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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Croatia Airlines back to Belgrade

Croatia Airline to resume Split - Belgrade service

Croatia Airlines has confirmed it will be resuming services to Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport next summer season. The Croatian carrier, in its second year of operations to Belgrade, has scheduled the service from May 1, 2013, a month ahead of those launched in 2012. Flights are set to operate twice per week with the 76 seat Bombardier Dash 8. However, despite promises made earlier this year that it will increase its frequencies to the Serbian capital in 2013, those are now unlikely with the carrier stretching its fleet to the maximum next summer.

Croatia Airlines did good business on the route this year. On the Split - Belgrade sector the national carrier saw an average load factor of 96.1% while the return flights netted an average of 94.7%. This is despite competition from Jat Airways, which also operated flights between the two cities twice per week. It too saw load factors average 94%. Earlier in the year, Croatia Airlines Commercial Director, Tonko Rilović, said that the Croatian carrier is considering launching flights from Zagreb to the Serbian capital but conceded the service would, for now, be unprofitable. He added that cooperation with Jat would be needed for flights between the two cities to be viable.

Meanwhile, the Croatian carrier has announced plans to launch domestic flights from Rijeka in 2013 under the orders of the government. The Rijeka - Split - Dubrovnik - Rijeka service will operate until 2016. The new flights will run along the airline’s planned summer expansion. The last time Rijeka saw domestic flights was fifteen years ago. The service will aid the airport which has experienced financial and managerial hardship over the past year.

36 comments:

  1. Just matter of time before my Jat gives them a lesson as in Dubrovnik. I am sure Jat can lure some transit pax to escape north korea style monopoly from star alliance. Also the new terminal looks very modern at BEG.

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    1. Well I can assure you I won't be lured by jat!

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    2. Why would I want to escape the Star Alliance monopoly? At least they have certain standards and usable frequent flyer programs.

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    3. Please, Miles & More is everything but a good mileage programme. That is one of the reasons why Lufthansa and the others are considering revising it.
      As for their standards, there are quite a few airlines in the alliance that are no better than Jat Airways.
      So maybe in the future you might want to use concrete aviation examples to back your arguments. Thank you.

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    4. Which airlines, please give me example?

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    5. Erm have you flown on SAS recently? Then there is Air China which is notoriously disgusting and its planes are beyond dirty with countless clogged toilets.
      Also SN Brussels is pretty ghettofabulous if you ask me, it is a glorified lowcost carrier...oh wait.

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    6. OK, here come some concrete aviation examples.

      Firstly, *A is NOT only LH, and M&M is NOT the only FF programme in existence over there. That's one of the main benefits of the alliance, in fact - I can credit most flights to whichever FF programme I see fit, which has been A3 (Aegean Airlines) lately.

      I flew SK on two domestic routes this summer, and their ordinary breakfast shames the best I've ever eaten on JU. And don't even get me started on the politeness of ground and air staff employed by SK as opposed to JU. I know that SK and SN don't include any sort of snack or meal in their cheapest fares, but Jat's measley sandwich isn't that much of an improvement, to be honest.

      Furthermore, you definitely need to brush up on your knowledge of Air China, because their quality has increased immensely in the past few years. I haven't flown them personally yet, but I still keep myself informed. That's discounting the fact that you're comparing a short-haul carrier to a long-haul one.

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    7. Oh and BTW, there's not even a single hint that LH is considering revising M&M (except earning reductions lately, which have earned them a fair bit of bad reputation), but I'd be delighted to see any credible source shedding light on the matter.

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    8. JAT must be the worst airline to fly with, if you really must fly and have no alternatives than JAT should be the last resort, used in desperation.

      I only few once with them in 1990 from Zagreb to New York, was worst experience I've ever had, very rude staff, really bad food on offer and I can tell you I'm glad to say I'll never ever fly with JAT as long as I live. I live in US, Bay Area, in CA, but can tell you this, even United and Delta don't sink so low when it comes to customer care.

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    9. I had an opportunity to fly CA, on three short and medium haul rt flights (from PEK to ICN, PVG and HKG), plus a long haul LAX-PEK. No, it's not all glitter and industrial desing, but it's fairly clean and you get service you would expect from a mainstream carrier.

      Now, Chinese people in general have different habits and eat different food, so that might seem to us as something undesirable, but that's a cultural thing, rather than CA's fault. Any China-bound plane, regardless of the airline, will get some of that interesting ethnic mix.

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    10. Vladimir,

      I live in Denmark and I travel for business with SK a lot. Their business class product is very good. HOWEVER, if you are in the back, NO WAY IN HELL! Their service is disgusting, the seats are torn, cabin crew is beyond nasty (most of the time) and most of their planes are old and dirty. This year alone I had 43 flights with them. Out of those 43 maybe 5 were really good.
      I have never flow on Jat so I can't judge. I would also like to add that Lufthansa's service in business class is nothing special, it is nowhere close to that on board Austrian or Swiss.

      I had the opportunity to fly on CA but in stead I went with LH so I can't give an opinion on that.

      I just wanted to point out that SK is a disgusting airline which I hope will go belly up soon!

      Best,

      Kaari

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    11. How is he comparing a short-haul carrier to a long-haul carrier? SAS, Air China and SN Brussels operate both long and short haul. I do not see your point.

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    12. Kaari.
      What does 'cabin crew is beyond nasty' exactly mean?
      Thanks!

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  3. I am Miles and More frequent flier and I actually think the product and the whole system with Lufthansa works well. Should Jat be able to offer something similar out of DBV, SPU and ZAG I wouldn't hesitate to transit through BEG. But I do not find it very likely to happen. Furthermore, I use low fare carriers ONLY for leisure travels and even then only for point A to B transport. Being travel professional I assure you that legacy carriers' product will never be replaced by lowcosters. Maybe legacy pax numbers will be reduced resulting in lower capacities required but taking into consideration long term factors transiting in MUC or FRA will NEVER be affected by BEG's development.

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    1. I am Miles&More Frequent Traveller and I also think the product they deliver is quite of a high quality. With the silver status I was just in this year almost every month upgraded from economy to business on Adria, Lufthansa, Austrian and TAP. The services of the Star Alliance members are much better then for example the ones from the Sky Team. Been also OK plus silver and used to fly with the airlines in the Sky Team network the product of the Star Alliance members is overall of a much higher quality. Any other frequent member opinion?

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    2. M&M has actually worsened heaps in the past few years, and I've always been irritated by their ridiculous fuel surcharges on award tickets, but the final nail in the coffin has been the removal of contract lounge access for FTLs. That's why I only credit the cheapest LH fares to M&M these days.

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    3. I totally agree, BEG is a small dusty airport with basic infrastructure few major airlines that fly there and not that significantly larger than Zagreb airport which itself is also only a small regional airport.

      With the EU entry Zagreb Airport will pick up in numbers and with completion of new terminal passenger figures will skyrocket. Also no Croatian would want to fly to Belgrade to connect on to JAT, it would be incredibly stupid, JAT is a smaller and less significant airline than Croatian Airlines, why would anyone want to do that is beyond me.

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    4. I'm constantly puzzled as to why people think that opening a new terminal in a regional airport boosts pax numbers significantly. Terminals are created to accommodate for existing pax numbers, a new terminal won't boost those numbers by itself, especially since ZAG isn't exactly overflowing with pax. I'd definitely expect a much greater impact from the EU entry, and even that won't be more than 10-20% at best over the next few years.

      I also wouldn't say that OU is much bigger or more important than JU, although I still prefer flying the former, as I have yet to encounter any rude staff in OU (unlike JU).

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    5. Sure, new terminal doesn't guarantee anything especially impressive increase in pax, but current Pleso terminal is overflowing and is at its max capacity. Remember terminal was built for 1.5 million pax, it currently handles 2.3 million they did expand it bit this year allowing greater capacity (3.0 million pax) and this should suffice for next few years, until new terminal is up and running.

      2013 will see good increase in pax for Zagreb Airport, I hope for 8% but could be more, 12% or even 15%, that would make ZG airport more attractive for some major airlines, but reality, Zagreb isn't really that important business destination and there is only so much you can do with local traffic and few tourists.

      Zagreb needs to attract new airlines, preferably allow Easy Jet to fly to more destinations from Zagreb once recession is over (2014) and this should give Zagreb significant boost in pax, although we still need to be realistic, Zagreb can't complete with likes of Vienna, Budapest or Milan, It can play important regional role as a regional hub for Croatian and Slovenian passengers, some Bosnian too, but that is the extent Zagreb can hope for.

      Unless Zagreb can attract pre-1990 Tourist levels when 1.2 million tourist visited Zagreb and significantly attract international business travelers.

      In w.e case I predict Zagreb Airport won;t handle more than 5.75 million passengers before 2020.

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    6. 1,2 mil. tourists before 1990, where did you get this data from ? Not saying you are wrong, but this sounds puzzling, as in the "hayday" of Yugoslav tourism 1985-88 (68 million overnights for Croatia), Zagreb airport accounted for about 1,6 to 1,9 mil. pax (remember that Belgrade had about 3 - 3,3 at the same time). Today there are about 700.000 tourists in Zagreb, and about 650-680.000 tourists in Belgrade. So, what's the deal ? Zagreb tourists were not flying at all back then or what... ? I am sure Zagreb can reach 1,2 mil. tourists by 2014/2015. cheers

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    7. Peter, I am not saying 1.2 million tourist will make much difference, what I'm saying it helps in overall figures, that is all, what really counts in a long run, like with all small nations (Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech R, Austria, Hungary...) is business aspect, how can a city attract more business travelers, for they are the main breadbasket for all major and small airports alike.

      I can see Zagreb attracting some business travelers, but its a long run thing, 2020-2025, in short to medium term Zagreb needs to sort its base, i/e new terminal, try to attract more tourist as this would undoubtedly attract more airlines and also attract more business thus the logic.

      As I've said Zagreb won't be some sort of ex-yugo air travelers hub, far from it, it might not even be Croatia's hub, considering strong performance by Dubrovnik, Split, growing importance of Pula and Zadar airports, but Zagreb can grown in to a major regional airport i.e passenger wise if it can attract large buisness segment.

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  6. Dash 8 wauw.. you can better send a Croatia airlines bus there and make more profit :/

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  7. Early morning flight to ZAG, BEG, and late night return may have some potential for one day business trips. But for transit passengers that may not be so convenient, and I do think there is some potential for transit pax, like there is from other cities in the region, although competition is huge from VIE, IST, FRA etc. After all is is only a four hour drive, and that is directly from point A to B.

    OT, to admin, why not just remove inappropriate comments, and give one warning before banning. I am really tired of reading nationalistic crap and other stupid repetitive comments. I enjoy reading this blog an a daily basis, but lately less and less because of a few individuals who feel they have to show everyone how stupid they.

    -- Charlie

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  8. If they decided starting flights ahead of schedule means that the interest is high....2013 will be a very important year for Croatia.

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  9. With such 'high' load factors, surely it would be financially prudent to introduce a third (or fourth) frequency, with a long-term view to a daily schedule?

    Let's discuss the elephant in the room here: fleet. OU hasn't got enough planes to cope with the summer schedule, and doesn't know what to do with the winter surplus fleet. Both another 319 and a Q400 could be most effective in the summer, deferring those 319s to fully replace the 320s is actually quite a stupid, short-sighted move.


    I'm with Charlie on this one - Admin, you've got to make some tough decisions. Either make the forums registered to stop the trolling, or chase up the IP addresses and permanently ban people. It is beyond a joke, and having to remove up to half of the comments due to 'inappropriateness' isnt' really a good look to potential visitors...

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  10. BEG-ZAG not vialble?!?! A bitter joke.
    And leisure line is 90+ % full! Gimme a break.

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  11. I'd love seeing W6 doing "open skies" trump card and organizing the whole region towards Adriatic coast...

    (Oh...and for the record...I WOULD DO ANYTHING TO AVOID THE ABVOE MENTIONED AIRLINE)

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  12. EX-YU, the data you quoted are wrong. During last summer season OU executed 35 flights on route SPU-BEG-SPU and recorded 82.3% LF (capacity 76 seats), while JU had 85.7% LF (capacity 66 seats) on 26 flights on the same route. Next season OU is planning to fly 6 instead of 4 months from SPU to BEG.

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