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.

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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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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. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Croatia Airlines to Connect Zagreb to Bucharest and Helsinki

More good news for the Croatian capital ahead of the planned opening of the new Zagreb Airport terminal next month, reports ExYuAviation on February 28, 2017. 

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Lufthansa Strengthens Route from Frankfurt to Zagreb

With the new Zagreb Airport terminal due to open next month, the good news keeps on coming for the Croatian capital, reports Avioradar on February 26, 2017. 

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Norwegian to Introduce Direct Flights from Stockholm to Zagreb

With Zagreb's new airport terminal scheduled to open next month, more good news for the Croatian capital's airport, reports Avioradar on February 22, 2017. 

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