|Ryanair anticipates handling 315.000 passengers from Zadar next year|
Ryanair will expand operations from its seasonal summer base in Zadar in 2016, after downsizing its network from the city for two consecutive years. The no frills carrier plans to launch one new route, operate 39 weekly flights, carry 315.000 passengers and create 230 on-site jobs in Zadar next year. The airline will introduce services from Zadar to Berlin Schonofeld Airport from April 4, which will complement the carrier's existing network from its Croatian hub, which include Beauvais, Charleroi, Dublin, Gothenburg, Hahn, Baden-Baden, London Stansted, Manchester, Marseille, Moss, Stockholm Skavsta and Weeze. "Ryanair is pleased to launch our Zadar summer 2016 schedule, with a new route to Berlin and thirteen routes in total. Our customers can look forward to further improvements in the coming months", Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer, David O’Brien, said.
Zadar provided 1.4 million euros in order for Ryanair to set up a base and station one of its aircraft at the airport in 2013. The Croatian Tourism Association provided half of the above-mentioned sum, while the rest was paid for by local authorities and businesses benefiting from the new flights. The airline also enjoys a range of subsidies at Zadar Airport. However, Ryanair has scaled down its operations from the city both this year and last. Over the past year, the airline suspended flights from Zadar to Haugesund in Norway, as well as Billund in Denmark. "Ryanair's business strategy is - more frequencies, fewer routes. The service to Haugesund had an average cabin load factor of 56% last year, Billund 68%, while Oslo Rygge recorded a load factor of 70%. While these figures are by no means low, they [Ryanair] were obviously unsatisfied with these results", Zadar Airport's Managing Director, Irena Ćosić, said. Last year, Ryanair handled 157.253 passengers on its flights to and from Zadar.
Zadar Airport has seen its passenger numbers decline during the busy summer months this year, in part due to Ryanair's network reductions. In September, the airport handled 69.738 passengers, down 9.1% on the same month last year, continuing on from the negative trend which began in June and peaked in July when figures declined 18%. During the first three quarters, Zadar Airport welcomed 430.417 travellers through its doors, declining 3.6% on the same period in 2014. The airport anticipates its figures for the whole of 2015 will decline some 2% compared to last year's record breaking result. Besides securing a new service by Ryanair, the airport is also in talks with Air Serbia and recently attended the World Routes Forum in Durban to discuss potential cooperation with other airlines and tourism authorities.
Details for the new Zadar - Berlin service can be found here.