UPDATED 3 JULY 2020
2 July 2020: Jet2 has wihdrawn some services till 2021 and on other has withdrawn some July and August flights
Previous updates: TUI has cancelled all flights to Croatia for 2020. Service resumes in May 2021
Eurowings have withdrawn all connecting services to Croatia until August
Jet2 have cancelled all flights to Croatia between 1 and 14 July 2020
Easyjet are not the only culprits. TUI had been offering a fairly full schedule of flights from mid June when we conducted our survey on 25 May. A week later all the June flights had been cancelled and their flights were offered for sale from the beginning of July. TUI then withdrew from sale all flights to Croatia departing between 1 and 10 July. And now thye have with drawn all flight to Croatia for the rest of 2020. The website shows every flight as sold out. We assume this means cancelled. Croatia Airlines has also cancelled June flights at short notice. Jet2 had been offering a full schedule for the whole of July but on 8 June cancelled all scheduled departures up to 14 July.
When I contacted the Easyjet press office to ask them to confirm that 'Sold Out' meant cancelled they replied:
"A flight marked ‘sold out’ may be full. We will also mark a flight ‘sold out’ to prevent further passengers booking on to flights when necessary. It isn’t necessarily cancelled. As we continually review and build the schedule the status of the flight could change. In the event a flight is cancelled, passengers will be informed at least 14 days in advance."
They do now state on their website:
"We list a flight as ‘Sold Out’ when it is full, or when no more seats are on sale because we are uncertain if it will operate. An increased number of flights are currently showing as Sold Out because, in light of Covid-19 and evolving travel restrictions, we do not have certainty that some flights will operate. If you have an existing booking on a flight which now shows as ‘Sold Out’, we will be in touch at least 21 days before your departure date to confirm your travel details."
They say here that they will notify you if your flight is cancelled 21 days before the departure. The prss office said at least 14 days. We know of cases where 15 days notice was given.
So you have to draw your own conclusions as to how to interpret "Sold Out". Mine is that when whole batches of flights are marked 'Sold Out' at the same time then they will be cancelled. When almost every flight to Croatia becomes 'Sold Out' in the space of a day ot two it is unlikely that the flights are actually full.
Please let me know your own experiences of when Easyjet or any other airlines have notified you of cancellations. You can email me through this link: email Nigel at Croatian Villa Holidays
Airlines are offering flights for sale, taking bookings and then cancelling those flights at short notice.Why are the airlines doing this? I am not privy to their board room discussions but there is clearly a significant financial benefit to the airlines if they adopt a policy of offering flights for sale and then cancelling them. All the airlines are struggling financially. If they offer flights and take bookings, taking your money at the time of booking. If they then cancel your flight they still have your money and will offer you vouchers or at best a delayed refund of cash. Bingo! An immediate improvement in their much needed cash flow.
This behaviour by the airlines is killing the travel industry and causing huge problems for their customers who have either booked flights already or are hoping to get away for a holiday this year. Travellers are facing the quandry of whether to pay for their accommodation (perhaps a balance payment due a month or more ahead of their arrival date) and risk losing that money if the flight is cancelled or to cancel the accommodation and hope the flight is cancelled so that they can claim a refund. If the flight is not cancelled the cost of the flight is wasted as they have cancelled their accommodation.
For some people the experience can be little short of a nightmare. One reader of this blog trying to get to Croatia shared their experience with us. In February he had booked a flight to Zadar with Jet 2. The flight was cancelled but he was able to re-book to a later flight with Jet2 departing 1st July. A few days later that second flight with Jet2 was also cancelled. Still determined to get to Croatia he booked a connecting flight with Eurowings. Shortly after making that booking he was informed by Eurowings that his flight had ben cancelled. And the nightmare does not stop there. If an airline cancels your flight you are entitled to a cash refund. But working out from their websites how you actually go about claiming that refund is rarely straightforward. The information is probably there but can be well hidden. Phoning the help lines will of course require a wait of hours.
To check the latest COVID-19 data for Croatia and the restrictions applying to tourists entering the country read our regularly updated blog post "Coronavirus - Is it Safe to Travel to Croatia"
Airlines that are resuming services to Croatia for summer 2020.
EasyjetEasyjet flies to Dubrovnik. Split, Zadar and Pula. On 25 May they were taking bookings to all four destinations from four London airports and a number of regional airports from the beginning of July. When we reviewed the situation on June 2nd we found that most July flights had been Sold Out (read cancelled).
Flights to Dubrovnik from London now re-commence from the beginning of August but the Luton and Southend services to Dubrovnik do not re-commence until September. From the regional airports flights now re-commence in August.
Daily flights to Split are still being offered from Luton. The Gatwick service now re-commences 18 July and Stansted not till 1 August. The Bristol and Manchester flights to Split re-commence on 21 and 25 July respectively. Newcastle, Belfast and Glasgow services to Split do not re-commence till August.
Flights to Pula now recommence from London Luton on 25 July. The Gatwick, Liverpool and Bristol services come in at the beginning of August and the London Southend service not until September. The Glasgow/Pula service has been discontinued.
Flights to Zadar re-commence on 25 July from London Luton and on 1 August from Gatwick.
While flights can be booked from the re-commencement dates sadly Easyjet have demonstrated that they may cancel any flights at short notice for commercial reasons.
They do now state on their wensite:
You cannot claim a refund until the flight has been officially cancelled and that may not be until 14 days before your departure date. The easyJet website makes it easy to book an alternative flight or to apply for a voucher to spend on alternative flights in the future. It is not so easy to find the way to claim a refund. But if you open this link you will find a form on which you can claim a refund online: Easyjet refund claim form. But it's not going to be so easy to collect your refund in time to use the money to book a flight with an airline that is flying. Easyjet explains:
"We are trying to get everyone’s refund requests processed as quickly as possible. However, our current average processing time means that many customers will likely have to wait for the duration of the summer, and with our backlog continuing to extend, we anticipate new requests taking much longer".
Elsewhere on their website they say a refund could take up to 12 weeks to be processed.
RyanairRyanair have announced that they will resume 40% of their schedule from July. Ryanair flies to Pula, Rijeka and Zadar. It generally announces two month in advance of any scheduled flight if it will be cancelled. Flights to Pula and Rijeka are scheduled to run from the beginning of July. The Rijeka flight from Stansted on Mondays will commence from 6 July but the Friday flights will not resume until 7 August. All flights to Zadar have been cancelled for the whole summer.
WizzairWizzair is resuming its Luton to Split service from 15 June.
Jet2Jet2 fly to Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Pula from London Stansted and eight other regional airports in the UK. It advertised a full schedule of flights to Croatia from the beginning of July. Between 25 May when we first conducted this flights survey and 2 June the only change that Jet2 made to their extensive schedule of flights to Croatia was to reduce the Leeds Bradford to Split service from three days a week to two days a week. However on 8 June Jet2 cancelled all flights to Croatia which had been scheduled to depart between 1 and 14 July. Services from Manchester and London Stansted to Zadar have been withdrawn until May 2021. Likewise for the services to Dubrovnik from Leeds Bradford, Belfast, East Midlands and Glasgow and the Edinburgh to Split service.
If fights have been cancelled they are offering a credit note and if you don’t request a credit note but want a refund they will contact you.
TUITUI had flights scheduled to Pula, Rijeka, Split and Dubrovnik from London Gatwick and seven other regional airports. Flights to Croatia were offered for sale from mid June when we conducted our flights survey on 25 May. By 2 June all the June flights had been cancelled. Flights were scheduled and offered for sale from the beginning of July but by 13 June the departures between 1 and 10 July have also been withdrawn. Ten days later the entire schedule of flights to Croatia was shown as sold out and we assume are cancelled. Flight resume again in May 2021 except for the service to Rijeka which appears to have been withdrawn from the 2021 schedule.
If your flight has been cancelled they are offering credit notes or you can apply for a refund but it may take up to four weeks before they respond.
British AirwaysBritish Airways has opened its flights to Croatia from July 1st. BA offered flights to Split, Zagreb and Pula from London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London City. The Heathrow/Split service which was being advertised seven days a week from 1 July has now been reduced to four days a week until 31 July when a seven day a week service starts. The London City service to Split apprears to have been withdrawn completely. The London Gatwick flights to Dubrovnik appear to have been rescheduled to fly from Heathrow from the beginniong of August.
If your BA flight has been cancelled you can book another flight or apply on line for a voucher. BA have been notifying cancellations of their July schedule up to six or seven weeks before the departure date
Croatia AirlinesWhen we conducted our survey on 25 May Croatia Airlines was offering flights from London Heathrow to Zagreb on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting 8 June. At our 2 June survey all flights prior to 15 June had been cancelled. There was a flight on 15 June and the three day a week service commenced on 19 June.
Flights from London Heathrow to Dubrovnik and Pula are offered on its website from early June but none are direct flights. They require in many cases changes in Frankfurt and in Zagreb.
From 5 June there are flights scheduled from London Gatwick to Split. The frequency of these flights during the week has increased since our 25 May survey although some of the flights that were on offer have been cancelled. .
A reader of this post reported to us that on 29 May they booked a flight from London for 15 June. but on 2 June, just four days later, they were notified by Croatia Airlines that the flight had been cancelled.
Internally there are two flights a day from Zagreb to each of Dubrovnik and Split. Pula airport is open for private aircraft. Internal commercial flights to Pula are scheduled to commence on 8 June after several postponements.
NorwegianNorwegian was offering direct flights to Split and Dubrovnik from the start of July. These flight are now showing "Sold Out" for the whole summer so these routes have clearly been suspended. They are still offering connecting services with one stop. Their online booking platform offers routes from the UK to Pula and Zagreb as well but only with connecting flights.
EurowingsThe German low cost operator, Eurowings, has no direct flights from the UK to Croatia but can offer a wide range of possible connecting routes. In the UK Eurowings flies from London Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh. Jersey, Guernsey and Newquay. It offers connecting services to Croatian airports from London, Birmingham and Manchester. These have now all been withdrawn either to the beginning of August or in the case of London/Dubrovnik till September. The Birmingham/Pula connecting services has been withdrawn until 2021.
Croatia - a safe destination for 2020 and 2021.Croatia's exceptionally low exposure to Coronavirus and cautious relaxation of lockdown measures makes it an ideal "safe" destination for a holiday this summer. A villa holiday where you family can control the extent of contact with other people has many attractions as we emerge from pandemic. Browse our villas and if you are after a bargain check out our special offers. If it’s a secluded villa you want we have a ready-made selection for you.
For regular updates on the extent of coronavirus virus in Croatia and a breakdown of cases region by region read our blog post,
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Flights to Croatia Summer 2020. Who is flying when and whereKey
1: One flight a day
2: Two flights a day
3: Three flights a day
(1); Flight with connection
Note: Where we say Easyjet flights in July are cancelled these flights are marked 'Sold Out' on the Easyjet website and it is our assumption that the flights will be cancelled.
Read our blog post "Coronavirus - Is it Safe to Travel to Croatia" for up to date information on any entry restrictions at the Croatian border and for COVID-19 statistics for Croatia.
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