Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Croatian Airport Passenger Numbers Skyrocket in October

ZAGREB, 15 Dec 2021 - In October, airports in Croatia catered for 564,000 passengers, which is 431% more than in October 2020, and the number of flights jumped by 140% 9,368, according to the data provided by the national statistical office (DZS).

The cargo transported through Croatia's airports increased this October by 17.2% compared to October 2020.

In terms of passenger traffic, the Airport of Zagreb ranked first, with 180,600 passengers using this airport in October, or 231% more than in October 2020.

Split's airport ranked second, (160,700 passengers), or 541.6% more on the year.

Dubrovnik's airport saw a rise of 720.6% to 114,300.

A majority of flights were between the Croatian airports and Germany, Great Britain, France, and Italy.

However, the passenger traffic in Croatia's airports in October was still below the results in the pre-pandemic October 2019.

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

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

WTTC and ETC: Freedom of Movement Restrictions in the EU Should Be Avoided

November 23, 2021 - The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the European Travel Commission (ETC), with the support of a number of key travel stakeholders, called on the EU Member States to align their responses to the deteriorating situation with COVID-19 and avoid imposing any freedom of movement restrictions in Europe.

As reported by HrTurizam, organizations say the sector cannot afford inconsistent and ever-changing national responses to the pandemic such as freedom of movement restrictions, and a common EU approach is the only solution to rescue Europe's faltering travel and tourism sector.

The WTTC and ETC state that the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) now acknowledges that travel restrictions in the EU have not had a significant impact on reducing virus transmission, hospitalizations, or deaths. They also stress that measures aimed at restricting border crossings would not have any health benefits, but could result in a major economic impact on the region.

According to the latest WTTC survey, up to 900,000 jobs are at risk across the EU travel and tourism sector this year if travel restrictions are reintroduced this winter. Furthermore, governments across the EU could lose up to €35 billion from the sector’s contribution to the economy before the end of 2021 if strict travel and freedom of movement restrictions come into force.

We urgently need to restore confidence to travel, not create even more uncertainty, says Julia Simpson, president and CEO of WTTC, adding that it is vital that we have a properly coordinated EU-wide response that both companies and travelers can understand.

"The introduction of vaccination across the EU is among the best in the world with 65% of the population now fully vaccinated. We cannot afford to undo all the hard-earned progress made this year. This will have catastrophic consequences for jobs and livelihoods. While we fully recognize that public health is paramount, we call on all EU Member States to continue to use the EU's digital COVID certification, which has successfully enabled fully vaccinated people to travel safely and freely. ”

Luís Araújo, President of the ETC, pointed out that the colder months are approaching and some European countries are facing a worsening epidemiological situation. "We call on EU governments to work together to ensure freedom of movement across Europe. We must avoid any further uncertainty or fragmentation. With a high vaccination rate, EU COVID certification, and strict safety protocols in place, safe travel is absolutely possible. On the eve of the long-awaited holiday season, EU citizens need clear and coherent rules,” says Araújo.

Last year, a WTTC survey found that more than two million jobs in travel and tourism were lost across the EU, and its latest survey reveals that if broad freedom of movement restrictions are introduced in 2022, another three million jobs would be at stake next year.

After 18 months in which economies around the world have already been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, WTTC research also shows that if punitive restrictions remain in place for most of next year, more than 143 billion euros could be lost from the EU economy.

Finally, the WTTC and ETC stress that only a coordinated approach will save millions and financial resources for the lives of those dependent on the tourism sector.

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

Thursday, 28 October 2021

ECDC Map Shows Entire Croatia Dark Red

ZAGREB, 28 Oct 2021 - The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control's (ECDC) latest COVID map shows that Croatia is entirely dark red as are large parts of Eastern Europe.

Dark red signifies a very high risk of COVID-19 incidence.

Last week the capital Zagreb and Pannonian Croatia were dark red on the ECDC map, while Adriatic Croatia and North Croatia were red.

The ECDC estimates COVID-19 risk according to the bigger statistical regions within a country (NUTS 2).

NUTS 2 regions must have a minimum of 800,000 inhabitants and a maximum of three million. There are only four NUTS2 regions in Croatia - Pannonian Croatia, Adriatic Croatia, Northern Croatia, and the City of Zagreb.


ECDC Map for October 28th, 2021

Unlike during the summer months, when the epidemiological situation was worst in the west of the EU, now regions in the east of the EU are mostly marked red or dark red.

All regions of Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovenia are dark red, as are the largest parts of Slovakia and smaller parts of Greece. Hungary and Germany are entirely red, while neighboring Austria is partly red and partly dark red.

The epidemiological situation is better in the Czech Republic, where two regions are orange and the rest are red. The situation is similar in Poland, while all Baltic countries are entirely dark red.

Of the Scandinavian countries, Sweden has the best situation, being entirely orange, while Finland is completely red.

The Benelux countries as well as Ireland are red or dark red, while France is completely orange.

Italy and Spain have the best epidemiological situation, being green and orange, while Portugal is orange.

The ECDC updates its epidemiological map every Thursday.

Red means the number of active cases in the past two weeks has been between 75 and 200 per 100,000 population and that 4% or more of the COVID tests have been positive.

Dark red are those countries where the total number of cases in 14 days has been over 500.

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.

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

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Croatians Can Travel to USA for Business, Tourism Without Visas as of Today

ZAGREB, 23 Oct 2021 - As of Saturday, 23 October Croatians can travel to the United States for business or tourism purposes without visas, after obtaining approval via the online Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA, the US Embassy in Zagreb said.

In a statement to the media, Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy, Mark Fleming, expressed satisfaction that Croatians now have the opportunity to travel to the USA without visas.

Croatia has entered the Visa Waiver Programme, a comprehensive security partnership between the United States and participating countries that enable travel to the USA for business or tourism purposes in the duration of up to 90 days, with national security being protected in the process.


''To America without Visa, Croatia is in the Visa Waiver Program: Find out more:'' (U.S. Embassy in Zagreb)

This was a long process but it was worthwhile and we congratulate the Croatian government on successfully meeting the strict conditions of entry into the Visa Waiver Programme, Fleming said, expressing satisfaction that this would deepen the ties between the United State and Croatia.

For a country to enter the VWP, it must meet criteria regarding the fight against terrorism, law enforcement, immigration, document security, and border management, and the percentage of rejected visa applications must be below 3%, which Croatia met only recently.

Application via ESTA is possible any time before travel but the US Homeland Security Department recommends that travelers apply as soon as possible, and 72 hours before travel at the latest, the US Embassy says.

Passengers from VWP countries and Croatians qualify as of today, do not have to present a specific travel itinerary before applying via ESTA.

Application via ESTA is generally valid for two years.

Passengers with valid B1/B2 visas should continue using their visas when traveling to the USA, the embassy notes.

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

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Zagreb Still Dark Red, More Parts of Croatia Become Dark Red in Latest ECDC Map

ZAGREB, 21 Oct 2021 - Zagreb is still dark red and parts of central and eastern Croatia have been marked dark red on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control's latest COVID map, released every Thursday.

Red means the number of active cases in the past two weeks has been between 75 and 200 per 100,000 population and that 4% or more of the COVID tests have been positive. Dark red is those countries where the total number of cases in 14 days has been over 500.


Today Croatia reported 3,053 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours as well as 17 related deaths. To date, 46.27% of its population has been vaccinated against COVID, including 55.46% of adults, of whom 52.18% fully.

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

Thursday, 2 September 2021

8 Croatian Counties Turn Red On ECDC Map, Coastal Counties Remain Orange

ZAGREB, 2 Sept 2021 - The eastern and central parts of Croatia turned red on the updated COVID transmission map produced by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on Thursday.

The City of Zagreb, coastal counties, and the north of Croatia remain orange.

The red zones in Croatia are thus the counties with the seats in Karlovac, Sisak, Bjelovar, Slavonski Brod, Požaga, Virovitica, Osijek, and Vukovar.


ECDC (September 2, 2021)

The only "green" EU member-states on the updated map are Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland.

The ECDC publishes maps every Thursday in support of the EU Council Recommendation on a coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was adopted by EU Member States on 13 October 2020 and amended on 28 January 2021 and 14 June 2021. The maps are based on data reported by EU Member States to the European Surveillance System database by 23:59 every Tuesday.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centers across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Ryanair Zadar Base: Flights Reduced to the UK in July and August

July 7, 2021 -  Three new routes are postponed while the number of rotations on two existing lines to the UK is reduced at the Ryanair Zadar base. 

Although Ryanair officially opened its base in Zadar at the beginning of July, announcing 78 weekly flights to 37 destinations, 17 of which are new, by the middle of the first working week, the largest European airline had to postpone the start of three new routes and reduce the number of rotations on two existing lines to the UK, reports

The lines to Edinburgh, Newcastle, and Liverpool, which were supposed to be established from the first of July, have been postponed until the beginning of September, and the number of rotations on the lines to Manchester and London Stansted has been reduced from four to two a week.

Ryanair did not publish the information on postponing the lines on its official website, though it was learned by people in Zadar who booked tickets for Edinburgh in July and August. The company informed them that the lines were canceled, and reservations were not accepted until September.

"Ryanair has postponed the start of certain routes to the UK, so instead of July 1, the routes to Edinburgh and Liverpool, which were supposed to fly twice a week, and Newcastle, which was supposed to go once a week, will start on September 1. In addition, the lines to Manchester and London Stansted are already running but have been reduced from four to two weeks of rotation," confirmed Nikola Barač from Zadar Airport.

Although they are not sure at Zadar Airport why there was a delay and reduction of flights to Great Britain, they assume that the reason is the epidemiological restrictions that await all passengers upon arrival.

"Ryanair has not informed Zadar Airport of the reasons for the reduction of flights to the UK. However, since passengers must be in a ten-day quarantine upon arrival in the UK, it can be assumed that the cause of the decline in interest in these flights is the epidemiological measures in force in the UK," Zadar Airport points out.

The news of postponing Ryanair's flights to Great Britain in July and August resonated negatively in the Zadar area, which has been developing its tourist offer for the last ten years thanks to the guests of low-cost airlines. The Association of Private Accommodation Landlords president in Zadar, Daniel Radeta, was surprised by the information.

"It is definitely a blow for this tourist season in which we have already gone deep. There is no going back. This is devastating information given the circumstances, more precisely the new bans introduced by the Civil Protection Headquarters, and concern only Zadar County," said Radeta, adding that "northern" tourists are among the best when it comes to spending power. He believes that the delay in flights will definitely lead to the cancellation of reservations in private accommodation.

"When it comes to Zadar County, the British make up a substantial share of tourists precisely because of the connection via airlines. In addition, they are among the largest consumers, so the delay of flights in July and August, the two strongest months of the season, will definitely affect the season result. It will certainly not be what we thought," Radeta points out, adding that this move by Ryanair is not only a blow to renters but the entire tourism sector in the area of ​​Zadar, but also neighboring counties where Ryanair's guests went. Therefore, he points out that the tourist boards should have put more effort into facilitating the arrival of guests in Zadar and how to ensure their safe arrival and departure, at least in the form of a rapid antigen test. "This would make a difference compared to other destinations in the country," says Radeta, who also referred to the latest decision of the Headquarters on the ban on holding concerts and similar events in places where it is not possible to keep records of guests.

"Such decisions greatly affect tourists who thought to visit our county. Before arriving at a destination, tourists read about what is happening there, and according to the headquarters' decisions, they think that we are falling on the road because of COVID-19. The tourist community now only cares about its program, which until recently they did not even have, and they should worry about attracting tourists to our destination. Now the most important thing for them is that their festivals are held at the Forum. Some have the right to everything, and some to nothing," Radeta estimates.

The Zadar County Tourist Board director, Mihaela Kadija, did not have information about the cancellation of lines for Great Britain during the two peak summer months.

"I am sorry, but I am not surprised by such a decision of the airline due to the epidemiological restrictions that some countries have for their own and other citizens. Even before July 1, when they officially opened their base in Zadar, Ryanair had 13 open flights from Zadar. Still, the aviation industry is specific, and in such pandemic, conditions are susceptible to any changes," said Kadija, who does not think that due to fewer arrivals, guests from the UK season be less successful.

Guests from the UK are always welcome, but I don’t think they will significantly affect the season's success. Our traditional markets are Germany, Austria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and Poland. Those markets are stable for now, and I don’t think this flight delay will have an overly negative impact on this year’s tourism results.

The introduction of restrictive measures by the Zadar headquarters due to the growing number of new cases is also welcomed.

"That was the right and the only possible decision in the current situation of increasing the number of newly infected. When we had about 20 patients daily, Germany put us on the orange list. After that, the number of patients per day rose to 40 and more. Normally we should not allow such a spread of infection because our guests are looking for safety, not risk, and places where measures are not being followed. That is why I welcome the decision of the staff. If people adhere to the measures, we have the opportunity to have a great season," said Kadija, emphasizing that the number of guests in June was over 40 percent higher than last year at the same time. July.

As of July 1, 37 destinations were available from Zadar on Ryanair's direct flights, of which 17 were new.
Austria: Vienna; Belgium: Brussels Charleroi; Czech Republic: Prague; Denmark: Aarhus; France: Paris Beauvais, Marseille; Germany: Berlin, Bremen, Cologne, Dusseldorf Weeze, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Memmingen; Hungary: Budapest; Ireland: Dublin; Italy: Bari, Bologna, Milan Bergamo, Naples, Rome Ciampino; The Netherlands: Eindhoven, Maastricht; Poland: Gdansk, Krakow, Poznan, Warsaw, Wroclaw; Romania: Bucharest; Sweden: Gothenburg, Stockholm Skvasta, Vaxjo; United Kingdom: Edinburgh, Liverpool, London Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle.

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.

Friday, 2 July 2021

United and Delta in Dubrovnik! Flights from New York in Operation

July 2, 2021 - With the launch of United and Delta in Dubrovnik, the Adriatic pearl now has flights from New York through October. 

More good news arrives from the Croatian coast as two major US airlines have launched to Dubrovnik! Namely Untied Airlines officially began operations on Thursday, July 1,  from New York’s Newark Airport, connecting New York and Dubrovnik for the first time in 30 years, reports Ex Yu Aviation. The inaugural flight on the 214-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft had just two seats available in economy class as of Thursday morning, the aviation portal added. 

United will depart from New York on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and arrive in Dubrovnik the following day through until October 2. United has also timed its flights to ensure they connect to 65 cities in North America. 

Delta, on the other hand, will launch operations from JFK Airport today (July 2), running four times per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through October 3. Delta will operate this service using the 26-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have made great efforts to promote the city and to maintain the destination’s visibility with special emphasis on the US market. Our efforts have paid off. Seven weekly nonstop flights from the US are a huge success for Dubrovnik’s tourism. The American market is the second biggest in Dubrovnik, right after the UK. This year we expect excellent results from this extremely important market for us, and we hope to see continuous growth in the years ahead," said Dubrovnik Tourism Board director, Ana Hrnić.

“This service will significantly contribute to the return of our American guests to Dubrovnik and Croatia as a whole in these difficult times," the Dubrovnik Airport General Manager, Frano Luetić, added. 

Delta will offer 24,406 seats between New York and Dubrovnik this summer and United 22,684 seats. 

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.


Friday, 18 June 2021

Air Canada Zagreb Service to Launch from Toronto in 2022!

June 18, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as an Air Canada Zagreb service will launch from Toronto in 2022! 

Great news for the Canadian market in Croatia as Air Canada plans to launch a service between Toronto and Zagreb from June 2 next year.

Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports that Air Canada will take over the route from Air Canada Rouge. Air Transat also operates on this route and plans to resume its seasonal service to Zagreb service on May 29 next year with the 332-seat A330-200 jet. Recall, Air Transat canceled all already announced flights on the Toronto-Zagreb route this year back in March. In January, the airline confirmed that it planned to re-establish the line between Toronto and Zagreb in the upcoming summer season, leaving the possibility of reducing or completely canceling the line if the demand was not satisfactory. The airline established a direct line between the two cities in June 2016, continuously increasing the number of weekly flights from season to season until the summer season last year when the line did not operate due to the pandemic.

Thus, from June 2, 2022, the new Air Canada service will run three weekly flights on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and return the following day. The 297-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft with 32 seats in business (signature) class, 24 in premium economy, and 241 in the standard economy will operate on this line. 

The last flights that connected Toronto and Zagreb operated in October 2019, after which the COVID-19 pandemic stopped all flights between Toronto and Zagreb in 2020 and 2021. 

Ex Yu Aviation adds that the Canadian market is significant for Croatia as it serves both travelers on holiday and those visiting friends and family. 

Just how successful the routes between Canada and Croatia have been can be seen by the 2019 figures when Air Canada Rouge and Air Transat recorded 65,486 passengers, a 14.6% increase compared to 2018. Furthermore, the number of indirect passengers flying between Croatia and Canada was 71.254 in 2019.

This announcement means even more good news for the capital city airport, which also welcomes a Ryanair base this year with 15 international routes. 

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, 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.

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