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.