4 mentioned airlines from the title of this article are selling tickets on the direct flights to Zagreb Airport in the summer season 2021., does that mean they will come back?
Emirates, Air Canada Rouge, Air Transat and Korean Air were flying regularly during the summer schedule to Zagreb Airport until this season. All flights were seasonal (except the Seoul - Zagreb route which was in service until the end of November 2019.).
Sales on the routes are mostly open 365 days in advance, but that does not mean that flights are confirmed and will be operating. Airlines wants to maximize their sales and that is the reason why the airline have open booking well in advance, so the same case goes with this long-haul routes from Zagreb Airport. The problem occurs at the moment when the airline is not sure will operate those flights or not which depends on the booking and yield mostly. But, that is the part of risk so airlines are selling tickets even they are not sure will the flights operate or not.
What if the airline cancel the route?
If you already purchased a ticket and airline decided to cancel the route, you will have two options, airline will give you full refund or you can kindly ask to re-route you via some other airport, for example, when Emirates cancels the flight to Zagreb (or there is overbooking) they are using Lufthansa flights from Zagreb to Munich, and then passengers are transferring to Emirates flights from Munich to Dubai.
So you can still use the airlines flights which you booked, but instead of flying directly, you will get to your destination with stopover.
When airlines confirms their flights?
First of all, it depends on the company itself and the departments that deal with booking on certain routes in the company, but, more importantly, yields. Passengers very often complain about the cancellation of certain routes, with the comment that when they traveled on a certain route, there was not a single free seat on the plane. The fact that the plane was full does not mean anything when we know that today it is possible to buy return plane tickets for less than 10 euros. For the airline, in addition to the cabin being full, the yield is even more important, ie the amount for which the tickets were sold to passengers.
When the company determines that this part is ok and that the flights will operate, it will send a request to the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency for flight approval, which is usually done 2 months before the start of the summer or winter flight schedule. For example, the summer flight schedule is in force from the end of March, so companies that plan to fly to Zagreb from the first day of the summer flight schedule will send a request to the Agency sometime in January. The agency then approves the flights in a very short time and everything is ready to perform the flights.
We believe that the conclusion is very clear, that the fact that Emirates, Air Canada Rouge, Air Transat and Korean Air are currently selling direct flights to Zagreb in the summer flight schedule in 2021 means nothing at this moment. We will have to wait until January next year to see which airlines will confirm the flights. Of course, these companies, in addition to demand, sales dynamics and revenue, in the next year will largely depend on another factor - the epidemiological situation in Croatia and in the countries from which these aircraft come.
We hope that in the summer of 2021. we will again have 4 wide-body aircraft in Zagreb, which will be parked at gates 28 and 27!