Friday, May 15, 2009

Jat to Dubrovnik from June

Dubrovnik
Jat Airways, Serbia’s national carrier, will begin seasonal flights to the Croatian seaside town of Dubrovnik from late September if the Croatian Aviation Agency issues the airline the license for these flights. Jat’s CEO and commercial director met up with Dubrovnik Airport’s management on Wednesday to discuss future partnership initiatives. Dubrovnik Airport management issued Jat landing and departure slots (times). Despite the airline not having a license yet, airports are allowed to allocate times when the airline can fly to and from the airport. Jat would operate flights with an ATR72 from Belgrade on Monday morning and Thursday afternoon. The two weekly flights would begin in mid June and would operate until the last week of September. Standing in the way of the flights is the Croatian Civil Aviation Authority which has been reluctant in issuing licenses to the Serbian carrier. Jat had to delay the launch of its flights from Belgrade to Pula this year because the agency was late in issuing a license. However, Jat’s management is optimistic that the airline will be putting a second Croatian destination on its route map in mid June. Jat resumed flights to Pula, after more than a decade, last year. The airline operates 4 weekly flights to Pula and has applied for a 2 weekly year round service although the Croatian Aviation Agency is yet to approve this. The new service to Dubrovnik might be accompanied by new flights to Vienna from Serbia’s second international airport, Niš.

The management of Dubrovnik Airport and Jat said that they will create a new relationship and let other people deal with the past. Jat’s management also talked with representatives from the Dubrovnik tourism board in order to find ways to promote the new line. Jat’s last flight from Duborvnik was operated to Belgrade on August 6, 1991. If all goes to plan Jat will begin services to a third Croatian city, Split, next year. Croatia has been heavily promoted and advertised across Serbia’s capital Belgrade this summer.

Meanwhile, the airline’s management announced that it will be keeping its “flying dots” livery. Despite asking designers to create the airlines new visual identity during Belgrade design week (for which the designer/s of the winning work will receive free tickets), Jat’s management said that this is a non-binding competition, meaning that it doesn’t necessarily have to be applied. Currently the airline has received over 100 designs. From the EX-YU republics designers from Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have sent in their work while designs from Japan, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Romania and Bulgaria have also been received. The winner will be chosen by the end of May.

2 comments:

  1. pa što su onda objavljivali konkurs, ako nije obavezujuć?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jat Airways, Serbia’s national carrier, will begin seasonal flights to the Croatian seaside town of Dubrovnik from late September if the Croatian Aviation Agency issues the airline the license for these flights.What an 'if' story!!

    First it was their 2010 expansion ambition, now suddenly they have extra capacity to start it this June (was there an error in the title, or opening/above sentence?). Were these times the two extras disallowed for 4 weekly flights to Pula? And didn't Pula suffer a false start (or three) before finally being given the green light?

    The saying goes that time heals old wounds. But how much longer is the Croatian CAA going to keep cutting off its nose to spite its face? The country believes tourism is an important part of its economy, yet isn't actively promoting bilateral agreements with countries for greater tourism.

    Despite the past, the two countries have much to offer each other: shared history (at least in the 20th century), minimal language barriers for travellers, and ready-made markets. Residents of Serbia were used to flying to the Adriatic coast for holidays, and will happily fill planes again. Same for residents of Croatia wishing to visit Belgrade or other parts of Serbia. A big question remains though as to why JU is using their smallest planes on trips to Pula (and possibly Dubrovnik) when demand could easily allow for a 737 if promised frequency increases are not given.

    If Croatia as a country wants to play in the big league, it perhaps needs to stop comparing itself to its many fledgling neighbours and sitting comfortable and truly work to become the regional leader it claims it is. If they can solve issues such as Bay of Piran then anything is clearly possible.

    JAT isn't immune from this however - their approach to get flights has been poor to say the least. It is interesting to note that when airlines persue new routes to authorities behind closed doors, they are more likely respected for it and given quicker approval than bullying tactics and slinging matches in the public arena.

    We will watch this development with interest!

    [Ps. moj grijeh for the long rant!]

    ReplyDelete

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