The most popular low-cost airline in the world, Ryanair, could soon start flights to Dubrovnik. There have been rumours for several months that the Irish airline has shown an interest in operating between Dubrovnik and the UK and it seems that these negotiations are coming to a head.
Ryanair recently held talks with the three main parties in Dubrovnik, the mayor, representatives from Dubrovnik Airport and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and it appears that some movement has been made. Following these talks Ryanair has approached Dubrovnik Airport to reduce its landing fees and to sign a long-term contract. Speaking to the specialised website EX-YU Aviation the Route Manager from Ryanair, Luis Fernandez-Mellado, stated that the budget airline is interested in operating year-round flights to Dubrovnik, he described Dubrovnik as an “extremely interesting destination.”
Without doubt there would be a strong demand for Ryanair flights to Dubrovnik, who would be in competition on the London to Dubrovnik route with easyjet. But the fact that the Irish airline has shown interest in flying outside of the summer season should prove tempting for the local authorities. Fernandez-Mellado added that Dubrovnik would prove to be an excellent city break destination during the winter months.
On the other side the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, has publically stated that he would be willing to sign a long-term contract with Ryanair up to 2024. So as both sides see an interest and both seem willing to negotiate we can only assume that the current sticking point are the financial terms.
The Dubrovnik Times contacted both parties, however both we keeping their cards very close to their chest. The press office of Ryanair commented that “While we are always interested in new routes, we do not comment upon or engage in rumour or speculation.” Whilst the City of Dubrovnik gave a similar response, telling us that “the negotiations are currently ongoing and we will let you know as soon as we have more news.”
Ryanair currently operates flights to four airports in Croatia, Pula, Osijek, Zadar and Rijeka to various European destinations. Within the next weeks we should uncover whether Dubrovnik will be the fifth Croatian airport to welcome the budget airline.