Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Over 7 Million Zagreb Airport Passengers by 2024, Says Ryanair Boss

September 22, 2021 - Could 7 million Zagreb Airport passengers be the reality by 2024? Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary thinks so. 

As TCN already reported yesterday, low-cost airline Ryanair will connect Zagreb with 24 destinations in 16 countries in the winter flight schedule. In December, it will introduce a third aircraft into the Zagreb base, expecting around one million passengers on all routes by next summer, announced Ryanair CEO, Michael O'Leary.

Three based A320 aircraft with a capacity of 180 seats will operate from Zagreb to Baden Baden, Basel, Brussels, Dortmund, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, London, Malaga, Malta, Malmö, Manchester, Memmingen, Milan, Naples, Oslo, Paris, Paphos, Podgorica, Rome, Sofia, and Sofia.

"Ryanair is investing in Croatia to help it recover from the tourism industry after Covid and strengthened connectivity with the rest of Europe as Ryanair continues to grow and air transport returns to pre-pandemic levels. As Ryanair takes over 55 new B737-8200 aircraft this winter, we are pleased to base three new aircraft in Zagreb, which will fly a total of 24 new routes during Ryanair's first Zagreb-based winter," he said. 

This is also Ryanair's first winter flight schedule from Zagreb, which starts at the end of October. O'Leary added that this is his first press conference and visit to Zagreb, reports Jutarnji List.

He emphasized that Zagreb is a great challenge for them and that they see great potential there, as in the whole of Croatia, already recognized in the world for its tourism. For Zagreb, he pointed out that it is currently one of the growing 'hot city break' destinations.

"People want to come to Zagreb, especially for the Christmas fair in winter, and it also has a lot of cultural and historical sights, good food and a growing number of foreign tourists. The recognizability of Croatia in football is also important, and as far as I was able to see, there are a lot of beautiful women," O'Leary added.

The Ryanair CEO believes that Zagreb deserves to have at least about 3.5 million air passengers a year because it is the capital, and he believes that in cooperation with Zagreb Airport, with which they share a vision of growth, these figures will be reached.

He reiterated Ryanair's earlier announcements that they would invest a total of $300 million in Zagreb to 'base' three aircraft by the end of this year, two of which are already in the base from July and September, thus directly creating 100 jobs and another 750 indirect ones throughout Croatia. However, he would be disappointed if they only brought the fourth plane to Zagreb next summer because they could have three to five of them there.

He also mentioned the excellent cooperation with other airports in Croatia - Zadar, Pula, and Dubrovnik, and that from next spring, they will fly to Rijeka. Still, only Zagreb will work in the winter, while other flights will be seasonal. 

O'Leary noted that Ryanair wants Croatia Airlines to be a "living and healthy" company, as they do not have the same passenger structure nor fly to the same destinations and airports.

"We care that Croatia Airlines lives, and we did not come here to destroy it, but we came to create healthy competition, and as the line to Dublin did not destroy the Polish LOT or AirLingus, neither will CA," O'Leary replied.

He is satisfied with the current business with Zagreb and Croatia. He expects continued strong demand for their flights, concluding that there is no reason why the number of total air passengers of all carriers will not increase to around 7 million in the next three years.

The airport should be handling 3.5 million passengers next year, six million in 2023, and over seven million travelers in 2024. We plan on carrying over ten million passengers in cooperation with Zagreb Airport over the next five to six years”, Mr O’Leary said.

Ryanair was expected to announce new routes to Zagreb at this press conference. However, the company instead used media attention to promote its lines from the new Zagreb base.

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

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Ryanair Zagreb Winter Schedule Announced, Plans for Fourth Jet Next Summer

September 21, 2021 - The Ryanair Zagreb winter schedule has been announced with 24 routes, and plans to add another jet to the capital city base are in the works for next summer.

Ryanair announced the first winter flight schedule from the new Zagreb base at a press conference in the capital on Tuesday. 

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said at the press conference today: "Ryanair is investing in Croatia to help it recover from the tourism industry after Covid and strengthened connectivity with the rest of Europe as Ryanair continues to grow and air transport returns to pre-pandemic levels. As Ryanair takes over 55 new B737-8200 aircraft this winter, we are pleased to base three new aircraft in Zagreb, which will fly a total of 24 new routes during Ryanair's first Zagreb-based winter." 

Three based A320 aircraft with a capacity of 180 seats will operate on 24 international scheduled flights from Zagreb to Baden Baden, Basel, Brussels, Dortmund, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, London, Malaga, Malta, Malmo, Manchester, Memmingen, Milan, Naples, Oslo, Paris, Paphos, Podgorica, Rome, Sofia, and Thessaloniki.

Ryanair also plans to add a fourth aircraft to the Zagreb base next summer and will add a third jet in Zagreb this December, though O’Leary did not reveal which routes could be expected.

“We are not focusing on routes covered by Croatia Airlines but those that are not served from Zagreb. The airport should be handling 3.5 million passengers next year, six million in 2023 and over seven million travellers in 2024”, O’Leary said, as reported by Ex Yu Aviation.

O’Leary also took the chance to criticize Croatia Airlines:

“In the past six months, Croatia Airlines has introduced three new routes, while Ryanair is in the process of adding 24. Croatia Airlines has also been the beneficiary of twelve million euros in state aid. We, on the other hand, receive no subsidies from the government. Croatia Airlines is a distinguished carrier but it has lost touch with the development of air travel in Croatia, particularly from Zagreb. We do not see them as a competitor because even on the routes we both operate on, we fly to different airports”.

Ryanair also stated that the investment in the Zagreb base is worth $300 million. 

The new winter lines are currently on sale and one-way tickets are already available at a price of 150 kuna or 19.99 euros. Tickets at these prices must be booked by Thursday, September 23, at midnight.

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

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Flights to Croatia: Ryanair Zagreb Boosts Operations, Blue Air Split and Dubrovnik Routes

August 18, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as the Ryanair Zagreb base boosts operations on two lines, and Blue Air Split and Dubrovnik routes are on the horizon. 

The newly launched Ryanair Zagreb base will boost operations on two routes from September 1, reports Ex Yu Aviation

Namely, the airline will operate four weekly flights to Charleroi compared to the existing two, while there will be four weekly rotations to Gothenburg compared to the existing three flights a week. 

Furthermore, Ryanair will station a second jet, the Airbus A320, in Zagreb from September 1, thus launching nine new routes. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Romanian low-cost carrier Blue Air will run seasonal flights from Bucharest to Split and Dubrovnik in 2022. The new routes will work from June 23 and June 28, with two flights per week on the 189-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The airline is introducing seven new routes next summer, with Split and Dubrovnik included. 

Eurowings has also announced that it will introduce its third route to Zagreb Airport, a year-round flight between Dusseldorf and Zagreb, which was canceled in 2019. The route will run on Tuesdays and Saturdays beginning August 31.

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

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 16 August 2021

Ryanair Zagreb Base Will Destabilize Croatia Airlines, Says Air Transport Expert Tonči Peović

August 16, 2021 - Air transport expert Tonči Peović discusses the Ryanair Zagreb base, the fate of Croatia Airlines, and when Croatian airports will see pre-pandemic figures again. 

While the number of tourists arriving by road in Croatia in recent weeks is the same as in the record 2019, aircraft and passengers at Croatian airports are still significantly less than pre-epidemic times. Tonči Peović, director of Brač Airport and the Air Transport Association president, which brings together all Croatian airports and airlines, talks about the challenges facing civil aviation with Jutarnji List.

What is the traffic like at Croatian airports?

"Traffic is returning, but we are not even close to the figures from 2019. In the first six months, we achieved 16 percent of the traffic of 2019, but July brought a dose of optimism with about 30 percent of passengers compared to 2019. In the first seven months, we are at 25 percent of 2019, and if there are no major disruptions with the measures, I believe that this trend will continue in August and September and that in the whole of 2021, we will have 35 to 37 percent of passengers compared to 2019. The biggest drop in the number of flights are from North and South America, as much as 60 percent, and toward other markets about 40 percent. The drop in the number of passengers is somewhat bigger because the planes are less crowded. Purchasing power seems to have fallen, and epidemiological measures are often not clear enough."

British Jet2 has recently established numerous routes to Split and Dubrovnik; Ryanair has started flying to Zagreb and is announcing many new routes. Is there a reason for optimism?

"Of course there is. Ryanair is the first operator in the European sky in terms of the number of flights."

Is the low-cost model the future?

"I wouldn't say. Low cost is rising, but all models must be represented. Traditional carriers that adapt to the new conditions will survive. Currently, 39 percent of traffic in Europe is held by low-cost carriers, 44 percent by traditional companies, and 12 percent by charter companies. Air traffic has become more accessible than ever. Before the crisis, the annual number of passengers in the world was seven billion. Low-cost airlines bring in less revenue to airports. Therefore, I am not sure how good the Ryanair base is being established in Zagreb. This will bring great uncertainty to Croatia Airlines. In Split and Dubrovnik, Ryanair pays the same price for airport services as all other companies."

Last year, only 2.2 million passengers were transported through all Croatian airports, and in 2019 there were 11.5 million.

"Last year is better to forget. We are at least twice as good now. Dubrovnik, for example, had 60,000 passengers in June and only 10,000 last year. So I hope this season will be quite long. If the weather is good and the epidemic doesn’t go wild, we could have the season until the end of October."

Why does air passenger transport recover more slowly than road transport?

"The companies offered flights, but they fill up less. Passengers prefer to come by personal vehicles because they have the freedom to return whenever they want. We didn’t even have guests from Scandinavia, the UK, and the US in the first half of the year. Now that the measures have eased, it will take time for the traffic to start. People usually buy tickets a month before the flight. And many passengers were unable to return from distant destinations last year due to the measures. Fearing this will happen again, people are less willing to travel by plane. Today, even guests from Sweden come to Croatia by car, which is a two-day trip."

If the epidemic calms down, how long will it take to reach the number of passengers from 2019?

"There are estimates that it will take three to four years. I estimate that many weaker airlines will go bankrupt in the fall, mostly those with a smaller fleet that will not pay for aircraft leasing. This year, the price of kerosene is also very high, about $75 per barrel, and last year it was $15. On the other hand, new companies that do not have losses from previous years are being established, so they are attractive to investors. For example, Croatian Trade Air recently acquired a new aircraft with four Airbus 320s and several more Fokkers with about 100 seats. In contrast, another small Croatian company, EasyFly, already has three aircraft. Regarding the number of seats, the two companies together are almost as big as Croatia Airlines."

How do Croatian airports operate in these times of crisis?

"It is easier for airports than for airlines because they have a larger share capital than income. Croatian airports will be on the verge of covering workers' salaries with their revenues this year. We asked the Government to continue with the support measure of HRK 4,000 per worker. We want no one to lose their jobs because our workers are specially educated, and we want to keep them for the future. We get support from the state if we prove that our turnover drop is greater than 70 percent compared to 2019. Without that, we would have to borrow from banks."

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Ryanair Promo Flights to Croatia from £4.99, Ends August 11, 2021!

August 8, 2021 - Ryanair promo flights to Croatia are on sale from London Stansted to Zagreb and Edinburgh to Zadar. The promo runs until August 11, 2021, and is valid for use until October 31, 2021!

As Mirror.co.uk reported, Croatia is currently on the green watchlist and is open to both unvaccinated and vaccinated travelers from the UK. The flight deals are valid until October 31, so there is still a lot of time for you to choose the perfect dates to spend an amazing holiday in Croatia's top tourist destinations at a bargain price! On top of that, Ryanair also offers Zero Change Fee T&C, which will allow you to amend booked flights (in case of last-minute changes) without incurring extra charges!

For £4.99, visit and explore Croatia's capital city - Zagreb. From there, it is also easy to reach nearby cities, even coastal cities if you want to enjoy the Adriatic Sea, by car in just a few hours. For the best travel guide to Zagreb, visit Total Croatia's Zagreb in a Page 2021: Guide, Tours, Food, Drink, Festivals. 

For the same price, Ryanair also offers flights from Edinburgh to the coastal city of Zadar. Watch the most beautiful sunset in the world (as per Alfred Hitchcock) and visit the famous Zadar Sea Organ where music meets the Adriatic sea. Learn the best travel tips on one page through Total Croatia's Zadar in page 2021: Sunsets, Sea Organ, Parks, Tours.

Visit Ryanair now to book your trip to Croatia at a great price. Ryanair also offers flight deals to other hotspot European destinations such as Spain, France, Portugal, and Germany. Do not forget to book them by August 11 when the sale ends! 

COVID-19 measures when traveling to Croatia

Croatia requires travelers arriving from the UK to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel or a negative antigen test no less than 48 hours old prior to entering Croatia. This rule applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Refusal of entry to Croatia will be given to those who do not adhere to this rule.

GOV.UK also advises UK travelers to complete an online entry form before travelling to Croatia, as well as proof of accommodation booking or ownership. For business-related trips, please bring with you proof of business invitations or meetings. 

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Ryanair Domestic Flights in Croatia on the Horizon

July 27, 2021 - After opening its base in Zagreb, Ryanair domestic flights in Croatia are on the horizon. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Ryanair is looking to launch domestic flights in Croatia after its new Zagreb base officially launched earlier this month. The airline's CEO, Eddie Wilson, noted it could be done without subsidies. 

“At the moment, all the domestic routes are subsidised. Seems bizarre that you must pay an airline to fly up and down Croatia when Dubrovnik is such a nice place to go to. We would have no difficulty flying internally with zero subsidies. We have just done that in Ireland, where there was one of these Public Service Obligation routes, which is just a way of channelling money to airlines. Why should the taxpayer pay for that on 300 euros fares to Dubrovnik in the height of summer when commercial airlines can do that for no subsidies? We would be quite prepared to do those routes”.

European funds are available for 'unprofitable domestic routes deemed vital for the economic development of the region they serve' through the Public Service Obligation (PSO) scheme in Croatia. Croatia Airlines and Trade Air hold the existing PSO contracts, and new contracts should be opened by the Croatian government later this year. 

As part of the current PSO contracts, Croatia Airlines covers routes from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Pula, and Brač, and Trade Air from Osijek to Dubrovnik, Split, Pula, Zagreb, and Rijeka. Croatia Airlines annually receives 10.3 million euros for domestic services, while Trade Air receives 2.6 million euros per year. 

The Ryanair Zagreb base will operate on 24 lines to and from 16 countries - Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In the first year of flying on routes from and to Zagreb, Ryanair will transport about 700,000 passengers.

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, 23 July 2021

Ryanair Opens Zagreb Base

ZAGREB, 23 July 2021 - Low-cost airline Ryanair opened its base at Zagreb Airport on Friday, announcing that it expected to increase the number of its aircraft from the present one to three by the end of the year and bring about 700,000 passengers by April 2022.

Speaking at a press conference, Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson said that Zagreb had great potential for their business development and that, with investment of $300 million, they hoped to turn it into an even stronger tourist destination.

He said that during the winter flight schedule Ryanair would operate 60 flights out of Zagreb a week to 24 foreign destinations, including nine new ones. In summer, the airline connects Zagreb with 15 European destinations.

We want to fly all year round and improve our business in Croatia. We have our bases in Zadar and Zagreb, and we also fly to Pula where we are seeing very good results, Wilson said.

Asked if he thought that the inclusion of Croatia's Adriatic coast in the orange zone on the COVID-19 map of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) would hurt the tourism industry, he said that this is less important and that more important is how many people in the country have been vaccinated.

This summer we expect a longer season than last year, in Croatia too, which is now in a good situation, and we hope it will stay that way, Wilson said.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Nine New Ryanair Zagreb Routes Announced in December!

July 23, 2021 - Nine new Ryanair Zagreb routes have been announced for December, with promotional flight prices of just 150 kn if booked by July 25! 

Ryanair, Europe's largest low-cost airline, opened its base at Franjo Tudjman Airport today and announced that it will have an additional aircraft there, so from December this year, the fleet will consist of three based aircraft, reports Vecernji List.

Ryanair says their total investment in Zagreb is $300 million, and during the winter they will have 62 outgoing flights a week from Zagreb on 24 routes, including nine new routes unveiled today.

Ryanair states that their flight schedule, after high demand this summer, will help the functioning of Zagreb as a key city break destination and will support the recovery of the Croatian tourism industry. They also state that they will create 90 direct jobs in Zagreb.

Today, they presented nine new lines from Zagreb to Basel, Eindhoven, Malaga, Manchester, Naples, Paphos, Thessaloniki (twice a week), and Dublin (three times a week). The new additions will be introduced between December 1 and December 17.

“We have one aircraft based in Zagreb from July 23, the second comes in September and the third in December. We have 41 weekly frequencies this summer and are connecting everything from London to Billund, from Oslo all the way down to Rome. So, in winter we are adding nine new routes, 25 routes in total and I hope we are going to grow that next summer. We are driving the recovery. I have to thank the airport for securing Ryanair for Zagreb and Croatia too. What I can promise you is that everyone flying through this airport in the next twelve months is going to be paying less for their airfares," said Ryanair’s CEO, Eddie Wilson, in Zagreb today. 

In total, there are 24 lines to and from 16 countries - Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In the first year of flying on routes from and to Zagreb, Ryanair will transport about 700,000 passengers.

To open the new base, Ryanair launched the sale of tickets at prices of 150 kuna for travel until the end of March, which must be booked by Sunday, July 25 at midnight on the official website - ryanair.com.

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, 7 July 2021

Ryanair Zadar Base: Flights Reduced to the UK in July and August

July 7, 2021 -  Three new routes are postponed while the number of rotations on two existing lines to the UK is reduced at the Ryanair Zadar base. 

Although Ryanair officially opened its base in Zadar at the beginning of July, announcing 78 weekly flights to 37 destinations, 17 of which are new, by the middle of the first working week, the largest European airline had to postpone the start of three new routes and reduce the number of rotations on two existing lines to the UK, reports Zadarski.hr.

The lines to Edinburgh, Newcastle, and Liverpool, which were supposed to be established from the first of July, have been postponed until the beginning of September, and the number of rotations on the lines to Manchester and London Stansted has been reduced from four to two a week.

Ryanair did not publish the information on postponing the lines on its official website, though it was learned by people in Zadar who booked tickets for Edinburgh in July and August. The company informed them that the lines were canceled, and reservations were not accepted until September.

"Ryanair has postponed the start of certain routes to the UK, so instead of July 1, the routes to Edinburgh and Liverpool, which were supposed to fly twice a week, and Newcastle, which was supposed to go once a week, will start on September 1. In addition, the lines to Manchester and London Stansted are already running but have been reduced from four to two weeks of rotation," confirmed Nikola Barač from Zadar Airport.

Although they are not sure at Zadar Airport why there was a delay and reduction of flights to Great Britain, they assume that the reason is the epidemiological restrictions that await all passengers upon arrival.

"Ryanair has not informed Zadar Airport of the reasons for the reduction of flights to the UK. However, since passengers must be in a ten-day quarantine upon arrival in the UK, it can be assumed that the cause of the decline in interest in these flights is the epidemiological measures in force in the UK," Zadar Airport points out.

The news of postponing Ryanair's flights to Great Britain in July and August resonated negatively in the Zadar area, which has been developing its tourist offer for the last ten years thanks to the guests of low-cost airlines. The Association of Private Accommodation Landlords president in Zadar, Daniel Radeta, was surprised by the information.

"It is definitely a blow for this tourist season in which we have already gone deep. There is no going back. This is devastating information given the circumstances, more precisely the new bans introduced by the Civil Protection Headquarters, and concern only Zadar County," said Radeta, adding that "northern" tourists are among the best when it comes to spending power. He believes that the delay in flights will definitely lead to the cancellation of reservations in private accommodation.

"When it comes to Zadar County, the British make up a substantial share of tourists precisely because of the connection via airlines. In addition, they are among the largest consumers, so the delay of flights in July and August, the two strongest months of the season, will definitely affect the season result. It will certainly not be what we thought," Radeta points out, adding that this move by Ryanair is not only a blow to renters but the entire tourism sector in the area of ​​Zadar, but also neighboring counties where Ryanair's guests went. Therefore, he points out that the tourist boards should have put more effort into facilitating the arrival of guests in Zadar and how to ensure their safe arrival and departure, at least in the form of a rapid antigen test. "This would make a difference compared to other destinations in the country," says Radeta, who also referred to the latest decision of the Headquarters on the ban on holding concerts and similar events in places where it is not possible to keep records of guests.

"Such decisions greatly affect tourists who thought to visit our county. Before arriving at a destination, tourists read about what is happening there, and according to the headquarters' decisions, they think that we are falling on the road because of COVID-19. The tourist community now only cares about its program, which until recently they did not even have, and they should worry about attracting tourists to our destination. Now the most important thing for them is that their festivals are held at the Forum. Some have the right to everything, and some to nothing," Radeta estimates.

The Zadar County Tourist Board director, Mihaela Kadija, did not have information about the cancellation of lines for Great Britain during the two peak summer months.

"I am sorry, but I am not surprised by such a decision of the airline due to the epidemiological restrictions that some countries have for their own and other citizens. Even before July 1, when they officially opened their base in Zadar, Ryanair had 13 open flights from Zadar. Still, the aviation industry is specific, and in such pandemic, conditions are susceptible to any changes," said Kadija, who does not think that due to fewer arrivals, guests from the UK season be less successful.

Guests from the UK are always welcome, but I don’t think they will significantly affect the season's success. Our traditional markets are Germany, Austria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and Poland. Those markets are stable for now, and I don’t think this flight delay will have an overly negative impact on this year’s tourism results.

The introduction of restrictive measures by the Zadar headquarters due to the growing number of new cases is also welcomed.

"That was the right and the only possible decision in the current situation of increasing the number of newly infected. When we had about 20 patients daily, Germany put us on the orange list. After that, the number of patients per day rose to 40 and more. Normally we should not allow such a spread of infection because our guests are looking for safety, not risk, and places where measures are not being followed. That is why I welcome the decision of the staff. If people adhere to the measures, we have the opportunity to have a great season," said Kadija, emphasizing that the number of guests in June was over 40 percent higher than last year at the same time. July.

As of July 1, 37 destinations were available from Zadar on Ryanair's direct flights, of which 17 were new.
Austria: Vienna; Belgium: Brussels Charleroi; Czech Republic: Prague; Denmark: Aarhus; France: Paris Beauvais, Marseille; Germany: Berlin, Bremen, Cologne, Dusseldorf Weeze, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Memmingen; Hungary: Budapest; Ireland: Dublin; Italy: Bari, Bologna, Milan Bergamo, Naples, Rome Ciampino; The Netherlands: Eindhoven, Maastricht; Poland: Gdansk, Krakow, Poznan, Warsaw, Wroclaw; Romania: Bucharest; Sweden: Gothenburg, Stockholm Skvasta, Vaxjo; United Kingdom: Edinburgh, Liverpool, London Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle.

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, 7 July 2021

As Capital Experiences Air Traffic Increase, How is Ryanair Zagreb Doing?

July the 7th, 2021 - The new Ryanair Zagreb route looked as if it was set to put not only Croatia Airlines, which many complain is far too expensive, but British Airways, which hadn't been present in the Croatian capital for months, out of work. With air traffic for the Zagreb on the rise, just how is this wildly popular Irish carrier doing?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, after several months of falling and stagnant air traffic, Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman International Airport is recording a trend of gradual recovery, in the summer months they expect continued acceleration of growth, which will peak at the end of the summer season, when the Ryanair Zagreb base is expected to open.

After two US companies (Delta Airlines and United Airlines) launched direct flights to Dubrovnik, Hungary's Wizz Air, one of Europe's fastest growing airlines, yesterday marked the launch of flights from Dubrovnik to Rome, Warsaw and Vienna. At the same time, Zagreb Ryanair flights were cancelled, which can only be assumed is the result of the apparent low interest of passengers.

Compared to the second quarter of 2020, during the lockdown, the traffic at Zagreb Airport is 3.5 times higher. This year’s figures are currently at 220,000 passengers, and June alone closed with more than 100,000 passengers. From July, Croatia Airlines will fly from Zagreb on 14 international and 5 domestic routes, and will have a total of more than 150 weekly departures. They expect a significant contribution to the recovery of traffic in Zagreb from Ryanair. At the Franjo Tudjman Airport, the plan is to serve between 90 and 100 daily air operations during the peak period of the summer season, and Zagreb will be connected with 6 domestic and 42 international destinations with regular lines.

However, experience shows that things are not going quite so smoothly yet, as the Croatian Aviation portal published the testimonies of passengers whose flights were cancelled by Ryanair.

On June the 17th, the Irish carrier launched its second of 15 planned routes from Zagreb to Bergamo, an airport near Milan. Since then, planes have operated on this route four times a week, but the portal received a number of passengers who bought tickets for flights in August, only to receive a notification from the company that their flight had been cancelled. It turned out that all 18 flights were cancelled in August, and the passengers were notified in the email that the cancellations were due to new restrictive measures for tourist trips between Croatia and Italy.

This is not clear at all, however, as nothing has changed in terms of restrictions between these countries. Moreover, Ryanair has announced the Rome - Zagreb - Rome route in August, Ryanair flights from Zadar to Milan have not been cancelled, nor have the other four routes between Zadar and the Italian destinations operated by this airline. Croatia Airlines, Vueling, EasyJet, Volotea and Wizz Air also didn't cancel flights scheduled to fly to Italy in August.

It's difficult to understand what is really going on here, given the lack of clarity that has dominated flights ever since the pandemic began at the beginning of 2020, but with tickets as cheap as they are and with Croatia Airlines being the other option, it's hard to imagine the Irish carrier suffering a great deal as a result.

For more on Ryanair Zagreb flights, make sure to follow our dedicated travel section.

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