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.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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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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Friday, 21 September 2018

Zagreb's Franjo Tuđman Airport Breaks Records

Despite the airport's record breaking results, a minus of as much as 54 million kuna remains...

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Croatia Airlines to Introduce Regular Zagreb - Mostar Line

Good news for those wanting a quick way from Zagreb to Mostar!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Korea's Jin Air Announces Plans for Flights to Zagreb!

The Korean connection!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Oslo Joins Stockholm, Bucharest and Helsinki in New Croatia Airlines Zagreb Routes

Croatia Airlines expansion to Scandinavia continues, reports Avioradar on March 3, 2017. 

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