Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Flights to Croatia: Ryanair Returns from July, Luxair to Three Croatian Airports

June 10, 2020 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for flights to Croatia with updates from Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik.

Croatian Aviation reports that Irish low-cost carrier Ryan air has announced it is resuming lines to many destinations in Europe, including Croatia.

From the beginning of July, the company will start flying to numerous destinations again, and Zadar Airport has been the most frequent host of Ryanair aircraft for many years.

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It will be the same from July, when the company will resume as many as ten lines from Zadar:

Zadar - Vienna, twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) from 03.07.,

Zadar - Brussels, once a week (Thursdays), from 02.07.,

Zadar - Prague, once a week (Saturday), from 04.07.,

Zadar - Berlin, once a week (Thursdays), from 02.07.,

Zadar - Cologne, once a week (Sunday), from 05.07.,

Zadar - Dusseldorf, twice a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays), from 04.07.,

Zadar - Karlsruhe, twice a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays), from 04.07.,

Zadar - Stuttgart, once a week (Sunday), from 05.07.,

Zadar - Milan, twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) from 03.07.,

Zadar - Poznan, once a week (Sunday) from 05.07.

Apart from Zadar, flights from other airports in Croatia have also been announced:

Dubrovnik - Dublin, twice a week (Wednesdays and Sundays) from 01.07.,

Split - Dublin, twice a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays) from 04.07.,

Split - Stuttgart, once a week (Sunday) from 05.07.,

Rijeka - London, once a week (Monday) from 06.07.,

Pula - Berlin, once a week (Saturday) from 04.07.,

Pula - Brussels, once a week (Monday) from 06.07.,

Pula - London, twice a week (Thursdays and Sundays) from 02.07.

Ryanair additionally canceled certain routes to Croatia and significantly reduced the number of weekly flights in July. Dubrovnik remained on one line, just like Rijeka, and several lines from Pula were canceled. Zadar was supposed to have almost 40 lines this summer, but this July, it will have only 10.

Ryanair currently has affordable flight prices, return tickets can be purchased for as little as 23 euro for a trip in July, and the promotion is valid until June 11 this year.

Furthermore, Luxair, Luxembourg's national carrier, has announced the resumption of its scheduled flights to destinations in Europe, according to Croatian Aviation.

Among others, international routes to Croatia are among the first to be launched to three Croatian airports: Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik.

Earlier in the summer flight schedule, Luxair also operated on the Luxembourg - Brač route, once a week, but this route was canceled and is not on sale in this summer flight schedule either.

The company reintroduces the following lines to Croatia:

Luxembourg - Zadar, from June 20, once a week, every Saturday,

Luxembourg - Split, from June 21, once a week, every Sunday,

Luxembourg - Dubrovnik, from June 20, once a week, every Saturday (from July 4, an additional flight is introduced on Wednesdays).

Luxair will operate on all the above routes to and from Croatia with the DashQ400 aircraft, which has a capacity of 76 passengers in the fleet of this carrier. The company also has larger capacity aircraft in its fleet, B737-700 and B737-800, but for now, it does not plan to use them on routes to Croatia.

Finally, Croatia Airlines has announced the flight schedule from June 22, with the addition of international flights from Split airport.

Croatian Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines will introduce five international routes from Split, four to destinations in Germany and one to Switzerland.

Apart from Split, Croatia Airlines will introduce numerous international routes from Zagreb from June 15.

As of June 24, the Split-Frankfurt route will be introduced with two weeks of departure, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, of the A319 aircraft.

From June 27, the Split - Dusseldorf route will be introduced, once a week, on Saturdays, by A319 aircraft.

From the same date, the Split - Berlin route will be introduced, also once a week (Saturdays), by A319 aircraft.

As of June 26, the Split - Munich route will be introduced with two weeks of departure, on Fridays and Saturdays, for the 76-seat DashQ400 aircraft.

From the same date, the Split - Zurich line will be introduced, also with two weeks of departure (Friday and Saturday) by DashQ400 aircraft.

From June 24, the Croatian national airline will operate on five international routes from Split, and one domestic, between Split and Zagreb.

Split Airport currently has the most announcements of airlines in the summer flight schedule.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Flights to Croatia: Croatia Airlines Resuming Flights to More European Destinations

June 4, 2020 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for flights to Croatia with updates from Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik, Zadar and Pula. 

Croatian Aviation reports that given that the borders between EU member states should open from June 15, the Croatian national carrier has released tickets for sale to several European destinations from Zagreb.

In addition to the existing international lines from Zagreb to Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Zurich, from June 15, the following flights are on sale:

Zagreb - Brussels, 4 times a week (Mon, Thu, Fri, Sun),

Zagreb - Munich, 3 times a week (Mon, Wed, Fri),

Zagreb - Sarajevo, 3 times a week (Mon, Wed, Fri),

Zagreb - London, 2 times a week (Mon, Fri),

Zagreb - Split - Rome, 3 times a week (Mon, Thu, Sun).

From June 16, the Zagreb - Dublin line will be introduced, 3 times a week (Tue, Thu, Sun), and from June 18, the Zagreb - Vienna line will be introduced, 2 times a week (Thu, Sun).

On the routes to London and Dublin, A319 / A320 aircraft will operate, while on other routes, smaller capacity aircraft of the DashQ400 type will operate.

As of June 15, Croatia Airlines will operate to 11 international destinations, along with domestic routes to Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Pula.

As of Monday, June 22, the company has more weekly flights on sale than in the first week of operations, but Croatia Airlines is likely to further modify its flight schedule for that period.

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Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Flights to Croatia: Latest from Zadar Airport, Aegean Airlines, and More

June 2, 2020 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for flights to Croatia with updates from Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik, and Zadar.

Avio Radar wrote about when traffic would return to Zadar Airport, which was meant to be the Ryanair hub this year. Namely, Croatian national airline Croatia Airlines has postponed the start of traffic on the domestic route from Zadar to Zagreb to June 8, instead of the previously planned start of June 1. German low-cost airline Eurowings will begin operating on June 20 with a route from Cologne, initially once a week, on Saturdays. 

Ryanair plans to resume traffic to Zadar on selected lines from July. The first line from Stuttgart to Zadar, on which Lauda operates, will run from June 28. All other lines are planned to begin operations from the first week of July. 

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There is not a single new line planned for this year with aircraft based in Zadar. Also, no routes from France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom are on offer. 

Furthermore, on all routes operating from the beginning of July, the number of flights per week has been significantly reduced. Most flights per week have been announced on the Vienna-Zadar route, twice a week from the beginning of July, with reinforcements to three times a week in August. 

In other flight news, Ex Yu Aviation reports that Aegean Airlines has delayed the resumption of all of its flights to Croatia until September. While the airline planned to fly from Athens to Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split from the beginning of July, they will not resume operations until September 1 to Split, September 2 to Zagreb, and September 3 to Dubrovnik. 

Finally, Croatian Aviation reports that Austrian national carrier Austrian Airlines has confirmed it is re-establishing the Vienna-Zagreb-Vienna route from the end of June.

As announced earlier, Austrian will fly from Vienna to Split and Dubrovnik again this month, so it was logical to expect the introduction of a route to Zagreb, on which, in addition to Austrian, Croatia Airlines also operates regularly.

From June 29, Austrian Airlines will once again connect the capitals of Austria and Croatia with one flight a day.

In the morning, a departure from Vienna to Zagreb is planned at 06:40, with arrival in Zagreb at 7:35. Departure from Zagreb to Vienna is planned for 8:15 am, with arrival in Vienna at 9:15 am.

In the afternoon, the plane will take off from Vienna at 13:10, and the arrival in Zagreb is planned for 14:05. The return to Vienna is at 15:15, with arrival in the Austrian capital at 16:10. In addition to direct (p2p) demand, passengers from Vienna are being offered a large number of destinations in Europe that Austrian will restart from the end of this month.

The smaller capacity aircraft, the DashQ400 and Embraer 190, are planned for the flights.

The company is currently working on a new flight schedule for July, but Austrian is expected to continue flying once a day on the Vienna-Zagreb-Vienna route in the first half of July.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Flights to Croatia: Lufthansa Adds New Lines from June, Transavia from France

June 1, 2020 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for flights to Croatia with updates from Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik, Pula, Zadar, Rijeka.

Croatian Aviation reports that German national airline Lufthansa has announced flights to a number of European destinations, and among others, the company will launch flights to Dubrovnik and Pula.

From June 20, the company will fly from Frankfurt to Pula and Dubrovnik, only once a week, for now.

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The Frankfurt - Dubrovnik line is being reintroduced (from June 20), once a week in June, every Saturday. It will operate an A320neo aircraft with a capacity of 180 passengers.

The Frankfurt - Pula line is being reintroduced (from June 20), once a week in June, every Saturday. There will be a slightly smaller aircraft (100 passengers) on this route - the Embraer190.

Lufthansa is not currently planning flights to the region from Munich, but will gradually add flights from Frankfurt. Lines to other airports in Croatia are expected to be introduced in July.

Croatian Aviation adds that Croatia Airlines is launching another domestic route. Along with Dubrovnik and Split, from June 8, the line Zagreb - Zadar - Pula will be in traffic.

The route normally operates twice a day in the summer flight schedule, but the domestic national airline is now reintroducing it with one daily flight between the mentioned cities.

From June 8, the line will operate daily, in the evening, with departure from Zagreb at 9 pm and arrival in Pula at 11 pm. Of course, this line, just like before, has a stopover in Zadar. The return flight from Pula departs at 6 am for Zadar, from where the DashQ400 plane continues its journey to Zagreb, where it should land at 07:40 am.

Passengers from Pula and Zadar will be able to continue their journey to Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Zurich and Frankfurt with minimal time in Zagreb. In the opposite direction, from the mentioned cities to Pula and Zadar via Zagreb, the waiting time between flights is long and demotivating for passengers.

Latvian national carrier Air Baltic has made operational changes to its seasonal routes to Croatia. Namely, Croatian Aviation reports that the long-term seasonal line Riga - Rijeka, which mainly operated twice a week, this year will operate only once a week from July 29 to September 16.

Air Baltic also announced the introduction of the Vilnius-Rijeka route, which was originally scheduled to operate twice a week, but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Riga - Split line will operate once a week from June 29, and the second weekly flight will be introduced from July 31. The original plan of this airline was to fly on the line Riga - Split three times a week, but the number of weekly departures was reduced in accordance with demand.

The Riga - Dubrovnik line will operate twice a week from July 27, there has been no reduction in capacity and weekly departures on this line, but the start of traffic has been postponed until the very end of July.

The Vilnius - Dubrovnik line, which was supposed to operate for the first time this year (just like the Vilnius - Rijeka line), has been completely canceled for this summer season. The two-week flight on this line was originally planned.

This airline will complete the entire summer flight schedule with a unified fleet in order to reduce operating costs, so A220 aircraft are expected on all routes to Croatia, which have a capacity of 145 passengers in the fleet of this carrier.

Finally, Transavia, the low-budget subsidiary of the Air France group - KLM, announced the re-launch of certain lines from France to destinations in Croatia.

Croatian Aviation reports that from June 29, Transavia will launch a total of four routes to the airports in Dubrovnik, Split and Pula.

The Nantes - Dubrovnik line is being reintroduced with two weeks of departure (Wednesdays and Saturdays). The company currently plans to maintain that number of rotations through July as well.

The Paris Orly - Dubrovnik line is being reintroduced, three times a week (Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays). The number of weekly flights is expected to increase to a total of four in July.

The Paris Orly - Split line is reintroduced, three times a week (Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays). The company intends to increase the number of flights to as many as six a week in July.

The Paris Orly - Pula line is also being introduced, twice a week, and it is likely that this number of flights will be maintained in July.

Transavia has B737 aircraft in the fleet, versions 700 and 800, with a capacity of 149 and 189 seats.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Flights to Croatia: Windrose Further Delays Zagreb, Croatia Airlines Resumes Amsterdam

May 26, 2020 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for flights to Croatia with updates from Zagreb.

Croatian Aviation reports that Ukrainian airline Windrose announced a new planned start of operations on the Kyiv-Zagreb route.

The line has not existed so far, so this summer season was supposed to be the first in which there would be a direct connection between the capitals of Ukraine and Croatia, and it was originally supposed to start operating in May.

Due to the pandemic and the crisis it caused, the company initially postponed the start of operations to the end of May, then to June, but after Monday's changes, the company decided to further postpone the planned start of operations to July 21.

Windrose kept three weeks of flights on this route in the reservation system, with a small capacity aircraft (48 seats), ERJ-145.

Additional delays are also likely, as well as the complete cancellation of the line for this summer season and the start of traffic only in the summer flight schedule in 2021.

Furthermore, on Monday, Croatia Airlines performed the first rotation on the Zagreb-Amsterdam-Zagreb service after a long break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although it was planned that initially smaller aircraft (76 seats) would be on the route, Croatia Airlines rotated the A319 aircraft (reg. Marks 9A-CTH) with a capacity of 144 seats.

The plane took off from Zagreb at 08:40 in the morning towards the capital of the Netherlands, with 78 passengers. The return flight from Amsterdam was delayed on arrival in Zagreb by only 12 minutes, but, interestingly, on the first day of the re-establishment of this line, there were as many as 124 passengers on the flight (load factor of 86% cabin occupancy).

After 1 hour and 20 minutes of flight through the airspace of the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Slovenia, the plane landed at Zagreb Airport and made an afternoon flight to Frankfurt, also the first after a long break.

Following the announcements of airlines in the region and Europe in general, we can expect the normalization of air traffic soon, but certainly not to the extent that it existed before the outbreak of the pandemic.

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

 

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Croatia Airlines Plans to Recover from COVID-19 in 2022

May 24, 2020 - Croatia Airlines CEO Jasmin Bajic spoke to “AirInsight” about how the national carrier plans to recover from the effects of COVID-19.

Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines should recover from the effects of the pandemic by 2022, and that it would better position itself in new markets. 

“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," said Bajic.

Bajic also spoke about the national carrier's recovery, and that it should be back on track by 2022.

“The pre-recovery has started but our industry will need two or three years to truly get back on its feet. We are gradually adding more flights into the distribution systems and we are seeing a positive market response. I would say that the main question is not when the recovery will start but how long it will take to recover. Me and my management team are confident that we can reach our 2019 figures by 2022. Personally, I would not be surprised to see Croatia Airlines’ figures reaching 2019 levels by the end of 2021, but we all agree that the recovery will be a long-lasting process during which we may again be exposed to another wave of the virus spread. Having said that, I also want to emphasise that, besides “U” shape and “V” shape scenarios, we need to be prepared for other scenarios too. This applies to many airlines around us as well. Many carriers will have to downsize for an unspecified time”.

Bijac concluded by saying the airline would not only connect Croats with Europe and the rest of the world, but would also provide connections for Croatian people within the country and offer direct links to Croatian holiday destinations around Europe.

“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," Bijac concluded.

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

Monday, 18 May 2020

COVID-19 in Croatia: Two Croatia Airlines' Pilots Infected on Frankfurt-Zagreb Flight

May 18, 2020 - Croatia Airlines announced on Sunday afternoon that two pilots from the Frankfurt-Zagreb flight on May 2 tested positive for the coronavirus, while other crew members tested negative. There were 14 people on the flight who were confirmed to be infected.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that at first, members of the National Headquarters claimed that there were 74 people on the flight, and now they say that an error occurred and that there were 115 people on the plane. As many as nine patients are workers of the company Đuro Đaković Montaža from Slavonski Brod who were returning from Sweden.

The Croatia Airlines press release transmitted in its entirety:

"Croatia Airlines has consistently complied with and implemented all decisions and recommendations of the European, German and Croatian public health and aviation authorities, and by flying on flight OU411 Frankfurt - Zagreb from April 1 to May 10, 2020, it enabled the return to Croatia of more than 3,500 Croatian citizens, who were caught in the global pandemic around the world.

For all those passengers, as potential carriers of the infection, and according to the decisions of the public health authorities, self-isolation of 14 days was prescribed upon arrival in Croatia. Given that these flights were performed in the context of the global coronavirus pandemic, risk assessments were continuously conducted, which were coordinated by the Croatia Airlines Crisis and Emergency Management Office. The estimated loss of the company related to the flights Zagreb - Frankfurt - Zagreb in the mentioned period amounted to 244,000 euro.

According to the results of the diagnostic processing, Croatia Airlines can confirm that two pilots from the flight Frankfurt - Zagreb on May 2 this year tested positive for the coronavirus, while all other cabin crew members who were in direct contact with passengers were negative.

The presence of the coronavirus in flight crew members cannot be associated with passengers who arrived on the same flight and who were found to be positive for COVID-19 by subsequent diagnostic processing. The pilots of the aircraft, namely, sit in a cabin that is physically separated from the passenger compartment of the aircraft and during, before or after the flight, are not and cannot be in close contact with the passengers.

Furthermore, all positive passengers from the said flight were workers returning from Sweden, and two passengers, a married couple who had arrived from Spain. According to the data available so far, none of the other passengers and cabin crew members are infected, so it is not possible to find a common link between the pilot and passengers, and it is unnecessary to state the seating schedule and occupancy of the aircraft as the reason for the spread.

It should be reminded that the crew of the aircraft from the said flight was notified of the event immediately after establishing the presence of a positive passenger on the flight and was preventively relieved of all flight duties for a period of 14 days in accordance with the internal protocol for dealing with such situations, with the obligation to report to the chosen family doctor and to act in accordance with public health recommendations.

Also, in accordance with the procedures and protocol, a self-isolation measure was established for the entire crew as a precautionary measure. Their health condition is monitored on a daily basis, while all the necessary tests are still carried out, taking care at all times of the safety of employees as well as passengers.

Also, in accordance with the protocol on dealing with a crisis situation and an emergency, all required data (seating schedule from the suspected passenger - the row in which he sat, and two front and rear rows) on passengers and crew members on the above were submitted on May 8, 2020, to the Service for Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases of the CNIPH.

The completed forms (Passenger Locator Form - PLF) on passengers are handed over by the airline to the representatives of the airport upon arrival, which in accordance with the request of the Croatian Civil Agency, has an obligation to keep and archive the forms for 30 days. If requested by the competent authorities, as was the case for the Frankfurt - Zagreb flight on 2 May, the air carrier is obliged to provide information on passengers and crew members, as well as the airport of arrival, which submits PLF forms to the competent authorities.

All protection measures implemented by Croatia Airlines against the outbreak of the COVID-19 infection are fully compliant with the recommendations and instructions of public health authorities, and during the flight, it is mandatory to use protective equipment and means for the entire crew (masks, gloves, disinfectants) and use of goggles and protective suits.

According to previous research conducted by international health and regulatory authorities, the possibility of infection in the aircraft is extremely small, given that air enters the cabin of the aircraft from the atmosphere and is purified by modern filters, and circulates vertically in the passenger cabin (bottom to top, and vice versa) rather than horizontally.

It should be reiterated and emphasized that the flight crew of the aircraft (captain and first officer of the aircraft) sit in the cockpit, which is physically separated from the passenger compartment and does not come into close contact with them during boarding and disembarking. Close contact of aircraft cabin crew is also minimal, given that since the beginning of the epidemic crisis, measures have been introduced in which the service of food and beverages onboard is abolished, and close contact with passengers is minimized, all in order to protect members crew and all passengers of Croatia Airlines.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, recommendations have been issued for passengers to wear masks in flight to protect themselves, crew members and other passengers, and as of May 4, the company implemented a decision on mandatory face covers and in-flight masks for all passengers. An electronic version of the PLF form has also been published on the company's website, and passengers are advised to fill it out before the flight and hand it over to the aircraft crew, and if they fail to do so, they must bring their own pen to complete the said form during the flight.

Also, passengers are required to check their health before arriving at the airport. It should be emphasized that by May 10, no recommendation of the public health authorities of the Republic of Croatia on air transport or on limiting the capacity of aircraft was issued. Until then, the planning of the seating arrangement of passengers in the aircraft was done by leaving space between them, if possible, while blocking 18 seats in the last three rows in the Airbus fleet and 14 seats in the Dash 8-Q400 fleet to accommodate passengers at which would be observed symptoms of COVID-19.

As of May 10, passenger seating planning is planned so that, if possible (depending on aircraft occupancy, aircraft configuration and aircraft balancing calculation procedure, etc.), the maximum possible distance between passengers is left and the rear row of seats is blocked throughout fleet, as well as one business class seat on the Q400 fleet.

It should be noted that the international regulatory bodies (IATA, EASA) also do not prescribe limiting the capacity of aircraft, but recommend everything as previously stated and what has been fully implemented so far," said Croatia Airlines in a statement.

Follow our live updates on the coronavirus crisis in Croatia 

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Croatia Airlines Expanding International Network from May 25

May 17, 2020 - After news this week that Croatia Airlines would reduce the frequency of its domestic flights, the national carrier announced plans to expand its international network. 

Croatia Airlines resumed its domestic flights on May 11, with two daily services from Zagreb to both Dubrovnik and Split. Though, not even one week later, and due to the lack of demand, the airline was forced to reduce the service and instead operate with a triangle routing Zagreb - Split - Dubrovnik - Zagreb. 

However, that hasn’t stopped the airline from reinstating its international network. Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports that from May 25, Croatia Airlines will reuse its service between Zagreb and Amsterdam, which a second daily service to Frankfurt will also be introduced. Recall, the Zagreb-Frankfurt route was the only international route to be maintained during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Furthermore, the national airline welcomed a new Airbus A319 aircraft to its fleet, which landed n Zagreb on Wednesday from Woensdrecht, Netherlands. The aircraft has the capacity for 150 passengers, which is slightly larger than the rest of Croatia Airlines’ A319 fleet. The aircraft was purchased before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Concerning the losses, it is too early to talk about it, as we do not know how long this crisis will last for. On one hand, you do not have revenue coming in, and on the other you do not know how big the expenses will be. We are adjusting to the current situation and are doing our job to the best of our ability. All our costs have been reduced as much as possible,” said Croatia Airlines’ CEO, Jasmin Bajić.

Ex Yu Aviation adds that over the past two months, Croatia Airlines has performed heavy maintenance on one of its Dash 8 turboprops, and minor work on the rest of the fleet. 

“Our long-term strategy is to perform the majority of work in-house with our own personnel. We invest a lot of resources to maintain a stable but flexible system in our technical department, relying on highly skilled personnel. We are fully capable of performing heavy maintenance on our fleet including six-year and twelve-year checks, non-destructive testing, shop work and engineering. However, despite this extreme new situation of closed borders and limited travel, we will continue work on our fleet, for it to be completely ready when the time comes for our aircraft to fly again,” said Croatia Airlines’ Technical Director Davor Bujan. 

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

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Croatia Airlines Already Beginning to Reduce Number of Flights

What will the future hold for the already enfeebled national carrier, Croatia Airlines? Long before the coronavirus outbreak occurred and created a whole host of issues, Croatia Airlines has been struggling. The search for a strategic partner bore no fruit, and the last thing the airline needed was a global pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc with the global travel industry. With countries having closed their borders in an attempt to slow down the spread of the new virus (COVID-19), countries which rely heavily on the revenue generated by tourism have been biting their nails, hoping for the epidemiological situation to change so that at least part of the summer season for 2020 can be rescued from the grasp of the economic crisis the virus has created. Croatia is among them.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/DB writes on the 15th of May, 2020, it has been unofficially learned from Croatia Airlines that the domestic carrier is set to reduce the number of flights available.

A mere three days after re-establishing flights from Zagreb to the Adriatic destinations of Split and Dubrovnik, the national carrier Croatia Airlines has decided to reduce those routes.

Namely, as the specialised aviation portal avioradar.hr has unofficially learned, Croatia Airlines decided on this move due to the very low interest in these flights and the small number of tickets being sold, which is more than understandable given the current uncertain situation.

Thus, as of yesterday, instead of two direct lines flying from Zagreb to Split and Zagreb to Dubrovnik, one line going from Zagreb to Split and then down to Dubrovnik has been established, which will operate as such until further notice.

It has been unofficially learned from Croatia Airlines that this change will likely last for a while and will change depending on the number of reserved seats on future flights.

For more on flights to, from, and within Croatia, follow our travel page.

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.

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