Rossiya Airlines, owned by Aeroflot, will start flights from St. Petersburg to Zagreb and Ljubljana next month. The airline has scheduled a one-week flight from Russia’s second largest city to the capitals of Croatia and Slovenia, and tickets are now available for purchase via Aeroflot’s website. The Russian carrier intends to operate flights to Zagreb every Friday starting January 21st, while operations to Ljubljana will open the next day, Saturday 22nd January. Changes are still possible, however, the carrier recently applied for and received permits from the Russian Air Force authorizing it to introduce services in both cities.
According to the current schedule, flights to Zagreb will be operated by Airbus A320 with 168 seats, with twelve seats in business class and the remaining 156 in the economy cabin. On the other hand, operations towards the Slovenian capital will be performed by a Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft with 87 seats, twelve of which are in a business class cabin. As a result, both cities will have a single regular line to St. Petersburg. During the 2019 pre-pandemic, 3,983 passengers flew indirectly on one route between Russia’s second-largest city and Zagreb, according to OAG data. This is an addition to those who fly non-stop on Croatia Airlines’ seasonal transport between the two, which has since been suspended. Similarly, 3,428 passengers flew indirectly between St. Petersburg and Ljubljana.
Demand for services between Russia and Zagreb has increased in recent months due to the availability of coronavirus vaccines for foreigners in Croatia. Russian citizens, who can only be vaccinated against Covid-19 with Russian-made vaccines in their home country, are increasingly seeking different types of stings to be able to travel across Europe and the United States, which largely do not recognize the Russian Sputnik vaccine. Last week, Russian S7 Airlines scheduled a one-week flight between Moscow and Zagreb starting next month. On the other hand, Slovenia recently resumed issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens for the first time in almost two years, resulting in increased demand as Slovenia is one of only a few EU member states to recognize the Sputnik vaccine.