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Ryanair to open new Dubrovnik base, its third base in Croatia

Ryanair Dubrovnik

Ryanair has announced a summer-seasonal base at the ever-popular Croatian tourist destination of Dubrovnik. It joins its latest destination to be added in Central and Eastern Europe – Sarajevo – which will see four routes next summer. While the ULCC has served Dubrovnik in a highly limited way since 2019, reflecting the airport’s higher fees and charges, the Bosnia and Herzegovina capital is brand-new to its network. It comes as Wizz Air slashes its Sarajevo network.

Dubrovnik becomes Ryanair’s latest base

The ULCC will base two 737 MAX 8 200s at the airport with 16 routes. Opening in early April 2024, it will become its third Croatian base after Zagreb and Zadar, the latter also summer-seasonal to capitalise on peak demand. Not surprisingly, Ryanair also has seasonal bases in Spain.

For many years, Ryanair and Wizz Air avoided the obvious tourist market of Dubrovnik due to high airport fees and charges. Things changed enough in recent years to warrant initial service. Ryanair started Dublin in 2019 and Vienna in 2021, both of which continue. In 2021, Wizz Air also launched Dubrovnik routes.

Now things have changed significantly, presumably reflecting Dubrovnik’s slower-than-desired post-pandemic traffic recovery. According to airport statistics,  it welcomed 2.28 million passengers between April and October 2023, down by about 15% versus 2019. Ryanair will contribute greatly to the recovery.

Dubrovnik Ryanair Route Map

16 routes are coming

Adding to Ryanair’s existing two routes, it will begin the following, all to be operational between 2 April and 4 April. There are 39 weekly departures, with virtually all inevitably 2-weekly. Only one route – London STN – will be daily.

Dublin Airport

While it is a bit early to meaningfully analyse S24 data, Cirium tells seven of the 16 destinations (43%) will have direct competition, as detailed below. Ryanair will become the fourth carrier to Manchester.

  • Berlin: easyJet (2-weekly in August 2024), Eurowings (1)
  • Helsinki: Finnair (7), Norwegian (2)
  • London STN: Jet2.com (4)
  • Manchester: easyJet (2), Jet2.com (4), TUI (2)
  • Rome FCO: Croatia Airlines (2), Vueling (7)
  • Stockholm ARN: Norwegian (4)
  • Wroclaw: Wizz Air (2)

Cirium informs that Milan BGY was served by Volotea in 2018/2019, Krakow has seen different operators over the years, most recently LOT Polish between 2019 and 2022, likewise Poznan in 2020-2021. Oslo TRF was last served by Norwegian in 2014.

Ryanairs new Dubrovnik routes

Multiple flights leave before 06:00

Analysis of each aircraft’s daily flying indicates that some days have crossover schedules, suggesting that things are still being tweaked. Nonetheless, aircraft will typically have six sectors per day (three return trips), obviously a standard set-up. It will be helped by Dubrovnik’s pretty good geographic location and often longer-than-normal aircraft days.

On some days, the first day’s flying starts before 06:00. For example, on Mondays, there is Manchester (05:45) and Helsinki (05:50); Milan BGY on Tuesdays (05:45); Helsinki on Fridays (05:55) and Weeze on Saturdays (05:45). This is quite intriguing given Dubrovnik is an inbound tourist destination. On multiple occasions, aircraft get back after midnight, with the latest arrival being from Manchester at 00:55 on Friday mornings.

Milan Bergamo Airport