Ryanair eyes Osijek return


Europe’s largest airline, Ryanair, is expected to return to Osijek next summer season, which would mark the third time the airline has attempted to maintain operations to the airport. The Croatian Minister for Tourism, Gari Cappelli, and the head of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Kristjan Staničić, met with representatives from the low cost airline in London this week. Ryanair is considering introducing two to three weekly flights to Osijek on a seasonal summer basis between June and September. It is estimated the airline could carry some 5.000 passengers each season. The no frills carrier handled around 310.000 travellers to and from Croatia this year and plans to bring the figure up to 400.000 in 2020.

Ryanair abruptly suspended operations between London Stansted and Osijek in January 2017 after the Croatian airport refused to provide subsidies in the form of advertising concessions to the airline. The route was Ryanair’s only year-round service to Croatia. It was initially maintained seasonally from 2013 until 2016 before being extended into the winter months. The carrier had previously served the Croatian city from Hahn for five months in 2009. The route was cancelled as it only achieved an average cabin load factor of 70%. “We will work with Ryanair to promote our country and their flights. However, we told them the government’s aim is to develop continental Croatia. We insist on flights to Osijek at least four months per year”, Mr Cappelli said following the talks.

Osijek Airport has seen its passenger numbers slide following Wizz Air’s termination of its Basel service earlier this year. Currently, Eurowings and Croatia Airlines maintain operations to the city on a seasonal basis, while Trade Air runs year-round domestic Public Service Obligation flights. Recently, Chinese investors have expressed interest in transforming the airport into a cargo hub and there have been suggestions it could be put up for concession as it continues to struggle financially. It recorded a net loss of 337.000 euros in 2018, up from a 36.000 euro loss the year before. Osijek Airport handled 42.271 passengers during the first three quarters, representing a decline of 22.7%.




Comments

  1. This could be Osijek's saviour.

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    Replies
    1. Not so sure since it's obvious the airline will be subsidised on this route. Other than increasing passenger numbers I don't see how it would help the airport's finances.

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    2. Subvencija ne dolazi iz aerodromskog budzeta....

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    3. I know it doesn't but the airport budget will not get anything in terms of handling/ landing fees.

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    4. But the city can benefit from tourists or diaspora coming back more often.

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  2. Pointless airport really.

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    1. Disagree. OSI's geographical location doesn't really face fierce competition with huge airports such as LJU for instance. It is also favourable for the Croatian economy and most importantly to develop a less richer region. Yes, HR already enjoys having a decent number of airports but most are concentrated amongst its long coastline, which logically needs more of them.

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  3. I assume the flights would be from London?

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    Replies
    1. Dublin would make more sense.

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    2. Didn't Croatia Airlines do some Christmas flights on this route a few years ago but it didn't work out?

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    3. Last time Ryanair flew London - Osijek it was full every time.

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    4. @9.15 flights were so expensive that it is no surprise. They were operated for Christmas. I think there were just 2 flights.

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  4. Hope it's third time lucky.

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  5. This year's results are quite poor.

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    Replies
    1. It's a disaster and the financial results will be even worse.

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  6. If the government can throw money at OU then why not OSI?

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  7. Good luck, Osijek!

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  8. The coastal airports have been performing extremely well - infrastructure and strategy wise.
    Now it's time for the mainland airports to develop.
    If HR joins Shengen, OSI can easily serve larger Hungarian cities such as Pécs and Szeged (huge summer festival and university town). Wishing HR all the very best!

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately Cro won't join Schengen any time soon. Being prepared technically, doesn't mean you got the political green light.

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    2. The problem is that the wrong concept in EU is applied. There should be majority votes, not votes where one small member can block progress for the whole union and all other members. Slovenes profit a lot particularly right now from ZAG airport and freedom of movement. It is also their holiday country number one and not to have border checks would primarily also benefit Slovenia. Hope they come to their senses.
      And some illusionists on this forum talk about a pan-Exyu airline like merger of JP and OU...

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  9. Would be bad news for Banja Luka, Tuzla and Air Serbia.

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    1. Yes. I see they were all hard hit the last time Ryanair flew to Osijek. They barely made it.

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    2. Yeah because OSI is such a success story, that airport is loss making and the only thing it can keep is a tiny plane to ZAG with just a few seats.

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    3. Well Air Serbia's existance is very bad for OSI as well as BEG's proximity

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  10. I hope they stay in Osijek this time around, the airport desperately needs them.

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  11. This is awesome news from OSI

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    Replies
    1. They still haven't started our scheduled the flights.

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  12. I wonder how much Ryanair costs this time.

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    1. It's part of a package for them serving the entire country. They applied on a tender organized by the Croatian Tourist Board. Now the government is asking them to include Osijek.

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  13. They have been in bed with them twice already and it didn't work out. Would have been better if they tried to keep Wizz Air.

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    1. Didn't work with Wizz either.

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  14. OSI has an amazing untapped potential. It's just a shame it doesen't have a professional management.

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    1. It's odd they didn't use the lack of LCC presence in Zagreb to their advantage.

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    2. Rijeka did that.

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    3. Yes but only seasonally.

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    4. Eurowings has Dusseldorf-Rijeka year round actually.

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    5. It HAD it last year. No more this year. Unfortunately.

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  15. Two years ago Air Serbia offered to operate charters from Osijek but they were turned down by Croatian CAA. And no subsidies were required. Each to their own I guess.

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  16. Those figures are quite low even though there are 3 airline flying to OSI, and Wizz Air flew there as well for some time this year. odd.

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    Replies
    1. Keep in mind that Trade Air flies with a 15 seat plane which is more often empty then not.

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  17. They should start flights to Dublin. Half of Slavonija has moved to Ireland.

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  18. I hope they avoid any Chinese ventures so thay don't end up like Maribor.

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  19. What's the airport like in Osijek? Is it modern, newish?

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    Replies
    1. Yes it's relatively new. It was opened in 2001. The airport was destroyed during the war.

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  20. Fantastic news.

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  21. I would prefer if they started Zagreb!

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    Replies
    1. Maybe they advertise Osijek as Zagreb East ;)

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    2. The EU banned them from those types of misleading adverts :D

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  22. I presume it will be London again. What other destinations could work from Osijek?

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    Replies
    1. Definitely DUB, ARN, MAN, BVA, CRL, SXF...

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    2. Are the main diaspora centres from Slavonija in Ireland, Germany and Sweden?

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    3. I think Eindhoven could cover the Netherlands, a big part of Belgium and a part of Germany where many Croats live best!

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  23. Vienna - Osijek would be good.

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  24. Good to see the ministry doing something for continental Croatia.

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  25. If an airport is producing a loss this big it doesn't need to exist.

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