Friday, 19 February 2021

Flights to Croatia: Austrian Airlines Resumes Traffic to Croatia from End of March

February 19, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Austrian Airlines resumes traffic to Croatia from the end of March.

Croatian Aviation reports that from the beginning of its summer flight schedule, Austrian national carrier Austrian Airlines will again operate to three Croatian airports from its base in Vienna; to Dubrovnik, Split, and Zagreb!

A spokeswoman for the airline confirmed the flight schedule for March and April. While the number of weekly flights for the rest of the summer months has not yet been defined, the airline will define the flight schedule for the rest of the summer season in the next two weeks.

With the first day of the summer flight schedule (March 28), Austrian will renew three routes to Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik airports.

You can find the confirmed flight schedule below:

Four flights a week to Dubrovnik and Split
The Vienna - Dubrovnik - Vienna line will also start operating from March 28, and in March, it will also operate on Tuesday, March 30.

In the first week of April, two flights have been announced (Thursday and Friday, April 1 and 2); three flights are available in the second week (additionally on Sundays). From the third week of April, the airline will have four flights a week to Dubrovnik, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

By the end of April, Austrian will operate 17 return flights between Dubrovnik and Vienna, using various aircraft types from its fleet (DashQ400, Embraer 195, Airbus 319, and Airbus 320), with A319 aircraft operating on most flights. 4,664 seats are on offer between Dubrovnik and Vienna until the end of April.

The same number of flights, 17 of them, was announced on the Vienna - Split - Vienna route. The company will gradually increase the number of weekly operations, just as in Dubrovnik, offering four flights a week every week from mid-April, also on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

Concerning the line to Dubrovnik, larger aircraft (mainly A320) will operate to Split, so the number of offered seats between Split and Vienna is significantly higher than the other two lines to Croatia. A total of 5,400 seats between the two cities are currently available on the market.

It is currently possible to buy tickets for a direct flight to Zadar Airport from May 1. Still, Austrian Airlines has not yet defined its flight schedule from May to September, so it is advised you wait another 10 days when the flight schedule for the peak of the summer season should be confirmed.

The return of Austrian Airlines is important news for the three mentioned Croatian airports. Although this is a smaller number of flights than in 2019, Austrian will offer an enviable number of flights to Croatia in the pre-season given the current situation. Namely, in the stated period of only one month, a total of more than 15 thousand seats are available on the flights of this well-known airline.

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Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Flights to Croatia: Air Canada Rouge Cancels Toronto-Zagreb

February 17, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Air Canada Rouge cancels Toronto-Zagreb.  

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Toronto and Zagreb will no longer be connected by Air Canada Rouge, as tickets were officially removed from sale this week. The news comes just after Air Canada was given government approval to acquire leisure carrier Air Transat, which also operates to the Croatian capital.

Namely, the federal government approved Air Canada's purchase of competing airline Air Transat last week. Air Canada should now merge the Rouge brand into Air Transat, thus leaving the chances of both Air Canada and Air Transat operating Zagreb services unlikely. It could also raise competition in Europe.

“The Commission is concerned that the transaction could significantly reduce competition on 33 origin and destination (O&D) citypairs between the European Economic Area (EEA) and Canada. The Commission's preliminary market investigation revealed that Air Canada and Transat have been historically competing head-to-head for the passenger air transport services between the EEA and Canada. In particular, with its Air Canada Rouge brand, Air Canada developed a business model to address the lower-cost and leisure-oriented nature of the EEA-Canada passenger air transport markets, thus directly competing with Transat," said the European Commission. 

Zagreb is not the only victim of this merger, as Air Canada Rouge has also canceled services in Central and Eastern Europe, like Warsaw and Bucharest.

Recall, Air Canada Rouge did not work in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic but had plans to resume traffic on May 6. Toronto and Zagreb were to be connected four times per week until early October, with 140 return operations planned.

In 2019, both Rouge and Air Transat handled 65.486 passengers in the Croatian market, a 14.6% increase compared to the year before.

However, the good news is that Air Transat plans to resume seasonal flights between Toronto and Zagreb on May 11, increasing their operation up to three flights a week during the peak summer months.

Air Transat should operate 114 return flights with 36,660 seats available, with services operated by the Airbus A330-200 jet.

Ex Yu Aviation adds that as it currently stands, all Canadian citizens must quarantine upon returning to Canada for two weeks, while entry for most foreign nationals is banned into Canada. These restrictions have been in place for almost a year, and whether they will change by May remains to be seen. 

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Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Flights to Croatia: TUI Returns to Croatia this Summer with 15 Lines from Great Britain

February 16, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as TUI returns to Croatia this summer with 15 lines from Great Britain. 

Croatian Aviation reports that TUI, a well-known British company specializing in tourist trips from Great Britain to several well-known leisure destinations, including Croatia, has announced its return to Croatia in the upcoming summer flight schedule.

The British subsidiary of this well-known group did not offer holiday packages in Croatia in the 2020 summer flight schedule. As a result, all flights to Croatian airports were canceled, which certainly had a significant impact on the number of passengers, primarily in Dubrovnik and Pula, where TUI has an enviable number of flights per week. It should be emphasized that TUI operated with B787-8 and -9 to Dubrovnik and Pula, aircraft of a substantial capacity, which are primarily intended for long-haul operations.

In the upcoming summer flight schedule, the airline will renew numerous routes to Croatia (as many as 15 to three airports on the coast).

5 lines to Pula Airport
From May, Pula Airport will have as many as five direct routes from Great Britain, and all routes have been announced until the beginning of October:

Birmingham - Pula - Birmingham will operate from May 12 to October 9 twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays,

Bristol - Pula - Bristol will operate from May 8 to October 9, twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays,

Doncaster Sheffield - Pula - Doncaster Sheffield will operate from May 8 to October 9, once a week, on Saturdays,

Manchester - Pula - Manchester will operate from May 8 to October 9, twice a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays,

London - Pula - London will operate from May 8 to October 9, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

8 lines to Dubrovnik Airport
TUI will return to Dubrovnik with as many as 8 international lines, which is not surprising given that there is traditionally a great interest of British tourists for holidays in Dubrovnik and the surrounding area.

Birmingham - Dubrovnik - Birmingham will operate from May 6 to October 31, twice a week, Thursdays and Sundays,

Bristol - Dubrovnik - Bristol will operate from June 9 to October 31, twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays,

Cardiff - Dubrovnik - Cardiff will operate from May 13 to October 28, once a week, on Thursdays,

Doncaster Sheffield - Dubrovnik - Doncaster Sheffield will operate from May 13 to October 28, once a week, on Thursdays,

East Midlands - Dubrovnik - East Midlands will operate from May 13 to October 28, once a week, on Thursdays,

Glasgow - Dubrovnik - Glasgow will operate from May 6 to October 28, once a week, on Thursdays,

Manchester - Dubrovnik - Manchester will operate from May 9 to October 31, twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays,

London - Dubrovnik - London will operate from May 9 to October 31, twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays.

Two lines to Split Airport
Split Airport will have two TUI lines from Great Britain, which will start operating in early May.

London - Split - London will operate from May 10 to October 15, twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays,

Manchester - Split - Manchester will operate from May 10 to October 15, twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays.

British TUI has 15 lines on sale from Great Britain to Dubrovnik, Split, and Pula. There are currently almost 550 return flights on sale for this summer season.

The company could potentially delay the start of traffic to Croatia, which will primarily depend on the epidemiological situation and possible restrictions. Still, its return is certainly good news for all those involved in tourism, especially those oriented to guests from the UK.

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Monday, 15 February 2021

Flights to Croatia: TAROM Announces Bucharest-Dubrovnik Charter

February 15, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as TAROM introduces Bucharest-Dubrovnik this summer, and Croatia Airlines operates on only eight international lines from Zagreb until March. 

Croatian Aviation reports that TAROM, Romania's national carrier, plans to operate a charter line between Bucharest and Dubrovnik in this year's summer flight schedule.

The Romanian national airline plans to connect Bucharest and Dubrovnik this summer on a charter line for the Romanian tour operator Karpaten Turism, which offers tourist arrangements for holidays in southern Croatia.

The Bucharest - Dubrovnik line will operate from June 4 to October 15, 2021, with a frequency of one flight per week, every Friday.


RO3731: Bucharest (OTP) 07:50 - 08:30 Dubrovnik (DBV),

RO3732: Dubrovnik (DBV) 09:30 - 12:00 Bucharest (OTP).

Tourist arrangements include flight, accommodation, and transfers to and from Dubrovnik Airport, and reservations can be made on the tour operator's website. TAROM has no regular lines to Croatia, and the charter line to Dubrovnik was in operation almost 10 years ago.

The company has 28 aircraft in its fleet (Airbus, Boeing, ATR). ATR72-600 aircraft with a capacity of 72 seats, which the company took over only a year ago, should operate on the route to Dubrovnik. On the 21 return flights, the Romanian national airline will offer more than 3,000 seats between Dubrovnik and Bucharest.

The only direct commercial route between Croatia and Romania was that of Croatia Airlines between Zagreb and Bucharest (only in the summer flight schedule), but it is unlikely that the Croatian national airline will resume operations on that route in this year's summer flight schedule.

Furthermore, Croatian Aviation reports that until the end of February, Croatia Airlines will offer only 8 direct international flights from Zagreb.

Namely, from February 16 to 28, the Croatian national airline will offer 8 direct international flights departing from Zagreb Airport. The ninth international line is between Zagreb and Rome, but it has a stop in Split.

Zagreb - Amsterdam - Zagreb continues to operate daily,

Zagreb - Brussels - Zagreb operates on Fridays and Sundays (February 19, 21, 26, and 28),

Zagreb - Frankfurt - Zagreb continues to operate daily (2 to 3 times a day),

Zagreb - Copenhagen - Zagreb operates on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays (February 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, and 28),

Zagreb - London - Zagreb operates on Mondays (February 15 and 22),

Zagreb - Paris - Zagreb operates on Thursdays and Sundays (February 18, 21, 25, and 28),

Zagreb - Rome - Zagreb (via Split) operates on Thursdays and Sundays (February 18, 21, 25, and 28),

Zagreb - Skopje - Zagreb operates on Mondays and Fridays (February 15, 19, 22, and 26),

Zagreb - Zurich - Zagreb operates on Wednesdays and Sundays (February 17, 21, 25, and 28).

Lines to Munich, Sarajevo, and Vienna have been suspended. The airline plans to resume traffic to Sarajevo from February 28, while the resumption of direct flights between Zagreb and Vienna is expected from March 3.

From February 16 to 28, the airline will operate approximately 66 return flights from its base in Zagreb to the above-mentioned international destinations. These are fewer lines and weekly departures compared to the first half of February and January. Given the announcements of the reintroduction of direct lines from Zagreb to Vienna and Sarajevo, at the beginning of March, there should be a slight increase in capacity from Zagreb Airport, but also a larger number of weekly operations on other international routes.

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Sunday, 14 February 2021

People Also Ask Google: Is it Dangerous to Travel to Croatia in 2021?

February 14, 2021 - Google knows what people are searching for, and there are clues in the 'People Also Ask' prompt. So let's start answering - is it dangerous to travel to Croatia?

One of the challenges for a blogger after a number of years is to come up with engaging content to entertain one's readers. After ten years of writing about Croatia, I still feel that there is still SO much to write about, but some days inspiration can be lacking. Fortunately these days, there are plenty of tools available to help with ideas. 

Among them, I noticed last night as I searched for the latest news from Croatia, is the 'People Also Ask' prompt from Google. If anyone knows what people are looking for, it is surely Google. So why not start a series answering the questions about Croatia that people are searching for?


Here is the first list of questions that Google prompted, all of which TCN writers can answer. And we shall, on a daily basis, in a new feature called People Also Ask Google, which you will be able to follow as it unfolds in one dedicated category on TCN here. So, let's start at the top...

Is it dangerous to visit Croatia?

Not long after I moved to Hvar back in 2003, there was an article in the local regional newspaper about the theft of 50 litres of olive oil from an outbuilding on the island. I laughed to myself. I had just come from a job as an aid worker with armed guard wherever I went in eastern Somalia; if the theft of olive oil was making the regional news, life in Croatia would be safe indeed. 

Along with Japan, Croatia is the safest country I have ever lived in. As with everywhere else, you should always keep your wits about you regarding petty theft, but the biggest crime issue I have had to deal with personally was the theft of a fresh fish and my daughter's bag with her swimming stuff from an unlocked car in Hvar Town. So indignant was my six-year-old that she insisted on calling the police. The Hvar police were very helpful and promised to look into it, and asked her to tell Dad to lock his car in future. So it was all my fault. 

For many years, I - like most people on the island - did not lock the house when I left. In fact, I never had a key on me at all. It really was that safe. It still is, but a couple of spates of petty theft mean that I lock things these days.


How safe is Croatia? Official advice from the British Embassy.

You can read the complete British Embassy advice (which is constantly updated) here. Regarding crime, this is what they have to say:

Crime levels are low and violent crime is rare.

Some tourists have been the victims of overcharging in so-called ‘Gentlemen’s Clubs’, sometimes amounting to thousands of Euros. Victims can be threatened with violence if they refuse to pay.

Take care in busy tourist areas, where pickpockets are known to operate. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Don’t leave valuables unattended, particularly on the beach. Use a hotel safe if possible.

Report all incidents of crime to the local police station and get a police report.

I would just like to emphasise the police report. Croatia loves its bureaucracy, and things will go a lot smoother with a police report if you are the victim of crime.

Is it safe to visit Croatian now with COVID-19?

The decision of whether or not you should be travelling at all during the pandemic is one that you will have invariably taken already, and I am certainly would not be so presumptuous as to tell you what to do. Croatia is currently closed for tourism (although tourists are still able to come), and a negative PCR test is required at the border, no more than 48 hours old, or a period of quarantine. Additonal requirements are in force for travellers from the UK, Brazil and South Africa. The situation changes rapidly as you know, and the latest information can be found on the daily TCN daily travel update. If you have a question you would like answered in real time, the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community and chatbot has helped hundreds of people over the last few months. You can find them here (you will need to download the Viber app).

Croatia has had a more relaxed approach to lockdowns than other countries. Indeed, it was the only EU country to allow non-EU/EEA travellers to enter for much of last year. Measures are in please for everyone's safety. Please respect them - you can get the latest from the TCN daily travel update (it is also available in 24 other languages). 

Is Croatia dangerous for tourists? Comparing murder rates (which are VERY low here)

Just as non-violent crime is still comparatively rare in Croatia, so too violent crime. Murders and knife crime are very much the exception rather than the rule, and in the 2021 murder by country rankings, Croatia was thankfully very close to the bottom. 


With an average of 1.04 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, Croatia lies below Sweden, Cyprus, Bhutan, Bulgaria, Germany and the UK - and far below poor El Salvador, which tops the rankings with 82.84 homicides per 100k people. 

What violent crime there is tends to be related to local power struggles and grievances, which should not affect visitors in any way. 

Is Croatia safe to visit for single women?

One of the things I hear a lot from foreigners or diaspora who have taken the lifestyle choice to move to Croatia is just how safe it is for their families, and that this was a key factor in the decision to move. Many of them remark on the wonder of seeing single women walking home late at night in cities, without any problem, something that would not be the case back home. 

As anywhere, it is wise to take normal precautions, but I would say that Croatia is as safe as anywhere in Europe for the solo female travellor. 

Will black tourists have any problems visiting Croatia?

Having lived in Africa, Asia and all over Europe after starting out life in multicultural Manchester, moving to Croatia felt a little different, but I couldn't put my finger on the reason why (apart from it being 100 times more beautiful than Manchester, obviously). One day, I had an African client meeting on the square in Jelsa, and then I realised what it was - I was surrounded only by white people. This was not a criticism, far from it, more of an observation. Only a year before, i had been working in Somalia and previously as an aid worker in Rwanda, but seeing this black person was something exotic. I can only imagine how things looked to the local islanders. 

Although there are obviously exceptions, and it is somewhat of a generalisation, I don't think Croatians are racist, and I think sometimes curiosity is mistaken for something more sinister. A few years ago, I did some research and found that there were less than 30,000 registered foreigners in all Croatia, so the country is 99.3% Croatian. Add to that the fact that most of those non-Croatians are also white, and it is little wonder that other ethnicities are treated with more curiosity than perhaps they would be back home. 

As I am white, it would perhaps best to leave the final word on the subject with a black African lady living in Zagreb, who wrote an excellent piece on her experiences - What is It Like for Black People Living in Croatia?

Is Croatia safe to visit for LGBT tourists?

Croatia is a relatively conservative and very Catholic country. Attitudes to the gay community in certain parts of the country (rural Dalmatia, in particular) are particularly entrenched, but that conservatism is offset by much more liberal attitudes in places like Rijeka. 

The overall situation has improved greatly in the time since I moved here in 2003, and I think tourism has played a part in that. Gay Pride parades are now much more mainstream, for example, after a violent episode at Split Pride a decade ago. The coast and major tourist spots are much more accepting of gay tourists than a decade ago in my opinion, and I can't recall any major incidents in recent years. I would advise caution in overt expressions of affection in more conservative areas, where traditional positions are much entrenched, in particular the area of Imotski, whose burning of a gay effigy at last year's Carnival sent a message around the world that is not representative of other parts of Croatia by any means. If you would like more information, the Zagreb Pride website is an excellent place to start. 


Driving in Croatia - is it safe?

From the British Embassy website:

In 2019 there were 297 road deaths in the Croatia (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 7.3 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.6 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2019.

Having survived Ethiopia, where the Italians taught the locals to drive in Russian Ladas, anywhere feels safe to me. Some of the local driving leaves a little to be desired, and there tends to be a relaxed approach to driving with alcohol, particularly in more rural places, although the police have recently introduced draconian fines for those caught. 

Road safety

Take care when overtaking and be wary of other road users unexpectedly overtaking in slower traffic. Minor roads are usually unlit at night.

Emergency road help (HAK) may be reached by dialling (385 1) 1987. This service is staffed by English speaking operators. Traffic information in English is available on 98.5FM during the tourist season only.

Driving regulations

It is illegal to drive with more than 0.05% of alcohol in the blood system.

You must drive with dipped headlights from the last weekend in October until last weekend in March, even during the daytime. You must have winter tyres on your vehicle between 15 November and 15 April. You must not use a mobile phone whilst driving.

It’s obligatory to carry a fluorescent vest in your car whilst driving in Croatia. You must keep the vest in the car and not in the boot. You should wear the vest while attending to a breakdown. All passengers must wear seat belts and special seats are required for infants. Children under the age of 12 must not sit in the front seat.


Conclusion: Is it dangerous to visit Croatia?

Did you know that the man who discovered fingerprinting was a policeman in Argentina who was born on Hvar? Or that Croatia has an island called Baljenac, which is strikingly similar to a fingerprint? With these facts, how could Croatia be anything but safe?

Croatia is as safe as any country in Europe, and that safety is one of its largely untapped marketing gems, along with its lifestyle and amazing authentic experiences. Have you booked your holiday to Croatia, Your Safe, Authentic Lifestyle Destination yet?

If you have any suggestions to add to this resource, please send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Safe. 

To follow the People Also Ask Google about Croatia series, click here

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Flights to Croatia: WizzAir Announces Wroclaw-Split, Croatia Airlines to Launch Ancona Charter

February 14, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as WizzAir announces yet another new line to Croatia, this time from Wroclaw-Split Airport, while Croatia Airlines will launch charters between Ancona and Split in the summer flight schedule this year. 

Croatian Aviation reports that the WizzAir expansion in Split continues! For the third week in a row, this well-known Hungarian low-cost airline has announced the introduction of another new route to Split Airport. 

From June 20, the Wroclaw - Split - Wroclaw line will be introduced, which will be in traffic once a week, every Sunday, until September 12, 2021. A320 aircraft with a capacity of 180 passengers has been announced on this route. On the 13 announced rotations, the Hungarian carrier will offer 4,680 new seats.

This is the third new line to Split in just three weeks. With three new lines from Oslo, Gdansk, and Wroclaw, WizzAir will increase its market share at Split Airport with almost 30,000 additional seats!

Wroclaw is WizzAir’s new, fourth destination from Poland to Split (along with Gdansk, Warsaw, and Katowice). Given the continuous expansion of this low-cost carrier at Split Airport, it would not be surprising if they announced even more new routes to Croatia in the next month.

Ex Yu Aviation announces even more news for Split Airport. Namely, Croatia Airlines will launch charter flights between Split and Ancona in Italy this summer, organized by Italian tour operator Goro Tours.

Namely, flights will operate three times per week, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, from July 31 until August 28, 2021, driven by the Dash 8 Q400 turboprop.

This is excellent news for Split Airport, which is continuing to see an increase in flight connections this year. 

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Thursday, 11 February 2021

Flights to Croatia: TAP Portugal Plans Lisbon-Zagreb from End of March

February 11, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as TAP Portugal plans Lisbon-Zagreb from the end of March. 

As we previously reported, Portuguese national airline TAP will operate on the direct line Lisbon-Zagreb from the end of March this year.

Namely, Croatian Aviation reports that the connection between the two capitals will start on the first day of the summer flight schedule (Sunday, March 28). 

As a reminder, TAP Portugal connected Zagreb and Lisbon in the past, but the line was suspended in the spring of 2016. In the winter flight schedule, the flight between Zagreb and Lisbon had a stop in Bologna.

Returning to Zagreb in the spring of 2021, TAP Portugal wants to regain its position on the Croatian market, counting on Croatia Airlines not to resume traffic on its seasonal route between the two mentioned cities. Given that the Croatian national airline is unlikely to operate on this route in this year's summer flight schedule (not even in the summer of 2020), TAP Portugal will not have direct competition on the route between the capitals of Portugal and Croatia.

Three flights a week have been announced, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, with afternoon departures from Zagreb Airport. On all flights to Zagreb, A320 aircraft (previously planned and smaller A319) with a capacity of 174 passengers have been announced.

More than 32,000 seats between Lisbon and Zagreb available for sale in the summer season of 2021.

On a planned 94 return flights in the summer flight schedule, TAP Portugal will offer more than 32,700 seats between the two cities.

In addition to passengers who can choose the direct line between Zagreb and Lisbon, TAP Portugal is counting on a larger number of transfer passengers, primarily from the United States, who will have an excellent connection to and from Zagreb with the introduction of this line.

This is a very welcome return of another large airline to Zagreb Airport, which has not been present at Croatian airports for almost 5 years. It is currently possible to buy return tickets on this line for less than 130 euros.

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Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Flights to Croatia: British Airways Cancels Zagreb Flights Until End of March

February 10, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as British Airways cancels Zagreb flights until the end of March.

Croatian Aviation reports that the British national airline has withdrawn all flights on the London - Zagreb - London route until the end of March 2021.

Namely, British Airways withdrew all departures on the London Heathrow - Zagreb - London Heathrow route until the end of March.

In September, British Airways suspended traffic on this route and operated on it for a short time during the holidays (around November 1 and around Christmas). After a new strain of the virus was found in the UK, countries banned flights from the UK (including Croatia), so British Airways was forced to cancel flights to Zagreb.

The airline then released tickets for sale on the direct line between London and Zagreb, but, as usual, the flights never took off, and they will likely remain so.

Thus, British Airways has canceled all planned flights to and from Zagreb until the end of March, i.e., until the end of the winter flight schedule, which ends on Saturday, March 27, 2020.

On Sunday, March 28, British Airways will offer 11 weekly flights between the two mentioned capitals, though even this is questionable. It is to be expected that this airline will continue to cancel flights, which is not surprising given that there are strong restrictive measures that directly affect demand itself. 

The only direct option to travel by plane on this route is by Croatia Airlines, which operates between London and Zagreb only once a week, on Mondays. Still, the prices offered by the Croatian national carrier are quite steep. 

To give you an idea, a one-way ticket from Zagreb to London on February 22 costs around 2,316 kuna, and in the opposite direction even more.

Namely, a return ticket on this route with Croatia Airlines for travel between February 22 and March 3 costs almost 3,250 kuna or 430 euro!

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Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Nikolina Brnjac and Croatian Tourism Players Discuss 2021 Tourist Season Expectations in Croatia

February 10, 2021 - Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac and Croatian tourism players discussed the 2021 tourist season expectations in Croatia on HRT's Otvoreno program Tuesday night. 

T.portal reports that Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, as a guest on the HTV show Otvoreno hosted by Zrinka Grancaric, said domestic and foreign experts had far lower expectations last year than was the result of the tourist season, at 50 percent of the record 2019.

"We closed everything on time, and we started to open on time. In compliance with all epidemiological measures and standards, we had a tourist season. The tourism sector has proven to be much tougher than others had thought. Croatia has had good results compared to other Mediterranean countries. Of course, we will strive for that this tourist season as well. We hold regular meetings with the directors of our market offices, we have included our embassies, and the feedback is that tourists inquire about the epidemiological situation. The second issue is the security situation. The third question is the vaccination rate," she said.

She added that occupations for travel exist, bookings exist. Camps, holiday homes, nautical tourism, active holidays are mostly booked. Today's tourist is looking for that through security, she added. She pointed out that the certificate for health purposes was discussed at the last meeting of state and government heads.

"COVID passports, which are used as a travel document, were not discussed, but a document that would serve as a vaccination certificate. The vaccine is optional. It is not yet available to the general population, and therefore to set something like that is to restrict freedom of movement," she stressed.

Veljko Ostojic, director of the Croatian Tourism Association, said there was significant interest in hoteliers' vaccinations.

"Today, it is only clear that if the county is in a green area, there are 25 or fewer new cases in the last 14 days. There is no possibility of travel restrictions. Everything else is still not clear. And that was one of the basic problems of the past year. There was no agreement at the EU level. It is now important that we try to vaccinate as soon as possible. We need clearly defined rules at the European Union level and to ensure that tourism professionals are well prepared," he said.

He added that the same result should be made in terms of epidemiological measures. Croatia was a safe destination last year before the vaccine was found, and there is no reason why it should not be this year.

Damir Krešić, director of the Institute for Tourism, said that the upcoming tourist season's key messages are quite clear and related to safety.

"We must send the message that we are a safe destination and that we keep the epidemiological situation under control. No matter what you do, the success of the 2021 season will depend on the epidemiological situation. If the epidemiological situation is good, we have reason to expect a very good tourist season," he pointed out. He added that it is good that Croatia has traditionally been perceived as a safe destination.

"We are entering this tourist season under less favorable circumstances than it was last year. Then we normally prepared for the tourist season, in April we counted the infected on one hand, and now if we have a figure less than 200-300, we can say it is a good day," he said.

Brnjac believes that it is essential for tourism workers to be vaccinated because they are in direct contact with the guest. That sector cannot be pushed because the Government has adopted a vaccination plan, the first and second phases, and it is known what the priorities are. After that, when the third stage of vaccination occurs, tourism workers would be added.

Martina Nimac Kalcina, president of the Family Tourism Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, said that it was difficult and that a critical period was coming when those who managed to earn money last season had used up their supplies.

"Now the question is how to survive until May, June when the arrival of the first guests is announced. We have many tourism workers interested in vaccinations, and I am sure that the number of renters and other tourism workers would increase over time. We will certainly not all be able to get vaccinated by the end of this season. It is not only possible to distinguish between guests and tourism workers who have been vaccinated and who have not, but work should be done to enable testing. Other states will set the condition that one cannot enter their country, their citizens cannot return if they do not have a negative test in the last 72 hours. It costs about 100 euros for a foreigner to take a test in Croatia. What if you have a family of four who has to spend another 400 euros to return to their country? On the other hand, there are not enough checkpoints, and that testing is not organized enough," she said.

Minister Brnjac replied that meetings had been held with the Croatian Institute of Public Health to provide tourists with arrival and departure testing. They had begun discussing processing facilities and providing a sufficient number of testing sites. She also added - standard rules need to be regulated at the EU level. Damir Krešić agreed with this, believing that it must at least be easier to do if testing could not be cheaper.

Selimir Ognjenović, owner of the company I.D. Riva tours appeared on the show from Germany. He says the interest in vacationing in Germany is high. All of these ‘lockdowns’ have resulted in a great desire to travel.

He considers the experience from last year to be the biggest Croatian argument for entering the 2021 season.

"Our guests were protected, and we proved to be an excellent host," he emphasized. "Thirty camps were open all winter. Do you need more proof of trust than that?" he asked.

ORF journalist Christian Wehrschutz said that the question of what conditions the Austrian government will set regarding travel is crucial. If it is a two-week quarantine and an additional test - that's not good. Austrian hoteliers have asked the government for a clear strategy for testing on departure and arrival, the issue of nightclubs, and the vaccination of tourist workers. He believes that Austria will invite its citizens to spend their summers in their country, especially after the catastrophic winter season.

Damir Krešić agreed with that. He believes that small domestic tourist demand is a big problem in Croatia. In other countries, about 40 to 50 percent of guests are locals, while in Croatia, the number is about 10 percent. Therefore, he believes - Croatia should focus on Central Europe's markets and the regional markets of BiH and Serbia, depending on the epidemiological situation in those countries.

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Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Flights to Croatia: Lufthansa Plans Zagreb Routes from Frankfurt and Munich in March

February 9, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Lufthansa plans Zagreb routes from Frankfurt and Munich in March.

Croatian Aviation reports that Lufthansa plans to resume traffic on two routes from Germany to Zagreb Airport.

Namely, Lufthansa intends to resume traffic to Zagreb Airport from March 1. Recall that Lufthansa suspended traffic on the Frankfurt - Zagreb - Frankfurt route during the global pandemic and has not operated on it since March 2020.

However, as of March 1, the airline plans to resume traffic on that line. The second Lufthansa line, between Munich and Zagreb, was also suspended in October 2020, and there has been no direct connection between the two cities since.

The airline intends to resume traffic on the routes from Frankfurt and Munich from March 1, 2021, with the caveat that the cancellation of certain flights may occur due to low demand caused by strict epidemiological measures.

The Frankfurt - Zagreb - Frankfurt route will operate daily until the end of March (with an early afternoon departure from Zagreb), and smaller-capacity aircraft. The Canadair Regional Jet 900 has been announced on the route, with a capacity of 90 seats.

Traffic on the Munich - Zagreb - Munich line is also being re-established. This route should also operate daily until the end of March, with the same type of aircraft as on the route from/to Frankfurt, and an increase in the number of weekly flights on both routes is expected from the beginning of the summer flight schedule (end of March).

Lufthansa is a carrier that has flown to Zagreb Airport for more than 50 years, and given that 2020 was the worst year in aviation history, it was not too much of a surprise that the airline temporarily withdrew routes to Zagreb Airport.

Lufthansa will certainly have a good result on the routes to Zagreb in the spring and summer, while in March, there may still be cancellations due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.

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