Updated: May 26, 2020
This is probably the most common question we received this month and it's very difficult to answer on it. We will try to explain why.
Many airlines have canceled their flights to Croatia (there are only two current ones, Croatia Airlines to Frankfurt and Eurowings to Stuttgart) and we do not know the date when those flights will return. Why? The answer is very simple, we do not know how long this crisis caused from COVID-19 will last. The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs asks all Croatian citizens who temporarily or permanently reside and work outside of the Republic of Croatia to further delay their travel to the Republic of Croatia. The fact is that every reasonable person will consider returning home and probably give up for a few reasons, first of all, they will have 14 days of self-isolation upon their return home, and the organization of the trip to the country is not easy at all, as we mentioned above, there are only two scheduled destinations from where you can fly to Zagreb and all other forms of transportation are currently shut down. What bothers many citizens who still manage to land in Zagreb, if they travel to their place of residence, they do not need an e-pass. Every citizen has the right to return to his / her place of residence without a e-pass. The problem therefore arises when a person lands in Zagreb Airport. How to reach Osijek, Rijeka, Pula, Split or any other Croatian city? Unfortunately, there is only one option for such travelers - rent a car, which with one-way option is not cheap at all. If you think that someone could come to Zagreb Airport and pick you up, that's not an option, you are not the reason for issuing e-pass. All the airports in Croatia (except Dubrovnik) are currently open, but there is no demand for regular flights, just repatriation flights are coming to the airports, mainly to Zagreb, but one has recently landed to Rijeka. The possible operation at the airports guarantees the movement of cargo, as well as military, humanitarian, government and medical flights, which is extremely important for the functioning of all services currently active in combating this burning problem, whose economic consequences will soon be felt (if not already). All measures are valid for Croatian citizens, for citizens from other EU member states it is almost impossible to enter the Republic of Croatia at the moment, unless they come as a help to the services currently active in fighting this pandemic. Currently, 20 border crossings locations with BiH, 27 with Slovenia and all with Serbia are closed. A number of intra-EU borders have been closed. EU external borders are closed for third-country nationals. From this it is evident that airlines do not need to fly at all, who will travel on scheduled commercial routes if crossing the border is possible for just a certain group of people who do not make enough critical mass to make these flights profitable? For third-country flights, especially for companies such as Emirates, Qatar, Korean Air, FlyDubai, American Airlines, Air Canada Rouge and Air Transat, which are mainly (or wholly, depending on destination) bringing tourists to Croatia. These flights are questionable for this season and many have already been canceled (such as Air Canada between Toronto and Zagreb, American between Dubrovnik and Philadelphia, flights between Dubai and Zagreb and Seoul and Zagreb have been postponed). Companies, of course, allow you to buy a ticket for a specific date (mostly from mid-May) because they assume the situation will calm down. If booking is not possible, what would happen in the moment when borders will be opened again, flights will be empty? It would be financially disadvantageous for airlines and airports since they would not be able to collect passenger taxes. This is why companies allow booking from certain dates. If the situation does not calm down and you have purchased a ticket and your flight is canceled: 1. The company will offer you a refund, 2. Voucher in the amount of the ticket you purchased, 3. Possible one or more date changes. The possibilities are various and it all depends on the airline which you choosed. Therefore, it is best to check on the official website of the airline what is their current procedure. By the way, all the processes are already in place and companies have been using them for the last few months. If you have any doubts about buying tickets for a specific date, route or airline, you are welcome to contact us. Croatian Aviation has flown around the globe many times, we have experiences with canceled flights, passenger rights, numerous connecting flights, etc. We will be very happy to share our experiences and help you to make the best decision. Hopefully, we will soon hear this sentence again "cabin crew prepare for take off" and relive that feeling when the plane take off and lifts us into the clouds.