Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Third Ryanair Aircraft in Zagreb Arrives, Additional 9 Routes Launch in December

November 30, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as the third Ryanair aircraft in Zagreb will arrive this week, with 9 additional lines launched around Europe. 

As already announced, Ryanair is basing its third A320 aircraft (from the Lauda fleet) at Zagreb Airport this week and is launching an additional 9 new routes to well-known European destinations, such as Dublin, Manchester, and Eindhoven, reports Croatian Aviation.

Ryanair will start regular operations on 9 new lines this week according to:

Paphos (Cyprus), from 03.12., twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays,

Thessaloniki (Greece), from 03.12., twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays,

Dublin (Ireland), from 02.12., three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays,

Naples (Italy), from 17.12. twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays,

Malta (Malta), from 04.12., Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays,

Eindhoven (Netherlands), from 03.12.,, twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays,

Malaga (Spain), from 01.12., twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays,

Basel (Switzerland), from 03.12., twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays,

Manchester (UK), from 02.12., twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays.

Taking into account the existing lines, only Dublin is not a new direct destination from Zagreb, while the eight other mentioned destinations are new.

On December 2, Ryanair will base the third A320 aircraft from Vienna to Zagreb on new routes, giving the well-known airline a total of 24 scheduled international flights from Zagreb Airport. More than 60 weekly flights from or to Zagreb have been announced, which is more than 22,000 seats on a weekly basis.

The new lines are not completely diaspora-oriented, which is the case with other lines that are already operating. It should also be noted that Ryanair does not have a representative office in Zagreb, so there are often problems when accepting and departing passengers on these flights, as was the case this Friday on a flight from Zagreb to Charleroi when passengers physically attacked airport employees, adds Croatian Aviation.

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


Monday, 29 November 2021

London-Rijeka Flights Return Next Summer, Flydubai Dubai-Zagreb Flights Boosted

November 29, 2021 - The latest flight news as London-Rijeka flights are scheduled for next summer thanks to Ryanair, and FlyDubai boosts Dubai-Zagreb operations this winter. 

Low-cost airline Ryanair is selling tickets between London and Rijeka for next summer, binging the Irish airline's second line to Rijeka next summer, reports Croatian Aviation. Recall, Ryanair also announced it would renew the Brussels and Rijeka line next summer.

Along with Brussels, Rijeka will again be connected to London by a regular line next summer. Traffic resumes on March 27, 2022. Two flights a week have been announced, every Thursday and Sunday, until late autumn - October 27, 2022.

On 62 return flights, Ryanair will offer 23,436 seats next summer between Rijeka and London. In addition, Rijeka will be connected to Stansted, an airport an hour bus ride away from central London. 

In the meantime, Ryanair has announced ten more new lines to Zadar for next summer, and several more interesting lines to the Zemunik airport are expected soon.

Croatian Aviation also announced that Flydubai is increasing the number of weekly operations between Dubai and Zagreb in the second half of December. 

After a long break, Flydubai returned to Zagreb Airport on September 23 this year. The airline has since operated between Zagreb and Dubai only twice a week. However, the airline will increase the number of weekly flights between the two cities in December.

From December 27, FlyDubai will increase the number of weekly operations between Dubai and Zagreb from the existing two to four flights per week. In addition to flights on Thursdays and Saturdays, Flydubai will additionally operate between the two cities on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Four flights a week are on offer until the end of May next year, and according to current announcements, Flydubai will operate on this route in the summer flight schedule. Emirates has permanently withdrawn from Zagreb Airport.

An increase in weekly flights had been planned earlier, but the company canceled certain departures.

The Zagreb flights are mainly operated by B737 MAX8 aircraft, which have a capacity of 166 passengers. As Flydubai and Emirates work closely together, Zagreb passengers can easily change flights via Dubai and continue their journey to several destinations.

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

Monday, 22 November 2021

Air Serbia Belgrade-Zagreb Flights Running Daily in December

November 22, 2021 - Air Serbia Belgrade-Zagreb flights will run daily in December, so long as the Zagreb fog allows it! 

Serbian national airline Air Serbia will increase the number of operations between Zagreb and Belgrade, operating daily in December, reports Croatian Aviation.

Since the pandemic's beginning and immediately after the lockdown, Air Serbia resumed traffic between Belgrade and Zagreb, constantly changing the number of weekly operations and adjusting them to the demand itself. Until December 5, six flights a week have been announced, every day except Tuesdays, and from December 7, Air Serbia will introduce a flight on Tuesdays, meaning they will run between the two cities every day. 

From December 10, there are two flights a day on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, which will increase the number of weekly frequencies to 10!

Namely, on certain days, Air Serbia will land late at night in Zagreb, while the return flight to Belgrade will be before dawn, around 4 am. Given that the difference between the incoming and outgoing flights will be short, it is to be expected that the crew will wait for the return flight on the aircraft.

ATR72 aircraft with a capacity of 70 seats have been announced for all flights. However, Croatian Aviation states that the problem for the airline is the weather conditions in Zagreb, i.e., the thick fog due to which ATR72 aircraft are often unable to land in the Croatian capital. In that case, the airline is forced to either cancel the flight, delay the flight and wait for the weather to improve, or do what was done last night due to fog - replace the aircraft on the line with a larger type for which fog is not an obstacle.

For example, the visibility in Zagreb last night was only 200 meters, so instead of the ATR, the A319 landed in Zagreb with an hour delay, carrying 52 passengers. As a result, only 30 passengers left Zagreb for Belgrade on Sunday night.

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

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Increase in Ryanair Zagreb Christmas Flights from Dublin, Eindhoven, Stockholm

November 17, 2021 - The Croatian capital will be busy this holiday season with an increase in Ryanair Zagreb Christmas flights from Dublin, Eindhoven, and Stockholm! 

The Irish low-cost airline is offering a number of weekly flights around Christmas and New Year on several existing routes, as well as on routes running in early December, reports Croatian Aviation.

In addition to the new lines announced for next summer, Ryanair is also preparing for increased demand on European lines around Christmas and New Year and has thus made several operational changes to the lines from its Zagreb base.

Ryanair is showing great interest in the line between Dublin and Zagreb, which will run from December 2 this year, three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. From December 20 to January 9, Ryanair will increase the number of weekly flights on this route to a total of four, operating between the two cities on Wednesdays, too!

On the new Ryanair line between Eindhoven and Zagreb, which runs from December 3 (twice a week, Monday and Friday), there will be an increase in the number of weekly rotations on this line from December 20 to January 9, totaling four-weekly flights with additional flights on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

There will also be an increase in operations on two lines to Sweden, to Gothenburg and Malmö. The Gothenburg-Zagreb line currently runs three times a week and will run four times a week around Christmas, additionally on Tuesdays. From January 3 to January 9, six weekly flights have been announced, every day except Saturday.

Finally, on the Malmö - Zagreb - Malmö line, there will also be an increase in operations at the very beginning of January, and four weekly flights have been announced on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The line currently operates twice a week.

More good news: Ryanair introduced a line between Rome (Ciampino Airport) and Zagreb this summer, though the flights were transferred to Fiumicino at the end of October due to work at Ciampino. Now, Ryanair will stay at Fiumicino and will operate to Zagreb from there until the end of the winter flight schedule. This is great news for travelers given that Fiumicino is significantly better connected to the center of Rome than Ciampino.

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

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Flights to Croatia: Finnair Helsinki-Zagreb Flights, Condor to Rijeka and Dubrovnik

November 11, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia with the announcement of Finnair Helsinki-Zagreb flights and new Condor flights to Rijeka and Dubrovnik. 

Finnish national airline Finnair (Oneworld alliance member) announced its 2022 summer schedule, and Zagreb is on the list of new destinations, reports Croatian Aviation.

Finnair will operate regularly between Helsinki and Zagreb next summer, and the Helsinki - Zagreb - Helsinki line will be introduced on May 1, 2022. Flights will run three times a week, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. A319 aircraft with a capacity of 144 seats have been announced on the route, meaning Finnair will offer more than 22,000 seats on the Helsinki-Zagreb route from May to October next year. 

Before the pandemic, Croatia Airlines operated in the summer between Helsinki and Zagreb, but the line was not in operation in 2021 and 2020 due to reduced demand.

Finnair has operated to Dubrovnik and Split in the summer flight schedule for many years, and earlier this airline had Pula on its destination map. Finnair's arrival in the Croatian capital is great news for all those who normally travel between the two cities, as well as for those who will continue their journey to destinations in Asia with this airline.

Furthermore, Croatian Aviation reports that German leisure airline Condor announced two new routes to Croatia.

Condor Airlines announced a series of new routes from Düsseldorf, which is the focus this winter. For now, several new routes have been announced for next year's summer flight schedule, including two to Croatian airports.

Condor plans to operate to three Croatian airports next summer. Split is already a traditional destination and will have three routes next year - from Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Munich.

Condor will introduce two new routes - between Düsseldorf and Rijeka, twice a week, and one flight a week between Düsseldorf and Dubrovnik. 

Croatian Aviation adds that A320 aircraft will operate to Rijeka and Dubrovnik, while Condor will use A320, A321, and B757 aircraft to Split, just like in the 2021 summer season.

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

Monday, 8 November 2021

Russian Vaccination Tourism in Zagreb: 6-Weekly Flights Announced from Moscow!

November 8, 2021 - Russian vaccination tourism in Zagreb is the latest trend, as Russian citizens flock to the Croatian capital to get jabbed with an EU-approved vaccine. Recall, Sputnik, the Russian vaccine, has yet to be accepted by the European Union - and EU digital Covid certificates are a hot commodity.

As TCN reported on Sunday, November 7, Russian citizens waited in line for hours at the small vaccination point in Zagreb's Kajzerica neighborhood last week, hoping they could get vaccinated. It's not that Russians are having trouble getting vaccinated in their country, but only the Sputnik vaccine is available, which has yet to be approved by the European Union. 

Thus, increased demand and high capacity on flights to Zagreb from Moscow this offseason are primarily thanks to the coronavirus vaccine. Many hope to get jabbed with Johnson & Johnson since only one dose is needed, after which they can receive an EU digital Covid passport to travel freely and avoid self-isolation or quarantine. 

Four Russian airlines, Aeroflot, PegasFly, Nordwind, and Azur Air, are currently operating on scheduled flights between Moscow and Zagreb. However, Azur Air was the last to introduce a route at the end of October this year, reports Croatian Aviation and 24 Sata

Russia's national airline, Aeroflot, operates between Zagreb and Moscow three times a week, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Although the announcement included A320 aircraft with a capacity of 158 seats, due to increased demand, larger A321 aircraft with 183 seats mainly operate on this line.

The planes are recording excellent occupancy, and there are only a few vacancies left on the flights in the following days. The question is whether Aeroflot will further increase its capacity to Zagreb by introducing wide-body aircraft. If there is no further increase, Aeroflot will offer almost 3,500 seats between Moscow and Zagreb by the end of the month.

Nordwind and PegasFly also operate between Moscow and Zagreb, twice a week - Nordwind on Mondays and PegasFly on Fridays. By the end of November, the two airlines offer 2,172 seats between Moscow and Zagreb. Flights are operated with E190 and B737-800 aircraft.

The newest carrier between Moscow and Zagreb is Azur Air, which operates to Zagreb from Vnukovo Airport, while other airlines use Sheremetyevo Airport. Azur Air operates to the Croatian capital only once a week, on Sundays, using aircraft type B737-800. By the end of November, this carrier will offer 1,512 seats between Moscow and Zagreb, and the company claims that if there is increased demand, it will react by introducing a B757-200 aircraft with a capacity of 238 seats.

By the end of November, the four mentioned airlines would offer a total of 7,164 seats between Moscow and Zagreb, and flights are available six times a week.

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

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Ryanair's first flight to Zagreb, tickets from €20

ZAGREB, 3 June 2021 - Irish Ryanair on Wednesday started operating a new route between Zagreb and Brussels Charleroi, which is scheduled twice a week, and the same airline announced the launch of several other flights from Zagreb, with ticket prices from €19.99, Zagreb Airport (MZLZ) has said.

The flight to Milan Bergamo launches on 17 June, and the flights to Gothenburg, London Stansted, and Rome Ciampino will be available from 23 July, when the first Ryanair airplane will be based in Zagreb.

The full Ryanair flight schedule from Zagreb for summer 2021 will be available from September, when the second airplane will be based in Zagreb and nine new routes will open to Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, and Montenegro.

Ryanair's Sales and Marketing Manager for Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, Olga Pawlonka, said that she was pleased that her company had officially marked the first flight for Zagreb on the Brussels Charleroi route.

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, 3 June 2021

TAP Air Portugal Launches Direct Line Between Zagreb and Lisbon

ZAGREB, 2 June 2021 - TAP Air Portugal, the state-owned flag carrier airline of Portugal, started operating direct flights between Zagreb and Lisbon on Wednesday, Zagreb Airport reported upon the reintroduction of this direct flight service.

The flights from Zagreb to Lisbon are scheduled three times a week, at 13.25 hours on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, while the flights from Lisbon to Zagreb are at 8 a.m. and arrive in Zagreb shortly afternoon.

Arik De of TAP Air Portugal said on Wednesday that this also strengthened the position of Lisbon as an air transport hub between Europe and America and Africa.

Yavuz Aytis of the Zagreb Airport (MZLZ) said that he was glad that this Lisbon-Zagreb direct service was restored after a five-year suspension.

During his recent visit to Portugal, Croatia's Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman announced the restoration of this service as one of the steps that would facilitate cooperation between the two countries.

In 2019, 65,570 Portuguese visitors traveled to Croatia, and in 2020, their number fell to 7,122  due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the data provided by the Croatian National Tourist Board.

 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, 23 November 2020

Flights to Croatia: Turkish Airlines Selling Over 5,700 Seats on Istanbul-Zagreb Route in December

November 23, 2020 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Turkish Airlines is selling over 5,700 seats on the Istanbul-Zagreb route this December.

Croatian Aviation reports that in December, Turkish Airlines will operate four times a week on the Istanbul-Zagreb route.

The Turkish national airline has stabilized the number of operations to the Croatian capital, with four flights a week available since mid-September this year. 

In the last month of this year, Turkish Airlines will keep the same number of weekly flights as before, operating between Zagreb and Istanbul on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

The B737-800 and A321 aircraft, which have a capacity of 151 and 188 seats, respectively, will operate on the route between Zagreb and Istanbul. Given the announced 17 flights between the two mentioned cities, Turkish will offer as many as 5,726 seats in both directions in December, which, given the current situation, is more than satisfactory.

Turkish Airlines currently offers daily flights to Zagreb from January 2021, but it is actually an old schedule that the airline has not yet revised. It is expected that the number of flights in the coming winter months will be reduced between three to four flights a week.

The Turkish airline operates regularly to Zagreb and there have been no ad-hoc flight cancellations on this route, given that there are no restrictions on travel to Turkey, and a number of people travel to Istanbul for a short vacation. 

Turkish Airlines continues to monitor the situation with the coronavirus pandemic. It is expected that in the spring of next year, the growth of demand will result in more weekly flights on this international route, with the possible return of this airline to Dubrovnik Airport.

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Thursday, 10 September 2020

Anniversary of Croatia's Worst Airplane Crash over Vrbovec in 1976

Thursday, 10 September 2020 – On this day in 1976, the explosion above Vrbovec was not just Croatia's worst airplane crash, it was the deadliest mid-air collision the world had ever seen

That summer there had been a heatwave. Although European holidays were not as standard as they are now, some of the 54 passengers on board the British Airways Hawker Siddeley Trident from London were no doubt looking forward to extending their good summer on this trip south to Istanbul. For the passengers of the other plane, 108 mostly-German tourists en route from Split to Bonn Cologne on a Douglas DC-9, this was the end of their vacation. They were headed home after rest on the Dalmatian coast. But, neither set of passengers would that day reach their destination.

The explosion above Vrbovec, just north-east of Zagreb on Thursday 10 September 1976 was not just Croatia's worst airplane crash, at the time it was the deadliest mid-air collision the world had ever seen. All 176 people aboard both aircraft were killed.

English language news footage taken in the aftermath of Croatia's worst airplane crash

The fault of the collision was a severely overworked, ill-equipped and understaffed Zagreb air traffic control. The ineffectiveness of their procedures that day had harrowing consequences.

In 1976, Vrbovec was known for its industry, its surroundings rich in agriculture. At the time of the crash – around 11.15am in Croatia - those working in the fields would have been thinking about coming inside to escape the glare of the sun and take lunch. The skies above them exploded before they could take that journey. Debris rained down over an area of 10 square kilometres.

Plane wreckage, photographed by the Croatian media shortly after Croatia's worst airplane crash

Over 1000 locals were engaged in the fruitless search for the victims. All were dead. Small comfort could later be taken from learning that most had died instantly, at the moment the planes depressurized. The last five metres of the DC-9's left wing had cut through the Trident's cockpit and the front of the passenger compartment.

The British Airways plane involved in Croatia's worst airplane crash © Mike McBey

Vrbovec was soon the destination for hundreds of journalists from around the world, not least Britain and Germany. News of Croatia's worst airplane crash had been reported within an hour of the incident. German families waited nervously at Bonn Cologne airport for relatives who would never come. The story had reached Germany. Their plane had not arrived. It took airport authorities another four hours to confirm that, sadly, it never would.

Near the town of Vrbovac today, in a countryside that remains very similar to that searched for survivors 44 years ago, a lasting memorial stands surrounded by trees, a permanent reminder of Croatia's worst airplane crash.

A memorial to some of the victims, at Zagreb's Mirogoj © SpeedyGonsales

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