Although Ryanair officially opened its base in Zadar at the beginning of July, announcing 78 weekly flights to 37 destinations, 17 of which are new, by the middle of the first working week, the largest European airline had to postpone the start of three new routes and reduce the number of rotations on two existing lines to the UK, reports Zadarski.hr.
The lines to Edinburgh, Newcastle, and Liverpool, which were supposed to be established from the first of July, have been postponed until the beginning of September, and the number of rotations on the lines to Manchester and London Stansted has been reduced from four to two a week.
Ryanair did not publish the information on postponing the lines on its official website, though it was learned by people in Zadar who booked tickets for Edinburgh in July and August. The company informed them that the lines were canceled, and reservations were not accepted until September.
“Ryanair has postponed the start of certain routes to the UK, so instead of July 1, the routes to Edinburgh and Liverpool, which were supposed to fly twice a week, and Newcastle, which was supposed to go once a week, will start on September 1. In addition, the lines to Manchester and London Stansted are already running but have been reduced from four to two weeks of rotation,” confirmed Nikola Barač from Zadar Airport.
Although they are not sure at Zadar Airport why there was a delay and reduction of flights to Great Britain, they assume that the reason is the epidemiological restrictions that await all passengers upon arrival.
“Ryanair has not informed Zadar Airport of the reasons for the reduction of flights to the UK. However, since passengers must be in a ten-day quarantine upon arrival in the UK, it can be assumed that the cause of the decline in interest in these flights is the epidemiological measures in force in the UK,” Zadar Airport points out.
The news of postponing Ryanair’s flights to Great Britain in July and August resonated negatively in the Zadar area, which has been developing its tourist offer for the last ten years thanks to the guests of low-cost airlines. The Association of Private Accommodation Landlords president in Zadar, Daniel Radeta, was surprised by the information.
“It is definitely a blow for this tourist season in which we have already gone deep. There is no going back. This is devastating information given the circumstances, more precisely the new bans introduced by the Civil Protection Headquarters, and concern only Zadar County,” said Radeta, adding that “northern” tourists are among the best when it comes to spending power. He believes that the delay in flights will definitely lead to the cancellation of reservations in private accommodation.
“When it comes to Zadar County, the British make up a substantial share of tourists precisely because of the connection via airlines. In addition, they are among the largest consumers, so the delay of flights in July and August, the two strongest months of the season, will definitely affect the season result. It will certainly not be what we thought,” Radeta points out, adding that this move by Ryanair is not only a blow to renters but the entire tourism sector in the area of Zadar, but also neighboring counties where Ryanair’s guests went. Therefore, he points out that the tourist boards should have put more effort into facilitating the arrival of guests in Zadar and how to ensure their safe arrival and departure, at least in the form of a rapid antigen test. “This would make a difference compared to other destinations in the country,” says Radeta, who also referred to the latest decision of the Headquarters on the ban on holding concerts and similar events in places where it is not possible to keep records of guests.
“Such decisions greatly affect tourists who thought to visit our county. Before arriving at a destination, tourists read about what is happening there, and according to the headquarters’ decisions, they think that we are falling on the road because of COVID-19. The tourist community now only cares about its program, which until recently they did not even have, and they should worry about attracting tourists to our destination. Now the most important thing for them is that their festivals are held at the Forum. Some have the right to everything, and some to nothing,” Radeta estimates.
The Zadar County Tourist Board director, Mihaela Kadija, did not have information about the cancellation of lines for Great Britain during the two peak summer months.
“I am sorry, but I am not surprised by such a decision of the airline due to the epidemiological restrictions that some countries have for their own and other citizens. Even before July 1, when they officially opened their base in Zadar, Ryanair had 13 open flights from Zadar. Still, the aviation industry is specific, and in such pandemic, conditions are susceptible to any changes,” said Kadija, who does not think that due to fewer arrivals, guests from the UK season be less successful.
Guests from the UK are always welcome, but I don’t think they will significantly affect the season’s success. Our traditional markets are Germany, Austria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and Poland. Those markets are stable for now, and I don’t think this flight delay will have an overly negative impact on this year’s tourism results.
The introduction of restrictive measures by the Zadar headquarters due to the growing number of new cases is also welcomed.
“That was the right and the only possible decision in the current situation of increasing the number of newly infected. When we had about 20 patients daily, Germany put us on the orange list. After that, the number of patients per day rose to 40 and more. Normally we should not allow such a spread of infection because our guests are looking for safety, not risk, and places where measures are not being followed. That is why I welcome the decision of the staff. If people adhere to the measures, we have the opportunity to have a great season,” said Kadija, emphasizing that the number of guests in June was over 40 percent higher than last year at the same time. July.
As of July 1, 37 destinations were available from Zadar on Ryanair’s direct flights, of which 17 were new.
Austria: Vienna; Belgium: Brussels Charleroi; Czech Republic: Prague; Denmark: Aarhus; France: Paris Beauvais, Marseille; Germany: Berlin, Bremen, Cologne, Dusseldorf Weeze, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Memmingen; Hungary: Budapest; Ireland: Dublin; Italy: Bari, Bologna, Milan Bergamo, Naples, Rome Ciampino; The Netherlands: Eindhoven, Maastricht; Poland: Gdansk, Krakow, Poznan, Warsaw, Wroclaw; Romania: Bucharest; Sweden: Gothenburg, Stockholm Skvasta, Vaxjo; United Kingdom: Edinburgh, Liverpool, London Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle.
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