As Ana Blaskovic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the much talked about Zagreb Ryanair arrival was finally confirmed recently following months of speculation, but the Irish company’s arrival in the Croatian capital is also going to take matters a step further because Zagreb is set to become one of the airline’s bases. The investment is worth a massive 200 million dollars, but the company didn’t want to talk about such details, including whether or not this “deal” includes possible subsidies.
The outlines of the initial plan imply that two aircraft will be stationed in Zagreb, which will fly on twelve new routes on up to 36 flights a week. As such, sixty new local jobs in Zagreb will be created.
For now, the only plan is to connect with other international airports, but not domestic flights, although Ryanair isn’t explicitly ruling out this possibility.
The state-owned national airline, Croatia Airlines, which has been suffering since long before the pandemic struck and is frequently accused of charging far, far too much for very basic economy flights, can still breathe a sigh of relief for now. This is because the arrival of such low-cost competition, whose flights from Zagreb will be significantly cheaper for European destinations, will not, at least for the time being, erode domestic revenues.
“With our arrival, the number of passengers is going to increase, and for Zagreb that means more new tourists and new niche tourism as a ”weekend break” destination or a door to other cities. This opens the way for small enterprises to other markets as well, and I believe that this will transform Zagreb,” said the President of the Management Board of Ryanair DAC, Eddie Wilson, at a virtual press conference.
“We’re delighted to have launched a new Croatian base. This development will create more than sixty jobs directly and we’re going to be able to offer our Croatian customers routes to many attractive European destinations this summer, including popular destinations such as Rome, Milan, Paris and London,” said Wilson.
The Zagreb Ryanair arrival will create an impressive twelve new routes
The twelve new routes opening from Zagreb will be to various European destinations, including Paris, London, Rome, Milan, Brussels, Frankfurt Han, then Memmimgem (115 kilometres east of Munich), Karlsruhe, Dortmund, Gothenburg, Oslo Torp and Podgorica. Ryanair’s planes will fly from the new terminal of Zagreb Airport, confirmed the President of the Management Board of Zagreb International Airport, Huseyin Bahadir Bedir.
Along with Zadar, Zagreb is now set to become Ryanair’s second Croatian base, and the total investment here in Croatia reaches about 400 million dollars. In total, Ryanair will have four planes stationed in Croatia, covering Zagreb, Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik.
The Irish airline flies to 240 airports, covers 40 countries on more than 2,000 routes, and by 2026, it expects 200 million passengers and its fleet growth to reach about 600 aircraft.
Back in December last year, 75 new Boeing 737-8200 aircraft were ordered, and the delivery of the first is expected soon. These are the aircraft that Ryanair calls “gamechangers”: with 4 percent more seats, 16 percent less fuel consumption and 40 percent less noise when flying.
Flexibility because of the pandemic
The Zagreb Ryanair arrival and the opening of the Irish company’s new base follows the marketing campaign of the promotional sale of seats at a price of just 151 kuna for travel until the end of March 2022, for which reservations are open until Thursday, April the 1st, 2021, at midnight.
Given the great uncertainty surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Ryanair has left the option of a free flight change in the event of a change of plans until October 2021.
“Keeping in mind that restrictions due to coronavirus change regularly, customers can now book flights for their well-deserved breaks, knowing that if they need to postpone or change their travel date, they can do so twice if they need to with a free flight change until the end of October 2021,” confirmed Wilson.
For all current coronavirus information specific to Croatia, including travel and border rules, as well as testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark this page.