Saturday, 29 January 2022

Ryanair's David O'Brien: We Opened 80 Croatian Routes, Hired 180 Staff

January the 29th, 2022 - Ryanair's arrival in the City of Zagreb has been a fantastic move for all of us residents of the capital who are keen to travel elsewhere in Europe for next to nothing. With only Croatia Airlines and their often unjustified ticket prices for basic economy flights being the only option for many for years, the Irish low-cost carrier's presence is reassuring for frequent flyers. David O'Brien of Ryanair has stated that the company has opened more than 80 new Croatian routes, and hired 180 new staff members.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, although the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic has led to changes and temporary reductions in some Croatian routes, Ryanair has almost fully met its expectations since last year's opening of its Zagreb Airport base.

This was confirmed by David O’Brien, who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ryanair Group for Lauda and Malta Air - the aircraft under this brand have been stationed by Ryanair at Zagreb Airport.

"Zagreb is a metropolis of one million inhabitants within its surroundings, and so many more people gravitate to it. Based on our rich experience I can say with certainty that the planned 3.5 million passengers per year is a very conservative estimate. It will probably grow even more in the coming period,'' said O'Brien, who visited Zagreb recently and announced some new Croatian routes and three more aircraft to be based there.

Ryanair were observing Zagreb for a very long time...

He added that the Croatian capital has been in Ryanair's focus for a long time now and that he is happy that they finally managed to open up a base here, not only the route, but also the base.

"We've long viewed Zagreb as Lufthansa's backyard because the fact is that, although there are other carriers, you actually have to use Lufthansa and its partners to go anywhere in Europe. Ryanair wants to change that and be a quality competition that will give Croatia's residents and passengers coming to Zagreb a much better and cheaper service,'' stated O’Brien.

He added that Ryanair currently has six routes to Croatia country this year - Zagreb, Zadar, Rijeka, Pula, Split, Dubrovnik, of which there are bases in Zagreb and Zadar where it holds three aircraft.

“We've opened more than 80 Croatian routes and created 180 direct jobs. This is a total investment of 600 million US dollars from Ryanair in Croatia, and all this without a single euro of any state subsidies from the government, unlike the 12 million euros that Croatia Airlines receives annually,'' he explained.

He added that Zagreb as an air destination differs from the other five in Croatia because it is the capital city, which is a model that, for airlines, means that it has a year-round interest in travel, and also that it can represent a short trip of just several days.

For the base in Zagreb itself, O'Brien pointed out that this is an investment totalling 300 million US dollars, given that three aircraft are or will be based there, each worth about 100 million dollars

"We've remained in operation throughout the entire coronavirus pandemic and our aircraft occupancy is solid, standing at over 85 percent. However, the emergence of the Omicron strain has led to certain disorders - France and Germany previously banned arrivals from the United Kingdom, Morocco banned arrivals from many European countries, and many other European countries introduced their own individual travel restrictions.

Therefore, we had to temporarily reduce the number of flights by about 30 percent, which was followed by reductions in flights related to Zagreb, but we expect a recovery from March onwards and that in the summer of 2022, we should reach 100 million passengers,'' assured David O 'Brien.

For more on Croatian routes by air, land and sea, check out our travel section.

Friday, 28 January 2022

27 Ryanair Zagreb Summer Routes Announced in 2022, 13 More than Last Year!

January 28, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as 27 Ryanair Zagreb summer routes will run this year, which is 13 more than in 2021. 

Ryanair, Europe's largest airline, announced the largest summer flight schedule in Zagreb to date, including 27 routes and more than 70 weekly flights to exciting European destinations such as London, Paris, Milan, Vienna, Frankfurt, and Dublin.

Namely, reports that last summer, Ryanair opened its base with the first aircraft in Zagreb to support strong demand for flights to/from Croatia. This increased connectivity will support tourist arrivals and also provide international tourists and business travelers with plenty of travel choices to leading European markets like Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany, France, and Austria.

While other airlines are reducing the number of routes, Ryanair is increasing capacity to a significant extent in Croatia. With an additional 13 lines compared to the 2021 summer season, including the recently announced for Bratislava, Corfu, and Lviv, travelers from Croatia now have 27 routes available for their next summer trip. This growth was driven by the delivery of 67 new so-called Gamechanger aircraft (which emit 40% less noise, 16% less fuel, and have 4% more seats available) before the start of the 2022 summer season.

A list of the flight destinations:

Baden - Baden
Brussels Charleroi
Frankfurt - Hahn
London Stansted
Milan - Bergamo
Paris Beauvais
Rome Fiumicino
Oslo - Torp
Dusseldorf - Weeze
*Note: 13 new lines during the summer of 2022 compared to the summer of 2021.

A statement was made by Lauda Europe CEO David O’Brien, on behalf of the Ryanair Group: 

"We are pleased to announce our largest summer flight schedule ever in Zagreb, where Ryanair will operate more than 70 weekly flights to 27 destinations, giving incoming tourism a much-needed boost, and Croatian consumers the widest choice of great destinations, both for leisure and for business travel. Ryanair is investing in Croatia to help the tourism industry recover from the coronavirus pandemic and strengthen ties with the rest of Europe, while Ryanair itself continues to grow and air traffic returns to pre-pandemic levels.

To celebrate these 27 summer lines, we are launching a seat sale with ticket prices of just 152 kn (€19.99) for a one-way trip until the end of April 2022. Take advantage of promotional prices until Saturday, January 29, at midnight. As these incredibly low ticket prices will sell out quickly, we advise you to book your seat at today."

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

Thursday, 20 January 2022

New Ryanair Zagreb-Lviv Flights from March, Air Serbia Belgrade-Rijeka Flights Return

January 20, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as new Ryanair Zagreb-Lviv flights have been announced from March, while Air Serbia Belgrade-Rijeka flights return from this summer!

Ryanair announced a new route from its Zagreb base, which will start operating at the end of March this year, reports Croatian Aviation.

Namely, Ryanair will connect Zagreb and Lviv from the end of March!

The line between Lviv and Zagreb will operate from the very beginning of the summer flight schedule, on March 27, and the flights have been confirmed until the end of October this year. Two flights a week have been announced, every Wednesday and Sunday.

The new Zagreb-Lviv route will run using A320 aircraft with a capacity of 180 seats, which means that Ryanair will offer 22,320 seats between the two cities this summer season. 

Lviv, a city in western Ukraine with about 800,000 inhabitants, will be Ryanair's 27th destination from Zagreb Airport. This is the second regular line between Zagreb and Ukraine. Recall, Ukrainian Windrose Airlines operates on a regular route between Kyiv and Zagreb, twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, throughout the year.

Ryanair from Lviv operates on 28 international routes to as many as 13 countries, and Zagreb and Croatia have now joined this list.

Furthermore, Croatian Aviation reports even more good news. Serbian National Airline Air Serbia will reintroduce a regular flight between Rijeka and Belgrade this summer!

Namely, Air Serbia is re-introducing its Belgrade-Rijeka flight, which was introduced in the 2019 summer flight schedule when it operated twice a week and was then planned as a year-round connection. Following the pandemic, the airline cut off traffic on this route and did not operate on it in the summer of 2020 and 2021.

However, expecting a significant recovery in demand, Air Serbia announced the reintroduction of this line from June 15 to September 17 this year.

Flights are announced twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and one-way tickets currently cost only 49 euros.

ATR72 aircraft have been announced on the line between Belgrade and Rijeka, which has a capacity of up to 70 seats in the passenger cabin. Air Serbia will offer almost 4,000 seats between the two cities this summer!

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


Thursday, 13 January 2022

5 Ryanair Zagreb Lines Canceled until March, KLM Reduces Amsterdam-Zagreb

January 13, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia with more bad news for Zagreb Airport as 5 Ryanair Zagreb lines have been canceled and KLM reduces the Amsterdam-Zagreb line until the end of January. 

Croatian Aviation reports that Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair canceled 12 scheduled flights from Zagreb in January this year. The number of weekly departures to 4 more international lines has been further reduced, and the airline has now made additional changes and canceled 5 more lines until the beginning of March!

Passengers were sent notices about the canceled flights last night, in which it is clearly stated that they are not entitled to compensation in accordance with EU 261 regulations. Of course, the airline offered passengers a free change of date or refund, but the bigger problem is that according to most cities where the cancellation occurred, there is no option of a direct flight with another airline from Zagreb.

Route cancellations until March:

Zagreb - Dusseldorf Weeze, from March 2,

Zagreb - Frankfurt Hahn, from March 4,

Zagreb - Naples, from March 4, 

Zagreb - Oslo Torp, from March 2,

Zagreb - Sofia, from March 2. 

By canceling these flights, Ryanair will have 88 fewer return flights from Zagreb Airport in February, and consequently 15,840 fewer seats.

Croatian Aviation also reports that Dutch KLM has reduced the number of weekly flights on the scheduled flight between Amsterdam and Zagreb. Until January 10 this year, KLM operated twice a day between the two mentioned cities, arriving in Zagreb in the afternoon and evening.

Due to reduced demand, KLM has canceled certain evening flights to Zagreb, which depart from Zagreb to Amsterdam at 6 am the next day.

Namely, until the end of January, KLM will operate from Amsterdam to Zagreb in the evening flight three times a week, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, while afternoon flights between the two cities remain in daily traffic. In total, by the end of January, the airline will have 10 weekly flights between the capitals of the Netherlands and Croatia.

According to the schedule, KLM should operate 14 times a week or twice a day between Amsterdam and Zagreb at the beginning of February, but the realization of flights will depend exclusively on passenger demand, which is still determined by the pandemic and passenger restrictions in Europe.

The Croatian national airline, Croatia Airlines, operates daily between Amsterdam and Zagreb in the morning, with aircraft from the A320 family.

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

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

12 Ryanair Zadar Summer Flights Postponed Until Beginning of June

January 4, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as 12 Ryanair Zadar summer flights have been postponed until June.

After announcing the temporary cancellation of 12 routes from Zagreb Airport, Irish low-cost airline Ryanair has postponed the start of operations on the same number of routes from the Zadar base, reports Croatian Aviation.

Ryanair had already announced the start of operations on almost all seasonal routes from Zadar Airport at the very beginning of the summer flight schedule (from the end of March this year), though this will no longer happen. Namely, on 12 international lines, Ryanair postponed all operations until the beginning of June. This airline did the same with the lines from the Zagreb base.

The following lines from Zadar have been postponed and have a new start date:

Zadar - Aarhus, from June 3, twice a week,

Zadar - Nuremberg, from June 2, three times a week,

Zadar - Bari, from June 2, twice a week,

Zadar - Bologna, from June 2, twice a week,

Zadar - Milan Bergamo, from June 2, twice a week,

Zadar - Turin, from June 3, twice a week,

Zadar - Maastricht, from June 3, twice a week,

Zadar - Gdansk, from June 4, twice a week,

Zadar - Vaxjo, from June 1, twice a week,

Zadar - Bournemouth, from June 4, twice a week,

Zadar - Liverpool, from June 2, twice a week,

Zadar - Manchester, from June 4, twice a week.

The two-month postponement is justified by the airline's low demand caused by the pandemic and the reintroduction of passenger restrictions across Europe.

If passenger restrictions remain in force as we approach the start of the summer flight schedule, there is no doubt that other airlines will be forced to modify their operations as well. As a result, there will be fewer weekly operations than planned or the complete cancellation of operations, as Ryanair has already done on 12 lines from Zadar for the spring of this year.

Croatian Aviation concludes by asking how this airline will continue to react to the reduced demand and whether it will additionally cancel flights from Zagreb and Zadar, adding that such moves do not instill confidence in existing and potential passengers.

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

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Investigation Concludes Ryanair Did NOT Have Privileged Position at Zagreb Airport

December the 29th, 2021 - Ryanair's arrival at Zagreb Airport was absolutely fantastic for the vast majority of people who had become sick of relying on Croatia Airlines and their notoriously expensive ticket prices for the most basic of economy flights. With the arrival of this much loved Irish low cost airline, cities across Europe have been opened up for very little money for those of us living in the Croatian capital. It wasn't all roses and bells for some, however, and an investigation into whether Ryanair was given a ''privileged position'' at Zagreb Airport was launched.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, the agreement between Zagreb International Airport (MZLZ) and the low-cost airline Ryanair did not come about from any form of distortion of what would be the normal process around such tenders, the Competition Agency announced recently. Their investigation into the case was prompted by media reports and claims that more favourable conditions caused damage to the national carrier Croatia Airlines. Many would claim that their ticket prices did more harm to them than much else, but I digress.

It is an incentive programme from what's known as Zagreb Airport's ''price list'' which includes eight different models, and one of them is the incentive model for traffic growth, which tried to reduce the negative consequences of the coronavirus pandemic that hit air transport terribly.

The CCA conducted a survey, which included both Croatia Airlines and the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency (HACZ), and found that the aforementioned model had passed the standard adoption procedure, which included the approvals of the Franjo Tudjman Airport User Council and HACZ.

It came into force back in December 2020, and all airlines operating on the new routes could apply for the incentive until June the 30th this year. The call was publicly available on Zagreb Airport's own website, and the only one interested was Ryanair.

“The determined discount system in this model, as in other models of incentive programmes, has a standardised threshold that applies equally to all interested airlines and such a discount system in practice doesn't result in the unequal position of airlines, as the discount scheme isn't flexible and there is no individual determination of the discount in relation to each airline,'' they explained from AZTN, whose report shows that the incentive is not calculated after signing the contract, but only after the deadline and determining compliance with the contract.

For more, check out our business section.

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

14 International Croatia Airlines Zagreb Routes in January, Ryanair Zagreb Winter Lines Drastically Cut

December 28, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as 14 international Croatia Airlines Zagreb routes will run in January, while Ryanair drastically cuts its lines in Zagreb during the same month.

Croatian Aviation reports that in January, the Croatian National Airline will continue to connect Zagreb with a total of 14 international destinations. This is the same number of destinations as in December, and it should be noted that the number of weekly operations has not been drastically reduced, as was the case in January this year.

Croatia Airlines will operate from Zagreb in January 2022 to:

Amsterdam, daily (A319 with 144 seats),

Vienna, 3 times a week (DashQ400 capacity 76 seats),

Brussels, 10 to 12 times a week (DashQ400),

Dublin, 2 times a week (A319),

Frankfurt, 21 to 28 times a week (A319, DashQ400),

Copenhagen, daily (A319, DashQ400),

London, 3 times a week (A319),

Munich, 10 to 12 flights a week (DashQ400),

Paris, daily (A320, A319),

Pristina, 2 times a week (DashQ400), ACMI charter Trade Air,

Rome, daily via Split (DashQ400),

Sarajevo, 6 times a week (DashQ400),

Skopje, 4 times a week (DashQ400),

Zurich, 10 to 14 flights a week (DashQ400).

Unlike last year, when DashQ400 aircraft were used on almost all routes, this January Croatia Airlines will still use the Airbus fleet, mainly to larger European hubs with a significant number of transfer passengers, such as Frankfurt, Paris, and Amsterdam. The Airbus fleet will also travel to Dublin, Copenhagen, and London, and at the very beginning of the new year to Munich.

Until mid-January, Croatia Airlines will continue to connect Osijek and Munich, while daily flights from Split to three international destinations are available - Frankfurt, Munich, and Rome.

Recall, before the holidays, Croatian Aviation was contacted by several passengers who had tickets on Ryanair flights in January but were informed by the airline that their flight had been canceled, without further explanation as the airline was not required to compensate for the cancellation if more than 15 days before the travel date.

Croatian Aviation reported that flights on the following routes had been canceled:

Zagreb - Brussels Charleroi - Zagreb, from 09.01. to 02.02.2022.,

Zagreb - Sofia - Zagreb, from 08.01. to 02.02.2022.,

Zagreb - Dusseldorf Weeze - Zagreb, from 08.01. to 02.02.2022.,

Zagreb - Frankfurt Hahn - Zagreb, from 09.01. to 04.02.2022.,

Zagreb - Karlsruhe - Zagreb, from 08.01. to 01.02.2022.,

Zagreb - Memmingen - Zagreb, from 07.01. to 04.02.2022.,

Zagreb - Naples - Zagreb, from 07.01. to 04.02.2022.,

Zagreb - Podgorica - Zagreb, from 08.01. to 01.02.2022.,

Zagreb - Oslo Torp - Zagreb, from 08.01. to 02.02.2022.,

Zagreb - Malmo - Zagreb, from 08.01. to 01.02.2022.,

Zagreb - Basel - Zagreb, from 07.01. to 04.02.2022.,

Zagreb - Manchester - Zagreb, from 09.01. to 03.02.2022.

In addition, the number of weekly operations has decreased on certain lines:

Zagreb - Gothenburg - Zagreb, from 3 to 2 flights a week,

Zagreb - Milan Bergamo - Zagreb, from 4 to 2 flights a week,

Zagreb - Paphos - Zagreb, from 2 to 1 flight per week,

Zagreb - London Stansted - Zagreb, from 7 to 4 flights a week.

Croatian Aviation adds that it is very likely that the suspended lines will not return to traffic in early February, but only with the summer flight schedule, which is expected given the low demand and new travel complications caused by the pandemic.

Ryanair failed to attract enough passengers to its routes during the pandemic, and a bigger problem for the airline itself is very poor yield, which is confirmed by 10 euro tickets one way even a day or two before the flight.

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

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

Ryanair Connects Naples-Zagreb, Turkish Airlines Zagreb-Istanbul Flights Boosted in January

December 21, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Ryanair operates between Naples and Zagreb, and Turkish Airlines Zagreb-Istanbul flights are boosted in January! 

Ryanair has been operating regularly between Naples and Zagreb since Friday, December 17, reports Croatian Aviation.

As part of the latest expansion at the new Zagreb base, Ryanair made its first flight on the new line between Zagreb and Naples on Friday, December 17. Recall, Ryanair has announced 10 new lines from the Zagreb base - nine of them were introduced in the first days of December, and as of last Friday, the line to Naples is also in operation.

A320 aircraft with a capacity of 180 passengers from the partner Lauda will fly between Zagreb and Naples twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays.

Next year, flights are also on sale for the summer flight schedule until October 28, 2022. More than 33,000 seats are on sale between the two cities until that date.

Until 2019, Zagreb had a regular seasonal route to Milan (Malpensa) and a year-round route to Rome (via Split) on Croatia Airlines.

On Friday, Zagreb has regular lines to three Italian cities - Milan, Rome, and Naples.

Furthermore, Croatian Aviation also reports that Turkish Airlines will increase the number of weekly operations on the Istanbul-Zagreb route in January.

From the beginning of the new year, Turkish Airlines will operate between Zagreb and Istanbul 13 times a week, three extra flights than in December this year. This will bring Turkish Airlines almost to the level of operations before the global pandemic, when it flew to Zagreb 14 times a week, twice a day. 

From the first of January, two flights a day are available between Zagreb and Istanbul, in the morning and the evening, except on Wednesdays, when Turkish will have one flight to Zagreb.

A321 and B737MAX8 aircraft (occasionally MAX9) will operate on this route, which will offer Turkish Airlines almost the same number of seats between Istanbul and Zagreb as before the pandemic.

In addition to flights to Zagreb, this airline will also operate between Dubrovnik and Istanbul in January. Every Wednesday and Saturday, two flights a week have been announced with A320 aircraft.

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

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Boosted Ryanair Dublin-Zagreb Flights for Holidays, New S7 Moscow-Zagreb Route in 2022

December 14, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Ryanair Dublin-Zagreb flights have been boosted around the holidays, and Russian carrier S7 will connect Moscow and Zagreb in January next year.

Irish low-cost airline Ryanair has launched additional flights between Zagreb and Dublin, reports Croatian Aviation.

The Dublin-Zagreb line was introduced earlier this month when Ryanair also based its third A320 at Zagreb Airport. The airline currently operates on this line three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and additional flights have been announced on Wednesdays around Christmas and New Year.

Ryanair will increase the number of weekly rotations between the two cities from February 4 to March 25 next year, when it will operate on this line four times a week. In addition to the mentioned flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, flights are also introduced on Fridays, which is great for those who want to travel to Dublin (or Zagreb) only on weekends.

In the two months mentioned, Ryanair will offer a total of 12,240 seats on 34 return flights between Zagreb and Dublin. The new flights on Friday will generate nearly 3,000 extra seats.

Croatia Airlines also operates between Zagreb and Dublin, twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays, until January 30 next year.

Croatian Aviation also reports that S7 Airlines will launch a new route between Moscow and Zagreb in January next year.

S7 Airlines operates between Moscow, Pula, Zadar, and Split in the summer flight schedule, and from January next year, regular flights to Zagreb International Airport have been announced.

The airline has confirmed to Croatian Aviation that it will operate between Moscow and Zagreb from January 23, 2022, once a week, every Sunday, until the end of March, i.e., the winter flight schedule. 

A320 aircraft have been announced on the flights between Domodedovo Airport and Zagreb, which have a capacity of 174 seats. For the 9 announced rotations from January, S7 will offer a total of 3,132 seats between Moscow and Zagreb.

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

Saturday, 4 December 2021

New Ryanair Summer Lines from Zagreb, Rijeka, and Zadar in 2022

December 4, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as new Ryanair summer lines from Zagreb, Rijeka, and Zadar have been announced for next year, which are interesting for both tourists and Croatian travelers. 

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair announces new routes for the 2022 summer flight schedule from three Croatian airports - Rijeka, Zagreb, and Zadar, reports Croatian Aviation and Ex Yu Aviation

From Zagreb to:

Bratislava, twice a week, from March 27, 2022, every Wednesday and Sunday, until October 26 next year. There have been no regular lines between the two cities so far.

Corfu, twice a week, from June 4, 2022, every Tuesday and Saturday, until September 27 next year.

So far, there has been no regular line from Zagreb to Corfu. This line will certainly be attractive in the summer, given that an increasing number of Croatian citizens go on summer vacation to Greece. Along with Thessaloniki, Corfu is Ryanair's second destination from Zagreb to Greece.

From Rijeka to:

Stockholm (Arlanda), twice a week, from March 27, 2022, Thursdays and Sundays, to October 27 next year.

Ryanair has operated between the two cities in previous years, but from Skvasta Airport, which is dislocated from Stockholm, so the change in operations in Arland is very positive news for all passengers on this line. This is the third announced Ryanair route for next year from Rijeka, with the addition of lines to Brussels and London.

From Zadar to:

Sofia twice a week, from March 27, 2022, Wednesdays and Sundays, to October 26 next year.

Helsinki, twice a week, from June 3, 2022, Mondays and Fridays, to September 30 next year.

The new additions bring Ryanair’s total number of destinations out of Zagreb to 26, far more than national carrier Croatia Airlines, reports Ex Yu Aviation.

“Ryanair has added 24 routes out of Zagreb, while Croatia Airlines has introduced three in the past three years and 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 will change travel habits in Zagreb and encourage locals to travel more by air," said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary on Croatia Airlines’ slow development out of Zagreb before these new lines were announced. 

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

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