Thursday, October 15, 2009

Zagreb to attract low cost airlines

Soon a familiar sight at Zagreb Airport?
Zagreb Airport’s new CEO Tonči Peović has announced that he will cut the cost of airport handling services in a bid to attract more low cost airlines to Croatia’s largest airport. New handling prices, which are a great deterrent for low cost airlines, will be revised within the next 10 days. Peović said that he is negotiating directly with easyJet and Ryanair for them to commence flights to Zagreb and offer a total of 10 new services from Zagreb to their European bases. Yesterday, Peović said that "Clearly, we should be careful not to lower our income through new, lower prices, but we should also encourage discount airlines by sharing with them the risk of new flights. However, at the same time, we should be careful not to harm airlines with which we have been cooperating for years". Peović added that the national carrier Croatia Airlines will not be receiving any pricing privileges from the airport authority.

Zagreb Airport is served by 2 low cost airlines, Wizz Air from London and Lufthansa’s offspring Germanwings from Berlin, Cologne and Stuttgart. This is despite the fact that Croatia is part of the European Union’s open sky program which allows easy access to Zagreb for all European airlines. According to Croatian media, Zagreb Airport has some of the highest airport fees in the region.

Reportedly Ryanair and easyJet are interested in commencing services to Zagreb from British airports.

10 comments:

  1. great news for the travelling public in Zagreb :-)

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  2. I wish Sarajevo airport follows the same procedure. With biggest tax in Europe, we don't attract any low cost company, except Germanwings, but they cost same as Luftahnsa or Austrian

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  3. @ anonymous

    Agreed. We need competition in Bosnia and Herzegovina!

    By the way congratulations to FYROM Macedonia for opening accession talks with the EU again (although the date is undecided yet).

    BiH - Spain 2-5 :(

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  4. Great news :-) Healthy competition :-) As all of you have already said I hope BNX, SJJ and OMO will follow this example and BEG and INI too! And talking about Germanwings, you are right, their price VERY OFTEN could be comapared to any other national airline! Pozdrav svima

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  5. What is great about 'low cost carriers' is that they introduce the flying option to so many people who just would not have considered flying because the feel they can not afford it. I still recall when the low cost carriers were introduced to Australia. There was almost an increase of something (I will have to dig to get the correct figure) like 20 to 30% increase in passenger traffic in the first few months.

    What is interesting is that you can argue that instead of low cost carriers being negative for an airline like Croatia Airlines, it could in fact have a long term positive impact by increasing the market to include people who just do not consider the flying option because they feel it is too expensive

    I will give you one example-
    There are usually around 4 or 5 flights between Split and Zagreb every day. There is 6 or 7 train services usually completely booked out and around 35 bus services.

    Once you pay your extra 10 kuna for bags and 30 kunas for food, each trip on train and bus cost around 200 kunas. Train takes 7 hours with about 4 stops and bus around 5 hours when there is no traffic.

    I used to fly between Split and Zagreb and automatically all my relatives thought I had a lot of money because I chose to fly but I found flight on OU for 220 kunas!

    Many of my relatives and others did not realise that they could fly that cheap and OU is most probably to blame for that by not advertising as well as they could. Once a low cost carrier is introduced people automatically see themselves able to afford flying and start to consider flying as an option thus increasing the market.

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  6. BTW 200 kunas is about 27 euros.

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  7. Re to Q400 Great point well made! That is absolutely true! Svaka cast za navedeno gore, zaista lijepo objasnjeno! I hope that something good will happen to BNX :-) pozdrav

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  8. Just putting a spanner in the works, where are all these extra planes going to go if they cancelled the airport expansion program??

    Whilst i'd love to see ZAG closer to its proper potential (3 pax/yr), there needs to be enough apron and terminal space - of which both is lacking...

    @ Q400

    OU seems to offer very good deals for domestic flights, and can save hours of travelling. I last year had a similar 220kn fare DBV-ZAG which was a wonderful alternative to a tedious 12-hr bus trip. Sadly though I ended up paying 120 euros one-way for a similar-distance flight ZAG-SJJ. It just goes to show the discrepancy between flight taxes, and the high cost of charges at SJJ.

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  9. Thanks Anonymous.
    I always wondered why OU did not advertise these flights. I recall seeing Dubrovnik Airlines Billboards around Split and Croatia but nothing from Croatian Airlines in terms of advertisings.

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  10. As I have said few times here, A GOOD MARKETING IS A BIG PROBLEM in ex Yu region! Wizzair had a great marketing campaign "sad letimo svi" and as you said it is little bit sad that ZAG-SJJ flight is 5-6 times more expensive than ZAG-DBV for example and it's eve shorter fliht I'd say!

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