Thursday, 14 November 2019

Flights to Croatia: Eurowings Discontinues Two Routes from Germany to Zagreb

November 14, 2019 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for new flights to Croatia with updates from Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, and Zadar. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that low-cost carrier Eurowings will discontinue services from Berlin and Dusseldorf to Zagreb at the end of March next year, namely on March 28, 2020. In the past, Eurowings has complained about Zagreb Airport's significantly high airport fees, which is tough for low-cost carriers. With no competition on these two routes, Zagreb will no longer be linked to the German capital.

However, operations from Cologne and Stuttgart and their seasonal summer service to Hamburg will continue as usual. Next summer, Eurowings will operate six weekly flights from Cologne to Zagreb, five weekly flights from Stuttgart to Zagreb, and eight from Hamburg, with flights running once a week between July 8 and August 26. 

Eurowings is currently the only low-cost carrier operating year-round flights to Zagreb. 

Avio Radar reports that Greek national carrier Aegean Airlines, a Star Alliance member, announced larger planes for all flights to Croatia in their 2020 flight schedule. Flights will no longer run on the Bombardier Q400 aircraft of the Greek regional carrier Olympic Air, but instead be operated by the Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. 

The Athens-Dubrovnik route remains in operation with five flights per week using an Airbus A320 on all flights. The Athens-Split route will operate four times a week on the Airbus A319 instead of this year’s five flights per week on the smaller Bombardier Q400. Flights will no longer run on Sundays and remain on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The Athens-Zagreb route will operate three times a week on Wednesdays and Sundays with the Airbus A319 aircraft, while it will use the larger Airbus A320 on Mondays. This year, Aegean operated four flights per week to Zagreb with the smaller Bombardier Q400. This route will no longer work on Thursdays. 

Avio Radar also reports that Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair will introduce a new flight from Poland to Zadar in the summer. It will connect Zadar with the town of Gdansk in northern Poland three times a week, on Tuesdays,  Thursdays, and Saturdays from March 31, 2020. 

Ryanair started operating flights between Poland and Zadar only this year when the Krakow-Zadar and Poznan-Zadar routes were introduced twice a week, which will continue in 2020. The new Gdansk-Zadar line will be the third from Poland to Zadar. The Boeing 737-800 aircraft of the Polish company Buzz will fly on all three lines. 

Buzz started operating in 2017. Ryanair founded this company in Poland under the name Ryanair Sun and initially flew only charter flights from Poland. It has now taken over most of Ryanair’s regular lines from Poland and Hungary. It already has 24 Boeing 737-800 aircraft in its fleet. 

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

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

EasyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Ryanair Driving Record Summer in Croatia

TCN recently reported that Croatia would experience another record summer. With airports like Split, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and Pula achieving the busiest June yet, and Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli announcing that the country has already welcomed 6.5 million arrivals and 26 million overnight stays, the forecasts are looking promising for another hit summer. And when all is said and done, Croatia’s nine commercial airports should handle a total of 11 million travelers this year. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that these record results are partly thanks to the 81 new scheduled and charter routes introduced from 24 different markets in the peak summer months, which are mostly operating from Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. 

Namely, three of Europe’s biggest low-cost airlines - EasyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle, and Ryanair, are driving Croatia’s five busiest airports this summer. Ex Yu Aviation reports that EasyJet will operate over 3,100 flights to Croatia in July and August, has more than doubled its capacity to Zadar compared to last summer, and currently maintains over 50 services to Croatia.

Thanks to 11 new routes, Ryanair operates a total of 32 routes to Croatia in the summer, with 40 weekly flights to Zadar alone. Ryanair’s operations are up by 50%, while Transavia’s services in Rijeka increased by 350%!

Ex Yu Aviation further reports that many markets have also increased their capacity to Croatia in 2019, like Ireland, whose seat count is up by 60% compared to last year. Aer Lingus also launched a new route from Cork to Dubrovnik, Ryanair started service from Dublin to Dubrovnik and Split, and Croatia Airlines even announced they’ll be boosting seasonal operations between Zagreb and Dublin to year-round flights this winter.

Ireland, however, makes up just part of the pie, as services to Spain have seen an increase of nearly 50% thanks to Iberia’s routes to Dubrovnik, Split, and Zagreb this year - and Air Serbia has upped seat capacity to Croatia by 18%! 

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

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Ryanair Set for Croatia Expansion, Zagreb Mentioned, Says ExYuAviation

June 23, 2019 - Ryanair was the budget airline pioneer in Croatia back in 2007 before others took bigger slices of the market. Is that about to change, a change that will include Zagreb?

I am not an airline expert by any means, and one thing which has always confused me about the flight market in Croatia is the position of Ryanair. 

Having lived in Croatia full-time since 2003, I fondly remember the collective expat joy when the Irish airline started operations from London to Zadar back in 2007, offering a much more convenient connection for UK travellers. It is interesting to listen to people today complaining at the lack of winter flights to Split and other such destinations - compared to what was on offer a decade ago, the change has been incredible. 

But having entered the market and transformed Zadar, things did not expand as one might have expected, and other budget airlines, most notably easyJet and Eurowings, quickly overtook Ryanair. In an interesting article today on ExYuAviation about Ryanair being set for expansion in Croatia, the percentages of market share show this quite clearly. 

The low-cost airline has the fifth largest market share in the country this summer, standing at 4.4%. It is behind Croatia Airlines on 31%, easyJet on 9.9%, Eurowings on 8.6% and Lufthansa with a 4.8% market share.

But are things changing, and are we set for a rapid expansion of Ryanair flights to Split, Dubrovnik and Zagreb, to name but three?

It took 12 years after that Zadar launch for Ryanair to commence flights to both Split and Dubrovnik, with flights from Dublin only starting this summer. According to the ExYuAviation report, both routes have already been extended into the first week of winter, an encouraging sign for a new route. Ryanair is not the type of airline which services an airport with just one route, so I would expect more Ryanair routes for 2020. Getting into Split and Dubrovnik is the hard part, and now that they have managed that and extended their inaugural schedules, expect more to follow. 

The report also highlights cooperation with the Croatian National Tourist Board, which has resulted in a 50% increase in the airline's passenger numbers to Zadar, a successful strategy which one would expect to continue. The airline expects to handle 550,000 passengers this year in the Croatian market. 

The most intriguing part of the report, however, is this:

"Ryanair has held positive discussions with the Croatian Minister for Tourism regarding longer-term traffic growth and route development at its existing Croatian airports as well as potential new airports like Zagreb", the company said recently. For its part, Zagreb Airport noted it was seeking models which would allow low-cost carriers to increase their presence in the Croatian capital. 

The quote itself is not new, it was cited by the website mentioning Split as well back in November, but it comes at a time when industry insiders are suggesting that there are talks underway to reopen the old Zagreb terminal and run it as a parallel low-cost hub. As I wrote recently, the two airlines supposedly in discussions are Eurowings and Lauda. You can read the article here

And other major budget airlines have confirmed their interest, should Zagreb be able to provide a solution for low-cost airlines:

Commenting on its absence in Zagreb, Wizz Air's CEO, Jozsef Varadi, said recently, "It is a high-priced airport environment with fluctuating demand. Should the costs come down, I think they would attract us".

Such a move would be bad news for Croatia Airlines, of course, but one only has to look a few hundred kilometres north to Budapest to see how an airport can flourish with the passing of a national airline. Jost Lammers, CEO of Budapest Airport, was kind enough to explain to TCN how things changed in Hungary when Malev went bankrupt in 2012

If Zagreb had short-haul connectivity anywhere close to what Budapest has, the economic benefits to the Croatian economy would be considerable. The medical tourism industry would be much more competitive, for example, a lucrative industry which experts agree Croatia has the potential to be in the top ten in the world within ten years. And with the explosive growth of the digital nomad market looking to spend their money in countries which offer great connectivity and lifestyle, a budget hub in Zagreb would be one more important step to develop Croatia's place in this equally lucrative market.

And while the official word from Zagreb Airport did not confirm that any of this was happening, it was also not ruled out. 

Lidia Capkovic Martinek, Advisor to the Director of International Airport Jsc. was kind enough to promptly reply to my questions about Eurowings and the use of the old terminal for low-cost carriers. 

"Eurowings currently operates 18 weekly flights to ZAG from 5 different destinations in Germany. As the concessionaire of Zagreb Airport, we are continuously in contact with our existing partners and other carriers, in order to improve air connectivity at Zagreb Airport.

"Currently there is no official plan to use old terminal building for low-cost carriers. But as a private company we would like to utilize our resources at maximum efficiency, therefore we always brainstorm about new ideas and projects."

For the latest flight news from Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.


Friday, 7 June 2019

Ryanair Celebrates 4 Million Passengers in Croatia

Ryanair, one of Europe’s favorite budget airlines, celebrated 4 million passengers in Croatia since the beginning of its operations in the country in 2006, reports AvioRadar on June 6, 2019.

The 4 millionth passenger traveled on Ryanair’s new service from Eindhoven to Zadar, which is part of the summer. schedule this year. The 2019 summer schedule also includes new escapes such as Berlin, Cologne, Dublin, Krakow, and Prague. Ryanair will transport 550,000 users in Croatia this year and boasts more than 400 staff in the airports of Dubrovnik, Pula, Rijeka, Split, and Zadar. 

Ryanair’s 2019 summer schedule in Croatia boasts two new airports (Dubrovnik and Split), five airports in total (Dubrovnik, Pula, Rijeka, Split, Zadar), and 11 new routes, including Zadar to/from Cologne, Eindhoven, Krakow, Hamburg, Milan, Bergama, Nuremberg, Poznan, and Prague. Dubrovnik and Dublin are also connected on Ryanair this year, as is Pula and Berlin, and Split and Dublin. 

Ryanair has a total of 31 routes in Croatia. 

The celebrate 4 million passengers in Croatia, Ryanair dropped seat prices down to 22.99 euro for trips in June, which should be booked by midnight on Saturday, June 8, 2019. 

“Ryanair is pleased to celebrate 4 million passengers in Croatia and the record 2019 summer. As part of the celebration, in June, we will sell seats from Croatia for 22.99 euro. This offer is available until Saturday, June 8, at midnight,” said Olga Pawlonka, a representative of the airline in Zadar. 

Josip Klišmanić, the managing director of Zadar Airport, said:

“It has been 12 years since Ryanair started flying to Zadar. Then, we handled only about 65,000 passengers. I am happy to announce that more than 750,000 passengers will travel through Zadar Airport this year. Ryanair is the most important partner in achieving this goal. I believe that this will remain and that we will celebrate more and more travelers in the future.”

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

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Ryanair Touches Down at Dubrovnik Airport for the First Time

June 2, 2019 - It has taken many years of discussion, but low-cost airline Ryanair finally landed in Dubrovnik from Dublin this afternoon. 

The first week of June has two very significant - and very different - firsts for Dubrovnik Airport. 

All eyes will be on the airport later this week, as the first direct flight from the United States since the war will touch down, with American Airlines beginning a direct service from Philadelphia. TCN will be on board and bring you the full story. 

Also very significant was a flight which has just landed from Dublin. After many years of discussions and reporting of imminent agreements, the first Ryanair flight has now landed at Dubrovnik. 

The low-cost carrier has been trying to fly into Dubrovnik for years, but the business model of concessions and reduced prices were at odds with Dubrovnik's general policy. As previously reported on TCN, eyebrows were raised in early December when Ryanair announced flights to both Split and Dubrovnik, with Dubrovnik Airport claiming to have no knowledge of the arrangement - from the TCN December report:

Josip Paljetak from Dubrovnik Airport has said that they have had no official information from Ryanair at all. He pointed out that the company hasn't even contacted the airport this year.

"We were very surprised to see that they'd announced flights from Dublin, and it's very strange that they've started selling tickets for flights which they never agreed upon with the airport. We don't even know if we can accept their planes for when they say they want the flights,'' Paljetak said.

It would appear that all issues and miscommunications are now resolved, and the Irish carrier will fly four times a week from Dublin to Dubrovnik during the season. A similar schedule started between Dublin and Split yesterday. 

Previous discussions reported about Ryanair interest in Dubrovnik have centred around the topic of year-round flights. Could today's groundbreaking flight be opening the door to a 12-month service, something that would be warmly welcomed by tourists and residents alike?

To learn more about Dubrovnik Airport, check out the Total Croatia Dubrovnik Airport guide


Friday, 11 January 2019

Flights to Croatia: Three New Connections for Netherlands and Zadar

Three new flights to Croatia are on the cards as Croatia's rich tourist offer impresses the Dutch in Utrecht.

As Morski writes on the 10th of January, 2019, the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) has been presenting the Croatian tourist offer at the Vakantiebeurs fair, which takes place in the Dutch town of Utrecht from January 9th to the 13th, 2019. The fair is intended for both a business and a wider audience, and on the first day of the fair alone, the Dutch have shown huge interest for various Croatian destinations, especially for the Croatia's camping segment. Owing to the level of interest from the Netherlands, three new flights to Croatia from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Einhoven are ready to take off in 2019.

''The presentation at the Utrecht fair starts with the presentation of the Croatian tourist offer at the most important fairs with key emission markets. The Croatian National Tourist Board will organise the presentation of the Croatian tourist offer at a total of 22 fairs in 2019, of which there are 17 general ones, and five specialised ones, including three nautical fairs and two camping fairs,'' said the Croatian National Tourist Board's director Kristjan Staničić, adding that during 2018, almost 500,000 arrivals and about 3.2 million overnight stays were realised by Dutch tourists, representing fairly significant growth of nine percent in terms of arrivals and of five percent in terms of overnight stays made by the Dutch back in 2017.

Within the scope of the current Utrecht fair, numerous meetings with representatives of various tour operators, travel agents and airline companies such as TUI, Thomas Cook, Transavia, D-Reizen, Rotterdam-Den Haag Airport, Travel Counselors Association and others are also taking place.

Such meetings are aimed at discussing activities and better cooperation in the upcoming period. The first information which can be concluded from Dutch tour operators is that the interest level of the Dutch for Croatia is currently at last year's level, but the real period of intensification lies not too far ahead.

''We're extremely pleased with the increasing interest of air carriers for Croatia, as evidenced by the announcement of the introduction of three new air lines from the Netherlands to Croatia, more precisely to Zadar in 2019. The Transavie line will connect Zadar with Rotterdam, Ryanair will link Zadar with Eindhoven, and Easyjet will link Zadar to Amsterdam,'' said Ivan Novak, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board's representation for the Benelux countries.

Make sure to atay up to date with flights to Croatia and other travel trends by following our dedicated travel page.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Ryanair Flights To Zadar, Croatia Grow By Three New Routes

December 19, 2018 — The list of Ryanair flights to Zadar is expanding in 2019. The bargain Irish airline announced new connections to Krakow, Poznan and Milan Bergamo. 

The flights will run twice a week, and be a part of the regular summer schedule for Zadar in 2019.

The area's tourism industry has a love-hate relationship with the bargain airline. Ryanair flights, some claim, have been a mixed blessing for the coastal town.Zadar effectively pays Ryanair to fly there. In exchange, the company brings a horde of summer tourists.

The town’s tourism-dependent workers and apartment owners have questioned the benefit of the relationship, especially the municipally-financed subsidy. In public forums and gatherings, questions often arise if Ryanair’s travelers fit Zadar’s target demographic. Can tourists using bargain bin prices lead to “quality” tourism?

The new flights to Poznan and Bergamo will begin on April 1, while flights to Krakow start April 3.

The new routes come atop recently-added Ryanair flights to Zadar from Cologne, Hamburg, Nuremberg, as well as Prague.

Ryanair flights to Zadar have so far included 16 routes to six countries. The additions will bring the total number of Ryanair flights to Zadar to 40 per week in 2019.

To celebrate, Ryanair is offering Croatian travelers a discount on flights to the company’s entire European network. Tickets cost EUR 15 for travel in April and only EUR 20 for flights in May. The price cut is available until Thursday, Dec. 20 at midnight.

Learn more about travel in Croatia at TCN’s dedicated page.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Ryanair Announces Flights to Split and Dubrovnik, Both Airports Clueless?

As Ryanair announces flights to Split and Dubrovnik, it appears that neither destination airport got the memo.

As we reported recently, the largest European low-cost airline, Ryanair, announced that it will launch flights from Dublin to Split and Dubrovnik as of next summer, but it seems nobody at either Split or Dubrovnik airport knows much about it.

As Josip Bohutinski/VL/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 4th of December, 2018, more strangely still, Ireland's popular Ryanair has already begun selling tickets for these flights which will commence on June the 1st, and be in operation until the 25th and 26th of October, 2019, starting at just 9.99 euros.

"Ryanair is pleased to announce the introduction of its new route from Dublin to Dubrovnik and Split, which will operate twice a week from June," Robin Kiely of Ryanair said.

Vincent Harrison, the director of Dublin Airport, said that he was glad to hear that Ryanair was expanding its route network by adding Dubrovnik and Split. Depite this, the director of Split Airport, Lukša Novak, says he cannot confirm that these flights will be realised at all.

Josip Paljetak from Dubrovnik Airport has said that they have had no official information from Ryanair at all. He pointed out that the company hasn't even contacted the airport this year.

"We were very surprised to see that they'd announced flights from Dublin, and it's very strange that they've started selling tickets for flights which they never agreed upon with the airport. We don't even know if we can accept their planes for when they say they want the flights,'' Paljetak said.

In Croatia, Ryanair already flies to Zadar, Rijeka, and Pula.

Ryanair offered no response when requested to explain the announcement of their 2019 summer flights to Split and Dubrovnik.

Make sure to stay up to date with our news and travel pages for much more.


Click here for the original article by Josip Bohutinski/VL on Poslovni Dnevnik

Monday, 3 December 2018

Flights to Croatia 2019: Ryanair Announces Dublin to Split and Dubrovnik

December 3, 2018 - Eleven years after entering the Croatian market in Zadar, a great addition to the flights to Croatia 2019 story: Ryanair to Split and Dubrovnik.

Flights to Croatia 2019 just got easier for Irish tourists (and the growing Croatian diaspora in Ireland), as Ryanair has announced two new routes to the Adriatic for next summer - Dublin to Split and Dubrovnik, reports the Irish Independent.

TCN reported 3 weeks ago that Ryanair was in discussions with Split and Zagreb, while the Irish carrier has been talking to Dubrovnik for some time. The sticking point for both Split and Dubrovnik in the past has been giving preferential pricing treatment to Ryanair, whose successful business model is well-known.

It is 11 years since Ryanair changed the landscape in Croatian aviation - and Zadar in particular - by pioneering low-cost flights to the former Dalmatian capital. And yet, while Ryanair took a march on its rivals 11 years ago, it has never really capitalised on that early success. Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik have remained closed to Ryanair's planes. In the interim, easyJet has become the second most popular airline in Croatia.

Until today. 

The Dublin flights to Split and Dubrovnik will commence in June, and we will bring you more details of the schedule as we have it. You can follow the TCN Flights to Croatia 2019 page here. With both Split and Dubrovnik booming and not needing to give financial concessions, and with Ryanair famous for extracting the best deals, it would be interesting to see the fine print of the detail, not that I expect it to be made public. 

One airline which may be less than happy by the news is Croatia Airlines, which is already struggling, and the arrival of Europe's most successful airline in the two biggest tourists airport in the country will hardly be welcome news. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Ryanair in Talks for Flights to Zagreb and Split

November 14, 2018 - It has been confirmed that Ryanair is in talks with both Split and Zagreb as the Irish low-cost carrier looks to expand its operations in Croatia.

An interesting development in the budget airline market in Croatia, as it has emerged that Ryanair is in discussions to bring routes to both Zagreb and Split. The Irish carrier, which brought budget flights to the Dalmatian coast with the opening of Zadar back in 2007, had fallen behind some of its competitors in recent years in the Croatian market, with easyJet in particular establishing itself on Croatia's Adriatic coast.  Zagreb has limited options currently regarding the budget market, and for an idea of how Ryanair can change things, our interview earlier today with Budapest Airport CEO Jost Lammers explains how Ryanair quickly established itself in the wake of the collapse of Malev back in 2012. Ryanair has been trying to get into the market in Dubrovnik, with the possibility of year-round flights, but the main sticking point was the financial concessions which Dubrovnik was reluctant to give. 

"In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News, the airline said, "Ryanair has held positive discussions with the Minister regarding longer-term traffic growth and route development at its existing Croatian airports as well as potential new airports like Zagreb and Split". The development comes just weeks following reports that Zagreb Airport's operator requested for the Croatian government to lower its annual concession fee. The operator argues that as a result of the concession fee, it was forced to increase its charges, which has in turn deterred low-cost airlines from flying to Zagreb. This winter season, only one low-cost carrier, Eurowings, will maintain services to the Croatian capital."

For the full story from ExYuAviation with more information about Split and Zadar, click here.

For the latest flight news from Croatia, click here.

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