Low cost carrier Eurowings is considering opening its first base in Croatia. The no frills airline has begun talks with the Croatian Ministry for Tourism and Rijeka Airport over its potential plans. The Lufthansa subsidiary currently operates seasonal summer services from Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Stuttgart to Rijeka. "This year Eurowings will boost operations to Rijeka and Pula. If Rijeka offers agreeable conditions, it will become a Eurowings base", the Croatian Minister for Tourism, Gari Cappelli, said following his meeting the low cost airlines' management at the ITB Tourism Fair in Berlin this week. An additional sixty rotations are planned to be operated by Eurowings to Rijeka this year, which should result in some 20.000 extra passengers on 2016.
Apart from Rijeka, Mr Cappelli noted that the airline is also mulling a year-round two weekly service between Dusseldorf and Zagreb, as well as flights to Brač next summer. Furthermore, the Tourism Ministry is currently finalising talks for the new Stuttgart - Osijek route to be extended into the winter months as well. "We believe this service will result in the launch of new ones as well. We really want flights from Osijek, not Zagreb", the Minister said. Eurowings' Network Development and Airport Relations Manager, Ivan Oreč, previously noted, "We are pleased to commence new flights between Osijek and Stuttgart through which we will connect Slavonia with Germany. Osijek becomes the 130th destination in our network and the seventh in Croatia. It is a very important destination and we are certain we will consider some other routes from Osijek in the near future".
Eurowings will significantly expand its operations in Croatia this year. Apart from resuming all of its seasonal services to the country, many of which will launch earlier on in the summer and see additional frequencies, the German airline will also introduce flights from Munich to Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Pula, from Salzburg to Dubrovnik and Split, Vienna to Zadar, Dusseldorf to Pula and from Stuttgart to Osijek. Rijeka Airport handled some 160.000 passengers last year, which is just short of its 2006 record when it saw 166.675 travellers pass through its doors. However, the figure is expected to be overtaken in 2017.
Eurowings' Croatia expansion - summer 2017