December 10, 2023 – It was the first budget airline in 2007, and Ryanair to Croatia in 2024 looks set to be the busiest yet.
I fondly remember the arrival of Ryanair to Croatia some 16 years ago. Prior to the Irish airline’s arrival to Zadar (from memory, this included demining the airport), my shoulder season options to getting to and from the UK at a normal price were either a Ryanair flight to Trieste and an 11-hour bus ride to Split and ferry to Stari Grad, or a Ryanair flight to Graz, train to Zagreb, bus to Split and ferry to the island.
It is hard to overstate how much Ryanair changed tourism in Zadar in particular, as well as Zagreb a couple of years ago, when a plethora of new routes were opened up. According to the official Ryanair website, Zadar alone will be served with flights from 51 destinations and 19 countries.
From just one airline. Not bad for an airport that was closed 16 years ago.
And with the announcement of a seasonal base in Dubrovnik next year will see flights from 18 countries and 11 destinations.
But it is not just the sexy coastal destinations – Ryanair also operates a direct service from Osijek to London Stansted, a lifeline to an airport that has been almost completely abandoned by Croatia Airlines.
Indeed, Ryanair to Croatia in 2024 will include coverage to all 7 of Croatia’s mainland airports, with some 116 destinations announced so far – a sizable commitment. Here is the breakdown by airport – number of countries followed by number of destinations:
Zagreb – 16 – 31
Dubrovnik – 11 – 18
Split – 3 – 3
Zadar – 19 – 51
Rijeka – 5 – 5
Pula – 5 – 7
Osijek – 1 – 1
I am always a little bemused by the people who trash Ryanair. The level of service they provide is well-known, and a little like those who trash me and my online musing, the answer is the same – one is under no obligation to use either service. Good luck getting to and from many of these destinations with your preferred carrier.