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.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Ryanair Reopens Its Base at Zadar

ZAGREB, 1 July 2021 - The Irish low-cost airline Ryanair reopened its base at the Croatian Adriatic city of Zadar on Thursday, with two base aircraft and 78 weekly flights to 37 destinations, the airline and Zadar Airport said.

Of the total number of weekly flights, 17 are new and will operate to European destinations.

Among the destinations to which Ryanair planes will be flying from Zadar are Rome, Paris, Milan, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Budapest.

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.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Plans for 10 Aircraft at Ryanair Zagreb Base, Says Airline’s CEO

June 8, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as there are plans for 10 aircraft at the Ryanair Zagreb base, the airline's CEO recently announced. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair is planning to base up to 10 aircraft at Zagreb Airport. Recall, the airline will launch 15 routes to Zagreb this year. 

“As many as ten Boeing 737-800s could eventually be based at Zagreb. We started with two aircraft. Zagreb is the capital city … and remember, when we arrive in certain cities, they become [passenger] destinations," Ryanair CEO, David O’Brien, said for “Routes Digest”. The first jet will be stationed in Zagreb already this August, followed by a second in September and a third at the start of the winter schedule at the end of October. 

Ryanair will grow from the initial 15 routes to an eventual 40 and expects to carry around 3 million passengers annually. 

“We will grow exponentially in the years to come. The key for Zagreb is going to be the number of airports we have on offer in Europe. We made a bold decision to launch a base straight away. This shows our confidence in Zagreb. This will transform the city and we will become the largest airline in Zagreb and Croatia within a very short period of time," said Ryanair. 

The Irish low-cost airline landed at Zagreb Airport for the first time on Wednesday, June 2 from Charleroi Airport near Brussels. This line will be in traffic twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, and from September 3, it will be intensified by the third flight a week, on Fridays.

Ryanair announced the base in Zagreb with 12 new lines. Three more were added later. 

The base in Zagreb will operate to Gothenburg, Rome ("Ciampino" airport), London ("Stansted" airport), Paris (Beuvais Airport), Dortmund, Dusseldorf (Niederrhein-Weeze Airport), Frankfurt (Hahn Airport), Karlsruhe, Memmingen, Malmö, Oslo (Sandefjord-Torp Airport) ") and Podgorica. 

Ryanair announced the Zagreb-Sofia flight as its 15th route to the capital city network last week, operating twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays from August 3.  

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, 4 June 2021

Ryanair Zagreb-Sofia Flight Announced as Airline's 15th New Route to Capital!

June 4,  2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as the Ryanair Zagreb-Sofia flight is the airline's 15th route to the capital city network.

Avio Radar reports that Europe's largest low-cost airline has announced a new route from Zagreb to Sofia. The line will run twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays from August 3, with a Boeing 737-800 aircraft from a base in Sofia. It will be the 15th new Ryanair line from Zagreb and the first direct line between Croatia and Bulgaria.

Ryanair Sales and Marketing Manager for Central, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans, Olga Pawlonka, said:

"As vaccination programs continue in the coming months, and the summer season is just around the corner, we are pleased to announce this new route from Zagreb to Sofia that will be in traffic twice a week from August as part of our Croatian 2021 summer flight schedule.

Bearing in mind that restrictions change regularly due to COVID-19, customers can now book flights for a well-deserved vacation, knowing that if they need to postpone or change the travel date, they can do so by the end of December twice without a change fee."

The Irish low-cost airline landed at Zagreb Airport for the first time on Wednesday, June 2. The first arrival was on line number FR4982 from Charleroi Airport near Brussels. This line will be in traffic twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, and from September 3, it will be intensified by the third flight a week, on Fridays. On the first flight was a Boeing 737-800 aircraft with registration number EI-EVP with 67 passengers arriving. There were 40 passengers on the return.

Ryanair announced a base in Zagreb with 12 new lines. Two more were added later. From June 17, traffic will start on the line from the base at Bergamo Airport near Milan with four flights a week, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Traffic from the base in Zagreb will start on July 23, with the first departure from Zagreb on the line to Gothenburg. On the same day, the plan is to start traffic on the routes to Rome ("Ciampino" airport) and London ("Stansted" airport). Other 9 lines to: Paris (Beuvais Airport), Dortmund, Dusseldorf (Niederrhein-Weeze Airport), Frankfurt (Hahn Airport), Karlsruhe, Memmingen, Malmö, Oslo (Sandefjord-Torp Airport) ") and Podgorica are scheduled for September 1. 

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

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

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Ryanair's first flight to Zagreb, tickets from €20

ZAGREB, 3 June 2021 - Irish Ryanair on Wednesday started operating a new route between Zagreb and Brussels Charleroi, which is scheduled twice a week, and the same airline announced the launch of several other flights from Zagreb, with ticket prices from €19.99, Zagreb Airport (MZLZ) has said.

The flight to Milan Bergamo launches on 17 June, and the flights to Gothenburg, London Stansted, and Rome Ciampino will be available from 23 July, when the first Ryanair airplane will be based in Zagreb.

The full Ryanair flight schedule from Zagreb for summer 2021 will be available from September, when the second airplane will be based in Zagreb and nine new routes will open to Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, and Montenegro.

Ryanair's Sales and Marketing Manager for Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, Olga Pawlonka, said that she was pleased that her company had officially marked the first flight for Zagreb on the Brussels Charleroi route.

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

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

Monday, 24 May 2021

Plenković and Michel: Forced Landing of Plane Unacceptable

May 24, 2021 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Monday after a meeting with the President of the European Council Charles Michel that the two condemned the forced landing of a Ryanair civil plane in Belarus and demanded an international investigation.

Plenković met with Michel in Brussels ahead of an EU summit.

Croatia's Prime Minister wrote on Twitter that he had spoken with Michel about "the fight against COVID-19, the vaccination process, Croatia's entry into the Schengen Area and the euro area and the continuation of enlargement."

"We condemn the unacceptable move by the Belarusian authorities and demand an international investigation," Plenković said.

Plenković then spoke with the Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson at the Commission's headquarters.

The two-day summit of the leaders of 27 EU member states starts on Monday evening, and the agenda includes meeting the set goals for climate protection, foreign policy issues, and the COVID-19 situation.

EU leaders will also address the unprecedented move by the Belarusian authorities, who on Sunday forced a Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania to land in Minsk and then arrested Roman Protasevich, one of the main opposition activists who were on board. It is expected that there will be a debate on measures the EU could introduce against the Belarusian regime.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Ryanair Zagreb Base Expects 2-3 Million Passengers Over Next Three Years, Capital in High Demand

May 15, 2021 - The Ryanair Zagreb base expects two to three million passengers over the next three years, and will open the Zagreb base earlier than planned due to great interest and demand, the company's commercial director Jason McGuinness revealed. 

McGuinness says that Ryanair decided to open the Zagreb base two months earlier than originally planned due to many reservations and requests from Zagreb and the high demand for flights to Zagreb, reports Index.hr.

At the Ryanair Zagreb base, which opens at the end of July, the airline will have one aircraft by the end of August, and plans to introduce another in September, says McGuinness.

He also reveals that following the demand; the airline is considering the possibility of introducing a third aircraft during the winter if reservations show good results because it plans flights to Zagreb all year round and already has 14 destinations planned from Zagreb from November this year. By the summer of 2022, there are plans for about 30.

"I will not give you information on reservations by individual routes, but I will repeat what I emphasized at the press conference at the end of March when we announced our arrival: Zagreb has been underrepresented for years. For example, Zagreb and Dublin are cities of similar size. Still, before the arrival of Ryanair, Zagreb had flights to 38 destinations, and Dublin to about 200, and Zagreb is much more beautiful and interesting than Dublin," McGuinness said about the state of reservations and sales of flights to Zagreb.

He says that he is surprised by the bookings from Zagreb. However, expectations this year are still conditioned by the pandemic and travel restrictions. There is a lot of competition for flights to sunny destinations such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Croatia.

He adds that Ryanair will not operate traffic to Zagreb only with "Zagreb" planes because it has 450 planes and can fly to Zagreb from the other 80 bases throughout Europe.

When asked how long they intend to have a base in Zagreb, he answered that they see great potential in Zagreb and that it will dedicate itself to its own and the growth of Zagreb Airport.

"We will follow developments and decide on routes, where costs are one of the main points in our decisions. We are the company with the lowest low-cost price in Europe, and we are so precisely because of our primary cost orientation. We work with partners on efficient operation, and it is the costs that determine our future decisions," says McGuinness.

As previously announced, they will need about 60 workers at the Ryanair Zagreb base. McGuinness explains that each aircraft needs about 30 people to service it, from pilots and cabin crew to engineers and support.

When asked if they will look for these employees on the local market or bring them from other countries, he said that they already have many pilots and cabin crew from Croatia and a lot of people who would like to live in Croatia because of the climate.

"We work in about 40 countries at 230 airports and have workers of various nationalities. For example, members of about 30 nationalities work in our base in Dublin. In Zagreb and Zadar, where we will also have a base this summer, people from Zagreb and Zadar, but also from other countries that want to live and work in Croatia," says McGuinness.

Apart from employing themselves, he points out that we should not forget the indirect jobs that their flights bring to a destination, i.e., the benefits that taxi services, buses, catering, hotels, and others have from passengers.

The situation is similar with Zadar, where they will have two planes at the base during the summer season this year, for which, as in Zagreb, they are investing 200 million euros.

Asked how he would invest given the losses he, like many other companies, has in the pandemic, McGuinness said it should be "put in context."

"In the past two months, Ryanair has opened ten new bases in Paris, Venice, the Greek islands, Denmark, Riga in Latvia, and Stockholm's Arland. You know we are the strongest company in Europe, and we don't get help from the state and funds, as is the case with other companies, including Croatian Airlines. We do not receive such assistance, and we have the strongest balance sheet in Europe, and we have merged the strongest airlines. We are the only European company that has achieved growth in air traffic over several years. We see that, for example, Croatia Airlines has postponed the purchase of new aircraft, while Ryanair has confirmed orders for 210 new Boeing 200 aircraft, which are the strongest in that class," McGuinness says.

Regarding the purchase of new aircraft, he says he will take them over in the next four years, increasing the fleet to more than 600 aircraft, which they plan to carry about 200 million passengers a year.

To achieve this and overcome pandemic and other challenges, he is currently working with partners across Europe to find opportunities for recovery, which he considers very important.

"We are doing this in Croatia, where we have been flying since 2006, which means that this year we have our 15th anniversary, during which we transported about five million passengers to and from Croatia, which we are very pleased with. We also know how important tourism is to the Croatian economy and that it makes up about 20 percent of the national GDP. In cooperation with the airports in Zagreb and Zadar and others, we also bring investments. We consider this to be the right way in which we can help recover traffic at this time," says Ryanair’s commercial director.

Apart from Zadar and Zagreb, this summer, they will also fly to Pula, i.e., they will have 58 routes to Croatia, of which 33 are new.

There are a couple of routes to Dubrovnik and Split, but as the fees at the airports in those cities are too high for them, he says that they are talking to partners about further conditions and that it is unlikely that an agreement will be reached.

When asked if they are satisfied with the agreement reached with Zagreb Airport, he said only that "agreements can always be better," that they are committed to Zagreb, but also that their focus is always on price.

"Ryanair is quite an opportunistic company, and there are a lot of places we don't fly to, and people ask why. According to our conditions, we have many places where we could place our capacities and where there is a market gap for us, and one of them was Zagreb. I am happy that we have reached an agreement and that we will fly to Zagreb and set up our base there earlier than planned," McGuinness says.

In the region closer to Croatia, they introduce innovations this year, such as two flights to Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They also operate in Banja Luka and Podgorica in Montenegro and Nis in Serbia.

They are satisfied with the business in the Balkans and hope that they will continue to grow there as well, while they have the largest base closer to Croatia, and otherwise the largest, in Italy with 70 aircraft.

They also operate in Hungary, Greece, Israel, and Cyprus.

On the company’s business as a low-cost carrier, McGuinness says only one model is suitable for airlines and good business, and that is low cost.

"I repeat that we are the strongest airline in Europe and that we do not receive state aid for our investments, including the purchase of new aircraft, which we consider extremely important in a situation where companies across Europe have received around 30 billion euros in aid since the pandemic. It is illegal. and we really appeal and challenge because this situation can destroy the market, which is bad for consumers, and it can destroy competition. We will continue to fight for consumers across Europe and 'challenge' all these illegal actions in the courts across Europe," comments McGuinness.

Despite everything, and unlike many companies that have received grants, their prices remain extremely low throughout Europe.

When asked about the owners of Ryanair, he states that the public companies are listed on the London, Dublin, and New York Stock Exchanges, which have many shareholders around the world, mostly large institutional funds, institutions, and others.

He says that flights and trips on their planes during the pandemic are safe in every sense, including health, because safety is their priority.

"Aircraft are disinfected every 24 hours, everyone who has to be around and in the aircraft pays attention to health safety measures following international rules, and the air quality in the aircraft is like in the operating room. Therefore, all available seats can be booked in on the plane, and passengers and staff must wear masks," McGuinness emphasizes.

He also considers EU Covid passports to be a good idea, which will make travel easier for people from this summer, and Ryanair has already made its so-called covid-wallet or passport, in which all the necessary information can be entered via the application and the website about testing, proof of vaccination and the like.

Asked to comment on Croatia Airlines' complaints, McGuinness said it was inappropriate to complain at all, as they had "received millions of euros," in his opinion, of illegal state aid.

"The fact is that Croatia Airlines has not achieved growth and profit in the past four years. Ryanair will bring 14 new routes to Zagreb this year, and Croatia Airlines has brought three in the past four years. We think Croatia Airlines must do its homework again and new calculations," comments McGuinness.

When asked if Croatia Airlines is their competition in Croatia and how they generally deal with competitors, he reiterated that they operate in 40 countries, concluding that they always consider competition good for consumers, airports, and Ryanair, as well as for Croatia, Zagreb, its airport and the people of Zagreb.

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.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Two New Ryanair Flights to Zagreb Announced from September!

May 11, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as two new Ryanair flights to Zagreb have been announced from September! 

Croatian Aviation reports that Ryanair released tickets for two more new routes to Zagreb Airport today!

As previously announced, the Irish low-cost airline will open a base at Zagreb Airport from September this year.

In addition to the already announced, 12 new lines, Ryanair will operate directly to two more destinations from Zagreb from September.

From September 4, the Zagreb - Malmo - Zagreb line will be introduced, which will be in traffic twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

From the same date, the Zagreb - Dusseldorf Weeze - Zagreb line will be introduced, which will also operate twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Tickets for these two new routes are already on sale on the airline's official website, and these lines will also operate in the winter flight schedule. According to the latest announcements, Ryanair will have as many as 14 international routes from Zagreb Airport from the beginning of September, leaving the possibility of introducing additional lines until the start of operations and the opening of the base in September.

Already this autumn, Ryanair will perform weekly flights from Zagreb Airport to the following destinations:

Brussels Charleroi, from June 2, 3 times a week,

Dortmund, from September 3, 2 times a week,

Frankfurt-Hahn, from September 3, 3 times a week,

Gothenburg, from September 3, 3 times a week,

Karlsruhe, from September 2, 2 times a week,

London, from September 1, daily,

Memmingen, from September 3, 2 times a week,

Milan, from July 1, 4 times a week,

Paris, from September 2, 2 times a week,

Podgorica, from September 4, 2 times a week,

Rome, from September 3, 3 times a week,

Torp Sandefjord, from September 1, 2 times a week.

The company has more than 430 B737-800 aircraft in the fleet, with a capacity of 189 seats. The average age of Ryanair aircraft is only 8 years.

Ryanair has been operating in Croatia since 2006. By June 2019, the company had transported 4 million passengers to and from Croatia.

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.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Croatia Airlines Looking for Ryanair Agreement at Zagreb Airport

April 13, 2021 - As the largest long-term user of MZLZ services with more than a 50 percent share of its annual passenger traffic, Croatia Airlines is looking for the same terms as the new competitor, Ryanair. A look at the Ryanair agreement at Zagreb Airport and why Croatia Airlines wants in.

Following the announcement of the Ryanair base opening at Zagreb Airport (MZLZ), Croatia Airlines, as the largest user of MZLZ services, has asked its partner to harmonize the agreed terms of service with the terms offered to Ryanair, reports HRTurizam.

After Zagreb International Airport and Ryanair announced the opening of the Irish airline base in Zagreb on March 30, Croatia Airlines, as the largest long-term user of MZLZ services with more than a 50 percent share of its annual passenger traffic, asks its partners to align the agreed terms of airport services with better commercial terms than those obtained by a new competitor in Zagreb, Ryanair.

"Passengers and the Croatian public have the right to competitive prices and complete and objective information. It is inadmissible for the national airline to finance the entry of new competitors on the Croatian market," emphasize Croatia Airlines and point out that they expect that better conditions for Croatia Airlines will be agreed upon in upcoming meetings.

A large number of strong competitors is a market reality that Croatia Airlines (CA) has been facing in its operations since its establishment, and there is really nothing controversial in that, CA said in a statement but pointed out that it is unacceptable for a national airline to finance new entrants.

“Specifically, under the terms offered to Ryanair, the national airline Croatia Airlines would pay HRK 135,384,105 less than the amounts actually paid in 2019, which would mean that the company, instead of the reported net loss of around HRK 80 million, would report a net profit of more than HRK 55 million that year," CA said, adding that the terms offered to Ryanair are in line with information from the MZL Zagreb website, which includes the recently published Growth Incentive Model, which was a prerequisite for the arrival of Ryanair.

Namely, the mentioned Traffic Growth Incentive Model explicitly states that the existing routes are defined (according to the IATA code) in Appendix A of this document. All other routes that are not listed in that appendix are considered non-existent.

“It is interesting to note that the IATA codes mentioned refer to airports and not to locations, i.e., regions and cities in which they are located, thus camouflaging the intention of MZLZ to install new carriers on the same markets without hindrance, which directly benefits from more favorable conditions. Therefore, the incentive model camouflages Ryanair's announced traffic to destinations to which Croatia Airlines (and other carriers) also fly," CA said.

As the MZLZ offer has not yet been received despite the urgent reaction of Croatia Airlines and the meeting, Croatia Airlines is aware of the existing legislation and warns the Croatian public of distorting equal market competition and potentially harmful effects due to obvious interests.

For effective market competition among entrepreneurs in certain markets, it is necessary to ensure equal access to and survival in the market, which is achieved through domestic and international legislation, especially at the European Union level. The relevant market, in this case, is the cities and regions, routes, and destinations to be flown, which are part of Ryanair's announcement: Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Paris and Rome, Milan, Munich, and Oslo). Croatia Airlines has independently developed and invested in all of the above markets for years and in some for decades.

“We appreciate the efforts of MZLZ to ensure new turnover, but only based on impartiality, the same regulated conditions for all companies and without benefits. At the same time, we expect that MZLZ will meet Croatia Airlines' needs in the same way and that the conditions will be harmonized with those achieved by Ryanair, taking into account the number of routes and transported passengers. Failure to approve the same, or even greater discounts to Croatia Airlines about the amount of traffic and the number of destinations, endangers equal competition and knowingly inflicts direct damage on the national airline that is majority-owned by the Republic of Croatia," point out Croatia Airlines, adding that according to available information, and given that Croatia Airlines in 2020 achieved a market share in the total turnover of MZLZ of 62 percent of transported passengers, Croatia Airlines does not consider it necessary to finance its competition and expects to reach an agreement as soon as possible with MZLZ on better commercial conditions, to provide the Croatian public and its passengers with what they rightly expect.

CA also points out that during the entire pandemic, it did not interrupt traffic at any time, unlike all other airlines that disappeared from the Croatian market in extraordinary circumstances (March 2020). After operating only one flight per day from the beginning of April to the beginning of May 2020 (Zagreb - Frankfurt - Zagreb), the national airline invested in the gradual renewal of traffic by increasing the number of destinations and frequencies following market demand.

In the end, Croatia Airlines reminds that from 2016-2019; they opened ten completely new destinations from Zagreb (St. Petersburg, Lisbon, Bucharest, Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm, Dublin, Prague, Milan, Mostar), for which they received a total of HRK 1,459,521 in incentives from MZL Zagreb. For twelve routes, of which most are not new, Ryanair annually received 30 times the incentives.

Also, Ryanair announced the opening of its base in Zagreb with only two aircraft. Simultaneously, the national airline owns 6 to 7 times more, or 12 to 14 based aircraft that have been flying successfully for decades, adhering to the highest safety and professional standards, concluded CA. 

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

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