Thursday, 11 February 2021

Flights to Croatia: TAP Portugal Plans Lisbon-Zagreb from End of March

February 11, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as TAP Portugal plans Lisbon-Zagreb from the end of March. 

As we previously reported, Portuguese national airline TAP will operate on the direct line Lisbon-Zagreb from the end of March this year.

Namely, Croatian Aviation reports that the connection between the two capitals will start on the first day of the summer flight schedule (Sunday, March 28). 

As a reminder, TAP Portugal connected Zagreb and Lisbon in the past, but the line was suspended in the spring of 2016. In the winter flight schedule, the flight between Zagreb and Lisbon had a stop in Bologna.

Returning to Zagreb in the spring of 2021, TAP Portugal wants to regain its position on the Croatian market, counting on Croatia Airlines not to resume traffic on its seasonal route between the two mentioned cities. Given that the Croatian national airline is unlikely to operate on this route in this year's summer flight schedule (not even in the summer of 2020), TAP Portugal will not have direct competition on the route between the capitals of Portugal and Croatia.

Three flights a week have been announced, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, with afternoon departures from Zagreb Airport. On all flights to Zagreb, A320 aircraft (previously planned and smaller A319) with a capacity of 174 passengers have been announced.

More than 32,000 seats between Lisbon and Zagreb available for sale in the summer season of 2021.

On a planned 94 return flights in the summer flight schedule, TAP Portugal will offer more than 32,700 seats between the two cities.

In addition to passengers who can choose the direct line between Zagreb and Lisbon, TAP Portugal is counting on a larger number of transfer passengers, primarily from the United States, who will have an excellent connection to and from Zagreb with the introduction of this line.

This is a very welcome return of another large airline to Zagreb Airport, which has not been present at Croatian airports for almost 5 years. It is currently possible to buy return tickets on this line for less than 130 euros.

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Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Flights to Croatia: British Airways Cancels Zagreb Flights Until End of March

February 10, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as British Airways cancels Zagreb flights until the end of March.

Croatian Aviation reports that the British national airline has withdrawn all flights on the London - Zagreb - London route until the end of March 2021.

Namely, British Airways withdrew all departures on the London Heathrow - Zagreb - London Heathrow route until the end of March.

In September, British Airways suspended traffic on this route and operated on it for a short time during the holidays (around November 1 and around Christmas). After a new strain of the virus was found in the UK, countries banned flights from the UK (including Croatia), so British Airways was forced to cancel flights to Zagreb.

The airline then released tickets for sale on the direct line between London and Zagreb, but, as usual, the flights never took off, and they will likely remain so.

Thus, British Airways has canceled all planned flights to and from Zagreb until the end of March, i.e., until the end of the winter flight schedule, which ends on Saturday, March 27, 2020.

On Sunday, March 28, British Airways will offer 11 weekly flights between the two mentioned capitals, though even this is questionable. It is to be expected that this airline will continue to cancel flights, which is not surprising given that there are strong restrictive measures that directly affect demand itself. 

The only direct option to travel by plane on this route is by Croatia Airlines, which operates between London and Zagreb only once a week, on Mondays. Still, the prices offered by the Croatian national carrier are quite steep. 

To give you an idea, a one-way ticket from Zagreb to London on February 22 costs around 2,316 kuna, and in the opposite direction even more.

Namely, a return ticket on this route with Croatia Airlines for travel between February 22 and March 3 costs almost 3,250 kuna or 430 euro!

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Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Flights to Croatia: Lufthansa Plans Zagreb Routes from Frankfurt and Munich in March

February 9, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Lufthansa plans Zagreb routes from Frankfurt and Munich in March.

Croatian Aviation reports that Lufthansa plans to resume traffic on two routes from Germany to Zagreb Airport.

Namely, Lufthansa intends to resume traffic to Zagreb Airport from March 1. Recall that Lufthansa suspended traffic on the Frankfurt - Zagreb - Frankfurt route during the global pandemic and has not operated on it since March 2020.

However, as of March 1, the airline plans to resume traffic on that line. The second Lufthansa line, between Munich and Zagreb, was also suspended in October 2020, and there has been no direct connection between the two cities since.

The airline intends to resume traffic on the routes from Frankfurt and Munich from March 1, 2021, with the caveat that the cancellation of certain flights may occur due to low demand caused by strict epidemiological measures.

The Frankfurt - Zagreb - Frankfurt route will operate daily until the end of March (with an early afternoon departure from Zagreb), and smaller-capacity aircraft. The Canadair Regional Jet 900 has been announced on the route, with a capacity of 90 seats.

Traffic on the Munich - Zagreb - Munich line is also being re-established. This route should also operate daily until the end of March, with the same type of aircraft as on the route from/to Frankfurt, and an increase in the number of weekly flights on both routes is expected from the beginning of the summer flight schedule (end of March).

Lufthansa is a carrier that has flown to Zagreb Airport for more than 50 years, and given that 2020 was the worst year in aviation history, it was not too much of a surprise that the airline temporarily withdrew routes to Zagreb Airport.

Lufthansa will certainly have a good result on the routes to Zagreb in the spring and summer, while in March, there may still be cancellations due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.

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Friday, 5 February 2021

Flights to Croatia: KLM and Air Serbia Reduce Zagreb Services

February. 5, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as KLM and Air Serbia reduce Zagreb services.

Croatian Aviation reports that KLM has temporarily suspended sales on a new, second daily flight between Zagreb and Amsterdam.

The world's oldest airline has thus suspended sales on its second daily flight between Zagreb and Amsterdam due to low demand thanks to the introduction of restrictive measures for travel between countries. 

We remind you that on December 4, 2020, KLM announced the news that it would introduce a second daily flight to Zagreb, operating between the two cities from February 14, 2021, 14 times a week, with an overnight stay in Zagreb.

The new, second daily flight has been temporarily withdrawn from sale and is not available for booking, but as Croatian Aviation learns, the airline has not completely given up on this plan. KLM is expected to offer 14 weekly flights when there are no restrictive measures in place that greatly limit the possibility of travel, which is automatically maintained on the booking status.

Recall that on all flights to or via Amsterdam, it is currently necessary to have a negative PCR test and a "rapid" test, which must not be older than 4 hours before the start of the trip. For this reason, rapid testing is also possible at Zagreb Airport, given that Zagreb is currently the only Croatian airport that has a direct connection to the Dutch capital (daily flights of Croatia Airlines and KLM). Passengers pay 250 kuna for a quick test at Zagreb Airport.

Croatian Aviation also reports that the Serbian national airline Air Serbia has reduced the number of weekly flights between Belgrade and Zagreb this month.

Although the airline generally had 3 to 4 and even more weekly flights in the previous months, as of February 8, only two flights a week are available on this route. 

Until the end of this month, Air Serbia will operate on the Belgrade-Zagreb-Belgrade route twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays (Monday mornings, Friday evenings) with ATR75 aircraft.

From February 8 to 28, Air Serbia will operate only six return flights, with approximately 850 seats available to passengers in both directions.

It is expected that Air Serbia will renew a larger number of routes to Croatia in the summer flight schedule, with destinations that operated even in the summer of 2020 (Dubrovnik and Split), it is possible to return routes from Belgrade to Pula and Zadar.

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Friday, 29 January 2021

Flights to Croatia: Croatia Airlines Reduces International Traffic in February

January 29, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Croatia Airlines reduces international traffic in February.

Ex Yu Aviation reports that due to entry restrictions and requirements in European Union member states, Croatian national airline Croatia Airlines will reduce its international network of destinations next month. 

Namely, in February, Croatia Airlines will connect Zagreb with Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Rome (via Split), Brussels, Copenhagen, Zurich, Paris, and Skopje, reducing its network to nine international destinations. Croatia Airlines will not run to Sarajevo and Vienna next month, even though the airline operated to those destinations in January.

Non-stop flights will be maintained from Split to Frankfurt, Rome, and Munich, and it will maintain its extensive domestic network next month. 

Ex Yu Aviation adds that the Croatian airline concentrates on flights where passengers can continue to connect through its partners. 

“Croatia Airlines is a regional carrier with the prime purpose of connecting Croats with Europe and the rest of the world through major European hubs with connections to the networks of our Star Alliance partners. We will continue to connect major European hubs as this is our strategy, and it will remain unchanged. However, we will also provide connections for Croatian people to fly within the country, and we will continue to provide direct links to Croatian holiday destinations from around Europe. We believe that the hub and spoke system will survive. Croatia Airlines is a strong regional operator with a clear goal. It is also well connected with many other airline partners through its interline and codeshare agreements and part of the best alliance in the world - Star Alliance," Croatia Airlines' CEO, Jasmin Bajić, had said. 

Commenting on the airline’s expectations in the post-pandemic era, Bajić added:

"Being a small airline may be an advantage to surviving the global turmoil - we can be more flexible during this time and more daring in seizing any new opportunity on the market. There is a downside as well - there are fewer means for investment compared to the bigger carriers. We are considering a few scenarios for the post-pandemic Croatia Airlines and each of them has the goal of positioning the company onto new markets and strengthening its position in existing markets."

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Thursday, 21 January 2021

Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman Airport Signs "Airports We Trust" Charter

January the 21st, 2021 - Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman Airport has placed its signature on an important document which says a lot about the international airport's relationship to protecting the environment.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Zagreb's International Airport (MZLZ), known simply as Franjo Tudjman Airport, along with 22 other airports from around the world, including all those which operate within the Aeroports de Paris Group (ADP), signed the "Airports we trust" charter, announcing cooperation in building a sustainable and responsible future and placing a special emphasis on one of the most important topics of the modern day - environmental protection.

This topic was reported on this week by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport, of which one of the partners, ie the concessionaire, is the ADP Group, and in addition to them, the charter was signed by several partner companies of the group - TAV Airports, Airports International Group the ports of Liège, Nuevo Pudahuel (Santiago de Chile) and Ravinala (Madagascar).

All of the signatories to the “Airports we trust” charter are committed to directing their operations towards zero-impact operations, in order to achieve a significant reduction / zero CO2 emissions at all airports by the year 2030, as well as to actively participate in the transition to more environmentally friendly energy use in the aviation sector as a whole and, if applicable, apply this mantra in all airport operations.

Airports, including Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman Airport are also committed to promoting the integration of each airport into the local resource system, reducing the overall environmental impact in airport planning and development projects, working with local communities and stakeholders, and strengthening innovation and reducing noise exposure and more.

By signing this charter, these airports confirm that their social and environmental responsibility is not limited to their employees and service users (passengers, customers, suppliers and other participants in the aviation industry), but that it also applies to all stakeholders in the countries where the group is present.

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Monday, 11 January 2021

Less Than 2.2 million Passengers at Croatian Airports in 2020

January 11, 2021 – Unlike the record 2019, when more than 11.4 million passengers passed through Croatian airports, in the crisis 2020, that number dropped by as much as 81 percent, counting less than 2.2 million passengers.

At the beginning of each new year, the revenues from the last tourist year are added up, and tourists' numbers are concluded. However, it was inevitable that in 2020, during which world tourism experienced a massive decline due to the coronavirus pandemic, would also affect tourist numbers.

As reported earlier, the Croatian tourism sector saw 50 percent fewer tourist overnight stays in 2020 than the record 2019. Likewise, commercial aviation experienced its largest decline in history. In 2020, Croatian airports accepted and dispatched less than 2.2 million passengers, writes Croatian Aviation.

Traffic to Croatia's three largest airports, Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik, has been growing steadily for years, but this series has been interrupted by a global pandemic. The three mentioned airports had over 9.6 million passengers in 2019, while in 2020, they recorded less than 2 million passengers together (1,929,336). The fact that the other five Croatian airports had 242,827 passengers last year is also devastating, of which Zadar alone served over 120,000 passengers.

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Source: Franjo Tuđman Zagreb Airport

With 924,823 passengers throughout the year, the main Croatian airport Franjo Tuđman Zagreb failed to reach the millionth passenger in 2020. However, almost half of the total Croatian traffic in 2020 was realized at the Zagreb airport.

Although it recorded an increase in the number of passengers in January and February compared to the same period in 2019, Franjo Tuđman Airport recorded a decrease in the number of passengers of 73 percent compared to 2019.

Unlike Zagreb Airport, Split Airport in January and February has modest traffic compared to the summer, seasonal months, and so it was in 2020. However, after the global pandemic hit Croatia, air traffic in Split almost stopped.

However, compared to other Croatian airports on the coast, Split still had a certain number of passengers in the peak season, especially in August. Still, the numbers in the post-season dropped drastically again. With 674,366 passengers, Split Airport recorded a decrease in the number of passengers of 79.58 percent compared to 2019.

Dubrovnik Airport was one of the biggest losers last year. It was closed in April, while the traffic was very poor in May and June. An increase in the number of passengers was recorded only in July and August, but not enough to avoid a large drop in the number of passengers.

Although many companies flew to Dubrovnik this summer, the planes were empty rather than full, as confirmed by statistics. The decrease in the number of passengers at Dubrovnik Airport is 88.6 percent compared to 2019.

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Source: Zadar Airport

Traffic also dropped drastically at Zadar Airport, but not as much as in Pula. These two Croatian airports have been competing in the number of passengers for several years, and the difference between them is relatively small. Nevertheless, in 2020, Zadar accepted almost 40,000 more passengers than Pula. Zadar Airport recorded a drop in the number of passengers of 84.93 percent compared to 2019, and Pula Airport 89.6 percent.

In 2019, Rijeka Airport finally exceeded 200,000 passengers for the first time in its history. Still, the numbers dropped drastically in 2020 as many airlines have given up on introducing seasonal routes to this airport due to the global pandemic. Rijeka Airport thus recorded a decrease in the number of passengers of 86.22 percent compared to 2019.

In 2020, Osijek Airport had only domestic PSO (Public Service Obligation) lines and the Eurowings line to Stuttgart, but only in August. It recorded a decrease in the number of passengers of 85.72 percent compared to the previous 2019.

Brač Airport also recorded a decline in the number of passengers in 2020. A slightly more significant number of passengers was recorded only in July and August, but these are also modest numbers compared to the 2019 summer season.

You can see the graphs of the 2020 traffic from all Croatian airports at Croatian Aviation.

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Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Flights to Croatia: LOT Temporarily Suspends Warsaw-Zagreb

December 23, 2020 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Polish airline LOT temporarily suspends Warsaw-Zagreb from mid-January.

Croatian Aviation reports that from mid-January 2021, the Polish airline LOT will temporarily suspend traffic on the Warsaw-Zagreb line.

Namely, from January 13, the Polish national carrier will stop traffic on the Warsaw - Zagreb - Warsaw route.

LOT Polish Airlines launched its regular route between Warsaw and Zagreb this summer after completing the lockdown, and the line continued to operate in the winter flight schedule after October this year.

However, due to the development of the epidemiological situation, reduced demand, and the introduction of restrictive measures, the airline will suspend traffic between the capitals of Poland and Croatia for just over a month and a half.

The Warsaw - Zagreb - Warsaw line will operate until January 13, 2021, and by that date, the airline will perform 8 return flights and offer a total of 1120 seats in both directions. From January 13 to March 1, 2021, the airline will not operate on this line, and in that period, there will be no direct flights between the two mentioned cities.

On the eight return flights in January, LOT will operate E170 aircraft with a capacity of 70 passengers.

The temporary suspension of the Polish national airline is not a surprise; the company is not satisfied with the occupancy of the aircraft on this route, which is expected at the moment.

Zagreb Airport will temporarily be without another foreign airline from mid-January. Recall, many other foreign airlines have temporarily suspended flights to Zagreb in the winter flight schedule this year.

From March 1, 2021, LOT plans to resume traffic on the line to Zagreb with four flights a week, the realization of which will depend, above all, on the epidemiological situation that directly affects passenger demand.

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Monday, 21 December 2020

Senior State Officials Receive Bronze Medallist Women's Handball Team

ZAGREB, Dec 21, 2020 - After being welcomed at Zagreb airport, the bronze medallist national women's handball team was received at the National and University Library by President Zoran Milanovic, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, and Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac.

Milanovic underscored that the handball team played intelligently. "If I were to compare that to Greek mythology, you would be something between Odysseus and Achilles. Neither the strongest nor the biggest but the best. You had against you Cyclopses who underestimated you. I noticed that that bothered you a lot. Considering I know the Danes, that doesn't surprise me. They are combative and think that weight and size can outwit intelligence and dexterity," said Milanovic.

"Thank you for the joy of the game because sport is first and foremost a game, a love, a passion and only then a state and a nation," he added.

Jandrokovic said that the team brought some joy in these difficult times. "Your victory and success are all the greater because we didn't expect them and there is nothing better in sport then when you are underestimated and arrive as an outsider and then achieve such a great result," he underscored.

Plenkovic said that he followed their games with great pride.

"You have made all of Croatia proud. Thank you for a beautiful sport story. I am truly happy that the women's national team has joined the success of men's handball. Thank you once again and sincere congratulations," said Plenkovic.

Minister Brnjac congratulated the team for this historic medal. "You have confirmed that athletes are our best and greatest ambassadors. This medal has brought us optimism and hope in these times," said Brnjac, congratulating coach Nenad Sostaric and his associates.

Croatia won the bronze medal at the European Women's Handball Championship in Denmark on Sunday after beating the hosts 25-19.

This is the first medal for the Croatian national women's handball team in major competitions.

Croatia has not competed in world women's handball championships since 2011.

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Flights to Croatia: Turkish Airlines Announces More Flights to Zagreb in January

December 17, 2020 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Turkish Airlines announces more flights to Zagreb in January.

Croatian Aviation reports that Turkish national airline Turkish Airlines has announced its flight schedule for January 2021. Zagreb will be better connected with Turkey's largest city in the first half of January.

Turkish Airlines will offer significantly more flights to Zagreb compared to December this year. From January 1, the number of flights will increase briefly, until January 18, 2020. 

From Friday, January 1, to Sunday, January 3, the Turkish national airline will operate four return flights to Zagreb, with two flights announced for Sunday, in the morning and the evening.

From Monday, January 4, to Sunday, January 10, the airline will have seven return flights to Zagreb, with two daily flights available on Monday and Sunday and one on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Depending on the day, flights operate in the morning or evening.

From Monday, January 11, to Sunday, January 17, Turkish Airlines will operate five return flights, one on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

From January 18 to 31, the number of flights will return to current levels, and Turkish Airlines will operate between Istanbul and Zagreb four times a week, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

However, thanks to the increase in the number of operations from January 1 to 17, Turkish Airlines will have more than 8,100 seats on sale between Zagreb and Istanbul in January next year, which increases capacity compared to December by almost 30%.

Given the excellent occupancy of aircraft on this route, the move by Turkish Airlines is no surprise. Aircraft type B737-800 has been announced for morning flights, while aircraft of higher capacity - A321 - will operate on the afternoon or evening rotation.

It should also be emphasized that the Airbus A321 has a capacity of 51.70 cubic meters of cargo space, which is important for all freight forwarders operating at Zagreb Airport and transporting cargo to and from Asian countries with Turkish Airlines. The cargo space of the B737-800 aircraft is slightly smaller and amounts to 44.1 cubic meters.

Turkish Airlines is also announcing four flights a week between Zagreb and Istanbul in February. Still, the flight schedule is subject to change and will depend on the epidemiological situation that directly affects demand itself.

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