The countdown beginsQatar Airways will launch daily services from Doha to the Croatian capital on May 9, with flights to operate via Budapest using the Airbus A320. Zagreb Airport is marking Qatar Airways’ arrival as an important occasion as it will become the first non European airline to operate scheduled flights to the city on a yearly basis after many years. “We are becoming an important destination on the global stage”, the airport says, commenting on Qatar’s imminent arrival. Malaysia Airlines was the last big non European carrier to operate scheduled flights to the city with two weekly services from Kuala Lumpur via Vienna.
The Doha based carrier says it has good reason to introduce the new flights. “We enter new markets only if they fit our business model. A corporate team has been working hard, exploring the local Croatian market because Qatar Airways supports connecting underserved markets with the rest of the world. That’s why we are introducing flights to Zagreb”. On the other hand a Qatari analyst says, “Everything Qatar does it does so with a reason. Introducing flights to Croatia is part of a wider interest in the region”. The airline also plans to launch flights to Belgrade via Ankara in September. Over the past few months it has been rumoured that the airline might be interested in purchasing Adria Airways.
Zagreb Airport is not immune to more exotic airlines which are not present elsewhere in the region. They include Japan Airlines and Korean Air, however these only operate flights as charters during the summer. Zagreb will be Qatar Airways’ 114th destination. Flight details for the upcoming service can be viewed here.