil - we can be more flexible during this time and more daring in seizing any new opportunity on the market. There is a downside as well - there are fewer means for investment compared to the bigger carriers. We are considering a few scenarios for the post-pandemic Croatia Airlines and each of them has the goal of positioning the company onto new markets and strengthening its position in existing markets."

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Monday, 18 January 2021

Flights to Croatia: Croatia Airlines Operates to 9 International Destinations Until January 31

January 18, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Croatia Airlines operates to 9 international destinations until the end of January. 

Croatian Aviation reports that the Croatian national airline, Croatia Airlines, will operate on 9 international routes departing from Zagreb from Monday, January 18, to Sunday, January 31.

Thus, Croatia Airlines continues to connect Zagreb with 9 international destinations within Europe until the end of this month. The airline has reduced the number of weekly flights on certain routes, leaving daily flights from Zagreb to Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

A look at the updated flight schedule until the end of January 2021:

Zagreb - Amsterdam - Zagreb is in traffic daily until the end of January. 

Zagreb - Vienna - Zagreb is temporarily suspended. The airline has no planned flights on this line until the end of January. Austrian Airlines has also suspended traffic on this route, so there are no direct flights between the two cities.

Zagreb - Brussels - Zagreb will operate on Sunday, January 24, Friday, January 29, and Sunday, January 31. 

Zagreb - Frankfurt - Zagreb operates on average twice a week. By the end of the month, the airlin will perform 29 return flights on this line. 

Zagreb - Copenhagen - Zagreb will operate on Wednesday, January 20, Friday, January 22, Wednesday, January 27, and Friday, January 29. 

Zagreb - London - Zagreb will operate on Monday, January 18, and Monday, January 25. 

Zagreb - Paris - Zagreb will operate on Thursday, January 21, Sunday, January 24, Thursday, January 28, and Sunday, January 31. 

Zagreb - Rome - Zagreb (via Split) will operate on Monday, January 18, Sunday, January 24, Thursday, January 28, and Sunday, January 31. 

Zagreb - Sarajevo - Zagreb is temporarily suspended. The airline has no planned flights on this line until the end of January. There are currently no direct flights between the two cities.

Zagreb - Skopje - Zagreb will operate on Monday, January 18, and Friday, January 29. 

Zagreb - Zurich - Zagreb will operate on Sunday, January 24, Wednesday, January 27, and Sunday, January 31. 

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Friday, 15 January 2021

Flights to Croatia: Croatia Airlines Only Airline Offering London-Zagreb

January 15, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Croatia Airlines is the only airline currently offering direct flights between London-Zagreb.

Croatian Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines is the only airline to offer direct flights between London and Zagreb in January and February this year.

After a new strain of coronavirus was found in the UK, there was a suspension of air traffic to and from this country. Thus, air traffic between Croatia and Great Britain was briefly suspended. At that time, two airlines were operating between London and Zagreb - Croatia Airlines and British Airways.

British Airways returned to Zagreb only briefly, during the holidays, and currently has no direct flights between London and Zagreb in January and February. The first flight available for booking on their official website is scheduled for Monday, March 1, 2021.

Given the development of the global pandemic, British Airways may further cancel said operations, but it is unwise to forecast a month or more in advance.

However, with the first days of 2021, the Croatian national airline started operating again on the route between London and Zagreb and offers direct flights between the two cities with a minimum weekly frequency, every Monday.

It is the only direct line from Croatia to London. Namely, other airports in the winter flight schedule do not have a direct line to this European metropolis, except for Dubrovnik, to which British Airways also operated in the winter, apart from this year.

From March 1, Croatia Airlines also plans to increase the number of weekly flights, but this will, as is the case with British Airways, primarily depend on the global pandemic and the demand.

Croatia Airlines operates A319 aircraft on the route between London and Zagreb, which have a capacity of 144 seats in the national airline's fleet. By the end of February, Croatia Airlines offers over 2,300 seats on direct flights between these two capital cities. 

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Croatia Airlines and Trade Air Operate Regular Domestic Routes in January Despite Restrictions

December 29, 2020 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Croatia Airlines and Trade Air operate regular domestic routes despite restrictions.

Croatian Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines and Trade Air will continue to operate on domestic routes despite the restrictive measures introduced.

Below is the flight schedule on domestic routes in the first 10 days of the new year.

In the first 10 days of January, the Croatian national airline will have three active domestic routes, from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, Split, and Pula via Zadar. The airline reduced the number of weekly operations, adjusting capacity to current demand.

The Zagreb - Dubrovnik line will have 24 return flights in the first 10 days of January, mostly 2 to 3 a day, and two flights are also available on New Year's Day, January 1, 2021. Only on Friday, January 8, is one departure from Zagreb to Dubrovnik announced. 

The Zagreb - Split route will have 27 return flights from January 1 to 10. This is a larger number of operations, given that Croatia Airlines operates from Zagreb to Rome via Split. On that flight, it is possible to buy tickets in the domestic segment Zagreb - Split - Zagreb.

The Zagreb - Zadar - Pula - Zagreb will have the smallest number of operations in the first 10 days. Namely, only three flights were announced on this line in the mentioned period, on January 3, 7, and 10, 2021.

Another airline operating on routes within Croatia is Trade Air. The airline did not change its flight schedule due to the introduced measures and continues to operate according to the following schedule:

Osijek - Zagreb - Osijek, 6 times a week, 2 daily flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays,

Osijek - Rijeka - Osijek, 2 times a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays,

Osijek - Pula - Split - Pula - Osijek, 2 times a week, Mondays and Fridays,

Rijeka - Split - Dubrovnik - Split - Rijeka, 2 times a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Trade Air will also operate on January 1 on the Osijek - Zagreb - Osijek, and Osijek - Pula - Split - Pula - Osijek lines.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Flights to Croatia: January 2021 Croatia Airlines Flight Schedule Announced

December 22, 2020 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as the January 2021 Croatia Airlines flight schedule is announced. 

Croatian Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines has announced its flight schedule for January 2021. You can find the network of destinations and the number of weekly flights on all international routes departing from Zagreb below.

In January next year, Croatia Airlines will connect Zagreb with 10 international destinations. The Zagreb-London-Zagreb route, on which Croatia Airlines has open sales on certain dates, is excluded from this number, but since the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency has issued a NOTAM banning direct flights between Great Britain and Croatia, traffic on this line will depend on the development of the epidemiological situation. We remind you that the entry of passengers from Great Britain by air into the Republic of Croatia is currently not allowed (either by direct flight or by transfer).

The Croatian national airline will continue to operate daily on two routes from Zagreb; to Amsterdam and Frankfurt. The Zagreb-Frankfurt route will have a minimum of two flights a week, which should be more than enough in terms of capacity.

The Zagreb - Brussels line will operate twice a week, on Fridays and Sundays, and the Zagreb - Paris line will operate on the same days.

The Zagreb - Rome (via Split) line will have three flights a week in January, every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday.

The Zagreb - Copenhagen route will operate twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays (additional flights are available on Saturdays and Sundays, February 2 and 3, 2021),

Flights from Zagreb to Sarajevo and Skopje will operate twice a week, to Sarajevo on Thursdays and Sundays and Skopje on Mondays and Fridays.

The Zagreb - Zurich line will operate twice a week in January, on Wednesdays and Sundays (additional flight on Saturday, January 2), while the Zagreb - Vienna line will operate only once a week, on Wednesdays.

The route from Zagreb to Copenhagen is currently the longest (in nautical miles) in the network of the Croatian national airline. These are OU480 / 481 flights. The journey takes a little more than 120 minutes on average, especially in the winter months when the DashQ400 aircraft operates on this route, which has a significantly lower maximum speed than aircraft from the Airbus 320 family.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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