Ryanair plans fewer flights out of Zadar
Ryanair will be scaling back operations at its seasonal base in Zadar this summer. Last year, Zadar was the first city in the former Yugoslavia to become the ultra low cost airline’s home. Its presence has played a major role in the airport’s outstanding results in 2013 and its busiest year on record by handling 475.572 passengers, up an impressive 27.3% on the year before. Despite plans for Ryanair to boost operations by 25% from Zadar this year, the airport’s management says this is unlikely to happen following talks this week. “Those were the plans this autumn but everything changed during the winter. Announcements made by the former management were unrealistic. Ryanair has changed its plans since then”, Zadar Airport CEO, Irena Ćosić, told the “Slobodna Dalmacija” daily.
This summer, Ryanair will serve fifteen destinations from Zadar with the airline replacing its East Midlands service with Manchester, which will be launched on April 4. However, the airport’s management says there will be fewer frequencies than last year. It adds Ryanair has retired older aircraft in its fleet with replacements to arrive next year, forcing the airline to cut down on services at selected bases, amongst which is Zadar. “They say Zadar did well when compared to the reductions seen at other Ryanair bases”, Ms. Ćosić said. Zadar provided 1.4 million euros for Ryanair to set up a base in Zadar and station one of its aircraft at the airport.
According to the airport’s management, its goal of handling over half a million passengers this year is unlikely to be achieved. The airport expects to see similar passenger numbers in 2014 to that of last year. Zadar Airport started the year off by welcoming 2.164 passengers through its doors this January, a decrease of 0.3% compared to the same month last year.