Foreign carriers to boost Zagreb operations in winter

Several foreign airlines plan to increase their operations to Zagreb Airport this coming winter season which begins on October 29. Among those boosting their presence in the Croatian capital are Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Flydubai, Aegean Airlines and KLM. The Turkish carrier will maintain double daily operations between Istanbul and Zagreb past the summer, up from the seven to ten weekly rotations maintained over the winter months since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, Turkish Airlines surpassed its pre-Covid passenger levels on its Zagreb route, handling 176.692 travellers between the two cities, up 11.8% on 2019. The carrier continued to post record figures on the route during the first quarter of this year, with passenger numbers up 41.2% on Q1 2022.

Flydubai also plans to up its frequencies to Zagreb, with a total of five weekly services. During the last week of the year, a total of six weekly flights are planned, in order to cater for increased demand around the Christmas and New Year holiday period, after which the service will return to five weekly rotations. Last winter season, Flydubai maintained four weekly services between the two cities. During 2022, the airline handled a total of 50.771 passengers on its Zagreb operations. On the other hand, Qatar Airways plans to maintain daily rotations to the Croatian capital past the summer, up from four weekly last winter (with exception to the month-long FIFA World Cup, which took place from mid-November to mid-December last year). The Qatari carrier handled 49.885 passengers on its Zagreb flights in 2022, with the World Cup significantly aiding its performance.
This year, Aegean Airlines plans to upgrade its seasonal service between Athens and Zagreb to year-round flights. The Greek carrier has scheduled two weekly rotations between the two cities over the winter period with its Airbus A320 aircraft. Furthermore, KLM will double its frequencies between Amsterdam and the Croatian capital from daily last winter to double daily over the 2023/24 season. On the other hand, Ryanair is yet to finalise its Zagreb network for the winter, with several routes that were operated last year to be put on sale. Although the carrier has confirmed it is discontinuing its service to Podgorica due to a hike in fees in the Montenegrin capital, it told EX-YU Aviation News, “Summer 2023 saw Ryanair’s biggest schedule to/from Zagreb with 168 weekly flights to seventeen countries, including a brand-new route to Kos. We will be announcing our full Winter 23/24 schedule soon”.

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