Flights to Croatia: ‘New’ Alitalia Planning Zagreb Route

Daniela Rogulj

July 19, 2019 – A new route between Zagreb and Rome could be on the horizon if the bankrupt Alitalia is successful in their plans to re-establish themselves as a lucrative European airline. 

Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports that the Alitalia transport group and Delta Air Lines have been named partners to rescue the struggling Alitalia and have announced a 3-year development deal, which would begin in 2020. In their plans, Alitalia would initiate flights between Rome and Zagreb and boost seasonal operations to Split and Dubrovnik. 

You might recall that the flagship carrier maintained two flights a day to Zagreb until they went bankrupt in 2008. They even planned on reinstating flights to Zagreb five years ago though they were unsuccessful. A line between Zagreb and Rome could be useful, considering Croatia Airlines currently operates no nonstop flights from the Italian capital to the Croatian capital. 

Furthermore, in 2018, 1,148,078 Italians visited Croatia, which is an increase of 3.4% from 2017. The Zagreb Tourist Board also recently reported that Italy is the fifth largest market for arrivals to the capital, and the third-largest for overnights. 

However, nothing will be known about the potential of Alitalia until at least September 15 this year, when Italy’s state railway Ferrovie dello Stato must present a business plan and offer for the ailing airline. 

Recall, Alitalia declared bankruptcy in 2008, and not even an investment from Etihad could save it from bankruptcy again in 2017. The Italian airline has named its struggles in competing against low-cost airlines as the reason. 

Apart from Zagreb, the ‘new’ Alitalia should also operate from Rome to Vienna and Budapest, and will switch its focus to boosting long-haul routes while eliminating their unsuccessful ones. 

Alitalia also currently codeshares on the Air Serbia service between Belgrade and the Croatian capital.

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