Monday, 19 April 2021

United Airlines Flights to Croatia Announced with New York-Dubrovnik Line this Summer!

April 19, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as United Airlines flights to Croatia have been announced with a New York-Dubrovnik route this summer!

Croatian Aviation reports that United Airlines, one of the largest American airlines, is launching a direct route between the United States and Croatia!

The prestigious American airline based in Chicago announced the news today at a press conference.

United has 8 hubs in the US, with the largest one in Chicago, but the company will launch flights to Dubrovnik Airport from New York (Newark Airport, EWR), where the company has over 68% of the total traffic.

After American Airlines permanently canceled the Philadelphia-Dubrovnik route due to the global pandemic, Croatia will once again have a direct connection with the United States. Although direct flights to America have been talked about for years, there were no real flights to Zagreb, and the pandemic made the introduction of this line even more difficult. In the meantime, Croatia has met all the conditions for the abolition of tourist visas to enter the United States, and American guests can plan a vacation in Croatia this summer, so United decided to be the first to react and introduce a direct line to Dubrovnik from New York this summer!

In addition to a direct flight to New York, United will offer passengers from Dubrovnik several destinations in the rest of the United States and South America with one stop in New York.

The introduction of a regular direct flight between Croatia and the United States is no surprise. In 2019, there were more than 620 thousand American guests in Croatia, who spent over 1.5 million overnights, and Dubrovnik is definitely the most visited destination of American guests. Recall that in the summer of 2020, American Airlines planned to operate to Dubrovnik daily, but the plans were completely changed due to the global pandemic.

Trade is also essential, and in 2019 Croatia exported goods and services worth more than HRK 3 billion to the United States, while we imported goods worth more than HRK 1 billion. In addition to American tourists, it should be noted that about 1.2 million Croats and their descendants currently live in the United States, most of them in Chicago, about 150,000.

If we consider the Croatian emigration to the USA, the number of American tourists in Croatia, and the exchange of goods, the United Airlines line between Dubrovnik and New York has a great chance of success.

United will operate to Dubrovnik as early as July 8 this year with three flights per week. Departures from New York are planned on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, with the return from Dubrovnik a day later.

B767-300 aircraft with 30 seats in business class, 49 in premium economy class, and 135 in economy class will operate on the flights to Dubrovnik.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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

Monday, 19 April 2021

Fewer Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Zagreb Flights from May 1, Dubrovnik Line Still in Question

April 19, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Turkish Airlines announces fewer Istanbul-Zagreb flights from May 1, while the Dubrovnik line is still in question. 

Croatian Aviation reports that the Turkish national airline will offer fewer weekly flights between Zagreb Airport and Istanbul in May compared to April.

In April, Turkish Airlines offered up to 9 flights a week on a direct route between Zagreb and Istanbul. In May, however, the airline reduces the number of weekly operations between the two mentioned cities, and only up to five flights a week are available.

Turkish Airlines offered a larger number of flights on this route in early April. As many as two flights a day were available three days a week; the company was obviously counting on increased demand around the Easter holidays. However, the number of operations in May will not be so large. From May 1, Turkish Airlines will reduce the number of operations to five flights a week and operate B737-800 aircraft and A320 family aircraft.

Direct flights between Istanbul and Zagreb in May will be available on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays, noting that flights on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays are announced in the morning and on Mondays and Thursdays in the evening.

The second Turkish Airlines line in Croatia is the one to Dubrovnik, which the airline has operated since 2016. Turkish Airlines held a meeting with representatives of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board in January this year on re-establishing a direct line between Istanbul and Dubrovnik, which has been suspended since the outbreak of the global pandemic. It is currently possible to book a flight on this route for the beginning of June. However, the airline has been holding tickets to and from Dubrovnik since January 2020, then cancels those flights.

Whether Turkish Airlines will return to Dubrovnik this year remains to be seen, but Zagreb, as the company's Croatian destination, should not be questioned. In fact, in the peak season, we can expect daily flights to the Croatian capital depending on the restrictions.

As for the wider region, this well-known airline plans to operate in May to Ljubljana (3 times a week), Budapest (7 flights a week), Vienna (14 times a week), Belgrade (11 times a week), Sarajevo (8 times a week), Podgorica (9 times a week), Pristina (5 times a week), Skopje (5 times a week) and Venice (7 times a week).

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, 16 April 2021

USA Direct Flights to Croatia? Meanwhile in Sarajevo... Welcome Chicago!

April 16, 2021 - While we have to wait a bit longer for USA direct flights to Croatia, at least travelers can get from Sarajevo to Chicago. Welcome, Eastern Airlines! 

Klix.ba and Ex Yu Aviation report that at the end of May, the American airline Eastern Airlines will launch a weekly flight between Chicago and Sarajevo, which will introduce the first direct flights from the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the USA.

A flight is planned every Friday from Chicago from O’Hare Airport, starting May 28 through September 3, while the return will be on Sunday. The line is conceived as seasonal.

The price of a one-way ticket is $898, and a return ticket is $1,826.

All flights will be operated by Boeing 767-200ER aircraft, which can accommodate 238 passengers, of which eighteen are in the premium class and the remaining 220 in economy class.

Chicago has previously been the second busiest route from Sarajevo to the United States after New York. Namely, in 2019, 5,995 passengers flew indirectly between the two cities. Ex Yu Aviation adds that it was the sixteenth busiest unserved route from Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital overall, jumping to eleventh in 2020. Passenger volumes, however, were significantly lower due to the pandemic. 

"We want our passengers to have a good experience while traveling with Eastern. Instead of spending on frills, go with our low fare, no-frills ticket and save your money. All Eastern Airlines flights are always direct and nonstop. This means significant time savings and no wasted time changing planes or reaching through the airport to catch your connection. More importantly, your health and safety are more valuable than ever. Nonstop flights equal less time spent in airports, less touchpoints, and a safer adventure", the company said.

Citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina may enter the United States with a valid visa and a negative coronavirus test. At the same time, US citizens may also enter Bosnia and Herzegovina with a negative PCR test.

Tickets for the flights have already been released through the airline's website.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Finnair Flights to Dubrovnik and Split Resume this Summer!

Apil 15, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Finnair flights to Dubrovnik and Split have been announced for this summer!

Croatian Aviation reports that Finnair, Finland's national airline, plans to resume operations on its seasonal routes to Split and Dubrovnik from June. In previous years, the company operated briefly on a regular route to Pula, but it was canceled before the outbreak of the global pandemic.

Precisely because of the pandemic, this well-known airline did not operate in Croatia in the summer of 2020. Namely, a significant percentage of passengers on Finnair flights to Croatian airports are transfer passengers from Asia, which in the summer of 2020 were almost non-existent. Add to that the rather restrictive measures in Finland, the suspended lines were not a big surprise. 

Although Finland does not currently recommend that its citizens travel abroad, including to Croatia, it is to be expected that with the arrival of summer the measures will be significantly milder, so a kind of opening of borders will enable tourist trips to Croatia.

For this reason, Finnair plans to resume traffic to Split and Dubrovnik this summer. The first flight to Split is currently announced for June 3, and the company offers as many as five flights a week. It is almost certain that the company will cancel a certain number of flights on a weekly basis (according to the bookings, especially at the beginning of the route), but Finnair's return to Split this summer should not be questioned.

Traffic on the Helsinki - Dubrovnik - Helsinki Finnair line should be established from June 1 with four flights a week, but the company also warns of the possibility of canceling certain rotations.

Although Finnair worked intensively on the establishment of the Helsinki - Zagreb - Helsinki line before the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis, this did not happen for obvious reasons. The company will arrive in Zagreb this Sunday (April 18) on an ad-hoc charter flight from Helsinki, which will be a great opportunity for Zagreb spotters who cannot see the aircraft of this airline often at the Zagreb airport.

The E190 aircraft should land in Zagreb at 4:30 pm under flight number AY7569.

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.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Austrian Flights to Split and Dubrovnik Return this Month, LOT to Resume Warsaw-Dubrovnik

April 14, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Austrian flights to Split and Dubrovnik resume later this month, and LOT announces regular traffic between Warsaw and Dubrovnik from April 28.

Croatian Aviation reports that Austrian Airlines will resume operations on its seasonal routes from Vienna to Split Airport and Dubrovnik Airport by the end of April. Although these lines in previous years mostly started with traffic as early as the end of March, due to the impact of the pandemic, this will happen a month later this year. 

The Vienna - Dubrovnik - Vienna line will operate from April 23, once a week, every Friday, and as early as the beginning of May, two more flights a week will be added, so Austrian will operate to Dubrovnik every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

The Vienna - Split - Vienna line has been announced from April 30, also three times a week, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. E195 aircraft and aircraft from the A320 family have been announced on both mentioned routes.

Polish LOT Polish Airlines has announced the resumption of regular traffic between Warsaw and Dubrovnik. The line should be in operation from April 28. Until the second half of May, two flights a week have been announced, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. E195 aircraft have been announced on this route, which can carry up to 112 passengers in the Polish national transport fleet.

Both companies, Austrian Airlines and LOT Polish Airlines, have resumed traffic to Zagreb Airport. Austrian currently operates four times a week to Zagreb (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday), and Polish LOT also operates to Zagreb on the same days. 

Furthermore, Ex Yu Aviation reports that Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) will restart its seasonal line from Kyiv to Pula this summer and has announced its return to Split after seven years. Both lines will run two flights per week and begin on June 2 and June 3. Boeing 737-800 jet will operate on this route. You can find more information about the Kyiv - Pula line here.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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

Monday, 12 April 2021

Tourism from Tel Aviv Picks Up with El Al Flights to Zagreb from May, Arkia Flights to Dubrovnik

April 12, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as El Al flights to Zagreb resume from May, and Arkia flights to Dubrovnik later this month!

Croatian Aviation reports that two Israeli airlines plan to establish direct flights from Tel Aviv to Dubrovnik and Zagreb at the end of this month and at the beginning of May.

Arkia Israel Airlines has announced that it will establish a direct line between Tel Aviv and Dubrovnik from April 23, 2021. The line will operate twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. It will be operated by E195 aircraft.

In previous years, Arkia operated on a regular route to Rijeka, even using B757 aircraft, but the line last worked in the summer of 2018.

On the other hand, the national airline, El Al Israel Airlines, is currently offering tickets on a regular route between Tel Aviv and Zagreb from May 4 this year. Only one flight per week has been announced for the beginning of May, and a total of three flights a week on this route should be available in the second half of May, every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Before the outbreak of the global pandemic, El Al operated seasonally on this route, using B757 aircraft (pictured), and on several occasions, the B747 also came to Zagreb. In the meantime, the company retired all B747 aircraft in the fleet, and currently, B737-800 aircraft are planned for Zagreb. The company currently has 15 aircraft of this type in its fleet, and the capacity varies depending on the configuration - from 166 to 189 seats.

Given that the Israeli population's vaccination rate is extremely high and that the demand for tourist travel is growing significantly, it is not surprising that these two carriers have announced they will resume lines to Croatia.

In the summer season of 2019, Croatia Airlines operated seasonally on the line between Zagreb and Tel Aviv. It was the only night rotation of the Croatian national airline, departing around midnight from Zagreb. It is unknown whether the company will resume traffic on this line in the summer season this year.

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.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Brits are Coming... Later: Jet2 Flights to Dubrovnik, Split, Pula Postponed Until End of June!

April 10, 2021 - Jet2 flights to Dubrovnik, Split, and Pula have been postponed until the end of June, as the British low-cost airline blames the UK government's lack of clarity over travel plans this summer. 

Croatian Aviation reports that the well-known British tour operator has postponed traffic to tourist destinations in Europe, including previously announced flights to Croatia.

Due to constant changes in some countries related to the free movement of passengers (which directly affects passenger demand), Jet2 has decided to cancel all announced flights to well-known European tourist destinations, including flights to Croatian airports - Pula, Split, and Dubrovnik.

Although the flights were originally planned for the end of March, then postponed to the beginning of May, the latest decision is that there will be no flights to Croatia until the end of June. A significant number of routes have been announced only from July!

This company has the largest number of operations to Dubrovnik Airport. These are direct lines from Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Leeds, London, Manchester, and Newcastle. Four of the eight lines have now been announced from the end of June, while the remaining lines will start operating only from July. Given that British guests are traditionally the most represented in Dubrovnik, this is a rather strong blow to the local tourism of Dubrovnik and the region. It is expected that other companies from Great Britain will start flights to Croatia much later than planned, with a smaller number of weekly operations.

Postponed operations to Pula and Split

Six lines to Split Airport (from Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, and Manchester) have also been postponed to the end of June, while the line from Edinburgh will start operating only in July.

According to Pula Airport, Jet2 is planning only one line this year - from Manchester. The start of traffic on this line has also been postponed to the end of June.

Jet2 chief executive Steve Heapy said in a statement on Friday:

“We are trying to run a business so that we can take customers away, but we need the Government to provide us with clarity to achieve this.

After several weeks exploring how to restart international travel, with substantial assistance and input from the industry, the framework lacks any rigorous detail about how to get international travel going again. In fact, the framework is virtually the same as six months ago.

Following the publication of the framework today, we still do not know when we can start to fly, where we can fly to and the availability and cost of testing. Rather than answering questions, the framework leaves everyone asking more.

Because of the continued uncertainty that the framework provides, it is with a heavy heart that we have taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights and holidays up to and including 23 June 2021.

Where customers yet to travel are affected by any programme changes, we will automatically cancel their booking with a full refund, and our team of travel experts will be in touch to help them to book their summer getaway for later in the year."

Recall, UK ministers announced a new traffic light system for international travel from May 17, which will categorize countries based on risk.

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.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Nikolina Brnjac: State Will Cover Part of Testing Costs for Tourists in Croatia

April 10, 2021 - According to the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, the State will cover part of the testing costs for tourists in Croatia.

With a good epidemiological situation, we can expect a higher percentage than last year, said the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac for HTV's Dnevnik, answering what percentage we could achieve in the season compared to 2019.

On Friday, it was announced that 70,000 tourism workers would be vaccinated in mid-April. Brnjac told Dnevnik that a survey revealed that about 68,000 tourist workers would like to get vaccinated.

"Tourist employees are in direct contact. It is an epidemiological measure by which we can prevent further outbreaks," said Brnjac.

Germany also put Croatia on the list of high-risk areas. Will it affect tourists?

"First of all, we will look at the epidemiological situation. After that, of course, tourists will look at the vaccination coverage of tourism workers. The segment of the Safe Stay in Croatia project is also important to them, where we have developed all epidemiological standards, protocols, together with the CNIPH, which should be adhered to by all of us in the tourism sector," said Brnjac.

She stated that so far, about 12,000 facilities have received the Safe Stay in Croatia label. Three levels of control have been introduced - one will go from the Ministry, and the other will be professional associations. The third and most important is the guest themselves - the tourist will see how someone behaves and whether they adhere to all measures and protocols, said Brnjac.

"They will see through the QR code in the facility about the protocols are, the standards, whether everyone adheres to them and will be able to send a direct e-mail with their comments, which goes directly to the Ministry, If it is negative, that facility will not get that label," said Brnjac.

When asked about the price of antigen tests at mobile testing points for foreign guests returning to their countries, she could not give a concrete answer, but she said that the state would cover part of the cost.

"The state will cover part of the cost; it will participate in a rather large amount as far as the price of the antigen test is concerned," said Brnjac.

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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

Friday, 9 April 2021

More Air France Flights to Dubrovnik this Summer, Second Daily Flight to Zagreb Dropped

April 9, 2021 - The latest flight news for Croatia as Air France flights to Dubrovnik increase this summer, while the Paris-Zagreb route will not see the addition of a second daily flight. 

Croatian Aviation reports that Air France has revised its summer flight schedule for this year, with changes on the routes to Croatian airports. The French national carrier maintains a year-round line between Paris and Zagreb, and in the summer, it also operates to Split and Dubrovnik.

No second daily flight to Zagreb

Back in January 2020, the company announced that it would introduce a second daily flight between Zagreb and Paris. Of course, this did not happen after the pandemic outbreak, but the company resumed traffic on this line in June last year.

Since March this year, Dutch KLM operates twice a day on the line between Amsterdam and Zagreb, and since KLM and Air France are in the same group, it was to be expected that Air France will withdraw its second daily flight, which has now happened.

Namely, until just a few days ago, Air France offered a second daily flight on the route to Zagreb Airport from June this year, but they are no longer available for booking. Instead of two, Air France will have one daily flight on the Paris - Zagreb - Paris (Charles de Gaulle Airport) route, while two daily flights will be operated by the aforementioned partner company KLM on the route to Amsterdam.

The Croatian national airline - Croatia Airlines - also operates on the routes from Amsterdam and Paris from Zagreb. There are currently no carriers other than those mentioned on these lines.

Return to Split and increase in traffic to Dubrovnik

On the last day of May, Air France will resume traffic on the Paris - Split - Paris route. The company will operate daily on this route only from July 1, although initially, daily flights were available from May 31. Air France will offer on average between 2 and 4 flights a week to Split Airport until July. 

From the same date (May 31), the company plans to renew the Paris - Dubrovnik - Paris line as well. It will initially operate with two flights a week, gradually increasing the number of weekly operations. From the beginning of July, daily flights have been announced on this route, while Air France will operate as many as 11 times a week between Paris and Dubrovnik Airport from the middle of the same month.

Of course, these flights will primarily depend on the epidemiological situation in both countries. Still, the positive news is that Air France will resume traffic to Split and Dubrovnik, with the intention of increasing the number of operations to Dubrovnik Airport.

Air France currently plans to use E190 aircraft and aircraft from the A320 family, with A318 aircraft announced for Dubrovnik, a rarity in the European sky, considering that only 80 of them have been sold in total.

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, 9 April 2021

Preparations Begin for Digital Green Certificates in Croatia

April 9, 2021 - A working group is being set up to develop a technical solution for cross-border interoperable digital green certificates in Croatia.

"Vaccination of employees in the tourism sector begins with the third phase of vaccination. I believe it will be very soon," said the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, adding that based on data received so far in the proposed surveys, the number of employees who would enter priority vaccination in the tourism sector is about 68,000, reports HRTurizam.

"Given the nature of the work as well as the significant number of contacts that tourism workers make, it is necessary to vaccinate before the start of the season," said Brnjac.

A working group is being set up to develop a technical solution for cross-border interoperable digital green certificates in line with EU-level talks.

At Thursday's 52nd Government session, the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) proposed a Decision to establish a working group to develop a technical solution for cross-border interoperable digital green certificates.

"We will soon start creating a digital system of certificates of vaccination, testing, and recovery to enable citizens of the Republic of Croatia and the EU free and epidemiologically safe cross-border mobility and residence in our country," said Davor Bozinovic, Minister of the Interior.

Namely, the European Commission coordinates a common European response to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic. Following the development of the epidemiological situation and health and medical measures, it is necessary to develop other effective measures to combat COVID-19 and enable free movement in EU member states and third countries or green digital certificates, so-called 'covid passports'.

Therefore, they have recognized the need to ensure freedom of cross-border movement through establishing a system for issuing, verifying, and accepting vaccination, testing, and recovery certificates to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic (digital green certificate) that would be interoperable between the EU Member States and third countries.

To this end, on 17 March 2021, the European Commission presented a Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a framework for issuing, verifying, and accepting cross-border interoperable vaccination, testing, and recovery certificates to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic (digital green certificate). 

Croatia has expressed readiness to establish a national system of digital green certificates and their cross-border interoperability through the EU accession plan that the European Commission plans to establish in April, May, and June 2021, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

To establish a technical solution and to develop a national system of digital green certificates, the Ministry of the Interior is tasked with concluding a contract with AKD d.o.o. (Agency for commercial activity production, service, and trade d.o.o.), since AKD was established to perform the tasks of creating personal ID cards, passports, visas, driver's licenses and other solutions in the field of identity and security.

The Decision instructs the Ministry of Health to provide the Working Group referred to in this Decision with all necessary professional support, especially in fulfilling the following tasks: representing Croatia in the operational working groups of the European Commission's eHealth Network, which coordinates implementing the pilot project of the technical solution for digital green certificates; ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, availability, and non-repudiation of machine-readable data on vaccinated, tested and sick persons automatically and in real-time, accessible from data sources owned by the Ministry of Health, which will be the basis for issuing cross-border interoperable digital green certificates.

Recall that according to the new and expanded criteria for the entry of tourists into Croatia, tourists who have either been vaccinated, contracted COVID-19, or have a negative PCR or antigen test from the list of EU tests, can enter Croatia.

Follow 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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