Monday, June 15, 2009

Third Dash

Croatia Airlines adds another Dash 8 to fleet
Yesterday evening, a few minutes past 19.00, Croatia Airlines received its third Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft. The aircraft arrived to Zagreb from Montreal, Canada via the Scottish city of Aberdeen. The aircraft, the third of its type in the Croatia Airlines fleet, is registered 9A-CQC and has been named Istra, after the West Croatian region. The aircraft will enter regular service from today. A fourth Q400 is expected to arrive in a month while a further 2 Bombardiers on order will be distributed next year. However, the Croatian carrier has a further 4 options for this type of aircraft. The fourth Bombardier will be registered 9A-CQD.

The delivery of the Bombardier was made under an agreement Croatia Airlines signed with Bombardier Aerospace on May 31, 2007. The fleet of Bombardiers has replaced the airline’s short haul fleet of ATR aircraft. The Bombardiers operating for Croatia Airlines have a capacity of 67 seats and is organized in an all economy class layout. The airline now has a total of 11 aircraft (with 2 aircraft leased for the current summer season not included). The airline has a total of 6 aircraft on order with 2 Bombardiers set to arrive next year and 4 Airbus A319s to be delivered from 2012.

10 comments:

  1. Wouldn't it be good if B&H Airlines replaced their noisy, old ATR planes for CRJ or Dash 8 Q400's as the current ATR planes are clearly not good for the environment?

    Anyways, I flew Stockholm to Sarajevo just recently with B&H Airlines!

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  2. @ anonymous

    Ummmmm....no, i think that the ATR planes are just fine within the fleet of B&H Airlines. They look clean, shiny, they are very efficient, very safe (as Dash 8 has had many more incidents) and Dash 8 and ATR are BOTH better than some of the jet-engined planes for the environment, as they are turbo-propelled.

    The only down sides is that they can't use jetways for the B&H Airlines ATR as they can for the Boeing 737-400. Maybe in the near future when B&H Airlines establishes itself more and flies more than 500,000 passengers, it can slowly replace its ATR fleet lets say to CRJ aircraft. Who knows.

    Flying with them is just as good, the noise can be bad when landing, but it doesnt matter anyways, as the B&H cabin is always noisy (people laughing at Bosnian jokes, gossiping, etc). Seats are padded, blue leather and are just comfortable, but maybe the cooridoor is a bit too tight. It's a good plane type!

    ....maybe B&H can go the same way as Croatia Airlines, dumping the ATR's for Dash 8!

    What do you think ex yu aviation and others?

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  3. The Dach 8 Q400 is a very efficient aircraft. A friend of mine who works for Qantas link claims they only need to sell 6 seats to break even on the Sydney - Canberra run which is a 30 min flight in the Q400. I think it was a very smart choice for OU even though they have had some troubles but this is expected in a new aircraft type.

    I would love to see this aircraft fly Zagreb - Belgrade at least twice daily. It will give the people of Belgrade an alternative to Jat and introduce some healthy competition in the region.

    3 more years and OU might have a total of 22 aircraft in there fleet. At this stage OU could really start looking at introducing flights to America and Asia. I only hope that Bandic finally gives the ok to the new Zagreb terminal as he promised he would in the last election campaign because without a new terminal in Zagreb it will be hard to make it a hub as hoped by both the city and Croatia Airlines!

    Oh, and congratulations to Croatia Airlines!

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  4. Congrats to OU. These planes are (whilst not the prettiest birds in the sky or on the tarmac) one of the most efficient to run for any airline, and a real hit with passengers, as Q400 has correctly pointed out. With 4 in the fleet, there is room for frquency increases for MUC (recently cut back by LH), TGD, SJJ and PRS, and possible introduction of flights to VCE, BEG, ATH and OMO (all potentially profitable given the Qs low profitability-point).

    I'm yet to fly on one operated by OU (that will have to wait until next year) but it wouldn't be surprising to see another 2 taken out of that options for 2011, an empty year in OU's fleet acquisition/upgrade in the same way last year's announcement was a surprise to many. Beyond that, the airline needs more 319s for mine (a fleet of 10 Airbi (6 319s/4 320s) and 8 Qs would be about right for the next few years whilst the airline builds up its profile).

    On a negative note about the Qs, due to their larger size, speed and reliability, anna.aero announced this week that OU's cabin load factor has dropped an incredible 7.8 points due to a 10% increase in ASKs. A concern in the present economic climate, but if the airline can weather the storm will prove highly beneficial and lucrative in 3-5 years.

    @ BOSNIAN
    I had the opposite experience when I flew with JA in an ATR two years back. I found it a tired old plane, with poor service on board. If they wanted true regional services (both in the exYU and beyond) then 3 jets and ATRs properly deployed with faster turn-arounds (45 mins max) are a good start before replacements come in.

    @ ex-YU: I'm pretty sure it should read '76' not '67' seats!

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  5. I knew I forgot a destination or two to add to the list (sorry!): MXP and SOF...

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  6. Few corrections to the article:
    -the aircraft flew in on temporary canadian registration, it will take a few days to receive a Croatian registration certificate.
    -The fourth aircraft CQD is due to arrive to ZAG on June 21st.
    BOSNIAN: the Q400 is just a better aircraft than ATR.
    Speed/Climb performance/ Avionics etc.. This, of course is reflected on the price tag. The Q400 is about 20 - 30 percent more expensive. All OU Q's are equiped with HGS Head up guidance system - CAT III capable ( ATR is CAT II only). As far as incidents are concerned do I need to remind anyone of all the icing accidents on ATR. Only one Q400 fatal crash so far and it seems to have been a pilot error.

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  7. @ PBY: The aircraft already has the Croatian registration since it arrived on Sunday evening.

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  8. ATR = tired, uncomfortable plane, a lot of people say that, but lets hope B&H can replace the ATR like Croatia Airlines did.

    Also, congratulations Croatia Airlines :)

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  9. EX YU...
    Several inspections have to be performed by the local authority. Anyhow, the aircraft has not made the first revenue flight as of today. Possibly tomorrow.
    BOSNIAN- I do not think ATR is a bad plane. I just know that the Q is a better more advanced aircraft.
    I think ATR could serve BH Airlines for many years to come. It burns very little fuel and it is almost ideal for services in the Balkan region. VIE being the furthest I think they should use it on. I think SJJ-FRA sector on an ATR is a bit of a stretch. I wonder if any airline is using it on a longer sector ?

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  10. @PBY

    ATR is alright, but Q400 would be better. Vienna SHOULD be the longest and furtherest destination served. The rest should be with the Boeing 737-400.

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