Croatian Aviation reports that though many airlines have announced traffic to Croatian airports from the first day of the summer flight schedule, this likely will not happen. Namely, numerous carriers have canceled all departures until the beginning of May and June, respectively.
Given that the vaccine is slowly distributed in European countries, that the epidemiological picture in many EU member states is still unfavorable, and that the demand for international travel is very low, airlines are delaying the start of traffic on many routes, including those to Croatian airports.
For example, before the pandemic outbreak, Air France announced a second daily flight to Zagreb. Until a few days ago, that second daily flight was available for booking as early as March and April, but now it has been withdrawn from sale and is only available for booking from May 31. Realistically, we can expect a further delay in the implementation of these operations. Passengers who have purchased tickets for that flight will be recruited on an existing Air France flight from Zagreb to Paris.
Germany’s Lufthansa boasted that it plans to introduce several routes that were canceled earlier due to the pandemic as early as the beginning of the summer flight schedule, including the line from Munich to Zagreb. The airline subsequently updated its flight schedule and again canceled all announced flights on this route until May 1. Although Croatia Airlines offers flights on this route, Croatian Aviation believes that they will also be canceled, which has been the case since the pandemic outbreak.
However, Lufthansa is offering flights from the first day of the summer flight schedule (March 28) on the Frankfurt – Zagreb route, but in the next month, these flights may also be withdrawn from sale.
Austrian Airlines is the only one to announce its flight schedule to Croatia and claim that they do not intend to cancel flights to Croatian destinations again but have reduced the number of weekly flights until the peak season.
KLM previously announced a second daily flight to Zagreb from mid-February, but that also failed to take off. The airline is currently offering a second daily flight to the Croatian capital from March 2, but currently only on certain days, not every day as originally announced.
British Airways first offered direct flights between London and Zagreb for February before all flights were canceled and withdrawn from sale. Now, the first flight is available for booking only on March 29. The chances that BA will further delay the start of traffic to Zagreb are high.
Low-cost carriers are also delaying the start of operations. Ryanair, for example, has postponed traffic on almost all lines to Croatia until May, and Volotea plans to do the same.
There is no doubt that all flights of the mentioned airlines will come to fruition, but obviously only in the peak of the summer season when the tourist demand for Croatia can fill the carriers’ offered capacities.