Monday, 29 June 2020

Eight Airlines Returning to Zagreb Airport this Week

Jun 29, 2020 - Eight airlines with eight international routes will return to Zagreb Airport this week.

Croatian Aviation reports that until now, the traffic at Zagreb Airport depended mainly on Croatia Airlines. In addition to the national airline, Eurowings also flew to Zagreb from Cologne, which will continue to operate on that route, and Trade Air on the domestic route from Osijek.

But that is changing as of this week. An Austrian Airlines plane with 26 passengers from Vienna landed in Zagreb today, while 36 passengers traveled to Vienna. This is the first Austrian Airlines flight to Zagreb after the suspension of operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the company will now operate daily on the Vienna-Zagreb route.

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On Wednesday, July 1, the Paris-Zagreb route will be re-established by Air France, which is announcing only three weeks of flights on this route.

On the same day, Turkish Airlines will return to Zagreb on the route from Istanbul. The company normally operates twice a day during the summer flight schedule to Zagreb, but the number of weekly flights has been reduced, and it will currently operate on this route 5 times a week.

Another regular guest is returning to Zagreb Airport. Qatar Airways starts the Doha - Zagreb route with 3 weeks of flights, otherwise in the summer flight schedule to Zagreb, it operated as many as 14 times a week, i.e., twice a day.

Lufthansa, which normally flies from Frankfurt and Munich to Zagreb, will re-establish regular traffic on the Munich-Zagreb route from Wednesday, initially 3 times a week.

From the same date, Air Serbia will reconnect Belgrade and Zagreb, and flights are on sale 7 days a week.

On Thursday, July 2, Eurowings will re-establish the Stuttgart-Zagreb route, which will operate twice a week through July. 

From July 4, KLM planes will fly to Zagreb again. From that date, the Dutch airline will operate on the route Amsterdam - Zagreb, and 3 weeks of flights with smaller capacity aircraft have been announced. 

Croatia Airlines continues to operate on a number of domestic and international routes from Zagreb, increasing traffic since the beginning of July.

You should always check the restrictions of the country you are traveling to before traveling. 

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Flights to Croatia: Windrose and SAS to Pula, Iberia Delays Zagreb Service to Winter

June 24, 2020 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for flights to Croatia with updates from Zagreb and Pula. 

Croatian Aviation reports that Windrose and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) have announced the launch of direct international flights to Pula Airport.

Namely, Windrose and SAS will launch direct flights to Pula at the very beginning of July. More specifically, on Saturday, July 4, the A320neo will operate on Scandinavian Airlines and the A321 on Windrose Airlines.

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From July 4, Scandinavian Airlines will introduce the Copenhagen - Pula route, once a week (every Saturday), though the route will probably be intensified with more weekly flights in the coming period. SAS announced the A320neo aircraft on this route.

Recall, yesterday, we announced that SAS released a modified flight schedule for July, in which the number of weekly flights to Split has increased significantly. 

The company has decided to increase the number of weekly flights and add a route from Stockholm to Split, so SAS will connect Split with Scandinavia according to the following schedule:

Copenhagen - Split, from June 29, daily (so far twice a week)

Oslo - Split, from June 29, six times a week, except Thursdays (so far once a week).

SAS will also introduce Stockholm - Split, from July 1, which will operate daily. 

From the same date, Jule 4, Windrose Airlines plans to launch the Kyiv-Pula route, also once a week (Saturday), with the A321 aircraft, but the second weekly flight (Tuesday) is also on sale, from July 21.

Furthermore, Ex Yu Aviation reports that Spanish airline Iberia will not resume the Madrid - Zagreb service until the start of the 2020/2021 winter season.

Namely, Iberia will resume the route on October 23 with three flights per week, on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

In 2019, Iberia carried 47,703 passengers between Madrid and Zagreb. Iberia will resume seasonal flights to Dubrovnik on July 17, though services to Split and Zadar have not yet been scheduled. 

 

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

British Airways Will Fly to Zagreb and Split from June

May 12, 2020 - British Airways announced its flight schedule for June, which includes two destinations in Croatia - Zagreb and Split. 

Croatian Aviation reports that according to the current schedule, the British airline will fly to Zagreb and Split next month in a significantly reduced flight schedule compared to their operations before the outbreak of COVID-19.

Namely, from June 1, British Airways will fly between London (Heathrow) and Zagreb three times a week (Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays) on the A320 aircraft.

The route between London (Heathrow) and Split will operate from the same date. The line will run four times a week in June (Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays).

Seasonal routes to Dubrovnik and Pula on British Airways are not on sale for now. It is expected that the number of weekly flights to Zagreb and Split will increase in July, and then the lines from London to Pula and Dubrovnik could start operating in a reduced form.

Croatian Aviation also touched on how air traffic to Croatia will look after the pandemic. Given that the world is still somewhat on lockdown, it is tough to predict all the details, but if the traffic at Croatian airports is 50% of that in 2019, airports will be satisfied.

Croatia began to attract large international airlines, which, in turn, managed to survive in our market. Some will return this summer, some next, and some will kick Croatia out of their network of destinations.

American Airlines canceled Dubrovnik for this year and removed all B767 aircraft from the fleet, which is the aircraft on this route. If the situation in the world stabilizes soon, this line could return to traffic as early as next summer. Last year, American introduced the route to Dubrovnik along with several other European destinations, and it was the airline's best hit among all other routes, which flew to far larger European cities. The line started operating three times per week, and another trip was added in September. The announcement for this year was great, as American was supposed to fly to Dubrovnik every day! 

Air Canada Rouge has canceled the Toronto - Zagreb route for this year and will remove all 25 B767 aircraft from its fleet. The question arises as to how the long-haul Air Canada Rouge network will function in the future given that this was the only long-haul type of aircraft in the carrier’s fleet. Air Canada has announced several times so far that it does not plan to launch a route to Zagreb, but that the Rouge branch will operate it, so there are no great prospects for the arrival of this carrier. Given that demand will be lower and that the Air Canada mainline has cut a large number of routes, Rouge could use Air Canada aircraft in next summer's flight schedule, which would definitely be a plus for the travel experience.

Air Transat has delayed the Toronto-Zagreb route for July, but we can expect the complete cancellation of this line. Will this carrier return to Zagreb? Most likely. Air Transat is a leisure company, and if Air Canada Rouge does not return, Air Transat will have no competition on this route and will certainly profit.

Korean Air has also canceled the line between Seoul and Zagreb for this year. Given the financial situation of this company, if Korea does not react through state aid, the company will have to go through a major restructuring, and in that case, the line to Zagreb will not return as it has been operating since September 2018. However, the company can do what it did before 2018 - introduce regular charter flights on this line. 

Qatar Airways has reduced the number of departures to Zagreb, and there is no fear that this carrier will not return to Croatia given that this line is maintained by tourists but also Croatian and Slovenian citizens, especially because Qatar Airways does not fly to Ljubljana and the choice for passengers departing from Ljubljana was slim even before the pandemic. Qatar, therefore, canceled the planned line to Dubrovnik. Given that this airline has been in negotiations with Dubrovnik Airport for years on establishing a line between Doha and Dubrovnik, its introduction is expected, if the situation stabilizes soon, next year.

Emirates has reduced Zagreb and plans to fly again on the route from Dubai in July. This carrier, which has only large capacity aircraft in its fleet (B777, A380) is currently in trouble. The small flexibility of the fleet, especially in capacity, makes it impossible to adjust market demand and it is now obvious that this airline had to have long-haul aircraft of smaller capacity in its fleet as well. Over 300 seats on the departure from Zagreb were often too many (except for the peak season). The line may be canceled entirely this year, and it would be logical for partner FlyDubai to operate on it with a significantly smaller capacity, the B737.

Thai Air Asia X has planned several rotations in the summer flight schedule between Bangkok and Zagreb. These were intended regular charter flights that will certainly not happen this year.

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

Monday, 11 May 2020

COVID-19 in Croatia: 86 Tons of Protective Equipment Arrives on Final Shanghai Flight

May 11, 2020 - SF Airlines landed at Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman International Airport early Sunday morning on a direct flight from Shanghai and delivered about 86 tons of protective equipment to Croatia needed by the Croatian health system and other services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sibenik.in reports that this is the seventh and so far the last shipment on direct flights from China to Croatia, the Public Relations Office of the Prime Minister's Office announced.

As pointed out, ensuring the supply of health and other systems with protective equipment is planned to continue with the delivery by land and sea.

About 80 tons of disinfectants and masks that Croatia bought from Sinopharm and about six tons of donations arrived on Sunday's flight.

A valuable donation of mechanical fans, coronavirus tests, and masks and visors from the Alibaba Foundation and the Jack Ma Foundation were delivered on the flight. It is a donation that is part of a series of similar initiatives by the two foundations to provide relief to parts of the world affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The foundations also fund vaccine research and development in China, as well as at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne and Columbia University in New York.

During the summer, donations from MEHECO Clinic for Infectious Diseases "Dr. Fran Mihaljević", Zhejiang Province to Istria County, donations to the Civil Protection Headquarters of the CitizenGO initiative and entrepreneur Mr. Cai Yu, responsible for opening the franchise of the Zagreb Museum of Illusions in Shanghai, were delivered.

Recall, on April 12, a direct flight from Shanghai brought around 60 tons of protective equipment to Zagreb for the Croatian health system and other services fighting the coronavirus pandemic, which was the first shipment of this kind since the outbreak of COVID-19.

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

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Flights to Croatia: Korean Air Cancels Seasonal Zagreb Service, Air Transat Delayed

May 8, 2020 - Korean Air has stopped ticket sales to Zagreb, while Air Transat has pushed back its Zagreb service to July. 

Ex Yu Aviation announced that Korean Air will not resume its seasonal service between Seoul and Zagreb from September 1, and has officially stopped ticket sales. 

This isn’t entirely surprising given the COVID-19 pandemic, as Korean Air will only operate at 20% of its usual international capacity, or only 32 of its 110 international routes (just 146 flights per week). In May, Korean Air is running only 13 routes, or 55 per week. 

Recall, the Seoul-Zagreb service should have resumed in March but was delayed first until June, and then September as the coronavirus spread globally. 

In 2019, Korean Air handled 43,123 passengers on the Seoul-Zagreb service. 

Furthermore, Ex Yu Aviation reports that Canadian carrier Air Transat has delayed its seasonal service between Toronto and Zagreb by a month, until July 2. The airline has plans to fly to Zagreb three times per week until mid-September, and then two times per week until late October. However, nothing is guaranteed. 

Because of COVID-19, the Canadian airline has suspended all services until June 30. 

"These are extraordinary circumstances, when all airlines and travel companies have been forced to temporarily halt or drastically reduce their operations while governments have decided to close their borders. This unprecedented situation is well beyond our control,” Air Transat said in a statement. 

Recall, Air Canada Rouge already suspended its service between Toronto and Zagreb this year.

If you're wondering about how the future of flights to Croatia will look in the post-corona world, TCN caught up with Max Oldorf, COO of the aviation data company, ch-aviation. You can read our interview here.

Need to find the latest Croatia COVID-19 travel advice? When will borders open, flights take off, and tourism finally begin? Check out our overview of what we know at the moment here.

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

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Zagreb Airport Concessionaire Granted Deferral of Concession Fee Payment

ZAGREB, May 6, 2020 - Due to a major decline in turnover, the ZAIC consortium, which operates Zagreb Airport, has asked for and been granted a delay in the payment of a part of the concession fee due in April, Hina has learned from the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Ministry.

The possibility of delaying the payment of the concession fee is provided for by the contract for the construction and operation of Zagreb Airport in cases of force majeur that have a significant impact on the concessionaire's cash flow and ability to meet financial obligations.

Possible further deferrals will depend on future developments, the ministry said.

International Zagreb Airport d.d. has so far paid HRK 233.4 million of the concession fee. The concession fee is paid quarterly.

"Considering the fact that traffic at Franjo Tuđman International Airport has been almost completely suspended, a significant annual decrease in revenue is expected but this will eventually also depend on results to be achieved by the end of the year, in light of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and possible partial normalisation of international transport," the ministry said.

The ZAIC consortium, which holds a 30-year licence to operate Zagreb Airport, consists of BBI - Bouygues Bâtiment International, ADPM - Aéroports de Paris Management, IFC - International Finance Corporation, which is part of the World Bank, Marguerite - The 2020 European equity fund, TAV - TAV Airports, Turkey and the Croatian company Viadukt.

The concession fee for the 30-year period totals €87.2 million while the variable part of the concession fee, which is calculated as a certain percentage of gross revenue, exceeds the amount of the concession fee.

More airport news can be found in the Travel section.

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.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Emirates Pushes Back Zagreb Service from May to July

April 13, 2020 - Emirates has delayed its seasonal service between Zagreb and Dubai until July 2020. 

After Ex Yu Aviation announced that American Airlines and Qatar Airways would suspend their seasonal services to Dubrovnik until 2021 due to the current coronavirus pandemic, our hope of a 2020 tourism season was dwindling. 

However, is the recent announcement from Emirates reassuring?

Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports that Emirates has 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, like the 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.

In other flight news, Air Canada Rouge has postponed its seasonal service between Toronto and Zagreb by a month, or moved the start date to July 1, instead of June 4, 2020. 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 closure last week, which 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

Monday, 9 March 2020

Flights to Croatia: Qatar, Emirates Reduce Zagreb Flights, N. African, SE Asian Routes Coming?

March 9, 2020 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for new flights to Croatia with updates from Zagreb Airports. 

After Korean Air, who postponed seasonal flights between Seoul and Zagreb from March 31 until April 23, Qatar Airways and Emirates have also reduced their operations to Zagreb due to the coronavirus outbreak, reports Ex Yu Aviation.

Beginning this week, Qatar Airways will reduce its daily services between Doha and Zagreb to twelve flights per week. Namely, Qatar Airways will no longer operate a second flight on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until the start of the 2020 summer season, or March 29. All Qatar Airways flights to remaining destinations in the former Yugoslavia remain unchanged. 

Furthermore, Emirates has reduced its daily service between Dubai and Zagreb to six per week, with flights no longer available on Tuesday. This is only in effect for the first two weeks of operations (beginning March 29), until Easter week. Emirates expect to make more changes as the situation progresses.

For the upcoming summer season, we know that Eurowings will discontinue flights from Berlin and Dusseldorf to Zagreb, while Swiss and Czech Airlines will not resume their seasonal services from Zurich and Prague. 

However, Ex Yu Aviation reports that a number of airlines will increase operations to Zagreb this year, like Croatia Airlines, which will launch two new routes, to Sofia and Podgorica, three times per week from May. They will also run an extra weekly service to Amsterdam. 

Windrose Airlines will introduce three weekly flights from Kyiv in June, while Air France added a second daily service from Paris and British Airways has upped their flights from London Heathrow to eleven per week. Air Serbia will run thirteen weekly flights from Belgrade, while Aegean Airlines doubled the number of available seats. Croatia Airlines will also increase seat capacity to Brussels, Skopje, and Copenhagen.

Zagreb Airport could soon welcome carriers from North Africa and Southeast Asia, too.

“We are in regular contact with all airlines which could review their summer schedule if the situation develops in an adverse way,” said the airport on the coronavirus outbreak. While Tunis Air will run one weekly charter flight between Monastir and Zagreb from May 27, we have yet to see which other carriers from North Africa or Asia will come to the Croatian capital next. 

Last month, Zagreb welcomed 184,236 passengers, which is up 1.7%. During the first two months of 2020, Zagreb Airport welcomed 387,271 passengers, up 4%. 

Source: Ex Yu Aviation

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

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Will Milan Bandic's Zagreb Airport Tram Plans Go Ahead?

Mayor Milan Bandic wants to expand the Zagreb tram network and introduce a tram from Kvaternikov trg (Kvaternik's square) to a residential location close to Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman Airport. Will the mayor's Zagreb Airport tram project manage to get off the ground?

As Vedran Marjanovic/Novac writes on the 4th of March, 2020, the City of Zagreb's administration has announced that Geoprojekt and Elektroprojekt will produce the Zagreb Airport tram project's technical documentation for the construction of the line which will go from Kvaternikov trg to the settlement of Velika Kosnica, located close to Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman Airport, for a price tag of three million and 683 thousand kuna.

The offers put forward by Geoprojekt and Elektroprojekt weere selected as the most favourable of all at a public tender launched by Zagreb's Public Procurement Office, initially announced back at the end of 2016. However, according to the latest information from the Public Procurement Office, the value of the contract has since increased by 683 thousand kuna.

According to the general urban plan of the Croatian capital city, the new tram line would connect Kvaternikov trg and Velika Kosnica with a total length of seventeen kilometres, or 8.5 kilometres with a two-lane traffic line. The aforementioned length doesn't take into account any possible extensions of the tram line from Velika Kosnica to the City Stadium in Velika Gorica and Zagreb Airport.

The envisioned Kvaternikov trg-Velika Kosnica or ''Zagreb Airport tram'' route will be divided into four different sections. The first section relates to the construction of the line along Heinzelova in order to directly connect Kvaternikov trg with Ulica grada Vukovara (Vukovar street). Two sections then relate to the construction of the tram line along Radnicka cesta (road), across Savisce all the way to Domovinski most (Homeland bridge) and the rest relates to the line from Domovinski most to Velika Kosnica.

The planned ''Zagreb Airport tram'' route envisages twelve tram stops, and ZET wouldn't introduce any new tram lines according to the aforementioned guidelines, but would divert the number 2 line now operating from Crnomerec to Savisce. According to the plans, the two would connect the railway and bus stations to Velika Kosnica, or to Zagreb Airport, when the route leads to the airport.

Preparations for the construction of the tram line to Velika Kosnica began back at the end of 2016, when Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic announced that the railway would be finished in 2019, and the total value of the investment stood at 50 million euros. Considering the fact that the contract with Geoprojekt and Elektroprojekt has been established only now, it's uncertain when the construction of the line could actually begin.

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