Thursday, 16 June 2022

Korean Air Zagreb Charter Flights in Works for October 2022

June 16, 2022 - Croatian Aviation exclusively reveals that Korean Air Zagreb charter flights are in the plans for October, connecting Seoul and Zagreb later this year. 

A Croatian Aviation exclusive reveals that the Korean national airline and SkyTeam alliance member is planning charter flights to Zagreb in October this year!

The Korean airline used to operate on a regular route between Seoul and Zagreb until the outbreak of the pandemic. At one point, Korean Air announced on its official website the possibility of re-establishing this direct line this summer season, though this will not happen, which, given the reduced demand, was expected. The airline plans to replace the risk of re-establishing this regular line with charter operations between Seoul and Zagreb in October this year.

October, along with April and May, is the month in which Korean citizens travel the most abroad, so it is not surprising that operations are announced at the very end of the summer season. It is at the time of Chuseok when most citizens use their vacations and go on trips abroad.

Several South Korean tour operators are offering travel packages to Croatia in October, and an agreement was reached between the tour operator and Korean Air on conducting charter operations to the Croatian capital. The project is logistically supported by Croatian Aviation, primarily in the form of the organization of transport and crew accommodation in Zagreb.

Regular charter operations are planned once a week, from October 7 to 29 this year, with arrival in Zagreb on Friday and departure on Saturday.

Tour operators are also working on the option to turn the planned direct line between Seoul and Zagreb into a stop line in Athens in case of lower interest in holidays in Croatia. The final decision will be made in the coming months.

A330-200 aircraft with a capacity of 218 seats in Korean Air's fleet is planned for these charter flights. This type of aircraft was not frequent in Zagreb when Korean Air operated on a regular route between the two cities.

The airline claims that the decision on the summer flight schedule for next year has not yet been made, so the regular line between Seoul and Zagreb for the next summer season is questionable. As these are currently planned charter flights, operational changes are certainly possible.

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

Sunday, 9 January 2022

T’way Air Seoul-Zagreb Flights Back on Table

January 9, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Korean low-cost carrier T’way Air is putting Seoul-Zagreb flights back on the table this year, that is, once the pandemic allows it. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Korean T’way Air Seoul-Zagreb flights are back on the table with the introduction of the low-cost airline's Airbus A330-300 wide-body aircraft in February. Flights should commence from Seoul to Zagreb once the pandemic allows it as all permits have already been obtained for four-weekly flights between the South Korean and Croatian capital. T’way is also planning flights to Singapore and Sydney this year. 

Recall, Korean Air will not return to Zagreb this year due to the pandemic. The airline ran on a seasonal basis to the Croatian capital since 2018. 

Ex Yu Aviation adds that Korean Air was dominant between Seoul and Zagreb when it last operated flights in 2019, with over 95% of passengers originating from South Korea. 

"The only other South Korean city with notable traffic to Zagreb is its second-largest - Busan. In 2019, 4.691 passengers travelled indirectly between Busan and Zagreb on a single itinerary based on OAG data. The overwhelming majority of Korean travellers enter Croatia on a separate ticket via other European markets after spending several days in their original point of origin," reports Ex Yu Aviation. 

When speaking about if T’Way would take passengers from Korean Air, Croatian Ambassador to South Korea Damir Kusen recently said:

"We believe that this will certainly be an attractive option for younger travelers to Croatia due to the significantly lower priced tickets and will stimulate a new category of passengers."

T’way will also secure another two A330s in 2022 in hopes to become South Korea’s second-largest airline.

T'way would certainly be an excellent replacement in Zagreb for Korean Air. 

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

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Flights to Croatia: Korean Low Cost Carrier T’Way Planning flights from Seoul

May 19, 2020 - Around a half a million Korean tourists visit Croatia annually, and after national carrier Korean Air suspended seasonal operations between Seoul and Zagreb for 2020 due to COVID-19, a new player is on the market. 

Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports that the Korean Ministry for Land, Infrastructure and Transport has given Korean low-cost carrier T’Way Air the necessary permit to launch commercial flights between Seoul and Croatia. The details reveal that T’way Air can operate four weekly flights to Croatia. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that T’Way Air has almost thirty narrow-body Boeing aircraft in its fleet, and with the acquisition of wide-body jets, it could launch services to Croatia.The airline currently operates to destinations in Asia and Russia and also plans to introduce services to Tajikistan. 

Recall, it took Korean Air only a few months to begin services to Zagreb in 2018 once the ministry gave its blessing.  But given the ongoing pandemic, we shouldn’t expect to see T’way Air in Croatia anytime soon. 43,123 passengers flew on the Korean Air route between Seoul and Zagreb last year. 

Croatia has become a hotspot for Asian low-cost carriers, like Thai AirAsia X, which scheduled charter flights between Bangkok and Zagreb this summer. Namely, the Asian carrier planned services between the Thai and Croatian capitals in the spring and autumn. Thus, it would fly on May 1, May 6, and May 11, and on October 13 and October 19. However, none are likely to fly because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Ex Yu adds that Dubrovnik is also a hit for Korean tourists, and just last year, flights from South Korea were being pursued by local authorities. 

“It is very important for us to improve connectivity with Korea. It is a big market and we could attract even more tourists,” said the Dubrovnik Mayor then. 

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

Friday, 17 April 2020

Korean Air Zagreb Service Delayed Again, Air Canada Rouge to Resume in 2021

April 17, 2020 - After the news that Emirates would delay its Zagreb-Dubai service from May to July, Korean Air and Air Canada Rouge announced changes in their services to the Croatian capital.

Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports that while Korean Air originally planned to resume operations in June, the non-stop service between Seoul and Zagreb is now delayed until September due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bookings are closed until September 1.

Ex Yu Aviation adds that Korean Air will resume the service with three flights per week, with departures from Seoul on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

The route will operate with the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, with capacity for 269 passengers, and could potentially work into the winter months. 

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Korean Air will put 70% of its 19,000 staff members on temporary leave from April 16 until the middle of October. Furthermore, 390 foreign pilots are on three months of unpaid leave from April 1. The airline has also suspended more than 90% of its flights on international routes and currently only maintains services Paris and London.

Korean Air will, however, offer alternatives to Zagreb via other European destinations until September. 

“We will see what happens with this entire situation. We sincerely hope that all of this will be over as soon as possible and for us to be able to resume normal operations to some extent in April,” Zagreb Airport said at the beginning of April. The airport is currently only handling flights from Croatia Airlines and Eurowings and is the only airport with commercial flights in Croatia and the wider region at the moment. 

Furthermore, Ex Yu Aviation reports that while operations were to resume on June 4 this year, Air Canada Rouge will not run between Toronto and Zagreb this summer, with services expected to resume in 2021. Its other seasonal summer flights in the region have also been canceled.

“Passengers will still be able to reach Zagreb from Toronto with Air Canada thanks to its wide-ranging codeshare partnership with Croatia Airlines, once both carriers resume the majority of their operations. Air Canada codeshares on its counterparts’ flights from Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, London Heathrow, Paris and Zurich to the Croatian capital. At this point, the Canadian carrier plans to resume services to these European destinations in June and July. Air Canada is not offering refunds for cancelled flights but is instead providing credits which can be used for another flight within the next 24 months. The Canadian Transportation Agency says airlines are not obliged to pay back passengers for trips suspended due to the coronavirus and “should not be expected to take steps that could threaten their economic viability,” writes Ex Yu Aviation. 

The Air Transat service between Toronto and Zagreb, however, is still scheduled to resume flights on June 2.

Recall, Ex Yu Aviation reported last week that Emirates delayed the start date of its daily seasonal service between Dubai and Zagreb from May 1 to July 1, 2020, instead of suspending the service for an entire year, as many others have thus far. 

“Emirates has published a tentative schedule outlining its operations for the coming months. The airline is expected to resume the majority of its services, albeit at a reduced frequency, from late May and early June. Starting July, flights to Zagreb will be maintained on a daily basis with the carrier’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which has the capacity to seat 354 passengers. Further changes remain possible,” writes Ex Yu Aviation on its website. 

Flydubai, Emirates partner, which runs to Dubrovnik, will resume regular services “when the time is right”, but until then, it will fly for repatriation purposes. Flydubai has been operating repatriation flights to Zagreb over the last few weeks for travelers to continue to their destinations via Croatia Airlines flights.

"We look forward to resuming our operations when the time is right and we are working closely with the authorities,” said Chief Commercial Officer, Hamad Obaidalla.

American Airlines and Qatar Airways are suspending their seasonal services to Dubrovnik until 2021. 

Croatia Airlines has suspended operations to London Heathrow until at least April 19, though the national carrier is still operating flights to Frankfurt and Brussels. 

Lufthansa Group confirmed the Germanwings closurewhich is another important player in the Croatian low-cost market, and AirBaltic has canceled the newly announced flights between Lithuania and Croatia. 

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