Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Over 7 Million Zagreb Airport Passengers by 2024, Says Ryanair Boss

September 22, 2021 - Could 7 million Zagreb Airport passengers be the reality by 2024? Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary thinks so. 

As TCN already reported yesterday, low-cost airline Ryanair will connect Zagreb with 24 destinations in 16 countries in the winter flight schedule. In December, it will introduce a third aircraft into the Zagreb base, expecting around one million passengers on all routes by next summer, announced Ryanair CEO, Michael O'Leary.

Three based A320 aircraft with a capacity of 180 seats will operate from Zagreb to Baden Baden, Basel, Brussels, Dortmund, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, London, Malaga, Malta, Malmö, Manchester, Memmingen, Milan, Naples, Oslo, Paris, Paphos, Podgorica, Rome, Sofia, and Sofia.

"Ryanair is investing in Croatia to help it recover from the tourism industry after Covid and strengthened connectivity with the rest of Europe as Ryanair continues to grow and air transport returns to pre-pandemic levels. As Ryanair takes over 55 new B737-8200 aircraft this winter, we are pleased to base three new aircraft in Zagreb, which will fly a total of 24 new routes during Ryanair's first Zagreb-based winter," he said. 

This is also Ryanair's first winter flight schedule from Zagreb, which starts at the end of October. O'Leary added that this is his first press conference and visit to Zagreb, reports Jutarnji List.

He emphasized that Zagreb is a great challenge for them and that they see great potential there, as in the whole of Croatia, already recognized in the world for its tourism. For Zagreb, he pointed out that it is currently one of the growing 'hot city break' destinations.

"People want to come to Zagreb, especially for the Christmas fair in winter, and it also has a lot of cultural and historical sights, good food and a growing number of foreign tourists. The recognizability of Croatia in football is also important, and as far as I was able to see, there are a lot of beautiful women," O'Leary added.

The Ryanair CEO believes that Zagreb deserves to have at least about 3.5 million air passengers a year because it is the capital, and he believes that in cooperation with Zagreb Airport, with which they share a vision of growth, these figures will be reached.

He reiterated Ryanair's earlier announcements that they would invest a total of $300 million in Zagreb to 'base' three aircraft by the end of this year, two of which are already in the base from July and September, thus directly creating 100 jobs and another 750 indirect ones throughout Croatia. However, he would be disappointed if they only brought the fourth plane to Zagreb next summer because they could have three to five of them there.

He also mentioned the excellent cooperation with other airports in Croatia - Zadar, Pula, and Dubrovnik, and that from next spring, they will fly to Rijeka. Still, only Zagreb will work in the winter, while other flights will be seasonal. 

O'Leary noted that Ryanair wants Croatia Airlines to be a "living and healthy" company, as they do not have the same passenger structure nor fly to the same destinations and airports.

"We care that Croatia Airlines lives, and we did not come here to destroy it, but we came to create healthy competition, and as the line to Dublin did not destroy the Polish LOT or AirLingus, neither will CA," O'Leary replied.

He is satisfied with the current business with Zagreb and Croatia. He expects continued strong demand for their flights, concluding that there is no reason why the number of total air passengers of all carriers will not increase to around 7 million in the next three years.

The airport should be handling 3.5 million passengers next year, six million in 2023, and over seven million travelers in 2024. We plan on carrying over ten million passengers in cooperation with Zagreb Airport over the next five to six years”, Mr O’Leary said.

Ryanair was expected to announce new routes to Zagreb at this press conference. However, the company instead used media attention to promote its lines from the new Zagreb base.

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

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Ryanair Zagreb Winter Schedule Announced, Plans for Fourth Jet Next Summer

September 21, 2021 - The Ryanair Zagreb winter schedule has been announced with 24 routes, and plans to add another jet to the capital city base are in the works for next summer.

Ryanair announced the first winter flight schedule from the new Zagreb base at a press conference in the capital on Tuesday. 

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said at the press conference today: "Ryanair is investing in Croatia to help it recover from the tourism industry after Covid and strengthened connectivity with the rest of Europe as Ryanair continues to grow and air transport returns to pre-pandemic levels. As Ryanair takes over 55 new B737-8200 aircraft this winter, we are pleased to base three new aircraft in Zagreb, which will fly a total of 24 new routes during Ryanair's first Zagreb-based winter." 

Three based A320 aircraft with a capacity of 180 seats will operate on 24 international scheduled flights from Zagreb to Baden Baden, Basel, Brussels, Dortmund, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, London, Malaga, Malta, Malmo, Manchester, Memmingen, Milan, Naples, Oslo, Paris, Paphos, Podgorica, Rome, Sofia, and Thessaloniki.

Ryanair also plans to add a fourth aircraft to the Zagreb base next summer and will add a third jet in Zagreb this December, though O’Leary did not reveal which routes could be expected.

“We are not focusing on routes covered by Croatia Airlines but those that are not served from Zagreb. The airport should be handling 3.5 million passengers next year, six million in 2023 and over seven million travellers in 2024”, O’Leary said, as reported by Ex Yu Aviation.

O’Leary also took the chance to criticize Croatia Airlines:

“In the past six months, Croatia Airlines has introduced three new routes, while Ryanair is in the process of adding 24. Croatia Airlines has also been the beneficiary of twelve million euros in state aid. We, on the other hand, receive no subsidies from the government. Croatia Airlines is a distinguished carrier but it has lost touch with the development of air travel in Croatia, particularly from Zagreb. We do not see them as a competitor because even on the routes we both operate on, we fly to different airports”.

Ryanair also stated that the investment in the Zagreb base is worth $300 million. 

The new winter lines are currently on sale and one-way tickets are already available at a price of 150 kuna or 19.99 euros. Tickets at these prices must be booked by Thursday, September 23, at midnight.

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

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Croatia Airlines Slovenia and Macedonia Expansion on Horizon

September 14, 2021 - A Croatia Airlines Slovenia and Macedonia expansion is on the horizon as the national carrier looks to launch flights in both countries. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines is looking to expand in the region, specifically to destinations in Slovenia and Macedonia. 

Namely, Croatia Airlines CEO Jasmin Bajić is looking to improve the connection between Zagreb and Ljubljana, with the potential for Skopje - Ljubljana - Zagreb flights as over 40,000 passengers flew between Macedonia’s and Slovenia’s largest cities before Adria Airways went bankrupt in September 2019.

Croatia Airlines and the Slovenian government spoke about launching operations from Ljubljana last year.

“Croatia Airlines is potentially interested in establishing flights from Ljubljana Airport to enable passengers from Slovenia to connect to European destinations,” the carrier had said.

"We have had some gain on the Slovenian market since Adria Airways’ bankruptcy where we offered certain solutions to react to the demand that was there. However, we had not added any flights to Slovenia because our hubs are nearby and we were more focused on our sales and marketing activities in Ljubljana at the time, which helped us significantly increase our market share in Slovenia," Croatia Airlines’ Head of Commercial Division, Slaven Žabo, said last year. 

Ljubljana Airport’s operator has also previously expressed interest in Croatia Airlines connecting Ljubljana with Vienna, Skopje, Prague, and Copenhagen. 

Furthermore, Ex Yu Aviation reported that the national carrier could launch to the Macedonian market after TAV Macedonia, the Macedonian Chamber for Tourism, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and the Croatian National Tourist Board spoke last week.

“If there is interest from Macedonian tour operators and partners, we are ready to expand our cooperation onto routes other than Zagreb and Skopje, like perhaps Ohrid and Split," said Jasmin Bajić. Talks initially happened between the two countries already months ago. 

“Road connectivity is not satisfactory, which is why new airline routes would be a big step forward. For example, I believe flights between Ohrid and Split would be of interest to tourists, so they could visit both countries within a few days in one go," said TAV Macedonia’s Marketing and Revenue Manager and Macedonian Chamber of Tourism President, Vladimir Gramatikov. Over 3,000 passengers flew indirectly between Skopje and Split in 2019. Croatia Airlines also handled 74,590 passengers between Zagreb and Skopje in 2019 on 996 flights.

Croatia Airlines also plans to add between 12 to 15 aircraft to its fleet based on its post-Covid strategy. 

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

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Monday, 6 September 2021

Reflections of a Month as a Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador

September 6, 2021 - Rudi Witkowsky, the Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador for August, is back in his native Cape Town after a month in Zagreb. Some reflections of digital nomad life in the Croatian capital.

Where do I begin?... I was sitting in self isolation in Split and wanted to get up to speed with Croatian news as we had planned a minimum stay of 3 months.

I cam across the application for digital nomad ambassador. At the time I really did not see myself as a digital nomad, but then I realized I have been working remotely and via my laptop for the past 2 years from hotels to endless amounts of coffee shops. At that point I realized I am a digital nomad. I am working remotely online as business and finance consultant and fitness instructor from Croatia. Surely, I am a digital nomad right?

I loved Croatia as it was my 3rd time. I thought this will be an amazing experience and merely thought of networking with people in Croatia.

I decided to apply and not thinking much of it. I was still sitting in my sleeveless t-shirt and did a quick 1 minute video about myself. I was in my gym attire.

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I had totally forgot about it and did not think anything further. We ventured off to Dubrovnik where I received the news that I was selected as the new Zagreb digital nomad ambassador. I could not believe it. I was in shock and woke up my girlfriend whom was sleeping. She was recovering from a water skiing accident where she was in a neck brace.

She thought I was lying. I was so excited and she was more excited. I thought that immediately meant we are leaving the coast. We are leaving the Adriatic ocean during prime summer? I then became concerned with moving to the city. Long story short we decided let's do this. We extended our Dubrovnik stay and booked a flight to Zagreb to start a new adventure entirely with not really knowing what to expect.

Zagreb was on the cards, but merely to purchase property as we were interested in purchasing in Zagreb as we love Croatia so much. We knew that the city would be a good buy, but it felt like work if we went there and kept on delaying our visit to Zagreb. I had passed through Zagreb before for 4 hours before a flight. I really did not know much about Zagreb, after all everyone comes to Croatia for the clear blue ocean and fresh seafood along the Adriatic.

First experience with arriving in Zagreb on Sunday the 1st August, I was shocked. The city was dead with everyone closed and minimal people. Could not find an open restaurant. I was concerned that we made a mistake.

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However, the accommodation was really great. We had a lovely welcome from Adel , the manager of the Doma Zagreb Serviced apartments https://www.domazagreb.com/ The apartment was central , right in the city center with a tram that stopped outside the place. It was fully fitted with a full kitchenette, working desk, bright and sunny apartments with a modern touch. Not to mention that the wifi was absolutely incredible. I struggled with Wifi in some Coastal locations. Many a days I worked from home as it was too comfortable to leave. The apartment had everything that I needed. I could finally relax and settle in nicely in Croatia as we were centrally based. It is easy not to venture off more than a 5km radius from your apartment as everything is in close proximity.

However, I had already missed the sea breeze, however the weather was amazing in Zagreb. A lot more mild without the strong sunshine on the coast.

We met the team on Sunday and received the most amazing welcome ever from top quality wine to quality meats and cheeses. We had so much fun. I then thought that this city might just be amazing. The food and wine was really great.

After the first days of settling in and getting to explore the city had picked up and become a lot more lively. With the trams running through the city and all the cyclists it felt like a real authentic city. It started growing on me bearing in mind that I am not a city person. I am all things water.

I was in awe the trams running through the city. I loved it. Walking through the Ban Jelacic Square felt like a real authentic Croatian experience. The city was alive.

The food was incredible at every restaurant we went to. Not to mention we ate out every single day (sometimes 2 or 3 times a day). The food was just too good and a lot more affordable than the Coastal region.

There were amazing bars and restaurants on every corner with excellent WIFI. Victoria and I are major foodies and Zagreb did not disappoint. We were in love with the food scene. The fitness centers were of top quality and I signed up immediately. I was the happiest person alive as I could work, keep fit and healthy, travel and live my best life ever in Zagreb.

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I was extremely shocked to find that English was as widely spoken in Zagreb. I was concerned as it was the capital city with more Croatians. I think more people spoke English in Zagreb than the coast.

Zagreb started growing on us very fast and it was extremely safe. I never felt weary or unsafe at any point of the day. Victoria felt super safe and she would walk around on her late at night. Many a time we would casually wonder through the streets for hours and just admire all the beauty and people watch. You might be in the heart of a city, but it is has a calming effect on you.

I loved the lifestyle and pace in Zagreb where people would sip a double espresso for 2 hours. The city was great for my mental health as I started to adapt the relaxed way of life in Zagreb. I was like what have I been missing all this time in my life? People would meet up for hours and chat with you and take in the fresh air. This is what you call living!

We met a few people briefly for 2 minutes and offered to take us for a drink or join them at lunch there and then. The people were friendly and loved hearing stories of tourists. 2 locals even offered to drop us off at home one evening.

We also loved that there were so many green spaces/parks were one can go for walks and escape the city life not that it is chaotic, but merely to find some more natural beauty.

We went to the coast – Opatija and Rovinj for a weekend from Zagreb. It was a quick 2hr 10min bus ride from Zagreb to the coast. A week later we visited the most magnificent wine farms just 40mins from Zagreb which included Zagorje. It was absolutely the BEST wine experience ever with the most amazing wines, vineyards and scenery. One could easily spend days there. The vineyard felt like something out of a dream. At that point I realized that If I had to stay in Croatia I would stay in Zagreb. It is centrally located in Croatia from the best wine regions to the most exotic coastal regions all within a 2 hour drive. Not to mention Zagreb has many farmers markets with fresh and organic produce. We bought most of our veggies and fruits from Dolac farmers market.

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Not to mention we had the privilege of attending the LMF music festival in Zagreb which was world class. They hosted world class artists with the likes of Claptone with the most amazing lighting and stage all based at the beautiful Jarun lake. LMF consisted of 7 different dance stages with plenty of green space and areas to relax. If you are a lover of dance music or festivals, Zagreb surely hosts the best in the world and are right up there in terms of festivals.

Zagreb is also more affordable than the coast and you can experience so much. Everything is easily accessible and in close proximity. Zagreb would definitely see us again. This city has touched our hearts in many ways. I believe Zagreb is something not to miss during Christmas time and hopefully we can make it back up for Christmas.

From a digital nomad perspective Zagreb has everything you need from quality wifi to exceptional co working spaces.

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We worked form many co working spaces namely, Canopy by Hilton and BIZKoshnica in Zagreb which offers everything you need from fast wifi, to networking events, to casual drink meet ups and a space where you can break away from work to clear you head space. If you require further information on co-working or co-living I found Saltwater Nomads to be extremely helpful. Feel free to reach out to them as they will answer all your questions on co-working and co-living. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you are looking for amazing events or things to do reach out to the Zagreb Tourist board as they are willing to assist you with anything you need. They are a young vibrant team and sure to share the best secrets with you about Zagreb. Thank you for all your recommendations.

I am beyond happy to have ventured to Zagreb as it was truly something special and it did not disappoint. Please make sure to include Zagreb on your list of places to see in Croatia, but not just visit actually live there for a bit and immerse yourself in the culture. You will fall in love.

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Everyone is extremely friendly in Croatia. Even the Tax director at KPMG was willing to take my calls and have a casual conversation on how things are etc. Tax directors normally have no time for you. KPMG was extremely helpful. For all your tax related queries as a digital nomad please reach out to Kristina at KPMG in Zagreb This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . She is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. 

Thank you for the most special time in Zagreb. You will be missed, but will definitely see you soon.

For more news and features about digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Friday, 3 September 2021

New Ryanair Destinations from Zagreb, Second Aircraft Stationed at Airport

September 3, 2021 - After announcing 9 new Ryanair destinations from Zagreb earlier this week, a second aircraft of the low-cost carrier has been stationed at the capital city airport. Better yet, a third aircraft should be based at Zagreb Airport from December 1!

Ryanair has based its second aircraft at Zagreb Airport, following the opening of its base in July. The deployment of a third aircraft is planned for December. As travel recovers and approaches pre-pandemic coronavirus levels, Ryanair’s expansion encourages traffic and tourism recovery across Europe, reports Avio Radar.

Ryanair's total investment for Zagreb is $300 million, and the carrier will offer more than 40 outbound flights a week on 15 different routes, including 9 new routes to European destinations - Sandefjord, Baden Baden, Beauvais, Memmingen, Hahn, Dortmund, Podgorica, Weeze and Malmo,

Also, nine more new routes will be launched this winter based on the third aircraft expected on December 1. 

Travelers from Croatia can book a vacation for the end of the summer on one of Ryanair's new routes, such as Dortmund, London, Oslo, Paris, and many others.

After welcoming the second aircraft in Zagreb and announcing 9 new routes, Ryanair's head of sales and marketing for countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, Olga Pawlonka, said:

"We are delighted to base another aircraft in Zagreb as part of our expansion plan in Croatia. This is part of a $300 million investment that will play an important role in supporting tourism recovery in the Croatian capital. Ryanair provides connectivity to several Zagreb destinations throughout the year.

With nine new summer lines starting this week, or a total of 24 lines during the winter, our passengers will have a great choice when planning late summer holidays in cities like Sofia, Paris, Rome, and many others.”

Yavuz Aytis, route manager for Zagreb International Airport, said:

"We are happy to welcome another aircraft at the Ryanair base at Zagreb Airport and are proud to announce 9 new Ryanair flights to Zagreb from this week. As a result, citizens of Zagreb and the surrounding area will have more opportunities to fly directly to various destinations. We believe that the increased availability of Zagreb will lead to a faster recovery of tourism and the economy.

Zagreb International Airport will continue its efforts to expand the network of direct flights from Zagreb because the citizens and visitors of our city deserve a wide range of affordable flights. We expect these efforts to contribute to an even stronger positioning of our beautiful capital as an attractive destination for many European travelers."

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

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Flights to Croatia: Ryanair Zagreb Boosts Operations, Blue Air Split and Dubrovnik Routes

August 18, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as the Ryanair Zagreb base boosts operations on two lines, and Blue Air Split and Dubrovnik routes are on the horizon. 

The newly launched Ryanair Zagreb base will boost operations on two routes from September 1, reports Ex Yu Aviation

Namely, the airline will operate four weekly flights to Charleroi compared to the existing two, while there will be four weekly rotations to Gothenburg compared to the existing three flights a week. 

Furthermore, Ryanair will station a second jet, the Airbus A320, in Zagreb from September 1, thus launching nine new routes. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Romanian low-cost carrier Blue Air will run seasonal flights from Bucharest to Split and Dubrovnik in 2022. The new routes will work from June 23 and June 28, with two flights per week on the 189-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The airline is introducing seven new routes next summer, with Split and Dubrovnik included. 

Eurowings has also announced that it will introduce its third route to Zagreb Airport, a year-round flight between Dusseldorf and Zagreb, which was canceled in 2019. The route will run on Tuesdays and Saturdays beginning August 31.

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

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

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

First Croatian Airport: CO2 Reduction at Zagreb Airport Recognized with ACI Level 3 Certificate

August 17, 2021 - CO2 reduction at Zagreb Airport has been recognized with an Airport Council International level 3 certificate, confirming the management and reduction of CO2 emissions in everyday airport activities

Zagreb International Airport has received a certificate from ACI (Airport Council International) confirming level 3 of management and reduction of CO2 emissions in everyday airport activities, reports HRTurizam.

According to the classification of the global ACI ACA program (Airport Carbon Accreditation), this level is called "Optimization." Therefore, it represents a significant step towards fulfilling the commitment of Zagreb Airport to achieve zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

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Based on the submitted data, the program independently assesses and recognizes the efforts of airports in managing and reducing carbon emissions. The program for measuring this level of certification also includes all stakeholders and business partners of the airport (airlines, various tenants, catering, shops, etc.), whose activities within the airport affect CO2 emissions.

Franjo Tuđman Airport is the first airport in the Republic of Croatia to reach ACI-ACA level 3, resulting from an extensive program of various activities in recent years aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

“Zagreb International Airport is committed to implementing business solutions that aim to reduce negative environmental impacts. Achieving level 3 according to the ACI-ACA classification is a significant step in these efforts. Our goal and commitment in the airport's business activities is to reach zero CO2 emissions by 2050, and we will be persistent on that path, ” said Huseyin Bahadir Bedir, President of the Management Board of MZLZ d.d.

In recent years, the airport has introduced a wide range of energy management measures that have enabled it to monitor and reduce total energy consumption, such as the installation of efficient LED lighting, reconstruction of low voltage in substation 2, boiler room reconstruction, reconstruction and modernization of heating/cooling substation in the administration building, and the production of hot water using solar collectors. Thanks to all these activities, carbon emissions at the airport were reduced by 4% between 2017 and 2019, despite a significant increase in passengers in that period.

The plan is to build a photovoltaic power plant that will directly convert solar energy into electricity and replace existing vehicles and equipment in an environmentally friendly way.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Nine New Ryanair Zagreb Routes Announced in December!

July 23, 2021 - Nine new Ryanair Zagreb routes have been announced for December, with promotional flight prices of just 150 kn if booked by July 25! 

Ryanair, Europe's largest low-cost airline, opened its base at Franjo Tudjman Airport today and announced that it will have an additional aircraft there, so from December this year, the fleet will consist of three based aircraft, reports Vecernji List.

Ryanair says their total investment in Zagreb is $300 million, and during the winter they will have 62 outgoing flights a week from Zagreb on 24 routes, including nine new routes unveiled today.

Ryanair states that their flight schedule, after high demand this summer, will help the functioning of Zagreb as a key city break destination and will support the recovery of the Croatian tourism industry. They also state that they will create 90 direct jobs in Zagreb.

Today, they presented nine new lines from Zagreb to Basel, Eindhoven, Malaga, Manchester, Naples, Paphos, Thessaloniki (twice a week), and Dublin (three times a week). The new additions will be introduced between December 1 and December 17.

“We have one aircraft based in Zagreb from July 23, the second comes in September and the third in December. We have 41 weekly frequencies this summer and are connecting everything from London to Billund, from Oslo all the way down to Rome. So, in winter we are adding nine new routes, 25 routes in total and I hope we are going to grow that next summer. We are driving the recovery. I have to thank the airport for securing Ryanair for Zagreb and Croatia too. What I can promise you is that everyone flying through this airport in the next twelve months is going to be paying less for their airfares," said Ryanair’s CEO, Eddie Wilson, in Zagreb today. 

In total, there are 24 lines to and from 16 countries - Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In the first year of flying on routes from and to Zagreb, Ryanair will transport about 700,000 passengers.

To open the new base, Ryanair launched the sale of tickets at prices of 150 kuna for travel until the end of March, which must be booked by Sunday, July 25 at midnight on the official website - ryanair.com.

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, 14 July 2021

Zagreb Airport Flights to 46 Destinations before Peak Season

July 14, 2021 - Zagreb Airport flights to 46 destinations are available for passengers ahead of the peak season!

After months of falling traffic caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Franjo Tudjman Airport experienced a significant recovery in the second quarter of this year after European borders opened and COVID-19 (at least temporarily) fell into the background. As the peak of the tourist season approaches, Zagreb has once again become attractive to foreign carriers

From April to the end of June this year, air traffic in Zagreb increased by 350 percent,

The peak season at 'Franjo Tudjman' is expected at the end of this month when the low-budget carrier Ryanair will open its base and introduce a number of new lines for foreign and domestic passengers. T.portal researched where passengers can fly from Zagreb this summer and the options if you are planning a trip abroad.

Most of the traffic this summer, but also all year round in Zagreb, falls on Croatia Airlines, the national carrier that flies from Zagreb to five domestic airports - Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Pula, Brac - and maintains international routes that include Frankfurt, Vienna, Copenhagen, Munich, Zurich, London, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, Sarajevo, Skopje, Rome, and Athens.

Another domestic carrier, Trade Air, connects Zagreb and Osijek.

The biggest expectations from this season are set for Ryanair, currently flying from Zagreb to Charleroi Airport near Brussels and Bergamo near Milan.

When the Irish carrier opens its base on July 23, as previously announced, Zagreb will be connected to as many as twelve new destinations. These are Ciampino (near Rome), Dortmund, Gothenburg, Podgorica, Sofia, Beauvais Tille near Paris, Karlsruhe, Memmingen (south of Germany), Hahn (near Frankfurt), Malmö, Weeze (near Duisburg) and Torp Sandefjord (south of Oslo). 

Of the destinations within the EU, 'Franjo Tudjman' currently connects Lufthansa with Munich, Austrian flies to Vienna, Air France to Paris, KLM to Amsterdam, Eurowings flies to Cologne and Stuttgart, TAP to Lisbon, Iberia to Madrid, British Airways to London, Vueling to Barcelona, and LOT to Warsaw.

The Airport reveals that Eurowings flights to Düsseldorf, Nordwind Airlines to Moscow, EL AL, and Croatia Airlines to Tel Aviv have been announced for the season, while Aegean Airlines will fly to Athens during the peak season.

The offer of destinations outside the European Union is quite modest, with only five offered. Turkish Airlines can take you to Istanbul, Windrose Airlines to Kyiv, Aeroflot to Moscow, Air Serbia to Belgrade, and, finally, Qatar Airways to Doha.

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.

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