Air Canada Rouge permanently terminated the Toronto - Zagreb - Toronto route, introduced back in June 2018!
Air Canada Rouge, a subsidiary of the national Canadian airline Air Canada, introduced the seasonal route Toronto - Zagreb - Toronto in June 2018, operating between two cities four times a week with B767-300 aircraft with a capacity of 282 seats.
The route was in operation in 2019 as well, while in 2020 it was temporarily suspended due to the global pandemic. Meantime, this carrier has retired all B767 aircraft in its fleet, so the company did not actually have wide-body aircraft that could operate between Toronto and Zagreb without stopover.
Just a few days ago, Air Canada Rouge offered direct flights on this route for the summer season 2021. The company planned to use aircraft from the Air Canada fleet on this route (in case of a favorable epidemiological situation and satisfied booking), but satisfactory booking was not achieved, which is not a surprise in the current situation. Given that Air Canada is working intensively to take over Air Transat, a well-known leisure carrier that also operates between Toronto and Zagreb in the summer flight schedule, it was to be expected that only one carrier would remain on this route after the takeover of Air Transat. However, the realization has not yet taken place and AC Rouge has canceled the route to Zagreb.
Air Transat confirmed its intention to travel to Zagreb in December this summer, tickets are currently on sale, but the company is seriously considering the possibility of canceling regular operations between the capitals of Croatia and Canada due to weak demand and travel restrictions. .
After Emirates and Korean Air, this is the third departure of airline that connected Zagreb with the far-away market. According to the currently available schedule, the only wide-body aircraft in Zagreb this summer should be Air Transat, but whether that will happen remains to be seen. In that case, Zagreb would be left without wide-body aircraft and almost all long-haul routes (except for the route to Doha where Qatar Airways operates narrow-body aircraft).
Air Canada Rouge operated night flights from Toronto to Zagreb, with a return flight from Zagreb to Toronto in the morning hours. The mentioned route was mostly used by Croatian emigrants from Toronto and the USA, primarily Chicago, who continued their journey with a direct flight to Zagreb with stopover in Toronto.
The route suspension of this carrier is certainly a step backwards for Zagreb Airport, considering that Air Transat is primarily oriented towards leisure passengers, but it should also be said that the B767 aircraft flying to Zagreb were over 20 years old without additional entertainment for passengers on board, which is nowadays quite normal on long-haul flights.