For years, Zagreb did not have a low-cost carrier of note, save for a couple of (often seasonal) routes.
The arrival of Ryanair, which established a base in the Croatian capital in 2021, changed all that.
The strongest challenge that Croatia Airlines has perhaps faced, the Irish airline started with a very impressive schedule, connecting Zagreb dozens of destinations all over Europe.
Last year, the low-cost carrier noted:
“Currently, we are really satisfied with the majority of the markets served out of Zagreb. For example, the UK market performs really well, as well as Ireland with the Dublin route. Then we see German markets, Swedish markets … so we are very happy with the current demand. There are some tourist destinations in the future that are of interest to us too. We really believe that Zagreb can be attractive all-year round, not just for families and the diaspora, but for tourists as well, so we want to use all these opportunities in the future”.
And it seems that not only has Ryanair been a big success, but Zagreb Airport has announced incentives to attract flights to 16 additional destinations.
As ExYuAviation reports, Ryanair served some 816,500 passengers on 23 of its 27 Zagreb routes last year, in numbers recently posted. More than 100,000 of those were carried on the most successful route – from London Stansted to Zagreb, followed by Bergamo, Charleroi, Malta and Gothenburg. Data for two routes the Irish carrier competes with Croatia Airlines – Rome and Dublin – were not posted, and seasonal routes to Brindisi and Corfu were also missing. The routes with the east traffic were Sofia, Bratislava, Sandefjord, and Thessaloniki.
Meanwhile, Zagreb Airport will introduce a new incentive scheme on June 1, aiming to connect more European capitals.
“The Connecting Capital Cities Incentive Model is designed to link Zagreb to unserved capital cities located in the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA) member states, as well as Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine and Moldova, which have signed a Common Aviation Area Agreement with the European Union”, the airport said. Routes that will be eligible for incentives are those from Zagreb to Prague, Tallinn, Berlin, Budapest, Riga, Vilnius, Luxembourg, Stockholm (Arlanda or Skavsta airports), Tirana, Pristina, Reykjavik, Tbilisi, Kiev, Chisinau and Yerevan.
The low-cost airline revolution in Croatia continues.
Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.