Korean Air Zagreb Service Delayed Again, Air Canada Rouge to Resume in 2021

Daniela Rogulj

April 17, 2020 – After the news that Emirates would delay its Zagreb-Dubai service from May to July, Korean Air and Air Canada Rouge announced changes in their services to the Croatian capital.

Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports that while Korean Air originally planned to resume operations in June, the non-stop service between Seoul and Zagreb is now delayed until September due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bookings are closed until September 1.

Ex Yu Aviation adds that Korean Air will resume the service with three flights per week, with departures from Seoul on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

The route will operate with the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, with capacity for 269 passengers, and could potentially work into the winter months. 

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Korean Air will put 70% of its 19,000 staff members on temporary leave from April 16 until the middle of October. Furthermore, 390 foreign pilots are on three months of unpaid leave from April 1. The airline has also suspended more than 90% of its flights on international routes and currently only maintains services Paris and London.

Korean Air will, however, offer alternatives to Zagreb via other European destinations until September. 

“We will see what happens with this entire situation. We sincerely hope that all of this will be over as soon as possible and for us to be able to resume normal operations to some extent in April,” Zagreb Airport said at the beginning of April. The airport is currently only handling flights from Croatia Airlines and Eurowings and is the only airport with commercial flights in Croatia and the wider region at the moment. 

Furthermore, Ex Yu Aviation reports that while operations were to resume on June 4 this year, Air Canada Rouge will not run between Toronto and Zagreb this summer, with services expected to resume in 2021. Its other seasonal summer flights in the region have also been canceled.

“Passengers will still be able to reach Zagreb from Toronto with Air Canada thanks to its wide-ranging codeshare partnership with Croatia Airlines, once both carriers resume the majority of their operations. Air Canada codeshares on its counterparts’ flights from Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, London Heathrow, Paris and Zurich to the Croatian capital. At this point, the Canadian carrier plans to resume services to these European destinations in June and July. Air Canada is not offering refunds for cancelled flights but is instead providing credits which can be used for another flight within the next 24 months. The Canadian Transportation Agency says airlines are not obliged to pay back passengers for trips suspended due to the coronavirus and “should not be expected to take steps that could threaten their economic viability,” writes Ex Yu Aviation. 

The Air Transat service between Toronto and Zagreb, however, is still scheduled to resume flights on June 2.

Recall, Ex Yu Aviation reported last week that Emirates delayed the start date of its daily seasonal service between Dubai and Zagreb from May 1 to July 1, 2020, instead of suspending the service for an entire year, as many others have thus far. 

“Emirates has published a tentative schedule outlining its operations for the coming months. The airline is expected to resume the majority of its services, albeit at a reduced frequency, from late May and early June. Starting July, flights to Zagreb will be maintained on a daily basis with the carrier’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which has the capacity to seat 354 passengers. Further changes remain possible,” writes Ex Yu Aviation on its website. 

Flydubai, Emirates partner, which runs to Dubrovnik, will resume regular services “when the time is right”, but until then, it will fly for repatriation purposes. Flydubai has been operating repatriation flights to Zagreb over the last few weeks for travelers to continue to their destinations via Croatia Airlines flights.

“We look forward to resuming our operations when the time is right and we are working closely with the authorities,” said Chief Commercial Officer, Hamad Obaidalla.

American Airlines and Qatar Airways are suspending their seasonal services to Dubrovnik until 2021. 

Croatia Airlines has suspended operations to London Heathrow until at least April 19, though the national carrier is still operating flights to Frankfurt and Brussels. 

Lufthansa Group confirmed the Germanwings closurewhich is another important player in the Croatian low-cost market, and AirBaltic has canceled the newly announced flights between Lithuania and Croatia. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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