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Photo Credit: Ex-Yu Aviation

Ryanair yesterday announced the opening of its base in Zagreb this September with the launch of twelve new routes, however, the airline plans to significantly grow its network from the Croatian capital in the years to come with a number of new destinations already planned for the summer of 2022. Ryanair’s Director for Commercial, Jason McGuinnes, noted the airline plans to offer up to forty new routes from Zagreb and become both the city’s and country’s largest carrier.

“We will grow exponentially in the years to come. We plan to operate thirty to forty routes and handle two to three million passengers. This will transform Zagreb, transform tourism, accommodation, hotels, taxi operators… Basically everything. We will become the largest airline in Zagreb and Croatia within a very short period of time”.

Ryanair’s CEO, Eddie Wilson, noted that Zagreb took the initiative in attracting the no-frills airline to the city. “The key for Zagreb is going to be the number of airports we have on offer in Europe. We made a bold decision to launch a base straight away. This shows our confidence in Zagreb with a two aircraft base”, Mr Wilson said. Commenting on the potential launch of domestic flights within Croatia, the CEO noted that while it is of interest to the airline, it is not a priority. “We have no plans just yet for domestic flights, however, it is something we will look at. Short flights enable us to have better utilisation of aircraft. But we will concentrate on international flights for now”, Mr Wilson added.

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Photo Credit: Ryanair

“We plan to operate thirty to forty routes and handle two to three million passengers”

The General Manager of Zagreb Airport, Huseyin Bahadir Bedir, said that becoming a Ryanair base was a strategic decision in order to elevate the airport into a regional hub and speed up its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. “We have worked on different business models and scenarios to overcome the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. We are more than happy to become the home of Europe’s number one airline. We will stimulate the number of tourists visiting this lovely city. The coast has been the driver of tourism in the country, but we think it is time for Zagreb to be a part of that as well”, the General Manager said.