Sunday, 26 March 2023

Ryanair Posts Impressive Zagreb Results, Airport Eyes 16 New Routes

March 26, 2023 - Ryanair posts some impressive Zagreb results for 2022, as Zagreb Airport launches incentives for airlines to connect to an additional 16 destinations. 

For years, Zagreb did not have a low-cost carrier of note, save for a couple of (often seasonal) routes. 

The arrival of Ryanair, which established a base in the Croatian capital in 2021, changed all that. 

The strongest challenge that Croatia Airlines has perhaps faced, the Irish airline started with a very impressive schedule, connecting Zagreb dozens of destinations all over Europe.

Last year, the low-cost carrier noted:

“Currently, we are really satisfied with the majority of the markets served out of Zagreb. For example, the UK market performs really well, as well as Ireland with the Dublin route. Then we see German markets, Swedish markets … so we are very happy with the current demand. There are some tourist destinations in the future that are of interest to us too. We really believe that Zagreb can be attractive all-year round, not just for families and the diaspora, but for tourists as well, so we want to use all these opportunities in the future”.

And it seems that not only has Ryanair been a big success, but Zagreb Airport has announced incentives to attract flights to 16 additional destinations. 

As ExYuAviation reports, Ryanair served some 816,500 passengers on 23 of its 27 Zagreb routes last year, in numbers recently posted. More than 100,000 of those were carried on the most successful route - from London Stansted to Zagreb, followed by Bergamo, Charleroi, Malta and Gothenburg. Data for two routes the Irish carrier competes with Croatia Airlines - Rome and Dublin - were not posted, and seasonal routes to Brindisi and Corfu were also missing. The routes with the east traffic were Sofia, Bratislava, Sandefjord, and Thessaloniki.  

Meanwhile, Zagreb Airport will introduce a new incentive scheme on June 1, aiming to connect more European capitals.

 “The Connecting Capital Cities Incentive Model is designed to link Zagreb to unserved capital cities located in the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA) member states, as well as Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine and Moldova, which have signed a Common Aviation Area Agreement with the European Union”, the airport said. Routes that will be eligible for incentives are those from Zagreb to Prague, Tallinn, Berlin, Budapest, Riga, Vilnius, Luxembourg, Stockholm (Arlanda or Skavsta airports), Tirana, Pristina, Reykjavik, Tbilisi, Kiev, Chisinau and Yerevan.

The low-cost airline revolution in Croatia continues. 


You can subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia Expert YouTube channel here.

What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.





Sunday, 26 March 2023

One More Milestone: Croatia's Airports Join the Schengen Zone

March 26, 2023 - One more milestone for Croatia, as its airports officially join the Schengen Zone. Internal flight to Paris, anyone?

There are many ways of looking at Croatia and its progress as a young democracy. Today was the latest milestone. 

One of them is in milestones. There have been quite a few over the last decade or so.

2009 - Croatia joins NATO.

2013 - Croatia joins the European Union.

2022 - Croatia gets visa-free travel to the United States.

2022 - Croatia signs double taxation agreement with the United States.

2022 - The Peljesac Bridge opens, connecting Croatia into one contiguous country. 

2023 - January 1 - Croatia joins the Euro.

2023 - January 1 - Croatia joins the Schengen Zone. 

While land borders to neighbouring countries such as Hungary and Slovenia were abolished at the beginning of the year, passport control remained in place in Croatian airports for EU flights until today, March 26. 

Those controls have now been abolished, and Croatia has become the 27th full Schengen Zone member - the others are the 23 EU countries, plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Only four EU countries are now outside the Schengen Zone - Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Ireland.

The power of the Croatian passport is certainly rising, and this post-Brexit Brit can only look on with envy. 


You can subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia Expert YouTube channel here.

What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.




Wednesday, 22 February 2023

Zagreb Mayor Announces Traffic Improvements: New Buses, Train to Airport

February 22, 2023 - Zagreb mayor Tomislav Tomasevic announced on his Facebook page that 20 buses were presented as part of the project to purchase 65 buses for ZET, co-financed from EU funds, on top of the 45 new buses which were put in traffic in November last year.

"These are 20 articulated buses with a capacity of 89 standing and 41 seated places, equipped with access platforms for simpler and easier entry for people with disabilities, video surveillance, and an air conditioning system. The value of all 65 buses is EUR 21.4 million, of which EUR 14.5 million was financed from the EU Cohesion Fund", the Zagreb mayor wrote on Facebook, as reported by 24Sata.

"The new buses are replacing worn-out vehicles of the older generation, which means that the fleet will break down less often, the timetable will be more reliable, and through the reduction of exhaust gas emissions, the new buses will contribute to cleaner air in Zagreb. In addition to these buses, in December, we signed a contract to purchase 20 new low-floor trams, the largest project co-financed from EU funds in Zagreb. After a full 17 years, when the last tram was purchased, the men and women of Zagreb will be able to ride in new trams again shortly", he added.

"The plan is to purchase an additional 40 to 60 trams and about 100 buses that run on clean energy sources (most likely hydrogen or electricity), which we will discuss in the coming months. These are investments of several hundred million euros. To this should be added the reconstruction and expansion of the tram and road network (Heinzelova, Sarajevska, Črnomerec Srednjaci, connecting the airport with the city center), the reconstruction of bridges, the construction of new bicycle paths, the expansion of pedestrian zones, the reconstruction of Jarun, etc., which together shows that it is a busy infrastructure at the top of our city administration's investment.

Our goal is that the share of citizens who use public transport (tram, bus, cable car, and in the future the train to the airport) increases significantly compared to the number of car users. Everyone will benefit from this: the city will be less congested with crowds, the air will be cleaner, and travel around the city will be faster and more affordable for the people of Zagreb and everyone who comes to Zagreb", Zagreb mayor concluded in the announcement.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.

Monday, 16 January 2023

4 Million Euros Pumped into Strengthening Zagreb Airport Military Mobility

January the 16th, 2023 - Zagreb Airport military mobility is set to be strengthened with a generous four million euro cash injection from European Union (EU) funds.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the European Union recently approved more than four million euros from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) fund for military mobility to finance the reconstruction of maneuvering areas to improve the civil-military operability of Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman International Airport.

As announced by the Ministry of Defence, Zagreb Airport military mobility is going to be boosted after the airport submitted its project to an EU tender. One of the conditions for obtaining the aforementioned funds was the support of the Ministry of Defense in the form of an explanation of the usefulness of the project for the Croatian Armed Forces.

The Zagreb Airport military mobility project includes the reconstruction of parts of the driving track, the replacement of various pieces of electronic equipment and installations, and the replacement of part of the vertical signaling on the maneuvering surfaces. Defense Minister Mario Banozic also pointed out that the goal of the project, among other things, is to strengthen interdepartmental cooperation in the context of the construction of civil-military transport infrastructure.

"The approval of financing from EU funds confirmed the value of this project, as well as the importance of cooperation between military and civilian institutions. I believe that we will continue on this path and with this same level of intensity," said Banozic.

The call for improving overall Zagreb Airport military mobility under the CEF instrument was announced back in May 2022, and in the sense of the wider military mobility project at hand, 63 applications from all over the EU worth more than 1.5 billion euros were received, of which 35 were approved, totalling a whopping 616 million euros.

Back in 2022, the Ministry of Defense, in cooperation with other competent central bodies of the state administration, adopted the Military Mobility Plan, where one of the goals was to strengthen interdepartmental cooperation and prepare projects for possible co-financing from the EU financial envelope for military mobility for the construction of civil-military transport infrastructure.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated news section.

Thursday, 20 October 2022

Five False Bomb Threats in Zagreb Reported Today

October 20, 2022 - The Croatian media received false bomb threats today, in which the perpetrators claimed to have placed 22 bombs in five different locations in the city of Zagreb.

The five locations were the Zagreb Airport, where they claimed to have deposited 12 explosive devices, two were supposedly left at the police station in Bauerova street and one in the police station in Grgura Ninskog street, and several were placed in two different McDonalds restaurants in the city.

HRT reported from the Zagreb airport, where they have arrived within the hour of the receipt of the threatening email, and they claimed that there was no disruption to the services at the airport, and that the planes were arriving and departing on time.

The Zagreb Police Department issued a statement saying that they have conducted thorough searches supported by the explosive-detecting dogs, and found no signs of explosive devices. The last location that was checked was the police station in Bauerova street.

Some of the Croatian media bring detailed accounts of the threatening email they've received around 4 pm, including The email was signed by the moniker "Strelkov's and Limonov's Army", and mentions potential revenge for "nazi butchers from Azov, crimes performed by the Black Legion, Jasenovac, Devil's Brigade and their actions in Stalingrad and crimes during the Operation Storm". The threat also mentions Putin, and calls for "death to the EU, death to NATO, death to nazis".

Reportedly, the media in Novi Sad, Serbia, received a similar threatening email today - theirs warned of 22 devices in 9 locations, was signed by the same name and gave a different motivation for the attack. It turns out that these were also false bomb threats, as reported by Serbian media.

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Air France Offering Flights from Zagreb Airport at Lower Prices

September the 28th, 2022 - The very well known air company Any France is launching flights from Zagreb Airport to various international destinations at slashed prices over the coming days.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, this year, the airline company Air France is offering a large number of destinations for travellers from Zagreb Airport at reduced prices in the company's brand new Le Rendez Vous campaign.

Ticket prices for long-haul destinations across the pond in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean have been reduced. Promotional destinations include major metropolises such as New York, Miami, Los Angeles, but also exotic destinations such as Mauritius, Cancun, Saint Martin and Bangkok.

If you have always wanted to visit a faraway or exotic destination or perhaps take advantage of a weekend tour of one of the European destinations in Air France's promotional campaign, it is now easy and much cheaper to do so from Zagreb Airport.

The Air France Le Rendez Vous promotional campaign is set to run from September the 27th to October the 6th, 2022, and tickets can be used until March the 31st, 2023. The offer is also valid for return tickets, and the price includes all taxes.

For more on where you travel from Zagreb Airport, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Ryanair Zagreb Base Plans for Weekend-Only Winter Operations

August 9, 2022 - How will the Ryanair Zagreb base work its winter operations this year? A look at how the capital city airport will transform into a weekend-only base for the low-cost airline. 

Simply Flying has revealed what the Ryanair Zagreb base has in store once the seasons change - precisely, the airline's plan to transform the capital city airport into a weekend-only base this winter. A first for the airline. 

Namely, the Irish low-cost airline will not reduce the number of aircraft based in Zagreb, with its three Lauda Europe Airbus A320s staying at Zagreb Airport, but what will change is the number of days the planes fly. Making it a weekend base means that the planes will only operate from Friday to Monday this winter. Thus, all flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays will be operated from other Ryanair bases.

So, how will this work?

Simply Flying reveals that all routes launched as year-round routes remain on sale and operate throughout the week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, with Boeing aircraft from its other bases around Europe. The busiest London Stansted-Zagreb route will also continue to run daily. 

Currently, all the three Lauda Europe A320s in Zagreb operate a full day of flights all week. The changes will be made with the end of the summer schedule at the end of October when nearly all routes will be at least partially operated by aircraft from other bases. As it stands now, only the Bratislava, Milan Bergamo, and Malta routes see aircraft from other bases. 

Simply Flying adds that this should not impact the capacity of flights, as Boeing planes actually offer higher capacity than the Lauda Europe Airbus A320s, but since frequencies will decrease after summer, so will the number of seats on offer. 

"Most interestingly, even aircraft that connect Zagreb Airport to airports that are not Ryanair’s bases will see non-Zagreb-based aircraft there.

This will be done with the help of a w-rotation, whereby an aircraft from one base will operate four flight segments on two rotations on two different routes from Zagreb Airport," adds Simply Flying. 

This will be done with a 'w-rotation', or when aircraft from one base operates four flight segments on two rotations on two different routes from Zagreb Airport. You can find examples of how that will look here

The July stats for Zagreb Airport are also in, with 329,203 passengers traveling through the capital last month - almost 175 thousand more than in July last year. When compared to the busiest year, Zagreb Airport hit 90% of the July 2019 figures. 

Zagreb Airport accepted and dispatched 1,628,437 passengers in the first seven months of this year, approximately 100 thousand more passengers compared to Split Airport, reports Croatian Aviation

A total of 1,782,871 passengers passed through 8 Croatian airports (Zagreb, Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Brač, Dubrovnik, and Osijek) in July this year.

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

Thursday, 28 July 2022

Korean Air Seoul-Zagreb Charter Flights Confirmed for End of September!

July 28, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Korean Air Seoul-Zagreb charter flights have been confirmed for the end of September, with five rotations planned. 

Korean national airline, Korean Air, has confirmed charter flights between Seoul and Zagreb for October this year. The first arrival is announced on the last day of September, and the planes and crew will spend the night in the capital of Croatia, reports Croatian Aviation.

As Croatian Aviation exclusively announced earlier, Korean Air is returning to Zagreb on September 30 with a total of 5 rotations on charter flights for the well-known South Korean tour operator.

The planes will land at Zagreb Airport on Fridays after approximately 10 hours in the air, while on Saturday afternoon, the aircraft will fly back to Seoul.


The route will be operated by A330-200 aircraft on all five rotations, which have a capacity of 218 seats. These aircraft were frequent guests at Zagreb Airport when the regular Korean Air route operated.

The airline is still considering establishing a regular direct route for the next summer season while following low-cost T'way Air, which is also planning a regular route to the Croatian capital. There is no room for two South Korean airlines in the relatively small Croatian market at the moment.

Croatian Aviation also exclusively reports that Korean Air will run several charter flights to Dubrovnik Airport as well for the needs of a South Korean corporation. The flights are currently planned for November, but the airline leaves room for changes, which are always possible with charter operations, considering that everything depends on the client or the lessee of the flights.

Recall that the Korean airline regularly operated between Seoul and Zagreb until the pandemic. The airline plans to replace the risk of its summer route by re-establishing this regular line with charter operations between the two cities. 

October, along with April and May, is popular for Koreans traveling abroad, so it is not surprising that operations are announced at the end of the Croatian summer season. The Chuseok holiday is when most Koreans use their vacation days to go on trips abroad.

Several South Korean tour operators are offering travel packages to Croatia in October and an agreement was reached between tour operators and Korean Air to conduct charter operations to the Croatian capital.

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

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

23 of 49 British Airways London-Zagreb Flights Canceled in August

July 12, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as 23 of 49 British Airways London-Zagreb flights have been canceled in August. 

British Airways significantly reduced the number of weekly flights between London (Heathrow Airport) and Zagreb for July, justifying the move by problems in the industry (lack of staff and capacity). The carrier has now reduced the schedule of flights to Zagreb for August, reports Croatian Aviation

Namely, the OneWorld alliance member canceled 23 of the announced 49 flights between Zagreb and London (Heathrow) planned for August this year.

Due to the lack of workforce within the company, but also due to the problem with the lack of staff at Heathrow Airport, British Airways has reduced the number of weekly flights on several European routes, including the one to Zagreb Airport.

Until a few days ago, British Airways offered up to 12 weekly flights between London and Zagreb. Still, since the number of weekly operations was reduced for July, it was expected that the company would do the same thing in the flight queue for August.

This has now happened, and instead of the planned and announced 49 weekly flights between London and Zagreb, British Airways canceled 23 flights. So now, 26 return flights have been announced for August.

British Airways plans to operate between London and Zagreb 6 times a week in August, every day except Mondays, mainly using its A320 aircraft and A321 aircraft leased from Finnair, which already operates on this route.

The airline has not yet reduced its flight schedule for September, but further cancellations of this carrier are expected.

Croatia Airlines also operates between Heathrow Airport and Zagreb three times a week, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, mostly with A319 aircraft. It is also possible to get to London with a direct Ryanair flight from Zagreb to Stansted, an airport approximately 60 kilometers from the center of London.

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


Saturday, 25 June 2022

Finnair Helsinki-Zagreb Route to End Two Months Early, Plans to Return Next Year

June 25, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as the Finnair Helsinki-Zagreb route will end on July 31st this year instead of the originally scheduled end date of September 29. The airline still plans to return to the Croatian capital next year. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that the Finnair Helsinki-Zagreb route will end on July 31, which is two months ahead of the originally scheduled end date. The final flight will be operated by Nordic Regional Airlines with its 100-seat Embraer E190 aircraft. The Finnair seasonal route was meant to run until September 29 and no reason has been given for its cancellation. The Helsinki-Zagreb route was launched on May 1 with three flights a week, operated on Airbus A319 aircraft. 

However, Finnair plans to return to Zagreb next year, on April 30, with three flights a week on the same line. It is interesting to note that Finnair is the only airline to operate the Helsinki-Zagreb service. While Croatia Airlines ran summer flights between Helsinki and Zagreb in 2017, the line was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and has yet to be restored, and without any plans to re-launch the service. Finnair will continue to operate to Split and Dubrovnik until October 29, or the end of the summer flight schedule. 

Finnair also sacked its plans to Ljubljana this year, which ran seasonally until the coronavirus pandemic and was meant to be relaunched this summer. However, the airline should return to Ljubljana from May 2, 2023, with four flights per week.

"Slovenia and Croatia are very popular leisure destinations from Finland. A lot of the travel is point to point but we do see an increase in transfer traffic as well, those destinations are becoming increasingly popular among our Asian customers, particularly from Japan", the airline said.

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

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