Travel plan: Zagreb – Auckland with low-cost carriers

The task was set:

Try to find combinations of flights from Zagreb to Auckland using only low-cost carriers. To make the task a little more complicated, flights with exclusively narrow-body aircraft (Airbus A320, Boeing 737 and similar) must be used. If wide-body aircraft are used (Airbus A380, Airbus A350, Boeing 777, Boeing 787, etc.), then travel planning becomes much easier. This is where it gets quite challenging.


  • Condition: exclusively use low-cost carriers
  • Aircraft: exclusively narrow-body (Airbus A320 series, Boeing 737 and similar)
  • Accommodation: do not use accommodation in cities where you have a transfer (minimum time for transfer and sleeping on a bench at the airport)
  • Transfer: minimum of at least 4 hours between flights, it can be shorter if there is no better option, but preferably up to 12 hours of waiting.
  • Total trip duration: not defined
  • Price: it doesn’t matter
  • Departure: beginning of December 2023 (the date chosen is 2/12/2023)


Just for comparison, if you go from Zagreb on the same day with one of the classic carriers, the fastest journey is with Qatar Airways. The journey includes a stopover in Doha (Zagreb – Doha – Auckland), and the journey itself lasts 25 hours and 15 minutes. The departure is from Zagreb on Saturday, December 2 2023 at 3:45 p.m., and arrival in Auckland is on Monday December 4 2023 at 5:00 a.m.


Low-cost carriers from Zagreb to Auckland

Although there are several travel options, this combination was chosen:

  • Travel duration: 68 hours and 30 minutes or 2 days, 20 hours and 30 minutes
  • 5 airlines
  • 7 flights
  • Transfer in 6 airports
  • A320 series aircraft only (accidentally matched)


1st flight: Zagreb – Rome (Ryanair)

The first flight is from Zagreb to Rome. The airline on that flight is Ryanair, actually Lauda with an Airbus A320. The departure is at 5:45 a.m., which is quite early, so you don’t get much sleep the night before the trip, because you have to get to the airport early. It lands in Rome at 7:10 a.m. The flight lasts one hour and 25 minutes. An early arrival in Rome gave good opportunities for onward connections, so it was easy to find a flight onward. The waiting time for the next flight is about 4 hours.


2nd flight: Rome – Abu Dhabi (Wizz Air)

On this journey, this is the first intercontinental flight from Europe to Asia. The Wizz Air flight from Rome to Abu Dhabi departs at 11:20 a.m., and the flight duration is just under 6 hours. Arrival in Abu Dhabi is at 20:15. The aircraft on that flight is an Airbus A321neo. With its flights from Abu Dhabi to Europe, Wizz Air has enabled many passengers to fly to that part of the world for a low price.


3rd flight: Abu Dhabi – Delhi (IndiGo)

After a 4-hour rest at Abu Dhabi Airport, it is time to take off to Delhi. It is not that challenging to get from Europe to Abu Dhabi, but it is further towards Asia. There are many daily flights from Abu Dhabi and surrounding airports such as Dubai to Southeast Asia, but there is a requirement to fly in a narrow-body aircraft. One of the options is to fly to India, and from India further to Southeast Asia. That’s how this option came about, where you fly from Abu Dhabi to Delhi and transfer to a flight to Singapore. Until recently, IndiGo flew to Istanbul with Airbus A321neo, but since they acquired the Boeing 777-300ER in cooperation with Turkish Airlines, they are now flying them to Istanbul. So that potential option fell through.


4th flight: Delhi – Singapore

He arrived in Delhi on a flight from Abu Dhabi in the early hours of the morning. So he drinks some coffee and eats breakfast at the airport. The next flight is to Singapore and that flight lasts 6 hours. An Airbus A320neo aircraft is expected on the flight. Landing in Singapore is scheduled at 17:55.


5th flight: Singapore – Denpasar

The challenge here was that the first flight of the day to Denpasar from Singapore departs around 7:00 a.m. and arrives in Denpasar around 10:00 a.m., leaving about 1 hour for a layover, which is certainly too short. Because of this, a flight to Denpasar had to be chosen immediately after arriving in Singapore. The last flight was taken, which departs 3 hours after the arrival flight from Delhi. The carrier on this flight is AirAsia with an Airbus A320 aircraft. The flight lasts about 3 hours. Arrival in Denpasar is around midnight, and the next flight is at 11:00 a.m., which means looking for a quiet corner in the airport and trying to sleep. It would certainly be a great pity that you are in Bali, but you will not see its beauty, only the airport. As the saying goes “So close, yet so far”.


6th flight: Denpasar – Sydney

This is the longest flight of this trip. The plane ride on that flight takes 6 hours and 5 minutes to get from Denpasar to Sydney. Jetstar is the only low-cost carrier that can take you from Asia to Sydney in a narrow-body aircraft, and with that, the travel options are very limited. If the narrow body rule was omitted, there would be a lot more options as several Asian low-cost carriers use wide-body aircraft on flights to Sydney such as Scoot, Air Asia X, Cebu Pacific, VietJet, etc. Jetstar is using an Airbus A321neoLR on this flight, and LR is short for long range, that is, the aircraft has an increased range, which was obtained by adding additional fuel tanks. These aircraft are new to the Jetstar fleet and have provided the carrier with new opportunities to connect Australia with Asia. Unfortunately, this flight arrives late, and the first one to Auckland isn’t until the second day at 9:00 a.m.


7th flight: Sydney – Auckland

And there it is, that last flight has arrived, those last few hours. Jetstar’s flight to Auckland takes about 3 hours. The aircraft on that flight is an Airbus A320. Departure from Sydney is at 9:05 a.m. and arrival in Auckland is at 2:15 p.m. After almost 3 days of travel, you have arrived at your destination. The question can be asked, would you return to Zagreb with a similar combination of flights or would you opt for classic carriers such as Qatar, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and others.


Date From To Departure Arrival Airline Aircraft Flight duration
02.12.2023 Zagreb Rim 05:45 07:10 Ryanair Airbus A320 01:25
02.12.2023 Rim Abu Dhabi 11:20 20:15 Wizz Air Airbus A321neo 05:55
03.12.2023 Abu Dhabi Delhi 00:25 05:20 IndiGo Airbus A320neo 03:25
03.12.2023 Delhi Singapore 09:25 17:55 IndiGo Airbus A320neo 06:00
03.12.2023 Singapore Denpasar 20:45 23:35 AirAsia Airbus A320 02:50
04.12.2023 Denpasar Sydney 11:20 20:25 Jetstar Airbus A321neo 06:05
05.12.2023 Sydney Auckland 09:05 14:15 Jetstar Airbus A320 03:10


Surely those who decide to go on such a trip would face an enormous fatigue that is not easy to handle. After arriving in Auckland, travelers or adventurers would sleep for a few days to recover and rest from this exhausting journey. But surely everyone who dares to go on a trip like this would have something to tell their grandchildren, as well as a wider interested audience. However, this kind of trip is easily manageable if it is stretched to a day or two of rest in each transfer city. This would provide an excellent opportunity to experience many cities and locations along the way. The trip would easily drag on for almost a month, but it would certainly be worth it.

Because these flights are not connected (except IndiGo and Jetstar), there is a high risk of being late for the next flight. This gives an additional dimension to the stress and adrenaline that would prevail during the trip.

Another challenge is luggage. The most you can take with you on this trip is a suitcase that meets the criteria of cabin luggage and possibly an additional backpack. Because the chances they won’t lose your luggage on 7 flights are quite small.

If someone decides to undertake such an undertaking, feel free to contact the editorial office after the trip, and we will work together to create a travelogue and publish it on Avioradar.

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