Starting from March 26, 2018, Ryanair will be introducing new flights from Frankfurt to three Croatian cities.
The low cost carrier will soon introduce two flights a week from the main airport in Frankfurt to Rijeka, Pula and Zadar, and will also keep operating from Hahn Airport to Zadar and Pula, reported EX-YU Aviation News on September 13, 2017. Ryanair is about to compete against Croatia Airlines and Lufthansa, both of whom are currently offering two weekly services from Pula to Frankfurt; Croatia Airlines also offers flights from Zadar to Frankfurt.
Frankfurt will thus get its first low cost carrier and become Ryanair’s ninth base in Germany. It will also be the sixteenth destination Ryanair will connect with Zadar, fourth in Pula and second in Rijeka.
It’s worth noting Ryanair still hasn’t introduced flights to the two most popular tourist destinations in Croatia, Split and Dubrovnik. The airline has been negotiating with both hotspot airports, but they stand by their decision not to reduce fees in order to accommodate the low cost carrier. Frano Luetić, the Deputy Director General at Dubrovnik Airport, said they have been in talks with Ryanair for over a decade, but are not about to change their stance. “Ryanair is more than welcome in Dubrovnik but under the same conditions as the other sixty airlines operating here. We are strong and united in this regard, hence, we would not want to destroy the excellent relations we have with other carriers in order to post big numbers”, he stated.
As Ryanair requested for the fees to be reduced and for the signing of a multi-year agreement prior to starting operations from both cities, Split Airport also refused to accomodate their conditions. General Manager Lukša Novak stated they have held meetings with Ryanair, but will not be changing their policy. “Neither Split nor Dubrovnik need to stimulate carriers during the season as traffic continues to grow. That would only create a mess on the market. We are always open for talks, but we do not intend on changing our business policy”, said Novak.
At this moment, Ryanair is the fifth biggest carrier in Croatia regarding the number of weekly departing seats. They operate on a seasonal basis, providing services from Croatia to twenty destinations only in the summer.