Thursday, January 28, 2010

Croatia dumps Belgrade and delays Athens

In Athens from June 10
Despite plans to begin flights to the Serbian capital on May 1, 2010, Croatia Airlines has dumped the proposed flights which were to operate 4 times per week using the airline’s new Dash 8 aircraft. Flights between the 2 cities would have been resumed after some 19 years. The airline also recently announced that it was withdrawing from Rijeka with the termination of its 1 weekly flight to London. Croatia Airlines is also terminating seasonal flights from Zagreb to Gothenburg and Dubrovnik to London.

However, from March 28, Croatia Airlines will commence non-stop flights to Rome. This compliments the 5 weekly service via Split and 2 weekly via Dubrovnik. The flights will operate with the Dash 8. Meanwhile, the launch of the airline’s new service to Athens has been pushed back from April 29 to June 10. The 3 weekly flights from Zagreb will operate only on a seasonal summer basis.

In the midst of its summer timetable reshuffling, the Croatian national carrier is also bracing itself for strike action. All of the airline’s unions are preparing a 1 day strike on February 11. If their demands are not met further strikes will be organised. They are unhappy with proposed pay cuts.


  1. If an airline can't make Dubrovnik-London work it is a very big worry.

  2. Instead of flying to X destinations, they rather focus on a couple and develop them to daily flights or double daily. JP is the same, starts all over in Europe to fly and can t get its flights full except for some good destinations such as FRA,MUC,ZRH,PRN,CDG

  3. JP is indeed a bit different story. LJU is with JP much better connected to main EU hubs than ZAG with OU. And JP has much better West Balkan network with higher frequency.

  4. Adria has very poor competition in LJU.
    I agree that company which is not able to keep DBV-LGW flights alive is a big worry but there is very hard competition between two cities, Easyjet will have more then double flights from London to DBV from may to 9 flights a week, there are also daily flights of British Airways, Thomson Airways once a week, Monarch once a week and maybe more ...
    In the other news also Pula - Gatwick flights are cancelled.

  5. and I checked now flights to Athens in amadeus and I see that they are starting June 01.

  6. JP with direct competition only on routs LJU-IST, LJU-LON and LJU-CDG and from Mar. 01 on LJU-BEG. But still doing well and even better than AF - both with 2 daily flights - on the route to CDG and extremely well on LJU-IST route.

  7. That sport cliche sums it up perfectly: you have to be in it to win it.

    OU pulling out of coastal markets is extremely concerning and short-sighted, especially if the market picks up in the next few years and they are trying to reestablish themselves in a more competitive environment. That's just handing your passengers to rivals!

    Poor frequencies, patchy service and no clear plan leads to failure with any airline. And we've seen so many go belly up in recent time - both full service and LCCs.

    Perhaps getting rid of the 320 wasn't so wise after all (replacing it with a 319 would have made far more sense). Pulling out of BEG highlights this possible lack of aircraft further. And finally, what role do national carriers have to operate routes which are more marginal in their profits, or to work with other government agencies to prop up other industries?

  8. Croatia Airlines are preparing to strike. Here's some news from a credible source:

    "Croatia Airlines unions prepare to strike:

    Star Alliance carrier Croatia Airlines' unions are preparing for a possible strike next month over the failure to reach a new collective agreement.

    Emergency union meetings are set to take place on 2 February as a dispute intensifies over measures implemented by the company at the beginning of this year.

    The aviation employees union SHSZUZ is bitterly complaining that the measures, including pay cuts and loss of other benefits, amount to an "unacceptable reduction in workers' rights".

    Croatia Airlines unions - among them the pilot and cabin crew groups HSPP and SKOZ - jointly submitted a letter to the country's prime minister, Jadranka Kosor, last month about the "difficult financial situation" of the company, stating that it was losing Kn10 million ($1.9 million) a month.

    As a result of changes implemented on 1 January, the letter claims, workers are losing 15-45% of their income. It added that such short-term measures would ultimately not solve problems faced by the carrier."

    Source: Air Transport Intelligence news

  9. Dubrovnik - London route works very well, but on a carrie that offers either:
    A)best fares - Easy jet
    B)best conections- British
    Croatia was simply squeezed out of this route by more efficient rivals. Returning an A320 was a good move since the lease was expiring anyway and it is too big for the current market conditions.
    The new focus are the routes CA can make money on so the frequencies are higher. Flying somewhere only 2 times a week no longer makes sense.
    But the cost structure remains high. The directors starting with the CEO, are given jobs on the basis of their political affiliations and NOT skill. They all drive shiny new cars have no limit on their company credit cards and mobile phones. To illustrate, the CEO not only has two company cars but also a personal driver. These kinds of ammenities are not given to exeutives at much bigger companies.
    Bord of directors is even a funnier story. It is staffed by people who have NO CLUE about aviaton. The latest addition to the brilliant team is TV producer Antun Vrdoljak. Of course all of these EXPERTS are dearly compensated.

  10. I've just come across this wonderful blog (just what I needed, thanks!) and was hoping to find out some news about that mysterious disappearance of ZAG-BEG route by Croatia Airlines not long after its introduction in Amadeus system... A lot of people are still very anxious (including myself) about being able to fly to BEG from ZAG and/or via ZAG from other Croatian cities thus finally avoiding the dreadful bus experience from Split (12 or more hours...) or other Dalmatian towns... I was waiting for this for so long and it seems now that there's still no positive news for this to change...

    Maybe they'll change their minds again... you never know your furure in the Balkans. :)

    Once again, thanks for the most useful and wonderful blog, you just got yourselves a new devoted reader. :)

    All the best,



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