Flydubai will terminate its service from its hub in the United Arab Emirates to Zagreb this January. The flights were initially cancelled from November until late December as a result of “operational reasons” but the service will now be suspended indefinitely. The carrier will maintain flights only during the holiday season between December 27 and January 15, 2017, when its last service is scheduled to take place. Ticket sales have been terminated past this date. The airline planned to operate the route three times per week this winter season prior to its decision to suspend services. Zagreb marks the first destination in the former Yugoslavia to be discontinued by Flydubai. Passengers who have already booked tickets are being informed of the cancellation and offered alternative transport.
Flydubai’s suspension will come just over two years since the route was launched three times per week in December 2014. The airline also provided a bus shuttle service between Zagreb and Ljubljana in order to cater for the Slovenian market as well. It faced no direct competition. The carrier says that despite its Zagreb suspension it remains committed to the European market. As a result, it will continue operating four weekly flights to Belgrade and Sarajevo, as well as two weekly services to Skopje this winter season. The airline is also considering launching flights to Podgorica next year.
As of January 2017, Qatar Airways will become the only carrier connecting Zagreb to the Persian Gulf with nonstop flights. On the other hand, Flydubai will be the second airline to terminate services to the Croatian capital this winter season, following Swiss International Air Lines, which will end its flights from Zurich on October 30. Unlike last winter, the Croatian capital will no longer be served by TAP Portugal which discontinued its service from Lisbon in March. Zagreb Airport’s management has said it will focus on securing new carriers once its new terminal is opened in March next year. So far, Monarch Airlines has announced the launch of its new services from both London Gatwick and Manchester next April.