RYANAIR (Lauda Europe) announces new base in Zagreb and increases to 56 number of routes in Croatia
The largest low cost airline in Europe, Ryanair, has announced the opening of a base in Zagreb starting in September. 2 Airbus A320 aircraft will be allocated, which will facilitate the launch of 12 new routes. Most flights will be operated by RYANAIR subsidiary Lauda Europe.
New routes include flights to Charleroi, Beauvais, Dortmund, Hahn, Baden Baden, Memmingen, Bergamo, Rome Ciampino, Podgorica, Sandefjord, Gothenburg and London Stansted. In total, 36 weekly rotations will be operated from the new base in Zagreb.
The low-cost airline will operate 36 flights a week, generating 60 new jobs.
Ryanair also announced the launch its seasonal base in Zadar, which was originally scheduled to open last year. Lauda Europe will base two A320 aircraft in Zadar, starting in July, and will introduce 17 new routes. In addition to the new service to Naples that was announced earlier this year, there will be flights to: Aarhus, Bremen, Vaxjo, Gdansk, Modlin, Naples, Wroclaw, Budapest, Bucharest, Bologna, Rome Ciampino, Naples and Bari.
As a result, the low-cost airline will operate 78 weekly rotations on 37 routes departing from Zadar, generating 60 new jobs. The flights will be operated until the end of the summer season in October, but the airline has announced that it will consider extending some routes in the winter months, if there is demand.
Zagreb Airport has been in talks with the low-cost carrier and has launched a new subsidy system to stimulate the arrival of new airlines and the launch of new routes.
In order to benefit from these subsidies, which include an 80% reduction in the passenger service tax - which amounts to 17.5 euros / passenger, an airline must launch operations from the Croatian capital to destinations that have not been previously served in pre-pandemic period, nor in 2020.
The carrier must also maintain services throughout the year. Among Europe's largest low-cost carriers, both easyJet and Wizz Air have previously operated flights to the Croatian capital, but operations have been halted.
Ryanair held talks with the Croatian Ministry of Tourism in 2018 on a potential introduction of flights to Zagreb, and in 2019, Ryanair's Lauda subsidiary expressed interest in opening a base in the Croatian capital. At the time, it was proposed that higher airport charges be avoided with the reopening of the old terminal, which would have been used exclusively by low-cost carriers. However, the plans did not materialize following objections from Croatian Airlines.