Ryanair is reopening its summer base in the coastal city of Zadar which it will be connecting with 37 destinations, including 17 new ones, and the investment is worth $200 million, Ryanair and Zadar Airport officials said at an online news conference on Tuesday.
The news conference was held after a news conference with representatives of Zagreb International Airport (MZLZ) where Ryanair will this year introduce 12 international flights. Ryanair has operated seasonally at Zadar Airport (during the peak tourist season) for years, accounting for the largest portion of the airport’s passenger turnover.
Zadar Airport director Josip Klišmanić and Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson expressed hope for a good flight occupancy rate this year despite the pandemic and travel restrictions.
Klišmanić said Zadar Airport had cooperated with Ryanair for 14 years and expressed hope they would continue cooperating.
Wilson said two Ryanair planes would be based in Zadar and the airline would operate 78 flights a week from Zadar to many European destinations.
Wilson expressed confidence this would help in the recovery of local tourism, notably if Europe opened up during the summer months considering the continuation of vaccination against COVID-19.
He said the total investments in the Zadar and Zagreb airports amounted to $400 million, adding that customers in Croatia could already book summer flights.
Also attending the online news conference was Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac who said that in preparing for the tourist season Croatia was taking care of all epidemiological aspects so as to meet the necessary safety and health requirements for tourists’ arrival and stay.
“The possibility of crossing the state border with a negative PCR test or antigen tests approved in the EU, a certificate about one’s having recovered from COVID-19 or having been vaccinated against it are new steps in creating the necessary preconditions for Croatia to have the best possible tourist season and be ready to welcome visitors,” the minister said.