Monday, 17 February 2020

Flights to Croatia: AirBaltic Boosts Rijeka, Aer Lingus Reinforces Cork-Dubrovnik

February 17, 2020 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for new flights to Croatia with updates from Rijeka, Dubrovnik, and Zadar. 

Avio Radar reports that Latvian national carrier AirBaltic has announced that is will reinforce the new route from Lithuania to Rijeka - Vilnius-Rijeka, which has already been scheduled for one flight per week, on Thursdays, with traffic starting in May this year. 

However, the airline has strengthened the new route before it has even launched, with an additional second flight per week, on Saturdays, from June 6 to September 26, 2020.  The Airbus A220-300 will service this line. 

Furthermore, Avio Radar adds that Irish national carrier Are Lingus will strengthen the Cork-Dubrovnik route in the 2020 summer fight schedule. The line first began operating last year with two flights a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. 

In the peak season, the third flight per week has been introduced, on Thursdays, from July 2 to August 27. An Airbus A320 aircraft will fly on this line. 

Finally, Avio Radar reports that German low-cost carrier Eurowings will fly four flights from Germany to Zadar instead of Split over the next two weeks. This is because of the reconstruction of the runway in Split. 

Thus, Eurowings has decided to divert all its lines to Zadar from February 17 to March 1, 2020. Tickets for all diverted routes from Dusseldorf, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart to Zadar are on sale in booking systems. 

Recall, Avio Radar reported last week that regular international flights from Zagreb to Sofia are scheduled from May 1 to the end of October this year. This service will run three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and will operate using the 76-seater Dash 8-Q400 aircraft. 

Two days later, on May 3,  2020,regular international flights on the Zagreb-Podgorica route will be introduced on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Flights will also be operated by the Dash 8-Q400 aircraft. As of today, return airline tickets are sold on both routes. 

Compared to the last tourist season, where Croatia Airlines had a fleet of 14 aircraft (12 of their own and 2 chartered CRJ 1000 aircraft), they will enter this season with one additional aircraft. Based on a long-term dry lease, the fleet will include a 150-seat Airbus 319 in late March and an additional 76-seat Dash 8-Q400 in late April to support unplanned traffic disruptions. In addition, from April to October, a short lease (wet-lease) of one CRJ 1000 aircraft by the Spanish air carrier Air Nostrum is also planned. 

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

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Flights to Croatia: Qatar Airways New Seasonal Service to Dubrovnik

December 17, 2019 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for new flights to Croatia with updates from Dubrovnik.

Avio Radar reports that Qatar Airways, a OneWorld global airline association member, has announced two Mediterranean destinations in its 2020 summer flight schedule. Furthermore, the airline will introduce an additional 66 weekly flights to 20 existing destinations in its network. 

Dubrovnik will be Qatar Airways’ second destination in Croatia next to Zagreb, and flights on the new Doha-Dubrovnik route will begin operations on April 20 with three flights a week. And in the busier period, from May 18 to September 30, this line will be enhanced to run five flights per week! The airline will also run to Santorini, Greece, with four flights a week starting May 20. 

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker was pleased to announce the news: 

“We are pleased to announce Santorini, Greece and Dubrovnik, Croatia, will be joining our global network in 2020. We are committed to offering our passengers as many seamless one-stop connection choices as possible. With the addition of these new routes, our network will expand to 170 passenger destinations, further consolidating our position as one of the world’s most connected airlines. 

We also invite all passengers to enjoy the extra capacity and the flexibility provided by the 66 additional weekly frequencies we are adding to 20 d destinations in our network.  We are dedicated to giving our customers more options and flexibility when planning their business and leisure trips. These new flights are being added in response to market demand and are a testament to our hard working team at Qatar Airways who connote to set the benchmark in the industry from customer service to catering and in-flight entertainment.”

An Airbus A320, with 12 business-class seats and 132 economy seats, will service the seasonal services to Santorini and Dubrovnik. 

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

Friday, 13 December 2019

Flights to Croatia: AirBaltic to Rijeka and Dubrovnik, 11 New Ryanair Routes from Zadar

December 13, 2019 -The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for new flights to Croatia with updates from Rijeka, Dubrovnik, and Zadar. 

HRTurizam reports that Dubrovnik and Rijeka will be directly connected to Vilnius, Lithuania's capital, in the coming year thanks to AirBaltic.

These flights will be active from the beginning of May until the end of October, i.e., the line for Rijeka will operate once a week on Thursdays, while the line for Dubrovnik will operate twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Martin Gauss, CEO of AirBaltic, said they aim to provide the best connection in both directions for all three Baltic capitals. “When assessing which destinations will depart from the Baltic capitals, we first look for the most sought after among local travelers. This is why we provide additional input to local airports, offering new travel options. By next summer, we will already serve 16 destinations from Estonia, 11 from Lithuania and over 70 destinations from Latvia."

"This is great news and an announcement that supports further increasing the number of airlines and further enhancing the accessibility of Croatian destinations. The first flight will feature a large number of travel agents and journalists from the Baltics and Scandinavia to whom we will present Rijeka, Dubrovnik and Split,” said Croatian Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic, adding that the new Airbus A220-300 fleet will operate on these routes. 

HTZ added that the AirBaltic presentation brought together more than 100 agents and partners, including Kresimir Kedmenec, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Lithuania, and Vedran Susic, Director of the HTZ Representative Office for Scandinavia, who organized a special presentation of the Croatian tourist agency deals with a focus on Rijeka and Dubrovnik.

In other flight news, Avio Radar reports that Europe’s largest carrier Ryanair announced a new base and 11 new routes from Zadar for the 2020 season. Namely, there are a total of 31 lines in the 2020 summer flight schedule, including 11 new routes to exciting destinations such as Aarhus, Cork, and Riga. The flight schedule begins in April 2020, is estimated to carry a total of 672,000 passengers annually, and create around 500 jobs in the various activities and services provided at Zadar Airport. 

Ryanair is also opening a base with three Laudamotion aircraft in Zadar, representing an investment of about $300 million and directly creating 90 new jobs in Ryanair. 

Ryanair’s 2020 summer flight schedule in Zadar brings:

- 3 Laudamotion base planes ($300 million investment)

- 11 new lines for Aarhus. (2), Bremen (3), Cork (2), Paris Beauvais (2), Kaunas (2), Liverpool (2), Maastricht (2), Riga (2), Toulouse (2), & Wroclaw (2)

- 31 lines in total

- 672,000 passengers annually (+50%)

- 90 new Ryanair jobs

- 500 on-site jobs

Eddie Wilson, CEO of Ryanair said: 

“We are delighted to be opening our base in Zadar next summer as part of our efforts to contribute to the growth of transport, tourism, and jobs. Our 2020 flight schedule brings 31 lines, including 11 new lines, and we plan to carry a total of 672,000 passengers a year and generate 500 jobs in various industries in Zadar. Zadar and their guests can now buy the cheapest tickets and fly with the greenest/cleanest European airline on a total of 31 flights until the end of October 2020.”

Josip Klismanic, director of Zadar Airport added:

“The return of Ryanair’s base to Zadar with three aircraft is a great tribute to Zadar, both as an airport and as a destination. The growth of Ryanair’s offer to Zadar from all over Europe in recent years shows that Zadar and Croatia have something to offer our guests. Ryanair makes Zadar and Croatia much more accessible to Europe, but let’s not forget, it also makes Europe much closer to Zadar and Croatia. The announcements for 2020 justify our efforts to increase the level of service for our passengers by expanding the capacity of Zadar Airport and providing the preconditions for further growth. I do not doubt that Ryanair will play an essential role in that. 

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

Monday, 9 December 2019

Flights to Croatia: Ryanair Stops Stockholm to Rijeka, Zagreb New Codeshare on Kenya Airways

December 9, 2019 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for new flights to Croatia with updates from Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, Pula, and Zagreb.

Avio Radar reports that Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair announced that it would terminate its base at Skavsta Airport near Stockholm, Sweden, and this year’s new base in Nuremberg, Germany. The airline stated the reason being that they would not be taking over the 20 Boeing 737MAX aircraft as planned for the summer next year. 

In the Croatian market, this means discontinuing the Stockholm-Rijeka route, which was the strongest Ryanair route to Rijeka. Namely, this route operated to Rijeka in the summer from early April to late October and is already not on sale for next year. 

“We also expect to cut summer capacity in a number of other existing bases, and we are currently in discussions with our people, our unions, and our affected airports to finalize these minor reductions”, Ryanair said in a statement on Ex Yu Aviation News

Interestingly, the airline recently announced that it would boost operations on the Stockholm-Zadar route from two to three times per week, and tickets for this line are still on offer for next year. Furthermore, tickets for the Nuremberg-Zadar route are also still on offer, although the Nuremberg base has plans to close. The airline updated customers with the news that this line would continue with operations, unlike the others. 

Avio Radar adds that British low-cost carrier Jet2 will increase traffic to Dubrovnik in their 2020 summer flight schedule. On the London (Stansted Airport)-Dubrovnik route, the sixth flight per week has been introduced, on Mondays, which means that Jet2 will fly this route every day except Wednesdays. The line will begin operations on April 2, 2020. 

Still, Jet2 has decreased operations from London to Pula and Split. The London (Stansted)-Pula route will run only once a week, on Sundays, from May 31 to September 20, 2020. The London (Stansted)-Split route will run twice a week instead of last year’s three, on Thursdays and Sundays. Namely, this line will no longer work on Wednesdays. A Boeing 737-800 aircraft should service all lines. 

Jet2 also introduced a new line between Stansted and Zadar next year. 

Finally, Avio Radar reports that Kenya Airways expanded its codeshare cooperation with French national carrier Air France. Both Airlines are members of the Skyteam global airline association. Zagreb is among the other new codeshare destinations for Kenya Airways. The extended collaboration began on November 26, 2019. Air France’s daily flights on the Paris route (Charles de Gaulle) to Zagreb will carry the Kenyan KQ3834, along with the French carrier’s symbol. 

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

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Flights to Croatia: LOT Connecting Budapest and Dubrovnik, Air Serbia Stops Rijeka Service for Winter

November 28, 2019 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for new flights to Croatia with updates from Dubrovnik, Rijeka, and Zadar. 

Ex Yu Aviation announced that LOT Polish Airlines would launch a seasonal service between Budapest and Dubrovnik next year. The new route will operate from June 7 and run once a week, on Sundays, until September 27. 

This will be the third city LOT services to Dubrovnik, in addition to Warsaw and Krakow.You can find more details about the new Budapest - Dubrovnik route here.

Avio Radar reported that Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair will boost the Cologne/Bonn-Zadar route for next summer. The line only started operating this year with two flights per week. Next summer, Ryanair will run three flights a week, and in addition to Wednesdays and Sundays, they will service Zadar on Mondays from the beginning of June to the end of September 2020. A Boeing 737-800 aircraft flies on all Ryanair lines. 

Avio Radar also reported that Serbia’s national air carrier Air Serbia would suspend traffic between Belgrade and Rijeka during the winter. The last flight is scheduled for December 5, 2019. A few more flights around the New Year remain on offer. The line will then continue to operate on a regular basis from May 1, 2020, according to the summer flight schedule, which runs twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. Compared to this year, Air Serbia will begin operations to Rijeka one month earlier than in 2019. An ATR-72 runs on this line. 

To end this week of flight news, Dalmacija Danas reported that the Split Architectural Bureau of Ante Kuzmanić is the winner of a competition for the conceptual architectural and urban design of the Zadar Airport passenger terminal. A group of Split architects designed the extension and renovation of the existing terminal building and parking lot. They received a prize of 250,000 kuna for the project. The competition was conducted by the Society of Zadar Architects.

The projects were evaluated by a jury chaired by academician Nikola Bašić, who said that if the conceptual design is transformed into a design project, Zadar Airport will be the most modern airport in Croatia, as it combines all the new parameters that make such an object comfortable and safe.

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

Monday, 21 October 2019

Dubrovnik Airport Robbed as Questions of "Inside Job" Raised

As 24sata/Visnja Kragic Mahmutovic writes on the 21st of October, 2019, thieves on a stolen motorcycle intercepted security guards and stole the entire weekend's proceeds from the duty free shop. Evidently, they knew when a van, escorted by security guards, would appear in front of Dubrovnik Airport's administrative building.

The robbery of Dubrovnik Airport security guards took place around 07:40 this morning. Two men intercepted security guards who were carrying money, more specifically the takings from over the weekend. The Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Department confirmed the incident, noting that an investigation is now underway, Dubrovacki Dnevnik reports.

Dubrovacki Dnevnik has been able to find out that the money in question is from the airport's duty free shop. In this case, practically, all police officers of the Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Department are working on this case.

100,000 euros in cash was allegedly stolen.

The thieves apparently knew exactly when the van, escorted by security guards, would appear in front of the administration building of Dubrovnik Airport, and intercepted it before it took the money to Dubrovnik.

Two security guards were attacked while taking money from the administration building near FINA. The robbers intercepted them on a Mezzanave (local restaurant) delivery scooter, which was stolen from in front of that restaurant on Tuesday night. It has also since been learned that there was a struggle between the robbers and security guards, and that the robbers fled. According to Dubrovacki Dnevnik, the robbers may have been located.

The Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Department issued a statement on the whole case:

''This morning, at around 07:40, a robbery occurred in the area of ​​Dubrovnik Airport in a way that two armed men on a motorcycle, seized a large amount of money from the airport security guards who were carrying it. A criminal investigation is underway to shed light on all the circumstances of the event and an intense search for the perpetrators of the robbery is ongoing.

Did the robbers have a helper - a mole?

According to Dubrovacki Dnevnik, the investigation must shed light on how the robbers knew the exact date of the money transfer and therefore - whether they had a helper among the security guards.

What is also odd, is that the bag has a system that, if it's forcefully opened, releases a type of paint to destroy the cash inside.

''There are too many unknown factors, but there is no doubt that security measures have loosened at Dubrovnik Airport. It's also important to answer the question of the amount involved because the Law on the Protection of Financial Institutions prescribes different safeguards when transporting or transferring money.

For the transportation of more than 800,000 kuna, the law prescribes precise safeguards. However, if the amount is up to (less than) 800,000, then it is a transfer of money for which lighter protection criteria applies, the security expert, who wished to remain anonymous, told Dubrovacki Dnevnik.

''The first question is what the amount was and the second was whether it was an employee of the airport's internal security service or security personnel working at Čilipi airport [who was carrying the cash]. That money gets deposited from the duty free shop at the airport and then should be duly transferred to a bank or to FINA by an outside security company, with an armored vehicle that has a certain kind of protection and with an armed crew with so-called safety tanks.

Anyway, it all indicates that someone inside knew everything. An outside contract security company needed to deposit this money to the bank. However, it never reached that stage at all. This is someone on the inside who knew everything and how [it all functions]. Especially when it comes to this larger amount of money which was raised over the weekend,'' concluded the anonymous security expert.

Make sure to follow our dedicated news page.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Dubrovnik Airport Resumes Expansion Project

September 29, 2019 - Dubrovnik Airport continues with its expansion project after it completed the overhaul of its 3,300-meter runway earlier this year.

Dubrovnik Airport was the fastest-growing airport in the former Yugoslavia from January to August this year after it added 240,016 travelers compared to the year before. Namely, Dubrovnik Airport welcomed 2,099,022 passengers, which is an increase of 12.9% on 2018. 

Thus, it only makes sense that the busy airport would need to continue making adjustments to its infrastructure. Ex-Yu Aviation reports on Sunday that Croatia’s southernmost airport will resume its expansion project, which includes constructing a new administrative building, a multi-story car-park, new firefighting facilities and rescue services, and a VIP terminal. The multi-story car park should resolve parking congestion, as the car park will have the capacity for around 500 vehicles. There will also be direct access to the terminal building through a covered overpass. 

The firefighting facility will be one-story tall and stretch across 3,500 square meters. The new administrative building will be a bit smaller. The new VIP terminal will open just in time for the next summer season and is 1,315 square meters. 

Furthermore, a new seasonal passenger terminal is also in talks for the future, though it would be used strictly in the summer. Discussions have revealed that this terminal would be located west of the car park, though construction wouldn’t begin for another 6 to 7 years. 

Recall, the airport completed the overhaul of its 3,300-meter runway earlier this year. 

Dubrovnik Airport can handle five million passengers per year, and it projects 2,830,000 travelers this year. A lot of credit is owed to the new American Airlines seasonal service, which brought over 9,000 American tourists from Philadelphia up to September 2019. American Airlines will operate this route daily next summer, and run until the end of October. 

This American Airlines route is just the beginning of the long-haul flights the airport hopes to lock in for the future. 

You can see photos of the airport upgrade at Ex-Yu Aviation.

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

Monday, 23 September 2019

Thomas Cook Collapse Strands 190 Travelers in Dubrovnik

September 23, 2019 - The Thomas Cook collapse has stranded 190 tourists in Dubrovnik who arrived from Manchester on Sunday. 

Anyone reading the news on Monday would find it hard to miss that Thomas Cook, one of the world's oldest and most renowned travel agencies, declared bankruptcy and ceased all operations, reports HRTurizam.

"Despite significant efforts, discussions did not result in an agreement between the company's stakeholders and new investors," the company said in a statement. "The company board, therefore, concluded that they had no choice but to take steps to introduce mandatory liquidation with immediate effect."

The company filed for liquidation with the United Kingdom Supreme Court on Monday.

"Despite great efforts over the course of several months and intense negotiations in recent days, we have not been able to reach an agreement to save our business. I know this outcome is devastating and will cause a lot of people anxiety and stress,” CEO Peter Fankhauser said Monday morning.

Executives tried raising the additional $250 million needed to save the company over the weekend, but the deals appear to have failed due to many complications and the amount of money invested.

The collapse of the UK-based company, which was founded in 1841, has left thousands of people abroad unable to return to their homes. However, the U.K. government is working on a plan to rescue all tourists who have been stranded abroad in what they are calling "Operation Matterhorn”. 

Dubrovački Dnevnik reports that there are currently 190 passengers in Dubrovnik who arrived Sunday by plane from Manchester. Dubrovnik Airport director Frano Luetic explained that British authorities are lcurrently organizing their return trip. 

"The UK service responsible for these emergencies is already organizing a return trip for these passengers. The UK aviation authorities, in agreement with the UK government, have solutions. Their representatives will be at our airport providing passengers with the necessary information,” he said.

Luetic believes the company's downfall will not have too much effect on Dubrovnik Airport. 

"We were surprised by this news, given that it is the first travel agency created in the world. Concerning Dubrovnik Airport, Thomas Cook passengers accounted for one small percentage of the total number of guests arriving, given the other numerous flights and companies arriving in Dubrovnik. In any case, it is not positive news, though it is an almost insignificant percentage when it comes to Dubrovnik Airport,” he concluded.

The downfall of the company is likely to affect hotel facilities and private accommodation in Dubrovnik, but it is assumed not significantly. British guests are one of the largest markets visiting Dubrovnik, and the cancellation of a seasonal route to Dubrovnik could diminish their interest.

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

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Split and Dubrovnik Airports Record Busiest August, Zagreb Back Up from July

September 7, 2019 - It was a busy August at Croatia’s airports, which saw records and growth from the three most active in the country - Split, Dubrovnik, and Zagreb. 

Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports that Split Airport recorded 672,261 passengers in August, which is an increase of 7% compared to 2018. Split Airport also welcomed its two-millionth passenger of the year in August. 

From January to August, Split handled 2,497,427 passengers, which is up 6.5% on last year, or an additional 153,266 passengers. The airport is also on schedule to reach its projected 3.3 million passengers this year. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Dubrovnik Airport also saw its busiest month on record after handling 524,615 passengers in August, which is up 8.9% on last year. Dubrovnik also welcomed its two-millionth passenger in August, nineteen days earlier than 2018. Furthermore, the airport handled over 24,000 passengers on August 3, which was a 24-hour record. 

From January to August, Dubrovnik welcomed  2,099,022 travelers, which is up 12.9%, or an additional. 240,016 passengers. Dubrovnik Airport was also the fastest-growing airport in the Ex-Yu region in the first sixth months of 2019, adding 157,184 passengers during this period. 

Recall, the first six months of the year, Dubrovnik Airport welcomed the most passengers from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, and Croatia. The airport expressed that this rise in passengers should continue until the end of the year, and especially going into the end of the holiday season. 

"This winter we expect to see British Airways, Aegean Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Trade Air, Turkish Airlines, Vueling and Croatia Airlines maintain flights to Dubrovnik,” Dubrovnik Airport said. 

Ex Yu Aviation concluded that Zagreb Airport even saw a good August, well, a better August than July. Namely, in August, Zagreb saw 376,026 passengers, which is the slightest increase of 0.9%. From January to August, Zagreb handled 2,276,373 passengers, which is up 2.4% on 2018, or an additional 52,847 passengers. 

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

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Dubrovnik Airport is Fastest Growing Airport in Ex-Yu So Far This Year

August 25, 2019 - Dubrovnik Airport is set for another record year. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Dubrovnik Airport was the fastest-growing airport in the Ex-Yu region in the first sixth months of 2019, adding 157,184 passengers during this period. 

Recall, on Friday, Dubrovnik handled its two-millionth passenger, which came 19 days earlier than 2018. 

Namely, Amanda Lynn Lowe from San Diego, California arrived on Friday by a Croatia Airlines flight from Zurich, Switzerland. Dubrovnik Airport director Frano Luetić congratulated the two-millionth passenger, pointing out that the airport continues breaking records. 

"Reconstruction and improvement over the last six years have brought us growth in traffic. In these seven and a half months, our traffic has increased by 14 percent. In July, we reached a record over half a million passengers, and on August 3, we had a daily record with more of 24,000 passengers,” Luetić emphasized. The airport hopes to reach three million passengers by the end of the year. 

But there are more than a few factors that have contributed to the success of the airport this year, like the new American Airlines seasonal service that connected the United States and Croatia for the first time in almost 30 years. The arrival of popular low-cost carrier Ryanair made an impressive contribution, too.

Furthermore, the third and final phase of the airport's runway overhaul was also completed this year, though the airport modernization is far from over. Namely, Ex Yu reports that the construction of two new rapid exit taxiways, the apron expansion and the construction of new commercial and general aviation aprons, a small general aviation terminal, the development of aircraft, maintenance and operation facilities, and a multi-story car park for 700 vehicles will be the focus of the airport this winter. 

In the first six months of the year, Dubrovnik Airport welcomed the most passengers from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, and Croatia. The airport expressed that this rise in passengers should continue until the end of the year, and especially going into the end of the holiday season. 

"This winter we expect to see British Airways, Aegean Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Trade Air, Turkish Airlines, Vueling and Croatia Airlines maintain flights to Dubrovnik,” Dubrovnik Airport said. 

Recall, British Airways will run four weekly flights from Gatwick this winter, and Aegean Airlines will connect Athens and Dubrovnik two times a week until January 4. 

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

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