Ryanair eyes more regional routes from Zagreb


Low cost carrier Ryanair, which will station its second aircraft in Zagreb tomorrow, is considering the introduction of more regional routes from the Croatian capital to complement Podgorica and Sofia launching this week, as well as Thessaloniki in December. The airline has said, “These short flights enable us to have better utilisation of aircraft”. Destinations in the region which could be served by Ranair may include the likes of Bucharest, Athens and Budapest, although the airline has said it would also consider domestic flights within Croatia at a later date. The carrier’s simultaneous expansion of its regional and wider European network could prove troublesome for Croatia Airlines, which has said it is looking at redefining new market opportunities for connecting European destinations with the region of Southeast Europe in order to maximise future revenue potential and increase aircraft productivity.

Croatia Airlines has a limited presence in the region outside of Croatia. It maintains year-round flights to Skopje and Sarajevo, as well as seasonal operations to Bucharest, the latter having been suspended since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The airline has also suspended several other seasonal regional routes including Zagreb - Mostar, Split - Belgrade and Split - Athens. In late 2019 Croatia Airlines said it was looking at establishing a greater presence in the region following the collapse of Adria Airways, which had a developed regional network. Its bankruptcy opened up opportunities in several markets previously served by the Slovenian carrier. However, even though the Croatian airline said it would be “good to expand” as a result of Adria’s demise, it noted it was too early to react at that point in time.

The busiest unserved regional destination from Zagreb Airport in the pre-pandemic 2019 was Sofia, which will now be covered by Ryanair. With almost 15.000 passengers flying indirectly between the two cities under a single itinerary, Croatia Airlines initially recognised the opportunity and planned to launch a two weekly service between the two cities back in 2014, however, those were shelved as the company embarked on a restructuring process, barring it from introducing new routes at the time. In 2020, it revisited plans to introduce operations to Sofia and scheduled a seasonal three weekly service. The flights were ultimately cancelled as a result of Covid-19. Over its history, Croatia Airlines had also served Tirana, Podgorica, Budapest and Pristina. Unlike many other European carriers, which have launched a slew of new routes this summer where there are no travel restrictions in place, Croatia Airlines has, for the most part, been inert on the market.

Zagreb Airport's busiest unserved regional routes in pre-pandemic 2019




Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    ATH is some 01.30 flying time from Zagreb, it's not really a super short regional route like TGD or SOF. I think Rome is closer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    They will introduce Bucharest for sure next summer. They are just waiting for 2 years to pass since Croatia Airlines ended flights so they can be eligible for subsidies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      I also think OTP will be introduced and let's see CLJ.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:55

      Would make sense

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    Croatia Airlines is being squeezed on all sides. I have to ask again what are they waiting for?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:43

      maybe the famous BCG market/route review ??

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:55

      Seems like they will be doing that review for a year.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:07

      Ofcourse - you can't rush good quality work can you ?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:54

      In the end we will probably end up with some seasonal one weekly route... following the review of course.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:06

    This will problematic for OU. Even though they may be hoping to get more transfer passengers from the region, in order for the route to be successful they will need to have some point to point traffic too, which will be taken over by Ryanair.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:07

    Is there a chance for Ryanair to start a regional route at which they don't have a base?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      They don't have a base in Podgorica but are starting flights to there.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:56

      Of course

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:07

    Varna and Cluj are definitely a huge surprise and Skopje or even Nis are not on the list. Varna slowly became a year-round destination. OS, TK and W6 are doing pretty well over there. I hope OU consider it during the upcoming year or so. Budapest can work nicely, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      SKP is not on the list because it says it's only unserved destinations. INI I guess has little traffic because it is more or less impossible to fly there from Zagreb on one itinerary.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:14

      True, you're right about SKP. Still, the list is indeed very interesting. Didn't expect ZAG that strong regional demand. Tirana is also insane.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:16

      Agree, which shows that if ZAG had a strong national airline serving some of these points its passenger numbers would be much higher

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:51

      I wouldn't go as far as claim that Tirana has insane demand. The number above translates to 9 one way passenger per day. Even if OU introduces a 2 weekly rotation it would be around 30 passengers per flight and only if the whole market moves to their flight.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:09

    I really wonder what OU plans for this winter. I think their final winter timetable is still not out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:11

      They will be flying 12 international routes from ZAG.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:11

      Nothing new of course

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:57

      Copy paste timetable like previous years.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:13

    OU had the right idea of launching seasonal flights to SOF and TGD in 2020. Shame corona came but even bigger shame that they didn't launch these routes afterwards. Now Ryanair has used the opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      They had the aircraft to do it. The question is why they didn't.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:18

    Has OU opened any new route since corona started.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      One weekly Split-Prague for a few weeks.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:27

      Ground breaking...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:34

      Inspiring!

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:21

    Congratulations to Ryanair for covering all bases and expanding so quickly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:53

      They are acting like if they were a successful and profitable airline, who knew...

      Fresh breath of air in this part of Europe.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:24

    Let's see how FR does on these routes. I'm just not sure how they will be able to fill Zagreb-Podgorica on an A320 twice per week in months like November and February.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:25

      They reduced Sofia to one per week during November.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:28

      It will take some time for the route to mature. I think they launched them in winter on purpose. Why shouldn't TGD work out?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:42

      What means to 'mature'?

      You don't create demand that simply isn't there.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:52

      ZAG TGD is selling for as little as €13 one way!

      Delete
    5. Vlad17:03

      "You don't create demand that simply isn't there."

      That's exactly the mission and raison d'etre of every marketing department on the planet.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:26

    What's worse OU has the perfect aircraft for these routes. The Q400.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:28

    It's sad that OU had a better regional network 10 years ago than today. They used to fly to Tirana, Pristina, Podgorica...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:32

      Has OU ever flown to Sofia?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:34

      I don't think so.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:35

      When did they fly to BUD?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:37

      In the 90s with the ATR42. I think from Zagreb and from Rijeka too.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:39

      Interesting, thanks.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:39

      BUD was also served by Malev and QR later on.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:41

      Interesting they used to fly to TIA. Anyone remember what were the frequencies back then?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous10:27

      Tirana seemed to have worked really well for Adria and seems to be doing good for Air Serbia too. Could work for Croatia Airlines too.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:29

    So many routes missing in Croatia Airlines' network east of Zagreb. It took Ryanair 1 months to realise that. It has been 30 years and OU still hasn't realised it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:57

      True, when you think about it, Skopje is their most eastern year-round route.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:25

      ^ OU avoided the east for political/ideologic reasons .

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:29

    Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:31

    What about Ohrid?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:35

      You really think FR will start ZAG-OHD?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:46

      Where's Pozdrav ?? I thought he would've jumped in by now ....

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:43

      Seasonal, why not?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:00

      Pozdrav will have kittens reading all of this.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:56

      Well reading all this, he has a point.

      Delete
    6. Pozdrav is commenting topics, not other participants of this blog. Pozdrav is not having kittens, or puppies, or whatever. But if it makes you happy to comment on me every second day, not challenged and not provoked, please go on, continue. Saying much more about you than about me

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:42

    I think Croatia Airlines could be competitive on some regional routes where there are no major Star Alliance airlines flying.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous09:42

    All of these routes should have been introduced years ago by OU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:44

      They should have had this plan in 2019 when Adria went bust and launched them ASAP. They could have launched them during the winter of 2019.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:51

    Why does their aircraft utilizarion have to be so high so they add these sort routes?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous10:02

    Are they going to start Zagreb - Tuzla service?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:30

      Why would they launch Zagreb-Tuzla?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:30

      They said they won't fly to Tuzla for at least 3 years after they were blocked in favor of Wizz Air.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous10:10

    I can see why OU hasn't managed to establish ZAG as regional hub. TIA, PRN, TGD traffic is shockingly low...It seems no business nor leisure demands. VFR usually drives. With the current OU cost structure and brand power, no way OU could have made it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous10:28

    Hope it works for FR.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous10:28

    OU launching regional routes would only make sense if they had a strong hub

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:32

      They could have a strong hub.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:29

    It is great to see that Ryanair is introducing all these destinations. My question is how many of these routes will be permanent. Yes they can offer low fares, but I highly doubt that they can make a profit selling all seats for say 19 euros.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:32

      Their costs must be very low for a short route like that.

      Delete
    2. JATBEGMEL13:00

      180 seats are not sold at these prices. Neither do 180 pax travel with no luggage. Limited number of seats are thrown at these prices which work amazing at enticing interest in the route and slowly rise as the aircraft fills. Throw in a bag and LCC's tend to be more expensive than full fare carriers.


      Plus, someone is going buy something to eat and drink and these is extra revenue.

      This is an oversimplified version of how they make money.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:04

      I bought a ticket to Malaga, the advertised price for one way was 19.99, but I paid 65 with priority boarding, front seat and checked bag, which is more realistic. I flew with IB to Madrid for some 70 EUR one way so that could be the price for early booking.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous22:47

      Great choice! Málaga is amazing! Don't miss Nerja and Ronda!!!

      Delete
  25. Anonymous10:31

    Good news!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous10:39

    Thank you Ryanair for noticing the opportunities, launching these flights and saving customers from the devil Croatia Airlines - Lufthansa partnership. Zagreb needed an airline to serve to Zagreb desperately, not to Frankfurt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:56

      I agree. What's worse to get to many destinations in the region the best option was to transfer via Frankfurt!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:05

      Anon 12:56 For which company did you think Misetic family work for?

      Delete
  27. Anonymous10:48

    OU used to fly many of these routes and it didn't work. Why would it work this time round?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:57

      Just because one airline could not make a route working that doesn't mean others will fail too.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:59

      The pandemic is a good opportunity for OU to reset its network. Launch smart routes that will bring you money.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:24

      then they must be flying all stupid routes since they are losing so much money

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL12:45

      Current and former national carriers have terrible pricing policies. CLF shows there is alot of space to accommodate pax on cheaper fares.

      ULCC's use these cheaper fares as part of their marketing strategy, therefore creating interest in the route.

      As an example, I doubt anyone here works for FR yet here today one commented about the 13€ ZAG-TGD fares. Compare it to JU and BEG-TGD, similar flight time. JU offers only fares with luggage starting at 6.178 din (~52€). FR's is as little as 30€ return while JU is around 110€, plus minus a few Euros. Huge difference. OU for ZAG-DBV starts around 791 kn (105€) return with no luggage. Random dates mid week around 9th November used for comparison for the curious.

      Both JU and OU are far from 90% average CLF while FR averaged 96% CLF in 2019.

      Demand is there, however not at these prices. If our national carriers threw in 20-25€ no luggage fares, you will see demand jump.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:55

      I doubt that all routes loose them money. Certainly some should be reviewed.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous12:55

    I am not at all sold that these routes will work for Ryanair.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous12:56

    I would prefer them starting domestic flights rather than these regional routes.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous12:58

    "However, even though the Croatian airline said it would be “good to expand” as a result of Adria’s demise, it noted it was too early to react at that point in time."

    Legendary :D

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous12:59

    Hello darkness my old friend - OU right now

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous13:13

    Is BEG possible?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:26

      Well, I beleive not, at least for now, since they don`t fly to BEG.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:04

      why not?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:39

      Other than Dublin (which is Ryanair's biggest base), Ryanair is not launching a single route from Zagreb where an airline is already present. Why? Because they would not qualify for the Zagreb Airport subsidies that way

      Delete
  33. Anonymous16:11

    My question to all the armchair CEOs on here who seem to be experts, which routes should OU be flying?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous19:33

    The problem for these regional flights is the same as with all others in Zagreb.
    While Macedonians,Serbians,Albanians,Romanians and Bulgarians are much interested in flying to Croatia, Croats themselves dont have any interest to visit these countries.
    Especially not for doing holidays.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:37

      Is there a reason as to why they dont wanna go there?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:34

      1. It definitely is not because Croats or expats in Zagreb dont have the money.
      It is mostly because of that the coast is not far.
      The coast in Croatia is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
      It does not make sense to spend much money for long flights to exotic places when you can get all of that at home.
      2. Croatias economy is dependent on western europe and especially Germany.
      Economic ties with the east are in most cases nonexistent.
      3.Croatian diaspora is concentrated in Western Europe and USA.
      So traffic flow is oriented to the west.
      4.Mentality. Balkan countries (Croatia doesnt consider itself Balkan) are looked down on for being low prestige and undesirable.
      Dominant part of Croatian society has a superiority complex.
      5. Croats that are willing to visit these places are having fears about security and generally criminality.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous22:04

      On number 5 I would mostly say its narrow-mindness.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous22:04

      :)))) funny explanation. BTW Wikipedia says: A superiority complex is a defense mechanism that develops over time to help a person cope with painful feelings of inferiority.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous22:54

      Security where in Montenegro and Bulgaria? Lol. They are definitely waaay safer than many Western European countries. I was really scared in many parts of Paris, especially their subway. Omg...
      Ditto with London.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous22:54

      It simply is refusal that they are practically the same people ..

      Delete
    7. Anonymous03:31

      #5 aren't Croats but sounds more as the cruise ships guests that almost invade Croatia among other countries and rotate around their own axis in lack of situation feeling, creativity and paranoia that everything outside their cabin is dangerous. Not to go into details and origin... :)

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:10

      Croats do travel to other Balkan countries, BiH, Serbia and Macedonia are extremely popular. But most of the Croatians go there by car.

      Delete

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