Croatia Airlines Suspends Dublin Flights As Case Numbers Rise

Croatia Airlines is terminating its route between Zagreb and Dublin next week, as the tourism season in Croatia ends and as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. The route is just one of many casualties of Ireland’s strict travel restrictions.

Croatia Airlines Airbus A319 aircraft
Croatia Airlines will operate only two more flights to Dublin. Photo: Croatia Airlines

Croatia Airlines terminates Dublin flights

As confirmed by Croatia Airlines to Croatian Aviation, the Croatian flag carrier will be discontinuing its flights between Dublin and Zagreb. The last rotation on the route will be next Sunday, 4th October. Until that rotation, only one other rotation is planned this Sunday, 27th September.

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The route was launched in 2018 as summer seasonal, with flights operating twice weekly. From the very start, the route was timed to maximize its transfer potential. Flights leave Zagreb Airport at 07:40 in the morning, which allows for passengers arriving from Skopje, Sarajevo, Dubrovnik, and Split to connect onto them.

Croatia Airlines’ Zagreb-Dublin-Zagreb flights quickly became a success because Ireland had become one of the most popular destinations for Croatian citizens emigrating abroad. Emigration out of Croatia towards Western European countries increased several-fold when Croatia joined the European Union in 2013. This also caused a boom in the aviation industry in Croatia, and it is also the reason why Croatia Airlines launched flights to Dublin.

Croatia Airlines Airbus A320 Dubrovnik
Croatia Airlines was feeding passengers from coastal airports in Croatia to this Dublin service, which is now being terminated due to COVID-19. Photo: Getty Images

As a result of the success of the Zagreb-Dublin-Zagreb flights, Croatia Airlines upped the frequency of the route to three weekly in its second season of operations and extended the flights beyond the summer schedule into January.

The flights, operated by Croatia Airlines under the codes OU512 and OU513, are also sold by Croatia’s Star Alliance partner United Airlines under a codeshare agreement. United markets these flights as UA7272 and UA7273. United also sells flights to Zagreb via various other Star Alliance hubs like Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna, and others. This way, passengers wishing to reach the United States from Croatia have dozens of daily combinations of flights to choose from.

Croatia Airlines Dash 8 Zagreb Franjo Tudman Airport
Croatia Airlines has massively cut its winter network, but it will retain multiple daily frequencies to Lufthansa Group hubs of Munich, Frankfurt, Vienna, and Zurich. Photo: Croatia Airlines

Ireland retains strict travel restrictions

The travel restrictions for passengers arriving into Ireland have recently been likened by Ryanair to North Korea. A Ryanair spokesman commented:

“Ryanair calls on the Irish Government to… immediately adopt these sensible and practical EU Commission proposals. NPHET have mismanaged the reopening of the Irish economy, and they have spectacularly mismanaged Ireland’s Green List, which has continued to lock down Ireland – like North Korea – since July…”

Ryanair appealed to Ireland to loosen its measures and allow travel between Ireland and the UK, Germany, and Sweden, among others. According to the airline, all of these countries have significantly lower COVID-19 case rates than Ireland. Or at least they did at the time the statement was made.

When do you think Croatia Airlines will start flying again on this route? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.