Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rijeka poised for a comeback

Soon in Rijeka
In the past 2 years Rijeka Airport has seen sliding passenger numbers and income while its counterparts across the nation reported record growth. However, the airport’s fortunes are expected to change this summer. Last year, Rijeka Airport’s management rejected Ryanair’s terms to commence flights to the island airport, however, it did not wish to make the same mistake again. From April 15 Ryanair will operate flights from London Stansted Airport and Stockholm Skvasta Airport 2 time per week, every Monday and Friday until the end of the summer season, in October. Rijeka was forced to make many concessions to the world’s largest low cost airline. A total of 250.000 Euros was paid to promote Rijeka on Ryanair’s website and another 62.500 for the flights themselves. Tickets can be booked from Monday on Ryanair’s website.

Ryanair won’t be the only airline flying out of Rijeka this summer. Croatia Airlines will compete with the no frills carrier on the London service while others will operate flights to Gothenburg, Riga, Bucharest and Moscow. According to the airport’s management, talks are already underway for new flights to be initiated during the 2012 summer season.

As a result, Rijeka expects to see an influx of much needed tourists in the coming summer.


  1. Something much more dynamic is affecting RJK Airport at last.
    From my point of view I see Beograd and Barcelona flights feasible as well. JAT and/or Vueling to Krk Island too?

  2. Local tourist offices and Croatian tourist board will spend 4,5 million kuna (600.000 EUR) to help these routes. And even with that they will open just 30.000 possible seats. That is approximately 20 EUR per seat. Anyway result will be far away from one few years ago, and Rijeka has to work hard next few years.

  3. Any airport that chooses to play with Ryanair needs to know they are playing with fire

  4. Great news for RJK and for the region too, can't wait to see the numbers by the end of the season.

    Hope Ryanair will add other destinations from/to RJK and PUY. I am sure that other UK airports would do great too, Glasgow-Prestwick, Belfast, Brussels Charleroi, East Midlands,Liverpool, etc and other Ryanair bases eg. Rygge, Dublin, Cork, Weeze, etc, and other destinations where FR fly form but that are not bases

  5. Last summer, RJK had weekly F100 by Helvetic to Zurich, and 2 weekly Norwegian's B733 to Oslo. These 2 haven't been confirmed for this summer, as well as charters by Arkia on ERJ to TelAviv (once weekly last summer).

    Air Berlin (ex-HLX, ex-Tuifly), will operate 5 weekly B738 to Cologne and 3 weekly to Stuttgart, as well as 1 weekly to Munster. Last year, they had 2 weekly to Hannover as well, but they are still not confirmed for this summer).

    In addition to Ryanair's 2 weekly to Stansted and 2 to Stockholm, Scandjet will also operate weekly to Stockholm and to Gothenburg, Ural Air weekly to Moscow, Tarom to Bucharest and there will be flight to Riga, I forgot the name of carrier, but it's not Airbaltic, which operated last summer.

    What I think RJK is missing, is morning and evening flight to/from DBV, at least twice weekly on same days( 4 flights, or more), as well as flights to ex-yu destinations like SJJ, OMO, BEG, INI, PRN, TGD, SKP. Also, some charters to UK, cities other than London, then possibly to Spain and France, and PRG, WAW, KBP...

    Another scheduled service which could prove profitable and useful could be Austrian to Vienna, with smaller aircraft, on daily bases. Of course, I expect Ryanair to continue with new destinations, as they usually do.

    Let's hope some of these will be realized, under new management, and new legislative concerning HR airports.

    By the way - it's highly likely that European Coastal Airways will start operations with hydroplanes this summer along croatian coast. Maybie EX-YU Aviation could give us some information about it here soon.

  6. ORD via YYZ!?

  7. Pozdrav iz Rijeka,

    What about flights to Russia? You would assume these would be popular given the large amount of visitors to the area from Russia.

    I think Rijeka could sustain all year round flights to London and Frankfurt.

    Also, Krk Island would be a prime location for an impressive golf course and resort and maybe even a casino or two. Large Island, apart from the airport it doesn’t really seemed to be used that much. That is as long as the brown bears don’t get in the way.

  8. @ Q400

    Love your comment and you made me laugh with you last sentence :-)

    Tru, London and another major airport would definitely work out all year around for RJK

    We are still waiting for ADMIN to put these FR flights on the list

  9. Let's hope the money coughed up for FR pays off for the airport, who have really been in dire straits of late.

    How many flights did the old JU operate pre-war on BEG-RJK? I can find a daily DC9 in operation in 1977/78, I assume this continued through to 1990. This could be another interesting route for someone (esp OU or JU with 70-seat prop) to reopen for tourism purposes, perhaps 2/3 times weekly.

  10. @ Anonymous above,

    I hear you can still spot the occasional brown bear crossing the bridge which connects the island to the main land. Don't know how true this is but it would be a great site.

  11. For the record, Ryanair is not the world's largest low cost airline...Southwest is...

  12. great news however I believe some investment into MALI LOSINJ would be beneficial greatly. When will Ryanair start flying to south Croatia. Maybee Ploce airport or Brac ?

  13. @ frequentflyer

    years 1979-1989, JAT operated, all-year-round twice daily services BEG-PUY-RJK-BEG (morning, JU 716),and BEG-RJK-PUY-BEG (evening, JU 718). Most of operations in winter were on DC-9, and during summer on B737/B727.

    In addition to that, during summer timetable, there was morning monday flight on B707/B727/B737 Beg-Rjk, on going to LHR-ZAD-LHR-RJK, and in the evening RJK-BEG

    On saturday, DC-9 flew Beg-Rjk, operating charters to UK from RJK on saturdays and sundays, flying back RJK-BEG sunday evening

    Wednesday and sunday there were flights on B727 Beg-Rjk in morning, operating charters to FRA/DUS/CGN, flying back to BEG
    wed and sun evening.

    Finally, on thursdays morning there was Beg-RJk flight, proceding to SPU-DBV, and coming back DBV-SPU-RJK-BEG in evening. This service used to be operated by ATR/S1-11(tarom lease)/DC-9.

    During shorter period of time JAT also had BEG-SJJ-RJK-SJJ-BEG flights on monday and friday, on DC-9, and charters RJK-SKP, same equipment.

    Hope you'll be satisfied with my answer, Ciao!

  14. @ Q400

    I'm not going to discuss golf or casinos on this site. Concerning brown bears, I'll have to disappoint you - I've been fortunate enough not to have seen one in my lifetime ( and I'm not exactly a teen-age).

    Now Russians: you are wrong, in islands of Krk, Cres, Losinj, Rab, Opatija riviera, Vinodolska rivijera, city of Rijeka and Gorski Kotar -area "covered" by RJK apt- russians make 0,5 % of all tourist traffic. They come to Istria much much more and use PUY apt which is closer and bigger.

  15. @ Anonymous after Vladimir

    Ploce airport has been closed for air traffic for at least 3 years. Industrial zone is on the spot where it used to be.

    Both Brac and Losinj have too short runways for B738, which Ryanair operates. And, as far as I know for Losinj, runway will remain inadequate and too short for all "bigger" jets, even after its extension and modernization.

    However, it's not imposssible to see FR in SPU or DBV as well, within year or two.

  16. @ Everyone except Pozdrav iz Rijeka (it's about golf courses and casinos)

    I know at least casinos can be a controversial subject but they can also be a great calling card. Croatia is very lucky because it is being talked about as a tourist destination all over the world and which is in effect free advertising on a grand scale. Croatia needs to capitalise on this to the fullest. Golf courses and casinos are essential to keep the rich and famous interested and if they keep coming back then others will too. You could have the region turned into an all year round tourist destination if they play there 'cards' right!

  17. re' the bears. Last time I was on Croatia Airlines I read an article on bears in Croatia in the OU magazine. It mentioned Krk Island as a place they can be found.

    I also recall on two occasions shown on the news bears being hit by cars while crossing the Zagreb Split motorway near Gospic when I was there last in 2009. But that’s a different story.

  18. Hey @ Pozdrav iz Rijeke

    Thanks for your reply on Ploce airport. Do you know when the Mali Losinj airport will be finished regarding extension and how long will it be ?
    Do you think DBV and SPU are too expensive for Ryanair?
    Maybee an extension at Brac could be the answer for Low cost airlines in the splitska-dalmatinska zupanija?
    what do you think ?

  19. @ Pozdrav

    Hvala vam puno!

    It confirms my thinking that there was both an 'internal' (exYU) market as well as the international one. Nearly twice daily flights though seems (now) a little overkill, obviously though there was demand for these flights.

    It would almost be worth testing the waters to see whether the markets would come back - but are there any airlines out there willing to take the risk??

    @ Q400

    I've never seen the bears on Krk. But then neither on the mountain named after them in Zagreb!


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