Flight Cancellations to Croatia: Zadar & Tracking Ryanair Website

Total Croatia News

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March 8, 2020 – As airlines announce many flight cancellations due to the coronavirus, how is Croatia affected with the crucial tourism season about to start? Some hints from the Ryanair Croatia booking engine.  

A lot of people have contacted me recently asking me to write something about coronavirus and the upcoming tourist season in Croatia. This is a very sensitive time, with so many rumours, theories and panic due to the coronavirus, and I am aware that the information put out by this portal is widely read these days, and it therefore comes with a responsibility. 

Regarding coronavirus, I am firmly in the Jurgen Klopp school of thought on this. Just as the Liverpool coach can’t understand why his opinion is important, as he is a football coach, not a medical expert, so too with me. I could write something clickbaity which I am sure would be shared and I would make some ad revenue, or I could write something soothing to make feel better, but as I am not an expert, it is better I write nothing at all in terms of opinions, and stick to reporting the facts. And the facts about coronavirus in Croatia at time of writing, is that we have 12 confirmed cases, all of which seem mild, in Varazdin, Rijeka and Zagreb only. All the major Croatian coastal tourist destinations are coronavirus-free at time of writing.

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The fallout from the virus is going to – is already – have a big impact on the tourist season. Stories of Lufthansa possibly cutting up to half of their flights worldwide are pretty scary for the global economy, tourism and otherwise. But how are things in Croatia? Are airlines cancelling flights en masse?

Several people sent me emails similar to this, above, communications from budget airlines such as Lauda and Ryanair about cancelled flights to or from Zadar in April or May, 2020. The reason for the cancellation cited was “due to the impact of COVID-19.” Were airlines really cancelling flights two months in advance?

The Internet is a wonderful thing, and these days it is relatively easy to check such things. I decided to check out the booking engine of Ryanair, one of the major budget airline players in Croatia, whose flights service Pula, Rijeka, Split and Dubrovnik, with the largest number of flights going to Zadar. People had contacted me with details of flights cancelled from Zadar to both Paris and Dublin in April and May. I decided to go through the Ryanair site and look for cancelled flights. What I found was interesting. 

Flights to Split, Dubrovnik, Pula and Rijeka had NO cancelled flights whatsoever. Not one. Some sample starting dates for seasonal lines, including to Split today;

March 8, 2020 – Split – Stuttgart

March 29, 2020 – Pula – London

March 30, 2020 – Pula – Brussels

March 29, 2020 – Pula – Frankfurt

March 29, 2020 – Dubrovnik – Vienna

With Zadar, however, the situation was a little different. There have been several cancellations, even one in June. Not a huge number, but across several destinations. It should be remembered that there are a lot more Ryanair flights to Zadar than any other Croatian destination. 


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Some examples of cancellations – one flight from Liverpool in May.

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Two from Brussels. 

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Two from Dublin. 

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One from Paris. 


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And interestingly, one in June from Stuttgart.

I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged that so few flights have been cancelled. This could, of course, change quickly, and a good way to check the latest situation is to check the booking engine yourself for destinations. 

I asked the aviation experts at ch-aviation for a comment, as their insights are a lot more valid than mine:

They are cutting capacity blaming a lack of demand, with flights with the lowest number of advance booking being cut. That is what all of the other carriers are doing as well, as demand has really plummeted and people are either not booking at all, changing dates or simply not showing up for departures. It is probably an unprecedented situation in recent European airline history in the sense that it is very unpredictable for airlines to see what the medium-term demand effects are. I suspect it will become a big legal argument in courts whether or not people can claim compensation for these cancelled flights when there is no government mandate or travel warning in place to ban flights.

It is a subject we will keep an eye on and report accordingly – if anyone has any insights to contribute, please contact us on [email protected] Subject Flights. 

For the latest flight news to Croatia, check out the dedicated TCN section.

Article Update (reader contribution)

Your article is helpful but also misleading.
We were booked Dublin to Zadar return going out on first flight of the season on 29th March. (We have boat in Croatia)
Yesterday, we were told both flights were cancelled.
On Ryanair website first flight to Zadar from Dublin is now 1st May., over one month later.
So obviously a lot more than 2 flights cancelled as you stated.
Hopefully this will be resolved soon, we absolutely love Croatia.
Best regards,

Second reader update


I have a correction to make regarding your latest article regarding flight cancelations, where you said that flights to split are not affected. I had a flight Stg- Split beginning of April which got cancelled, and I can confirm first hand info that return flights from Fuerteventura to Stuttgart end of March got canceled, the flight to Fuerteventura next week however didn’t. My conclusion was they set a date end of March where they’d cancel most of their European lines, but I guess we’ll see 😉


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