UK Quarantine Rules Prompt Carriers To Cancel Croatia Flights

Last week, the United Kingdom took Croatia off its list of countries that are deemed safe to travel to. Now, just a week later, airlines connecting the UK and Croatia have drastically scaled back seat capacity on various routes in this market. Let’s take a look at what routes have been canceled.

British Airways
British Airways has made the most cuts to its capacity to Croatia from the UK, following the removal of Croatia from the air corridor list. Photo: Getty Images

British Airways makes drastic cuts

The most drastic reaction to the increased travel restrictions between the UK and Croatia, imposed by the UK in the form of a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals, came from British Airways.

The British flag carrier is ending its London Heathrow – Zagreb route next week. This comes as a major surprise because the airline was originally meant to operate the route ten times weekly, all with Airbus A320 aircraft. Now there will be no flights at all, from Monday 7th September onward.

The impact of the quarantine rule is best exemplified by the fact that British Airways will be sending an Airbus A319 on Sunday 6th September, its last day of operations.

Other routes being cut by British Airways are Heathrow – Split, which stops operating on 27th September, and Heathrow – Pula, which stops operations on 5th September. London City – Split route has already been cut earlier this summer.

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Croatia Airlines Airbus A319 parked at London Heathrow
Croatia Airlines’ Airbus aircraft will not be present at London’s airports as often as usual this year. Photo: Jakov Fabinger, Simple Flying

Croatia Airlines makes cuts too

Croatia Airlines has also made fairly drastic cuts on its flights to the UK. Ordinarily, during September, Croatia Airlines flies to London Heathrow from Split and Zagreb, and to London Gatwick from Split. Just three years ago, Croatia Airlines was operating 24 flights weekly between Croatia and the United Kingdom.

This September, Croatia Airlines will fly just one weekly flight from Zagreb to London Heathrow, on Mondays. The route from Split to London Heathrow remains operational as a single weekly flight too, until the end of October. Flights between Split and London Gatwick are canceled until after Easter 2021.

easyJet made major cuts too

easyJet grounding grounded aircraft
easyJet is the second biggest airline in Croatia. Photo: Getty Images

Major cuts are being implemented by easyJet too, both in terms of the number of routes and the frequency of the routes that remain. With the closure of its bases in Newcastle, London Southend, and London Stansted, easyJet had already canceled just under a dozen routes to the Croatian coastal airports of Pula, Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik.

However, new cuts have now been implemented. The most severe impact is for the Istrian airport of Pula, which will lose flights to Liverpool, London Luton, London Gatwick, and Bristol this September. This leaves not a single easyJet route to the UK from this Croatian airport in October.

Zadar airport, which was hit hard by a Ryanair base closure this summer, is losing easyJet flights to London Gatwick and London Luton by mid-September.

Split Airport, which opened a new terminal last year and which now remains mostly unused, is losing easyJet flights to Belfast, Bristol, Glasgow, London Gatwick, London Luton, and Manchester ahead of schedule this year.

All in all, Croatia’s airports will be feeling the new quarantine rules very strongly.

When do you think capacity between the UK and Croatia will begin recovering? Do you think airlines will restore frequencies at all before quarantine rules are abolished again? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.

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