The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) green list means unhindered movement without the risk of COVID-19 infection, and that is exactly what Croatia wants to be this summer, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.
After Croatian counties were made green by Switzerland and almost entirely by Germany (except Varaždin and Međimurje), it is expected that a good epidemiological picture will remain in force, which is a basic prerequisite for more intensive tourist trips to the Adriatic.
They are also hoping for that at Split Airport, which received about 10,000 passengers last weekend, mostly in 55 large commercial aircraft, 2,000 more than the previous one.
“That number of flights is not small. If we know that companies have to take care of occupancy (this factor is significant because they will not fly if the plane is empty), then this is a good indicator, because last weekend we had a larger number of passengers on a similar number of flights, which is a sign that occupancy is better. And that again gives hope that all these flights will stay, and the companies will increase their number,” said Pero Bilas, assistant director of Split Airport, where, of course, projections have already been made for this summer.
“If the favorable epidemiological situation is maintained from June to September, i.e., in the four peak months, we can expect approximately 800 thousand passengers. This can be divided so that there are ninety to one hundred thousand of them in June and the same number during September, and about three hundred thousand in July and August. However, the projection contains several elements, and one of them is that companies have the right to cancel the announced capacities up to 50 percent. But the first and basic condition, without which one cannot do, is the epidemiological picture. We need to stay green. Without that, there is nothing,” adds the assistant director.
May, in which the turnover of approximately 33 thousand passengers was realized, with 14 markets in which 15 airlines flew, was a good announcement of what awaits us in the coming period. Although the Airport is already recording an increase in traffic in the first half of June, confirmations of flight announcements for longer than three weeks are ungrateful given the changing variability of the epidemiological situation in Croatia and the world.
“In May, we had 14 markets, and now, in June, we are at 24. This is almost the whole of Europe, along with Russia, Ukraine, and Serbia. And that’s great considering the circumstances. We will now have 30 to 40 airlines, which have traditionally flown to us. Croatia is open, there is exceptional interest, desire, and will, but currently, a situation is in force when you offer something and wait for a reaction,” explains Pero Bilas. He says that it is excellent that Germany and Switzerland have put us on the green list and that we currently share the same fate with similar countries, such as Spain, France, Italy, Greece.
But the big question mark remains the UK market. Rising numbers of those infected and hospitalized because of COVID 19 are a subject of ‘serious concern,’ British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last weekend, acknowledging that he was less optimistic about opening the country than he was in May. Recall, on May 17, Brits could start hanging out indoors, in restaurants, pubs.
“It is clear that the Indian variant is more contagious, and it is also true that the numbers are growing and that the level of hospitalizations is rising,” said the Prime Minister for Sky News.
“And now we have the following situation with Brits – we have been quite open since the beginning of April, but the catch is in their return to their own country. They need a negative PCR test at boarding, not older than 48 hours, then isolation, and again a PCR test after two and eight days. When you add up the time, cost, and energy invested in a return, it’s complicated for people. In addition, the number of infected people, regardless of vaccination, is growing slightly. Obviously, this Indian strain is spreading. And I don’t have to tell you what the British market is to us. London has been our number one destination for decades, and it will definitely be felt in Split,” says the assistant director of Split Airport.
From July 5, three flights from Amsterdam to Split
Optimism, for example, is fueled by the news that the Dutch national airline Royal Dutch Airlines is introducing a third daily flight between Amsterdam and Split on 5 July. The KLM plane will arrive at the Split Airport in the evening (21.40), and after spending the night in Split, it will fly back to Amsterdam at 6.45.
On the other hand, the Irish airline Aer Lingus has suspended sales on almost all routes from Dublin and Cork to Croatia for this summer season. The Dublin – Split – Dublin line, previously announced three times a week, has also been withdrawn from sale, and the Cork – Dubrovnik – Cork line is no longer on sale. The only line on which Aer Lingus still allows you to buy a ticket between Dublin and Dubrovnik. However, Croatian airports are already connected to Dublin with other airlines (Croatia Airlines, Ryanair). Many Croatian emigrants in Ireland decide to travel by transfer, especially via Amsterdam with the Dutch KLM, due to lower air ticket prices.
Dubrovnik has 32 lines
Dubrovnik Airport has 32 domestic and international routes from 16 to 30 June this year. In the mentioned period, Dubrovnik will be connected with Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Belgrade, Berlin, Vienna, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Helsinki, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Prague, Rome, Stockholm, and Zurich. At the beginning of July, it will establish regular lines to New York.
EasyJet has four lines to Split
British EasyJet has announced a significantly higher number of routes to Croatian airports since the end of June. The company currently has four routes only to Split Airport (from Basel, London, Berlin, and Geneva) and will continue to operate on them in the coming weeks. In addition, from the end of June, there will be five more lines in operation: Amsterdam – Split, Bristol – Split – Bristol, Lyon – Split – Lyon, Paris – Split, and Orly – Split – Orly. By the end of this month, EasyJet will, according to current plans, resume traffic to the other three Croatian airports – Dubrovnik, Zadar, and Pula.
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