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.

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

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

17 New Ryanair Flights to Zadar this Summer, 37 International Lines Total!

March 31, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as 17 new Ryanair flights to Zadar this summer have been announced, for a total of 37 international lines flying to the new Ryanair Zadar base! 

Croatian Aviation reports that Ryanair held two press conferences yesterday, both virtual, for Zagreb and Zadar airports. 

At the press conference, Europe's largest airline announced the reopening of its base at Zadar Airport. With two base aircraft, on as many as 78 weekly flights, it will connect Zadar with 37 destinations, of which as many as 17 are new, giving passengers the opportunity to choose from a number of European destinations from July 2021.

Ryanair's new destinations from Zadar Airport announced for this summer season are:

Aarhus,

Bari,

Bologna,

Bremen,

Bucharest,

Budapest,

Edinburgh,

Gdańsk,

Liverpool,

Maastricht,

Naples,

Newcastle,

Paris,

Rome,

Vaxjo,

Warsaw,

Wroclaw.

In addition to the 17 new lines, Ryanair will operate from Zadar on 20 more previously introduced lines, bringing a total of 37 international destinations to Zadar!

Given the number of announced routes, Ryanair will open a base at Zadar Airport this summer and base 2 of its aircraft there. In total, on a weekly basis, the Irish carrier will have as many as 78 return flights to 15 European countries.

According to Croatian Aviation, there will also be 12 Ryanair flights to Zagreb from eight countries. Thus, the Croatian metropolis will be connected with Paris, Brussels, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, Memmingen, Milan, Rome, Podgorica, Oslo, Gothenburg, and London.

Already this autumn, Ryanair will perform as many as 36 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.

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 4 January 2021

Flights to Croatia: T’way to Launch Seoul-Croatia in Late 2021, Ryanair Announces Naples-Zadar

January 4, 2020 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as T’way plans to launch Seoul-Croatia in late 2021, and Ryanair announces Naples-Zadar. 

Ex Yu Aviation has reported that Korean low-cost carrier T’way Air will operate flights between Seoul and Croatia at the end of this year. 

Namely, a letter of intent has been signed to lease three Airbus A330-300 aircraft for new medium and long-haul routes. The Korean Ministry for Land, Infrastructure, and Transport has already given the Korean airline the necessary permits to run four weekly commercial flights between Seoul and Croatia.

This news comes as T’way plans to bounce back this year after a turbulent 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline currently has a fleet of 27 Boeing 737-800s, which operate on flights to Vietnam, China, Japan, and Taiwan. 

Ex Yu Aviation adds that by leasing three A330-300 jets later this year, new destinations are on the horizon for the Korean low-cost carrier, and in addition to Croatia, they will include Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia to their flight network this year as well. 

Recall, Korean Air canceled its Seoul-Zagreb route in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, without any plans to relaunch the service this year. However, the airline is said to have kept its permit for 3x weekly flights to Croatia and could choose to bring back the Zagreb service at any time, according to Damir Kušen, the Croatian Ambassador to South Korea. 

In a normal year, Croatia welcomes around half a million Korean tourists annually. Over 43,000 passengers flew on Korean Air between Seoul and Zagreb in 2019, though many Korean tourists are also interested in visiting Dubrovnik. 

Croatian Aviation reports that the largest low-cost airline, Ryanair, has announced a new route to Croatia in the 2021 summer flight schedule.

Namely, from June 2021, the Irish low-cost airline will launch Naples-Zadar, on which Ryanair will operate for the first time.

There have been no direct commercial lines between Zadar and Naples so far, but that will change this summer. From June 4, Ryanair will introduce the mentioned line with two flights a week, on Mondays and Fridays, with B737-800 aircraft.

The line will be in operation until the end of September (September 27), during which time Ryanair will operate 34 return flights. In total, from the beginning of June to the end of September, this well-known low-cost airline will offer a total of 12,852 seats between Naples and Zadar.

Tickets for this route are already on sale on the airline's official website.

Recall that Ryanair has withdrawn from sale several lines to Croatia for the summer of 2021, but it is expected that most of them will be released by the end of February.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Flights to Croatia: Ryanair Pulls 15 Lines to Croatia for Summer 2021

November 17, 2020 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Ryanair pulls 15 lines to Croatia in the 2021 summer flight schedule. 

Croatian Aviation reports that Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has pulled 15 international routes to Croatia for the summer of 2021. These are lines to Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, and Split.

Namely, Ryanair has revised its flight schedule for the 2021 summer season and has stopped sales on numerous international routes, including as many as 15 to and from Croatian airports - Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, and Split.

Only one line less to Pula and Split

Until the beginning of November, Ryanair had Berlin-Pula and Vienna-Split routes on sale, but they have been withdrawn from sale, and it is currently not possible to buy tickets on this airline for next summer. In the 2021 summer flight schedule, Ryanair will operate on some lines to Pula and one to Split (from Dublin).

Two long-standing lines to Rijeka are no longer for sale

The airline currently offers only one line to Rijeka Airport for the summer of 2021. This is the Frankfurt Hahn-Rijeka line, which also operated this summer season. In 2019, Ryanair operated from Frankfurt's main airport to Rijeka, a far better option for passengers than Hahn, 115 kilometers away.

There are currently no lines from London and Brussels to Rijeka on sale for the next summer season, while the long-standing Stockholm-Rijeka line was canceled earlier. According to the currently available flight schedule, only the Frankfurt Hahn to Rijeka route will be in traffic.

As many as 11 lines to Zadar were withdrawn from sale

Zadar Airport had big announcements from Ryanair and partner company Laudamotion for the 2020 summer season. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of the previously announced routes were not launched. The company offered all lines for the next summer season, thus leaving space for aircraft bases in Zadar and great expansion in the Croatian market.

At the beginning of November, Ryanair withdrew 11 lines from Zadar for next year. The following lines are no longer on sale:

Aarhus - Zadar,

Hamburg - Zadar,

Maastricht - Zadar,

Bremen - Zadar,

Toulouse - Zadar,

Riga - Zadar,

Kaunas - Zadar,

Liverpool - Zadar,

Cork - Zadar,

Dublin - Zadar,

London - Zadar.

Most of these lines were supposed to start operating in the summer flight schedule this year, but this did not happen for obvious reasons. Ryanair obviously has no plans to base aircraft in Zadar next year. It is even more surprising that there are no flights from Dublin and London to Zadar, which did not operate this summer either. This airline had an excellent occupancy on these lines in previous years, and ticket prices were often high, especially in the peak season.

The flight schedule is available on the Ryanair website and is still subject to change. This has been confirmed to Croatian Aviation from the airline's headquarters, and we will have to wait until January when the final 2021 summer flight schedule for Croatia is announced to see if there will be any further changes. 

This will certainly depend on the epidemiological situation and the demand itself.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Thursday, 3 September 2020

Flights to Croatia: Ryanair Continues to Five Croatian Destinations in September on 16 Routes

September 2, 2020 - The latest news for flights to Croatia with updates for Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Rijeka and Pula as Ryanair continues to five Croatian destinations this September.

Croatian Aviation reports that Irish low-cost airline Ryanair continues to five Croatian destinations in September: Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik. We bring you the current flight schedule.

Ryanair will continue to be present at Croatian airports in September, operating on as many as 16 scheduled flights. This is a slightly smaller number of lines compared to July and August, given that certain lines have stopped operating.  

Lines from Pula

Pula - Brussels Charleroi: runs twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays,

Pula - Berlin: continues to operate once a week, on Saturdays,

Pula - London Stansted: runs twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays.

Lines from Rijeka

Rijeka - Frankfurt Hahn: runs once a week, on Saturdays,

Rijeka - London Stansted: runs twice a week, Mondays and Fridays, until 28 September.

Lines from Zadar

Zadar - Brussels Charleroi: runs twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays,

Zadar - Prague: runs once a week, on Saturdays,

Zadar - Berlin: runs once a week, on Thursdays, until September 24,

Zadar - Cologne: runs once a week, on Sundays,

Zadar - Dusseldorf Weeze: runs twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays,

Zadar - Karlsruhe / Baden-Baden: runs twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays,

Zadar - Stuttgart: runs once a week, on Sundays, until September 27,

Zadar - Poznan: runs once a week, on Sundays.

Lines from Split

Split - Stuttgart: runs once a week, on Sundays, until September 27,

Split - Dublin: runs twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Line from Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik - Dublin: runs twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays.

All of these lines have been announced for October, with the exception of certain lines for which we have given the date of the last available flight in September. Earlier than planned, the company stopped traffic on two lines, from Zadar to Vienna and Milan, and the number of departures on a larger number of lines was reduced due to weak demand. Through September, Ryanair will offer as many as 16 routes to five Croatian airports.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Ryanair Significantly Reduces Summer Routes to Croatia

May 18, 2020 - Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has made additional changes to its summer flight schedule and significantly reduced the number of departures to destinations in Croatia.

Namely, Croatian Aviation reports that as of July 1, the airline will fly again with only 40% of planned flights.

The schedule is as follows:

Pula Airport

Pula - Brussels: from July 6, once a week, from August 3, twice a week (previously planned from May 8),
Pula - London: from July 2, twice a week (previously planned from May 10, three times a week),
Pula - Berlin: from July 4, once a week (previously planned from May 9).

Lines from Pula to Frankfurt and Stuttgart are no longer on sale.

Rijeka Airport

Rijeka - Hahn: from August 1, once a week (previously planned from May 9),
Rijeka - London: from July 6, once a week, from August 3, twice a week (previously planned from June 1).

The line from Rijeka to Brussels is no longer on sale.

Split Airport

Split - Stuttgart: from July 5, once a week (previously planned from May 10, three times a week),
Split - Dublin: from July 4, twice a week (previously planned from May 10, three times a week).

Dubrovnik Airport

Dubrovnik - Vienna: from July 2, four times a week (previously planned from May 10),
Dubrovnik - Dublin: from July 1, twice a week (previously planned from June 1, four times a week).

Zadar Airport
Zadar - Vienna: from July 1, three times a week (previously planned from May 8),
Zadar - Brussels: from July 2, once a week, from August 2, twice a week (previously planned from May 9),
Zadar - Prague: from July 4, once a week (previously planned from May 9, twice a week),
Zadar - Poznan: from July 5, once a week (previously planned from May 10, twice a week),
Zadar - Berlin: from July 2, once a week (previously planned from June 4),
Zadar - Cologne: from July 5, once a week (previously planned from May 10),
Zadar - Düsseldorf: from July 4, twice a week (previously planned from May 9),
Zadar - Karlsruhe: from July 4, twice a week (previously planned from June 3, three times a week),
Zadar - Stuttgart: from July 5, once a week (previously planned from June 3, three times a week),
Zadar - Bergamo: from July 3, twice a week (previously planned from June 1).

You can see the planned network of Ryanair destinations from Zadar for this year, before the outbreak of the pandemic.

Screenshot 2020-05-18 at 13.01.59.png

Lines from Zadar to Aarhus, Marseille, Paris, Toulouse, Bremen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Memmingen, Nuremberg, Budapest, Cork, Dublin, Riga, Kaunas, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Gdansk, Krakow, Wroclaw, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Liverpool, London and Manchester are not for sale.

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

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Ryanair to Croatia Planned for July: Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, Rijeka, Pula Flight Info

May 12, 2020 - As CEO Michael O'Leary announces the resumption of 40% of its schedule from July 1, what does that mean for flights with Ryanair to Croatia?

It has been quite a day for flight news for Croatia so far, and it is not yet midday. 

Firstly BA is now selling flights to both Split and Zagreb from June 15, as reported earlier. And then THIS.

Ryanair plans to restart 40% of its flights from July 1. You can read all the detail in the link to The Guardian above, as I have no value to add to that announcement. 

But what specifically does this mean for Ryanair to Croatia? With so many people using Ryanair to Croatia, we have had more emails about this than anything else in recent weeks. Especially regarding flights to the main Ryanair destination on Croatia's Adriatic coast - Zadar. 

As I don't have any inside information about Ryanair, we have to look at the online tools available, most notably the Ryanair booking engine. 

Which shows us some VERY interesting things, and not such good news for the thousands of Brits and Irish tourists planning to fly Ryanair to Zadar. 

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The plan, it seems, is for Dublin and Split to be connected once more, with the first flight on July 2. 

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Same story with Dubrovnik and Dublin, starting on July 1. 

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But Zadar? Not a single flight to Zadar from the UK or Ireland to Zadar with Ryanair is showing. 

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But Ryanair has not abandoned Zadar completely, far from it. Flights from Milan are due to recommence twice a week on July 3. 

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Three times a week from Vienna from July 1. And the same story from various other European cities. But not from the UK and Ireland. 

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And the UK love with Ryanair to Croatia continues from London Stansted to Pula from July 2. 

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And to Rijeka from July 3. 

But to Zadar, seemingly at least, nothing at all. I will see what I can find out. If anyone has any info, please contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Ryanair. 

You can of course search for your own flight info on the official Ryanair website.

You can keep up to date with the latest flight news in the dedicated TCN flights to Croatia section

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Ryanair in Croatia: Almost Total Zadar 2020 Flight Cancellations But Split, Dubrovnik OK?

March 21, 2020 - What is happening with Ryanair in Croatia? So many flight cancellations to Zadar, but not other coastal destinations. And what about the Hideout Festival?

The situation regarding flights with Ryanair in Croatia has been taking up an ever larger part of my inbox in recent times. Emails such as this have become commonplace:

Any clue why ryanair flights to zadar in june and july got cancelled overnight? Theres still several months to go... Any advice you could provide is greatly appreciated

Hvala puno!

I decided to look into the situation, and what I found was VERY unusual. 

The announcement that Ryanair is grounding most of its fleet on March 24 due to the coronavirus situation was a big shock, but there seems to be an interesting sub-story developing with Ryanair in Croatia. 

We have covered flight cancellations with Ryanair in Croatia already due to COVID-19, and the flight situation has been constantly updated in our regular Croatian travel advice - here is today's

This was followed on March 13, 2020 that Ryanair was postponing its planned base in Zadar until 2021, as well as cancelling lots (but not all flights).

With the global situation, it is understandable that Ryanair in Croatia would be operating at reduced capacity, but cancelling flights in July? It seemed a little odd to me.

"Given the overall situation, it is quite certain that the flying season will not start as planned. When it will start, it is difficult to estimate at the moment, which is why Zadar Airport is unfortunately forced to postpone hiring of our seasonal staff until further notice," Zadar Airport spokesperson Nikola Barac told Zadarski List when sent a seasonal employment media request. This has resulted in the postponement of the recruitment of 130 seasonal staff at Zadar Airport. 

Asking around, I was told that ALL flights to Zadar with Ryanair were cancelled by local sources. Really? I found that quite incredible to believe. What I found was all the more bizarre, according to the online booking system on the Ryanair website. 

ryanair-in-croatia (3).PNG

Zadar is the main market for Ryanair in Croatia, indeed it was the entry point for low-cost flights when the Irish carrier entered the Croatian market in 2007. But Ryanair has expanded to other airports, albeit with more limited services. Dublin to Dubrovnik looks fine at the moment from June 1.  

ryanair-in-croatia (2).PNG

As does Dublin to Split. Ryanair started flights to both Split and Dubrovnik only last year and currently offer only Dublin to both, as well as Vienna to Dubrovnik, and Stuttgart to Split. 

ryanair-in-croatia (6).PNG

 Things are looking good from London Stansted to Pula from early May. 

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And from London Stansted to Rijeka from June 1. 

But London Stansted to Zadar in July and August?

ryanair-in-croatia-zadar.PNG

 In fact, there are only two flights currently bookable from London Stansted to Zadar for the whole of 2020.

What about flights to Zadar for the Hideout Festival on Zrce on June 21-25, 2020?

 

ryanair-in-croatia (8).PNG

The Hideout Festival on Zrce Beach near Novalja on the island of Pag is scheduled to take place from June 21-25, 2020, coinciding with the only bookable flights from London to Zadar with Ryanair for the whole year.  

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Same story if you are coming from Manchester. Currently, the only two flights available for the whole of 2020 are dates either side of the Hideout Festival.  

ryanair-in-croatia (10).PNG

But if you are planning to visit Zadar from mainland Europe with Ryanair, there seems to be no problem. From Berlin, above, for example.  

 

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The Viennese can arrive from May 1, 2020. 

ryanair-in-croatia (12).PNG

And from Brussels, just a day later. 

But from the UK, or Ireland - nothing currently whatsoever, apart from the Hideout Festival flights. 

And of course, the big question is - when will this COVID-19 crisis all be over, and when will flights to Croatia resume?

Nobody knows for sure, of course, but perhaps there is a clue on the Ryanair homepage of one of the movers and shakers of European travel, with their most prominent advert, below. 

ryanair-in-croatia (1).PNG

If anybody has any concrete information with verifiable links to support the info, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Ryanair, and I will happily update. 

How do I get a Ryanair refund?

This is a question I am getting a lot as well, and I am certainly not the best person to ask. It will involve filling in a Ryanair refund form, but for the latest information, check out the COVID-19 update page on the Ryanair website, which has the latest on refunds and disruptions.

You can keep track of the latest Croatia travel advice as part of TCN's ongoing coronavirus coverage in our dedicated section

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Flight Cancellations to Croatia: Zadar & Tracking Ryanair Website

March 8, 2020 - As airlines announce many flight cancellations due to the coronavirus, how is Croatia affected with the crucial tourism season about to start? Some hints from the Ryanair Croatia booking engine.  

A lot of people have contacted me recently asking me to write something about coronavirus and the upcoming tourist season in Croatia. This is a very sensitive time, with so many rumours, theories and panic due to the coronavirus, and I am aware that the information put out by this portal is widely read these days, and it therefore comes with a responsibility. 

Regarding coronavirus, I am firmly in the Jurgen Klopp school of thought on this. Just as the Liverpool coach can't understand why his opinion is important, as he is a football coach, not a medical expert, so too with me. I could write something clickbaity which I am sure would be shared and I would make some ad revenue, or I could write something soothing to make feel better, but as I am not an expert, it is better I write nothing at all in terms of opinions, and stick to reporting the facts. And the facts about coronavirus in Croatia at time of writing, is that we have 12 confirmed cases, all of which seem mild, in Varazdin, Rijeka and Zagreb only. All the major Croatian coastal tourist destinations are coronavirus-free at time of writing.

ryanair-croatia (1).jpg

The fallout from the virus is going to - is already - have a big impact on the tourist season. Stories of Lufthansa possibly cutting up to half of their flights worldwide are pretty scary for the global economy, tourism and otherwise. But how are things in Croatia? Are airlines cancelling flights en masse?

Several people sent me emails similar to this, above, communications from budget airlines such as Lauda and Ryanair about cancelled flights to or from Zadar in April or May, 2020. The reason for the cancellation cited was "due to the impact of COVID-19." Were airlines really cancelling flights two months in advance?

The Internet is a wonderful thing, and these days it is relatively easy to check such things. I decided to check out the booking engine of Ryanair, one of the major budget airline players in Croatia, whose flights service Pula, Rijeka, Split and Dubrovnik, with the largest number of flights going to Zadar. People had contacted me with details of flights cancelled from Zadar to both Paris and Dublin in April and May. I decided to go through the Ryanair site and look for cancelled flights. What I found was interesting. 

Flights to Split, Dubrovnik, Pula and Rijeka had NO cancelled flights whatsoever. Not one. Some sample starting dates for seasonal lines, including to Split today;

March 8, 2020 - Split - Stuttgart

March 29, 2020 - Pula - London

March 30, 2020 - Pula - Brussels

March 29, 2020 - Pula - Frankfurt

March 29, 2020 - Dubrovnik - Vienna

With Zadar, however, the situation was a little different. There have been several cancellations, even one in June. Not a huge number, but across several destinations. It should be remembered that there are a lot more Ryanair flights to Zadar than any other Croatian destination. 

 

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Some examples of cancellations - one flight from Liverpool in May.

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Two from Brussels. 

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Two from Dublin. 

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One from Paris. 

 

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And interestingly, one in June from Stuttgart.

I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged that so few flights have been cancelled. This could, of course, change quickly, and a good way to check the latest situation is to check the booking engine yourself for destinations. 

I asked the aviation experts at ch-aviation for a comment, as their insights are a lot more valid than mine:

They are cutting capacity blaming a lack of demand, with flights with the lowest number of advance booking being cut. That is what all of the other carriers are doing as well, as demand has really plummeted and people are either not booking at all, changing dates or simply not showing up for departures. It is probably an unprecedented situation in recent European airline history in the sense that it is very unpredictable for airlines to see what the medium-term demand effects are. I suspect it will become a big legal argument in courts whether or not people can claim compensation for these cancelled flights when there is no government mandate or travel warning in place to ban flights.

It is a subject we will keep an eye on and report accordingly - if anyone has any insights to contribute, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Flights. 

For the latest flight news to Croatia, check out the dedicated TCN section.

Article Update (reader contribution)

Hi,
Your article is helpful but also misleading.
We were booked Dublin to Zadar return going out on first flight of the season on 29th March. (We have boat in Croatia)
Yesterday, we were told both flights were cancelled.
On Ryanair website first flight to Zadar from Dublin is now 1st May., over one month later.
So obviously a lot more than 2 flights cancelled as you stated.
Hopefully this will be resolved soon, we absolutely love Croatia.
Best regards,

Second reader update

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I have a correction to make regarding your latest article regarding flight cancelations, where you said that flights to split are not affected. I had a flight Stg- Split beginning of April which got cancelled, and I can confirm first hand info that return flights from Fuerteventura to Stuttgart end of March got canceled, the flight to Fuerteventura next week however didn’t. My conclusion was they set a date end of March where they’d cancel most of their European lines, but I guess we’ll see ;)

Friday, 13 December 2019

Flights to Croatia: AirBaltic to Rijeka and Dubrovnik, 11 New Ryanair Routes from Zadar

December 13, 2019 -The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for new flights to Croatia with updates from Rijeka, Dubrovnik, and Zadar. 

HRTurizam reports that Dubrovnik and Rijeka will be directly connected to Vilnius, Lithuania's capital, in the coming year thanks to AirBaltic.

These flights will be active from the beginning of May until the end of October, i.e., the line for Rijeka will operate once a week on Thursdays, while the line for Dubrovnik will operate twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Martin Gauss, CEO of AirBaltic, said they aim to provide the best connection in both directions for all three Baltic capitals. “When assessing which destinations will depart from the Baltic capitals, we first look for the most sought after among local travelers. This is why we provide additional input to local airports, offering new travel options. By next summer, we will already serve 16 destinations from Estonia, 11 from Lithuania and over 70 destinations from Latvia."

"This is great news and an announcement that supports further increasing the number of airlines and further enhancing the accessibility of Croatian destinations. The first flight will feature a large number of travel agents and journalists from the Baltics and Scandinavia to whom we will present Rijeka, Dubrovnik and Split,” said Croatian Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic, adding that the new Airbus A220-300 fleet will operate on these routes. 

HTZ added that the AirBaltic presentation brought together more than 100 agents and partners, including Kresimir Kedmenec, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Lithuania, and Vedran Susic, Director of the HTZ Representative Office for Scandinavia, who organized a special presentation of the Croatian tourist agency deals with a focus on Rijeka and Dubrovnik.

In other flight news, Avio Radar reports that Europe’s largest carrier Ryanair announced a new base and 11 new routes from Zadar for the 2020 season. Namely, there are a total of 31 lines in the 2020 summer flight schedule, including 11 new routes to exciting destinations such as Aarhus, Cork, and Riga. The flight schedule begins in April 2020, is estimated to carry a total of 672,000 passengers annually, and create around 500 jobs in the various activities and services provided at Zadar Airport. 

Ryanair is also opening a base with three Laudamotion aircraft in Zadar, representing an investment of about $300 million and directly creating 90 new jobs in Ryanair. 

Ryanair’s 2020 summer flight schedule in Zadar brings:

- 3 Laudamotion base planes ($300 million investment)

- 11 new lines for Aarhus. (2), Bremen (3), Cork (2), Paris Beauvais (2), Kaunas (2), Liverpool (2), Maastricht (2), Riga (2), Toulouse (2), & Wroclaw (2)

- 31 lines in total

- 672,000 passengers annually (+50%)

- 90 new Ryanair jobs

- 500 on-site jobs

Eddie Wilson, CEO of Ryanair said: 

“We are delighted to be opening our base in Zadar next summer as part of our efforts to contribute to the growth of transport, tourism, and jobs. Our 2020 flight schedule brings 31 lines, including 11 new lines, and we plan to carry a total of 672,000 passengers a year and generate 500 jobs in various industries in Zadar. Zadar and their guests can now buy the cheapest tickets and fly with the greenest/cleanest European airline on a total of 31 flights until the end of October 2020.”

Josip Klismanic, director of Zadar Airport added:

“The return of Ryanair’s base to Zadar with three aircraft is a great tribute to Zadar, both as an airport and as a destination. The growth of Ryanair’s offer to Zadar from all over Europe in recent years shows that Zadar and Croatia have something to offer our guests. Ryanair makes Zadar and Croatia much more accessible to Europe, but let’s not forget, it also makes Europe much closer to Zadar and Croatia. The announcements for 2020 justify our efforts to increase the level of service for our passengers by expanding the capacity of Zadar Airport and providing the preconditions for further growth. I do not doubt that Ryanair will play an essential role in that. 

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

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